Practice Areas

lady-liberty-image-onlyAll areas of Criminal Defense including:

Criminal Defense Including:

Driving Under The Influence

If you have been arrested in California for driving under the influence of alcohol, there are two aspects to your case. First, the DMV will take immediate action on your driver’s license. And second, the Court System, where the DA will prosecute a criminal case against you.

You have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing with the DMV. If you do not file the request in a timely fashion, you may lose the ability to contest the issue which could lead to the loss of your driver’s license. Your license can be suspended from four months to three years, depending on your case and your prior driving history.

The DMV hearing consists of an Administrative hearing where the DMV Hearing Officer must find:

  1. The arresting officer had reasonable cause to believe that you were driving under the influence.
  2. You were lawfully arrested.
  3. Your blood alcohol content was 0.08 or greater.

DMV hearings are administrative in nature and must follow complex legal procedures. These hearings are very difficult for a lay person to effectively navigate. In choosing your attorney, it is imperative that you select experienced representation. In addition, it is very important that the DMV results coordinate with the actions your attorney takes in court.

The Court System process for your criminal case consists of: (If the actions are not coordinated, you may be subjected to a longer term of license suspension.)

  1. Arraignment
  2. Pre-Trail Conference
  3. Potential Jury Trail

If convicted, you can face fines, additional insurance requirements and premiums, potential jail time and an order to complete a Drinking Driver course.

The majority of DUI cases are filed as misdemeanors but can be elevated to a felony in certain situations. There are additional penalties for excessive speed, excessive blood alcohol level, priors, under 21, driving without a license, accidents and an injury caused by an accident.

When facing a DUI conviction, most people are concerned with the effects it will have on their driver’s license, jail time and their employment. In most cases, I am able to provide a fair and honest assessment of your case after an initial consultation. I can tell you what to expect from the DMV and the Court. Before becoming a defense attorney, I was a deputy district attorney prosecuting cases like these. Because of my experience as a DA, I know both sides of the courtroom and I have 25 years of experience with the prosecuting attorneys and judges in criminal court. I will work with you to explore the best defense strategy. I will also tailor the resolution to take into account what is best for you.

Going through a DUI case can be one of the most stressful and nerve wrecking events in a persons life and it can happen to ANYBODY!…..

I solicited legal representation from Stephanie after a referral and felt I was in good hands from the start. She and her team thoroughly examined and evaluated all aspects of the case, patientely answered all questions, and most importantly provided clear and detailed instructions on what steps to take in the process and when. She has excellent rapport with the courts and judges and defended my case to the full extent of the law.

There’s no substitute for caring and effective legal representation, and that is exactly what was provided to me. Don’t put your trust in an advertised DUI lawyer, take my personal testimony as a referral and ask for a consultation from Stephanie should the need arise. – Greg B., San Jose

The potential repercussions of a drunk driving conviction are numerous and can have long lasting effects. I will be available to meet with you to discuss the merits of your case for both DMV and the criminal process. If you would like me to review your case, CALL ME today.

Misdemeanor Vehicular Manslaughter Cases

Gross Vehicular Manslaughter: Without Intoxication

The crime of gross vehicular manslaughter consists of a person driving a vehicle and while driving that vehicle, commits a misdemeanor, infraction or otherwise lawful action that might cause death. If the person who committed the misdemeanor, infraction or otherwise lawful act that might cause death did so with gross negligence, and the person’s grossly negligent conduct caused the death of another person, then the person is charged with Gross Vehicular Manslaughter.

The crime of Gross negligence involves more than ordinary carelessness, inattention, or mistaken judgment. A person acts with gross negligence when: he or she acts in a reckless way that creates a high risk of death or great bodily injury; and a reasonable person would have known that acting in that way would create such a risk. In other words, a person acts with gross negligence when the way he or she acts is acutely different from how an ordinarily careful person would act in the same situation that his or her act amounts to disregard for human life or indifference to the consequences of that act.

Misdemeanor Vehicular Manslaughter Cases

The crime of vehicular manslaughter with ordinary negligence occurs when:while driving a vehicle, the person committed a misdemeanor, infraction, or other lawful act in an unlawful manner; the misdemeanor, infraction, or otherwise lawful act was dangerous to human life under the circumstances of its commission; the defendant committed the misdemeanor, infraction, or other lawful act with ordinary negligence; and the misdemeanor, infraction, or otherwise lawful act caused the death of another person.

