Tracey Rangel Cruz

Tracey.jpgCurrent Practice

Ms. Cruz’s practice primarily focuses on family law and criminal defense cases, where she is known for her dedicated representation of clients undergoing the challenges of divorce or facing criminal charges.  Ms. Cruz handles all types of family law matters, including: divorce; legal separation; child custody; child support; spousal support; property division; post-judgment modifications of orders; mediations; and premarital agreements.  In addition, Ms. Cruz also defends criminal law matters, including DUI’s, DMV hearings, traffic offenses, infractions, misdemeanors, felonies and federal offenses, including charges resulting from acts at Vandenburg Air Force Base (VAFB).  Ms. Cruz is also well versed in the potential interplay between criminal, family law, and restraining order legal realms, including the effects that criminal matters can have on a family law case, particularly child custody matters.  In addition to family law, Ms. Cruz also handles legal guardianship, conservatorship and a small number of select personal injury cases.  As a trial lawyer, Ms. Cruz offers her clients the benefit of her substantial courtroom experience, as well her detail-oriented, thorough and compassionate approach to her cases.

Prior Experience and Training

Prior to her private practice, Ms. Cruz worked in government service and insurance defense.  Ms. Cruz began her legal career in 1995 as a prosecutor in the New Orleans District Attorney’s Office in New Orleans, Louisiana. While there, she prosecuted virtually thousands of cases, and tried serious criminal offenses, including: first degree murder; second degree murder; manslaughter/vehicular manslaughter; armed robbery; carjacking; attempted murder of a police officer; attempted murder; rape; child molestation; burglary; narcotics Distribution; drug possession; theft; and domestic violence cases.  While there, Ms. Cruz was promoted to the elite New Orleans District Attorney’s Violent Offender’s Strike Force Unit, where her caseload consisted of a select group of more complex serious offender cases, multiple co-defendant cases, large-volume narcotics distribution and murder cases.

In California, Ms. Cruz worked as a Deputy District Attorney in the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, where she was assigned to the Sexual Assault and Family Protection Unit. While there, Ms. Cruz handled a select caseload of sex crimes and domestic violence cases.

In addition to her government service, Ms. Cruz has extensive civil law experience. She has represented clients in civil cases, including the defense of a major retailer in courts throughout Southern and Central California. As a civil attorney, Ms. Cruz has significant experience with conducting arbitrations, mediations, settlement conferences and jury trials. She is well versed in cases involving negligence, personal injury, and premises liability.

Education

Ms. Cruz received her bachelor’s degree in political science from UCLA. She then attended the UCLA School of Law, where she earned her law degree.  While in law school she was a participant in the UCLA Moot Court Honors Program, was Vice President of the UCLA Chapter of the La Raza Law Students Association, and was a staff member for the UCLA Women’s Law Journal. Ms. Cruz also spent one year as a visiting student at the Tulane University School of Law in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Memberships

Ms. Cruz is a member of the American Bar Association; Santa Barbara County Bar Association; Santa Barbara Women’s Lawyer’s Association; and Latino Lawyer’s Association of Santa Barbara.