Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

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Los Angeles County DUI First Offenders – Ignition Interlock Device Requirement

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Yes, it’s true.  If you were arrested for a first DUI in Los Angeles County after July 1, 2010 and you subsequently convicted of DUI, the Califorina DMV will send you a letter telling you that you are required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your car.  You will be required to drive with the IID for a period of 5 months after installation.   This rquirement is mandated by the DMV not the court.  If you are convicted of a DUI, the court will notify the DMV of the requirement shortly after your court date.  So what happens if you decide to drive without getting the IID installed?

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Three Things You Can Learn From Peter Murhpy’s DUI Arrest

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

By now anyone who is (or was) a fan of the 1980s British music scene knows that Bauhaus frontman and goth godfather Peter Murphy was arrested for hit & run DUI in Los Angeles County on Saturday.  Judging from the reaction in the social media universe, fans were more disturbed by the fact that ‘ol Mr. Moonlight was driving a Subaru Forester than they were by the fact that he was arrested.  I get it.

But there are some interesting things to learn here based on the way the story developed.

Lesson #1:  The charges you are arrested for are different from the charges filed against you.  Here’s how it works:  If you get arrested, the police agency who arrested you and set a bail.  The initial amount of bail is determined by a “bail schedule” which varies from county to county.  If the police think you’re a flight risk, the bail will be set higher.  The police also write a report.  They then give this report to a local prosecutor. The local prosecutor makes the ultimate decision as to which charges to file.

In Peter Murphy’s case, he was arrested on suspicion felony DUI, hit and run, and possession of methamphetamine. Because he is not a US citizen and lives in Turkey, the police thought he was a flight risk. So they set bail at $500K.

Once the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office took a look at the report, they didn’t think the facts warranted a felony.   All the charges Murphy was arrested on are what’s known as “wobblers”, which are offenses that can be filed as felonies or misdemeanors.  The DA decided that the  evidence presented did not rise to the level of a felony, so they filed misdemeanor charges instead and his lawyers were able to convince the judge to let him out without posting any bail at all.

Lesson #2:  In California, if the defendant has hired an attorney, he or she is not required to appear in court for misdemeanors:  This is why Peter Murphy can go on tour while the case against him is pending.  As long as he is in contact with his lawyer and following whatever instructions the court gave to him, he will be

Lesson #3:  Less Is More With Press.  Peter Murphy’s lawyer did an excellent job of handling the publicity on the case. According to the LA Times article, his lawyer declined to comment on the case, but reassured everyone that Peter will be able to go on tour and the case will be handled.  He summed it all up with one simple line:  “We are going to take care of business.”  Good stuff.  It’s about the client, not the lawyer and Peter’s lawyer understands this.  Peter Murphy is obviously not a Lindsay Lohan sized celebrity, but ain’t it refreshing to see a hard working lawyer doing the right thing for his client and not preening for the press?  Bonus pro move:  Attorney kept Peter in the lockup in the back of the courthouse and appeared in court on his behalf so his client wouldn’t have to deal with his fans sitting in the courtroom gallery.

Wishing all the best for Peter Murphy.

 

 

 

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Proposition 36 Gives Inmates Serving Life In Prison A Chance At Reducing Their Sentence

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

On Tuesday November 6, 2012, almost 70% of California voters supported Proposition 36, which changes how California administers it’s three strikes law.  Under that law, a person convicted of three felonies is sentenced to life in prison.  Proposition 36 changes that process with the respect to the third strike.  Specifically, California law now requires the third strike to be a serious or violent felony in order to trigger the life sentence.

The most immediate impact of the new law is to give an estimated 2,800 inmates who are serving a life sentence a chance to petition a judge to have their sentence reduced.  The right to seek a reduced sentence is limited to those inmates whose third strike was not a serious or violent felony.  In other words, if you or someone you know is serving a life sentence under the old version of the three strikes law, and their third conviction was NOT for a violent or serious felony, they have a right to ask a judge to reduce their sentence.  The technical name of the request that is filed with the court is a “petition for recall of sentence.”

Proposition 36 includes an important deadline.  For inmates who are currently serving life sentences because of the old version of the three strikes law, the petition to “recall a sentence” must be filed on or before November 7, 2014. That’s two years from the date Proposition 36 went into effect.

