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Attorney Profile
Thomas C. Booth, III
Attorney at Law
San Diego, California

Tel: (619) 994-5616
e-mail: tom@goforlaw.com

  • Criminal Defense

  • Military Law (UCMJ cases)


First and foremost, every client who consults with me is as an individual. Your case may look like others but it is your case. I will provide you with an honest assessment of your case, explain the legal process and ensure that you understand your options. The goal is always to resolve the matter with the best possible disposition under the law, facts and circumstances of a case.

My practice is almost exclusively criminal defense, including military (UCMJ) cases. I have represented clients in misdemeanor and felony cases including serious and violent (“strike”) felonies. When I worked with a large law firm, I appeared throughout California. I draw on that experience to handle your case effectively.

Background and Education

Active member in good standing of the State Bar of California since 1995

When Mr. Booth was admitted to the State Bar he opened his own law practice in the San Diego area and handled a variety of cases.  These included family law, criminal defense, military law, administrative law and some civil cases.  His clientele came from all parts of the community.  From 2003 through 2009, Mr. Booth worked for a large law firm in the San Diego area and represented clients in criminal defense and military law matters.  With willingness to travel and the ability to work independently, he handled virtually all of their clients with cases outside of San Diego County and nearly every military case for the firm.  Mr. Booth currently has an office in San Diego but continues to handle cases statewide.  He is also admitted to practice in the Southern, Central and Eastern Districts of California (Federal) .

Thomas Jefferson School of Law (San Diego, California) – Juris Doctor, 1995

While attending law school, Mr. Booth served as a Teaching Assistant for Legal Analysis and Writing.  He also completed an Internship with the Attorney General of California drafting appellate briefs and another as a Certified Intern with San Diego District Attorney’s Office.

Commissioned Officer, United States Coast Guard – 1970 to 1990

In a career that spanned two decades, Mr. Booth exercised direct operational and administrative control of subordinate units and staffs in law enforcement, search and rescue, environmental protection and training missions.  He commanded operational units both afloat and ashore and served as Chief of an Operational Law Enforcement Branch.  He is a Distinguished Graduate of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Criminal Investigator Course and a Vietnam Veteran.

Boston University (Boston, Massachusetts) – Bachelor of Arts, 1970

Majored in Biology


Some cases I’ve handled

Driving Under the Influence (Drugs) and Possession of Marijuana:  Represented a client who was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana as well as misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana.  During pre-trial negotiations with the prosecution significant evidentiary problems were demonstrated.

Result:  DUI charge was dismissed and the client pleaded to (dry) reckless driving.  Possession of Marijuana was amended to a vehicle code violation.  No custody and minimal fines.

Threatening Public Officials and False Bomb Threats:  Represented a client charged with ten felony counts.  The client, if convicted, could face over ten years in state prison.  Following extensive pre-trial negotiations the case was set for trial.  An initial negotiated disposition would have required the client to serve two years in state prison.

Result:  Prior to sentencing, new factors surfaced and further discussions with the prosecution and the court resulted in a “local time” sentence with no state prison commitment.

Residential Burglary:  A client initially retained my services for misdemeanor charges of petty theft and possession of alcohol.  Before those charges could be resolved, the client was subsequently charged with two counts of Residential Burglary (strikes).  Collateral immigration issues would have mandated that the client (if convicted) would be deported to his country of origin, a potentially life-threatening situation.

Result:  After the client entered pleas to the Residential Burglary counts, arguments in mitigation made to the court at the time of sentencing convinced the court to structure custody without a state prison commitment and avoid mandatory deportation.

Possession of Cocaine:  The client was charged with felony Possession of Cocaine.  Conviction on that charge would have ended the client’s career and required significant custody time.

Result:  Investigated, drafted and argued a Motion to Suppress Evidence premised on the conduct of police officers at the time of the arrest.  Prevailed on the Motion to Suppress and all charges were dismissed.

Driving Under the Influence and Alleged Refusal to Test:   My client was charged with Driving Under the Influence and ultimately entered a plea to that charge with the statutorily minimal consequences.  However, the arresting officers’ conduct created confusion when the client was asked to submit to a chemical test of his breath or blood.  The officers wrote their reports in a fashion that caused the Department of Motor Vehicles to administratively suspend the client’s license for a year because he purportedly ‘refused’ to test.

Result:  Drafted, filed and argued a Writ of Mandamus to the Superior Court.  The court found that the client had not refused to test and ordered the excessive and erroneous suspension set aside.

General Court Martial:  The client was charged with, among other things, Negligent Homicice and Involuntary Manslaughter.  Two other defendants entered negotiated dispositions.  My client and another defendant pressed forward with the court martial proceedings.  At the conclusion of the Article 32 process (the equivalent of a Preliminary Examination), the Article 32 officer recommended that all charges against the two defendants be dismissed.  The convening authority did not dismiss.

Result:  At a general court martial, the other defendant was found not guilty.  My client was never taken to a general court martial and all charges were dismissed.


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