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Howard Lawrence Williams

Criminal defense Attorney at Martinez, CA

5.0   14 reviews

also known as Howard L. Williams

Licensed for 22 years

Free consultation

About Howard

Learn Howard’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Criminal defense

    23 years, 4,000 cases

  2. Violent crime

    23 years, 1,000 cases

  3. White collar crime

    23 years, 1,000 cases

  4. DUI and DWI

    23 years, 2,000 cases


Howard Williams earned his undergraduate degree at Kent State University in 1995. He went on to enroll in law school at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. He earned his Juris Doctor from this institution in 1998. In 1999, Attorney Williams earned a Master of Laws in Taxation from the University of San Diego School of Law.

In 2005, Attorney Howard Williams accepted a job as Deputy Public Defender at the Riverside County Public Defender’s Office. He remained in this position until 2008. Attorney Williams went on to become Partner in the firm of Lieber Williams & Labin. From 2013 to 2014, Attorney Williams also spent time working as Judge Pro Tempore for the Superior Court of California, County of Contra Costa.

Licensed for 22 years
State CA
Status Active
Acquired 2000
Updated 12/07/2022

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

Contact Howard


5.0 / 5.0
  14 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
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1 Star
Posted by Daniel | January 21, 2021
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
A Review by an Attorney
Howard is an excellent attorney. I would hire him for myself or family. He is an excellent theoretical lawyer in that his level of scholarship is very high. He has a wonderful courtroom presence. He is personable and caring but strong as well. He is a great choice.
Posted by anonymous | March 2, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best Lawyer In California !
The best trial lawyer hands down in California , Mr.Williams actively visited me throughout my case and informed on what was going on from point a to point b. He diligently took time even on weekends and his personal time to work on my case rather that was researching or attending legal conferences hosted by other reputable attorneys he was amazing in every aspect. I guarantee this is the attorney you should call on if any legal issue arises, His trial presence and knowledge of law is impeccable, He protects your rights and will get you home . Best Lawyer Out ! -Joel
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Posted by Andrew | January 16, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Very happy with the assistance I received from Howard Williams
Howard recently assisted me in the resolution of a legal matter. His dedication to ensuring an optimal outcome in this particular situation was clearly evident. He was generous with his time and helped put my family at ease during an extremely burdensome and challenging time for us. I greatly wish that I had been able to receive his counsel for the entirety of my case instead of solely for the latter components. If anyone that I truly cared about found themselves in an unfortunate dilemma and required aggressive, honest, dedicated legal representation, I would not hesitate in any way to recommend Howard to them knowing they were in good hands. Howard Williams will get you through whatever legal bind you find yourself in. Thank you for your help Howard.
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Posted by Sean | April 24, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Operation omega red
This was a lawyer appointed to me on 3 different cases I couldn't of been more thankful for the speedy trial and results I was facing 96 to life at one point although we dominated all our cases I took a 8 month deal to help my brother out from going back to trial on a life sentence conta costa county is crooked but Howard fights harder then anybody else trust that this is the trial lawyer to have defend you hes amazingly gifted and contra costa county #1 Criminal defense attorney
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Posted by Stefanie(i lost your # and need to discuss my case please call ) | June 14, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent Attorney and Great Results
First i want to thank Howard L Williams who is currently my attorney i got lucky and was court appointed him and i now truly believe I must have someone watching out for me because i never have been this lucky. I am beyond satisfied with what the outcome is going to be with my case and i believe it was only made possible due to him. Thank You Howard and i will see you in court towards the end of this month. I have recommended you to several people and still do in fact just finished doing so thats how i stumbled across this page.
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Posted by Rich | November 16, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Howard Williams knows what he is doing!
I was involved in a DUI/DWI related accident in March of 2015. After my initial hearing and meeting with the Public Defender, it was clear I needed a REAL lawyer and someone who was willing to give my case a thorough review. After searching AVVO, I submitted my case for a free review and was contacted by 3 lawyers. The first two had very similar pitches as to why they should be my lawyer, but didn't give the feeling that they had my best interests at heart. I received a phone call from Howard Williams, and knew within the first 5 minutes that this guy knew what he is talking about, and that he already had several ideas on how to approach my case. As of 11/4/2015, my entire case has been completed from start to finish. I could not have asked for better results, as Howard not only saved me from losing my license, but also saved me thousands of dollars by finding flaws in my case and getting my charges reduced to a "wet reckless" and some other charges dropped. Instead of the court appointed 18 days of work alternative program (instead of jail time), Howard negotiated down to only 5 days needed to be served. Without Howard I feel that things would have been much different, and that I would still be dealing with the headache of this whole ordeal from a poor judgement on my part of driving a vehicle while under the influence. I would recommend Howard to anyone in a similar situation as he is genuine and more than fairly priced for the services he provides. Personally, I feel that I owe him much more than he charged me. And I say this in the best way possible, I hope I never have to use Howard again for his legal services, as I have learned my lesson and never want to be in the situation again!
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Posted by Tom | December 11, 2013
One of the two best decisions I ever made was hiring this firm
I'm not proud of this, even though it was more than a year ago now, but I was charged earlier this year with a third-time DUI that had happened 9 months before. The case had never gotten filed by the D.A., and even though I had gone to court when I was told to, the cops came to my house 9 months later and arrested me in the middle of the night. I was told by the cops that I would have to spend 120 days in jail at least because that is the standard 3rd DUI sentence under law. At that point, got a lawyer to handle this case for me, and then checked into rehab. Howard Williams was the lawyer, and I honestly didn't know lawyers like this existed. He had to persuade me to fight the case even when I just wanted to do the jail time and get it over with. He didn't strong-arm me into fighting, but he did get me to trust him and I chose to follow his advice and fight rather than pleading out. Bottom line: NO JAIL TIME! He was able to get me the ankle monitor and a much shorter sentence instead, and I was allowed to still go to work every day. I had served 10 days jail on my SECOND DUI, but NONE on my third! The other more important bottom line: he also recommended I check into rehab because he said it would make his job easier, and I'm happy to report that I'm clean and sober, coming up on a year now.
