Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Brandishing a Weapon Law in California - Penal Code Section 417

Posted on: February 22, 2018 at 10:47 p.m.

Have you been accused of brandishing a weapon in Los Angeles, in violation of California Penal Code Section 417?

California Penal Code Section 417 criminalizes the act of someone drawing or exhibiting a deadly weapon in a rude or threatening manner in the presence of another individual. It does not matter if you intend to harm the individual, or if they even observed the weapon. Under California law, you commit a crime the very moment you exhibit a weapon in an angry or threatening way. The terms “angry or threatening way” are often the key phrases that will be challenged in a brandishing a weapon case by an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney at our law firm. Over our decades of criminal defense law practice, we have seen many cases where someone was just showing off their weapon, but someone nearby accused them of threats. In basic terms, brandishing a weapon in California occurs when an individual exhibits, or bears a deadly weapon in a rude or offensive manner, or even unlawfully during a fight or brawl. California courts have defined a deadly weapon as any instrument capable of causing serious bodily injury. This could include a large variety of items, including a baseball bat, brick, kitchen knife, blunt weapons, firearm, and shotgun, among many other items. There are many situations where brandishing a weapon charges could apply, but the specific facts and circumstances are very important. In some cases, someone might be just attempting to defend themselves, but there were no rude or threatening gestures when their weapon was displayed. Again, there is no legal requirement of intent to harm the other person; it’s the act of showing the weapon in an angry manner that is the focus of the Los Angeles County prosecutor. Therefore, the legal defenses will typically challenge this critical element of the crime.

If you have facing allegations of brandishing a weapon in Los Angeles County, you need to call a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney at Eisner Gorin LLP. If you get a phone call from a police detective, just politely decline to answer their questions until you have the chance to speak with a lawyer. You don’t want to unintentionally make incriminating statements that will certainly be used against you later. Remember, police detectives are well paid to put together a criminal case against you in order to make an arrest. Let’s examine more closely the crime of brandishing a weapon in California.

Brandishing a Weapon - California Penal Code Section 417

California Penal Code Section 417 defines brandishing a weapon as follows:

Every person who, except in self-defense, in the presence of another person, draws or exhibits any deadly weapon whatsoever, other than a firearm, in a rude, angry, or threatening manner, or unlawfully uses a deadly weapon other than a firearm in any fight or quarrel is guilty of a misdemeanor, which is punishable by confinement in a county jail for not less than 30 days.

Brandishing a Weapon - Elements of the Crime

In order to be convicted of brandishing a weapon, the prosecutor has to be able to prove, beyond any reasonable doubt, all the “elements of the crime.” These elements include: (1) You were in possession of a deadly weapon defined by law; (2) You exhibited the deadly weapon in the someone’s presence in an rude, angry, or threatening manner, or; (3) You unlawfully used the weapon during a fight or quarrel, and: (4) You weren’t acting in self defense.

Our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers will thoroughly review every element of the crime while preparing a defense strategy. If the LA County prosecutor can’t prove every single element above, you should not be guilty of a brandishing a weapon offense.

What is a Deadly Weapon?

As stated above, a deadly weapon is any instrument that is capable of causing great bodily injury or death. By law, “great bodily injury” means significant or substantial physical injury. There are literally a countless number of items that could be considered a deadly weapon, including firearms, rifles, brass knuckles, hammer, pipe, razor, among others. Contact a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney at our office for more detailed information.

Brandishing a Weapon – Legal Penalties

If convicted of brandishing a weapon with other than a firearm, it’s a misdemeanor crime that can carry 30 days in the county jail. Other offenses are called “wobblers,” meaning it can be criminally filed as either a misdemeanor or felony crime. This decision is typically based on the circumstances of your case and criminal history. If convicted of drawing a deadly weapon in a threatening manner or during a fight, you could face a 30 day jail sentence. If convicted of brandishing a firearm with a pistol or revolver in a public place, you could be sentenced to 3 months to 1 year in a county jail, along with a $1,000 fine.

Brandishing a Weapon – Legal Defenses

Our Los Angeles criminal defense law firm could use a wide range of strategies on your behalf, based on the specific facts and circumstances. These legal defenses include:

Self defense - If sufficiently threatened, under certain situations, it can be justified to use a weapon in self defense. This is why it’s critical to sit down and thoroughly review exactly what happened to develop a realistic game plan on your behalf. Our highly experienced criminal defense lawyers may be able to successfully argue you were lawfully acting in self defense because your had a reasonable belief you were about to suffer imminent harm, and you used no more force than was necessary to defend against the danger.

Display was not threatening or angry – In some cases, our criminal lawyer might be able to present a successful argument that when you displayed the weapon, it was not in a rude, angry, or threatening manner, which is an important element of the crime to obtain a criminal conviction. We could argue you were just showing off your weapon, or it was just a prank.

False accusation – Our lawyers might be able to prove the brandishing weapon allegations are simply false. Our lawyers have seen cases where false allegations are made out of anger or jealously from a vengeful person. This is why we need to sit down with you to figure out exactly what happened.

Call our Los Angeles Criminal Defense Law Firm

Facing criminal charges of brandishing a weapon? Call a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer at Eisner Gorin to go over the details. There are numerous legal strategies we could use on your behalf. In some situations, we may be able to negotiate a lesser charge or even obtain a dismissal. We are skilled negotiators and have been successful in preventing formal charges from being filed through pre-filing intervention. Additionally, there are diversion programs and alternative sentences options foe individuals who qualify. Our goal is to obtain the best possible outcome to protect your future. Early intervention into your brandishing a weapon case by our lawyers can prove to be critical to the outcome. Contact our law firm at 877-781-1570.

Eisner Gorin LLP
1875 Century Park East #705
Los Angeles, CA 90067

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Sex Crime Charges and the #MeToo Movement

Posted on: February 19, 2018 at 10:48 p.m.

