Best San Jose Criminal Defense Lawyers

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Why These San Jose Criminal Defense Lawyers?

We help connect consumers with top-rated criminal defense attorneys in San Jose. To determine which are the best of the best, we scored each criminal defense attorney or law firm across a half-dozen metrics covering three categories. Each firm or attorney’s results were analyzed to bring you a handpicked list of the very best criminal defense lawyers in San Jose.

  • Attorneys reviewed: 20
  • Top picks: 5

If you or a loved one have been arrested, do not delay seeking the assistance of an attorney. The sooner an attorney can get involved in your case, the better your chances of having a strong defense.

The attorney you hire may start right away, studying evidence against you, doing legal research, and preparing legal motions. That’s why the sooner they begin, the better, as they work to chip away at the allegations against you.

Skilled criminal defense attorneys in San Jose handle everything from DUIs to simple misdemeanors to white-collar crimes to violent felonies. Get the best legal defense in San Jose by choosing from this list of best criminal defense attorneys.

Read the profiles below and choose the attorney or law firm that best aligns with your needs.

Best San Jose Criminal Defense Lawyers

Here are the best criminal defense law firms and attorneys in San Jose:

  1. Javier Rios
  2. Stephanie Rickard
  3. Stadlin Marinho
  4. Steven H. Nakano
  5. Valencia, Ippolito & Bowman

Best San Jose Criminal Defense Lawyers for 2021

If you or a loved one are looking for an outstanding criminal defense attorney in San Jose, these lawyers are the best of the best.

Javier Rios

1010 W Taylor St

San Jose, CA 95126

Phone: (408) 478-4444

Attorney Javier Rios has devoted his entire 25-year-plus legal career to the defense of individuals charged with crimes. Rios’ primary practice areas include DUI, domestic violence, sex charges, drug crimes, violent crimes, and theft allegations.

He has successfully secured not-guilty verdicts in a range of cases as well as having charges dismissed before trial even begins. And in some cases, Rios has secured dismissal of charges and records expungement after trial. He has a 10.0 rating on Avvo and was selected for the Trial Lawyers Top 100.

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Stephanie Rickard

1625 The Alameda

Suite 801

San Jose, California 95126-2311

Phone: (408) 289-1001

Criminal defense trial lawyer Stephanie Rickard is a former Santa Clara County District Attorney prosecutor, so her expertise comes from both sides of the criminal legal process. Her major practice areas include domestic violence, drug allegations, DUI, juvenile crimes, probation and parole, white-collar crime, and more.

She boasts a 10.0 rating on Avvo and was named by Best Lawyers as a Top-Rated Lawyer in 2018. Rickard defends clients in San Jose and all of Santa Clara County as well as elsewhere in northern California.

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Stadlin Marinho

111 N. Market St. Ste. 300

San Jose, CA 95113

Phone: (408) 645-7801

This two-attorney law firm serves clients in San Jose and across all of Santa Clara County, focusing on defending those who need justice. Their primary practice areas include criminal defense, family law, and civil rights violations.

In addition to defending clients in those cases, Stadlin Marinho attorneys work on behalf of their clients long after trials have ended by getting criminal records cleared, sealed, or expunged. The two attorneys have been honored by The National Trial Lawyers and Super Lawyers.

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Steven H. Nakano

161 Jackson St.

Suite 200

San Jose, CA 95112

Phone: (844) 983-3011

With more than 35 years of practice under his belt, attorney Steven H. Nakano has become an expert in defending his clients. Early in his career, Nakano worked in the Santa Clara County public defender’s office, which gave him immediate and extensive trial experience.

Since opening his own private criminal defense practice in 1985, Nakano has handled cases involving allegations of assault, drug crimes, weapons cases, DUIs, domestic violence, gang crimes, and probation violation.

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Valencia, Ippolito & Bowman

675 N 1st Street, Ste 675

San Jose, California 95112

Phone: (408) 920-9720

The three partners of Valencia, Ippolito & Bowman have a combined 70-plus years of criminal law experience, and they serve clients across Santa Clara County and all of Silicon Valley. With experience in prosecution and probation, the trio are equipped to handle many types of cases.

Their primary practice areas include DUIs, domestic violence, sex crimes, drug crimes, violent crimes, and criminal records expugement. The firm has received a Clients’ Choice award from Avvo, and partner Patrick Valencia was named the top juvenile attorney by San Jose Magazine.

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What Types of Crimes Are Most Common in San Jose?

Just under 30,000 crimes were reported in San Jose in 2019 the most recent year for federal data on crime across the country. Reflecting broader crime trends, the bulk of those 30,000 incidents were property crimes. In fact, in San Jose, property crime accounted for 85 percent of all incidents in 2019, with larceny-theft making up 50 percent and motor vehicle theft adding another 21 percent of all crimes in the city.

On a population-adjusted basis, San Jose’s violent crime rate of about 440 per 100,000 people and property crime rate of about 2,400 per 100,000 are both slightly higher than the overall U.S. rate, though lower than many other big cities. Nationally, violent crime occurs at a rate of 367 per 100,000 and property crime at a rate of about 2,100 per 100,000, which puts San Jose just over the national rate.

Crimes in San Jose, by number and per 100,000 people

Crime Number Per 100,000 people
All violent crimes 4,559 438
Murder 32 3
Rape 671 65
Robbery 1,339 129
Aggravated assault 2,517 242
All property crimes 25,164 2,420
Burglary 4,114 396
Larceny-theft 14,924 1,435
Motor vehicle theft 6,126 589
Arson 135 13

Considering San Jose alongside other major cities in California, its rates tend to be below average. Of the 10 biggest California cities, San Jose ranks near the top for only two crime types, rape (second) and motor vehicle theft (third). Among the 60 biggest U.S. cities, the San Jose metro area, which includes Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, tends to have below-average rates. The exception is when it comes to the population-adjusted rate of motor vehicle theft, where San Jose ranks 14th overall.

Like many other major U.S. cities, San Jose has seen a troubling increase in violent crimes like homicide since the start of the pandemic. Between 2019 and 2020, the number of murders in San Jose rose by more than 29 percent.

It’s important to note that police- and FBI-reported data does not cover closed cases or incidents for which a person was convicted.