Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Los Angeles Violent Crime Attorneys in Venice Beach

Posted on: June 23, 2011 at 7:22 p.m.

Violent crimes are always a tragedy and shocking. Whether your family is involved in a violent crime as victims or the accused, it can be the worst nightmare you can imagine. A situation in Venice Beach created the worst possible run up to a high school graduation. A bloody shooting involving two young men shocked Venice Beach residents and ruined the graduation of Venice Senior High School. Three teens were hit around 4:10 PM and two of them died, both of them seniors at Venice Senior High School. The third victim will reportedly recover. The event took place near the campus where the three were going to attend a girls' softball game to celebrate their graduation. According to the police, the shooting victims were spending time at the field when a yet unidentified assailant walked up and fired around nine shots from a 9MM handgun. Girls playing at the softball game hit the ground when they heard the gunshots. A female coach at the game gave the first teen to die CPR for up to fifteen minutes and wrapped her jacket around the non-fatal victim's leg. Police are treating the shooting as "gang related."

Venice Beach Senior High School is one of the most iconic high schools in America, as it was the set of the hit film "Grease" and the classroom setting for "Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears'. It was also the backdrop for "American History X" according to the L.A. Daily News. Los Angeles Violent Crime Lawyers who have to work violent crime cases involving gangs, young people, schools and endangered bystanders need to have skill, knowledge and a successful track record in such cases. At Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP, our lawyers know how to handle complex cases and how to create the best defense possible for people facing felonies, years in prison and other serious penalties.

Tagged as: violent crimes defense

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys and Panorama City Crimes

Posted on: April 29, 2011 at 11:07 p.m.

Violent crimes happen throughout the city of Los Angeles, from Beverly Hills and Malibu to North Hollywood and Panorama City. However, As any Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney will tell you, some areas are more serious than others. A man was recently shot by Los Angeles police officers after pointing a handgun at officers at an apartment building in Panorama City. In violent crimes where weapons are involved, police are often forced to fire upon people who may be confused or angry...or both. Any Defense Attorney will tell you that bringing a weapon into any situation is an absolute nightmare. The man was shot in his abdomen and was hospitalized. That day, it was the third police shooting that took place in Los Angeles, the other two happened in Watts.

Los Angeles has a long history of violent crimes, and Panorama City is known as a place where these crimes take place regularly. When you live in such an area, it is that much more important to avoid any weapons, because police will be on high alert when they know they are entering a situation in that city. For example, if the police are called into a domestic dispute in Beverly Hills, they are likely to approach the situation differently than if they were called into a domestic dispute in Watts or North Hollywood. This may not be fair, but when police are entering into any situation where a violent crime may occur, they have to prepare themselves for all possible scenarios.

Whether you live in Panorama City, North Hollywood, Van Nuys or Santa Monica, a Attorney might be your best friend if you are facing serious legal consequences. If you are facing serious legal consequences, contact Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP by calling 877-781-1570. Call us today!

Tagged as: violent crimes defense

Los Angeles Murder Investigation

Posted on: March 29, 2011 at 5:46 p.m.

Of all the violent crimes a person can be charged with in Southern California, murder carries the most severe penalties. Life in prison, life in prison without parole and the death penalty are all potential outcomes of any violent murder trial. In California, where the death penalty is still in play, someone can be given the death penalty if their crime is savage and brutal enough, or if there are multiple victims. However, even life in prison is a terrible consequence, as it effectively ends the life of anyone convicted of a murder crime. For these reasons alone, hiring a skilled Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney is absolutely vital if you or someone you love is facing a murder charge. Murder, attempted murder, and manslaughter are all felonies and could lead to decades in prison or even a more severe penalty. In addition, being charged with such a crime means that people will probably never look at you the same, even if you are found innocent of the crimes you have been charged with by a jury of your peers. Once again, having a skilled, knowledgeable attorney by your side could literally be the difference between life and death.

In the south bay, a man is charged with murdering his wife in a case that involves some truly mysterious circumstances. The man in question, David Viens was a suspect in his wife's disappearance. He then jumped off of a cliff in Palos Verdes after learning this information, only to survive his wounds. While being treated for injuries sustained during the jump, he was charged with murder and pleaded not guilty to this murder. Los Angeles County Sheriff's say Viens acknowledged foul play from his hospital bed last month when authorities excavated his restaurant to find his wife's body. The search was called off after authorities determined her body was not in the restaurant. The man is being held on $1 million bail and faces life in prison if a judge or jury of his peers finds him guilty. The consequences and circumstances surrounding this case are intense, which is why an experienced lawyer with a track record of success is necessary to bring about a positive outcome for the accused man.

If you or someone you love has been charged with murder, you need a lawyer you can trust and someone who will stand by you no matter how difficult the trial becomes. At Kestenbum Eisner & Gorin, LLP our Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience, and can defend you in court and out of it. Having worked on countless criminal trials, our lawyers possess a unique level of experience with actual criminal trials, and their track record of success speaks for itself. Call us today at 877-781-1570.

Tagged as: violent crimes defense

Violent Crime, Carnivals and Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys

Posted on: March 25, 2011 at 5:54 p.m.

