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When Does DUI Become Murder?

When Does DUI Become Murder?

You have heard of the Miranda Warnings, but what about the Watson Advisement?  Pursuant to a decision by the United States Supreme Court, police must read the Miranda Warnings to all defendants upon arresting them.  As for the Watson Advisement, it belongs to California state law, and it is specific to one category of crime, namely driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs.

An officer who reads the Watson Advisement during a traffic stop for suspected DUI informs the driver that, by driving drunk or under the influence of drugs, the driver could be charged with murder if they cause a fatal collision.  A Los Angeles man is currently facing charges for murder after a fatal traffic accident two years after an officer first read him the Watson Advisement. 

If you get criminal charges for a traffic violation such as driving without a license or driving with a suspended license, do not assume that it is just another traffic ticket.  Instead, contact a Los Angeles suspended license lawyer.

Man Who Returned From the Brink of Death Causes Fatal Crash Just Hours After Leaving the Hospital

September 26, 2021, was an uneventful day for Kyu Chen of Irvine.  She went to bed early, because she needed to wake up early for work the next day.  For Luis Marcial Diaz, though, it was anything but an ordinary day.  He overdosed on fentanyl and was transported to the hospital. 

He survived, thanks to prompt treatment with naloxone, a drug that quickly reverses the effects of opioid intoxication, averting many overdose deaths.  By 4:00 in the morning on September 27, Diaz had been released from the hospital and, according to prosecutors, had already taken more drugs.  Chen had already left home and was driving to work.

While Chen was driving through the intersection of Sand Canyon Road and Irvine Center Drive, Diaz ran a red light and collided with Chen’s car.  Chen was pronounced dead at the scene.  She was 61 years old.  Now Diaz is in jail, where his bail is set at $1 million.  He is being charged with murder, and if convicted, he could face a sentence of 15 years to life in prison.  Like all defendants in criminal cases, he is presumed innocent until proven guilty, whether by pleading guilty or being convicted at trial.

Diaz first received the Watson advisement in 2019 after a car accident in Huntington Beach.  As a result of that accident, he was charged with driving without a license, DUI, and possession of nitrous oxide.  He pleaded not guilty to the charges, but the KTLA news website did not give any additional details about the outcome of the 2019 case.

Contact the Manshoory Law Group About Charges Stemming from DUI Accidents

A Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are facing criminal charges after causing a car accident while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  Your initial consultation is always free, so contact the Manshoory Law Group in Los Angeles, California, or call (877)977-7750 to discuss your case.

Halloween Driving Safety Tips

Halloween Driving Safety Tips

Halloween Drunk Driving Statistics

Halloween is one of the most popular holidays for both kids and adults, and for adults, it can often involve drinking. Sadly, this leads to some sobering statistics:

  • 44% of national fatal crashes during Halloween weekend involved a driver or motorcyclist who was above the legal blood alcohol level.
  • 38% of fatal crashes that occurred on Halloween night involved a driver or motorcyclist under the influence of alcohol.
  • 23% of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night were killed by a drunk driver.

Halloween Driving Safety Tips

The most obvious road safety tip for Halloween, and every other night of the year, is to never get behind the wheel if you have been drinking, or get in a vehicle driven by someone who may have been drinking. Here are a few other tips to stay safe on the roads this Halloween:

Keep an Eye Out

The streets are going to be full of people dressed in dark costumes, so drivers should be extra aware of pedestrians on the sidewalk. This is especially important in residential areas, where there might be excited kids running around and potentially out onto the road without warning.

Watch the other vehicles on the road as well as the pedestrians. Halloween sees a significant increase in the number of intoxicated drivers on the roads at night, so give yourself the space to react safely to an erratic driver.

Drive Slowly

In any area where there are partygoers heading between bars and clubs, or kids running from door to door, keep your speed to a minimum. You can’t always rely on pedestrians to be aware of the road, and you need to be ready to react if someone suddenly dashes out in front of you.

In particular, be extra careful around junctions and blind corners, where the impaired reactions of a drunk driver could put you in danger if they don’t see you in time.

