Our Investigators: Experience You Can Trust
Our team of experienced and skilled investigators, with combined law enforcement expertise of over 75 years, stands at the ready to support your case and help you get the best possible outcome. Many times, it is the investigation in support of your defense that makes all the difference and allows your attorney to make the best possible arguments. Whether it is in getting your case ready for trial or helping us work to get your case dismissed, our investigators are on your side.
The Role of Your Investigator in Trial
Your investigators play a crucial role in supporting your defense at all stages, but never more strikingly than in trial. It is at that point, when everything is on the line, that an excellent investigation can turn the tide in your favor. The following cases shed some light on how your investigator works to support your case when it counts:
Felony Drug Case Investigation: In one felony drug possession and transportation trial, my client was the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle, caught with methamphetamine allegedly at his feet. Under cross-examination, the officer admitted that the methamphetamine was not truly out in the open where he had claimed in his police report, but was instead off to the side and partially obscured in a location where my client could have missed it. However, it was our investigator who played the most important role. By uncovering the fact that the registered owner of the vehicle had a felony conviction for transportation of methamphetamine in that same vehicle and arising out of an incident just two weeks prior to my client’s arrest, our investigator made believable our defense that the methamphetamine did not belong to my client and my client was unaware it was even in the car. Because of his excellent investigation and testimony at trial, we were able to get a hung jury of 9 to 3 in favor of “Not Guilty” and the case against my client was subsequently dismissed.
Driving Under the Influence Case Investigation: In another case where my client was charged with DUI, our investigator likewise played a pivotal role. In that case, my client was a long-distance truck driver facing an alleged DUI with an accident and a .11/.12 blood alcohol level. There, our investigator was able to interview witnesses to support a drinking pattern defense which meant that, at the time our client was actually driving, he was not at .08% blood alcohol content. In the case, the prosecutor hinged a large part of her case on the idea that no driver could have struck this parked big rig, allegedly by the side of the road, unless he was impaired. Although she mentioned the existence of a witness who possibly had information to the contrary, the prosecutor claimed that the D.A.’s office did not have the witness’ information to provide to the defense. However, our investigator was able to track down this witness who knew that the parked big rig my client had struck was actually in the lane of traffic and was a hazard that would have endangered any driver. In fact, our witness testified that, perceiving the danger and living close by, he had repeatedly called to try to get the big rig moved. In that case, we were able to get our client a hung jury in favor of the defense and the case was subsequently dismissed.
Meet Our Investigators
As you can see from just the highlights above, the role of your investigator is pivotal in getting you the best possible outcome. In other scenarios where it is essential that witnesses be interviewed, stops be recreated, locations be investigated and documented, or critical information gathered in preparation for motions or trials, investigators are an important part of your defense team. That is why you need to have the very best investigators on your side, good people with extensive experience and a true dedication to your case. At the Law Office of Jennifer Zide, we are proud to work with investigators Len Newcomb, Frank Brisslinger, and John Jenks and Associates, all of whom have unmatched law enforcement expertise, professional integrity, and a commitment to seeking justice in your case.
Len Newcomb With degrees from Cal Lutheran University and University of California at Santa Barbara, Mr. Newcomb has 23 years of experience with the Oxnard Police Department. In that time, Mr. Newcomb worked as a training officer and as a senior investigator. He also worked as an instructor at the Ventura County Police and Sheriff’s Academy. His extensive experience includes investigations of homicide, major crimes, vice, sexual assault, white collar crimes, fraud, burglary and property crimes. In private practice since 1995, Mr. Newcomb has extensive experience investigating a wide range of criminal cases, death penalty homicides and three strikes cases. His many awards include: Peace Officer of the Year, Medal of Valor Recipient, and Hero of the Year, City of Santa Barbara. Mr. Newcomb has been recognized by both the United States Congress and the California State Assembly for uncovering new evidence that led to the release of unjustly convicted Efren Cruz after serving five years of a murder conviction.
Frank Brisslinger Mr. Brisslinger is a retired senior police officer with over 15 years of experience. Mr. Brisslinger’s extensive investigative experience includes investigation of major crimes including homicides, violent crimes, and drug and gang crimes. He has vast experience in the area of complex Narcotics investigations involving Sales, Transportation, and Possession. Mr. Brisslinger worked on a task force that included the Federal Bureau of Investigation. While in this unit, he conducted extensive investigations into gangs and gang-related crime in Ventura County. Mr. Brisslinger is also a certified Gang Expert, recognized by the Ventura County Courts for his special training and expertise in the area of gang membership and gang-related crimes. He has received hundreds of hours of specialized training on Investigative topics and techniques. Mr. Brisslinger was named the Oxnard Police Officer of the Year for 2005 and recognized by the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce for Outstanding Performance in the Field of Law Enforcement.
John Jenks and Associates:
Mr. Jenks is a former police officer, homicide detective and undercover narcotics investigator with over 35 years of investigative experience. Mr. Jenks, who received a Medal of Valor for Heroism, is also a certified drug and alcohol counselor and respected forensic drug specialist. He is a member of the prestigious Los Angeles County Panel of Expert Witnesses on drug sales, drug use, as well as treatment and recovery issues. Courts throughout California and Nevada have appointed him to prepare Alternative Sentencing Reports and to provide expert testimony.
William “Chip” Reinhart: Mr. Reinhart is a highly decorated United States Marine Corps combat veteran, awarded two purple hearts along with various citations for meritorious service and bravery in battle. Mr. Reinhart is a former Sheriff’s Deputy, homicide detective, and undercover narcotics investigator. He is also a former Sheriff’s Academy staff member and law enforcement instructor with more than forty years of investigative experience.
In addition to Mr. Jenks and Mr. Reinhart, investigators on staff at John Jenks and Associates include Whitney Jenks, Joseph Marino, and A.C. Quintero.
Whitney Jenks, who has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Pattern University, is also a certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor. Ms. Jenks is currently completing her Masters Degree in Psychology, with an emphasis in Equine Assisted Therapy.
Joseph Marino is a United States Marine Corps veteran and former police officer with more than 25 years of investigative experience. Mr. Marino, who received a Medal of Valor for Heroism, is a former SWAT Team Member and motorcycle officer who has investigated a wide range of major crimes, including homicides, robberies and drug and gang-related crimes.
A.C. Quintero is a former Sheriff’s Deputy with almost 25 years of investigative experience, including investigation of homicides, violent crimes, and drug and gang crimes. Mr. Quintero has extensive expertise in undercover surveillance techniques.
Alternative Sentencing: Seeking a Treatment Alternative
Sentencing Mitigation Specialist John Jenks: When arguing for Alternative Sentencing, another important person on your defense team is your Sentencing Mitigation Specialist. We are pleased to partner with Sentencing Mitigation Specialist John Jenks in our efforts to seek a treatment alternative for clients facing drug charges or other charges where drugs are the root cause.
As both an experienced investigator and a certified Sentencing Mitigation specialist, Mr. Jenks conducts thoughtful and extensive investigations to paint a picture that humanizes our clients, makes the court care about them as individuals, and supports our clients’ need for treatment. His expertly written statements in mitigation make a persuasive argument in support of the treatment alternative for our clients. Mr. Jenks has extensive specialized training and knowledge in the area of drug addiction and treatment. However, even more meaningful than that, he cares deeply about our clients and is dedicated to trying to get our clients the chance they deserve. Mr. Jenks’ expertise has been vital to our defense efforts to get clients facing addiction issues the chance to be successful in residential treatment in lieu of doing time in jail or prison.