Arzili Criminal Defense Lawyers Blog

January 11, 2014

New California Laws taking effect in 2014.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Anthony Arzili @ 7:22 pm

As the New Year approaches, there are several new laws about to be enacted in California — from transgender students’ rights and a minimum wage boost, to sharing the road with bicyclists and changes to tips at restaurants.

Here is a round up of some of the new edicts:

PLASTIC BAG BAN: Shoppers in the city of Los Angeles will have to bring their own reusable bags or fork up 10 cents per sack at large retail stores, starting Jan. 1, 2014. Smaller stores have until July 1, 2014, to phase out single-use plastic bags.

TRANSGENDER RIGHTS: Students in grades K-12 who identity as transgender will be allowed to use school bathrooms and play on sport teams “consistent with their gender identity,” starting Jan. 1, 2014.

PLASTIC BAG BAN: Shoppers in the city of Los Angeles will have to bring their own reusable bags or fork up 10 cents per sack at large retail stores, starting Jan. 1, 2014. Smaller stores have until July 1, 2014, to phase out single-use plastic bags.

TRANSGENDER RIGHTS: Students in grades K-12 who identity as transgender will be allowed to use school bathrooms and play on sport teams “consistent with their gender identity,” starting Jan. 1, 2014.

MINIMUM WAGE HIKE: Workers earning minimum wage will net $9 an hour starting July 1, 2014. The increase is part of a three-year plan that will raise the hourly minimum wage in California to $10 – one of the highest in the nation – by 2016. Under another bill, domestic workers will have to be paid time and a half if they work more than nine hours in a day or more than 45 hours in a week; baby sitters are exempt.

PAPARAZZI CRACKDOWN: Backed by actresses including Halley Berry and Jennifer Garner, a new measure will impose tougher penalties on paparazzi that harass the children of public figures, including celebrities, police officers and judges. Starting in January, violators could face up to a year in county jail and a fine of up to $10,000. Fines would increase for subsequent convictions.

MORE ROOM FOR BICYCLISTS: Drivers must give cyclists a 3-foot clearing when passing or, when that clearance isn’t possible, slow down and only pass when there’s enough room. Starting Sept. 16, 2014, passing too close to a bicyclist could result in a fine for the driver, whether there was a crash or not.

AMBER ALERT EXPANSION: Abductions by custodial parents or guardians, who may cause serious bodily injury or death to the child, now will require law enforcement to request the activation of an AMBER Alert.

TEXTING AND DRIVING: Drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to use voice recognition software, like Apple’s “Siri,” to write, send or read a text while behind the wheel.

HYBRIDS RIDING HOV: Low-emission or zero-emission vehicles can continue using high-occupancy vehicle, or carpool, lanes without meeting occupancy requirements until Jan. 1, 2019.

FINDING HIT-AND-RUN DRIVERS: A new bill extends the current three-year statute of limitations for hit-and-run offenses to six years from the date of a crash that causes death or permanent, serious injuries.

GROUP GRATITUITY: Tips automatically added to a restaurant bill (usually when a table seats 6 or more diners) will now be taxable as regular wages and subject to payroll tax withholding, which means your server won’t see those tips until payday instead of taking it home as cash.

SEARCH WARRANTS: A driver suspected of DUI who refuses to submit to or fails to complete a blood test can be served a search warrant to draw blood in a “reasonable, medically approved manner.” This law went into effect Sept. 20.

Federal: Health care, of course, and vending machines

The biggest and most politically charged change comes at the federal level with the imposition of a new fee for those adults without health insurance.

For 2014, the penalty is either $95 per adult or 1% of family income, whichever results in a larger fine.

The Obamacare, of Affordable Care Act, mandate also requires that insurers cover immunizations and some preventive care.

Additionally, millions of poor Americans will receive Medicaid benefits starting January 1.

Thousands of companies will have to provide calorie counts for products sold in vending machines.