The news has been filled with stories from alleged victims of sexual harassment, unlawful touching, and rape by intoxication, among other similar sexual related incidents. The #MeToo Movement has made social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, a comfortable forum for victims to come forward and speak out against sexual assault and harassment. In many of these cases, victims are choosing to go online as part of a demonstration in support of survivors and to end sexual violence as opposed to going to police to file a report. This movement encourages people to share their own experiences to raise awareness about the extent of sexual harassment. It gained national attention after there were numerous sexual related accusations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Back in October 2017, the Los Angeles Police Department launched a criminal investigation after an Italian model-actress who claimed he raped her at a hotel in 2013. She became the sixth woman to accuse him or rape or forcible sex acts. Sexual harassment includes coercion, such as connecting someone’s working condition to sexual cooperation. Additionally, sexual harassment also includes unwanted sexual behavior, such as kissing, touching, hugging or constant verbal pressure to go out on a date. The United States Supreme Court has said that unwanted behavior has to be severe enough to cause an abusive working condition. However, some of the most common forms of sexual harassment are not through improper touching. They frequently include degrading or crude remarks about the opposite sex. Many of these sexual harassment claims will be handled in civil court. This means attorneys will be retained to pursue a civil lawsuit for sexual harassment in the workplace on a variety of different levels. These type of sexual harassment claims don’t always mean criminal charges will be filed.

If you have been accused of sexual assault or charged with a sexual related crime, you should consult with a Los Angeles sex crime lawyer at Eisner Gorin LLP. Our attorneys will be able to properly respond to these allegations and aggressively defend you. If contacted by a police detective, politely decline to answer any questions without first consulting with a lawyer. You need to keep your emotions in check. Stay clam. Don’t approach the accuser and stop all communication and stay away from them. This includes contacting them through social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. It’s important to remember that anything you say or write to them at this point will be used against you in a court of law. Some of the most common criminal charges from the #MeToo movement include:

Indecent Exposure

Under California Penal Code Section 314, it’s a crime to willfully exposing one’s genital’s to another person when the exposure is made with the intent of sexual gratification or to offend the other individual. By law, “willfully” means on purpose. One of the elements of the crime for the prosecutor to prove includes showing that the defendant exposed themselves and acted in a lewd manner by intentionally directing attention to their naked genitals with the intent of personal sexual arousal.

Sexual Battery

Under California Penal Code Section 243.4, it’s a crime to touch the intimate part of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, arousal, or abuse. This includes their genital area, buttocks, or female breast. Sexual battery is also commonly known as sexual assault or unlawful touching. Sexual battery charges can be filed as a misdemeanor or felony sex crime. A common example of misdemeanor sexual battery charges related to the #MeToo movement includes a situation where the defendant intentionally fondles a female’s breast without their consent or touched their buttocks without permission. Contact our Los Angeles criminal defense law firm for more information.


California Penal Code Section 261 defines rape as non-consensual sexual intercourse by means of force, threats, fraud, or with a victim who is unconscious or incapable of giving consent. Rape charges can be filed even when there is no physical force. A Los Angeles County prosecutor can pursue rape criminal charges in a situation where the victim is intoxicated or physically or mentally disabled to provide lawful consent. Additionally, a rape case can be filed if the act was achieved not only through force or violence, but also through duress, menace, fear of bodily harm, fear of retaliation, or fraud.

Rape by Intoxication

California Penal Code Section 261(a)(3). It’s a common myth that rape is a crime that just involves forcing yourself upon a person without their consent. Rape criminal charges don’t always have to involve the use of force, but can involve a lack of valid consent from the victim due to fraud or incapacity A specific set of circumstances that can lead to a rape charges is when a victim was prevented from resisting due to any intoxicating or anesthetic substance. Under this law, it’s required the defendant knew or should have known of the victims intoxicated state at the time of the sexual encounter. “Prevented from resisting” means that as a result of intoxication, the victim lacked the capacity to give valid sexual consent based on a reasonable and informed use of judgment. In basic terms, any case that involves the alleged rape of an intoxicated woman requires a legal determination of whether her intoxicated state prevented her from exercising reasonable judgment, along with all the other facts and circumstances, in order to determine whether her mental impairment was at a level that it deprived her of the ability to exercise reasonable judgment. Rape under California Penal Code Section 261 is a serious felony crime that leads to 3 to 8 years in a California state prison. Furthermore, a conviction for this type of sexual offense will typically require the defendant to register as a sex offender in California pursuant to Penal Code Section 290. Call a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer at our office more detailed information.

Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Special Task Force

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey issued a statement to deal with the high number of recent sexual harassment and assault allegations against high-profile names in Hollywood. She announced her office would be forming a special task force to address these issues. This task force was specifically created in response to the widespread allegations of sexual abuse in the entertainment industry. They include specially trained deputy district attorneys who will review all the sexual related allegations for potential criminal prosecution. The task force includes veteran sex crimes prosecutors who will work closely together to thoroughly examine all cases to determine if they meet both the legal and factual standards for filing a criminal case.

When this task force reviews these accusations, they will not be reviewing these cases under the civil context of sexual harassment, rather they are seeking to deal with the accusations under the context of whether a sexual related crime was committed. This will typically require some type of unlawful touching, force, or threat. If the Los Angeles County District Attorneys Office believes that someone committed any type of sex crime offense, they will not hesitate to prosecute them under a specific California Penal Code Section violation. Many of the #MeToo Movement allegations are from incidents that occurred many years ago. Therefore, the Statute of Limitations might prevent some criminal cases from being filed.

Contact a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you are currently under investigation for sexual harassment or any type of criminal sex offense related to the workplace, you need to immediately consult with a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer at Eisner Gorin LLP. As stated above, if contacted by a police detective, politely decline to answer any questions without first consulting with an attorney. Anything you say at this point will be used against you. Our criminal attorneys will closely examine all the details in order to start building an effective defense strategy. We offer a free immediate response. Call our law firm at 877-781-1570.

Eisner Gorin LLP
1875 Century Park East #705
Los Angeles, CA 90067

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Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys and Pro Sports

Posted on: June 15, 2011 at 5:45 p.m.

When a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney represents someone charged with public intoxication or assault, there is a great deal of research, investigation and legal work which must be done. However, when that individual is a famous sports or sports entertainment star, the case becomes even more complicated as it involves the media and public interest. This can be complicated, in part, because any public figure will have a tainted jury pool, a prosecution team that will be motivated to get a conviction and other such challenges. Recently, two sports personalities were involved in legal issues which required a skilled Criminal Defense Attorney. DeShawn Stevenson, one of the heroes of the recent NBA finals, was arrested for public intoxication after celebrating the historic victory of the Miami Heat and Lebron James. Police received a call about a drunk person wandering around an apartment complex in Irving, TX and when cops showed up, they found Stevenson who claimed to be lost. Law enforcement alleged that he was "a danger to himself and others" and arrested him after he flunked a field sobriety test.

