Criminal defense lawyers serving: Stanislaus, Sonoma, Tuolumne, Merced, San Joaquin Counties - and Federal Courts in Sacramento and Fresno

We Know Your Legal Rights...

and we are here to DEFEND them!


Over 90% of the cases in the criminal system are concluded before trial.  For this reason the lawyer who throws down the glove early and refuses to attempt to negotiate a settlement is doing the client a disservice.

For example, in a recent case a popular restaurant in Stanislaus County was burned to the ground.  Kirk McAllister’s client was charged with arson.  The matter was complicated by the fact that the client had a prior conviction of arson.  If convicted with that prior, the client would have to be sentenced to 10 years to life.

Mr. McAllister negotiated a plea bargain with the District Attorney which resulted in the client being sentenced to 365 days county jail instead of the indeterminate sentence. With credit for good behavior the client served approximately 6 months on an ankle monitor—certainly preferable to the life sentence he was facing.

Learn More


September 4, 2013 – The client, a soldier in the United States Army, was the turret gunner in a tank that was blown over by an IED in Iraq.  After that he hurried home to Modesto for a preplanned leave. Four days after the tank explosion he was in a bar where an altercation broke out.  Acting on the instincts he had learned in war, he stabbed two people.

Specialist Carlos Melendez was later found to have been suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD).  Kirk McAllister presented a novel defense based on that diagnosis.  Dramatic testimony highlighted Melendez’ upbringing in war-torn Nicaragua through his heroic exploits in Iraq, where he saved the lives of many of his fellow-soldiers.  He received numerous decorations for those actions.

Based on this defense the judge reduced the charges to misdemeanors.

This decision allowed CPL Melendez to fulfill his twin goals: to stay in the Army and to gain his citizenship.  Melendez stated, “If I die in combat, I want to be buried as a United States citizen.”

The case was hard-fought but the defense was victorious.  Asked for a comment, Melendez said, “Mr. McAllister is a soldier for justice.”

(Name, comments, and photograph appear by permission of the client)

(Stanislaus County Superior Court, Case No. 1418559)

Learn More


April 16, 2013:  In an important case in Merced County, Kirk McAllister defended a well-known police sergeant against charges of drunk driving.  The Attorney General’s Office prosecuted the case, which largely consisted of the testimony of three civilian witnesses.

“McAllister zeroed in on one witness who testified that he and two others saw Pacheco drive up to his home the night of the DUI arrest.” (Merced Sun-Star, “Sheriff’s Sergeant Cleared in DUI Trial”, April 16, 2013, page A1)

Under Mr. McAllister’s relentless cross-examination, the main witness admitted that he had lied.

Mr. McAllister: And that was a lie? You have trouble saying that you lied, don’t you?

The Witness: The thing is I didn’t –like I said, I didn’t want—sure, I have trouble saying it.


Mr. McAllister: So that was kind of an agreement between the three of you?

The Witness: Yes.

Mr. McAllister: That you would lie, right?

The Witness: Correct.

The jury found the client not guilty, proving again why McAllister & McAllister, Inc. is “The law firm police officers choose when they are in trouble.”

Learn More