Los Angeles Woman Detained After Making Bomb Threat

On May 20th a woman was detained on the steps of a Federal Building after telling authorities she had a bomb and triggering device. The LAPD dispatched the bomb squad and the SAWT team and a standoff ensued. A robot was dispatched to the scene and was used to deliver a phone to her but she was seen pointing […]
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Ray McDonald Arrested Twice In Three Days

Ray McDonald, who was released in December of 2014 by the San Francisco 49ers, was arrested again for violating a restraining order. The former NFL Defensive player signed a free agent contract in March with the Chicago Bears. He was arrested in May for domestic violence and child endangerment. This led to McDonald’s release by the Bears who had been hopeful […]
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California Highway Patrol Expanded DUI Checkpoints for Memorial Day

The Memorial Day weekend has seen a rise in fatal accidents in years past so the Highway Patrol was very vigilant in seat belt usage this past weekend. There was an increase in DUI checkpoints as well. The use of checkpoints for DUI is to make citizens more aware of the problems caused by driving under the […]
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Possible Road Rage Incident has Police Investigating many Felonies

On May 9, 2015, CBS Los Angeles reported of a fatal accident involving a white Mercedes sedan and an Audi SUV in Beverly Hills. The two vehicles collided at Olympic Boulevard and Swall Drive around midnight and a passenger in the Mercedes was killed. No other serious injuries were reported but the other passengers did […]
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Man Arrested for Home Invasion Robbery in Manhattan Beach

According to a May 13, 2015, CBS local news Los Angeles report local police announced that a suspect has been arrested for a crime committed in Manhattan Beach in November of 2014. A second suspect is still at large and is believed to be connected to another home invasion robbery in Los Angeles. The two men were connected to the crime […]
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Police Officers’ Texts at the Center of California Task Force

Homophobic and racially charged texts between police officers in San Francisco will be the focus of a new Task Force investigation according to District Attorney George Gascon. The task force has no deadline but the D.A. stated that the investigation may be finished by the end of the year. The texts came to light during the […]
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Woman Arrested in Home of Chris Brown

Los Angeles County Sheriffs have arrested a woman, found at the home of Chris Brown, on suspicion of breaking and entering. Chris Brown posted a picture of her on his Instagram account with the caption: “I get home, and find this crazy individual in my house…Then had all these crazy voodoo things around my crib…I pray she will get help.” The […]
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Contra Costa County Man Sentenced to 5 Years for DUI

The Sacramento Bee has reported that Michael Ramirez of Contra Costa, who had multiple previous DUI convictions, has been sentenced to five years in prison for driving under the influence and operating a vehicle with a suspended license. A member of the sheriff’s office in El Dorado County had stopped Mr. Ramirez because, even though […]
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Two Brothers Sentenced in the Murder of a Teenager in Reseda

Two brothers have been sentenced in the Reseda murder of a third youth in 2013. The brothers had challenged the 18 year old victim Kevin Orlellana when he was playing handball as a possible member of a rival gang. The altercation that followed ended with Orellana being stabbed and the two brothers fleeing in a […]
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Santa Rosa Police Searching for Assault Suspect

A man who allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in Santa Rosa, California is still at large. The police have provided a sketch of the suspect in an attack that was similar to two others in the area in the last year. A woman who was walking on a path near Round Barn Boulevard was grabbed […]
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Murder Trial to Start in Sacramento Superior Court

The trial of David Acuna, who is charged with the murder of a resident of Natomas, California, will begin April 29, 2015, in Sacramento. This murder took place in 2013 and the accused also faces arson charges as part of the indictment. The prosecutors are charged with proving Mr. Acuna stabbed Mr. Patrick Kendrick a […]
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Yuba City Police Officer Arrested in Drug Trafficking Case

On April 15, 2015, the Los Angeles Times reported that Yuba City policeman Harminder Phagura had been arrested by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Agency Investigations division. The officer is being charged with drug trafficking for helping a man believed to be a relative in a drug selling operation. The officer would keep […]
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Reward Offered for Two Hit and Run Accidents

Two different hit and run accidents in the area of University of Southern California have led to rewards being offered for information on either one. The first case, that has seen no new leads lately, involves an accident that took the life of a man after a black sedan hit him while he was crossing the […]
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Suspect in California Car Jacking Spree Arrested

On March 10, 2015, four different drivers were confronted by a woman of similar description and two of them had their cars stolen by her in Tustin, California. The first victim had her doors locked and windows closed and the suspect couldn’t take the vehicle. ABC Eyewitness news reported that after the first attempted carjacking […]
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Will Robert Durst Be Back in a California Court?

