Vincent R. Ross
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
||Mid Missouri Freshman Journalist Society
|Criminal Defense Award of Merit
||Orange County Bar Association
|Moot Court Judge||University of San Diego||1995|
||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 San Diego
Attorney Thomas Wang is what we call a “true believer” in the criminal defense industry. As early as college, Mr. Wang came into contact with criminal defense litigation.
As a Junior attending the University of California - San Diego, Mr. Wang’s raw, yet sharp, legal acumen caught the attention of Laurence Benner, a criminal law professor at the California Western School of Law. Professor Benner approached Mr. Wang with a challenge: to attend law school as an undergraduate. Mr. Wang welcomed –and accepted- the challenge.
Over the next several months, Mr. Wang attended a law school class amongst admitted law students. Despite clear disadvantages, Mr. Wang’s academic brilliance shined through. Mr. Wang quickly distinguished himself with his legal mind, and ultimately graduated as the top student in that class.
Now armed with Professor Benner’s tutelage and his own success in law school, Mr. Wang decided to pursue a career as a criminal defense litigator. Two year later, Mr. Wang returned to California Western as a scholar.
With his eyes set on a career in criminal defense litigation, Mr. Wang understood the importance of practical experience. As such, Mr. Wang quickly became a group leader in Professor Benner’s San Diego Search Warrant Project. Mr. Wang reviewed hundreds of search warrants, and determined if probable cause existed for such warrants. Concurrent with his commitment to the Search Warrant Project, Mr. Wang also began to intern for the San Diego County Office of the Public Defender. There, Mr. Wang served through various rotations over a three year span. Mr. Wang served in Chula Vista, Downtown, and Juvenile Delinquency, and handled a variety of cases ranging from simple misdemeanors, felonies, to serious felonies.
In between his various stints with the Public Defender’s Office, Mr. Wang also externed for the criminal division of the Chula Vista Superior Court. There, Mr. Wang authored bench memos to provide recommendations to judges on various criminal matters, including motions, writs, and appeals.
Despite balancing a tough work schedule, Mr. Wang’s academic success continued. Mr. Wang would ultimately graduate with honors even though he never stopped working all through his law school career. Along his way, Mr. Wang collected many accolades, including: 1) serving as an associate writer and editor of the California Western Law Review, 2) serving as an associate write and editor of the International Law Journal, 3) placing Second in the Gafford Trial Tournament, 4) recognized three times as a distinguished advocate, and 5) receiving the George S. Lee Scholarship and the Higgs, Fletcher, and Mack scholarship.
Given Mr. Wang’s demonstrated legal brilliance, it was no surprise that he passed the famously difficult California Bar Exam in his first attempt. Thereafter, Mr. Wang began his career as a criminal defense attorney. In the last year alone, Mr. Wang have handled a wide variety of cases, including: DUI, domestic violence, gang shootings, drug cultivation, child abuse, hit and run, welfare fraud, etc.
Mr. Wang’s many successes also translated to his life outside of work. Currently, Mr. Wang serves as the Vice President of the San Diego Chinese Attorneys, and is a member of the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice and the Criminal Defense Bar Association. Mr. Wang also taught various seminars on criminal defense at SDSU, UCSD, USD, and California Western School of Law.
Mr. Wang’s success is unparalleled. And he credits his success to his appreciation for the “client-centric model” of criminal defense litigation. In his own words, “criminal defense, unlike other areas of law, requires a tremendous amount of rapport and trust between the client and the attorney. Nothing is more important to me than giving my clients the individual attention they deserve.” Perhaps nothing demonstrates Mr. Wang’s dedication to his clients than the following testimonials:
“God's help through the hands of an attorney. Who would have guessed?”
“Mr. Wang listened to every word I had to say and then he started to anticipate my next question. Mr. Wang knew how terrified I am of courts, especially deputies or others in uniform. The penalty was very much in my favor due to Mr. Wang. I do and will recommend this gifted and talented man.”