February 20, 2011

Judge Throws out “Coerced” Confession in Murder Case in Los Angeles

Can the statement that you gave police be used against you in court?   Most likely yes.  But it does need to pass some requirements.

First, your statement must be voluntary, as in not “coerced.”  This means that law enforcement can not physically harm you to get a statment.  Furthermore, detectives  cannot give you false promises of leniency.   Detectives can and usually do lie to people about the evidence they have against them.  Unfortunately, this is not against the law and by itself will not make a statement coerced.

Your age and the circumstances of your detention will also play into whether your statement is considered coerced.  Young age and mental competence will be considered voluntary or coerced.  For example, if you were detained for a long time and not allowed any water or bathroom visits during the interrogation, this may be a factor to show  involuntariness.  

The final factor if you are in custody when you make your statement is if you were given your miranda advisements prior to agreeing to talk to the police. 

 

 

Los Angeles judge finds confession was coerced, frees murder defendant

The jurist says ‘it wasn’t even a close call’ whether LAPD detectives coerced the man, 19 at the time, into changing his story, his lawyer reports. The teen had denied involvement dozens of times.

A man on trial for murder was set free this week after a judge found that Los Angeles police had coerced him into confessing.

Edward Arch, who was 19 at the time of his 2007 arrest and spent more than three years in jail awaiting trial, would probably have been sentenced to life in prison had the jury in the case convicted him.

However, before jurors were to begin deliberations, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Harvey Giss took the rare step of granting a request by Arch’s attorney Wednesday to dismiss the case because of a lack of evidence.

“I’ve been a criminal defense attorney for over 35 years and handled well over a hundred murder cases, and I’ve never had a judge grant a motion like this,” said Arch’s attorney, James Goldstein. “I don’t believe it was the officers’ intent to extract a false confession, but the tactics they used greatly increased the risk of that occurring.”



 

A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office refused to comment on the case, saying a co-defendant is still to stand trial in the case. Two of the detectives who interrogated Arch, Gene Parshall and Efren Gutierrez, did not respond to calls seeking comment. A third detective, John Macchiarella, declined to discuss the details of the case, saying only that he “disagreed with the judge’s decision.”

The trial stemmed from a shooting in May 2007 after a group of men in a North Hills neighborhood got into a verbal dispute with another man as he drove by. At least two men in the group allegedly gave chase and, when they tracked the man down, one of them shot him multiple times at close range.

Three weeks after the killing, detectives interrogated Arch at the LAPD’s Mission Station. Arch, who had no serious criminal history, had allegedly been identified by residents in the neighborhood as one of the men in the group during the initial confrontation.

From the start of the roughly 90-minute interrogation, the detectives told Arch they had eyewitness accounts of him being in the car that chased down the victim. Two other suspects had also implicated him, the detectives told him.

“It’s not the question of whether you were in that car or not,” Parshall said, according to a transcript of the interview reviewed by The Times. “The question is, what led up to this guy getting shot?”

“I wasn’t in no Nissan,” Arch responded, calling the witnesses “liars.”

The teenager acknowledged that he knew the two other men whom police suspected of being involved in the killing. Despite intense questioning by the detectives, Arch said dozens of times that he had had nothing to do with the killing and hadn’t been in the car. He remained insistent that he had been in his aunt’s house playing video games when the men drove off. He offered to take a lie detector test.

There are no legal or ethical rules prohibiting detectives from lying to suspects or exaggerating the evidence they have in an effort to extract a confession. They cannot, however, entice a suspect by promising he’ll receive leniency or will be let go if he admits his involvement in a crime. Detectives must also be careful not to lead a suspect along by telling him what they believe occurred, since the suspect might then simply repeat the story he was told in a false confession.

The detectives apparently crossed both these lines in the eyes of the judge, who commented in court that “it wasn’t even a close call” whether Arch had been coerced, according to Goldstein.

Parshall, for example, laid out in detail for Arch how he believed the chase and the shooting occurred as he tried to get the teen to admit he had been in the car.

