Defending Your Rights and Freedom

San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer

10 Reasons to Hire Jessica McElfresh

It may start with a late-night traffic stop. You spot flashing lights in your rearview mirror, then an officer is tapping on your window. The next thing you know, you’re sitting in the back of a squad car in handcuffs being accused of a crime and everything you’ve built or that you dream of for your future — your career, your family, your life — is on the line.

When this happens to you, you may not know where to turn. You might think you can explain yourself and talk your way out of trouble, but the best thing you can do when you’re arrested is to immediately contact a San Diego criminal defense lawyer — and not just any lawyer will do. You want an aggressive lawyer. You want the right lawyer. You want Jessica McElfresh.

Jessica is a dedicated San Diego criminal attorney with years of practical experience and a track record of achieving results. Not every case will result in an acquittal, but Jessica can fight to make sure you get the best available outcome for your criminal charge. She can handle any type of criminal case from a simple misdemeanor DUI to a serious felony such as burglary or robbery.

Contact McElfresh Law today at for a free consultation about your charge and to hear your legal options from a highly skilled defense attorney who will provide a straightforward, no-nonsense assessment of your case.

Aggressively Defending You

Any person accused of a crime is innocent unless proven guilty, but the criminal justice system doesn’t always treat you that way. Police and prosecutors start from the assumption that you’re guilty and will do everything they can to convict you. That’s why it’s vital to your future and your freedom that you obtain the help of an aggressive San Diego criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Jessica McElfresh will never let a prosecutor forget that they have to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. She’ll scrutinize every detail and every piece of evidence to look for the flaws in the case against you, fight to suppress any evidence obtained through unlawful means, and create a strong and compelling defense case that tells your story in the way you want it to be heard.

Jessica believes there is no higher calling than advocating for people accused of crimes. She will work aggressively to fight your criminal charge and will be your partner in your defense. If you want your case to go to trial, Jessica will take it to trial. The goal is to get the best possible outcome for your case — one that you can live with and that allows you to move past the stress and anxiety of your charge.

Defending your rights infographic

Local Experience Counts

Jessica McElfresh was raised in San Diego and has years of practical criminal defense experience in San Diego and the surrounding area. She has helped countless people to achieve the best possible results in San Diego courts, and has earned the respect of her peers, clients, and trusted authorities in the legal profession.
Jessica McElfresh accreditations

Practice Areas

San Diego Drug Charges
Drug Charges

Even with recent sentencing reforms, many drug charges remain serious offenses in California.

Read more

San Diego Marijuana Charges
Marijuana Charges

Learn when a marijuana offense is a simple civil infraction and when it can be punished as a crime.

Read more

San Diego Medical Marijuana charges
Medical Marijuana

Whether you’re a patient or a business owner, California medical marijuana laws can be complicated to navigate.

Read more

San Diego Domestic Violence and Assault
Assault, Battery & Domestic Violence

Don’t let something that happened in the heat of emotion ruin your life. A criminal defense lawyer can help.

Read more

San Diego Arson and Property Crimes
Arson & Property Crimes

Arson and property crimes can be harshly punished in California, but you may have viable options for fighting your charge.

Read more

San Diego Burglary and Robbery
Burglary & Robbery

Burglary and robbery are serious felony crimes in California with life-altering consequences if you’re convicted.

Read more

San Diego Theft Charges
Theft Charges

When a mistake or one-time bad decision leads to serious criminal charges, that’s when you need a skilled criminal lawyer the most.

Read more

San Diego Fraud Charges
Fraud Charges

Fraud charges can be devastating for your reputation and career beyond the potential for a jail or prison sentence.

Read more

San Diego Weapons charges
Weapons Charges

A conviction for a weapons crime can affect your life for years to come, including the loss of your right to own a firearm.

Read more

San Diego Sex Crimes
Sex Crimes

When you’re charged with a sex crime, you need a lawyer willing to listen to your side of the story and be a strong advocate.

Read more

San Diego DUI charges
DUI Defense

Alcohol often goes hand-in-hand with entertainment, but driving after a night out on the town can lead to criminal charges.

Read more

San Diego College charges
College Crimes

Your education can be impacted by criminal charges, even if your offense was committed away from campus.

Read more

San Diego Crimes Against Police
Crimes Against Police & Government

Crimes committed against police officers or the administration of justice can have serious repercussions in California.

Read more

San Diego Talking and Harassment
Stalking, Threats & Harassment

Accusations of stalking, threats, or harassment may be based on misunderstandings or miscommunication that a lawyer can fight in court.

Read more

San Diego Traffic Offenses
Traffic Offenses

A traffic offense may seem minor, but the consequences can be costly. Learn about the reasons to fight your ticket.

Read more

San Diego Public Crimes
Public Crimes

Actions that cause disturbance or offense to the public, such as rioting or creating a public nuisance, can lead to criminal penalties in California.

Read more

A Direct Line to Your Lawyer

One of your fundamental rights when you’re accused of a crime is your right to an attorney — and one reason you have that right is so that you have an advocate who can explain the criminal process to you.

