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
Cash, Check, Credit card
|Award name||Grantor||Date granted|
|Top 100 Criminal Trial Lawyers||National Trial Lawyers||2015|
|Criminal Law Specialist||State Bar of California- Board of Legal Specialization||2013|
|Attorney||Law Office of Sergio H. Benavides||2014 - Present|
|Defense Attorney||Fresno County Public Defender's Office||2007 - 2013|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|San Francisco La Raza Lawyers Association||Member||2015 - Present|
|National College of DUI Defense||Member||2015 - Present|
|State Bar of California, Criminal Law Section||Member||2015 - Present|
|National Trial Lawyers||Top 100 Criminal Trial Lawyer||2015 - Present|
|Alameda County Bar Association, Criminal Law Section||Executive Committee Member||2015 - Present|
|American Immigration Lawyers Association||Member||2014 - Present|
|Californa Public Defenders Association||Member||2007 - Present|
|Bay Area Laywers for Individual Freedom||Member||2003 - Present|
|People v. T.M.||plea bargain to Wet Reckless|
|People v. S.K.||case dismissed|
|People v. K.W.||case dismissed|
|See all legal cases|
|University of San Francisco School of Law||Law||JD - Juris Doctor||2005|
|Antioch University||Education||MA - Masters||1997|
|San Francisco State University||English Literature||BA - Bachelor of Arts||1993|
|20 Years Federal Prison for Erasing a Hard Drive? Yes||Federal Prosecutions Under Sarbanes-Oxley||2015|
|Sunday Friends Educational Programming||What You Can Do to Help Friends and Familiy Facing Criminal Charges||2014|
|Sunday Friends||Driving and the Law||2014|
|Law Office of Sergio H. Benavides||Understanding the Criminal Justice System||2014|
|Injured Workers National Network MCLE Seminar||Eliminating Bias and Substance Abuse in the Legal Profession and a Focus on Developing the Best Medical Evidence for Workers' Compensation Purposes||2014|