Top Criminal Defense
Law Firm

Tucson Criminal Defense Attorney

Law Office Of Hernandez & Hamilton, PC

At the Law Office of Hernandez & Hamilton, PC, we represent clients all across the State of Arizona, as well as across the country. We represent clients throughout the State of Arizona, including Tucson, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Florence, Safford, Camp Verde, Pima County, Maricopa County, Pinal County, Graham County, Santa Cruz County, Yavapai County, Cochise County, Coconino County, Apache County, Mohave County, Greenlee County, Yuma County, Gila County, Navajo County, and La Paz County.

We also represent clients in federal cases throughout the country, including Long Island, New York; Buffalo, New York; Nashville, Tenn.; Tulsa, Okla.; Detroit, Mich.; Amarillo, Texas; San Diego, Calif.; and Chicago, just to name a few. At present, we have represented clients in local, state, or federal courts in 20 of the 50 states.

Practice Areas

Learn More

State and Federal cases icon
Illegal Search and Seizure icon
Criminal Appeals icon
Wiretaps icon
Complex Motion Practice icon
Grand Jury Proceedings icon

Our Recent Cases

Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

All Charges Dismissed in U.S. District Court

Learn More



Sexual Assault Accusations

All Charges Dismissed in Pima County, AZ

Learn More



Illegal Search and Seizure

Arizona Supreme Court Victory

Learn More



First Degree Murder

Sentence of 7 Years Imposed



Learn More

Law Office Of Hernandez & Hamilton, PC

Choose Your Defense Attorney Carefully

If you, a loved one, or your business is threatened by a criminal charge or investigation, you need a criminal defense lawyer who is fully prepared to fight for your interests and defend your constitutional rights.

Grand Jury Proceedings

Under federal and state law, a grand jury issues indictments. An experienced attorney can advise a client on how to handle a grand jury investigation.

Illegal Search and Seizure

The United States and Arizona constitutions protect people from unreasonable searches and seizures. If any evidence has been obtained during an illegal search, your lawyer must move quickly to suppress that evidence.

court house
Map of States Where Law Office Of Hernandez & Hamiltion Have Represented Clients In Federal Cases
Blue Square

States Where We Have Represented Clients In Federal Cases

Experienced in Trials and Court Room for 30+ Years

For More than 30 years, we have provided quality guidance to clients facing dire consequences in criminal cases and have been outspoken in the movement to defend your constitutional rights. If you are being investigated for or have been charged with committing a crime, you cannot trust your defense to just anyone. We have the sophisticated knowledge and experience to protect your rights at every stage of your criminal case.

Common Defenses in Arizona Criminal Defense Law

A skilled criminal defense lawyer will weigh every case on its own merits. Each case is different, and each client is different.  No two are the same.  After reviewing all of the evidence against their client, and investigating the facts and the law as it applies to the specific situations present, the attorney will begin to craft a defense, making sure it is one that is viable and will be able to stand up in a criminal court. Law Office of Hernandez & Hamilton, PC offers criminal defendants or targets of investigation in the Tucson, Arizona area aggressive legal representation. Here are some of the common defense strategies a Tucson criminal defense attorney from our firm may use to obtain a successful outcome in a case and avoid a guilty verdict in trial.

The police do not have the right to stop individuals randomly without reasonable suspicion or probable cause. Police must follow the law before they stop an individual. They cannot stop people for any reason or no reason, and evidence obtained as a result of an illegal traffic stop can be suppressed and thrown out of court. It is not uncommon for police officers, in the zealous pursuit of their duties, to often overstep their boundaries and violate the defendant’s civil rights.

