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Jess Raphael

Criminal defense Attorney at Napa, CA

4.9   12 reviews
  • Licensed for 34 years
    State CA
    Acquired 1989
    Active No misconduct found

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

About Jess

Learn Jess’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Criminal defense
    I practiced for 25 years in the Napa Public Defender's Office, including 8 years as the Senior Trial Deputy, handling the most serious felonies including Capital Murder, violent crimes, gang crimes, sex and domestic crimes, drug cases, and of course DUI's. I have taken appeals as high as the California and US Supreme Court, but primarily I am a trial lawyer.

    34 years, 2,500 cases

  2. DUI and DWI
    With almost thirty years of experience during an era of zero tolerance for DUI, I have probably defended more misdemeanor and felony DUI jury trials than any other defense attorney in the history of Napa County.

    34 years, 300 cases

        "Jess is a strong advocate. Determined to full representation. A skilled orator. Tireless.  Someone who treated his clients as human beings,  each worthy of the strongest legal defense."

- Honorable Judge Ronald T. L.  Young (retired) 



 A reliable, trustworthy attorney who has exclusively practiced criminal defense in the Napa/Solano area for the past 25+ years. An experienced trial lawyer who has defended several hundred jury trials of all types, including murders, sex crimes, domestic violence, theft offenses, drug crimes, and driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. 

 The right choice to evaluate, negotiate, and fight for the best possible outcome  when you or your loved one is under threat of jail or prison in Napa or Solano County. 

A local practitioner with decades of experience with the same prosecutors, judges, probation officers, and law enforcement, who knows the best way to approach every kind of investigation and prosecution in the jurisdiction where your case is pending.



I will not send letters to the home addresses of everyone who gets booked in jail, oblivious to the privacy of you and your family.

 I am not a journeyman who travels to a dozen counties, nor will I leave you standing next to an associate you've never met.


 You will never see my face on a billboard or a taxi cab, and I will never promise you unattainable results.

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Jess Raphael, Attorney at Law
845 Jefferson St
Napa, CA, 94559-2422


