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Peter A. Mesich

DUI and DWI Attorney at San Diego, CA

5.0   26 reviews

also known as Pete Mesich

  • Licensed for 21 years
    State CA
    Acquired 2002
    Active No misconduct found

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

About Peter

Learn Peter’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. DUI and DWI
    My background as a former prosecutor (DUI top prosecutor) gives me a strategic and tactical advantage over the persecution. I never lost a DUI trial as a prosecutor.. I was given the toughest cases, and never lost. Now, I travel the country to meet with other elite DUI defense attorneys to remain on the forefront of scientific, forensic and litigation trial techniques to always stay in front.

    17 years, 1,000 cases

  2. Civil rights
    My civil rights practice is based on victim rights, or Mary's Law in California. As a former prosecutor, I explain the criminal process to victims with empathy and care. I act as a liaison between the victims, their family and loved ones, and the prosecution. I know the common mistakes prosecutors make- sometimes due to negligence, or due to sheer volume of cases.

    25 cases

  3. Criminal defense
    My criminal defense practice has spanned from federal white collar crimes to felony DUIs. As a former prosecutor, I know what the opposing side will do.

    17 years, 500 cases

Dedicated Attorney, Former Prosecutor

I have a diverse background in various areas of law that give me a broad, thorough legal base to provide quality services to my clients.  I am aggressive but polite, and firm but compassionate.


Criminally, I prosecuted misdemeanors for the City of San Diego with multiple trials and a winning record.  I never lost a DUI jury trial verdict for the City.  My responsibilities include reviewing thousands of cases (DUI and misdemeanor) to determine if the City should prosecute or not.  Now, you can put this former prosecutor experience to work for you.


First, I can analyze a case as a prosecutor, and clearly identify how they will view the facts.  This means I can also identify what they are likely to overlook, or any weaknesses that can be exploited.  Second, I know the prosecution procedures from the inside.  From a strategic perspective, this provides me a chance to act before they do, or adjust the litigation timeline to my client's benefit.  Third, I know what will best produce judicious results for my clients in negotiations.  I know how to present factors or evidence to them in the most palatable, favorable light as they see it.  Lastly, there is professional respect from having done their job: we are opposing counsel and viciously fight for our client's best interests, but it can be done with civility and decorum.


My civil work for the City of San Diego includes reprsenting the Transportation and Engineering Design Division (TEDD) in the Engineering and Capital Projects Department.  TEDD handled transportation construction contracts and amendments in the City.  I handled dozens of contracts and amendments from initial review to City Council ratificaiton, including drafting City Council resolutions and ordinances.  Although I kept a low profile, I worked on some of the highest profile and controversial projects in recent City history.  Now, I offer my clients inside knowledge of City contracting procedures to either negotiate a resolution, or recommend an efficient course of action.

For the County of San Diego, I reviewed all projects requiring grading over 200 square yards for environmental law compliance- from driveways or tennis courts to multi-million dollar developments.  My knowledge of municipal development or permit approval is available to clients to help facilitate project approval, or negotiate mitigation requirements.


Contact me for a free consultation to determine how my services can assist you. 

