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Criminal Defense

The Best Criminal Defense in Contra Costa by Certified Specialists 

The Best Criminal Defense Lawyers are Specialists

Daniel Horowitz is a Contra Costa County based criminal defense lawyer and certified specialist.  As of January 2024 there are only 7 criminal defense lawyer specialists in all of Contra Costa County.  Dan Russo (Solano County) and Carmela Caramagno (Contra Costa County) who work with Lawyers in Lafayette are also certified defense specialists.  

State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization Specialist Standards 

A Contra Costa County Criminal Defense Specialist is your Best Choice

 Would you see a general medical doctor if you needed brain surgery?

When your life is on the line the best lawyer is the one with the best qualifications.  Our criminal defense lawyers have hundreds of jury trials, thousands of hearings and decades of experience.  We teach other lawyers, we publish journal articles and we are constantly in the courtroom.

Beware defense lawyers who claim to be “experts”.  That is not the same as a State Bar Specialist.  Rule of Professional Conduct 7.4(a) provides that an attorney cannot state in a communication or solicitation that the attorney is a certified specialist unless the attorney has been certified either by the Board of Legal Specialization or by another certifying body that has been accredited by the State Bar. The rule also requires the attorney to state the complete name of the certifying body. 

 Types of Crimes We Defend 

  1. DUI

We defend drunk driving (DUI) crimes under Vehicle Code sections 23152(a) 23152(b) as well as violations of 23152 (d) (It is unlawful for a person who has 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a commercial motor vehicle) and 23152(e) (unlawful for a person who has 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a motor vehicle when a passenger for hire is a passenger in the vehicle)

2. Serious Felonies

These are the crimes with high levels of violence such as murder, assault with a deadly weapon.   The serious felony class of crimes also includes extortion, major financial crimes and other felonies where conviction carries the potential of double digit prison sentences.

3. Fraud & White Collar Crimes

These are the high dollar cases which can include workers compensation fraud, Penal Code Section 550 insurance fraud and medical fraud. [Daniel's successful work defending Prime Minister of Ukraine Pavel Lazarenko is an example of a federal white collar case that took years to defend.]  Our recent Workers Compensation fraud case resulted in a dismissal of all charges and a factual finding of innocence for our client. (PC 851.8)

4. Domestic Violence

When domestic violence affects your professional license, ability to carry a firearm or your ability to see your children our legal team can assist you.

5. Federal Crimes

The list of federal criminal statutes is extensive.  We are highly experienced in federal criminal matters and appear in the United States District Court in San Francisco and Oakland regularly.  We defend federal cases nationwide.   Daniel Horowitz has been trial counsel in many federall cases including a San Francisco U.S. District Court MS-13 trial, San Jose USDC medical fraud trial as well as the Pavel Lazarenko trial involving the former Prime Minister of Ukraine. (USDC San Francisco).

6. Healthcare Fraud

STARK violations, Penal Code section 550 insurance fraud charges, overbilling, kickbacks and insurance carrier initiated prosecutions are a highly technical area of criminal defense.  We have superior expertise in healthcare related criminal matters.


Our criminal defense lawyers have over 500 jury trials among them.  Daniel Horowitz has appeared in courtrooms from Walnut Creek to San Diego.  He has dozens of jury trials in Contra Costa & Alameda County and cases and trials in New York, Riverside County, Wyoming and New Jersey).  Internationally Daniel Horowitz has appeared in courtrooms in Canada, Israel, Cyprus, Ukraine and The Netherlands.    Daniel Horowitz' jury trial experience includes over 30 murder trials, death penalty trials, major money laundering trials, physician fraud, medical billing fraud, honest services fraud and dozens of other serious felonies.   If you have a simple Walnut Creek DUI or a complex financial fraud case spanning the United States, our office has the expertise to defend you.

Top Criminal Defense Lawyers for Complex & Multi-Defendant Criminal Cases

Daniel Horowitz is a “Top 100 Trial Lawyer”, a “Super Lawyer”, a former law professor and television legal commentator.  High conflict criminal cases involving major frauds, murder charges, domestic violence with child custody at stake are the types of criminal cases that require the best defense attorneys available.   

Complex criminal cases require specialized legal skills.  Document management, meta data analysis and cross jurisdictional expertise are just some of the specialized skills that these high stakes cases require.  We train other attorneys in these areas of law and practice management.  Daniel is often lead counsel in multi-defendant cases based upon his skill set, experience and ability to coordinate the different defenses in a cooperative manner.  


The present Contra Costa County District Attorney is Diane Becton.   She is an elected district attorney and previously she was a Superior Court judge.   The office has over 75 prosecutors and about 250 staff members.  District Attorney Becton has established 28 divisions in the office for specialized prosecutions.  Here is the list.

