Assault & Battery


An assault occurs where there is an intentional threat or use of force or violence against another individual.  While assault is usually charged with a battery, there does not have to be any actual physical contact for an assault to take place – the mere threat of physical contact – is enough to be charged with assault.

In fact, California Penal Code section 240 states that an assault is committed when you make an “unlawful attempt, coupled with the present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.”  Thus, the government must prove that you intended to commit a battery, and that you had the immediate and present ability to actually commit that battery.

An assault can become aggravated if there are certain things present during the underlying criminal act.  Common aggravating circumstances include the use of a deadly weapon, the intent to commit a serious felony during the conduct (sexual assault, murder, robbery, kidnapping).  The presence of these aggravating circumstances will typically elevate the assault charge to a felony and bring with it increased penalties, such as state prison time or a felony conviction.

Common defenses to assault include the victim consenting to the behavior, no intent to commit a battery, no present and immediate ability to commit battery, you acted in self-defense of yourself, another person or your personal property, and being falsely accused.



A battery occurs when there is an intentional use of force against someone resulting in harmful or offensive contact.  Battery is also charged in varying degrees depending on the severity of the contact, ranging from simple battery to aggravated battery and may include enhancements if a weapon is used or great bodily harm is committed.

California makes it a crime to touch someone without their consent.  The person touched does not need to suffer any actual injury, it is enough that you touched them in a harmful or offensive way is sufficient for a battery.  Keep in mind that the government must prove that the act of touching was intentional, and, that the touching was harmful or offensive.

Similar to assault, battery can become aggravated if certain other circumstances are present during the touching.  Examples of aggravated forms of battery include domestic battery/domestic violence, battery causing great bodily harm, battery on a peace officer, and sexual battery.

Common defenses to battery include self-defense or the defense of another person, the conduct was not willful, the conduct was not offensive, or being falsely accused.

If you are convicted of even a simple assault and/or battery, you may lose your ability to own a firearm for 10 years.

If you or someone you know has been charged with assault and/or battery, it is important to contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Ross Erlich as soon as possible so that the proper investigation and fact-gathering can be done on the case.

Because assault and battery charges are serious and prosecuted aggressively, it is important that Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Ross Erlich examine all possible avenues for resolving the matter including anger management classes, restitution or domestic violence treatment.

For aggressive and vigorous defense of your rights, contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Ross Erlich today.

DMV Hearings

Living in California, we all realize the importance of having a valid driver’s license.  Without the ability to lawfully drive, someone might find they are out of a job, cannot go to school or cannot take care of loved ones.  DMV hearings are a critical part of a DUI case and something that Attorney Ross Erlich takes just as seriously as the criminal case in court.

There are a few scenarios that can give rise to an Administrative Per Se hearing (DMV hearing focusing on your ability to keep your driving privileges).  One of the most common is getting arrested for a DUI.  Others include, operating your vehicle negligently, causing an accident that results in someone’s death, suffering from a medical condition that can pose a danger to other motorists (seizures), and being convicted of numerous moving violations in a set period of time (think speeding tickets).

When you are arrested for a DUI, the police officer is required to issue you a temporary license with the DMV notice of suspension.  This temporary license is only valid for 30 days.  Once you have received your notice of suspension, you have 10 days to contact the DMV to schedule an Administrative Per Se hearing.  If you do not contact the DMV, or wait beyond the 10 days, your license will automatically be suspended after 30 days.

You are entitled to legal representation at your DMV hearing, and Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Ross Erlich handles all DMV hearings that are part of your DUI arrest.  If you do not have a Los Angeles DUI lawyer at your hearing, the chances of winning are slim.  Los Angeles DUI lawyer Ross Erlich always includes, and recommends, his representation at a DMV hearing in his DUI retainer.

Because DMV hearings are the key to preventing the suspension of your license, it is important to contact Los Angeles DUI lawyer Ross Erlich immediately after being arrested so that our office can schedule a hearing and make sure that we have an opportunity to fight the suspension.