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The Law Offices of Peter A. Mesich, Esq.
525 B Street
Suite 1500
San Diego, CA, 92101
The Law Offices of Peter A. Mesich, Esq.
Del Mar/Solana Beach Office
445 Marine View Avenue
Del Mar, CA, 92014
Mission Valley Office
7676 Hazard Center Drive
Fifth Floor
San Diego, CA, 92108
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5.0 / 5.0
  26 customer reviews
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Posted by Robert | June 5, 2015
Attorney Client
I am a local San Diego civil attorney and I strongly recommend Peter Mesich as your attorney to handle any criminal or civil matters. He has personally represented my family members and friends over the past year - each receiving either an early dismissal, not guilty result or a very favorable resolution. He is the lawyer's lawyer and the guy a lawyer like myself turns to when friends or family are in need of representation. He works very hard on his cases and he "runs out the groundballs." In a recent case he handled for me just last month, he contacted the police, county witnesses, experts and all witnesses even before the first Court hearing. He was thus more prepared than the seasoned prosecutor at the very first hearing! You cannot go wrong with Peter as your attorney.
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Posted by Mike | February 3, 2015
Quality professional defense
Peter was an absolute life saver to me. I had not dealt with DUI issues before, so when this all began, I knew I needed a good attorney. I originally liked the fact that Peter had been a prosecutor before working as a defense attorney. My case was a bit complicated, but after I got into the process, I did see that Peter made a great difference. When I was working out the consequences of my DUI, I saw that other people with the same BAC that I had were assigned to the nine-month program at OHS. In addition, the same people that were assigned to the 9-month OHS program were assigned 14 days of the Work Project Program - I would have lost a lot of income if I had been subjected to such lengthy programs ! I was given three months of OHS classes and only 4 days of the Work Projects Program. That is an amazing testament to Peter's skill !! Before my Arraignment, Peter indicated to me everything I needed to do to get a reduced sentence, and I did all of it. I didn't want to bug Peter too much while the case was in process, but I did waste some money on bail bonds because I hadn't contacted him... I could have been out on my own recognizance !!!! Peter will help you immensely; keep calling him about those minor details, he won't mind. He would prefer to do a great job for you. That is way his service is a great investment. Delete review
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Posted by SR | February 3, 2015
Best Lawyer!
Peter was a guiding light for me during a very nerve wracking period. I received a misdemeanor and a potentially steep fine, and did not know where to turn. Peter came very highly recommended and was a real savior. He took total control of the case and made himself readily available at any time. He worked tirelessly to have the charges minimized to a much more acceptable fine with no other repercussions. Peter handled the whole case in the most professional and up front manner. There would be no one else that I can think of in the San Diego area that I would rather turn to than Peter. Thank You!!!
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Posted by Kelly | January 20, 2015
So happy we chose Peter
From the first conversation to the last Peter made us feel comfortable and gave us all our options. He was positive and always kept us informed of what was going on with our case. I would highly recommend him. Thank you Peter Mesich!
Posted by Sarah | July 26, 2014
DUI Lifesaver
I got Peter's pamphlet in the mail after my arrest along with a thousand others, and I'm SO glad I hired him. Peter was supportive and informative throughout my long, stressful DUI case. I had a very low BAC, so I wanted to fight my case as best as I could, and Peter took me all the way to the point of a jury trial. He worked extremely hard for me, and fought strongly in court, but was honest with me the whole time that it was going to be tough. I always felt free to ask him questions, be honest about what happened the night of my arrest, and even when I was having trouble handling the stress of being charged with a crime, he was supportive, practical and helped calm me down. He negotiated several plea deals for me and I ended up not being convicted of a DUI. Great lawyer, nice guy, definitely worth hiring.
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Posted by jessica gutierrez | July 15, 2014
DUI Case
Peter was very helpful and informative, he went above and beyond. I definitely wouldn't have been able to handle my case without his knowledge. He responded quickly to all my questions via email and suggested different options for my particular case. I would tell any one of my friends to call him if they were in a similar situation.
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Posted by Jim | June 13, 2014
Peter was there for us when we needed help. He did a great job. Very satisfied.
Peter provided excellent, useful, timely advice. We found him accessible and responsive. Peter exceeded my expectations. I would not hesitate to use his again for civil or criminal matters.
Posted by Rory | May 12, 2014
He is the best decision you can make.
Retaining Peter was the best decision I could have made regarding my case. His extensive knowledge of CA law made it possible to get the best possible outcome for me. He made sure I was informed about every route available, allowing me to decide which one to take. Peter was always straightforward and never sugar-coated anything, which I also appreciated. I hate when lawyers are not straightforward with their clients, and as a current law student, I can only hope to one day embody all the professional qualities, intelligence, and friendliness which Peter has shown me.