Robert Durst, the real estate heir and man suspected in his wife’s murder many years ago, is back in Los Angeles news after being arrested in Louisiana. He was arrested because a friend of his, Susan Berman, was found dead soon after Los Angeles police allegedly wanted to speak with her about Durst and any […]
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California Defense Attorney Fights Back in Kidnapping Hoax Case

The kidnapping of Denise Huskins has been the subject of local and national news stories and television reports. In what last week seemed to be thought of as a hoax Ms. Huskins was reported taken forcibly from her boyfriend’s home. He spoke to police and FBI agents and they were reported as being skeptical but […]
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Valencia Restaurant Owner Arrested By Human Trafficking Officers

A restaurant owner in Valencia, California was placed into custody by deputies from the Human Trafficking and major crime force divisions of the Sheriff’s department March 24, 2015. Federal officers are also involved in the case that was originally brought to the attention of authorities by the victim’s brother. His brother had sent an email from […]
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California Woman Suspected of Kidnapping Hoax

A woman from Vallejo, California has gone missing for the second time this week. The first time her boyfriend called the police and said she was forcibly taken from his home and soon after a ransom demand had been sent to him. The police were skeptical but they soon brought in the FBI to help […]
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Couple from California Sentenced in the Death of a Pedestrian

It took a long while find out who has struck and killed a pedestrian in the Pacific Palisades last December, but the driver has been identified. The son of a California judge was walking home from a party when Marguerite Vuong hit him with her car while driving to her job at a Postal facility. […]
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California Police Were Ready for St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is usually reserved for Parades and getting together with your friends. Unfortunately some times that get together involves drinking after work and that can turn the day from fun to no fun quickly. The National Highway Safety Council however rates this as one of the worst days involving traffic fatalities. The state […]
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Hells Angel on Probation Charged With Assault

A night at a sports bar in Oceanside, California turned ugly and when it was over a man had been injured in a hit and run accident that later was found to possibly be much more than that. The driver of the vehicle was eventually arrested by police, who were led to his home by […]
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Driver in Fatal Car Crash Pleads guilty

A California woman, who was operating a vehicle that hit another car, killing the driver and seriously injuring his wife, has pleaded guilty recently in a San Diego courtroom to a manslaughter charge. The accident happened in February of 2013. A seventy seven year old man driving a car that the defendant hit was killed […]
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Brother of Paris Hilton Pleads Guilty

According to an Los Angeles Times article on March 3, 2015 the brother of Paris Hilton, Conrad, is scheduled to appear in a Los Angeles courtroom to be arraigned on an assault charge. This stems from an in July of last year incident last year when the younger brother of the socialite and reality TV […]
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Second Arrest in Chatsworth Street Race

There was an illegal street race in Chatsworth, California that led to the deaths of two spectators and seriously injured another. Israel Venezuela was arrested by the Valley Traffic division according to the LA Daily News story on March 5, 2015. He is the second man arrested for the crash which occurred on February 26, 2015. […]
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Haunted House Owner and Employees to Face Charges of Battery

An Illinois woman has brought charges of battery and infliction of emotional distress against the owner of a Kane County haunted house. The incident that prompted the filing occurred in October of 2014, when the woman claims that she and her teenage daughter were accosted by two employees in the parking lot of the haunted […]
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Nine Year Old Accused of Making Terrorist Threats

A fourth grader in Kermit, Texas has been suspended from school for making what school officials have referred to as terrorist threats. The boy’s father has a very different view of the scenario that played out on school grounds but administrators are sticking with the punishment thus far. The investigation began after the nine year old […]
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Florida Woman Released from Jail after Aggravated Assault Case

A woman in Jacksonville, Florida has been released from prison after having served three years as part of a plea agreement for three counts of aggravated assault. The charges stemmed from an incident where the woman discharged a weapon at her husband and his two children. While 1095 days might have felt like an eternity […]
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North Carolina Man Cleared of Four Decade Old Murder

A North Carolina man who has spent nearly the last forty years behind bars has been cleared of charges after an investigation conducted by the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission. Joseph Sledge had escaped from prison just one day prior to the murders and was picked up, charged and ultimately convicted of the crime. Sledge […]
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Suge Knight a Suspect in Compton Hit and Run

Former music mogul Suge Knight is suspected of running over two men after an argument in Compton. The confrontation between Suge Knight and two unidentified men took place at 3:00 p.m. on January 29, 2015, on the set of “Straight Outta Compton,” a biopic about the group N.W.A. Witnesses says that about 20 minutes after the alleged […]
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Close Call for Driver in Multi Car Pile Up

A major, multi vehicle accident in Baker City, Oregon is being referred to as a miracle for the man behind the wheel of a pickup truck. While the 27 year old vehicle was completely totaled as a result of being pinned between two semi trucks, the man was amazingly able to walk away from the […]
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3 Florida Teens Accused of Multiple Felonies During 24 Hour Crime Spree

On January 13, 2015, three suspects ranging in age from 14 to 17 allegedly participated in a full day’s long crime spree that included such serious acts as carjacking, robbery, attempted fleeing police and murder. Police are currently keeping the identity of the suspects under wraps because the teens are also suspects in a host of other […]
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California Requires Sex Offenders On Parole to Take Lie Detector Tests

State officials said that the lie detector tests will help the government better determine which offenders are most dangerous and in need of increased supervision. The question that will be asked of parolees can range from whether they are attending 12-step addiction programs to whether they are lingering at playgrounds or having inappropriate contact with […]
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New Laws in 2015 That Every Californian Should Know

With the start of a New Year comes the enforcement of new laws. Lawmakers in California passed over 900 new laws that went into effect January 1, 2015. However, most of the time the general public is not aware of the new laws. So here are some selected new laws every Californian should know:  (AB […]
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Is the LAPD Spying on you?

