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About me

Attorney William Pernik is a cum laude graduate of University of San Francisco School of Law, with CALI Awards for Excellence in Death Penalty Law, Federal Courts, and Juvenile Law. He excelled academically in his legal studies and graduated with a Certificate in Public Interest Law. After passing the California Bar on his first try, William Pernik worked as a research attorney for a prestigious criminal defense firm in San Francisco, and later in the Public Defender Offices in Tulare and Monterey counties, where he learned the tools of the trade from some of the finest criminal lawyers in the industry. 


During his career as a public defender in Tulare County, Mr. Pernik distinguished himself by obtaining a record number of acquittals in complex felony cases, including three strikes DUI with multiple victims who sustained great bodily injuries, crimes of residential burglary, armed robbery, rape, kidnapping, assaults, thefts, domestic violence, and sales of drugs, among others. He fought the Tulare prosecutors in many serious gang cases, including capital homicides, and was successful in obtaining a dismissal of all charges against his gang injunction client after several years of fighting the case in trial and appellate courts. He also defended a well-publicized murder trial of a wrong-way drunk driver who killed two people and seriously injured a third, who survived.


Mr. Pernik continued his career as a public defender in Monterey County, where he moved in 2012 after meeting his wife. During that time, he took special interest in cases involving mentally ill or developmentally disabled clients, veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, and persons with serious substance abuse disorders. Because of Mr. Pernik's efforts, many of these cases were dismissed, received special consideration at sentencing and from the Probation Department, or benefited from diversion or referrals to specialty courts, such as drug court or mental health court. Mr. Pernik tried many cases in front of different Monterey County judges and has obtained dismissals or acquittals in many complex or sensitive matters, such as carjacking, assaults with deadly weapon or causing great bodily injuries, gang crimes, residential burglaries, meeting a minor for lewd purposes, domestic violence, attempted murder, rape, and sodomy, to name a few.  


Mr. Pernik left the Public Defender's Office to start his own practice in September of 2015. He lives in Monterey County with his wife, Olga, and his dog, Charlie. In his free time, Mr. Pernik enjoys the outdoors, theater, chess, and travel. He is a secret fan of most things Wild West. 


Languages spoken: Russian, English

Practice areas


  1. Criminal Defense: 40%
    10 years
  2. Violent Crime: 15%
    10 years
  3. Domestic Violence: 15%
    10 years
  4. DUI & DWI: 15%
    10 years
  5. Other: 15%
  6. More 



Hourly ($275-325/hour), Fixed (always), Retainer (always), Free consultation (30 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

6 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Evan George

    Fearless Defender—William embodies the best qualities of an attorney. He knows the law, knows the ins-and-outs of the court system, knows the different diversion programs available, and knows how to fight. The court and district attorneys know he will fight too. He demands dignity and respect for his clients and gets it. I recommend this lawyer.


    Evan George Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Charles Joseph Murphy

    I endorse this lawyer. He is intelligent, knows the law and is truly in the warrior class of defense attorneys. Tough and uncompromising, he shows a passion for the law and compassion and caring for his clients.


    Charles Murphy Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Law Offices of William V. Pernik

40 Central Ave
Suite 4
Salinas, CA, 93901


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Federal CourtsCALI - Excellence for the Future2006
Death Penalty LawCALI - Excellence for the Future2004
Juvenile LawCALI - Excellence for the Future2004
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Criminal defense attorneyLaw Offices of William V. Pernik2015 - Present
Deputy Public DefenderMonterey County Public Defender's Office2012 - 2015
Deputy Public DefenderTulare County Public Defender2007 - 2012
Association namePosition nameDuration
National Association of Criminal Defense LawyersMember2012 - Present
California Public Defenders AssociationMember2008 - Present
State Bar of CaliforniaMember2006 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
People v. Keith FrancoWon acquittal at trial
See all legal cases 
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of San Francisco School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor2006
University of California - DavisPsychologyBA - Bachelor of Arts2003