From 45 years' experience, rest-assured that your attorney's credentials and accomplishments, such as published opinions, are critical to his/her reception and recognition in Federal Court. . . They speak volumes even before your judge sees your attorney. . .

When your liberty and/or future is at stake, you need the very best, most experienced, and most aggressive criminal defense attorney available!

Mr. Shemaria's credentials, expertise and experience as a criminal defense attorney, as well as his reputation for results make him a logical choice for the serious Defendant (and/or suspect) in every Federal criminal case.

Criminal defense attorney Joseph Shemaria has unmatchable credentials:

  • Has over 45 years working “in the trenches” grappling with federal judges, prosecutors and law enforcement.

  • Has always received Martindale-Hubbell's Attorney Rating of “AV” – their highest rating – since 1976 to 2016.'s "10.0" highest rating.

  • Joe has been honored by Martindale-Hubbell's Attorney Information Directory and Rating Service (the oldest of its kind) from all counties and states, to have the highest possible ratings for competency and integrity, and to be selected as a Member of “The Bar Register” of Preeminent Lawyers, from 1970 to 2016!

  • Is certified as a Specialist in Criminal Law (1978-2015), by the Board of Legal Specialization, California State Bar, by examination, periodic confidential interviews with other Criminal Defense Lawyers, State and Federal Prosecutors, and Judges of both the Superior Court of California and the United States District Courts.

  • Has handled over 275 jury trials (and courts martial) from June 1970 to 2016.

  • Has handled over 1,000 appeals (and petitions for Writs of Habeas Corpus) in both state and federal appellate courts, resulting in over 35 published Official Court Opinions (available on-line and in your local library). See “Biography and Cases”.

  • Has devoted his entire practice solely to criminal defense, federal and state, trial and appellate, and Habeas relief (state and federal).

  • Graduated in the top 10% of his class at U.C.L.A. Law School (Class of 1969). Elected to “Order of the Coif”, and served as a Senior Editor, U.C.L.A. Law Review, 1967-1969; published a nationwide Law Review article in 1968. (15 U.C.L.A. Law Review). See “Biography and Cases”.

  • Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, Criminal Courts Bar Association, and Los Angeles County Bar Association.

  • Experienced, current to the day, on Federal and California State criminal law and–as it applies to your case–meticulous trial preparation, thorough investigation (using local, former law enforcement, experienced investigators).

  • Aggressive, cutting-edge (a.k.a. the “Pitbull”) Criminal Defense Representation, with a constant focus on results, guaranteed.

  • Never worked for any State or Federal Prosecutor's office. His first years of experience came from both The Federal Indigent Criminal Defense Panel (Central District of California) and Indigent Criminal Defense Appointments (Los Angeles County Bar Association).

If you have been accused of a federal crime, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney. With over 54 years of criminal law experience, Los Angeles, California criminal defense attorney Joseph Shemaria is the attorney for you. Contact the Law Offices of Joseph Shemaria today.

Joseph Shemaria is one of Los Angeles' best-known, top federal criminal defense lawyers with an unparalleled reputation for providing the most faithful, hard-hitting, cutting-edge and dedicated tough representation to each one of his clients. He is known as a tough, fearless and savvy federal criminal defense attorney and has been trying difficult federal criminal cases since his first trial in 1970.

Graduating with the highest honors from UCLA Law School (Order of the Coif), where he also served as Senior Editor of UCLA Law Review, Mr. Shemaria declined job offers from Wall Street to The United States Attorney's Office and, after brief stints with three law firms during his summer recesses, opened his own offices specializing in federal criminal defense in June, 1970.

Joseph Shemaria has not only committed his entire professional career as a criminal defense attorney, but representing clients either under indictment or investigation for serious Federal and state felonies has been Joe's “life-work!” Mr. Shemaria has continuously worked 60 hour weeks throughout his career in order to competently represent his clients and provide the very best possible criminal defense representation.

Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Joe Shemaria has been recognized as a legal scholar from his law school days to the present, being the attorney of record on over 35 published opinions ranging from the FIFTH CIRCUIT Court Of Appeals, NINTH CIRCUIT Court of Appeals, TENTH CIRCUIT Court of Appeals, to the California Supreme Court and Arizona Supreme Courts! (See Biography & Cases) Mr. Shemaria has long been recognized as among the best and brightest attorneys practicing criminal law in the State of California.

Mr. Shemaria, throughout his career, has always received the highest Attorney Rating possible (AV) from Martindale Hubbell! Martindale Hubbell has also honored Mr. Shemaria by placing him in the BAR REGISTRY of PREEMINENT LAWYERS IN AMERICA (the top 5% of criminal defense lawyers in the country). Finally, Martindale Hubbell has also regularly surveyed Los Angeles-based federal and state judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys and has given Mr. Shemaria the PEER REVIEW RATING of 5.0 on a scale of 1 to 5, (5 being the highest!) He has been honored by “SUPER LAWYERS” to be included amongst their elite group of select criminal defense lawyers in the country. He has appeared on national television and radio programs as an expert on criminal law related issues and has been quoted in newspapers and other news outlets throughout the country.

