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Stephen D Aarons

Criminal defense Attorney at Santa Fe, NM

5.0   33 reviews

also known as Steve Aarons, Aarons Law PC

Free consultation Virtual consultation available
Free consultation Virtual consultation available
  • State Years
    New Mexico - NM 38 years
    Missouri - MO 43 years
  • Licensed for 38 years
    State NM
    Acquired 1985
    Active No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 43 years
    State MO
    Acquired 1980
    Good Standing, Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Stephen

Learn Stephen’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Criminal defense
    In private practice since 1992 and have handled criminal cases since passing the bar. My practice is limited to criminal cases anywhere in New Mexico.

    43 years, 2,000 cases

  2. Expungement
    New Mexico finally passed an expungement law, effective 1/1/2020. Some convictions are not eligible including murder, sex offenses and DUIs. We may get DUIs passed in the next few years. Check out my detailed webpage at

    19 years

  3. DUI and DWI
    If you are arrested for DUI/DWI in New Mexico, you will face serious consequences if convicted such as possible jail time and an interlock device in your car/truck for 1+ years. Aggravated cases are more serious when you refuse the alcohol test, test above 0.16 or have an accident. Fourth offenders risk a felony conviction and imprisonment.

    35 years

  4. Domestic violence
    See criminal defense above. Most domestic violence cases, such a battery on a household member, are handled in the Magistrate Court as a misdemeanor. In almost every case, the male is the one arrested although, just as often, there are two sides to the story. Sometimes the victim has second thoughts about the criminal prosecution, although she no longer has any control over the case.

    35 years

  5. Appeals
    If you are found guilty at trial, you can appeal the decision to the next highest court. For state district court cases in New Mexico, that is the NM Court of Appeals. Magistrate and Metro court cases are appealed to the district court in the came county. For federal cases here, the 10th United States Circuit Court of Appeals is the appellate court. As your appellate lawyer I would argue why the conviction was wrong, and how the prosecutor and the judge made one or more legal mistakes.

    38 years

  6. Federal crime
    I have handled hundreds of federal criminal cases primarily in Albuquerque US District Court but also Las Cruces federal court.

    43 years

  7. Violent crime
    Capital defense lawyer at thirteen (13) death penalty trials before New Mexico abolished the death penalty. Accepts state and federal cases throughout New Mexico. A substantial part of my practice.

    35 years


Send me a message or telephone my office at any time to discuss your case. There is no fee until you decide to hire me as your lawyer.

/s/ Steve Aarons

; Fax; Toll Free

Even after business hours, my legal secretary or I hope to answer your e-mail or voiceimail message as soon as possible.


How did I decide to become a lawyer? At the risk of "too much information" for a professional website, when I was only 11 years old I spent a month of July in St. Louis with my favorite aunt. One rainy afternoon I read Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird." It was written from the point of view of Scout, a daughter my age of a local lawyer appointed to represent a black man falsely accused of raping a young white woman. There is a scene where the black Reverend tells Scout to "stand up, your father's passing" that nearly brought me to tears. I decided then and there, so many years ago, to become a criminal defense lawyer and I have never looked back since!


Top Contributor 2014,2013,2012
Top Contributor
2014 2013 2012
Client's Choice 2012,2011
Client's Choice
2012 2011

Photos and videos

Columns, 10th United States Court of Appeals, Denver CO
Steve Aarons, Attorney
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Contact Stephen

