Who We Are: The Defenders

If you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime, you’re likely frightened, confused and don’t know where to turn. You need assistance —not just any help, but help from a team of attorneys who know exactly how to aid in criminal cases. A team of attorneys who work in criminal law defense every day. That’s The Defenders. Every team needs a leader, and ours is K. Ryan Helmick of The Defenders. Ryan leads the firm with several important guiding principles: Outstanding legal experience, case preparation and extensive client care. That includes instilling the need to provide an unwavering level of client service by all of our attorneys and the support team. What can you, our client, expect? Let’s start with some of your top concerns:

  • What should I do first? What should I not do?
  • Who will help me fight the charges against me?
  • Who will stand by my side throughout the investigation and the trial, if there is one?
  • Who has my best interests at heart?
  • How will this affect me and my family?
  • How will this affect my job?
  • How can I get help with financial burden a criminal case brings forth?

Get answers to these and other questions from The Defenders. Because our team works every single day with Las Vegas Valley clients who’ve been accused of criminal acts, we know how to help you work through all the concerns you have.

It’s not just the case itself, and the unknown of what will happen. It’s also how the case will impact the rest of your life and your family’s life, and what we can do to minimize that impact and help you get your life back on track. Our team will work with you to help make sense of it all, while working on the legal side to protect and fight for all of your legal rights.

The Defenders are seasoned criminal defense attorneys who understand that each alleged crime has a unique set of circumstances surrounding it, and we are committed to thoroughly investigating each and every facet of the case to build the best defense possible. We believe that every person has the right to an aggressive defense to help protect their freedoms, liberties and keep their record clear.

Criminal Defense Attorneys Ryan Helmick shaking client's hand

Whether you’ve been charged with drug crimes, driving violations, assault, a misdemeanor or a felony, The Defenders will work hard to vigorously defend you throughout every stage of your case.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the very first thing I should do?

Contact your team at The Defenders. Don’t say another word to anyone until you have an initial conversation with us. Don’t post anything on social media. Getting the right legal help with your case is the only first step you should take.

Richard Harris

Meet Attorney Richard Harris

After graduating from law school in 1980, Rick took two bar exams during the same week—California and Nevada. He passed them both; an accomplishment unmatched by anyone since. He had an overall score of 95 percent on the Nevada bar exam.

Rick first practiced with Criminal Defense Attorney and former Las Vegas Mayor, Oscar Goodman. In 1982, he founded Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm to help people protect their legal rights and ensure best outcomes for those they serve. In 2007, he founded a criminal defense division, The Defenders, to help more people.

As a trial lawyer and skilled negotiator, Rick has resolved several of the largest personal injury cases in Nevada. He has earned membership into the prestigious Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Outstanding Lawyers of America, and the Verdict Club as a platinum member. Rick served on the Board of Governors of the Nevada Justice Association and has been a lobbyist for injury victims’ rights in the Nevada Legislature.

Mr. Harris believes in defending people’s rights and founded The Defenders to go above and beyond in helping protect people in the courtroom.

Ryan Helmick

Meet the Lead Attorney K. Ryan Helmick of The Defenders

As a trial lawyer with The Defenders, the criminal defense division of the Richard Harris Law Firm, Ryan is determined to help people facing serious challenges. He lives life with passion and drive. Ryan was born in Elkins, West Virginia, and raised between Las Vegas and Cocoa Beach, Florida. Growing up, he loved outdoor activities like surfing, fishing and wakeboarding. One of Ryan’s favorite sports is tennis and he was fortunate to attend the renowned Colon Nunez tennis camp in Miami. During college, Ryan worked in a law office and graduated from UNLV with a degree in Criminal Justice. He attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, where he twice earned a spot on the Dean’s List for academic excellence. After graduating from law school, Ryan passed the Nevada bar and focused exclusively in Criminal Defense.

In his short career, he has already successfully handled nearly 2,000 DUI and criminal cases. In 2015, Ryan was recognized as National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40. In 2016, he received the “10 Best Award in Client Satisfaction” by The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys. He was also honored by Avvo, the lawyer rating service, with the Clients Choice Award for 2016. Ryan trains at the renowned Trial Lawyers College, founded by famed trial lawyer, Gerry Spence. “Ryan has a heart of gold and nerves of steel,” said Rick Harris, founder of the Richard Harris Law Firm. “He is a consummate criminal defense lawyer.” When Ryan is not practicing law, he enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and their two dogs. His hobbies include boxing, basketball, working out, scuba diving, reading and traveling with his family.

Hayley Bennett

Meet Attorney Hayley Price of The Defenders

Hayley received her bachelor’s degree in motion production from Loyola Marymount University. She went on to earn her Juris Doctor with a certificate in international law from Creighton University School of Law. She was admitted to practice law in May 2018, and she returned to her hometown of Las Vegas to join The Defenders in August 2018.

While in law school, Hayley won as criminal defense counsel in an international moot court competition judged by international criminal court judiciaries in Nuremberg, Germany. She was also elected to serve as a class representative of Creighton University School of Law for the university by her classmates.

For Hayley, one of the most rewarding parts of being an attorney is helping her clients return to good standing within the community with problem solving, negotiation, and innovative thinking. She sees every opportunity to help her clients as a chance to shape laws and procedures both now and in the future.

Outside of the office, Hayley enjoys spending her spare time with friends and family.

David Menocal

Meet Attorney David Menocal of The Defenders

David Kohlmeier

Meet David Kohlmeier of The Defenders

David leads The Defenders’ client relations department. In this role, David uses his knowledge and experience to assist clients while the firm’s attorneys navigate their cases through the criminal justice system.

David has a significant history of helping people in need. He spent the first half of his professional career as a law enforcement officer in both New York, NY, and Henderson, NV. While working as an officer, he honed his crisis management and public relations skills to resolve conflicts to minimize issues on his patrols.

Born and raised in New York, David spent almost four years as a police officer in Brooklyn. He assisted with excavation and lighting during the clean-up phase of 9/11. David visited Nevada when he was 17 and knew that one day he would enjoy the opportunity to live there, and that opportunity came in 2002, when he joined the City of Henderson Police Department. He spent 12 years there before beginning his client relations work in criminal defense law firms.