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Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer

Hiring the right criminal defense attorney can make the difference between a guilty or not guilty verdict. Every client needs a criminal defense attorney committed to explaining the laws and possible defenses, challenging the prosecutor's case, and relentlessly fighting on behalf of their clients.

Jonathan Franklin Is Available To Assist You In Your Criminal Case

At the Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer Law Firm, we are with you every step of the way from arrest to trial. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 310-502-1314. Our consultations are free.

If you find yourself arrested and facing a DUI or another criminal charge in Los Angeles, or anywhere throughout Southern California, you cannot risk trusting anyone but the most skilled and dedicated defense attorney to handle your case.

The penalties of a criminal conviction often include years in county jail or state prison, heavy fines in the hundreds to thousands of dollars range, years of probation, community service requirements, and in the case of DUIs and certain other driving crimes, loss of your California driving license for years on end.

Furthermore, the creation of a permanent criminal record, especially in DUI and felony cases, becomes a major impediment in finding gainful employment, getting accepted on a college application, or even being approved for an apartment lease. Inexperienced or under-concerned public defenders or "law mills" that don't give your case the personal attention it deserves have a poor track record of winning the best for their clients.

But we at Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer take a different approach. We put the best interests of our clients first in everything we do, from the moment you first pick up the phone to call us for help to the conclusion of your case. 

We have been in the business of defending L.A. Area residents against DUIs and a wide array of criminal allegations for over 20 years, have successfully handled over 3,400 cases, and have a hard-earned 99% client satisfaction rate and a perfect-10 Avvo score.

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With You Every Step Of The Way!

At Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer, we can handle your DUI or criminal defense case from beginning to end. We know how to effectively fight for your best interests at every phase of the criminal defense process, be it at a DMV hearing or in a jury trial.

If you have just been charged, fear you may be under police investigation and charged soon, or if you are switching from another law firm that did not serve you well - we can pick up your case from where you are at and stay with you every step of the way till we reach a satisfactory conclusion.

Bail Hearing

At your bail hearing, bail will be set if it is determined you are eligible for bail, which most people are unless it's thought you would be likely to flee justice and not appear for your trial.

Oftentimes, we can recommend to you a trustworthy bail bonds agent if you call us first from jail with you allotted phone call, and this often gets you a 20% discount on your bail bond fee.

Getting out of jail before your arraignment and consulting with us to get started on building a solid defense, will help you be better prepared for your arraignment and all that lies beyond in the criminal defense process.

Arraignment

After your arrest, the first court appearance you must make is called your "arraignment." This is the time to enter a plea of "guilty," "not guilty," or "no contest."

You should basically always enter a "not guilty" plea, at least initially. A plea bargain later on might involve pleading "guilty" in exchange for a deferred entry of judgment which could ultimately get your case dismissed and keep your criminal record clean. 

At Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer, we always fight first and foremost for a dismissal or acquittal, though we also possess well honed negotiating skills with which we can secure you a favorable plea deal if/when that's the best possible option.

The Pretrial Phase

Most cases in California are resolved in the pretrial phase and never have to actually go to court. Thus, you need a lawyer on your side who understands well this phase of the defense process and has a good track record pretrial.

Pretrial, we can contest that any crime occurred or that there is any probable cause to believe that you may have committed it. We can also enter a PC 1538.5 motion to set aside evidence illegally obtained, a pitchess motion to challenge the credibility of an arresting officer's testimony if he/she has a history of police misconduct complaints, or file other pretrial motions that may get your case dismissed.

In some cases, plea bargains will be hammered out during the pretrial process. But we will never agree to a plea unless it's your best available option and you yourself are agreeable to it.

With You Every Step Of The Way!

The Trial

At Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer, we have a strong track record of winning in court. Our opponents on the prosecution side know this and often drop cases or agree to favorable pleas pretrial to avoiding facing us in court. 

But if we do go to a jury trial, we know how to challenge the evidence and arguments of the prosecution, cross examine witnesses they produce, call in our own witnesses, and effectively present exculpatory and/or mitigating evidence in your favor.

A full acquittal is always the goal, but some trials may end in a plea deal as well.

The Sentencing Hearing

If you are found guilty of the offense charged against you, you still have an opportunity to fight for a lighter sentence at the sentencing hearing.

Both prosecution and defense will explain to the judge what they feel an appropriate sentence would be and why. We will present mitigating factors in your favor that could convince the judge to give you something closer to the minimum instead of the maximum end of the penalty scale.

DMV Hearings

After a DUI or DUID arrest, your license was taken and a pink temporary license (good for 30 days) given you in its place. To get a chance to prevent losing your driving privileges in 30 days, you need to contact the DMV to request an administrative hearing within 10 days of your arrest.

The DMV hearing is not a trial but an administrative process. Nonetheless, it can still result in your losing your license, having to attend DUI School, paying heavy fines, being forced to install and IID (ignition interlock device) at your own expense, and other penalties.

It is important to come to the DMV hearing with expert DUI defense on your side. We will know how to find any weak points in the DUI case against you and use them to get your case dismissed or at least secure a lesser charge/penalty.

