Heidi Holmquist Wells was featured on the May 2016 edition of the North Coast Journal


You have been arrested. You are scared. And the truth is, your fear is warranted. The power of the government to arrest and convict can seem boundless. In this stressful time, you need someone who is on your side. Someone who knows the law, the system, and the parties that you are up against. Someone who can help you understand the consequences, who can fight for your rights, and if necessary, can ultimately convey your side of the story to a jury of your peers.

Hiring a criminal defense attorney can seem intimidating. Will the attorney think I am a bad person because I have been arrested? If the allegations are of a violent or sexual nature, will the attorney not want to deal with my case? These are natural feelings to have, but at The Zwerdling Law Firm, LLP, we are here to help.

Heidi Holmquist Wells has shaped her method of criminal practice to her clients. As a Deputy Public Defender for over seven years, she has (almost) heard it all. She has seen every type of criminal case, from simple DUIs to the most heinous of homicides. She approaches cases with a focus on the individual client’s needs, and with a hope of making the process of a criminal proceeding less scary. Her partner, Zachary Zwerdling, started his legal career as a Deputy Public Defender and successfully litigated several homicide cases before focusing on personal injury law. Coming from a similar background, they share a dedication to fighting for justice on behalf of their clients.

The reality is, as humans, we all make mistakes. The Zwerdling Law Firm, LLP is here to help people through those mistakes, while protecting their rights and fiercely advocating for a just result. There are always two sides to any story, and hiring an experienced attorney ensures that your side will be heard.

If you have been arrested or are facing criminal charges, please call today for a free consultation regarding your case.

  • Felony Charges
    • If you are charged with a felony, you are facing a serious amount of jail or prison time if convicted. Not only that, if convicted you can lose rights, including your right to carry a firearm, be deported, and potentially be excluding from future employment opportunities. It is therefore in your best interest to have an attorney who is on your side and willing to fight for you. Someone who will help investigate the case on your behalf, and be willing to say that law enforcement and the District Attorney got it wrong.
    • Our system of criminal justice isn’t perfect, but a competent and dedicated defense attorney can help make it fair. When the potential consequences of a conviction can take away your freedom and your rights, there is nothing more important than finding an attorney who will listen to your side of the story, and tailor the type of defense required to your situation and needs. Heidi Holmquist Wells is here to listen, to explain, and to protect your rights.
    • Given the consequences related to felony charges, it may be necessary to take your case to trial. Heidi Holmquist Wells has litigated four homicide trials in Humboldt County, including one lasting over three months. Of those four trials, only one trial resulted in a conviction (to lesser charges). At a young age, she has extraordinary experience in serious criminal litigation, and a remarkable track record of success in the courtroom.
  • Misdemeanor Charges
    • While a misdemeanor charge is not as serious as a felony charge, it can still have a huge impact on your life and future. A misdemeanor conviction can affect your driver’s license, be seen by future employers, and affect your rights, including your right to carry a firearm. It is therefore vital that you have an attorney on your side who can analyze the facts of the case from your point of view, and help you determine the best course of action.
    • If you find yourself facing misdemeanor charges, Heidi Holmquist Wells can walk you through the court process, appear on your behalf, review the investigation for errors and incompetence, investigate the case with an eye towards innocence rather than guilt, negotiate with the District Attorney and present your side of the case to the judge.
  • Driving Under the Influence
    • A DUI charge is one of those crimes that (hopefully) no one means to commit. From college students to professional athletes, it is unfortunately a crime that occurs on a daily basis. Given the level of potential danger involved in this conduct, the laws that are in place can punish harshly in a variety of ways, from large fines and jail time to suspension of your driver’s license. Driving is an important part of daily life, and not being able to drive can affect your entire family, your job, and your ability to function on a day-to-day basis. If you have been arrested for a DUI, contact an attorney immediately, as you only have 10 days to contest your license suspension.
    • While you may think that you don’t have a defense if you are arrested for a DUI, hiring an experienced attorney is still important. You may have a defense you weren’t aware of, there may be evidence that should be suppressed, or you may have significant mitigating factors that need to be presented to the District Attorney and Court. By hiring an attorney, you can be assured that you will be protected from a system that processes hundreds of people a day, and that your side of the story will be heard.
  • Cannabis Defense 
    • In Humboldt County, the production and sale of marijuana is an ever-changing area of law and business. Having an experienced attorney on your side in a marijuana-related prosecution can save you money in the long run and help you navigate the rules of this emerging area of law.
    • Cannabis charges can range from felonies to misdemeanors, and can have significant consequences as described above. County Code violations related to marijuana can bring enormous fines and strict obligations that need to be complied with. Do not wait to contact an attorney if you have been cited or arrested on cannabis related violations.