Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in the United States

Last Updated: 14/02/2024

The top-notch criminal defense lawyers below have the skills to achieve favorable outcomes. Whether it's a misdemeanor or felony, these award-winning attorneys protect rights against criminal charges.

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The 26 Best Criminal Defense Lawyers

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    List of the Top Criminal Defense Attorneys in America

    Varghese Summersett
    300 Throckmorton St Suite 700, Fort Worth, TX 76102, USA

    Fort Worth DWI Lawyer helps people charged with driving while intoxicated in Fort Worth. Their experienced attorneys fight to get charges reduced or dismissed. They know the complex Texas DWI laws and use their skills to build strong defenses. Their goal is to keep people out of jail.

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    BHW Law Firm - Fort Worth DWI Attorneys

    Top-rated Fort Worth DWI attorneys provide legal defense for DWI and criminal charges in Tarrant County. Our award-winning team has extensive experience challenging DWI evidence and protecting client rights. We assist in saving licenses and avoiding penalties. Trust our dedicated lawyers to build the strongest defense. Call for a free consultation.

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    Zoukis Consulting Group

    The Zoukis Consulting Group in Charleston, South Carolina, provides expert prison guidance. The experienced consultants help people facing charges or prison time with a legal defense. Led by author Christopher Zoukis, their team understands federal prisons. They advise clients to defend their rights, survive prison, and transition back to society.

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    Jeremy Geigle, Criminal Defense Lawyer

    Learn how Jeremy Geigle provides aggressive, compassionate defense services to those in Mesa, metro Phoenix, and other parts of Arizona.

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    Saputo Toufexis | Criminal Defense PLLC
    1845 Woodall Rodgers Fwy suite 1500, Dallas, TX 75201, USA

    Saputo Toufexis, criminal defense lawyers, defend people accused of crimes. They handle cases like DWIs, drug charges, and felonies across Texas. Their skilled attorneys get charges dropped or reduced and help clients avoid jail.

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    Spolin Law P.C.
    11500 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064, USA

    Spolin Law P.C. is a criminal appeals law firm in Los Angeles that offers free consultations. Numerous publications have recognized the firm as one of the nation's best criminal law firms. Lead attorney Aaron Spolin is nationally ranked by The National Trial Lawyers and has won hundreds of criminal cases.

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    Sevens Legal, APC
    3555 Fourth Ave, San Diego, CA 92103, USA

    At Sevens Legal, APC, we pride ourselves on representing our clients by leveraging over 40 years of combined expertise and litigation success. Sevens Legal, APC is a highly regarded criminal and drug crime defense firm serving clients in San Diego and throughout California. The legal team at Sevens Legal, APC is headed by Samantha A. Greene, a certified criminal law specialist and drug crime defense attorney known for her tireless commitment to excellence and integrity. When faced with potentially life-altering charges, you want a trial-tested attorney who knows the ins and outs of the criminal justice system and isn't afraid to take your case to court if a trial is in your best interest. The outcome of your San Diego criminal case depends on the quality of your legal representation. Having successfully navigated thousands of criminal and drug defense cases, the criminal justice attorneys at Sevens Legal, APC, are prepared to represent you in your case. Schedule your free initial consultation today by calling (619) 430-2555 or visiting the firm's website for more information.

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    Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C.

    At Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C., we are committed to aggressively pursuing our client’s interests while treating them like family. When your future is at risk, our firm will handle your case with the dedication, focus, and respect it deserves.

    Feifer & Greenberg, LLP
    15 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038, USA

    Feifer & Greenberg is a law firm in NYC that helps drivers fight traffic tickets. The lawyers can help get tickets dismissed or reduced. They offer free consultations to review your case. With 20+ years of experience, they have helped drivers avoid the consequences of traffic violations. Contact Feifer & Greenberg for a free case evaluation if you received an unjust traffic ticket in New York.

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    Yeargan & Kert, LLC
    3715 Northside Pkwy NW, Atlanta, GA 30327, USA

    Atlanta DUI Lawyers are former prosecutors. They now defend clients charged with DUI. Their services include investigating arrests, checking devices, and challenging evidence. Their goal is to prevent prosecution by proving innocence. They serve metro Atlanta.