Defending a violent crime in Los Angeles is one of the most difficult things a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney will ever do, especially when the crime involves potential gang related activities. The City of Los Angeles has a particular set of laws that add years of prison time, fines and probation to the sentence of anyone who is affiliated with a gang. If a violent crime involves a gun, innocent bystanders, gang affiliation and prior convictions, it could lead to a life sentence or worse for anyone convicted of such a crime. This is why having a skilled Defense Attorney working for you is vital; he could mean the difference between spending twenty or more years in prison and being able to walk away with probation or less.

A recent case in the San Fernando Valley highlights just how important it is for a person to have a qualified lawyer. An ex-convict opened fire at a Granada Hills church carnival in May 2008 and wounded the mother of his son and two volunteers. He was convicted of two counts each of attempted murder and assault with a firearm, as well as one count of being a felon with a firearm. The man is a former member of the North Hollywood Boyz gang and was on parole at the time for assault with a deadly weapon. He walked into his son's school fundraiser at St. John Baptist de la Salle Church with a .22 caliber semiautomic rifle tucked into a tennis bag. He fired several rounds at his ex-girlfriend as she was setting up a carnival booth because he and the woman were involved in a custody dispute. The woman was hit in the elbow and a man was shot in the chest. Another person was hit in the leg. During the shooting, five parents, including an off-duty police officers, tackled and disarmed the man.

The man most likely did not hire a private Attorney, meaning he had a public defender representing him. The man had a history of domestic disputes with the ex-girlfriend and with officials at the church. The girl had gone so far as to get a restraining order against him from church property.

If you or someone you know needs legal representation, contact the Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP at 877-781-1570.

Tagged as: violent crimes defense

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys and the Raiders

Posted on: March 7, 2011 at 8:54 p.m.

In this city, Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys regularly defend celebrities, politicians and athletes for minor crimes, misdemeanors and even low level felonies. However, a former member of the Los Angeles and Oakland Raiders is facing serious jail time after being accused of murder. This type of violent crime could change this man's life forever, and send him from a life of relative celebrity to wasting away in a prison cell for many years. Hopefully, he will be wise enough to hire a skilled lawyer to defend his case.

Anthony Smith, a member of the Raiders from 1990 until 1997, is among three men charged in the death of a 31 year old man named Maurilio Ponce according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. Ponce was apparently beaten and shot several times before his body was dumped near the Antelope Valley poppy fields just 11 miles west of Lancaster in 2008. Smith, now 43, was charged with murder on February 16 and the men will be arraigned in March 17. Three other men were accused along with Smith, one of whom had a prior voluntary manslaughter conviction in 1996. Smith is being held on $1 million bail according to records, others were held at a lower amount.

A first round pick fo the Los Angeles Raiders in 1990, Smith went to college at the University of Arizona (he also played t the University of Alabama). He had 57.5 sacks in his career. He was previously married to former Playboy Playmate and current evangelist Vanity. He was in the top ten in sacks in the NFL once, went to the playoffs twice and made millions while in the NFL. Now, after a long football career, Smith is in dire need of a skilled Attorney who can help him avoid a felony conviction, decades in prison and potentially the death penalty. Smith was involved in a 2003 firebombing of a furniture store in Santa Monica over a dispute of a few hundred dollars. The store was left in ashes, but the case was dismissed by a judge.

If you or someone you know is in need of a skilled Defense Attorney contact Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP today by calling 877-781-1570. Our lawyers possess over 50 years of combined experience as well as an in depth understanding of criminal trials in Los Angeles. Call us today.

Tagged as: violent crimes defense

Los Angeles Murder and the Food Channel

Posted on: December 13, 2010 at 8:23 p.m.

It is a grim day whenever a person goes away for a violent crime, and many Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys work overtime to make sure that never happens to their client. However, in one case this week, a celebrity chef is going to be spending years behind bars for a violent crime in Los Angeles. Former "Calorie Commando" chef Juan-Carlos Cruz is going to spend up to nine years in prison on a charge of soliciting two homeless men to murder his wife. Such a bizarre crime is odd, even by Los Angeles standards, but has been taken quite seriously by the Los Angeles Superior Court. Cruz pleaded no contest to the crime earlier this year and smiled and winked at wife Jennifer Campbell during his sentencing appearance. Cruz's lawyer said that Cruz will serve half of the nine year term because the crime was not a serious violent felony. Police initially arrested Cruz in May after some homeless men in Santa Monica told police they were offered $500 to kill Campbell. Prosecutors have not released any sort of motive int eh case and both Campbell and the Judge, Shawn Chapman Holley, have refused comment on the case.

While this case is incredibly unique, criminal courts in Los Angeles take any sort of violent crime seriously. Cruz is a celebrity, but still faces the full wrath of the law due to the murder charges. While in the past, celebrities have been able to avoid prosecution for certain offenses, it seems the tide is turning. Such celebrities as Phil Spector and DMX have spent quite a bit of time in prison lately because prosecutors are really focusing their attention on avoiding weak sentences for celebrities caught by the law. Even professional athletes who normally get off without so much as a slap on the wrist have been prosecuted and scrutinized heavily by the press and the courts.

For those facing arrest or conviction for violent crimes, having a knowledgeable and skilled Defense Attorney working with you can be the difference between years in prison and complete freedom. Having a lawyer who understands the law, the courts and how to properly create the best defense possible is absolutely vital. Violent crimes can lead to decades in jail, years of probation, mandatory counseling and limited career options if you are convicted.

Tagged as: violent crimes defense

USC vs. UCLA = Brawl?