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Posted by anonymous | December 10, 2013
Results speak for themselves
I hired Howard to handle my DUI case. I didn't have a lot of hope, honestly, since my blood alcohol level was .18. Howard said there were a couple of issues he had to pursue before he could advise me on what to do. He did two different hearings where the cop had to testify and cop finally got angry and gave us some great testimony. All I had to plead to was reckless driving and got to keep my license!
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Posted by anonymous | May 18, 2013
Great lawyer
All the lawyers at Lieber Williams were gerat. Howard and Gary did a great job with my case and Jason kept me informed. Howard was the one with the plan and it was carried out perfect. They aren't the absolute cheapest out there but the results were worth the cash. I'd go with Howard again without a doubt
Posted by Randy | April 28, 2013
Smart attorney and great result
My case was a DUI situation which, for me, was incredibly important because I could not afford to get a DUI conviction otherwise I would lose my job (I need a driver's license and I do a lot of work in Canada, who won't let you across the border with a DUI conviction). Howard outlined a strategy he would follow to maximize my chances of getting the result I needed, and it worked. I honestly don't know everything about how he did it, but I do know I got my charge reduced to a "dry reckless" and didn't lose my license. I'm very grateful.
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Posted by Hao | September 28, 2012
Helped me with difficult case
I had no criminal record prior to this dui and I'm glad I got a reliable and trustworthy attorney like Howard Williams. I had a passenger with me when I totaled my vehicle by crashing into a residential front yard. Luckily, the injuries were not serious. However, the judicial system really tried to make my life difficult by charging me with an injury felony even though the insurance company had proof that no medical claims were made against me. I also had a high alcohol reading that would send me straight to a 9 month dui class program which would ruin my work and study schedule. Luckily Howard was the only lawyer who took my call patiently and drafted a sound battle plan. After 6 months of negotiation, Howard successfully made the court reduce the felony to a misdemeanor by dropping the injury charge. The 9 months dui class was cut down to 3 months and the jail time was replaced with the weekend work program.
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Posted by Mariana | September 27, 2012
Thank you Howard!
I got into a situation that I don't even want to go into, but suffice it to say it's the one and only time I've ever faced a criminal charge in my life (or ever will). I did consultations with 3 other attorneys, but chose Howard Williams because the other guys seemed like they were willing to say anything to get my money. Howard was very knowledgeable and went over many different approaches he would take on the case depending on how things played out, etc. It was obvious that he had done this hundreds of times before and knew the details of how the system works and how to get good results for people. I chose him, even though he cost a little more, and I'm so thankful that I did. My case was not easy but he was able to get a result that I didn't think was possible (and I'm not sure I deserved!). I would recommend him to anyone who needs a criminal attorney.
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Posted by Joe | August 3, 2012
Thank you!
Thank you so much for all you have done for me in my DUI case. Your work was superb and the not guilty verdict proved this. I am very appreciative of how hard you worked for me, just as if I were family. I am happy to have had you on my side.
Posted by Marie | July 17, 2012
Highly Recommended!!!
This was my first and only DUI, and as you can imagine, I had no clue about where to start, how to find a lawyer, or what the process was going to be with the DMV and courts for the next few months which really freaked me out. As a working professional, I had to make sure I kept my license to get to and from work otherwise it would cause major issues for me. I had originally signed with a different lawyer because I had asked a friend if he knew any criminal defense attorneys I could call and he recommended me a lawyer, so naturally I took his word for it and signed without much other research on other firms in the area. HUGE mistake!!!! Not only was this lawyer overpriced, asking for $7500 for the case which I stupidly agreed to, telling me what I wanted to hear, and just your typical "sleazy" lawyer, he did absolutely nothing on my case for months and months and just kept continuing my court dates. When I'd call for updates, he barely knew who I was or what my case was and I quickly lost more and more confidence in him representing me properly. I ended up firing him and started shopping around for other lawyers, but ultimately I had the most confidence in Howard Williams from Lieber Williams & Labin, who handled my case. Unlike the other lawyers I talked to, Howard spent an initial hour with me on a FREE consultation. The others didn't want to hear much detail about my case until I signed their retainer and paid them. They just told me what I wanted to hear which is that they could win my case. Howard went over the ins and outs of my case with me, told me what his strategy was going to be and why he felt that was the best strategy to go in with, where the police had made mistakes and how we can use that to our advantage, what he REALISTICALLY thought he could do with my case, and outlined to me all of the next steps so I knew what to expect. I felt so much better and finally felt like I had someone on my side who could truly help me. My whole case took about 6 months to close out and every step of the way, Howard updated me with what happened at each and every court date, and how the case was progressing. The best part is, Howard ultimately got my charges reduced so I didn't end up with a DUI on my record and at a lower cost than what I paid my first lawyer to do nothing!!!! All I can say is the system makes this whole process painful enough, and you need someone on your side who is competent, knows the courts, and knows how to do the right thing for your case! I got through mine thanks to Howard at Lieber Williams & Labin. I know I'll never be drinking and driving again, but I feel really lucky that I was able to come out with the outcome I did and I know it took a really good lawyer like Howard to get me the deal I got. I would definitely recommend this firm, to anyone in my boat or with a criminal case on their hands!
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  • Free Consultation 20 minutes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 9.5 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Partner
  • Lieber Williams & Labin
  • 2008 - Present
  • Judge Pro Tempore
  • Superior Court of California, County of Contra Costa
  • 2013 - 2014
  • Deputy Public Defender
  • Riverside County Public Defender's Office
  • 2005 - 2008


