Although it falls on a Tuesday this year, many Angelinos will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day today and that likely involves drinking lots of green beer.  The problem then arises when the celebration is over and it’s time to go home.  It is at this moment when many will choose to get in their car and make that journey while legally intoxicated.  Remember, buzzed driving is likely, and technically, legally drunk driving.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is planning to deploy “rolling DUI patrols” in a few of their high-incident areas, in addition to the normal enforcement operations.  The Los Angeles Police Department will be setting up checkpoints in Downtown and Hollywood and will be conducting “saturation patrols” in other areas where DUI incidents are high.  According to the Sheriff’s Department, St. Patrick’s Day has typically been a day of higher than normal drunken-driving fatalities and that nearly 75% of those DUI fatalities involved drivers whose blood alcohol concentration was double the legal limit of 0.08%.

While the general public knows that DUI enforcement is high on holidays, especially one like St. Patrick’s Day, many will still think they are sober enough to drive or will drive without regard to how intoxicated they are.  Getting arrested for, and convicted of, a DUI in Los Angeles County can bring the potential for jail time, a license suspension or revocation, a period of probation, community service, fines and fees to the court, the need to install an ignition device in your vehicle and the possibility of losing your job.  Depending on the circumstances, some of these consequences can be more or less severe and it is always a good idea to act on an arrest earlier than later.

You have 10 days from the date of arrest to contact the DMV and request an Administrative Per Se hearing regarding the suspension of your driving privilege and a stay on that suspension pending the outcome of this hearing.  If you do not contact the DMV within those first 10 days, your driving privilege will be suspended automatically and you will not have the ability to challenge the DMV.

Furthermore, the earlier you contact attorney Ross Erlich, the earlier steps can be taken to open up communication with the prosecuting agency and to discuss potential mitigating steps that you can take prior to your first court date.  Taking these steps can lead to a reduction in charges or other potential benefits to your case.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI in Los Angeles County, Hollywood, Koreatown, Burbank, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood or anywhere in Southern California, contact attorney Ross Erlich as soon as possible for a free case consultation.  Attorney Ross Erlich handles DUI matters in the Metropolitan Court, Airport Court, East LA Court, Burbank Court and all courts in Southern California.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department just announced that they will be testing body cameras on dozens of deputies at selected stations as part of a six-month pilot program.

The Sheriff’s spokesperson says that 96 cameras are being tested and that deputies in the Antelope Valley and harbor region have already been wearing them.  The LAPD has been testing cameras on 30 officers working on foot patrols in Downtown Los Angeles for a nine-month period with plans on rolling out hundreds more next year.

As you may recall, the U.S. Justice Department found that the Antelope Valley Sheriff’s Deputies had been discriminating against blacks and Latinos with unconstitutional stops, searches and seizures and by using excessive force.  The use of these body cameras, it is presumed, is to correct this problem, repair the image of the Sheriff’s Department, and to make sure that there is video evidence to support the claims of either the law enforcement officer or the civilian.

Many in the public have been wandering why it has taken so long for law enforcement to start instituting body cameras in this day in age.  They cite the fact that many officers wear audio recording equipment and an increasing number of police vehicles have on-board dash cameras to record traffic stops and investigations.  A common argument has been that if all officers wore body cameras, we would have first-hand evidence of what really transpired during an incident or an alleged civil rights violation.

You might be asking yourself, what does this mean to me?  Well, it means that you should start paying a little more attention to your actions and words if stopped by law enforcement.  It means that soon are the days where there is no longer a “he said, she said” issue at the heart of a criminal case, but instead actual video footage of someone’s words, admissions, physical altercations and the like.

It can also mean that law enforcement personnel must now watch their actions more closely and be careful with what they say to people and how they handle their investigation and initial contact.  For example, cameras can make it easier to show the officer did not read you your Miranda warnings or prove that you were wrongfully accused.

If you have questions regarding what to do if stopped by the cops or if you have been arrested and are facing a criminal charge in Los Angeles, contact attorney Ross Erlich today for a free consultation.  Attorney Ross Erlich handles all felonies and misdemeanors in California and can properly advise you on how best to resolve the matter.

A Glendale police sergeant has been charged with soliciting an undercover cop for sex in a Las Vegas casino earlier this month.

On August 8, the officer, allegedly, offered an undercover female cop $250, plus $25 in gas money, for sex.  The police report states that the sergeant got up from playing blackjack at approximately 2 a.m. and began talking to the undercover cop.  After he asked if she was a cop, and denying that he was himself one, the discussion turned to what services were available for purchase.

