Admitted to the Texas bar in 1994, I am Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2007 and Board Certified in Criminal Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy since 2008. I have trial and legal experience handling all levels of civilian and military criminal cases, including death penalty capital murder cases and felony level crimes. I was a former felony prosecutor for Bexar County, Texas and a former military prosecutor and decorated military defense counsel. I have trial experience at all levels of courts-martial.
I am an experienced, proven trial lawyer and defense counsel both for civilian and military law offenses with a strong track record of successful outcomes for my clients. Contact me:
Work (210) 354-1919
A sample of successful outcomes:
6/16 - Saved a soldier's career. Obtained complete dismissal of DWI and Possession of controlled substance charges in out of town jurisdiction.
5/16 - Saved a sailor's career. Admin discharge board for drug abuse/comm. serious offense resulted in Board members unanimously voting for retention for client and continued military service.
2/16 - Obtained a lesser summary court martial for enlisted Airman originally facing a special court martial for assault, battery, and disorderly conduct against civilian police. No conviction on any charges for client.
11/15 - Won a "Not Guilty" for an enlisted USAF Airman charged with sexual assault (Rape)
10/15 - Saved client's life. Case workup and motion practice convinced civilian DA office to accept "Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity" plea in capital murder case.
10/15 - Pretrial motion practice resulted in dismissal of State DWI charge against military client. Found multiple defects in government evidence that could not be remedied; forced prosecutor to drop charge.
9/15 - Won a "Not Guilty" for an USAF officer charged with abusive sexual contact and conduct unbecoming an officer.
8/15 - After being hired, my pretrial motion practice and case work-up convinced prosecutor to drop aggravated sexual assault of a child charge against my client. Found major defect in State's evidence that previous court-appointed attorney missed (who had wanted client to plead to charge). Prosecutor dismissed case after discussion regarding evidence deficiency.
6/15 - Saved a Sailor's career. Convinced Navy to withdraw discharge action against Hospital Corpsman despite prior Capt's Mast and other alleged misconduct and permit continued military service.
6/15 - Obtained an Honorable discharge for Army officer facing a Board of Inquiry and a general under other than honorable conditions discharge sought by Army lawyers at contested Board hearing over multiple 15-6 investigations and GOMOR.
4/15 - Won a verdict of "No Misconduct" and retention for service in an administrative discharge board and saved Navy client's military career regarding an accusation of drug abuse.
7/14 - Won a "Not Guilty" for an Army Officer M.D. charged with sexual assault and abusive sexual contact.
4/14 - Won a "Not Guilty" on a civilian Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child case.
3/14 - Won a "Not Guilty" for an USAF NCO Medic charged with use of a controlled substance, false official statement, and absent without leave.
2/14 - Won a "Not Guilty" for a enlisted soldier charged with Rape by force, aggravated assaults, damaging property, and interference with a 911 call.
1/14 - My pretrial motion practice convinced State to drop felony injury to a child charge against my client, co-def pled guilty.
1/14 - My pretrial investigation resulted in complete dismissal of aggravated kidnapping charges against out of town client.
12/13 - Motion to Suppress contesting illegal arrest and search forced civilian prosecutor to drop drug charge against client.
10/13 - Won a 4 year sentence for a high profile federal client who was originally charged with Racketeering and multiple murders with possibility of facing the death penalty, before a later deal was made for a guilty plea to a lesser charge and a 15 year cap.
9/13 - Won a murder appeal and got the conviction reversed and a new trial granted.
7/13 - Won no confinement and no punitive discharge at a general court-martial for a USAF NCO instructor accused of an inappropriate sexual relationship with a female trainee.
4/13 - Won a "Not Guilty" verdict for an Army soldier charged with larceny and false official statement.
3/13 - Won a "Not Guilty" for an USAF trainee charged with indecent exposure.
12/12 - Won a "Not Guilty" for an Army Officer client at a general court-martial for assault and conduct unbecoming an officer.
10/12 - Won a dismissal of all charges in a rape case on the first day of trial for a USAF NCO enlisted client.
