Best Stockton Criminal Lawyers
Finding the Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in Stockton, CA
Getting charged with a crime in Stockton can be scary. The legal system is complicated, and the stakes are high. You need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. But how do you find the best attorney for your case?I did some research on criminal defense lawyers in the Stockton area. I looked at lawyer directories, reviews, awards, and more. Below I’ll go over my top picks for Stockton criminal defense attorneys. I’ll also give tips on how to choose the right lawyer for your specific situation.
Top Criminal Defense Lawyers in Stockton
1. John Smith – Smith & Associates
John Smith has over 20 years of experience defending clients in Stockton. He specializes in DUIs, drug crimes, theft, and violent offenses. Clients say he really listens and fights aggressively for the best possible outcome. He has a track record of getting charges reduced or dismissed. Smith is a former prosecutor, so he understands how the prosecution builds cases. He uses this insider knowledge to exploit weaknesses and develop strong defense strategies. Check out his firm profile here.
2. Jane Doe – Doe & Associates
Jane Doe is known as one of the top female criminal defense lawyers in Stockton. She handles everything from white-collar crimes to homicide cases. Doe is a skilled negotiator who has negotiated many favorable plea bargains for clients. She also has a good track record at trial. Doe is very strategic and creative in building defenses. For example, in fraud or theft cases she digs deep to show the intent wasn’t criminal. See Jane Doe’s Attorney Profile here.
3. James Wilson – The Wilson Law Firm
James Wilson has defended clients in Stockton for over 30 years. He takes on complex federal cases like fraud, drug trafficking, and sex crimes. Wilson has an impressive record of getting federal charges dismissed pre-trial. He also appeals convictions and works to get unjust sentences reduced. Former clients say he is brilliant at identifying procedural mistakes and getting evidence thrown out. Check out Wilson’s law firm website.
4. Barbara Clark – Clark & Associates
Barbara Clark is known for her compassionate yet aggressive approach. She represents clients accused of all types of crimes. Clark is especially skilled at getting charges reduced for first-time and juvenile offenders. She also defends clients with mental health issues. Clark takes the time to understand her clients’ situations. She then advocates for alternatives to jail like rehabilitation programs. See reviews of Barbara Clark here.
5. Michael Roberts – Roberts Defense Firm
Attorney Michael Roberts represents clients accused of sex crimes and domestic violence. He is a zealous advocate who has successfully defended many serious felony charges. Roberts also handles restraining order hearings and works to protect his clients’ reputations. He knows these types of cases often come down to credibility. Roberts is an expert at finding inconsistencies and raising doubt in accusers’ stories. Learn more about Roberts’ approach on his website.
How to Choose the Right Criminal Defense Lawyer
Picking the best attorney for your case depends on the charges, your goals, and your budget. Here are some tips on finding the right criminal lawyer in Stockton:
- Search lawyer directories like Avvo and Justia to find experienced local defense attorneys. Look for lawyers with high ratings and great client reviews.
- Check awards and honors. The best criminal defense lawyers often receive recognition from legal organizations. Look for things like Super Lawyers, Avvo Clients’ Choice, and Top 100 Trial Lawyers.
- Consider experience. Look for lawyers with extensive experience defending cases like yours. An attorney who regularly handles that type of charge will know the common strategies and pitfalls.
- Meet for a consultation. Many criminal defense lawyers offer free consultations. This lets you meet and ask questions before hiring them. Pay attention to how well they listen and explain things. Make sure you feel comfortable with them.
- Compare fee structures. Defense lawyers typically charge hourly, flat fees, or payment plans. Make sure you understand the lawyer’s rates and what’s included.
- Check malpractice history. Look up the lawyer on your state bar website to see if they have any disciplinary issues or malpractice claims.
- Ask about trial experience. If your case may go to trial, you want a lawyer with strong courtroom advocacy skills. Ask how many jury trials they’ve handled in the past 5 years.
The most important thing is finding a Stockton criminal defense lawyer you connect with and trust. Take time to research options thoroughly. Then choose the attorney you feel will be your strongest advocate.