And later, Gutierrez told Arch that he wouldn’t get a “free pass” if he admitted to being in the car but that he was “gambling with [his] freedom” if he continued to insist on his innocence.

“You’re either a witness or you’re a defendant,” Gutierrez told Arch. “You were either in the car when you saw the murder go down and you didn’t know anything about it or you were part of it. And if you were part of it … we’re all going to be able to prove premeditated murder.”

Goldstein said the detectives had gone too far.

“Basically, they were telling him he could walk out that door if he admitted he was involved,” Goldstein said.

As soon as Gutierrez gave Arch the choice of being a “witness” or a “defendant,” Arch changed his story dramatically, saying he had, in fact, been in the car with Michael Brown, one of the other suspects.

He said he had gotten into the car because he wanted a ride to the store to buy cigarettes. As they chased the victim, Arch said, he asked several times to return home but Brown refused. He said he hadn’t seen the gun until Brown, who is awaiting trial, got out of the car and shot the man.

After the shooting, Arch said, Brown handed him the gun and he tossed it out of the car’s window.

The detectives asked why he had lied earlier.

“I knew, like, if I was in the car with him when something happened, I’m going to get in trouble,” he said.

Arch’s whereabouts are unknown, and he could not be reached for comment.

joel.rubin@latimes.com

jack.leonard@latimes.com

Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times

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January 18, 2011

Rats! Say No to Drug Detectives!

If you’ve been arrested for Drug Sales or Transportation, there’s a chance that a detective will sit down with you and make promises he will never be able to deliver. Help him bust other sellers and he’ll make sure your case gets dropped or reduced. Say “NO Thank you.” Here’s why.

The Drug Detective has no power to get rid of your case!

No detective has the authority to sweep an arrest under the rug or tell the DA what to file. Detectives gather information on arrested individuals and have to pass it along to the D.A.’s office. They don’t have discretion to make decisions on your case. Only the DA can decide whether they will file or reject a case. So from your first conversation, the detective is already lying to you. He wants you to think that he has that power and get you to do whatever is necessary. Don’t fall for it.

It is a quick way to make deadly enemies.

Robert Deniro’s famous line to Ray Liotta in “Good fellas” is to remember these two rules, “always keep your mouth shut, and never rat on your friends” Being a confidential informant is basically setting your self up for a beatdown or worse. The people that you have to “turn on” or help bust are usually armed and on drugs. How do you think they will feel knowing you cost them their freedom and income?

The Drug Detective couldn’t care less about you.

I’ve seen many cases, where confidential informants have provided leads, helped make arrests and then find out that after they are all used up, the detective took the case over to the DA for a filing. So guess where you are now? You have a bunch of drug dealers/users waiting to get their hands on you and now youre facing county jail or prison time. And guess who is also in county jail? that’s right, the same guy you helped bust.

September 14, 2010

The ABC’s of IID’s. Ignition Interlock Device Basics for DUI’s.

Ignition Interlock DeviceIID is the new kid on the block when it comes to DUI’s.

In the year 2010, California lawmakers made it clear that they felt that the IID (Ignition Interlock Device) should be part of DUI punishment and rehabilitation. In a sweeping change, they now allow persons convicted of a DUI to install a IID device and significantly reduce the length of their license suspension. While IID devices have been used for years by the courts, their new implementation on a larger scale has left many to wonder: What is an IID?

Quite simply, its a device that is installed into the ignition of your vehicle to gauge if you have alcohol in your system. If the machine picks up a reading, then it can force your car to shut down and report it to the IID headquarters.

There are a number of providers in the Los Angeles area and I will provide the following link which provides basic info and names and contact information for them.

The costs vary, but there is traditionally a 75-100 dollar fee to install and there is a per day rate of 2 or 3 dollars. Some companies charge more for other services.

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffdl31.htm

If you have questions regarding your DUI and its consequences on your license, feel free to email me or call us at 562 907-4448.

Thank you.

July 6, 2010

How to Spot Fake Attorney Reviews on Google and Yahoo!

