San Fernando Valley Criminal & DUI Defense Lawyers

Se Habla Español 818.783.5700

Diversion in California Criminal Cases

Diversion in California Criminal Cases Diversion a word that we have been hearing in California criminal cases for decades.  Before 1997 we had informal diversion in low level drug cases.  The benefit was that clients would not have to plead guilty to a felony in order to take advantage of the program.  If they finished the program successfully, the case got dismissed without any conviction or sentence.  After 1997, the law changed.  Diversion became “deferred entry of judgment”.  This meant that you would have to plead guilty and get “convicted” of the charge.  The conviction would not become permanent if …

Read More

Prosecutor MUST Consider Immigration Consequences in Plea Negotiations

Prosecutor MUST Consider Immigration Consequences in Plea Negotiations Under California Penal Code Section 1016.3, There are certain mandatory obligation of both the defense and the prosecution.  “The defense lawyer must provide accurate and affirmative advice about the immigration consequences of a proposed disposition….” It seems kind of funny that they have to make a law telling the defense lawyer he needs to do his job.  But, what used to happen is a defense lawyer would try to compartmentalize the job and tell the client to go consult with an immigration lawyer.  Not so fast, said the legislature.  Defense lawyers now …

Read More

What Happens After the Preliminary Hearing?

What Happens After the Preliminary Hearing? Clients are quick to hire lawyers who quote them low up-front fees for what are often very serious felony cases.  The lawyer gets on the case, he is unable to settle the case in a manner that makes the client happy and then the case gets set for a preliminary hearing.  With little communication, lawyer comes back to court, conducts the preliminary hearing, defendant is held to answer and lawyer is never to be seen again.  “What do we do now”? You ask the lawyer as he is walking away. “We don’t have any …

Read More

Tactical Representation of Victims in Domestic Violence Cases

Tactical Representation of Victims in California Domestic Violence Cases For a number of years, I have been representing victims in domestic violence cases.  If you think it sounds strange for a career defense lawyer to represent victims, let’s take a closer look: There’s a fight at home.  Husband and Wife are arguing about money, kids, drinking, cheating, you name it.  In a fit of rage, Wife calls 911.  The cops come out and arrest Husband.  A felony arrest, almost every time.  Bail in Los Angeles: $50,000.  In Ventura: $20,000. By morning, tempers subside.  Husband is home now but is 2 …

Read More

New Law in California Dui Defense

NEW DMV LAW IN CALIFORNIA DUI CASES A new case came down that is very significant in California DUI casesDUI Defense.  The case is called CDLA vs. DMV and it has to do with the patent unfairness that has existed in DUI hearings for many years.  By way of background, when we are arrested for DUI in California and our blood alcohol was .08 % by volume or higher, the arrest also triggers an Administrative action by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.  The arrest actually causes an automatic suspension of the driving privilege.  That’s right, an automatic suspension.  Sounds …

Read More

Help me to Help you with Your Criminal or DUI Defense Case

I’ve been practicing law for a long time. I’ve learned that not all clients take the same level of responsibility in dealing with their criminal cases.  I understand this.  In my personal life, I have been known to try to ignore things and hope that they go away.  They don’t.  Things don’t just go away.  Especially not criminal or DUI charges in California. Clients frequently tell me that they feel better after they hire me.  I’m glad to hear this.  My job is to make things easier on my clients.  But this doesn’t absolve the client of any responsibility at …

Read More

The Difference Between a First and a Second DUI

The Difference Between a First and a Second DUI If you think you’ve been down this road before, you are likely mistaken.  There are huge differences between a first and a second DUI.  A first DUI seems like a bit of a walk in the park.  Yes, you had to jump through some hoops and yes, you had to take out a loan to pay for your new auto insurance policy, but there wasn’t any jail, and the alcohol school was only three months long.  No big deal, right?  Wrong! Do you remember the warning the judge gave you…The one …

Read More

Why Don’t Criminal Defense Lawyers Charge by the Hour?

Why Don’t Criminal Defense Lawyers Charge by the Hour? Most potential clients ask about my fees before they hire me.  In almost every case, I am required to provide the client with a retainer or fee agreement showing the client exactly what they are getting and exactly what they are paying.  The agreement lays out the terms, whether hourly or flat fee.  It lays out the location and type of case.  It even details the extent of the work, especially if the agreement is limited in scope. Most criminal and DUI defense lawyers in California charge flat fees.  I’m not …

Read More

Expungements May the Cheapest Way to Hide Your Criminal Record

Expungements are an Inexpensive Way to Bury Your Criminal Record If you’ve been convicted of a crime, almost any background check will reveal your criminal history to your potential employer.  If you want to travel, some countries – like our neighbors to the north will deny you entry for things as simple as a DUI.  That’s right, Canada sends people back to the U.S. if they have a DUI on their record. Are you looking to get promoted at work?  Do you want to get a state license to be a contractor, realtor, nurse, teacher, or other career position?  One …

Read More

Cost to Hire a Real DUI Lawyer in Los Angeles

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Lawyer for my DUI in Los Angeles? Public defenders are paid by the county where they work.  Private defense lawyers set their own fees and are paid by their individual clients.  Most criminal defense lawyers in California charge a flat fee for their services.  This normally means, you pay one fee and the case settled.  An actual jury trial might cost more money, but most cases don’t go to trial. How come the costs from one lawyer to the next differ so much? How much a lawyer charges defends on many factors …

Read More