Use Mirrors and Hazard Lights

Pay extra attention to your mirrors on Halloween, for both pedestrians and other drivers. A drunk driver is more likely to misjudge the distance between them and the vehicle ahead and is also more likely to make a mistake while attempting to pass you. Drunk drivers are also less likely to notice that you have kids on board and give you extra space, making it even more important to be aware of what is going on behind you.

While it may be tempting to turn your hazard lights on to make your vehicle more noticeable, in California it is illegal to drive with your hazard lights on without a valid reason such as a road accident or breakdown. Driving with your hazard lights on can make the roads more dangerous, as you are unable to use your turn signals to tell other drivers where you are going.

Turn on Your Headlights

Thanks to all of the darkly colored costumes people tend to wear on Halloween, they will be harder to see than usual. Turning your headlights on, even in areas well-lit by street lights, does not just make it easier for you to see. It also makes it easier for pedestrians and oncoming traffic to see you.

Avoid Passing Other Cars

If you don’t need to pass someone then don’t do it, especially if they are showing any signs of impaired driving. An intoxicated driver may swerve unpredictably as you pass, especially if they lack the awareness to notice you coming. They are also more prone to road rage and irrational decisions such as deciding to block you from re-entering the lane or race ahead of you, or other behaviors that could lead to an accident.

Eliminate Distractions at All Costs

Stay ready to react to any problem that appears on the road by avoiding distractions in your vehicles, such as loud passengers or music. Using a cell phone while driving is already illegal due to it being a dangerous distraction, but even conversation with a passenger or on a hands-free set can reduce your awareness and reaction time.

If you are involved in a drunk driving incident this Halloween and want to make sure you get the outcome you deserve, contact our lawyers immediately. Our criminal defense lawyers are well-versed in the law surrounding DUI cases and can help you fight the allegations made against you.

Criminology Professor Charged With Arson for Allegedly Starting Several Vegetation Fires in Northern California

Criminology Professor Charged With Arson for Allegedly Starting Several Vegetation Fires in Northern California

The Beach Boys album Smile, which remained unreleased for more than 35 years after it was recorded, has become a piece of California lore.  There are many reasons for the long delay in the album’s release, but one of them is that, after hearing the recording of a track inspired by the Great Fire of Chicago, Brian Wilson became paralyzed with fear and unable to continue the project.  Humans’ fear of fire is, to some extent, innate, but nowhere is fire something to fear than in California, and now even more so than in the 1960s. 

This summer, the world watched in horror as wildfires raged in California day after day, consuming mile after mile of wilderness, as well as the human-made structures in their path.  While hostile climate conditions are to blame for most wildfires, approximately ten percent of California wildfires are the result of people setting fires on purpose. 

According to Ed Norskog, a Los Angeles investigator into arson crimes, “the most dangerous criminal in the world” is the arsonist who sets a fire in the California wilderness.  If you are facing criminal charges for arson, contact a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer.

The Most Dangerous Criminal in the World

Criminologists have speculated about what motivates people to set fires that lead to the destruction of life, property, and the natural environment, and the consensus is that the stereotype of the arsonist is a bored kid who gets a kick out of the sight of fire is far too simplistic.  (Bored kids certainly exist, but they can get their kicks by lighting matches and watching them burn down or by flicking cigarette lighters; they have no need to burn down hundreds of acres of forest.)  Arsonists come from all walks of life, but what they have in common is that all of them are angry and frustrated.

Gary Maynard had plenty of reasons to be frustrated.  The poor working conditions of adjunct professors have been well documented for years, and while the pandemic has been stressful for everyone, educators during the pandemic experienced a unique kind of stress.  Maynard cobbled together a living as an adjunct instructor of criminology at several institutions, and his income was low enough that he qualified for food stamps. 

For months before the fire he set outside Susanville, his students could tell that the cracks were starting to show.  He would conduct online classes from a dark bedroom and rant about his mental health struggles, the stress of caring for his elderly father, his legal dispute with a former landlord, and his obsession with the 1978 Jonestown massacre. 

