Michael A. Hestrin was elected as Riverside County District Attorney in June 2014 and was sworn in to serve as the District Attorney on Jan. 5, 2015.
Born in the Coachella Valley, Hestrin graduated in 1993 from the University of Arizona in Tucson earning a bachelor’s degree in history. After college, he spent a year living in Mexico with relatives while working as a reporter for a small newspaper based in Guadalajara. Hestrin then returned to the United States to begin his legal studies at Stanford University. He graduated from Stanford in 1997, with both a Juris Doctorate in Law and a master’s degree in Latin American studies.
Before his election as District Attorney, Hestrin spent almost 20 years as a line prosecutor in the Riverside County DA’s Office. During his years as a prosecutor, he handled difficult and challenging criminal cases. He has completed more than 100 jury trials during his career. He served as Trial Team Leader for the District Attorney’s Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit, where he prosecuted those who target and abuse children. For most of his last 10 years prior to taking office, he worked in the Homicide Unit where he conducted more than 40 murder trials, including seven Death Penalty cases.
In addition to his success in the courtroom, Hestrin has received recognition for his achievements during the course of his legal career. In 2003, 2005, and again in 2010, he was named Countywide Prosecutor of the Year for Riverside County. In 2008, Hestrin was also selected by the legal publication, The Daily Journal, as one of California’s “Top Twenty Lawyers Under Forty”.
In 2009, the California District Attorney Investigators Association honored Hestrin as the Statewide Prosecutor of the Year. In 2010, the California District Attorneys Association recognized him as California’s Outstanding Prosecutor of the Year.
Since his election, Hestrin launched an internal review of systems and procedures to identify areas in need of improvement and has focused on creating and implementing an innovative paperless case filing/tracking system that integrates the DA’s office with partner agencies and the court to save taxpayer monies while ushering the DA’s Office into the 21st Century. In addition to technological improvements, Hestrin created the Crime Prevention Unit tasked with community outreach and preventing criminal behavior among our youth. The program has received national recognition and is in great demand. Additionally, Hestrin has formed the DA’s Organized Crime Unit. He has also developed and implemented the DA’s Collaborative Courts Unit that combines judicial supervision with rehabilitation services to reduce recidivism and improve offender outcomes.