Criminal Defense Overview

As a brief introduction,  my name is Michael Phillips, and in my nearly 30 years as a criminal defense attorney, I have dedicated my legal career to fighting for justice and fairness for “the little guy”. Unlike some lawyers, I take pride in the fact I have never represented insurance companies, big business, or was a prosecutor- using your skills to send people to jail in exchange for a paycheck. I am passionate about your case and committed to obtaining justice and results for you and your family. Always have been. Period.

To that end, I have assembled a dedicated team of lawyers and staff committed to my vision of criminal justice through ethical, aggressive courtroom advocacy to protect your rights. I have extensive jury trial and courtroom experience and bring a "no
holds barred" approach to the courtroom. I won’t be intimidated by the prosecution. I will investigate your case and find the flaws in the state’s theories, find witnesses and arrange expert testimony on your behalf, and do everything possible to achieve the best possible outcome. Using skilled and carefully-drawn legal strategies, I am pleased to say we have achieved remarkable results for our clients. I believe that persuasive and effective courtroom arguments based upon the unique aspects of each case, the human story, bring about the best results for our clients. Call, lets talk.


DUI Defense: Cutting Edge DUI Defense

The focus of the law firm is steadfast: A commitment to providing the most effective representation for clients who find themselves charged with a California DUI. To that end, The Phillips Law Offices vows to continue to earn its reputation for excellent representation - one client at a time. If you have been arrested for DUI, we know what's at stake, and we know how to help.

DMV License Suspensions

Although there are perhaps lots of lawyers who will accept a DUI case, many have little knowledge about license suspension issues. For many individuals, avoiding loss of a drivers license is the most important goal. We work closely with our clients to get them through the confusing and sometimes overwhelming DMV process. For individuals who live out of state and are charged with a DUI in California, the license suspension process can be especially complicated. We have successfully helped hundreds of out of state residents maintain their license.

Misdemeanor DUI Charges

If the “Rule of Law” means anything, it means that every citizen has the right to be protected against the government by the Constitution and the laws of the state. Due process demands no less. Clients are human, most of whom have never been arrested and they deserve to be treated fairly regardless of what happened. Phillips Law Offices is a trial litigation law firm that represents individuals and families throughout Nevada and Placer Counties and surrounding communities. The primary goals on misdemeanor DUI charges is avoiding possible jail and minimizing any drivers license suspension.

Felony DUI Charges

A substantial portion of our practice is focused on defending and guiding individuals charged with multiple and repeat DUI’s to DUI manslaughter. Although these types of matters demand the most proficient and aggressive defense, we never lose sight to be supportive and compassionate during this difficult time. Sometimes a subsequent DUI or drug-related arrest is the unfortunate symptom of an underlying addiction issue and it is best addressed substance abuse counseling. Our goal is to mitigate the case whenever possible, to seek treatment when appropriate and to maintain fairness in the process.

For more information about California's DUI laws, or to discuss your case confidentially with an experienced DUI defense attorney, please don't hesitate to call us at 530-265-0186.


Marijuana Defense

At the Phillips Law Offices we are experienced trial attorneys who can provide you with aggressive legal representation for all marijuana criminal offenses, including cultivation, possession for use, possession for sale and transportation. From our offices in Sacramento and the Gold Country, we help clients in the greater Sacramento area from the Sierra foothills to the Oregon Border. Our experience of over 30 years allows us to have a full and comprehensive understanding of how properly to defend our clients in marijuana cases. Marijuana has been approved for medical use in a number of states. Many states have now followed this trend by decriminalizing the marijuana entirely – though the laws regulating its use, possession, and distribution vary from state to state, and it is still illegal by the federal government. In California, recreational use of marijuana became legal in on January 1, 2018. The legalization is the result of voter passage of Proposition 64 in November 2016. Our mission is simple: fight for your rights under the law, and help protect you against unjustified prosecution. We are prepared to fight tooth and nail to ensure the most favorable outcome in your case. For more information about California's marijuana laws, or to discuss your case confidentially with an experienced criminal defense attorney, please don't hesitate to call us at 530-265-0186.


Criminal Process

The California criminal justice system is very complex and full of many complicated and arcane rules and procedures especially when it comes to sentencing issues. However, having an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible on your side who knows these rules and procedures, will lead to the most favorable outcome for you or your family member.

When you are arrested on criminal charges you need to choose a qualified California criminal defense attorney quickly. A competent and skilled criminal defense attorney will be able to evaluate your situation and help you decide on an effective strategy. Criminal defense attorney Michael Phillips can answer your questions about criminal law and criminal defense issues. For more information about California's criminal laws, or to discuss your case confidentially with an experienced criminal defense attorney, please don't hesitate to call us at 530-265-0186.


Misdemeanor Charges

A felony is a crime that is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison. Every other crime is a misdemeanor except those offenses that are classified as infractions, such as traffic offenses. Misdemeanors tend to involve less severe consequences. Convictions for most misdemeanor offenses can result in maximum jail time for one year in the county jail, fines of up to $1,000, community service, and probation. Some misdemeanors carry much less maximum jail time of 6 months or even 90 days. It is not uncommon that there is no jail at all, but alternative sentence with most misdemeanors. In California, there are also certain crimes known as a “wobbler” offense. These are crimes which the prosecutor has discretion and can choose to charge a misdemeanor or a felony (or, in some cases, a misdemeanor or an infraction). It’s important to remember, if the prosecutor charges a “wobbler” as a felony, the judge has the ability to reduce the charge back down to a misdemeanor.

