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Kenneth Neil Hamilton

DUI and DWI Attorney at Ventura, CA

5.0   19 reviews
  • Licensed for 21 years
    State CA
    Acquired 2002
    Status
    Disbarred Lawyer disciplined by state licensing authority in 2023

This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in 2023. See details

About Kenneth

Learn Kenneth’s areas of practice.

3
Practice areas
  1. DUI and DWI
    80%
    Defending all types of DUI cases from "under 21" cases where clients are accused of driving with measurable alcohol in their system to serious multiple DUI and a DUI with injury cases. I take a holistic approach to DUI defense. Where many attorneys look at a test result to determine whether the case is defensible, I always look at a test result as the beginning, not the end, of the story. I have been drawn to DUI defense because the cases arso challenging and the victories are so much sweeter

    21 years, 500 cases

  2. Appeals
    10%
    I have handled appeals since I began practicing law including taking cases to the federal court of appeal for the 9th Circuit. I have a number of reported cases. I received focused training on drafting appellate briefs while working in the appellate section of the Ventura County Public Defender's Office. And my extensive experience presenting cases to juries gives me the understanding of assessing the competence of other trial lawyers when I handle their appeals.

    21 years, 50 cases

  3. Criminal defense
    10%
    I have been a certified criminal law specialist since 2011. To be a certified specialist, you need the experience, reputation, and ability to demonstrate your knowledge in a rigorous specialist exam administered by the bar that tests all aspects of criminal law including complicated charges and sentencing, constitutional rights of the defendants, criminal writs and appeals, and emerging and trending issues. I always consider my clients as good people who are trying to do the right thing.

    21 years, 1,000 cases

Certified criminal law specialist for expertise with DUI defense and appeals in Santa Barbara, Ventura & the entire South Coast. 

All of my education and experience has been constitutional criminal defense. I believe in protecting the innocent by providing zelous advocacy to all accused.

I've never been a cop or prosecutor.  I've never arrested people or argued to send people to prison.  I never had to work for the leviathan, and never wanted to.  I've always represented the little guy--the defendant--against the enormous weight of the State.  If you think you can work for the leviathan for 10 or 20 years arresting people and sending them to prison and then all of a sudden switch sides and effectively represent defendants like a seasoned defense lawyer, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

I was Valedictorian of my graduting class at law school.  While in law school I interned with criminal attorneys for 3 years including a private firm and a public defender's office.  I served as a public defender for Ventura County and Tulare County.  

I regularly provide consultation to other criminal defense lawyers throughout California and trained public defenders and private lawyers on effectively defending clients accused of a DUI.  I am qualified to administer standardized field sobriety tests after competing the IACP/NHTSA student course on DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing and understand their limitations.  

With regard to appellate law, I have successfully written appeals for clients all throughout my time practicing law, and worked in the appellate division of the Ventura County Public Defender's Office.  I am the attorney of record on multiple published opinions (addressing Second Amendment and Fourth Amendment law) and I am currently on the Appellate Panel for the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Finally I have considerable experience pertaning to the intersection of mental health and criminal law.  I represented clients detained at mental health hospitals, and defended them in LPS proceedings.  I have also received special training to represent clients with mental illness in court and participated on the Ventura County Mental Health Board for over 2 years where I assisted the local behavioral health organizations in formulating and reforming programs and policies developed to assist individuals with mental illness. 

When I'm not helping the innocent and wrongfully accused or helping my kids with homework I can be found sailing on the sea, shooting at the range, or brewing beer in my garage.

I am retained to represent clients throughout the South Coast of California but primarily work out of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.

Photos and videos

In order to better represent my clients, I took the same type of training that the police take and am now qualified to administer Standardized Field Sobriety Tests.  Are field sobriety tests a bunch of pseudo-science BS?  You betcha!
Only specialists certified by the State Bar of California may use this logo.  Have you hugged your certified specialist in criminal law today?
I have successfully assisted a number of clients charged with marijuana-related offenses, including driving under the influence of marijuana, possession for sale of marijuana, and cultivation of marijuana.
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Location

Kenneth N. Hamilton
5740 Ralston Street
Suite 300
Ventura, CA, 93003
Exclusive DUI Defense, Inc.
3 W. Carrillo Street
Suite 203
Santa Barbara, CA, 93101-4603
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Reviews

