What Makes Us Different

The criminal justice system can be unnerving and intimidating for anyone. When you are charged with a crime in Orange County, the possibility that you could have your freedom taken away and your reputation ruined can make you feel scared about your future.

However, you do not have to fight the legal battle all by yourself. The dedicated and experienced Huntington Beach criminal defense attorneys at Paladin Legal Defenders are here to represent you, protect your constitutional rights, and defend you aggressively against the charges you are facing. We will relentlessly pursue your case with an aim to have your charges dropped or reduced. 

The attorneys at our criminal defense law firm have unmatched legal knowledge and over 60 years of combined experience in defending individuals against a wide range of charges – including petty theft, DUI, white collar crimes, firearm offenses, assault, drug crimes, sexual crimes, and homicide.

We will devise a robust legal strategy to help you achieve the best possible outcome under the circumstances. Call us right away at 714-536-9988 or contact us online to set up a free and confidential consultation.

Paladin Legal Defenders was founded in 2004 by Attorney Charles Stoddard. Attorney Charles Stoddard and Attorney Pante-a Nilchian are experienced criminal defense attorneys with the goal of providing an outstanding and highly competent criminal defense in all areas of criminal law.  We have successfully handled hundreds of cases ranging from petty theft to murder.  Our goal in every case is to identify all of the options available to each client, weighing the pros and cons of each option with the client in order to help them reach the best resolution possible given the facts and circumstances of their individual cases.

We practice primarily in Orange County but we also handle cases throughout Southern California.  We have worked hard to cultivate our excellent reputation with the Courts and District Attorney’s Office, and often get successful results where other attorneys have failed.
Whether it is negotiating a favorable plea bargain, or taking a case to trial, the attorneys at Paladin Legal Defenders are prepared to take every possible step to ensure the best result for each client, whatever that may be. The meaning of Paladin is one who fights heroically for a noble cause, let us be your Paladin.

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Areas of Practice

Felony Charges

  • Arson
  • Assault
    • with Great Bodily Injury
    • Assault with Deadly Weapon
  • Domestic Violence
  • Child Abuse/Endangerment
  • Criminal Threats
  • Felon in possession of Firearms
  • Gang Crimes
  • Kidnapping
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder
  • Robbery
  • Burglary
  • Unlawful Taking of a Vehicle
  • Embezzlement
  • Violent Crimes
  • Weapon Crimes

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Misdemeanor Charges

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Child Abuse/Endangerment
  • Criminal Threats
  • Drug Crimes-Possession of Drugs
  • Domestic Violence
  • Driving Under the Influence
  • DUI-Alcohol, Drugs, & Marijuana
  • DMV-Administrative Per Se Hearings
  • Driver’s License Crimes
  • Hit and Run-property damage or with Injury
  • Juvenile Crimes
  • Possession of Firearm
  • Public Intoxication
  • Solicitation
  • Theft Crimes-Petty Theft-Embezzlement
  • Vandalism

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Driving Under the Influence

  • DUI-Alcohol
  • DUI-Drugs
  • DUI-Marijuana
  • DMV-Administrative Per Se Hearings

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Theft Crimes

  • Robbery
  • Burglary
  • Petty Theft
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Embezzlement

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Domestic Violence

  • Inflicting Corporal
  • Injury on spouse or cohabitant
  • Battery on Spouse/dating relationship
  • Disturbing the peace

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Weapons Crimes

  • Felon in possession of firearm
  • Restoration of firearm rights
  • Brandishing a Firearm
  • Possession of Concealed Firearm
  • Possession of a Deadly Weapon
  • Possession of Loaded Firearm
  • Possession of Firearm in Vehicle
  • Possession of Firearm in Airport

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Drug Crimes

  • Possession
  • Sales
  • Transportation
  • Jail Alternatives and Rehabilitation Programs

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  • Arrest Warrant
  • Probation Violation
  • Probable cause police arrest warrants

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What our clients are saying

woman presenting

I have been a client here for 15 years… Nicole is amazing… they have always advised me correct and been there when I needed them.

Memorize this number because it’s going to be the only one you ever need.

Review from Erin | Source: Google

Despite my innocence, my case seemed hopeless. On the night I was arrested I made a number of stupid mistakes, leading to what could be described as a criminal defense lawyer’s worst nightmare and a prosecutor’s wet dream.

Review from Tom H. | Source: Google

This is a AWESOME legal team. Took me a long time to find them but a friend told me they were the best. I was on every channel of the news and accused of having a gun leading multiple police agencies on a chase with helicopters. This team fought hard for me on multiple deals and i finally got no jail time, a small fine and community service. I was facing 2-5 years in Prison. Couldn’t be happier. Don’t risk your freedom.

Review from Ezeikiel R. | Source: Google

My name is Armando Zatarain and I am a private investigator. I worked with Mr.Stoddard for the first time approximately ten years ago. It was a multi-million dollar fraud case and our client was charged with multiple felonies. The client was accused of being the ring leader in an international scheme that resulted in a $20,000,000 loss to major insurance companies. Chuck worked diligently for over a year and was successful in getting the case reduced to a misdemeanor and no jail time. I have worked many other cases with Chuck almost all of them have had good or great results.

