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Joseph Tilden Rhea

Criminal defense Attorney at Palm Springs, CA

5.0   12 reviews
  • Licensed for 20 years
    State CA
    Acquired 2003
    Active No misconduct found

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

About Joseph

Learn Joseph’s areas of practice.


Law Office of Joseph T. Rhea
777 East Tahquitz Canyon Way
Suite 328
Palm Springs, CA, 92262
Law Office of Joseph T. Rhea
6602 White Feather Road
Joshua Tree, CA, 92252
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5.0 / 5.0
  12 customer reviews
5 Star
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1 Star
Posted by Natalie | March 30, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent Lawyer
I had a great experience with Joseph Rhea as my lawyer. I found him to be very professional, knowledgeable and responsive to my questions and concerns that came up. In such a stressful situation he was very upfront with the possible outcomes and clear with his plan to help me get the best possible outcome. I initially contacted him based on his great reviews and felt comfortable that he had my best interest in mind upon meeting him. I highly recommend to anyone in need.
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Posted by anonymous | March 15, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Awesome experience with Mr. Rhea. Did a lot of research in looking for a lawyer to do my expungements. Mr. Rhea was kind, direct, and very informative. He got my case expunged and provided me with the service I requested. Highly recommend if you are looking for a outstanding and dedicated lawyer.
Posted by Stanley | October 23, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Domestic Problem
I hired Mr. Rhea for a domestic violence case, which he got dismissed. Maybe as important, he took time with my partner and me to discuss the substance abuse problem that was really creating all the drama. We are both very grateful for his help.
Posted by anonymous | May 27, 2015
concentrated marijuana/wax/hash-oil
My case was in west covina court house and my business teacher from college recommended me this attorney which I am so grateful. The same day I had my first court I got it dismissed. I was facing a felony because I had hash-oil, but a law pass that made my case go down to a misdeamenor and later got drop. I would recommend this lawyer.
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Posted by Jerry | November 11, 2014
Excellent Lawyer in Palm Springs, Very Professional
After I got arrested in Palm Springs, I got a bunch of letters from defense lawyers and not one of the lawyers was actually in Palm Springs. I did some asking around and found Mr. Rhea right downtown. He really took time to explain everything and calmed me down a lot. My DUI case was dismissed about 16 months after I hired Mr. Rhea and, during that entire time, he regularly let me know what was going on with the case. I've never hired a lawyer before, but I'd certainly recommend him to anyone.
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Posted by Matthew | February 4, 2014
Outstanding Criminal Defense
When I was young I got caught with a small amount of marijuana and I never herd from the court system so I thought the case fell through the cracks... A couple months ago I found out that I was never informed of the charges brought against me and that I had a warrant out for my arrest. I contacted many attorneys around the area and they all gave me an answer that included little knowledge and a high fee associated with their services. Luckily I found Mr. Rhea, who from the beginning told me that he knew exactly what to do and that it was no big deal. And to top it all off he was by far the most reasonably priced of any of the attorneys I contacted. Once I paid Mr. Rhea's (relatively small) fee and gave him all the information he needed he stated working on the case right away. The case was promptly dismissed for reasons that are over my head but all I know is that he far exceeded my expectations. I would highly recommend his services if you are in a bind like mine.
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Posted by anonymous | October 30, 2013
Highly Recommended
I am very grateful to Jpseph Rhea for having guided me through a situation that could have been truly horrible. He always kept in touch, told me everything would be all right and that all trumped up charges would be dropped. And in the end everything was all right and all charges were dropped. Even after everything was done and finished I had a couple of questions for him and he continued to assist me and responded quickly. I highly recommend Joseph Rhea.
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Posted by George | May 29, 2013
Neighbor Dispute
I retained Mr Rhea because of a neighbors' Temporary Restraining Order placed against me. Mr Rhea was able to have the charges dismissed, mediated with the "neighbor" to ensure that no more actions would be taken against me on their part, and pretty much kicked butt. All through the case he kept me informed and laid out any possible outcomes. I would highly recommend Mr Rheas' legal skills and mediation abilities to anyone who finds themselves in either a similar situation, or any other legal entanglements.
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Posted by anonymous | December 11, 2012
Dream Come True
Mr. Rhea helped resolve my case (Possession of Illegal Substance- Marijuana) within weeks of the event. It was a federal case because the citation was given while on federal land (Joshua Tree National Park). Mr. Rhea was extremely knowledgeable which, without a doubt, was the reason the Judge dismissed my case without any fines, probation, etc. Additionally, his vast knowledge helped lay out all the scenarios which helped relive my anxieties. He was extremely prompt and reliable which made working with him a pleasure. I would highly recommend Mr. Rhea's services to anyone and everyone.
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Posted by anonymous | October 22, 2012
Joseph Rhea is an outstanding Lawyer!!! Very kind and extremely professional! I was so afraid seeing I've never been in trouble before. He calmed me down and honestly performed a miracle!!!!
Posted by anonymous | June 28, 2012
Joseph Rhea got my case dismissed!
I am extremely pleased with the result I got having Mr. Rhea handle my case. I highly recommend him If you are looking for quality representation in the desert areas. He is straight forward, honest, and professional. Most importantly, he effectively and diligently achieved my ultimate goal and we won my case!
Posted by anonymous | February 18, 2009
Happy Camper-Platinum stars
I first met Joe while he worked at the public defenders office. He represented a friend of mine. Not long after we first met I retained his services for myself in his private practice. He made me a very happy camper. I wish I knew of this website sooner so I could have given my platinum star recommendation for more to see. Whenever I hear of a friend in trouble, I take out the business card Joe gave me 4 years ago and give out his phone number. What really surprized me was to see his very impressive educational background. If you're n trouble, he's your guy. Thank Joe.
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AVVO RATING 9.6 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Attorney at Law
  • Law Office of Joseph T. Rhea
  • 2004 - Present
  • Deputy Public Defender
  • Law Office Of The Public Defender, Riverside County
  • 2003 - 2004


