Expertise.com

2024

Last updated:

Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in San Diego, CA

Our Recommended Top 20

We did the research for you!

  • Licensing
  • User Reviews
  • Mystery Shopping Calls

Our goal is to connect people with the best local professionals. We scored San Diego Criminal Defense Attorneys on more than 25 variables across five categories, and analyzed the results to give you a hand-picked list of the best.

942Reviewed

573Curated

20Top Picks

Learn about our selection process.

Providers

featured provider = Featured Provider

2550 Fifth Ave Suite 1050, San Diego, CA 92103

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Avvo
5.0 (162)
Yelp
4.5 (23)

Why choose this provider?

Located in San Diego, CA, David P. Shapiro's law office opened its doors in 2010. The firm provides legal assistance in cases involving homicide and murder, violent crimes, DUI defense, drug crimes, and domestic violence. Operational 24 hours a day, clients can also be assisted in their post-conviction relief. The team received the San Diego Criminal Defense Bar Association's Special Board of Directors' Award in 2018, and has been featured in news outlets like NBC, FOX News, and USA Today.

Attorney Information

Attorney NameBar StatusExperience
Ally KeeganActive8 yrs
Elmira YousufiActive3 yrs
Stefano Molea - PartnerActive13 yrs
Stefano Molea - PartnerActive13 yrs
David Shapiro - Managing PartnerActive17 yrs
David Shapiro - Managing PartnerActive17 yrs

3065 Rosecrans Pl, San Diego, CA 92110

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
5.0 (25)
Avvo
5.0 (8)

Why choose this provider?

The Law Office of Daniel S. Castaneda, APC, provides advice and representation for clients in San Diego. It develops a strategic defense and strives to protect individuals facing criminal charges related to drugs, DWI/DUI, assault, and battery. The firm also assists with immigration and civil litigation defense. Its founding attorney, Daniel Castaneda, has been practicing law since 2011 in state, federal, and appellate courts. He uses his knowledge of Latino cultural values and the Spanish language to cater to his clientele.

  • Drug Crimes
  • DWI/DUI

8880 Rio San Diego Dr Ste 800, San Diego, CA 92108

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Facebook
5.0 (16)
Avvo
4.9 (16)
Yelp
5.0 (13)

Why choose this provider?

Since 2014, Rejali Law Firm has offered legal representation to residents in the San Diego area. It takes misdemeanor and felony cases involving DUI, domestic violence, and drug charges. Attorney Omid Rejali works directly with each client to review case evidence and explore all legal options, including plea negotiations, dismissals through diversion, and courtroom litigation. He speaks fluent Faris and is a member of the American Bar Association. Rejali Law Firm also handles business law, immigration, and personal injury cases.

Attorney Information

Attorney NameBar StatusExperience
Omid Rejali - Founding AttorneyActive10 yrs

2305 Historic Decatur Rd Ste 100, San Diego, CA 92106

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
5.0 (24)
Avvo
5.0 (15)
Facebook
5.0 (5)

Why choose this provider?

Law Office of Matthew H. Springmeyer provides legal services in the greater San Diego area. The attorney represents clients accused of criminal offenses at both the state and federal levels. The firm also assists individuals with matters involving immigration laws, including visas, deportation, green cards, and asylum. Matthew Springmeyer is prepared to defend his clients in both immigration and criminal cases when needed. He is licensed to practice law in all California state courts.

Attorney Information

Attorney NameBar StatusExperience
Matthew Springmeyer - PrincipalActive11 yrs

Emerald Plaza, 402 West Broadway, Suite 720, San Diego, CA 92101

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Avvo
4.6 (11)
Google
5.0 (8)
Yelp
4.0 (8)

Why choose this provider?

The Law Office of Paul Neuharth Jr. APC works with residents in and around San Diego. It provides legal counsel to clients dealing with criminal defense cases. The firm represents individuals charged with offenses for drug possession, theft, murder, assault, and sex crimes. It also takes on cases involving DUI cases. Founding partner Paul Neuharth Jr. has been practicing law for more than three decades. He is the former president and current director of the La Jolla Bar Association.

  • DWI/DUI

401 West A Street, Suite 1150, San Diego, CA 92101

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
4.9 (16)
Avvo
5.0 (14)

Why choose this provider?

The Law Offices of John D Kirby is a criminal defense practice serving San Diego. Kirby defends persons involved in different kinds of federal and state felonies and misdemeanors, including white-collar crimes, drug possession, and violent crimes. He assists defendants in dealing with arrest, booking, and bail, negotiating plea bargains, and handling trials and appeals. He has been defending the rights of his clients for over 25 years and previously worked as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office.

