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Katherine Schwinghammer

DUI and DWI Attorney at Grover Beach, CA

5.0   44 reviews

also known as "Kathy" Schwinghammer, Katherine Laurie Schwinghammer

  • Licensed for 18 years
    State CA
    Acquired 2006
    Status
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Katherine

Learn Katherine’s areas of practice.

4
Practice areas

I represent people. From 2006 until 2020, the only type of cases I have taken are criminal defense cases, and most of those DUI defense cases. (As of 2020 I have expanded my practice areas to include Juvenile Dependency as well as criminal/DUI defense cases.)

I have extensive experience handling DUI/Driving Under the Influence/Driving with a BAC of 0.08% or Above, and many other types of criminal cases. For the first several years that I was licensed as an attorney I worked as a Deputy Public Defender, handling a great number of cases and learning a lot as I practiced.

I opened my own law practice in 2009, to put my knowledge and skills and talent to work for you, the people who hire me.

I have actual trial experience, trying DUI cases and other criminal cases and traffic offenses.  There are a lot of attorneys in California who want to represent you on your criminal or DUI case, but some of those attorneys have never even tried a single case. Some have only tried cases in their former careers as prosecutors, and might not even be used to trying to find flaws in the prosecution's case. As a criminal defense lawyer who has spent my whole career representing people (not the prosecution) I have experience and skills that I will put to work for you. If you might consider taking your case all the way to trial, ask potential lawyers what their "stats" are. Some attorneys might tell you they don't keep track, but my guess is, if they had a track record they were proud of, they might be more likely to.

If you're facing criminal charges there's a strong chance you might be feeling scared and confused -- I can help you. I have the experience, knowledge, and desire to fight for you. I'll provide you with an aggressive defense, communicate with you to make sure you understand what's happening on your case, and I'll work hard to minimize the disruption on your life. I will explain things to you myself, and I will be personally available to you as long as your case lasts. These are promises I make to each and every person I represent. 

Whether you retain me to represent you or not, I hope that you obtain the very best possible result for the circumstances you are in. 

  

 