Investigators tracked the movements of his food stamp card and his phone until the day when he drove out of the parking lot of Lumberjack’s restaurant in Susanville, and out into the wildlands of northeastern California, where he lit a match and started a fire that eventually caused widespread destruction to forest, houses, and businesses.  He faces criminal charges for arson.

Contact the Manshoory Law Group About Charges of Arson

A Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are facing criminal charges for setting a fire in the wilderness or in a populated area.  Your initial consultation is always free, so contact the Manshoory Law Group in Los Angeles, California, or call (877)977-7750 to discuss your case.

East Bay Nurse Sentenced To Over Six Years For Child Exploitative Images

East Bay Nurse Sentenced To Over Six Years For Child Exploitative Images

Among people charged with the same crime, there is great variation in the time the defendants spend behind bars, whether before or after their pleas, verdicts, or sentences. In the movies, you often see defendants meeting with their lawyers in jail to prepare for their trials and then going free after the jury returns a verdict of not guilty. 

In reality, this is far from the most common outcome, since most criminal cases do not go to trial, and most defendants plead guilty.  It is just as likely that the defendant will post bail and then be free until their plea hearing or sentencing hearing.  Complying with court-ordered restrictions while free on bail can help you get a better plea deal, reducing the amount of time you will spend in jail or prison after your sentencing. 

The defendant in this week’s news story received a prison sentence after pleading guilty to crimes against children, but he was allowed to remain free until his sentencing.  If you are facing charges for a similar offense, contact a Los Angeles child pornography defense lawyer.

Judge Restricts Internet Access for Defendant Free on Bail

In October 2020, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a tip from Facebook that a user had uploaded images of child sexual abuse.  Thus began an investigation that traced the images to an IP address belonging to Shawn Jamison Prichard, 41, a registered nurse from the East Bay Area.  The investigation revealed that Prichard’s devices contained more than 600 sexually explicit images of prepubescent children, infants, and toddlers.

In February 2021, Prichard was charged with possession of images of child sexual abuse, and in March, he pleaded guilty to the charge.  Pending his sentencing, the judge allowed him to go free after his partner Jeffrey Kwan paid $5,000 toward Prichard’s bond; the original bond amount was $50,000.  While free on bond, Prichard was not allowed to access the Internet, except through a court-issued smartphone.  He was also forbidden to have contact with minors, except when those minors’ parents were present.

At Prichard’s sentencing hearing in August, the court sentenced Prichard to 78 months in federal prison, with his sentence to begin on September 29.  (If Prichard had been found guilty at trial, he could have faced up to 20 years in prison.) 

Another hearing has been scheduled for October; at this hearing, the court will determine how much Prichard must pay in restitution to the victims depicted in the images he possessed.  Pursuant to the federal Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act of 2018, the court may order defendants convicted of possession of child exploitative images to pay restitution to the victims even in cases where the defendant had no role in creating the image.

Contact an Attorney for Help Today

A Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are being accused of possessing images of child sexual abuse.  Your initial consultation is always free, so contact the Manshoory Law Group in Los Angeles, California, or call (877)977-7750 to discuss your case.

Reality TV Personality Avoids Jail Time After Domestic Violence Arrest

Reality TV Personality Avoids Jail Time After Domestic Violence Arrest

Hearing the word “probation” at a sentencing hearing can be a relief if the other option was jail, but probation does not mean complete freedom.  The punishments for a minor offense are much tougher when you are already on probation than they would be if you had been acquitted of the previous charges. 

The terms of your probation can make it against the law for you to do things that are otherwise legal, such as living with housemates instead of with your parents, and if you break these rules, the judge can send you to jail.  The best way to ensure that you finish your probation without incidents that prolong it is to work closely with a Los Angeles probation and probation violations lawyer.

Ronnie of Jersey Shore and His Domestic Violence Cases

Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, who has appeared on several seasons of the reality TV show “Jersey Shore”, has a daughter named Ariana, who was born in 2018.  Ortiz-Magro ended his relationship with Ariana’s mother Jen Harley when Ariana was a newborn, and they have been co-parenting ever since. 

