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David Stephen Kestenbaum

David Stephen Kestenbaum

President, Kestenbaum Law Group, A Professional Corp.
  • Criminal Law, DUI & DWI, White Collar Crime
  • California
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&ASocial Media

David S. Kestenbaum has been practicing criminal law exclusively since 1979. He is rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell and has been listed as a Super Lawyer every year. He has also been named as a Preeminent Criminal Defense Attorney by LexisNexis. Mr. Kestenbaum Was recently elected to serve a second term as a Trustee of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association where he has been the Chair of the Criminal Law Section since 2011. Additionally, he was elected to the Board of Governors of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ), a statewide Association of attorneys whose goal it is to make sure that Criminal Defense attorneys across the state are able to present the most up to date defenses with access to Motions and Briefs that have proved effective in California Courts. David is also a proud member of ProVisors, a nationwide group of high level attorneys and CEOs where he is considered a trusted advisor and a “go to person”. David was a prosecutor in Van Nuys from 1985 through 1992. Prior to and after his stint as a prosecutor, Mr. Kestenbaum defended citizens charged with crimes. He has had offices in Westwood, Century City and now in Van Nuys, directly across from the Van Nuys Courthouse, the District Attorneys office as well as the City Attorneys office. This prime location has allowed him to act quickly and aggressively in presenting his client’s case to the police or prosecutors prior to charges being filed. When this doesn’t work, Mr. Kestenbaum is always ready to try the case to a jury. At this writing, he has won acquittals in his last seven jury trials, including a 22 minute “Not Guilty” in his latest trial. Over the last thirty years, Mr. Kestenbaum has handled many high profile cases, both as a defense attorney and as a prosecutor. He has appeared on numerous Television interviews as well as radio interviews and newspaper articles. Several of his cases have garnered national news, although, as a rule, Mr. Kestenbaum works very hard at keep