  • University of San Francisco
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2003
  • Harvard University
  • PhD - Doctorate
  • 1996
  • Harvard University
  • A.M.
  • 1991
  • University of North Carolina
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1989
View all education

Sample of Legal Cases

  • John Andrew Jackson, Petitioner on Habeas Corpus
  • Jury Verdict Vacated, Sentence of Life Imprisonment Vacated


  • State Bar of California
  • Member
  • 2003 - Present
  • California Public Defenders Association
  • Member
  • 2003 - Present
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member
  • 2003 - Present
  • California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
  • Member
  • 2002 - Present
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Criminal Defense Lawyer of the Year
  • Palm Springs Life Magazine
  • 2015
  • Criminal Defense Lawyer of the Year
  • Palm Springs Life Magazine
  • 2014
  • Criminal Defense Lawyer of the Year
  • Palm Springs Life Magazine
  • 2013
  • Criminal Defense and DUI Lawyer of the Year
  • Palm Springs Life Magazine
  • 2012
  • Criminal Defense and DUI Lawyer of the Year
  • Palm Springs Life Magazine
  • 2011
View all awards


  • SAGE Publications
  • Multiculturalism in the United States: Current Issues, Contemporary Voices
  • 2012
  • Harvard University Press
  • Race and American Identity
  • 1998

Speaking Engagements

  • California Bar Association Meeting
  • Medical Marijuana Law in California
  • 2012

Attorney endorsements

Received (6)
Given (1)
Endorse Joseph
Criminal defense Attorney | Nov 17
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I wholeheartedly endorse Joe Rhea. I worked alongside him in the Riverside County criminal courts (I was a public defender, he was a private attorney) and his knowledge and professionalism were top notch. Joe was also one of the premier civil rights attorneys in the area when I was still in the area. Joe will work with you and continue to fight for you throughout the process until he reaches a successful outcome for you. You are in good hands with him."
Criminal defense Attorney | Nov 17
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I have referred Joe a number of clients where the criminal disposition would have serious ramifications on the ultimate immigration outcome. His knowledge and work ethic are impeccable. I recommend him without reservations."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jan 15
Relationship: Co-worker
"I highly endorse Joseph Rhea! I worked with Joe while at the public defender's office. This lawyer is very knowledgeable about the law, and he is a zealous advocate for his clients. Joe is successful at negotiating excellent results and taking cases to trial when the case needs to be litigated. You should contact Joseph Rhea if you are facing criminal charges."
Criminal defense Attorney | Oct 22
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Joseph is an experienced criminal defense lawyer whom I have referred many clients. Joseph is particularly knowledgeable about cannabis/marijuana laws. I recommend him highly."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jun 11
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Joe Rhea. He is knowledgeable and compassionate. He has wisely counseled several of my clients. When *I* need a criminal law expert, I turn to Joe myself."
Criminal defense Attorney | Feb 07
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have had the pleasure and honor to know and work with Mr. Rhea for many years. Mr. Rhea works extremely hard to advocate for his clients and achieve the best possible outcome in all of their cases. He is one of the brightest and most aggressive criminal defense/DUI attorneys that I know. If any attorney can outsmart, outthink, and out strategize the prosecution at every turn it is certainly Mr. Rhea. Mr. Rhea is a brilliant defense attorney who cares about his clients and their case. I cannot recommend him highly enough."
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Criminal defense

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Palm Springs Criminal defense Lawyer Joseph Tilden Rhea
Joseph Tilden Rhea
Criminal defense Attorney
Palm Springs, CA
Licensed for 20 years