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Posted by anonymous | March 13, 2014
Highly Recommend Attorney Peter Mesich
Peter Mesich is a professional who will pay careful attention to the needs of the people he represents. He was attentive and responsive during the process and we had the best possible outcome. I can't recommend Attorney Peter Mesich enough.
Posted by Leandra | January 24, 2014
Ambien Defense
Peter Mesich took a very personal interest in my DUI case. When I first met with him he was very diligent in gathering the facts about my case. He was a hard-working man who skillfully dealt with the DA and judge. Mr. Mesich persuaded the court to reduce my DUI charge to a minor driving infraction (using a cell phone while stopped at an intersection). He used an Ambien defense (I was sleep driving after taking an Ambien sleeping pill that had not worn off completely). He gathered medical information to assist with my case. He also provided the court with information about my good character (volunteer charity work, etc.). I highly recommend Mr. Mesich for your legal defense.
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Posted by Darryn | November 21, 2013
Peter Mesich - DUI defense - excellent
Peter Mesich was a pleasure to work with. I hired peter through a friend referral and at first was advised not to get a lawyer. I am very glad I did, he was very knowledgable, respectful, understanding and most important easy to contact. When I need question answered he was always available and if he had to call back it was within the hour. Peter took the time to invest in me and my case and assured me he would do whatever he could. My DUI case was a tough one and due to the circumstances and facts that were present it was a hard case to fight! Even with that, Peter made sure no stone went unturned and even got my sentencing lowered due to the things he recommended me to do and his hard work. Throughout the process Peter was informative and realistic and always gave me options of how I wanted to handle the case but did advise what was in my best interest. God forbid I get into this situation again or have someone I know go through it but IF it occurs Peter Meisch will be my go to guy! Thanks Peter Ooo almost forgot ... Peter Mesich was very affordable for the services he provides!
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Posted by Crystina | September 16, 2013
Very Attentive
His attention to my case, and his relentless research got me the help I needed. I have nothing but respect for Peter, and I appreciate his help. I would highly recommend him as an Attorney.
Posted by Adam | July 16, 2013
Retain the services of Peter Mesich!
When I found myself in some serious possible trouble, Peter was referred to me by a friend. Peter was relief beyond words. A large reason you want a guy like Peter on your side is that you honestly know he is going for every angle of your defense. Another reason is that Peter is intelligent, attentive, present, and most of all, gives you the sense that he is on top of things. I could sleep easier with the knowledge that, whatever the outcome, I had a pitbull of a lawyer on my side! He came through for me, and he will come through for you. He will aggressively pursue your defense and he greatly helped me in more ways than I thought possible. When looking at the possible worst case scenarios, just having Peter's council can take the burden off of your shoulders, something priceless that I doubt the average DUI lawyer will provide. I give him my highest recommendation.
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Posted by anonymous | June 13, 2013
Peter Mesich
We feel very fortunate to have had Peter Mesich as our attorney. He got the best possible outcome we had hoped for. He also took care of post plea details and guided us thoughtfully through the process. His communication was outstanding. He returned calls and emails promptly. The DUI is an emotional and physical stress. As our attorney he was supportive and understanding. He took time to truly listen to the fears and frustrations, always combining his legal expertise and caring manner to reassure us.
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Posted by Steven | May 23, 2013
Review on Peter Mesich
Peter Mesich was very helpful to my case. Although there were times where the odds were seeming against me, Mr. Mesich remained focus and fought hard to expose the truth of the matter. I am definitely thankful to have had Mr. Mesich as my Defense attorney.
Posted by Eric | May 1, 2013
Peace of mind!
I was referred to Peter through a friend when I was arrested for suspicion of DUI. I'm 40 years old and, aside from speeding tickets, have never had a problem with the law, so the event was understandably upsetting. Peter was a safe harbor in that storm. He was compassionate and professional, easing my fears while not promising things that he could not deliver. He was thorough with regards to the details of my case, and was available when I needed to talk with him about it even if I just needed to be talked down from nightmarish imaginings. I was very pleased with the entire process, including the conclusion. In my case, the DUI was dropped to a Wet/Reckless due to the circumstances of my arrest and my low BAC. From the beginning he believed that that was the outcome he could achieve, and while offering that there were possibilities for some better resolutions, he was very clear that that was probably what was going to happen due to the fact that I was pulled over for an issue with my car, not because of my driving, and when they tested my BAC it was very close, but still over, the legal limit. He also was forthright in preparing me for the possibility, however slim, that a full DUI might still be a possibility, and provided me with all the information I might need should that come to pass. Further, when there were some unforeseen complications after the original