Another celebrity sports star, WWE wrestler Kevin Nash, was arrested for battery for allegedly beating up a drunk person for hitting on his wife. Nash was able to get out of the legal situation by hiring a knowledgeable Attorney to successfully defend him in Florida. Allegedly, while Nash and his wife were eating at a restaurant, a man approached the woman and began hitting on her. The man got aggressive and Nash then dropped him. He was arrested on suspicion of batter, but the charge was dropped due to lack of evidence.

If you or someone you know needs a skilled, successful Attorney, contact Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP at 877-781-1570. Our lawyers are top-ranked by the leading attorney ranking system Martindale Hubbell, and are well respected throughout the legal community. With years of combined experience, our attorneys possess the skills, knowledge and track record to provide you with the top notch legal defense. Call us today!

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California Jails and the United States Supreme Court

Posted on: May 25, 2011 at 5:31 p.m.

You may not be aware of this, but the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States may have a say in whether or not your friends or family have their jail sentences cut short. The highest court in the country ordered the release of ovr 30,000 prisoners due to overcrowding and terrible prison conditions. This has many Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys looking for opportunities to get their clients out of jail. Of those likely to be released early, low level and non-violent offenders are probably at the top of the list, including people arrested for possession of marijuana and medical marijuana. The Drug Policy Forum of California stated that California maintains almost 25,000 prisoners for inherently non-violent drug offenses according to recent information from the Department of Corrections. For any Defense Attorney who is currently representing someone charged with a low level drug offense, or who previously represented someone who got an unfair deal, this news could lead to their clients' freedom!

The drug policy organization blames the inhumane overcrowding that led to the Supreme Court order on drug laws that "did not exist prior to the 20th century." A third of the 25,000 prisoners are being held, allegedly, for simply possession while the rest had more serious convictions. Drug convicts in prison have gone down from 28 percent in 1999 to 15 percent today thanks to Prop 36 which requires treatment instead of prison for minor drug offenses. Skilled Attorneys have been able to use that law to help their clients avoid jail time and ruining their lives. Another bill put forth by San Francisco state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano would make cultivation of marijuana a misdemeanor instead of a felony. If you have a family member who was sentenced to prison for seemingly low level crimes, you should contact a skilled lawyer who could help take advantage of this Supreme Court decision.

If you or someone you know has been arrested, contact Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP by calling 877-781-1570. With over 50 years of combined experience, our team can provide a top notch criminal defense for any legal challenge. Call us today!

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Hate Crime and Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys

Posted on: May 1, 2011 at 7:27 a.m.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys represent people charged with all manner of misdemeanors and felonies, but when it involves students, things tend to get ugly fast. With students, parents are involved, juvenile penalties and lots of emotion. This all usually adds up to a complicated situation where people are hurt and answers rarely get sorted out. In Calabasas, anti-semitic and racist insults were tagged all over school property at Calabasas High School. Police detectives are going to seek hate crime enhancements to felony vandalism charges against the three students who allegedly defaced the school. The teens were booked on allegations of felony vandalism after they allegedly admitted to tagging school property with drawings of Hitler, swastikas and phrases that could only be considered racist. The phrases were "whites only" and "gas chamber" which any Attorney will tell you can only be seen as racist.

A hate crime distinction can add to the penalties in any felony case. Whether jail time or fines, hate crimes will make an already complex legal situation close to impossible. Hiring a qualified and experienced lawyer can help deal with those complexities. Initially, the police did not accuse the boys of a hate crime, claiming that they had aimed the specific insults at students and teachers who they felt had mistreated them. They claimed this was the case and not a race or religion motivation.

For any teen facing a felony charge, life can become incredibly complicated. Jail time, a criminal record, problems with job opportunities and more await anyone convicted of a felony. A hate crime to further complicate education opportunities and even where you live. However, with a skilled lawyer working for you, you have a better chance at avoiding these consequences.

Call Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP today for qualified lawyers who will stand by your side - 877-781-1570. Our attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience, and can help provide the kind of legal representation you need. Contact us today and let us help you with your legal situation.

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Lebron James, His Mom and Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys

Posted on: April 7, 2011 at 5:56 p.m.

When most people consider the idea of having to bail out a family member from jail, they think about a child, possibly a sibling or maybe even a spouse. However, NBA superstar Lebron James had to bail his mother out of a legal jam when she allegedly committed a battery crime involving a valet. Any such case requires a skilled Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney especially because Lebron James' mother did not cooperate with police and actually struck the valet with her hand.

Lebron James' mother allegedly slapped a Miami Beach valet so hard in the face she lost her balance and fell to the ground. She was then approached by a police officer and told him "I don't trust your kind." Gloria James, 43 years old, allegedly struck the valet after retrieving James' car and putting in on the valet ramp in front of the hotel while Gloria and a female driver stood around talking to people for 30 minutes. The woman approached the valet after he turned off the car and shouted obscenities at him. She then struck the valet and fell down herself. She was transported to a nearby police station and when police attempted to question her, she responded by saying she didn't "trust" their "kind" and was allegedly drunk throughout the incident.

Having to pick up a loved one in jail is a major challenge, especially if the crime involved a violent altercation. When a lawyer works to represent someone charged with any sort of violent crime, he must assess the entire situation. In this case, the woman was allegedly drunk and there were quite a few witnesses on hand to see the incident, making the crime more difficult to defend. For a Defense Attorney, certain experts would have to be hired to interview the various people who were potential witnesses.

If you or anyone you know has been accused of a crime, contact the lawyers at Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP by calling 877-781-1570. With out 50 years of combined experience, we can craft a unique defense tailored to your specific needs. You should also never feel guilty for need a Attorney. If the mother of the NBA's biggest star needs one, there may come a time in your life where you will need one as well. Call us today.

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Sex Abuse and Incest in the Entertainment Industry

Posted on: February 17, 2011 at 10:48 p.m.

Los Angeles sex crime criminal lawyers almost all have a horrible story to tell of a sexually abusive parent who goes too far with his children. While everyone deserves a strong criminal defense and while everyone in America is innocent until proven guilty, the details of a sex abuse case involving a child and its parent is disturbing. A recent case involving a musical family is no different, and has the general public in extreme disgust. It is cases like these where an experienced lawyer can truly earn his pay check. Providing a man accused of sexually abusing his own children a great defense is not just difficult, it is next to impossible. However, qualified lawyers are prepared to face even the most biased juries, the most difficult judges and prosecutors who are incredibly motivated to put their client behind bars.