Note it is possible to have both a DMV hearing and a DUI trial for the same offense. We have the expertise to represent you well in both. [For more on DUI/DUID defense, see our practice area section just below.]

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Our Practice Areas

Unlike some California criminal defense law firms that only possess expertise in a few practice areas, we at Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer have decades of combined experience across a wide range of practice areas.

Here are 10 of our most common case-types, but please note that this is not meant to be an exhaustive list.

In California, "assault" is defined in the state penal code as an "unlawful attempt to inflict bodily injury on another person." It is an attempted act of battery.

The one who commits assault must have had the intention of doing so - there is no such thing legally as an "accidental assault." Plus, the prosecution must also show you had the "present ability" to commit the intended assault. That is, a person crippled and, in a wheelchair, can't be guilty of assault because he was "trying" to walk across the room and break someone's arm, for example.

PC 240 is California's statute on "simple assault," but aggravated assault can also apply and lead to steeper penalties if there was a serious injury inflicted or if the attempted injury would have been particularly severe. Further, you can get a stricter sentence if an assault was made against persons in a protected class, like police officers, the elderly, or the disabled.

At Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer, we understand the details of what does/does not constitute assault under California law. We know how to defend you against this charge. Often, assault is difficult to prove because it's a crime of intent, and we make sure the standard of "beyond reasonable doubt" is upheld in these types of cases.

Under California Penal Code Section 242, any attempt to unlawfully inflict bodily injury on another person in which the perpetrator touched the victim, even if just barely making contact for a moment, counts as "battery."

No actual injury has to be inflicted for a battery to have occurred, though cases in which none did might be able to be plea bargained down to an assault case.

Under PC 243d, there are sentencing enhancements that apply if "serious" bodily injury was inflicted in a battery, and if battery is committed against a police officer, emergency medical worker, traffic control or transportation worker, and certain other protected classes of people, the penalty will likewise be heightened.

Even simple misdemeanor level battery can get you 6 months in county jail and a fine of up to $2,000, while felony and aggravated battery conviction have steeper penalties.

At Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer, we use a variety of effective defense strategies to defend against California battery charges, including: lack of intent, lack of contact, mistaken identity, false accusation, and lack of sufficient evidence to convict.

Domestic violence can take many forms, and it's often the same as assault and/or battery as to the act committed. But what defines domestic violence as domestic violence is the relationship that existed between the perpetrator and the victim at the time of the crime.

Specifically, violent acts attempted or committed (or threatened) against a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, romantic partner, or the other parent of one's child count as acts of domestic violence. Oftentimes, children are involved in these situations as well, and so child abuse (as well as elder abuse) is sometimes considered to be a form of domestic violence as well.

Domestic violence accusations are made falsely more often than almost any other alleged crime. Often, a false charge of domestic violence is made in an attempt to win a child custody case, for example, or out of a spirit of revenge because a relationship broke apart.

At Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer, we understand how domestic violence charges arise and how to defend against them effectively. We get to the bottom of fabricated or exaggerated charges and ensure you don't lose custody or your child or suffer other negative consequences due to an unjust domestic violence conviction.

In California, a DUI is defined as operating a motor vehicle with a BAC level of .08% or higher, .04% if you are a commercial driver, and as little as .01% if you are under the legal drinking age of 21. Plus, regardless of BAC, if you can be shown to have had your driving ability impaired (even a little bit) because alcohol was in your system, it's still a DUI.

Driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) is punished the same as DUI in California, but there is no special quantity of drugs that must be present as with alcohol, and therefore, it's always a matter of showing that one's mental or physical impairment due to the influence of the drug, caused them to drive with less caution than a sober person would do in the same situation.

A DUI/DUID can lead to a license suspension that lasts from 4 months to 4 years, fines in the thousands of dollars range, DUI School, mandatory installation of an IID at your expense, community service, jail time, and other penalties. 

At Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer, we know how to get DUIs dismissed for police violations of your rights or challenge the evidence of the prosecution to gain an acquittal. We also often win a charge reduction, such as to wet/dry reckless driving.

And we know how to effectively fight to get penalties reduced and made more bearable. For example, we often can get actual jail time waived for community service and get you a restricted license to drive to/from work, school, or DUI Class.

Aside from DUI and DUID, there are many other misdemeanor and even felony level driving crimes you can be charged with in California. 

At Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer, we have deep experience in all of these driving crime practice areas, including: road rage, evasion of an officer, hit and run, (wet or dry) reckless driving, driving on a suspended license, driving without a valid California license, driving on the wrong side of the road, and more.

Some of the more serious driving crimes can cause you to lose your license, subject you to heavy fines, or even result in jail or prison time. But even the less severe misdemeanor driving crimes can put points on your driving record that might lead to license loss or to being classed as a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO). HTO status can last for years, and it means any new serious violations while HTO status applies will be punished more severely than normal.

At Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer, we are familiar with both the DMV and jury trial aspects of all manner of California driving crimes defense processes. We know how to build you a solid defense for any and all of these charges regardless of your prior driving record or the details of your case.