Posted on: December 6, 2010 at 8:44 p.m.

Every year, millions of people in Los Angeles either attend or watch the classic USC/UCLA football game that divides the city, literally, in half. While the game was not incredibly interesting, the real story is what happened before the game even began. Countless Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys will have to work with people who have been arrested for violent crimes.

Dozens of fans were involved in a brawl in the Rose Bowl parking lot in Pasadena before the game, leaving two men stabbed, two police officers with minor injuries and three men under arrest. According to police, an estimated 50 to 75 fans of both schools fought roughly three hours before the game. One person was stabbed in the cheek and another was stabbed in the back during the melee. Both individuals were taken by ambulance to Huntington Memorial Hospital, and their conditions were described as stable. Of the officers who were injured, one was treated for a sprained hand, the other for a sprained ankle.

Two men are in need of a lawyer, because police are charging them with violent crimes. The two men are accused by police of stabbing the victims and are being charged on suspicion of attempted murder. They are being held in Pasadena City Jail on $1 million bail, and a third man was arrested for investigation of assault on a police officer. No names were released for the victims or the alleged criminals. The police did not know who or what sparked the brawl, but drinking was involved. It is the first time since 2008 that there were arrests for the rivalry game, but there were no arrests for assault.

When a Attorney represents someone charged with a violent crime, he must analyze the issues surrounding the alleged events. People charged with violent crimes often find themselves in circumstances that are quite dangerous. There is a fine line between a violent assault and self defense, and only a skilled Defense Attorney can help you present that difference.

Tagged as: violent crimes defense

Porn Stars, Big Brother and Los Angeles Violent Crime

Posted on: October 20, 2010 at 9:12 p.m.

Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers represent people from all walks of life when it comes to violent crime arrests, from house wives to athletes and from athletes to porn stars. This week, a former CBS reality show star was charged with a violent crime after an incident which took place in West Hollywood.

Big Brother star Steven Daigle (who appeared on "Big Brother 10" was arrested Monday night after he allegedly assaulted his ex-boyfriend. The story becomes more complex and sordid when it is revealed that Steven Daigle and his ex are now a gay porn stars. The alleged incident took place in West Hollywood, where Daigle and Trent Locke apparently got into some sort of fight. Locke actually blogged about the brawl from his hospital room, saying he was embarrassed and that he would "never take a swing at [Steven]. And I did not" as reported by TMZ. In spite of this comment, Daigle's mug shot shows he clearly suffered some sort of harm, which will obviously be pointed out by his Defense Attorney. Daigle was thrown in jail and booked for misdemeanor battery, which could bring with it jail time, heavy fines, a restraining order and more.

While you may not be a porn star, a gay porn star, a reality show star or any other type of celebrity, facing violent crime charges in Los Angeles could ruin your life. Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, being arrested for assault, battery or some other violent crime could land you in prison, place heavy fines on you, get you stuck with years of probation or some other severe punishment. The best defense involves hiring a skilled, experienced Attorney who understands how best to defend you, how to interpret the law and how to get top results from any criminal trial. Throughout Los Angeles, countless people will go to jail this year because they did not hire the best lawyer they could find.

If you or someone you know has been charged with, arrested for or accused of a violent crime, contact Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP today. We will provide top notch legal representation and fight hard to keep you out of jail and free from fines. We fight for your future!

Tagged as: violent crimes defense

Los Angeles Violent Crime Defense and Kindergarten

Posted on: August 4, 2010 at 6:54 p.m.

Defending violent crimes in Los Angeles requires skill, knowledge and experience. It can also require a creative mind, because sometimes a violent crime will occur at either an odd location or a sacred one. Churches, schools, cemeteries and other sacred locations can be the site of criminal charges, even though everyone in attendance understands the importance of the location. This is when a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer is so important, to protect your rights in even the most embarrassing situations.

In San Bernardino County, police and investigators are examining a violent brawl that took place in a kindergarten graduation ceremony. Women were allegedly arguing and got physical in a field near a ceremony at Puesta del Sol Elementary in Victorville, CA. Several men were also involved, forcing school officials to place the school on lockdown until deputies could sort the matter out. Several misdemeanor charges were filed, including against the two women who allegedly started the incident. Prosecutors say the women could face up to six months in jail if convicted for interference with peaceful conduct at a school as well as 90 more days for unlawful acts committed on school grounds.

Attorneys have a difficult job, as you can see, protecting the rights and freedoms of people facing severe punishments. The potential for 9 months in jail is more than many people can bare, and could cause an individual to lose their job, face public shame and much more. Violent Crimes in Los Angeles are seriously prosecuted, even those crimes that are misdemeanors. If you are facing such serious penalties, you need a skilled lawyer who understands the law and who has years of experience with criminal trials in L.A. Defending violent crimes in Los Angeles requires skill, knowledge and experience. It can also require a creative mind, because sometimes a violent crime will occur at either an odd location or a sacred one. Churches, shcools, cemetaries and other sacred locations can be the site of criminal charges, even though everyone in attendance understands the importance of the location. This is why a Defense Attorney is so important, to protect your rights in even the most embarassing situations. At Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP, we have spent years working in various District Attorneys' Offices throughout Los Angeles, giving them a unique understanding of prosecution tactics.

Tagged as: violent crimes defense

Comic Books and Violent Crime

Posted on: July 27, 2010 at 6:15 p.m.

