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.

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.

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.

Gone With the Wind star Clark Gable’s son was arrest around 3p.m. on Tuesday for DUI and hitting several parked cars in Malibu.  An eyewitness to the arrest stated that Mr. Gable appeared to fall on the ground upon exiting his car for the police.  Jail records show that Mr. Gable was taken to the hospital for a blood test and released on $15,000 bail late Tuesday night.

Fortunately for Mr. Gable, there was no one injured in these collisions or he would be facing more serious charges with greater consequences.  As it stands now, it appears as though Mr. Gable will be charge with a first offense DUI and misdemeanor hit-and-run charges.

So you might be asking yourself, “I wonder what will happen to this guy?”  Well, DUI and hit-and-run charges quite commonly stem from the same incident.  There are many possible outcomes in this scenario, including a civil compromise to settle and dismiss the hit-and-run charges.  However, the prosecutor will likely be requesting a greater fine, a longer DUI education program, community service or a community labor requirement on top of all the standard DUI terms.

Prosecutors take DUI-related hit-and-run charges very seriously in Los Angeles since this is a city where people drive a lot and accidents like these have a high probability of injuring innocent people.   Because of this, it is important for you to have an aggressive criminal defense attorney who has handled numerous DUI cases involving complex issues to fight for your rights and to minimize any consequences to you or your license.  It is also critical of you, or your Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, to contact the DMV within 10 days of your arrest or face an automatic suspension of your license without a hearing!

If you have been charged with a DUI or hit-and-run in Malibu, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Mid City, Culver City or the Westside, contact criminal defense attorney Ross Erlich for a free in-person case consultation and to get the wheels of justice spinning in your direction.

 

 

 

In California, getting arrested for the act of prostitution or for solicitation of prostitution is a violation of Penal Code section 647(b), a misdemeanor. While the typical punishment for the first offense is minimal county jail time (5-10 days), AIDS testing, counseling and some form of probation for three years, second and third offenses carry more severe, often mandatory, punishments. Prostitution, as used in Penal Code section 647(b), is defined as “any lewd act between persons for money or other consideration.”

Under California Penal Code section647(b), a person is guilty prostitution if the government can prove that a person either 1) solicited an act of prostitution, 2) agreed to engage in prostitution, or 3) actually engaged in prostitution. The Penal Code goes on to state that a person “agrees to engage in prostitution when, with specific intent to so engage, he or she manifests an acceptance of an offer or solicitation to so engage, regardless of whether the offer or solicitation was made by a person who also possessed the specific intent to engage in prostitution.” This is important because the person by which an offer or solicitation is made, does not have to have to specific intent to actually commit the act. This language is what allows police and other law enforcement officials to conduct undercover “stings,” whereby actual police officers disguise themselves as prostitutes or potential customers and attempt to arrest citizens for violations of 647(b).

Simply agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution does not, by itself, make a person guilty of a 647(b) violation. As 647(b) states, “no agreement to engage in an act of prostitution shall constitute a violation unless some act, in addition to the agreement, is done in furtherance of the commission of an act of prostitution by the person agreeing to engage in that act.” Thus, simply agreeing to a solicitation or an offer requires an act in furtherance of the agreement. This act in furtherance does not need to be a transaction of money, but can be any minimal act such as meeting at a designated location, removing clothing or exposing oneself.

The punishment for a second offense of Penal Code 647(b) is a mandatory minimum of 45 days in county jail and a third offense requires a mandatory minimum of 90 days in county jail. The same additional terms apply, such as AIDS testing, probationary period and other possible special conditions (not walking in a certain area, not riding in a car within the area arrested in) apply to second and third time offenders.

If you or someone you know has been arrested or cited for solicitation of prostitution or loitering in the Beverly Hills Courthouse, Airport Courthouse or Bauchet Courthouse, contact Attorney Ross Erlich as soon as possible to discuss your options. As discussed above, there are many different possible resolutions to your case that do not involve jail or even a conviction on your criminal record.

Contact Attorney Ross Erlich at (323) 222-4529.

California’s State Prisons look like they will not be able to meet the obligation, imposed by a panel of federal judges, to reduce the prison population by approximately 112,000 by June 2013 and could possibly face the prospect of inmate being released early.

In fact, the same federal three judge panel has given the state until this Friday to develop a system for identifying those inmates who are unlikely to reoffend and who would be good candidates for early release.

California’s Prison system has had since May 2011 to comply with a court order that said the prison overcrowding cannot exceed 137.5%. Meanwhile, the state of California intend to ask the court for a cap at 145%.

Now, you might be asking what does all this mean in practical terms? Well, the federal district court has determined that the prison overcrowding, and corresponding decline in health and well-being of inmates, has come too close to being a violation of the Constitution’s protections against cruel and unusual punishment. The court’s effort, through this order, means that many more non-violent, non-serious and lower-level prison inmates are likely to be eligible for earlier release dates.  This also means that many inmates who would normally serve their sentence in state prison will now serve their sentences in the Los Angeles County Jail system and face the early release dates that inmates their are currently experiencing.

If you have been charged with a felony and are facing prison time, it is important to hire an attorney who can negotiate a probationary and other non-custody resolutions to your charges.  With the County’s new “realignment” plan discussed above in effect, you or your family member needs to hire an experienced law office to ensure the best and most appropriate outcome is reached in the case.

If you have been arrested and need an attorney in the Beverly Hills courthouse, the Metropolitan courthouse or the Airport courthouse, contact attorney Ross Erlich at (323) 222-4529.

“Krayzie Bone,” a member of the famous Bone Thugs-n-Harmony group, was arrested early Friday morning on suspicion of DUI in the West Valley. A spokeswoman for the LAPD stated that he was pulled over and failed a sobriety test at approximately 12:40 a.m. and transported to the Van Nuys jail.

Just another example of how even celebrities are not immune from the law. The question to you, the reader, might be, “now what happens?”.

Well, if “Krayzie Bone” were to hire Attorney Ross Erlich, Mr. Erlich would first contact the DMV Driver’s Safety Offices to set up an Administrative Per Se hearing and delay the automatic suspension the DMV seeks to enforce 30 days after an arrest. It is important to note that either you or your attorney must contact the DMV within 10 days of arrest or your license will be suspended automatically, without any hearing whatsoever.

Second, Attorney Ross Erlich would contact the City Attorney to see if any charges have been filed and if not, seek to speak with the Deputy City Attorney in charge of making the filing decisions and attempt to prevent any charges from being filed in the first place.

Now, assuming that charges have been filed or that the City Attorney is not willing to reject the case, the next step would be to appear on the first court date, collect all the police reports, any witness statements, police officer observations and go over all of that with the client. This is one of the most crucial steps in any DUI case. This is when we see what the Blood Alcohol Level was, what tests were taken, the police officer’s notes on the field sobriety tests, any statements that were made, whether or not the police officers followed proper protocol in pulling the car over, observing the driver, waiting the proper amount of time before starting any tests. All of these factors DO matter and any one which is not done correctly can open the door to a dismissal or reduction of the charges.

What is also important to consider is Attorney Ross Erlich’s personal relationships with the City Attorney’s and District Attorney’s who may be prosecuting your case. Because Attorney Ross Erlich has handled a large volume of DUIs, he has developed personal relationships with the prosecutors that, a lot of the time, can make a big impact on a client’s case.

If you have been arrested for DUI in Beverly Hills, the Metro (Metropolitan) Court, in Mid City Los Angeles, Downtown Los Angeles or on the Westside, contact Attorney Ross Erlich at (323) 222-4529.


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