For more information about California's misdemeanor criminal laws, or to discuss your case confidentially with an experienced criminal defense attorney, please don't hesitate to call us at 530-265-0186.


Felony Charges

The Phillips Law Office has over 30 years experience successfully handling all types of felonies matters. With offices in the Sierra foothills and Sacramento we provide strong, ethical felony criminal defense representation to individuals in greater Sacramento area and Sierra foothills including all of Yolo County, Sacramento County, Placer County, El Dorado County, Nevada County and Butte County.

We have successfully represented individuals ranging from first-time offenders in accidental hit-and-run cases to “Three Strike” and murder cases. The felony defense attorneys at the Phillips Law Offices practice in local courts and are experienced negotiators and trial attorneys.

The Phillips Law Offices have access to a wide range of experts to thoroughly investigate each felony crime charged. When appropriate, our felony crime defense lawyers work with private investigators, psychiatrists, psychologists, medical specialists, accountants, economists, evidence validation experts, and crime scene analysts to gather evidence and build a strong defense case.

Mr. Phillips is particularly knowledgeable about the use of psychiatric evidence in proving diminished capacity, lack of competence, and lack of specific intent in criminal cases where the person charged is suffering from mental illness.  

For more information about California's felony criminal laws, or to discuss your case confidentially with an experienced felony criminal defense attorney, please don't hesitate to call us at 530-265-0186.


Sex Offense Charges

The Phillips Law Offices provide criminal defense services in greater Sacramento area and Gold Country including Nevada County, Placer County, Sacramento County, Yolo County, Butte and El Dorado County on serious felony and misdemeanor sex charges. We have extensive experience successfully defending the most serious of sex charges. Many of our cases are referred by other attorneys as we pride ourselves in accepting and successfully defending tough cases other attorneys won't take.

The justice system is handing down overwhelming harsh sentences for sex offenses at every level, including even misdemeanor sex offenses. If an individual is convicted, prison may only be the beginning. Sex offender registration lasts a lifetime and is required for not only felony convictions but misdemeanors as well. Moreover, if a person is labeled a “sexually dangerous predator” after they serve a prison sentence- then they can be indefinitely committed to a mental institution in California. And now, new laws require lifetime GPS monitoring and strict residence requirements where a person can even live.

At The Phillips Law Offices, the goal in these difficult cases is to prove innocence whenever possible, to seek treatment when appropriate, and to maintain fairness and balance in the system.


Domestic Violence Charges

Charged with a domestic abuse offense? The Phillips Law Office has years of successfully defending domestic violence allegations and can help. Unfortunately, innocent people get wrongly accused of domestic violence all the time. Often times the accuser will make a false allegation of domestic violence to gain the upper hand in custody or divorce proceedings or out of anger and jealously. To make matters worse, police policy is to always arrest someone when they are dispatched to a call of domestic violence (and its almost never the person who calls 911 first) Often times, the person being arrested acted in self defense during 'mutual combat' of fight. The key to successful defense in these situations is to act pro actively before charges are filed. A complete investigation of the facts to present your side of the story to the prosecutor may convince them not to pursue a criminal case at all.


Expungement. Clearing your record…

California law provides for clearing a conviction by having the case dismissed, and the conviction set aside. The California criminal record expungement law, Penal Code § 1203.4, is complex in certain areas, and expungement of a criminal record is something that should be done by anyone with even a minor criminal history. Contrary to popular belief, criminal convictions are not cleared automatically with the passage of time and requires that a motion be filed in court before the sentencing court.

When the expungement motion is granted, the defendant is allowed to take back their original plea of guilty or no contest and enter a brand-new plea of not guilty. The case is then ordered dismissed, and the conviction is set aside by the court. This removes the criminal conviction from the petitioner's record.

For more information about California's criminal expungement laws, or to discuss your case confidentially with an experienced criminal defense attorney, please don't hesitate to call us at 530-265-0186.


Drug Charges

The attorneys at The Phillips Law Offices have been handling drug defense cases with diligence and success for more than 30 years. There are many avenues in which a drug case can be successfully defended including, but not limited to: motions to dismiss, motions to suppress evidence, defense verdicts and favorable plea arrangements. Police frequently use unreliable informants, defective warrants and other illegal methods to make drug busts. Our criminal defense lawyers can challenge these unconstitutional searches and search warrants, in an effort to get evidence and cases thrown out of court.

For clients struggling with addiction problems, we
can often help you get Proposition 36, PC 1000 drug diversion or other treatment programs as an alternative to jail.

The drug defense attorneys at The Phillips Law Offices have successfully handled all types of drug and drug-related crimes. They have handled cases ranging from simple possession of marijuana to manufacturing of controlled substances. They have also handled  numerous cases involving driving offenses dealing with illegal narcotics and paraphernalia.

For more information about California's criminal drug laws, or to discuss your case confidentially with an experienced criminal defense attorney, please don't hesitate to call us at 530-265-0186.