Alyssa M. Altonaga
Alyssa M. Altonaga is a criminal defense attorney who handles trial cases, sentencings, appeals, and post-conviction proceedings. She has argued in front of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and has experience working on a wide range of cases in both federal and state court involving:
- Money laundering
- Healthcare fraud
- Mail fraud, wire fraud, and bank fraud
- Drug trafficking and possession
- Firearms offenses
- Obstruction of justice and witness tampering
- Hobbs Act robbery and other violent crime
Recently, Alyssa helped secure dismissal of a federal indictment in exchange for a lesser charge, sentence of time-served with no fine or supervised release. The client, successful entrepreneur Justin Magnuson, was originally charged with conspiring to traffic over 1000 kilograms of marijuana and launder millions of dollars, until the government was confronted with evidence of his good faith efforts to do completely legal business in California. After his release, Justin launched The Justice Reform Foundation, a non-profit aimed at helping those negatively affected by the criminal justice system.
Alyssa graduated cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law, where she focused her studies on criminal law. She was a recipient of the Dean’s Scholar scholarship and worked as a Dean’s Fellow and research assistant to Professor K. Renee Schimkat. Alyssa also received Honors for her performance in both her Pre-Trial and Trial Litigation Skills courses and the HOPE Pro Bono Service Award for her work at the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office.
While in law school, Alyssa interned for the Federal Public Defender’s Office in the Southern District of Florida, the State Public Defender’s Office in Miami, and in private practice for Seitles & Litwin and other criminal defense law firms. She is admitted to practice in the State of Florida, the Southern District of Florida, and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. She has also been admitted pro hac vice in the Eastern District of Texas. Alyssa is a member of the Florida Bar, the Miami Dade Bar, and the Miami Chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
- Benjamin S. Waxman, Ashley M. Litwin, and Alyssa M. Altonaga. “From Jails to Jobs: Vital Components of an Effective Reentry.” American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Magazine (Summer 2022).
- J.D. University of Miami School of Law, 2020
- B.A. English Literature, University of Central Florida, 2015
Awards & Recognition
- Dean’s Scholar Scholarship, University of Miami School of Law 2017-2020
- HOPE Pro Bono Service Award, University of Miami School of Law