Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Before Charges are Filed in Los Angeles

Posted on: May 6, 2009 at 6:51 a.m.

Having the advice of a highly skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney before criminal charges are filed is a luxury few people take advantage of. Once charges have been filed, it is difficult for a criminal defense attorney to walk you through the defense process.

For example, police officers arrested two high school students for allegedly planning to open fire on fellow Covina High School students at an upcoming school assembly. Both teens, just 15 years old and 16 years old, admitted to police independently of each other what their plans were and that they had both brought handguns to school on three separate occasions prior to their arrests. They were booked on suspicion of possession of loaded and concealed firearms, possession of loaded firearms on a school campus, making criminal threats and burglary. Neither of the suspects admitted to a specific date to carry out their plan. The 16 year-old suspect further admitted to stealing two guns from a gun safe in a West Covina garage, then giving them to the 15 year-old for safe-keeping. Both guns were located in the 15 year-olds home, one of them was found loaded and cocked. Neither gave a motive for their plans, and formal charges have not been issued.

A good Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer will tell you that legal trouble like this can follow you around wherever you go for years. Criminal records detailing past mistakes can very often come back to haunt you when you are applying for a job, applying to colleges, even filling out an application to rent an apartment. Even if you were never convicted in court of a criminal offense, Los Angeles law permits job and licensing applications to actually ask applicants if theyve ever been arrested before. You can guess how unfavorably that may reflect on some people. If you have been implicated in some sort of criminal offense, the best thing you can do to keep your future not just jail-free but clear of a criminal record is hire an experienced defense attorney. Even if formal charges have not been brought against you, any good attorney should be able to sit down with you and comb through the evidence in your favor. Your Los Angeles criminal defense attorney may be able to have evidence against you suppressed in court if it was not obtained correctly. In some instances, your lawyer may even be able to persuade prosecutors to drop their case against you.

If you have been implicated in a crime, call the Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP today. Even if no formal charges have been brought against you, their combined 50 years of courtroom experience will fight to uphold your reputation.

Tagged as: california criminal laws


Brian Ryoo on June 12, 2009 at 11:32 a.m. wrote:

I can understand that evidenced obtained illegitimately can be used to clear criminal records. My question is, does that work only in cases where the defendant also isn't guilty? I have long felt that illegally obtained evidence was a huge gray area. One the one hand, throwing it out of the court is absolutely the right move because it is illegal and allowing such evidence in court could lead to more illegal methods of securing evidence. On the other hand, if that evidence is valid and legitimate in itself and is relevant to the case, then it would be hard to argue that allowing such evidence to be taken into account would hurt our society. This made me think of Paul Newman's movie 'The Verdict'. Regarding the key testimony toward the end of the movie, the judge (comically biased) orders the testimony be stricken and the jury to not take any of it into consideration. But the movie clearly insinuates that the jury actually based a large part of their verdict on that testimony. Sure, it wasn't a criminal case, but it did lead to a lot of question in my mind.

Elise Podsadecki on May 18, 2009 at 10:31 p.m. wrote:

This bit about the 2 Covina High School students reminds me of the case of Larry Eugene Phillips, 23, and Emil Dechebal Matasareanu, 27, in 1993. In both cases, officials found ample evidence to suspect that these individuals may likely have had intent to commit a crime. Phillips and Matasareanu each spent less than 100 days in jail, and 4 years later they robbed a bank in North Hollywood that ended violently in the largest shoot-out in California history. Had they been convicted of attempted robbery back in 1993, the duo would still have been in prison. Whereas in the case of Phillips and Matasareanu officials could not get an actual confession of intent to commit a robbery, in the case of the high school students they did admit their intent as well as admitting to already having brought guns to school 3 times prior. Formal charges have not been issued against the high school students, but in my opinion they should be so as to prevent them from causing future harm to themselves or to others. While no actual harm was done at the time, the potential for it should not be taken lightly, especially when one considers the grave reality of school shooting rampages that have occurred within the past 10 years since the Columbine High School shooting.

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