Criminal defense lawyer Hogan Ganschow understands that an attorney should be more than just a body in a suit continuing court appearances and asking you to sign paperwork. An attorney should build a relationship with each and every client, listen to their story and point of view, and be willing to craft a defense strategy that achieves the best possible outcome for the client based on the client’s desires and motivations. Mr. Ganschow has won dismissals and not guilty verdicts after jury trials for his clients in Santa Barbara, Lompoc, and Ventura by telling their stories in a way that is specifically catered to the prosecutors, judges, and juries of those communities. Mr. Ganschow will take criminal defense cases and clients from Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Goleta, Isla Vista, Lompoc, Solvang, Santa Ynez, Orcutt, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, Ventura, Oxnard, Camarillo, Westlake Village, Port Hueneme, Ojai, Montecito, Buellton, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Fillmore, Santa Paula, and other surrounding towns along the South coast.
Free consultation with a Criminal Defense Attorney
Being charged with a crime can be a scary and overwhelming experience. Every client, no matter the situation, deserves a criminal defense attorney they can trust to listen to their side of the story without judgment. The best outcomes are possible when the client is informed and involved in their case. No two clients or cases are the same and each deserves special attention and a unique approach.
Experience with Every Stage of the Criminal Trial Process
When it comes to knowing what outcomes are reasonable and possible for a case, there is no substitute for working with an experienced criminal trial lawyer. With over eight years’ experience representing clients at every stage of the criminal process Mr. Ganschow will defend you every step of the way.
- Arrest or Citation – Where a case often starts. This is where law enforcement makes a decision based on probable cause that someone has committed a crime. The arresting officer will generate a report and forward it to the district attorney for filing of charges. A good defense attorney can sometimes persuade the DA that charges are unnecessary. This is one of the reasons it makes sense to hire a defense attorney right away, rather than wait until after charges have been filed.
- Arraignment – This is the first court appearance for every defendant on their case, and it is where a judge informs you of the charges that have been filed by the District Attorney’s Office. The charges are called a “complaint”. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you can have an attorney represent you at your arraignment and accept the complaint and initial discovery package (aka the police reports) on your behalf without you appearing. On most misdemeanors, you must be arraigned within one year of the date of the incident which gives rise to the charges or you have grounds to dismiss the case for violating your constitutional speedy trial rights.
- Evidentiary motions – While there are several different kinds of motions that can be filed between the time someone is arraigned and their trial, the most common motion is known as a “Motion to Suppress Evidence”. This is where your attorney challenges an aspect of the police investigation or search for violating your Constitutional rights against unlawful search and seizure, also known as your Fourth Amendment rights. When a suppression motion is filed, the case is set for a hearing where the officer testifies about the search and is cross-examined by the defense attorney. Mr. Ganschow has won several of these motions in Santa Barbara, Lompoc, and Ventura, and has achieved outright dismissals for clients by getting the evidence against them thrown out of their case.
- Other motions – In addition to suppression motions, there are several other types of motions that can be filed, including motions for access to police personnel records to look for incidents of bias, speedy trial motions, and even motions to dismiss based on withheld evidence. Mr. Ganschow once achieved a dismissal on the day of trial and a censure of the prosecutor by proving to the judge that the DA withheld evidence of his client’s innocence. A successful defense depends on having an attorney that knows how to persuasively argue your due process rights.
- Preliminary Hearing – If your case is a felony, you have the right to a preliminary hearing where the prosecutor has to establish through the testimony of an investigating officer that there is probable cause to let a jury hear the case. If there is insufficient evidence to establish probable cause, your attorney can ask the judge to dismiss your case at the preliminary hearing. Although cases are rarely dismissed at the preliminary hearing, this is also an opportunity for your attorney to poke holes in the prosecutor’s case and ask the judge to reduce your case from a felony to a misdemeanor. If the DA feels their case isn’t as strong as they thought, they will sometimes dismiss the felony charges following a preliminary hearing rather than go forward on a weakening case. Mr. Ganschow has achieved several favorable outcomes including dismissals and reduced charges by poking holes in the prosecutor’s case at a preliminary hearing.
- Settlement Conferences – Between the time you are arraigned and the date of trial, the judge will set one or more court appearances for your attorney to meet with the DA and discuss the possibility of settlement. The vast majority of criminal cases in California resolves this way. Even though these conferences are designed to see if there is a possibility of a plea bargain, they are also a useful opportunity for your attorney to highlight your good character and plant seeds of doubt in the mind of the prosecutor so that the prosecutor considers dismissing. Mr. Ganschow has achieved numerous dismissals this way.
- Trial – If negotiations reach a stalemate and the DA feels there is enough evidence to proceed with a trial, the last step is to take the case in front of a jury of twelve persons from the community. Before the trial begins, there are usually additional motions made about what evidence can and cannot come in. Most trials, especially misdemeanors, last less than two weeks. If you are found “not guilty” your case is done, and you suffer no penalty. If you are found “guilty”, there is still the opportunity for your attorney to argue for a lenient sentence. If the jury cannot come to a verdict, then the case is either dismissed or set for a re-trial. The prosecutor usually only gets one or two chances to prove the case to a jury, so a hung jury can often turn into a dismissal. Mr. Ganschow has won trials by outright “not guilty” verdict and by dismissal following a hung jury in Santa Barbara, Lompoc, and Ventura.
- Sentencing – Depending on the case, your sentence can range from community service, fines, probation, drug treatment, county jail or prison time. Having an attorney that knows how to shine the best light on you and your case can make an enormous difference in kind of sentence you get. Sometimes the best an attorney can do on a tough case is argue leniency. This is a skill that you cannot afford to overlook when hiring an attorney.
- Appeal – If you lose your trial, you have the right to appeal the verdict based on some error made by the judge, the prosecutor, the jury, or your attorney.
- Expungement – Whether you plead guilty or are found guilty following a trial, once you complete a substantial period of probation and have stayed out of trouble, your attorney can make additional motions. If your case is a felony, your attorney can make a motion to have your conviction reduced to a misdemeanor, and if your case is a misdemeanor or infraction, your attorney can ask the court to have it expunged.
Mr. Ganschow has built a reputation as a passionate and creative trial attorney and an effective advocate for his clients. In order to get a dismissal or a good deal before trial, it is best to have an attorney who the prosecutor knows can win or hang the jury if the case goes before a jury. In fact, many cases are dismissed as the jury is being selected or after the first witness is called simply because the prosecutor has doubts about whether they can persuade all twelve jurors.
If you’re going up against the resources of the state, you need a criminal defense strategy that isn’t one-size-fits-all. Mr. Ganschow will outline and deliver to you a strategy that makes sense given your goals and needs and will make sure you are promptly informed of any new developments in the case, including settlement offers and evidentiary rulings.