The Los Angeles Police Department has been using technology to tell patrol officers where crime is most likely to occur and also to identify and keep track of ex-convicts and others they believe are most likely to commit crimes. Yes, you read that right; the LAPD is tracking “potential” criminals using a technology dubbed LASER. […]
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The Impact of Prop 47 on the California Justice System

On November 4, 2014, California voters approved Proposition 47 (“Prop 47”), which dramatically changed the Justice System in our State. These changes went into effect immediately. Some penalties for common drug and theft crimes in California will be reduced from potential felonies to misdemeanors, shortening the time some offenders spend behind bars to a maximum of […]
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Los Angeles Attorney Arash Hashemi Delivers Strong Arguments as Criminal Defense Advocate and Expert

For more than a twelve years, Arash Hashemi has protected the rights of Los Angeles residents facing criminal charges. He’s not only recognized in the area as a strong defender, but as an ideal expert commentator on noteworthy criminal cases. Mr. Hashemi’s insider knowledge of California law and Los Angeles criminal courts gives him the […]
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In Support of a Diverse and Independent Judiciary Statement on Judge Tabaddor

Iranian American Lawyers Association Statement on Judge Tabaddor On August 12, 2014, United States Immigration Judge A. Ashley Tabaddor filed suit against the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), challenging an order mandating that Judge Tabaddor, a judge of Iranian descent who was appointed as an immigration judge in 2005, recuse herself from hearing all […]
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Michael Phelps Arrested for DUI, Offers Apology.

On September 30, 2014, at approximately 1:40 am Maryland Transportation Officers observed a white Land Rover traveling at 84mph in a 45mph speed zone. The car was crossing double lane lines. Officers initiated a traffic stop and discovered that the driver was non-other than 22-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps. Even though Phelps was cooperative he was “unable […]
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The Law Office of Arash Hashemi Announces New Phone Numbers

Los Angeles, CA – The Law Offices of Arash Hashemi announced today that their telephone and facsimile numbers have changed. This change takes effect immediately, however, the old telephone number will remain working until October 15, 2014. All facsimile correspondence should be sent to the new number. The new numbers are as follows: Telephone:      […]
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If Ray Rice was not a famous NFL player would anyone care?

In February of 2014, NFL player Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens, and his fiancee Janay Plamer,  were arrested in Atlantic City. The arrest was the result of a “simple domestic assault” which took place between Rice and Palmer. At the time Rice’s attorney said the incident was nothing more than a misunderstanding. On February 19th […]
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Woman Charged With Homicide After Surfing Facebook While Driving

While driving, if you look at the car next to you chances are you will see the driver on his/her phone. Some are talking without a headphone. Others might be texting, Tweeting, or updating their Facebook statues. It seems the threat of getting a traffic ticket does not deter these drivers. All those public service […]
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Beverly Hills High School Principle Alleges Racial Discrimination

     Discrimination is usually defined as an action that denies social participation or human rights to a person or group of people based on prejudice. Racial discrimination differentiates individuals on the basis of real and perceived racial differences. On Wednesday, July 16, 2014, Beverly Hills High School principal, Carter Paysinger, filed a lawsuit against the Beverly […]
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California Death Penalty Ruled Unconstitutional by Federal Judge

On July 16, 2014, US District Judge Cormac J. Carney ruled that California’s death penalty violates the 8th amendment of the United States Constitution which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. The case was brought up on a petition made by death row inmate, Ernest Dewayne Jones who was sentenced to death nearly twenty years ago. […]
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The Criminal Process

How Does the Criminal Process Work in California? When I was younger I loved law shows on TV, in particular ones that had to do with crimes, such as the Law & Order franchise. I used to watch them passionately studying the tactics, the procedures and dialogue the lawyers in the shows used. However, after […]
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Differences Between a Civil and Criminal Case

One of the most common questions asked of me is “What is the difference between a civil case and a criminal case?” There are many differences but some of the main ones are easy to distinguish. A civil case usually involves a dispute between private persons and/or organizations, such as a corporation. A criminal case […]
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Boston Marathon Bomber an Enemy Combatant?

One of the most dramatic manhunts in US history has come to an end with many questions still unanswered. One of them is how to treat Dzhokhar Tsarnaev within the legal system. Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Representative Peter King (R-N.Y.) issued a joint statement commending law enforcement […]
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Right to Remain Silent?