In California, there are a great variety of possible drug crime charges, each of which has its own very specific legal definition and requires a unique approach by the defense attorney.

We at Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer, we have minute knowledge of all relevant portions of the California Penal and Health & Safety Codes as they apply to drug crimes. We have successfully defended numerous others against the full gamut of drug crimes charges in the past, and we stand ready to do the same for you.

Whether it's simple possession of a controlled substance, using or being under the influence of an illegal drug, or a more serious crime like possession for sale, drug sale or trafficking, or manufacture of illegal narcotics, we have the time-tested expertise it takes to win your case.

Marijuana use is still illegal in California for those under the age of 21 or in quantities over one ounce (8 grams). And wrongful possession, sale, or use or legal prescription drugs also counts as a class of drug crime.

Having any kind of controlled substances abuse charge on your criminal record can make it difficult for you to live "a normal life" as in find a good job, attend college, and pursue other endeavors. Therefore, it is worthwhile to use a skilled defense lawyer to counter even the least serious drug charges.

We have a long and strong track record of securing pretrial dismissals, acquittals, and favorable pleas that reduce your charge and/or sentencing elements, for all subclasses of California drug crimes. We will know how to defend you or your loved one who has been arrested and charged with any drug crime on the books.

Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer has deep experience in defending against a wide range of theft crimes in the L.A. Area and throughout Southern California.

Any illegal taking of the property of another person without his/her knowledge and consent is a theft under California law.

Whether it's petty theft (under $950 taken), grand theft ($950 or more stolen), receiving of stolen property, appropriation of lost property, burglary, shop lifting, robbery, car jacking, grand theft auto or firearm, we have handled many such cases before and understand the law, legal processes, and courtroom dynamics involved.

Typical defenses against theft crimes include: did not take the property in question, you were the true owner of the property or had a reasonable belief that you were, and lack of intent to deprive the owner of his/her property. But there are many other possible defenses, suited to particular theft crime charges, and we know how to build your defense from the ground up based on the details of your case as well.

At Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer, we frequently win dismissals and acquittals on all manner of theft crime charges, and where that is not possible, we win a reduced charge/sentence as part of a favorable plea agreement.

Fraud is a special class of theft crime in which not only did you unlawfully take property not belonging to you, but you also committed an act that enabled you to enjoy an undeserved benefit and/or caused an undeserved loss to another person or to a company or government agency.

Fraud may also involve the violation of a trust, as in embezzlement; and most fraud crimes are committed for the sake of financial gain or to hide one's identity or otherwise escape conviction for some other crime already committed.

Although fraud is considered a "white collar" crime, in fact, many charged with a fraud crime are in the lower economic tier. Examples of fraud crimes include: forgery, embezzlement, insurance fraud, real estate or mortgage fraud, check fraud, credit card fraud, identity theft, Internet fraud, senior fraud, mail fraud, and many more.

Many fraud crimes are punishable by years in jail or state prison and hefty fines, and the damage done to your reputation could make it difficult to hold a good job or lead to the loss of your state-issued professional license. Thus, these charges are serious and require a skilled defense lawyer with deep experience in the exact relevant practice area, to secure the best possible outcome to your case.

In California, even non-violent crimes can have severe penalties, but when a crime is of a violent nature, it will receive even more severe and long-lasting sentencing elements. 

Plus, under California's Three Strikes Law, violent crimes often count as "strikes." A second strike leads to a doubled sentence, and a third strike can get you 25 years to life in state prison. Keeping violent felonies and all "strikes" off your record in California is clearly of the highest importance.

Examples of violent crimes under California law include: murder, manslaughter, assault and/or battery, making criminal threats, extortion, car jacking, assault with a deadly weapon, arson, domestic violence, kidnapping, stalking, robbery, crimes committed with a firearm, and others.

Some violent crimes can get you long prison terms, life in prison, or even the death penalty. These are the most serious of all charges you can face in a California court, and you can't afford to be without the absolute best possible defense.

At Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer, we will fight for your future tenaciously and apply the full force of our extensive legal knowledge and experience in your behalf. We have a long track record of winning these types of cases, and we look forward to helping you in your hour of need as well.

It's not at all uncommon for minors to be arrested and charged with criminal offenses in California. But in most cases, they can have their cases handled in the California Juvenile Court system and get less severe sentences plus correctional assistance to help avert a repeat offense - even in those cases where a dismissal or acquittal isn't a realistic outcome.

But of course, we fight to defeat the charge against you or your son/daughter just like with adult cases. And we have gotten many juvenile cases dismissed for lack of evidence, by presenting positive evidence in our client's favor, or by citing police violations of the minor's rights.

The most common criminal charges faced by juveniles in California include: theft crimes, underage drinking, underage DUI/DUID, underage marijuana use, vandalism, hate/gang crimes, weapons violations, sexting nude images of minors (including themselves) which is considered child pornography, and statutory rape (when both parties involved in sexual intercourse consensually were under 18.)

At Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer, we are fully familiar with how to navigate the juvenile court system and with how to defend minors against all manner of criminal charges so as to secure for them the best possible outcome to their case, an outcome that won't destroy their whole future.

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