Melissa handles all types of criminal offenses in state and federal courts including:

General criminal defense

  • Assaultive: assault and battery, domestic violence, robbery, burglary, homicide, kidnapping, false imprisonment, arson, elder abuse
  • Sex: sexual battery, rape, prostitution, possession of child pornography
  • Drug: drug possession and transportation, drug sales and trafficking
  • Driving: driving under the influence (DUI/DWI), refusals, wet reckless, reckless driving and driving without a license
  • Threat: criminal threats, extortion, “sextortion,” stalking

White-collar criminal defense

  • Theft: petty and grand theft, embezzlement, forgery, burglary
  • Federal: mail and wire fraud, money laundering, structuring, healthcare fraud, mortgage fraud, immigration offenses, RICO offenses, conspiracy
  • Computer: unauthorized computer access, hacking
  • Political corruption: bribery, extortion, Brown Act violations, election law violations
  • Others: obstruction of justice, witness tampering, environmental crimes, theft of trade secrets, misbranding offenses


Search, seizure, surveillance and cyberlaw

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. It guards against arbitrary arrests and is the foundation of the law regarding temporary detentions, stop-and-frisk and search warrants. It is also central to cyber privacy.

With increasing frequency, law enforcement has been searching, seizing and surveilling electronic data. But with technology that changes rapidly, the law governing this area has not kept pace. The enormous volume of electronic data, and the increasingly private material it contains, makes the implications in how the government can search this information profound.

Illegal searches, seizures and surveillance can and do happen in a wide range of criminal matters. If raised properly and argued effectively, Fourth Amendment protections can result in evidence being suppressed and cases dismissed. It is incumbent upon criminal defense attorneys to be able to identify these violations and ensure their clients’ constitutional rights are protected.