Long Beach Criminal Defense Attorney

Practice Areas

Long Beach Criminal Defense Attorney


Long Beach criminal attorney, Matthew Kaestner, has been trying felony cases to juries for over 30 years. His vast vast experience handling criminal includes cases from simple possession of drugs to special circumstance murder. In the past 30 years, Mr. Kaestner has built a reputation for the meticulous preparation and tenacious defense of every felony case he takes. For questions about any felony case, call Mr. Kaestner directly at (562) 437-0200.

A felony is a crime that can carry more than one year in the county jail or a sentence of more than a year in a state prison. A misdemeanor, can carry no more than one year in county jail. Felonies range from crimes such as possession for sale of narcotics, any theft crime with a loss greater than $950, robbery, homicide, domestic violence, drunk driving with 3 or more priors, and others.

Although many persons who are arrested for a felony offense don’t go to the state prison, a felony conviction can have devastating long term implications. Whenever someone has been arrested or accused of a felony charge it is imperative that they not agree to a police interview and seek a criminal law specialist immediately.

Most felony arrests result in a criminal law case being filed by the District Attorney in the jurisdiction where the crime allegedly occurred. Felonies range from crimes such as possession for sale of narcotics, any theft crime with a loss of over $950, domestic violence, robbery, homicide, drunk driving with 3 priors, and others. Felonies can carry from a maximum jail sentence of 3 years or more. Murder can still can carry a sentence of life without parole or death. At the arraignment, the accused citizen is advised of the charges against him, provided a copy of the police reports, and enters a plea of not guilty.

It is at this time, if the person has not yet bailed out, that the court will set bail or possibly a release without the posting of bail. This can be a critical stage where it is very important to have an experienced attorney argue for reduced bail and oppose any request to raise bail by the prosecutor.

Also at the arraignment, the matter is set for a "preliminary hearing" before a judge, within ten court days of the arraignment. At the preliminary hearing a judge listens to witnesses presented by the government. The prosecutor attempts to establish that there is some factual basis to the charges. If the judge finds "probable cause" that the accused committed a felony, the matter is sent to a trial court. The judge can also dismiss the case if the judge finds no probable cause. At the preliminary hearing the defense attorney can cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses to expose weaknesses in the case.

If the judge finds probable cause at the preliminary hearing, the accused is ordered to stand trial and is sent to a trial court where a second arraignment occurs. An accused has a right to a trial within sixty days of the arraignment in the trial court. Within that sixty days there are one or more pre-trial hearings to settle legal issues and work out a plea bargain if possible. If the case is not settled the matter goes to trial. On a felony case, the accused is entitled to be present and have his attorney present at all times including trial. At the trial, the defense attorney challenges the evidence put on by the prosecution and puts on any "affirmative defense" that is available including alibi, self defense, etc.

On a felony case, as in all criminal law cases, a jury of 12 persons must reach a unanimous decision. A guilty verdict can only be based on proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Long Beach Criminal Law Specialist Matthew G. Kaestner has been handling felony cases and winning felony cases at trial for over 30 years. He has successfully handled virtually every type of felony charge you might find yourself or a loved one charged with. He is an expert trial attorney and expert negotiator. For any question about a felony case call Mr. Kaestner directly at (562) 437-0200.