A man riding a bicycle was struck and killed in a hit-and-run accident Thursday morning in Van Nuys, with the driver taken into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Police responded about 3:45 a.m. to Haskell Avenue and Stagg Street and found the victim, said Officer Norma Eisenman, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department.

The cyclist was struck from behind and pushed up to 40 feet, NBC4 reported.  The driver fled the scene and was found about a mile away at Woodley Avenue and Saticoy Street, where he was taken into custody, Eisenman said.

The driver was combative and fought with officers while being arrested and was transported to a hospital with unknown injuries, NBC4 reported.

So, you’re the drive, what happens now?  Well, you are likely going to be held on high bail and, in all likelihood, will face charges of felony hit-and-run, resisting arrest and felony dui causing injury and/or vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.  All of which are serious offenses.

As discussed in prior blogs about DUIs and hit-and-runs, the technical facts surround the incident are crucial.  Did the officer(s) observe you drive?  If not, are there any circumstantial facts that would demonstrate driving?  What was your blood alcohol concentration?  Were you taking any medication at the time of the incident?  All of these facts are critical since prosecutors prosecuting DUIs rely on technical facts to prove their case.

It is also critical to contact the DMV within 10 days from the date of incident/arrest to prevent them from automatically suspending your driver’s license and request an administrative hearing.

Depending on the facts of your case, the extent of any injuries to victim(s) and other mitigation factors, punishment could range from no jail and probation to years in state prison and a year-long license (or more) license suspension.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI, hit-and-run or DUI causing injury in Los Angeles, San Bernardino or Orange county, contact attorney Ross Erlich as soon as possible.  Attorney Ross Erlich can contact the DMV and request a hearing without having them automatically suspend your license and work to suggest steps you may take to improve the outcome in your case before you even go to court for the first time.

MTV’s Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham is facing possible jail time if convicted of the battery and resisting an officer charges filed against her.  She is scheduled to be arraigned in the Airport Courthouse on August 13 on those two misdemeanor charges.

The charges stem from an incident in which she allegedly hit a security guard at the Beverly Hills Hotel and then resisted arrest when she was asked to leave the hotel.  Officers arrived to the hotel based on a call that Abraham was arguing with hotel guests and had been asked to leave the location by hotel security.  The security officer alleged that Abraham struck him in the face with her forearm, grabbed his ear and pushed him in the face as he attempted to prevent her from re-entering the hotel.  Beverly Hill Police officers noted that Abraham exhibited signs of intoxication.

If convicted on both counts, Abraham faces up to 18 months in jail.

Attorney Ross Erlich has handled numerous battery and resisting arrest cases.  A lot of them are a result of people who are under the influence, out partying, at a club or bar, and simply take things a little too far or don’t follow instructions from law enforcement.

A battery charge is something that takes into account any and all unwanted touching that is done in an offensive way.  Thus, someone doesn’t have to beat someone up, break a bone, cause bleeding, etc, to be convicted of a battery.  All that is required is some physical contact in an offensive manner.  In most cases, the maximum penalty for a batter is up to 6 months in jail and up to a $2,000 fine.  If you commit a batter against a peace/police officer, it can be charged as a wobbler (a felony or a misdemeanor).

In order to be charged with resisting arrest, you must resist, delay or otherwise obstruct a law enforcement officer, or emergency personnel, while they are performing, or trying to perform, their official duties.  This, as one might imagine, is typically charged when people resist officers putting handcuffs on them, push officers away, and giving a false name to police officers.

While attorney Ross Erlich’s job is to fight to protect your rights and liberty, the best advice to give someone when confronted with security and/or police officers is to be as courteous as possible and follow directions.  There is no need to provide any statements or to incriminate yourself, but if asked to leave somewhere or to stop doing a certain activity, cooperation tends to lead to no charges getting filed, or, at least no resisting arrest charges.

If you or someone you know has been charged with battery or resisting arrest in the Airport courthouse, Van Nuys courthouse or the Downtown CCB courthouse, contact attorney Ross Erlich as soon as possible.  There might be ways to civilly compromise your case and get charges permanently suspended.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detectives made an arrest on Tuesday of a Los Angeles woman who they believe was behind the assault of a 91-year-old man on the 4th of July.  Authorities say that the man might have bumped into a little girl that was walking with the woman, when the woman started shouting racial slurs at the man and allegedly struck the man from behind with a block of cement.  Authorities also state that additional suspects arrived on the scene to join into the assault.

