San Fernando Valley Criminal & DUI Defense Lawyers

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Using Rehabilitation as a Tool in DUI and Criminal Defense

I am a criminal defense attorney. I’m not a doctor, I’m not a therapist and I’m not a social worker. My job is very clear. I am tasked with doing everything possible to try and get criminal charges dismissed or reduced and to minimize any punishment my clients might be facing. I do this in a variety of ways and by using a variety of different tools. Often, I am simply able to negotiate favorable settlements for my clients. Sometimes, there are legal reasons why we can get cases dismissed or reduced. On rare occasion we have jury trials to …

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Unsatisfied Judgments can Lead to Criminal Charges, and More.

Unsatisfied judgments can lead to criminal charges. That’s right. If you get sued and you do not resolve the law suit, this can lead to the loss of your driver’s license, contractor’s license or other state issued license. It can cost you your job, income, or lead to criminal charges. The same is true if you fail to pay child support. Don’t ignore that summons and complaint (lawsuit) because it won’t go away. It will only get worse. I recently had a client get served with a lawsuit. He didn’t call me. In fact, he didn’t call me until the …

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“After Care” in Criminal and DUI Defense

Why do I love doing “after care” in criminal defense and DUI cases? Not every case is dismissed. Oh no, there I go telling the truth again. Yes, some people sustain convictions either by plea or by verdict. Some get placed on probation, either formal or informal. Some have obligations to the court including restitution, alcohol or drug programs, domestic violence counseling, AA meetings or other things. There are often court appearances required to show proof that these requirements have been satisfied, to prove that restitution has been paid or just so that the judge can maintain supervision over the …

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Don’t Believe Everything You Read on the Internet

I am a criminal defense attorney. I’m not a marketing genius or a website expert. I have often wondered how much time some of my competitors must spend on their websites. I have often wondered how much money they spend on advertising. I have often wondered if their reviews are real and if their results are honest. I was just talking to one of the larger internet resources for lawyers about advertising with them. Their sales rep was walking me through what I could buy from them when he told me that one Los Angeles lawyer has both of the …

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What to do When the FBI Shows up at Your Door – Or any Other Police Agency

People tend to get scared when the cops show up at their door. Whether it’s your work or your home, it’s always a daunting site when police come knocking for you. It’s even more unnerving when the knock at the door is by federal agents. Generally speaking, the FBI is about the best trained and most professional of all law enforcement agencies. They are well equipped, have excellent resources and conduct very thorough investigations. One of the good things about dealing with professionals is that they tend not to be as intimidating. This is to say that they are not …

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Why Hiring me is Better than Hiring the Public Defender

New clients often call or come into the office and ask if it really makes a difference if they hire a lawyer or use the public defender. I normally say that I have been doing this for a long time. I can give their case a lot more time and personal attention than a public defender and I make my living getting better results than the public defender. Here is a good example of the difference between hiring me and hiring a public defender. A client (AC) hired me for a serious felony in Van Nuys. I resolved the case …

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Disparity in Sentencing Between Federal and State Courts

For many years we have been hearing about harsh sentences handed down in federal courts for non-violent drug offenses. Even after the Federal Sentencing Guidelines became discretionary instead of mandatory, sentencing for federal drug crimes has been very harsh compared to state court sentences for similar offenses. Mandatory minimum sentences have remained in place in the federal system, even after doing away with the mandatory sentencing guidelines. Most people are not aware that sentencing can be even more disproportionate in other areas of the law. Specifically, crimes involving human trafficking have become the crime du jour of late. Rightfully so, selling, …

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Victory Over California’s Opaque Police Privacy Laws In State Court

California is the only state that limits access to the personal files of law enforcement witnesses resulting in a lack of fair trials for accused individuals. Read this L.A. Time article about how I navigated around that block in federal court to ensure a favorable outcome from my client. “This L.A. sheriff’s deputy was a pariah in federal court. But his secrets were safe with the state.” Los Angeles Times, August 10, 2018.

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Mental Health Diversion

I recently posted a blog about pre-trial diversion in low level drug offenses. If you haven’t read it, you should read that short blog before you start this one as it will give you some good background on diversion and deferred entry of judgment. Another great diversion program recently became available in California courts. Pre-trial diversion is now an option for people suffering from documented mental illness who are charged with certain crimes. The crimes must be non-strikes and can be either felonies or misdemeanors. Felony DUI’s are excluded from the program as are many sex offenses and some vehicular homicides. The …

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Pre-Plea Diversion

As of January 1, 2018, California courts are offering “pre-plea”diversion in some drug cases. The benefit of pre-plea diversion is that defendant’s are not actually convicted of the charges and can earn a complete dismissal down the road. Prior to January of 1997, California offered diversion programs similar to the new law. After 1997, the law changed from “diversion” to “deferred entry of judgment”. The difference between the two is that diversion does not require a plea to be entered prior to accepting this as a settlement. This means that the defendant is never “convicted” of the crime. In the deferred …

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