A recent sex crime case involves five siblings known as "The 5 Browns." They are a classical piano group that has played throughout the world and each one was trained at Julliard's school of music. The allegations involved sexual abuse of his three daughters between 1990 and 1998 when they were minors. The father, Keith Scott Brown was charged with one count of first degree felony sodomy upon a child and two counts of second degree felony sexual abuse of a child. He was charged on February 10, 2011 and was involved in an accident, crashing his car and falling down a 300 foot cliff with his wife on Valentine's Day. While in critical condition, he pleaded guilty and could be facing 10 years to life in prison. While he may strike a deal for the sentences to run concurrently, it is possible that he could be in jail for the rest of his life.

A skilled Defense Attorney understands that charges such as these involve horrible family secrets. Yet, a lawyer must be on the side of his client no matter how severe the allegations are. In many cases, family members and others are not telling the full truth, or are lying about the events because it gets them attention. While that does not appear to be teh case in this instance, it has been the case in many other sex crime cases. A skilled lawyer can sift through the false allegations and provide their client with the necessary legal representation to keep them out of prison and free from fines.

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Former Porn Star in Need of a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

Posted on: January 31, 2011 at 7:15 p.m.

No one is more aware of the need for a good LA criminal attorney than former porn star Janine Lindemulder. At one point, "Janine" was quite famous, gracing the cover of a 311 album, and considered one of the hottest porn stars in the late 90's and early 2000's. However, her life has fallen apart a bit recently, stemming from a former marriage to Jesse James. Yes, that Jesse James, the one who cheated on Sandra Bullock. Janine was arrested in Austin, TX on a warrant for harassing Mr. James in a series of allegedly abusive phone messages. Janine, who has had quite a bit of legal trouble stemming from her relationship with James and their children, had three warrants issued for her arrest after Jesse James turned over allegedly threatening voicemail messages he says Janine left for him. According to the legal documents, Janine places harassing telephone calls to him at all hours of the day and night. In fact, James claims to have received 300 calls since he moved to Texas. The calls apparently became so harassing and abusive that he felt the need to turn them over to the police.

Janine's long history with the law is impacting her ability to see her children, as well as her overall freedoms. She has called upon the assistance of a lawyer many times, after arrests for harassment, assault, drug use and much more. In this most recent case, she was charged with three counts of misdemeanor harassment and bail was set at $6,000. Further complications of this sort could lead to her missing time with her daughter, mandatory prison time and further loss of freedoms. For example, if Jesse James takes out a restraining order that involves phone calls, she could face severe punishment for harassing phone calls. The divorce from James complicates matters quite a bit.

If you or someone you love has been arrested, you need a qualified defense attorney. Contact the lawyers at Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP today to learn how we can help you. We understand the law, the courts, prosecuting attorneys and more. While this woman might lose her ability to see her children, a lawyer can help her get her life in order and get the best legal services possible.

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Tremendous News in Southern California Crimes

Posted on: December 20, 2010 at 8:11 p.m.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyers witnessed two amazing pieces of news this month, one involving a major criminal trial, another involving the death of a man who was pursued by police.

In Fullerton, a city just south of Los Angeles, saw a man get sentenced to 110 years to life in state prison for murdering his neighbor when he found her in bed with his adult son. Guillermo Rodriguez was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of murder, of criminal threats and of dissuading a witness from testifying. Previously, the man had four convictions, including two for robbery and two for assault with a deadly weapon. On the night in question, he had a dinner party at his apartment. Around one in the morning, Rodriguez went out to purchase more alcohol and when he returned, he walked into the bedroom to find his 18 year old son in bed with a 42 year old neighbor. After sending his son and his girlfriend out of the room, Rodriguez allegedly strangled the 42 year old woman, wrapped her in a blanket and buried her in Victorville with his son. The body was later found by hunters who contacted police. The man's son pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact and was sentenced to one year in jail and three years' probation.

In Long Beach, a man was shot and killed Sunday by Long Beach police. The man was suspected of sexually assaulting a family member. Officers allege that their car was flagged down early in the morning by a woman who claimed the sexual assault of a female minor had just happened. After taking to the alleged victim, officers went to the suspect's residence. Police then say the man produced a handgun at which point the officers fired on him. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

These are the two worst case scenarios for anyone charged with a crime. This man may have been innocent and quite possibly had no clue why police were approaching his home. Many individuals distrust police, especially if they have a prior criminal record. However, firing on police is quite possibly the stupidest and most dangerous thing a defendant can do. Beyond the fact that you could kill an officer of the law, the officer's will fire back and the best case scenario is that you'll have another charge to deal with. The worst case scenario is that you will be killed.

If you are facing any serious criminal charges, contact the Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP today by calling 877-781-1570. Our team can help you defend yourself, stay free from prison and from fines. Call us today.

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Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys and Celebrities

Posted on: October 26, 2010 at 8:02 p.m.

Los Angeles is the home of many of the world's most famous celebrities. It is also the home of some of the nation's most prominent crimes and criminals. This week, more than a few celebrities have found themselves in need of a Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer including some repeat offenders.

  • Charlie Sheen, movie star and current star of the hit TV show "Two and a Half Men", allegedly woke up in a hotel room in New York next to a call girl and with a destroyed hotel room. Supposedly he went on either a drinking binge or a drug binge and destroyed the entire hotel room while on vacation with his ex-wife and children. Sheen has been in and out of rehab and has been on a drinking binge since his guilty plea in an Aspen domestic violence case in August. He has been in a constant state of needing a Attorney and it does not look like that is going to change any time soon.
  • Food Network chef Juan-Carlos Cruz copped a plea in a plot to have three homeless men kill his wife. He pleaded no contest to solicitation of murder. Sentencing is set for December 13. Cruz agreed to accept a nine year prison sentence, but the judge will ultimately have the final say. His wife wants to address the court before sentencing, and they both smiled at each other as Cruz left the court. Hopefully, Cruz consulted with a skilled Defense Lawyer before making any plea bargains.
  • Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Jessica White is accused of beating up another woman outside of a night club in New York this weekend. The woman, who allegedly dated Sean Penn and Terrell Owens was arrested Saturday after allegedly smacking another woman in the face quite a few times.
  • "America's Got Talent" contestant Joe Finley is in serious need of a Criminal Defense Attorney after he was arrested for drugs and his wife was found dead all within a matter of hours. According to Finely, he and his wife allegedly popped some ecstasy pills around 3:00 in the morning and his wife Laura was pronounced dead at 8:25 in the morning. The police have named Finley a "person of interest" in the death, although the man claims that he is innocent of the death
As you can see, even high profile celebrities need a Attorney to help them get through their legal troubles. If you or someone you love is facing serious legal issues, contact the lawyers at Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin.

