Tag Archives: Criminal Charges

Rats! Say No to Drug Detectives!

If you’ve been arrested for Drug Sales or Transportation, there’s a chance that a detective will sit down with you and make promises he will never be able to deliver. Help him bust other sellers and he’ll make sure your case gets dropped or reduced. Say “NO Thank you.” Here’s why.

The Drug Detective has no power to get rid of your case!

No detective has the authority to sweep an arrest under the rug or tell the DA what to file. Detectives gather information on arrested individuals and have to pass it along to the D.A.’s office. They don’t have discretion to make decisions on your case. Only the DA can decide whether they will file or reject a case. So from your first conversation, the detective is already lying to you. He wants you to think that he has that power and get you to do whatever is necessary. Don’t fall for it.

It is a quick way to make deadly enemies.

Robert Deniro’s famous line to Ray Liotta in “Good fellas” is to remember these two rules, “always keep your mouth shut, and never rat on your friends” Being a confidential informant is basically setting your self up for a beatdown or worse. The people that you have to “turn on” or help bust are usually armed and on drugs. How do you think they will feel knowing you cost them their freedom and income?

The Drug Detective couldn’t care less about you.

I’ve seen many cases, where confidential informants have provided leads, helped make arrests and then find out that after they are all used up, the detective took the case over to the DA for a filing. So guess where you are now? You have a bunch of drug dealers/users waiting to get their hands on you and now youre facing county jail or prison time. And guess who is also in county jail? that’s right, the same guy you helped bust.

An Attorney must advise his client of all the possible consequences of his choices in court.

When you are facing Criminal Charges in Los Angeles, it is important to hire an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney who knows how to protect your rights and advise you of the consequences of what happens in court. I’ve represented clients in Los Angeles Criminal Courts for over a decade and firmly believe that every client needs to fully aware of their options and legal consequences before making decisions that may change their life. This recent U.S. Supreme Court decision further echoes my beliefs. If you are looking for a an experienced and aggressive Criminal Defense Lawyer in Los Angeles, please contact us for a free consultation.
Defense attorneys have a fundamental obligation to tell their immigrant clients they face possible deportation when pleading guilty to certain crimes, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

The 7-2 ruling was closely watched by the Justice Department and a number of immigrant rights groups.

“The severity of deportation — the equivalent of banishment or exile — only underscores how critical it is for counsel to inform her noncitizen client that he faces a risk of deportation,” said Justice John Paul Stevens, who wrote the opinion for the court.

“It is our responsibility under the Constitution to ensure that no criminal defendant — whether a citizen or not — is left to the ‘mercies of incompetent counsel.’ To satisfy this responsibility, we now hold that counsel must inform her client whether his plea carries a risk of deportation,” he wrote.

The high court’s conclusions affirm that constitutional guarantees of “effective assistance of counsel” extend to legal advice for noncitizens.

The appeal involves Jose Padilla, a Vietnam-era veteran living in Kentucky but originally from Honduras. He had been a resident of the United States for more than 40 years, but never applied for citizenship. He was arrested in his tractor-trailer and charged with transporting and trafficking marijuana, an “aggravated felony” under federal law.

He pleaded guilty in 2001, and said his lawyer assured him he “did not have to worry about immigration status since he had been in the country so long,” according to court records.

But the fact that the crime was an aggravated felony meant he would automatically be sent back to Honduras after serving his jail sentence. A state court said he could not withdraw his guilty plea, and that lawyers have no obligation to inform defendants on immigration.

Padilla is not related to a convicted terrorist conspirator and “enemy combatant” with the same name, who was arrested after the 9/11 attacks. That defendant is now in a federal prison serving a life term.

Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia already mandate that immigrant defendants be given the right extended by the high court. Stevens noted previous plea deals are not likely to be affected by the Supreme Court ruling.

Justice Samuel Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts agreed in this case that Padilla’s lawyer misled her client on the consequences of a guilty plea. But they said that, in general, defense attorneys cannot be forced to have a “mastery of immigration law” in service to their clients.

“A criminal defense attorney should not be required to provide advice on immigration law, a complex specialty that generally lies outside the scope of a criminal defense attorney’s expertise,” Alito wrote.

Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas disagreed entirely with the majority, saying the Constitution does not guarantee “accurate advice” to criminal defendants, immigrants or citizens alike.

Immigrant rights groups hailed the ruling as one of fundamental fairness.

“Even though most immigrants’ primary concern is their ability to stay in the U.S., they often plead guilty unaware that the result would be permanent exile from their families and communities,” said Michelle Fei, co-director of the Immigrant Defense Project. “We’re thrilled that the Supreme Court has recognized that deportation is an extreme penalty and that noncitizens have a constitutional right to legal advice about the consequences of pleading guilty.”

The case is Padilla v. Kentucky (08-651).

Hiring a criminal defense attorney at the earliest stage is key.

The easiest thing anyone facing criminal charges can do to help themselves is to get expert help from an experienced criminal defense lawyer and most importantly, get it as soon as possible.

Being arrested and charged with a crime is a process and it takes time for the process to play out.  The one thing you want to do is to have an advocate at the earliest part of that process.  Waiting “to see what happens” is by far one of the costliest things people do.  Once you are arrested and now are facing a court date, an experienced criminal defense attorney can contact the District Attorney’s Office and talk to them about the pending charges.  The prosecutors are the ones that make decisions on what charges to file, felony or misdemeanor or whether to file charges at all.

In my experience, a client has been arrested and is given a court date.  The district attorney then goes to work to figure out what charges to file.  If you don’t have an attorney at this stage, no one will be your advocate during this critical “Pre-filing” period.  if a case is somewhat weak, any information we can give the D.A. that he or she may not have could push it into a possible “DA reject” as opposed to formal charges being filed.

 The other huge mistake some people make is to go to the first court appearance by themsleves and see what happens.  What will happen 10 times out of 10 is a worse result than if you would have had a local attorney who knows that court come with you. Sometimes, irreversible damage happens when clients show up and attempt to “talk their way out of the charges.”  First of all, the D.A. will not talk to you about the facts of the case.  So save your breath on trying to explain your way out of things.  secondly, the District Attorney might make you a plead guilty offer.  You are not an attorney and hence cannot negotiate that offer.  Take it or leave it.  Worse part about all this is that most times the DA will then write down than bad offer on her files and we are stuck with that offer even if you later try to get an attorney to come in and fix things.

So, its important to hire a good criminal defense attorney but also to hire them early.  It’s like trying to do an engine overhaul on your car and realizing you need a mechanic when the engine is on the garage floor in a 100 pieces.

Charges dismissed against client charged with Vehicular Manslaughter

 

A tragic car accident that claimed the life of a passenger in one vehicle became even more tragic when our client was charged with Vehicular Manslaughter for causing the accident and the death of the passenger in the other vehicle.

 

Our client was an elderly driver with no record and the unfortunate chance of being involved in this horrible car accident.  After the police did a short investigation, they decided to file our client with criminal charges for causing the death of the victim through his negligent driving.  The accident could have been caused by anyone under the circumstances, but the criminal charges were devastating to our client. 

 

Before hiring us to represent him, our client was frightened of losing his license and the very real possibility of going to jail.  His case was filed out of the Whittier Criminal Court. 

 

Criminal Defense Attorney Anthony Arzili negotiated with the prosecutors in Whittier court for nearly 4 months.  The final result was a great success.

 On the Eve of our Jury Trial, the District Attorney agreed to dismiss the Vehicular Manslaughter against our client.  Our client pled no contest to one count of misdemeanor reckless driving and community service and was able to save his license.