The Glendale police chief has acknowledged that the department is aware of this incident in Las Vegas and will likely wait until the incident is resolved in court before the department decides what action to take against the sergeant.

Solicitation of prostitution is treated as a crime of moral turpitude in California and any conviction for that crime may result in the loss of your job or create immigration issues if you are not a citizen of this country.  In addition to the crime being one involving moral turpitude comes the stigma of being convicted of a crime involving the solicitation of sex for money.  While solicitation of prostitution is not the most serious of criminal offenses, it is one that should be handled with care and resolved in a way as to avoid having a conviction for that on your record.

If you have been arrested, charged or cited for misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution in Los Angeles, contact attorney Ross Erlich today for a free consultation.  It is important to know your rights and your options before you go to court and simply plead guilty.  While going to court on your own to “get it over with” may seem to be the easiest and quickest way to resolve the matter, it can often lead to more difficult problems down the line.

Attorney Ross Erlich has handled many prostitution cases that resulted in complete dismissals by the prosecutor, getting the charge changed to protect clients’ records, or even having the charges reduced.  If you have been cited to appear at the Airport Court, Van Nuys Court, Burbank Court, Pasadena Court or the East Los Angeles Court for a prostitution-related offense, talk to attorney Ross Erlich first.

A 17-year-old pedestrian was killed, and his brother seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident in North Hollywood that may have been the result of a street race.  LAPD Valley Traffic Division stated that it appeared the brothers were not in a crosswalk when they were struck.

Witnesses told the officers at the scene the suspect vehicle, which appeared to be racing another vehicle, fled the scene and got onto the freeway.

Being charged with a hit-and-run is a serious offense in Los Angeles County and something that local law enforcement agencies are taking more seriously as the number of incidents keep going up.  A conviction for a hit-and-run can result in up to 6 months in the County Jail and a $1,000 fine.  Additionally, there may be probation to the court for up to 3 years, victim restitution, court fines and 2 points on your driving record.

If you have been charged with hit-and-run in Southern California, it is important to talk to your attorney about the possibility of a civil compromise.  If the facts are appropriate, and your attorney can get the victim on board, a successful civil compromise will permanently suspend criminal proceedings against you and you can avoid a conviction, jail, probation and points on your license.

Being charged with street racing or speed contest is another, more serious, charge and can lead to greater penalties if convicted under that code.  Penalties for being convicted of “street racing” include a minimum of 24 hours in County Jail (and up to 90 days max), up to a $1,000 fine and 40 hours of mandatory community service.  In addition, the judge can order your drivers license suspended for anywhere between 90 days to 6 months.  If the race caused injury to another person other than you, the mandatory jail time goes up to 30 days and a minimum $500 fine.

If you have been arrested for, or charged with, hit-and-run or street racing in Los Angeles, contact attorney Ross Erlich immediately for a free consultation.  Ross Erlich has handled these matters in all courthouses in Southern California and has gotten these charges dismissed and reduced.  It is important to know your rights and not walk into court and simply plead guilty.  As this blog demonstrates – doing so may seriously impact your freedom and ability to operate a vehicle.

A task force consisting of combined Los Angeles County law enforcement agencies arrested 414 people on suspicion of DUI during the first 3 days of the Fourth of July weekend.  The arrests were made between 12:01 a.m. on Thursday and 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.

The arrests, while seemingly high in number, are actually down more than 15% compared to the same time period last year and are up by more than 22% statewide so far this year.  As is always the case, holiday weekends are times when the roads are heavily patrolled by law enforcement and are times when DUI task forces and special units are set up to make arrests.

If you have been arrested for a DUI, it is important not to simply wait until your court date to “figure things out.”  First and foremost; you must contact the DMV within 10 days from the date of arrest to request an Administrative Per Se hearing concerning your driving privilege and a stay on the suspension pending the outcome of that hearing. If you fail to do so, your license will be suspended automatically without any sort of hearing and without the ability for you to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses.

Aside from the potential license implications, a DUI conviction may lead to jail time, court fines, probation, community service, mandatory alcohol programs and other penalties.  For a more detailed explanation of the process, click here.

Many different factors can impact the outcome of your DUI arrest.  Some of these factors include: Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC), nature of driving before being pulled over, health conditions, whether you had a valid driver’s license at the time of the arrest, what type of chemical test you submitted to and many others.