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Mortgage Fraud Defense

Posted on: July 8, 2010 at 10:27 p.m.

Since late 2007, the economy has hit such difficult moments that people are still thinking that we are in the midst of, or the beginning of, another Great Depression. Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyers spend more and more of their time defending people who are accused of trying to take advantage of such a situation. In fact, some legitimate industries, such as loan modifications and debt settlement, are being targeted by the California state government. People who are obeying the law, or who have to adjust to new laws, are facing an increasingly difficult time of late.

For example, some bad apples are making life difficult for so many others. Recently, two men in the San Francisco area were sentenced to 20 years in prison after being caught in a Mortgage Fraud scam. They claimed they could eliminate their clients' mortgage debts for a fee of $1,000 to $3,000. These individuals also insisted on acting as their own lawyers. According to the prosecution, from 2003 to 2005 these two men recruited distressed homeowners from around the country through Internet ads and got them to sign letters to their lenders claiming that their home mortgage loans were actually illegal. When the lenders did not respond, they declared these loans paid in full and told the homeowners to arrange new financing. This Mortgage Fraud case left each man with more than 20 years of prison time and a $500,000+ restitution bill.

Clearly, this case demonstrates how vital it is for a defendant in any criminal trial to have a Defense Lawyer representing them. The courts questioned the intelligence and the competence of these men, and yet still threw them in prison for over two decades each. While some homeowners may have felt taken advantage of, these men did not do themselves any favors by refusing hire adequate legal representation.

At Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP, we can provide the kind of legal defense you need to avoid serious jail time in state and federal courts. If you or someone you do business with has been accused of Mortgage Fraud, contact our skilled, knowledgeable and successful lawyers today at 877-781-1570.

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Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys and the Fourth of July

Posted on: June 29, 2010 at 5:48 p.m.

For Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Fourth of July can be an extremely busy holiday. People get arrested every year for selling, buying and manufacturing illegal fireworks, and many are in desperate need of a qualified lawyer to represent them in court. Some of these are small matters, mostly misdemeanors; however, many of these crimes can involves hundreds of thousands of dollars and years in prison as felony charges.

For example, in El Monte recently, Los Angeles Police claim to have seized almost two tons of illegal fireworks. A detective said the seizure was made in downtown Los Angeles as part of an ongoing investigation into illegal fireworks sales and distribution. The fireworks were allegedly worth $125,000. So far, no arrests have been made, but police are ever on the lookout for illegal fireworks in Los Angeles as the holiday approaches. In fact, just last week, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputies say they seized around half a million dollars worth of fireworks in La Puente and arrested two men for the crime.

Why You Need a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

You may be wondering why it is so important to have a lawyer representing you if arrested for selling, buying, manufacturing or distributing illegal fireworks. The reality is that the charge could incorporate more than just a simple illegal fireworks charge. Crossing state lines with illegal substances, white collar charges such as tax evasion, being charged with a violent crime if a child is hurt by the products and more could all be thrown at anyone who is selling illegal fireworks. The jail time could be serious, not to mention the fines and other repercussions of being convicted of such crimes.

This is why having a skilled, experienced and successful Defense Lawyer is so important. As someone out side the law, you may have no clue how or why the charges you are facing are so serious. However, if you have a knowledgeable lawyer by your side, he could help guide you through the legal process with a much more informed perspective.

If you or someone you love has been charged with an illegal fireworks crime, contact Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP for a free case review.

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Summary of New Laws Impacting Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys

Posted on: March 30, 2010 at 9:09 p.m.

The last few years have seen a major shake up in a number of laws, and this year will be no different. There are a number of new laws that Defense Attorneys want their clients, and the general public, to be well aware of. Some of these laws involved DUI, some involve Theft Crimes, others involve sentencing. However, each of these laws could have a major impact on anyone convicted of a crime.

Here is a quick breakdown of new laws handed down by the California State Legislature for 2010:

AB 14 – This law states that a car, truck or motorcycle can be declared a “public nuisance" and be impounded for up to 30 days when the vehicle is used for specific crimes such as soliciting a prostitute.

AB 58 – It is now an infraction to be involved in a betting pool with less than $2,500 at stake. This is an important law for small poker games, NCAA betting pools and other friendly matches to be aware of.

AB 91 – This is a new test program for Los Angeles and other counties which requires an “Ignition Interlock Device" to be installed on the vehicle of first time DUI offenders.

AB 532 – This will allow law enforcement to get a search warrant to seize guns from any domestic violence or mental health scare.

SB 748 – This forbids anyone from posting the contact information of anyone involved in the Witness Relocation and Assistance Program with the intent to commit a crime.

AB 750 – This gives courts the choice to sentence a deferred entry of judgment instead of jail time for minor offenses.

AB 962 – This law requires gun sellers to record sales of ammunition and also requires the taking and cataloguing of fingers prints of every gun purchaser. This means that someone convicted of a Los Angeles Drug Crime could be sentenced to rehab instead of going to prison.

As you can see, some of these laws can be helpful for a defendant, others can be dangerous, but only with a skilled Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer can someone take advantage of every opportunity to stay out of prison. Some of these laws can radically change the nature of how law enforcement approaches criminals, the accused and ex-convicts. Many of these laws change the way judges can sentence someone convicted of a crime, which is why it is that much more important to haw a lawyer who understands the law and who understands how to best defend someone accused of a crime.

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Domestic Violence On The Rise

Posted on: February 20, 2010 at 2:29 a.m.

A Los Angeles crime defense attorney team understands that a person accused of domestic violence could have an array of mitigating factors surrounding their alleged crime and will work on your behalf to protect your rights in court.

Advocate groups for women and authorities are alarmed at the rapidly increasing instances of domestic violence in Massachusetts and across the country. The latest incident in Westford, Massachusetts involved a man that critically wounded his wife before fatally shooting his daughter and himself.

Since Jan. 9, at least five women have been killed in domestic violence incidents in Massachusetts. Two others were severely wounded in the total of six different incidents.

There seems to be a common connection between the domestic violence incidents in Massachusetts and across the county. In another Massachusetts city, a man took his own life after shooting his sick wife and their horse, setting fire to their home and his pickup truck. The man in this incident was facing a foreclosure auction before the incident occurred.

Women’s advocates believe that one underlying cause is an unforgiving economy that has intensified family disputes, inflamed some men’s abusive tendencies, and left some women more reluctant to leave violent relationships.

In many of these cases, women reported that financial pressures had made their husbands or boyfriends more angry and prone to violence.