When people think about Violent Crimes, they might imagine the alleged attacker to be big, muscular, often a gang member or some other stereotype. However, at San Diego's Comic-Con there was an attack that involved strangely peculiar individuals. As most Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyers know, Violent Crime in Southern California comes in all shapes and sizes.

A man wearing a "Harry Potter" t-shirt allegedly stabbed another man int he eye with a pen when they got into an argument over whether one of them was sitting too close to the other. The injured man was in his 20's and taken to the hospital with a minor cut. The attacker was arrested and booked for assault with a deadly weapon. The two men were sitting in a 6,000 person room where they were going to hear Seth Rogan discuss his role in the science fiction comedy "Paul." Comic-Con took place from Thursday until Sunday, and this is the only known case of violence in the comic book convention's history.

For any Defense Attorney it is important to know every detail of how and why an alleged violent attack took place. Some supposed crimes can better be described as self defense, making the legal defense fairly simple. In this case, there were tens of thousands of people fighting for just a few thousand chairs, meaning that the convention center in San Diego was almost asking for a fight to occur. When a judge or jury hears the details of such a case, a skilled Attorney may be able to convince them that the circumstances involved were causing people to act irrationally.

Violent crimes in Los Angeles can result in serious penalties if you are convicted. Years in prison, heavy fines, probation and other court actions can all result in a severely penalized individual. Such a conviction can even follow you around from work place to work place, meaning you will have a hard time getting the job you want if you have been convicted of a felony, or even a misdemeanor.

If you or someone you love has been charged with a Violent Crime, contact Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP today by calling 877-781-1570. We will work tirelessly on your behalf to provide top notch legal representation.

Tagged as: violent crimes defense

Los Angeles Violent Crime Defense

Posted on: July 21, 2010 at 8:29 p.m.

Los Angeles Police treat violent crimes incredibly seriously. Anyone facing a charge that involves violence or weapons absolutely needs a Los Angeles Violent Crime Defense Attorney.

A recent violent crime in Hollywood has taken police and residents by surprise, which will assuradely lead to a serious criminal investigation. Two people were killed during a shooting at a t-shirt store in Hollywood on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Serrano Avenue. The shooting took place some time between noon and 1:00 PM on Monday, July 19. According to police, the shooting was a murder-suicide, however the victim's name and the shooter's name were not released. In this particular area of Hollywood, 30 homicides have taken place within a one mile radius since January 2007. When police see such a cluster of violent activity, they will be paying special attention to anyone charged with a crime. Those accused of, or arrested for, a violent crime will need a Defense Attorney because the added attention will bring added penalties and consequences from the courts. Police always want resident to feel safe, and having such violent activity taking place in that area will damage the overall sense of the community.

At Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP, we know how the police and District Attorney's office operate. We utilize our knowledge, skill and background in every criminal case, giving people the legal representation they need in their criminal case. We work with experts and utilize the best practices possible in order to give our clients the best chance at freedom.

If you or someone you love has been charged with a violent crime, contact Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin by calling 877-781-1570 today. Our successful track record includes representing people accused of murder, attempted murder, assault, assault with a deadly weapon, gang activity and more.

Tagged as: violent crimes defense

Los Angeles Violent Crimes and Weapons

Posted on: June 29, 2010 at 7:01 p.m.

Los Angeles Violent Crime Defense Attorneys have a difficult job when they have to try and convince a jury and/or judge that their client was either not breaking the law or acting in self defense during an alleged incident. However, when a weapon (or multiple weapons) is introduced into a criminal investigation, it means that the job of the Defense Lawyer is that much more difficult. A recent incident highlighted how grim the prospects can be for anyone involved in a violent crime.

A man wearing a Los Angeles Lakers uniform attempted to rob a security guard of his wallet at the downtown Los Angeles World Trade Center, only to have things to out of control. The security guard hit the man with a flashlight, causing him to lose his assault pistol. The robber was not identified, but police believe they have the important and necessary clues to both identify and arrest the suspect. There was blood that came from a cut to his head, prescription glasses and the assault weapon which fell out of his hands during the scuffle. Allegedly, the crime took place after midnight with the man pulling out a Tech 9 semi-automatic assault weapon and ordering the guard to the ground after asking for directions. The guard courageously fought back and grabbed the gun with one hand while using the other hand to hit the robber on the head with a flashlight.

Los Anveles Violent Crime Defense Attorneys

Trying to stay clear of serious charges when facing a violent crime accusation that included weapons is extremely difficult. For a Attorney, not only will he have to defend his client against the robbery charge, but a weapons charge as well. Judges, juries and prosecutors come down hard on any crime involving an assault weapon such as the Tech-9.

If you or someone you love has been charged with a violent crime or a weapons charge, contact Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin. Our experienced team will be able to defend you, provide you experienced legal counsel, help you decide what your best options are and guide you along the way.

Tagged as: violent crimes defense

Homicide, Drugs and Other Los Angeles Crimes

Posted on: June 25, 2010 at 8:48 p.m.

Los Angeles can be a difficult city to defend clients, in part because of how complex crime can be. For example, when a Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer represents an individual accused of a violent crime, he must examine every aspect of the case. Recently, in two Los Angeles Medical Marijuana shops, two killings occurred which started police; one took place in Hollywood, the other in Echo Park.