  • DWI/DUI
  • Federal Crime

3517 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 404, San Diego, CA 92108

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Avvo
5.0 (46)
Google
4.5 (32)
Yelp
4.6 (20)

Why choose this provider?

The Rodriguez Law Firm offers legal counsel for immigrant and non-immigrant criminal defendants in and around San Diego. Trial attorney John R. Rodriguez builds strategies in pursuit of avoiding deportation or obtaining not-guilty verdicts. He handles cases involving DUI, hit-and-run incidents, domestic violence, and theft, representing clients in out-of-court plea negotiations and trials. Rodriguez also guides clients through the process of obtaining post-conviction relief. The lawyer, the son of an immigrant, is a former private investigator and police officer.

  • DWI/DUI
  • Theft & Burglary

1230 Columbia St #565, San Diego, CA 92101

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Avvo
4.9 (72)
Yelp
4.8 (30)

Why choose this provider?

The Law Office of Vikas Bajaj, APC is a criminal defense attorney assisting clients in the metro San Diego area. For more than 16 years, Mr. Bajaj has successfully handled all types of criminal defense cases. He represents those who have been accused of various criminal activities, such as violent crimes, drug offenses, theft, white-collar fraud, and sex crimes. The legal team first contacts law enforcement officers and the prosecutor's office before charges are formally filed.

Attorney Information

Attorney NameBar StatusExperience
Vikas Bajaj - PrincipalActive23 yrs
Vikas Bajaj - PrincipalActive23 yrs
Vikas Bajaj - PrincipalActive23 yrs
Mark Marion - AssociateActive9 yrs

402 West Broadway, Suite 400, San Diego, CA 92101

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Avvo
4.9 (35)
Google
3.7 (15)
Yelp
5.0 (5)

Why choose this provider?

The Law Office of Gregory Garrison represents individuals in San Diego charged with misdemeanors and felonies. The firm tackles cases ranging in severity, from DUIs and probation violations to violent and sexual offenses. It processes petitions for the expungement of records and participates in the initial investigation through appeals. Counsel Gregory Garrison holds 32 years of experience as a criminal defense lawyer, prosecutor, and law enforcement officer. As an enforcer, he investigated more than 500 crimes.

  • DWI/DUI

4320 Iowa Street,, San Diego, CA 92104

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
4.9 (47)
Facebook
5.0 (9)

Why choose this provider?

Brian J. White is a board-certified criminal law specialist responding to the counsel needs of San Diego residents. White represents individuals facing criminal charges ranging from DUI and drug crimes to shaken baby syndrome and murder. He and his team guide clients in navigating the criminal defense process, including plea bargain negotiation and preparation for jury trials. White has been representing criminally accused persons for over 20 years and is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • DWI/DUI
  • Domestic Violence
  • Drug Crimes

2550 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1060, San Diego, CA 92103

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Avvo
5.0 (38)
Google
5.0 (14)
Yelp
3.0 (2)

Why choose this provider?

The Law Office of Nicole Irmer defends the interests and rights of people accused of a crime in San Diego. Nicole Irmer has over 20 years of experience handling criminal law matters. She deals with misdemeanor and felony cases related to DUI, assault and battery, sexual misconduct, homicide, vandalism, and restraining orders. She also helps individuals whose professional license has been put in jeopardy due to a criminal charge. Irmer gained courtroom experience in another law firm before opening her practice in 2003.

  • DWI/DUI

101 West Broadway, Suite 810, San Diego, CA 92101

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
5.0 (1)

Why choose this provider?

Grimes & Warwick represents individuals and corporations in San Diego who are facing criminal charges in state and federal courts. The firm has been defending and protecting its clients' rights from investigation to trial since 1976. Robert Grimes, one of the firm's lawyers, has worked with different types of clients, including Olympians charged with illegally importing steroids, federal law enforcement officers charged with assault with a firearm, and contractors misrepresenting payroll. He has been certified as a criminal law specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization.

  • DWI/DUI

424 F Street, Suite 205, San Diego, CA 92101

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
5.0 (8)
Facebook
5.0 (2)
Yelp
5.0 (1)

Why choose this provider?

Marc Carlos Law APC provides criminal defense to San Diego residents. It represents clients charged with various felonies such as homicides and narcotics and white-collar crimes. Its clients include public officials, athletes, law enforcement officers, and international corporations. Carlos is frequently interviewed on Sixty Minutes, Today Show, Dateline NBC, PBS, Fox News, and MSNBC. He handled two high-profile trials broadcasted nationally, and the murder cases he defended have been the subject of books and a syndicated documentary.

  • Domestic Violence
  • Drug Crimes

2820 Camino Del Rio South Suite 110, San Diego, CA 92108

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Avvo
4.8 (16)
Google
4.6 (10)
Facebook
5.0 (5)

Why choose this provider?