A grim economy is just one of the problems and stresses that a person accused of domestic violence might be faced with. The dwindling economic situation has left many primary providers stressed out and worried about not being able to provide for their families. The layoffs and cut hours across the country have left many wondering how they will make ends meet and survive with a family to take care of.

If you have been accused of a Los Angeles domestic violence offense, you need a professional and knowledgeable team on your side to protect your rights and offer proof of the many circumstances revolving the alleged crime. The professional team at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP has more than 50 years of courtroom experience and will be able to protect your rights in court at all times. We have a proven track record and are amongst the highest rated criminal defense teams in the country. If you have been accused of a Los Angeles domestic violence crime, call us immediately at 1-877-781-1570 or visit our website at www.keglawyers.com for more information.

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Los Angeles Sex Offender Stigma And Its Implications

Posted on: February 14, 2010 at 2:10 a.m.

Being convicted of a Los Angeles sex crime can change a person’s entire life in more ways than one. Not only can it affect what one is allowed to do and not do, but it can also change a person emotionally and physically as well.

Take for example, Ricky Blackman of Oklahoma, a Tier 3 offender on Oklahoma’s sex offender registry. Blackman was a sociable, outgoing teenager, but that all changed when he was convicted for having sex with a 13-year-old girl he believed was 15. Blackman was 16 at the time and the sex offender followed him for years after the incident. This affected Blackman severely as he was unable to attend high school, go to his younger brother’s football games or visit the town library.

His mother, Mary Duval, says that Blackman is not the same person he was before the incident, “He was so fun-loving and just full of life. I mean there’s no other word. Ricky was full of life and now he’s definitely more cautious, more reserved."

Blackman lived with the "sex offender" label for nearly four years, until a law that took effect in Oklahoma in November removed his name from the registry.

After his conviction, Blackman's family moved to Oklahoma where he finished his probation and sex offender treatment. His record was expunged in Iowa, but the same was not the case in Oklahoma; Blackman continued to be on the sex offender registry there.

Blackman had to comply with state residency restrictions that prevent registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or day care center and his attempts to enroll in high school were unsuccessful because he considered a danger to the rest of the students.

Another aspect of Blackman’s life that became difficult was finding a job. He was continually turned town by employers such as Wal-Mart, McDonald's and another fast food restaurants.

"I know what I did was wrong and I deserved to be punished for it. But this destroyed my life. Took it away from me," said Blackman.

Like Blackman, many sex offenders face the same hurdles in California. The stigma that follows sex offenders can take a heavy toll on their lives, but there is something you can do about it. If you have been charged with a sex crime, contact the Los Angeles sex crime defense attorney team at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP immediately. Our Los Angeles sex crime defense attorney team has more than 50 years of courtroom experience and will fight on your behalf to protect your rights.

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Los Angeles Sex Crimes And Housing Issues

Posted on: February 3, 2010 at 6:36 p.m.

Any Los Angeles sex crime defense attorney understands there is much more at stake for a defendant in a sex crime case than just jail time. There is a new "Scarlet Letter" that is painted on the record of anyone convicted of a sex crime in California, and it takes the most skilled lawyer to be able to clear a person's name.

On Monday, the California Supreme Court upheld residency restrictions for sex offenders, ruling that thousands may be barred from living near schools and parks.

The 5-2 decision permits California to continue enforcing residency restrictions on thousands of sex offenders who were paroled after Proposition 83 took effect in November 2006. The decision will also allow California to enforce the residency restrictions on those who were convicted years before the law took effect.

Proposition 83, also known as “Jessica’s Law", bans sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools or parks where there are children present.

Four sex offenders on parole challenged the law, saying that there was no place in which to live and be in compliance of the law in the cities to which they had been paroled. Although the four parolees were convicted before Proposition 83 passed, the decision will require them to adhere to the residency rules that were put in place after Proposition 83 was passed.

In densely populated cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, it is difficult for sex offenders to comply with the rules because of the proximity of schools and parks to housing. Offenders do have the right to challenge the residency rules before a judge if they have a legitimate claim of not having a place to live due to the residency restrictions. The main defense that an accused sex offender can have, however, is staying off of sex offender registry lists in the first place. A sex offense charge can have serious consequences, including the housing issues mentioned above, so avoiding a sex offender registry list altogether is the best defense against these consequences.

If you have been charged of a Los Angeles sex crime, you need a Los Angeles sex crime attorney team on your side to protect your rights at all times. The proximity of schools and parks to housing in Los Angeles makes it difficult for sex offenders to comply with the residency rules placed upon them. Having a knowledgeable and professional team on your side will prove to be beneficial to you as housing becomes increasingly scarce for registered sex offenders. The team at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP can help protect your rights as a parolee and will fight to keep you off of sex offender registry lists so that you can live your life as normally as possible. Contact us immediately at 1-877-781-1570 for more information on Los Angeles sex crimes and how our team can help you in your time of need.

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Los Angeles Warrants

Posted on: November 25, 2009 at 11:30 p.m.

Nikola Dragovic, UCLA’s Serbian star forward, was arrested last Friday in connection with an incident that took place after a concert in Hollywood last month. Dragovic and a friend have been accused of pushing a man into a glass display case following an argument. Initially, Dragovic filed a report of the incident with UCLA’s campus police. But after the district attorney filed a felony assault charge against him and issued a Warrant for his arrest, Dragovic turned himself in after a game against Cal State Bakersfield. While Dragovic was booked and later released on bail, he has been suspended from playing basketball for the university. Dragovic plans to plead not guilty when he appears before a judge in late December.

Now is a great time to discuss the different types of Los Angeles Warrants that are issued in the city. Our nation’s Constitution protects us from being arrested or searched for no reason. Warrants essentially give a Los Angeles police officer the right to arrest, detain, or search you in connection with a crime. All Warrants issued in the city are court orders signed by a Los Angeles County judge. A warrant for arrest is issued in cases like Dragovic’s where a defendant is suspected of having committed a crime, but has not yet been arrested by law enforcement agents. A bench warrant is typically issued when a defendant has failed to show up at a scheduled court date. Bench warrants are then issued allowing law enforcement agents to hunt you down and bring you before the court. Search warrants give Los Angeles law enforcement agents permission to either search you or a particular location in connection with a crime that has been committed and that you are believed to be involved in.

Once you find out that either an arrest Warrant or a bench Warrant has been issued in your name, it is important that you contact the Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP immediately. As experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys with decades of experience in dealing with all types of warrants, we know that ignoring warrants can lead to big problems. Call today for expert legal advice and help in dealing with any warrants issued against you.

