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Arraignment Process in Los Angeles Criminal Courts

If you’ve never been charged with a crime or you have a loved one who is being charged with a crime and you never had to deal with it, one of the first things you’re going to hear talked about is an arraignment. Basically, that’s where the person appears in court.  They appear because they were given some sort of a citation, the government sent them a letter to appear or they’re arrested and brought into custody if they don’t post bail, and then they would appear at the arraignment, or they’re arrested, post a bail, are given a future… Read More

Should You Take a Plea Deal for Your Los Angeles Criminal Case?

This is one of the biggest burning questions on people’s mind if they’re charged with a crime anywhere in California.  This is sometimes not the easiest question to answer and you’re going to want an answer with the guidance of a season California criminal defense attorney who knows you, your case, your criminal record and knows whether or not if you go to jury trial, you can win. But that’s really the evaluation, isn’t it?  I mean, you have two choices in general in criminal cases when they’re filed against you.  You either fight the case.  Take it to a… Read More

Getting Charges Dismissed in Los Angeles with No Conviction

There are actually a lot of different ways in Los Angeles county criminal courts when someone’s charged with a criminal case to get the case dismissed.  Obviously, the one that you would probably think of off the top of your head is to go to trial and if the client is found not-guilty then the case is dismissed. Sometimes, through investigation and hard work and the right case, obviously, you can convince the prosecutors to dismiss the case after they file it, assuming they have got some good stuff that they didn’t consider at the time they filed it. You… Read More

Right to a Speedy Trial in a California Criminal Case

This issue comes up all the time.  I’ve been doing criminal defense now for twenty-five years and a lot of times, for various reasons, I will be arguing that the judge or the prosecutor, or both, are violating my client’s speedy trial right.  And it doesn’t just have to do with a trial.  It could also have to do with the preliminary hearing. Defendants who have been charged a criminal offense in Los Angeles have a right to a speedy trial that is guaranteed by both the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution and the California Constitution. Our California… Read More

Purposes of a Preliminary Hearing in Los Angeles Criminal Cases

This is a good question about why do they do preliminary hearings?  What are they used for?  What’s the significance to a criminal case?  The reality is that a preliminary hearing is only something that is available and utilized if the person is charged with a felony. Prosecutors Must Meet Certain Elements of the Crime You’re not entitled to a preliminary hearing if you’re charged with a misdemeanor.  Basically, what this is, it’s the government — the prosecutors having to meet certain elements and satisfy the prima facia case when they’ve got somebody charged with different crimes. It really amounts… Read More

Pre-Filing Intervention in Criminal Cases in Los Angeles

I was speaking to a prosecutor the other day who has been filing cases in the San Fernando courthouse for the last three years.  He finally got a new assignment.  He’s sitting in the early disposition court there.  We were talking about pre-filing intervention and what he thought about criminal defense attorneys trying to reach out to him and his other fellow filers about their clients trying to avoid a filing. He said a lot of times they frown upon that.  They obviously don’t really have the time nor the inclination to mess around with pre-filing letters. Getting Charges Dismissed… Read More

Criminal Court Process in California

A lot of people that haven’t been charged with a crime in California wonder what is the criminal procedure is all about?  How does it work?  Am I looking at jail time?  Am I going to have a record for the rest of my life?  How is this going to impact me, my family, my future and my career? These are all great questions; but it’s scary, because when somebody gets arrested they lose control.  They don’t know what’s going to happen and they’re looking for answers. This section is meant to give you some of those answers.  Obviously, your… Read More

Federal Bribery College Scheme Uncovered: A Tough Defense

When it comes to bribery as indicated in general, usually the feds get involved when someone is offering money, services, goods or something in order to effectuate something that is illegal.  In the most recent case where these actors or other people are paying extra money in order to get their children into colleges, that falls under the umbrella of bribery, which is now commonly known as the “college admissions bribery scandal.” Basically, what they’re doing is they’re trying to give money to get their child in a position to get into a college ahead of everybody else — or… Read More

Difference Between a Protective Order and Restraining Order in Los Angeles Domestic Violence Cases

This is a good topic to review because a lot of people get this confused.  So, if you’re charged with a crime and it relates to a domestic violence or spousal abuse case in Los Angeles, one of the issues you’re going to have to grapple with is a lot of times the police will tell your significant other to go get a restraining order.  That’s basically a civil remedy. So, they’re going to go into civil court, fill out the civil paperwork and if they can create enough of an issue related to you, they’ll get the judge to… Read More

Impact of a Great Bodily Injury Allegation on a Criminal Case in California

There’s a lot of great bodily injury allegations being alleged all over Los Angeles county.  These GBI allegations have a lot more teeth than they used to.  Now, if you get hit with a great bodily injury allegation it’s a strike.  It makes the crime that it attaches to, to a violent felony so the person has to serve 85% of that crime. So, great bodily injury, or GBI, is not a crime in and of itself.  It’s an allegation that goes along with a crime.  So, under California Penal Code Section 12022.7, it basically adds an extra three years… Read More