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.

An Encino doctor being accused of illegally selling prescription drugs pleaded not guilty on Tuesday in Los Angeles’ Downtown Criminal Courts Building.

The doctor, an internal medicine specialist, runs an urgent care clinic and has been charged with 11 felony counts of unlawfully prescribing drugs, including many popular narcotic painkillers.  The doctor was, allegedly, prescribing these drugs to patients, and undercover agents from the California Medical Board, without performing required exams first.

Essentially, it is being alleged that this doctor sold and prescribed these drugs to undercover agents for no medical reason.  It is not against the law for doctors to prescribe these drugs, but the prescription needs to be for a legitimate medical purpose.

The doctor was released from jail on $80,000 bail and faces more than 7 years in state prison if convicted on all counts.  Furthermore, the doctor faces administrative proceedings and the possible loss of his medical license from the California Medical Board.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime and holds a professional license with the state, it is important to contact an attorney as early as possible.  You can expect to get a notification from the licensing agency saying they are aware of some incident and, in all likelihood, pursue their own disciplinary proceedings.  In other words, you will have to fight in court and with the state licensing agency.

For doctors, lawyers, nurses and other state-licensee’s, losing your license or having a disciplinary matter on your record can have a severe impact on your professional and ability to earn income.  Contact attorney Ross Erlich as soon as possible so that he create good lines of communication between you and the state agency in an effort to prevent any professional implications.

If you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony in Los Angeles, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Culver City, Santa Monica, Pasadena or anywhere throughout the county, contact Ross Erlich 24/7 for a free consultation and 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.

A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy who worked patrol out of the Palmdale station is being accused of 11 felony charges including sexual penetration under the color of authority, raper under fear of duress and soliciting a bribe from alleged victims.  Deputy Jose Sanchez, who was a seven year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department, was taken into custody at his home.

The arrest was the culmination of a six-month investigation into a 2010 incident where a tip from an informant lead to this case being turned over to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office in early 2011.  Sanchez had been relieved of duty with pay after the 2010 incident and without pay starting this past Monday when he was arrested.

Sanchez is currently being held at LA County’s Men’s Central Jail on $1.45 million bail and set to appear at CCB this week.

A lot of the facts aren’t yet too clear on this case, but it appears as if Deputy Sanchez was using the authority of being a Sheriff’s Deputy to have sexual relations with people and, apparently, against their will.  Thus, Sanchez is facing up to life in prison if convicted of these offenses.

Being charged with rape or any sex crime is a very serious offense and something that can either take away or diminish your freedom for a long time.  Sex crimes are crimes that the District Attorney’s Office takes very seriously and are crimes which require aggressive and zealous advocacy by a criminal defense attorney.

If you have been charged with rape or any other sex crime in Los Angeles, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Airport Court or Pasadena and are wondering what the next step is, call attorney Ross Erlich for a free consultation and to know what your rights are.

After more than a week of deliberations, jurors acquitted Kelly Soo Park of murder in the death of aspiring model Juliana Redding.  The reading of the verdict sparked emotional and vocal outbursts by Redding’s family and supporters who were inside of the courtroom.

The reason this verdict was so surprising was that Park’s DNA was all over the crime scene where Redding lay strangled and dead.  Specifically, Park’s DNA was on the victim’s clothing and inside of the locked door of her apartment.  It was also on the victim’s cell phone, the knob of the stove that was left on and even found on the victim’s neck, seemingly overwhelming evidence for a conviction.

Jurors were not interviewed and thus, there is no explanation for their verdict of not guilty.  Experts and reporters believe that the case was solely based on DNA evidence and that the District Attorney’s office was never able to explain why a person with no record of violence would commit this type of crime.

There were also many pre-trial issues that the jury was never able to hear about.  For example, in a pre-trial hearing, the judge ruled that the prosecution could not argue that Park worked as “hired muscle” for a doctor who was angry with the victim’s father over a business deal gone wrong.  Additionally, the defense was not allowed to introduce testimony that Redding’s boyfriend could possibly be the killer due to a pattern of jealous and violent behavior leading up to the time of the murder.

This case just goes to show that you are truly innocent until proven guilty.  Even with DNA evidence against you, that still may not be enough for a conviction if you have a smart and aggressive attorney.  If you have been charged with murder, manslaughter or any other violent crime, it is important to contact attorney Ross Erlich right from the start.  Having representation right when the investigation gets underway can prevent incriminating statements and other damaging items of evidence from ever materializing.

Attorney Ross Erlich handles serious and violent crimes in Downtown Los Angeles, CCB, Metropolitan Court, Hollywood, Central Los Angeles, Pasadena, Beverly Hills and all of Los Angeles County.

Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis was convicted by a jury on Monday of 5 misdemeanor charges stemming from a night-gone-wrong for Francis.  Francis was convicted of 3 counts of false imprisonment, 1 count of dissuading a witness from reporting a crime and 1 count of assault causing great bodily injury.  He faces up to 5 years in the Los Angeles County jail at his sentencing hearing which takes place today.

Victims told police they had gone to the popular Supper Club in Hollywood to celebrate a college graduation.  Upon closing time, Francis, allegedly, grabbed one of the 3 female victims by the hand and took her to his limo.  The two other victims followed, believing Francis would be giving them a ride to their own car.