As if finding a good attorney wasn’t difficult enough already, with the advent of internet advertising, the consumer now has to deal with one more obstacle: fake reviews. Unscrupulous attorneys are paying companies to write them reviews. Not only is it bad business, its downright unethical. In fact, the New York Attorney General recently sued a a business and was able to get damages based on the listing of fake reviews. Reviews on the internet are advertising gold. For businesses, feedback from a customer is perceived as authentic and trustworthy. I take great pride in my law practice. When i am able to secure a great result for a client, I always ask them if they would be so kind to write about it. I find that its the most compelling information for potential clients to have. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous attorneys do not play by the rules. Sites like Avvo are very good and making sure reviews are authentic and safeguarding the process. Google Local (or google maps) and Yahoo Local are open to abuse. Review mills are now big business and write bogus reviews for lawyers on google maps and yahoo. Here’s how to spot them: 1) do a google search for an attorney in your city for example “DUI lawyers in Montebello” 2) look at the local listings that come up with multiple reviews. Click on the reviewers name. this should show you other reviews that person has written. Once you see their other reviews, you’ll know its all a scam. Some reviewers write 5 reviews in a SINGLE DAY in 5 different States. Clutch repair in Arizona, Therapist in New York, Photographer in Wyoming and finally, local DUI lawyer in Los Angeles, all on the same day. Be a wise consumer and don’t take reviews at face value. Because if you don’t take a minute to do your research, you may be taken for a ride. Best of Luck

Here’s a link to the NY Times article on the Attorney General’s crackdown: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/15/technology/internet/15lift.html

April 3, 2010

An Attorney must advise his client of all the possible consequences of his choices in court.

When you are facing Criminal Charges in Los Angeles, it is important to hire an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney who knows how to protect your rights and advise you of the consequences of what happens in court. I’ve represented clients in Los Angeles Criminal Courts for over a decade and firmly believe that every client needs to fully aware of their options and legal consequences before making decisions that may change their life. This recent U.S. Supreme Court decision further echoes my beliefs. If you are looking for a an experienced and aggressive Criminal Defense Lawyer in Los Angeles, please contact us for a free consultation.
Defense attorneys have a fundamental obligation to tell their immigrant clients they face possible deportation when pleading guilty to certain crimes, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

The 7-2 ruling was closely watched by the Justice Department and a number of immigrant rights groups.

“The severity of deportation — the equivalent of banishment or exile — only underscores how critical it is for counsel to inform her noncitizen client that he faces a risk of deportation,” said Justice John Paul Stevens, who wrote the opinion for the court.

“It is our responsibility under the Constitution to ensure that no criminal defendant — whether a citizen or not — is left to the ‘mercies of incompetent counsel.’ To satisfy this responsibility, we now hold that counsel must inform her client whether his plea carries a risk of deportation,” he wrote.

The high court’s conclusions affirm that constitutional guarantees of “effective assistance of counsel” extend to legal advice for noncitizens.

The appeal involves Jose Padilla, a Vietnam-era veteran living in Kentucky but originally from Honduras. He had been a resident of the United States for more than 40 years, but never applied for citizenship. He was arrested in his tractor-trailer and charged with transporting and trafficking marijuana, an “aggravated felony” under federal law.

He pleaded guilty in 2001, and said his lawyer assured him he “did not have to worry about immigration status since he had been in the country so long,” according to court records.

But the fact that the crime was an aggravated felony meant he would automatically be sent back to Honduras after serving his jail sentence. A state court said he could not withdraw his guilty plea, and that lawyers have no obligation to inform defendants on immigration.

Padilla is not related to a convicted terrorist conspirator and “enemy combatant” with the same name, who was arrested after the 9/11 attacks. That defendant is now in a federal prison serving a life term.

Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia already mandate that immigrant defendants be given the right extended by the high court. Stevens noted previous plea deals are not likely to be affected by the Supreme Court ruling.