In October 2019, Ortiz-Magro was arrested after an altercation with Harley and charged with a felony of domestic violence.  Pursuant to a plea deal, the court sentenced him to probation.  One of the conditions of his probation was to complete court-ordered alcohol rehabilitation and to undergo mental health counseling; he has done this.

In April 2021, Ortiz-Magro got arrested on felony domestic violence charges again, this time for an altercation with his girlfriend Saffire Matos; Ortiz-Magro and Matos have since become engaged.  Another domestic violence arrest when you are already on probation for domestic violence could be bad news. 

Since the arrest did not result in new criminal charges, he could have had to spend a month in jail for violating his probation.  With the help of his lawyers, though, Ortiz-Magro was able to avoid jail time after the April 2021 arrest.

Instead, he must complete 26 sessions of parenting classes; he must also comply with a three-year protective order regarding his relationship with Matos.  It is unclear how their engagement affects the protective order.

Sentences involving court-ordered alcohol or drug rehabilitation as a term of probation are becoming increasingly common in California and other states.  The idea behind these types of sentences is that incarcerating people is costly to taxpayers and harmful to incarcerated people and their families.  Courts increasingly take the attitude that many criminal offenses are simply symptoms of addiction, not only drug possession and DUI but also other crimes such as theft and low-level fraud.

Contact the Manshoory Law Group About Probation Violations

As long as you are on probation, you are in danger of your probation being extended or of going to jail or prison, but a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can help you avoid complicating your probation sentence.  Your initial consultation is always free, so contact the Manshoory Law Group in Los Angeles, California, or call (877)977-7750 to discuss your case.

Co-Founder of Online Charter School Sentenced for His Role in Defrauding the Public

Co-Founder of Online Charter School Sentenced for His Role in Defrauding the Public

Many students who were forced to make the chaotic transition to online schooling found their online classes uninspiring, but some students prefer taking classes online.  Even before the pandemic, some students in California chose to enroll in online charter schools. 

This setup offered students a refuge from classroom bullies and enabled them to travel frequently because of their own participation in extracurricular activities or their parents’ work.  At their best, charter schools offer the kinds of educational enrichment and low student-to-teacher ratios once reserved for expensive private schools, which is why the state is willing to invest public funds in them. 

One charter school company in California turned out to be a fake, offering the students a small fraction of the services it promised and misrepresenting the number of students enrolled so that it received more public funds than it was entitled to receive. 

If you are facing criminal charges for misusing taxpayer funds in the context of your work, contact a Los Angeles financial crimes defense lawyer.

Defendant’s Prison Sentence Will Not Require Him to Set Foot in a Penitentiary

Jason Schrock is one of the founders of the A3 charter school network in San Diego and nearby counties, which ceased to operate in early 2019 after an investigation revealed that the school’s administrators defrauded taxpayers by falsifying enrollment documents about the number of students enrolled and by providing instruction that fell far short of state requirements for charter schools. 

By the time the A3 schools closed, Schrock and his co-conspirators had defrauded California taxpayers out of more than $400 million.  Nine defendants were arrested in connection with the scheme and charged with fraud and other financial crimes.

Since his arraignment in May 2019, Schrock has been on house arrest in Orange County.  He has cooperated thoroughly with the investigation, handing over all the money that was under the control of A3 schools when they closed and providing thorough records and documents from throughout the school’s history.  He later pleaded guilty, and the judge considered Schrock’s efforts to repair the harm he had caused.

In September 2021, Schrock received a sentence of four years in prison and an $18.75 million fine.  California law requires that he receive credit for remaining on house arrest for more than 750 days before his sentencing, and it is likely that he will never have to report to prison to complete his sentence. 

The other founder of A3 schools, Sean McManus, is under house arrest in Australia and has also pleaded guilty. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 2022; his sentence will likely also include an $18.75 million fine.

Contact the Manshoory Law Group About Allegations of Fraud

A Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are being accused of fraud, money laundering, or other financial crimes, especially in the context of a business you operated.  Your initial consultation is always free, so contact the Manshoory Law Group in Los Angeles, California, or call (877)977-7750 to discuss your case.