What’s A Serious or Violent Felony?

California law includes two somewhat overlapping lists of felonies.  Section 1192.7 of the Penal Code lists 42 crimes that are defined to be “Serious Felonies.”  Section 667.5 of the Penal Code includes 23 crimes that are defined to be” Violent Felonies.”

For the purposes of Proposition 36, an inmate serving a life sentence under the three strikes law may seek a reduction of their sentence only if their third strike DID NOT involve a conviction for any of the following crimes.

Serious Felonies

(1) Murder or voluntary manslaughter;

(2) mayhem;

(3) rape;

(4) sodomy by force, violence, duress, menace, threat of great bodily injury, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person;

(5) oral copulation by force, violence, duress, menace, threat of great bodily injury, or fear of immediate and

unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person;

(6) lewd or lascivious act on a child under 14 years of age;

(7) any felony punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison for life;

(8) any felony in which the defendant personally inflicts great bodily injury on any person, other than an accomplice, or any felony in

which the defendant personally uses a firearm;

(9) attempted murder;

(10) assault with intent to commit rape or robbery;

(11) assault with a deadly weapon or instrument on a peace officer;

(12) assault by a life prisoner on a non-inmate;

(13) assault with a deadly weapon by an inmate;

(14) arson;

(15) exploding a destructive device or any explosive with intent to injure;

(16) exploding a destructive device or any explosive causing bodily injury, great bodily injury, or mayhem;

(17) exploding a destructive device or any explosive with intent to murder;

(18) any burglary of the first degree;

(19) robbery or bank robbery;

(20) kidnapping;

(21) holding of a hostage by a person confined in a state prison;

(22) attempt to commit a felony punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison for life;

(23) any felony in which the defendant personally used a dangerous or deadly weapon;

(24) selling, furnishing, administering, giving, or offering to sell, furnish, administer, or give to a minor any heroin, cocaine, phencyclidine (PCP), or any methamphetamine-related drug, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 11055 of the Health and Safety Code, or any of the precursors of methamphetamines, as described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1)of subdivision (f) of Section 11055 or subdivision (a) of Section 11100 of the Health and Safety Code;

(25) any violation of subdivision (a) of Section 289 where the act is accomplished against the victim’s will by force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person;

(26) grand theft involving a firearm;

(27) carjacking;

(28) any felony offense, which would also constitute a felony violation of Section 186.22;

(29) assault with the intent to commit mayhem, rape, sodomy, or oral copulation, in violation of Section 220;

(30) throwing acid or flammable substances, in violation of Section 244;

(31) assault with a deadly weapon, firearm, machine gun, assault weapon, or semiautomatic firearm or assault on a peace officer or firefighter, in violation of Section 245;

(32) assault with a deadly weapon against a public transit employee, custodial officer, or school employee, in violation of Section 245.2, 245.3, or 245.5;

(33) discharge of a firearm at an inhabited dwelling, vehicle, or aircraft, in violation of Section 246;

(34) commission of rape or sexual penetration in concert with another person, in violation of Section 264.1;

(35) continuous sexual abuse of a child, in violation of Section 288.5;

(36) shooting from a vehicle, in violation of subdivision (c) or (d) of Section 26100;

(37) intimidation of victims or witnesses, in violation of Section 136.1;

(38) criminal threats, in violation of Section 422;

(39) any attempt to commit a crime listed in this subdivision other than an assault;

(40) any violation of Section 12022.53;

(41) a violation of subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11418;

(42) any conspiracy to commit an offense described in this subdivision.

 

Violent Felonies

(c) For the purpose of this section, “violent felony” shall mean any of the following:

(1) Murder or voluntary manslaughter.

(2) Mayhem.

(3) Rape as defined in paragraph (2) or (6) of subdivision (a) of Section 261 or paragraph (1) or (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 262.

(4) Sodomy as defined in subdivision (c) or (d) of Section 286.

(5) Oral copulation as defined in subdivision (c) or (d) of Section 288a.

(6) Lewd or lascivious act as defined in subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 288.

(7) Any felony punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison for life.