Aarons Law PC
Aarons Law PC
107 Central Park Square #158
Los Alamos, NM, 87544-4020
Aarons Law PC
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5.0 / 5.0
  33 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Client's Choice 2012
Client's Choice
Client's Choice is an Avvo award granted to attorneys with a significant number of client reviews over 4 stars in a given year.
Posted by Josef | April 4, 2011
Top Rung - Best Defense - Premier Counsel
I felt trapped. I had lost hope. Now I sleep again, thanks to Steve Aarons. Steve Aarons is an effective criminal attorney, familiar with the intrinsics of the judicial system. His timely responses are highly professional. Steve Aarons will listen and he understands the plight of the comon man caught up in our judicial system. Steve Aarons is invaluable and flexible. Above all, he is dedicated and accessible. For more than one year I have been involved with the Magistrate Court and the District Court, both in San Miguel county, and I had nearly lost my faith. Steve Aarons has given me a new lease on life. I can highly recommend Steve Aarons to anyone in need of professional counsel.
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Posted by travis rowley | April 1, 2011
he will fight for you
Steve is a top the line lawyer. Tell you what it is how it is and will not bullshit you one bit.I had a death penalty case and it was not looking good then Steve dug in and got to work and I have been free for a couple years because of him. I could not have asked of any more from a lawyer then what Steve Aarons gave me quick and kept me informed even when I was locked up. Made sure I was okay and informed my family as well......if you need a attorney that will give his all I strongly reccommond Steve Aarons.
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Posted by Shon Coho | July 26, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Once I got to sit down with Stephen and his team, I felt so much more safe and could feel a lot of weight off my chest. Stephen and his awesome team kept me posted and in the loop on every step and consulted me in my best options along the way. On top of it all he was affordable! In my opinion Stephen Aaron’s and team can handle anything! Highly recommend this great professional team.
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Posted by anonymous | October 9, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly recommend Mr. Aarons
Mr. Aarons is extremely professional, knowledgeable and kind. He and his staff are attentive and very responsive. I highly recommend Mr. Aarons.
Posted by anonymous | April 25, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Saved education
As I write this review, I have my graduation application waiting to be filled out. I owe my biology degree to Mr. Aarons. His priority in my case was well seen amongst my family and I, which was to fight efficiently and effectively, in order to save my future. However, he did much more than that. His services provided sanity for my worried parents who constantly had pending questions that were answered in a timely manner by himself or his employees at the office. Aarons genuinely cared for my higher education as if I was his family member and not simply another client. I can't thank Mr. Aaron's enough for all that he has done during the stressful time in my life, however I will always remember his hard work ethic and determination to save one from life changing complications.
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Posted by tiffany | December 30, 2019
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
fast responding and knowledgable
He took the time to read my letter of a request. he answered my question very effectively. He was also nice. I didn't know how to proceed with trying to appeal my case.
Posted by anonymous | September 14, 2019
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Honest and Knowledgable
I consulted Stephen Aarons about a complex case. He thoughtfully reviewed the case and then gave me solid legal advice -- which included the advice to NOT hire him at this time. Now, because the legal system is not at all implemented to be engaged by non-professionals, he certainly could have charged me money but as it turned out the best advice was to not hire anyone and proceed in a particular way on my own. Only an honest lawyer would do such a thing. It's refreshing to find someone who cares about people in a system that aims to dehumanize them.
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Posted by Tom | September 5, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A lawyer who cares
Mr. Aaron's did an excellent job of helping me when I needed it most. I am glad I chose his law firm that day. Good Job and thank you.
Posted by lisa | January 22, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Criminal Defense Lawyer
Great attorney!!!! Stephen D Aaron won our case for us. I will definitely use him again if needed in the future. I will refer him to all of my friends and family. Great Criminal Defense Lawyer!!!
Posted by anonymous | September 3, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent results, spectacular service
Not only did Steve achieve superb results for me, he provided spectacular service, responding to my initial contact late at night and meeting with me the next morning, on a holiday when his office was closed, to accommodate my schedule. He took the time to explain the process to me and did what he said he was going to do. I wouldn't hesitate to use him again. He's the best!!
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Posted by anonymous | August 16, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Gave my daughter her life back
My daughter had been sentenced to four years in prison due to actions related to drug addiction, and was facing up to 18 additional years on another charge. She had been represented by a public defender, but I hired Mr. Aarons after her first sentencing, as I felt that the public defenders where too overwhelmed with cases to represent her adequately. Mr. Aarons fought for her and was able to strike a plea deal that did not add any additional time to her sentence. Thanks to Mr. Aarons, my daughter now has a bright future, is hopeful, and is taking advantage of treatment programs while she finishes up the amount of time remaining in her original sentence. Had she been sentenced to 18 years, I feel that I would have lost her---not just to the prison system, but to hopelessness and despair. Thank you, Mr. Aarons for giving her the opportunity to redeem herself and have a future again.