On June 17th, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 5 to 4 to uphold the 1992 murder conviction of a Texas man named Genovevo Salinas (Full Story). He sat silently when the police questioned him about the shotgun shells that were found at the scene of the murder and traced to his shotgun. […]
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Can Government Funding Regulate Speech and/or Policy?

On June 20, 2013, The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of the First Amendment’s protection of free speech striking down part of a Federal law regarding funding. The law had required all groups that receive funding for fighting AIDS globally to announce policies “opposing prostitution and sex trafficking.” Several of the […]
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Bomb ThreatOn May 20th a woman was detained on the steps of a Federal Building after telling authorities she had a bomb and triggering device. The LAPD dispatched the bomb squad and the SAWT team and a standoff ensued. A robot was dispatched to the scene and was used to deliver a phone to her but she was seen pointing and yelling at the police and pushed the phone away. The building contains a number of offices for a few federal agencies including Immigration, Homeland Security, and the IRS. The building and surrounding area were evacuated. The standoff started around 11:00 AM and ended about 2:00 PM.

The police eventually had to use force in the form of a beanbag shotgun. The woman was found to have no bomb or any other explosive device and was taken away in an ambulance. There were no details about what if anything she had been agitated about. It seems she will be facing numerous State and Federal charges and the threat to a building housing an office for Homeland Security could possibly be highlighted by authorities. There has been an increase in false claims by people made to police to get a SAWT team sent to a crime supposed crime scene. However, this does not appear to be an example of what has become known as “Swatting”. Early evidence seems to point to a mental issue of some type. Still this woman will be facing serious criminal charges and she will need an attorney to assist her.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with a serious crime, such as making a bomb threat, and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

Picture: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Ray McDonaldRay McDonald, who was released in December of 2014 by the San Francisco 49ers, was arrested again for violating a restraining order. The former NFL Defensive player signed a free agent contract in March with the Chicago Bears. He was arrested in May for domestic violence and child endangerment. This led to McDonald’s release by the Bears who had been hopeful he could avoid the problems he experienced with the law while a member of the 49ers.

The lineman is currently being investigated for a possible sexual assault charge which took place this past December. He has said he will sue his accuser for defamation. The Bears had made McDonald aware that this kind of problem would not be acceptable and cut ties with him because he couldn’t handle the standard they had asked him to comply with. The Team had already taken criticism for the signing McDonald, but had made comments about giving people second chances to prove themselves.

With the many allegations and charges this man will be in need of a California Defense Attorney that will be able to make the best case for his actions. It seems like a very difficult battle and Mr. McDonald will need experienced legal help to handle these complex issues. It appears that there are problems that would make some type of counseling by court order part of any plea negotiation. An experienced attorney can make this a priority as well as being sure that all the facts are in before this man’s past problems lead to an unfair rush to judgement.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with Domestic Violence or any other crime  and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

DUI CheckpointThe Memorial Day weekend has seen a rise in fatal accidents in years past so the Highway Patrol was very vigilant in seat belt usage this past weekend. There was an increase in DUI checkpoints as well. The use of checkpoints for DUI is to make citizens more aware of the problems caused by driving under the influence. These checkpoints do have a certain protocol that must be followed to make sure safety of the state’s motorists is maintained.

Since there usually should be a probable cause for a police officer pulling one over, this protocol must be strictly followed in order to be permissible by California and federal law. The supervising officers must be making all procedural decisions; the checkpoint must be reasonably located and observe safety precautions. Roadblocks for this purpose should be advertised in advance and stopping time for motorists should be kept a minimum of time and the time spent going through the checkpoint should show good judgement by the officers.

The seat belt awareness  could  lead to some people being stopped who are returning from a party and could lead to a possible DUI arrest. Not wearing a seatbelt would satisfy the probable cause a police officer needs to stop a driver. With checkpoints and watching for seat belt usage last Memorial Day weekend we may see a higher number of people than usual facing DUI charges.

If you have been stopped recently at a DUI checkpoint and arrested you will be best served by consulting with a California defense attorney. They know all the procedures that should have been followed during the stop that caused this charge in the first place. Other police activity after your arrest may have not properly followed and this can be used by your attorney in your defense to have the charge reduced or removed from your record.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with a DUI or any other crime as a result of a DUI Checkpoint stop and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

Road RageOn May 9, 2015, CBS Los Angeles reported of a fatal accident involving a white Mercedes sedan and an Audi SUV in Beverly Hills. The two vehicles collided at Olympic Boulevard and Swall Drive around midnight and a passenger in the Mercedes was killed. No other serious injuries were reported but the other passengers did go to the hospital. The police are investigating why the Mercedes was traveling at such a high rate of speed in a residential neighborhood.

A witness was said to have told police that the Mercedes had been involved in a confrontation with a taxi cab earlier and had left the scene franticly. This is why there have been some mentions of the accident being related to road rage. Drugs and/or alcohol may have been a possible cause according to the police but no further comments were available and toxicology results take some time. The woman who died in the crash was a passenger and it is reported she was not wearing her seat belt.

