Ron Freitas, '88
Ron Freitas, ’88, serves as the District Attorney of San Joaquin County.

Ron Freitas, ‘88, is a career prosecutor and current District Attorney of San Joaquin County. He was the Assistant District Attorney, the Chief Deputy District Attorney of the Homicide and Gang Divisions, and the Supervising Deputy District Attorney of the Gang Violence Suppression Unit. 

Throughout his career, Ron tried numerous gang-related murders and violent felonies. In San Joaquin County, he was the first to use DNA evidence after a scientific admissibility hearing and tried the first two dual-jury trials. He was also the first to use a gang special circumstance to obtain a death sentence.  He supervised the first gang-related wire surveillance operation. He is a co-founder of the San Joaquin County Gang Violence Prosecution Task Force, and 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 Homicide Division Chief, he assisted in the investigation, charged and supervised the prosecution of over 150 murders, 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 testimonials in People v. Dungo (2012) 55 Cal.4th 608. 

Freitas has been published by the Pacific Law Journal, the California District Attorney’s Association, and the National District Attorney’s 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 on the California District Attorneys Association Board of Directors. Freitas is a co-chair of the C.D.A.A. Gang Violence Suppression Committee. He is the Technical Advisor of the C.D.A.A. Gang Symposium and S.T.E.P. Act Prosecutions and is the Co-Technical Advisor of the Homicide Symposium. He was the Technical Advisor of the C.D.A.A. Intro to Gang Prosecutions and the Advanced Gang Prosecutions trainings. He first taught for C.D.A.A. in 1996. He has also taught for N.D.A.A., California Gang Investigator’s Association, law enforcement, schools, and community organizations, and he lectured at Boalt School of Law, U.C. Berkeley.  

In 2012, he was appointed as a Board Member of the Lodi Unified School District and re-elected in 2016 and 2020. He was elected President of the Board for 2015-2016 and 2020-2021. Freitas was an active member of the San Joaquin County 2×2 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, he 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 (GOT Kids, 2019-2020) foundation which raises over $50 thousand annually for needy children to attend science camps and have a fuller educational experience. He was also a member of the California School Board Association and the San Joaquin County School Board Association.  

Freitas is the California District Attorneys Association Instructor of the Year for 2017, and the San Joaquin County Probation Officers Court Employee of the Year for 2018 and 2022. He is a graduate of McGeorge School of Law, where he was a member of the Pacific Journal Law Review, and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. 

Throughout 2024, the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law will celebrate members of its vast alumni network in honor of the school’s 100-year anniversary. This post is part of a series highlighting 100 exceptional McGeorge School of Law alumni.  

Stay tuned for more blog posts as we celebrate the law school’s centennial anniversary.