Examples of valid reasons for police to conduct stops of individuals include:

  • Matching the description of a wanted subject
  • A reasonable belief that the individual was involved in a crime or was about to commit a crime.
  • Witnessing an administrative infraction, like running a stop sign or jaywalking
  • An anonymous tip that the subject was involved in a crime
  • A lawfully executed checkpoint
  • Observing a traffic violation

The police can ask to speak to you, but you are not required to speak to police. Nor are you required to speak to police without having an attorney present with you. But, for the most part, unless you are being lawfully detained, you have an absolute right to refuse to speak with police and go on about your business. if you refuse to speak with police, and they do not otherwise have a valid reason for their stop and detention of you, you may be able to show that any evidence they obtained pursuant to that stop is invalid. If you have proper legal representation from a Tucson criminal defense attorney, they can file motions to suppress and either negotiate for a more favorable plea agreement or even get your charges dropped altogether.

If you have been stopped by the police, it is important to discuss potential legal issues relating to your situation with an attorney who knows and understands that area of the law, in particular, and has experience with successfully litigating those issues in courts and with prosecutors and judges. At the Law Office of Hernandez & Hamilton, PC, our attorneys are industry leaders in Fourth Amendment and search and seizure law. Please contact our office today so we can meet with you and discuss your legal situation in detail.

Generally speaking, the police need a search warrant, authorized by a judge, before they can conduct a search of your personal property, belongings, or digital devices. Police cannot legally conduct a search without a warrant unless a recognized exception to the warrant requirement exists in your case. There are many exceptions to the warrant requirement, and police are often skilled in figuring out ways to conduct searches despite their lack of a warrant. Examples of warrant exceptions include

  • Consent to the search
  • Exigent circumstances (i.e., the belief that someone is in danger or evidence is about to be destroyed unless the search is conducted right away.)
  • Vehicle tow inventory (this does not apply to locked compartments)
  • Plain view
  • Search incident to arrest

Search and seizure law is an area of the law in which the criminal defense attorneys at the Law Office of Hernandez & Hamilton, PC are particularly skilled. They are industry leaders in search and seizure law, and litigating legal defects with police searches in criminal cases. Such motions are particularly common in drug cases and cases involving internet crimes. Search and seizure law is an ever expanding, constantly evolving area within the practice of criminal law, and is a particular focus of our practice in our firm. It is not uncommon for the police to overstep their legal limits in pursuing criminal charges against suspects. However, any evidence the police discover in an illegal search are fruits of the poisonous tree, meaning that it can’t be used against you in a criminal case.

A knowledgeable attorney will always examine a case for signs of entrapment. In criminal law, it’s generally illegal for the police to encourage a crime that would not have otherwise taken place. Again, this is common in drug crimes where an undercover officer might approach a subject asking them for drugs or trying to sell that subject drugs. While the subject might be susceptible to this type of offer, the criminal justice system recognizes that the police created the circumstances to make the criminal offense possible. Entrapment defenses are very complicated and not always available in a given case. However, under both Arizona and federal law, if your criminal law firm can prove entrapment, you can be victorious and get your case dismissed or avoid conviction at trial.

People often think that suspect lineups arranged by police officers are the stuff of fictional TV shows and movies. But the reality is that faulty out-of-court and in-court witness identifications are a common occurrence in criminal cases, and knowing how to address that type of evidence properly can often make all the difference in winning or losing a case. Witness identification procedures which are conducted improperly can often yield untrustworthy results. Understanding the law and how it applies to witness identifications is a key area of the law that all good criminal defense attorneys in Tucson, Arizona must be well versed in. The bottom line is that witness identifications can form damning evidence against a suspect, however, where police fail to properly adhere to protocols and policies when conducting such identifications, our law firm can file motions to ensure that unfair or improperly obtained evidence is kept out of the case.