The 91-year-old man blacked out and is recovering from a broken cheekbone and facial bruising.  The suspect is being held on $200,000 bail and will likely be facing many charges, including assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury and battery.

Assault with a deadly weapon is what is called a wobbler in California, meaning the crime can be charged by prosecutors as either a felony or misdemeanor.  This depends on the conduct of the suspect, the extent of injuries, if any, and the other surrounding facts of the incident.  Assault with a deadly weapon is defined as “any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three or four years, or in the county jail for not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding $10,000, or by both fine and imprisonment.”  Additionally, this assault can occur with use of a “deadly weapon” or by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury.

Of course, there are also defenses to assault with a deadly weapon charge, and these are mainly fact-based.  Some examples would be if you did not, in fact, use a weapon, if you were acting in self-defense or you did not act willfully or with the required intent to commit the crime.

If you or someone you know has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, contact attorney Ross Erlich as soon as possible.  Starting work before your case gets filed by the prosecutor’s office has some tremendous potential benefit.  A truly skilled attorney will know how to work with the district attorney or city attorney’s office to address the evidence, seek out problems of proof with the government’s case, and, when needed, work to obtain a reduction in charges or even a diversion to best protect you or your loved one’s record.

Attorney Ross Erlich only practices criminal defense and has so since he started practicing. He has worked with, and has good relationships with, the prosecutors at the Airport courthouse, Van Nuys courthouse, San Fernando courthouse, Clara Shortridge Foltz (CCB) courthouse, Pasadena courthouse, Burbank courthouse and works throughout Los Angeles county, Orange county and Ventura county.

Call 323-222-4529 for a free case consultation.

Crystal Hunt, a soap opera actress known for her roles on “One Life to Live” and “Guiding Light”, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly throwing a drinking glass at a woman’s face during a bar fight.

The 28 year old actress allegedly threw a pint glass at the woman’s face, causing cuts and minor injuries, inside of a West Hollywood bar on December 13 of last year.  Hunt pleaded not guilty and is due back later this month in the Airport Courthouse.

If you have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon (ADW), it is important that you take this charge seriously.  An ADW charge can carry potential state prison time, large fines and a violent offense strike on your record pursuant to California’s “three strikes” law.

You might be asking yourself “what now?” if you have just bailed out of jail or are currently awaiting your first court appearance.  Well, as in the case above, many “ADWs” are charged when there is a fight and some kind of object is used to hurt or injure the victim and that object could potentially cause great bodily injury.  In the case above, a pint glass, as you could imagine, has the potential to cause severe injury to someone if it is thrown at their head.  Many “bar fights” that result in an arrest get charged as assaults with a deadly weapon, but are often able to be reduced through a plea deal if you have an aggressive defense attorney.

An assault with a deadly weapon is considered a “wobbler.”  This means the prosecutor can charge the offense as either a felony or a misdemeanor.  Attorney Ross Erlich regularly contacts the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office and speaks to prosecutors prior to the official filing.  This can allow for the presentation of facts that are favorable for clients and can help in getting the charge filed as a misdemeanor.

There are many other ways to resolve an assault with a deadly weapon so contact Attorney Ross Erlich today or 24/7 for a free case evaluation.

LAPD arrested 7 people after hitting 9 locations as part of an identity theft ring that operated out of houses and apartments in Los Angeles and Glendale.

Glendale Police pulled over one of the suspects on a traffic violation and learned that the LAPD, LA County Sheriff’s, the Secret Service and the Attorney General’s Office were looking into these people.  Law enforcement seized devices used to scam credit card information from gas pumps, computers used to download this information, credit card machines, blank plastic credit cards and even a 100 gallon tank hidden in a truck used to steal gas.

Police say these suspects have guns and likely have gang ties, but made no specific confirmation on that.

Identity theft in Los Angeles is a serious crime and something that the District Attorney’s Office prosecute’s aggressively.  Identity theft is typically charged as a felony in Los Angeles and, as seen from this article, can draw the attention of the Federal government.  It is also a crime of moral turpitude which, if convicted of, may have a severe negative impact on your criminal record and finding a job.

Identity theft is something that, depending on someone’s prior criminal history, can be resolved by an experienced attorney without any jail time whatsoever.  Civil compromises, probation and restitution of any out of pocket losses by the victim’s are priorities of the prosecutors and judges and something that can often be reached through a plea bargain.

