About Us

Our San Jose DUI attorneys will use their knowledge, expertise and experience to help defend your rights. We understand the local court systems and procedures thoroughly and know what it takes to successfully defend a San Jose DUI case. We believe that our high level of success is directly tied to our experience with DUI cases.

San Jose DUI Attorneys

We know that facing a DUI charge is always extremely stressful. We understand what you are experiencing and will do everything in our power to protect your rights and get your life moving forward again in a fast and effective manner. Because each case is different and a first offense has different consequences than a second or third offense we offer free DUI consultations to all our prospective clients.

After a DUI arrest in San Jose you may find yourself feeling shocked and confused. Rest assured, we completely understand. It is likely that you’ve never had to handle a situation like this before and you probably have several questions about the process. Don’t worry, our DUI lawyer San Jose can answer all of your questions. You may be wondering:

• I was just arrested, what happens next?
• Can I handle this on my own?
• How much is this going to cost?
• Am I going to lose my driver’s license?
• Could I be looking at jail time?
• Will this affect my professional license?
• Will I have to tell my boss?

We understand your need to tackle these issues and get answers as soon as possible. The internet is a great resource for general information and we encourage to learn as much as you can. If you would like answers about your specific case one of our San Jose DUI attorneys will be happy to provide you with a free consultation to answer your questions.

I was just arrested, what happens next?

Court Hearing – Arraignment

The first court date in a DUI case is called an arraignment. You were most likely given the arraignment date when you were released from jail, although it is also possible that you were notified of the date via mail. The complaint is the formal legal document filed by the District Attorney’s office detailing the charges they have filed against you. At the arraignment the complaint will be read so that the court can confirm on the record that you fully understand the charges.

At this point you will be given the opportunity to enter a plea. Most people enter a plea of “not guilty” at this time. If you do not have a lawyer and would like to have one but feel you cannot afford one, the judge will likely assign to you a public defender who will handle the case from that point on. Unfortunately these public defenders are often overloaded with cases, do not meet or speak with their clients until the morning of a hearing and may not be able to give your case the time and attention it needs.

It may or may not surprise you but the police and prosecutors will not be sympathetic to your position. Their focus will be on obtaining a guilty plea in your case as soon as possible so that they can move on to the other cases they are dealing with. Having someone in your court that is focused on your case can make all the difference in the world and will minimize the impact this DUI arrest has on the rest of your life.

DMV Hearing – Automatic Suspension

When you were released from custody you were given a “DMV Suspension Advisement and Temporary License” form. California has what is called an “Administrative Per Se (APS)” or “on-the-spot” license suspension law. This means that if you do not request a hearing within ten days of your arrest as explained on the “DMV Suspension Advisement” form, your license will be automatically suspended. Because this hearing is not part of the criminal process, if you elect to use a public defender, he or she defender will not be able represent you in front of the DMV.

During both hearings having a trusted and experienced San Jose DUI lawyer may make a real positive difference to your case. Our attorneys will ensure your case gets the time and attention it deserves and that you receive aggressive representation throughout the criminal process and at the DMV hearing.

Consult a DUI Attorney In San Jose on Your Case

Can I handle this on my own?

It is almost always a better option to use an attorney rather than representing yourself if you are charged with a DUI in San Jose. People are often scared and embarrassed after being arrested but it is important to remember that just because you are arrested it does not mean that you are going to have your license taken away or that you will be convicted of a DUI.

Because there is so much at stake when it comes to DUI cases it is important to have someone who can evaluate your specific situation and help you achieve the best possible result. As you may or may not know, the courts, district attorney, and law makers have imposed some serious consequences for people who plead guilty to or are convicted of DUI. These consequences can include:

• higher insurance premiums
• impound fees
probation
• court costs
• alcohol awareness courses
• college discipline
• Professional license reprimands
• Child custody complications
• Employment issues

Of course not every single case will involve these problems, but by hiring a San Jose DUI attorney you lower the likelihood that you will have to deal with them. Ultimately, exploring your options with an attorney who is an experienced and talented San Jose litigator will help you resolve your case and limit the affects it has on your life.

Robert P. Shatzko, Esq.: Mr. Shatzko has been practicing law for over 20 years in the San Jose and San Francisco area. He is the managing attorney in the San Jose office. Mr. Shatzko graduated with honors from Loyola Marymount University in 1986 where he played rugby and was active in campus politics. He earned his law degree from the McGeorge School of Law in 1992 and was admitted to practice law before all courts of the State of California in 1993.

Mr. Shatzko soon distinguished himself as a skilled trial lawyer. He rose through the ranks of AIG Insurance Company and then State Farm Corporate Litigation where he served as their Senior Trial Attorney for the San Francisco office. Mr. Shatzko brings his wealth of trial experience to the DUI practice group. The best way to get the best deal is to prepare the case for trial. The best way to beat the case at trial is to have the best trial lawyer in the courtroom.

Douglas S. Gilliland, Esq.: Mr. Gilliland has been practicing law for over 22 years in the State of California. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1985 with a BA degree. He earned his law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1990 where he also served on the Oregon Law Review (an organization for scholar writers and editors). Mr. Gilliland also holds a Master of Laws Degree which he earned in 1991 from the University of San Diego School of Law.

Mr. Gilliland distinguished himself as a skilled trial lawyer early in his career. Mr. Gilliland has verdicts or settlements in excess of one million dollars in each of the four largest counties in the State of California (San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange). He is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, “Top Trial Lawyers in America” and has been selected to Super Lawyers (a national organization that selects its members by peer review and professional accomplishment). Mr. Gilliland brings a wealth of trial experience to the field of DUI law.

Leonard H. Burgess, Esq.: Mr. Burgess is a native Californian that earned his BA from the University of California at Northridge in 1987. Mr. Burgess attended both the McGeorge School of Law and the Thomas Jefferson School of Law where he earned his law degree in 1992. Mr. Burgess then studied international law at Kings College in London, England where he was awarded his Certificate in International Law from United States Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Mr. Burgess earned a reputation as a skilled negotiator early in his career. He has successfully negotiate and resolved many cases throughout California including the recent 12 million dollar negotiated settlement in Davis v. IMS. Mr. Burgess brings his wealth of negotiating skills to the field of DUI law. Many lawyers do not train themselves in the art of negotiation. They just go into the courtroom and hope they get a good deal. Hope is not plan. To get the best result, you need not only a skilled trial lawyer, but a skilled negotiator.

Summer A. Vicknair, Esq.: Ms. Vicknair attended Boston University on a Division 1 athletic scholarship to play softball. She transferred to San Diego State University her senior year and graduated with a BA in 1999. She attended the University of San Diego School of Law and graduated with her law degree in 2004. Ms. Vicknair passed the California bar exam the same year.

Ms. Vicknair immediately started her career defending individuals. She currently manages the DUI practice and specializes in DMV administrative hearings.

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By Leonard H Burgess