Marc X. Carlos

Top rated criminal defense attorney in San Diego, California

Marc Carlos Law, APC
Marc X. Carlos
Marc Carlos Law, APC

Practice Areas: Criminal defense, White collar crimes, Civil rights; view more

Licensed in California since: 1988

Education: Santa Clara University School of Law

Languages Spoken: English, Spanish

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2007 - 2023

Marc Carlos Law, APC

424 F Street
Suite 205
San Diego, CA 92101 Visit website


For over 30 years, Marc X. Carlos has handled a full variety of criminal defense matters, such as high level narcotics transactions, murder and white collar crimes. He has extensive experience in both state and federal cases, having represented clients in more than 250 jury trials, including lead counsel in death penalty cases and homicide cases, as well as over 3000 contested hearings before the court. Mr. Carlos has represented over 40 individuals charged with homicide.  Mr. Carlos has also represented individuals and corporations charged in Wire Fraud, Bank Fraud, Insider Trading, Real Estate Fraud and Securities violations as well as international corporations and individuals charged with criminal offenses in the United States.  Mr. Carlos has also been involved in the negotiation and representation of foreign nationals being extradited to the United States.  His clients have included high-profile political and sports figures, lawyers, doctors, police officers and corporations.  Mr. Carlos has been retained by attorneys to act as lead counsel on criminal and civil trial matters and has been retained and testified as an expert in criminal defense.   As a partner and co-founder of California law firm Bardsley & Carlos LLP, (now Marc Carlos Law, APC), Mr. Carlos represents clients in Southern California, as well as all the courts of the State of California and United States District Courts throughout the country.  Mr. Carlos also represents individuals charged with serious crimes in state court outside of Califonia under Pro Hac Vice status.

After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in 1983 from the University of California, Berkeley, Mr. Carlos earned his Juris Doctor from Santa Clara Law in 1986. He is admitted to practice law in all California courts, including the U.S. District Courts for the Central and Southern Districts of California; the California Courts of Appeal for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Districts; and the Supreme Court of California. Mr. Carlos has been recognized nationally as a criminal trial specialist. Frequently, he is called upon to testify in court and consult in civil cases as a criminal law expert.

A commitment to high ethics and quality representation has earned Mr. Carlos the respect of his peers. He has received the highest rating of AV Preeminent* from Martindale-Hubbell and is a fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America, an honor reserved for less than half of 1 percent of all lawyers in the nation. Mr. Carlos has also been inducted as a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL). The ACTL is the oldest and most prestigious trial lawyer honor society in North America. The College admits fellows based upon merit, peer review and an exhaustive investigation of the inductee's abilities as a trial attorney and standing in the legal community for ethics and professionalism. Admission to the college is by invitation only based upon the vote of other members. The college is limited to 1% of lawyers licensed to practice. Mr. Carlos has also been selected for inclusion to US News Best Lawyers in America. Corporate Counsel Magazine has called Best Lawyers in America the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice. In total, no more than 5% of all practicing attorneys are named to the Best Lawyers list, a testament to the success of the honorees.  Mr. Carlos lectures on homicide defense at Continuing Legal Education seminars and teaches trial skills for the California Public Defenders Association and the San Diego County Public Defender's office. He has also been featured on national media networks and programs such as truTV, MSNBC, FOX News, "Dateline" on NBC and PBS.

*AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories: legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice areas

Criminal defense, Criminal defense: white collar, Civil rights

Focus areas

Arrest & arraignment, Assault & battery, Criminal fraud, Criminal law, Drug & alcohol violations, Felony, Misdemeanor, Murder, Sex offenses, Tax evasion, Theft, Criminal domestic violence, White collar crime, Criminal law - federal

  • 50% Criminal defense
  • 30% Criminal defense: white collar
  • 20% Civil rights

First Admitted: 1988, California

Professional Webpage:

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Lecturer, Statewide Criminal Defense Attorneys/Professsionals on diminished actualtiy/psychological defense Homicide trial skills and strategies
  • Lecturer, Homicide Defense as well as a Trial Skills Instructor and Trainer, San Diego County Public Defender's Office and the California Public Defender's Association
  • Lecturer on Shaken Baby syndrome and Sex Crimes
  •  Lecturer; criminal defense practice and ethics, San Diego Legal Professionals Assn.
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • California Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • Justicia Lawyers San Diego
  • State of California
  • U.S. District Court Central District of the California
  • U.S. District Court Western District of California
  • Criminal Defense Lawyers Club San Diego, 2017
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of the California
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit
Special Licenses/Certifications:
  • The National Board of Trial Advocacy is Accredited
  • Criminal Trial Specialist, National Board of Trial Advocacy, California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Bar Register Pre-eminent Lawyers
  • Trial Lawyer Honorary Society
  • San Diego Magazine Top Attorneys
  • "AV ®," Highest Possible Rating by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • America's Best On line Attorneys
  • Top Attorneys San Diego, San Diego Magazine, 2017
Educational Background:
  • University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 1983

Office location for Marc X. Carlos

424 F Street
Suite 205
San Diego, CA 92101

Phone: 619-702-3226


17 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2007 - 2023

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