A man in his 30's was shot and killed after 9:00 PM in Hollywood Holistic, a medicinal marijuana shop and on the same day at Higher Path Holistic in Echo Park (near Dodger Stadium) two people were shot, one fatally. The man who was not killed is in critical condition. So far no arrests have been made regarding these crimes.

One Echo Park resident said "We have a lot of children in our neighborhood. We're a very tight community. We have babies all over the place and I was against the first (dispensary), and now there's two...within the same block. I mean, come on." Information such as this will surely impact a jury in a criminal case.

A violent crime can be a sticky situation, because there are a number of factors involved in how the prosecution will pursue the charges. If the person accused of the crime allegedly had a weapon during the course of the alleged incident. If a weapon is present, it could turn a misdemeanor into a felony, or turn a minor felony into a major one. If your lawyer is aware of these factors before hand, he can work with you to help keep the consequences minor.

A violent crime is any act that involves the use or threat of violence, meaning physical harm to another individual. Violent crimes most often involve other types of crimes, such as drug offenses, robbery, domestic violence, manslaughter or gang crimes.

If you or someone you love has been charged with a violent crime, contact Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, and you will be in the hands of an experienced, skilled and effective team of lawyers.

Tagged as: violent crimes defense

Los Angeles Murder Case

Posted on: October 1, 2009 at 4:30 p.m.

Qualified Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys work tirelessly for their clients, and sometimes an attorney is the only friend a defendant has in the entire world.  In a Los Angeles murder trial, the stigma of the crime ususally isolates the defendant, giving them no one to turn to, except for their attorney.

For example, a Fullerton man was convicted this week in an Orange County court of attempted murder and mayhem stemming from a violent incident in February of 2008.  Steven Walter Robinson, Jr., was found guilty of  attacking two moviegoers at a movie theater in Fullerton.  Robinson attacked a 38 year-old man with an knife, wounding him in the chest, arm, head and knee, then slashed a 65 year-old man on the arm and hit him in the head with a hammer.  The attacks, which were unprovoked, occurred at a screening of the movie “The Signal," which tells the story of an errant electrical transmission that invades cell phones, radios and televisions, turning people into killers.  Robinson is facing life in prison for his crime; his sentencing date has not yet been released.

While Robinson did not actually murder his victims, attempted murder is still a very serious crime in Los Angeles.  Attempted murder is specifically defined as a defendant behaving in a manner that is both deliberate and intentional with an extreme disregard for human life.  In some cases, such as in Robinson’s, an assault with a deadly weapon or an assault with the intention of causing great bodily injury to another person can be charged as attempted murder if injuries inflicted are serious enough, or if the defendant’s actions were serious enough to potentially cause death. 

If you have been charged with attempted murder, call murder defense attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP today.  Our attorneys have courtroom experience in defending against attempted murder charges.  The difference between attempted murder and potential life in prison or the death penalty and assault with a deadly weapon and several years in a state prison is a fine one that is open to much interpretation.  In Robinson’s case, the prosecutor had to prove that Robinson wanted to kill the victims, not just injure them.  That face that Robinson committed his crimes while at the screening of a film about violence and murder may have been used to cast some doubt as to Robinson’s mental state at the time of the crimes.  Mental capacity, or the insanity defense, might have been used to defend him. 

Tagged as: violent crimes defense

Los Angeles Violent Crimes

Posted on: May 23, 2009 at 5:58 a.m.

In Los Angeles, violent crimes sometimes garner quite a bit of local and national attention. In one such story that was literally made into a movie, Jesse James Hollywood is currently awaiting trial for the kidnapping and murder of 15 year-old Nicholas Markowitz in 2000. Prosecutors say Hollywood was immersed in drug trafficking for years, supplying marijuana to dealers in Los Angeles San Fernando Valley. Markowitzs half-brother, Ben Markowitz, reportedly owed Hollywood $1,200, so Hollywood and several associates kidnapped Nicholas Markowitz just down the street from his home to pressure his brother into paying his debts. When Hollywood was advised by a lawyer that being convicted of kidnapping could send him to jail on a possible life sentence, Hollywood allegedly enlisted one of his dealers, Ryan Hoyt to kill Nicholas Markowitz. Markowitzs remains were found by hikers several days later and Hollywood fled from California shortly after. Hollywood was eventually captured on a beach in Brazil before being brought back to Los Angeles to await trial.

A 2007 movie detailing the case, "Alpha Dog," further stalled Hollywoods trial because film director Nick Cassavetes had been given sensitive information by prosecutors on the case to make his film. Defense attorneys attempted to block the release of the film, citing fears that it would unfairly prejudice potential jurors against Hollywood in his violent crime trial. Nine years after the violent crime, jury selection began this May.

Conviction of violent crimes such as kidnapping and murder can, indeed, land Hollywood in jail for the rest of his life. Both are classified as felony criminal offenses and both count as "strikes" under Californias "Three Strikes" laws, which can lead to enhanced prison sentences for repeat criminal offenders. The punishment for kidnapping may vary anywhere from three to eight years in a state prison if the victim is over the age of 14, and is not physically harmed during the process. If, as in Hollywoods case, the victim dies as a result of the kidnapping, then the offense is charged as First-Degree Murder, which is punished by 25 years to life in a state prison. The fact that Hollywood was not even present at the time of the murder bodes well for him, as does the nature of Markowitzs kidnapping. Investigators in the case report that Markowitz partied with his captors in the days shortly before his murder. He was even left unsupervised at one point and made no attempt to get away or call for help.