5.0 / 5.0
  19 customer reviews
5 Star
 
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Posted by Alex S. | December 1, 2018
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Great Lawyer - Most Competent I Ever Spoke With
I needed a quick answer on a California case related to immigration and expungement of a clients criminal history and got it. The answer was provided within 24 hours. I'd recommend Kenneth Neil Hamilton for anyone in Southern Calfornia seeking competent and professional legal counsel.
Posted by anonymous | October 18, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great Attorney
The case was a 22810(g). Even though I had a dash cam video of the road rage incident, the egocentric stand by the DA on felony behavior made the case problematic since the video did not show the actually attempted assault be the road rager. So while I hoped for a dismissal the best Ken could do was downgrade the offense to a misdemeanor with no jail time. I applaud him for everything . He was so great to work with Highly Recommended.
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Posted by anonymous | September 25, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Terrific Advocate in Ventura
I was fighting my case with Jeremy Lessem as my primary lawyer, who is very active in Los Angeles County. As my case was being litigated in Ventura County, Jeremy often partnered with Ken Hamilton to advocate on my behalf during several of my dozen or so appearances. Ken was terrific! He is friendly and efficient, and knows the DAs and Judges in the Ventura County system such that he was able to move the simple procedural stuff forward quickly, but more importantly, he was able to win me an incredibly important Stay to attend a life event (despite the rarity of them being granted in the County) and a very favorable Adjustment of Terms. I would recommend Ken in a heartbeat to anyone looking for able and amiable representation in Ventura County.
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Posted by Sherry | May 11, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Ventura Courts' superstar attorney!
Ken is bright, sharp, experienced and highly knowledgeable about Ventura court matters! Knows the judges DAs and his way around the criminal case in Ventura court. Was thrilled with his great work ethic and legal savvy. Thank you Ken; in the words of Tina turner, you're simply the best!
Posted by Jacob | March 30, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
THE go to guy
Ken Hamilton is smart, savvy, and incredibly hard working. He has an insiders view of the court and cases. Ken always takes a unique view on the case and often finds angles that you havent previously thought of. Ken is my go to guy, and if I were in trouble he would be my first call!
Posted by Rosie | March 9, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Magic touch in court
I have lead foot and the cops are always riding me. Mr. Hamilton has a magic touch in court and beat all my tickets. I can't say enough to prove the point that he was instrumental in keeping justice and fairness in the court.
Posted by anonymous | February 15, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Client Review
Attorney Ken Hamilton handled my case better than I could have expected. He took care of every aspect of my case. I highly recommend this lawyer. He is compassionate, punctual and knowledgeable. I had a difficult case. My mind was set to ease during every stage of my case. Always available, professional and talented. Excellent assistance from legal assistant Arianna Drulias. She never failed to get the answers I needed quickly. She is knowledgeable, professional and compassionate. Highly recommend this attorney and his team at the law firm of Jeremy Lessem and Ken Hamilton.
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Posted by Cory | September 20, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
DUI
Mr. Hamilton is a hard working, dedicated attorney at law. He and mr. Lessem helped me with my court case while deployed overseas and ultimately ended up winning my case due to my 4th amendment right being violated. I can't thank you enough.
Posted by anonymous | September 19, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent Attorney
Mr, Hamilton got my DUI charge dismissed!! Mr. Hamilton always was willing to speak with me over the phone or by e-mail. He was very kind and courteous. If you have a DUI or any type of charge and need defense I highly recommend this attorney!
Posted by AF | June 22, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Top of His Profession
Attorney Hamilton assisted me on several relatively serious criminal matters and he consistently produced superior results. He is very experienced and is a certified expert in his field. He provided regular case updates and returned all emails and calls within 24 hours. Mr. Hamilton also has a good working relationship with the prosecutors, judges & court staff and he is an excellent negotiator under pressure. I highly recommend working with him and would do so again.
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Posted by Ann | April 16, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Colleague Review
I think lawyers are more harsh in judging other lawyers because we know what needs to be done. I have complete faith in Mr. Hamilton after several years of interaction all our field of law -- Defense. Keeping the government honest and out of our client's lives, where they do not belong, uninvited. Kenneth Hamilton fulfills every standard of a true and hardworking defense attorney that I would demand, if (when?) I have the need to be defended. He has offered his help often and I am appreciative and honored to BE a colleague.
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Posted by Brian | April 14, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Case dismissed!
Dismissal is good enough! I don't know exactly what he did but he was able to get my dope case dismissed at the first court date. Great lawyer. Would recommend to anyone.
Posted by Santiago | April 12, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
DUI
I hired Ken Hamilton to defend me against my 4th dui and the deal he got me was better than the 3 previous dui charges I had where i hired other lawyers to defend me. The best and most hones lawyer I have ever used!!!
Posted by Heather | April 11, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
WINNING AT DMV
My license was suspended due to bad judgment by a police officer.. Ken Hamilton was a high referrel by a close friend who has used and still uses Mr. Hamilton as his attny. The odds were stacked against me because of the police report. Mr. Hamilton was nothing short of "amazing".!!! The hearing officer was on the ropes the whole time and could do nothing to defend the officers actions... l ended up getting my license back thanks to Ken Hamilton
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Posted by Abraham | April 7, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Contracting without license
Mr. Hamilton was an attorney on my very complicated case that included over 30,000 pages of 3 different law suits. He was able to navigate through all the complications that arose, evidence and testimonies in the right timeline. His ability to understand all the underlying circumstances of the case resulted in case dismissal. Mr. Hamilton is very professional and dedicated, intelligent in many skillful ways that really helped me in a place that most lawyers won't. Based on my own experience, I would highly recommend him without a doubt.
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Posted by Paul | April 5, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
the best lawyer I've ever had, he totally had my best interest at heart,.
Mr Hamilton did a great job, he wouldn't even let me take a plea deal with more than ten years on the line for me,my life was in his hands and I am proud to say not guilty My family and I thank you so much.
Posted by Tamara | April 5, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best lawyer in town!!
Look no further!! DEFINITELY NOT YOUR AVERAGE LAWYER!! He has proven to make what looked impossible, possible!! Case went to trail and if convicted, sentenced to 13 years!! Well, Mr. Hamilton proved the case not guilty! Even up Against expert witnesses (so they say). He stood up against some of the so called best by title and smashed them!! Against the legal system he beat the case treating me like a REAL PERSON and more than just a client. On a scale of 1-10 he earns a 20!! by the way, this was a criminal case!! NOT DUI. He's that good!!
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Posted by anonymous | April 1, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Confident
Difficult and challenging case. Ken knows the DAs and judges in Ventura and helped me fix a big problem. Now I have my life back. I've had terrible experiences with lawyers in the past but Ken Hamilton has renewed my faith in the legal system.
Posted by Mark | November 30, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great Results
I highly recommend Kenneth Hamilton. He has the experience and court room skills you need in a defense attorney. Mr. Hamilton defended me in a traffic light violation. The light at Victoria and Telephone changed to red and captured my car passing through after the red light. I didn't think the ticket was fair. Mr. Hamilton represented me in court and won. The ticket was removed from my record and there was no fine. I believe Mr. Hamilton did a great job in this small issue and I would call on his help again in a larger issue like a DUI.
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Cost