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Juvenile Crime Stats

Posted on: November 25, 2009 at 11:26 p.m.

Juvenile crime is a serious issue in Los Angeles, with many gangs utlizing young people who may have lost their way. Our Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys actively represent all minors accused of Juvenile crime. Many of our attorneys have worked in Los Angeles district attorney's offices, which gives us a unique instight into Juvenile crime criminal trials, law enforcement tactics and much more.

A new report by the County of San Diego revealed that arrests rates in the county have actually risen slightly over last year, in large part due to increasing numbers of minors being arrested for Juvenile crime. Unlike San Diego County, most other large counties in California, including Los Angeles, have seen a slight decrease in the number of arrests made over the last year. According to the San Diego Association of governments, adult arrests in the county rose just 1% while the number of minors being arrested jumped by 9%.

Many parents are under the impression that children under the age of 18 either do not commit or are generally not arrested for criminal acts. This viewpoint could hardly be farther from reality. While it is true that crimes committed by minors in Los Angeles are taken very seriously indeed by law enforcement agencies, it is also true that courts tend to focus on more rehabilitative punishments. In Los Angeles, minors are even subject to a completely different judicial system when they commit a crime, the Juvenile Court System. In some states this same court system may also be called Family Court or Probate Court. The focus of many punishments for juveniles convicted of a crime is reforming or reshaping the child’s behavior. Many people believe that with the proper counseling, younger criminal offenders are more likely to “straighten up," and go on to lead normal, law-abiding lives. Minors who commit more serious Juvenile crimes may actually be tried in the regular, adult court system depending on the nature of their crime and their age. Because minors can and do commit crimes ranging from shoplifting and vandalism to assault, sex crimes and even murder, punishments also vary widely. Probation, counseling, community service, and fines are frequently given in the case of a conviction. For more serious crimes, juvenile offenders may find themselves sentenced to time in a juvenile detention center or even an adult jail.

If your son or daughter has been charged with a Juvenile crime, call the attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP today. Our attorneys are experienced in dealing with juvenile crimes of all types and can help you navigate the often confusing Juvenile Court System. You would not give up on your child, and neither will we.

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Reaching a Plea Bargain

Posted on: November 23, 2009 at 6:22 p.m.

If you've been arrested for, or charged with, a crime, you need a qualified Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who knows how to defend you, how to operate during a trial and possible how to please bargain successfully.

Former NBA star Jayson Williams is expected to reach a plea bargain deal on Friday November 20, 2009 for a case stemming from a 2002 incident that resulted in the accidental shooting death of a limousine driver at his home. The case has dragged on for nearly eight years and the plea bargain would effectively reduce the initial aggravated manslaughter and reckless manslaughter counts to a count of aggravated assault. The plea bargain will reduce Williams’ jail sentence to no less than 18 months and no more than three years.

Plea bargains are agreements in criminal cases where the prosecutor offers the defendant the opportunity to plead guilty, usually to a lesser charge or to the original charge with a recommendation of a lighter sentence. A plea bargain can also reduce the severity of charges in a criminal case, for example, a felony hit and run charge can be reduced to a misdemeanor charge if a plea bargain is reached. Reaching a plea bargain requires a professional defense attorney that will negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf to attain a favorable outcome.

The Williams case is one out of countless of cases that occur each day where a plea bargain is negotiated or reached. Every day, defendants are offered plea bargains and agree to these bargains for a reduced sentence. With the assistance of a defense lawyer, a defendant could get a plea bargain that helps them stay clear of prison and even serious fines. In Los Angeles, these instances are concurrent and can happen to anyone. A professional attorney can help sort out your legal troubles through negotiation and plea bargains. With a dedicated team of attorneys you can be given opportunities to reduce a jail sentence or avoid jail time altogether. The criminal defense lawyers team at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP can assist you in reaching a plea bargain in criminal cases and potentially reduce your criminal charge to a lesser charge.

The former Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets player faced a trial on a reckless manslaughter count where the jury deadlocked, he was to face a retrial in January. The plea bargain will essentially resolve all charges in the case and reduce the charge to aggravated assault. Through the plea bargain, Williams will avoid a longer jail sentence and heftier charges.

When you need to reach a plea bargain but don’t know where to start, contact us and we will work by your side to reach that plea bargain you seek.

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Can A Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Keep You/Get You Out of Prison?

Posted on: November 17, 2009 at 10:25 p.m.

With the recent economic recession hitting every area of public and private industries, the state of California has been searching for new and creative ways to deal with prison population levels. A skilled Los Angeles criminal lawyer may be able to help anyone facing jail time to take advantage of this situation.

Like many other things in Los Angeles, the prison system is overcrowded and under-funded. It is so overcrowded, in fact, that several United States federal judges have intervened, ordering Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to draft a proposal to reduce the state’s prison population by roughly 40,000 prisoners over the next two years. Governor Schwarzenegger had previously submitted a proposal to federal judges back in September, which was rejected by all three of the judges who reviewed it. While lawyers for the state of California have made statements to the effect that it is improper for a federal authority to intrude in state affairs, Governor Schwarzenegger went back to the drawing board to try and come up with a plan that would appease federal judges.

The governor’s new plan would open up 42,000 prison beds by 2011, some through new construction, some through sentence reductions for people already serving time in a state prison, and some through alternate sentencing. Within the state, a reduction in sentencing for people already incarcerated would need the approval of state lawmakers. One of Governor Schwarzenegger’s suggestions in the proposal was putting up to 25,000 current inmates on house arrest with satellite tracking devices. The governor had previously tried proposing such a measure before it was rejected by state legislators during budget fights last summer. The proposal also called for the transfer of certain inmates from a state prison facility to a county jail, depending on the severity of the crimes for which they had been incarcerated.

The landscape of California’s prison system is being forced to change, one way or another. In times like these, it becomes increasingly important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side. A attorney could examine your case and get the prosecuting attorney to agree that jail time is not the best option. However, in order to take advantage of this once in a lifetime situation, you must hire a criminal lawyer who understands the courts, understands prosecutors and who has a successful track record. Our team has years of experience in District Attorneys' Offices, giving them a unique insight into any criminal case.

If you have been charged with a serious crime, having the right law firm could mean the difference between being sent to prison, being sentenced to home detention or being acquitted. Call Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP today.

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Los Angeles Marijuana Possession

Posted on: November 16, 2009 at 2:32 a.m.

