Lohan Wanted For Questioning In Another Theft?!

Well, the break was short-lived; Lindsay Lohan is back in the crime news again. What did she do this time you might ask? Well, no one is quite sure, but the LAPD are expected to present a case involving watch theft to prosecutors today for their review and consideration on filing criminal charges.

All of this stems from an incident where several watches were stolen from one of Lohan’s friend’s homes earlier this month and it remains unclear what, if any, role Lohan might have had in the theft. LAPD is seeking to speak with Lohan regarding this incident but sources say her attorney has denied that request on behalf of Lohan.

If you or someone you know has either been charged with a theft crime or has been contacted by law enforcement regarding theft, it is important not to say anything to investigators without first speaking to a criminal defense attorney. Attorney Ross Erlich will speak to law enforcement on your behalf and work to protect your rights and ensure that any investigation is conducted properly.

It is also important to keep in mind that theft crimes are crimes of moral turpitude and can negatively impact your job, citizenship status or application or professional license. It is necessary to have a knowledgeable and skillful attorney to prevent convictions for these crimes and to work to get charges dropped or to facilitate a diversion program.

Contact Attorney Ross Erlich if you have been charged with theft in the Airport Court, Beverly Hills, or Downtown Los Angeles. Attorney Ross Erlich offers free consultations to those looking for a Beverly Hills criminal attorney or Airport Court criminal attorney.

Contact criminal defense attorney Ross Erlich (323) 222-4529.

State Prisons Not On Track To Meet Population Reduction

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.

Teen Bullies Get Questioned And Judged By Their Peers

Teen courts have operated in Los Angeles County for over the last 20 years. In these specialized courts, trained teenagers question, determine guilt and ultimately sentence fellow teenagers charged with crimes.

Faced with the reality that many youths charged with relatively minor offenses can often avoid the criminal justice system and becoming repeat offenders if worked with at an early age, Judge David Wesley helped develop the program to what it is today. Thus, the teen courts typically deal with teenage first-time offenders charged with such crimes as petty theft, vandalism, bullying, etc, and are referred by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office or through the LA County Probation Department. It is estimated that less than 5% of those offenders tried in teen court repeat their crimes.

A new offshoot of the Teen Court program is now starting to address incidents of bullying and hate crimes in an attempt to curb this behavior before it becomes normal.

The teens that serve on the court are allowed to ask questions of the accused and are trained about what questions to ask, the elements of the crimes and other topics to assist them to come to an educated decision.

Having served on a teen court many years ago, Attorney Ross Erlich realizes the value and importance that this program can have on both the person charged with a crime and the community as a whole. Not only does the person charged with a crime get to realize the consequences of their actions and how it can affect families and friends, the community benefits from the personalized treatment and reduction of repeat offenders.

If you or someone you know has been charged with vandalism, petty-theft, battery or any other crime in the Metropolitan Los Angeles area, Beverly Hills or near the Airport Court, contact Attorney Ross Erlich for a free one-on-one consultation at (818) 783-5700.

California Courts Getting A Cut

You might have heard by now that Governor Jerry Brown is issuing new cuts in services for the State of California in response to a revised $16 billion budget shortfall. Part of the services that Brown mentioned would be severely cut is the state’s trial court system, one of the largest in the country, by $544 million.

Now, you might be asking yourself, “what does this have to do with me?”. Well, it has everything to do with you. If you have been charged with a crime like driving under the influence (DUI), theft crimes, drug crimes, or a hit and run, less court resources means less services available to you. Wait times are going to increase, less courtrooms will be open which means the city and district attorneys are going to be even more overworked, and less attention will get paid to your case. Because of this, it is important that you hire Attorney Ross Erlich to handle your case and use our state’s current financial mess to your advantage.

One of the “advantages” of the cuts in state trial court funding is that the prosecutors will likely be more inclined to accept offers and plea bargains put forward by defense attorneys and structured to benefit our client. Drawing on Attorney Ross Erlich’s experience in dealing with prosecutors and arranging favorable plea bargains, Attorney Ross Erlich will aggressively pursue reduced charges and even outright dismissals! There are numerous other advantages for criminal defense attorney’s in today’s day in age, so contact attorney Ross Erlich at (323) 222-4529 for your free consultation.

Right to Attorney Extends to Plea Deals

The Supreme Court last week ruled, for the first time, that defendants have a right to competent advice from an attorney when dealing in plea negotiations for lighter sentences.

The Court noted that, at a minimum, the defendant must be informed of all formal offers made by the prosecution that would result in a favorable plea deal.

Writing for the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy noted that our nation’s criminal justice system is largely a “system of pleas, not a system of trials.” 94% of state convictions result from guilty pleas and not trial verdicts. Thus, it is crucial that the constitutional right to a competent lawyer extend to the back-and-forth of plea negotiations.

This nationwide trend in plea deals is also apparent in Los Angeles County courthouses. Depending on the facts of the case, it may be beneficial to discuss plea options with the prosecutor in an attempt to reduce the sentence.

If you have been charged with a DUI, other driving under the influence charges, possession of drugs or hit and runs in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, or in the Airport courthouse, it is imperative that you contact criminal defense attorney Ross Erlich as soon as possible. Retaining an attorney early on in the process can help facilitate the dialogue between your defense attorney and the prosecutor in attempts to resolve the matter before it gets filed in court or early on in the legal process.

Lindsay Lohan Back at Airport Courthouse Today

Lohan Gets Jail Time at Airport Court, Again.

Good news for Lindsay Lohan, she gets to stay out of jail – for now. Lohan was due back at Airport Courthouse today to face Judge Stephanie Sautner for her probation violation hearing stemming from her failure to remain current with court-mandated probation terms and conditions.

Lohan admitted the violation to Judge Sautner who decided that Lohan must serve 12 working days at the Los Angeles County morgue and attend four, 45-minute therapy sessions by December 14. Lohan will have to keep up the counseling and additional morgue days thereafter. Furthermore, Judge Sautner ordered Lohan to serve 30 days in county jail, starting November 9. Lohan will likely only serve a handful of days, at most, due to overcrowding at county jail.

Lohan is not making things easy for her defense team, who seem to be keeping Lohan’s criminal exposure to a minimum, while having to juggle multiple obligations to the court as terms of her probation.

If you have been charged with a crime and have violated probation as a result, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. There may be options to minimize additional terms and conditions of your probation if steps are taken before your court date.

If you would like to speak to Attorney Ross Erlich regarding any case at Airport Courthouse or anywhere else in Los Angeles County, please contact the office at (818) 783-5700 or ross@4criminaldefense.com.

No Vacancy

The Los Angeles County jail system could run out of vacancy as early as next month due to the new practice known as “realignment.”

The State of California, under direction from the United States Supreme Court, has instituted this new policy of realignment to deal with the overcrowding in state prison. Under this new approach, as many as 8,000 state prisoners – those with non-serious and non-violent convictions – will be transferred and serve their sentence in county jails.

Considering this new influx of state prisoners into county jails, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is looking at ways to deal with the increase in population, including electronic monitoring, house arrest and other non-custody alternatives. Another strategy the Department is considering is having those charged with drug offenses enter into a sober living or other substance abuse education programs instead of in jail custody.

It comes down to simple math. With funding for only an additional 1,800 beds, inmates will be released earlier and have more options to earn custody credits.

If you have been charged with a crime in the City of Los Angeles, near LAX airport or in Beverly Hills, it is important to contact Attorney Ross Erlich for a free consultation and to discuss what your options are. Due to the overcrowding in County Jail, there are many, less severe, options to resolve your case and obtain a favorable result for you.