What Happens When Someone Presses Charges Against You?

What Happens When Someone Presses Charges Against You?

What does it mean to press charges against someone?

Pressing charges against someone means prosecuting a criminal case against a suspect of a crime. This is done by a prosecutor, not the victim of the crime. While the victim of a crime is not responsible for pressing charges, you usually need to file a police report about a crime someone committed against you to enable the prosecutor to press charges, and your report will provide key testimony for the case.

Unlike when you sue someone, you are not responsible for organizing or paying for the prosecution of the case. Also unlike when you sue someone, you will not benefit financially from the outcome of the case if it is decided in court; however, you can agree to accept financial compensation as part of a plea bargain, often in exchange for you pressing a charge that carries less severe punishment.

How Does Police Decide Whether to Press Charges?

The police also do not press charges against you, but they do file a report of their own which factors into the prosecutor’s decision of whether to press charges or not.

How Does a Prosecutor Decide to Press Charges?

The prosecutor starts the decision-making process by reviewing all of the evidence of the case, the complaint itself, and police reports of the alleged crime.

Next, the prosecutor must review the strength of the case, and whether prosecuting it is a good use of public resources. In other words, if the prosecutor believes that pressing charges is unlikely to result in a conviction, they may decide not to do it. This decision will consider the relevant local laws and legal precedents, the suspect’s prior criminal history, and the expected level of cooperation from victims and witnesses.

They also need to consider whether it is worth allocating some of the prosecution office’s limited resources to pressing charges in this case. For example, if the prosecution office is focusing its resources on serious crimes such as violent felonies and homicides, they may decide not to spend their resources on pressing minor fraud charges.

In some states, the prosecutor will present the evidence of the case to a grand jury. The grand jury will hear the prosecutor’s case against the defendant and decide whether the evidence of the case supports the criminal charges being proposed or not. This decision does not decide whether or not the defendant is guilty. If the grand jury decides that the available evidence justifies pressing charges against the defendant, they will issue an indictment, allowing the prosecutor to proceed with the case.

What Happens If the Prosecutor Refuses to Press Charges?

If the prosecutor concludes that there is not enough evidence to put forward a case, or that they want to focus their resources elsewhere, they can decide not to press charges against the defendant.

As a general rule, the prosecutor cannot be forced to press charges if they decide against it. Their decision is not necessarily final, however. If they are put under political or public pressure to press charges, they may choose to re-review the case or put it in front of a grand jury to be sure that they made the right decision. This can happen at any time after their decision not to press charges until the statute of limitations on those charges expires.

The statute of limitations means that depending on the charge, there is a time limit on the prosecutor’s ability to press charges. Once that amount of time has passed after the alleged crime took place, the defendant can file a motion to dismiss the case outright, and judges have to accept that motion. Unless the defendant feels a need to clear their name in the public eye, they have no real reason to defend themselves against a case they can dismiss in this way.

How Do You Know if Someone Presses Charges Against You?

There are a few ways you find out if someone has pressed charges against you.

It is a common myth that police have to tell you what you are being charged with when they arrest you. If you are arrested, there is no legal requirement to inform you of your charges until a hearing called an arraignment. At the arraignment, you will hear the charges being pressed against you, and say whether you are going to plead guilty or not guilty. A Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can help you find out a lot of the information you need when you are in custody and not getting any answers from the police.

There are ways to find out about charges that have been pressed against you before your arrest or arraignment, however. Police reports are public documents, and you have a right to read police reports about incidents you are alleged to have been involved in. If you are having charges pressed against you, they will be in the police report.

If you have not been arrested but you think there may be charges filed against you that you want to prepare for, you can contact the local criminal court and ask if there are any court dates, bench warrants, or pending cases filed against you. The sooner you find out about charges against you, the sooner you can contact an investigations lawyer to improve your hand at the pre-trial negotiations.

You can also ask the police to perform a check for charges against you. If they are investigating your involvement in a crime but have not pressed charges yet, they do not have to tell you that they are investigating you.

How long can someone press charges against you?