Location

Katherine Schwinghammer, Attorney at Law
P.O. Box 31
Grover Beach, CA, 93483

Reviews

5.0 / 5.0
  44 customer reviews
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Posted by Ian | November 17, 2021
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Consultation got me out of my traffic ticket
I got a traffic ticket for a Jaywalking violation (driving through an intersection when there was a pedestrian). Anyway, I had a single consultation with Katherine, and she was able to help me write a letter for my trial by written declaration. Because of the way she worded things and her helpful insight on what supporting documentation I should submit, I ended getting the case dismissed! The fee was absolutely worth not having to pay the ticket or get the point on my license (which comes with an insurance price hike). I would highly recommend Katherine to anyone who needs a good, through, and detailed oriented attorney.
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Response from Katherine Schwinghammer November 17, 2021
Thank you for leaving a review, I really appreciate it! And I could not be happier with the way your case worked out. Congratulations!
Posted by anonymous | December 24, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Absolutely the best criminal defense attorney out there!
I am beyond grateful for Katherine's experience, extensive knowledge and caring demeanor. She has helped me with two cases over the last few years and I would not have survived without her! I highly recommend her for drug and alcohol criminal defense. I initially hired her when I got a DUI about 6 years ago and she helped me through that process. Recently, I found myself facing two new charges and I immediately knew who to call. Katherine was nothing but knowledgeable, thorough, kind and professional with me over the last few months - answering my calls, texts and always available. I was extremely worried about what would happen but she guided me through the process so I actually could relax and go through everything step by step with her. She was so patient with me, caring and extremely knowledgeable about the criminal justice system here in SLO County. I could not have done this without her and HIGHLY recommend her services to anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation. She is, hands down, the absolute best criminal defense attorney out there and I am so grateful she was available to help me!
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Response from Katherine Schwinghammer January 21, 2020
Thank you so much for leaving a review! I'm so glad I was able to help you through this situation and I wish you all the best in the future.
Posted by anonymous | October 21, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Kind & Proficient
Ms. Schwinghammer has experience & proficiency with the law and the courts in her area. In addition, she has great demeanor with her clients. She is patient and explains things carefully to assist you in your process. I was very pleased with her service and believe she will be great representation for your situation.
Response from Katherine Schwinghammer November 5, 2019
Thank you! I appreciate you taking the time to leave a review. I'm glad I was able to help you.
Posted by anonymous | August 10, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Very compassionate person and lawyer
This is the second time I hired her. She is very skilled at her profession. She treats you like she is defending a family member. She is honest, compassionate, proceeds cautiously, and has a real feel for my situation. Her pre-filing letter was right on point. By the court date my charges were rejected. I feel like she saved my life. She is very fair in her charges. She is an angel to me.
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Response from Katherine Schwinghammer August 14, 2019
Thank you for leaving a review! I'm so glad I was able to help.
Posted by anonymous | March 22, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great job!
Katherine was very knowledgeable, professional, and kind. She talked us through the process - and delivered wonderful results. Thanks Katherine!
Response from Katherine Schwinghammer August 14, 2019
Thank you for leaving a review! I'm so glad you feel that way.
Posted by anonymous | March 1, 2019
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
A ton of experience
Katherine was prompt and very patient at the same time. She answered all my questions about anything I was unsure about and helped organize my paperwork. She is knowledgable with so many years of experience; not to mention she is super nice!! I would definitely recommend her to anyone who needs an attorney.
Response from Katherine Schwinghammer March 19, 2019
Thank you for the nice comments! I appreciate you taking the time to write a review!
Posted by anonymous | January 31, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Came on vacation left on probation
I was vacationing in the SLO area from out of state and had never been in any kind of trouble before. After my arrest I was lucky to find Katherine. Upon meeting her she immediately made me feel better, unlike a lawyer more like a mother. She got my charges dropped to far less than I deserved. I didn't even have leave my home state to come back to court. 3 years later she got the court to grant the order for dismissal and now I can put the entire mistake behind me. If you need an lawyer and are lucky enough to find her, look no further.
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Response from Katherine Schwinghammer March 19, 2019
Thank you for leaving a review! I'm so glad you feel that way, and I appreciate your comments!
Posted by Dave | November 4, 2017
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Excellent Attorney
Katherine represented me for my criminal case. She was professional, prompt, curtious and very knowledgeable. I feel like she worked hard to obtain the best possible resolution for my case. Unequivocally, I recommend Katherine Schwinghammer. She is an abolute pleasure to work with.
Response from Katherine Schwinghammer November 6, 2017
I'm very glad you feel that way! And thank you for leaving a review.
Posted by anonymous | October 16, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Katherine is the biz
I had a wet/reckless case about five years ago...that the knocked out of the park. Circumstances were such that it could go either way... and her excellent approach, skill and professionalism were real assets. I highly recomment Katherine.
Response from Katherine Schwinghammer October 18, 2017
Thank you! I really appreciate the review!
Posted by anonymous | February 6, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great person, better attorney
Old co-worker was in town and went out for a few drinks. The next thing I know I am in a jail cell on a dui related offense. Was released from jail in the morning feeling unsure about what to do. Reviewed some attorneys in the morning and I knew from her reviews she was the one. I called on a Saturday and to my surprise she picked up! Katherine was awesome from the start. We consulted about my case and she walked me through all the steps even before hiring her. She was comforting and has a real people quality that is hard to find. She's a total professional and has a real keen sense for the law and you want her on your side. Results from my case was the best possible scenario.
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Response from Katherine Schwinghammer February 9, 2016
Thank you! It was a pleasure working with you, and it felt very gratifying to get "the best possible scenario" results on your case. I appreciate your review!
Posted by anonymous | January 6, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best Lawyer in Town
Katherine is as honest and genuine as they come. Without her help, I would be in a world of hurt. Instead, I was able to bounce back and recover from a DUI arrest with no severe penalties. Katherine is down to earth and will spell things out clearly to ensure you completely understand her approach and what the possible outcomes are. Highly recommended!
