Frequently Asked Questions

Being accused of a crime or facing a criminal charge can be an unnerving experience. This process involves many nuances and technical aspects, which can add to the stress burdening a defendant. You likely have questions about your rights and the potential range of outcomes for your case. Each situation is different, and you should consult an attorney for specific guidance. However, these are some answers to general questions that often arise.


General FAQs

Qais Zafari, attorney and founder of Zafari Law Firm, has 15 years of expertise in a variety of practice areas including Criminal, DUI/DWI, Immigration, Bankruptcy, Debt, Workers Comp, Personal Injury, and Expungement/Post Conviction Relief.

We specialize in DUI/DWI cases and proceedings. We will file your motion, handle all proceedings and work hard to get the best outcome for your individual case. We have achieved countless dismissals and reduced charges to wet and reckless.

We specialize in criminal defense cases for DUI/DWI, domestic violence, misdemeanors, felonies, expungements, probation violations, arrest warrants and post-conviction relief.

Most likely, call us for a free consultation!

Yes, we specialize in immigration law.

We handle, and have achieved successful outcomes for, immigration cases regarding deportations, family petitions, asylum, pardons, U-visas, appeals, citizenship and permanent residency.

We will help you with your entire immigration process, whether it is paperwork or preparation for your interview, we got you covered! We are proud to say that we have reunited hundreds of families.

Yes, we specialize in bankruptcy law and proceedings.

We primarily work with bankruptcy cases for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

We have successfully discharged millions in debt for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases.

California law defines a misdemeanor as a crime for which the maximum sentence is no more than one year in county jail. A misdemeanor is more serious than an infraction but less serious than a felony. California misdemeanors fall into two basic categories, “standard” misdemeanors and “gross” or “aggravated” misdemeanors.

Family Law FAQs

Yes, we practice family law.

We handle family law cases for divorce, child support and child custody.

We handle civil law cases for personal injury, workers compensation, auto accidents, and lemon law.

An initial 30minute consultation is free!

Please be prepared with any relevant documents and information pertaining to your case.

Bankruptcy FAQs

No, there is only one simple fee whether you file for single or joint bankruptcy with your spouse.

From filing your case and obtaining your discharge, the bankruptcy process takes on average about 4 months.

It is very rare for you to have to go to court. As long as your petition is properly prepared and filed, you will not need to go to court.

There is no minimum debt requirement necessary to file for bankruptcy. We’ve had clients with as little as $8,000 in debt file for bankruptcy.

Qualifying for bankruptcy depends on your income, expenses and assets.  Our office will make sure you qualify before charging you any fees.

Immigration FAQs

Yes, we can help you obtain a work permit. However, in order to qualify for a work permit, you must first have an underlying application for relief.  During our initial no cost consultation, we will explore all your options and determine whether or not you qualify for a work permit.

Your children, who are US citizens, must be at least 21 years old to apply for you.

Either 3 or 5 years depending on how you got your green card.  3 years if you got your green card through your spouse and 5 years in almost all other cases.

No new applications for DACA are being accepted at this time.  This could change in the near future.  You may, however, file for renewal if you had DACA previously.

The short answer is yes. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult now and the program that allows for that could be terminated soon.  If you do qualify for legal status since your child is in the US military, you must act now and file your paperwork as soon as possible.

Criminal Defense FAQs

It is not required but highly advised that you retain an attorney to represent you.  An attorney can properly review your case and protect your rights.

It is unlikely for you to actually go to jail for a first-time DUI.  Although it is possible, but it does not happen often and varies upon each case.

An expungement is a court order that changes your plea to not guilty.  That does not mean that the conviction never happened, it’s still on your record.  But, getting an expungement could help you, for example when seeking employment.

Most expungements are fairly simple and don’t require any court hearings. Don’t overpay for an expungement, be wary of attorneys that say otherwise. If you aren’t sure, call us for a free initial consultation so we can honestly try to help you.

In some cases, yes you can.  If you were convicted of what is called a “wobbler” (a charge that could have been brought up as either a misdemeanor or felony), after probation you can petition the court to reduce your felony conviction down to a misdemeanor.

That is a personal decision and depends on your case.  Most Public Defenders are not able to give you the personal time and attention that your case requires because they are so overworked. Consequently, this could negatively impact the outcome of your case.  At Zafari Law Firm, we provide clients their due attention and affordable payment plans should you need one.

For a FREE consultation