The Law Office of Brandon S. Naidu is a criminal defense practice located in San Diego. Firm attorney Brandon Naidu protects the rights of individuals facing charges because of crimes involving drugs, weapons, theft, and sex. He also builds a defense for clients arrested for first offense and felony DUI. In addition, his practice covers juvenile and white-collar crime charges. Naidu, who has appeared on Fox, NBC, and ABC, has been included in the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys' Top 10 Best Attorneys list.

  • DWI/DUI

419 19th St, San Diego, CA 92102

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
5.0 (12)

Why choose this provider?

Ezquerro Law Group caters to the residents of San Diego who require criminal defense services. The team represents individuals who have been accused of driving while drunk and appears in proceedings before the DMV. It negotiates with prosecutors and has experience with drug control matters. It also handles violent offenses and personal injury suits. The office is led by Fernanda Ezquerro, who has been practicing law since 2014 and has participated in trials before federal and state courts.

  • DWI/DUI
  • Theft & Burglary
  • Drug Crimes

600 Broadway Suite 700, San Diego, CA 92101

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
5.0 (8)
Yelp
4.0 (4)

Why choose this provider?

Zentz & Zentz, Attorneys at Law, offers assistance from its offices in San Diego and Las Vegas. Its lawyers, who have over three decades of collective experience, provide criminal and DUI defense. They help clients navigate the legal system and negotiate on their behalf during hearings. They handle cases involving misdemeanors and felonies. Erik Zentz, one of the firm's practitioners, is a former prosecutor. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice. He is joined by Robert Zentz, who prosecuted criminal cases for over 19 years.

  • DWI/DUI
  • Drug Crimes

401 W A St Ste 1420, San Diego, CA 92101

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Avvo
5.0 (146)
Google
4.8 (65)
FindLaw
5.0 (37)

Why choose this provider?

Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers is a criminal defense firm that has provided legal representation to clients in the greater San Diego area since 2013. It handles misdemeanor and felony cases pertaining to DUI, drug offenses, domestic violence, assault, federal crimes, fraud, and vehicular manslaughter. Attorney Blair maintains communication with clients at all stages of the case to review case evidence and build a strong defense. He was named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers.

Attorney Information

Attorney NameBar StatusExperience
Peter Blair - Founding AttorneyActive14 yrs
Peter Blair - Lead and Founding AttorneyActive14 yrs

501 W. Broadway, #1660, San Diego, CA 92101

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Avvo
4.9 (87)
Yelp
5.0 (19)
Facebook
3.8 (6)

Why choose this provider?

Catering to clients in San Diego, the Law Offices of Anna R. Yum was established in 2008. It provides criminal defense services at any stage of a criminal case, including bail review, preliminary hearing, arraignment in trial court, pretrial readiness conference, and motion hearings. Its lawyer, Anna R. Yum, served as a prosecutor at the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. She is a member of the San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Club. She has provided commentary by Fox News and CNN on top legal cases.

  • DWI/DUI
  • Domestic Violence
  • Drug Crimes
  • Theft & Burglary

Attorney Information

Attorney NameBar StatusExperience
Anna Yum - PrincipalActive19 yrs

2831 Camino del Rio S Ste 307, San Diego, CA 92108

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Avvo
5.0 (277)
Google
5.0 (136)
Yelp
4.5 (31)

Why choose this provider?

Attorney Mark Deniz has worked in criminal law cases since 2003 and uses his background as a senior prosecutor to challenge evidence and attempt to have charges dismissed or reduced with favorable plea agreements. The firm takes on misdemeanor and felony cases involving DUI, juvenile crimes, drug offenses, weapons violations, vandalism, domestic violence, and criminal threats. Attorney Deniz personally handles everything from criminal investigations and bench warrants to plea negotiations and jury trials. He teaches Criminal Defense to Attorneys. Mr. Deniz has written a published book on Criminal Defense and has been on featured on network television.

Attorney Information

Attorney NameBar StatusExperience
Mark Deniz - Founder & OwnerActive21 yrs

1350 Columbia Street, Suite 600, San Diego, CA 92101

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Avvo
5.0 (32)
Google
5.0 (10)

Why choose this provider?

McKenzie Scott is a team of attorneys serving the San Diego area. They defend clients arrested for federal and state crimes, providing representation throughout the legal process, which involves prosecutorial agency negotiations, motion creation and formulation, and trial preparation. The legal professionals also handle appellate cases and protect clients' rights during SEC and grand jury investigations. Founding partner Michele McKenzie, who received her Juris Doctor in 2000, served as a trial attorney for the Federal Defenders of San Diego Inc. for almost two decades.