The element that distinguishes Gross Vehicular Manslaughter from Misdemeanor Vehicular Manslaughter is the degree of negligence required. Ordinary negligence is the failure to use reasonable care to prevent reasonably foreseeable harm to oneself or another party. A person is deemed negligent if he/she does something or fails to do something that a reasonably careful person would not do in the same situation.

If you have been charged with Gross or Misdemeanor Vehicular Manslaughter, give me a call so that we can go over your case to determine any potential defenses you may have.

Domestic Violence Cases

Domestic violence is the term that is used to describe verbal, physical or sexual abuse in intimate relationships: married, dating, children, parents.
Domestic violence can be charged either as a felony or a misdemeanor depending upon the underlying facts such as the prior history of the accused and the accuser and the degree of injury.

Domestic violence cases require a through investigation of the history of the accused as well as the accuser and an in depth analysis of the injuries alleged.

This can happen to anyone. I have represented many individuals accused of domestic violence. This offense can be very complex with multiple motivations by the accuser including potential media exposure, restraining order and custody battles. Some of the consequences the accused face in a domestic violence case are immigration, loss of custody, and jail time. I have extensive experience working with the courts and am very familiar with how to work with investigators on your case.

When you need the very best . . .
I was fortunate to get Stephanie Rickard’s phone number from a friend at a time when I needed the advice and counsel of a good criminal lawyer. Even before I met her in person, she answered my questions and took my phone calls. Through the course of my case and afterward, she has proven to be an expert in her field, and a lawyer who commands the respect and admiration of everyone in the court system. She sets a high standard for all attorneys to meet, and I would recommend her without reservation. – Kevin S. San Jose

I have represented many individuals accused of a domestic violence offense and the complex interplays in the incident itself as well as the issues involved in restraining orders and media exposure. This is a very delicate area and I treat each client with the utmost care and concern. With my extensive background in this area, I am able to uncover the emotional truth of the client’s story to provide the most effective defense. If you would like me to review your case, please CALL ME .

Controlled Substance/Drug Cases

Controlled substances, under the influence, possession, possession for sale or transport, import and distribution of drugs are drug crimes that potentially carry a lengthy prison sentence. If convicted of a drug crime, the defendant may have to register as a narcotics offender.
Many courts have specific calendars dedicated to these particular classes of offenses. In some areas there are also courts that deal with a combination of substance abuse and mental health issues. I provide a thorough analysis of your situation and can help define the best place to resolve it.

I have over 25 years of experience in dealing with everything from small cases of possession of marijuana to large cases involving trafficking. I have successfully defended cases resulting in limited or no jail time. I am particularly devoted to the treatment of the client and will stand beside you in representation and along all steps of your progress. In my experience, treatment can be very effective.

I can’t thank Stephanie enough…. she is not only a brilliant attorney, but a kind and compassionate human being with a beautiful heart! Stephanie went way beyond what you could expect of an attorney. I can’t put into words the depth of the kindness of this human being.
Her staff was always extremely nice, patient and empathetic to my situation, no matter how many times I would call in a state of panic.
Thank you so much for the words of wisdom, and encouragement each time we spoke, Stephanie! I can’t thank you enough, for you have given me hope and a deep belief that there are wonderful things ahead for me in my life! – Joseph P, San Jose

Felony Criminal Cases

If you are facing felony charges, the matter is serious and can result in significant consequences against you. In light of this, your case must be treated as aggressively as possible. The district attorney’s office is very zealous in these case matters and it’s important that you have an attorney who is familiar with the prosecution process and has seen the other side of the justice system. I am experienced in all aspects of felony release, including filing motions, related consequences, presentations and jury trial. I am familiar with the prosecutors and judges to most effectively represent your case.

Successfully Defending Felony Criminal Cases

In order to obtain the best results, my team must gather all discovery; including all audio and video. Obtaining all available discovery through legal research is a key to a successful defense. It is also essential to establish a strong relationship with my clients with an emphasis on trust and honesty. As your criminal defense attorney, I am on your side and will work with you to obtain a successful resolution to your case, be it legal settlement or trial.