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    The Law Offices of Eric M. Matheny, P.A.

    Eric M. Matheny is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Miami, Florida. He represents people charged with DUI, juvenile offenses, and felonies. Matheny used to work as a prosecutor, so he understands how they build cases. Now, he uses that inside knowledge to defend his clients at trial. Matheny has been featured in local media for his criminal defense work. Contact his office for a free consultation if you need an attorney in the Miami or Broward County area.

    Koenig & Owen, LLC

    Koenig & Owen, LLC is one of the top criminal defense law firms in Columbus, OH. Few law firms like Chuck Koenig and Jim Owen have a track record regarding expertise. With over 50 years of combined experience, our attorneys have handled the most challenging cases in Ohio. Call us today for a free consultation.

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    JCS Law - John C. Schleiffarth, P.C.
    75 W Lockwood Ave #250, Webster Groves, MO 63119, United States

    JCS Law is a St. Louis criminal defense firm specializing in handling DWI, theft, drug possession, and traffic violation cases. They provide clients with personalized legal advice and aggressive representation while working towards favorable outcomes for their misdemeanor or felony charges.

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    Avnet Law - Indiana Expungement Lawyer
    34 South 9th Street, Noblesville, IN 46060, USA

    Avnet Law is a Noblesville, Indiana law firm. They help people with personal injury, criminal defense, family law, and clearing criminal records. They offer free consultations to review cases.

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    Suhre & Associates, LLC

    Suhre & Associates is an Indianapolis criminal defense law firm. They have decades of experience with complex criminal cases in Indiana. They defend clients against charges like DUI, assault, drug crimes, and more. The lawyers protect clients' rights and strive to get charges reduced or dropped.

    Criminal Defense Lawyers PLLC

    We provide criminal and DUI defense lawyers in Phoenix, Arizona. We offer a free consultation.

    Phoenix Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyer Daniel Perlman represents his clients in cases involving:

    • Felonies
    • Hit and Run
    • Shoplifting
    • Federal Crimes
    • Drug Crimes
    • Drug Transportation
    • Drug Possession
    • Drug Trafficking
    • Terrorist Threats
    • Money Laundering
    • Bank and Loan Fraud
    • Internet Crimes
    • Wire and Mail Fraud
    • Violent Crimes
    • Assault
    • Battery
    • Domestic Violence
    • Homicide
    • Manslaughter

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    Law Offices of Anna R. Yum
    501 West Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101, USA

    We are a law firm helping people accused of crimes protect their future. Our skilled attorney, a former prosecutor, builds the strongest defense to fight for your freedom. We take an aggressive approach, investigate, and prepare to win your case. Call us for a free consultation.

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    Law Offices of David A. Black
    40 North Central Avenue suite 1850, Phoenix, Arizona 85004, USA

    At the Law Offices of David A. Black, we help people charged with crimes in the Phoenix area. No matter how serious the crime, the criminal lawyers are here to help. We have represented clients on a range of cases, from DUI, drug crimes, domestic violence, assault, aggravated assault, homicide, and others. We are an award-winning firm that fights for your rights.

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    The Law Office of Kevin Bennett

    Austin, Texas - The Law Office of Kevin Bennett is a criminal defense and DWI law firm. Attorney Kevin Bennett has over 10 years of experience defending people accused of crimes in Travis County. He helps clients fight charges like assault, theft, and drug offenses. Bennett also handles DWI and drunk driving cases. He knows how to challenge breath tests and get charges reduced or dismissed. Bennett has received many positive results. Call for a free consultation.

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    Cofer Law
    300 Burnett Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102, USA

    The Fort Worth criminal attorneys provide defense for assault, domestic violence, drug charges, and more. The lawyers fight to get charges dismissed or win "Not Guilty" verdicts. They handle cases in Tarrant and other Texas counties. At the boutique firm, you'll find lawyers providing quality, committed defense.

    The Bloomston Firm
    1914 4th Avenue North suite 100, Birmingham, AL 35203, USA

    Birmingham criminal defense and family law attorneys provide legal help across Alabama. The lawyers assist with criminal charges, divorce, and child custody cases. They handle DUI, violent crime, fraud, and sex offense cases. For family law, they handle divorce, custody, and other matters.

