300 E Esplanade Dr, 9th Floor
Oxnard, CA 93036
Some of the cities our Ventura criminal defense lawyers serve include Camarillo, Fillmore, Moorpark, Ojai, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Santa Paula, Simi Valley, and Thousand Oaks.
Expert and caring Ventura criminal defense
Ventura criminal defense attorney John Murray is a native of the county who understands the unique politics and dynamics of its criminal justice system. He has years of extensive experience providing the best defense available to his clients. Some of the most common criminal defense cases he handles include:
- Domestic violence
- Drug crimes, including recreational possession (HS 11350)
- Driving under the influence
- Fraud, including credit card fraud
- Gang crimes (PC 186.22)
- Grand theft auto (PC 487d1)
- Sex crimes, including sexual assault (PC 243.4)
- Theft crimes, including shoplifting
- Violent crimes, including assault and battery (PC 242)
- White collar crimes
People also rely on our legal representation for bail hearings, probation violation hearings, and expunging records. And our Ventura DUI defense attorneys handle both the defendant’s criminal case as well as the DMV administrative case.
Ventura Jail and Court
800 S Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93003
jail: (805) 654-3335
court: (805) 289-8900
3855-F Alamo Street
Simi Valley, CA 93063
The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office is known to be extremely tough on criminal defendants. Local juries tend to be affluent, white, conservative and pro-prosecution. This makes for a high rate of conviction and excessive jail time, even in some relatively minor DUI and criminal offense cases.
Criminal court process
Most people who get arrested and booked in Ventura have the opportunity to bail out or get released on their own recognizance. The next important date is the arraignment, which is where the judge formally reads the criminal charges in open court.
Defendants who do not hire private counsel must show up in person for their arraignments. (Though in some cases, defendants are still required to appear even if they have their own attorney.)
Missing any required court appearance will cause the court to issue a bench warrant for the defendant’s arrest. And the court will not recall the warrant until the defendant (or his/her attorney) file a motion to quash the warrant and appear in person at a court hearing.
When defendants are unable to pay for their own lawyer, the court will assign a public defender to them. But public defenders are severely overworked, and it is not unusual for public defenders and their clients to have no communication outside of the courtroom. Therefore, having a private lawyer gives defendants an advantage.
After the arraignment, the defense attorney tries to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor. The D.A. is typically willing to offer a charge reduction or even dismissal as a way to avoid going to trial. And if the case does proceed to trial (which is rare), the burden is on the prosecutor to demonstrate guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
If the defendant agrees to enter a plea – or if the defendant gets found guilty at trial – the next step is for the judge to impose a criminal sentence. Standard penalties include fines and jail. Though defendants may be able to avoid jail time if they get granted probation.
Have you or a loved one been arrested? Our criminal defense and trial attorneys, who comprise former prosecutors and members of law enforcement, have years of experience fighting charges. We have law offices throughout northern, central and southern California, including Los Angeles County, Santa Barbara County San Bernardino County, Encino, and more. Our practice areas also include personal injury legal services.