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Stefano L. Molea


Partner | San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer

Stefano is honored to protect the rights of those charged with a crime. As a Partner with the Law Office of David P. Shapiro, Stefano brings the experience of successfully representing individuals with a variety of backgrounds, including lawyers, waiters, construction workers, doctors, CEOs, teachers, veterans, nurses and others who have been accused of crimes ranging from misdemeanors (such as theft, fraud, DUIs and drug possession) to serious felonies (including murder, vehicular manslaughter, robbery, aggravated mayhem and sex crimes). Regardless of the client or charge, Stefano handles each case with unsurpassed thoroughness and passion. Stefano enjoys every aspect of being a criminal defense lawyer including researching, brainstorming solutions to legal issues with the firm’s Managing Partner, David P. Shapiro, writing and arguing successful motions, and litigating cases at trial. Most importantly, Stefano receives the most satisfaction from helping good people regain control of their future when they are charged with a crime.

Criminal defense is a complex field, and Stefano remains up-to-date not only with the law but also as an active participant in the criminal defense community.  Stefano is a member of the Board of Directors for the San Diego Criminal Defense Bar Association. He also belongs to the California Public Defender’s Association, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice and the National College for DUI Defense.

Learn about Partner Stefano Molea’s journey emigrating to San Diego from Italy at a young age through being recognized as one of San Diego’s best and brightest criminal defense attorneys.

From a young age, Stefano learned the importance of “keeping your head down and working hard.” After moving to the U.S. from Italy at ten years old, Stefano quickly learned a new language, integrated into the American culture and began succeeding in school.  Thanks to a blue-collar work ethic learned from his family, he graduated with Magna Cum Laude and departmental honors in Philosophy from the University of Redlands, and was invited into the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. At Thomas Jefferson School of Law, Stefano became an editor of the Law Review and graduated in the top 8% of his class with Magna Cum Laude honors.

As an attorney, Stefano’s hard work and dedication to his clients has led many successful outcomes. Stefano is proud of the positive reviews left by numerous clients who have written testimonials for his dedication to their cases, attentiveness to their issues, and ability to walk them through the convoluted and sometimes frightening criminal justice system. He is honored to have been recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers for 2016, 2017 and 2018 and was selected as a Top 40 Criminal Defense Lawyer Under 40 in California for 2016. He was also voted Best of the Bar for Criminal Defense in 2016 by the San Diego Business Journal.

SLM Award Plaque

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