Law Offices of William V. Pernik

Law Offices of William V. Pernik

Boutique criminal defense firm in Salinas, California. We work exclusively on the defense of misdemeanor and felony criminal cases, with a special focus on complex felony defense, mental health and substance abuse issues, and representing veterans.

Firm Overview

Criminal defense attorney William Pernik is a cum laude graduate of the University of San Francisco School of Law, with academic awards for excellence in federal courts, juvenile law, and death penalty law. During law school, he has clerked for attorneys and legal organizations specializing in defending capital cases in California and in Texas, and contributed his research skills to a number of appellate briefs and habeas petitions.

Since his admission to the Bar, William Pernik practiced exclusively in the field of criminal defense. He has acquired extensive experience in defending the most complex and serious criminal cases, and is known for his dedication and commitment to his clients. He started his own practice in September of 2015, after a career of public service in the Tulare and Monterey County Public Defender offices.
Main Office
Main Office
40 Central Ave.
Suite #4
Salinas  CA  93901
  • (831) 222-3922
  • (831) 515-3657


Free Initial Consultation?
Services Offered For Fixed Fees?
Yes - we accept flat fees for all misdemeanor and criminal cases in lieu of hourly fees.

Office Information

Office Hours
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Emergency After Hours
Languages Spoken
English, Russian, Spanish (interpreter provided at no additional cost)
Skilled and aggressive representation in misdemeanor and felony DUI cases throughout Monterey and San Benito counties.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is one of the most commonly committed crimes in Monterey or San Benito counties. Unfortunately, because this crime is so common, many people make the mistake of taking their DUI arrests lightly instead of seeking appropriate legal representation. Our local courts have compounded this problem by creating a specialty arraignment court where, at least on a misdemeanor level, you will be pressured into "resolving" your DUI case at the first court appearance, without anyone properly examining your case and potential defenses, or getting to knowing and understanding your individual circumstances to correctly advise you of both direct and collateral consequences of your plea.

At the Law Offices of William V. Pernik, we believe that no one should plead guilty to any criminal charge without first getting sound legal advice. It is especially true when it comes to a charge like DUI, where just the monetary cost of your conviction, including court fines and assessments, DMV fees, increased insurance rates, and probation compliance costs (such as classes and interlock device) could easily exceed $10,000.

In addition, you could end up facing jail time, loss of driving privilege, and a lengthy 5-year probation with requirements to attend and complete classes and install an interlock device on any car you own or operate. If you are not a U.S. citizen, depending on your individual circumstances and complete criminal record, it could also have adverse immigration consequences or affect your eligibility for deportation relief programs, such as the Dream Act.

DUI convictions are also priorable. That means that the punishment for your DUI offense will be increased, if you have 1 or more prior convictions in the last 10 years. If you have 3 or more prior convictions, or if your DUI caused an injury to any person (including your passenger), you may be charged with a felony and face up to 3 years in state prison. If the injury sustained by the victim qualifies as a "great bodily injury" under the law, your offense will be deemed a violent felony, and considered a "strike" under California law, carrying serious future consequences.

If you have been arrested or charged with a DUI in Monterey County, call Law Offices of William V. Pernik right away to get legal help. We have handled hundreds of DUI cases, and have the experience and knowledge necessary to defend you even against the most serious DUI charges, such as those involving accidents, serious bodily injuries, and death. We can also assist you with navigating the confusing bureaucracy of the DMV, and will represent you at the DMV hearing at no additional charge.

When you partner with us for your DUI defense, you will receive personalized attention to every detail of your case and a thorough review of every piece of evidence gathered by the government. Through our years of experience of defending DUI cases, we know how to identify and challenge illegal police actions, such as invalid traffic stops, unconsented blood draws, or failures to advise you of your rights, to name a few. We routinely consult with leading experts in forensic toxicology, endocrinology, emergency medicine, and accident reconstruction, and use only trusted and dependable investigators to assist us in locating and interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence you will need to present in court.

