Kerry L Armstrong Criminal Defense Attorney


Having been named “Trial Attorney of the Year,” “Super Lawyer,” “Top Attorney,” and “Best of the Bar,” Mr. Armstrong has earned the respect and admiration of not only his clients, but also of colleagues, prosecutors and judges throughout California.

Top Criminal Defense Law Firms’s skill in the courtroom speaks for itself.  Mr. Kerry-Armstrong-2Armstrong has successfully tried nearly 75 criminal trials, as well as nearly 40 trials in juvenile court.  Mr. Armstrong frequently handles high-profile criminal cases throughout California.  He has been recognized nationally for protecting the rights of the accused and takes great pride in defending the rights of others.

While Top Criminal Defense Law Firms consistently handles cases involving all types of crimes, a large portion of his clients are those charged with sex crimes.  Well-regarded as one of the premiere criminal defense attorneys in San Diego county, defense attorneys in the area often seek Mr. Armstrong’s advice regarding their clients who are charged with sex offenses.  Mr. Armstrong has successfully tried numerous sex crime cases including charges of possession of child pornography, lewd conduct in public, forcible rape, child molestation, sexual battery, rape by intoxication, and prostitution solicitation.

Mr. Armstrong has regularly commented on local media outlets as well as The Today Show, CBS, Inside Edition, CNN, Fox News, ABC, MSNBC, NBC, Dateline, and Court TV.

Top San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney

Attorney Top Criminal Defense Law Firms founded his law firm, the Law Offices of Top Criminal Defense Law Firms, APLC, in June 2007.  Prior to that, he worked for a large criminal defense firm in San Diego as the senior associate attorney for nine years, where he was eventually placed in charge of the firm’s branch office.

Education and Legal Practice

  • Middle Tennessee State University – Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science (1990)
    • Minor in Criminal Justice
    • Minor in English
  • Thomas Jefferson School of Law – Juris Doctor Degree (1997)
    • Honors: Numerous Scholastic Awards
    • Senior Editor of Law Review
    • Executive Editor of Law Review
  • Licensed member of the State Bar of California
  • Licensed member of the Federal Bars for the Southern and Central Districts of California

Achievements and Accolades

  • California Super Lawyers – 2014, 2015, 2016
    • Mr. Armstrong was selected for inclusion in the California Super Lawyers List, an honor only awarded to as many as 5% of the nation’s attorneys.
  • San Diego’s Super Lawyers – 2015
    • Recognized for his excellence and achievements by the San Diego legal community
  • San Diego Super Lawyers – 2015
    • Super Lawyers Magazine
  • Top Attorneys in San Diego – 2015
    • New York Times and Los Angeles Magazine
    • Selected by peer recognition and professional achievement
  • Top Attorneys In Southern California – 2014
    • Los Angeles Magazine
    • Selected by peer recognition and professional achievement
  • Top Attorney – 2014
    • San Diego Business Journal
  • Best of the Bar – 2014
    • San Diego Business Journal
    • Awarded to the most outstanding lawyers in San Diego
  • Trial Lawyer of the Year – 2012, 2013
    • After conducting nine jury trials in the year of 2012 alone, Mr. Armstrong won full acquittals in four of the trials (including two life trials), as well as a partial acquittal and a partial hang in another.  Mr. Armstrong was subsequently named 2012’s “Trial Attorney of the Year” by the San Diego Criminal Defense Bar Association.
    • In 2013, Mr. Armstrong was also named “Trial Lawyer of the Year ” by The Board of Directors of the Criminal Defense Bar Association of San Diego in recognition of his “remarkable string of recent successes” and his dedication to the cause of criminal defense and civil liberty.
  • Attorney of the Year – 2012
    • The Recorder, a legal magazine based in San Francisco.

Mr. Armstrong’s impressive track record of favorable results speaks for itself:

  • First-Degree Murder with Special Circumstance: NOT GUILTY
  • First-Degree Murder: NOT GUILTY (found guilty of another charge)
  • Conspiracy to Commit Murder: NOT GUILTY
  • Torture: NOT GUILTY
  • Torture: HUNG JURY
  • Premeditated Attempted Murder (several cases): NOT GUILTY
  • Premeditated Attempted Murder: HUNG JURY
  • Attempted Murder with a Firearm: Dismissed during trial
  • Burglary: NOT GUILTY
  • Home Burglary: HUNG JURY
  • Robbery: NOT GUILTY
  • Armed Robbery: NOT GUILTY
  • Kidnapping: NOT GUILTY
  • Domestic Violence (several cases): NOT GUILTY
  • Domestic violence (several cases): HUNG JURY
  • Battery (several cases): NOT GUILTY
  • Assault with a Firearm: NOT GUILTY
  • False Imprisonment by Force: NOT GUILTY
  • False Imprisonment: NOT GUILTY
  • Criminal Threats: HUNG JURY
  • Criminal Threats: NOT GUILTY (juvenile court)
  • Sexual Battery: NOT GUILTY
  • Sexual Battery: HUNG JURY
  • Showing Pornography to a Minor: NOT GUILTY
  • Lewd Act in Public (several cases): NOT GUILTY
  • Reckless Driving: NOT GUILTY
  • Receiving Stolen Property: Dismissed during trial
  • Child Molest (numerous cases in adult and juvenile court): NOT GUILTY
  • Child Molest (numerous cases): HUNG JURY
  • Child Molest (Under 10 Years Old): HUNG JURY
  • Child Molest: Dismissed during trial
  • Forcible Child Molest: NOT GUILTY (numerous counts)
  • Forcible Child Rape: NOT GUILTY (numerous counts)
  • Forcible Oral Copulation on a Child: NOT GUILTY (numerous counts)
  • Forcible Rape (several cases): NOT GUILTY
  • Forcible Rape (several cases): HUNG JURY
  • Forcible Rape: Dismissed during trial
  • Forcible Rape (Knife Involved): NOT GUILTY
  • Rape of an Intoxicated Person (several cases): NOT GUILTY
  • Rape in Concert/Gang Rape (numerous counts): NOT GUILTY
  • Rape of an Unconscious Person: NOT GUILTY
  • Forcible Oral Copulation (numerous counts): NOT GUILTY
  • Sodomy (numerous counts): NOT GUILTY
  • Forcible Digital Penetration: NOT GUILTY
  • Illegal Phone Tapping: NOT GUILTY
  • Child Endangerment: Dismissed during trial
  • Hate-Crime Allegations: HUNG JURY
  • Assault with a Vehicle: NOT GUILTY
  • Assault with a Vehicle: HUNG JURY
  • Assault with a Firearm: NOT GUILTY
  • Assault with a Firearm: HUNG JURY
  • Assault with a Knife: NOT GUILTY
  • Possession of a Deadly Weapon: NOT GUILTY
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