Jessica McElfresh is dedicated to making sure that lines of communication are always open so that you understand what’s happening in your case and what to expect from the process. She will provide honest and clear explanations of the steps of a criminal case and the possible outcomes.

Jessica provides individualized attention and the kind of accessibility that you need when you face a criminal charge. At McElfresh Law, you will directly interact with Jessica and she will handle everything from requesting documentation and reviewing evidence to filing motions and negotiating on your behalf. Your case will be handled personally by Jessica and never by a paralegal or a go-between.

Please leave this field empty.

California Criminal Charges

It can make a big difference in your possible penalties whether your charge is a misdemeanor or felony offense.


Felony offenses are generally the most serious types of crimes, and include offenses such as some drug offenses, robbery, rape, and murder. You may be incarcerated in a state prison, and some types of felonies count toward California’s “Three Strikes” law, which means a second or third conviction can have a dramatically enhanced penalty — up to life in prison.


Misdemeanor offenses are less serious crimes than felonies, but still can be punished with a jail sentence of up to 1 year, depending on the charge. Examples of misdemeanor offenses include petty theft, possession of more than 1 ounce of marijuana, and simple assault.


Some crimes can be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies in California depending on the circumstances of the offense. These types of offenses are known as “wobblers.” If your charge is a wobbler, having an experienced San Diego criminal defense lawyer to argue why your charge should be considered a misdemeanor can make a significant difference to your future.

San Diego criminal charges

Free Consultation

Because it’s so important to your case to know that your criminal defense lawyer is the right fit, McElfresh Law offers a free initial consultation so that you can discuss your charge, hear your options, and decide that Jessica McElfresh is the right lawyer to represent you. All you have to do to schedule your free appointment is call or use our online contact form today.

Contact us today

The police and the courts hold immense power over anyone accused of a crime, but they don’t hold all of the power.

San Diego criminal lawyer Jessica McElfresh is prepared to stand up for your rights and to be your voice in court. Her background includes working for the San Diego District Attorney’s Office, where she was tasked with writing motions to support investigators’ uses of searches and seizures to obtain evidence and build criminal cases. Now she uses that knowledge to defend good people from prosecutions based on unlawful searches and to help protect your assets from being seized because of alleged criminal activity.

You don’t have to wait until you’ve been charged to contact McElfresh Law. Your rights start even before you’re arrested. Jessica McElfresh can start fighting for you as soon as you know you’re being investigated for any kind of crime. Call McElfresh Law today at to learn what Jessica can do for you.

Read full Attorney Profile

McElfresh Law, Inc. in the Media

As a result of our dedication and hard work in defending our clients’ rights and paving the way for medical marijuana dispensaries, we have frequently been featured in local, regional, and national news. Click here to read more of our latest news features.

Jessica McElfresh press accreditations

San Diego Drug Charges

San Diego Drug Charges

Have you been recently charged with a drug crime? Despite changes to how drug crimes are penalized in recent years, California still treats many drug charges harshly. Even some first-time possession convictions can mean up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. The penalties are even more severe if you are a repeat drug crime offender.

A drug defense attorney can fight for the best possible outcome for your case by challenging the evidence against you and arguing why a judge should dismiss your case or a jury should find you innocent. An attorney also can negotiate plea agreements or alternative resolutions, such as completing substance abuse treatment instead of going to jail.

Jessica McElfresh has significant experience representing people charged with drug crimes and fighting to get the best possible outcome for their cases. She’s known as an aggressive criminal defense attorney who gets the job done. Contact McElfresh Law to learn how Jessica can help with your drug charge.

Read more about drug charges

San Diego Marijuana Defense

You may think California has a laid-back attitude toward marijuana, but many marijuana-related offenses can still land you in serious legal trouble. Some marijuana crimes can lead to a sentence of up to 7 years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. Whether you’re charged with possession of more than 1 ounce or marijuana cultivation or transportation, you need the aid of an experienced San Diego marijuana defense lawyer if you want to avoid serious negative consequences.

Jessica McElfresh has a reputation as a strong advocate for people facing marijuana charges. She not only defends people accused of marijuana crimes, but has been a proponent of marijuana reform in California. Trust McElfresh Law with your defense when you’ve been charged with a marijuana offense. Contact us today for your free consultation.

Read more about marijuana charges

San Diego Marijuana Charges
San Diego DUI

San Diego DUI Defense

A DUI conviction in California can come with tremendous costs. Not only is it possible that you’ll go to jail and lose your driver’s license, but you also may find that a DUI on your record can lead to loss of your job, a long-term increase in your car insurance costs, and other negative effects.

However, you don’t have to deal with a DUI charge on your own. A qualified San Diego DUI lawyer can evaluate your charge and challenge the results of breath, blood, or field sobriety tests that are the foundation of the case against you. With the help of a good lawyer, you may be able to avoid jail time and keep your driver’s license.

Read more about DUI charges

San Diego Sex Crimes Lawyer

Being charged with a sex crime can be both frightening and humiliating. It may feel like it’s someone else’s word against yours and that no one is listening to your side of the story. Everyone around you may already be looking at you like you’re guilty without your case even going to court.