(8) Any felony in which the defendant inflicts great bodily injury on any person other than an accomplice which has been charged and proved as provided for in Section 12022.7, 12022.8, or 12022.9 on or after July 1, 1977, or as specified prior to July 1, 1977, in Sections 213, 264, and 461, or any felony in which the defendant uses a firearm which use has been charged and proved as provided in subdivision (a) of Section 12022.3, or Section 12022.5 or 12022.55.

(9) Any robbery.

(10) Arson, in violation of subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 451.

(11) Sexual penetration as defined in subdivision (a) or (j) of Section 289.

(12) Attempted murder.

(13) A violation of Section 12308, 12309, or 12310.

(14) Kidnapping.

(15) Assault with the intent to commit a specified felony, in violation of Section 220.

(16) Continuous sexual abuse of a child, in violation of Section 288.5.

(17) Carjacking, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 215.

(18) Rape, spousal rape, or sexual penetration, in concert, in violation of Section 264.1.

(19) Extortion, as defined in Section 518, which would constitute a felony violation of Section 186.22 of the Penal Code.

(20) Threats to victims or witnesses, as defined in Section 136.1, which would constitute a felony violation of Section 186.22 of the Penal Code.

(21) Any burglary of the first degree, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 460, wherein it is charged and proved that another person, other than an accomplice, was present in the residence during the commission of the burglary.

(22) Any violation of Section 12022.53.

(23) A violation of subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11418.

Thus, if the third strike conviction was for a crime that is not on the list above, a petition can be filed to reduce the life sentence.

 

What Happens After a Petition for a Reduced Sentence is Filed?

Proposition 36 gives judges discretion whether to reduce a life sentence. It is not automatic.  Judges are supposed to look at three factors to determine whether the life sentence should be reduced: (1) The inmate’s criminal conviction history, including the extent of injury to victims, and how long ago the crimes took place; (2) The inmate’s disciplinary record and record of rehabilitation while in prison; and (3) Any other evidence the judge thinks is relevant  to determining whether a lower sentence would result in an unreasonable risk of public safety.

At this stage, it is hard to predict how judges will apply these factors.  Proposition 36, however, makes clear that an inmate cannot get a higher sentence as a result of filing a petition.  As a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles, I know that any inmate who thinks that they may be able to benefit from seeking a reduction of a life sentence under California’s three strikes law should contact an experience criminal defense lawyer to determine whether the changes made by Proposition 36 apply to them.

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Three Arrested On Suspicion Of Violating Federal Smuggling Laws

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

According to The Los Angeles Times, three individuals were arrested last night (October 30) in the Palos Vedes Peninsula on suspicion of trying “to smuggle contraband.”

A Coast Guard helicopter and two Coast Guard vessels were involved in the events that led to the arrest, which took place after the boat landed near Malaga Park.

Federal authorities did not indicate what kind of contraband was involved.  As a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, I know that most such arrests involve the alleged smuggling of illegal drugs or their precursor chemicals.  Specifically, under 21 U.S.C. Sections 955 and 959, possession, manufacture, and distribution of a controlled substance applies to a boat, aircraft or other vessel that is within 12 miles of the coast of the United States or is intended to be with in the territorial waters of the United States.

Contrary to what many people believe, however, in ths context contraband can involve a wide array of substances that are generally legal to possess. For example, the United States Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. Section 331) prohibits the importation of unapproved new drugs,.  Federal law also prohibits importation of certain firearms and even perscription drugs.

Given that a small vessel was involved here, it is likley that the authorities are trying to collect information that would help them tie this isolated act to a broader network or conspiracy.  That is one avenue of the questioning that is likely being directed to the three individuals who were arrested.  It is also possible that federal authorities may be trying to gain the cooperation of those arrested by emphasizing the lengthy prison sentences thay will face if convicted of violating federal smuggling laws.

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Notre Dame Football Icon “Rudy” Caught Up In Federal Money Laundering Scheme

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Money laundering is one of the least understood federal crimes.  That ignorance can come with a heavy price.  As a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles, I know that it can be shockingly easy to violate federal money laundering laws.

A recent case out of the federal court in Santa Anashows how money laundering prosecutions unfold.

The primary actor in this saga is Chad Peter Smanjak from Long Beach, California.  He pled guilty to securities fraud charges involving the shares of a sport and nutrition company headed by Daniel E. Ruettiger.  If that name doesn’t ring a bell, you may have heard of Ruettinger under a different name—Rudy.