“I called Thomas the night before my family members arraignment. He answered immediately and answered all of my questions thoroughly and explained the entire procedure from arraignment to trial. My family thought my family member/defendant was without a doubt going to do jail time because of his prior criminal record. He was arrested for a felony and 2 misdemeanors. Thomas got him out of jail the next day with summary probation only! I'm so grateful we hired Thomas. He did everything you'd expect from a skilled lawyer and more! He even called me after his services to my family member ended to check on him and his progress and follow up on any unanswered questions. He was wonderful and did an amazing job for us! I have recommended him to everyone I know and will definitely hire him in any time of need!”
Mr. Wang’s demonstrated success and “client-centric” approach to criminal defense is a glove fit for us. As such, we invited Mr. Wang to join us as an attorney of counsel. We know that any client will be happy and fortunate to have Mr. Wang as his counsel.
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.
Attorney of Counsel San Diego
Negin Yamini has obtained favorable outcomes in a wide range of driving under the influence cases involving both drug and alcohol. No matter how high the blood alcohol content or how “solid” the scientific evidence, Negin carefully examines every DUI case to identify any and all substantive and procedural weaknesses, and to then effectively present these weaknesses in order to obtain a desirable case resolution. In every DUI case, Negin utilizes her creativity, steadfastness, and plea-bargaining acumen to accomplish the best possible outcome for her client.
Prosecution for driving under the influence often involves a tedious and intimidating process for the accused. Familiar with this process, Negin provides hands-on representation at every point in the criminal proceedings; she informs her client at all times of any developments in the case, and rigorously prepares him or her for all upcoming steps or court imposed obligations.
Negin graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she won the American Dream Fellowship for her academic accomplishments and demonstrated commitment to leadership and public service. She obtained her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law where she won several recognitions for academic excellence and commitment to social justice.
Negin Yamini is an active member of the Inns of Court and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Both organizations seek to advance the mission of the nation’s criminal defense lawyers to ensure justice and due process for the accused.
Attorney of Counsel, New Client Relations
Ariel Chiu is of counsel attorney for the San Diego Criminal Defense law firm in charge of new client relations. She is the main liaison between the attorneys of our firm and potential clients. Ms. Chiu conducts the initial consultations and performs a preliminary screening for each case. Her main goal in the initial consultation is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the case to better help the supervising attorneys come up with individualized defense strategy. Because Ms. Chiu has extensive exposure to criminal defense herself, Ms. Chiu is able kick-start the defense plan at the get-go, including immediately scheduling the DMV hearing, stopping the license suspension, and requesting all discovery from the prosecuting authorities.
Ms. Chiu’s first exposure to criminal defense was through her internship the San Diego County Office of the Public Defender, where she served as an investigative intern. There, she learned to identify key facts and evidence that help strengthen the defense’s case. Ms. Chiu’s experience as an investigative intern further strengthened her interest in defending the accused. And so, in pursuit of her dreams, she decided to go to law school.
At California Western School of Law, Ms. Chiu served as an Associate Editor and Associate Writer of Law Review and International Law Journal. In addition, she served as the President of Criminal Law Association and Board Member of Moot Court Honors Board. Ms. Chiu was also recognized as a Distinguished Advocate for winning first place in the Lynch Appellate Competition.
From the beginning, Ms. Chiu recognized the importance of hands-on experience. As such, at her first opportunity, Ms. Chiu became certified by the State Bar of California through the Practical Training of Law Students Program. Immediately after her certification, Ms. Chiu began handling cases under the supervision of other attorneys. Ms. Chiu handled a wide range of cases from simple misdemeanors to serious strike felonies in all San Diego County courthouses.
Her hard work and dedication proved fruitful and Ms. Chiu graduated with high honors and passed the notoriously difficult California Bar Exam on her first attempt. Today, Ms. Chiu continues to work tirelessly to defend the accused.
Outside of the law, Ms. Chiu enjoys reading and crafting. She speaks fluent Mandarin, has a working knowledge of French, and owns a Bachelor’s degree in American Sign Language. During her free time, Ms. Chiu often volunteer at social service functions and various community-based legal clinics.
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.