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Criminal Defense Contact

Nadja Habinek

Phone: 310 916-9517


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Criminal Defense

DUI Defense

In California, a DUI is a serious crime. When a person is suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they are often charged with a DUI. The term "under the influence" generally means that, as a result of ingesting drugs or alcohol a person's mental or physical abilities are impaired to such a degree that he or she no longer has the ability to drive a vehicle with the caution characteristic of a sober person of ordinary prudence, under the same or similar circumstances.

Consequenses of a DUI can include loss of your driving privileges, increased insurance premiums, and even jail for repeat offenders.If you have been charged with a DUI, a DUI lawyer may be able to prove that the officer’s observations and the chemical tests (breath tests and blood tests) are flawed.

Drug Crimes

Drug crimes are serious and are some of the most most widely prosecuted crimes in both California and federal courts.If you are caught for drug possession, usually the range of punishment is determined by the quantity and purpose of possession, such as possession for sale rather than possession for use. A conviction can get you anything from probation to lengthy prison sentences, depending on the type and quantity of drugs, your prior criminal record, whether sales occurred in a school zone, etc.

Fortunately, often with the help of an experienced attorney, people accused of drug possession can often get alternatives to jail, such as rehabilitation because the California criminal justice system is clogged with alleged drug offenders, and judges are trying to find ways to keep some, such as those caught for drug possession, out of the overcrowded jails.

There are many types of drug offenses, from simple possession, possession with intent to sell, importation, trafficking, conspiracy to distribute, cultivation and production. These offenses apply to a wide range of controlled substances, including marijuana (pot), heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, and ecstasy. For kids in their teens, most drug charges go through a separate juvenile crime system.

As mentioned above, there are alternatives to jail time in some cases. In California, both PC1000 and Prop 36 offer diversion, which allows the accused to complete a drug treatment program in lieu of prison. Once successfully completed, the drug charge is dismissed. The defendant thus gets a new start on life, free of any criminal record.

Types of Drug Charges

In California, there are many different levels of drug charges, ranging from possession of small amounts of marijuana, which is a misdemeanor, to large-scale distribution. Some of the more common charges are:

  • Drug possession
  • Possession for sale, sales, intent to sell
  • Importation
  • Transportation
  • Trafficking
  • Cultivation and sales
  • Distribution and conspiracy to violate any drug / narcotic laws
  • Trafficking and manufacture of methamphetamine (meth) and / or possession of chemicals (i.e. ephedrine or pseudoephedrine) for manufacturing, purifying, etc.

Assault and Battery

A battery is generally defined as the willful use of force against another. This can be any physical contact with another person to which that other person has not consented.

An assault is essentially an attempt at a battery. The terms assault and battery often go together, but not always.

California law classifies assault as a violent crime. California has some of the toughest laws and punishment for a conviction of a violent crime. A conviction can result in jail or prison time, fines, full restitution to the victim, probation or parole, counseling, and a permanent entry on your criminal record. Other consequences include potentially losing your rights to own a firearm, loss of your job or employment opportunities and/or loss of your driver's license. Many assaults are considered "strikes" under California's "Three Strikes" Law. These charges are extremely serious and can be used to enhance future punishment in the future.

There are several different types of assault and battery charges in California law:

Theft Crime

Los Angeles theft crimes are criminal acts of taking another person's property or money without the other person's permission. In California, these Southern California theft crimes can be either a misdemeanor or a felony.

Los Angeles Misdemeanor Theft

Petty theft is generally the taking of property or money that is valued at $400 or less. This is a misdemeanor and may be punished with a sentence of up to six months in jail, significant court fines, restitution to the victim and to law enforcement for the cost of investigation of the charges, community service, counseling and probation.

If you have a prior conviction for petty theft and served any time in custody, then the prosecutor may opt to file the second offense as a felony. This is often referred to as petty theft with a prior, and the penalty for a petty theft with a prior is up 3 years in prison, counseling, probation or parole, high court fines, community service, restitution to both the victim and law enforcement.

Los Angeles Felony Theft

Grand theft is the taking of property or money that belongs to another that is valued at $400 or more without the other person's consent. All felony theft crimes may be punished by prison, high court fines, restitution to both the victim and law enforcement, probation or parole, reimbursement for the cost of supervision, and counseling. All theft cases will be used to increase future punishment if a person is convicted of a crime in the future.

Common Los Angeles and Southern California theft crimes include:

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