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With You Every Step of The Way Sonoma County Criminal Defense Attorney

Understanding the Criminal Defense Process

If you were recently charged with a crime under the California Penal Code, you are probably concerned about what will happen next. The Law Offices of Evan E. Zelig is staffed with an attorney who not only has experience working in large and small firms, but has also worked as a prosecutor prior to entering practice as a Santa Rosa criminal defense lawyer. We encourage you to contact our office right away to get started on your criminal defense. The process can be lengthy and grueling, depending upon the charges involved, but we are ready to stand by your side from start to finish.

Consultations are free. Call (707) 418-5352 today to get started. 

The First Steps Following Arrest

When you first meet with your criminal defense attorney, make sure you bring copies of any documents pertaining to the case. This could include police reports, warrants or any other paperwork related to your criminal charge. Our attorney will review these documents and discuss the facts of the incident. If any defenses are immediately apparent, such as an unlawful search or self-defense, your lawyer will make certain to raise these right away.

The Criminal Discovery Process

In the weeks following your initial intake, your attorney will engage in the discovery process with the prosecutor. This involves the mutual exchange of evidence and information related to the case. Evidence which may be inadmissible at a trial, such as evidence of drug possession obtained without a warrant or an unlawful traffic stop that led to DUI, may still be discoverable during the trial preparation period.

Under the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Brady v. Maryland, the prosecution must reveal any evidence that exculpates a criminal defendant, including:

  • Evidence that a witness for the prosecution lied or committed perjury
  • Pending criminal charges against a witness for the prosecution
  • Evidence that directly contradicts a witness' testimony
  • Racial, religious or personal bias against the defendant
  • Promises made between the witness and the prosecutor, including grants of immunity

Suppression Hearings

As your case proceeds, your criminal defense lawyer may request a suppression hearing. This process is invoked when it becomes apparent that certain evidence was obtained by police in violation of the defendant's criminal procedure rights. If the judge holds that contraband or material evidence was obtained without a warrant or probable cause, the evidence will be excluded from consideration during the guilt phase of the pending trial.

Contact a Santa Rosa Criminal Defense Attorney at (707) 418-5352

If you are facing criminal charges and would like more information about how the criminal defense process works, talk to our team today. We can assist you with a wide range of charges, including drug violations, sex crimes, homicides, gang-related charges and assault, as well as expungement of criminal records in certain circumstances.

Give us a call at (707) 418-5352 to get started.

Why You Can Rely on Our Firm:

  • Aggressive, proactive approach to handling criminal cases.
  • Client-oriented services.
  • 24/7 availability by phone.
  • Hands-on guidance and support through the criminal justice system.


Our Clients Tell It Best
  • “Right off the bat, Mr. Zelig was very approachable and friendly.”

    Jason A.

  • “He believed and me and wouldn't back down!”


  • “Evan Zelig is exactly what you want from a lawyer.”

    Former Client

  • “Evan fought hard to achieve the best possible results on both legal matters.”

    Former Client

  • “Mr. Zelig exceeded all my expectations! He genuinely cared and wanted to help.”


  • “Takes the stress away from a very stressful time.”

    Brent B.

  • “I can't speak any higher about my experience with Evan”


  • “Evan was extremely accessible and thorough when it came to my representation.”

    Dominic H.

  • “I know Evan to be one of the best criminal defense litigators in Northern California.”

    Ryan W.

  • “Mr. Zelig is by far the best over-all lawyer in Sonoma county hands down!”

    Michael J. H.

  • “Mr.Zelig handles the charges as if they were filed against him!”


  • “If you want someone that truly cares, then he is your guy. :)”

    Alex A.

  • “I definitely recommend him to anybody!”

    Chloe D.

  • “Evan presented a detailed, concise and professional defense then executed beautifully.”

    Former Client


    Former Client