Law Offices of Barnett and Barnett

Law Offices of Barnett and Barnett

Welcome to Barnett & Barnett Southern California Trial Lawyers

Firm Overview

Being accused of a crime doesn't make you a criminal. Innocent people are accused of crimes every day. It is how a person responds to those accusations that will shape that person's future. The Law Office of Barnett and Barnett is a father and son team dedicated to fighting for individuals. We offer the brightest and most experienced trial attorneys. We are professionals that are trial tested, and trial proven.

John Barnett has been trying cases in Orange County and the rest of Southern California since 1974. He first came to national notoriety in 1992 representing Theodore Briseno in the "Rodney King" Trial. He has handled high profile cases such as the "Haidl Video Sex" trial and the "Inglewood Police Brutality" Trial. John has appeared on television on The Today Show, Dateline NBC and other nationally televised programs. John frequently appears in print publications such as the Orange County Register, the OC Weekly and Superlawyers Magazine.

Case Barnett was a Deputy Public Defender in Orange County for 6 years before joining his father in 2010. He has argued cases before juries involving everything from driving under the influence through violent crimes including life in prison cases. Both Case and John enjoy fighting for their clients and talking to juries.


With a focus in Orange County, we work to protect individuals throughout Southern California including Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County and Riverside County. Whether you are facing charges in Irvine, Santa Ana, Fullerton or Newport Beach, we can help. From Los Angeles to the Inland Empire, we protect people. Our skills have been forged in the courtroom and utilized to defend virtually every kind of individual including doctors, lawyers and police officers. We understand the complicated nature of the human condition and believe the Oscar Wilde quote, "The truth is rarely pure, and never simple."

The battle between the accuser and the accused can be unfair. The accuser will have the great powers of the state behind him or her. The accused will have to battle the police, the prosecutor and all the tools of the government. In this darkest hour, the accused needs someone who will not only stand with him, but stand in front of him, protecting him and telling his story. The accused deserves to have a team that will fight against the tyrannies of the state and that will be fearless.

Above all else, we are trial attorneys. We are trial attorneys with expertise in the following areas:

Sex Crimes
Child Molest
Assault and Battery
Gang Charges
Drug Possession
Drug Sales
Third Strike Cases
Weapons Possession
Juvenile Crimes
Driving Under the Influence
Domestic Violence
Terrorist Threats
and more.

Hiring an attorney with trial experience is vital for all criminal cases. No one likes to lose, especially prosecutors. The jury trial is the hammer that the U.S. Constitution gives to every accused. It is the great equalizer. It can set you free or it can bring a better resolution to your case. No one wields that hammer better than the attorneys at Barnett and Barnett. Call today and let John Barnett and Case Barnett protect you.


Being a small group of attorneys dedicated to helping people gives us the ability to choose our clients carefully. We have a core belief in helping the individual against the unjust and the opportunistic. Because of this belief, we also fight for the rights of people who have been injured or killed.

We work on cases involving wrongful death, personal injury, medical malpractice, auto and motorcycle accidents, product liability and civil rights violations.

We help you by learning your story. We cannot tell your story, unless we know your story. We treat you with dignity and respect. We bring our reputation, compassion and trial skills to successfully represent you. We take the cases when we think we can make a difference. If you or someone you care about has been injured or killed, please call John and Case Barnett today so we can tell your story.

Main Office

Main Office
One City Boulevard West, Suite 500
Orange CA 92868




DUI - Driving Under the Influence

Emblem for California DUI Lawyer's Association

Getting arrested for Driving Under the Influence doesn't mean you have to lose your driver's license. It doesn't mean that you have to plead guilty. It doesn't mean that you are a bad person.

In California, a person accused of driving under the influence of alcohol is usually charged under both penal code sections 23152(a) and 23152(b). The 23152(a) count addresses the impairment caused by the substance the individual has in his or her system. The 23152(b) charges an individual with driving with a blood alcohol level of .08% or higher. Whether an individual is found guilty or pleads guilty to one of these charges, or both of these charges, the punishment is virtually the same.

A person charged with driving under the influence of a prescription drug or combination of prescription drugs will be charged under only penal code section 23152(a). Please see our section on Driving Under the Influence of Drugs for further explanation.

A first time DUI punishment includes, but is not limited to three years of informal probation, fees and fines totaling approximately $2000, a three, six or nine month driver's safety class and attendance at a Mother's Against Drunk Driving Victim Impact Panel.

