Santa Barbara Criminal Defense Lawyers Unparalleled Representation from Former Prosecutors

With more than 40 years of combined experience, we have the knowledge and skill to pursue the best possible outcome. 

Santa Barbara Criminal Defense Attorneys

Arrested? Contact Us Today at (805) 467-6060!

An arrest can bring a great deal of fear and anxiety about your freedom and future. As former prosecutors with over 40 years of combined experience, our Santa Barbara criminal defense lawyers have seen the devastating impacts a criminal conviction can have. Whether you are accused of DUI or other crimes, it is important to get high-caliber defense right away. We understand the concerns you may have and will work tirelessly to help minimize the impacts of your charges, fighting to prevent a charge from becoming a conviction.

To increase your chances of achieving a favorable outcome in your case, it is in your best interests to hire our legal team immediately because time is of the essence, especially when your driving privileges or legal rights are on the line. For years, clients throughout Santa Barbara have trusted us to provide aggressive advocacy and compassionate counsel when they need it most. As such, you can depend on our defense attorneys to go above and beyond to pursue the best possible result for you.

Get started on your fight for freedom when you contact us right away. We offer free consultations!

Why Hire a Defense Attorney?

Far too many individuals resort to public defenders or try to navigate their case alone. However, public defenders are notoriously overworked and have little time to dedicate their full, undivided attention to a single client. This is one of many reasons you’re better off with a lawyer who exclusively practices criminal defense. Handling your case alone will inevitably hurt you more than help you.

With these considerations in mind, our private defense lawyer can significantly benefit your case because:

We know the court system. Our prosecutorial insights and extensive experience in criminal defense give us a well-rounded insight into the state and federal court systems.

We have connections with judges and prosecutors. As former prosecutors ourselves, we have strong relationships with the very people who are working to convict you. We’ve formed trusting relationships with judges throughout Santa Barbara and beyond, meaning we have a better chance of compelling judges and prosecutors that you deserve a positive outcome in your case.

We have experience with cases like yours. With four decades of collective experience, we’ve seen just about everything. We have represented clients facing all types of charges, ranging from misdemeanors to felonies at the state and federal levels.

We know the laws, procedures, and strategies. No one knows the laws and court operations like a lawyer. After all, we are educated and trained in navigating the criminal court system, giving us knowledge of building effective case strategies.

We can negotiate for a favorable outcome: Believe it or not, prosecutors want to avoid going to trial just as much as defendants do. That’s why plea bargains are so common. As such, our criminal defense attorneys in Santa Barbara can strategically negotiate for outcomes such as less jail time, lower fines, diversion to drug court, and more.

We invest substantial time, focus, and resources: As we mentioned before, a public defender has little time on their hands to provide personalized attention and effective case strategies for every client. A private law firm like ours, on the other hand, takes a smaller caseload in order to provide high-quality service — we prefer quality over quantity.

Your freedom depends on the attorney you hire to represent you, so turn to Appel & Morse for all your criminal defense needs. We welcome you to contact our criminal defense lawyers in Santa Barbara at (805) 467-6060 today!

Work With Our 
Husband & Wife Duo

At Appel & Morse, we work to ensure our clients understand what is happening with their cases and how to best defend their interests. Our mission is to obtain the best results based on a true understanding of each client's unique circumstances.

Criminal Defense FAQ

What are the different types of criminal charges in California?

There are 3 main types of criminal charges:

  1. Infractions - Infractions can also be called “violations.” This typically includes minor crimes, such as speeding, that are punishable by fines but not jail time.

  2. Misdemeanors- While less serious than felony charges, a misdemeanor charge can still result in jail time. Common types of misdemeanors include minor assaults, battery, driving under the influence, drug possession, petty theft, and more.

  3. Felonies - Felonies are the most serious type of criminal charge that you can face, as conviction of felony charges can result in several years in prison or even a life sentence. In some cases a repeat misdemeanor offense can even be elevated to a felony charge. Common felony charges include: Murder, kidnapping, rape, gross vehicular manslaughter, child molestation, etc.

If you find yourself facing criminal charges, you need to contact an attorney immediately. Do not delay!

Do I need a lawyer if I want to plead guilty?

Even if you’re planning to plead guilty to your criminal charges, you still need a lawyer to represent you. There are several reasons for this: For one, it may not actually be in your best interest to plead guilty, even if you think it is. Our defense attorneys can review your case and help you decide whether or not this is really what you want to do. Secondly, your case doesn’t end when you plead guilty. You will still need to face sentencing. Our team can help you understand the penalties you’re facing and can sometimes even work to reduce sentences on your behalf. Before you make up your mind to plead guilty, speak with a criminal defense attorney to ensure it’s really what’s best for you.

What is California's 3 strikes law?

California is one of the states that carries more severe sentences for individuals who have been convicted of a serious or violent crime two times prior to their third conviction. Third strike offenders in California may face a minimum 25 year sentence, and can even face up to a lifetime sentence if convicted. The crimes that fall under the 3 strike law are defined by the California Penal Code and include crimes such as: Murder, arson, felonies involving firearms, first degree burglary, sale of certain illegal drugs, and more. If you have been convicted of multiple crimes in the past and are facing a third conviction, it’s extremely important that you contact the team at Appel & Morse today. Our team will fight aggressively to defend your freedom and your rights.

Hear From Our Satisfied Clients

Client Satisfaction Is Our Top Priority
  • Ian is awesome and I highly recommend him to anyone in my circumstance.

    “Ian is awesome and I highly recommend him to anyone in my circumstance.”

    - Jeff E.
  • He is a great lawyer and very firm with the judge and with the DA .

    “He is the perfect lawyer for criminal cases. Thank you Ian.”

    - Anonymous
  • MOST Patient & kind! Clients are a priority!

    “MOST Patient & kind! Clients are a priority!”

    - Natasha
  • Our family could not be happier with the way Ian handed our cases.

    “Our family could not be happier with the way Ian handed our cases.”

    - Chris
  • He's the best lawyer I ever had the pleasure to work with.

    “He's the best lawyer I ever had the pleasure to work with.”

    - Johnny
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Why Choose Appel & Morse?

Here Are Six Reasons
  • Husband & Wife Duo Defending You
  • Flexible Appointment Availability
  • Former Deputy District Attorneys
  • Backed by 40+ Years of Legal Experience
  • Extensive Trial Experience on Your Side
  • Free Criminal Consultations Available

Put Our Extensive Experience to Work for You

We Will Tirelessly Pursue the Best Possible Outcome

If you or someone you know has been arrested or is facing charges for a criminal offense, we strongly advise you to secure our supportive assistance as soon as possible. We have a complete understanding of how criminal prosecutions work and can give you the upper hand in court. Our reliable Santa Barbara criminal defense lawyers will walk with you every step of the way and completely educate you about your rights and legal options so that you are better able to make informed decisions.

Contact Appel & Morse

We Strongly Advise You to Secure Our Assistance as Soon as Possible.

1129 State Street,
Suite 25
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Map & Directions [+]

Contact Us 805-467-6060

Safeguard Your Future. Act Today.

Request Your Free Criminal Consultation Today
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