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Facing criminal charges is a terrifying experience. You feel alone; but you're not. I'll deal with police, prosecutors, and the media so you can rest easier and feel confident that you have highly skilled, compassionate attorney on your side.

Areas of Practice

David answers your legal questions

Law Offices of David P. Shapiro in San Diego, California

Have you been accused of a crime or DUI in San Diego?  You need the help that only an experienced California criminal attorney can provide.  The pressure of having a criminal case hanging over your head can have a devastating effect on both you and your family.  At the Law Office of David P. Shapiro, we provide quality legal representation to clients charged with crimes, coupled with an abiding conviction to do everything within our power to see that the charges against you are dismissed or reduced to the lowest possible level.  Unlike some other criminal defense attorneys, Mr. Shapiro is never afraid to take a case to trial, and he will fight for your rights throughout the process, no matter how big or small the case is.

David has honed his skills over the years, including work with the San Diego Public Defender’s Office, as an associate at a large criminal defense firm, and has defended a wide variety of crimes and clients since establishing his own law firm in 2010, dedicated 100% to criminal law.

What Types of Criminal Charges Does Mr. Shapiro Defend?

Criminal law is a broad subject, including many different types of offenses.  Experience in one area does not always translate into competence in another.  Here are some of the criminal matters within David Shapiro’s areas of experience.  They range from misdemeanors to the most serious of felonies:

  • DUI.  DUI arrests are commonplace in San Diego, and they are on the rise daily.  Defending DUI cases is an art and a science.  In addition to the numerous laws governing driving under the influence, quality DUI defense requires an in-depth knowledge of many areas, including alcohol and drug tests, field sobriety tests, search and seizure law, and others.  Defenses might involve challenging the testimony of the prosecution’s expert witnesses, cross-examining police officers, or challenging the legality of a traffic stop that began the process.  Only an experienced DUI attorney possesses the tools necessary to insure that you are receiving the best legal representation at all stages of your case.
  • Domestic Violence.  Concerns about domestic violence involving spouses, those in romantic relationships, and family members, often prompt law enforcement officials to make an arrest based upon vague and flimsy evidence.  Their snap conclusions can, and sometimes do, lead to the arrest of the wrong party in a domestic dispute.  Don’t allow yourself to be a victim of law enforcement’s proactive arrest policies.  A qualified domestic violence lawyer can help avoid a conviction based upon false and/or insufficient evidence.
  • Drug Crimes.  The categories of drug crimes include a host of offenses.  They vary according to the behavior alleged (possession, sale, cultivation, etc.), the type of drug (e.g., charges involving marijuana are treated differently than those involving narcotics, methamphetamine, and other drugs), and the amount of the drug(s) in question.  These issues, along with your prior criminal history, will also affect the potential penalties you face in the event of a conviction.
  • Homicide.  The killing of another human being is as serious as any crime can be.  But homicide includes a number of offenses, all of which contain different elements, and all of which subject you to different potential penalties.  On the most extreme end is first degree murder.  In addition to murder, homicide offenses include vehicular manslaughter, voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter.
  • Sex Crimes.  The range of sex crimes is significant.  They include forcible rape, sexual abuse, sexual assault, statutory rape, indecent exposure, child molestation, lewd conduct, and sexual battery.  These offenses are treated harshly, and carry stiff sentences, which may include lifetime registration as a sex offender.  The consequences of a sex crimes conviction are enormous, and will affect your entire way of life.  You need the protection that only an experienced San Diego sex crimes attorney can provide.
  • Theft.  While theft sounds like it might be simple to understand, the variation in the offenses included within this general category is substantial.  It includes petty theft (i.e. minor shoplifting), grand theft, theft involving the use of a firearm, auto theft, aggravated theft, robbery and burglary, etc.  Each of these offenses contain different elements, require different proofs, suggest different defenses, and lead, if you are convicted, to different penalties.  Depending upon the value of the property involved, and other aspects of your case, a theft offense could be a misdemeanor or a felony carrying the possibility of time in prison.  A knowledgeable San Diego theft lawyer can guide you through the process.
  • Violent Crimes.  Again, the range of offenses included within this general heading include a host of crimes, from relatively minor charges to the most serious felonies.  Among the offenses within the heading of violent crimes are assault, aggravated assault, sexual assault, burglary, armed robbery, weapons offenses, manslaughter, murder, resisting arrest, and stalking.  Some of these crimes are misdemeanors, but many are felonies.  As such, they are potentially “strike” offenses under California’s three strikes law.
  • Criminal Appeals.  In California, your case is not over until you have exhausted all your avenues of appeal.  If you have been convicted of a crime, Mr. Shapiro can examine the trial record to determine if an appeal could lead to your conviction being overturned, resulting in a new trial or a reduction in your sentence.
  • Internet Crimes.  There are a wide variety of offenses included under the umbrella of internet crimes.  Many consist of crimes against children, such as possession, creation and/or distribution of child pornography, sexual exploitation of children, and others.  Internet offenses may also involve financial fraud, as well as other crimes.
  • Credit Card Fraud.  Again, the range of offenses under the general heading of credit card fraud include a number of specific crimes.  Among them are unlawful use of a credit card (i.e. using a card without the owner’s permission), engaging in the sale of stolen or fake credit cards or credit card numbers, and counterfeiting credit cards.  The classification, and potential penalty, in your case will depend upon the extent of the alleged fraud and your prior criminal record, if any.
  • Weapons Offenses.  This is a complex area of the law, and includes offenses under California’s Dangerous Weapons Control Law.  The nature and severity of charges involving weapons depend upon a number of factors.  Among those factors are the nature of the weapon, your criminal (and in some cases your psychiatric) history, whether the weapon was concealed or loaded, where you were when you were in possession of the weapon, and whether you were allegedly involved in the commission of another criminal act at the time.
  • Stalking.  The law defines stalking in terms of activities such as repeatedly following a person, or harassing him or her, and threatening and placing that person in reasonable fear for his or her own safety, or for the safety of the person’s immediate family.  What constitutes a “credible threat” will vary depending upon the circumstances, but the consequences of a stalking charge can be significant.  A San Diego stalking lawyer understands the charges and the possible defenses that can be raised on your behalf.
  • Juvenile Offenses.  Technically, proceedings in the juvenile court are considered civil, as opposed to criminal, but the juvenile court does handle allegations of criminal acts by minors.  The rights of juveniles, however, are not the same as those of adults.  In addition, the juvenile justice system places its emphasis on rehabilitation of minors.  As a result, it is often possible to resolve these cases with informal probation or deferred entry of judgment.  An experienced juvenile crimes lawyer can guide you and your child through the process.
  • Probation Violations.  If you have been placed on probation, your probation will contain certain conditions.  If you fail to adhere to those conditions, you can be violated.  This could result, for example, in the imposition of your original sentence and possible jail time.  The standard of proof, among other things, is different on an allegation of a probation violation than for a criminal conviction, so it is important that your lawyer have experience with the probation system.
  • Expungement.  One of the effects of a criminal conviction is the record that will follow you around for the rest of your life.  This can affect you in many ways, perhaps the most significant of which is by limiting your future employment possibilities.  Expungement of your criminal conviction under PC 1203.4 may be available, and can provide additional benefits as well.

