Christoph Law Offices, DUI & Criminal Defense
Criminal Defense 40 + Years Experience

CALL 24/7 – Free Consultation

Christoph Law Offices, DUI & Criminal Defense
Christoph Law Offices, DUI & Criminal Defense


  • Top Lawyers - San Diego Magazine
  • Former Deputy San Diego City Attorney
  • Former USMC Captain
  • Located Directly Across From Vista Courthouse
  • Over 150 Five Star Reviews on Google and Yelp

Attorneys William R. Christoph & Nicholas W. Christoph

Facing Criminal Charges?

Last updated on March 18, 2024

If you are facing criminal charges in Vista or surrounding areas, you do not need someone who will tell you what you want to hear to get your business. You need lawyers who will give you a realistic and honest appraisal of your case, will tell you what they can do for you, how they will do it, and then do it.

Experienced Local Criminal Defense Attorneys Across From Vista Courts

William R. Christoph and Nicholas W. Christoph are experienced criminal and DUI defense attorneys. They have had the same office across from Vista courts for over 40 years and work on a daily basis with local prosecutors, judges, law enforcement, court personnel and probation officers. They have handled thousands of misdemeanor and felony cases. Be represented by one of the “Top Lawyers” featured in San Diego Magazine.

We offer free lawyer consultations and case evaluations.

“Top Lawyers” San Diego Magazine And Highest Rating in Legal Ability and Ethical Standards

In “Top Lawyers” in San Diego Magazine and peer review-rated by Martindale-Hubbell with the highest possible rating* for legal ability and ethical standards, William and Nicholas Christoph can provide you with the highest level of personal and professional representation, achieving the best possible result in your case.

They are always available and keep their clients informed as to all aspects of the case and court proceedings.

Complete DUI Representation

  • DUI
  • DUI with priors
  • DUI with injury/felony DUI
  • Hit-and-run
  • DMV DUI license suspension hearings

Full-Service Criminal Defense Attorneys

We have provided quality defense representation for thousands of people just like you for all misdemeanors and felonies:

Cleaning up Your Records: Expungements and Misdemeanor Reductions of Felonies

We know that your life does not stop if you have been convicted. Knowing that, we can advise you as to your post-conviction relief as well. Our post-conviction legal services can help you if you violate probation or have a warrant; we can help you clean up your record and minimize the impact on your future:

Frequently Asked Questions: Criminal Charges

Facing criminal charges – whether misdemeanor charges or felony charges – can leave you uncertain about your future. At Christoph Law Offices, our decades of experience allow us to provide answers to a variety of questions you might have, from common concerns about the legal system to unique questions about your specific situation.

What if charges haven’t been filed in time for my court date?

If you received a court date when the police arrested you, the prosecution must also file charges with the court to proceed with the legal case. Additional investigation, testing and the transfer of paperwork can all delay this process. If your court date passes without the prosecution filing charges, you can get a letter from the district attorney that states that you are not charged with a crime at this time.

However, it is important to note that the statute of limitations for criminal cases varies depending on the charges involved. The prosecution has up to one year to file misdemeanor charges and up to three years for most felony charges. Some particularly serious charges do not have a statute of limitations in the state of California, and the prosecution can file them at any time. As a result, you could still face charges after your court date as long as that deadline has not passed, and you may receive a new court date or be arrested if this occurs.

Will I face shoplifting charges if I forget to pay for an item?

Walking out of a store with an item after forgetting to pay for it can be a simple mistake. Whether you could face charges depends on the situation. If you recognize your mistake and either return the item to the store or go back to complete the purchase, this is not generally theft.

However, if something indicates that you took or kept that item intentionally, this can lead to theft charges. For example, if security footage suggests that you hid the item under your clothes, in your bag or inside another item, the business may view this as a sign that you intended to steal the item. As another example, if a cashier failed to charge you for the item and tried to stop you to correct that mistake, you might face shoplifting charges if you chose to ignore them and leave the store.

Am I eligible for a misdemeanor diversion program to get my charges dismissed?

If you were charged with a misdemeanor in California, you may be eligible for a diversion program per California Penal Code 1001.95, which would result in dismissal of your case and no criminal record. The law, authorizing this program, went into effect on January 1, 2021. This diversion is not available for the following crimes.

  • DUI
  • Some sex crimes
  • Domestic violence
  • Stalking

You must request and be eligible to participate in PC 1001.95 diversion program and can accomplish this with our help. If the court grants your request, you must fulfill the program’s requirements and complete it successfully to reap its full benefits, dismissal and no criminal record.

California also has a military diversion program, California Penal Code 1001.80, for active duty service members and military veterans. While there are specific conditions for participation, it covers nearly all misdemeanors – including DUI and domestic violence offenses – which the regular non-military diversion does not cover. Our background and experience with the military and diversion can greatly assist you in this process.

What should I do after being arrested in California?

Every situation is different and the process following your arrest will vary depending on the circumstances of the arrest, your criminal background and more.

The first and most important step you should take after getting arrested is to call a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can help you understand what is at stake, the law, possible defenses, the Court procedures and possible outcomes. Also, they can advise and help you to take the necessary immediate steps that will get you the best resolution in your case.

We will give you an honest and realistic appraisal of your situation. Many cases require some immediate action that could greatly benefit the client in the defense or mitigation of any criminal case. All defendants charge or arrested, even for similar charges, are not treated the same by the justice system. Besides the differing facts, circumstances and backgrounds of the individuals, there are things that can be done, in most cases, which will help in the defense or resolution of the case.

What types of cases does Christoph Law Offices handle?

At Christoph Law Offices, our primary focus is DUI defense. We have handled over 5,000 DUI cases, and several thousand other misdemeanor and felony cases, helping our clients get the best resolution possible in their cases. Some of the more common offenses we handle involve:

DUI, Hit and Run, Assault and Battery, Domestic Violence, Theft, Fraud, Vandalism, Drug Crimes, Weapons, Prostitution and Expungement of Criminal Records.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Now

To schedule a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION, call 760-670-3885. You can also contact a lawyer from our Vista, California, firm online.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories — legal ability and general ethical standards.

Defending Against DUI and Criminal Charges Throughout San Diego County

TOP RATED In The Legal Community
Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating, Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence
AVVO Rating 10 Superb Top Criminal Defense