Laura M. Petty is dedicated to the defense of those individuals charged with criminal offenses, both in the trial court and courts of appeal. Ms. Petty is highly experienced, certified Criminal Law Specialist and has successfully defended clients charged with first degree murder, "three strikes" and other life-term cases, as well as serious felony and other matters. She represents both adults and juveniles, and her areas of practice also include successful misdemeanor and traffic representation.
In addition, Ms. Petty represents both parents and children in juvenile dependency (child welfare) cases.
Before entering private practice, Ms. Petty served as a deputy public defender in Sonoma, Siskiyou and Solano Counties.
Ms. Petty is proud to represent clients not only from Vacaville, but Fairfield, Dixon, Rio Vista, Benicia, Vallejo, and Suisun City, as well. In addition, our attorneys routinely represent clients in neighboring counties, including but not limited to Yolo, Contra Costa, Alameda, Colusa, and other northern California counties. She also regularly assists clients in counties of the far northern portion of state, including Siskiyou County.
Ms. Petty is a native Californian and has lived in both northern and southern California. She attended the University of California at Riverside and later transferred to, and graduated from, the University of California at Santa Cruz. Ms. Petty completed a double major in Politics and Women's Studies, and graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 1993 with highest honors.
Ms. Petty attended Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco, receiving her Juris Doctor degree in 1996. While in law school, she was a member of the Law Review, a board member for the Public Interest Law Foundation, and clerked at the California Supreme Court. She also completed internships with the Prison Law Office and Consumer's Union and studied abroad in the Czech Republic. Ms. Petty graduated as the Valedictorian of her class, receiving the J. Lani Bader Award for academic excellence.
Prior to her employment as a deputy public defender, Ms. Petty was a senior staff attorney for the San Francisco County Superior Court. She held this position for two years, and during that time, she worked closely with the Superior Court Judges on a wide variety of matters.
As a deputy public defender in Sonoma and Solano Counties, Ms. Petty handled a wide variety of criminal cases, and was recognized as a diligent and forceful advocate for her clients. She had substantial trial experience in these counties and enjoyed numerous trial victories. In 2005, Ms. Petty began work in the Siskiyou County Public Defender's Office and was immediately assigned a felony caseload of serious and complex matters.
While employed in Siskiyou County, Ms. Petty was assigned the task of representing a defendant charged with first degree murder after the shooting death of his brother. A local newspaper described the extreme difficulty of the case when it stated that "Laura Petty was faced with a nearly impossible task. To mount a defense for her client, this Siskiyou County deputy public defender had to convince a jury that Everett Super used self defense when he shot and killed his brother George Super, while George was unarmed...." However, not only did Ms. Petty mount a defense for Everett Super, she was able to secure a complete acquittal for him in less than three hours of jury deliberation.
Since 2007, Ms. Petty has been in private practice with her office based in Solano County, where she regularly handles cases of all levels in both the Vallejo and Fairfield divisions of the Solano County Superior Court. Ms. Petty also represents clients in Yolo, Siskiyou, Colusa, and other northern California counties.
In addition to her criminal law practice, Ms. Petty is committed to working to benefit her community. She is a former Adjunct Professor at Golden Gate University School of Law, in San Francisco, where she taught Legal Writing and Research. Ms. Petty served a two-year term on the Board of Directors of the Vacaville Chamber of Commerce, and is also a graduate of their prestigious Leadership Vacaville program. She was proud to serve on the Board of Directors of the Vacaville Public Education Foundation. In addition, Ms. Petty was pleased to serve as an Honorary Commander with the Judge Advocate General’s Office at Travis Air Force Base from 2011 to 2013. Ms. Petty also serves the Vacaville community as a member of the Vacaville Unified School District's Measure A Citizen's Oversight Committee.
Ms. Petty is a member of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, the California Public Defenders' Association, Solano and Siskiyou County Bar Associations, and the National Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers. She has previously been a member of the American Bar Association and Women Defenders. Ms. Petty also previously served as the 2016 president of the Solano County Bar Association and serves as the chairperson of the Solano County Barristers and as a member of the Board of Directors for the Solano County Bar Association. She also volunteers to serve the Solano County Superior Court’s juvenile division by serving as a pro tem judge hearing traffic and misdemeanor matters.
Ms. Petty has further distinguished herself by becoming certified by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization in criminal defense. This certification is granted to attorneys who have completed an exhaustive examination, have extensive experience in criminal law, and have been evaluated by peers, courtroom adversaries and judges. Only a very small percentage of attorneys can claim criminal law specialization. Solano County currently has a very small number of state bar certified criminal law specialists.
Recently, Ms. Petty has been recognized with inclusion in The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 list. This prestigious invitation-only membership is reserved for no more than 100 attorneys in any state, and is bestowed only on those who demonstrate "superior qualifications, leadership skills, and trial results as a legal professional," based on an extensive process of peer nominations and third-party research.
Ms. Petty takes pride in her ability to succeed in even the most difficult of trials. In a trial involving over 100 witnesses, one juror commented, "Ms. Petty did an excellent job. She was organized, direct, and easy to understand. Everything she said had a purpose and a witness or other evidence to back it up."
Another juror said, "Ms. Petty believed in her client and it showed."
According to one juror, a primary factor in reaching a verdict of acquittal was "the integrity of the defendant and the ability of Ms. Petty to bring that out." That same juror indicated "Ms. Petty was very well prepared and professional. I was very impressed with her."
One juror pointed to "Ms. Petty's belief in the innocence of her client shining through" as a major reason for the juror's decision to vote for acquittal.
Please contact Laura Petty if you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss your case with Ms. Petty. She is a Solano County criminal defense attorney who will eagerly provide you with effective and zealous legal representation whenever and wherever you find yourself charged with a crime.