Criminal Defense Attorneys Santa Cruz County

At Dawson, Passafuime, Bowden & Martinez, our defense attorneys help clients in a variety of criminal defense matters for Santa Cruz and surrounding counties.

Criminal law deals with crimes against the state or conduct that is detrimental to general society. Punishments under California criminal law include jail time and/or fines. Being accused of a crime is very serious and can affect your future and your loved ones.

The Criminal lawyers at Dawson, Passafuime, Bowden & Martinez can help reduce charges, minimize penalties, or try to avoid any charges. Our Criminal Defense attorneys can help you with plea-bargaining or other necessary negotiations that can be helpful in minimizing punishment and deal with restitution.

We assist criminal defendants in the following areas:


In California, Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) is severely punished. Driving under the influence of alcohol involves driving a vehicle after consuming alcohol in excess of the legal limits. The limit for a person 21 years or older is a blood alcohol level of 0.08%, but for a person under 21 years old, there is zero tolerance and any blood alcohol level is in violation of the law. The blood alcohol level is measured by a breathalyzer or by a blood or urine test at the police station. Driving under the influence of drugs is driving a vehicle after having taken drugs that impair your ability to drive such that you are no longer able to drive like a sober person.

DUIs are criminal charges that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the severity of the crime. A DUI sentence can be enhanced if the drunk driver injures another person, causes property damages, or flies the scene of a crime. Driving under the influence has substantial cost to the person convicted due to fines and mandatory attendance of DUI educational programs. Also, a DUI conviction can have long-lasting effects on your license and car insurance.


A misdemeanor is a criminal offense punishable by jail time not exceed one year and/or a monetary fine. Misdemeanors are less serious than felonies.


A felony is a serious criminal offense punishable by death or imprisonment in a state prison for at least a year. A felony conviction has many long-lasting effects including inability to vote in elections and restrictions on owning firearms.

White Collar Crime

White collar crime involves business-related crime. It includes embezzlement, extortion, credit card fraud, computer or internet fraud, insurance fraud, bank fraud, bankruptcy fraud, securities fraud, bribery, counterfeiting, forgery, money laundering, tax evasion, as well as other financial crimes.

Juvenile & Dependency Law

Juvenile law is a combination of civil law and criminal law and involves juveniles, people under 18 years old, who commit a criminal act. The goal of juvenile law is to rehabilitate the minor, however, records are kept that can follow them into adulthood. Under Juvenile law, prosecutors can charge juveniles as adults which subjects them to adult sentences. Minors found guilty under Juvenile law may be placed on probation or house arrest, sent to reform school, or placed in foster care.

Dawson, Passafuime, Bowden & Martinez

4665 Scotts Valley Drive

Scotts Valley, CA 95066

P (831) 438-1221 F (831) 438-2812

For more information please call:

(831) 438-1221

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All rights reserved.

Our Lawyers Proudly Serve the Following Areas:

Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz, Aptos, Soquel, Capitola, Watsonville, Monterey, Carmel, San Jose, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz County, Santa Clara County, Monterey County, San Benito County