Top 1%

Award–Winning Criminal Defense Attorneys

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California Criminal Defense Lawyers

Among the 10 Best in California

10 Best Attorney Client Satisfaction award 2018

Lead attorney Aaron Spolin is listed as one of the “10 Best Criminal Law Attorneys” in California by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys.

Nationally Ranked

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Spolin & Dukes P.C. is nationally ranked by Attorney & Practice Magazine, and Mr. Spolin is nationally ranked among the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” by The National Trial Lawyers.

Attorneys with Hundreds of Successful Outcomes

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The attorneys at Spolin & Dukes P.C. have been on the winning side of hundreds of criminal cases, including recent success in the California Supreme Court.

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Cases We Handle

Spolin & Dukes P.C. and our California trial lawyers are here to set things right through any serious criminal offense, including:

Violent Crimes

Violent offenses include charges like aggravated battery (PC 243(d)), voluntary manslaughter (PC 192(a)), mayhem (PC 203), aggravated mayhem (PC 205), torture (PC 206), kidnapping (PC 207), carjacking (PC 215(a)), arson (PC 451), extortion (PC 518), and others as defined in California Penal Code (PC) 667.5.


Homicide includes charges like murder (PC 187), first-degree murder, second-degree murder, capital murder, voluntary manslaughter (PC 192(a)), involuntary manslaughter (PC 192(b)), vehicular manslaughter (192(c)), Watson murder (PC 187), and attempted murder (PC 664/187(a)).

Felonies Punishable by Death or Life Imprisonment

Only the most serious felonies are punishable by death, such as capital murder. However, there are multiple crimes in California that are punishable with life imprisonment, including first-degree murder (PC 187), rape (PC 261), sexual penetration (PC 289), and lewd or lascivious acts (PC 288).

Sex Crimes

This includes charges like rape (PC 261), continuous sexual abuse of a child (PC 288.5), sodomy (PC 286(c)), statutory rape (PC 261.5), sexual battery (PC 243.4), spousal rape (PC 262), forcible penetration with a foreign object (PC 289), and forcible oral copulation (PC 287).

Theft Crimes

This includes charges like robbery (PC 211), burglary (PC 459), grand theft (PC 487), and grand theft auto (PC 487(d)(1)).

White Collar and Financial Crimes

This includes charges like forgery (PC 470), misappropriation of public funds (PC 424), credit card fraud (PC 484(f), check fraud (PC 476), making or selling counterfeit goods (PC 350), bribery, embezzlement (PC 503), and identity theft (PC 530.5).

Property Crimes

These crimes include arson (PC 451), burglary (PC 459), robbery (PC 211), auto theft (PC 487(d)(1)), and other forms of theft.

Three Strikes Cases

Under California’s Three Strikes law, if a defendant is convicted of a new felony, but they have one prior serious felony, then they will be sentenced to twice the prison term for the new crime. If a defendant has two or more prior strikes, they will face 25 years to life in prison.


Police officers often investigate a case for long before they make an arrest. That’s the perfect time to get a criminal defense attorney on your side to avoid saying something incriminating to the cops.

Criminal Appeals

A conviction doesn’t mean you have to give up. You have a right to appeal to a California Superior Court ruling to a higher-level court to challenge any legal errors that were made.

Spolin & Dukes P.C. and our California criminal defense lawyers are here to guide you through the legal process. Call us at (310) 424-5816.
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Protect Your Rights

We will review your arrest and make sure the police didn’t violate your rights at any stage of the process. We can be there for you during questioning and your appearances in court.


Develop a Strong Defense

When evidence shows you’re innocent, we will present convincing arguments in court to the jury to persuade them to find you not guilty.


Respect You as a Person

The criminal justice system often treats the accused and their families inhumanely. Spolin & Dukes P.C. respects every client. We will listen to you and make sure your story is heard.

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A Record of Successful Outcomes

Award-winning criminal defense attorney Aaron Spolin has achieved successful outcomes for hundreds of clients.

Mr. Spolin is a former prosecutor with extensive experience fighting for clients in a wide array of cases, from misdemeanors to felonies. He doesn’t shy away from the most serious cases, including capital murder and sex offenses. He uses proven strategies to argue cases in front of juries in order to achieve the best possible outcome in every situation.

Attorney Spolin uses his legal knowledge to fight for his clients in and out of court. He can skillfully negotiate with a prosecutor as well as present strong defenses in front of a jury. He is passionate about upholding the rights of the accused, having authored the book Witness Misidentification in Criminal Trials, which discusses the leading cause of wrongful convictions in the United States. He approaches every case he takes with enthusiasm and compassion, making him a great ally in California’s harsh criminal justice system.

  • Former Assistant District Attorney
  • Princeton University, B.A.; U.C. Berkely School of Law, J.D.
  • Successful Outcomes in Hundreds of Cases
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Attorneys Who Fight to Win Cases

Our criminal defense law firm near you is dedicated to fighting to win every case. When a full dismissal of charges isn’t possible, we don’t give up. We still work to achieve the lowest sentence possible and push forward with a criminal appeal when material errors were made.

