Law Offices of Philip S. Barnett

Firm Overview

I have provided exceptional legal representation to clients in San Mateo County and the San Francisco Bay Area of California for more than 20 years. My law office has been located in the same convenient location in San Mateo since 1985.

The focus of my practice is on criminal defense. I have over two decades of experience defending the rights of people arrested and accused of criminal offenses. I handle a wide range of criminal cases, from misdemeanor DUIs to the most serious felony cases, including homicides. I also defend cases ranging from drunk driving and DMV driver's license suspensions, to drug possession and narcotics sales, to theft and grand larceny, to white collar crimes such as fraud and embezzlement, as well as sex offenses and domestic violence.

Example cases

I have provided legal representation to clients in San Mateo County and the San Francisco Bay Area of California for more than 20 years, and have over two decades of experience defending the rights of people arrested for and accused of criminal offenses.

Main Office
177 Bovet Rd
Suite 600
San Mateo  CA  94402
  • (650) 341-3867
  • (650) 341-1395


Free Initial Consultation?
Yes, free initial consultation.
Services Offered For Fixed Fees?
I quote flat fees for representation on criminal cases after a free initial consultation. The amount depends on the complexity of the case.
Hourly Rates
$300 per hour

Office Information

Office Hours
8:30 AM to 5:30 PM, Monday through Friday
Office Manager
Emergency After Hours
Languages Spoken
Criminal Defense
The law offices of Philip S. Barnett, in San Mateo, California, provides aggressive and effective criminal defense.
I am attorney Philip Barnett. I have practiced criminal law for more than 35 years. If you or a family member has been charged with a crime in San Mateo County, contact my offices right away. Waiting to find out what will happen next is never a good idea.

I have experience handling all types of state crimes, such as:

Drug crimes: I offer aggressive and intelligent strategies to help you get the best possible outcome for felony and misdemeanor narcotics crimes.

-Marijuana possession and sale
-Cocaine possession and sale
-Methamphetamine possession and sale
-Forged or altered prescriptions
-Under the influence of drugs

Drunk driving defense: Complete and aggressive DUI defense, with the primary goal of retaining your driver's license and keeping you out of jail.

-Thorough investigation of the charges
-Legal motions to dismiss or reduce charges
-DMV license suspension hearings
-Defense of all related traffic charges
-License reinstatements

Fraud and embezzlement: If you have been charged with a white collar crime, I provide experienced defense you can rely on.

-Identity theft, credit card fraud
-Business theft
-Check forgery

Sex crimes: I don't judge you, I defend you. If you have been charged with a sex crime, keeping you off the sex offender registration is my number one priority.

-Aggravated sexual assault, rape
-Prostitution, solicitation
-Child sexual molestation
-Internet child pornography
-Date rape

Violent felonies: Being charged with a violent crime can mean serious prison time. Hire the right criminal defense attorney.

-Homicide, manslaughter
-Aggravated assault
-Armed robbery, weapons charges
-Domestic abuse

Misdemeanors: The penalties for misdemeanor crimes can be serious and impact your record. I take criminal defense for petty crimes seriously.

-Shoplifting, petty theft
-Criminal trespassing
-Restraining order violations
-Drunk in public, public nuisance
-Assault and battery
-Driving on a suspended license
-Domestic violence

If you or a family member has been charged with a crime, act quickly. Contact me for a free consultation right away.
DUI/driving under the influence is a serious matter that needs the immediate attention of a skilled and experienced attorney.
Whether this is your first offense, or you have been charged with DWI/driving while impaired in the past, you could lose your driver's license, pay a heavy fine, or even go to jail.

I am DUI defense attorney Philip Barnett of the San Mateo, California, DUI defense law offices of Philip S. Barnett. Since I opened my law firm in 1972, I have exclusively practiced in the area of criminal defense. In over 35 years of criminal law practice, I have represented hundreds of clients charged with drunk driving. I know how concerned you and your family members are about what will happen next. Contact me for a free consultation and I will explain the process, and how I can help protect your rights, your freedom, and your license to drive.

What you can expect if you have been charged with drunk driving
When you are charged with a DUI, two steps are involved:

-Within 10 days of your DUI arrest you must challenge the suspension of your driver's license by requesting a DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) hearing.
-You must prepare to defend against the DUI charge in court.

Step 1: The DMV License Suspension Hearing
Hire a qualified and experienced DUI defense attorney immediately after you have been arrested for drunk driving, because a DMV hearing must be requested within 10 days of your arrest. The law offices of Philip S. Barnett will schedule a hearing to challenge the suspension of your driver's license. As your DUI attorney, I evaluate the circumstances surrounding your arrest. I am prepared to investigate whether you were subject to an illegal arrest and whether the DMV can prove you had a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher. In some cases we may rely on the assistance of a toxicologist to offer expert testimony at the DMV hearing.
If you win your challenge, your license will not be suspended. Even if your license is not suspended, however, it doesn't mean that the criminal DUI charges against you will be dropped. You must still defend yourself against the actual charge of driving drunk.

Step 2: The DUI Charge in Court
If you have a misdemeanor DUI, I will appear in court on your behalf, so you do not have to miss time away from your job. In many cases, I can resolve the DUI charge without a jury trial by pursuing a dismissal of your case, or reduction to a lesser charge. I will challenge the prosecution's case based on whether the arresting officer had reasonable cause to stop your car, or if maintenance records reveal that the Breathalyzer unit may have been inaccurate.
In cases where there is a provable case against you, my strategy is to minimize the sentence and avoid jail time. Sometimes the evidence must be challenged and we must consider taking the case to trial. I have more than 35 years of trial experience, involving hundreds of cases.

Act quickly if you have been charged with DUI
If you or a family member has been charged with DUI or felony DUI, acting quickly to hire a qualified and skilled DUI defense lawyer is your best legal decision. Contact my office in San Mateo, California, for a free consultation right away.

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

I enjoy fighting for the underdog.

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?

I think it is helpful for my clients to become knowledgeable about the issues in their cases.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

I am willing to review suggestions from my clients, but generally the papers I submit have been drafted by me.

Is your firm willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?

No. I feel that this is a very dangerous course of action and for this reason strongly advise against it.

Philip S. Barnett

I began practicing criminal law as a deputy public defender in Southern California. During that time, I represented clients in all types of criminal cases, from DUI to murder. I established my office here in San Mateo in 1972.

My experience defending people accused of crimes over many years has equipped me with the tools to effectively represent clients. I have seen the stress that a person goes through in these situations and I know that it is important that clients can depend on me.

The cornerstone of my firm's long-term success has been my ability to listen to clients, develop a full understanding of their goals and needs, and take all necessary steps to help them achieve fair and just results.

Confident, aggressive, compassionate.

Personal interests:

I enjoy sports & photography.

  • Bar Number: 44161
    California , 1969
  • Brooklyn Law School
    J.D. , 1964
    Brooklyn, NY
    General Legal Studies

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