Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Los Angeles Domestic Assault

Posted on: July 22, 2010 at 4:48 p.m.

Los Angeles has been the site of some pretty high level celebrity legal news lately, most of it involving domestic abuse and domestic assault. In three very different case, three different celebrities have had to face law enforcement for their alleged actions involving their spouses or significant others. Each of these individuals has required the skill and knowledge of a highly qualified Los Angeles Domestic Violence Defense Attorney.

The first case of Domestic Violence involves Michael Lohan, father of recently jailed Lindsay Lohan. Michael Lohan had to appear in a New York court recently for allegedly attacking his fiancee Kate Major who claimed that Lohan kicked her in the face and threatened to kill her. A judge recently issued a Temporary Order of Protection against Lohan in connection with the claims. Michael Lohan claims that his fiancee was drunk at the time and he never struck her. When a Los Angeles Domestic Violence Defense Attorney represents someone in such a situation, he may instruct the defendant to make as few comments as possible to the press because of potential legal issues.

In a more publicized case, Mel Gibson is utilizing the skill of a Los Angeles Domestic Violence Defense Attorney in his efforts to stay out of jail. His former significant other Oksana Grigorieva is claiming he hit her and made threats against her. Tapes of Gibson threatening the woman are on the Internet, and she is alleging he punched her in the face. X-rays, dental visits and doctor's records are all being taken into consideration in this case.

In the most recent domestic violence case, former Color Me Badd singer Bryan Adams was arrested after a fight with his wife occurred in Honolulu. He allegedly threw the woman across the room and was arrested on suspicion of harassment and later released. Adams has had previous run-ins with the law, having been arrested in 2008 on domestic abuse charges after allegedly threatening to kills his then girlfriend.

As you can see, the details in each of these cases often involve "he said, she said" issues where each spouse is claiming different versions of the events in question. When a Los Angeles Domestic Violence Defense Attorney sits down with his client, he has to weight how damaging the testimony of the other side will be toward his client. In some cases it might be best to settle or make a plea agreement, in other cases it might be right to fight the charges hard.

If you or someone you love has been charged with domestic abuse, contact the Los Angeles Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys at Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP at 877-781-1570. We can help you protect your rights and fight for your freedoms.

Tagged as: domestic violence pc 273_5

Los Angeles Domestic Violence

Posted on: June 29, 2010 at 7:36 p.m.

Domestic violence is a serious matter and poses threats to individuals, families and communities. Judges, juries and prosecutors have very little tolerance for such crimes, and often hand down severe penalties for people accused of verbally, sexually or physically abusing a close relation. However, not everyone accused of such a crime is guilty, or worthy of the kinds of severe punishments handed down by courts. In instances where people are falsely accused, or where the prosecution is treating a crime as far more severe than they ought to, a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney is absolutely necessary to provide adequate legal representation.

Domestic Violence in L.A.

A woman was accused recently of beating, starving and tying up her two small children so she could sleep better at night. This Orange County case involves two counts of child abuse. The woman is being held in a Santa Ana jail in lieu of $100,000 bail, and was ordered booked on charges of willful cruelty to a child and possible injury or death and inflicting injury upon a child. Police were called in by the woman's landlord and found her two emaciated young boys (ages 2 and 5) with bruises all over their bodies, swollen limbs and bumps on their heads. The woman admitted to striking the children (a form of domestic violence), but she allegedly did not think she was hitting them that hard.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

Crimes such as these sound brutal, and the press will portray mothers and fathers who commit domestic violence as animals, or unloving monsters. However, as any Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney knows, these stories are often far more complex than any reporter, judge or prosecuting lawyer is willing to admit. When someone is charged with domestic violence, it could be for quite a few reasons:
  • They are guilty of the crime
  • Their spouse is making false accusations due to an argument
  • A neighbor is mistakenly calling the cops on them
  • Somehow drugs are making a person act in ways they would not normally act
These are just some of the reasons these types of crimes happen, and without a skilled Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney to plead your case before a judge or jury, you might simply face jail with no hope of seeing your children again.

If you or someone you love is facing domestic violence charges, contact the Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys at Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP today by calling 877-781-1570.