If you have been arrested for theft, identity theft, grand theft, burglary or petty theft, contact Ross Erlich now for a free consultation and to discuss what your options are.  Ross Erlich has experience in getting no jail time for people charged with theft of thousands of dollars and charged with multiple felonies.

Federal prosecutors are no longer going to seek “mandatory minimum” sentences for many low-level and nonviolent drug offenders.  U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder plans to announce this major shift in the United States criminal drug offender policy today.

Holder cites the years of explosive growth in the federal prison population and the ballooning costs associated with this increase in incarceration.  Holder further stated that too many people go to too many prisons for too long, and, a lot of times, for “no good law enforcement reason.”

Under Holder’s new policy, prosecutors would send fewer drug offenders to federal prison for long terms and send an increasing number of these offenders to drug treatment and community service programs instead.  This change in policy also addresses a long-standing goal of civil rights groups who say that long prison sentences disproportionately hurt low-income and minorities.

The “war on drugs” that started in the 1980s brought about strict federal laws that required judges to impose long prison sentences on anyone caught with certain amounts of illegal drugs, regardless of the circumstances.  The public’s demand for these long sentences has decreased recently as stories of unfairness and skyrocketing costs have become more apparent.

In other words, drug offenses look to be much more manageable in the near future.  With the policy shifting on federal drug offenses, local offenders will also likely see more non-custody options associated with disposing of their case such as Deferred Entry of Judgement (DEJ), PC 1000, and Proposition 36.  With the help of a skilled and knowledgeable attorney, many of these options can be made available to you and, if needed, effective substance abuse programs and rehabilitation.

If you have been charged with drug possession, drug transportation, possession for sale or with the intent to sell, contact attorney Ross Erlich before you go to court and before you make any statements to law enforcement.  It is important to have a skilled attorney help you in the Airport court, CCB, Downtown Courts, Pasadena Court and all Los Angeles County courts.

Rapper “2 Chainz” was arrested on Tuesday at LAX, according to reports.  In fact, he was actually taken off a plane waiting to depart the airport after a TSA search of checked baggage showed the presence of marijuana and promethazine.

Reports state that the marijuana was less than 1 ounce, a misdemeanor, while the possession of promethazine got Chainz a felony narcotics possession charge.  Promethazine is commonly mixed with codeine and juice or soda to create a very intoxicating drink known as “sizzurp” in the hip-hop community.

2 Chainz will likely be booked and then released on bond and given a date to appear at the Airport Courthouse for the felony and misdemeanor drug possession charges.  While having a felony drug possession charge against you is serious and something that should not be taken lightly, there are favorable ways to resolve these cases which may even involve a dismissal of the charges.

If you have been charged with felony drug possession in California, you are most likely eligible for Deferred Entry of Judgment (DEJ) or what attorneys refer to as PC 1000 (California Penal Code section 1000).  There are certain requirements that must be met before someone is eligible for DEJ.  First of all, the charged violation must be for simple drug possession only and not for possession for sales or transportation and the crime must not involve any violence or threatened violence.  Secondly, you must not have had any prior drug-related convictions, had you parole revoked without successfully completing your terms and conditions, completed DEJ in another case within 5 years of your current charges and you must not have had any felony convictions in the 5 years preceding the current charge.

If all of these elements are met and you are eligible for DEJ, you can enter a plea of guilty to the charges and have your criminal proceedings suspended for, typically, 18 months.  During this 18 month time period, you must enroll and successfully complete a county-approved PC 1000 class, which is typically 20 hours of drug education to be completed within the first 6 months.  After completion of the DEJ class, the court gives you the remaining 12 months to stay out of trouble and not suffer any new arrests, after which time your plea of guilty is withdrawn, a plea of not guilty is entered, and your case is then dismissed.

If you have been charged with drug possession, possession for sales, transportation or manufacturing, you need to speak to an attorney as soon as possible.  A lot of times law enforcement is looking to catch the “bigger fish” and can put unfair pressure on you to talk and make incriminating statements.  Do yourself a favor and tell law enforcement to talk to your lawyer and that you have nothing to say to them.

Attorney Ross Erlich handles drug-related charges in the Airport Court, CCB (Criminal Courts Building), East Los Angeles, Pasadena and all over Southern California.  If you have been arrested on drug charges in Los Angeles, Hollywood, Beverly Hills or LAX, contact our office today.