The criminal defense attorneys at the Law Office of Hernandez & Hamilton, PC are particularly skilled when it comes to self-defense and justification. Arizona law provides that justified conduct is not criminal. In other words, Arizonans are blessed with the right to protect themselves, whenever necessary, under certain situations where the use-of-force is reasonable under the totality of the circumstances. Understanding self-defense and the law is one of the main focuses of our practice. If you or your loved on believe that your case involves a potential self-defense claim, contact us today so we can discuss how to investigate and present self-defense evidence on your behalf. When successful, valid self-defense claims can be the key to winning your case–including getting the cases dropped altogether or getting a not guilty verdict at trial. Our Tucson, Arizona law firm knows exactly what is needed to successfully present your self-defense claim in court. Call today to discuss your charges with a Tucson criminal defense lawyer.

court house

Criminal Law Practice Areas

Judges Hammer With Scales

Our attorneys represent clients in a number of practice areas. Here are some of the types of cases we handle:

  • DUI and DUI-related fatalities
  • Burglary
  • Theft
  • Assault and Battery
  • Criminal Damage
  • Drug Crimes
  • Homicide
  • Domestic Violence Charges
  • Robbery
  • Kidnapping
  • Rape and Sexual Assault
  • Fraud
  • Appeals
  • Internet crimes
  • Child molestation
  • Stalking and Harassment
  • Appeals
  • Post-conviction-relief

The Law Office Of Hernandez & Hamilton, PC in Tucson, AZ, has numerous reputable attorneys that can handle all of your criminal defense needs. If you hire our office for your legal representation, we will construct an effective, aggressive defense based on the type of offense you’re accused of and the strength of the case against you.

We have a stellar reputation in the Tucson, Arizona legal community because we always pursue the best outcome for our clients. We take our jobs, and our representation of our clients, extremely seriously and we fight as hard as possible to get the absolute best results possible.  We pride ourselves on the caliber of our representation of our clients.  Whether you’re a new client or you’ve used our services in the past, our lawyers are ready to fight for your rights. Call today.

Logo of ABC News Logo of CBS Logo of Fox News Logo of CNN Logo of USA Today


If you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, the legal system can feel confusing and stressful to try to navigate. Working with a defense attorney is the best method to alleviate the stress associated with your situation. Below are some frequently asked questions to assist you in better understanding the issues involving the charges brought against you:

Misdemeanors are considered less serious than felonies. Misdemeanors are punishable by jail terms of up to one year as opposed to felonies, which have prison terms in excess of a year and larger fines. Misdemeanors will appear on a criminal record, which may negatively impact your ability to be hired for a job or to be approved for housing. Disorderly conduct, public intoxication, DUI, theft, vandalism, and drug possession are all examples of crimes that may result in misdemeanor charges. Felonies can range from charges of treason, murder, rape, kidnapping, and robbery. They can also include aggravated versions of misdemeanor crimes, like aggravated battery, DUI Manslaughter, et cetera.

Usually, it is not advisable to discuss any of your charges with family or friends. Your criminal defense attorney is the only person that you should be speaking with about important legal issues. Your family and friends can be approached by law enforcement if they know anything about your case. From the moment you're arrested, everything that you say from that point on can be used as evidence against you, so it is important to be very careful when speaking to others. Contacting experienced criminal defense lawyers immediately is the best way to shield yourself from saying anything that might incriminate you.

Yes. Although you may wish to plead guilty to the charges brought against you, the assistance of our lawyers could mean the difference between spending a year in jail and only having to complete several weeks of community service. There is a wide range of punishments and penalties for crimes, and our knowledgeable attorneys have the experience to ensure that your punishment is minimized.

No, you are not necessarily required to testify in court, although it is your right to do so if you want. Speaking with a lawyer will help you decide whether or not testifying is the appropriate action to help your defense.

Criminal defense attorneys serve clients who have been charged with crimes ranging from minor to major offenses. These crimes include murder, manslaughter, arson, assault, DUI/DWI, fraud, identity theft, child pornography, and sex crimes.

Many non-criminal legal cases are settled outside of court and never actually reach a trial. Criminal defense attorneys, however, try more cases in a courtroom and before a judge and jury than any other type of attorney.

Do not talk to any member of law enforcement, and call a lawyer immediately. The police will try to get you to discuss the items they are searching for, etc. They want to get incriminating information from you. Anything that you say to the police during this time can be used against you in court down the road. Additionally, you may lose any defenses that may otherwise have been available to you. You are not required to talk to the police for any reason. Simply alert them that you want a lawyer present before any questioning begins.

