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About Me

I have extensive experience in the
criminal justice field having been a prosecutor, a public defender in
the Federal and State court systems, a Judge and a private criminal
defense practitioner. I have handled a wide variety of felony,
misdemeanor and traffic cases. 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 -


In addition, I help clients with cases involving
Domestic Violence (spouse & child abuse); Drugs (possession, use,
transportation, and under the influence of controlled substances);
Probation Violations; Criminal Threats; Assault and Battery; Child
Abuse and Neglect; Theft (including fraud embezzlement and bad checks);
Residential and Commercial Burglary; Juvenile Delinquency; and DMV
license suspension and revocation hearings.


Photos and Videos

321323 1237314507

Practice Areas


  1. DUI & DWI: 60%
    35 years, 2.5 thousand cases
  2. Criminal Defense: 30%
    35 years, 2 thousand cases
  3. Domestic Violence: 10%
    35 years, 250 cases



Free Consultation (60 minutes)

Payment Types:

Cash, Check, Credit Card

Attorney Endorsements

4 total 

  • Douglas MacMillan Borthwick

    I endorse this lawyer.


    Douglas Borthwick Family Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • John Wesley Burdick

    I endorse this lawyer.


    John Burdick Personal Injury Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact Info

Law Office of Howard M. Van Elgort

2820 Porter Street
Soquel, CA, 95073



Professional Misconduct

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo Contributions
Legal Answers
Award NameGrantorDate Granted
Peer Review RatedMartindale-Hubbell2010
Peer Review RatedMartindale-Hubbell2001
AV RatedMartindale-Hubbell2000
Peer Review RatedMartindale-Hubbell2000
Resolution of Recognition as JudgeSan Bernardino County Superior Court1981
Resolution of Recognition as JudgeSan Bernardino County Board of Supervisors1981
Top of Class in Constitional LawUCLA Law School1961
Top of Class in Security TransactionsUCLA Law School1960
Work Experience
TitleCompany NameDuration
AttorneyLaw Office of Howard M. Van Elgort1983 - Present
Supervising JudgeSan Bernardino County Court1977 - 1982
Assistand Public DefenderCounty of Riverside1973 - 1976
Deputy Public DefenderFederal Public Defender1972 - 1973
Executive DirectorLegal Aid Foundation of Long Beach1966 - 1972
President and General ManagerWestland Escrow Compnay1965 - 1966
Deputy City AttorneyLos Angeles City Attorney1963 - 1965
AttorneyLaw Office of Marvin A. Freeman1962 - 1963
Association NamePosition NameDuration
Santa Cruz Criminal Defense BarMember2000 - Present
Santa Cruz County Bar AssociationMember1999 - Present
California Public Defenders AssociationMember1999 - Present
California DUI Lawyers AssociationMember1989 - Present
Legal Cases
Case NameOutcome
People v. Frank R.Case dismissed, license not suspended
Schlick v. Superior CourtCharges of manufacturing meth dismissed
People v. Gregory SCase to be dismissed - theft diversion
See all Legal Cases 
Publication NameTitleDate
Legal Law HelpDUI, Driving Under the Influence2004
School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of California at Los Angeles School of LawLawJuris Doctor1961
University of California - Los AngelesBusiness AdministrationBS - Bachelor of Science1958
Speaking Engagements
Conference NameTitleDate
Rotary International - Joshua TreeCalifornia Court System1980
San Bernardino County Sheriff's TrainingConstitutional Law and Law Enforcement1979