San Diego Criminal Defense Attorneys – Since 1978

Since 1971, Samuel Spital is a former Deputy Attorney General, California Department of Justice. Since 1978, as a criminal defense lawyer. 2007-2024 recipient of the Client’s Choice Award. Premier San Diego criminal defense lawyer for all juvenile and adult criminal cases, from investigation, arrest, pre-filing, arraignment & trial thru appeal in California and Federal Courts, including but not limited to the following sub-practice areas:

If you are investigated, arrested, charged with and convicted of any criminal offense, whether misdemeanor or felony, there are both direct and unintended consequences. Click here to learn more about the consequences in San Diego criminal defense cases.

Highest Rated San Diego Criminal “Defense” Attorneys from Sam Spital on Vimeo.

We Want to Protect, Assert & Defend Your Rights!

While the government has unlimited financial resources to prosecute their cases, and we may be outnumbered by their lawyers and staff, we are not outsmarted. If we are retained as your criminal defense attorney, we will protect, assert and defend your rights at every stage of your criminal case, from the initial police contact, law enforcement interrogations, police or sheriff detention, citation or notice of violation and arrest. Thereafter, from the first Court proceeding and arraignment, through to the end of your criminal case involving the sentencing, post-sentencing proceedings such as a Petition for Reconsideration and post conviction Appeal, we are here for you. Contact us when you want an experienced criminal defense lawyer. We care about your personal, emotional and financial needs; we are here for you!

Did the Officer Really Have Probable Cause to Arrest You?

Once a police officer or Sheriff has identified someone as a suspect, they will attempt to make an arrest. Before law enforcement can arrest anyone, however, the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires they have probable cause to make an arrest. Probable cause is the standard the Court will use to determine if there was a lawful arrest. The fundamental rule relies on a person of ordinary caution and prudence as the standard, who must have a strong suspicion of a person’s guilt before a person is taken into custody.

If a witness to a crime makes a verbal complaint to a law enforcement officer, that may be deemed sufficient to support probable cause. On the other hand, if there is insufficient evidence at the scene, law enforcement may only detain a person to conduct a brief investigation. Essentially,  a police officer or sheriff must have either a reasonable suspicion that a crime was committed, is currently being committed or is about to be committed in order to arrest a suspect without a warrant  This means a law enforcement officer has to articulate the underlying circumstances and specific facts to support his or her finding of reasonable suspicion. In the event you have been arrested without probable cause, as your criminal lawyer we will file the appropriate legal documents to have your case dismissed.

What are the Miranda Rights?

The prosecution and law enforcement often seek to establish there was no duty to provide the “Miranda” warnings. To support that contention they may argue that you were a Person of Interest and, therefore, there is no duty to provide you with the required admonitions before any questioning &/or response. There is a fine line between being a suspect and only a Person of Interest. Here is just one example of how we can make the difference in your case with a thorough evaluation of the facts and strategically applying the law as your aggressive criminal defense lawyer. Once we can establish an individual is a suspect, therefore, we will demand he or she be protected as a result of the specific rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution.

The “Miranda” rights that are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and have been affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court require all law enforcement officers to first instruct the person about to be arrested that: (1) you have the right to remain silent; (2) anything you say may be used against you; (3) you have a right to have an attorney present while you are questioned; and (4), if you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you.

If Spital & Associates is employed as your personal criminal defense attorneys, we will examine every single fact to be certain whether any of your rights have been violated. If we determine law enforcement did not give each and everyone of the above warnings, we will demand the San Diego Superior Court Judge hearing your case exclude the statements you made to the law enforcement officer.

One of the exceptions is when a suspect volunteers information without being questioned by the police. But, this is a tricky issue as officers may entertain a discussion in which an individual is unsuspecting, naive and off-guard without that individual knowing the officer is not his/her friend &//or is really there to obtain and produce a balanced report. While statements that are stricken can be a tremendous tool in your defense, there are many other strategies that a knowledgeable, skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer can employ on your behalf.

In summary, you may not be questioned without your attorney present unless it can be established you not only fully understood your rights, but chose to voluntarily give them up.

State & Federal Criminal Defense from Sam Spital on Vimeo.

Should I pay to get out of custody with Bail?

After an individual is taken into custody, you can pay for a bail bond in order to be released from jail, unless you are released on your own recognizance (OR) without bail. Although attorneys cannot predict the outcome of a case and cannot use past performance to predict results in your individual case, we were able in at least one major and complex criminal case to reduce a $1,000,000.00 (million dollars) bail to $1,000 (one thousand dollars) at an arraignment.

In the event the Judge at the initial court proceeding does not order you released OR and in the alternative with reduced bail, we will set a Bail Hearing to present compelling evidence why you should be released without and/or with reduced bail. If you would like a free Attorney consultation, simply send an email to or call the San Diego criminal defense lawyers at Spital & Associates to discuss your case.

Main Offices
8880 Rio San Diego Drive, Suite 800
San Diego, CA 92108-1642
Telephone: 619.583.0350
Fax: 619-583-1850

Chula Vista Associate’s Office
By Appointment Only
Chula Vista, Ca. 91910
Call for FREE Consultation: 619.583.0350 or send us an e-mail.

Associates available 8:30 am to 8:30 pm daily.
Call  for FREE Consultation619.583.0350 or send us an e-mail.