Supervising Attorney & Chief Trial Attorney
The Supervising Attorney and Chief Trial Attorney at the San Diego Criminal Attorney Law Firm is attorney Vincent Ross. Vincent was born in Asheville North Carolina in 1956. He grew up near the mountains of western North Carolina and became an avid hunter, fisherman, and outdoor enthusiast. Attorney Ross attended the University of North Carolina at Asheville and he graduated with a degree in philosophy. Before deciding to attend law school, Mr. Ross became involved in numerous projects sponsored by various groups with an emphasis in advocating and fighting for persons first amendment and other civil rights issues. For several years he diligently worked as a volunteer for the ACLU and NORML. During this time his passion for representing and defending of the Constitution ultimately resulted in his decision to attend law school at the University of San Diego in 1984.
After his graduation from law school in 1987 and passing the infamous California state bar on his first attempt, Mr. Ross started his legal practice. He began with a nationally known law firm whose clients were mostly comprised primarily of insurance companies and affiliated entities. After a few years, Mr. Ross realize that his true calling was defending those who were accused of both criminal and DUI charges. Shortly after he left the national law firm, Mr. Ross started his own private practice which he continues to this present day in the heart of San Diego.
Over the course of more than 29 years’ attorney Vincent Ross has successfully defended thousands of clients ranging from misdemeanors to serious felonies and murder cases. During his tenure as a criminal defense attorney, many cases have been groundbreaking or have had a significant impact on the evolution of criminal law in the state of California. Mr. Ross has been featured on the front page of the New York Times and has been interviewed and chronicled by national television news stations such as Dateline, 2020, NBC, and numerous other local and national media sources. The lawyers at San Diego Criminal Attorney are exclusively trained with an emphasis on criminal defense along with a team of legal professionals that have one main mission statement in mind. “To treat each client as if they were our only client”. Our combined decades of legal experience along with our single focus on criminal defense. We take pride in our work, our reputation, and by providing a level of customer service that is unparalleled in the legal community.
| Trial Lawyer of the Year
Southern California Independent Criminal Defense
| Top 100 Trial Lawyers
|| National Trial Top 100
| Founders Award
|| Mid Missouri Freshman Journalist Society
| Criminal Defense Award of Merit
|| Orange County Bar Association
|Moot Court Judge||University of San Diego||1995|
| Associate Member
|| California Public Defenders Association
| Certified Trial Attorney
|| National Institute for Trial Advocacy
| Criminal Procedures Award
|| National Institute for Trial Advocacy
Thomas J. Beck
Thomas J. Beck, Director of Operations
Thomas Beck joins The San Diego Criminal Attorney Law Firm as the Senior Director of Operations and Client Operations. Mr. Beck has spent over 19 years as an industry leader and has worked with one of the largest law firms in Arizona focusing only on DUI and criminal defense. Mr. Beck joins San Diego Criminal Attorneys Law Firm and brings a dedication of excellence that consistently exceeds our client’s expectations. Mr. Beck is a critical liaison between New Client Relations and the Senior and Associate attorneys within the law firm. Mr. Beck is part of the initial process in determining each element and responsibility of each team member in how they will respond and engage in each client’s case. Mr. Beck works closely with the senior trial attorneys, associate attorneys, department of motor vehicle attorneys, and the private investigators within the law firm. With a focus of treating each client like our only client we consistently strive every day to go beyond our client’s expectations.
Attorney of Counsel
Sami Haddad is licensed to practice law in the State of California and in United States Southern District Court of California. Sami represents family law and criminal law clients throughout California.
Before joining the Ross Law Center, Sami owned his own law practice, emphasizing issues in criminal law, family law, and both Civil and Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Orders. Sami handled all client intakes and consults, and received top reviews from each of his clients, who emphasized his empathy, listening skills and command of the attorney-client relationship.
Sami was previously the managing attorney for The Curran Law Firm, where he handled complex issues in criminal law, DUI and family law. Sami managed a staff of three attorneys, and six interns, providing them with legal tasks and coordinating the firm’s strategy. Prior to managing The Curran Law Firm, Sami was an associate litigation attorney with the firm of Lee, Shome & Kennedy.