How Can Mr. Shapiro Help in My Case?

If you are facing a criminal charge, you have questions, and you need (and deserve) answers.  Your choice of legal representation is where you will look for those answers.  At the Law Office of David P. Shapiro, we provide guidance, reassurance, and excellent legal representation to clients charged with criminal offenses.  Here are some of the reasons why David Shapiro enjoys his reputation as one of the top criminal lawyers in the greater San Diego area:

  • A track record of success.  While past success does not guarantee future results, a proven track record of success is the best indication of the worth of a criminal defense attorney.  David Shapiro is a highly skilled and successful defense attorney in handling criminal defense cases throughout San Diego County.  He has received recognition from satisfied clients and enjoys a reputation among his peers in the legal arena as one of the most skilled and sought-after criminal defense attorneys in Southern California.
  • Dual track approach.  Mr. Shapiro takes steps to insure that his clients are placed in the best position possible, given the circumstances of their case, by utilizing an approach, known as dual-tacking.  He investigates the facts, while at the same time mitigating the damage which is already done.  While we hear of attorneys being aggressive, a hard-line approach may not be appropriate if it is not supported by the facts in your case, or if your attorney is too inexperienced and in over their head to know what they are doing.   This “aggressive approach” is taken many times with the courts and the prosecutors, while ignoring the consequences to the client.
  • Honesty and straight talk.  At the Law Office of David P. Shapiro, you might not like what you hear, but it will be an honest and forthright assessment of any and all realistic outcomes of your case.  Mr. Shapiro views it as his professional and ethical obligation to give honest counsel and, in the words of Aaron Neville, to “tell it like it is.”  David is highly skilled at walking his clients through the criminal court process, ensuring they will know what to expect at each and every court appearance, while providing accurate, honest, and extraordinary legal counsel advocating on their behalf and bringing all the facts to light, not just those depicted in the police reports.

Contact the Law Office of David P. Shapiro

No matter what the charge against you, we are here to help.  Whether you have just been arrested, or your case is already set for trial, or even if you are simply under investigation by law enforcement, the Law Office of David P. Shapiro is here for you every step of the way.

Contact us today at 619-295-3555 for a free, confidential, consultation.