If you believe that you or a loved one has been unfairly accused of a crime, reach out to Spolin & Dukes P.C. at (310) 424-5816. We will review your case and help you decide which steps to take next.
5 stars

“He is a brilliant courtroom tactician. I’ve seen Aaron Spolin in court on multiple occasions, and he is truly a master. Nothing gets past him, and he is a powerful advocate for his clients. He is probably one of the strongest examples of how a great lawyer can truly ‘speak truth to power’ in a courtroom.”

Tomer Konowiecki, L.A. Attorney

The Criminal Court Process

Most serious cases, like felonies, are handled by California Superior Courts in a similar manner. The federal legal process is also comparable, but there may be different deadlines and separate government agencies that handle cases.

Stage 1: The Offense & Investigation

In some cases, a police officer may actually witness a criminal act. However, in many cases, the police are called, and they conduct an investigation. This consists of interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence.

Stage 2: Arrest & Booking

After being arrested, the accused is taken to jail for booking. Personal information will be collected, including fingerprints and photographs (“mug shot”).

The police may not read an arrestee their Miranda rights immediately. They aren’t required until interrogation. You should never answer police questions until you talk to a California criminal defense lawyer.

The police will send information about the situation to the district attorney’s office. If the D.A. decides to press charges, an arraignment will be scheduled. If not, then you will be released.

Stage 3: Arraignment

The arraignment is the first formal court appearance for the accused. They will be read charges and have a chance to enter a plea (not guilty, guilty, or no contest). If you plead guilty or no contest, a sentencing hearing will be scheduled. If you plead not guilty, the judge will consider bail.

You have a right to hire a defense attorney to represent you at all stages of the criminal justice process. If you can’t afford a private attorney, a public defender will be assigned to you. Hiring the best attorney you can find will save you stress in the long run, and you may get a better outcome overall.

For legal representation at any stage of the California criminal process, call Spolin & Dukes P.C. at (310) 424-5816.

Stage 4: Bail Hearing

The bail hearing may take place during the arraignment, or the judge may schedule it at a later date. You may present factors to reduce or eliminate your bail. Before altering your bail, the judge will consider your criminal history, the seriousness of the offense, the specific facts of the case, your community ties, your likelihood to return to court, and public safety if you are released.

Stage 5: Pretrial Process

If you plead not guilty, your California criminal defense attorney will prepare your case for trial. They will appear at court conferences and hearings on your behalf, file motions to get your case dismissed or evidence excluded, exchange discovery, and negotiate a plea bargain.

Mr. Spolin and his legal team at Spolin & Dukes P.C. excel at the pretrial process. As a former prosecutor, he knows how to work both sides of a case. He is a master negotiator and will fight to get you the best outcome possible.

Stage 6: Trial

Criminal cases that are not resolved during the pretrial process will proceed to a California Superior Court. There are two types of trials: bench trials and jury trials.

A bench trial is where the judge hears the case and makes the ultimate decision of guilt or innocence. In a jury trial, 12 of your peers will listen to the evidence and determine the outcome. You have a right to a jury trial, and your California criminal defense lawyer can make sure you get one.

Stage 7: Appeal

Spolin & Dukes P.C. will always fight to win at trial. However, if you are convicted, that is not the end. You can appeal your case to a higher-level court and challenge any legal errors that were made. Mr. Spolin and his team have a track record of successfully handing post-conviction appeals.

Learn About Our Top California Defense Attorneys

The award-winning defense lawyers at Spolin & Dukes P.C. have a track record of successful outcomes in criminal cases. They use proven strategies to achieve clients’ goals. (Prior success does not guarantee the same result in a future case.)

Attorney Aaron Spolin

Attorney Aaron Spolin is a top criminal defense attorney in California. He can be reached at (310) 424-5816.

Attorney Aaron Spolin

As a former prosecutor, Mr. Spolin knows how the government develops their case. He understands the evidence they will use against you. Once a thorough investigation is complete, Mr. Spolin will use all of the evidence to support strong defenses in your case. As a trial attorney, Mr. Spolin will not settle for an unfair plea bargain. He will go to court and fight for you in front of a jury.

Attorney Don Nguyen

Attorney Don Nguyen has decades of criminal defense experience to put to work for his clients. Contact him for a case review.

Attorney Don Nguyen

With nearly 30 years of criminal law experience, Mr. Nguyen has a plethora of knowledge to dedicate to each case he handles. He listens to clients and strives to make sure they feel respected throughout the criminal justice process. Many of Mr. Nguyen’s clients have faced difficult pasts, and he is always there to listen with compassion.

Attorney Jeremy Cutcher

Attorney Jeremy Cutcher has worked on an array of criminal defense cases as a public defender. He can put his knowledge to work for you.

Attorney Jeremy Cutcher

Prior to working for Spolin & Dukes P.C., Mr. Cutcher worked for the San Luis Obispo Public Defender’s Office and for Justice Marvin Baxter on the California Supreme Court. He has in-depth knowledge of California law and court processes. He has handled all manner of serious criminal offenses. Mr. Cutcher gets personally involved in every case and strives to understand his clients’ stories.

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Areas Served

Spolin & Dukes P.C. serves clients throughout California and across the nation.
California All State & Federal Cases
New York All State & Federal Cases
Texas All State & Federal Cases
Nationwide Federal Appellate cases

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