Before graduating from California Western School of Law with a Juris Doctorate with Honors in Business Law, Sami had broad experience in criminal law, civil litigation and family law. Among other things, he was a law clerk for the Office of General Counsel for Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR).
Sami is a first time bar passer. While attending law school, Sami was the Editor-in-Chief of the Commentary, California Western School of Law's only student-run newspaper. During Sami’s tenure as its Editor-in-Chief, the American Bar Association nominated the Commentary as Best Law School Newspaper in the Nation.
Before attending California Western School of Law, Sami attended the University of California, Los Angeles, graduating with a degree in Economics and a minor in Political Science.
Sami was born and raised in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. His father and mother are in the Navy and he moved to San Diego in 2007.
Sami is a member of the Italian National Bar Association, the San Diego Bar Association and the American Bar Association. He is a member of the San Diego Volunteer Lawyers Program and the Community Law project, giving back to his community and providing the indigent with free or low cost legal services. In his free time, Sami enjoys poker, watching sports, cooking, and playing chess.
Attorney of Counsel New Client Relations
Shakti Vadgama was born and raised in Los Angeles County and earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). After graduating from UCLA, Mr. Vadgama attended California Western School of Law in San Diego. While in law school, Mr. Vadgama received the highest score in his first-year legal research and writing course, which earned him a position as a legal research and writing honors instructor (tutor) for his final two years of law school. Mr. Vadgama was also a member of California Western School of Law’s Pro Bono Honors Society, which he achieved through performing extensive pro bono work for individuals in need.
During law school, Mr. Vadgama gained valuable public interest and criminal law work experience. Mr. Vadgama worked for Affordable Housing Advocates, a non-profit organization, where he advocated on behalf of individuals in Section 8 housing, helping them keep their homes and families intact. Mr. Vadgama also worked as a judicial extern in the criminal division of the San Diego County Superior Court, where he prepared bench memoranda for multiple judges on cases ranging from DUI to serious felonies. Additionally, Mr. Vadgama interned for a criminal defense firm, where he worked on various criminal cases and advocated on behalf of individuals serving life sentences at parole hearings. After working as a judicial extern and as a criminal defense intern, Mr. Vadgama realized that he wanted to pursue a career as a criminal defense attorney in order to advocate on behalf of individuals against entities that are in a position of power.
After law school, Mr. Vadgama returned home to Los Angeles and spent the first year and one-half of his legal career as a plaintiff’s attorney fighting for employees who were wronged by their employers. In this capacity, he successfully managed, negotiated and litigated on behalf of hundreds of clients in both state and federal court. Mr. Vadgama joined Los Angeles DUI Attorney as the firm’s Supervising Attorney in order to pursue his true passion and desire of practicing as a criminal defense attorney.
Attorney of Counsel
Richard Wagner earned his bachelor’s degree from University of California, Santa Barbara, and law degree from Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California. In law school, his academic achievements included serving on the Law Review, being awarded the Dean’s Merit Scholarship and the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence. Mr. Wagner’s work experience in law school included serving as a law clerk with the Orange County Alternate Public Defender’s Office, and as a judicial extern to the Honorable Justice Edward Wallin (Ret.), California Court of Appeal, in Santa Ana, California.
After graduation from law school, Mr. Wagner worked 2 years as a criminal prosecutor for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, the third largest municipal law office in the country. During his tenure as a deputy city attorney, Mr. Wagner prosecuted thousands of criminal cases, including drunk driving and domestic violence cases in Los Angeles. He also was a speaker at the Los Angeles Police Department, Impaired Driver Apprehension Program (IDAP) on Case Preparation and Courtroom Testimony Training, and for the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Trial Advocacy Project (TAP) in May 2000 and March 2001.
Since 2002, Mr. Wagner has been in private practice. In 2006, he presented a lecture, “What to Do If You Are Arrested for Drunk Driving” at Whittier Law School. Mr. Wagner is one of the few dedicated DUI defense attorneys who has successfully completed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Course.
Mr. Wagner managed the Orange County office of Top Gun DUI Defense Attorney® Myles L. Berman, where he learned the art of aggressive DUI defense throughout Southern California courthouses.
