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.