DMV Hearing Officers act as judges, juries and prosecutors in these hearings.  They are highly experienced with the procedures in a DMV hearing and know what objections are relevant, which documents are allowed to be introduced, and what key elements need to be proven.  It is critical that you have an attorney who is just as experienced and prepared to conduct the DMV hearings.

Issues to be addressed at the DMV hearing include whether there was probable cause for the officer to pull you over, whether there was a lawful arrest and was your Blood Alcohol Concentration at 0.08% or above at the time of driving.  See the DMV’s website about Administrative Per Se Hearings here – here.

For commercial driver’s license holders, you can lose your commercial driving privileges for 1 year if you are convicted of a DUI and can lose them for life if convicted of a second or other multiple offense DUI.

For aggressive and vigorous defense of your rights with the DMV, contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Ross Erlich today.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence charges are among the most serious and the most emotional.  What some people might think is a little family argument, or a dispute among couples, can lead to a felony arrest by law enforcement.  Oftentimes arguments can get out of hand and lead to one spouse calling the police and claiming violence when none occurred.

Domestic violence arrests occur all of the time in Los Angeles because of the rules relating to the police response.  If there are any credible claims of offensive contact/injury, the police are going to make an arrest.  This is why, as mentioned above, even just a small argument can turn into a felony arrest with someone going to jail.  Furthermore, domestic violence charges are among the most susceptible to being manipulated by one party.  It can be difficult to dispute a victim’s false or inaccurate report when there are no other witnesses.  These false claims can be the result of revenge, a recent divorce, family court or custody proceedings or infidelity.

There is also a misconception that these charges can be “dropped” if the victim wishes to.  Unfortunately or not, once the police make an arrest in a domestic violence incident, the government steps into the shoes of the victim and pursues the charges.  Thus, even if the victim does not wish to cooperate or have the perpetrator prosecuted, the decision is no longer theirs.

Domestic violence charges are brought when any act of violence is committed against a family member, such as a spouse, child or domestic partner.  These cases also may include a component/added charge of child abuse, parental rights and sexual misconduct, which is why having an attorney represent you is imperative.  Additionally, a conviction for domestic violence may lead to restitution, anger management counseling, problems at your place of employment, not being able to own or possess a firearm, and criminal protective orders against you.

Consequences of a domestic violence conviction can have far-reaching implications.  They carry fines, requirements to complete a 52-week domestic violence class, a moral turpitude conviction on your record and may lead to deportation if you are not a citizen of this country.

Taking certain steps before your court date can help your case in the eyes of the prosecutor.  Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Ross Erlich often counsels clients on what things they can do before their arraignment to shed a better light on the facts of the case and present themselves more favorably before the judge.  Additionally, Los Angeles attorney Ross Erlich employs the services of a former LAPD police officer, who is now a licensed private investigator, to help bring out background facts of the alleged victim, when appropriate, to disclose to the prosecutor.

Because law enforcement and prosecutors take domestic violence cases very seriously and pursue them aggressively, it is important that you contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Ross Erlich to aggressively protect your rights and present a vigorous defense for you.

For aggressive and vigorous defense of your rights, contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Ross Erlich today.

Drug Charges

While some of the more recent laws have reduced the potential consequences for some drug offenses, it is important to know that those laws do not apply to all of the common drug crimes.  A drug offense conviction can still lead to negative consequences that include losing your job, being disciplined by a governmental agency if you hold a license with the state, and even the ability to obtain a loan.

Drug charges most commonly include

  • Drug Possession
  • Drug Use
  • Possession for Sale
  • Drug Trafficking
  • Drug Cultivation/Manufacturing

In California, you cannot possess a controlled substance unless you have a valid prescription (in the case of marijuana or prescription medication).  The government must show that you illegally possessed the controlled substance, were aware of the presence of the substance on your person or in your control, knew the drug was considered a controlled substance, and that you possessed a usable quantity.

Due to the wide varying factors in drug cases, penalties can range from jail or prison time, to probation, fines, community service or even drug rehabilitation programs.  It is important to have an attorney with knowledge of all the possible resources available to someone facing a drug charge and be able to aggressively pursue the option that allows the client to keep their freedom while being able to take advantage of rehabilitation.

