A man who crashed his car into an SUV in Southern California, killing the driver of that SUV, while fleeing a residential burglary, pleaded no contest to first-degree murder and burglary and was sentenced to 50 years to life in state prison.

The men involved in the burglary were implicated in a residential burglary where a witness called 911 after seeing two of the three men involved kick down a door of a home while another waited in the getaway car.  When sheriff deputies spotted the getaway car, a police pursuit ensued and the car ultimately crashed into an innocent driver in an SUV.  The driver of the SUV was pronounced dead at the scene.

Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “how can this guy be charged, and convicted, of murder?  He never meant to kill anyone.”  Well, in California, we have the felony-murder rule which makes a defendant guilty of murder if he/she or a fellow co-conspirator kills a person while committing certain felonies, even if the killing was an accident.  Generally, someone is only guilty of murder if there intent to kill or someone acted with reckless disregard for human life.  The felony-murder rule allows for a murder charge even when there is no intent or reckless disregard.  The underlying felony must be one that is listed in California’s first-degree murder law (for first-degree felony-murder) or one that is “inherently dangerous” (for second-degree felony-murder).

As with all first-degree murder charges, first-degree felony-murder is punishable by 25 year to life in California state prison, life in state prison without the possibility of parole, or the death penalty.

If you, a friend or family member is facing a charge of murder, felony evading, resisting arrest, fleeing, burglary, home invasion or any other criminal charge in Los Angeles, contact attorney Ross Erlich as soon as possible.  Opening lines of communication with the district attorney during the early stages of the case can oftentimes be beneficial for the client.  Additionally, there may be the need to conduct our own investigation and preserve any surveillance footage, recordings, witness statements or other items to be used at a later date.

These felonies are often charged in the Los Angeles Criminal Courts Building (CCB), Van Nuys Courthouse, Airport Courthouse, Pasadena Courthouse, San Fernando Courthouse, Long Beach Courthouse and other courts throughout Orange County and San Bernardino County.

A robbery suspect, nicknamed “shaggy bandit,” displayed a firearm at a clerk at a Game Stop location in Woodland Hills and made out with over $1,000 in video games and cash.  He is also suspected of robbing a post office in the West Valley.

According to police, the bandit browsed store merchandise for a while and then approached the clerk with his gun drawn.  After the cash and merchandise is handed over, the bandit escapes in a silver Kia hatchback.

What the shaggy bandit may not realize is that he has some serious problems if he is caught.  Armed robbery is a very serious crime in California and something that prosecutors take very seriously.

Technically speaking, armed robbery is the taking of personal property from someone else’s person or immediate presence, against the victim’s will, through the use of force or fear.  Armed robbery is considered first-degree robbery in California and carries a punishment of anywhere between 3-6 years in state prison, formal probation and a fine of up to $10,000.  Keep in mind there is a special allegation for use of a firearm during a robbery that adds 10 years state prison to your potential sentence.  This is also a “strike” offense under California’s “three strikes law.”

Just because you are charged with robbery doesn’t make you guilty.  You are entitled to, and should have, an effective and vigorous criminal defense attorney fighting for your rights.  The police report and victim’s statement is only one side of the story.  If you have been charged with robbery or burglary and are have questions about your case and possible defenses, contact attorney Ross Erlich at (323) 222-4529 and get a free consultation.  You have rights, learn what they are!

Attorney Ross Erlich handles all misdemeanor and felony charges throughout California and in the CCB  (Clara Shortridge Foltz court), Van Nuys Courthouse, Pasadena Courthouse, Airport Courthouse, Compton Courthouse, and San Fernando Courthouse.

 

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.

A veteran Los Angeles County Probation Department officer, assigned specifically to aid the rehab of juvenile offenders, was arrested on May 25 on suspicion of shoplifting and contributing to the delinquency of her own children.  She has also been placed on unpaid leave from the Probation Department.

Ruth Marzan, who has over 20 years working for the Probation Department, was arrested at a Kmart when security personnel allegedly witnessed her shoplift items and coach her two teenage children to shoplift as well.  Marzan allegedly stole two MP3 players, clothes and underwear.

The Los Angeles County Probation Department has been plagued with personnel problems for many years, despite the Department’s efforts to reduced this number.

Getting caught for shoplifting in Los Angeles, Hollywood, Beverly Hills or Santa Monica can be a serious crime.  The severity of the charges usually depend on the total value of the items taken, whether the items were recovered, whether the items were damaged at all and whether or not this was a first offense or if there are issues of probation.  Generally, if the value of item(s) taken was over $950, a felony grand theft charge would follow.  If the value of the items are lower then that, most of the time the charges are either petty theft or misdemeanor commercial burglary.

As mentioned in other blogs and on the website, there are many valuable resources available to resolve theft cases before they become a conviction on your record.  Depending on the facts of your case, a civil compromise or some other form of deferred sentence can keep a conviction off your record so long as you are able to make the victim whole and pay for any loss and out of pocket expenses.

If you have been arrested or cited for shoplifting or theft in Hollywood, North Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Century City, Santa Monica, or any other city in Los Angeles County, contact an attorney before your court date to find out of something can be done before charges are even filed against you!  It might be the smartest call you make.

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.


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