In addition to representing privately retained clients, as well as, Mr. Wagner is on the Los Angeles Superior Court panel of attorneys authorized to accept court-appointed criminal defense cases through the Indigent Criminal Defense Appointments Program (ICDA).
Mr. Wagner has handled thousands of Southern California criminal defense cases, resulting in excellent results for his clients, including not guilty verdicts, acquittals, dismissals, and reductions of charges.
In one particular instance, he won a jury trial in Newport Beach for a woman accused by the Orange County DA of DUI in Corona Del Mar. In another, he got a man’s DUI dismissed who was accused by the Los Angeles DA of DUI in the Compton Courthouse after two jury trials ended in mistrials.
In another DUI case, Mr. Wagner won a jury trial in Whittier for a man accused of his second DUI, defending against evidence put on by the LA District Attorney that his client caused a traffic accident, failed the FSTs, and had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.19% measured by a blood test.
Mr. Wagner’s victories include a complete dismissal of felony charges for his client facing significant state prison time and lifetime drug registration accused by the San Bernardino District Attorney of second degree commercial burglary, transportation of marijuana for sale, and possession of marijuana for sale in the San Bernardino Superior Court.
Mr. Wagner also persuaded the LA District Attorney to dismiss serious felony sex charges in Bellflower, avoiding prison and sex registration for his client.
Mr. Wagner is admitted to practice law and defend clients in Federal Court in the Central and Southern Districts of the United States District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal and in all State courts throughout California. He has successfully represented clients in criminal and DUI cases in Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Joaquin, San Bernardino, Riverside, Tulare, Imperial, and San Diego Counties. Mr. Wagner has even been hired to defend clients in Georgia, Idaho and New Mexico. He is a member of the American Bar Association, State Bar of California, and the California Public Defender’s Association.
Supervising Attorney of Counsel, New Client Relations
Paul Guillory joins the Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney Law Firm as the new client relation’s attorney. Paul’s responsibilities include reviewing each party’s case and determining if and how the firm can best meet the client’s needs. Paul’s proven commitment to assisting others is shown by his history of service. As a former United States Marine, Paul is humbled and honored to have twice deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
When he joined the service at 26 he could not have imagined the impact it would have on his life. The patriots he met from all over America forever changed him. Because of this experience, he is determined to assist veterans any way he can including helping them make the transition to civilian life. Paul takes the same approach to his legal clients.
Immediately after completing his active duty service commitment in the Marines, Paul attended law school at California Western School of Law in San Diego. After earning the highest grade in criminal law, he was given the opportunity to intern with the Office of the City Attorney’s Criminal Division—General Trial Unit. There, he held several restitution hearings securing favorable results for the people.
Paul gained valuable experience and respect for the State’s use of the resources available to it. Like his time with the Marines, Paul came away with added insight into the processes in place to protect our citizens. Paul now takes this perspective to serving individual citizens and fights so that all his clients receive much needed legal assistance in the face of overwhelming odds.
After completing law school and passing the California bar exam, Paul enrolled at The University of San Diego School of Law and obtained a master’s degree in the law in taxation. This unique perspective gave him yet another view of the inner workings of government as it levies taxes to pay for State services.
He learned once again that in the face of limitless resources available to the State, citizens must be prepared to mount their own zealous defense of their rights. This includes securing competent legal representation in the form of experienced attorneys. These qualifications combine to better advise his approach to the law and the belief that the American system works best when individuals fight for what they deserve.
Attorney of Counsel San Diego
Brandon Naidu started his academic career as an Officer Candidate with the United States Marine Corps ROTC program at the University of Utah in 2004. While his goal was to serve his country as a naval aviator, a medical condition cut his military career short which forced him to re-evaluate how else he would serve his community. Mr. Naidu chose to take his bachelor’s degree to the next level by achieving his master’s degree in economics from the University of Utah, focusing on creative approaches to multinational economic crises.