When you face the overwhelming stress of a sex crime charge, San Diego criminal attorney Jessica McElfresh is there for you. She’ll not only listen to your story, but will be your voice to tell your story to a judge or jury. Jessica will make sure that you get the fair treatment you deserve.

The possible consequences for a California sex crimes conviction can be severe. Don’t let your charge destroy your life. Contact McElfresh Law immediately to find out how you can put your charge behind you.

Read more about sex srimes charges

San Diego Sex Crimes
San Diego Theft Charges

San Diego Theft & Fraud Lawyer

Theft and fraud charges can result from mistakes and misunderstandings. They also can have long-term effects on your reputation and your career because someone with a theft or fraud conviction often is perceived as untrustworthy in the eyes of employers, colleagues, and even friends and family.

To avoid irreparable harm to your future, you should talk to a San Diego criminal lawyer today about how you can fight your charge. You may have many viable options for beating a theft or fraud conviction. With the help of a skilled defense lawyer, you soon may be able to put your charge behind you.

Read more about theft charges

San Diego Assault Lawyer

Charges of assault, battery, domestic violence, and other types of violent crimes can have a profound effect on your life. If you’re convicted, you may be sentenced to months or years of incarceration and costly fines and court fees. You also may find that your charge affects your relationships with your family, friends, and co-workers who now look at you with a glimmer of fear in their eyes.

If you’ve been charged with assault or a similar offense, an experienced San Diego criminal lawyer can look at the evidence against you and create a defense strategy designed to get your charge dismissed or reduced. McElfresh Law offers talented criminal representation for your California assault charge. Contact us today for your free consultation.

Read more about assault charges

San Diego Domestic Assault Charges
San Diego Felony Defense

San Diego Felony Defense

A felony charge is an incredibly serious matter. Any type of felony conviction can result in years in prison, perhaps even life. You also face fines that may be financially crippling, as well as the stain of a permanent felony record.

Because there’s so much at stake in a felony case, if you’ve been charged — or are simply the subject of a felony investigation — you shouldn’t hesitate to contact an experienced San Diego criminal defense lawyer. For a lawyer who will stand up for your rights and aggressively fight to protect your freedom and your future, call McElfresh Law now.

California’s “Three Strikes” law increases your mandatory sentence upon your second or third conviction for a serious or violent felony offense, such as robbery, rape, or kidnapping.

Enhanced sentences under California’s Three Strikes Law:

  • First Serious or Violent Felony — No enhancement
  • Second Serious or Violent Felony — Double the normal statutory sentence is mandatory
  • Third Serious or Violent Felony — 25 years to life is mandatory

Read more about felony charges

College Student Defense

College is a time in your life when the world is full of possibilities, but a criminal charge can darken your once bright future. A conviction can lead to jail time, expensive fines, and a permanent criminal record that damages your job and career prospects.

What many students don’t anticipate is that a criminal charge can result in disciplinary action at school, including suspension or expulsion, even if the offense was committed away from campus.

Don’t let a criminal charge derail your education and your plans for your life. Contact McElfresh Law at for skilled defense of your charge. San Diego criminal attorney Jessica McElfresh will fight to get the best possible outcome for your case so that you can continue on a positive path toward your future.

Jessica McElfresh can defend you if you’re a student at:

  • UC San Diego
  • San Diego State University
  • California State University
  • University of San Diego
  • San Diego City College
  • San Diego Mesa College
  • San Diego Miramar College
  • Any other college or university in the San Diego area

Read more about college crimes

San Diego College Crimes
San Diego Medical Marijuana infographic

Medical Marijuana Business Licensing & Permitting

Medical marijuana has been legal in California for many years, but a recent overhaul to the state’s laws have opened up new possibilities for entrepreneurs who want to open medical marijuana businesses, including dispensaries, farms and cultivators, manufacturers, testing operations, distributors, and delivery services.

This highly regulated process can be complex, and you will want to ensure that you are compliant with state and local laws. Having an experienced attorney representing your rights and interests can help smooth the way as you seek business licenses and permits.

If you’re thinking about starting a medical marijuana business in San Diego — we can help. Our firm has experience helping San Diego medical marijuana businesses go through the complicated legal process to get approval to operate. California law is nuanced and may change, and we can help you understand what you need to do in order to run a medical marijuana business legally.

Read more about medical marijuana dispensaries

Areas Served

If you’ve been charged with a crime in San Diego County, you want a lawyer who knows the local courts and the local system. Criminal attorney Jessica McElfresh has years of experience handling a wide variety of California charges. Whether your charge is a misdemeanor or felony, Jessica can help. Call McElfresh Law about your case at if you live in:

San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with a crime, it’s important that you find an experienced San Diego criminal attorney to protect your rights. Your future is at stake, and you may face thousands of dollars in fines, jail time, and other life-long consequences if convicted. Jessica McElfresh has worked diligently over the years to achieve the best possible outcome for her clients, and she is here to help you through the California criminal process. Contact us today for a free consultation on your unique legal situation and to learn how we can help.
10 Reasons to Hire Jessica McElfresh