This is apparently where things went south.  The victims claim that once in the limo, Francis’ bodyguard and driver produced, what appeared to be law enforcement badges and would not let them leave the limo.  The victims were taken to Francis’ house, where a physical altercation took place between Francis and the victims as he allegedly attempted to pull one of the victims away from the others.  This is when Francis was alleged to have grabbed the victim by the throat and pushed her head into the tile floor.

What is clear from the verdict is that the jurors believed Mr. Francis did not conduct himself very well that night and that most likely the victims’ story had some truth to it.  Mr. Francis is in a tough predicament here as he is most likely looking at some amount of county jail time along with anger management classes, community service, probation or other terms and conditions of his sentencing.  Los Angeles County judges take violent crimes very seriously, not to mention Mr. Francis was also convicted of dissuading a witness from reporting a crime.

Typically, police detectives will attempt to contact you to “get your side of the story” and many times these statements are turned around and used against you.  It is a much smarter idea to have your attorney be the liaison between you and law enforcement.  There is always two sides to the story so make sure that your side gets heard.  There may even be the possibility of a civil compromise in your case where we can get the charges dismissed.

If you have been charged with false imprisonment, assault or battery in the Criminal Courts Building (CCB), the Airport Courthouse, Burbank Courthouse, Pasadena Courthouse, or in the Van Nuys Courthouse, contact attorney Ross Erlich as soon as possible to make sure your rights are protected.

The California Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Monday that cities and local municipalities may ban medical marijuana dispensaries within their territory.  The Court stated that nothing in the current medical marijuana law restricts the rights of these local governments and cities throughout the state to declare medical marijuana dispensaries a nuisance due to the increased dangers of crime, congestion, blight and drug abuse in the community.

The problem was that under Proposition 215, the statewide proposition that allowed people to use medical marijuana as long as they had a recommendation from a doctor, there was never any mention of dispensaries, shops, stores or anywhere a patient could purchase their marijuana.  What Proposition 215 stated was that people and their primary caregivers can grow or possess marijuana with a physician’s recommendation.  The law made no mention about the availability of dispensaries or collectives.  The Court cleared the way for cities to decide how much, if any, regulation or limitation of dispensaries they choose.  For example, a city may limit dispensaries in a particular area within the city while placing no limits on dispensaries in another area.

Cities and dispensary owners have been in a years-long battle regarding what cities can and cannot due to limit the operation of medical marijuana dispensaries within their borders.  Further confusion ensued when lower courts all over the state issued rulings that conflicted rulings in other jurisdictions.  One only needs to look at the Los Angeles City Council who, at first, embraced dispensaries, then tried to regulate them, and then tried to ban them.

Drug possession, sales, cultivation and transportation are serious felony offenses in Los Angeles County.  On the flip side, increasingly liberal drug laws combined with overcrowding in state prisons and local jails make the resolution of these cases by attorney Ross Erlich more advantageous to you, the client.  Additionally, if you have a physician’s recommendation to possess or cultivate marijuana, that may also benefit your case.

If you have been charged with a drug offense such as simple possession, possession for sales, transportation of a controlled substance or cultivation, contact attorney Ross Erlich before you say something to law enforcement that you may regret down the line.  Attempting to “talk your way out of it” usually does not work and, consequently, usually results in statements that are used against you.  Attorney Ross Erlich handles drug offenses in the Airport Court, CCB (Criminal Courts Building), Burbank Court and the Pasadena Court.

With the economy and unemployment the way it is, there has been an ever increasing amount of shoplifting and petty theft arrests being made in Los Angeles.  If you or someone you know has been arrested or cited for petty theft or shoplifting, it is important to contact criminal defense attorney Ross Erlich before trying to talk your way out of the situation and making things worse.

A theft crime occurs when someone takes something of value from another person without their permission.  Petty theft and shoplifting arrests are usually occur when someone has taken or concealed something of value, usually an item of merchandise from a store, and attempts to leave the premises without paying for that item.  Security guards or “loss prevention agents” usually detain the person attempting to take the merchandise in a back room of the store and, more often then not, attempt to get an incriminating statement out of the suspect.  In fact, some loss prevention agents are even given a bonus when they can either get the person to admit to stealing or having that person pay some kind of “fee” right on the spot.  Additionally, many places of business have security camera footage that may or may not have the incident on videotape.  It is necessary for attorney Ross Erlich to view this footage with you, the client, to see if there really is any evidence of a crime taking place.

A few advantages of having an aggressive criminal defense attorney representing you is that there are many different possible outcomes of a petty theft or shoplifting case.  For example, we might be able to negotiate a “civil compromise” where the client pays full restitution to the victim for their out of pocket expenses in exchange for a the termination of criminal proceedings and an effective dismissal.  Other options include classes or community service in exchange for a dismissal or a reduction in charge to an infraction so there is no misdemeanor on your record.

Keep in mind that petty theft and shoplifting crimes are “priorable”, meaning prosecutors will use prior convictions against you to increase the penalties for subsequent arrests.  Therefore, it is crucial that you make sure your theft case is handled with the experience and aggressiveness it deserves.

If you have been arrest for petty theft or shoplifting in Torrance, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, the Westside, LAX, Airport court or the Criminal Courts Building, contact attorney Ross Erlich to protect your rights.


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