In many drug offense cases, important factors are the type and classification of the substance, the amount seized, location of the substance, packaging and all other surrounding circumstances of the arrest.  Many possession crimes now are simple misdemeanors which can be handled through a formal or informal diversion with the prosecutors office.  This diversion requires you to be a first-time drug offense offender, not be charged with any other non-possession crimes, not have any previous felony convictions within 5 previous years of the arrest and have not have any revocations of probation or parole on your record.

Additionally, Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Ross Erlich can assist in placing you or your loved one in an in-patient or out-patient drug treatment facility, which also helps to resolve one’s case more favorably.

Also keep in mind that just because possessing marijuana in California is now no longer a crime, there are still many crimes on the books that involve it.  Possession for sale, transportation, manufacturing/cultivation, driving while under the influence of marijuana and others.  In many possession for sales cases, critical facts include the intent to sell.  Prosecutors look to the evidence to prove this in the form of large quantities of the drugs, scales, baggies, large quantity of money, multiple cell phones and even payment ledgers.

Defenses to drug possession cases can include the police conducting an unreasonable search and seizure on you or your property (without probable cause), momentary/incidental possession of the substance, no actual control or possession of the substance, lack of knowledge or awareness of the substance, a valid prescription or the lack of any intent to sell the substance.

Contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Ross Erlich if you have been charged with a drug offense so that your rights and interests are aggressively protected.


In California and Los Angeles, a person can be charged with a DUI if their Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or above, or if they are driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol or both.  Drugs include both illegal substances as well as prescription medicine that can cause someone to be under the influence while operating a motor vehicle.  See DUI laws here.

Facing a DUI charge can be a frustrating, confusing and scary process.  It is the most charged crime in California and is also something that law enforcement and prosecutors take very seriously due to the potential public safety issues.  You may be facing thousands of dollars in fines, up to 6 months license suspension for a first time offense (without other aggravating factors), and mandatory drinking and driving education programs.  Due to the seriousness of these offenses, effective and experienced representation from Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Ross Erlich is necessary to protect your rights.

There are many strategies that Attorney Ross Erlich can use to fight your DUI arrest.  Some examples include:

  • Was there probable cause for the police officer to pull you over?
  • Was the arrest lawfully made?
  • Were the field sobriety tests administered correctly?
  • Was the breathalyzer machine properly calibrated and maintained?

Each one of these factors can be the basis for the prosecution to dismiss the charges or, in the alternative, to reduce them from a standard DUI.  Ensuring that the arresting office followed correct procedures, administered the tests correctly and addressed any medical conditions you might have that can affect the result is crucial to your defense.

The imitation of a DUI traffic stop is one of the main focuses of the case for a criminal defense lawyer.  The officer(s) must have valid probable cause to make a traffic stop.  This probable cause comes in many forms – simple vehicle code violation (failure to use turn signal, failure to make a complete stop at a stop sign, speeding), a car accident, swerving in lanes or even illegal tint on the windows.

With the proliferation of dashboard cameras, body worn video cameras, cell phone footage and the like, we are increasingly getting more evidence to view, and attack, the officer(s) probable cause for the stops.  For example, there have been cases where the officer states in their report that the probable cause of the traffic stop, which led to a DUI arrest, was the failure to use a turn signal.  Once the video footage was requested and provided to our office, we could see our client use his turn signal before making the turn in question.  Showing that to the prosecutor resulted in a favorable outcome for our client.

Many times the arresting officer does not communicate instructions correctly or effectively, thus laying the basis for improper test results due to his or her own instructions.  In other instances, there may be a language barrier, which can also cause the suspect to perform poorly on the field sobriety tests.

When you contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Ross Erlich, you will feel confident that the experience our office has to offer will allow you to present the strongest defense to your DUI charge.

For aggressive and vigorous defense of your rights, and your driver’s license, contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Ross Erlich today.


