Criminal Defense Process DETERMINED TO FIGHT FOR YOU

Criminal Defense Process in Honolulu

What To Expect When You're Charged With a Criminal Offense in Hawaii

After you are charged with a criminal offense, you may feel afraid, confused, and alone. Depending on several factors, such as the nature of the offense and how many previous criminal offenses you have, you may be facing heavy fines and a long imprisonment. In addition, you could end up with a permanent mark on your criminal record, which can damage your future. For that reason, it is imperative that you know the criminal defense process so you can protect yourself prior to hiring an attorney.

As a Honolulu criminal defense advocate, I can also help you represent and assist you throughout the development of your case. If you would like to schedule an appointment with me, please contact my firm, Law Office of Steve Cedillos.

Call (808) 201-0496 to schedule your appointment at my firm.

Arraignment and Plea Hearings in Honolulu

When you are charged with a crime, the State of Hawaii must present evidence that will lead a judge or jury to believe that you actually committed a crime. The first appearance you must make in court is for the arraignment and plea. During an arraignment and plea, you are informed of your criminal charges, and you may also make a plea bargain. When I am hired to represent you, I will enter a "not guilty" plea on your behalf, if that is what we have discussed prior to the hearing. The court must then give you a pre-trial and trial date prior to ending the arraignment and plea hearing. If you are in custody during the arraignment and plea, I can help you request bail, and the court may also decide to set a bail hearing.

Discovery and Development of the Defense

Once the arraignment and plea hearing have concluded, I will request all police reports and other documents related to your criminal case. If necessary, I can also ask for a grand jury transcript or preliminary hearing transcript, as well. With these documents, I can help you determine the best course of action for your case. This way, your criminal charges may be minimized or completely eliminated.

A pre-trial conference is the next step of the criminal defense process. This is when the court determines the status of any plea negotiations, as well as to discuss if more time is needed to prepare for your trial.

If Your Case Goes to Trial

A trial is set if your case cannot be resolved during plea negotiations. During this trial, the State of Hawaii must prove that you are guilty, and if they cannot provide enough evidence that proves you are guilty, you will be found not guilty and charges will be dropped. It is my job to challenge all evidence that is brought against you during your case, and I will do everything in my power to prevent you from facing fines and/or jail time.

There are two types of trials, a "bench trial" and a jury trial:

  • During a bench trial, the judge must determine if the state can prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • In a jury trial, twelve Honolulu residents are selected to serve as jurors, and they must decide if there is enough reasonable evidence to find you guilty or not guilty.

Contact the Law Office of Steve Cedillos to Learn More

It is very important to understand the defense process and to what expect in your specific case. If you are under suspicion of having committed a crime, then you are in a very frightening circumstance. Even if you are partially guilty of the crime, you will still need legal advice and outstanding legal counsel to ensure that your situation does not become any more serious than it already is. It is never wise to "pour your heart out" to a member of law enforcement, especially without a lawyer by your side. They can and will use anything you say against you in a court of law. It is essential that you take the right steps throughout this process because your future is at stake.

Contact my firm today for further assistance and guidance with your situation!

    "Highly recommend him"
    Steve is sharp and understands exactly what you want to do after 1 discussion. He has a very cool personality but, most importantly gets the job done. Highly recommend him.
    Kathleen V.
    "I highly recommend Steve"
    Steve Cedillos Esq was experienced, professional, helpful, and knew what to expect in the courtroom, so I was able to stay calm and prepare after the free consultation. I highly recommend Steve for your traffic offenses.
    Rexford S.
    "Would I hire him again? Absolutely."
    I hired Steve for a child custody case in 2021. I see all the reviews that say he is "mean" or "rude" - I would say that he is just blunt and straightforward. He isn't going to get your hopes up just to preserve your feelings. Great guy. he is willing to answer your questions before you even hire him and you can bet that he's honest. Do I think that a 5k retainer was a lot for my case? Yes, but it IS Hawaii and I did hire him 2 months before my actual trial date after going pro-se for a while. Would I hire him again? Absolutely.
    Mica T.
    "Steve provided me with a potentially painless solution"
    With a ten minute conversation Steve provided me with a potentially painless solution and more importantly - Hope.
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    "Steve Cedillos is definitely worth it."
    Steve Cedillos is definitely worth it. He’s very straightforward and gets the job done! Helped me get a TRO I probably wouldn’t have been able to do alone. Navigating the justice system isn’t easy, but his help made it so much easier along with a great outcome!! Thankful and grateful I came across him on Google. He was very responsive anytime I needed to reach him. Highly recommended.
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    "Thank you very much for your help and honesty."
    Great attorney, helped me out with legal advice. Thank you very much for your help and honesty.
    Alexander L.
    "I contacted Mr Cedillos for advice on a difficult matter and he was extremely helpful to me."
    I contacted Mr Cedillos for advice on a difficult matter and he was extremely helpful to me.
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    "Mr. Cedillos was very patient, knowledgeable and extremely helpful."
    I called for a consultation. Mr. Cedillos was very patient, knowledgeable and extremely helpful. I felt heard, understood, and his personable demeanor made my experience so much more pleasant.
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Why Choose Us?

Steve Cedillos, a respected Honolulu attorney with over 30 years of experience, specializes in criminal defense and family law. Committed to his clients' success, Mr. Cedillos provides tireless advocacy and comprehensive representation, from DUI cases to complex divorces. With a client-centered approach and expertise in military defense, he ensures his clients receive top-notch legal support. As a member of the Hawaii State Bar and the Screen Actor's Guild, Steve Cedillos offers a unique perspective and a dedication to achieving the best outcomes for his clients.

  • Tireless Representation
    Mr. Cedillos works tirelessly on behalf of his clients, understanding the importance of achieving the best possible outcome in their legal matters.
  • Compassionate Advocacy
    Whether negotiating an uncontested divorce or representing clients in court, Steve Cedillos advocates vigorously for his clients' interests to ensure they receive the outcome they deserve.
  • Specialized Military Defense
    Attorney Cedillos specializes in military criminal defense, assisting clients with various proceedings from non-judicial punishment hearings to general courts-martial.
  • Client-Centered Approach
    Mr. Cedillos takes a sincere interest in the success of his clients, prioritizing their needs and goals throughout the legal process.
  • Comprehensive Legal Expertise
    With over 30 years of experience, Steve Cedillos offers expertise in both criminal defense and family law, handling a wide range of cases from DUIs to complex divorce proceedings.