These results are not meant as a guarantee of similar results in the future because no two cases have the same facts, the same prosecutor and the same judge. Instead, the following case summaries are presented to provide the reader a better idea of what to expect, what issues are important and how plea bargains develop.
It should be noted that over time, especially in the last five years, the DMV Hearing has become increasingly difficult to win. Many of the arguments that DMV Hearing officers would find persuasive to reinstate the license just five years ago are now ignored. While our office has certainly improved our arguments over time, our winning percentage has actually declined. Nonetheless, it is very important to aggressively attack the hearing with our best efforts.
- Hollywood, Second-Time DUI, License Reinstated
- Long Beach, CHP Bungles Their Report, License Reinstated
- Torrance, DUI Checkpoint Stop, BAC of 0.18, License Reinstated
Domestic violence cases remain difficult cases, often involving divorce, a broken relationship, alcohol, drugs and contentious credibility issues, especially when the injuries are minor.
While driving offenses often do not involve jail or prison time, the loss of one’s license can be devastating, especially if one drives a truck or car for a living.
Recently, with the passage of Prop 47, most drug possession cases (Health and Safety Code §§ 11350, 11357(a) and 11377) are now misdemeanors. Therefore, Prop 36 and PC1000 is becoming replaced with other less formal programs. Sales and the transportation of controlled substances, however, remain serious felonies.
DUI / Felony DUI
There is perhaps no crime as punishing as DUI, but also difficult to prove as DUI. A good DUI attorney can make a huge difference and a novice DUI attorney can do more harm than good. Despite having handled hundreds of DUI cases, our office continues to learn new ways to win such cases, as these cases are uniquely circumstantial in nature, making evidentiary issues extremely important to understand, from the traffic stop to the field sobriety tests to the chemical test(s).
Elder abuse offenses are often vigorously prosecuted and may arise out of ulterior motives, such as an “anonymous” tip that turns out to be none other than a sister or brother seeking to disinherit a sibling. The offenses can also be heart breaking and serious.
- Lomita, Facial Injuries of Client's Mom, Case Dismissed
- Long Beach, Client Takes $78,000 from Older Father, No Jail
- Long Beach, Elder Abuse by Nurse of Patient, Dismissal
As the following case summaries show, less serious juvenile offenses are often diverted into the Welfare and Institutions Code § 654 pre-filing program or other programs aimed at youth. Other offenses, which might be misdemeanors in adult court, are brought as felonies in juvenile court, but are usually resolved for some form of probation and ultimately dismissal.
Probation Modification & Expungements
Recently, judges are becoming more and more tough in how they rule on motions to modify probation so as to end it. Such motions used to be granted quite often and easily. However, it is often smart to still file the motion to learn the court’s position on when it might end probation early and on what conditions, such as if the client attends more AA meetings or NA meetings.
As the following case results exemplify, a probation violation case involve years of prison time or merely a reinstatement on probation. This is because the burden of proof for a violation of probation is merely preponderance of the evidence. In perhaps no other area of practice is an attorney more helpful in damage control and negotiating a resolution of the probation violation, coupling it with resolution of the new case that forms the violation.
- Torrance, Double Jeopardy Probation Violation, Dismissal
- Hacienda Heights, Possession of Pot for Sales, Probation
- Los Angeles, Probation Violation for Unpaid Child Support
Protective Orders/ Restraining Orders
There is a big advantage in protective order and restraining order cases to simply knowing the legal standard for issuance of such an order. Judges do appreciate an attorney keeping the hearing focused on the standard, rather than allowing it to spin off on collateral issues that may not be relevant. As the following case summaries show, a written brief with declaration can be powerful and effective.
As the following case results show, prosecutors are usually not too tough on our clients facing public intoxication results if the client presents proof of attending a healthy amount of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings. Showing the prosecutor proof of attendance at such meetings usually allows immediate traction in negotiating the case to a good resolution, sometimes even to diversion or a disturbing the peace charge (Penal Code § 415(2)). Our public urination results are included in the results for this practice area.
- Hermosa Beach, Public Intoxication, Plea to Infraction
- Manhattan Beach, Drunk in Public Charge, Case Dismissed
- Hermosa Beach, Drunk in Public Charge, Case Dismissed
Sex offenses are usually tough cases because they are often felonies where mandatory state prison is involved, registration as a sex offender under Penal Code § 290 for life and strikes under the Three Strikes Law. An experienced attorney in such cases can spot the weaknesses in the prosecution case and limit the punishment or even win a dismissal. Included in this section of case summaries are results from prostitution cases.
- Select Child Molestation / Lewd Acts Results
- Select Prostitution Results
- Select Public Urination Results
- Other Sex Offense Results
Theft / Robbery
Theft offenses are perhaps one of the most damaging convictions for a person’s reputation other than sex offenses. Being branded as dishonest can be fatal to one’s future employment, security clearance at work and current employment. The most common theft offense we see involves shoplifting (Petty Theft – Penal Code § 484(a)), which now may be handled quite gently under AB 2124 effective January 1, 2015, although we have also handed complex identity theft, embezzlement and check kiting cases, too.
Vandalism and Graffiti
Vandalism and graffiti matters often hinge on circumstantial evidence or a confession, so having an attorney who understands the proof problems with circumstantial evidence is crucial. When there is an admission, having an attorney who is good at plea bargaining is important toward resolving the case fairly.
- Lancaster, 6 Counts Felony Graffiti, Plea to 1 Misdemeanor
- Torrance, Vandalism at Bar, Plea to Program & Probation
- Manhattan Beach, Vandalism of Hotel, Donation & Dismissal
Violent crimes often involve criminal threats, assault with a deadly weapon and other forms of injuries or intimidation. These cases often involve protective orders and mandatory state prison or strikes under California’s Three Strikes Law. Anyone charged with such an offense or offenses would be prudent to hire a private attorney who can devote the proper time to thoroughly defending the individual.
White Collar Crimes
As the following case summaries show, white collar crimes include cases far from Wall Street and can include mislabeled products.
- Carson, Our Client Age 62 Steals Over $38,000, Probation
- Monterrey Park, Mislabeled Packaged Goods, Plea to Infraction
- Hollywood, Housing Inspection Shows Fire Hazards, Dismissal
When a case is dismissed, we are often more excited than the client. The client may have expected it from the outset, but we understand how reluctant judges are and how loathe prosecutors are to concede a case should never have been filed to begin with. Therefore, when a case is dismissed, our faith in our judicial system is restored.