Michael S. Berg

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Criminal Defense Attorney in San Diego, CA

Law Offices of Michael S. Berg
 | 402 West Broadway, Suite 1300
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-239-2186
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2008 - 2018
Licensed Since: 1982
Practice Areas:
  • Criminal Defense (80%),
  • Criminal Defense: White Collar (20%)
Attorney Profile

Attorney Michael S. Berg has 35 years of criminal law experience. Michael has an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating possible for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability. He has also been honored by Super Lawyers Magazine and Best Lawyers in America. You will not find a more experienced, ethical or hard working attorney to defend you. His defense record includes numerous high-profile cases, not only in San Diego, but throughout the United States and abroad.

Michael has his own practice in San Diego and is well prepared to handle even the most complex criminal law matters. He has been the attorney of record on nearly 40 homicide cases since 1990 including the first death penalty case ever filed in Federal Court for the Southern District of California.

A former judge pro tem for the San Diego Superior Court traffic division, he is also a member in good standing with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the San Diego Criminal Defense Bar Association and the California Public Defender’s Association. Dedicated to the community, Michael serves on the advisory committee for Certified Specialists for the State Bar of California, is the president of the Rancho Coastal Humane Society Board of Directors and is the President for the 1,300 member Torrey Pines Men's Golf Club. Michael Berg handles federal crimes throughout the United States and state cases throughout California.

Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Criminal Defense (80%): Arrest & Arraignment, Assault & Battery, Criminal Fraud, Criminal Law, Drug & Alcohol Violations, Expungement, Felony, Misdemeanor, Murder, Sex Offenses, Tax Evasion, Theft, Criminal Domestic Violence

Criminal Defense: White Collar (20%): White Collar Crime, Criminal Law - Federal

Focus Areas

Arrest & Arraignment, Assault & Battery, Criminal Fraud, Criminal Law, Drug & Alcohol Violations, Expungement, Felony, Misdemeanor, Murder, Sex Offenses, Tax Evasion, Theft, Criminal Domestic Violence, White Collar Crime, Criminal Law - Federal


Selected to Super Lawyers for 11 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2008 - 2018

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White Papers

  • CFAA - CFAA: COMPUTER FRAUD AND ABUSE ACTComputer Fraud and Abuse Act: What You Need to Know Computers, smartphones, and the internet are household staples in California and across the United States of America.  Digital technology continues to rise in popularity as our society obsesses with the “need to know everything right now”. It comes as no surprise that the rise in popularity correlates with an increase in computer crime across the world. In 2015, more than 60,000 global cyber crimes were reported. In recent years, well-known companies like Target and Sony Picturessuffered as victims of cyber crimes. These crimes are not limited to larger companies, though.  In fact, over 60% of attacks target small to mid-size businesses in 2014. In 1986, Congress amended the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 with the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) to address the concern of rising cyber crimes. This act prohibits unauthorized access to computers and networks.  During the past twelve years, the act was updated an additional six times to keep up with computer hackers and their creative crimes. Cyber crimes include espionage, computer trespassing, identity theft, information theft, damaging computers with viruses, phishing scams, and committing fraud with computers. Cyber crimes vary in levels of severity and those accused are subject to various levels of penalties.  Penalties include fines from as little as a hundred dollars to over $100,000, time in prison, and probation. The severity of the penalty is based on multiple factors: 1.       Are children involved in the crime? 2.       What type of data was compromised? 3.       Is the attack on a private business on a government agency? 4.       What is the individual’s previous criminal history? Individuals that commit cyber crimes know they are walking a tightrope. If they go too far in their criminal activities, they will fall off the line and get caught. 15 % of the United State’s internet crime was reported in California last year and resulted in $195 million in losses, according to the FBI. Many think that with laws in place to actively prohibit such crimes, we will see an increase in the number of hackers convicted. This is not the case. Like many laws, the CFAA lacks clarity and definition on what is or is not considered computer hacking. The six additional amendments broadened definitions to encompass more cyber actions and in turn reduced its ability to be properly utilized in the courts. The broadness allows everyday internet tasks to be considered criminal. Aaron Swartz was a victim of such an instance where he was prosecuted for downloading too many articles from an online academic journal archive. The Justice department tends to target cases they are confident of winning and avoid prosecuting the really tough cases.   History shows us these winnable cases include activities where little or no harm is suffered by others. Time and money are being spent to prosecute misdemeanors while cyber criminals that cause significant harm and loss to others receive plea bargains or are forgotten about. If you or someone you know has been convicted of a cyber crime, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer today.  Don’t allow yourself to become a victim of a law that lacks definition and clarity. Michael Berg is experienced in helping individuals like you in cyber crime defense. Claim your freedom by contacting him today at 619-239-2186.

  • When applying for an expungement, it is important to know the difference between a petition granted under Penal Code 1203.4 and a petition granted under Penal Code 1203.4a. Expungement means the case is completely erased, whereas a dismissal releases the defendant from all penalties as a consequence of the offense but does not remove the conviction from the criminal record. When a petition is granted under Penal Code 1203.4, the case is not sealed and the statute does not actually expunge the criminal record, but a dismissal is granted with limited relief.   Penal Code 1203.4 allows a defendant who has completed probationary requirements and is no longer serving a sentence for any offense to apply for this limited dismissal. Defendants who have completed all probationary requirements or who have even been denied probation can apply for an expungement under Penal Code 1203.4a at least one year after they’ve been convicted. Eligibility to apply for an expungement under Penal Code 1203.4a also includes those defendants whose criminal cases were reduced to infractions. Should you have any questions about your right to expunge your criminal conviction, call The Law Offices of Michael S. Berg.  Michael is a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law, certified by the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization. He will be happy to give you a free consultation regarding your case.

  • About Michael Berg

    Admitted: 1982, California

    Professional Webpage: http://sandiego.criminallaw.com/about-us

    Honors and Awards:

    • Based upon ratings submitted by his peers, Michael Berg has been given an AV rating, which is the Highest Rating given to lawyers meeting the criteria for legal skills and ethical standards., AV Rating, 2013

    Special Licenses/Certifications:

    • Certified Specialist in Criminal Law, State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization, 1996

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • Member, State Bar of California Criminal Law Advisory Committee, 2010
    • California, 1982
    • Member, California Public Defender's Association
    • Member, San Diego Criminal Bar Association
    • Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

    Pro bono/Community Service:

    • President of the Board of Directors of the Rancho Coastal Humane Society


    • This short video will give you insight in finding the right criminal defense lawyer for your case., Finding the Right Criminal Defense Attorney, 2016
    • Hiring an attorney is the most important choice you will make, so you'll benefit from reading on. When faced with legal charges, bringing on an experienced lawyer to be on your side could be crucial to proving your innocence or decreasing charges. I've been helping people just like you in the San Diego, California area since 1982. Some recent cases of mine and their verdicts:---------------------------------------------------------------------National Association of Criminal Defense LawyersSan Diego Criminal Defense Bar AssociationSan Diego County Bar Association Check out my SuperLawyers page at http://feeds.feedburner.com/criminal-lawyer-in-san-diego Need help? Head over to http://sandiego.criminallaw.com/about-us or just give my office a call at (619) 239 2186. We'll be happy to help., I'm Michael S. Berg - A Criminal Defense Lawyer in San Diego, Criminal Defense, 2013
    • Certified Specialist in Criminal Law State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization, Michael Berg
    Office Location for Michael S. Berg

    402 West Broadway
    Suite 1300
    San Diego, CA 92101

    Phone: 619-239-2186


    Michael S. Berg:

    Last Updated: 10/16/2017

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