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    Pat Ford Appeals
    1901 1st Ave. ste 400, San Diego, CA 92101, USA

    Pat Ford is an award winning attorney that provides appellate services in San Diego, CA.

    Perlman & Cohen Criminal Lawyers
    355 S Grand Ave #2450, Los Angeles, CA 90071, USA

    Get personalized legal services from experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys. Practice areas include Dui defense, criminal law, drug crimes, and federal crimes.

    Hirsh Law Group
    128 N Scott St, Joliet, IL 60432, USA

    Hirsh Law Group is a criminal defense law firm headquartered in Joliet, Illinois. Former prosecutor defends people facing serious criminal charges such as murder, habitual armed criminal, drug charges, domestic violence charges, gun charges, weapons charges, embezzlement, and more. Free consultation 312-838-9000

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    Griffin Durham Tanner Clarkson
    75 14th Street Northeast suite 2130, Atlanta, GA 30309, USA

    Griffin Durham Tanner Clarkson is a law firm based in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia. The attorneys have experience working at large law firms and as government prosecutors. The firm has won major criminal cases and recovered millions for injured clients. They offer flexible fee options.

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    The Law Offices of Brian J. Cooke
    1015 Locust St UNIT 1000, St. Louis, MO 63101, USA

    The Law Offices of Brian J. Cooke in St. Louis focuses on criminal defense. The firm helps people charged with crimes or under investigation. They work hard to defend clients' rights and aim to get cases dismissed or win at trial. They offer a free consultation.

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    Understanding Criminal Defense: An Overview

    When facing criminal charges, it is crucial to understand your rights and options. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is key to building an effective defense. This guide provides an overview of criminal defense and what to expect when navigating the criminal justice system.

    What is Criminal Defense?

    Criminal defense refers to the advocacy and legal representation for those charged with a crime. A criminal defense lawyer helps understand the charges, builds a strong defense, and negotiates reduced penalties or dismissals. They act as an intermediary between the accused and the prosecutor representing the state.

    Defense lawyers handle cases in both state and federal courts . They defend clients against misdemeanors, felonies, and other criminal offenses. Their goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for the accused.

    Key Players in a Criminal Case

    In addition to the defense attorney and prosecutor, several other key figures play a role in criminal cases:

    • Judge: Presides over trial proceedings and hearings. Determines admissibility of evidence, gives instructions to the jury, and hands down the final sentence upon conviction.
    • Law enforcement: Investigates crimes, gathers evidence, arrests, and testifies during court proceedings.
    • Defendant: The person or party facing criminal charges and accused of committing a crime.
    • Witnesses: Individuals who provide testimony for a case's prosecution or defense side.
    • Jury: Panel of impartial peers who determine guilt or innocence based on evidence and arguments presented in court.

    Stages of a Criminal Case

    Criminal cases typically move through the following stages:

    Arrest and Charging

    Police arrest if they have probable cause. The prosecutor then files formal charges. At the initial appearance, bail terms and conditions are often set.

    Plea Bargaining

    Many cases end through plea bargains between the defense and prosecutor before trial. Defendants plead guilty in exchange for lesser charges or lighter sentencing.

    Motions and Hearings

    Defense attorneys may file motions challenging evidence or procedures leading up to trial. Evidentiary hearings take place to settle these motions.


    The case goes to a bench or jury trial if no plea deal is reached. Both sides present evidence and make arguments before a verdict is reached.


    The judge determines penalties and sentencing terms at a separate hearing if convicted. Fines, probation, incarceration, or combinations may apply depending on the case.

    The Importance of Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer

    Facing criminal prosecution can be an intimidating and high-stakes ordeal. Having knowledgeable legal representation is key to developing an effective defense strategy. Here are some top reasons it’s essential to hire a criminal defense attorney:

    Deep Knowledge of Criminal Law

    The criminal justice framework comprises complex state and federal laws and court rules. Most defendants don’t fully grasp the intricacies involved. A skilled defense lawyer leverages their expertise to protect clients’ rights through every phase.

    Ability to Identify Weaknesses

    A good attorney can review police reports, analyze evidence, and identify inconsistencies. Spotting legal holes allows charges to be reduced or dismissed pre-trial.

