By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
SJ County judge faces DUI charge

San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Michael Mulvihill Jr. will now find himself on the opposite side of the criminal justice system.

On New Year’s Day Mulvihill was arrested for driving under the influence after he crashed his black Lincoln sport utility vehicle at a high rate of speed on Stockton’s Pacific Avenue – crashing into the guard rail over the Calaveras River before the vehicle careened across the roadway and slammed into the opposite guardrail.

The accident – and the aftermath – were caught on camera by a local police accountability activist that was passed by Mulvihill as he was live on Facebook. The activist goes by “Airkqqled Accountability”.

According to the Stockton Police Department, the incident occurred on Jan. 1 at 5:51 p.m. at the intersection of Pacific Avenue and the Calaveras River near the University of the Pacific campus. Officers responded to the solo vehicle accident and arrested Mulvihill for misdemeanor driving under the influence, and he was subsequently booked into the San Joaquin County Jail.

When asked about his blood alcohol content at the time of the arrest, Stockton Police Spokesman Joe Silva said that the toxicology tests are still part of the active investigation.

In a video that was posted on YouTube, the accountability activist is filming from his dashboard and talking as he drives down Pacific Avenue – wondering if the fast-moving car behind him is a police officer. To the left of him a black Lincoln SUV flies past him, drawing a comment about how he’s going faster than the speed limit, which makes the speed of the other driver extremely noticeable.

The vehicle then crossed the left lane line, and the man filming eerily says “don’t hit it, don’t hit it” multiple times before the Lincoln hits a concrete barrier and then careened across the two-lane road and slammed into the side of the bridge, deploying the airbags and incapacitating the vehicle.

As the former Chief Deputy District Attorney, Mulvihill made a name for himself for his prosecutions of domestic violence cases – serving as the lead prosecutor on felony cases dealing with those particular crimes and even going so far as to train local law enforcement officers and other felony prosecutors. During his time in the office he served in the gang prosecution unit and became the Supervising Deputy District Attorney in charge of the Family Crimes Unit – prosecuting domestic violence, stalking, elder abuse, and real-estate fraud cases.

He was promoted in 2008 to the role of Supervising Deputy District Attorney for the Felony Trial Unit where he oversaw 19 deputy district attorneys. During this time, he was also the lead prosecutor for the Department of Juvenile Justice and the on-call felony prosecutor for the Stockton area.

A graduate of St. Mary’s High School, Mulvihill served as the head coach for the St. Mary’s boys lacrosse team from 2015 through 2021. He is a Past-President of the San Joaquin County Bar Association and has been active in speaking to students across the county about a variety of topics ranging from cyber bullying to gangs and how to break the ongoing cycle of violence.

Mulvihill was elected to the bench by San Joaquin County voters in 2014 and began his 6-year term in 2015. He ran unopposed in 2020 and is set to serve in his capacity as a felony trial judge through Jan. 4, 2027.

San Joaquin County Superior Court spokesperson Stephanie Bohrer said that the court is aware of the situation with Mulvihill but noted that the court is also “ethically precluded from commenting on impending and pending cases.”

The San Joaquin County DA’s office is asking the state attorney general to handle the Mulvihill case.


To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.