Hang up the phone immediately. In Arizona, as well as several other states, the law allows a phone call to be secretly monitored and recorded if one party to the call consents. It has become a go-to police tactic to have your accuser call you with questions that the police themselves have prepared. This is known as a “confrontation call” and is very common in sexual misconduct investigations. Anything you say during this type of call can come back to haunt you later on. If you even slightly suspect that you are on the receiving end of a confrontation call, hang up the phone immediately and call a lawyer experienced in handling these types of cases. Don’t answer any calls from a blocked or restricted caller ID and refuse to pick up calls from any phone number you are unfamiliar with.

Yes. Prosecutors know that prior criminal convictions make it far more difficult for you to defend yourself at trial. In Arizona, felony convictions that have occurred within 10 years of the date of the new charges can be used to impeach you at trial. This means the jury can be told that you have a prior conviction, and your prior convictions can be used to increase the sentence you might face if convicted. Also, if you have a prior felony conviction, the police and prosecutors are more likely to view you negatively and assume that you are guilty more so than they otherwise would.

Yes. A prior sex crime conviction can make you a moving target for the rest of your life. If you are a registered sex offender, you will be a prime suspect in any criminal investigation, particularly in any sex crime investigation. If you become the target of a criminal investigation and have any prior criminal convictions, you should contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer right away.

Probably not. In the current politically charged atmosphere, most police start out with the presumption that those whom they are investigating are probably guilty. The authorities do not “investigate” criminal accusations so much as they try to corroborate them. Police cannot be trusted to look for evidence that will set you free or prove that you are innocent. Rather, police only look for evidence that helps them make you look guilty. If you find yourself the subject of a criminal investigation, say nothing to anyone, and contact a lawyer. That lawyer will use his or her private investigator to uncover witnesses and develop facts the police have overlooked or ignored.

At Hernandez & Hamilton, PC, we provide the very best representation that money can buy. We provide the best defense representation possible in every single case we accept. Our philosophy is the result of our decades of experience.

Being charged with a crime is one of the most devastating life experiences one can go through. The possible consequences include imprisonment, fines, fees, forfeitures, loss of career, loss of educational opportunity, and loss of reputation in the community. In a criminal case, you are fighting against the government with all its power and resources. The resources available to the government are virtually limitless. If there is media attention on the case and/or public emotion surrounding the individuals involved, the stakes are even higher. Criminal defense strategy must be done right--and done right from the very start--in order to be truly successful.

A successful defense depends on each client’s unique situation and takes time to fully appreciate and understand each particular case. Call our firm today so we can discuss what your defense strategy should look like.

Many non-criminal legal cases are settled outside of court and never actually reach a trial. Criminal defense attorneys, however, try more cases in a courtroom and before a judge and jury than any other type of attorney.

Almost all Tucson criminal defense lawyers will tell you to take a plea bargain if the police have a large amount of evidence against you. A plea bargain happens when you agree to plead guilty or no contest to certain crimes you are charged with or to lesser charges in exchange for a shorter or lighter sentence.

Plea bargains are one of the reasons it is important to hire a criminal defense lawyer to represent you. A trained criminal attorney will know what kinds of plea bargains are offered to people in circumstances just like yours. They will know if what you are being offered is fair.

It is never a good idea to represent yourself in court if you are not a lawyer. It is an especially bad idea in a criminal trial because if you lose, you may end up losing your freedom for a long time.

People who represent themselves often make mistakes in court that work to their detriment. The prosecutor will be a lawyer with years of experience collecting evidence and presenting a case.

Defense lawyers keep up to date on changes to laws and the decisions of judges in various criminal cases. They will know more about what evidence is admissible than the average individual ever could.

A lawyer will also know what is admissible in court and what is not. They will have a staff devoted to researching your case, and they will have many legal resources at their disposal.

Anyone who has seen an episode of Law and Order knows that Miranda rights state, "if you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you.” However, in the state of Arizona, you will only have a lawyer appointed for you if you can establish that you are indigent. You must also be accused of a serious crime.

