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Sam John Polverino

Criminal defense Attorney at San Jose, CA

5.0   22 reviews
Free consultation
Free consultation
  • Licensed for 44 years
    State CA
    Acquired 1979
    Active No misconduct found

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

About Sam

Learn Sam’s areas of practice.

I have representing people accused of crimes for over thirty years.  I practice in the State and Federal Courts of California.  I have handled thousands of cases including both felonies and misdemeanors.  They include:  murder and vehicular manslaughter cases, assault, child abuse, controlled substances cases, DUI's, domestic violence, juvenile delinquency crimes, internet/computer/pornography crimes, sexual assault crimes, insurance fraud, theft cases, violation of probation and "Three Strike" cases.


Your case will be handled personally by me – not a team member or associate. I am committed to spending whatever time and effort is necessary to aggressively protect your rights and achieve a successful result.  





AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating


Law Offices of Sam J. Polverino


5.0 / 5.0
  22 customer reviews
5 Star
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1 Star
Posted by anonymous | December 11, 2012
First-rate, Expert, Determined--Not enough positive adjectives to describe Attorney Mr. Polverino
As my court case unfolded over several months over the past year, I couldn't believe my luck in having had a friend of mine refer me to Mr. Polverino. He took this very stressful experience and provided me and my family with much comfort by the way he conducted it. It became obvious that he would always be responsive to my needs and fears--extremely competent and expert in his actions/expertise/knowledge which brought about a successful conclusion to my case. I cannot thank him enough.
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Posted by Kev | February 19, 2013
I'm very thankful to have Sam Polverino's Help
I'm very thankful and lucky to have Sam's help on my misdemeanor case. He is very knowledgeable and professional. It would be very stressful when one was involved. He was always there answering my questions and doubts. Sure that you would have piece of mind working with him. Highly recommend!
Posted by William | March 23, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly recommend! - Criminal defense - Outstanding, determined, and caring
Mr. Polverino is extremely competent and knowledgeable in complicated criminal defense cases focusing mostly on Santa Clara County. My case being excellently conducted from the first court date reduced charges to misdemeanor, to eventually dismissal after multiple court representations over the past seven months. He’s very calm and professional, and promptly responsive either personally by email or through his assistant Debra. I remember he personally called me back the same day after I contacted his office and left a voice message. It was a no brainer decision to hire Mr. Polverino after consulting/interviewing seven attorneys who all specialize in similar criminal defense cases. All in all Sam is simply the best!
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Posted by anonymous | February 21, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Very experienced, genuine, and kind!
I was involved in a domestic violent case, and I found Sam through online research. I talked to a few other lawyers before him, but I knew I needed to hire Sam after our initial consultation. We met face to face at his office. He carefully listened to my experience and walked me through the legal process. He is very experienced as he shared a lot more details about the District Attorney office than the other lawyers did, and he knows the current best way of convincing the DA to drop the case. He is also very genuine and down-to-earth. When I ask uncertain questions, he focuses on facts and does not over-promise anything. His legal pricing is competitive among all candidates, and when I asked if there is any room for discount, he honestly told me this was the lowest he would charge on a DA case. After I hired him, Sam and his assistant Debra answered all the questions I came up with. Luckily, my case was rejected before a preliminary hearing, and Sam voluntarily refunded two thirds of the legal fee and helped me request a detention certificate and sealed my arrest record. It was unbelievable. Honestly, I don't want to see any lawyers again. But if I get myself into troubles again, I wouldn't hesitate a second to hire Sam.
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Posted by anonymous | October 16, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Extremely knowledgeable, calm, and geniunely caring
I was facing a serious felony charge that had potential to get even worse. Knowing this, I knew that I required first-rate legal representation. I consulted with several lawyers about the case, and after reviewing the options, it was clear as day that Sam was the best choice. I was referred to him by a family friend who practiced in a different type of law, and I am lucky he referred me. Not only did Sam have expert knowledge about the crime that I was being charged for, but he also knew the ins and outs of the court where my case was filed at thanks to his extensive experience. He was able to create a brilliant strategy that looked at every possible angle, which immediately put my worries at ease. In addition to this, he kept consistent communication with me throughout the entire case. I was never left wondering or confused about anything, because Sam and his office staff would always keep me in the loop with emails, letters, and phone calls. I won't go into the specifics, but I was facing a felony charge with several years in state prison. Some details of the case could have made the situation much worse, and I could have faced even more time. Thanks to Sam, I type this as a free man who never saw the inside of that prison cell. Reduced to a misdemeanor, 30 days of house arrest, no probation, cleared record after a year. When I must face the judge, there is no one else I would rather have by my side than Sam.
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Posted by Bryan | July 17, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Don't waste time call him now!!