  • University of San Diego School of Law
  • LL.M - Master of Laws
  • 1999
  • Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1998
  • Kent State University
  • BBA
  • 1995

Legal Cases

  • People v. J.Z.
  • Jury verdict: NOT GUILTY
  • People v. B.C.
  • CHARGES DROPPED through negotiations
  • People v. M.A.
  • jury verdict: NOT GUILTY on all charges
View all legal cases


  • Contra Costa County Criminal Conflict Panel
  • Senior Attorney
  • 2011 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Certified Specialist - Criminal Law
  • State Bar of California
  • 2015
  • Victory Corner
  • Contra Costa County Criminal Conflict Program
  • 2014

Attorney endorsements

Received (13)
Given (20)
Endorse Howard
Criminal defense Attorney | Jan 08
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Howard Williams is an excellent trial attorney. When I was a DA, we would regularly work on cases together. Howard was always known as a trustworthy defense attorney who worked diligently for his clients; he also obtained great results for his clients whether it be through negotiations or trial. He's a fantastic lawyer and I highly recommend Howard!"
Criminal defense Attorney | Dec 16
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Howard is a consummate professional. He is thorough with high attention to detail, and produces top quality work. Highly recommend Howard."
Criminal defense Attorney | Dec 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Williams is an excellent lawyer who will stop at nothing to ensure the best possible result for every one of his clients. As a young lawyer, I often looked up to Mr. Williams for guidance and advice and it paid off every time. I highly recommend Mr. Williams to anyone for any legal issue!"
Criminal defense Attorney | Dec 12
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Howard Williams because he is a smart, conscientious, and hardworking attorney. He'll go the extra mile to make sure you get the defense you need."
Criminal defense Attorney | May 23
Relationship: Co-worker
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jan 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jan 23
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Aug 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Experience, dedication, and hard work does not begin to describe the numerous attributes that Howard Williams brings to the legal profession. Through rigorous and zealous advocacy of his clients, he offers a beacon of hope to criminal defendants who are always innocent in the eyes of the law until proven guilty. I unwaveringly endorse Howard Williams as an outstanding lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Aug 17
Relationship: Co-worker
"Howard is one of the best legal minds out there. I'm grateful he's a member of my firm."
Criminal defense Attorney | Aug 03
Relationship: Co-worker
"Howard is truly an amazing trial lawyer, not only because he has an astonishing mastery of the law, but because he has an equally amazing yet perhaps more important ability--the ability to connect with jurors on a human level and to convince them in terms that make sense that his client is NOT guilty, or at least that there is reasonable doubt as to his client's guilt. Many of Howard's clients are direct beneficiaries of this talent, and any case, regardless of the evidence, is far better off with Howard Williams fighting for the defendant. The Bay Area is lucky to have such a diligent, caring, and effective trial attorney!"
Criminal defense Attorney | Aug 03
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. He is truly an amazing trial attorney whose knowledge of evidence, expertise, trial skills and wit puts him above and beyond any opponents."
Criminal defense Attorney | Aug 03
Relationship: Co-worker
"Howard is a great attorney, possibly the best cross-examiner alive today. He has the unique ability to get a witness to say what he wants without making it seem that way. I've personally seen him demolish witnesses and have them leave smiling and thinking they did great."
Criminal defense Attorney | Aug 02
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Howard is the consummate professional. His abilities in the courtroom are unmatched. He is a tireless advocate and is always ready to fight the fight. His dedication to our profession and his commitment to his craft is second to none."
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