When the case gets concluded there can be a lot of problems for the driver of the Mercedes. The high rate of speed, the possibility of road rage, and the potential charge of a DUI will be a lot to answer for. The death of the passenger may lead to a charge of involuntary manslaughter or some other serious offense. The person or persons responsible will need to consult with a California Defense attorney that has experience defending people facing multiple charges. This is the only way for the driver to get ahead of the state and offers the best chance at a minimum punishment if they are charged.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with road rage or any other crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

Photo: Twitter user KTLA (‏@KTLA)

robberyAccording to a May 13, 2015, CBS local news Los Angeles report local police announced that a suspect has been arrested for a crime committed in Manhattan Beach in November of 2014. A second suspect is still at large and is believed to be connected to another home invasion robbery in Los Angeles.

The two men were connected to the crime committed in November by DNA evidence. It is alleged that the suspect was one of four men who entered the Manhattan Beach home and waited for the occupants to return. Once the occupants came back they were tied up and made to open a safe which had money and guns in it. The suspects have been charged with numerous crimes including burglary, robbery and false imprisonment.

The second suspect who remains at large might be better off turning himself in due to the seriousness of the charges. With his accomplice already in custody chances of continuing to elude the police are slim. These types of crimes are never taken lightly by the authorities especially when weapons are part of the stolen property, making it a serious public safety issue.

Anyone that is involved in a serious crime like this or a misdemeanor should consult with a California defense attorney to see exactly what options are available. For instance the man in custody may be offered a plea deal for information on other crimes committed. Whether innocent or guilty a defendant only has his/her word and the help of a Defense attorney when charged with a crime. The man on the run, suspected of a second break in, may be innocent of that charge and it will be hard to prove this without an experienced attorney as an ally.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with robbery and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

Photo: Manhattan Beach PD

San Francisco police Chief Greg SuhrHomophobic and racially charged texts between police officers in San Francisco will be the focus of a new Task Force investigation according to District Attorney George Gascon. The task force has no deadline but the D.A. stated that the investigation may be finished by the end of the year. The texts came to light during the U.S. Attorney’s corruption prosecution of a San Francisco police officer. The texts were used in an argument to deny bail to the accused man. Other texts have surfaced showing a bias against homosexuals and minorities. The D.A. is charging the task force with reviewing over 3,000 cases that the fourteen officers now involved in the probe were working.

The task force will be looking for any indication that any of these cases were the result of these officers possibly falsely accusing people and other actions that could dismiss pending cases and possibly having some convictions overturned. The D.A.is a former police chief of the city and has said even one innocent person behind bars in this case is too many. The San Francisco area has been the scene of many recent charges being made against law officers. This current task force has been borne out of these troubles. In the case that brought the texts to light the accused officer was sentenced to almost four years in prison for the corruption charges the prosecution was able to prove.

If you or a family member has been involved in one of these cases or charged with another crime a California defense attorney must be retained to insure your rights are not violated. An experienced attorney can look into this group of cases and at any other case and find mistakes or bad activity involving arresting officers. Contact an attorney as soon as you are charged to get the best defense possible.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with a crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.


Photo: San Francisco police Chief Greg Suhr in 2013. (Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

Chris BrownLos Angeles County Sheriffs have arrested a woman, found at the home of Chris Brown, on suspicion of breaking and entering. Chris Brown posted a picture of her on his Instagram account with the caption: “I get home, and find this crazy individual in my house…Then had all these crazy voodoo things around my crib…I pray she will get help.” The singer said he returned home and found that she had cooked several meals and painted her name on some of his cars and I love you on some walls in his house. According to the singer she also threw his daughter’s clothes and items belonging to his dog out while there.

Breaking and entering especially one like this will be taken seriously. The woman gained access by removing the hinges on one of the doors of the home. It would seem that she was very determined to meet Chris Brown. There are many legal ramifications to this type of activity. A celebrity can take legal precautions such as a restraining order, but if there is a question of sanity this may not stop the attempt for more contact by this person. There are also the actions taken by the police. If this woman is mentally incompetent there may be alternative places for her to be held besides the police station.

If this person does have a mental impairment her family should be involved for her own safety. Private security people may not be as understanding as police officers who are used to dealing with mentally deficient offenders. A California defense attorney should be retained by the family to make sure there is no rush to judgement in her guilt or innocence. Proper care for someone with a mental condition is one thing an attorney can be able to get for this person and anyone else facing charges due to an activity that a mentally balanced person would not do. If you have a family member in trouble with mental incapacities a California defense attorney is needed.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with breaking and entering or any other crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Contra Costa DUIThe Sacramento Bee has reported that Michael Ramirez of Contra Costa, who had multiple previous DUI convictions, has been sentenced to five years in prison for driving under the influence and operating a vehicle with a suspended license. A member of the sheriff’s office in El Dorado County had stopped Mr. Ramirez because, even though driving slowly in a slow lane, his windshield wipers were on and his driving pattern was erratic. A news release identified his alcohol level to be between 0.11 to 0.12 – well over the California limit.