4.9 / 5.0
  12 customer reviews
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1 Star
Posted by Rebecca | March 16, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best Choice I Ever Made
I cannot say enough or thank Jess Raphael enough for all that he has done. My juvenile son was arrested for serious felony charges. Raphael from the beginning fiercely defended my son and never backed down from the judge or DA. He protected my son's rights, he thoroughly went through the evidence, he challenged the DA, he questioned the police the end ALL THE CHARGES WERE DROPPED, NO PROBATION, GPS MONITOR IMMEDIATLY REMOVED. Jess Raphael is a beast, a lion in the court room. I could not of chosen a better person to represent my son, I can not thank him enough for all that he has done for us. You will not regret hiring him on any level.
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Posted by Nicole | May 15, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best defense attorney in Napa
We called Jess Raphael after an unfortunate event & he didn't hesitate to meet us on a Sunday morning, which immediately put us at ease - after going over details we felt confident putting our case in Jess' (extremely capable) hands. Jess Raphael really shines in the courtroom - not only is he as knowledgeable as they come when it comes to the law (seriously, this man pulled laws out of his back pocket that shocked even the judge), but he was always 3 steps ahead of the prosecutor, all while remaining professional & respectful to all parties involved. Nothing is scarier than leaving your fate in the hands of strangers, but I assure you Jess will fight for your wellbeing until the very end - I went from loosing all faith in our justice system due to the bleak situation I was in to faith completely restored as Jess cried tears of joy with me when our verdict was read. I can rest easy knowing that Jess Raphael is my legal counsel & wont ever have to think twice before recommending his expertise to any of my loved ones - THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING, JESS!
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Posted by anonymous | October 4, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Genuine, good hearted, hard working attorney
Jess made himself available several times in a difficult time for me, to include taking a phone call while on a personal vacation out of the country. He met with me and immediately dove into my case and gave me confidence that I had sought out the right guy. If you are looking for someone that will personally be working with you and not a talking head that will pass you off to a jr attorney, this is your guy.
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Posted by anonymous | April 5, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
I was falsely accused of a DV case. I interviewed several attorneys before choosing Jess Raphael. He reviewed the information provided to him and was able to have the charge dropped. Jess was available 24 / 7 during my ordeal. Even when on vacation, which i was not aware of at the time, he maintained communications with me. I am very impressed with his work ethics and persistence.
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Posted by anonymous | January 26, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
After being accused of domestic violence, Jess fought for me and cleared my name.
When I got stuck in the legal system for the very first time, I needed someone who knew the law like the back of their hand and would fight for me. Jess didn’t just take my case on, he really cared about me and the outcome. Jess is a man of integrity and intellect. He was not looking to just get paid. He has a calling to defend the innocent from a broken legal system. Through the entirety of my case, it seemed like Jess was playing chess while the DA was playing checkers. He always seemed to be one step ahead of the prosecution and predicted their every move. He lost sleep, missed time with his family, and changed his life to accommodate any needs of my case. He did not treat me like a number, but rather a friend that would do anything in his power to help. In a time that felt like the world was falling down all around me, Jess stood by me and offered sound legal advice and genuine concern. After months of losing sleep and being emotionally stressed about my case, Jess beat the DA in court. When he won, I was emotional and cried uncontrollably. He calmly put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Now You Can Sleep Again”. Lawyers have a reputation of only caring about their interests. Not Jess. His moral fabric shines through. He helped me find justice in a legal system that often lacks it.
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Posted by Paul J Benavidez | January 3, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Awesome attorney
Jess is the man I highly recommend him.he is fast professional and a good dude.I was looking at alot of time.and my past convictions didn't help matters.Iam a single father and was terrified of loosing my kids.he got my case dismissed and it wasn't a light sentence I was looking at.I have a second chance to do good and be a better father,brother, son,and member of society.I would no wish incarceration on my worst enemy I wish I could bottle this feeling I have inside and my new out look on life .sincerely.paul
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Posted by Paul | December 31, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great choice If you need proper representation
Jess is a great lawyer he gave me hope when I thought there was none due to my past history.He got me back to my kids.And a new out look on life.he's professional and the best by far sincerely Paul
Posted by anonymous | December 29, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
best possible outcome
Jesse represented me in a case where I'm a 2 striker n was facing a 3rd strike, he was honest diligent in getting me the best outcome. He was very responsive to my calls and questions even after my case. I didn't give him much to work with but his damage control and effort was worth the time and money, great Attorney
Posted by JH | July 20, 2015
5-Star Rating because he is the best!
Jess Raphael acted fast and efficiently thought out my case. During the process, he had my best interest in mind. Thanks to his knowledge, vast experience and tenacity he was able to obtain the best outcome possible for my case. I thank him for caring not just about me but also about my family during such a difficult time in our lives. If you are ever in need of representation leave it in the hands of Mr. Raphael. He is the best!!
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Posted by anonymous | April 5, 2015
I highly recommend Mr. Raphael
Jess Raphael was recommended to me after I was arrested in January on criminal charges. My case was very complicated, as mental health factors were involved. When I first met with Jess, he made sure that my first priority was to take care of myself and my mental and physical health. He assured me that he would do his best to represent me and the facts of the case so that a fair and just conclusion could be reached. Jess has gone above and beyond in supporting me during this difficult time, even accompanying me to a meeting with adult probation so that the facts of my case were well represented. Mr. Raphael has been very forthright with me throughout this entire process, never making any promises that he could not keep, and adjusting his schedule to fit my needs when necessary. Thanks to Mr. Raphael’s hard work and dedication to my case, I feel that justice has been served on my behalf. I feel very blessed to have had Mr. Raphael in my corner during what has been one of the most difficult times of my life, and I would highly recommend him to anyone needing representation.
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Posted by RB | March 19, 2015
Jess Raphael helped get a second chance at life!
I'm a senior in college and I caught 4 cases (3 felonies) in 3 different counties. Basically you can say I messed up and was throwing my future away. Jess Raphael got me through it with no felonies on my record and a second chance at getting my life together now Im finishing college and have a bright future ahead of me. If you want someone to fight for you Jess Raphael is your man.
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Posted by danilia | August 3, 2015
Napa court appointed Jess to be my Public Defender in a $6000 fraud case I was being accused of and some other felony charges. Jess Raphael.... Is the man at the Napa Court house! From what I seen, He is Respected by the court and his colleagues. You can see he has QUALITY and PRIDE in his profession... And I would recommend JESS RAPHAEL FOR CRIMINAL COUNSEL! HE HAS QUALITY, KNOWLEDGE, AND IS VERY EXPLANATORY so you can understand what's going on!!!! And is very considerate, and moral! JESS.... I have not thanked you yet! THANK YOU!!!!!!! Hope all is well... $0.00 RESTITUTION*** Thank you!!!!
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  • Retainer Always
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 8.6 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Attorney
  • Raphael Law
  • 2015 - Present
  • Senior Trial Attorney
  • Napa County Public Defender
  • 1989 - 2014
  • Attorney
  • Littler Mendelson Fastiff & Tichy
  • 1988 - 1989
  • Legal Intern
  • Boulder County District Attorney
  • 1986 - 1988
View all work experience


