Shoplifting Incident Turns Violent

4 teenage boys and girls were arrested in a shoplifting incident at a Ralphs market in Costa Mesa that turned violent on Tuesday.  Police describe the teenagers as being “uncooperative and hostile.”

When the first police officer arrived to the location, he observed a teenage boy and girl fighting with the Ralphs security employee near a cash register.  The police officer separated the girl and put her in handcuffs away from the group.  As he was doing so, the other teenage girl crept up behind the officer and attempted to take his gun out of his holster.

Just by chance, an off-duty sheriff’s deputy happened to be shopping in the store and assisted the police officer by restraining this second teenage girl.  Another male suspect punched the police officer in the face and then the whole thing turned into a wrestling match.  Eventually the police officer’s won and everyone was arrested.

All of the melee was caused when the teenagers allegedly tried to steal liquor from the market.

What started off as simple petty theft charges now leave these teens facing assault and battery on a police officer and resisting arrest charges, in addition to the petty theft.

Do not make the same mistake these teens did and try to either resist arrest or make any statements to security personnel or law enforcement.  Many times people believe they can “talk their way out of it” and we are still waiting to see an instance when that has worked.  In addition, any statements that you make when trying to talk your way out of an arrest can, and will, be used against you during your court case.

Petty theft charges are charges that can manageable.  Oftentimes, depending on whether or not there are prior convictions, attorney Ross Erlich can get the charges reduced, dropped or dismissed after a civil compromise.  There also might be the option of a deferred sentence whereby a plea is taken, the defendant takes and completes some theft classes, and comes back to get the charges dismissed.

Remember, petty theft is a misdemeanor here in Los Angeles and is punishable by a maximum of up to 6 months in jail, a $1,000 fine or both.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for petty theft in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, or anywhere within Los Angeles County, contact attorney Ross Erlich 24/7 for a free case consultation.

Kidnapping And Rape Suspect Charged With 14 Felonies

An 18 year old Lancaster man was charged today in the Van Nuys court with 14 felonies, including forcible rape and kidnapping, stemming from his July 4 attack on a worker at the Westfield shopping mall in Canoga Park.

The alleged attack happened when the man held the victim at knifepoint when she returned to her car in the parking lot.  He then sexually assaulted and robbed her.

The man now faces counts of rape, identity theft, kidnapping, second-degree robbery, sexual penetration by foreign object, forcible oral copulation, sodomy by use of force and second-degree commercial burglary.  He faces a maximum of life in prison.

Being  charged with kidnapping or a sex crime is about as serious as it gets in Los Angeles County.  The District Attorney’s Office takes these crimes, and protecting the victims, very seriously.  Kidnapping charges can lead to long prison sentences, especially if committed along with other serious crimes, and sex offenses can lead to possible lifetime sex offender registration.  There are many things a good criminal defense attorney should consider when representing someone faced with these types of charges.  Sometimes it is not just about keeping someone out of jail, but also about minimizing the negative impact on that person’s life down the line.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a sex crime, kidnapping, identity theft or burglary in Downtown Los Angeles, CCB, Airport Court, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills or anywhere in Central Los Angeles, contact attorney Ross Erlich today.

Former Dodger Sentenced To Jail For Domestic Violence

Milton Bradley, the former Dodger outfielder who has had many behavior-related issues on and off the field, was sentenced last Tuesday to 2.5 years in Los Angeles County Jail and 5 years of probation.  The sentence came after Bradley was convicted last month by a jury for kicking his wife and attempting to choke her.

Los Angeles Superior Court judge Thomas Rubinson handed down the sentence, which also includes 400 hours of community service and the 52 week domestic violence and anger management class.

Last month a jury found Bradley guilty of, among other charges, four misdemeanor counts of spousal battery, two counts of criminal threats, one count of assault with a deadly weapon, vandalism and brandishing a deadly weapon.  These charges all stemmed from incidents in 2011 and 2012 where Bradley threatened to beat his wife with a baseball bat, kicked and choked her inside of their home.