An experienced violent crimes defense attorney also knows that proving Hoyt acted on orders from Hollywood may also be difficult to prove and is one defense for Hollywood. If you are being charged with a violent criminal offense, call the attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP today. Their combined 50 years of courtroom experience in defending against criminal charges is an asset you need when you are staring at a lifetime jail sentence.

Tagged as: violent crimes defense

Multiple DUI's, A Bad Situation

Posted on: January 6, 2009 at 12:04 p.m.

Actor Rip Torn has pleaded not guilty to drunken driving charges in Connecticut, nearly two years after being fined and losing his license for similar charges in New York. The 77-year-old Salisbury resident appeared in Bantam Superior Court on Monday. He pleaded not guilty to illegal operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence and failure to drive in the proper lane. He failed part of a field sobriety exam, then gave up after saying the ground wasn't level enough, state police said. He also refused to take a breathalyzer test and used profanity while in the trooper's cruiser, police said.

Despite previous drunken driving arrests in New York, Torn may qualify for Connecticut's alcohol education program. The program is for first-time offenders and could lead to the charges being dropped after a period of probation. Torn's DUI defense attorney was able to assist him in this matter; had he been tried as a multiple offender, his jail time, fines and other penalties would have increased.

In a Manhattan case in 2004, Torn was acquitted of DUI charges after jurors said the prosecution failed to prove he was drinking before a fender-bender with a taxi, although a police videotape showed him cursing and berating officers before turning down a sobriety test.

In California, there are harsh penalties for being convicted multiple times for DUI. The court process for a DUI charge is rather complex, involving a DMV hearing as well as regular court proceedings. With a qualified DUI attorney on your side, you will understand the whole process so you are prepared for what is to come.

California DUI Trial

A California DUI trial usually takes several days. First, your DUI attorney and the prosecuting attorney will select a jury. After the jury is selected, the trial begins. There are several standard steps which will follow:

  • Opening statements
  • Examination and cross-examination of witnesses
  • Closing arguments
  • The judge will then instruct the jury as to how they can apply the facts of the case to the law and their verdict
  • Jury deliberation (deciding upon their verdict)
  • Verdict (guilty or not guilty)
  • Sentencing, decided by the judge

Throughout the entire process, our skilled DUI lawyers will be able to keep you informed and appraised as to what is going on. We believe in working directly with you to get the best outcome for your case.

Tagged as: counterfeit goods pc 350, violent crimes defense

DUI and the Police

Posted on: December 18, 2008 at 8:50 a.m.

Most people in the city of Los Angeles will have to stand before a judge, receive a life altering penalty and feel a sense of shame if they are charged with DUI. Los Angeles DUI attorneys often aren't utilized properly during these trials, and the general public suffers.

However, when it comes to police officers in one US county, DUI charges aren't a big deal. In large part, it's the successful work of the qualified DUI defense attorney that did the trick.

A DUI charge filed in November against Walton County Deputy Cullen Coraine has been dropped. Coraine's DUI defense attorney, said the state attorney's office failed to dispute his motion to dismiss the charge.

"Basically we argued the undisputed facts of the case didn't support the charges," the DUI defense attorney said. "The state attorney's office is of a like mind."

The Assistant State Attorney acknowledged that prosecutors were unable to object to the DUI defense attorney's motion because the arguments he presented were impossible to dispute.

"There was nothing contradictory," he said.

Coraine was pulled over Nov. 23 and charged with DUI and driving 80 mph in a 45-mph zone. Coraine was adjudicating guilty on the speeding charge, according to Walton County court records. The DUI defense attorney argued in his motion that his client denied he'd been drinking at all, and "there was no staggering or swaying like you see in the cookie cutter cases." He argued in his motion that Coraine declined to submit to field sobriety testing or a breath test for the officers who pulled him over Nov. 23, but told them he would allow a supervisor to administer those tests. "There was a disagreement between Cullen and others in the department over collective bargaining issues," he said.

The DUI defense attorney also argued in his motion that the Walton County officer who pulled Coraine over for speeding had no factual basis for alleging Coraine had been driving 80 mph, as he claimed. "He (Coraine) said he might have been going slightly over the speed limit," the DUI defense attorney said. "The officer who made the stop had no radar."

The DUI charge was dismissed last Wednesday.

Tagged as: violent crimes defense

Immigration Consequences from Criminal Convictions - DUI Drunk Driving Charges

Posted on: October 21, 2008 at 4:24 p.m.

The immigration consequences resulting from a conviction is a frequent issue considered by defense attorneys in Los Angeles Criminal Courts. The conventional wisdom is that criminal defendants who are not citizens may face deportation if convicted for a criminal offense, felony or misdemeanor. However deportation is not automatic, nor predictable. The reality is that the more serious the criminal offense, and greater the number of prior convictions, then the greater the likelihood that INS will begin deportation proceedings in immigration court. Sometimes however even a less serious criminal conviction leads to deportation, such a Driving Under the Influence offense (California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a)) -- which is quite atypical.

A recent Court of Appeal decision addressed this issue, holding that the U.S. Attorney General may decide by adjudication that a non-citizen's individual crime was

Tagged as: california criminal laws, immigration consequences, violent crimes defense

Hit and Run: Dangerous for the Victim and the Accused

Posted on: September 24, 2008 at 11:54 a.m.

