Our Rating


John W. Thornton, Attorney at Law - Santa Cruz is rated
5 out of 5.0 based on 54 reviews

anonymous Aug 30, 2021

John is amazingly responsive - he got back to me quickly even though he was vacationing in Mexico. He advised me regarding a juvenile misdemeanor and everything he predicted happened, which to me means that he knows his business very well! After every conversation I was left feeling informed and (to the extent possible) relaxed about what was going on and what to do next.

Jesse Jun 21, 2021

I consulted with Mr. Thornton about my case, and he was incredibly generous with his time and offered free legal advice multiple times via emails and phone calls even before getting hired or paid. His advice was incredibly helpful too. He is caring, compassionate, intelligent, and knew all the workings of the legal system. I would highly recommend Mr. John Thornton!

Am M. Apr 27, 2021

Getting a DUI is one of the worst experiences you'll ever have in life. John Thornton will help you get through it. He will do his best to explain the process, make sure you know what you need to do, and make it as painless as possible. John is very kind and non-judgmental, and worth every penny.

anonymous Apr 12, 2021

Seems very genuine and understanding. It's nice being able to speak with a lawyer who just wants to help

Connie Oliveira Mar 19, 2021

The Best!!!!!!

anonymous Jul 24, 2020

I hired John after I was charged with a DUI for which I was facing criminal penalties and a loss of driving privilege that would have had a severe impact on both my personal and professional life. I knew that I had not actually committed any crime, but that proving so was going to be an uphill battle. John diligently gathered and documented evidence, including the acquisition of security camera footage, which ultimately convinced the county not pursue a case against me. In addition to the initial DUI charge, I had also refused to take the field breathalyzer, which can result in an automatic 1 year license suspension. This was an even harder battle to win and actually ended up going to a hearing with the DMV. Once again John expertly presented evidence, gave excellent counsel as to my own testimony, and made well conceived opening/closing statements that convinced the hearing officer to set aside the suspension of my license. Over a year after the initial incident my record and driving privilege was left unscathed and I couldn't be happier with John's work. I always had the sense that he wanted to win and he did. Money well spent!

Monica Jul 10, 2020

John really took the time to review my case and get me the best outcome. With Covid going on, we did all our communication via email and phone and he was always available to discuss my case and give me the legal advice I needed. He went above and beyond in settling my case and I highly recommend him.

anonymous Jan 23, 2020

John handled my case incredibly tactfully and managed to secure a great result! He is well connected and experienced in navigating the court system in Santa Cruz, and is a very easy to communicate with (very quick response time). Most of all, he genuinely cares about his clients wellbeing and the end result in the case, and is relatable, empathetic, and kind.

Bill M. Dec 10, 2019

JT is the best and most experienced DUI defense lawyer in Santa Cruz, hands down.  He has saved countless drivers licenses at the DMV and in court and has kept countless of his clients out of jail; enabling them to keep their jobs and/or professional licenses.  He is personable, highly intelligent and well respected both in and out of court.

WM Apr 22, 2019

This man changed my life. After close to 10 years since receiving a California felony "wobbler" conviction, I believed that I would always carry the label as a criminal, no matter where I went, or what I chose to pursue in life. This made it difficult to find work, enjoy my hobbies, or even maintain personal relationships. Moving forward, I reached out to John through a recommendation from a family friend. I was currently living out of state, and pursuing an education at a university. John (JT) made every step of the process clear and concise, taking extreme care to stay in communication with me along the way. After months of hard work and a lot of bouncing back and forth between us, I could tell that his preparation was thorough and we were ready. On the day that we won, I was absolutely ecstatic and felt tears of joy. I am forever in debt to this man. His service was outstanding, his personality is amazing, and he completely delivered on what was promised. I recommend him bar none to anyone who has hope for bettering their life and a second chance.

Brian Nov 14, 2018

John Thornton is a consummate professional. Knows the law inside out, was able to negotiate the best settlement possible for my particular DUI. Was able to reduce my DUI school from 9 months to 3 months, a huge benefit. Handled every aspect of the case calmly, professionally and with an upbeat attitude. In fact, it is John's attitude that made the biggest impression upon me. Always positive, never judgmental, and laden with a refreshing dose of humor as well. Love his "can do" approach. Very highly recommended.

