Northern California’s Premier Criminal
Defense Attorneys

Photo of Michael Chastaine

Michael Chastaine


Practice Areas

  • Criminal Defense
2021 City's Best Awards Winner We Won The 2021 City's Best Award!


Recognized for his excellence and integrity in the practice of law, Mike Chastaine has been selected by his peers to the Best Lawyers in America list since 2013, to the Northern California Super Lawyers list since 2005, to the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys, plus the 2018 Top 100 DUI Attorneys in Northern California list. Attorney Michael Chastaine also has the top ranking, 10.0, in the peer-reviewed AVVO site.

Attorney Michael Chastaine is also established as one of the Sacramento area's top sex crime attorneys. Over the course of his career, he has successfully handled all manner of these types of cases. He also provides outstanding representation for adult and juvenile clients in both state and federal courts, as well as before various professional licensing boards. He provides effective representation in post-conviction appeals and writs. Michael has appeared before the Third and Sixth Appellate Districts, as well as the California Supreme Court.


  • Santa Clara University School of Law, Santa Clara, California
    • J.D. - 1985
  • California State University at Hayward
    • B.S. - 1982
  • Magdalen College, Oxford, England
    • Summer Program - 1983

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1985
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California

Professional Associations

  • 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)

Published Works

  • How to Survive a DUI Arrest: What You Need to Know
  • How to Survive a Criminal Arrest: What You Need to Know
  • How To Survive A Sex Crime Allegation: What You Need to Know

Representative Cases

  • Moore V. Superior Court
  • People v. Jenkins


  • Best Lawyers in America list since 2013
  • 2018 Top 100 DUI Attorneys in Northern California list
  • 10.0, in the peer reviewed AVVO site
  • California Super Lawyers list from 2005-2019
  • National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys

Founder of Chastaine Jones

In 2007, Mike Chastaine opened Chastaine Jones, putting his comprehensive experience of criminal law 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, Attorney 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.

Award-Winning Author & Radio Host

Michael is committed to helping educate people about the legal process. He strongly believes that knowledge is power. His four books on how to avoid legal problems and if accused of a crime, how to navigate the legal system, earned him the prestigious LEA Award (Legal Excellence Award for Literary Distinction). He has been a radio host and also streams live on Facebook every Monday morning at 8 am with “20 minutes with Mike”. Each week he shares stories of law, wisdom and adventure. For more info, visit our website page on Media.

Reported Cases

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 of murder.

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 the 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.

Jury Trials

Attorney Magazine Mike Chastaine Cover

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 Chastaine Jones 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.

Attorney 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, Attorney 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. Hung juries in Yolo County lead to a misdemeanor, no jail, no registration outcome for a man facing life in prison. These are just some of the recent outcomes of cases.

Record Clearance and Other Favorable Dispositions

Attorney Chastaine believes that everyone deserves a second chance. To facilitate that goal, Mike has established a strong practice involving criminal record clearance. He 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. Recent changes to the law regarding person required to register as a sex offender allow new ways to be relieved of that burden. Chastaine Jones is accepting tier registration case to assist those in need of these services.

Chastaine Jones 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.
  • Obtain dismissal of many cases, including a child molest cases where the client was facing a life sentence.

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 schedule your consultation. We offer evening and weekend office hours by appointment.