Skip to main content

About me

Sergio H. Benavides, a native of the East Bay Area, and Costa-Rican American, I am fully fluent in Spanish.  I am a former Spanish bilinual elementary school teacher, and I strongly believe my teaching experiences have led to my many Not Guilty and Hung Jury verdicts. It's where I learned to tell a story, organized data, and speak to people in an interesting and entertaining way.  You won't be falling asleep if you sit on my jury!


I spent over six years in Fresno as a Public Defender attorney, handling extremel heavy caseloads, helping thousands of poor clients.  My experience includes assisting teens in the Juvenile Courts, with crimes as small as Petty Theft, to as serious as Assault With a Deadly Weapon, with Great Bodily Injury enhancements.  I've done 11 Juvenile Adjudications, and love working with teens.  Although many had had rough childhoods, and poor educations, I liked to think that these young people were moldable, and could always straighten out their lives and become productive citizens.


My vast Criminal Law experience includes a stint in the Misdemeanor courts, where I helped hundreds of clients cut deals with the most common charges, such as Driving Under the Influence, Domestic Violence, and Petty Theft.  Afterward, I handled a very heavy Felony court department, doing both calendar assignments, and motions/trials.  It was extremely valuable experience. My proudest victory was beating an Armed Robbery with a Gun charge.  The client's family sent me a bouquet of roses! 


The last several years, I've spent taking numerous cases to trials, and gaining experience.  I took that experience and translated it into a valauble title, "Certified Criminal Law Specialist", which can only be claimed by those who pass a test, are evaluated by judges and other lawyers, and prove their level of experience and training to the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization.  Not many can claim Specialization. 


I loved helping people from all walks of life:  Mexican farmworkers, African Americans, Asian immigrants, and the urban poor.  Everyone had a story tell, and many had the courage to fight for their rights and dignity at trial. 


I enjoy world travel, having visited Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada, England, Ireland, France, and Morocco.  I love sampling other people's foods, cultures, languages, and ways of life.  Diversity is beautiful, and it is the best that the San Francisco Bay Area has to offer. 


Languages spoken: Spanish

Photos and videos

335548 1404794580

335548 1404604179

335548 1403460282

335548 1403396713

Practice areas


  1. Criminal Defense: 75%
  2. Immigration: 25%


Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

25 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • David Carl Beyersdorf

    I endorse this lawyer.


    David Beyersdorf Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Jennifer Sarah Zide

    I strongly endorse Mr. Benavides for criminal defense and immigration law. He is a highly-rated criminal law specialist with extensive experience and superb skills in his fields. You can count on him to fight for you and stand by you, no matter what. He is a person of integrity, who believes in the ideals of both criminal defense and immigration law, and who has dedicated himself to lifting up and defending the individual, and to creating opportunity. Mr. Benavides has devoted hundreds of volunteer hours to giving back to the community, to helping those in need, and to inspiring our youth. I am a fellow criminal defense attorney, Mr. Benavides is my "go to" referral for a criminal defense or immigration attorney for my friends and clients seeking the best possible representation in the Bay area.


    Jennifer Zide DUI and DWI Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Law Office of Sergio H. Benavides

24301 Southland Drive
Suite 605 D
Hayward, CA, 94545


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Top 100 Criminal Trial LawyersNational Trial Lawyers2015
Criminal Law SpecialistState Bar of California- Board of Legal Specialization2013
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
AttorneyLaw Office of Sergio H. Benavides2014 - Present
Defense AttorneyFresno County Public Defender's Office2007 - 2013
Association namePosition nameDuration
San Francisco La Raza Lawyers AssociationMember2015 - Present
National College of DUI DefenseMember2015 - Present
State Bar of California, Criminal Law SectionMember2015 - Present
National Trial LawyersTop 100 Criminal Trial Lawyer2015 - Present
Alameda County Bar Association, Criminal Law SectionExecutive Committee Member2015 - Present
American Immigration Lawyers AssociationMember2014 - Present
Californa Public Defenders AssociationMember2007 - Present
Bay Area Laywers for Individual FreedomMember2003 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
People v. T.M.plea bargain to Wet Reckless
People v. dismissed
People v. dismissed
See all legal cases 
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of San Francisco School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor2005
Antioch UniversityEducationMA - Masters1997
San Francisco State UniversityEnglish LiteratureBA - Bachelor of Arts1993
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
20 Years Federal Prison for Erasing a Hard Drive? YesFederal Prosecutions Under Sarbanes-Oxley2015
Sunday Friends Educational ProgrammingWhat You Can Do to Help Friends and Familiy Facing Criminal Charges2014
Sunday FriendsDriving and the Law2014
Law Office of Sergio H. BenavidesUnderstanding the Criminal Justice System2014
Injured Workers National Network MCLE SeminarEliminating Bias and Substance Abuse in the Legal Profession and a Focus on Developing the Best Medical Evidence for Workers' Compensation Purposes2014