Tracey Aug 13, 2018

When I called John (or JT as I now know him) the day after my DUI, I knew instantly I could trust him to represent my DUI case in Santa Cruz. JT was an empathetic ear in that moment when I had found myself in a pathetic situation. He was realistic about my circumstances and genuine in every sense of the word. He even ‘checked in’ on me periodically, knowing this was a very private matter for me at the time. With the nature of my career, JT was able to represent me every step of the way, providing timely feedback, and keeping me on track to get through this process as streamline as possible. JT kept in touch with me over the years and furthermore successfully represented me during my DUI ‘dismissal’ 3 years later, which has helped me to move forward successfully in my career.

shawn May 30, 2018

The contrast between John and the lawyers I contacted before providence brought me to his doorstep is night and day. With others, question #1 was “how much money do you have”, and more than one hung up on me merely at a hesitation in my reply. John’s first move was to listen to me. His second move was to immediately call the DA’s office on my behalf, before the question of hiring him even came up. The arresting officer had gone far out of his way to stretch the story and concoct the case for a felony arrest, and I found myself in real trouble. (Unsolicited advice from my personal experience: even the most innocuous details shared before Miranda rights are read can and will be used against you, and it’s in the cop’s own professional best interest to make it sound like they’ve arrested the biggest criminal imaginable.) Just by presenting my perspective he got my booking reduced to a misdemeanor, which also meant his fee to handle the case would be lower because there would be less work involved. Then, 5 years later, he successfully filed to have my record sealed. I hadn’t yet requested help, and even felt nervous even asking for his advice about whether shaking an arrest on my record was an option for me. There was no additional charge, just the unsolicited offer of “let me see what I can do for you”. If there’s one thing missing from all these reviews, in which so many others share my experience with John, it’s that the prosecutors at the Santa Cruz courthouse have just as much trust and respect for John—for his humanity, honesty and fairness—as we do. I witnessed it in every interaction from that first phone call through the judges gavel, and it’s because he treats everyone, including them, with an equal respect. Beyond John’s significant legal expertise, his relationship with the court is an invaluable asset. The court took his account into consideration, over the cop’s, in my booking. The court was forthcoming with information, both the facts as they considered them and what their intentions would be in prosecuting the case, which helps with peace of mind during a stressful time. In court, he sat on the prosecutors side and worked things out with the DA before my case was called. The entire court proceeding was no more than the judge’s rubber stamp on our mutual agreement, and I was spared all penalty beyond the black mark on my record. And he didn’t stop until even that was gone. The best part is, he’s not being a good person to gain advantage, he’s just being himself.

Peter Griffin Nov 13, 2017

Reviewer Did Not Provide A Comment

Bill Makler Oct 24, 2017

Reviewer Did Not Provide A Comment

Renee Oct 06, 2017

John Thornton is on of the most professional people I have ever met. I was in the most stressful position of my life and he helped me more than anyone ever could. During the entire process of John working for me he was there for me, empathetic, he did everything he said he was going to do when, he said he would do it, and did his best! John is a high integrity man. We need more people like him. I can not say enough nice things about him. He saved my life.

Debbie J. Aug 30, 2017

John was terrific.  He handled a legal matter for me. He was always upbeat with a smile on his face. Despite its complexity, I never had to personally deal with the court system.  He was extremely knowledgeable and returned phone calls/ text messages very promptly.    John was always one step ahead, and told you what next steps would me.{ Don't rely on Mr. Google, because a lot of the information is obsolete/inaccurate.   John would always say, No it doesn't work that way}...He was always spot on.

anonymous May 13, 2017

John got an awesome verdict for me on a hard case to win; helped me through the process and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him to anyone who needed a DUI lawyer. John is the man, it's that simple.

C K. Nov 17, 2016

If you are the parent of a young adult in trouble, you have come to the right place. John is a personable, savvy lawyer who certainly knows his way around Santa Cruz. His price is reasonable and the value very high. I highly recommend him. You will be in good hands.

calvin Jun 29, 2016

can not say enough about Mr. John Thornton 5 stars is simply not enough my life was in his hands for one year as he did his thing with HR (human resource ) and the DA kept in touch every step every turn this MAN is true to his word