Community-Focused Public Defense Matters: I Want to Work with You
A Letter to the Editor from Ray Buenaventura, Chief Public Defender
My name is Ray Buenaventura. I am your newly appointed Chief Public Defender. I was appointed by the Lake County Board of Supervisors on September 19, 2023, and began serving October 16, 2023.
My background includes over 30 years of experience as a criminal defense lawyer, with more than 100 jury trials, ranging from minor infractions to murder cases with special circumstances (i.e. death penalty-eligible cases). I am a Certified Criminal Law Specialist and have taught Evidence, Election Law and Legal Research and Writing. I also created the first Youth Court Program in Santa Clara County. I am additionally on the Board of Trustees of the California State Bar Association, and have served on the Criminal Law Advisory Commission and the Attorney Discipline Committee.
As your Public Defender, it is my responsibility to establish a premier indigent defense program in Lake County. My goal is to ensure every Lake County defendant receives a professional and appropriate defense. I will devote my energy to promoting the public interest through innovative programs that can truly make a difference. I will work to build an effective and transformative Public Defender Office everyone can rely on.
I cannot do it alone. Community-focused, holistic Public Defense matters, and I want to work with you.
People should get the services they need to be successful; when they do, they are less likely to offend in the future. Building relationships, promoting engagement from every Lake County community, is essential to effectively supporting people that become involved with the criminal justice system.
I write this letter to extend an invitation to anyone and everyone willing to meet with me.
I am particularly interested in meeting people involved in rehabilitation programs, mental and behavioral health-focused organizations, youth groups, veterans, Lake County’s seven Sovereign Tribal Nations, seniors, homeless shelters, food distribution centers, mentorship group, and vocational training programs.
Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (707) 263-0133.
Working together, we can change the course of people’s lives. Will you join me?