Rates
  • Free Consultation 30 minutes
  • Hourly Rates $ 50-500 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card

Resume

AVVO RATING 1.0 (Extreme Caution)

Professional misconduct

This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in 2023.

Disbarment issued in CA, 2023
updated on 09/15/2023

Disbarment is the most serious penalty for a lawyer. If this attorney is currently practicing law, you should contact the California State Bar to understand the reasons for disbarment.

Work Experience

  • Founder
  • South Coast DUI Law Center
  • 2015 - Present
  • Board Member
  • Ventura County Mental Health Board
  • 2009 - 2011
  • Deputy Public Defender
  • Ventura County Public Defender
  • 2008 - 2015
  • Deputy Public Defender
  • Tulare County Public Defender
  • 2006 - 2008
  • lawyer
  • Kenneth N Hamilton Attorney at Law
  • 2002 - 2006
  • Certified Law Student
  • San Diego County Public Defender
  • 1999 - 2001
  • law clerk
  • Ross & Cotman
  • 1999 - 2002
View all work experience

Education

  • Western Sierra Law School
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2002
  • Phoenix College
  • pursued Liberal Arts Degree
  • 1996
  • Portland Community College
  • pursued Liberal Arts Degree
  • 1995

Sample of Legal Cases

  • People v. PT
  • not guilty all sales charges, client got no jail and Prop. 36 probation
  • People v. AM
  • dismissed
  • People v. DE
  • Case dismissed two times. Client at home with wife and daughter.
View all legal cases

Associations

  • Los Angeles Superior Court Appellate Division Panel
  • Appellate Lawyer
  • 2016 - Present
  • National College of DUI Defense
  • General Member
  • 2015 - Present
  • California DUI Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • 2010 - Present
  • State Bar of California, Criminal Law Section
  • Member
  • 2010 - Present
  • Ventura County Criminal Defense Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2008 - Present
  • US District Court for the Central District of California
  • Member
  • 2005 - Present
  • US Tax Court
  • Member
  • 2005 - Present
  • US District Court for the Southern District of California
  • Member
  • 2004 - Present
  • US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Member
  • 2004 - Present
  • California Public Defenders Association
  • Member
  • 2003 - Present
  • State Bar of California
  • Admitted to Practice
  • 2002 - Present
  • NORML Legal Committee
  • Member
  • 2009 - 2014
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member
  • 2003 - 2006
  • California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
  • Member
  • 2003 - 2006
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Certificate of Recognition
  • Ventura County Public Defender
  • 2015
  • Trial Lawyer of the Year
  • Private Defenders of California
  • 2014
  • Certificate of Commendation
  • Ventura County Mental Health Board
  • 2013
  • Qualified to Administer Standardized Field Sobriety Tests
  • La Pier & Associates
  • 2013
  • Certified Specialist - Criminal Law
  • State Bar of California
  • 2011
  • Mental Health Court Practitioner Certification
  • Ventura County Superior Court
  • 2011
  • Certificate of Completion
  • NAMI Court Education Program on Mental Illness
  • 2010
  • Juvenile Dependency Court Practitioner Certification
  • San Diego County Superior Court
  • 2004
  • Valedictorian
  • Western Sierra Law School
  • 2002
View all awards