What is important to know if you are pulled over for suspicion of DUI is that you are under no obligation to answer any of the officer’s questions about where you were coming from, what you’ve had to drink, etc…  You are also not under any obligation to submit to the mobile PAS device (commonly known as “the breathalyzer”) and that you may elect to take a blood or breath test at the police station.

If you have been arrested or charged with a DUI in Los Angeles, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Burbank, West Los Angeles or anywhere in Southern California, contact attorney Ross Erlich as soon as possible to get the process started.  Don’t be that person who waits until their court date to “figure things out” while your license has already been suspended for 6 months!

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that Americans have a constitutional right to privacy in the personal information they carry on smartphones.  Thus, police may not search your smartphone without a warrant.

Chief Justice Roberts stated how modern cellphones contain the average American’s privacies of life and are not simply just a piece of technology.  Roberts continued by comparing smartphones to cameras, video players, calendars, tape recorders, diaries and the like.  All of these items would require a search warrant for law enforcement to search so the same should apply to the smartphone.

Now, law enforcement must convince a magistrate that they have probable cause to believe a crime is involved before they search a suspect’s smartphone and not just during the course of a routine arrest and search.

Prior to this Supreme Court decision, law enforcement agents would routinely search a suspect’s cellphone during an arrest without a warrant under the “search incident to arrest” exception.  The Court decided that this was no longer valid, as applied to cellphones, since the “search incident to arrest” exception has been traditionally limited to officer safety and to protect against destruction of evidence.

Law enforcement likes to search cellphones when there is a drug possession arrest, drug transportation arrest or possession for sales arrest in an attempt to find drug transaction text messages and/or contacts.  If you have been arrested for those charges, there are likely to be some search and seizure issues involved in your case.  For example, was there a search warrant?  Was a confidential informant used?  Was there a proper arrest?  Was type of surveillance, if any, was used?

If you or someone you know has been arrested for drug possession, possession for sales or drug transportation in Los Angeles, Torrance, Pasadena or anywhere else in Southern California, contact attorney Ross Erlich today.

A man and a woman were arrested Thursday in connection with the theft of Miley Cyrus’ Maserati and other valuables taken from her home.  The pair were arrested while at a local coffee shop in North Hollywood.

Police seized the pair’s vehicle, which, allegedly, contained valuables and other items that were suspected of being stolen property.  LAPD detectives started investigating the pair after receiving numerous tips and leads about the burglary of Miley Cyrus’ residence.

Police recovered the Maserati earlier this week when they found it abandoned on a street in Simi Valley.  Jewelry and other valuables were taken from the home, in addition to the Maserati.

The pair were booked on suspicion of residential burglary and bail set at $50,000.

If you or someone you know has been arrested, or is being investigated for, residential burglary or theft in Los Angeles, contact attorney Ross Erlich ASAP.  Prosecutors and law enforcement take residential theft crimes very seriously and the penalties for these crimes reflect that seriousness.

As opposed to commercial burglary or petty theft, residential burglary is always a felony and may otherwise be known as first degree burglary.  Penalties can include up to 6 years in state prison and is considered a strike under California’s Three Strikes law.  For a full definition of California’s Penal Code section 459, click here.

Keep in mind that the facts of the incident often play a very large role in what legal defenses may be available to you or in getting the charges reduced or dismissed.  Often times there mistaken identity issues with alleged eyewitnesses, maybe there was a lack of intent to steal, maybe the items belonged to you or maybe you even believed these items were given to you by the rightful owner.

Again, if you are facing burglary, residential burglary or any other theft charge in Los Angeles, Airport Court, CCB, Pasadena Court or East Los Angeles Court, contact our office 24/7 for a free case consultation.  Attorney Ross Erlich knows how to resolve theft cases to avoid having a moral turpitude conviction on your permanent record, possibly through a civil compromise.  Ross Erlich handles all theft, burglary and robbery charges in Los Angeles, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, North Hollywood, East Los Angeles, and all over Southern California.

 

Law enforcement agencies throughout Los Angeles County made 499 arrests at various DUI checkpoints from Friday through Sunday this past Memorial Day weekend.  The final tally is 30 arrests fewer than the same time last year.

This DUI checkpoint campaign was part of a multi-agency collaboration and was funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI or other driving under the influence offenses, contact our office today for a free case consultation and evaluation. Remember that once you are arrested for a DUI, you have 10 days from the date of arrest to contact the DMV before they automatically suspend your license.  Also keep in mind that DUI checkpoints have to conform to certain requirements under state law and the failure of law enforcement to meet every requirement can help get your case reduced or even dismissed.

