How to Win Your Case and Stay OUT of Jail

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Ariel (R E L) Rief is a criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor. He handles criminal and DUI cases in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Handshake in the Office

What Clients Say

... went well above and beyond.






J.D., University of San Diego School of Law

B.A., History, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Former Prosecutor

As a former Deputy District Attorney (DDA) in multiple California counties, I prosecuted a wide range of criminal cases (misdemeanors to serious felonies) to jury trial, worked together with law enforcement, negotiated with defense lawyers, and gained an overall background and experience that is advantageous for my clients.

Boutique Firm Model

Larger firms often pass cases off to an associate who lacks the trial experience and courtroom credibility that you believe you're paying for. I handle your case myself on anything substantive or important. And to ensure top tier representation for each client, I limit how many new cases that I accept.

My Bio

I became a lawyer after working, briefly, in the mortgage industry after college. The rampant deceitful business practices in the industry at the time appalled me, so I left to pursue a legal career—a far more suitable role for me—with the broad hope to help people in need.

In law school, I received the top grades in my Criminal Law, Legal Research & Writing, and Negotiations classes and discovered a passion for the courtroom and trial advocacy. I clerked at the U.S. Attorney's Office, the City Attorney's Office, the D.A.'s Office (twice), as well as a top civil plaintiff's litigation firm. I won First Place in three consecutive Mock Trial Tournaments, competed in a  national tournament, and developed a passion for trial advocacy.

After law school, I started my career as a prosecutor. I worked in two different DA's Offices for almost four years gaining significant criminal law experience, worked with law enforcement, and prosecuted high volumes of misdemeanors and felony cases. I later moved to the Bay Area and initially joined a civil consumer protection firm but, missing criminal law, left to open my own criminal defense law office. Right away, I essentially inherited an extensive public defender caseload through a program that assigns court-appointed cases to private criminal defense lawyers for clients in financial need.  I continue to devote a portion of my time in the defense of indigent clients.

Over the years, I have taken on complicated cases, including murder, and have a long history of success in the courtroom as a trial lawyer and in judges' chambers (where negotiations make or break lives). It is a privilege to be an attorney and I have a great appreciation for the significant role of being a defense attorney, in particular—a role that affords me the opportunity to help people through what is often the most difficult times in their lives, which is a profoundly rewarding responsibility. My mission for all clients, no matter where you're from, is to assist you with compassion, straightforwardness, transparency, effective case strategy, and pragmatic solutions so that you can move forward in life.

Contact @arielthelawyer

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