Rob Kardashian has settled a civil suit brought against him by a paparazzo he, allegedly, assaulted in March after the camerawoman took pictures of Kardashian while he was shirtless at the gym.  Rob allegedly hit the paparazzo in the face and took the memory card from her camera when he was caught changing after a workout.

On Thursday of this week, misdemeanor assault charges were dropped after Rob agreed to pay the camerawoman the value of her equipment and after she agreed not to pursue the case.

What most likely happened in this case was some form of informal deferred sentence, plea or civil compromise was entered into between the victim and Mr. Kardashian.  For more information on a civil compromise, click here to read previous blogs about this valuable resource.  In short, a civil compromise allows you, the defendant, to compensate the victim for their time, inconvenience and out of pocket expenses in exchange for them agreeing to not object to having the criminal charges against you dismissed and permanently suspended.  A civil compromise is a valuable tool for cases involving theft, assault and hit-and-run.

If you have been arrested or given a citation for assault, battery, hit-and-run or theft/shoplifting, contact attorney Ross Erlich as soon as possible.  As you can see from the outcome of Mr. Kardashian’s case, getting attorney representation early in the process may provide a better chance for a civil compromise and dismissal of your misdemeanor criminal charges.  Ross Erlich handles all theft, assault, battery, hit-and-run and petty theft cases in the Metropolitan Court, Criminal Courts Building (CCB), Airport Court, Pasadena Court and all over Southern California.

A young man was sentenced Tuesday in the Van Nuys Courthouse to 21 years in prison resulting from the death of a pedestrian who was hit in a crosswalk last year.

Ernesto Lopez, 20, pleaded guilty to one count of voluntary manslaughter, evading a law enforcement officer with willful disregard, leaving the scene of an accident, resisting an executive officer, grand theft auto and admission of gang allegations that enhance any sentence given.

Law enforcement officers were chasing Lopez, who was driving a stolen car, when the officers were ordered to stop the pursuit due to unsafe speeds, running of red lights and stop signs.  Shortly thereafter, Mr. Lopez hit a pedestrian crossing Topanga Boulevard and eventually jump out of the car and attempt to flee on foot.  The pedestrian later died at the hospital.

What Mr. Lopez failed to realize is that he would be much better off if he simply stopped when the police first requested and hired an attorney.  Even if the vehicle you are in is stolen, you putting yourself in worse position by attempting to evade police officers and, as in this case, injuring or killing an innocent victim during your evasion.  Many people fail to realize that with police and news helicopters these days, it is nearly impossible to successfully “run from the police,” and that attempting to usually results in additional criminal charges and longer potential jail or prison time.

If you have been charged with hit-and-run, evading a police officer, or grand theft auto in Downtown Los Angeles, the Criminal Courts Building, the Metropolitan Courthouse or the Airport Courthouse, contact attorney Ross Erlich before you walk into the courtroom.  As mentioned in previous blogs, many times attorney Ross Erlich can get the charges reduced or even dismissed through a civil compromise or even an informal diversion program.

A middle-aged man who held himself out to be “Stephen Disney”, but who instead was only Stephen Urquidez, was arrested on Wednesday for stealing Disneyland passes in a felony burglary and possession of fake identification case.  Mr. Urquidez allegedly had a fake driver’s license with the name “Stephen Disney” as well as false tax forms showing income from the Walt Disney Corporation.

This who scam was unraveled when Urquidez gave Disneyland passes to a friend to donate for a charity raffle.  The raffle winner then took the passes to Disneyland where they would not work and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies were contacted and started their investigation.  The investigation ultimately found that Urquidez had allegedly stolen the passes from a store and that he had no affiliation with the Disney family or corporation in any capacity.

Urquidez was subsequently arrested on felony burglary and felony possession of a forged driver’s license charges.

Attorney Ross Erlich handles felony burglary and identity theft charges all over Southern California.  Please see the Practice Areas page of the site for more information.  Because theft charges are considered crimes of moral turpitude, they are charges that should be taken very seriously.  Having a moral turpitude conviction on your criminal record is something that employers tend to frown upon and can make keeping or obtaining a job difficult.  If you have been charged with petty theft, burglary, robbery, identity theft or any other theft crime in Downtown Los Angeles, CCB, Van Nuys, Airport Court, Burbank Court, Hollywood, North Hollywood, Sherman Oaks or the Westside, contact attorney Ross Erlich before it’s too late.


Latest Tweets

Copyright 2012 Ross Erlich. Design by VirtaComm.com