Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Violent Crime in Canoga Park

Posted on: May 12, 2009 at 12:29 p.m.

One of the most important ways a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can assist you is in keeping you out of prison. Violent crimes in Los Angeles are almost always prosecuted as felonies, and felonies carry automatic jail time upon conviction. Having a qualified Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who knows and understands violent crimes is vital to keeping yourself free from prison.
Canoga Park resident Hossein Shirazi was arrested by members of the Los Angeles Police Department nearly a week ago on suspicion of murdering his brother, Mohammed Reza Shirazi. Mohammed Reza Shirazi, 48, disappeared more than a year ago and while his remains have not be located, Los Angeles Police Department investigators believe Hossein Shirazi murdered him after a long and contentious dispute with his brother. Hossein Shirazi, 34, is currently being held in prison on $1 million bail while Los Angeles police look for more answers. Mohammed Reza Shirazi was last seen on April 24, 2008. Three weeks later, his family reported him missing to Los Angeles police and hired a private investigator 10 months later to further look into his disappearance. During questioning of the Shirazi family and relatives, the private investigator received information that led him to believe Mohammed Reza Shirazi had been the victim of a violent crime. Whatever that critical piece of information was, Los Angeles Police were not aware of it until the private investigator hired by the Shirazi family alerted them. Los Angeles investigators believe Mohammed Reza Shirazi met a violent end at the hands of his brother Hossein Shirazi nearly 13 months ago when he first disappeared and are still searching for the victims remains.
Violent crimes are stringently prosecuted in Los Angeles, and with good reason. Violent crimes are almost always felony criminal offenses and encompass a wide range of crimes including murder, manslaughter, domestic violence, carjacking, assault, robbery, drive by shootings and possession of illegal firearms. In the case of Hossein Shirazi, assuming Los Angeles investigators find enough evidence to charge him, being charged with a violent crime such as murder or manslaughter in Los Angeles will depend on whether or not the prosecution can prove premeditation. A murder charge is contingent upon premeditation while manslaughter is not. In general, manslaughter is a violent crime that typically happens in the heat of passion, while murder is usually planned out beforehand. The punishment in Los Angeles for a violent crime like murder is at 15 years to life in prison, while sentencing for manslaughter typically is between three and 11 years in prison. With such a long potential prison term, the best thing you can do if you find yourself being charged with a violent crime is find an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.

Call the attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP today. Their combined 50 years of experience in defending people charged with violent crimes will fight hard for your freedom.

Tagged as: jury trial defense


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jasmine on November 1, 2009 at 7:28 p.m. wrote:

This is a bad situation. I believe that there is a strong case even without a reza's body. I hope if houssain is guilty that he rots in jail for eternity.

sarah on July 30, 2009 at 12:15 p.m. wrote:

I believe that the investigator and the police know more than they are releasing to the public's knowledge, otherwise it would be ridiculous to arrest Houssain and post his bail at one million dollars. And the investigator obviously found the information more readily than the police because that was his/her main concentration. The police have many things to do and most likely were concentrating on more recent events. I agree they should have done a more thorough investigation after Reza was reported missing. We should presume nothing, only that the authorities have reason for their actions.

Ashley Harris on June 11, 2009 at 11:36 p.m. wrote:

This is an interesting case. It seems to me that the police are overstepping their boundaries by putting Hossein in jail. With no remains that would indicate cause of death, it is merely hunches that the police are relying on to put someone in jail. Reasonable doubt is aplenty in this case, at least according to the facts given in the post. The prosecutors, when this case goes to trial, have their work cut out for them. They will have to work hard to convince a jury that Hossein was responsible for his missing brother's suspected violent death. One thing they appear to have in their favor is the suspicion of the Hossein family. Their independent investigation seems to indict their son. That says something about the character of the defendant and the nature of his relationship with his family. That said, this case seems to favor the defendant due to lack of evidence.

Komel Soin UCLA on June 11, 2009 at 11:30 p.m. wrote:

I think that this case is interesting because it didn't seem to offer much proof that his brother killed him. It seems mostly assumed. And in the case that he was the one to kill him, how does anyone know whether it was premeditated or not? Such questions make it seem like true justice cannot be served as the judicial system acts as a third, uninvolved party meant to solve the dispute though it was not there to truly judge the situation, and does not know the individuals involved. How can we know that the right people are being convicted for the crimes? I feel like the method described in this case is insufficient.

Rachel Franzoia on June 11, 2009 at 10:44 p.m. wrote:

It is surprising and disturbing to me that a private investigator was able to uncover facts and evidence that the police were not able to obtain through their own searches. This causes me to wonder, if a private investigator uncovers evidence, can the police use it regardless of how it was obtained? This seems like it would allow them to easily sneak around the exclusion of illegally obtained evidence. If this were the case, it seems that the police could simply hire a third party to carry out investigations in order to slip through the cracks of the law. Furthermore, what resources does a private investigator have that allow them to uncover evidence more readily than the police?

Leilani Materon (UCLA) on June 11, 2009 at 4:46 a.m. wrote:

To set such a high bail seems to put a negative assumption on Shirazi's innocence. Regardless of the beliefs or circumstantial evidence Shirazi is still innocent until proven guilty. I still believe that comments from public officials should be neutral because the public and media (and myself!) are prone to jumping to conclusions. If individuals were to mentally fill in the gaps and suddenly make innocent assumptions it could be detrimental to having a fair and impartial system of justice. What makes this so critical is that a jury trial has not yet been set and, if this case is tried locally, we run the risk of juries having already heard what top figures think.

Lillian Smith on June 5, 2009 at 9:38 a.m. wrote:

I agree with Araksya in that this case will be especially hard to prove. Although we do not know what this 'critical piece of information' that the hired private investigator found was, even if it were extremely crucial I feel like the defense would be able to find some argument to counter it since the PI is not working for the police, but, rather, is getting paid by the family. Unless the critical piece of info was some sort of location of the remains or actual tangible evidence, I feel like any verbal proof would not be enough to convict Hossein of murder beyond a reasonable doubt.

Araksya Boyadzhyan on May 21, 2009 at 9:23 p.m. wrote:

The facts of this case, as presented, allow me to believe that not enough information has been found on Hossein Shirazi to convict him for the murder of his brother Mohammed Shirazi. The facts only state that investigators believe him to have brought ‘violent ends’ to his brother. The details of this violent situation have yet to be disclosed allowing us to assume that law enforcement does not have such information available. Although Hossein is on bail, no clear evidence has been put forth that would possibly allow a jury to convict him without reasonable doubt. Also, charging Hossein with murder rather than a lesser crime intensifies the burden of proof for the prosecution. All in all, I believe this case is going to be a difficult one to prove for its lack of concrete evidence.

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