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About me

Certified crirminal law specialist for expertise with DUI defense and appeals in Santa Barbara, Ventura & the entire South Coast. Call today: 844-SOCO-DUI *Free Consultation.

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

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Practice areas


  1. DUI & DWI: 80%
    13 years, 500 cases
  2. Appeals: 10%
    13 years, 50 cases
  3. Criminal Defense: 10%
    13 years, 1 thousand cases



Hourly ($50-500/hour), Fixed (sometimes), Free consultation (30 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

14 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Jeremy Ian Lessem

    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.


    Jeremy Lessem Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

  • No photo

    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.


    David Diaz Personal injury Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Kenneth N. Hamilton

5740 Ralston Street
Suite 300
Ventura, CA, 93003


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Certificate of RecognitionVentura County Public Defender2015
Trial Lawyer of the YearPrivate Defenders of California2014
Certificate of CommendationVentura County Mental Health Board2013
Qualified to Administer Standardized Field Sobriety TestsLa Pier & Associates2013
Certified Specialist - Criminal LawState Bar of California2011
Mental Health Court Practitioner CertificationVentura County Superior Court2011
Certificate of CompletionNAMI Court Education Program on Mental Illness2010
Juvenile Dependency Court Practitioner CertificationSan Diego County Superior Court2004
ValedictorianWestern Sierra Law School2002
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
FounderSouth Coast DUI Law Center2015 - Present
Board MemberVentura County Mental Health Board2009 - 2011
Deputy Public DefenderVentura County Public Defender2008 - 2015
Deputy Public DefenderTulare County Public Defender2006 - 2008
lawyerKenneth N Hamilton Attorney at Law2002 - 2006
Certified Law StudentSan Diego County Public Defender1999 - 2001
law clerkRoss & Cotman1999 - 2002
Association namePosition nameDuration
Los Angeles Superior Court Appellate Division PanelAppellate Lawyer2016 - Present
National College of DUI DefenseGeneral Member2015 - Present
California DUI Lawyers AssociationMember2010 - Present
State Bar of California, Criminal Law SectionMember2010 - Present
Ventura County Criminal Defense Bar AssociationMember2008 - Present
US Tax CourtMember2005 - Present
US District Court for the Central District of CaliforniaMember2005 - Present
US Court of Appeals for the Ninth CircuitMember2004 - Present
US District Court for the Southern District of CaliforniaMember2004 - Present
California Public Defenders AssociationMember2003 - Present
State Bar of CaliforniaAdmitted to Practice2002 - Present
NORML Legal CommitteeMember2009 - 2014
National Association of Criminal Defense LawyersMember2003 - 2006
California Attorneys for Criminal JusticeMember2003 - 2006
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
People v. DECase dismissed two times. Client at home with wife and daughter.
People v. WWCase dismissed after 2 mistrials following 2 deadlocked juries
People v. BurtonAppellate Court ruled in favor of the government.
See all legal cases 
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Western Sierra Law SchoolLawJD - Juris Doctor2002
Phoenix CollegeLiberal Studiespursued Liberal Arts Degree1996
Portland Community CollegeLiberal Studiespursued Liberal Arts Degree1995