Tagged as: domestic violence pc 273_5

Domestic Violence in Los Angeles

Posted on: February 25, 2009 at 10:53 a.m.

Los Angeles domestic violence attorneys, such as those at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, regularly defend individuals charged with serious domestic violence charges. This crime carries with it serious jail time, fines, counseling, probation and more. Finding a qualified Los Angeles domestic violence attorney who knows how difficult it can be to navigate the law is important.

The term domestic violence covers all manner of violence or abuse that takes place in a home or domestic setting. Typically, domestic violence is most often thought of as spousal abuse. However, domestic violence also includes verbal, physical or sexual abuse of children in a domestic situation, or even between siblings. It is a common belief that the victim of domestic violence can decide to either not prosecute or drop charges in their respective cases. This is a misconception.

If law enforcement officials arrive at the scene and find evidence of abuse such as injury to the victim, then charges of domestic violence will be made by law enforcement officials and the suspected abuser arrested. Domestic violence charges can include: assault & battery, criminal trespassing, harassment, reckless endangerment, restraining order violations, sexual assault, spousal rape, stalking, kidnapping and false imprisonment.

While the home is considered a private place, charges of domestic abuse or violence bring actions into the very public arena of a court of law. Criminal convictions can and do stay on your permanent record to follow you around for the rest of your life. Hiring an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney right away is the smartest thing you can do for yourself if you have been charged with any kind of domestic violence.

Domestic violence offenses are typically tried as misdemeanors, but can, in some instances, be tried as a felony if the defendant sexually abused or assaulted a minor, or if substantial bodily injury was caused to the victim. If you are tried and, indeed, convicted on a charge of domestic violence, penalties can include: prison time, restitution, large monetary fines, community service, probation, parole and court-ordered counseling.

Los Angeles domestic violence cases can be very murky water for a defendant to wade through. Restraining orders may be filed limiting the defendants access to their own home, or contact with their spouse or children. Restraining orders or protection orders are strictly enforced and any violation of them can result in further criminal charges. If you or someone you know has been charged with a domestic violence, call the attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP right away. Their combined 50 years of criminal defense experience will be a great asset in maintaining your freedom and good reputation.

Tagged as: domestic violence pc 273_5

A High-Profile Domestic Violence Matter

Posted on: October 20, 2008 at 10:06 a.m.

Domestic violence is physical or verbal abuse that occurs within a family or intimate relationship. Incidents of domestic violence may happen only once, or over an extended period time. Violence of this nature may occur between spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, parents, or siblings. In most domestic violence cases, physical force and/or verbal abuse is used to instill fear in the victim. For this reason, many domestic violence incidents are not reported to law enforcement.

A very high-profile personality in Los Angeles was arrested recently these chargers. Don Cornelius, the producer and former host of "Soul Train," was arrested at his San Fernando Valley home Friday night on suspicion of domestic violence, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Officers were called to respond to Cornelius' home on Mulholland Drive for a domestic incident. After investigating, they arrested Cornelius, 72, for felony domestic violence and brought him to the Van Nuys jail, setting bail at $50,000.

The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office focuses their efforts on such crimes. The Family Violence Division of the DA's office, which handles cases in Downtown Los Angeles and the surrounding areas, was created to deal with the most serious offenders and to sensitively help victims with the healing process. The Family Violence Division is comprised of specially trained attorneys who vertically prosecute spousal abuse, physical child abuse, and other domestic violence crimes. This means that one deputy district attorney handles each case from beginning to end.

Domestic violence is usually classified as a misdemeanor offense. However, the offense may be categorized as a felony if the defendant sexually abused a minor, assaulted a minor, or caused substantial bodily damage to the victim. Once a person is convicted of domestic violence, he/she may be punished with:

- imprisonment
- restitution
- large fines
- community service
- probation
- parole
- court ordered counseling

If the defendant has a prior criminal offense on his/her record, he/she may be subject to enhanced criminal charges and sentencing if convicted.

Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP is a criminal defense law firm that has been helping clients throughout Southern California contest their criminal charges and obtain superior results for years. Our skilled domestic violence attorneys have over 50 years of collective court room experience and we are fully prepared to undertake our clients

Tagged as: domestic violence pc 273_5

Former Child Star Wanted for Murder and Child Abduction

Posted on: July 9, 2008 at 10:06 a.m.

