Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

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Barhoma Law provides top-notch representation in California for clients accused of crimes and those under investigation. The firm is known for its outstanding record in court and its vigorous use of legal motions to strengthen our clients’ cases.

First, Barhoma Law seeks to get the case dismissed and we are known for this. We have an incredibly high dismissal rate and dropped charges. And we are also known to have not-guilty verdicts. Having a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney with this type of record makes all the difference when you’re facing any sort of criminal prosecution.

Second, we seek to suppress illegal evidence. What most people do not know is that law enforcement must follow the law if they wish to punish you for breaking the law. What that means is that they have to follow constitutional mandates that prosecution not use evidence that was acquired through illegal action.

Third, we treat all clients with respect. Some people assume that anyone accused of a crime is guilty. But that is not true—we know it. Our clients are treated with respect and dignity.

Criminal defense practiced in Los Angeles

Criminal defense encompasses a wide array of crimes in Los Angeles.

Some of the most common types of cases we defend in the Californian courts include:

What defines the severity of my criminal case in Los Angeles?

Because of the wide array of criminal offenses that exist, sentencing and punishments vary greatly.

How harshly your case will be treated will depend on a variety of factors, including:

  • The level of injury inflicted on another person (if any)
  • The amount of threat or violence used (e.g. with assault)
  • The level of loss of property experienced by the other party (e.g. with fraud or burglary)
  • The extent to which you exceeded legal limits (e.g. with DUI)
  • The extent to which your actions were intentional and could be avoided
  • Whether there were aggravating circumstances (e.g. were firearms used in an assault case?)
  • Whether it is your first offence or not

The above factors will help determine whether your case is treated as a misdemeanor or a felony. Additionally, if your crime is a federal crime (such as bank robbery or tax evasion), different laws will apply. 

Federal crimes are considered crimes against the nation and, as such, harsher laws apply. Instead of prosecution by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office and a hearing within the Los Angeles Superior Court system, lawyers in the United States Department of Justice will prosecute in the United States Attorney’s Office court.

Many crimes have mandatory sentencing guidelines imposed but there are usually different degrees of severity in most types of criminal cases.

An experienced lawyer should be the first person you speak to if you are charged with any crime because we can help you navigate the complexities of the state or the federal legal system.

What are the stages of criminal prosecution in Los Angeles?

There are three basic stages of criminal prosecution in Los Angeles:


Law enforcement offers will start the process of prosecution when they have “probable cause” to arrest you, according to the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. constitution. This is often based upon information they have received and normally means that they have evidence that would cause a “reasonable person” to believe that you have committed the alleged offense. 

A police report will be submitted to the prosecution, who will then decide whether to charge you. If you are charged, an arraignment date is set.


The arraignment process is when the judge informs you of the charges filed against you. You are given the opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty to the charges.

If no plea bargain has been negotiated between your legal counsel and the prosecution, you would normally plead not guilty and the judge will determine whether you can be released on recognizance or if bail is to be granted.

The bail review hearing will decide the conditions of bail. 


With the adjudication phase, your criminal defense lawyer will meet with the prosecution and obtain all of the relevant information gathered by law enforcement relating to your charges. There may be negotiations and plea bargaining between your defense lawyer and the prosecution or your case may proceed to trial.

If you are charged with a felony, you have the right to a preliminary hearing held before a judge or magistrate. For a misdemeanor, you must proceed straight to trial, unless there is a plea bargain. 

What is the outcome of having a criminal record in California?

If you are convicted of a crime in Los Angeles, you will have a criminal record that may last a lifetime. This could mean that it is permanently visible on background checks. An employer, educational institution, insurer, or other organization can access this information at any time.

This may affect your livelihood, education, finances, travel plans, and immigration status, as well as other areas of your life.

Can Matthew Barhoma have my record expunged in California?

It is possible to have your criminal record expunged after a certain period so that all record of the crime disappears from background checks.

Expungement is only available if:

  • No incarceration was involved
  • You have fully completed probation 
  • You are not currently charged with a crime

Expungement does not happen automatically – and not all crimes are eligible. To have a record expunged, you need to petition the court in California to dismiss and vacate your case. The court will then make a decision based on the nature of the crime and whether it is in the public interest to retain the record.

For instance, the court may consider that a conviction for fraud might warrant future employers to be aware of this and decide that the record must remain. 

Matthew Barhoma can assist with the process of applying for the expungement of your criminal record.

What next?

If you have been charged with a crime in Los Angeles, remain calm and contact us as soon as possible.

  • We will work with you and the prosecution either to get the charges dismissed or defend you aggressively at trial.
  • We will prepare the best defense for your particular alleged crime after examining all the evidence closely. 
  • We will guide you through the complexities of the Los Angeles local court system.

Start with an initial consultation so that we can evaluate your case and guide you on the steps forward.