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Response from Katherine Schwinghammer February 9, 2016
Thank you so much for leaving a review! I hope everything is going great for you.
Posted by Grant | November 20, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Kind, Professional, Effective - An Excellent Lawyer
I made the mistake of drinking and driving one night in California and was caught. As an out-of-state driver, this was particularly distressing as I had no idea how to navigate the California Legal System. I was also worried that I would have to come back to California to serve jail time in SLO. But from the minute I called Katherine - on the weekend morning after the incident, no less - I knew I had found someone that was both knowledgeable and completely dedicated to fighting for the best possible resolution of my case. Katherine was able to drag the case out for over 8 months to buy me time to get some matters settled with my professional life. While we were unable to get my conviction reduced to a wet reckless (my BAC was well above the legal limit, so there is definitely only so much you can do), she did prevent me from ever having to come back to California to serve jail time. Considering I live way across the country, this was well worth the fee she charges. The best thing you will get from Katherine, though, may not come from the resolution of your case. For me, it was the fact that she treated me as a human being who made a mistake, not a criminal she can make a quick paycheck from. She recognizes that mistakes happen, and I think that makes her fight even harder for the best possible outcome. Katherine is also full of personal anecdotes and professional experience that often put my fears to ease. Finally, I never had to worry about keeping track of any of the details of my case, which was very convenient. Katherine is an very effective communicator. She went to over eight different court dates for me and either called or emailed me immediately following each case. After hearing horror stories from attorney friends and others, I think I got extremely lucky in finding Katherine. She is a kind, confident, and excellent attorney, and if you’re reading this and thinking of hiring her, JUST DO IT! Her recommendation is well earned, and I look forward to working with together to expunge my conviction following probation.
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Response from Katherine Schwinghammer November 23, 2015
Thank you for leaving a review. I very much appreciate it!
Posted by Will | October 13, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
DUI Expungement
Katherine did a wonderful job handling my case. When we first began we talked extensively about my history with the DUI and the ins and out of my record. She patiently and carefully explained to me the expungement process. After easy correspondence via email to finalize the required paperwork she submitted our request. It was denied, but she persisted and after further interviewing me about why I wanted the expungement and in what ways the DUI was an impediment to my life, we filed once again and in the appeal the court granted our request. Katherine is a wealth of information, and a bright, beautiful personality who is a joy to build a rapport with. I highly recommend her to anyone in need of an attorney.
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Response from Katherine Schwinghammer November 23, 2015
Thank you for leaving a review. I very much appreciate your feedback!
Posted by anonymous | October 12, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
First time DUI
She was amazing !!! Answered all our questions treated us with respect and dignity, which is more than I can say for a lot of people in her profession. we were very pleased with the outcome . She takes the time to walk you step-by-step through the whole process and you're never left wondering what's going on . Don't let her sweet smile fool you she's very strong and passionate about what she does she's a great lawyer I would hire her again if ever I needed her .
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Response from Katherine Schwinghammer October 13, 2015
Thank you! I appreciate your feedback.
Posted by Ryan | June 21, 2015
Katherine is an amazing person and even better lawyer
Katherine really made me feel like my case mattered to her. She took my initial call on her cell phone after hours, and was very pleasant to speak to. She handled my Pubic Intoxication case with care, and helped me out of a difficult situation. She definitely sticks up and gets results for her clients. You really got the feeling that she loves what she does, and this makes her so great to work with. I would definitely recommend her to any person in the San Luis Obispo area. Thanks for everything Katherine.
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Response from Katherine Schwinghammer October 13, 2015
Thank you! I appreciate your feedback.
Posted by TC | February 22, 2015
Fantastic professional
A fantastic lawyer. Katherine was able to reduce my charges from driving without an IID, a serious offense, to a mere driving without a license. She's a wonderful person and easy to communicate with. Don't hesitate to hire her! A true professional!
Posted by sandy | February 20, 2015
Petty Theft
My experience with Katherine was amazing. In being faced with a charge of petty theft was once again devastating. Katherine is not only knowledgeable, but handled my case with the highest integrity. I appreciate her integrity, dedication, and personal effort she put into my case. Katherine is honest, real and very clear about the progress of my case throughout the process. She was incredible about explaining the situation as it is without false hope, relayed all my options and possible outcomes of my case, informing me of the best case scenario. Katherine is extremely professional and nonjudgemental. She always communicates very quickly and comprehensively to emails and phone calls. In addition, when meeting with Katherine she was exceptionally nice and understanding to every question or problem I seem to face. I recommend Katherine Schwinghammer for your defense counsel. Thank you, Katherine.
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Posted by anonymous | December 27, 2014
Katherine rules!
I could not be happier with Katherine's professionalism and expertise. She kept me in the loop every step of the way, told me exactly what to expect (she was spot on every time), and guided me all along the way. She proactively initiated contact with me every single time something happened. She's amazing, and I would urge anyone to depend on her completely. Thank you Katherine! -Scott
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Posted by anonymous | December 3, 2014
Best lawyer in the industry
Well where to start? Katherine has performed above and beyond with her services she provided. She was the first lawyer I contacted due to the fact that her rated were high, without contacting any other lawyers, then I thought about it and decided to call other laywers and get a free quote and see how they would be of service, (already have made a c
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Posted by anonymous | November 20, 2014
Katherine was great and provided Excellent Representation!
"Katherine was great and provided Excellent Representation! This is her passion and it showed from the moment I called her. She provided sound and straightforward advise to navigate the legal process. I really felt like she cared about me as her client and a person. Four months after my case was closed, she provided additional legal assistance on a DMV issue. She even appeared in court on my behalf to fix the arresting agency's error that was preventing me from obtaining my driver's license. This support was over and beyond, which she did for free. I value and admire her dedication! I'm Lucky to have met you. I selected Katherine because of the positive reviews I found. It's a pleasure to share my positive experience. Thanks for all your help and support!
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Cost

