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Joel Bailey


Attorney Joel W. Bailey was born and raised in San Diego, California. He graduated from La Jolla High School, and earned degrees in Psychology, Sociology and Political Science from UC Santa Barbara, as well as completing a semester at the Universidad de Madrid in Spain.

After undergraduate work, Mr. Bailey earned his Juris Doctorate Cum Laude from Western State University, and began practicing criminal defense, aggressively representing clients in San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

When not working, Joel likes spending time with his family, surfing, racing motorcycles and enjoying San Diego.

Mr. Bailey served on the Board of Directors of the Bar Association of North San Diego County as both a Director and Vice President.  He also volunteers his time at One Safe Place in San Marcos, assisting victims of Domestic Violence.  He was named the San Diego District Attorney's office Volunteer of the Year for 2024.


Over thirty (30) years of practicing criminal Law, DUI/DWI, Drug Crimes, Sex Crimes, Internet Crimes, Three Strikes, Domestic Violence, embezzlement/white collar crimes, and Temporary Restraining Orders.  Our office now also offers full family law representation for divorce, custody, and support matters.


I became a lawyer because I wanted to help people. I work in the Vista, California, area because I believe people here deserve to have a professional, tough attorney on their side. I know sometimes good people make bad mistakes. I am also aware innocent people can be convicted because of embarrassment, fear, or lack of representation.

If you are being investigated, or charged with any criminal offense, anywhere in California, contact me, attorney Joel Bailey, at Bailey Criminal Defense, Inc. For over 30 years I've had the privilege of helping people stay out of jail and protect their livelihoods and families. Put my experience to work for you. For more information about me click on my attorney profile below.


  • California, 1993
  • 9th District Federal Court, 1994


Western State University/ Thomas Jefferson College of Law, San Diego, California

  • J.D. cum laude
  • Honors: International Business Transactions and Legal Research
  • Honors: American Jurisprudence Awards: Contracts II and Criminal Procedure
  • Law Review: Criminal Justice Journal, 1992 – 1993

University of California, Santa Barbara, California

  • B.A. – 1989
  • Honors: With Distinction
  • Major: Law & Society

University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain


  • Wallin & Klarich, Associate, 1993 – 1996
  • California Court of Appeals, Fourth District Div. 1, Judicial Extern, 1992
  • San Diego Superior Court, Student Intern,Pre-trial Services, 1991 – 1993
  • Malowney, Chialtas & Bishop, Law Clerk, 1991
  • Western State University, Teaching Assistant, 1991 – 1992
  • Eckert, Smith Tyler & Hoppell, Law Clerk, 1986 – 1989

Recent Blog Posts


  • Excellent Attorney!

    Straightforward, honest, professional and works hard on behalf of his clients. 5 Stars!
  • Confident Expert in his Field

    Joel Bailey was a great help to me when I had no idea of what to do. He relieved my mind of stress and worry and took the reins effortlessly by appearing in court on my behalf- I didn't even have to be present. I felt confident in his ability to defend me and his expertise helped me and my family...
  • Winner with the DMV, Got my License Back!

    Joel made my DMV hearing a breeze. He scheduled the Appeal hearing, I was able to be present via telephone, and he helped me to get all the evidence we needed in order to win the case. Thank you Joel!  
  • Terrific Results

    Joel is a consummate professional who gets terrific results for his clientele. As a fellow attorney, I feel confident referring criminal cases to his practice.
  • Prevented My case from Being Filed

    Joel has shown first-rate professionalism as well as true compassion regarding my situation. I am a foreigner, and he took his time to clearly, patiently, explained to me what was at stake and what he would do. He brilliantly executed his plan and I am so thankful : Joel worked so agressively tha...
  • This is the attorney you want Fighting for You!

    If you have found yourself or a loved one, the victim of a justice system intended to protect you, Joel Bailey is the attorney that you want fighting for your freedom. There is no need to look any further. Joel was well prepared for all court dates. He researched the case as if he were fighting f...
  • Joel Fought Hard to Get Justice for Us!

    Thank you for facilitating the complete dismissal of falsified charges that were illegally reported and incited acute, police harassment from our domestic violence instigator and child abuse perpetrator; who constantly utilizes the court, legal and financial means to keep attached to my life. Tha...
  • Mr. Bailey Got my Escondido DV case Dismissed!

    I recommend Joel Bailey for anyone seeking a criminal defense lawyer. Joel was very professional and honest from the beginning and provided truthful outcomes for my case. He provided a clear path to achieve our overall goal which relieved a lot of anxiety through a troubling time. He was always t...
  • Great Guidance in a Stressful time

    Mr. Bailey was a breath of fresh air in a very anxious time. I was well taken care of and feel I got the best defense. I feel able to ask questions and get the answers in a form that is understandable. Thank you!  
  • Got My Fallbrook TRO Dismissed!