  • All Crimes
  • Internet Crime
  • Drug Crimes

Attorney Information

Attorney NameBar StatusExperience
Timothy Scott - Cofounder and Managing AttorneyActive23 yrs

Compare our Top Criminal Defense Attorneys

NameExpertise RatingAddressPromotionsLearn more
Law Office of David P. Shapiro
2550 Fifth Ave Suite 1050, San Diego, CA 92103
Law Office of Daniel S. Castaneda, APC
3065 Rosecrans Pl, San Diego, CA 92110
Rejali Law Firm
8880 Rio San Diego Dr Ste 800, San Diego, CA 92108
Law Office of Matthew H. Springmeyer
2305 Historic Decatur Rd Ste 100, San Diego, CA 92106
The Law Office of Paul Neuharth, Jr. APC
Emerald Plaza, 402 West Broadway, Suite 720, San Diego, CA 92101
The Law Offices of John D Kirby
401 West A Street, Suite 1150, San Diego, CA 92101
Rodriguez Law Firm
3517 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 404, San Diego, CA 92108
Law Office of Vikas Bajaj, APC
1230 Columbia St #565, San Diego, CA 92101
Law Office of Gregory Garrison
402 West Broadway, Suite 400, San Diego, CA 92101
Brian J. White
4320 Iowa Street,, San Diego, CA 92104
Law Office of Nicole Irmer
2550 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1060, San Diego, CA 92103
Grimes & Warwick
101 West Broadway, Suite 810, San Diego, CA 92101
Marc Carlos Law APC
424 F Street, Suite 205, San Diego, CA 92101
Law Office of Brandon S. Naidu
2820 Camino Del Rio South Suite 110, San Diego, CA 92108
Ezquerro Law Group
419 19th St, San Diego, CA 92102
Zentz & Zentz Attorneys at Law
600 Broadway Suite 700, San Diego, CA 92101
Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers
401 W A St Ste 1420, San Diego, CA 92101
Law Offices of Anna R. Yum
501 W. Broadway, #1660, San Diego, CA 92101
Law Offices of Mark Deniz APLC
2831 Camino del Rio S Ste 307, San Diego, CA 92108
McKenzie Scott Civil Rights & Criminal Defense Lawyers
1350 Columbia Street, Suite 600, San Diego, CA 92101

Disclaimer:  Consumers utilizing Expertise.com are free to communicate and contract with any lawyer they choose. Expertise.com is not involved in the confidential attorney-client relationship. Featured lawyers pay a reasonable advertising cost to market their legal services with Expertise.com and must meet similar selection criteria as other lawyers. All cases are different. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

FAQs

  • What is the non-emergency contact number for the local police station in San Diego, California?

    The San Diego Police Department's non-emergency number is 619-531-2000.

  • What should you do if you've been arrested in San Diego?

    If you've been arrested in San Diego, stay calm, cooperate, don't resist arrest, and don't do anything to make the situation worse. Before speaking with the police, you should insist on speaking with a criminal defense attorney. Also, do not discuss the facts of the case with anyone other than your attorney. Your lawyer will handle interactions with the police, assist you in negotiating and/or obtaining bail, and be present at your arraignment hearing.

  • Can you be arrested in San Diego if the police do not have an arrest warrant?

    Under California law, if you commit a crime in the presence of law enforcement in San Diego, you can be arrested without a warrant. After an investigation, if an officer alleges you of a crime, they can ask an impartial judge to issue an arrest warrant. A warrant is valid if it includes the probable cause, is premised on police affidavits without known falsehoods, and describes the person who will be apprehended. Seek the assistance of a criminal defense attorney.

  • Should you take a plea bargain in your San Diego criminal case?

    Never accept a plea bargain from prosecutors without first consulting with a San Diego criminal defense lawyer. While the arrangement may be advantageous in some cases because it may result in a less severe sentence or a lesser charge, accepting a plea bargain means giving up your right to appeal your conviction.

  • What does California's Three Strikes Law mean for those accused of a crime in San Diego?

    The Three Strikes Law in California requires San Diego defendants with a prior serious felony conviction to serve twice the jail sentence provided for the new underlying crime. It imposes a 25-year to life state prison sentence on a defendant who is prosecuted for a violent or serious felony offense and has at least two previous convictions for violent or serious felony offenses. Defendants should consult with criminal defense attorneys.

  • Is it a crime in San Diego to drive under the influence of drugs?

    In San Diego, you can be charged with driving under the influence of drugs if the prosecutor can prove you were intoxicated by illegal, prescribed, or over-the-counter drugs. The DMV will also make an attempt to revoke your license, either temporarily or permanently. Hire a criminal defense attorney to assist you in navigating the legal system and obtaining the dismissal of your drug-related criminal charges.