Why Ariel?

I have a wealth of experience on both sides of the courtroom. I've handled the intense caseload demands of both a public defender and prosecutor, which puts me in a pretty unique position. Below is a summary of benefits to having me as your attorney.

Winning Trial Lawyer

If someone in my own family faced criminal charges and I wasn't representing him or her, I'd make sure the lawyer we hired had, like myself, done at a minimum 25-30 jury trials—and won most of them, too. It doesn't matter if the lawyer is a Harvard Law graduate; there is no substitute for years of real-life, thinking-on-your-feet courtroom experience. Also, real trial experience and a reputation for skill and success in trial is what gives lawyers the credibility and leverage they need when negotiating with prosecutors and seeking minimal sentences from judges.

Former Prosecutor

As a former prosecuting deputy district attorney in multiple California counties, I have first-hand experience of what it's like to be in the DA's shoes and to work with law enforcement. Evidence may seem strong on paper, but there are practical challenges and considerations when it comes to proving guilt in court. And there's a right way and wrong way to approach prosecutors when negotiating. That overall knowledge helps me when I evaluate cases and negotiate with DAs.

Explainer Videos

A criminal case is high-stakes. You're expected to make very important decisions after talking to your lawyer. Personally, when I talk to professionals (like my accountant or doctor), I often wish I had them recorded so I can re-listen to what they said. Based on that, I now offer something that no other lawyer that I know provides—explainer videos that go over points related to your case. That way, if you don't fully understand something, you can watch it as many times as you like, take notes, get back to me with follow-up questions, and ultimately feel as informed as possible.

(Note: This is not a link to a video, just a screenshot of one.)


My DROPJAIL Method is about fighting your case while simultaneously taking steps, in the event you are convicted of anything, to ensure a judge and DA that you're not going to be a problem in the future and therefore deserve a minimal punishment. Simply put, it's a back-up plan, a dual negotiation tacticand an effective one!that skillfully weaves in the key sentencing factors judges and DAs care most about while at the same time leveraging a credible threat of going to trial and winning. Striking that delicate balance and finding common ground is your best bet to no jail.

Thoughtful Caseload Management

With a private practice, the more cases a lawyer takes, the less time and attention that lawyer can devote to each individual client. To address this concern and ensure that proper care is reserved for each case, I limit the number of new clients I take at a time. By thoughtfully placing some necessary limits on my caseload, I can best serve the clients I do represent and provide top tier legal services.

A Vast Network of Support

Criminal law is vast and complex. A network of peers is an invaluable and necessary asset for any serious litigator. To that end, I co-chair the Criminal Law Section of my local bar association and am a member of top defense organizations, such as California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ), an affiliate of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), the California Public Defenders Association (CPDA), and the San Mateo County Private Defender Program. With a substantive network of hundreds of the best criminal lawyers across the state, I have critical support in complex cases. I also subscribe to the best legal research tools in the industry and attend various monthly trainings and conferences to stay up-to-date on any changes in the law and criminal justice system.

Price Match

If you show me another Bay Area criminal lawyer's quote (provided to you in a written contract), I'll match it as long as it's legit and for comparable services. Simple as that.

Video Chat

There's no need to go through the hassle of traveling to my office to meet in person. I regularly provide consultations for clients virtually on Zoom or other platforms, depending on a client's preference. And I was offered that service before COVID-19, too. 

Image by Bill Oxford


See examples of recent case results. 



... went well above and beyond.


San Francisco Peninsula /

San Mateo Cty Office

620 Jefferson Ave., Ste. I

Redwood City, CA 94063

Tel. (650) 649-7177

Fax (888) 592-1351

East Bay / Contra Costa Cty Office

1001 Country Club Dr., Ste. D-1

Moraga, CA 94556

Tel. (925) 388-5040

Fax (888) 592-1351














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