Ruettiger was the pint-size player who won the hearts of [Notre Dame] Fighting Irish fans in the 1970s by walking on to the then-dominant football team.  His story inspired the 1993 film “Rudy.”

Ruettiger served as the CEO of Rudy Nutrition, which prosecutors said “purported to sell health-conscious beverages as an alternative to high-sugar soda and sports drinks.”

But the venture attracted the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and in 2008, the agency revoked the registration of each class of registered securities of Rudy Nutrition for failure to make required periodic filings with the commission.

In December 2011, the agency filed a complaint against Ruettiger and 12 others based upon the Rudy Nutrition scheme.

That same month, Ruettiger agreed to pay federal regulators $382,866 to settle claims that he and 12 others crafted the stock scheme related to the now-defunct sports drink company. He did not admit or deny the allegations.

Smanjak pled guilty to using Rudy’s name to drive up the price of the stock and then dump the stock on the market—at a substantial profit.  This maneuver, which is often called a “pump and dump,” is reported to have generated 5 million dollars in profits.

So what do you do with that kind of money? You can’t just put in a mattress, and it’s tempting to move that money, or at least part of it, so it will be harder to trace back to the pump and dump scheme.

That’s where money laundering comes into play.

In 1986, Congress passed the Money Laundering Control Act, which specifically makes it a crime to move money with the intent of hiding the results of a broad range of criminal activities.  Under 18 U.S.C. Section 1856, the key element of money laundering is making a transaction with the intent to conceal the source, ownership, location, or control of funds related to criminal activity.

Although some money related crimes require the money to pass through a financial institution such as a bank before it can be money laundering, Section 1856 does not.  You can violate Section 1856 just by handing money to someone with the intent to conceal its source.  Moreover, under Section 1856 there is no minimum dollar threshold.  So long as someone is found to have committed specific underlying crimes, any amount of money transferred with an intent to conceal can be prosecuted as money laundering.

In the case of Mr. Smanjak, prosecutors focused on the federal securities crime.  Money laundering was an additional charge.  Specifically, Smanjak was charged with laundering $1 million of the $5 million in profits generated by the pump and dump scheme.

This is a fairly typical way for federal prosecutors to use money laundering charges.  They act as an additional penalty for someone who is already facing other charges.  These penalties can, however, be severe.  People convicted of violating federal money laundering statutes face both hefty fines and lengthy prison sentences.  Under Section 1856, the monetary fine can be up to twice the amount of money that was laundered and the prison sentence can be as much as 20 years.

Money laundering may not sound like a very serious or dangerous crime.  But with these kinds of potential penalties, make no mistake.  People facing federal money laundering charges need a criminal defense attorney who knows how such cases are handled in the specific federal court in which their case will be prosecuted.

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Modern Day Debtors Prisons in Los Angeles

Friday, July 6th, 2012

As a criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles, I sometimes feel that I live in an alternate reality.  On a weekly basis, I experience things that most well-educated and well-read people are confident don’t exist anymore.  One of those is debtors’ prisons.  Surely, you are thinking to yourself, they are a relic of the past.  And officially they are.  But in practice many court systems, including Los Angeles Superior Court, impose fines and penalties on indigent defendants and those who have been convicted of minor offenses that have the effect of imprisoning them for failing to pay their debts.

The New York Times reported on July 2 about for profit companies that help generate revenues for court systems by collecting fines.  The article, entitled, “Poor Land in Jail as Companies Add Huge Fees for Probation,” focuses on Alabama, and details the flight of Gina Ray, who was fined $179 for a speeding ticket, but three years later, after the imposition of a variety of fines and penalties, owes more than $3,000.

Three years ago, Gina Ray, who is now 31 and unemployed, was fined $179 for speeding. She failed to show up at court (she says the ticket bore the wrong date), so her license was revoked.

When she was next pulled over, she was, of course, driving without a license. By then her fees added up to more than $1,500. Unable to pay, she was handed over to a private probation company and jailed — charged an additional fee for each day behind bars.