case due to my schedule and not being able to make it to some of the court prescribed "activities" by the dates set down, he once again took up my cause with the same zeal, and was, again, calming and informative. This is no "fast food" client/lawyer relationship. When I got arrested, I spoke with many of my friends who had been through the process to determine what I should do, many had not obtained legal assistance, and the ones that had had been underwhelmed by their representation to the point that they regretted not having simply gone before the court with the Public Defender, and certainly didn't consider their lawyers to be people they could call on no matter what might occur in the future. That was not my experience. Peter has been there for me with a consistently high level of professionalism, availability, and knowledge even beyond the conclusion of the original case. In terms of payment, his rate was very reasonable and he took into account my particular financial situation and was flexible with regards to a payment plan that would be satisfactory for both of us. Of the experience I would say that not only was working with Peter "painless", but in fact he relieved much of the mental and emotional pain that came during this entire process. I would absolutely recommend Peter Mesich to anyone finding themselves with a possible DUI hanging over them, and, in fact, already have referred friends to him with almost the exact wording of this review as my recommendation!
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Posted by Cortney | March 28, 2013
miracle worker
Peter was amazing. Last summer I made a horrible decision to drive after drinking too much and was facing DUI charges that could have ended my career. A friend recommended Peter. He was kind, compassionate, non judgemental, very easy to talk to, and easy to get a hold of. He’s also driven and knows the system; He did a lot of research, was knowledgeable about the how the system works and was able to negotiate my case down to a reckless driving charge and an infraction. He worked a miracle, saved my career, and was awesome to work with! A potentially devistating life altering decision has become a lesson learned and I'm so thankful.
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Posted by Chris | February 24, 2013
Call Peter Mesich First!!!
I am SOOOO thankful I found Peter to represent me (and basically my family) in my case. I STRONGLY RECCOMMEND Peter Mesich to anyone needing a Defense Attorney and I recommend him every chance I get!! I actually spoke to Peter the first time I called, and every time after that. He was honest, straightforward, took time to listen and understand my case initially, and gave me an honest assessment. I trusted him right away. I'm sure that without Peter, my case would have turned out drastically different, and for the worst. He has a complete knowledge of the law and how it applies in each unique case, he knows the theory and practice of the law from both the Prosecution and the Defense side, and was totally committed to me and my family!! Before you hire anyone else, I strongly urge you to call Peter and just talk to him first!!! You wont regret it... and you have a lot to lose!!!
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Posted by Gabriel | September 6, 2012
Mr. Mesich is a very hardworking fellow and also aims at achieving the maximum possible efficiency and benefits for his clients He is a person who puts in, his knowledge, whole and soul into his practice. Mr. Mesich through his knowledge and expertise, handle my case driven by his humanitarian characteristics as well as optimum professionalism, guiding me through every step of the process, lowering a DUI with a prior into a wet reckless DUI. During this time I have found Mr. Mesich to be a kind and trustworthy person. I have trusted him with all the details of my case, Mr. Mesich is an excellent lawyer and will deliver a performance exceeding expectations. I feel that you would be lucky to have him take your case in your legal situations.
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Posted by Michael | August 11, 2012
Best Choice
I am very thankful for the results Peter Mesich got for my 18 year old granddaughter's DUI case. He was able to lower the B.A.C. level, avoid property hit and run charges and quickly resolve the case to all the best possible outcomes. Faced with the diffuculty of choosing the best attorney, my granddaughter and her mom opted to interview four attorneys. She choose Peter because he was able to communicate with her and gave her confidence. While I did attend in the initial "meetings" with each of the four attorneys the final choice up to my granddaughter. All I can say is my choice was Peter from the get go, and I was happy to see my granddaugher independently arrive at the same conclusion. Peter's follow up, communication, advise and instructions as to what we needed to present the case were impeccable. He also has stayed in touch with my granddaughter after the court resolution to assure she completes the required course, dmv and legal follow through. I would happily recommend him to anyone facing the tough choice of picking the right DUI attorney. His retainer fee covered everything, it was reasonable considering it was way less than the top fee attorneys we did not select.
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  • Free Consultation 60 minutes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Owner
  • The Law Office of Peter A. Mesich, Esq.
  • 2010 - Present
  • Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
  • City of San Diego, Criminal Division
  • 2007 - 2010
  • Deputy General Counsel
  • City of San Diego
  • 2006 - 2007
  • Legal Land Use Planner
  • County of San Diego
  • 2005 - 2006
  • Litigation Associate
  • Naumann & Levine
  • 2004 - 2005
  • Associate
  • Briggs Law Corporation
  • 2003 - 2004
  • Principal
  • Peter Mesich, Sole Practitioner
  • 2002 - 2003
View all work experience