The statute of limitations on the charges determines how long after the incident they can be pressed. This could be as short as a year or two for minor offenses, while serious crimes can have a time limit measured in decades or no time limit at all.

If you have been taken into police custody, there is a much shorter time limit on how long you can be held before hearing your charges. Depending on local law, your arraignment usually has to happen within 2 or 3 days of your arrest. After that, the prosecutor can still decide to press charges against you, but you cannot be held in jail longer than that without charges.

Can you go to jail if someone presses Charges?

The police do not always arrest you and take you to jail if someone files a report against you, or if the prosecutor decides to press charges. Whether or not you will go to jail before your court decision depends on how much you are considered a risk, either in terms of your likelihood of going on the run, of committing further crimes, or of influencing the victims and witnesses of your case (which also falls under the category of committing further crimes). This decision is also determined by your charges and criminal history.

How Can I Fight Charges Pressed Against Me in California?

If someone is pressing charges against you in California, Manshoory Law Group can help you organize an independent investigation of the incident, prepare a stronger defense, or get a better deal in a plea bargain. Before your trial, we can also help get you out of jail by fighting to reduce your bail amount and helping you secure bail bonds. Contact the best lawyer in LA for a free consultation of your case.

You Can’t Go to Jail for Stealthing, but the Proposed Law Sends the Message That Consent Matters

You Can’t Go to Jail for Stealthing, but the Proposed Law Sends the Message That Consent Matters

The law makes very few restrictions on sexual acts that take place between consenting adults. People are free to engage in sexual activity as long as it does not harm anyone; harm occurs when one of the people involved in the activity does not or cannot consent to the act. Consent is what separates sexuality from sex crimes. 

Non-consensual sex acts do not always involve physical coercion or threats of violence; sometimes they are non-consensual because the victim’s age or state of health made them unable to provide meaningful consent. Likewise, a sexual act is non-consensual if the aggressor verbally deceives the victim about what is happening or will happen.  If you are facing charges for engaging in a sex act without the victim’s consent, contact a Los Angeles sexual assault and battery lawyer.

What the Proposed Anti-Stealthing Law Does and Does Not Say

California Penal Code 243.4 currently defines the crime of sexual battery as touching intimate parts of a victim’s body without the victim’s consent.

It includes all of the following in the definition of lack of consent:

  • The perpetrator or an accomplice physically restrained the victim
  • The victim was asleep or unconscious
  • The victim has a severe disability that precludes them from the ability to consent
  • The victim verbally expresses their lack of consent

What if the victim consents to penetrative sexual contact but not to unprotected sex?  In other words, what if the victim consents to sex while the perpetrator is wearing a condom, but the perpetrator then removes the condom without the victim’s knowledge?  Does that mean that the sexual act became non-consensual once it became unprotected? 

The practice of “stealthing,” that is, removing a condom during sex without one’s partner’s knowledge, is disturbingly common, but until now, it has existed in a legal gray area.

The discovery of the HIV virus has changed the conversation around consent.  Even with the widespread availability of HIV testing, antiretroviral medications that make the virus much less transmissible, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), unprotected sex carries a greater risk of HIV transmission than using condoms.  In other words, someone who consents to protected sex is accepting a different level of HIV exposure risk than someone who consents to unprotected sex.

California Governor Gavin Newsom is currently imposing a bill that would include stealthing in the civil definition of sexual battery but not the criminal definition.  Therefore, victims of stealthing could sue their assailants in civil court, but the court could not send you to jail for stealthing.  Likewise, getting sued for stealthing would not mean that you would have to register as a sex offender.

Contact the Manshoory Law Group About Allegations of Sexual Battery

A criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are being accused of sexual battery, but you believe that the act was consensual.  Your initial consultation is always Free, so contact the Manshoory Law Group in Los Angeles, California, or call (877)977-7750 to discuss your case.

Will You Be Convicted If You “Stand Your Ground” in California?

Will You Be Convicted If You “Stand Your Ground” in California?

If you took proactive actions against another party and harmed them in self-defense, you could still be arrested for criminal charges. Depending on the circumstances and details of your situation, it is possible that you were well-within-your-right to act the way that you did. Potentially, your behavior fell under California’s Stand Your Ground laws. If not, you may be facing violent crime charges which come with severe legal repercussions.

