Recognized by his peers for his excellence and integrity in the practice of law, Michael Chastaine has been selected by his peers to the BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA list in 2013, 2014 and 2015, to the Northern California SUPER LAWYERS list in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2015, and to the 2015 Top 100 DUI Attorney in Northern California list. Mr. Chastaine also enjoys a 10.0 rating from AVVO.
Attorney Michael Chastaine has become one of the Sacramento area’s top sex crimes attorney. He has extensive expertise as a criminal defense lawyer in all manner of cases including sexual misconduct, homicide, registration issues, Megan’s Law, driving under the influence, crimes of violence, and white collar crimes. Mr. Chastaine provides outstanding representation for adult and juvenile clients in state and federal courts, as well as before various professional licensing boards. He can also provide effective representation in post-conviction appeals and writs. He has appeared before the Third and Sixth Appellate Districts, as well as the California Supreme Court.
In 2007, Mr. Chastaine opened The Chastaine Law Office, putting 29 years of criminal law expertise to work on behalf of those who have been accused of criminal misconduct in the many counties and communities surrounding Sacramento in Northern California. Prior to that, Mr. Chastaine served 11 years as a Deputy Public Defender for Santa Clara County and worked for five years in the county’s Alternate Defender Office before serving for six years as of counsel to a well-respected private practice firm in Sacramento.
Over the years Mr. Chastaine developed a reputation as one of Sacramento’s best sex crime lawyers. Few lawyers have the trial experience that Mr. Chastaine brings to the representation of his clients. Over the almost three decades he has served as a criminal defense attorney, Mr. Chastaine has tried scores of jury trials in numerous counties, in both state and federal court, and has obtained many not guilty verdicts.
Since its founding, The Chastaine Law Office has offered outstanding legal advice to clients charged with criminal misconduct in Northern California, from Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Yolo Counties, Rancho Cordova, Gold River, Folsom, Granite Bay, Roseville and communities in all of the counties surrounding Sacramento. Our mission is to provide every client with the best possible representation with fairness and integrity, while taking on law enforcement and the machinery of government without reservation.
Successful criminal defense requires strong and aggressive legal advocacy. Our attorneys have had numerous successes in jury trials and negotiations dealing with Megan’s Law, Jessica’s Law, Section 290 Sex Offender Registration issues, and many other criminal matters.
Reported cases are judicial opinions certified for publication or ordered to be published by the court. These cases establish precedents in the judicial system and may be cited or relied on by courts and parties in future cases. Reported cases that Michael Chastaine has been involved in include People v. Jenkins, which was instrumental in resolving questions surrounding the application of the state’s habitual offender sentencing and three-strikes laws to people convicted or murder of violent felonies. Michael represented the petitioner in Moore V. Superior Court, where the Third District Court of Appeals fixed the five-year “washout period” in Proposition 36 as dating from the time of commission of the previous felony as opposed to the time of conviction, thereby increasing the chances for a person to qualify for drug treatment and probation instead of incarceration under Prop 36.
Michael Chastaine won five jury trials in a row, an exceptional record which is highly unusual in the field of criminal defense. Some of the successes of The Chastaine Law Office include findings of “not guilty on all counts” of a Placer County massage therapist charged with multiple counts of sexual battery, and a taxi driver charged with rape of an intoxicated person. Mr. Chastaine also had juries return not guilty verdicts in two separate San Joaquin County cases involving charges and accusations of child molestation, and in a Sacramento County case of a businessman charged with battery. Also, in Solano County, Mr. Chastaine defended a school teacher charged with multiple counts of child molestation in a case which resulted in a mistrial/hung jury followed by a favorable settlement.
Record Clearance and Other Favorable Dispositions
Mr. Chastaine has established a strong practice involving criminal record clearance. Mr. Chastaine has obtained numerous Certificates of Rehabilitation in various counties for persons with prior sex offenses, thereby eliminating their requirement to register as a sex offender. The firm also recently persuaded the district attorney to dismiss a failure-to-register-as-a-sex-offender case due to a mistake of fact. In other areas, the Mr. Chastaine has:
- Secured a certificate of factual innocence regarding a client identified as a person who threw a beer bottle at a woman
- Obtained a very favorable federal sentence for a client who possessed weapons after suffering drug sales convictions
- Obtained a full dismissal on a very complex elder abuse fraud case based upon establishing that the complaining witness was lying
- Proved in a federal marijuana-growing case that included an officer-involved shooting that the police officer was shot with friendly fire, saving the client 10 years in prison
- Obtained a sentence of probation in a federal prosecution of a medical marijuana grower.
- Obtaining well below guideline sentences for persons charged with child pornography.
- Successfully sued the California Parole Division for false imprisonment of a client.
With 29 years of experience in criminal defense, The Chastaine Law Office is the place to call if you have been arrested or charged with criminal misconduct. Visit our Gold River office or contact us today to inquire about our free initial consultations.
- J.D., Santa Clara University School of Law (1985)
- B.S., California State University at Hayward (1982)
- Summer Program, Magdalen College, Oxford, England (1983)
- State Courts of California
- United States District Court – Eastern District of California
- United States District Court – Northern District of California
- Sacramento County Bar Association
- State Bar of California
- The Association of Trial Lawyers of America
- California Public Defenders Association
- California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (Member, former member Board of Governors)
- Milton L. Schwartz Inn of Court (2003 – 2006)
We provide services in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Yolo Counties, Rancho Cordova, Folsom, El Dorado Hills, Orangevale, Citrus Heights, Granite Bay, Roseville and other surrounding areas in California. Contact us today to inquire about our free initial consultations. We offer evening and weekend office hours by appointment.