I've had to hire many lawyers to defend me, I've also sat down with more lawyers in consultation than I could count. I instantly knew that Mr. Polverino was the one I was looking for. In fact "Sam" as he prefers, was the only lawyer to tell me in my particular case and my charges that I had a fighting chance. The other 5 I had sat down with all said it was in my best interest to plead guilty based on the police reports. No jail time, no probation, 16 hour online course, was the outcome of my case. In my opinion when you run into an issue and hiring a lawyer is a necessity well it can get quite expensive lawyers are not cheap, and neither is our freedom. I was blown away when we agreed on the price for Sam to represent me. Not only was the price exceptionally fair, but compared to the other numbers those lawyers i sat down with. Well let's just say they wanted double. For everything Sam did for me in my case and the result I recieved. I'm extremely thankful! Lastly, Ms. Debra his assistant is the most amazing helpful woman to make the experience even smoother. He's lucky to have her on his team. I truly hope I never have to call them again, but if I did I have his business contact next to my driver license.
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Posted by anonymous | December 16, 2021
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Professional Lawyer
Mr. Polverino is patient, professional and the office staff is responsive. I would recommend.
Posted by anonymous | December 9, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Outstanding! Calm, smart, determined
Sam helped a family member who was in a legal bind, and had never been in trouble before. The family was trying a 'do it yourself approach', but am so glad I found Sam through the referral of an attorney friend. Sam was so calm and pleasant in dealing with the family, and no-nonsense and assertive when he dealt with the DA. Sam identified that the charges should never have been brought, and got them dismissed quickly.
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Posted by Kate | February 22, 2019
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Couldn't be more grateful to this attorney
Sam Polverino is a God sent lawyer! We called about 20 lawyers before we found him. We sat down with him on a Friday afternoon regarding a possible sex assault charge. He knew which DA prosecutor our case would be sent to. He made a call to the district attorney office and to the investigator right in front of us and quickly got the details of the case and how the prosecution approaches it. The investigator was willing to talk to him because he knew him from a previous case. What a relief after two weeks of being in darkness! Luckily for us, it sounded that the case was too weak for the DA to file charges. If you're looking for a criminal defense attorney, look no further. After having spoken with about 20 attorneys, we knew what we were looking for - knowledgable, professional and empathetic. Sam is all of that. We highly recommend him! It also looks like he is highly regarded among his colleagues in the community. We couldn't be more grateful. If you or your family are going through stress of facing criminal charges, you need an honest, proactive and knowledgable attorney. Thankfully, there is one like that.
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Posted by Vince | October 31, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent and ethical trial lawyer
Sam is one of the best trial lawyers. I was acquitted of all counts in a domestic violence case and Sam provided the best representation I could hope for. He methodically went through all the evidence sent by me over a period of 3 years and prepared for the trial, while also managing all of his other cases. He did an excellent job in presenting all our evidence in a logical fashion that made the biggest impact on the jury. He spent nights and weekends working on my case as the trial approached and progressed. His closing arguments were forceful and persuasive. He is very traditional, but I think that is what makes him special and persuasive. He is also very ethical and is very careful about what he charges, many times not charging because he has to rework on some things.
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Posted by anonymous | July 5, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
"Felony X2 to a Misdemeanor"
We were referred to Sam Polverino by a friends criminal attorney. We were told that Mr. Polverino was the best when it came to DUI's. Our 19 year old son had been arrested and charged with 2 felony DUI's that would each count as a strike against him. From the beginning we could feel that Sam genuinely cared about our son and his case. We were impressed with the amount of respect Sam received in the court room. He put together a team of well known top leaders in the field of accident re-enactment professional. And in the end was able to reduce the felonies to a misdemeanor. Sam was always available when we needed him. Always took the time to answer our questions. And we had plenty. This is the attorney you want on your side if you find yourself in trouble. He is professional, intelligent and tenacious.
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Posted by anonymous | July 12, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Skilled, Dedicated, and Trusted
I began my search with a list of several criminal law specialists because I wanted to hire someone I could trust with knowing criminal law. Someone who is well experienced in criminal law, criminal courts, and who knows what to expect when an individual is accused of a crime. After dialing the Office of Sam Polverino, I was able to speak directly to him about my situation, which frankly made me panic because of the severity and nature of the allegation. As I spoke with Mr. Polverino, he carefully listened to every detail over the phone given that I had not yet scheduled the first appointment. I was highly impressed by his attentiveness and caring nature. After we spoke on the phone, we scheduled to meet, and during the first meeting, I knew I wanted to hire Mr. Polverino. So, I felt I could trust him, and I hired him as my attorney. He began with a general discussion about crimes, and how the criminal system works. He helped me understand how this situation could affect me, and he also began to strategize in ways that could help me resolve the matter. His experience as a specialist was evident in the way he knew case law within the penal code. Mr. Polverino knew exactly how to deal with my