Halfway through his master’s degree program, Mr. Naidu realized that the problems he set out to understand and solve could not be practically achieved through economic models and theories; but rather through direct action via the law. After earning his master’s degree, Mr. Naidu attended California Western School of Law, and early in his first year, he developed a strong interest in defending civil liberties and those accused of crimes. Mr. Naidu accepted a position with the California Western Community Law Project, where he primarily worked and assisted San Diego citizens accused of crimes without adequate access to representation. As a recipient of California Western’s Academic Excellence Award, and, law clerk with various law firms as well as, the Legal Aid Society, Mr. Naidu continued to drive his passion in criminal law.
Mr. Naidu trained with the best DUI defense attorneys in Southern California. As a practicing attorney, he has continued his focus to providing a high standard of criminal defense for his clients. Mr. Naidu has dedicated his career to the defense of individuals accused of driving under the influence and other criminal offenses. Mr. Naidu is licensed to practice law in all California Courts and the United States District Court, Southern District of California. Additionally, he is a member of the Criminal Defense Bar Association and Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Club, the American Bar Association, the San Diego County Bar Association, the California Western Access to Law Initiative, and is a proud volunteer attorney with the San Diego Community Law Project.
Private Investigator of Counsel
Kevin Roncevich served honorably in the United States Navy from 1997 – 2001. While stationed in San Diego, California, Mr. Roncevich was deployed twice (Onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln) to the Persian Gulf in support of operation Southern Watch. During the 1998 deployment, the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier battle group launched Tomahawk cruise missiles against two sites. The first was a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory suspected of assisting Osama Bin Laden in making chemical weapons. The second was Bin Laden's terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. These strikes were ordered by President Clinton thirteen days after terrorists bombed the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and was codenamed Operation Infinite Reach. While serving in the US Navy, Mr. Roncevich received several awards / recognitions.
Personal Accomplishments / Awards:
• Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (2).
• Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (2).
• Meritorious Unit Commendation (2).
• Good Conduct Medal.
• Coast Guard Unit Commendation with Operational Distinguishing Device.
• Battle “E” Award.
• Flag Letter of Commendation.
• Navy Achievement Medal.
• Letter of Commendation from Rear Admiral, United States Navy.
• Sailor of the Month.
• Junior Sailor of the Month.
• Letter of Appreciation from Commanding Officer HS-4.
• Letter of Commendation from Commanding Officer HS-4.
After serving honorably in the US Navy, Mr. Roncevich attended the Golden West Police Academy (Huntington Beach, CA) from November 2001 – April 2002. Due to Mr. Roncevich being at the top of his class, he was hired by the Cypress Police Department in February 2002. As a police officer with the City of Cypress, Mr. Roncevich was worked as a patrol officer, training officer, SWAT team member and a criminal investigations detective. Mr. Roncevich has approximately 2,000 hours of formal training, as well as thousands of additional on the job training. Mr. Roncevich has also attended / completed hundreds of hours of advanced officer training, some of which are listed below.
Patrol Officer – As a patrol officer, Mr. Roncevich provided for public safety by maintaining order, responding to emergencies, protecting people and property, enforcing motor vehicle and criminal laws, and promoting good community relations. Identify, pursue, and arrest suspects and perpetrators of criminal acts. Patrol officers shall review facts of incidents to determine if criminal acts (state and federal) or city municipal violations were committed. Part of the job of a patrol officer is to testify in court to present evidence or act as witness in traffic and criminal cases. Mr. Roncevich often had to process prisoners, prepare and maintain records of prisoner bookings and prisoner status during booking and pre-trial process.
Training Officer – As a training officer, Mr. Roncevich was responsible to train / evaluate new officers to insure that they can work unaccompanied in a safe, skillful, efficient and professional manner. The new officer is assessed on performance (including but not limited to report writing, knowledge of city, state and federal laws, driving skills and officer safety), improvement and overall conduct.
SWAT Team Member – As a SWAT team member, Mr. Roncevich responded to SWAT “callouts”, which were most commonly used in order to ensure the safety of other police officers in case a large, violent outburst occurs. These situations include the arrests of violent criminals, hostage situations, riots, counter-terrorism, perimeter security, identifying threats in high-security situations and many other police situations where the safety of the public or police officers is in danger. As part of the West County SWAT Team, Mr. Roncevich also carried out high risk search/arrest warrants. Mr. Roncevich’s primary position on the SWAT Team was the breacher, responsible for breaching the structure in question to allow the entry team access to the structure in question.
