Michael A. Hestrin was elected as Riverside County District Attorney in June 2014 and sworn in to serve as the District Attorney on January 5, 2015. He was re-elected to a second four-year term in 2018 and currently serves as the Riverside County District Attorney.
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 he was elected 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 before 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 been recognized numerous times for his achievements during 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.
During his tenure as District Attorney, Hestrin has focused on updating technology, re-imagining our approach to investigations, vigorous prosecution of serious and violent felons, crime prevention and rehabilitation efforts, state-of-the-art victim support services, and informing our community members regarding important public safety matters.
The need for tough traditional prosecution of serious and violent felonies is Hestrin’s core focus. This is evident in his creation of the DA’s Bureau of Investigation-led Gang Impact Team and Riverside County Child Exploitation Team. Those multiagency teams aggressively investigate and prosecute violent felons, child predators, and human traffickers. In 2021, Hestrin took a hard stance against drug dealers who deal fentanyl and are poisoning our community. Under Hestrin’s leadership, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office began aggressively prosecuting fentanyl dealers, charging them with murder when supported by the evidence.
In addition to successful prosecutions, ushering the DA’s Office into the 21st Century, Hestrin implemented an innovative paperless case filing/tracking system that integrates the DA’s Office with partner agencies and the court to save taxpayer monies. Along with technological improvements, Hestrin created our innovative Crime Prevention Unit, which is tasked with community outreach and preventing criminal behavior among our youth. The program has received national recognition and is in great demand. 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. That includes our new Restoring Opportunities After Rehabilitation (RESTOAR) Initiative, which assists with post-conviction employment and record expungements. Additionally, Hestrin has formed the DA’s Organized Crime Unit and a Bureau of Investigation Cannabis Regulation Task Force. DA Hestrin continued his dedication to assisting victims of crime by creating a service dog program and activating a mass casualty crisis response team.
Hestrin currently lives in Murrieta with his wife and children.