Ventura County DUI Arrest? You Can Fight your Charge!
Ventura County is notorious for its treatment of DUI arrestees. Every year many factually innocent people arrested for a DUI in Ventura decide to plead guilty because they think they have no options. In this article DUI Trial Lawyer Ken Hamilton dispels the myth that DUI's are unbeatable in VC
The Rumors are True: Ventura is the Wrong Place to be Arrested for a DUISo, you are a LA local and decide to head up to Santa Barbara for the Weekend. You are retracing the steps of the guys in the movie Sideways--taking the Sideways Trail, so to speak. Well if you decide to get started in one of Ventura's fine wineries, like Herzog Winery in Oxnard for instance, avoid the roads if you had a flight or two. Ventura County is notorious as the worst county in the State of California to get arrested for a DUI. What's so bad about getting arrested for a DUI in Ventura? The District Attorney has a formal policy of refusing to plea bargain DUI charges. You get arrested in LA or Santa Barbara you could get a wet reckless disposition or better in many cases. But not in Ventura County. Every DUI charge is filed for a DUI conviction--no exceptions. Could it get any worse? In fact it does: Ventura is the only county in California to require formal probation for first time DUI convictions. You have to check in with a probation officer and pay the cost of probation monitoring you.
Do I have any recourse when I'm arrested for a DUI in Ventura County?The good news is that you can fight your DUI in Ventura County. The Ventura County Public Defender's Office is staffed by a very well respected group of criminal defense lawyers. Because it's a highly desirable location in terms of where to live and play, the Public Defender's Office is swamped with applicants--many of whom are very experienced. As a result they get to pick the cream of the crop. If you are fortunate enough to have been hired by the Ventura County Public Defender's Office you can count yourself as one of the few and proud. The bottom line is that your public defender will fight for you and take your case to trial.
Should I hire a Private Lawyer to Represent me if I'm charged with a DUI in Ventura County?If you don't qualify for a public defender because you are not deemed indigent or require more personalized attention, you will need to hire a private lawyer. When hiring a private lawyer when facing DUI charges in Ventura County, it's best to find a local lawyer who specializes in DUI defense. Most so-called DUI trial lawyers in Los Angeles or Santa Barbara don't actually try cases before juries on any regular basis because they can plea bargain cases in those jurisdictions for a lesser charge. Then when they come to Ventura on the rare occasion they are shocked to learn that they can't get their client a "wet reckless" lesser charge by schmoozing the prosecutor. In Ventura you don't plea bargain DUI charges, you set them for trial. Your DUI charge in Vetntura only goes away when you have an experienced, local DUI trial lawyer ready and able to answer "ready for trial."