Criminal Investigations / Detective – Mr. Roncevich was a criminal investigator for 4 years. While a police detective, Mr. Roncevich worked on fraud cases (including but not limited to identity theft, fraudulent use of access cards, etc.) property crimes (including but not limited to burglary (residential and vehicle), vandalism, theft, etc.) as well as crimes against persons (including but not limited to sexual assault cases, domestic violence, robbery and homicide). As a detective / investigator Mr. Roncevich’s job tasks included performing regular investigations for all crimes and establishing appropriate witnesses and suspects, maintaining knowledge on all factual requirements, coordinating with the crime lab team to perform various tests on evidence collected from scene and monitor all conditions of victims and assist to obtain all required statements. Mr. Roncevich also worked directly with the district attorney’s office to build strong cases for jury trials. Writing search warrants, meeting with the district attorney to review the search warrant and meeting with a judge to review and sign the search warrant was a common occurrence as a police detective / investigator. As a police investigator / detective, Mr. Roncevich also spent hundreds of hours conducting undercover surveillance operations following suspects involved in criminal activities (including but not limited to narcotics and homicides). Mr. Roncevich spent hundreds of more hours conducting static surveillance on locations in preparation for search / arrest warrants. As a lead investigator, Mr. Roncevich would oversee a group of detectives / investigators and often times outside law enforcement (FBI, DOJ, Secret Service, etc.) to work complex cases. This involved overseeing and managing up to 25 other law enforcement professionals.
Personal Accomplishments / Awards:
• Gold Distinguished Service Medal – Awarded for heroism and bravery displayed during an officer involved shooting of an armed robbery suspect.
• Letter of Commendation – From the Orange County District Attorney’s Office during my investigation of a high profile case.
• Letter of Commendation – Following bank robbery that resulted in a vehicle pursuit with the apprehension of the “Cash and Carat” bandits.
• Letter of Appreciation from Los Alamitos Chief of Police for apprehension of suspects who fled from officers.
• Formal recognition from the Cypress Chief of Police for the apprehension of an illegal narcotic suspect who fled from officers.
• I designed and implemented a new “department wide” form that is used when investigating subjects under the influence of illegal narcotics.
• Letter of Appreciation from American Rentals for Solving a Complex Theft Case Involving Industrial Equipment.
• Letter of recognition from the Cypress Chief of Police for “team effort and dedication” with regards to a large scale search for a robbery suspect.
• Letter of recognition from the Cypress Chief of Police for the successful apprehension of several felony vandalism suspects who were unable to escape due to “planned approach that thwarted any escape.”
• Letter of recognition from the Cypress Police Narcotics Sergeant regarding a confidential informant referral that resulted in a search warrant service, resulting in the arrest of two subjects, for a large amount of methamphetamine, packaging material, scales, paraphernalia and a firearm.
Advanced Officer Training:
• Criminal Investigations – Riverside County Sheriff’s Department
• Courtroom Testimony – Riverside County Sheriffs’ Department
• Advanced Interview and Interrogation – Riverside County Sheriff’s Department
• Child Abuse / Sexual Assault – Riverside County Sheriff’s Department
• Homicide Investigation – Orange County Sheriff’s Department
• Elder Abuse Investigation – Orange County Sheriff’s Department
• Drug Abuse Recognition – California Narcotic Officer Association
• Search Warrant Instructions – San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department
• Emergency Response To Terrorism Incidents – Orange County Sheriff’s Department
• Certificate of Training in the Identification Of Counterfeit Digital Video Disc (DVD) – The Motion Picture Association Of America, Inc.