Probably the most difficult aspect of dealing with a first time DUI is the impact it has on a California Driver's License. The criminal court will impose a 6 month license suspension, but allow a person to drive to and from work, in the course of business and to and from alcohol driver's safety classes. The DMV, separate from the court action, will suspend a person's ability to drive for four months, no driving anywhere. But, the DMV, in lieu of the 4 month total suspension, will also allow that person to get a restricted license so a person can drive to and from work and in the course of business and to and from alcohol classes. In order to obtain this restricted license, an individual must be enrolled in a 3 month alcohol class and obtain an SR-22 (special liability insurance). The DMV will not force a person to suffer through a thirty day total suspension (no restriction) before he or she can obtain the restricted license. This restricted license will be in effect for 5 months or until the individual completes the driver's safety program (bringing the total DMV suspension to six months (thirty day suspension plus five month restricted license)). In Los Angeles County and several other counties in California, a DUI conviction will also result in the individual being forced to obtain an ignition interlock device in his or her car.

These punishments are often increased if there are aggravating circumstances such as a high blood alcohol concentration or if the charged individual was involved in an accident.

Subsequent convictions for driving under the influence carry greater penalties. A second conviction will result in increased jail time, a license suspension of 1 year and an 18 month multiple offender alcohol driving program. A third conviction results in a mandatory minimum of 120 days in jail and a fourth conviction within ten years is a felony.

The CA legislature has made the DUI Laws in California complex, convoluted and terribly punitive. DUI cases present a unique challenge to a criminal defendant because he or she must confront the DMV as well as the criminal court. While this process appears to violate the US Constitution's prohibition against double jeopardy, courts have ruled it doesn't. Consequently, there are 2 ways an accused can lose his or her license and 2 ways an individual can get punished.

But these hurdles can be overcome. The attorneys at Barnett and Barnett have a wealth of experience dealing with accusations of driving under the influence. From negotiating a better deal in the criminal court, to saving your privilege to drive with the DMV, John Barnett and Case Barnett will help.

John Barnett

Law Offices of Barnett and Barnett

Mr. Barnett graduated from the University of San Francisco Law School in 1973, and began his practice with the Orange County Public Defender's Office in 1974 through 1978. He then moved to private practice where he has tried both civil and criminal cases, including several capital murder cases and representation of police officers, including serving as lead counsel for Officer Ted Briseno in the case entitled People v. Powell, more commonly known to the public as the "Rodney King" case. In 2002, Mr. Barnett again gained national attention when he was retained as counsel for an Inglewood police officer, Jeremy Morse who in July of that year was indicted as a result of his actions seen in a nationally televised videotape.

Mr. Barnett's practice has evolved from strictly criminal defense to include trial of complex civil matters. He has associated in as trial counsel on many cases with the law offices of Walsworth, Franklin, Bevins & McCall, a firm consisting of more than seventy lawyers, with offices in both Orange and San Francisco. These cases have included the defense of asbestos and environmental contamination claims; the defense of banks and construction firms; the defense and prosecution of attorney malpractice claims; the prosecution of "whistle-blower" claims; and the defense of municipalities in police misconduct cases and the defense of large corporations in discrimination claims. He has also defended clients on various personal injury actions and obtained a defense verdict in a five-week wrongful death jury trial in San Diego brought by five separate plaintiffs arising out of alleged exposure to toxic chemicals.

Mr. Barnett has been accorded numerous honors and awards, has served on the Orange County Bar College of Trial Advocacy, is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and has lectured on trial tactics to the Bar Associations of Orange, Riverside, and Los Angeles Counties. He has also lectured at the State Bar Litigation Section meeting on trial tactics, argued a matter before the United States Supreme Court, and has served as consultant or expert witness on the issue of trial skills and tactics.

Member: American College of Trial Lawyers
National Organization, founded in 1950, dedicated to maintaining and improving the standards of trial practice, the administration of justice and ethics in the field. Membership is by invitation only and includes less than 1% of the top lawyers in the United States and Canada.
Board Member: Orange County Criminal Bar Association
Testified for Prosecution and defense for
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
Appropriateness of Fees
Responsibilities of Criminal Defense Lawyer
Mr. Barnett has given professional lectures on the art of advocacy and criminal defense to the Orange County Sheriff's Department-Homicide Division, the State Bar of California, the Orange County Public Defender's Office and Chapman University, School of Law.
2013 North Orange County Criminal Bar Association Trial Lawyer of the Year
"1996 Orange County Trial Lawyer of the Year" by the Orange County Trial Lawyer's Association