Auto Insurance Fraud Unit

Bureau of Investigations

Central / Eastern Area Operations

Child Abuse

Cold Case-Unsolved Homicide Unit

Community Violence Reduction/Gang Unit

Consumer Protection (Civil) Unit

Conviction Integrity Unit

Criminal Grand Jury Division

Domestic Violence

Elder / Dependent Abuse

Environmental Enforcement

Interpersonal Violence Division

Felony Trial Team

Government Corruption


Human Trafficking Unit

Juvenile Prosecution

Law & Motion Unit

Mental Health Litigation

Preliminary Hearing Team

Public Assistance Fraud Unit

Real Estate Fraud Unit

Sexual Assault

Special Operations Division

Superior Court Operations Division

Western Area Operations

Workers' Compensation Fraud Unit 


Contra Costa County Criminal Defense Lawyers 

Daniel Horowitz is one of the most experienced criminal defense lawyers in Contra Costa County.  His practice is local (Martinez, Walnut Creek, Richmond) but he appears statewide on complex criminal cases involving high level criminal trial expertise.

 A State Certified Criminal Defense Specialist like Daniel is the best choice if you are under investigation or charged with a crime.  

Our law office presents a strong defense because of experience and dedication to our clients.  Our expertise is based upon hundreds of jury trials and thousands of criminal hearings.   Daniel Horowitz' criminal trials have been covered on CNN, ABC, MSNBC, CBS and Fox News.   Daniel is also a noted television legal news commentator and law school trial law professor.

Read Criminal Law Blogs by Daniel Horowitz

Jury Selection in the Trump “Stormy Daniels” Trial

Dr David Payne Healthcare Fraud Conviction - What Happened?

Grigorieva vs. Mel Gibson - How Grigorieva Beat Extortion Charges & Gibson Got Convicted

Federal Crimes

Nationwide our criminal lawyers defend clients charged with drug smuggling, Stark violation, medical fraud and other high stakes federal crimes.   Federal criminal defense lawyer Daniel Horowitz has the experience and expertise to defend you in a high stakes federal criminal case.


  • Public Service and Community

    Daniel Horowitz turned down many offers to join large law firms in their trial departments.  Staying in the Lafayette Community, participating in school activities, local music programs and local athletics was more important to him.   Dan is a long serving member of the Lafayette Crime Prevention Commission and a strong supporter of LPIE, Generations in Jazz, the Chamber of Commerce, Acalanes sports and many other Lafayette and Contra Costa County charities and community organizations.

  • Lawyers in Lafayette, Contra Costa County, New York, & Washington State

     Lawyers in Lafayette is located in Contra Costa County.  We have established relationships with lawyers throughout California and the United States.  Members include legendary New York based First Amendment Attorney Martin Garbus with whom we have worked on cases from Ukraine to New York and are presently litigating a case in Washington D.C. defending two journalists sued for “trespass” when they went undercover to unearth a major news story. 

    Other members  with separate practices who work on Daniel's custom teams include Vallejo, California Criminal Defense Specialist Dan Russo, a veteran of over 300 jury trials. 

    In New York we partner with the legendary lawyer, Martin Garbus. Martin Garbus is the author of six books and over 30 articles in The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. Shouting Fire is a documentary film about his life and career. He received the Fulbright Award for his work on International Human Rights in 2010.   Horowitz and Garbus are presently set for trial in the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. defending two journalists being sued for uncovering the Hamas connections of a well known (self identified) “civil rights” organization.

    Our physician defense group in Washington State is led by the powerhouse attorney of Washington State, Anne Bremner.  

    Our physician lawyer Dr. Mark Ravis is headquartered in Calambas, California.   Mark Ravis and Daniel Horowitz recently won a major victory in a worker's compensation fraud criminal case in Orange County.  All charges against their clients were dismissed on demurrer and on due process (Fifth Amendment) grounds.

     Lawyers in Lafayette is not a law firm.  It is a group of lawyers with independent practices.  Offices are in Lafayette, Napa, Vallejo and Calabasas.  Each lawyer on this website is an independent lawyer with a separate practice.   

  • Introducing Dr. Mark Ravis Physician - Lawyer / Medical Doctor

    Our physician lawyer Mark Ravis provides the highest quality medical license representation.  Chiropractor/paralegal Michael Yates and lead counsel Daniel Horowitz complete the trial portion of the medical defense legal team.  We protect doctors on MEC review issues, medical board matters, practice group disputes and hospital discipline.   Daniel's Youtube Channel features numerous videos of interest to medical doctors.  He also discusses what it was like to litigate against Vice President Harris when she was a prosecutor in the Alameda County District Attorney's office.

  • Deeply Involved in Community Service

    Daniel Horowitz is an active community member serving for over eight years on the City of Lafayette, Crime Prevention Commission. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and a major contributor to Lafayette Partners in Education. Daniel is a strong supporter of Acalanes High School sports as well as Generations In Jazz and the Lafayette artistic community.