For that driving offense, Ms. Ray has been locked up three times for a total of 40 days and owes $3,170, much of it to the probation company. Her story, in hardscrabble, rural Alabama, where Krispy Kreme promises that “two can dine for $5.99,” is not about innocence.

It is easy to dismiss what happened to Ms. Ray as a by-product of living in Alabama.  But this is also a problem throughout California and in Los Angeles in particular.  Faced with budgetary pressures, state and local governments are increasingly turning to fines and penalties as a way to finance court systems.  A report from the Brennan Center for Justice entitled, “Criminal Justice Debt: A Barrier To Reentry” details disturbing practices in 15 states including California.  For example, California Penal Code section 1214.1(A) authorizes courts to impose a $300 civil assessment for people who fail to appear in court or who fail to pay a fine ordered by the court.  Los Angeles Superior Court imposes this civil assessment.

If you’re wondering about the wisdom of imposing fines on poor people for their failure to pay existing fines, you aren’t alone.  Unfortunately, this isn’t a question of sound public policy or wisdom.  Too often, a financial incentive exists to create a cycle that makes it hard for the poor to escape the criminal justice system.  The New York Times article describes Judicial Correction Services, Inc., a Georgia-based company that, according to its website, helps provide courts with “a comprehensive solution to recidivism or just a boost in the fine collections.”

The company claims but there efforts impose costs on tax payers, but this seems to be true only in the narrowest sense.  Much of the fines imposed on Gina Ray were payable to this for profit company. So what do you suppose happens when people faced with ever increasing fines have to decide whether to decide whether to pay their fines or the child support obligations?  Who bears the cost of that?  The community at large, which, of course, includes tax payers.  And what happens when people can’t pay their debt burden.  Some, as outlined in the Brennan Center report, “choose” to go to prison as a way of paying off their debts.

People who are on probation are faced with a cycle of fines and penalties that can land them in prison. Yes, this is really going on in the United States in 2012.

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Lessons From Amanda Bynes’ Arrest: Don’t Talk, Squawk, or Tweet

Monday, June 11th, 2012

“Anything you say can or will be used against you.”

How many times have we all heard these words when someone is arrested on a TV show?  It’s almost become a cliché.

As a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles, I know that many people who are arrested don’t fully appreciate that, in the context of talking after you have been arrested, anything really does mean anything.  Even the most innocuous-sounding language can come back and hurt a person who has been arrested.

A recent example involving a celebrity illustrates the point.

On April 6, Amanda Bynes, who starred in the Nickleodeon show, “All That,” and later appeared in the film version of the musical “Hairspray,” was arrested in West Hollywood for hitting the corner of a sheriff’s vehicle with her BMW.  Approximately seven weeks later, she was charged with driving under the influence and for refusing to take a Breathalyzer or blood-alcohol test.

After finding out that she is facing these charges, Byrne sent out the following message via Twitter to President Obama and her more than 250,000 followers:

“Hey @BarackObama… I don’t drink. Please fire the cop who arrested me. I also don’t hit and run. The end.”

Some of you might be thinking:  “What’s the big deal?”  It’s not as if she admitted to something or said something incriminating.  True.  The most important reason for not talking to the police or making a public statement relating to charges is that people can and often say something that directly implicates their guilt.  It’s shockingly common for people to admit to committing a crime (or what they think is a crime) or to provide information that either corroborates some other incriminating evidence, or provides the basis for cross-examination at trial.  Here, Ms. Bynes stated that she doesn’t drink, thereby indirectly affirming her innocence.  Her statement could have been worse.

But for several reasons she still would have been better off keeping quiet.  First, being charged with DUI hardly makes someone appear likeable.  Contacting the President and asking him to fire a local police officer isn’t a great popularity move either.  Should this case ever go to trial, prosecutors have an incentive to try to get the tweet admitted into evidence.

Second, the message on Twitter generated much more media attention than the original arrest or the decision to press DUI and related charges.  When news of the tweet spread, so did the picture of the mug shot.  This isn’t the kind of attention that most people, even celebrities, need.  It’s also possible that this kind of media attention may subtly bias the pool of potential jurors.

Third, and most importantly, the press attention may make it much harder for the prosecutors to accept a plea deal.  They may be more motivated than they otherwise would have been to try Ms. Bynes.  Although it’s premature to tell, it’s certainly plausible to believe that the ill-advised tweet could actually increase the punishment Ms. Bynes ultimately receives for allegedly hitting a sheriff’s patrol car back in April.