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400+ Cases And Counting

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Successful Cases

Los Angeles County Bar Association
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Mr. Barhoma got all charges dismissed! I called him when my son got a DUI. He was charged with driving under the influence, resisting arrest, and possession of a controlled substance. Mr. Barhoma explained things so well. He eventually did exactly the strategy he outlined for us during our initial call. Mr. Barhoma knew the downtown la courthouse very well. He was able to work his magic and dismiss all charges! Mr. Barhoma restored my son a full life. And no amount of money could be worth that. Thank Mr. Barhoma!!!!


Matthew is the best criminal defense attorney ever. He is a BEAST! He won by SB1437 case in 4 months. The PD’s office was giving us the runaround. As soon as we retained Mr. Barhoma, he instantly added value to my case. He gave very very insightful advice and was able to do what the PD’s office could not. During oral argument, Mr. Barhoma was absolutely amazing. His courtroom capabilities are unmatched. I’ve yet to find an LA lawyer like him. He is the best criminal defense and appeals attorney I have ever met. Thank you so much Mr. Barhoma! You changed our lives!!!!


Matthew is extremely knowledgable. He ALWAYS picks up the phone and ALWAYS responds to emails. There is no limit. He will always do what it takes. He has gone above and beyond for me! I am so happy I hired him.

Matt is an absolute monster in the court room. Opposing lawyers do not even stand a chance when he starts arguing in court. He is very charismatic and persuasive! He has a way to speaking with judges. I would hire him again and again!


Matthew is a double threat. He is extremely creative with his deal making skills. He helped my startup survive and when i needed him for another case that was in court, he was extremely savvy. I would give him 10 stars, if possible. Matt communicates extremely well (sometimes even on the weekends and late nights) and always made sure to go the extra mile in protecting my interests. Matt is just amazing. I wish more lawyers could be as good as Matt. He was more than a lawyer. Matt was a friend and a coach in my corner.


Matthew is the most knowledgeable lawyer. I have worked with teams of lawyers and none of them were as knowledgeable and prompt as Matthew. I trust all of my company’s legal affairs with Matthew. He makes me rest easy knowing he is on it.


Matthew was extremely knowledgeable. He helped secure $1.6 million transaction in a gas station flawlessly. He responds to emails and calls well and he is very strategic. When we consulted, he was very clear on his plan of attack. unlike my last lawyer, Matthew makes you his teammate and works with you. Whenever he sent me documents, he would explain them well and when I asked for clarification, he would call me and explain things. Even when I was slow or annoying, he never rushed me. He worked out a deal my previous lawyer could have never worked out! So, so strategic and smart! I trust him with all my assets.


Matthew was proactive when he closed a $5 million transaction for my company. Very responsive. Assertive in negotiations. He was not cheap but he provides extremely good service. Matt was able to close the transaction a month before schedule. Our company couldn’t believe it.

Wholesale Export Company

Matthew drafted all my services agreements and helped me protect all my possible liability. He was VERY responsive and very tech savvy. He knew exactly what I needed and was able to describe it to me extremely well! He rounded down on his hourly and genuinely cared for my brand. He also helped me enter into a international agreement with foreign companies! He further drafted my Terms and Conditions, which allowed me to cover all my liability! Matthew is currently on retainer for my company and I couldn’t be more at peace because of it! I love his work ethic and his ability to produce quality work! He’s truly an expert in his field and such a caring lawyer. He was even capable of fixing the wrongs of my old lawyer who used me and my company for profit.


Mr. Matthew Barhoma, is indeed an outstanding lawyer. His integrity and dedication to my case has blown me away. After a bad experience with another lawyer I thought I wouldn’t be able to find one that was honest and hardworking. But lo and behold Mr. Barhoma and I met and he took care of ALL my legal issues. Highly recommend this man.


Matthew is the epitome of hard work and dedication, when it comes to his work. Matthew has helped me with all my contractual work needed to help me launch my start up. Matthew is honest, diligent and relentless.


Matthew was very responsive and caring for my case. He handled my case with efficiency and made sure to secure exactly what we wanted. He has represented my company previously and when we needed a lawyer, it was no question – we phoned Matthew!


I posted a tough question related my contract dispute in the LA Superior Civildisput. Mr. Barhoma replyied immediately and solved my issue. He now represents my case and I feel he is wisdom man who always fight on your side.


Matthew appeared on behalf of my business in a $1.5 million breach of contract claim. He negotiated the case so well for me and he did great work for our business. The judge was impressed with his work and he successfully got my case dismissed. I would hire him again and again. Matthew is my first point of contact regarding any legal issues.


Matthew helped me negotiate a deal I could not have dreamed of. He was very professional and his network is diverse, which makes him lucrative for any case. I would hire him again for any of my legal needs.


Matthew is one of the best lawyers I have ever dealt with. He was so professional in handling my case! He always answered all my questions efficiently and timely. He worked hard to get me exactly what I wanted. We have him on retainer because we appreciate his work so much. Thank you Matthew for your hard work.


Matthew was instrumental in licensing my product. He has protected us from liability and found ways to make our consumers happy. His advice has allowed my company to profit by 45%. I ALWAYS depend on Matthew. High recommended.


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