Attorney endorsements

Received (27)
Given (45)
Endorse Kenneth
Criminal defense Attorney | Dec 25
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Kenneth is a great lawyer! He goes the extra mile for his clients and fellow attorneys. I highly recommend him. He will get the job done!"
Criminal defense Attorney | Jan 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Kenneth is a sharp attorney who is a real go getter. He is not only highly skilled in the area of DUI defense, but he has the passion and intuition to match his skill. I appreciate Kenneth's collegial nature and how he always takes time to impart his legal knowledge and mentorship on fellow attorneys such as myself. I endorse this lawyer."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Nov 05
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Ken is sharp-witted, thoughtful, and intelligent. He is a worthy-adversary for any DA."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Nov 22
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Ken is straight talking and very good at what he does. He is not afraid of taking on difficult cases. I highly recommend this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Apr 28
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Ken knows the legal issues that are relevant today and isn't afraid to fight for his clients. His thick skin, pleasant demeanor, and tenacity serve him extremely well and he is an excellent defense attorney that I would recommend to anyone in need."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Apr 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have known Ken for over 20 years. He is a leader in the area of criminal defense and DUI defense. I have participated in chat groups and in conferences with Ken for many years. He is brillant. I recommend him highly."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Mar 01
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Attorney Ken Hamilton is one of the best DUI lawyers in the State of California. He understands DUI law better than most attorneys. Furthermore, he has extensive trial experience and works incredibly hard to get the best results for his clients. I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Feb 27
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Feb 27
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. I have know Kenneth Hamilton for many years because of our mutual membership in the NORML Legal Committee. He knows everything there is to know about marijuana law in California."
Criminal defense Attorney | Feb 24
Relationship: Other
"It has been my privilege to get to know Ken over a number of years as a fellow member of the NORML Legal Defense Committee. He is very helpful to fellow members and has a nationwide reputation for providing his clients with excellent representation. I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Feb 24
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Sep 21
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Aug 12
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Ken is a fantastic lawyer and one of the premier DUI specialist in California. He is one of the people I call first in regards to serious felony DUI matters. He is a great resource to the Ventura community. I highly endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Apr 30
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Ken Hamilton is an extremely skilled communicator. This skill serves him well both in the court room as well as in his dealings with clients. Ken works extremely hard and truly cares about his clients. As a result his clients get fantastic outcomes. A strongly endorse Kenneth Hamilton."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Apr 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Ken is an experienced DUI trial lawyer, with great results in San Diego and all of the South Coast. He knows the defenses and he's always willing to go to trial. Other lawyers consult with him on their cases, too. I highly recommend him."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Apr 16
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Ken is such a fine lawyer. He's smart, he's honest and he does impeccable work. When he doesn't know the answer to something, he won't say that he does. I have come to rely on Ken in a pinch, and he comes through. Ken stands good with me. He cut his teeth in Ventura County, which is a really tough place to practice criminal law. And it didn't change him: he got results then, and now in private practice, he gets results now. I am mostly in LA County. He's my go-to DUI guy, though, for all DUI's -- and certainly other areas of the law -- in SOCAL."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Apr 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Ken is a skilled and concientious advocate for his clients. I started practicing in Ventura County about four years ago, and immediately recognized Ken as a respected and serious criminal defense attorney. I have seen him in trials and was impressed with his knowledge of the law and his skills in applying and arguing the law on behalf off his clients. Many seasoned attorneys learn and borrow from Ken. I endorse this lawyer."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Apr 13
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Iv seen Ken practice for almost 10 years. He is very skilled and adept at litigating dui cases. He is a strong advocate and one of the best dui specialists in southern california."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Apr 11
Relationship: Worked for lawyer
"I endorse this lawyer. I have worked with Mr. Hamilton for about 10 years and he is one of the leading authorities in DUI law and trials. He is also expert at all aspects of criminal defense."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Apr 07
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Kenneth Hamilton is truly the most hard working, passionate, and knowledge attorneys that I have ever met. Nobody that I have ever met fights DUI cases harder, and nobody gets better results for their clients on DUI case, period, end of story. Kenneth always stays on the forefront of emerging trends in law and science when it comes to DUI defense, and I wholeheartedly endorse him for both DUI defense and general criminal law defense!"
View more endorsements
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Criminal defense
DUI and DWI
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DUI and DWI
DUI and DWI
DUI and DWI