situation after we spoke, but I was able to see his professionalism the minute I hired him. He kept in constant communication whenever there was information that needed to be exchanged. Even after business office hours and weekends when I would have last minute questions, he would respond when he made himself available. Not to mention, during hard times, when I did not know what to expect, Mr. Polverino’s positive energy and good aura helped me stay positive. After my first experience in court, I learned how well respected he is in the legal community. As his client, he treated me with great respect and dignity. Although it took over a year to resolve my case, Mr. Polverino consistently worked toward justice- at finding the truth. With his expertise at hand, and his skillful team of professionals, my case was dismissed. I was finally able to move on with my life. Hence, I highly recommend Mr. Polverino to you, if you are troubled by what you are facing or if you have lost faith in the criminal justice system. Hire Mr. Polverino, a lawyer you can trust!
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Posted by John | July 15, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent choice
Sam Polverino recently represented me in a matter and did an excellent job. He was very effective in getting the best resolution possible. He was also kind and compassionate as I was experiencing health problems at the time. He made it as non-stressful as possible. I unreservedly recommend him.
Posted by anonymous | March 18, 2016
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Eased My Concerns and Took Care of Everything
Sam was my legal angel. He eased my concerns immediately and took care of everything. I was so nervous before our meeting and but he explained everything to me and left our consultation feeling confident that everything was going to be okay. Highly recommended.
Posted by Von | July 15, 2015
Caring and dedicated attorney
Sam has and always been a very dedicated and caring attorney, he would make his times around his busy schedule to meet with you, listening to your problem and make comment about the case. I totally put all my faith and trust in him and accept whatever he think it would be best for us. I highly recommend him to everyone who ever find himself or herself involve in any legal situation
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Posted by anonymous | May 16, 2015
Best ever. Highly recommend
My son and I hired sam over the phone for my sons legal matter. Sam took the time to talk to me and my son at length and also promised to look into the case the following day prior to us hiring him at no charge. The following day he sent me all the reports for the case. Sam accurately advised us on all matters throughout the process. He has a kind disposition and is always available for calls to keep you updated. He is very knowledgable and understands the San Jose court system. I can not thank him enough for helping us through this difficult situation. I will be forever grateful. I highly recommend Sam if you are in need of a criminal lawyer.
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Posted by anonymous | May 29, 2014
Best lawyer in Santa Clara/San Jose area.
We are from out-of-state and needed a lawyer in Santa Clara/San Jose area fast. After hours of on-line research everything we found kept leading us back to Mr. Polverino. We called the office the next day while traveling to California and Mr. Polverino himself came on the line to discuss our situation with us. Without knowing if he would represent our family or not, he still took the time to talk with us. We met with him the following afternoon and knew immediately that we had found the best attorney in northern California. Our case was handled professionally and efficiently and we could not have been happier with the outcome. Mr. Polverino was a God send!!
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Posted by Patricia and Josh | November 1, 2013
Mr. Polverino Is The Best! If you are looking for a great attorney then call Sam!
My son and I hired Sam to represent him in a criminal matter. I was impressed with Sam as an attorney and a person. He is very intelligent, kind, trustworthy and knowledgeable. You know after speaking to him that he knows what he is doing and is very experienced in his field. He is a very dedicated attorney who returned every one of my phone calls personally, even on weekends. My son is very sick and needed help in his desperate situation. We could not have found a better lawyer than Sam. I always want to call him Mr. Polverino out of respect but he would always stop me and say "call me Sam." I am a litigation assistant at a law firm, I work directly with attorneys and I do not know another attorney who would go to the lengths that Sam went for my son. If you are in need of an attorney I highly suggest that you hire Sam you will not be disappointed. Thank you Sam for everything, you really are the best! Patricia and Josh
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Posted by anonymous | February 23, 2013
Treasure of Silicon Valley
Words cannot describe how good Sam is.... He saved my life! He is thorough in his work, very hard working, looks into every little detail of the case. I cannot thank him enough! It is very hard to find lawyers of Sam's caliber and his fees are very reasonable. Thank god I found him! Please note that Sam was my second lawyer after I fired a big criminal defense law firm which I found online with keyword search of "criminal defense" on Google. That law-firm charged me nearly twice, but did nothing except for explaining me the procedures/directions to the court.
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Posted by anonymous | February 20, 2013
Ahead of the Curve
Sam knows the players and how they operate. He's like Wayne Gretzky, playing where the puck will be, not where it is. Charged with two felonies, they were quickly dispensed and we closed out with an infraction. Further, huge value for the price. I interviewed multiple attorneys and they came up short at a higher price. Solid, honest representation at a very fair price.
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  • Free Consultation 60 minutes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Principal
  • Law Offices of Sam J. Polverino
  • 2001 - Present
  • Partner
  • Davila & Polverino
  • 1988 - 2001
  • Attorney
  • Santa Clara County Public Defender's Office
  • 1981 - 1998