Hit and run is the crime of colliding with a person, their personal property (including their motor vehicle), or a fixture, and failing to stop and identify oneself afterwards. Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys who defend the accused in such cases understand the severity of the charges and the penalties.

In Los Angeles recently, an alleged hit and run driver was behind bars after a hit and run accident, in which a woman was fatally struck in a Northridge crosswalk, police said. The woman was arrested after the accident on a hit and run charge in the 10300 block of North Lindley Avenue.

The victim died on the spot about 5:25 p.m., a fire department spokeswoman said. The suspect vehicle was westbound on Devonshire when it went through a red light, striking the victim, who was walking south across Lindley.

Police found the white sport utility vehicle that struck the woman abandoned near Devonshire and Reseda Boulevard, Lee said. The victim of the hit and run accident is believed to have been a Cal State Northridge student, because of the papers and books she was carrying at the time of the crash.

According to California Penal Code 20001:
The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to any person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of any person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident. Any person who violates this law shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison, or in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000, or by both that imprisonment and fine. If the accident results in death or permanent, serious injury, any person who violates this law shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not less than 90 days nor more than one year, or by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000, or by both that imprisonment and fine. However, the court, in the interests of justice and for reasons stated in the record, may reduce or eliminate the minimum imprisonment required by this paragraph.

Before a person is sentenced for committing hit and run, the court will evaluate a variety of factors such as the nature of the accident, if any person was injured during the accident, the severity of the other person

Tagged as: violent crimes defense

Handling DMV Hearings

Posted on: August 25, 2008 at 9:43 a.m.

A DMV hearing is an administrative proceeding regarding the suspension or revocation of your driving privilege only, so it is unlike a court case. Both the State and Federal Constitutions provide that no person shall be deprived of property without due process of law. Due process of law entitles the accused to a notice of the action the DMV intends to take against a person's driving privilege and an opportunity to be heard, hence the term "hearing." After being arrested for driving under the influence, the accused has 10 days to schedule a hearing with the DMV.

The hearing has nothing to do with guilt or innocence, it strictly has to do with the person's privilege and the circumstances surrounding the arrest. During the proceeding, the following matters are discussed:
- Whether or not the accused took a blood, breath or urine test
- Whether the police officer had reasonable cause to believe the accused was driving a motor vehicle in violations of state codes and laws
- Whether the accused was placed under lawful arrest.
- Whether the accused was driving with a .08% or more by weight of alcohol in their blood

If a person refuses a blood, breath or urine test, then the proceeding will, in addition to the officer's proof and arrest procedure, check:
- Whether the accused was told that if s/he refused to submit to, or fail to complete, a test that person's driving privilege would be suspended for one year or revoked for two to three years
- Whether the police actually requested a blood, breath or urine test

A DUI attorney may actually represent you at the hearing. Simply having an attorney present may greatly increase the chances of getting the license back until trial, and may even help in the future with a DUI trial.

After being pulled over and arrest for DUI in Los Angeles, the arresting officer will confiscate the driver's license of the accused and hand over a pink slip (called at "Notice of Suspension," which acts a temporary 30-day license during the DMV hearing and DUI trial. After receiving the pink slip, the accused or the DUI lawyer has 10 days to schedule a DMV hearing.

The Los Angeles DUI attorneys at Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin LLP specialize in the aggressive defense of DUI charges resulting from drunk driving arrests throughout Southern California. Our attorneys are Former Senior Los Angeles Prosecutors with more than 50 years experience litigating DUI charges in court and at DMV hearings.

Tagged as: violent crimes defense

DUI and Probation

Posted on: July 22, 2008 at 1:52 p.m.

A Driving Under the Influence conviction most likely bring with it some form of probation, whether or not jail time is involved. Probation usually gives a certain length of time in which the convicted must stay clear of similar convictions. For example, Khloe Kardashian, featured on E! Entertainment Television's "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" reality show and daughter of Los Angeles attorney Robert Kardashian, had to report to jail for violating her probation in relation to a prior DUI conviction.

A judge earlier this month sentenced the 24-year-old to up to 30 days in jail after she admitted violating her probation by failing to enroll in an alcohol education class and clean up roadside trash.

Jail overcrowding forced officials to release her early, just as they have with inmates, including other well-known personalities such as Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan.

For those individuals not blessed with celebrity, the laws can be fierce for those with multiple DUI offenses. A second offense will lead to a license suspension of up to 2 years, 96 hours to 1 year in county jail, a third offense can equal license suspension of up to 3 years, 4 months to 1 year in county jail, a fourth offense is license suspension of up to 4 years, 6 months to 3 years in county jail or state prison. All offenses may also include probation, alcohol classes or counseling, and fines of up to $1,000.

The Los Angeles DUI attorneys at Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin LLP are experienced with DUI charges, the science behind blood alcohol content and the complex legal system surrounding DUI charges.

Tagged as: counterfeit goods pc 350, violent crimes defense

Why did the police officer stop me? Example of a Motion to Suppress under Penal Code Section 1538.5

Posted on: November 27, 2007 at 12:31 a.m.