Justice Samuel Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts agreed in this case that Padilla’s lawyer misled her client on the consequences of a guilty plea. But they said that, in general, defense attorneys cannot be forced to have a “mastery of immigration law” in service to their clients.

“A criminal defense attorney should not be required to provide advice on immigration law, a complex specialty that generally lies outside the scope of a criminal defense attorney’s expertise,” Alito wrote.

Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas disagreed entirely with the majority, saying the Constitution does not guarantee “accurate advice” to criminal defendants, immigrants or citizens alike.

Immigrant rights groups hailed the ruling as one of fundamental fairness.

“Even though most immigrants’ primary concern is their ability to stay in the U.S., they often plead guilty unaware that the result would be permanent exile from their families and communities,” said Michelle Fei, co-director of the Immigrant Defense Project. “We’re thrilled that the Supreme Court has recognized that deportation is an extreme penalty and that noncitizens have a constitutional right to legal advice about the consequences of pleading guilty.”

The case is Padilla v. Kentucky (08-651).

March 22, 2010

Running for 20 years. Client can finally stop and breathe.

Nearly 20 years ago, my client fled los angeles after finding out he had a felony warrant for his arrest.  He was young and foolish and had gotten himself into some bad company and some serious trouble.  His warrant was for the sale of narcotics and could have landed him some serious prison time.   So he ran.    He ran far away and started a new life. 

He changed his ways.  Got an education and a career.  Raised a family and became a productive member of society and his community.   But all along, in the back of his mind, he knew that he was still running and a  brush with the law would devastate his life and take it all away.   He  was wrong for getting caught up in the crime and also for running away but he couldnt run anymore.

He contacted my office to help him with this 20 year old felony warrant.  And just so you know, the people that tell you that warrants just get wiped out automatically after some years are lying to you.   I made some calls and the warrant was active and in the systems.  My client wanted to resolve all of this and knew there was a likelihood that he would go directly to jail and stay there. 

We were able to secure a bail for his warrant and posted it and then came the day in court.   Our client had flown in expecting to go into jail and full of jittery nerves but still willing to take responsibility for the actions.

Fortunately we were able to have his felony case dismissed entirely on that court date.  He flew back to his life and family and finally had a chance to stop and breathe as he is no longer running from the law.    I wish him the best of luck.

Best Regards,

Anthony A. Arzili

March 2, 2010

Vital Tips for those arrested for Domestic Violence

If you are arrested for Domestic Violence,  you not only face the possiblity of losing your freedom, you also face the likelihood of being precluded from  your house and your family.    Those arrested for Domestic Violence face and incredible burden not usually handed out for misdemeanors.  Unlike many other crimes, If you are arrested for a Domestic Violence charge, you will likely be ordered to move out of your residence, (even if you have legal right to live there).   This Protective Order can also preclude you from having any contact with your girlfriend, wife or mother of your child. 

Once you appear in court, the prosecutors always request a “stay-away” protective order which will make it a crime for you to return back to your home.  It will also make it a separate crime to attempt to contact the alleged victim.  In 12 years, i’ve seen many people attempt to sidestep or ignore the court’s rules, only to be locked up and brought back to court.   Handling the protective order properly is not only key to keeping yourself out of jail, its also important to resolving your underlying domestic violence charge.

An experienced domestic violence attorney can arrange for the protective order to be lifted or modified to allow for safe and non-abusive contact.  Please be advised that your alleged victim is key in having the order lifted or modified, but you cannot contact the alleged victim yourself.  This would be directly against the court’s order.  Only your attorney can contact the alleged victim. 

In certain cases, I give my client’s an option of taking some voluntary anger management classes to assist in reducing tensions and showing the court that it is safe to let the parties stay together.  Some see this as a admission of guilt, but I disagree.  Most judges agree that to maintain a safe and hospitable environment while charges are pending, some counseling is necessary.

Finally, my advice to most people in this unfortunate circumstance is not try to handle any of this yourself, because emotions will likely make you overreact.   Leave this serious situation to a professional criminal defense attorney that handled domestic violence cases.

