Winning Record

These are just a few of the many allegations and cases Theresa Ristenpart has successfully defended and won over the past Fifteen Years.

To respect clients' privacy, initials may be used.


State v. WAYNE BURGARELLO — Murder in the first degree with the use of a deadly weapon, Attempted murder with the use of a deadly weapon — not guilty all charges

Drug users broke into client's vacant rental property. Client was called by a neighbor about unusual activity at the home. Client armed himself before entering the home, calling out numerous times that he was the homeowner and if anyone was in there they needed to leave. Upon opening the back door to a dark bedroom, client encountered the two trespassers, one raised his arm and pointed a black object straight at client. Client fired in self-defense killing one and injuring the other. Jury found client not guilty on all counts.



Client was accused of being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm. The federal government argued that client was “in possession” despite the gun being found a block away in a hotel room not associated with client. Defense argued that the police violated client’s constitutional rights and won at a pre-trial motion hearing, securing client’s release from custody and all charges being dismissed against him.


state v. Sandy S. - all charges dismissed

Client arrested for allegation of domestic battery with substantial bodily harm. After defense investigation, learned that client stabbed in self-defense. Demanded officers’ body cameras which showed that officers also believed the stabbing to have been committed in self-defense. Prosecutor dismissed all charges.


U.S. Government v. $100,000.00 - Asset Forfeiture

Federal agents stopped client claiming he swerved over the white line once.  Agents seized client's money falsely claiming that they suspected it was connected to drugs even though no evidence of drugs.  After a long fight, the government was forced the entire $100,000 plus pay the client interest.


State v. Brian B. - sexual assault with a minor and lewdness with a minor - Charges dismissed with prejudice

Client was falsely accused by a child in his neighborhood.  Defense team discovered multiple other incidents where the child lied.  Prosecutor dismissed the charges.


State v. Tyler S. — Sexual assault — dismissed with prejudice

Defense team investigation discovered alleged victim lied about numerous aspects of her story resulting in the district attorney dismissing the entire case.


State v. N.H. - Domestic Battery - charge dismissed with prejudice

During divorce proceedings, client's wife falsely alleged he had grabbed her wrist.  Once defense pointed out the inconsistencies in her stories and her overall plan to use the arrest in order to get the family home, the prosecutor was forced to dismiss the case.


state v. V.H. - embezzlement - charges dismissed

Client was accused of taking money from employer.  After carefully examining the paper trial, it turned out that the prosecutor could never prove the allegation. 


State v. J.T. — Kidnapping 1st degree, Robbery with use of deadly weapon — charges dismissed

Further defense investigation through cell phone records proved that client was not in the area at the time of the alleged incident. State was forced to dismiss all charges.



Police violated client's Fourth Amendment constitutional rights as did not have adequate probable cause to stop client's car.  Evidence of drugs was suppressed and Court dismissed all charges. 


State v. K.W. — Trafficking of Drugs — Level III — charges dismissed

Defense team discovered that the officer, who 'discovered' the drugs, had a personal motive to set client up. State decided to dismiss all charges.


State v. Julian acox — Murder with the use of deadly weapon — not guilty of all charges

Client, along with his girlfriend and friend, stopped at a convenience store on the way home. There, client was confronted in the parking lot by a biker gang member who mistook client for another African-American man he had problems with earlier that night at a strip club. The biker and his associates assaulted client and intimated that they had a gun. Client jumped back into his car but as they were driving away, the back passenger screamed that the bikers were shooting. Client fired in self-defense killing one biker. Jury found not guilty on all counts.

Julian Acox

State v. S.L. — Domestic battery — dismissed

Client slapped husband in self-defense when he blocked her means of exit during an argument in divorce proceedings. Husband claimed domestic battery.  State dismissed charges.


Fredrick Bowman v. State - Supreme Court Appeal Victory

Client was charged with possession of methamphetamine.  Defense argued at jury trial that the deputy who found the drugs may have tracked the drugs in on his boot.  The jury was undecided for six hours, went home and conducted illegal experiments testing out defense theory.  Defense filed an appeal, argued the issue before the Nevada Supreme Court, and won a new trial for the client.

Watch Theresa Ristenpart Argue Before the Nevada Supreme Court


State v. J.J. — DUI causing substantial bodily harm — hung jury in two different jury trials

Client and friend were involved in a roll-over accident. Both client and friend were intoxicated. Friend stated that client was driving. Defense raised reasonable doubt in two different jury trials that it was not proven client was the driver based upon the physical evidence and that friend had a financial motive to claim client was driving. Jury was hung both times.


State v. Kenny smith — Sexual assault — acquitted of all charges

Client went to a house party and had consensual sex with a woman he met at the party. The woman, who had a boyfriend, claimed rape two days later. Jury acquitted client.


State v. Alex Tate — Assault with a deadly weapon, Habitual criminal — acquitted of all charges

Client was at a casino when security officers demanded he leave the premises. Client walked out to the parking lot as security officers followed him. The officers claimed that client swung at them with a pocket knife. Defense tracked down the closest security officer to the client at the time of the alleged incident who testified that client did not have a knife. Jury acquitted client of all charges.


State v.  D.N. — Sexual assault — charges dismissed

Client was accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a party.  Woman positively identified client in photo line-up. Further defense and forensic DNA testing proved that another man sexually assaulted the woman and client had been mistakenly identified. The State dismissed all charges.


State v. J.L. - Level III drug trafficking - charges dismissed

Client was in a car with three other individuals. Officers stopped the car, searched, and found over 800 grams of methamphetamine hidden in the trunk in a secret compartment. Client was unaware of the drugs in the car. Further defense investigation and forensic testing of the bag showed that the bag of drugs had fingerprints from only two of the other people in the car. State dismissed all charges.


State v. R.K. — Eluding and Gun charges — charges dismissed


State v. R.S. — Level III drug trafficking — dismissed by winning motion to suppress

Client visited a friend at a local hotel. Detectives stopped client on the floor of the casino. When client refused to a search, detectives trumped up a charge in order to arrest client and search him. Judge agreed with defense motion that detectives violated client's constitutional rights and suppressed the bag of drugs found on client. State was forced to dismiss the case. 


State v. R.W. — Battery causing substantial bodily harm, Burglary — acquitted

Client was attacked by his neighbor. Client fought back in self-defense. Jury acquitted of all charges.


State v. D. B. — Indecent exposure — acquitted

Client was changing in a hotel lobby. Police ordered client to drop what he was holding to cover his genitals and to turn around to face them. Officer then charged client with indecent exposure. Defense argued that officers could not create indecent exposure by demanding that client drop what he was holding to cover himself. Jury agreed and acquitted client of all charges.


State v. J.R.C. — Possession of child pornography — plead to misdemeanor sales of recording device (non sex offense)


State v. D.G. — Murder first degree — won a new trial because defense recorded judge misconduct

Judge made derogatory comments about client in front of jury.  Defense objected and won a new trial.


State v.  W.W.  Burglary, grand larceny, possession of stolen goods — dismissed of all charges


City v. D.V. — Trespassing — dismissed of all charges


State v. R.S. — Auto burglary — dismissed of all charges


State v. M.T. — DUI and possession of drugs — dismissed because unconstitutional actions by police


 State v. R.M. — Drug Trafficking — won a new trial because defense discovered new evidence


State v. B.G. — False imprisonment — hung jury, charges later dismissed


State v. J.T. — Sexual assault — dismissed of all charges