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Contact for Details

Resume

AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Attorney
  • Law Office of Katherine Schwinghammer
  • 2009 - Present
  • Deputy Public Defender
  • Santa Barbara County Public Defender's Office
  • 2006 - 2009

Education

  • The University of Texas School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2005
  • Texas A & M University, Corpus Christi
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 2002

Sample of Legal Cases

  • People v. J.
  • DUI/DWI dismissed
  • People v. D.S.
  • DUI/DWI w/PRIOR dismissed, plead to driving w/o DL
  • People v. A.C.C.
  • DUI/DWI case DISMISSED after hearing
View all legal cases

Associations

  • San Luis Obispo County Bar Association, Criminal Law Section
  • Member
  • 2010 - Present
  • California Public Defenders Association
  • member
  • 2007 - Present
  • American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section
  • Member
  • N/A

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers - Criminal Defense
  • The National Trial Lawyers
  • 2014
  • Rising Star - Criminal Defense Law
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2013
  • Top Attorney - Outstanding Young Lawyer
  • Los Angeles Magazine
  • 2013
  • 5-Star Reviews
  • Yelp
  • 2013
  • Top Women Attorneys
  • Los Angeles Magazine
  • 2013
  • Dean's Achievement Award in Advanced Criminal Defense
  • The University of Texas School of Law
  • 2005
  • Excellence in Public Interest Award - for work with TCAI
  • Texas Law Fellowship
  • 2004
View all awards

Publications

  • American Journal of Criminal Law
  • Fingerprint Identification: How the "Gold Standard" of Evidence Could Be Worth Its Weight
  • 2005