• Vehicle Theft – Orange County Sheriff’s Department
• Identity Theft – San Diego Regional Training Center
• Alcohol Sensor Device Certified – Orange County Sheriff’s Department
• Certified in the Lawful Interception of Wire and Electronic Digital Pager or Electronic Cellular Telephone Communications – State of California Department of Justice
• DNA Evidence Collection – City of Cypress
• Certified with the QUICKCHECK Narcotic Identification Kit
• Training on the PENI Street Gang (Public Enemy Number One) – The Southern California Skinhead Task Force & The Orange County Training Managers Association
In 2013, after receiving a retirement from the Cypress Police Department, Mr. Roncevich started a private security firm. As a business owner / vice president, Mr. Roncevich was tasked with developing a business plan that includes a description of the product or service, how to finance the business (loans, investors), deadlines for the business and the overall goal. Mr. Roncevich’s duties include reviewing sales reports and financials, and comparing them to goals set out in short- and long-term plans. Mr. Roncevich was also tasked with reviewing profit-and-loss statements and other financial reports related to the company balance sheet. As a business owner other duties / responsibilities include (but not limited to) identify problems, make decisions, interpret results based on quantitative techniques and improve quality and productivity by streamlining systems and processes. Below are some of Mr. Roncevich’s personal accomplishes as well as the accomplishments of the company.
• Accountable for the direction and successful operation of the Sales Division / Operations Division of the company which resulted from zero revenue from the start of the company to over 4 million dollars by the end of year three. Part of my accomplishment was forecasting a sales growth of 5.5 million by the end of year four, while maintaining a 40 percent profit margin and 150 employees company-wide.
• Directly responsible for the purchasing, deployment and maintenance of 35 patrol vehicles into the company fleet.
• Orange County Business Journal – Named the second fastest growing small business within Orange County, CA.
• San Jacinto School District Certificate of Recognition for service to the community.
In 2015, while owning the private security firm, Mr. Roncevich opened up a Private Investigations Firm. As the owner and private investigator, Mr. Roncevich worked Criminal / Civil Defense Investigations, AOE/COE Investigations, Welfare / Insurance Fraud as well as provide expert witness testimony.
While being very busy during a professional career, Mr. Roncevich has still found time to continue his professional education and obtain professional licenses, see below:
• 55+ General Education units from Cypress College, Golden West College and Coastline Community College.
• Basic Peace Officer Standards and Training certificate.
• Intermediate Peace Officer Standards and Training certificate.
• Advanced Peace Officer Standards and Training certificate.
• Private Patrol Operator – Bureau of Security and Investigative Services.
• Private Investigator – Bureau of Security and Investigative Services.
• Guard Card – Bureau of Security and Investigative Services.
• Certificate of Completion Used Vehicle Pre-Licensing Education Program.
Department of Motor Vehicle Specialist
Chris Vaughan joins the team at San Diego DUI Attorney as the firm’s expert in the DMV administrative proceedings. Mr. Vaughan has focused his entire career in assisting the clients of San Diego DUI Attorney whose livelihood and/or careers are tied to their ability to operate a motor vehicle. From pilots to Commercial Truck Drivers, Mr. Vaughan works very close with each client in developing a personal strategy as it pertains to the administrative law process of the DMV. Mr. Vaughan has been recognized in the Southern California legal community as an expert in the process of DMV hearings. Mr. Vaughan has handled issues ranging from DUI suspensions to license revocations and his tenacity and creative approaches to each client’s case set him apart as an expert in the DMV hearing process. Chris Vaughan’s success representing drivers against the DMV is a product of his experience, knowledge and reputation. Chris has conducted well over 1,000 administrative hearings and has assisted in several successful Writs of Mandamus, which is an appeal in civil court where the driver sues the DMV for wrongfully suspending the license after a hearing. In order to succeed against the DMV, Chris exhaustively studies the statutes, codes and case law that govern the administrative hearing procedures. Chris’ constant presence at the Driver Safety Office over the years enabled him to foster positive working relationships with the various personalities involved in the process and he has gained an intimate knowledge of the constantly evolving practices and idiosyncrasies of the DMV. Chris is skilled in handling numerous types of suspension actions including DUI (“APS”), negligent operator (“Neg Op”), physical and mental (“P&M”), lack of skill, financial responsibility (“FR”), fake IDs and both regular and emergency re-examinations. Chris is proud to represent his clients, who find him friendly, sympathetic, savvy and highly accessible.