In California, an expungement allows a person convicted of a crime to petition the court to re-open their case, set aside their plea, and dismisses the case.  In order to qualify for an expungement, a person needs to have successfully completed their term of probation, paid all fines and fees to the court, paid outstanding restitution to any victim and not currently be charged with a crime.

However, an expungement does not remove all of the consequences of a criminal conviction.  An expungement does not restore gun rights that might have been terminated due to a criminal conviction nor remove someone who has been placed on the sex offender database.

You can petition for an expungement any time after completion of your probation.  The court, typically, wants to see successful completion of probation (no violations or new arrests), and if there are, the petitioner should expect to provide the court with a declaration explaining the violation and any other mitigating factors.

If an expungement is granted by the court, the petitioner may have their finding of guilt set aside and may state that they have not been convicted of that crime.  They will, however, have to answer “yes” if asked whether or not they have ever been arrested, but their record may reflect a dismissal after conviction.

Obtaining an expungement can help you remove the negative impact a conviction has on your record when you apply for jobs, schooling, housing, insurance, loans and for immigration purposes.

For the most part, expungements can be submitted to the court (with a copy sent to the prosecuting agency) by mail and a response will come some 4-8 weeks after submission.  Some courts and/or prosecutors may require a hearing on the petition in person in court.  If there has been a violation of probation, Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Ross Erlich recommends requesting an in-person hearing with the court so that all of the client’s mitigating factors and factors of rehabilitation are stressed to the judge.

There may be other forms of post-conviction relief available to someone who has been arrested in Los Angeles or anywhere in California.  If you have been arrested but never charged, your case was dismissed, you were found not guilty or if you were arrested by mistake, you might be eligible to seal and destroy your arrest records.

You might also be eligible to reduce your conviction from a felony to a misdemeanor, or even from a misdemeanor to an infraction.

Furthermore, there may be circumstances in which you seek to ask the court to terminate your probation early.  Typically, a judge will not terminate probation early unless there is some good cause, considerable change in circumstances, and will likely want the petitioner to complete at least half of their agreed-to probationary sentence.  One example would be a client who had 8 months left of probation, but was offered a job, or accepted to a school, that was contingent on them being able to remove this conviction from their record.  In that case, when empathized to judge about the opportunity to be a productive member of society that could be lost, the court decided to terminate probation early in the interests of justice.

If you have successfully completed all the terms of your probation, contact Attorney Ross Erlich for your free consultation and to get your expungement process started immediately.

For aggressive and vigorous defense of your rights, contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Ross Erlich 

Hit and Run

By law, anyone involved in a traffic accident has the responsibility to identify themselves to the other party, regardless of who was at fault, and provide their insurance information.  If the other party is not in their vehicle at the time, the at-fault driver shall leave a note containing their personal contact information in an easily discoverable area on the unoccupied vehicle.

Many people fail to realize that even if you were in a minor traffic collision that was not your fault and you leave the scene, you can be charged with a misdemeanor hit and run.  Thus, if you were hit by another vehicle that was at-fault, but you proceeded to leave the scene without identify yourself and exchanging insurance information with the other driver, you could be prosecuted for a hit and run.

A hit and run can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor, with the biggest deciding factor between the two being if someone was injured as a result of the accident.

A felony hit and run occurs when you are involved in an accident and flee the scene knowing that an injury likely occurred.

Many hit and run incidents start with local law enforcement calling the person who committed the hit and run and asking them to “come into the station” so that the officers can finish their report and get some additional information.  What people forget is that law enforcement is, in reality, asking you to come down to get interrogated by a detective who will put pressure on you to admit guilt and make an incriminating statement.

The reality is, you are under no obligation to go down to the station, to make any kind of statement and, depending on the facts, you should have your attorney call the detective back and say no thank you.  Remember, you have the Constitutional right to remain silent and the right against self-incrimination.  That means that no matter how badly law enforcement wants you to come down and just “straighten some things out”, you are absolutely not obligated to do so.

