Legal Services by Michael Hernandez

About Michael

For nearly 20 years Michael Hernandez has prided himself on providing high quality end-to-end criminal defense services for his clients. He understands the case process, and the results that can be achieved at every stage. If contacted shortly after the client has been arrested, Michael can often engage in pre-charging negotiation with the prosecuting offices (District Attorney or City Attorney) to keep the case out of court. If criminal charges have already been filed, Michael can employ several strategies to assist clients; uniquely formulated pre-plea diversion programs, deferred entry of judgment, reduced charges at sentencing, or even deferred sentencing with a pre-negotiated alternate charge. If a trial is required, Michael is confident litigating cases to the fullest.

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Prior to opening his own law office, Michael worked with a certified specialist in immigration law. As such, Michael is keenly aware of the potential immigration consequences of criminal convictions, and is careful to craft case resolutions to minimize the negative impact on a client’s immigration status. For his foreign clients already in the workforce, this means preserving specialty visas and employment; for his foreign students, this means preserving student visas and the ability to complete their studies and engage in optional practical training.

For those clients who retain Michael after a conviction, he can often assist by challenging the conviction or sentence on appeal. Michael has successfully argued before the California Court of Appeal, and has a published opinion in his name.

In the community, Michael is an adjunct professor of law (Federal Criminal Practice and Adjudicatory Criminal Procedure) at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and a volunteer attorney with the California Western School of Law Community Law Project.

Bar Admissions

State Admissions

Federal Admissions
Southern District of California
Central District of California
Eastern District of California


University of California Berkeley
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Emphasis in American Law and Jurisprudence

University of San Diego, School of Law
Juris Doctor
Recipient, Hon. Gerald Brown Progress Award

Community Involvement

Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Adjunct Professor of Law

California Western School of Law
Community Law Project Volunteer Attorney

California Attorneys for Criminal Justice

San Diego Criminal Defense Bar Association

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DUI Case, Highly Recommended

I was referred to Michael Hernandez by a lawyer I had used in another county. Michael came highly recommended and after working with him on a few issues I can understand why. Michael represented me on a DUI case where he negotiated my BAC from a .24 to a .15, reduced my financial obligations and kept me from doing jail time. I didn’t have to miss time from work to show up in court since he was there on my behalf. The results were fantastic but what really impressed me about Michael was his professionalism. He was able to answer all of my questions, explain the potential outcomes I was facing, devise a defense strategy and explain the next steps in the judicial process. He put me in a better place mentally and emotionally during a stressful time. Michael always is available to answer any follow up questions I might have or to point me in the right direction when other legal matters come up. I know I was receiving the best advice with Michael, and I recommend him to others.
C.T., San Diego

Integrity, Compassion & Dedication.

Integrity, compassion and dedication. Those are the words I use to describe the level of care I received on my criminal case from Mr. Hernandez. He was very understanding of all of my concerns and was able to clearly demonstrate to me what to expect from him in regards to the best outcome of my case. I know Mr. Hernandez worked tirelessly with the City Attorney to reach the outcome I received because Mr. Hernandez was in constant contact with me every step of the way; he even called me from court to discuss my options as he was being summoned by court officials. Mr. Hernandez has been in touch with me regularly, just to see how I'm doing. He is an exceptional person, an amazing advocate and I would highly recommend his services to anyone who thinks they require an attorney.
D.O., San Diego

Competent, Kind & Compassionate Defense Attorney

Michael Hernandez is a most competent, kind, and compassionate defense attorney and counselor for the accused. I feel he had my best interests always in mind, and thoroughly explained all aspects of my case as we went through the legal process. I would certainly recommend him to my friends and colleagues.
M.R., San Diego

Discounted bail & out of Jail. Cleared Record!

I was a college student when I got arrested on drug charges. Michael Hernandez helped get me out of jail, got me a discount on my bail, and got me into an out-patient treatment program. Michael helped me avoid a conviction, which helped me keep my federal financial aid. Today I have a bachelor's degree and no criminal record.
M.H., San Diego

Three Felony Charges To One Misdemeanor

Michael was our criminal defense attorney in December 2012. Michael had a creative idea to eliminate some of my husband's felony charges and it worked!! My husband was initially charged with 3 felonies, but thanks to Michael's strategy my husband was only convicted of one misdemeanor at the end. Michael truly has his clients' best interests at heart. He consulted with an immigration attorney to make sure that my husband's charges would not hinder his pending immigration case. Michael also is very professional, and returns calls and emails in a very timely manner. My favorite, he mails you letters after any court proceedings to sum up what happened in court and let you know what the next step will be. If needed, I would without question hire Michael again.
R.Z., Newport Beach