Joe Shemaria declined employment offers from prosecuting agencies, state and federal and declined an internship for a JUSTICE of the COURT OF APPEALS in order to “hit the ground running” doing his life's work—fighting the government's prosecutors, California state and Federal, and just being the best criminal defense attorney he could possibly be! Joe Shemaria is not a former prosecutor (either California or federal) turned criminal defense attorney. He has never urged a jury to convict anybody or urged any court to send a defendant to prison! Since 1970 Mr. Shemaria has dedicated himself to the sole goal of being the best criminal defense attorney he could be. This practice is exclusively criminal defense, 90% federal and 10% California. The Law Office of Joseph Shemaria has worked hard to create, and maintain, a reputation for professional excellence through its successful criminal defense of individuals and businesses accused of committing serious crimes in all state jurisdictions throughout California state and federal courts throughout the country.

As an experienced, veteran criminal defense attorney, Mr. Shemaria well understands the value of pre-trial investigation, pre-trial motions practice, and unending trial preparation. Joe uses the very best, highly qualified legal investigators and a superb, select few highly experienced, veteran federal (and California state) criminal defense lawyers well-known for their superior research and writing abilities for the best backup support staff money can buy! Their work, along with his office paralegal staff, work under his direction and supervision to bring together the most cutting edge, “right on point” detailed and superbly written legal motions, trial briefs and appellate briefs possible. Joe Shemaria finalizes all of the motions and personally argues every one of them on your behalf. He does not send an associate, or anybody else to do his work on your serious felony federal case! What you see is what you get! The Law office of Joseph Shemaria is truly unique in that it is one of the only criminal defense firms, if not the only one, where you are guaranteed to have Joe Shemaria beside you in court at every critical hearing. No other criminal defense firm offers more “hands-on” personal attention to the client's individual case, problems and goals! This personal attention and personal touch is hard to come by, but is available to you by Mr. Shemaria's boutique federal criminal defense firm!

Joe Shemaria believes that the practice of serious Federal criminal defense is absolutely critical, certainly to the client involved, but furthermore for the liberty and promised “Justice for all” guaranteed by our Constitution! Mr. Shemaria takes your case, and every case, extremely seriously! In fact, Mr. Shemaria believes in treating his clients exactly the same way as he would want his sister, brother, mother, father or other loved one treated! Mr. Shemaria knows only too well just how much of a hellish nightmare one goes through when being charged with a serious Federal criminal offense. Mr. Shemaria knows that an innocent person should never have to face prison in a case that should be beaten, either by acquittal or through a legal loophole or some other defect occurring during law enforcement's investigation!

Mr. Shemaria looks for any chink in the armor, and any slight constitutional shortfall, to get a foothold and leverage over the prosecutor, and to assist in winning the case at trial, or to get a better “Plea Agreement” for his client. Every individual accused of serious criminal wrongdoing has his/her life, family, reputation, future and liberty at stake! Certainly each individual deserves the best possible criminal defense. Some people believe that if the government accuses you, you must be guilty of something. Mr. Shemaria has never subscribed to that theory and is not in the business of passing judgment on any of his clients. False allegations, shoddy investigations, vindictive ex-wives (as well as ex-husbands) can each contribute to a misguided arrest and filing of serious felony charges. Unfortunately, these are all common instances in criminal court and, unfortunately, there is also always a danger of the use of perjured testimony or the suppression of exculpatory evidence! Law enforcement sees its job as gathering evidence pointing toward guilt. Mr. Shemaria well knows that and sets out early to vigorously gather as much exculpatory evidence as humanly possible. While professional ethics prohibit guaranteeing results, one thing every one of Joe Shemaria's clients can always count on is that he did one hell of a job and gave it everything that could be mustered!

If you are an accused in either California or a Federal Court do not take anything for granted. All lawyers are not created equal and many lawyers are judgmental or, even more often, simply not quite up to the job of defending a serious Federal felony case. Joe Shemaria's office will investigate every conceivable factual and legal way out of the hole that you may have found yourself in! Don't give up! You cannot give up! Check your criminal defense lawyer out carefully and you'll find that few, if any, match the credentials, experience and aggressive fight Mr. Shemaria offers to every client!

The federal government has unlimited resources, both in terms of law enforcement personnel as well as money to spend on putting you in prison, perhaps for something you didn't even do! Mr. Shemaria is always willing to go the distance and give you the best defense for your money, using his very best skills, knowledge, experience, cutting-edge legal research and writing to “level the playing field,” making sure that you have a more than equal chance of receiving true justice. He is not just another criminal defense lawyer looking for new clients, but a criminal defense lawyer looking for new– and more difficult challenges– to end your nightmare and put your life back on track, where it belongs.