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Posted by Aaron | December 16, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Top notch lawyer
I was facing a repeat criminal offense and additional harassment charge, to be honest it was a witch hunt, but regardless was looking at loosing years of my life and an awesome job. I paid Mr. Aarons and he zealously pursued a not guilty on both accounts. What's more, this was acheived during the preliminary hearing. It was a little hard to reach him at times, but he knew what he was doing. Thank you Mr. Aarons.
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Posted by Alvaro | July 3, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Professional, Understanding, and Analytical.
One of my family members was in an unlucky situation, thanks to some so called "friends". I called around and NO ONE was as concerned or honest about the situation as when I spoke to Mr. Aarons. Now, we are in a situation MUCH better than we could have ever imagined. A little bit of luck had to do with it, but all the measurable results were 100% because of Aarons.
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Posted by anonymous | April 25, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Stephen Aarons Saved My Life
This isn't hyperbole. Steve saved my life. Had I not consulted with him I would have walked right into the snake pit that the justice system can be. Even if you are stone cold innocent like I was, if you don't know what you're doing,? Or God forbid as naive as I was? It can chew you up. Not only did he walk me through everything, he was always up front and brutally honest. He truly was a counselor. He listened to me, calmed me down more times than even he knows and was a port in the storm that my life became. I am eternally grateful. Fortunately I only got to see him in action once at court, but damn, he handled it. Thanks Steve. Always.
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Posted by anonymous | February 20, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great Criminal Lawyer
Mr. Aarons help out my husband with a criminal case and he was very helpful in answering any questions we had. he also kept us informed as to what was happening and what steps were next. At first the case didn't look so good but in the end he fought for my husband and things turned out better than in the beginning. I would highly recommend him.
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Posted by anonymous | May 23, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Aggravated DUI
After being charged for an aggravated DUI, I spent nearly 2 weeks researching and talking to different lawyers about my case. Came across Stephen Aarons and was immediately impressed with his style, methods, and ethics of work. With his easy going and likable attitude not only towards me as a client, but towards the DA, he was able to drop it to a simple deferred. After 1 year of checking off the legal requirements and good behavior, it will be dropped.
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Posted by Bonita Robinson | April 16, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great Job
Mr. Arrons took over my DUI case. I was not happy with my first lawyer at all. But that is another review. It was an aggravated because of the one car accident and that meant more jail time if convicted at that level. I really did not want more jail time. Once is enough. The prosecutor finally after several hearings agreed to simple DUI -- jail time no fine a year of a breath machine in our truck. If I stay out of trouble for one year, which I have learned my lesson, the DUI gets dismissed. It was worth the wait. Good job.
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Posted by anonymous | March 27, 2016
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Thanks for your help
Emailed this lawyer for some clarification regarding a case and he called and spent 5 minutes giving me good, solid, easy to understand info to help me out. Thank you for your help.
Posted by anonymous | September 15, 2015
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Ditto everyone….
My 16 year old got mixed up trespassing. We contacted Mr. Aarons and he gave excellent advice and didn’t sugar coat things to my son. Though he did not have to actually represent my son in court, he definitely held our hands as we wound through the process and he told us what to expect at every step from interviews with police and the juvenile court officers to teen court. His reassurance of what was normal and likely outcomes was a sanity saver for us. We found Mr. Aarons to be very thorough, knowledgeable and experienced in the legal matter at hand with excellent council. We would point any and all who need council to him without reservation.
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Posted by Gjorgi | December 5, 2014
Absolutely excellent!
Both him and his staff are knowledgeable and professional, trustworthy, Mr. Aarons did an excellent job defending my case, it is dismissed. He presents all the options for your defense under the law very clearly and straight forward and you'll leave his office feeling you are under the wing of a seasoned professional. Excellent at what they all do at his office. I am highly recommending his service to anyone considering hiring legal counsel.
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  • Free Consultation 60 minutes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Attorney
  • Aarons Law PC
  • 1992 - Present
  • Adjunct Professor of Criminal Law
  • The US Army Judge Advocate General's School, University of Virginia
  • 2000 - 2007
  • Associate
  • Jones Snead Wertheim
  • 1989 - 1992
  • Lead Counsel - Capital Crimes Unit
  • NM Public Defenders Dept
  • 1986 - 1989
  • Reserve Judge Advocate
  • Fort Carson, Colorado
  • 1986 - 1989
  • Assistant Public Defender
  • NM Public Defender Department - Clovis NM
  • 1985 - 1986
  • Command Judge Advocate
  • US Army - Augsburg Germany
  • 1981 - 1983
  • VII Corps Military Prosecutor
  • Augsburg Germany
  • 1980 - 1981
  • Adjunct Professor
  • University of Maryland - Europe
  • 1980 - 1984
  • Volunteer (VISTA) Lawyer
  • Great Falls, Montana Legal Services
  • 1979 - 1980
View all work experience