It is critically important that if you are facing criminally violent charges in California that you don’t brush them off, but rather, take them very seriously. Calling the Manshoory Law Group is a good start. Shaheen F. Manshoory is an aggressive and competent trial attorney in Los Angeles who specializes in criminal defense law in the state of California.

The skilled legal team at the Manshoory Law Group is dedicated to fighting to protect the rights and freedoms of individuals facing criminal charges in Orange County, California, and other surrounding areas.

When Does California Law Call Violent Actions Self-Defense?

Even if you had the purest of intentions simply wanting to defend yourself or your loved one against another party’s aggression, it is still possible to be convicted of a violent crime in California and sent to jail. If you are arrested for violent actions you took against another party in self-defense you will go to court. There will be an aggressive prosecutor trying to secure your guilt. To do so, that prosecutor will have to clearly show that the actions you took were not in self-defense.

Under the law in California, if you behaved in a certain way because you reasonably believed that you were:

  • In a position where your life was in jeopardy, you could sustain physical bodily harm, or be touched in an unlawful way.
  • Your thoughts about your position were rational and reasonable as to why you acted forcefully to avoid death, physical harm, or unwarranted touching.
  • You didn’t use an excessive amount of force to stop the danger you reasonably believed was coming your way. Instead, you used an understandable amount of force only to prevent another party from hurting you.

You may have a case for self-defense. California “Stand Your Ground” Laws mean that you do not have to retreat in the face of danger. You can though, defend yourself physically if necessary until you can get the threat to leave if the threat faced is believed to be something that you think will cause you physical bodily harm. 

Even in cases where retreating could have been a practical reaction, people in the state of California are not required to run away from a threat. Confronting a perceived threat could fall under “Stand Your Ground” Laws.

Speak to a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you are making the case for self-defense, you need to have the jury believe that the way you acted was reasonable for anyone to respond in the same situation. The jury needs to believe that another party in the same circumstances would also feel immediate danger and would counter that situation with similar actions.

Having a persuasive and knowledgeable Los Angeles criminal defense attorney is a good way to improve your chances of making this happen. Call the Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers today to discuss your case at (877) 977-7750.

Harvey Weinstein Gets One Count of Sexual Battery Against Him Dismissed

The case against Harvey Weinstein for sexual assault and battery that several women have made against him has made prime-time news. It has also remained in the news as his trial lingers on. With more prominent men being called out for improper or even criminal behavior, the question remains, does a woman’s claim always lead to a guilty verdict for a man she is accusing?  

Sexual assault cases can be highly tense and emotional. There are many who have very passionate feelings about how men have used their influence over women to take advantage of them and harm them sexually. Overcoming a sexual assault charge in Los Angeles or anywhere else is not easy. Once a claim has been made, even if it can be proven illegitimate, these assertions can still weigh heavy on a person’s life for the long term. 

Today, it is commonly said to “always believe the woman”. While many women are brave for coming forward and telling their stories, not every accuser is credible or honest. Specifically, when it comes to famous and powerful people, the craving for money and notoriety could be the outcome some accusers are seeking.

This is something that is seen often, where reasonable and trustworthy accusers are lumped in with those that are trying to take advantage of the situation and deceive for their own personal gain. It is important to carefully approach these cases with care and detail so that the best outcome can result for defendants facing such egregious and life-altering allegations.

How did Harvey Weinstein Get an Accuser’s Sexual Assault Claims Dismissed?

Weinstein is a famous movie producer, who was indicted on 11 counts of rape and forcible oral copulation. Harvey Weinstein’s criminal defense team claimed that there were at least three of these criminal complaints that were filed after the statute of limitations had expired. The statute of limitations is the period of time that a person has to file a claim against another party.

There is a defined timeframe that both civil and criminal suits can be legally filed against someone else. If a claim is filed outside of that specific time frame, then it is likely that the court will throw the case out, and plaintiffs will not have the ability to recover financial compensation or punitive repercussions.