Mr. Ramirez is no stranger to this charge, he has had four different DUI convictions and has served in prison for this crime on two separate occasions. California courts do not take it lightly when a defendant has multiple previous convictions. A California defense attorney called in the first time may have been able to challenge the arrest on grounds such as the breathalyzer was not functioning properly or some other misstep in police procedure that could reduce the charge and not lead to a serious a consequence as a jail term if a second arrest occurs.

This case illuminates how aggressively state and county officials pursue convictions for DUI in California. The newspaper report stated that a prosecution team specializing in trying and winning cases involving felony and misdemeanor DUI charges was brought in to convict Mr. Ramirez and the result was a five year sentence.

A California defense attorney must be brought in if you or a family member is facing a DUI charge. If you are convicted the results may not be as severe as this one but even the least damaging result will still place this on your record. State fines, a suspended license and higher insurance rates will make things worse. Since the county can bring in their best team you should give yourself the same benefits that an experienced attorney can bring to your defense.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with DUI or any other crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 448-1529 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

reseda murderTwo brothers have been sentenced in the Reseda murder of a third youth in 2013. The brothers had challenged the 18 year old victim Kevin Orlellana when he was playing handball as a possible member of a rival gang. The altercation that followed ended with Orellana being stabbed and the two brothers fleeing in a car driven by a third person, Michelle Pineda.

Anthony and Michael Caprio had originally pled not guilty to the crime of murder and Anthony was also charged with using a deadly weapon for the benefit of a street gang. The arresting officers were able to use messages on social media to help in their investigation. They also had charged Ms. Pineda for being an accessory after the fact. She has already accepted a sentence of two years for her part in the crime. She and her attorney had pled no contest to the charge which may have led to a lighter sentence.

The brothers are serving sentences from 15 years to life for the charges of second degree murder. Authorities have identified them as members of the Rockwood Street gang which can make a defense difficult even when the accused are so young. This type of crime is still an ongoing concern to authorities and anyone convicted of this kind of crime can expect a long sentence.

Any person accused of a crime is sure to need the help of an experienced California criminal defense attorney. Accepting a court appointed lawyer may not be good enough as to often they have too many clients to spend enough time on every person assigned to them. An attorney personally retained can spend more time and effort in keeping the sentence at a minimum and they can make a case for mitigating circumstances that a court appointed attorneys might have missed.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with murder or any other crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 448-1529 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

Photo: cbsLA.com

assaultA man who allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in Santa Rosa, California is still at large. The police have provided a sketch of the suspect in an attack that was similar to two others in the area in the last year. A woman who was walking on a path near Round Barn Boulevard was grabbed by the man and when she struggled they fell to the ground. He was grabbing at her under her clothes and she kept fighting and yelling until he got up and ran away.

The other incidents occurred three miles away from the last attack in the Pierson Avenue area along a trail by a creek and on Spring Lake Park. On one occasion the man was on a bicycle. In all the incidents the women screamed and this seemed to send him away before doing anything more to his victims. The descriptions were not an exact match; one estimated the man as being 5’10” another had him at 6’ and a third victim estimated the assailant to be 6’2’. He has brown hair and one of the victims has said she thinks he may have a reduced mental capacity.

There is also a reward of $25,000 being offered for information leading to an arrest in any of these incidents. This person could possibly be better off consulting a California criminal defense attorney now instead of continuing to stay at large and potentially running the risk of facing additional charges. A reward and a description along with a sketch may lead to an arrest that will require an experienced attorney in any case. It may be beneficial to speak to defense counsel now to find the best possible solution to the pending legal problems. Having an experienced professional on your side to prepare the most appropriate defense strategy is essential for walking away from any criminal charges with the best result.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with assault or any other crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

Photo: Santa Rosa Police Department

murderThe trial of David Acuna, who is charged with the murder of a resident of Natomas, California, will begin April 29, 2015, in Sacramento. This murder took place in 2013 and the accused also faces arson charges as part of the indictment. The prosecutors are charged with proving Mr. Acuna stabbed Mr. Patrick Kendrick a man he knew. There was a confrontation over the selling of some electronics equipment. Mr. Acuna was allegedly in favor of taking cash but Mr. Kendrick offered him heroin instead. The police believe at the end of the negotiations Mr. Acuna stabbed Mr. Kendrick and then tried to hide the crime by setting fire to Kendrick’s apartment. This information came out during pre-trial proceedings.

Police did arrest Acuna and reported that he was badly burned, the police later questioned Acuna’s girlfriend about the fire as well and arrested her. The girlfriend of the accused has since taken a plea bargain deal from the prosecutors. She was charged and pled guilty to arson and use of an accelerant to start the fire. The defense attorney for Ms. Cabrera had challenged the legality of the interrogation of his client but the judge did not see it that way and subsequently she took the deal.