  • University of San Francisco School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1976
  • Santa Clara University
  • BS - Bachelor of Science
  • 1973


  • California DUI Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • 2014 - Present
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member
  • 2007 - Present
  • Stanford University School of Law, Trial Skills Program
  • Instructor
  • 1994 - Present
  • University of San Francisco School of Law, Intensive Advocacy Program
  • Instructor
  • 1992 - Present
  • California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
  • Member
  • 1988 - Present
  • Barrister's Club of Santa Clara County Bar
  • President
  • 1987 - Present
  • California Public Defenders Association
  • Member
  • 1981 - Present
  • CEB Skills Workshop
  • Instructor - Laying Evidentiary Foundation (1992, 1994, 1995)
  • N/A
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association
  • President
  • 1993 - 1993
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association
  • President-Elect
  • 1992 - 1992
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association
  • Secretary
  • 1991 - 1991
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association
  • Member - Board of Trustees
  • 1987 - 1994
  • Santa Clara University School of Law
  • Instructor: Trial Techniques
  • 1986 - 1991
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Super Lawyer (2009 to present)
  • Super Lawyers of Northern California
  • 2012
  • California State Bar Certified Specialist - 20 years
  • State Bar of California
  • N/A
  • Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (10+ years)
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • N/A
  • Editorial Board (1986-1987)
  • California Lawyer Magazine
  • N/A
  • Unsung Hero Award (2005)
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association Minority Access Committee
  • N/A
View all awards


  • Black's Law Dictionary
  • Practitioner Contributer
  • 2014

Speaking Engagements

  • Sexual Assault Seminar - 1987-1990
  • Sexual Assault
  • N/A

Attorney endorsements

Received (9)
Given (9)
Endorse Sam
Criminal defense Attorney | Apr 29
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I got to know Sam when I was cutting my teeth as a public defender in San Jose, and we have taught together in the Stanford Law School Trial Advocacy program. I think very highly of him."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jan 11
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Sam's record speaks for itself. Honesty, integrity, hard work and great results. I do criminal defense and I have referred clients to Sam because he is so good."
Criminal defense Attorney | Oct 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. I have had the opportunity to witness his work in the courtroom and have found him to be diligent and hardworking. He is well respected in the legal community."
Criminal defense Attorney | Sep 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Sam is my go to referral when my clients need representation in a criminal defense matter."
Criminal defense Attorney | May 23
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Sam. He is a highly skilled attorney that is well respected in the legal community."
Criminal defense Attorney | Mar 07
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this Mr. Polverino."
Criminal defense Attorney | May 16
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Sam is a superb lawyer. I had the opportunity to engage him for an immigration client facing criminal charges. He worked doggedly and strategically to get the charges completely dismissed. He is smart, determined and a pleasure to deal with. He clearly has the respect of the prosecutor's office, which was a major factor in the outcome. I would use him again in a heartbeat."
Criminal defense Attorney | May 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. I have referred numerous clients and other individuals to Sam over the years and, without exception, he has obtained excellent results for them. The feedback from my clients is always extremely positive."
Criminal defense Attorney | Sep 08
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Sam Polverino is well known for his excellent legal work. His trial skills border on legendary, his preparation is always complete, and clients always get the very best legal representation from Sam. "
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Criminal defense
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Criminal defense
Employment and labor
Criminal defense