    Effective Defense Planning and Execution

    Seasoned lawyers craft defense theories, challenge questionable evidence, locate witnesses, and deliver compelling arguments. Their mastery of trial procedures leads to optimal outcomes.

    Guidance on Legal Strategy

    The lawyer strategically advises whether to plea bargain or take a case trial. If negotiating with prosecutors, they leverage their skills to secure the best deal possible. These high-stakes decisions often dictate the case’s final result.

    Sentencing Mitigation

    For clients convicted of crimes, skilled counsel makes a compelling case for reduced sentencing. This can involve highlighting mitigating circumstances, providing character references, or appealing judicial discretion.

    In summary, a proficient criminal defense lawyer is an invaluable guide through the complex legal maze. Their expertise can make all the difference.

    How to Choose the Right Criminal Defense Lawyer

    Selecting the right criminal defense attorney is no easy task. Clients face heavy fines, probation terms, and even years behind bars. Building an air-tight case with the best lawyer improves outcomes. Use these tips when evaluating attorneys:

    Verify Qualifications and Licensing

    Only hire practicing lawyers with a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from an accredited law school. Confirm they hold a valid state license to practice law. Court appointments and Marine Corps training indicate distinguished criminal attorneys.

    Assess Relevant Expertise

    Seeking counsel well-versed in state or federal criminal law is paramount. Those certified as specialists in criminal trial or defense law prove exemplary qualifications. High Super Lawyer and AV Preeminent attorney ratings also signify expertise.

    Examine Track Record and Case History

    The ideal attorney has a proven history of favorable verdicts in comparable criminal cases. Request specific case examples and personal references from past clients. High acquittal and dismissal rates reflect positively.

    Gauge Trial Ability and Style

    Understand how adept they are in the courtroom. Do they excel at cross-examining, delivering opening/closing arguments, persuading judges and juries? Also, assess their manner and how clients describe their approach.

    Common Types of Criminal Cases and Defense Strategies

    Criminal cases span a broad spectrum, from non-violent misdemeanors to major felonies. Common charges include:

    Drug Charges

    Drug cases range from possession to trafficking and distribution felonies. The defense often involves questioning the legitimacy of searches or drug testing accuracy. Attorneys also challenge witnesses’ credibility and leverage sentencing options.

    DUI Cases

    For driving under the influence, defenses dispute blood alcohol content readings and sobriety test protocols. Lawyers may argue clients weren’t driving the vehicle when arrested. Or challenge the technical calibrating processes of breathalyzers.

    White Collar Crimes

    Tax evasion, embezzlement, money laundering, and fraud fall under white-collar categories. Attorneys dispute paper trails or challenge witnesses’ accounts to undermine prosecution arguments.

    Sex Crimes

    Accused sex offenders often claim sexual acts were consensual. Lawyers highlight contradictory statements, credibility issues with witnesses/victims, and evidentiary timelines. Reduced sentencing remains the likely goal.

    In all cases, lawyers exploit every available angle and argument when mounting a vigorous defense.

    The Impact of Criminal Convictions and How to Fight Them

    The implications of having a permanent criminal record extend far beyond fines and jail time served. Ongoing stigma and restrictions present marked barriers moving forward. Skilled lawyers aim to avoid undeserved convictions and mitigate penalties.

    Long-Term Effects of Criminal Convictions

    Beyond reputational damage, those with felony or misdemeanor convictions face:

    • Lost voting and gun ownership rights
    • Barriers accessing jobs, housing, loans
    • Restricted international travel
    • Family law and child custody limitations
    • Social stigma and community exclusion

    How Criminal Defense Lawyers Fight Convictions

    To help clients avoid unfair, inaccurate convictions, lawyers leverage:

    • Case dismissal motions highlighting procedural technicalities
    • Plea deals to negotiate dropped or reduced charges
    • Sentencing reductions through circumstance mitigation
    • Post-conviction relief and record expungement processes
    • Appeals arguments focused on legal/judicial errors

    Through each phase, defense counsel fights to protect defendants’ records, rights, and freedoms for life beyond a case. Avoiding unjust outcomes remains the top priority.

    Skilled criminal defense lawyers understand all case complexities and the consequences at stake. Their expertise can mean the difference between smooth societal reintegration or blocked opportunities.