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Why Are Waiver Forms Used In Criminal Cases In Los Angeles?

Waiver forms basically give the defendant in a criminal case their Constitutional rights that are available and they also tell them all them all the consequences of a plea in a criminal case.  So, before somebody actually pleads guilty or no contest in a criminal case, their attorney needs to go over their rights with them and then a lot of courts have what they call “waiver forms,” which basically expressly state all of the defendant’s criminal rights.  The defendant needs to initial each right which applies to them and their particular criminal case and then sign the form at… Read More

Should You Represent Yourself In A Criminal Case In Los Angeles?

Believe it or not, a lot of people do choose to represent themselves in criminal cases in LA, even if the case is a misdemeanor or a felony, or even an infraction.  I’ve seen people for many years now, representing themselves.  Sometimes it really doesn’t matter.  A lot of times, especially in an infraction case, the result may well be the same as if you had an attorney.  Tough to say without obviously seeing the details — whether you had a defense — and sometimes there’s lesser charges that can be negotiated by a good criminal defense attorney. Critical To… Read More

How To Put A Subpoenaed Document Into Evidence In A Criminal Case

It’s a common myth for people to believe that any document can go into evidence and there’s not a problem with it.  All they have to do is put it in there and the judge will let it in.  But the reality is, judges are not just going to let any documents in.  They’re not going to just let any witness testify.  If you want to get an official document into evidence, then you’re going to have to do it the right and you’re going to be talking about it in this context — and I’ve been battling getting documents… Read More

When Can A Body Attachment Be Issued By A Judge Related To A Criminal Subpoena in Los Angeles?

These body attachments are scary because when witnesses don’t show up in court pursuant to subpoenas, the person that subpoenaed that particular witness, especially in a criminal case where you have a lot of power because someone’s freedom is on the line — that person can ask the judge to issue a body attachment.  Once that body attachment is issued, if law enforcement comes in contact with that person, that person is going to be arrested, taken into custody and brought into court at the next court date. That’s not a good thing.  What if the next court date isn’t… Read More

What Is Required To Get A Bail Lowered for Change of Circumstance?

A lot of clients and family members obviously want bails lowered.  They don’t want to have to pay bail bondsmen, and a lot of times bails are so high that people simply can’t bail out.  Once that bail is set by the judge — that’s why it’s so important to have an attorney right from the beginning so you can try to get the bail set as low as possible — but once it’s set, the judge is not going to lower the bail unless the attorney can mount a powerful argument that there’s been a change in circumstances. Lowering… Read More

California Proposition 63 – Filling Out the Gun Form in Los Angeles Criminal Courts

When somebody pleads guilty to a felony or other certain crimes, the courts will make them fill out what I refer to as gun form, which is basically pursuant to California Proposition 63. Everybody has to fill that form out and indicate whether or not they have any guns registered to them or any guns in their possession. This is a very dangerous Proposition because I’ve actually had a couple of clients fill it out and they forgot that they had a couple of guns registered to them many years ago. You’ve already pled guilty then put on probation for… Read More

Can Social Media Be Used To Help Convict Somebody Of A Crime?

Unbelievably enough, people post all sorts of criminal evidence and activity on their social media accounts — whether it be Facebook of Instagram — they’re writing messages and saying things and showing photographs.  I saw one case where a criminal defendant actually posted a picture of himself with a watch that he had stolen from somebody.  Other people are making statements regarding crimes that they committed and then those statements are being used against them to prosecute them in their criminal case. Detectives are now trained.  The first thing they do when they get a suspect in a criminal case… Read More

Risks of Not Hiring an Attorney Related to Your Criminal Case in Los Angeles

Your attorney, especially when it comes to a criminal case with all the things that are on the line, is pretty much your champion.  They’re the ones that have your whole life story and your version of events.  With the police taking a very one-sided account of what happened and really trying to get you so to speak and really thinking that you’re completely guilty and having a very negative view of you and giving that information to the prosecutors — who are the lawyers that prosecute the case — that puts you behind the eight ball from the beginning.… Read More

How To Hire A Criminal Defense Attorney In Los Angeles

This is probably a big question on a lot of people’s minds.  How do you hire a criminal defense attorney?  I’ve been doing this for twenty-five years and I have a lot of people who come in that are confused.  They don’t know exactly what to ask.  It’s not easy to go to friends or family for help, obviously, because it’s embarrassing if you’ve been arrested and you have a criminal case pending against you.  So, figuring out how to hire and attorney is important if you’re concerned about your rights, your freedom, your reputation and all of the potential… Read More

What Happens If You Don’t Make Payments To A Bail Bond Company?

When somebody uses a bond company to bail themselves out related to a criminal case in Los Angeles, if they don’t pay the whole premium upfront, and they chose to make payments which a lot of payments will allow them to do and then they fail to make their payments or violate the agreement with the bail bond company in some material way, the bond company can then say, if you’re not going to pay what you promised to pay — of you’re not going to correct whatever it is that you did wrong regarding our agreement with you — then… Read More

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