Based on our research and investigation, we determine what potential defenses may apply in your case, whether it is attacking improper police investigation, the flawed science behind the test, testimony of biased and unreliable witnesses, or, in some cases, explaining to the jury that you have acted out of legal necessity, such as in an emergency situation.

Even if we cannot win the case outright, we are often able to negotiate lesser charges, help you obtain sentencing alternatives to jail (such as home confinement or work program), and in complex felony cases make the most powerful presentation possible to help you get felony probation and a much needed drug or alcohol treatment program, if applicable.

At Law Offices of William V. Pernik, we truly believe that good people can make mistakes. Don't let your mistake ruin your life - call our office today to schedule your initial consultation and learn what can be done to help you with your legal problem.
Criminal Defense
A full service criminal defense firm located in Salinas, California and serving Monterey and San Benito Counties. We represent clients charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses, such as domestic violence, gangs, drugs, guns, sex, and DUI/DWI.
Our attorney, William Pernik, is a seasoned criminal defense attorney in Salinas, California, with thousands of hours of experience in the courtroom. He is known for his relentless and passionate advocacy for his clients, unimpeded by a desire to be liked by judges or prosecutors. He does not back down when faced with stiff opposition and will relentlessly fight to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.

The Law Offices of William V. Pernik is committed to providing dedicated and uniquely personal service to our clients. We understand that being charged with a crime can be a humiliating and terrifying experience, and we are committed to restoring to you the dignity and respect you deserve.

We have handled hundreds of Monterey County cases involving charges of drug possession, sales and distribution, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, assaults and batteries, domestic violence, offenses involving firearms and gangs, sex crimes, and many serious and violent felonies, including homicides. Because we are a local criminal defense firm located in Salinas, CA, we are especially familiar with nuanced aspects of practicing criminal law in Monterey County, including the local customs, habits, personalities, and preferences of judges, prosecutors, probation officers, program providers, and treatment coordinators. Likewise, we accept cases in San Benito County. We are not looking for an easy case -- we welcome a challenge! Please visit our website to read about our experience and the types of cases we have successfully handled.
Sex Crimes
We represent persons charged with sexual offenses involving forcible sexual conduct with adults and minors, child pornography, and P.C. 290 violations.
It's no secret that sex crimes are considered particularly heinous offenses by the general public. For this reason, if you're accused of a sex crime, you may find that society considers you guilty until proven innocent. Due to this stigma and the consequences your charges can have on your day-to-day life, it's important that you obtain representation from an attorney who is qualified to defend these complex and serious crimes.


At Law Offices of William V. Pernik, we understand the sensitive nature of sex crime charges and strive to assist clients and their families compassionately and respectfully after they've been accused of or charged with these types of heinous offenses. We know that sex crimes can range from minor misdemeanors to violent felonies, and are prepared to defend against your charges, no matter how severe they may be. If you're facing sex crime charges, we can help you by:

- Interviewing the people involved in your case
- Conferring with experts as appropriate
- Negotiating lesser charges or penalties with the prosecution, if possible
- Crafting the best possible defense at trial, or creatively developing the most persuasive sentencing argument
- Standing by your side until your case is resolved


Among the worst possible consequences of being convicted of a sexual offense is the requirement of lifelong sex offender registration pursuant to Penal Code section 290.

While this requirement is discretionary on some charges, such as unlawful intercourse with a minor, it is mandatory upon conviction of most sexual crimes, including misdemeanor violations of P.C. 314 (indecent exposure) and P.C. 647.6 (annoying or molesting a minor).

For this reason, if you are charged with an offense that carries sex offender registration, it is critical that you contact an experienced legal professional who can help you maximize your chance of avoiding this draconian consequence of a conviction. At Law Offices of William V. Pernik, you will be working with a knowledgeable and creative attorney, who has defended hundreds of sexual crimes, and has been able to avoid sex offender registration on every misdemeanor he has handled, as well as a number of felonies.