Each state has its own laws with regard to what the statute of limitations is for specific actions. For example, a personal injury claim in California has a statute of limitation that typically is two years from the date that the injury accident took place. The California statute of limitations for the charges in question for Harvey Weinstein is 10 years.

Harvey Weinstein’s criminal defense attorneys argued to have three charges thrown out because filings were made outside of the statute of limitations. However, Lisa Lench, the judge in the case, did not permit two charges to be dismissed under these arguments that took place between 2004 and 2005. The judge did though, permit one claim that alleged sexual battery took place in 2010 to be dropped.

While the job that Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys have to clear his name is going to be challenging, the one thing the movie mogul has on his side is his talented and experienced legal defense team fighting for him.

Speak to a Los Angeles Sex Crime Attorney Today

If you have been charged with sex crimes in California, you could face very serious legal repercussions not to mention social disgrace and implications if you are convicted. The Los Angeles sex crime defense attorneys at the Manshoory Law Group can help.

Due to the significant damage that can happen to your life if you are convicted of sex crimes in California, it is imperative that you have the most effective and qualified Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys protecting your interests. Call the Manshoory Law Group today to schedule your Free Consultation at (877) 977-7750.

Should a Defendant Testify in Their Own Los Angeles Criminal Case?

Should a Defendant Testify in Their Own Los Angeles Criminal Case?

Robert Durst, the New York real estate beneficiary is going to, in a rare twist of events, actually testify in his own criminal murder case in a Los Angeles County Court. Robert Durst will become a critical component of his own defense strategy. Many murder trials avoid having the defendant testify, yet Durst’s team has suggested they want him to speak before the court.

While having a defendant being charged with murder testify as a part of their own defense strategy is extremely risky, it has been successful for some defendants. This is specifically true with respect to Durst’s questionable past. Durst isn’t just going on the stand to defend himself for one murder, he has done this before. The real estate heir was previously charged with killing his neighbor in the early 2000s. Even though Durst did say that he dismembered the man and threw his body parts away, Rober Durst was still found not guilty of murder.

Whether it is the decision to testify as a defendant or to stay quiet, a qualified and skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney will be best positioned to determine the right strategy for success. Rober Durst’s attorneys made the bet before and it worked out. Potentially, they believe that the same circumstances make sense for his current murder trial. Only time will tell, but what Durst knows is what many criminal defendants must understand. This is that the quality of your legal defense is what sits between your freedoms and liberties and your incarceration. 

Why Would Your Attorney Keep You From Testifying in Your California Criminal Case?

Typically, if you declare you are not guilty of doing something you are accused of, you shouldn’t go around yelling about how innocent you are. Most of the time in criminal trials, criminal defense attorneys will keep their clients from testifying in court. Defendants are not legally required to testify so if there is no reason for this to happen it doesn’t have to. There are no real grounds for a person to get on a stand and potentially harm their case if they do not have to be there in the first place.

Some situations warrant a defendant to testify. This would be when there is the case of a reasonable, emotional, and bond-worthy story that a defendant has to tell which could make their case to the jury. Even still, a moving defendant can face serious risks when it comes to the outcome of their case.

Because the burden of proof to find guilt is on the prosecution, once the person accused of a crime goes on the stand, now they are taking some heat off of the prosecution. Even if the story a defendant is giving is truthful, if a jury cannot connect with the defendant or doesn’t like them, then it is highly likely a guilty verdict will result. 

In the absence of a defendant testifying, it is all upon their attorney to deconstruct the prosecution’s case. When this happens no personal feelings of a juror to the defendant will be present. When a defendant has a competent defense, breaking down the prosecution’s case without having a defendant testify, is much more viable and more likely to result in a favorable outcome.

Speak with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Today

The Manshoory Law Group is strictly focused on only working on criminal defense cases in Los Angeles. The skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at the Manshoory Law Group know how to handle tough and aggressive prosecution against you if you have been charged with a crime. To schedule a free consultation with the Manshoory Law Group to discuss your Los Angeles criminal charges, please call (877) 977-7750.

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