  • Vermont Law School
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2001
  • Vermont Law School
  • MA - Masters
  • 1998
  • The George Washington University
  • MA - Masters
  • 1996
  • Roger Williams University
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1993
View all education

Sample of Legal Cases

  • High BAC Marine
  • Offer: wet reckless with dry reckless conditions
  • High BAC (.22) with Two Priors
  • No jail time, priors dropped, 10 PWS, standard 1st DUI sentence
  • Solo Accident
  • Standard DUI, no PWS
View all legal cases


  • American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (San Diego chapter)
  • Board of Directors
  • 2015 - Present
  • Public Interest Advocacy Clinic
  • Board of Directors
  • 2015 - Present
  • California DUI Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • 2011 - Present
  • National College of DUI Defense
  • Member
  • 2011 - Present
  • California Public Defenders Association
  • Member
  • 2011 - Present
  • American Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2011 - Present
  • San Diego Defense Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • 2011 - Present
  • State Bar of California
  • Member
  • 2002 - Present
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2002 - Present
  • TEP Public Service Group
  • President
  • 1992 - 1993
  • Harvard United Nations
  • President
  • 1991 - 1992
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Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Super Lawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2015
  • Instructor, Standardized FST Administration
  • La Pier per National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration and International Association of Chiefs of Police
  • 2012
  • Qualified Standardized FST Administration
  • LaPier per National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration and International Association of Chiefs of Police
  • 2011
  • Instructor Qualified Standardized FST
  • LaPier per National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration and International Association of Chiefs of Police
  • 2011
  • Public Service Award
  • County of San Diego
  • 2005
  • Honoree
  • Who's Who in American Colleges and Universties
  • 1993
  • Most Improved
  • Roger Williams University- NCAA Div. III Intercollegiate Wrestling
  • 1992
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View all publications