  • Saint Louis University School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1979
  • George Washington University
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1976
  • Oxford University
  • N/A
  • Judge Advocate General's School, U.S. Army
  • LL.M - Master of Laws
  • N/A
View all education

Legal Cases

  • State v. Marino Leyba, NM Sup Court 2012-NMSC-037
  • Two 1st degree murder convictions reversed
  • US v Gee 1:10-cr-01759-JEC-2
  • All charges dismissed
  • US v Largo 1:08-cr-02830-JCH-1
  • Jury found him not guilty on all counts
View all legal cases


  • Marquis Who's Who in American Law
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2017 - Present
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • Admitted to Practice
  • 1985 - Present
  • State Bar of New Mexico
  • Admitted to Practice
  • 1985 - Present
  • United States District Court for the District of New Mexico
  • Admitted to Practice
  • 1985 - Present
  • United States Supreme Court Bar
  • Admitted to Practice
  • 1983 - Present
  • ARAG Legal Insurance
  • Network Attorney
  • N/A
  • New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • N/A
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • Admitted to Practice
  • 1997 - 1997
  • United States District Court for the District of Montana
  • Admitted to Practice
  • 1996 - 1996
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • Admitted to Practice
  • 1992 - 1992
  • Board of Veteran's Appeals
  • Admitted to Practice
  • 1990 - 1990
  • Oxford Union
  • Lifetime Member
  • 1984 - 1984
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
  • Admitted to Practice
  • 1981 - 1981
  • Missouri State Bar
  • Admitted to Practice
  • 1980 - 1980
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri
  • Admitted to Practice
  • 1980 - 1980
  • College Democrats of America
  • National President
  • 1975 - 1977
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

Honors and Awards

  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • The National Trial Lawyers
  • 2018
  • Peer Review Rating: AV® Preeminent™
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2012
  • New Mexico Super Lawyer
  • Southwest Super Lawyers
  • 2012
  • Listed
  • Who's Who In American Law
  • 2012
  • Armed Forces Reserve Medal
  • US Army (Retired)
  • 2008
  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • United States Army Reserves
  • 1998
  • First Listing
  • Marquis' Who's Who in America
  • 1992
  • Biography
  • Marquis Who's Who in the World
  • 1992
  • Honors Graduate
  • US Army Command and General Staff College
  • 1990
  • Criminal Trials
  • National Board of Trial Advocacy
  • 1986
  • Overseas Service Ribbon
  • United States Army
  • 1983
  • Top Secret - Special Intelligence
  • Department of Defense Security Clearance
  • 1981
  • Egypt/Israeli Youth Delegation
  • US State Department
  • 1976
View all awards


Speaking Engagements

View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (12)
Given (33)
Endorse Stephen
Criminal defense Attorney | Feb 03
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Stephen Aarons is known in New Mexico as one of our state's elite criminal defense lawyers. He does one thing -- fight for people -- and he does it well. He is a trial lawyer driven by a passion for justice and care for his clients. When the stakes are too high for most lawyers, call Stephen Aarons. I observed first hand when we shared offices that he saved the lives of uncounted clients through his expertise and hard work. He is conscientious, dedicated and, most importantly, a good human being. I endorse Stephen Aarons as an OUTSTANDING criminal defense attorney."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jul 17
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Steve Aarons is an ethical and competent defense attorney whom I have known for 25 years and seen perform in court. He is knowledgeable on the law and respected by Judges, prosecutors, and fellow defense attorneys."
Criminal defense Attorney | Aug 08
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. An extremely talented and well respected attorney in the legal community."
Appeals Attorney | Jul 17
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Apr 28
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Aarons is very active in the Avvo community. His advice is always correct and to the point. He has an obvious understanding of the criminal legal process. As another attorney, I would trust Mr. Aarons to handle my personal legal matters."
Unknown Attorney | Mar 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Top-notch attorney. Highly respected in the legal community."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jul 05
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. Steve is an outstanding criminal defense attorney. I would not hestitate to retain Steve if I had a criminal matter in New Mexico"
Criminal defense Attorney | Jul 01
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Stephen Aarons is an outstanding criminal defense attorney. He provides an intelligent, creative and determined defense for every one of his clients."
Criminal defense Attorney | Apr 06
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Mr. Aarons got charges dismissed against his client in a death penalty case. They had the wrong guy! Mr. Aarons fought to right the terrible injustice against his client."
Criminal defense Attorney | Apr 04
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Steve is an excellent attorney with years of experience representing individuals charged with all types of crimes."
Criminal defense Attorney | Apr 04
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Steve Aarons has always demonstrated the highest degrees of competency, conscientiousness, knowledge and professional conduct. I have no reservations about endorsing him."
Criminal defense Attorney | Apr 03
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"In my capacity as a state prosecutor, Steve Aarons gained my respect as a strong and effective advocate for his clients. He is a top-notch criminal defense attorney."
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Criminal defense
Santa Fe Criminal defense Lawyer Stephen D Aarons
Stephen D Aarons
Criminal defense Attorney
Santa Fe, NM
Licensed for 43 years
Free Consultation
Virtual consultation available