In Los Angeles, marijuana laws are complicated. Having a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney to help defend your Los Angeles drug offense will go a long towards keeping you out of prison.

Major League Baseball pitcher Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants was arrested two weeks ago in his home state of Washington after local law enforcement agents found a small amount of marijuana in his car. Lincecum was initially pulled over because he was speeding, driving 74 miles per hour in a 60 mile per hour zone. When the officer approached the star pitcher’s car, he smelled the marijuana and immediately asked him to surrender the drug. Lincecum handed over roughly 3.3 grams of marijuana, in addition to a marijuana pipe from the car’s center console. Since the state of Washington considers most quantities of marijuana of less than 40 grams to be for personal use, Lincecum will most likely avoid felony drug possession charges and will instead be charged with a misdemeanor criminal offense. In the state of Washington, a first-time charge for the possession of marijuana for personal use typically garners a fine of about $622. Lincecum will also be cited for speeding.

In Los Angeles, small amounts of marijuana for personal use are technically legal-depending on which law enforcement agency finds them. Since marijuana laws allow for the use of marijuana for medical purposes, state and city agents might not arrest you if you are consuming the marijuana in your home. According to Los Angeles marijuana law, carrying the marijuana outside your home (in a car or in a public place, for instance), however, might make you eligible to be charged with a misdemeanor drug possession offense. Depending on the circumstances of your case, probation, community service, fines or time in a county jail may be assessed if you are found guilty. For many first-time drug offenders, Los Angeles also has a deferred entry of judgment program that would allow for drug treatment rather than jail time. In these cases, a defendant pleads guilty to drug possession charges, but instead of being sentenced to harsher punishments, the defendant’s case is instead put on “hold" for a time. The defendant is then required to complete a six-month series of drug education classes and avoid being arrested or convicted of another crime for 18 months. If the defendant successfully completes both requirements, the case is dismissed and criminal charges are wiped from their record.

Los Angeles marijuana laws surrounding the use of pot can be confusing. However, the help of an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney is invaluable when you have been charged with a drug offense. Call the attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP today to find out what your options are.

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Los Angeles Excessive Use of Force Probe

Posted on: October 31, 2009 at 3:51 a.m.

At Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, our Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys are skilled in exposing Los Angeles police brutality in criminal defense cases. Recently, the Federal Bureau of Investigations has begun a probe into several members of the Burbank Police Department amidst allegations of the excessive use of force by as many as 12 current and former Burbank policemen. Federal investigators have requested information from the police department that specifically focuses on several officers’ use of Tasers, pepper spray and defensive tactics from as far back as 2003. The probe will examine the possible violation of suspects’ civil rights. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is also involved in the Los Angeles police brutality investigation.

The excessive use of force by law enforcement officials is a fairly sticky topic these days. Admittedly, Los Angeles police and Los Angeles County Sheriffs Deputies have a very difficult and very dangerous job. On a daily basis they may deal with both alleged and convicted criminals, some of whom may become physically violent. In many cases, law enforcement agents must chase, fight or physically restrain suspects, many of whom might be armed with a weapon of some sort. Sometimes retaliating in kind is seen as "necessary" in the line of duty, but very often, police may get carried away and engage in what is called the excessive use of force, or Los Angeles police brutality. Los Angeles police brutality occurs when Los Angeles law enforcement officials use more force than is necessary to apprehend or arrest a criminal suspect. Police have very strict guidelines at to when and how they may collect evidence of a crime against you. However, the line between law enforcement acting in a brutal or unfair manner or acting appropriately in any given situation is less clear. A police officer may use a weapon against you if he or she is “reasonably" fearful for their life. If you pull out a weapon, or anything that resembles a gun, they may “reasonably" fear for their lives and injure, if not kill you with weapons of their own.

If you have been arrested by police and believe you have been the victim of Los Angeles police brutality, or that you were treated unfairly by member of the Los Angeles Police Department, call the attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP today. In many instances, criminal proceedings against you can be dismissed because of the improper conduct of police officers. Our attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience in defending against criminal charges of all types and know which details to look for. Call today to begin preparing your case.

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Los Angeles Paparazzi Laws Updates

Posted on: October 31, 2009 at 3:45 a.m.

The Los Angeles criminal defense attorney team at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin is highly skilled, highly regarded and highly experienced. We've defended some of the most high profile cases in recent history, giving our defense attorney team unique experience. We work hard to keep our eyes on new criminal laws, whether they affect petty theft charges or paparazzi. In Hollywood, attorney teams must stay up to date with all paparazzi laws, especially with a celebrity governor in office.

By the most basic of definitions, paparazzi are photographers who primarily focus their efforts on photographing celebrities. The lives of actors and actresses have long held the interest of the public, leading to the immense popularity of tabloids and gossip columns centered on them. In recent years, however, paparazzi behavior has become increasingly invasive, and even dangerous. While photographing celebrities in a public place such as a restaurant or park is perfectly legal, many celebrities have complained about the intrusion on their privacy, and even successfully sued members of the paparazzi for things like wiretapping their homes and physical altercations. Stories of the well-known having been pursued in cars by the paparazzi, sometimes leading to collisions, abound. Photos taken of celebrities in their most private moments may sell well in tabloids, but cause mountains of embarrassment for the celebrity and their families.

In order to combat the more intrusive members of the paparazzi, the nation’s first anti-paparazzi legislation was signed into law in 1999, making it a criminal offense for a photographer to invade the privacy of the rich and famous by taking unauthorized photos of them in their homes or tapping their phone lines to listen in on their conversations. This first law didn’t seem to be enough to stop the paparazzi, so in 2005, new legislation went into effect that specifically dealt with the more violent photographers who enter into physical altercations with celebrities in their attempts to get photographs of them. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently signed legislation that also makes it easier for celebrities to sue the media outlets that purchase these photos from the paparazzi and profit from them.

With legislation on their side, the wealthy and well-known are fighting back with both civil suits and criminal charges. Stalking and trespassing are common criminal charges against the photographers. Stalking, legally defined as the repeated harassing or threatening of another person, is either a misdemeanor or felony criminal offense in Los Angeles. Trespassing is the unauthorized intrusion of a photographer that interferes with a person or their property. While typically considered a misdemeanor, stalking carries a penalty of up to six months in a Los Angeles County jail and up to $1,000 in monetary fines. Battery and assault are also frequent byproducts of interactions between the paparazzi and celebrities, and are often serious criminal offenses, punishable by jail time. If you are a photographer and have been accused of a crime involving a celebrity, call Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP today. Let us fight for your freedom and good reputation.

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