For a free consultation, feel free to contact me at anthonyarzili@gmail.com   562 907-4448

Best of Luck,

 

Anthony Arzili

January 12, 2010

Doctor sentenced to prison for road rage

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — Anthony Arzili @ 12:40 am

A doctor convicted of assaulting two bicyclists by slamming on his car brakes after a confrontation on a narrow Brentwood road was sentenced today to five years in prison.

Christopher Thompson, wearing dark blue jail scrubs, wept as he apologized to the injured cyclists shortly before he was sentenced.

“I would like to apologize deeply, profoundly from the bottom of my heart,” he told them, his right hand cuffed to a court chair.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Scott T. Millington called the case a “wake-up call” to motorists and cyclists and urged local government to provide riders with more bike lanes. He said he believed that Thompson had shown a lack of remorse during the case and that the victims were particularly vulnerable while riding their bicycles.

The case against Thompson, 60, has drawn close scrutiny from bicycle riders around the country, many of whom viewed the outcome as a test of the justice system’s commitment to protecting cyclists.

Millington said he did not take into account more than 270 e-mails and letters from cyclists that were filed with the court urging a tough sentence.

The July 4, 2008, crash also highlighted simmering tensions between cyclists and residents along Mandeville Canyon Road, the winding five-mile residential street where the crash took place.

One cyclist was flung face-first into the rear window of Thompson’s red Infiniti, breaking his front teeth and nose and cutting his face. The other cyclist slammed into the sidewalk and suffered a separated shoulder.

At his sentencing hearing at the county’s airport branch court, Thompson cited the Bible in urging cyclists and residents of Mandeville Canyon to try to resolve their differences peacefully.

“If my incident shows anything it’s that confrontation leads to an escalation of hostilities,” Thompson said.

Thompson, a former emergency room physician who described the crash as a terrible accident, testified during his trial last year that he and other Mandeville Canyon residents were upset that some cyclists rode dangerously and acted disrespectfully toward residents and motorists along the street, a popular route for bike riders.

On the day of the crash, Thompson said he was driving down the road on his way to work when several cyclists swore at him and flipped him off as he called on them to ride single file. He said he stopped his car to take a photo to identify the riders and never intended to hurt anyone.
But the cyclists said the doctor was acting aggressively from the start. They said he honked loudly from behind them and passed by dangerously close as they moved to ride single file before he pulled in front and braked hard.

A police officer told jurors that shortly after the crash that Thompson said he slammed on his brakes in front of the riders to “teach them a lesson.”

Prosecutors said Thompson had a history of run-ins with bike riders, including a similar episode four months before the crash when two cyclists told police that the doctor tried to run them off the road and braked suddenly in front of them. Neither of the riders was injured.

Jurors convicted Thompson in November of mayhem; assault with a deadly weapon, his car; battery with serious injury; and reckless driving causing injury.

January 2, 2010

New Laws for 2010 for those arrested for DUI

Hello,

California continues to crack down on those arrested for DUI by ratcheting up penalties.

2 new laws that will go into effect in 2010 deal with those convicted of Drunk Driving/DUI in Los Angeles County.  One of the laws is a pilot program that seeks to have those convicted of first offense DUI be forced to install an ignition interlock device in each car that they have access to.

The ignition interlock devices (IID) are to be purchased by those convicted of DUI and each time the driver starts the car, he needs to blow into the device to show there is no alcohol in his system.  Details of the pilot program have not been released yet, but it is clear that avoiding a DUI conviction is now more important than ever.  Hiring an experienced DUI lawyer can help improve the chances of reducing or removing any penalties for your DUI arrest.

The second law that will go into effect has to do with 2nd or 3rd time offender and their ability to get a restricted license.   This also deals with the (IID) device and will be monitored through the DMV.

If you have questions about your recent DUI arrest, feel free to contact me at anthonyarzili@gmail.com or our office at 562-907-4448 for a free consultation.

Best of Luck and Happy New Year,

Anthony A. Arzili

LA DUI Attorney

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