Defending charges involving a life sentence is challenging, but not impossible. Experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys, especially who are former trial prosecutors, often undertake the defense of charges involving murder, manslaughter, and other types of homicide.

Mark Everett, former star of such shows as "Pee Wee's Playhouse" and movies like "Stand and Deliver" is wanted by authorities for killing his live-in girlfriend and abducting their three-year-old son. Everett, whose real name is Manuel Benitez, began to sell drugs after his child acting career tailed off and hid this fact, and other elements of his past, from his then girlfriend. He'd been arrested before on drug charges and on weapon charges, and is now being pursued for these crimes.

When individuals such as this former star compound matters by being arrested for unrelated crimes, it makes the job of the defense attorney that much more difficult. Judges and juries will rarely sympathize with a defendant if he demonstrates no remorse or flaunts an arrogant personality. An aggressive courtroom defense along with the assistance of jury consulting, a thorough defense investigation, and a relentless cross-examination of the state's evidence may lead to a reduced offense or a complete acquittal.

Murder charges in California are covered under the state's Three Strikes laws , if the individual has a prior record, and carry sentences of life in prison or the death penalty if the crime is severe enough. Everett has been on the run for years. He is down but not out. A aggressive courtroom defense may save him a life behind bars, if his criminal lawyers demonstrate that the evidence is insufficient to prove his guilt.

Tagged as: domestic violence pc 273_5, jury trial defense

Domestic Violence: Felonies, Misdemeanors, and Rights to Child Custody

Posted on: June 17, 2008 at 4:26 p.m.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys frequently encounter cases where there are claims of domestic violence and abuse. These typically take the falls within one of two different scenarios: (1)a long-lasting abusive relationship or (2)unpredictable violence by one or both parties at the time of break up. The first scenario is a lot more serious, and leads to serious felony charging. However, the the second scenariou is typically isolated and does not recur if the parties do not reconcile. Charges of domestic violence are aggressively pursuen by Los Angeles prosecutors in the wake of OJ, and other cases, where the aggressor was not stopped, punished, and counseled before the homicide.

As a result, Domestic violence and domestic disputes are never simply matters that can be sorted out. They often involve quite a bit of history, and as with all emotional matters, rarely is the truth black-and-white. When children are involved, matters become far more complicated for both sides of the dispute. The risk of violence may be greatest, in the course of child custody issues. Below is some useful information for individuals going through domestic disputes and/or domestic violence where children are involved:

- If a father is involved in a domestic dispute and faces a domestic violence charge, there is a great likelihood that the judge will award custody to the mother. In a 1991 Census, almost 38% of father's weren't granted visitation rights. Further, 90% of custody battles end up favoring the mother.
- Jail time for domestic violenceconvictions can range from 1 year for misdemeanor crimes, and three years in prison or more for felony convictions.
- If you are accused of domestic violence but the alleged victim attempts to withdraw the charge, you can still be tried and convicted.
- Restraining orders can often be hard to prove and often more difficult to enforce. They make make the winner feel good, but have no real impact on whether the other party continue calling or harrasing him or her, even if the police gets involved.
- There are support groups and battered women shelters for women who are suffering from violence in their homes.

Tagged as: california criminal laws, domestic violence pc 273_5

If a victim or reporting party wants to "drop charges," will the criminal case be dismissed?

Posted on: May 28, 2007 at 1:26 a.m.

Not necessarily. There are many reasons why the alleged victim or reporting party has a change of heart. It may be that the report of crime (violence, theft, or other violation) may have been false or inaccurate. It may also be that the person is scared to proceed with a prosecution. The police and the prosecutor's office are aware of all the reasons, and do not just "drop charges" especially in domestic violence cases. They attempt reinterview the reporting party to understand the reason behind the change of heart. The only exception is alleged sex crimes cases. The reporting party's desire to not testify and prosecute are respected, thereby causing the criminal charges of unlawful sex to be dismissed.

Tagged as: domestic violence pc 273_5, faq

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