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William Carlos Makler

About me

Mr. Makler is the only Santa Barbara lawyer that has been awarded the top rating (A-V) by Martindale-Hubbel (since 2013), 10 out of 10 by avvo (since 2010) and is ranked in the Nation's Top 1%  by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.  He is a former felony deputy public defender for both Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara Counties.  He was a law professor at Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges of Law where he taught Evidence (2006-2008). He has more than 20 years of experience working in the state and federal criminal justice systems; including law enforcement. His vast experience and skillful lawyering brings his clients very satisfying results at a reasonable cost.  Additionally, Mr. Makler has, as lead counsel in numerous class actions, made breakthrough strides against police agencies on behalf of large numbers of people whose weak criminal charges never made it to court.  Consequently, he is a leading authority on cleaning up criminal records and other topics of criminal justice.  Criminal defense lawyers regularly seek his advice on how to handle their clients' cases.   He is regularly recommended for hire on a variety of criminal matters by other criminal lawyers, judges and members of law enforcement.


Languages spoken: Spanish, English

Photos and videos

174757 1392477795

Practice areas


  1. DUI & DWI: 70%
    20 years, 2 thousand cases
  2. Criminal Defense: 30%
    20 years, 2 thousand cases



Free consultation (30 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

49 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • George Jacob Gigarjian

    I have known Bill for over twenty years. He is a knowledgeable, experienced, skilled attorney. I highly recommend Bill for any DUI or other criminal matter.


    George Gigarjian Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Mark V. Clay

    I highly endorse Mr. Makler. Very experienced and caring attorney who produces great results in representing clients! I want all people with legal problems to contact him first.


    Mark Clay Immigration Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Law Offices of William C. Makler, P.C.

140 East Figueroa Street
Santa Barbara, CA, 93101


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
AV Peer Review RatingMartindale-Hubbell2013
Peer Review RatingMartindale-Hubbell2010
Peer Review RatingMartindale-Hubbell2009
Honors in Trial AdvocacyMcGeorge School of Law1996
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
AttorneyLaw Offices of William C. Makler2004 - Present
Faculty MemberSanta Barbara College of Law2006 - 2008
Deputy Public DefenderSanta Barbara County Public Defender's Office2001 - 2003
Deputy Public DefenderSanta Cruz Public Defender1997 - 2000
Association namePosition nameDuration
National College of DUI DefenseMember2001 - Present
California DUI Lawyers AssociationMember2001 - Present
Santa Barbara County Bar AssociationMember2000 - Present
California Public Defenders AssociationMember1996 - Present
State Bar of CaliforniaMember1996 - Present
Better Business Bureau.MemberN/A
California Attorneys for Criminal JusticeMemberN/A
National Association of Criminal Defense LawyersMember2001 - 2007
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
People v. Bruce S.Not guilty on all counts
People v. Vernon F.Not guilty on all counts
People v. Shawn C.Not guilty of assualt on peace officer.
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Santa Barbara Lawyer (blog)So What's the Big Deal?2009
Santa Barbara Lawyer (Blog)Does Parental Notification Violate Privacy?2008
Santa Barbara Lawyer (Blog)Pleading Not Guilty2008
Santa Barbara Lawyer (Blog)NO Canada!2007
Santa Barbara Lawyer BlogCriminal Convictions Reduce Longterm Earnings.2007
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
McGeorge School of Law, University of the PacificLawJD - Juris Doctor1996
University of CaliforniaN/ABA - Bachelor of Arts1991
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Know Your RightsConstitutional Rights2012
Know Your RightsConstitutional Rights2009
Know Your RightsConstitutional Rights2008
CPDA Basic Trial Skills InstituteTrial Skills2008
DUI DefenseDUI Defense2007
Crash Course in Legal RightsLegal Rights2007
Scientific Evidence in DUI CasesScientific Evidence in DUI Cases2005
DUI DefenseDUI Defense2005
Bench & Bar ConferenceDUI Defense Practice tips2005
Know Your Rights!Know Your Rights2004