Our founding attorney, William Pernik, brings with him a wealth of experience in the industry combined with stellar academic credentials. A graduate of University of San Francisco School of Law, he excelled academically in his legal studies and graduated with a Certificate in Public Interest Law. After passing the California Bar on his first try, William Pernik worked as a research attorney for a prestigious criminal defense firm in San Francisco, and later in the Public Defender Offices in Tulare and Monterey counties, where he learned the tools of the trade from some of the finest criminal lawyers in the industry.
During his career as a public defender in Tulare County, Mr. Pernik distinguished himself by obtaining a record number of acquittals in complex felony cases, including three strikes DUI case with multiple victims who sustained great bodily injuries, crimes of residential burglary, armed robbery, rape, kidnapping, assaults, thefts, domestic violence, and sales of drugs, among others. He fought the Tulare prosecutors in many serious gang cases, including capital homicides, and was successful in obtaining a dismissal of all charges against his gang injunction client after several years of fighting the case in trial and appellate courts.
Mr. Pernik continued his defense attorney career in Monterey County, first as a public defender, and later as a private defense attorney. During that time, he took a special interest in cases involving mentally ill or developmentally disabled clients, veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, and persons with serious substance abuse disorders. Because of Mr. Pernik's efforts, many of these cases were dismissed, received special consideration at sentencing and from the Probation Department, or benefited from diversion or referrals to specialty courts, such as drug court, mental health court, or veterans' court.
Mr. Pernik tried many cases in front of different Monterey County judges, as well as in courtrooms in the surrounding counties, and has obtained dismissals or acquittals in complex, sensitive, and high-profile cases, including a recent acquittal in a high profile murder case, as well as other cases involving accusations of sexual assault, child abuse, domestic violence, theft and property crimes, gang crimes, gun crimes, and drug and alcohol-related offenses.
Mr. Pernik left the Public Defender's Office to start his own practice in September of 2015. He lives in Monterey County with his wife, Olga, their son Jacob, and a collie named Charlie. His private criminal defense practice in Salinas, CA focuses exclusively on defense of criminal cases, and is built upon a foundation of his life-long pursuit of justice, dignity, and equality for all of his clients, regardless of their criminal past or current accusations.