My approach is thorough. Once I have obtained all the evidence the District Attorney has against you, I assemble a team of investigators and experts to creatively build your defense. I will interview all relevant witnesses, consult with appropriate experts and examine all physical evidence in order to most effectively present your defense. I am very thorough in preparing your case.

I am a licensed Private Investigator who has worked a number of cases with Stephanie. She makes sure that her clients are always given the best possible defense and that all stones are turned over during the investigation phase. With her vast experience in the criminal justice system particularly here in Santa Clara county, Stephanie knows how to get the best possible outcome for her clients. – Tony M. Santa Clara

The majority of the people I represent are law-abiding people who have become involved in a difficult situation. Let’s talk about your case and how I can help you. Give me a CALL.

Weapons Offenses/Assault With a Deadly Weapon Cases

Weapons cases tend to fall into two categories. The first is an accusation based upon the accused having a prior history or probation condition that prohibits them from gun or weapon possession. The second is where an object that is capable of a legal use is used in an illegal manner such as a car or a baseball bat.

Long story short, I was facing very serious weapons charges due to California’s extremely strict firearms laws. I am a law abiding citizen, former member of the military and career software engineer that messed up 20 years ago and California charged me with various weapons and ammo charges stemming from those previous mistakes. Stephanie worked diligently and with compassion on my case. She took the time to get to know me and my situation and ability to navigate the legal morass helped me out tremendously. I was facing multiple felonies and state prison time and due to her tireless dedication she worked with the courts to get me a SINGLE misdemeanor, dismissal of the major charges with a minimal fine and a few days of community service. Stephanie saved my life, my career and my freedom and she asked very little in return. Do yourself a favor and hire Stephanie and LISTEN to what she has to say to you. Follow her guidance and you will get the best possible outcome to your case. Stephanie is the type of team member that is always working for you and I cannot emphasize enough her skills in negotiating what is best for you. I hope to never require her services again, but if and when I do I sincerely hope she is there for me to fight by my side once again. When it comes to defending yourself in court, do no rely on luck – rely on Stephanie!

Each particular offense depends on the status and prior history of the accused. These cases must be handled on an individual basis to address the circumstances unique to the charge. The penalties will vary depending on factors such as the type of weapon and what it was being used for, whether or not it was loaded, and whether or not it was concealed.G V. San Jose, CA

These cases require through research of the exact nature of the prior conviction as well as a through evaluation of the possible interpretations of the actions of the accused

Stephanie is a phenomenal lawyer who will do everything in her power to help you with whatever is necessary. She makes you feel comfortable and she makes you feel at ease in your time of need. I highly recommend Stephanie! – Adam H., Los Altos

In these cases, my strategy is to eliminate or minimize the consequences of a weapons charge. I will investigate and obtain all the underlying facts in order to present the best defense for you. Successful resolution of your case depends on your goals, we will work together to meet those goals. If you would like to discuss your case with me, please GIVE ME A CALL.

Theft Cases

A theft case typically involves taking property from another with the intent to deprive the owner of that property. The scale ranges from minor theft to more serious scenarios including the embezzlement of very large sums of money. Some cases are charged as misdemeanors while others are felonies, all depending on the severity of the accused crime and the history of the person concerned.

In some cases there are diversionary programs for minor theft and in more complex repayments of money can be effective in mitigating the consequences dealing with all parties. My primary goal is to keep my clients charged with theft from serving jail time and to assist in resolving the underlying issues. I will conduct a detailed interview with you to evaluate all possible defenses. We will review the prosecution’s evidence and utilize my investigation team. Each case is unique and my experience in all levels of theft cases will allow us to obtain the best possible result.

“I don’t write reviews often but what Stephanie pulled off in court for me was nothing short of a miracle (At least for me). Long story short I fired my prior attorney who was telling me I was probably going to jail b/c Santa Clara Co likes to punish people, ok.. So on short notice I called Stephanie and she agreed to show up in court the next day. In less than an hour in court she saved my job, my home and my freedom. Needless to say she’s a top-notch lawyer. Thank you Stephanie!” Roger Y., San Jose

If you are facing theft charges and would like me to review your case, please CALL ME.


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