Practice Areas
  • Criminal Law
  • DUI & DWI
  • White Collar Crime
  • Free Consultation
    Free initial consultation at my Van Nuys office
  • Credit Cards Accepted
    Accept all credit cards
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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9th Circuit
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  • English: Spoken, Written
  • German: Spoken, Written
  • Spanish: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Kestenbaum Law Group, A Professional Corportation
- Current
Mr. Kestenbaum is President and CEO of Kestenbaum Law Group, A Professional Corporation dedicated to defending citizens who are being investigated or arrested by local, state or Federal agencies.
Founding Partner
Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP
Mr. Kestenbaum founded this criminal defense firm by first bringing in Alan Eisner and then Dmitry Gorin. The firm handled all types of criminal matters, both state and Federal. Mr. Kestenbaum left the firm in 2014 to once again start a new law firm dedicated to providing the best customer service and legal defense people have come to expect from him.
Sole Practitioner
Law Offices of David S. Kestenbaum
After prosecuting in Van Nuys for 8 years, Mr. Kestenbaum left to form his own firm to once again help those accused of crimes; as he had done prior to becoming a prosecutor.
Deputy City Attorney
Los Angeles City Attorney's Office
David was recruited by the City Attorney's office to come in as Level 2 prosecutor due to his 6 years of experience trying criminal cases. Mr. Kestenbaum handled hundreds of cases and trials as a Deputy City Attorney, rising to a top "Level 3" Prosecutor. When a friend was appointed to the Bench, Mr. Kestenbaum left to take over a thriving criminal defense firm and has never looked back. During the time he was a prosecutor, David made many useful connections that inure to his clients' benefit in negotiations.
Mangaing Partner
Lovett, Obrenski & Kestenbaum
Mr. Kestenbaum headed the Criminal Defense team at this full service law firm located in Century City. While handling the criminal cases, Mr. Kestenbaum also took over any litigation in civil matters.
Sole Practitioner
Law Offices of David S. Kestenbaum
David opened up his own firm straight out of law school representing people charged with crimes. Having been a Certified Law Clerk for the Santa Monica City Attorney's Office, David had already appeared in court and had an appellate case published! During this first stint on his own, David was retained to represent over 100 Nude Sunbathers in Malibu and found himself in the middle of a media storm! During that summer, Mr. Kestenbaum tried over 50 jury trials winning all but the first few. He successfully made a Motion to Dismiss the remaining 50 cases because his clients wouldn't waive time and he was able to file a Right to Speedy Trial Motion!
Certified Law Clerk
Santa Monica City Attorney's Office
As a Certified Law Clerk, i was able to appear in Court under the supervision of a Deputy City Attorney. I was allowed to argue Motions and also had an appellate decision published!
Teaching Assistant
Southwestern University School of Law
Teaching assistant for Criminal Law Professor Barth Goldberg for 2 years. I was responsible for updating case law notebook; reviewing teaching assignments and fine tuning curriculum.
Law Clerk
Santa Monica City Attorney's Office
As a law clerk i was allowed to sit in on witness interviews, review police reports, prepare files for court and write a column in the office's newspaper.
Southwestern University School of Law
J.D. (1978) | Criminal Law
Honors: Dean's List; Graduated with Honors; Law Review; Student Council
Activities: Published Law Review article, "People v Disbrow, Halting the Erosion of the Right Against Self Incrimination"
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Boston University
B.S. (1975) | Marketing; Business Management
Honors: Deans List; Graduated Cum Laude (with honors)
Activities: Student Judicial Council; WTBU disc jockey; Music reporter for school paper
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Professional Associations
- Current
Activities: ProVisors is a networking group of executives and other professionals. Mr. Kestenbaum has been a member of 2 groups as well as 5 "Affinity" groups that deal with specific issues such as the new Recreational Marijuana laws. He is considered a "Trusted Advisor" meaning that people call him for help in any area; not just criminal defense. If the issue is not in his wheelhouse, David will know who to refer it to.
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Califonia Attorneys For Criminal Justice
- Current
Activities: As a member of this criminal defense organization, Mr. Kestenbaum has made many contacts throughout the state that have helped him with cases outside of Los Angeles. He has attended MCLE programs every year in order to maintain his mastery of Criminal Defense.
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National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
- Current
Activities: This is a National group of criminal defense attorneys. Mr. Kestenbaum has contacts throughout the United States as a result of his involvement in this wonderful organization.
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San Fernando Valley Bar Association
Chair of Criminal Law Section
Activities: As Chair of the Criminal Law Section, Mr. Kestenbaum is responsible for arranging for MCLE seminars for the members. Due to his many years in the area and his relationships with many service providers, David has been able to offer these MCLE classes FREE as he gets them sponsored!
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California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ)
Board of Governors
Activities: Mr. Kestenbaum has twice been elected to 3 year terms on the Board of Governors of the largest state Criminal Defense Bar Association in the country. In that role, Mr. Kestenbaum has worked with the legislative committee on proposing and opposing legislation dealing with criminal issues. He has also published a column, "Kestenbaum's Korner" in The Forum, CACJ's magazine. David has also been very active in bringing in new lawyers to enjoy the benefits of the largest criminal defense firm in California.
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San Fernando Valley Bar Association
Activities: After 5 years as an elected Trustee, Mr. Kestenbaum was elected as a member of the Executive Board as Treasurer. His duties included Budgeting and analysis of financial reports.
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San Fernando Valley Bar Association
Activities: David was elected twice to the Board of Trustees of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association. Mr. Kestenbaum was the only Criminal Defense attorney elected to the primarily civil attorneys bar association. His duties included helping the SFVBA make itself more prominent in the area as well as dealing with our relations with other bar associations.
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Websites & Blogs
Kestenbaum Law Group
Legal Answers
30 Questions Answered