A California Defense Attorney must make decisions like this for the well-being of their client. In this case the motive may seem clear and the plea deal taken by the accomplice will make it hard for the man accused in the murder. His girlfriend’s attorney judged this to be the best avenue for her. Starting next week the attorney for the accused will need to decide how to move forward and make the best case for his client’s defense. Proper representation is a must for anyone that has been charged with a crime in the state of California to help with these strategies that can lead to acquittal or a reduced sentence.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with murder or any other crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 448-1529 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

Photo: SacramentoPress.com | Staff Photo

ammunitionOn April 15, 2015, Federal Agents arrested two men who work at the La Mesa Armory on suspicion of selling weapons and ammunition according to a story in Los Angeles Times. The men charged were said to have sold the weapons to an agent posing as a member of a Mexican drug cartel. Jaime Casillas and Andrew Reyes had even worn their uniforms on at least one occasion when they sold the stolen merchandise. They will be held in San Diego to await trial.

They sold body armor to the agent along with 16,000 rounds of ammunition. Overall they are charged with being involved in seven separate transactions like this including the sale of four U.S. Army style assault rifles and a Soviet AK 47. One of the men traveled to Texas to purchase a weapon later sold to the federal agent so he will be charged with a transportation offense as well. Currently the charges involve selling firearms without a license, but there could be more to come especially since Mr. Reyes, according to the story filed, is a Mexican National possibly in the reserves to help him attain citizenship.

Any story involving members of the military involved in any kind of criminal enterprise is disappointing and hard for anyone to justify. The chance that these men will be tried quickly could be welcome but the court system whether federal or local will still allow these men to offer their side of the story. An experienced California defense attorney will have to be hired to analyze the case and design the best possible defense according to the facts and achieve the best result for the accused. Anyone charged with a crime needs one of these professionals on their side to help them attain the best possible outcome to their trial.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with sale of ammunition or any other crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

Photo: Google Maps

drug traffickingOn April 15, 2015, the Los Angeles Times reported that Yuba City policeman Harminder Phagura had been arrested by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Agency Investigations division. The officer is being charged with drug trafficking for helping a man believed to be a relative in a drug selling operation. The officer would keep an eye on reports that may indicate police presence in areas where his suspected partner may be doing business.

Officer Phagura would cruise the areas where these deals sometimes took place and listen to his radio for any word of trouble, then he would pass along any pertinent information to the perpetrators. One instance named in the indictment stated that Phagura texted the word HOT to the drug seller when the federal authorities had made it known they would be there. The ironic twist was that they were not just there to stop a drug deal they were there to watch the officer and take note of his behavior.

The federal authorities first heard of this connection on a recorded conversation where the alleged drug dealer, who also has been charged in the incident, claimed to have a friend on the inside to a law enforcement informant. The Police department issued a statement regretting the incident and acknowledging that it is especially hard for the public to see someone on the right side of the law doing something illegal.

This police officer, like anyone else charged with a crime, will need an ally to work their way through the court system. A California attorney, with criminal defense experience, will be that person and will try to insure the defendant’s rights are not violated. A rush to judgement may be understandable to some in cases involving charged police officers, but the California Courts do want all those who are charged with a crime to have a fair trial – and the best way to secure the best possible verdict is with an experienced attorney on your side.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with drug trafficking or any other crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

Photo: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Hit and RunTwo different hit and run accidents in the area of University of Southern California have led to rewards being offered for information on either one. The first case, that has seen no new leads lately, involves an accident that took the life of a man after a black sedan hit him while he was crossing the street in a designated crosswalk on March 10, 2015. The second hit and run in the USC area took place on March 16, 2015. The victim this time was an elderly woman who so far has survived but who suffered two broken legs and other serious injuries – according to reports, this victim was also using a crosswalk.

The second driver was in an Infiniti SUV with paper license plates. Unlike the first driver who never slowed down or went back this driver turned around and then sped past the scene and reportedly later ran a red light. Both incidents have been recorded by security cameras. The reward for each incident is $50,000. In light of the recordings and vehicle descriptions and now the rewards authorities are hopeful to find both individuals.

The drivers will be in a lot of trouble if they are ever tracked down and the need for a California Criminal Defense Attorney will be critical in making a case that may minimize their punishment. Each one can help themselves tremendously by going to a defense attorney and arrive at the best plan for their defense. That might include meeting with the attorney and arranging a safe transfer to the authorities. California Courts have shown leniency when the person who is accused of a hit and run surrenders peacefully. Certainly when an arrest comes they will be best served in retaining an experienced defense attorney to explain what needs to be done to get the best outcome for the accused.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with hit and run or any other crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

car jackingOn March 10, 2015, four different drivers were confronted by a woman of similar description and two of them had their cars stolen by her in Tustin, California. The first victim had her doors locked and windows closed and the suspect couldn’t take the vehicle. ABC Eyewitness news reported that after the first attempted carjacking the woman, who was armed with a knife, went to a second car where she was able to gain entry to a Volvo and she drove it away leaving the owner at the scene unharmed.

