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Charlie has maintained a criminal defense practice based in Marin County since 2008.  He carries on the legacy of his paternal grandfather, a career public defender in San Francisco, from the 1930s through the early 1960s, his father, who practiced criminal defense throughout California for over 40 years and his maternal grandfather who served as a Supreme Court Judge in Ulster County, New York. Charlie handles a wide range of criminal cases, from simple misdemeanors to complex felony trials and appeals. Charlie understands that even the smallest cases are critical to the life and future of his clients. He primarily handles cases in Northern California, although he serves his clients across the state if necessary. Mr. Dresow has won success for his clients at both the trial court and appellate level.

Charlie has represented numerous clients whose cases have faced local, regional and national media scrutiny. He effectively develops a multifaceted approach to defending these cases, which includes comprehensive crisis management as well as media and public relations strategies. Media outlets including the New York Times, CNN, Dateline, San Francisco Chronicle, Marin Independent Journal, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, ABC 7 News, KTVU, KGO, Good Morning America and San Francisco Magazine have featured Charlie’s cases.  Charlie understands that when an individual is investigated, arrested or charged with a crime they face a crisis. This crisis requires a lawyer equipped to plan a comprehensive response and defend on multiple fronts. Charlie is prepared to effectively manage a crisis which requires him interact immediately, and at the same time with police investigators, prosecutors, the private plaintiffs’ bar, the press, insurers, and the individual’s community.

Charlie currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors for Alternate Defenders Incorporated which is the governing body for the local conflict indigent defense panel. He was formerly the President of the Marin County Bar Association and remains on the Board of Directors of multiple regional non-profits. He has volunteered as a football coach at Redwood High School.  Charlie is a lifelong Marin County resident, leaving to attend Pitzer College and the McGeorge School of Law. While at Pitzer college, Charlie was a four-year letterman for the football team and a four-year starter on the rugby team, finishing as rugby team captain his senior year.


  • California State Bar
  • US District Courts: Northern District of California


  • Board of Directors Alternate Defenders Incorporated 2014-Present
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star Selection 2015-present
  • Board of Directors Marin County Bar Association 2010-2013
  • California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
  • California Public Defenders Association
  • Richard Sangster Inn of Court
  • Marin County Bar Association Chair
  • Criminal Law Section Marin County Bar Association 2014-Present

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