  • University of Colorado School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1988
  • Univ of California at Los Angeles
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1985

Legal Cases

  • People v. Madrigal
  • Pending
  • People v. Taylor
  • Jury verdict - Not guilty by reason of insanity
  • People v. Mitchell
  • Constitutional issue lost in trial court, argued and lost at First District Court of Appeals, Petition for Review denied at Cal Supreme Ct, Writ of Certiorari denied at US Supreme Court. Never stop the fight when you are right.


  • Napa County Bar Association
  • Chair, Criminal Law Section
  • 2015 - Present
  • California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
  • Member
  • 2014 - Present
  • California Public Defenders Association
  • Member
  • 1989 - Present
  • Napa County Bar Association
  • Chair, Criminal Defense Section
  • 1990 - 1996
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • Spanish
  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Client Rating
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2020
  • Ethics Award
  • American Jurisprudence
  • 1987
  • Civil Procedure Award
  • American Jurisprudence
  • 1986


  • DUI Manual - Ed Kuwatch
  • Admissibility of serum versus whole blood results
  • N/A
  • DUI Manual - Ed Kuwatch
  • When does a DUI suspension become no operator's license?
  • N/A

Speaking Engagements

  • Napa County Bar Association Brown Bag
  • Immigration Law
  • 1993

Attorney endorsements

Received (5)
Given (5)
Endorse Jess
Criminal defense Attorney | Jun 25
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I highly recommend Jess Raphael to anyone who has been been accused of a crime. Jess is an exceptional trial attorney who has the experience and knowledge necessary to take a case to trial and achieve favorable results for his clients. I have worked on cases with Jess and have seen first hand how he is always prepared and extremely accessible to his clients."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jun 24
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Jess is a phenomenal advocate. He is incredibly skillful and knowledgeable in all facets of criminal law, whether in filing motions on behalf of his clients or representing them in contested hearings or even at trial. A true professional in all senses of the word."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jun 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have known Jess for several years, and his reputation truly precedes him. His reputation amongst the judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys is that he is one of the smartest, toughest and most skilled trial lawyers in Napa County. And it's true. He is. I was lucky to have Jess as my mentor in the beginning of my career with the Napa Public Defender's Office, and I'm grateful for his advice today whenever I have a tough case in which I need to lean on his extensive experience. I cannot recommend Jess enough."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jun 12
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Jess and I worked together for a client who had open cases in Napa and Solano counties. It was a complicated matter involving felony sentences in the two counties. Together, we were able to convince a judge that the client had already served the maximum sentence for all of his felony matters, and get the client released from custody. I have the highest respect for Jess and endorse him wholeheartedly."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jan 24
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse jess. 26 years experience as a public defender is extremely experienced. The advantage of this experience is that you know everyone at the courts and the District attorneys know that you know what they know. EXPERIENCE MATTERS! Do yourself a favor and schedule a consultation"
Criminal defense
Violent crime
Criminal defense