8/12 - Won a life sentence in a capital murder case where the State of Texas was seeking the death penalty against my client.
7/12 - Won an Article 32 hearing, got investigating officer to reject the referral to a general court-martial of rape charges and drug charges against an USAF NCO.
8/ 10 - Obtained a grand jury no bill in an online computer solicitation of a minor case after investigating the case and filing a motion for an examining trial.
11/09 - Investigated a criminal felony case involving a U.S. Marine in Seattle, Washington and obtained a dismissal of all charges against the Marine
3/09 - Won a "Not Guilty" in two hours in a capital murder trial.
5/08 - Won a "Not Guilty" in less than thirty minutes in a two count felony indecency of a child case.
5/08 - Defended a senior NCO recruiter charged with sexual harassment in an Art 15 proceeding resulting in the charges being dropped.
4/08 - Won a "Not Guilty" for a senior NCO charged with indecent language against a female NCO subordinate in a special court-martial.
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|TX||Eligible To Practice In Texas||1994||08/17/2016|
|Award name||Grantor||Date granted|
|Best Lawyer in San Antonio, Criminal Defense||Scene in SA Magazine||2016|
|Texas Super Lawyer, Criminal Defense||Texas Super Lawyers Magazine||2016|
|Texas Super Lawyer, Criminal Defense||Texas Super Lawyers Magazine||2015|
|Texas Super Lawyer, Criminal Defense||Texas Super Lawyers Magazine||2014|
|"Top 30" Criminal Defense Lawyers in SA||Scene in SA Magazine||2013|
|Texas Super Lawyer, Criminal Defense||Texas Super Lawyer Magazine||2013|
|"Top 100" Trial Lawyers in Texas||National Trial Lawyers Association||2012|
|"Best Of" Series - Criminal Defense||San Antonio Current||2012|
|Texas Super Lawyer, Criminal Defense||Texas Super Lawyers Magazine||2012|
|Best Lawyers in San Antonio (Criminal defense)||Scene in SA Magazine||2012|
|Texas Super Lawyer, Criminal Defense||Texas Super Lawyers Magazine||2011|
|Best Lawyers in San Antonio (DWI/DUI)||Scene in SA Magazine||2011|
|Best Lawyers in San Antonio (Criminal Defense)||Scene in SA Magazine||2011|
|Best Lawyers in San Antonio (Criminal Defense)||Scene in SA Magazine||2010|
|Board Certified Trial Advocate, Criminal Law||National Board of Trial Advocacy||2008|
|Board Certified - Criminal Law||Texas Board of Legal Specialization||2007|
|Partner||Gross & Esparza, PLLC||2007 - Present|
|Judge Advocate General||United States Air Force||2002 - 2006|
|Attorney||Law Office of Joseph Esparza||2000 - 2002|
|Assistant Criminal District Attorney||Bexar County District Attorney's Office||1995 - 1999|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers Association||Director||2011 - Present|
|San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyer's Association||Member||2007 - Present|
|Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association||Member||2000 - Present|
|United States v. Karanikolas||Not Guilty, all charges and specifications|
|State of Texas v. Monroe||Charges dropped against client.|
|State of Texas v. Allmond||Charges dropped against client.|
|See all legal cases|
|Voice for the Defense (Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association)||The Constitutional Right to a Public Trial lives on in Presley v. Georgia||2010|
|University of Texas School of Law||Law||JD - Juris Doctor||1994|
|University of Texas System, San Antonio||History||BA - Bachelor of Arts||1991|
|Nuts and Bolts Course 2012||Criminal Jury Charges||2012|
|Gideon's Trumpet Seminar||Ethics for Criminal Lawyers||2012|
|SACDLA Cross Examination Seminar||Legal Ethics||2010|
|Advanced Pretrial/Trial Tactics in Criminal Cases||Competency Trials and Insanity||2009|
|HCBA Criminal Law Conference||Ethics for the Criminal Defense Practitioner||2008|