The first thing you need to do if you have been contacted by the police department regarding an accident in which you were involved is call Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Ross Erlich and set up a free consultation.  If you retain Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Ross Erlich early enough in the process, our office may be able to resolve the matter in a way that keeps your criminal record clean and prevents criminal charges from ever being filed.

There also is the potential for a civil compromise in a hit and run case.  The California Penal Code section 1378 lays out the requirements and the authority for the court to allow a civil compromise to be dismissed.  Is states, in relevant part, “If the person injured appears before the court in which the action is pending at any time before trial, and acknowledges that he has received satisfaction for the injury, the court may, in its discretion, on payment of the costs incurred, order all proceedings to be stayed upon the prosecution, and the defendant to be discharged therefrom; but in such case the reasons for the order must be set forth therein, and entered on the minutes. The order is a bar to another prosecution for the same offense.”

For aggressive and vigorous defense of your rights, contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Ross Erlich today.


If you are not a US Citizen, and you charged with a crime, chances are you may face incarceration with no bail because of an “immigration hold.”  You may then face deportation in removal proceedings in federal immigration court. These proceedings are completely separate from your criminal court case and may have severe implications on your ability to continue living in the United States, even if you have your Green Card. Regardless of whether the offense that was committed, or alleged, was minor in nature, the government may still pursue deportation through removal proceedings against you.

Many crimes are categorized as either “aggravated felonies” or “crimes involving moral turpitude, (CIMT’s)” even though they might not be classified as such in state criminal court. If you or someone you know (who is not a US Citizen) has plead guilty to what the immigration laws define as either an aggravated felony or a CIMT, you or that someone you know are likely facing deportation in removal proceedings.

It is crucial that you consult with experienced immigration attorneys who can aggressively protect your rights. Any violent crime such as battery, assault, murder, attempted murder, as well as theft crimes, robbery, burglary, and embezzlement can trigger these harsh punishments. Also, any drug related offense or any firearms related offense can, and usually does, trigger deportation in removal proceedings.

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that it is a criminal defense attorney’s duty to advise a non-citizen client of any immigration consequences that may result from their plea of guilty or no contest. However, there are many complexities that arise out of this duty. For example, would a plea on a particular charge make you inadmissible, removal or both? Does your Attorney know the immigration consequences of criminal activity? Make sure you get the right counsel.

Attorney Ross Erlich’s chief immigration attorneys have over 30 years of combined experience practicing immigration law exclusively. We will be able to review your case and determine first whether you may face deportation in removable proceedings, and if so, what type of relief can be sought on your behalf.

In some instances it can be possible to obtain post-conviction relief in the criminal courts.  There are a number of avenues to pursue for post-conviction relief.  Overturning a previous conviction for ineffective assistance of counsel, a motion for re-sentencing, reducing a felony to a misdemeanor, expungements, a motion to withdraw your guilty plea due to the court not properly advising you of the immigration consequences, and others.  In these cases, Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Ross Erlich will look at the original court file and sentencing memorandum and see what was said to our client, what advisement of immigration consequences was mentioned, if there was an interpreter there assisting the client and what the client’s attorney at the time advised him or her of.

If you or someone you know are dealing with an immigration issue anywhere in greater Los Angeles, Downtown Los Angeles, North Hollywood, Van Nuys or Orange County, contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Ross Erlich at (323) 222-4529.

Personal Injury

Auto accidents happen every day, especially in a city the size of Los Angeles where there are over 10 million registered cars and trucks.  Accidents may result from reckless driving, distracted drivers, and from other causes that may not be due to any fault of your own.  Attorney Ross Erlich can get compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage and, most importantly, awards for the pain and suffering associated with a traumatic auto accident.

Attorney Ross Erlich has a number of doctors and pain management professionals who will start treatment immediately without any out of pocket cost to you.  Attorney Ross Erlich does not get paid unless you get paid and will fight for your rights to recover what is fair for your pain, suffering and inconvenience. No up-front costs are required from you!  The attorneys at our office have years of experience negotiating with insurance companies and fighting for the best possible outcome for our client.

