Meet Ron Freitas
Ron Freitas is the 42ndDistrict Attorney of San Joaquin County.
A career prosecutor, Ron has served the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office in a myriad of roles including the Supervising Deputy District Attorney of the Gang Violence Suppression Unit, the Chief Deputy District Attorney of the Homicide and Gang Divisions, and the Assistant District Attorney.
Throughout his career, Ron tried numerous gang-related murders and violent felonies. He conducted the first scientific admissibility hearing to admit DNA evidence in San Joaquin County, and prosecuted the first two dual-jury trials. He was also the first to use a gang special circumstance to obtain a death sentence. Ron also supervised the first gang-related wire surveillance operation and was a co-founder of the San Joaquin County Gang Violence Prosecution Task Force, as well as the founder of the San Joaquin County Homicide Task Force, San Joaquin County Evidence Task Force, and the San Joaquin County Grand Jury Task Force.
As the Chief Deputy District Attorney of Homicide and Gang Divisions, he assisted in the investigation, charging determinations, and supervision of 150 murder prosecutions, including the kidnap, rape, and murder of eight-year-old Sandra Cantu (2009), the Dalene Carlson kidnap and murder (2011), and the Bank of the West bank robbery felony-murders (2014). In 2012, he successfully argued to the California Supreme Court that autopsy reports are not testimonial in People v. Dungo (2012) 55 Cal.4th 608.
District Attorney Freitas has been published by the Pacific Law Journal, the California District Attorneys Association, and the National District Attorneys Association, and is a Chapter Author for the California Continuing Education of the Bar, Criminal Sentencing Enhancements manual.
In 2019, Freitas was elected to a two-year term to the California District Attorneys Association (CDAA) Board of Directors. Freitas is a co-chair of the CDAA Gang Violence Suppression Committee. He is the Technical Advisor of the CDAA Gang Symposium and STEP Act Prosecutions and acts as the Co-Technical Advisor of the Homicide Symposium. He was the Technical Advisor of the CDAA Intro to Gang Prosecutions and the Advanced Gang Prosecutions trainings. Ron has been named the California District Attorneys Association Instructor of the Year for 2017. He first taught for CDAA in 1996, has also lectured for the National District Attorneys Association California Gang Investigator’s Association, law enforcement, schools, and community organizations, as well as the Boalt School of Law, U.C. Berkeley.
In 2012, he was appointed as a Board Member to the Lodi Unified School District and was re-elected in 2016 and 2020. Ron served 10 years on the Board and was elected President of the Board for 2015-2016 and 2020-2021. He was an active member of the San Joaquin County 2x2 Committee and the Legislative Committee. He was a co-founder and co-chairman of the LUSD Board Safety Committee and was a member of the Superintendent’s Budget Advisory Committee.
In 2016, Ron was president of the Yes on Measure U campaign committee in which voters approved the issuance of $280 million in bonds for new construction and renovations in Lodi and North Stockton schools. He is a Past President of the Giving Opportunities to Kids Foundation (GOT Kids, 2019-2020), which raises over $50 thousand annually for underprivileged children to attend science camp and have a fuller educational experience. He was also a member of the California School Boards Association and the San Joaquin County School Boards Association.
Ron has been named the San Joaquin County Probation Officers Court Employee of the Year for 2018 and 2022. He is a graduate of University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, where he was a member of the Pacific Journal Law Review, and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.