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Attorney Wesley J. Schroeder

Phone: 408.277.0377

Avvo 10.0 Avvo Client Choice National Trial Lawyers

While I was always interested in a legal career as I grew up and went through my years of education, it was not until I became quite involved in the civil rights movement during the 1960’s that I really began to understand how absolutely vital it was to protect the individual rights of citizens. This is especially true for persons charged with a criminal offense.

People ask how I can represent “guilty” people, or those persons accused of serious crimes. The fact is I am proud and honored to do so because I deeply believe in the principles of the United States Constitution. Specifically, the Bill of Rights with its Sixth Amendment provides that all accused persons are to have the assistance of counsel for their defense. The role of a criminal defense attorney was actually deemed so important by the Founding Fathers that it was written into the guarantees of the United States Constitution. Few people can say that their job is a requirement of the basic law of our land.

John Adams, the second President of the United States and one of the Founding Fathers, reflected on his life when he was well into old age and stated one of his greatest services to his country was to successfully defend British soldiers accused of murder of American Colonists in the Boston Massacre. He defended the soldiers at great peril to his political future and even his life due to the enormous unpopularity of the British Army at that time. Adams understood that the principles of a fair trial and vigorous advocacy regardless of the charges and the social status of the accused was vital to the integrity of the American democracy that he was helping to form.

That spirit and zeal are central to the ideas that drew me to becoming a criminal defense lawyer and have propelled me along this career for the past forty years.


  • Whitman College, B.A. with honors in major (English)
  • University of California, Davis, King Hall School of Law
    • Winner of Moot Court competition
    • Instrumental in arranging to have the law school named after Dr. Martin Luther King


  • Senior Trial Attorney, Santa Clara County Public Defenders Office
    • Supervising Attorney for Juvenile Court, including Dependency Court
    • Supervising Attorney for Palo Alto Branch
  • Private Practice since 1981
    • Practice limited exclusively to criminal, juvenile and dependency court
  • Class IV Attorney for the Santa Clara County Superior Court
    • Designated to handle court appointments for the most complex and serious criminal cases
  • Rated Distinguished by a national lawyer rating service


  • Over 200 jury trials; including 15 homicide and murder trials; 25 sex offense trials; over 30 domestic violence-related trials
  • Have handled in excess of 12,000 matters in criminal, juvenile and dependency court
  • Was chosen by the Presiding Judge for the purpose of advising a defendant who had been allowed to represent himself in a particularly complicated murder case


During my career I have appeared on television talk shows and television news reports regarding legal issues on a particular case I was handling. Similarly, I have been featured on radio shows for the purpose of answering questions and explaining various legal issues related to my practice. I have also spoken to various community groups regarding legal issues associated with juveniles.

  • Board of Directors, Santa Clara County Sentencing Alternative Program
  • Santa Clara University, Instructor in Criminal Law for Paralegal Program
  • Stanford Law School Moot Court Judge
  • Member ­ California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
  • Member ­ California Public Defenders Association
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association ­ Judiciary and Criminal Justice Committees
  • Served as Judge Pro Tem for Santa Clara County Court Small Claims and Traffic


No individual case can be used to predict the result in your case. All cases, even ones that are very similar, are unique since they involve different actions and settings and possibly different laws.

The few examples mentioned here are meant only to show that my knowledge and extensive experience have produced very positive results in the cases to which I refer. Please do not view these as guides to a given result in your case because no one can truthfully predict that.

Because client confidentiality is of paramount concern, these cases are referred to without reference to the client, even though these are actual cases.

  • Triple Murder case — ­not guilty verdict in second trial after a hung jury on first trial.
  • Murder-not guilty — Co­-defendant found guilty.
  • Vehicular manslaughter — case dismissed after hung jury.
  • Molest charge — 3 alleged victims. Case settled for misdemeanor after hung jury.
  • Molest charge — not guilty.
  • Indecent exposure — case dismissed after jury hung 11­-1 for not guilty.
  • Domestic violence — several cases dismissed after I had private investigation conducted.
  • Resisting arrest — not guilty verdict. Jury returned verdict in 30 minutes.
  • Molest charge — not guilty jury verdict.
  • Molest charges requiring life imprisonment — not guilty of life charges and guilty of lesser charges, resulting in a greatly reduced sentence.
  • Molest charge against school teacher — hung jury. Case dismissed by court.
  • Juvenile robbery and burglary — alternative placement found due to mental health issues.
  • Juvenile homicide — alternative found with home placement due to psychiatric issues.
  • Home invasion robbery — dismissed due to establishing there was mistaken eyewitness identification.
  • Invasion of privacy by use of hidden camera — dismissed after extensive investigation and computer analysis arranged by my office.
  • Molest charge against therapist — not guilty verdict.
  • Dependency Court and ­child abuse allegation as to twin infants — children returned to home after extensive medical investigation I facilitated.
  • Child abuse — criminal charges on the Dependency Court case above. Prosecutor wanted 10 year prison term. Case settled with no prison after our medical investigation showed alternative explanation for injuries.
  • Dependency Court — allegations of severe child abuse with Shaken Baby Syndrome against mother and father. I represented mother. Extensive medical investigation was done to counteract the accusation resulting in child being placed with family and then returned to parents. Also, this investigation lead to no criminal charge being filed by District Attorney.