A DUI arrest in Los Angeles can be a serious, and tricky, case to handle.  A good defense attorney must keep track of the criminal court and DMV proceedings which are both separate and do not depend on one another.  Thus, you might have your case completely dismissed in criminal court and still be facing an administrative proceeding with the DMV seeking to suspend your license.  You may also face additional administrative action if you hold a professional license with a California State Licensing Board or any form of professional license.

Being convicted of a DUI in Los Angeles can bring jail time, fines, probation, the suspension of your driver’s license, driving under the influence classes and restitution for any damage caused by the incident.  For a more in-depth discussion of the DUI process click here.

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles, Hollywood, Downtown LA, the Westside, Santa Monica, Culver City, North Hollywood, Beverly Hills or anywhere in LA County, contact attorney Ross Erlich today.

 

Two local doctors and six other individuals face charges over their alleged fraud in bilking Medicare out of approximately $32 million.  Workers at local medical supply companies have also been involved in the probe.

One doctor is accused of causing more than $24 million in losses to Medicare through fraudulent billing and referrals for medical equipment.  These referrals included more than 1,000 expensive power wheelchairs and other home health services which were not medically necessary and, in some cases, rarely provided to patients.

These defendants have been charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

Medicare Fraud Task forces in the Southern California area have resulted in cases against 27 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals and an estimated $260 million in fraudulent billing.

If you, or someone you know, has been arrested for, charged with or is being investigated for crime involving fraud or moral turpitude, contact attorney Ross Erlich as soon as possible.  Theft and fraud cases typically involve a restitution order to the victim(s) which, if resolved prior to the case being resolved, can help achieve a better result for the accused.  In other words, being able to make the victim(s) whole either prior to charges being filed or right after, can have benefits for the resolution of the case.

You should also know that having a theft, fraud or other moral turpitude conviction on your record can have severe consequences on your ability to keep or find employment.  Crimes of moral turpitude are red flags for employers so it is important to have an attorney who is aware of that and works to avoid a theft, fraud or moral turpitude conviction.  If you hold a license with the state, such as a doctor, lawyer or nurse, you run a great risk in losing your license through administrative proceedings as a result of being convicted of a crime of moral turpitude.

If you or someone you know is facing a charge of fraud, theft, embezzlement, receiving stolen property, burglary or conspiracy, contact our office today for a free case consultation and to know your options.

A Santa Clarita man was caught with 88 pounds of meth, kicked his way out of a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s patrol car, ran across a freeway and evaded arrest for more than a day before being arrested on Thursday.

The suspect’s car was stopped on Interstate 5 in Santa Clarita Valley when Sheriff’s Deputies discovered the large quantity of meth.  After being arrested and placed in the back of the patrol car, the suspect kicked out the rear window and ran across the freeway.  He was eventually spotted walking in the area and found hiding in an empty water tank.

If you have been arrested for a drug-related crime, it is important to hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.  Having representation at the earliest stage in the case can help prevent damaging statements from being made to law enforcement and, in certain situations, lead to the reduction in charges actually filed or even a dismissal.

If you have been arrested in Los Angeles or the San Fernando Valley for possession for sale of a controlled substance, sale or transportation of a controlled substance or manufacturing drugs and narcotics, contact attorney Ross Erlich today for a free case consultation and evaluation.  Keep in mind that many drug-related felonies are punishable by time in the California State Prison system.  Attorney Ross Erlich will be able to contact the law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction over your case before your court date and get information about the investigation.

A key tool used by law enforcement in drug-related arrests is the use and reliance on confidential informants, anonymous tips or other questionable sources of probable cause to obtain search warrants.  Because of questionable reliability of these sources, there are, often times, the need for criminal defense attorneys to file suppression motions in court attacking the constitutionality of the search based on the lack of probable cause.  If theses motions are granted, typically that means that the search, and therefore the drugs, must be suppressed from the prosecutor’s case and this often means a dismissal based on their inability to proceed.  These motions must take into account the source of tip or information, the procedures used by law enforcement, how they made an arrest.

There are many other factors to consider when dealing with a drug-related offense and it is important to make sure that law enforcement has done their job correctly and according to the laws on the books.  Drug diversion, or treatment options are available alternatives to jail or prison time in the right circumstances and with the right lawyer.

If you have been charged in Los Angeles with drug possession, possession for sale, drug transportation, drug manufacturing or any other drug offense, contact our office 24/7 for a consultation.  Drug crimes are heard in the downtown Criminal Courts Building (CCB), Airport Court, Pasadena Court, San Fernando Court, Van Nuys Court and the East Los Angeles Court.


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