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    Two Visions of America by Don Jans

    Public Defender’s Office provides services at pop-up site outside of Hall of Justice

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    Ventura, CA – The Public Defender’s Office resumed in-person services this week. There is a pop-up site located in the courtyard between the Hall of Administration and the Hall of Justice at the Ventura County Superior Court located at 800 S. Victoria Ave. The pop-up tables will be open weekdays at 8:00 a.m. and will remain open during the morning and afternoon criminal case calendars.

    Current clients and new clients that want but cannot afford their own attorney for a criminal matter, are asked to enter the Government Center from Telephone or Hill Roads and park in lots E or F. Then proceed to the courtyard between the Hall of Administration and the Hall of Justice to check in at the Public Defender table.

    The Public Defender’s Office will gather contact information and ask new clients to allow attorneys to appear for them in court.  Depending on your situation—you may not need to enter the courthouse.  In many cases, the Public Defender Attorney can appear on the case in your absence and set it for a future date.  We will then have an attorney assigned to the matter. The newly assigned attorney will then contact the client to discuss options (settlement, trial, etc.) over the phone or by email.

    Masks are required to enter the Hall of Justice. Community members are asked to wear masks when consulting with the public defender’s staff and to remain socially distanced.

    Public Defender Todd Howeth says, “Our goal is to keep our clients safe by reducing to a minimum the number of people who must enter the Hall of Justice. Having staff outside will allow us to just that.”  People who must personally appear on their case will be asked to wait outside until asked to enter the Hall of Justice so we can maintain social distance in the courtrooms. If you are a current Public Defender client, we ask that you contact your attorney or call the front desk at 805.654.2201 before you come to court to coordinate your appearance with your attorney.

    The mission of the County of Ventura Office of the Public Defender is to ensure equal justice for our clients by providing exceptional legal representation.

    For more information, contact Assistant Public Defender Paul Drevenstedt at 805.654.2408. 

    *Note: The Public Defender is not permitted to represent clients charged with infractions.


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