Certified Criminal Defense Specialist 

Daniel Horowitz is a certified criminal defense specialist.  On high stakes cases Daniel works with Dan Russo and Carmela Caramagno who are also certified criminal defense specialists.  This title is not self created.  It is a designation of criminal defense achievement issued by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.  There are thousands of criminal defense lawyers, thousands of federal defense lawyers but only several hundred State Bar certified specialists. The State Bar of California Rule for Certified Specialists

"Attorneys may advertise as certified specialists only if they are certified directly by the State Bar of California or an organization accredited by the State Bar to certify such attorneys."

Specialists must meet strict experience qualifications, pass peer review, judicial evaluation, pass a rigorous written examination and then maintain their certification with specialized continuing education and courtroom experience requirements.

Daniel Horowitz has been a specialist for over 30 years and he trains lawyers preparing them for the Specialist Examination.  Daniel Horowitz has practiced criminal defense law in his Contra Costa County office since 2007.    

When you work with Lawyers in Lafayette we have 3 criminal defense lawyers who are certified as criminal defense specialists.  Daniel Horowitz and Carmela Caramagno have their office in Contra Costa County and do extensive work in Alameda County as well.  Daniel Russo has his main office in Solano County.  O multi defendant criminal cases, each lawyer can represent one of the defendants so that you have a coordinated defense led by three specialists.  In all of Solana and Contra Costa Counties there are only 13 criminal defense specialists.  Lawyers in Lafayette have 3 of them (and Dan Russo's extraordinary partner, Tim Pori is also a specialist!)

Call (925) 291-5388 to take the first step in safeguarding your future and protecting your rights in the face of criminal accusations.

Client Testimonials

Contra Costa County Location - National Reputation for Excellence
    “He believed in me and listened to what I had to say.”
    I can not say enough about Mr. Horowitz and his staff. Brook was amazing to myself and my family. My case was very unique. He believed in me and listened to what I had to say. I highly recommend him and his staff. Yvett Bline
    - Yvett Bline
    “I'm an Attorney and would highly recommend him to other professionals (and others alike) because he's the very BEST at what he does”
    Dan Horowitz handled my complex business issue with magnanimity, compassion, care, promptness, and utmost professionalism. I'm an Attorney and would highly recommend him to other professionals (and others alike) because he's the very BEST at what he does and has an uncanny knack at finding unique resolutions with unparalleled speed and efficiency. What is quite outatanding is that he treats each client with kindness and compassion as if a family member
    - Lovely K.
    “What impressed me most was his unwavering dedication to achieving the best possible outcome for me.”
    I cannot express enough gratitude for the outstanding legal services provided by Daniel Horowitz. He not only possesses an in-depth understanding of the law but also demonstrated a genuine commitment to me. He took the time to listen attentively to my concerns, providing clear and concise explanations of the legal processes involved in my case. He made me feel heard and supported during this tumultuous time. What impressed me most was his unwavering dedication to achieving the best possible outcome for me. The attention to detail and strategic approach to my case were evident at every stage. I am eternally grateful towards Daniel for what he has done for me and I wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone seeking legal representation. Thank you Dan
    - Kento T.
    “Daniel and his team did an excellent job.”
    Daniel and his team did an excellent job. He was always readily available to take my call and provided peace of mind through a stressful situation.
    - Reid V.
    “I would highly recommend the Law Office Of Daniel Horowitz.”
    My experience with Dan was great. I appreciate the knowledge Dan has and the professionalism they exhibit. I would highly recommend the Law Office Of Daniel Horowitz. My family and I are truly grateful we worked with him.
    - Brandon D.
    “There are lawyers and then there are real lawyers. Dan Horowitz is a real lawyer in every since of the word.”
    There are lawyers and then there are real lawyers. Dan Horowitz is a real lawyer in every since of the word. Dan is a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law. You will not find very many attorneys having such recognition especially one that hits on all cylinders as Dan. In addition to his knowledge of the law and his experience, which I found to be unmatched, i appreciated the fact that he at all times is genuine, which for me says it all. Thank you Dan.
    - Cory N.
    “The Best Attorney I Could Have Asked For”
    “The Best Attorney I Could Have Asked For.”
    - Katherine Ryken
    “Dan Horowitz was the best attorney I could have asked for during a difficult time in my career.”
    Dan Horowitz was the best attorney I could have asked for during a difficult time in my career. From the moment I met him, I felt believed, respected, and safe. He and his team were endlessly responsive and empathetic to me and my family. He fought for my case day and night, always keeping my best interests at the forefront of his mind. As I learned from Dan, it is never a good time in one’s life to need legal representation - but if you need it, Dan is your person, your advocate, and your best friend. We are forever grateful for his tireless commitment to justice for the people.
    - Katherine R.

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  • 2 Certified Criminal Defense Specialists
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