Speaking Engagements

  • San Luis Obispo County Bar Association
  • Lawyers and Stress
  • 2021
  • San Luis Obispo County Bar Association, Criminal Defense Section monthly MCLE
  • Lawyers and Stress
  • 2014
  • Monthly Criminal Defense Section Meeting
  • Today's Digital Projector Technology and How to Use It
  • 2011
  • TCDLA Forensics CLE weekend
  • The History of Fingerprint Identification
  • 2004
  • Monthly CLE lunch
  • Problems in Fingerprint Identification
  • 2004
  • Criminal Law Discussion Panel
  • Crime Victims Rights Legislation
  • 2004
  • Crime Victims' Institute
  • Crime Victims Rights Legislation
  • 2004
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (17)
Given (25)
Endorse Katherine
Criminal defense Attorney | Dec 10
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Kathy Schwinghammer is an excellent attorney. Kathy took on the head deputy district attorney and walked her client out the door with an acquittal. I have known Kathy for several years and it is a privilege to endorse her. Kathy brings her military training to the fight in criminal defense and it shows in the zealous manner in which she defends her cases. She is thorough, intelligent and has a real presence in the courtroom. If I were arrested, I would want Kathy in my corner."
Criminal defense Attorney | Dec 31
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Kathy Schwinghammer's work. I have seen her in action at trial and was VERY impressed. Not only was her client found "not guilty" but that trial was sandwiched between two other trials where her clients were found "not guilty". She is obviously a very effective, energetic, and compassionate advocate for her clients."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Apr 21
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Katherine is an extremely talented trial attorney. Her tenacity and grit allow her to get incredible results for her clients. She is respected, trusted and feared by her opponents. A fierce advocate who is passionate about helping her clients!"
DUI and DWI Attorney | Jun 12
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Responsive, resilient, thoughtful and fierce advocate who uses equities as factors for presentation of her clients in the most-favorable light. Her resourcefulness in coordinating with colleagues improves the possibilities of favorable outcomes."
DUI and DWI Attorney | May 23
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Katherine is a very talented and dedicated criminal defense attorney. I strongly endorse her."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jan 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Kathy Schwinghammer is a dynamic attorney. I have personally witnessed her help clients of all backgrounds with her vigorous, ambitious lawyering."
Criminal defense Attorney | Nov 25
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Katherine served as the President of Criminal Defense Section of the SLO Bar Association for the past two years. As a member of the organization, I can say that she could not have done a better job. She was organized, thorough, and considerate. She generously gives not only to her clients but also to the community."
Criminal defense Attorney | Mar 12
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jan 28
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Katherine is a fantastic lawyer. Quick thinking on her feet, resourceful, and careful attention to detail. She gets along with everyone in the courtroom while at the same time fighting her case. A rare skill that she has mastered. I'd hire her to rep me!"
Criminal defense Attorney | Oct 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I strongly recommend Katherine. She has resolved the cases I referred to her to the satisfaction of my clients. Katherine is aware of the significant impact a criminal case can have on immigration status which is of particular importance to my clients."
Criminal defense Attorney | May 30
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse Kathy Schwinghammer. We worked together on a negotiation and she was incredibly creative and tenacious in devising alternative strategies for solving a complex legal problem."
Criminal defense Attorney | Sep 17
Relationship: Friend
"I highly recommend Katherine. I liked her from the moment I met her! She has a great attitude and is a pleasure to be around. She is helpful and intelligent and a great advocate for her clients. I endorse her 100%!"
Criminal defense Attorney | Mar 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Katherine is an excellent attorney who fights for her clients! We have worked on many cases together. I know firsthand that she is a skilled negotiator, maintains great courtroom presence, is highly respected by judges and attorneys and she achieves great results for all of her clients."
Criminal defense Attorney | Feb 25
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Unknown Attorney | Jul 13
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Very professional. I highly recommend Katherine if you need a criminal defense attorney for yourself or a loved one."
Criminal defense Attorney | Dec 06
Relationship: Other
"Kathy Schwinghammer combines intelligence, persistence, and fearlessness with a good attitude. If you're looking for a criminal lawyer I highly recommend this former public defender with the experience and drive to get you the best deal possible."
Criminal defense Attorney | Dec 08
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Katherine is the go-to lawyer for criminal and DUI cases in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. She's experienced, knowledgeable, knows ant local courts and does great work for her clients!"
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