Seasoned Courtroom Litigator

Your Local Santa Barbara Family Law and Criminal Defense Attorney

Tracey Rangel Cruz is a seasoned courtroom litigator who brings decades of legal experience to serve you in your case.  Tracey is well known in the Santa Barbara area for her skilled and tenacious representation of clients undergoing family law or criminal issues in their lives.  Because of her extensive trial background, Tracey is a strong advocate and meticulously prepares your matter for the courtroom.  Although Tracey has the skills to take your matter through trial whenever necessary in your case, she is also extremely pragmatic and will make every effort to keep the financial and emotional toll of litigation to a minimum.  Practical and efficient, she will prepare for and guide you through the course of your legal matter, all the while ensuring that you understand the process, your various options, and that your interests are being protected.  

Local History and Educational Background

Tracey is a third generation Santa Barbara native with deep roots in our community.  She attended local schools and graduated from Santa Barbara High School, as her grandparents did, making her "once a Don, always a Don" and carrying on generations of family tradition.  She has outstanding academic credentials, earning her bachelor's degree in political science from UCLA, followed by her juris doctor from the UCLA School of Law, a top tier institution known for scholastic excellence.  She has been practicing law for almost 25 years, during which time she has amassed tremendous courtroom and trial experience.

Legal Experience

Tracey began her legal career in 1995 when she became an Assistant District Attorney at the Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office in New Orleans, Louisiana.  While there, she worked hard and was responsible for literally thousands of criminal prosecutions.  She was promoted to the elite Violent Offender Strike Force Unit, where she handled and tried the most serious felony cases, including: death penalty first degree murder and capital rape offenses; serious and violent felonies; multiple co-defendant; serial offender and large-volume narcotics cases.  Tracey was able to hone her courtroom skills by prosecuting thousands of cases, trying 88 felony jury trials and over 150 total criminal  trials.  In the courtroom, there is no substitute for experience, and Tracey is a seasoned and veteran trial lawyer.

Tracey's trial work continued when she returned to her hometown of Santa Barbara, California, and became a Deputy District Attorney in the Ventura County District Attorney's Office.  While there, she was assigned to the Sexual Assault and Family Protection Unit, responsible for the prosecution and trial of sexual assault and domestic violence felony cases.

After her time in government service as a prosecutor, Tracey became defense counsel for a global retailer, handling premises liability matters throughout all of Central and Southern California.  During these years, Tracey conducted hundreds of depositions, arbitrations, mediations, settlement conferences, and even further refined her trial abilities by conducting additional jury trials.

Today: Tracey's Years of Practicing Family Law and Criminal Defense

For the past 15 years, Tracey has been in private practice where she has dedicated herself to helping clients undergoing major life-changing events such as divorce, custody issues, restraining orders, and the defense of criminal charges.  

Given the interplay that often exists between the family law, criminal and restraining order practice areas, Tracey's years of experience as a former prosecutor, family law attorney, and criminal defense lawyer is invaluable, as she is adept in all of these interrelated practice areas and brings an unparalleled global understanding of the legal and emotional challenges required when navigating these different legal realms.  Tracey also handles contested divorces; 'friendly' divorces where the goal is to simply finalize a marital relationship on an amicable and inexpensive basis; child custody; child support; spousal support; division of pensions, known as "QDRO'S" or Qualified Domestic Relations Orders; and all post-judgment family law issues.  

In addition, Tracey is a an extremely experienced and capable criminal defense attorney, having 24 years of experience handling complex criminal matters, from the most serious capital murder offenses to drug cases, domestic violence, sexual assault, all varieties of felonies, DUI'S, DMV administrative hearings, and she will skillfully defend your felony or misdemeanor legal matter.

Contact Tracey at (805) 962-9224 for a free consultation about your legal matter.