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Creative problem-solving, strategic thinking and tenacious client-oriented advocacy.

Photo of Charles Applegate

Charles Applegate

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I became a lawyer because I like helping people, I like sticking up for people, and I hate bullies. When you're accused of a crime, all of the power and resources of the entire society is brought to bear against you. It's you (and your lawyer) against the Police, the District Attorney's office, the court system, your accusers - basically, it's you against the world. Unless you have a good attorney, those aren't good odds.

SKILL: I have practiced law in both criminal and civil courts throughout California. That experience shaped how I approach cases today. Representing people as defendants in civil lawsuits taught me how to poke holes in the other side's case - how to keep them from proving that my client did what they say he did. Prosecuting criminal cases as a DA taught me how to build a case to win it - how to prove that my side is right, and that the other side is either dishonest or just plain wrong. Whether I'm defending someone accused of a crime or helping someone get restitution for an injury or insult, what I'm doing comes down to those key skills: building up my client's case and tearing the other side's case down. That's what I do when I fight for my clients; that's how we work to win cases.

TRUST: As your attorney, I won't lie to you and I won't lie for you. If an attorney will lie on your behalf when it's convenient or rewarding, I suspect that attorney will lie TO you when it's convenient. You MUST be able to trust your attorney. If you don't trust your attorney, well ... unless your case settles instantly, for everything you want, and for free you're always going to wonder if you got a good deal. I take the time to listen to you and address your concerns so you'll know you're in the right hands, and you won't have to second-guess later.

TIME: Every client who makes an appointment to talk about their case with me gets as much time as needed to figure out if I can help them, and if I'm the one to give them the help. It's no pressure; it's no risk. I understand that the client is putting his time, money, freedom, reputation, and rights in my hands. I know it's a big decision and I want all of my clients to feel safe and taken care of, and to know that they got everything they could hope for - or even better.


Practice Areas

  • Criminal Law
  • Personal Injury
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Criminal Defense
  • Assault and Battery
  • Slip-and-Fall Accidents


  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California
    • Juris Doctorate - 2003
    • Major: Civil Litigation
  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts
    • Bachelor of Arts, English - 1994

Professional Associations

  • Friends Outside, Board Member, 2010 to Present
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Sonoma County Bar Association, Member
  • State Bar of California, Member

Current Employment Position

  • Attorney

Pro-Bono Activities

  • Friends Outside, Board Member, 2010 to Present

Past Positions

  • Friedemann and Goldberg, Civil, 2003 to 2007
  • Geary, Shea, O’Donnell, Grattan, & Mitchell, Civil, 2003 to 2007
  • Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office, Criminal Prosecution, 2007 to 2009
  • Tulare County District Attorney’s Office, Criminal Prosecution, 2007 to 2009