We were able to obtain these results, in part, because we don't accept "no" for an answer, believe in meticulous preparation, and rely on a great network of expert psychologists and evaluators, as well as committed investigators who help us establish the right factual record to explore more unusual and creative sentencing options, such as pleas to non-registrable or discretionary offenses with probationary terms that require therapeutic counseling, in lieu of a lifelong sex offender registration mandated by P.C. 290. While sex offender registration may be unavoidable in some cases, we believe that no option should be left unexplored in an effort to avoid it, in an appropriate case.


Although law enforcement and prosecutors make it seem like P.C. 290 registration requirements are self-explanatory and easy to comply with, we know firsthand from our years of experience that many people who are required to register find them confusing, and have a hard time getting help in correctly filling out forms or notifying the police about the changed address.

If you, or someone you care about, have been charged with violating section 290, you could be looking at a substantial period of incarceration, especially if your prior conviction was for a felony sex offense, most of which count as "strikes".

At Law Offices of William V. Pernik, we know how to approach cases charging violations of P.C. 290 registration, and have been able to successfully argue creative legal defenses, such as reasonable mistake of fact, to obtain favorable outcome in jury trials, as well as to obtain better plea bargaining options from the prosecutor, or sentencing leniency from the courts. We also know how to resist aggressive probation officers who seek to impose draconian restrictions on your liberties such as by requiring GPS monitoring, prohibit you from having any contact with your loved ones, or possess lawful adult pornography, when these terms have no reasonable nexus to your current registration offense.

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

Raised in a family of public school teachers, William Pernik pursued a career as a public defender before opening his own practice in September of 2015.

From 2007 through 2015, William worked as a public defender in Tulare and Monterey counties, where he became known for his courtroom tenacity, his impressive trial record, and -- above all -- his personal commitment to his clients and passionate advocacy on their behalf.

In September of 2015, William left the public sector to start his own practice, focused on the only area of law he's ever been passionate about - criminal defense.

What experience or education distinguishes your lawyers from others?

Licensed to practice law since 2006, our attorney, William Pernik, has devoted his entire legal career exclusively to defending persons accused of crimes. He has handled thousands of criminal cases, and has a wealth of experience in defending some of the most difficult cases at trial, including murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, carjacking, assaults with weapons and/or great bodily injuries, felony DUIs with serious injuries or death, and many others.

Mr. Pernik is known for his personal commitment to each and every client, and his fearless advocacy in criminal courts. Whether this is your first brush with the law or you feel weighed down by your past, William Pernik will make sure that you are treated with respect, fairness, and dignity you deserve.

What distinguishes your law firm from others?

With hard work, skill, and determination, we have been fortunate to win many victories for our clients. But it is the personal connection we have made with our clients, and the knowledge that we have made a real difference in their lives, that gives us the greatest sense of pride and accomplishment.

We stand out from the rest because of our personal commitment to provide our clients with the best possible legal counsel, combined with empathy and understanding. Our clients know that we genuinely care to see them overcome the often seemingly insurmountable odds, and that we are never more than a phone call away when they need a shoulder to lean on.

William Pernik

Born in former Soviet Ukraine, William Pernik immigrated to the United States in 1996. He obtained an undergraduate degree in Psychology from U.C. Davis and a law degree from University of San Francisco, from which he graduated with Honors, and a certificate in Public Interest Law.

Raised in a family of public school teachers, William pursued a career as a public defender before opening his own practice in September of 2015.

From 2007 through 2015, William worked as a public defender in Tulare and Monterey counties, where he became known for his courtroom tenacity, his impressive trial record, and -- above all -- his personal commitment to his clients and passionate advocacy on their behalf.

William's impressive trial record includes many complex felony cases, including serious DUIs with multiple victims and injuries, narcotic sales, assaults and batteries, criminal threats, domestic violence, carjacking, kidnapping, armed robberies, sex crimes, homicide, and gangs.
  • Bar Number: 245394
    California , 2006
  • University of San Francisco School of Law
    Juris Doctor (J.D.) , 2006
    Graduated cum laude (with Honors), with special awards in Death Penalty Law, Juvenile Law, and Federal Courts.

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