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Ryan James Couzens

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Former DA helping people defeat criminal charges and avoid charges being filed
  • Criminal Law, Domestic Violence, DUI & DWI ...
  • California
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Lawyer Rating and Reviews
Legal Knowledge
5.0/5.0
Legal Analysis
5.0/5.0
Communication Skills
5.0/5.0
Ethics and Professionalism
5.0/5.0
Marcus B Wiggins
Marcus B Wiggins November 18, 2023
Rating: 10 Lawyer Rating - 10 out of 10
He was a great teacher to a young lawyer just getting started, and I have always remembered that and do the same with my law students and young lawyers. I've referred clients to him because his experience and skills set is better than mine, and I wouldn't refer him to a client if I didn't have complete confidence in his abilities.
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Biography

“I know what motivates DA’s, what drives their decisions. I know what it takes for them to prove a case.” Ryan brings the advantage of having spent sixteen years on the other side, prosecuting cases for the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office. Ryan conducted 46 jury trials. As an Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney, Ryan supervised Yolo’s felony trial teams, Case Charging Unit, and Major Crimes Unit before deciding to move into criminal defense. His insight into prosecution strategies is invaluable to his clients.
According to founding partner, David Cohen, “Ryan had a reputation in Yolo as a compassionate but tough-as-nails DA who gave his all to every case, working hard, using bold tactics, and checking every detail. He was a fierce and respected prosecutor.” Ryan came to the Cohen Defense Group because he wants to help people. As Ryan says, “When you’re a prosecutor, you’re representing the interests of the community at large – the People of the State of California. When you’re defending, you’re representing that person sitting right next to you in court, and only that person. I want to advocate for that person who is in trouble and help them move past it.”
Ryan is a third-generation attorney who sees law as a profession of service to the community and acts to better the justice system wherever he can. Ryan cares deeply about mental health issues, which stems in part from raising two severely disabled children, for whom he is a constant advocate. He contributed to the definitive guide for the State’s new Mental Health Diversion program. As a prosecutor, Ryan created a policy diverting those caught with drugs into treatment instead of prosecution. To make the criminal justice system more transparent and unbiased, Ryan authored Penal Code section 13370, the Justice Data Accountability and Transparency Act (JDATA), and Penal Code Section 741, requiring prosecuting agencies to use race-blind charging in criminal cases.

Practice Areas
    Criminal Law
    Drug Crimes, Expungement, Fraud, Gun Crimes, Internet Crimes, Sex Crimes, Theft, Violent Crimes
    Domestic Violence
    Domestic Violence Criminal Defense, Domestic Violence Restraining Orders, Victims Rights
    DUI & DWI
    White Collar Crime
Video Conferencing
  • Google Meet
  • Skype
  • Zoom
Fees
  • Free Consultation
    I will meet or have a phone call and discuss your case for free before hiring.
  • Credit Cards Accepted
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
California
State Bar of California
ID Number: 215818
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Professional Experience
Criminal Defense Attorney
Cohen Defense Group
- Current
Providing criminal defense to people accused of crimes in Placer, Sacramento and Nevada Counties.
Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney
Yolo County District Attorney
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Supervised the trial team supervisors; ran point on legal issues in trials and responded to claims of prosecutor misconduct; wrote policy and two laws for prosecutor transparency and race blind charging. Along with regular assignment, handled small caseload (usually particularly challenging or complicated cases), including multiple jury trials.
Supervising Deputy District Attorney
Yolo County District Attorney
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Manager of the Year 2018. Supervised Charging Team, Conviction Integrity, Data Driven Intervention and Major Crimes; Manager of the Year 2018. Trained Deputy District Attorneys on trial practice and case management.
Deputy District Attorney
Yolo County District Attorney
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Attorney of the Year 2011 and 2016. Worked on hundreds of cases from DUIs, to domestic violence, to drug sales, to homicides; took 46 cases to jury trial as well as multiple court trials. Worked grants for Drugs and Domestic Violence and Elder Abuse. Known as a compassionate prosecutor who used bold tactics and worked hard.
Litigation Associate
Murphy Austin Adams Schoenfeld LLP
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Worked as litigation associate for construction law, litigation and healthcare divisions.
Litigation Associate
Latham & Watkins LLP
-
Worked as a Litigation Associate assisting in the work on teams for clients such as Chevron, the City of San Diego, Charlotte Russe, Crittall Steel, and the National Football League. Learned to conduct legal research and writing from the finest civil law firm in the world. Did work in state and federal courts.
Judicial Clerk
U.S. District Court, Eastern District California
-
Reviewed pleadings and filings and conducted legal research to advise the Judge, the Honorable Milton L. Schwartz.
Judicial Extern Clerk
California Supreme Court
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Worked a semester in school reviewing attorney submissions for review by the Supreme Court for Hon. Justice Marvin R. Baxter.
Education
University of California, Berkeley School of Law
J.D. (2001) | Law
-
Activities: 1999-2000 Associate Editor, Berkley Technology Law Journal
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University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law
Law
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Honors: American Jurisprudence Award for Top Class Grade in Criminal Law and Contracts
University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law Logo
Univ of Maryland Asian Division
B.A. (1997) | Information Systems Management
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Honors: Multiple scholarships for writing; Dean's List
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Awards
Manager of the Year
Yolo County District Attorney
Attorney of the Year
Yolo County District Attorney
Attorney of the Year
Yolo County District Attorney
ABA Pro Bono Challenge
Latham & Watkins LLP
ABA Pro Bono Challenge
Latham & Watkins LLP
Professional Associations
California State Bar  # 215818
Member
- Current
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California District Attorneys Association
Board Member
-
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Publications
Articles & Publications
Can I Go To Jail For A Misdemeanor in California?
Cohen Defense Group
How Mental Health Diversion Can Help You Avoid Jail Time and Get Treatment
Cohen Defense Group
California Penal Code 741 (Crimes: Race Blind Charging)
California Penal Code
Penal Code Section 13370 (Justice Data Accountability and Transparency Act)
California Penal Code
Speaking Engagements
California Committee on Revision of the Penal Code, Committee Meeting/Webinar, Webinar
California Committee on Revision of the Penal Code
Presented on Restorative Justice concepts.
California Committee on Revision of the Penal Code, Committee Meeting/Webinar, Webinar
California Committee on Revision of the Penal Code
Provided testimony on proposed revisions to criminal justice processes and statutes.
Contact & Map
Cohen Defense Group
1515 Lincoln Way
Auburn, CA 95603
Telephone: (530) 823-7700
Monday: 9 AM - 5 PM
Tuesday: 9 AM - 5 PM
Wednesday: 9 AM - 5 PM
Thursday: 9 AM - 5 PM
Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM
Saturday: Closed (Today)
Sunday: Closed
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