A criminal defense attorney seeks to exclude evidence obtained as a result of police misconduct. At times, police misconduct occurs in searches that take place during ordinary traffic stops or in a suspect’s home. Additionally, if law enforcement is too aggressive in trying to obtain an incriminating statement from a suspect, it may violate the suspect’s Miranda rights. Litigation in the criminal court allows a defense lawyer to protect his client’s rights by submitting motions to the judge seeking to exclude the recovered evidence or received statements from trial. Often a successful motion to suppress evidence cripples the prosecutor’s case, causing the case to either be dismissed or substantially reduced in plea negotiations.
Frequently Asked Questions
The criminal court system in Los Angeles, California deals with thousands of cases. How do criminal defense lawyers humanize a client to busy criminal courts? While this is not the easiest task to accomplish in the Southern California justice system, our criminal defense lawyers work to humanize all of our clients to mitigate a possible sentence. Persuading Los Angeles prosecutors, probation officers and judges to recognize that a client’s life cannot be defined based solely on the conduct that brought him/her into court takes patience and tenacity. Our lawyers work to explain that few persons are accurately defined by the worst thing they ever did. Unfortunately, unless we intervene to demonstrate the contrary, the default of the justice system is to assume that this crime resonates to our client’s behavior in daily life.
Criminal convictions may cause direct and grave consequences to someone’s immigration status, often leading to deportation proceedings. The INS guidelines are often very complex and our criminal defense attorneys frequently confer with immigration law specialists to properly advise clients. Before going to court, our criminal lawyers discuss with clients their immigration status. Often our Los Angeles attorneys seek charges that are not considered by the INS as moral turpitude offenses (which are subject to deportation), and to convert any possible custody time to community service work.
In Los Angeles, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department is responsible for running the jails and verifies immigration status upon receiving an inmate. As a result, as soon as an inmate is in custody (even if charges are later dismissed), an “immigration hold” may be placed subjecting him or her to deportation proceedings. The inmate may be deported from the United States after the INS picks the inmate up from Sheriff’s custody. The saddest part is that the inmate may be innocent of all charges and still be deported because his/her immigration status is questioned.
Deportation may be preventable, especially when a defendant has financial resources to bail out immediately after an arrest.
Federal court cases are typically investigated by federal agencies, including the FBI, DEA, Customs, Treasury, and other federal agencies. Sometimes state and local agencies also file charges in federal court if the offenses involve major quantity of drugs, weapons or other contraband. The federal government has more resources to prosecute cases, including special units to prosecute drugs, fraud, and violent crimes. While the state and local government also has special units, they have fewer prosecutors with larger case loads. Also, local law enforcement does not have nearly as many resources to complete investigations with as much thoroughness as federal law enforcement. For the most part, it is definitely in a criminal defendant’s interest to be prosecuted in state, rather than federal court. The state of California’s sentencing system has more flexibility in terms of alternative sentencing options than the United States Sentencing Guidelines.
The criminal offense commonly known as Hit and Run is a violation of the Vehicle Code, which requires all drivers involved in a car accident to stop and exchange information. If there are injuries, the offense may be prosecuted as a felony, as the law considers leaving the scene of an accident without rendering aid to an injured party as felonious conduct (which carries a maximum of a year in the county jail or three years in prison). Often, LAPD or other investigating agencies will send a letter to the driver that left the scene of the accident, or the vehicle’s owner, asking them to contact a detective. This is when a lawyer could be of great help. By speaking to the police without an attorney, you may be incriminating yourself.
The obvious and sad reality is that addiction often leads to criminal behavior including theft, drug sales, DUI, and other more serious criminal violations. There are numerous drug programs in Southern California, in-patient and out-patient, available to treat drug and alcohol addiction. Often we have used these programs as an alternative to jail or prison for clients in custody as part of the Alternative Sentencing scheme. Under California criminal law, a defendant will avoid jail or prison upon successful completion of a drug rehabilitation programs such as Deferred Entry of Judgment, Proposition 36, and Drug Diversion. While keeping clients out of jail is the firm’s main objective, we are also concerned about recidivism. We want to prevent clients from relapsing and being rearrested. Accordingly, we counsel clients to take their rehabilitation seriously. We encourage them to commit to change with a sponsor or the 12-step lifestyle, and also encourage seeing a therapist on a regular basis.
The criminal conduct called “embezzlement,” is typically charged in California criminal courts as a violation of Penal Code Section 487(a)—commonly known as Grand Theft (if the theft exceeds $400). The offense carries a maximum of 1 year in the county jail or 3 years in prison. If the amount of theft exceeds $50,000, the “Economic Crimes” enhancements are applicable, and the prison time is increased to 4 years and up. When appropriate mitigation is presented to the Court and the District Attorney, the large majority of our clients have not gone to jail or prison. This is because we worked out alternative dispositions involving community service, restitution, probation, and fines instead of jail. What if the employer wants to drop the charges? The police and prosecutors are usually unwilling to dismiss a case once it is filed, as they are concerned that resources have been expended to investigate, document, and bring the case to court.
A failure appear reported by a court to the DMV will result in your license being suspended, until this issue is cleared up with the court. Sometimes clients have numerous failures to appear, throughout Southern California. Each of these warrants must be cleared up to have the DMV reissue driving privilege. Courts will notify the DMV once the failures to appear are cleared. So long as the driving privilege is not suspended for any other reason (such as excessive points, DUI conviction, no insurance on file), you can receive your license back when you show proof of insurance to the DMV, and pay a license reassurance fee. Also, the DMV may require that you present it with a “Z” abstract, issued by the court, showing proof that the failure to appear has been cleared.
Clearing up an arrest or bench warrant can be done one way: appearing in front of the court that issued the warrant. As long as the warrant is in the system, the person can be arrested for it in any state, in any contact with the police or government agency, and even coming into the United States at the airport. Immediate action to clear up the warrant is the best way to approach this legal problem. Voluntarily coming into the court may often prevent later jail or prison time if the person is actually arrested on the warrant.
At Eisner & Gorin, our legal team is comprised of aggressive defense attorneys that are Former Los Angeles Prosecutors. We are well-versed in all criminal law and defense matters, and very experienced working within the Southern California criminal justice system. Our criminal defense attorneys have over 50 years of collective courtroom experience and we are fully prepared to undertake our clients’ cases. When we work with our clients, we do everything possible to make sure that they receive the attention, resources, and dedicated legal counsel that they deserve. We seek to keep our clients out of jail through Alternative Sentencing programs and to expunge their criminal records so that the weight of a criminal conviction, if not avoided, can be lifted. These are some of the reasons why we have been recognized as a Top 5% U.S. Law Firm year after year.
Our firm does work out payment plans with our clients, based on the seriousness of the case, and the amount of legal work neceesary.