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Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith

San Diego Defenders
  • Criminal Law
  • Arizona, California
Claimed Lawyer ProfileSocial Media

Practicing exclusively criminal defense and forfeiture seizure law since 1990. I started my career with Federal Defenders of San Diego. I was admitted to the Arizona State Bar in 1992 and have handled both state and federal matters in Arizona. Our firm is kept organized by our Spanish speaking certified paralegal, Layla Smith. We have an accomplished attorney in Jon Pettis who teams up with Dan Smith on every criminal case. Mr. Smith takes the lead on all felony federal cases and Mr. Pettis on state criminal matters which makes for a well balanced office located across the street from the Chula Vista Court House with free parking in front or behind the comfortable boutique law office from a converted cottage. We charge a flat fee rather than an hourly rate. Forfeitures have become more and more prevalent. We have litigated forfeiture cases in California, Arizona, Texas and beyond. We approach every case with the attitude that we will take it all the way to win and we offer payment plans to make it possible. Call us at (619) 258-8888 24 hrs to speak with Lawyer Dan Smith.

California Western School of Law
J.D. | Criminal Law
Advanced Criminal Procedure involved filing an appeal on a criminal case which resulted in the only published opinion of any of the class members.
Honors: American Jurisprudence Award - Trial Practice
Activities: WestLaw Trainer for entire school. Gafford Mock Trial Competition Advanced Criminal Procedure
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Arizona State University
B.S. | Economics
Wonderful School and Campus. Go Sun Devils!
Honors: Economics Honors Society
Activities: Intramurals, Skiing, and Triathelons
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Professional Experience
Founder and Supervising Attorney
San Deigo Defenders
- Current
As the founder of San Diego Defenders, APC, I have had the opportunity to build a law firm from the ground up and surround myself with great lawyers. We created the to educate the public on the basics of the DUI defense. We have handled every type of case including two murder cases in 2011, several federal wiretap cases, and over 400 DUI cases since we formed.
Senior Trial Lawyer
Pacific Law Center. LLP
I was asked to come aboard as the Federal trial lawyer in a large law firm setting. I was then asked to supervise the SouthBay Division of the law firm and the federal cases.
Trial Attorney
Law Offices of Daniel M. Smith
As a solo practitioner, I encountered the challenges of marketing a successful law office and how to deal with state cases in all jurisdictions.
Trial Lawyer
Federal Defenders of San Diego
A great organization to learn the art of criminal defense in the federal courts. This was a wonderful learning experience and I am forever grateful to have been a part of Federal Defenders.
Articles & Publications
Judge's Top Secret Guide to Beating A DUI
Speaking Engagements
Chula Vista City Council Chula Vista City Council Debate, Southwestern College, Chula Vista Council Debated, Southwestern College, Chula Vista, CA
Star News
Daniel Smith ran in General Election Seat 2 Chula Vista City Council
Top 100 Trial Lawyers
National Trial Lawyers Assoc.
Best DUI Lawyers in San Diego
BBB A+ Accredited
AVVO 10.0 Excellent Rating
Trial Practice
American Jurisprudence Award
Outstanding achievement for booking the Trial Practice class taught by then Presiding Judge, the Honorable Arthur Jones.
Professional Associations
Arizona State Bar
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California DUI Lawyers
- Current
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- Current
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California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
- Current
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National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Current
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Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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9th Circuit
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  • Free Consultation
  • Credit Cards Accepted
    Visa, Mastercards and any debit card connected to a savings and loan credit union.
Practice Area
    Criminal Law
    Criminal Appeals, Drug Crimes, Expungement, Fraud, Gun Crimes, Internet Crimes, Sex Crimes, Theft, Violent Crimes
Additional Practice Area
  • Federal Forfeiture of Vehicles and Currency
  • Spanish: Spoken, Written
Websites & Blogs
Forfeiture Law Firm
Forfeiture Law Firm
Contact & Map
San Diego Defenders, APC
585 Third Avenue
Chula Vista, CA 91910
Telephone: (619) 233-6900