Review from Armando Z. | Source: Avvo

I have (for better of worse) had the need to engage a handful of attorneys over the years, and without a doubt, I will attest to the fact that Chuck Stoddard would be my de facto go to guy going forward…unless of course it was outside the scope of his expertise…in which case he reffered a friend of mine to another high caliber lawyer. Chuck (unlike some others) is not just about the money, he is truly campassionate…perhaps with an extra dash of vigor in my case since such case is baseless….he is extreemely knowledgable and a stand up guy.

Review from Anonymous | Source: Avvo

I came to Chuck with a possible DUI conviction. He kept me well informed and gave me a realistic expectation of what is to come. He was very professional and answered all my questions. He made me feel comfortable with the procedure which was really important to me. He went through all possible measures to reduce the conviction to a wet and reckless. I learned a lot from Chuck and would highly recommend him.

Review from Anonymous | Source: Avvo

A huge thank you to Chuck and Nicole for helping me in my cases. When I needed help the most they came through and delivered! Nicole was so helpful and easy to work with. The bottom line is if you need legal assistance, give them a call!

Review from M.C. | Source: Yelp

Miracle workers around here. Having Chuck in my corner was the best card to play in the courtroom.

Seriously, I still can’t believe that I did not have to go back to jail. A+++ highly recommended.

Review from Mercedes M. | Source: Yelp

I have asked Chuck Stoddard to represent me a couple of times over time, and his counsel and legal acumen are solid. I could see right away that Chuck was not in it for just the money- the man actually cares about his clients….he also went the extra mile for me both times.

In short, Chuck is simply a stand-up guy.

Review from David H. | Source: Yelp

I chose Paladin because they had great reviews on yelp. I worked mostly with Nicole, who was super helpful and on top of it. I must admit, I was super frustrated because this case dragged on FOREVER. They hung in there with me and did all the necessary steps to get the problem solved. This was definitely frustrating for them as much as it was for me, it really helped when they had be come in for the step by step processes so that I knew it wasn’t them lagging. Thanks again, and I would definitely recommend them!

Review from Brett H. | Source: Yelp

*****TOP NOTCH*****

I found myself in over my head twice in 2017, both situations with guaranteed negative outcomes without expert legal help. Even with representation I was fighting an uphill battle to say the least. The level of professional, friendly, and expert help I received was a breath of fresh air in the nightmare I landed myself in, twice. The outcome of both situations surpassed what I believed possible and I am forever grateful to Charles Stoddard and Nicole Mitchell for EVERYTHING!

I keep their business cards in my wallet and I’m quick to CONFIDENTLY recommend Paladin Legal Defenders to anyone I know!

Review from Adam K. | Source: Yelp

Our Awards

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If you are in trouble and need to speak with an Attorney in our firm, please contact our office immediately.

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    Why Legal Representation Matters in Criminal Cases

    The quality of legal representation you obtain is the single biggest factor that can influence the outcome of your case. While all criminal defense attorneys might be equal on paper, there are several reasons why the attorneys at our criminal defense law firm stand out from the rest:

    • We have unparalleled legal expertise and constantly update and educate ourselves to keep up with the changes in the industry and to stay ahead of the curve.
    • We are in court almost on a daily basis and are familiar with the procedures at local courts. We know how things work at local courts, whom to talk to, and how to get things done effectively.
    • We are trained litigators with decades of trial experience and have a track record of obtaining favorable results for our clients. When we negotiate with the district attorneys, they know that we will not hesitate to take the case to trial if necessary and fight it out in court. It gives us tremendous leverage in negotiations and helps us get results that many of our peers cannot.
    • We have a substantial amount of resources at our disposal and a vast network of professionals and experts with whom we regularly collaborate. It is why our criminal defense law firm does not shy away from taking on complicated cases or challenging prosecutors who are backed by the state.
    • We treat our valuable clients like an extension of our family. While all law firms say it, we really mean it. We care about you, empathize with you, and are willing to do everything in our capacity to protect your rights and freedom. It is one of the reasons why we named our criminal defense law firm “Paladin”, as we genuinely believe in fighting for others and standing up for what is right.


    Having a criminal record can adversely impact your life in more ways than you can imagine. A felony conviction in California, in particular, can affect almost every aspect of your life – from finding employment and housing to losing your right to serve on a jury, right to vote, and right to own firearms, not to mention the effects on your personal reputation. With this in mind, it is critical for you to have a skilled and experienced California criminal defense attorney by your side when you are facing criminal charges.

    The criminal defense attorneys at Paladin Legal Defenders are committed to providing the best defense possible for all our clients. Highly rated by our clients and peers, we have a reputation for offering big-firm representation at an affordable price. When you choose our firm, you can be sure that you are represented by the best minds in the industry who will go the extra mile to fight for you.

    Make us your Paladin
    (714) 536-9988

    Before you can make any decisions regarding your case, you need to know what all of your options are.  Information is power.  Let us help you get informed about what to expect in your case and how the criminal law system works.  The consultation is free, whether you hire us or not.