The court only provides a lawyer if you face incarceration. If you are charged with a misdemeanor offense and not facing jail time, you will not necessarily be given a lawyer.

Even if you are not facing jail, you do not want to take any chances when it comes to criminal charges. When you are convicted of a crime, it can affect your ability to get a job, child custody, or even housing.

The attorney-client relationship is a sacred one. Attorney-client privilege is a legal term that refers to keeping communications between a person and their lawyer private. This privilege allows you to speak freely to your lawyer without the risk of having them be forced to testify against you.

When you do a Google search for “criminal defense attorney Tucson,” you will see that many law firms come up. Some law firms will take on more cases than their staff can handle. We only take a few cases at a time. We will do everything we can to secure your freedom. The four experienced attorneys at Hernandez and Hamilton are devoted to protecting our client's freedoms.


"I have been doing investigative work alongside Mr. Hamilton for several years. We have prevailed in a number of cases together, and I have personally admired Hamilton's dedication to his clients, and the creative ideas he has when defending clients. I also hired Mr. Hamilton to represent a friend, and he was my first choice. Mr. Hamilton is aggressive and effective.""


"Clay Hernandez is a Knight in shinning Armour! He came to the rescue of me and my family when we needed it the most. I could of not found a better fit for my case. Him and his staff we so attentive to mine and my family needs it was like they treated us like we were family! I greatly appreciate the work him and his staff did for us!.I can honestly say if you are ever in a bind and has to fight you need Clay Hernandez in you corner!!!"


"I was charged with some very serious crimes which would have sent me to prison, cost me my career, and my reputation.I went to josh after a recommendation and meeting with several other lawyers in town. 100% I made the right choice going with josh. He believed in the case, was always attentive and available, and most importantly was extremely aggressive in my defense. I had my bogus charges dismissed after josh led a very aggressive investigation to clear my name and the accusations and am thankful and relieved. There are only a handful of lawyers in Tucson to consider let alone hire if you are charged with a crime. Josh is one of them."


"Mr Hamilton takes pride in his work and it is this passion that makes him such a great lawyer. He is diligent and hardworking. He will do anything in his power to make sure there is a good resolution on your case. Highly recommended!!!"


"I hired Joshua Hamilton to take over my son's case that was not going well. Joshua Hamilton has been an aggressive, caring and direct attorney. He did what my son's previous attorney could not do before I fired him. He got my son's case dismissed. Without hesitation, I would highly recommend Joshua Hamilton."


"I needed help with my DUI and Mr. Hamilton was there to protect my rights."


"Hired Josh to take care of a matter. He got the case dismissed quickly and efficiently. Knows what he is doing and is good."


"Josh has helped me with multiple incidences over the past few years. He knew how to handle every situation that had come up during those cases. He told me not to worry from the beginning because he was confident that he could get the charges dismissed, and he did every time. Josh made the process very easy and was open to any questions along the way so I knew exactly what was going on. He is very knowledgeable about the law while being professional and kind."


"It only took one,brief consultation with Mr. Hamilton to hire him for my case against the state. He is a knowledgeable, forward-thinking attorney who provided excellent representation, resulting in me winning my case."


"Clay defended me for three DUI arrests many years ago. He made no unrealistic promises, and he navigated through my cases with marvelous precision. His patience, sensibility and reasoning resulted in an outcome far less severe than what any highly advertised lawyer could have provided. If you're facing criminal charges, call this guy first."


"Clay is one of the best attorney's in Tucson. He handled my case in a quick and professional manner, and was able to resolve the issues with very little cost to me. I would recommend Clay to anyone who may need a Criminal Lawyer, period... with out question."


"Unfortunatly I have had to use Clay 2 times. With that said I learned how knowledgable he was the1st time around and hired him a 2nd time. He really worked for us and always kept us infomed through out the whole court process. Ive since been very pleased with the out come of both of my boyfriends cases. Clay is a blessing to our family. Thank you Clay for all youve done.."