Remember, it is the responsibility of the at-fault party, or their insurance company, to make you “whole” again after the accident.  That means that you, as the injured not-at-fault party are entitled to take any and all reasonable treatment to get your physical well-being back to what it was before the accident.

Many clients find relief in chiropractic treatment, electro-stimulation, massage therapy, and other non-invasive treatments.  Many other clients have the need to get radiology done (CT Scan, MRI, X-Ray, etc) and consult with orthopedic doctors for muscle breaks or fractures.  All of this treatment is typically done on a “lien”, which means no upfront or out-of-pocket cost to the client.  The provider knows that their bill satisfaction comes out of any successful settlement or jury damages award.

If you have been injured in an automobile accident, it is critical that you contact Los Angeles personal injury lawyer Ross Erlich to get a medical evaluation and treatment as soon as possible.  Waiting too long to take action after an auto accident can negatively impact your rights as a victim and the value of your case.

Here are some important tips to do after an auto accident:

–           File a police report

–           Collect contact information for all parties involved in the accident.  This should include names, phone numbers,                                                                       addresses, insurance company, insurance policy number, driver’s license numbers and license plate numbers.

–           Take pictures of the vehicles involved in the accident and their license plates.

–           Take pictures of any visible injuries of anyone involved in the accident if possible.

–           Get any witness names and contact information.

–           Contact Attorney Ross Erlich prior to any conversations with insurance adjusters.

–           If necessary, go to the hospital or emergency room for treatment of any injuries.

It is important to contact an attorney you feel comfortable with and one who is responsive.  Personal injury cases require lots of personal attention – from getting you set up with a doctor, physical therapist, auto body shop, dealing with property damage insurance adjusters – the list goes on.

Contact Los Angeles personal injury lawyer Ross Erlich today for a free consultation.

Sex Offenses and Prostitution

Due to the social stigma attached to being convicted, or even charged, with a sex crime, it is important to contact Attorney Ross Erlich as early as possible so that he can initiate any investigation that needs to be done, and contact witnesses who need to be interviewed before the first court appearance.  In many instances, our office will employ the services of a private investigator, an expert polygrapher, an expert psychologist and any other expert who can credibly present the “other side of the story.”

Consequences for sex crimes can be harsh, including jail or prison time, restitution, and court ordered classes.  Additionally, nearly all sex offense convictions will result in the defendant being required to register as a sex offender where they reside.  This means that the person convicted will have to register at their local police station every year within 5 days of their birthday for the rest of their life.

A person’s ability to live in certain neighborhoods can be impacted as well as their ability to seek and/or maintain employment.

Law enforcement agents often conduct undercover sting operations to make arrests in these types of cases and it is crucial that you know what your rights are and what law enforcement can and cannot due while working undercover.  In many cases, law enforcement may have the alleged victim contact the suspect over the phone.  They will tell the alleged victim to somehow bring up the alleged incident with the intention that the suspect will confirm it, talk about it or otherwise admit to the incident and incriminate themselves.

Additionally, sex offense allegations can oftentimes originate from someone with an agenda or an unreliable source.  Persons who are mad at the defendant, have been cheated on, have been served with divorce papers or child custody cases oftentimes feel that making such a serious allegation on the other person is the only avenue they have to get even.  These cases often lack physical or other corroborating evidence and are completely circumstantial, a classic he-said-she-said case.

There are many different types of sex crimes that Attorney Ross Erlich defends against, including:

  • Rape
  • Prostitution
  • Sexual Assault and/or Battery
  • Pandering
  • Lewd and Lascivious conduct
  • Indecent Exposure
  • Solicitation of Prostitution
  • Child Pornography

In addition, if you have been previously convicted of a sex crime which required you to register as a sex offender, many people become subject to being arrested and charged with failing to register as a sex offender.  This, a felony in itself, can create a whole new criminal case for someone who may have simply forgot, or miscalculated, when they had to go back to re-register.

While being arrested for, and charged with, a sex offense is something that is scary and humiliating, being convicted of one is something that can have catastrophic consequences for a person and their whole family.

For aggressive and vigorous defense of your rights, and to avoid the harsh penalties that come with a sex offense conviction, contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Ross Erlich today.