Speaking Engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (25)
Given (18)
Endorse Peter
Criminal defense Attorney | May 25
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Mr. Mesich is a hard working attorney who is constantly looking for opportunities to learn and grow. He is committed to his clients and I would recommend him to anyone accused of crime."
Unknown Attorney | Jul 25
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Peter used to work for the prosecution and has great experience as a trial attorney. He is very, very well-versed in how the system works and truly understands how to approach, prepare, and represent each case. Definitely a guy you want on your side. And to boot, he’s great with responding to emails and calls—something most lawyers push to the side. Within minutes, you’ll understand Peter knows his material and cares about his clients."
DUI and DWI Attorney | May 15
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"He is committed to his clients and I would recommend him to anyone accused of crime in San Diego County."
Criminal defense Attorney | May 15
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Peter knows the law and the courts in San Diego. It's great having a lawyer that you can call and get help on cases."
Criminal defense Attorney | Nov 09
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Unknown Attorney | Feb 11
Relationship: Other
"I endorse this lawyer."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Feb 09
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Oct 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Mr. Mesich is exceptionally talented and experienced in various types of criminal cases with his major emphasis on DUI/DWI. He was formerly a Prosecutor in the City of San Diego and is regarded highly by his associates."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Dec 01
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Peter cares about his clients and attends legal trainings to be able to stay on top of changes in the law."
Criminal defense Attorney | Nov 29
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"This attorney works very hard for the client and keeps up with the law by attending legal seminars to assist them in this regard. I endorse this attorney."
Criminal defense Attorney | Sep 30
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Your resume speaks for itself and I consider you a valuable member of the attorney community. I would recommend you to anyone and everyone who needs your services. I whole heartedly endorse this lawyer!"
DUI and DWI Attorney | Jun 07
Relationship: Co-worker
"I endorse attorney Peter Mesich. Peter is a true advocate for his clients. He is calm, collected, and always prepared. I had the advantage of seeing him from several different vantage points. I had the pleasure of working with him while we are prosecutors. He was in my office bouncing off the cases. He would research the law until he became almost an expert with it. I later worked with him while he was defense and I was a prosecution pre trial negotiator. Peter came in on a pre trial case. When other attorneys come in and make a "pitch", Peter came in with a presentation....complete with photos, relevant caselaw, and affidavits. Needless to say his client got the proper resolution (I cannot remember whether it was a dismissal or infraction). Finally, I have dealt with him as we are now both defense. His understanding of case law is impressive. His litigation skills again is calm yet with purpose. His clients will be taken care of."
Criminal defense Attorney | Mar 27
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have known Peter for two years and routinely negotiated cases with him while I was a prosecutor. He is a professional that advocates strongly for his clients. His case law knowledge comes through with arguments that support his position. A strong lawyer."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Feb 23
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Peter is the exact type of lawyer I would want if I were a client, honest, tenacious, knowledgeable and dedicated. He is always striving to better himself and thus, his clients."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jan 28
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Peter is a former prosecutor in San Diego and is well respected in all of the courts. He is an outstanding attorney and goes the extra mile for his clients. Definitely recommended."
Unknown Attorney | Mar 23
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I have had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Mesich for several years now and also had the challenge of facing him court in trial. He was a talented litigator as a prosecutor. He also was skilled in negotiating a anaylyzing cases as well. His experience as a prosecutor gives him a unique attribute now as a defense attorney."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Feb 09
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Peter is one of the best DUI defense attorneys in San Diego. He has an excellent reputation and gets great results for his clients. I am happy to recommend Peter for any DUI case in San Diego."
Criminal defense Attorney | Sep 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Peter. He is an excellent trial lawyer with a reputation for aggressively defending his clients."
Criminal defense Attorney | Aug 10
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I worked with Peter at the Standard Field Sobriety workshop. He knows his stuff. He is familiar with how police officers are trained. Peter will see the mistakes the officers make and use this to your advantage. I am very proud to know Peter. Peter is also an instructor now and is can teach this class to law enforcement as well."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Jun 13
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Mesich at the NHTSA Instructor Course this spring, in Irvine Ca. Any attorney who can complete AND pass the 4 day NHTSA Instructor Course for Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and DUI Enforcement, is at the very top of his or her profession. Being a qualified instructor on DUI enforcement and standardized field sobriety tests give Mr. Mesich the unique ability to prove to judges, prosecutors and jurors that his client is not under the influence, and therefore not guilty of the charged crime. I would unequivocally hire Mr. Mesich if I was charged with a crime in San Diego."
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Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Criminal defense