Howard M. Van Elgort, Attorney at Law

Firm Overview

My current practice is limited to criminal law cases with an emphasis on the defense of those accused of drunk driving (driving under the influence of alcohol and or drugs - DUI). I serve clients in Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito Counties, including the communities of: Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Scotts Valley, Capitola, Soquel, Aptos, Boulder Creek, Ben Lomond, Felton, Davenport, Freedom, Corralitos, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel, Carmel Valley, Marina, Prunedale, Castroville, Salinas, and Hollister.

Example cases

1. Felony drug possession dismissed - illegal search & seizure
2. DUI thrown out due to illegal vehicle stop
3. Felony credit card fraud case reduced to misdemeanors - probation
4. Felony domestic violence (spousal abuse) reduced to misdemeanor - no time
5. Felony drug possession charges diverted, case dismissed, arrest record sealed.
6. Felony DUI charges - no time in custody (home detention & alcohol monitoring).
7. 3rd time DUI charges - probation and electronic monitoring
8. 3rd DUI conviction - treatment program instead of jail
9. Felony conviction expunged
10. Not guilty verdicts - jury trials (various cases)

Main Office

2820 Porter Street
Soquel  CA  95073
  • (831) 462-4231
  • (831) 462-4164

Howard M. Van Elgort

December 1996 - April 1997: Private law practice, San Francisco, CA. Sole practitioner handling criminal defense cases exclusively.

January 1996 - December 1996: Internet Marketing, Thetis Island, British Columbia. Conducted several home-based marketing businesses over the Internet.

January 1995 - December 1995: VP & General Counsel, Ground-Loc Systems, Inc. CA. & WA. Developed marketing strategies, programs and materials. Negotiated and prepared agreements. Analyzed production costs and product pricing.

January 1990 - December 1994: Private law practice, Joshua Tree, CA. Conducted all aspects of sole practitioner law office business unassisted by any other personnel. (criminal defense only).

January 1983 - December 1989: Private practice. Martin & Van Elgort, PLC., Yucca Valley, CA. Partner in two-man, three secretary general practice law firm with emphasis on litigation.

July 1979 - December 1982: Supervising Municipal Court Judge, Morongo Basin Division of the San Bernardino Municipal Court District, Joshua Tree, CA. In addition to presiding over civil and criminal caseloads, I developed and implemented numerous innovative programs to improve the delivery of court services to the community.

January 1977 - June 1979: Judge of the Justice Court, Twentynine Palms Judicial District, San Bernardino County. Presided over both criminal and civil court cases and conducted private law practice on the side. Filed law suit requiring the State and County to upgrade the Court to a Municipal Court, thus bringing increased services to residents of the area.

October 1973 - December 1976: Assistant Public Defender for County of Riverside, Indio CA. In charge of branch offices in the desert portions of Riverside County. Supervised staff of 8 attorneys, 2 investigators and 2 secretaries.

January 1972 - October 1973: Deputy Federal Public Defender, Central District of California, Los Angeles. Staff attorney in newly formed federal program. Represented clients accused of various federal offenses.

June 1966 - January 1972: Executive Director of the Legal Aid Foundation of Long Beach. Developed and managed federally funded, 4 office, 18 attorney legal services program. Also served as a consultant on legal services for the Federal Office of Economic Opportunity.

July 1965 - June 1966: President and General Manager of private escrow corporation In Los Angeles. Operated small private escrow company consisting of 3 escrow officers.

October 1963 - July 1965: Deputy City Attorney, Los Angeles City Attorney's Office. (Criminal) July 1962 - October 1963: Private practice of law, Beverly Hills, California.

My judicial experience, prosecutorial, federal and state public defender, and being in private criminal defense practice for many years have all helped me to be a better lawyer.

My strength and expertise are my length and breath of experience in the criminal law field.

My style is warm, personable, and non-confrontational. I try to help put my client at ease despite the dramatic experience that they are going through.

Personal interests:

My grandchildren, spending time with my family, camping and traveling.

  • Bar Number: 32366
    California , 1962
  • University of California Los Angeles
    J.D. , 1961
    Los Angeles, CA
  • University of California Los Angeles
    B.S. , 1958
    Los Angeles, CA

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