Theft Crimes

A theft occurs when someone takes something of value from another, without their consent.  Theft crimes range from a minor petty theft to serious charges of armed robbery.  Technically, a theft is the unlawful taking and removing of another’s person property with the intent of depriving him or her of it.

Theft crimes in California can be charged as felonies, misdemeanors, or wobblers (which are crimes that can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the facts of your case and any previous criminal history).

See general theft law here.

Examples of theft crimes include:

  • Shoplifting
  • Robbery
  • Burglary
  • Embezzlement
  • Forgery
  • Auto Theft
  • Receiving Stolen Property
  • Internet Theft
  • Credit/Check Card Fraud
  • Grand Theft
  • Armed Robbery


There are two levels of theft crimes: petty theft and grand theft.  Petty theft is the lesser offense and is charged as a misdemeanor.  Petty theft is the unlawful taking of someone’s property that is valued at $950 or less.  Grand theft is the more severe offense and is often filed as a felony.  Grand theft is the taking of someone else’s property valued at $950 or more.

Theft is a crime of moral turpitude which is viewed by the government as contrary to normal rules of morality.  A crime of moral turpitude is one that involves either fraud, dishonesty or antisocial behavior that harms others.  These crimes of moral turpitude can lead to serious immigration consequences if you are not a citizen of the United States, loss of employment, and can be used to impeach your credibility.

If your job requires you to be licensed by the state, you may run into  administrative proceedings from those licensing authorities, resulting from your arrest.  For example, if you are a doctor, lawyer, nurse, or even a contractor, the state board who regulates your profession could initiate proceedings seeking to suspend or remove your license in addition to the criminal proceedings.

Some defenses that may arise in a theft case include not having any actual intent to steal, or deprive, the person of their property.  Maybe you mistakenly thought the item was yours and, in actuality, it wasn’t.  What also often comes up is if the property stolen actually belonged to you.  All that is needed is an actual, good faith, belief that this property actually belonged to you.

Also keep in mind that additional issues may arise where someone has had prior theft offense convictions.

Because prosecutors believe strongly in holding people accountable for stealing the property of others, you can expect to face rigorous prosecution if you are charged with a theft crime.  If you have been charged with a theft crime, it is important to contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Ross Erlich for a free consultation as soon as possible to get the investigation started into the facts of the case and to protect your rights.

For aggressive and vigorous defense of your rights, contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Ross Erlich today.

Traffic Citations

While most people choose to go into court on their own to fight their traffic ticket, there are several instances where having an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney handle your tickets make more sense.

Examples of traffic citations that Ross Erlich handles are:

– Speeding

– Driving on a suspended license

– Hit and run

– Reckless driving

– Red light camera tickets


– Fix-it tickets


You should contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Ross Erlich if having another traffic ticket on your record will either trigger a license suspension, impact your employment, impact your insurance rates, run the risk of getting your insurance cancelled, or you are no longer eligible for traffic school.  The average person in Los Angeles can expect their insurance to go up by an average of $700 after getting a ticket on their record.

Attorney Ross Erlich knows how to handle traffic tickets in a manner that can dismiss the ticket outright, get a fine or failure to appear dismissed or reduced, and prevent a point from being placed on your driving record.

Traffic tickets in Los Angeles are expensive, time consuming and set up to have you simply go online and pay the ticket and be done.  The problem with just “paying the ticket and being done”, is that by doing so, you are pleading guilty to the violation and you no longer have the option to fight the ticket.

If you hold a commercial license and drive commercially for a living, it is imperative that you get an experienced attorney to fight your ticket.  Commercial drivers are no longer eligible for traffic school, even if not driving a commercial vehicle when they received the citation.  Also, there is no longer the option of the 12 hour second offender traffic school.  This means that you only have 1 chance to attend traffic school within 18 months to get the citation off of your record.

To find out how Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Ross Erlich can fight your traffic ticket in Chatsworth, Van Nuys or Metropolitan Court in Los Angeles, contact the office today.