David Hammerstad

Top rated Criminal Defense attorney in Seattle, Washington

Law Office of David Hammerstad, LLC
David Hammerstad
Law Office of David Hammerstad, LLC

Practice Areas: Criminal Defense; view more

Licensed in Washington since: 2003

Education: Georgetown University Law Center

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2022 - 2023 Selected to Rising Stars: 2013

Law Office of David Hammerstad, LLC

1000 2nd Ave
Suite 3140
Seattle, WA 98104 Visit website


David Hammerstad has been providing high-quality criminal defense for nearly 25 years in state and federal court.  

A graduate of Stanford University and a magna cum laude graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, Dave chose a career in criminal defense over life at a corporate firm because he loves the challenges of trial work and is passionate about protecting the rights and freedoms of the individual. 

Dave's practice currently focuses on felony defense in state and federal court.  He is admitted to practice in the State of Washington, the federal district courts in the Western District and Eastern District of Washington, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.    An experienced trial lawyer and graduate of the National Criminal Defense College, Dave has won acquittals in a variety of cases, including misdemeanor and felony assault, misdemeanor and felony domestic violence charges, sexual assault, burglary, robbery, and firearm charges.  In federal court Dave's creative and compassionate advocacy has earned probationary or below-guidelines sentences in a variety of cases, to include drug, fraud, and firearm cases.   

Dave is the President of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (WADCL), where he has served on the Board of Directors for the past eight years.  


Practice areas

Criminal Defense

Focus areas

Assault & Battery, Expungement, Felony, Misdemeanor, Sex Offenses, Theft

  • 100% Criminal Defense

First Admitted: 2003, Washington

Professional Webpage: https://www.hammerstadlaw.com/about-david/

  • United States v. M.H.  Client was only defendant of 23 defendants charged in drug conspiracy to receive sentence of probation after we persuaded judge that mitigating evidence supported probation over prosecutor's recommendation for jail time.
  • State of Washington v. S.S. Outcome: Case dismissed Area of Practice: Domestic violence Felony Violation of No Contact Order. The State dismissed after we set the case for trial and forced the State to reckon with witness availability issues.
  • State of Washington v. A.H.Outcome: Not GuiltyArea: Domestic Violence   Assault in the Second Degree. I was able to persuade the jury that the alleged victim’s story was inconsistent with the objective evidence and was likely motivated by a race to the police station after a mutual conflict.  A second count […]
  • United States v. J.D. Accused charged in federal court with drug charges.  In spite of sentencing guidelines range suggesting lengthy prison sentence, we gathered compelling mitigation evidence to persuade the judge to impose a sentence of time-served, enabling client to enroll in a drug diversion court which facilitated his recovery and reemployment.
  • State of Washington/City of Seattle v. E.S.  Accused facing mulitple charges in municipal and district courts for theft cases caused by opiate addiction.  We were able to use creative litigation strategies to get two cases dismissed and a third reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor with a deferred sentence.
  • State v. M.S. Not guilty on Robbery 1st Degree charge after complainant's motives to fabricate complaint and lack of corroborating evidence exposed.
  • City of Seattle v. S.R.Outcome: Case dismissedArea of Practice: Domestic violence Assault in the Fourth Degree. I was able to persuade the City that the alleged victim was the first aggressor.
  • State of Washington v. C.J.Outcome: Not GuiltyArea: Domestic Violence   Felony Harassment. I was able to persuade the jury that the incident in question was a volatile verbal argument, not a criminal threat.  A second charge of felony drug possession was dismissed after my motion to suppress evidence from an illegal […]
  • State of Washington v. D.C.Outcome: Not GuiltyArea: Domestic Violence   Assault in the Second Degree. Felony Harassment.  I was able to persuade the jury that the objective evidence was inconsistent with alleged victim’s claim of strangulation. A second count of Felony Harassment resulted in a hung jury.  On retrial the jury acquitted […]
  • City of Seattle v. J.S.  We persuaded jury that landlord's claim of harassment was not supported by contemporaneous 911 call and was likely retaliation for building management related issues.
  • State v. M.S.  Not guilty verdict on alleged Drive-By shooting after identification attacked for inaccuracies in witness descriptions and suggestiveness of photo montage procedure.
  • State of Washington v. T.W.Outcome: DismissedArea: Domestic Violence Felony Violation of No Contact Order. State dismissed after the Court granted my motion to suppress evidence because of illegal stop of vehicle containing client and alleged victim.
  • State of Washington v. J.H.Outcome: Not GuiltyArea: Domestic Violence   Felony Violation No Contact Order (2 counts). I was able to persuade the jury that the alleged victims’ claims were not credible and likely motivated by a custody dispute.  The jury hung, 8-4 to acquit, on a third count of Telephone […]
  • State of Washington v. W.S.  Accused aquitted of Burglary 1st Degree and Interfering with Reporting of Domestic Violence.  After girlfriend calls police because of domestic dispute, police officer draws gun on accused when he returns to the home. We persuaded the jury that police officer's claim of accused's attempted assault against him was not credible, but more likely an after-the-fact justification for threatening deadly force.
  • State of Washington v. N.D.  On eve of trial won reduction of charge from felony burglary to misdemeanor assault after successful litigation of issue related to landlord's authority to exclude the accused from residence.
Representative Clients:
  • Angie was a struggling single mother of three who had fled an abusive relationship and found a new boyfriend. Unfortunately for her, her new boyfriend turned out to be a drug dealer who periodically asked her to translate calls between himself and his customers.  Even more unfortunately, the federal goverment was listening in on all of her calls with her boyfriend, pursuant to a court-ordered wiretap. Angie was indicted in federal court for being part of a drug conspiracy.  Against the prosecutor and probation's recommendation for jail time, I was able to persuade the court to place Angie on probation, saving her job and her ability to provide for her family, and keeping her family intact. 
Educational Background:
  • Stanford University, Political Science, B.A., 1992
  • Awarded to top 10% of graduating class, Order of the Coif, Georgetown University Law Center, 1998
  • magna cum laude, Georgetown University Law Center
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Presented CLE, with Daron Morris, at December 2011 CLE sponsored by WACDL, entitled "Turning Up the Heat: New Issues and New Approaches in Felony Defense", Co-presenter, Sentencing Aggravators Under the SRA, WACDL, 2011
  • Presenter on topics "Witness Interview Issues and Reciprocal Discovery Obligations" and "The Use of Subpoenas Duces Tecum and Public Records Act Requests in Criminal Cases", Presenter, Pretrial Discovery, Seminar Group, 2013
  • Presented on the unique challenges of defending domestic violence cases where the evidence is solely or predominantly testimonial and advocated strategies for defending such cases., Presenter, "Defending the He Said/She Said Domestic Violence Case", Washington Defender Association Annual Conference, 2013
  • An examination of a successfully defended burglary charge where the accused was in a consensual relationship with the alleged victim, Author, The Burglary That Wasn't, Washington Criminal Defense, WACDL/WDA, 2014
  • Presented talk on challenging law enforcement's use of Cellebrite or similar "UFED" technology to download contents of an arrestee's cell phone., Speaker, Challenging Cell Phone Search Warrants, WACDL, 2016
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Board of Governors, Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2014
Industry Groups:

Office location for David Hammerstad

1000 2nd Ave
Suite 3140
Seattle, WA 98104

Phone: 206-445-0215


2 Years Super Lawyers
1 Year Rising Stars
  • Super Lawyers: 2022 - 2023
  • Rising Stars: 2013

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