    Joel was very professional, straight forward, and precise in his legal representation. He is intelligent, informative, and highly recommendable.
  • Great Attorney

    Joel Bailey is a professional and the best in his field. He shows genuine care and concern for all of his clients from the very start of the process, and goes above and beyond to work towards the best possible outcome for your case. I would highly recommend Mr. Bailey to anyone in need of a defen...
  • This is the Attorney you want on your side

    Joel was extremely professional and helpful from the very start with our case. He guided us through the process to a favorable outcome and went above and beyond to help. Would highly recommend Joel Bailey to anyone in need of a defense attorney!
  • Took the Time to Understand and Fight for Me

    If you are looking for an Amazing Attorney you can STOP looking right here with Joel Bailey. He is genuine, truthful, trustworthy, and caring for his clients. Joel is an expert in his field of law, and is reasonably priced. This attorney will listen attentively, and answer questions on your level...
  • Hire this Attorney

    Asides from Joel being an outstanding person. He is also an astounding criminal defense attorney. Without any hesitation I would 100% refer and recommend him to anyone in need of this type of representation in San Diego County. Thank you Joel.
  • Great Criminal Defense Attorney!

    Joel is a great criminal defense attorney. I don't know much about criminal defense and he answered any questions i had no matter how dumb they were, and explained everything that was going on every step of the way. Thanks to him my husband will be home before we know it and my family can start t...
  • Best Attorney in Town

    Joel Bailey is by far the best criminal defense attorney in San Diego County. In this day and age of complicated legal tactics brought forth by the justice system, Joel is profoundly knowledgeable and I've seen him navigate intense and complicated cases to victory time and time again. Joel is agg...
  • Strong Negotiator

    A few years ago I earned my young, drunk, and stupid card and needed a good attorney. Joel came highly recommended from a friend, and helped me every step of the way - explaining the entire process to me as we dealt with the courts. I was quite pleased with the outcome Mr. Bailey was able to nego...
  • Quality Human and Great Attorney

    I have known Joel for some time now. I rarely trust people to the extend that I trust Joel. I know if he tells me something it is in my best interest without agenda on his part. Joel is truly one of the good guys and I would be happy to discuss this with anyone. I consider Joel a friend for life.
  • If you Need an Attorney, you want Mr. Bailey

    Joel is the best in the business. He got all my charges dismissed and was very easy to work with. On top of Mr. Bailey being the best at what he does, he is an all around good human! Thanks again Joel, you're the man!
  • A leader in his field

    As a personal injury attorney, I send all my criminal matters to Joel Bailey, since he has been practicing criminal law in San Diego County and the Vista Court house for over 22 years. Joel will take care of you, as he has for many of my clients. I've witnessed Mr. Bailey in trial, and he's a str...
  • Cleaned up After my Mistakes

    Unfortunately, I've made mistakes in my life that I am not proud of, but I found Joel Bailey and he's helped me get my life back together.  Tough and honest, he kept me on track and helped me when I needed it the most.  Thank you sir.
  • Bailey is The Best

    Mr Bailey helped me with Hit and Run charge along with accompanying Fraud charges that at first looked and felt impossible to fight but in the end worked out a very acceptable and what I was told of, an unheard of deal. I would recommend Mr. Bailey to anyone who needs an experienced lawyer who kn...
  • DUI Defense

    Joel Bailey was a great help to me when I had no idea of what to do. He relieved my mind of stress and worry and took the reins effortlessly by appearing in court on my behalf- I didn't even have to be present. I felt confident in his ability to defend me and his expertise helped me and my family...
  • Made the process so easy

    Joel made my DMV hearing a breeze. He scheduled the Appeal hearing, I was able to be present via telephone, and he helped me to get all the evidence we needed in order to win the case. Thank you Joel!
  • Phenomenal Attorney

    Having Mr. Bailey represent me in a D.U.I. case was everything I could have asked for and more. He explained each step of the process and got me a great deal when I wasn't sure what the future would hold for me. Highly recommend anyone going through legal trouble to go with Joel, he has your best...
  • Best Attorney in North County

    r Bailey squashed my case before it was filed. He is strategic and operates efficiently to help his clients and maximize probability for success. He has built strong relationships and has the respect of the DA and judges in North County
  • Joel did an amazing job for me! Call him now if you need a lawyer!!

    He basically saved my life. My future is still ahead of me because of Joel. He listened and did not judge. He never made promises he couldn't keep and his decisions regarding my case were always well thought out. I can't imagine where I'd be if I hadn't called and then hired Joel. He is awesome!!


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