THE LAW OFFICES OF DENNIS O'CONNELL
CRIMINAL LAW
All felony and misdemenaor matters. Including: Homicide, Murder, Drug Cases, Domestic Violence, Sex Offenses, Drunk Driving, Vehicular Homicide.
CRIMINAL APPEALS
Post conviction litigation. Including, Appeals to both State and Federal Courts, Pre-trial Writs, and  Post Conviction Writs of Habeas Corpus.
 
Every great appeal started with a guilty verdict. 
CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Pre-trial investigation on all criminal cases. If you are concerned that criminal charges may be filed against you, do not wait until that happens. Our office can help you with contacting the police and making bail arrangements. In many cases our clients are released on their own recongnizance. 
FALSELY ACCUSED
Once arraignment is completed, the prosecution works to develop the case to prove that a defendant committed the crimes as alleged beyond a reasonable doubt. On the other hand, a defendant and his attorney work to develop a case to demonstrate that the defendant did not commit the crimes as alleged.
Eventually, the prosecution and defendant come to a trial. The prosecution puts on its evidence to the jury while the defendant tries to challenge that evidence. The defendant is entitled to put on a case to demonstrate his or her innocence, while the prosecutor is tries to challenge the defendant’s version of the case. After both sides are finished, the jury makes the final decision whether a defendant is guilty or innocent.
AFTER ARRAIGNMENT
If you are arrested, you will be arraigned. During the arraignment, defendants are informed of the crimes alleged, typically by a judge in the court you appear in.  Defendants are asked whether they plead guilty or not guilty; unless a criminal defense lawyer is present and has advised otherwise, a defendant should plead not guilty at this stage. The court then sets conditions for release of a defendant prior to trial. These conditions can range widely from posting money as security (bail), travel restrictions and reporting obligations.  Our office can assist you with all of this.
HOW A CASE STARTS
The key to a successful criminal defense is aggressive strategy and flawless execution: from the start of representation, detailed investigation of the facts, interviewing and investigating witnesses, effectively using expert testimony and making all available legal arguments, we take the steps necessary to win the case in front of the jury. Trials are won and lost in examining witnesses and making opening and closing arguments to the jury. Our false accusations defense lawyers extensively prepare to conduct those examinations and make those arguments. 
WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR FREEDOM,
THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR EXPERIENCE.
Don't let a false accusation ruin your life.
Founded by attorney Dennis P. O'Connell in 1987, the law office focuses on defending all levels of criminal defense. In his more than three decades of professional experience, Dennis P. O'Connell has tried more than 300 cases in both state and federal courts, establishing a significant record of success, including having many serious cases dismissed or clients found not guilty. In one such case, his client was found not guilty by reason of insanity, the first time in a quarter century an Orange County jury had rendered that verdict.
 
OUR WORK
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER FEBRUARY 14, 2013

SANTA ANA – A man accused of being a contract killer wiped tears Thursday as an Orange County jury acquitted him of murder charges.

The jury of seven men and five women in Superior Court Judge William Froeberg's courtroom deliberated about two days before finding Thomas Joseph Garrick, 37, of Laguna Hills not guilty of murder for financial gain and conspiracy to commit murder.

Garrick was expected to be released from custody Thursday night.

Prosecutors accused him of stabbing Jack Jessee four times in the chest Aug. 13, 1998, at Jessee's Placentia home, when wife Sandra Jessee was out running errands.

If convicted, he faced a life term in prison without the possibility of parole, a sentence Sandra Jessee is currently serving for orchestrating the killing of her husband because she worried his cancer care was eating up their savings.

Her son from a previous marriage, Thomas Dayton Aehlert, 42, of Gold Canyon, Ariz., pleaded guilty in 2011 to second-degree murder in a deal negotiated with prosecutors in exchange for his testimony.

Schrauben, 40, formerly of Coto de Caza, said when he returned to his pickup, where his friend and getaway driver Garrick waited, Garrick volunteered to do the killing.

Schrauben pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in 2008, also in exchange for his testimony, and was released after two years of time served.

Garrick's defense attorney Dennis O'Connell contended the co-defendants lied about Garrick's involvement to get leniency through plea agreements.

"I am very thankful that the jury had the courage to follow the law and see through the testimony" of Aehlert and Schrauben, said O'Connell, who insisted during trial that Schrauben was the killer.  
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