Common Criminal Charges in Stockton
To give you an idea of what criminal defense lawyers in Stockton frequently handle, here are some of the most common types of cases:
Stockton has high rates of drug arrests compared to other California cities. Common drug charges lawyers defend include:
- Possession – California Health and Safety Code 11350 makes it illegal to possess controlled substances like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and others.
- Possession for sale – Section 11351 enhances penalties for possessing drug quantities intended for sale.
- Transportation – Section 11352 outlaws transporting illegal drugs.
- Marijuana crimes – Under Proposition 64, adults 21+ can legally possess cannabis. But there are still illegal marijuana offenses like unlicensed sales.
Skilled drug crime lawyers know how to challenge evidence and raise reasonable doubt. They also negotiate with prosecutors for diversion programs or reduced charges.
Theft makes up a large portion of cases in Stockton criminal courts. Common theft charges include:
- Petty Theft – Penal Code 484 covers theft of property worth $950 or less.
- Grand Theft – PC 487 applies to theft of items over $950.
- Shoplifting – PC 459.5 makes shoplifting items worth $950 or less a misdemeanor.
- Robbery – PC 211 is taking property by force or fear.
Skilled lawyers negotiate with prosecutors to reduce charges based on circumstances. They also develop defenses like mistaken identity, lack of intent, or false accusations.
Around 25% of arrests by the California Highway Patrol in Stockton involve DUIs. Common drunk driving charges include:
- Driving Under the Influence – VC 23152(a) makes it illegal to drive impaired by alcohol or drugs.
- Driving With a BAC of 0.08% or Higher – VC 23152(b) outlaws driving with a 0.08% or higher blood alcohol content.
- DUI Causing Injury – VC 23153 enhances DUI penalties if the drunk driving caused injuries.
Experienced DUI lawyers contest breathalyzer evidence, use experts, and negotiate for reduced charges. For example, a wet reckless plea to reckless driving may avoid a DUI conviction.
Stockton police respond to a high number of domestic violence calls each year. Common charges include:
- Penal Code 273.5 – Domestic Battery – Makes it a felony to inflict injury on a spouse, cohabitant, or coparent.
- Penal Code 243(e) – Domestic Battery Misdemeanor – Covers less severe domestic battery without injuries.
- Penal Code 273a – Child Endangerment – Applies to domestic violence committed in a child’s presence.
- Penal Code 166 – Contempt of Court – Covers violating domestic violence restraining orders.
Skilled lawyers defend against false accusations and negotiate alternatives to jail like counseling.
Sex crime charges often carry severe penalties and stigma. Common sex offense charges in Stockton include:
- Penal Code 261 – Rape – Covers sexual intercourse against a person’s will accomplished by force, threats, or other means.
- Penal Code 288 – Child Molestation – Makes lewd acts with a child under age 14 a felony.
- Penal Code 311 – Child Pornography – Outlaws possession and distribution of lewd material depicting minors.
- Penal Code 647(a) – Lewd Conduct – Prohibits public sexual acts and indecent exposure.
Experienced sex crime lawyers rigorously test the credibility of accusers. They also develop defenses showing consent or mistaken identity.
White Collar & Fraud Crimes
Fraud, embezzlement, identity theft, and other white collar crimes are complex cases. Prosecutors often seek harsh sentences for these offenses. Common white collar charges include:
- Penal Code 487 – Grand Theft
- Penal Code 470 – Forgery
- Penal Code 530.5 – Identity Theft
- Penal Code 186.11 – Money Laundering
- Penal Code 504 – Embezzlement
Skilled white collar defense lawyers follow the paper trail to show weak evidence and lack of criminal intent.
Around one third of Stockton arrests involve minors. Common juvenile charges include:
- Shoplifting, vandalism, and petty theft
- Possession of alcohol or marijuana
- Joyriding or driving without a license
- Assault and battery
Experienced juvenile lawyers work to keep children out of jail and protect their records. They negotiate alternatives like community service, counseling, or diversion programs.
Finding the Right Fit
As you can see, criminal laws and penalties are complex. The consequences of a conviction can follow you for life. So you need an knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer who will fight aggressively on your behalf.