When an officer approaches you on the street, or knocks on your door at home, does that mean you are not free to leave, and/or that your must allow admission into your home? There are no clear answers and Southern California Criminal Attorneys litigate, almost daily, difficult search and seizure motions by filing Motions to Suppress pursuant to Penal Code Section 1538.5

If the situation is considered a "consentual encounter," under Search and Seizure caselaw interpreting the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, then police officers do not need a reasonable basis or reason to speak to the person, i.e. they are just making "small talk" -- which means that the officer can come up to the person and begin speaking. Of course, if you follow this train of reasoning, the person can just walk away right? Can the person just shut the door in the officer's face? While in theory the answer to both questions is yes, how many times will police officers just let the person walk away, or stand having a door slammed? Probably never. If anything, the police officer will find an articulable basis to "detain" the person, to explain his belief that the person is involved in criminal activity. This reasonable basis is required to justify law enforcement's intrusion on the person's right to privacy under the U.S. Constitution. The greater the intrusion, the greater the need to justify the search and seizure under criminal constitutional law. Thus, police officers entering a person's home requires a much greater level of lawful justification, than detaining someone on the street.

A recent court of appeal decision clarifies further for all criminal lawyers in Los Angeles - what is a "detention" (requiring justifying) under the Constitutional framework, as opposed to a consentual encouter (requiring none). The First District Court of Appear ruling states that a police officer

Tagged as: probation and sentencing laws, violent crimes defense

Criminal Defense: High-Profile Cases, Celebrity Defendants: Lohan, Hilton, and Gibson receive special treatment?

Posted on: July 29, 2007 at 7:12 p.m.

Criminal Lawyers do a disservice to their clients if they seek publicity.

The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog believes it is better to keep clients out of the news. Criminal Attorneys at Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin have represented professional athletes, television personalities, and actors. The best defense practice in smaller celebrity cases is to avoid the media, to not do interviews, or speak to the press. Even if there were no celebrities involved, but the crime received local media attention, it is still better to avoid publicity (unless of course the prosecutors or the police have sought unfair pretrial publicity causing strong public sentiment against our client!)

It is foolhardy to think that major international celebrities can be kept out of the news. The media has a field day at the arrests of Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, and Nicole Richie. These cases become fodder for papparazzi, and tabloid media outlets.

How does a L.A. criminal defense lawyer defend major-celebrity cases, beside having a P.R. firm, and publicists to assist with media inquiries. Typically it is better to dispose of these cases through an immediate settlement, known as plea bargaining, with the prosecutor's office. In this way, the client's name disappears from the front page, and any damage to reputation can be limited to a short period of time.

When a celebrity client is charged with very serious crimes that may require substantial jail time, a quick disposition is not possible in the L.A. criminal justice system. Criminal attorneys must aggressively prepare the case for trial, through a thorough defense investigation, to find weaknesses in the case. This defense evidence can be used as leverage in the plea-bargaining process, to preclude jail time, and to substitute in community service work.

Special treatment is usually not received by celebrities (except may be in front of juries in trials). Prosecutors, judges, and court staff do not want to be accused of preferential treatment. If anything, celebrity cases are much more scrutinized, and thus the flexibility that ordinary clients receive in plea-bargaining is typically not available for the celebrity -- as everyone in the criminal justice system knows that his or her decisionmaking will be scrutinized by the entire world.

Tagged as: counterfeit goods pc 350, violent crimes defense

An example of Los Angeles Criminal Defense: Lindsay Lohan's Second DUI Arrest and Its Consequences

Posted on: July 25, 2007 at 1:13 a.m.

Lindsay Lohan's first arrest happened in late May 2007 during the Memorial Day weekend. She was charged with Driving Under the Influence, a misdemeanor crime. News media reported her blood alcohol to be twice the legal limit, with traces of cocaine. During the incident, papparazi taped her running from the crashed Mercedez driver's seat, and having her bodyguard then drive the car from where it was wrecked to an underground garage. Thereafter Ms. Lohan was reported to be in staying at a rehab center, and wearing a SCRAM device on her leg to monitor the existence of any measurable blood alcohol. Yesterday Ms. Lohan was arrested for a 2nd-time DUI offense, and after her arrest the police found cocaine in her possession -- which is a felony, that cannot be reduced to a misdemeanor.

What does all this mean in terms of her court cases, and criminal defense strategy? The first legal challenge is the cocaine possession because it carries the possibility of being branded a "Felon," and stiff jail or prison sentences. Criminal Defense Lawyers who operate the Law Blog typically secure a live-in drug program for clients in these type of situations for two reasons (1) to avoid any jail time and (2) to have the felony dismissed as part of the Deferred Entry of Judgement program provided for in the California Penal Code.

The other problem for Ms. Lohan is that the second time DUI carries mandatory 96 hours in jail, and a 1-year license suspension. The Law Blog would pick the weakest of the DUI cases, and work with the prosecutor and judge to plea bargain it to a reckless driving charge (to avoid a DUI conviction!). In this way, Lindsay Lohan would have one DUI, not two, on her record and could receive a restricted license after a 30-day suspension without any jail.

This "celebrity" case, however, will have substantial media scrutiny. Most likely no one within the justice system wants to go out on a limb, to give Ms. Lohan a great plea bargain or a better deal than someone else would receive (and in fact someone may want to make an example of her just as with Paris Hilton). Accordingly, the Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyers representing her definitely have their work cut out, to keep Ms. Lohan out of jail. Prosecutors could argue that Ms. Lohan is a danger, shows a reckless disregard by driving drunk twice in a short period of time, and should spend substantial custody time as just punishment.

Tagged as: counterfeit goods pc 350, violent crimes defense

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