As is apparent from this sentence, prosecutors and judges take incidents of domestic violence and spousal battery very seriously in Los Angeles County, particularly where there are injuries, threats and real fear by the victim.  Each misdemeanor domestic battery or domestic violence conviction is punishable by up to 1 year in the Los Angeles County Jail and up to a $1,000 fine.  Furthermore, each domestic violence-related conviction typically also carries a mandatory 52-week domestic violence and anger management class and a possible prohibition on owning a firearm for 10 years under state law.

If you have been arrested for domestic violence or spousal abuse, it is important to contact attorney Ross Erlich right away to protect your rights and freedom.  There is a lot at stake when you are charged with domestic abuse and it is crucial for you to make sure your side of the story is heard.

Contact attorney Ross Erlich today for a free consultation.

Man Arrested On Felony Battery Charges After Beating In Hollywood

A Los Angeles man is in custody on suspicion of being one of four men involved in the beating of a transgender woman last month in Hollywood.  LAPD officers served a search warrant on the man’s residence Thursday night, three days after the City of Los Angeles offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a suspect.

The victim was employed in an upscale Hollywood restaurant as a barista and was walking down a street in Hollywood after leaving work at 2:15 a.m.  Local surveillance cameras caught footage of a group of men following the victim as she walked down the street and then started attacking and beating her.  Her injuries were reported to be severe and she had to remain in the hospital for seven days.

The alleged suspect is currently being held in custody on $1.05 million bail and facing not only felony assault and battery with severe injuries, but the possibility of this being charged as a hate crime in addition.

If you have been charged with battery, assault, assault with a deadly weapon or assault with means likely to produce great bodily injury, you need, in two words, a lawyer.  You need to remain silent and have your attorney speak on your behalf to law enforcement investigators and prosecutors.  Serious violent crimes are charges that prosecutors don’t take lightly and are convictions that can have major implications on your life and criminal record.

If you are charged with felony assault or battery, you are looking at prison time, fines, restitution and possibly a serious and violent crime on your record for a long time.  If you have been charged with assault and battery in Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Los Angeles or Pasadena, contact attorney Ross Erlich as soon as possible.  These charges require a skilled and aggressive defense attorney to advocate for your rights and to tell your side of the story.

Criminal Assault Charges Dropped Against A Kardashian

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.

O.J. Has One Final Play

Well, O.J. Simpson is back in the news again.  Simpson is headed back to court today in Nevada for what will most likely be his final shot at freedom and an overturning of his armed robbery and kidnapping conviction.  Simpson will be asking the judge to overturn that 2008 conviction on the basis that his attorney’s representation was so poor that his conviction should be reversed and a new trial be granted.

Simpson’s motion for a new trial alleges that his trial attorney never informed him that prosecutors had offered him a plea bargain and that the same lawyer advised him he was acting legally when he attempted to sports memorabilia heist that lead to this conviction and sentence.  If you recall, Simpson took part in an armed robbery and kidnapping that was, according to Simpson, an attempt to recover sports memorabilia that he was entitled to.

The duty of your defense attorney is to zealously advocate for your best interests and to communicate any plea bargain offers that are made by the prosecutor.  Regardless of whether or not your attorney thinks the offer is reasonable or not, he or she must communicate it to you.  Remember, you are the client and the only person who can make a decision to accept or reject a plea deal, not your lawyer.  If what Mr. Simpson is alleging is true, his attorney violated a crucial ethical rule and something that is of utmost importance in a criminal case.

Both kidnapping and robbery, armed or not, are very serious felony charges and when there are convictions for both in the same case, you can be looking at very serious time in state prison.  Here, Simpson was sentenced to a maximum of 33 years in prison, making him eligible for parole when he’s 70 years old.

If you have been arrested, or are being investigated for, kidnapping or robbery or any other serious felony, it is crucial that you contact a defense attorney as soon as possible.  Attorney Ross Erlich handles kidnapping and robbery charges in the Airport Court, CCB (Criminal Courts Building), Pasadena Court and Van Nuys Courthouse.  Contact attorney Ross Erlich for a free case evaluation today.