Q. My son is 28, he got a dui in August 0f 2018 in Sacramento, CA. He paid all his fines and finished his dui classes.
A: If he has already finished his DUI class and mandatory IID time, there is no reason he can't drive your car. He has to maintain an SR 22 with the DMV even if he doesn't have a car in his name. Why do you want to let him drive the car in your name? It opens you to possible civil liability if he is in an accident. If you are doing it to avoid the Ignition Interlock Device, if he is going to drive a car registered to you you have to put the IID in it! There are exceptions and variations but the best thing would be to ask his attorney. Good luck!
Q. What's my best option to ask for dismissal WITH prejudice on a PC 422 based on superseding cause? Thank you
A: You need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent him. Once the call was made and the police arrived, it was out of your hands. It is sad that there are no longer mental health facilities to help people like your son and the jails are certainly not the right place. That being said, you can talk to his lawyer (if it is the PD, not sure if they will talk to you) but the prosecutor is not going to take this lightly as they are afraid he may carry out his threats and hurt or kill you. There are mental health diversions for certain crimes, but this one is excluded. If he is unable to assist in his defense due to a mental problem, he can be sent to Department 95 for a Mental Health evaluation.. Sorry but that is the state of the law these days. Good luck!
Q. If I was charged with a felony hit and run and I was on unsupervised probation what are my punishment?
A: What are you on Probation for already? That will have an affect on how your case is resolved. Driving without a license and causing TBI (it's only "mild" if it's not YOUR injury!) are not a good recipe for staying out of jail, but that is where a good lawyer comes in. What courthouse is the case you are on probation for and where is the new case going to be heard? This may be filed as a FELONY so you need to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney near you. Most of us offer free initial consultations. Good luck!
Q. I got a letter from the district att. on a charge from 6 mo. ago that requires a book and release at the jail, WHY?
A: You need to take what ever paperwork you received to an attorney to review.
Q. why do I have to go and book and release myself for a ticket that didn't even get filed for 6 months
A: If you were just given a citation and now the case has been filed, the City Attorney will ask the Court for a "Book and Release" order to make the case visible on your rap sheet (without being booked, there would be no record of the case on statewide or nationwide rap sheets. What's more important is beating your charges. It sounds like you might have a PC 1538.5 Motion to Dismiss issue that your lawyer can make. However, if your summary probation includes Search & Seizure conditions, the police would not need PC to search you. What was your prior conviction that got you placed on Summary Probation? If you have already gone to court (which is apparent if you were ordered to get booked) you should discuss this with your attorney who could have tried to object although i have only had a few instances where I was able to dissuade the booking requirement because i was going to get the case dismissed. Good luck!
Q. can the police arrest me for grand theft auto when im only guilty of moving the vehicle
A: The short answer is yes, they can arrest you. That doesn't mean the DA will file charges as it all depends upon the facts of the case. For instance if your "friend" asked you to help him and gave you a screw driver to start the car, there would be circumstantial evidence that you knew it was stolen since no key was present. Without going through all the possible scenarios, if you are contacted by the police or arrested, make NO STATEMENTS to the police without your lawyer being present. If you can't afford a private attorney, you will have to wait until a case is filed to get the PD appointed at your arraignment. Have you moved a car and been contacted by the police already? Good luck!
Q. what is a DA number assigned for?
A: Do you mean a DA case number? In Los Angeles County there will be a police report or DR number and, if the case is filed, a Superior Court case number, but no DA number. In Ventura County, you get a number as soon as you are arrested that, if the case is filed, would be your case number. If you meant to ask something different, please re-ask with more information. Good luck!
Q. My son is 16 years old recently went to jail for getting in a fight at school he is on probation but I have the video
A: If there was a video showing that your son didn't hit anyone, that should have been provided to his lawyer before the case was resolved and your son was sent, i hope, to Juvenile Hall or Camp, not jail. However, if he was on Probation there is a lesser burden of proof for a Violation and that could be why he has been detained. You really need to talk to his Public Defender to see what is going on since they know what he is on probation for, how long has he been on Probation, what are his conditions of probation and what the facts of the new case are. For instance, if he was on Probation including Gang conditions and gang members were involved, he may have violated probation just by being present during the fight. As far as the guard pepper spraying your son, that is a civil issue that you need to see if a civil rights suit is warranted. but that doesn't help your son get out of custody. Good luck!
Q. Is it illegal for an adult(or a 17 year old) to send a 14 year old nudes(without consent).
A: Yes! Without knowing the fact pattern it is impossible to advise accurately, other than to say it is a bad idea that could land the adult or 17 year old in jail!
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Contact & Map
Van Nuys Office across from Van Nuys Courthouse
14401 Sylvan Street
Ste 100
Van Nuys, CA 91401
Telephone: (818) 616-4312