Admittedly, a certain amount of speculation is involved when determining how a certain public disclosure impacts how a particular case will be defended.  Nonetheless, if you are arrested, the safest course of action is to stay quiet and let an experienced criminal defense lawyer do the talking for you.

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Plea Bargaining Errors Can Now Be Challenged

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

The United States Supreme Court has established a new important constitutional remedy–to challenge the results of a plea bargain that was accepted or rejected because of bad legal advice.

The Supreme Court today decided two cases that define when and how plea bargain errors can be challenged.  In Missouri v. Frye, the Court decided that the constitutional right to receive a competent legal defense also applies to the plea bargaining phase.  Thus, when a lawyer representing a criminal defendant acts incompetently when advising whether to accept or reject a plea bargain, the accused’s constitutional rights have been violated.

The Court’s decision in Lafler v. Cooper shows how judges should in the future handle lawyers who are incompetent in advising their clients about plea bargains.  Anthony Cooper was charged under Michigan law with an intent to commit murder, possession of a firearm by a felon, and possession of marijuana. The prosecuting attorney offerred to drop some of the charges in exchange for Cooper pleading guilty to charges that brought with them a prison sentence of between 51 and 85 months.

Cooper’s defense attorney advised against accepting the plea bargain. The lawyer believed that the prosecution couldn’t prove an intent to murder because Cooper didn’t point his gun above the waist of the person he shot. Cooper accepted his lawyer’s advice and his case proceeded to trial, where he was found guilty on all the charges.  Cooper was sentenced  to a mandatory minimum prsion sentence of  15-30 years.  Under this sentence, Cooper will spend at least twice as many years in prison as he would have under the plea bargain he rejected.

Although the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of Cooper was close–a 5 to 4 vote–it’s clear that Cooper’s lawyer acted incompetently.  His belief that intent to murder requires that the gun be pointed above the waist was simply wrong.  The difference between the judges is what they decided to do about this mistake. Four Supreme Court Justices concluded that Cooper was out of luck because he had a fair trial.  But a majority of Justices decided that Cooper’s constitutional rights were violated.

Thus, the Supreme Court decided that, when a lawyer acts incompetently in connection with a plea bargain, the accused may be able to get the benefit of the original plea bargain offer.  The Court did not spell out how all cases involving plea bargain mistakes should be handled.  When you can show that a lawyer acted incompetently, and that there is a reasonable chance that the accused would have accepted the plea bargain and the judge would have approved it, a judge has wide discretion as to how to proceed. It appears that a judge can order the prosecutor to re-offer the plea bargain that was previously rejected.

What does this mean for people who are involved in the plea bargain process?  First, make sure you are being represented by someone who is experienced and knows what they are doing. This is yet another example why it’s critical to hire an experienced  criminal defense lawyer.  Second, if you or someone you know believe that you accepted or rejected a plea bargain in Los Angeles or in Southern California that was based on a clear error that was made by a criminal defense lawyer, you may be able to get the benefit of the original plea bargain that was offered.  The Supreme Court’s decisions do not mean that plea bargain mistakes will always be fixed.  Overturning a criminal conviction is always a long and difficult fight that is rarely succesful, but now you at least have a chance to fix plea bargain mistakes made by lawyers.

 

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Teacher with Multiple DUI Convictions Suspended

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Today, the California Court of Appeals upheld The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing’s suspension of a 5th grade teacher who had been convicted of three DUIs. The teacher had been convicted of the three DUIs between 1987 and 2002. She received this suspension even though there was testimony from the school principal that she was a good teacher despite her multiple DUI convictions. This should go without saying — just just because someone gets a DUI does not mean they are unable to perform well in their job. This is why it is so important to understand the collateral consequences of a DUI conviction.

This is especially true in Los Angeles, if you are accused of a DUI and hold any kind of professional license, it is important that you or your DUI attorney investigate the consequences a DUI conviction may have on your job. It is equally important that you understand how to hire a qualified DUI defense lawyer. The penalties for DUI grow more and more severe every day, what happened to this teacher could happen to anyone.

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