• Where are you guys located? Do you have parking?

    Our office is located right across the way from the Southland Mall in Hayward. We’re in the same building as Social Security, on the second floor, and there’s plenty of free parking on both sides of the building. We are wheelchair accessible; people can come up on the elevator.

  • It’s hard to answer without a consultation. During the consultation, we discuss all of your legal questions, I collect the facts about your case, and I will spot issues that might pose challenges or difficulties. We also discuss prices, timelines, procedures, and costs.

  • Yes. The compensation is for 30 minutes of my time, at a reduced rate of my regular hourly rate. During the consultation, I explain the law, I collect important facts, discuss strategies, and roadmaps of how to get you the legal remedy or benefit that you’re looking for.

  • A. I practice criminal defense for all California criminal cases in the seven Bay Area counties: San Francisco, Marin, Contra Costa, Solano, Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara. The majority of our cases are federal immigration cases, having to do with families: Citizenship, Green Card, Waivers, DACA., TPS, Asylum, and U visa.

    B. We also do criminal record cleanup for purposes of immigration cases or other reasons.

  • Yes, but appointments are preferred. I might be busy with something else, or not in the office, when you happen to walk in, and I may not be able to help you.

  • Criminal Defense

  • I am a former government-paid defense attorney, so I know that job. As a private attorney, I give clients a lot more quality time and attention, than overworked and underpaid government attorneys. Our clients tell us they get frustrated with their government lawyers, because phone calls are not returned, messages are left unanswered, and prisoners are not visited. Family members are left in the dark. That doesn’t happen in my office.

  • Misdemeanors (like shoplifting, or disturbing the peace) are crimes at the lowest level, that can be punished for up to one year in jail. Felonies (*serious domestic violence, robbery) are the highest level of crime in the state, can be punished with up to life in prison, or the death penalty, depending on seriousness. I handle all kinds of crimes.

  • No, we do not defend traffic tickets *(speeding, red light tickets), which are cases only heard in traffic court. If you’re not sure if your case is a misdemeanor or just a traffic case, just ask. We’re happy to look at your citation to see if it’s something that we defend.

  • Yes, I have defended hundreds, if not thousands of DUI cases. DUI punishments vary, but in general, you would be looking at, for a 1st time DUI offense at about $2000 in fines, about 3 years informal probation, and three months of DMV classes and a driver license suspension, as well as some jail time. DUIs are complicated cases that require a lot of attention, but I have the experience.

  • Domestic violence cases can be misdemeanors or felonies, depending how serious the injury is. Domestic violence is when two people who have or used to have a romantic relationship, get into a fight becomes physical. Domestic violence can have very serious consequences, especially for immigrants, who are not citizens, and can lead to deportation or denial of a green card.

  • Yes. It’s a bad idea to go to court and defend yourself. The judges will treat you as if you are a lawyer, and know the law, and will grant any favors.

  • Absolutely not. To a defense attorney with experience, it doesn’t matter if a person is guilty. There’s always room for negotiation, and to try and minimize a person’s punishment or the charges.

  • No. If you have a defense attorney, often times we can appear in court for you, and then you don’t have to attend. This is one advantages of having a defense attorney, in that you don’t have to take time off from work to attend every single court. And there could be many.

  • Yes, we do. We do post-conviction relief, petitions, such as: early termination of probation, reduction of charges, and dismissal of a case; we also do petitions to withdraw pleas, and vacate motions to fully eradicate conviction and sentence for immigration purposes. We also regularly do petitions to seal arrest records, and we also do petitions to terminate sex offender registration.

  • Immmigration

  • No, as unfortunately, we do not do business immigration. We only do family, immigration, and asylum and U visas.

  • We do green cards, citizenship, DACA, TPS, asylum, U Visas, consular process, and waivers. We also have a few cases of deportation defense for people in immigration court. Basically, we do Family Based Immigration.

  • That depends. The US government has published a list of qualifying crimes, which tend to be serious crimes. In our office, during the consultation, we will discuss what type of crime you were a victim of, what your injuries were, your level of cooperation, and whether we think he will qualify and present a good case. We need to look at your police report before we can really give a proper analysis.

  • If the government approves the application, you will receive a work permit for four years, a waiver of inadmissibility, and a protection from deportation for four years. Once the first three years are over, and you begin the fourth year, you’re entitled to self petition for a green card.

  • Possibly, yes. The waiver under the U Visa is the most generous, and the most powerful waiver under immigration law. It is discretionary, so, if the government likes you, they can waive any deportations, unlawful entries, and even immigration fraud.

  • No. Any person who enters the United States unlawfully, and wants asylum, must file a written application within one year of entering the United States, or they lose their opportunity.

  • The judge will issue an order for your deportation in your absence. No matter, how weak or strong your cases, you should always appear in court to protect your rights, even if you don’t have a lawyer.

  • Yes, as long as you contact the IRS and make arrangements to pay them back.

  • Maybe. If a doctor diagnoses you with a condition that prohibits you from learning, you can become a citizen without English, and without the civics exam.

  • Not sure. Immigration consequences are criminal arrests and convictions is a complex, and always-changing area of the law. You should meet with an experienced crimmigration attorney, such as Sergio Benavides, to study your case and see if you qualify. If not, he can tell you what you need to do to qualify.

  • Maybe, yes. We would have to meet for a consultation. In California, people who plead guilty without knowing the immigration consequences of the charges, the sentence, and the conviction, are entitled to file a motion to vacate for a violation of their constitutional rights. We do these motions all the time, and have been very successful.