She soon stopped and left that car but moved on to a Prius and smashed the window with the knife and was able to steal that car too. Then she again deserted the stolen Prius and tried to steal a woman’s truck. This driver was able to fend off her attempts to steal the car and the suspect moved on after people came to the driver’s aid. She was reported as having non-life threatening injuries at that time.

On March 12, 2015, the police arrested the suspect as a result of DNA evidence found in the cars. The woman charged is identified as Jocelyn Cano of Santa Ana, California. She has a criminal record, which is why her DNA was on file with authorities. It would have served her better to turn herself in to authorities with the help of a California criminal defense attorney.

A person who gets involved in a crime and has not been arrested may get in front of the trouble by meeting with an attorney and discussing the best option for their next move. This person should have figured out that the DNA on file would see her caught and it may now be too late for any leniency. An experienced defense attorney would have been able to remind her of the DNA on file and could have helped her bring about a better conclusion to this case than facing an arrest and arraignment on her own.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with car jacking or any other crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

Photo: Tustin Police Department

Robert DurstRobert Durst, the real estate heir and man suspected in his wife’s murder many years ago, is back in Los Angeles news after being arrested in Louisiana. He was arrested because a friend of his, Susan Berman, was found dead soon after Los Angeles police allegedly wanted to speak with her about Durst and any information she might have in his first wife’s disappearance in 1982. This is not the only time he was suspected in a murder – when living in Houston he was arrested in connection with the death of a neighbor.

The legal team has complained in Los Angeles County Superior Court about the arrest that was made in Louisiana. According to papers they filed his room was illegally searched and they found marijuana and a revolver. Convicted felons are not allowed to possess firearms in Louisiana, but only if convicted of certain crimes. Durst falls into the category that makes it legal for him to carry one. The FBI agents who did the search did not at that time have a search warrant for Durst’s room. On April 8, 2015, Robert Durst was indicted on gun charges in Louisiana. This will delay his extradition to Los Angeles for months, if not years.

In a bizarre twist that brought him back to the world’s attention he was heard in a documentary of sorts being made about his life mumbling that he did kill the people he has been suspected of killing. Surely these words that have been televised could make for grounds that will be the focus of his defense team for the current charges and those in the past.

A California defense attorney has to consider the law and what will best serve his client. Questions of illegal search and seizure or the reliability of recorded messages or film are looked into to make sure the police have not made mistakes in a rush to judgment about a person’s guilt. If you have an arrest warrant you need the help of an attorney that will work to make sure that all of your rights are upheld.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with murder or any other crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

Photo: Gerald Herbert / Associated Press

California Defense AttorneyThe kidnapping of Denise Huskins has been the subject of local and national news stories and television reports. In what last week seemed to be thought of as a hoax Ms. Huskins was reported taken forcibly from her boyfriend’s home. He spoke to police and FBI agents and they were reported as being skeptical but they did search the area for clues. When she turned up as released without any money exchanging hands the FBI arranged for her to be flown to their Northern California offices for questioning.

She never got on the plane and since then the story has taken what may be a turn in her and her boyfriend’s favor. Her attorney has stated that there was indeed a kidnapping and it has come to light that emails from the alleged kidnappers have been received by The San Francisco Chronicle. These emails show that the kidnapping was a dry run and they felt the accusations of a hoax by Vallejo police angered them. The L.A. Times has reported that one email said the police should apologize by a certain time or they would do some harm. The deadline came and went with no problems according to police.

This group had attached a 19 page letter describing the abduction and even discusses why they chose the $8,500 price for the ransom. Whether they believe the emails to be truthful or another part of the hoax police aren’t saying. They will be required to do their due diligence especially in light of these new developments

Ms. Huskins’ attorney did prove that when you are even suspected of a crime consulting with a California defense attorney does not have to wait until you are arrested. The activities that a California defense attorney can perform for you can be taken up well before a hearing or sentencing happens. If you are in a bad situation and might have legal problems with the police, consultation with experienced attorneys can be the difference in proving your innocence.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with a crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

Photo: Facebook

Human Trafficking A restaurant owner in Valencia, California was placed into custody by deputies from the Human Trafficking and major crime force divisions of the Sheriff’s department March 24, 2015. Federal officers are also involved in the case that was originally brought to the attention of authorities by the victim’s brother. His brother had sent an email from India to law enforcement describing the victim’s plight.

The authorities say that the restaurant owner allegedly has been making the man work at his business for three years. He was kept away from other people and at times was physically manhandled to keep him in line. He has not been paid during those three years. He was not able to escape from the restaurant while working and he was kept at the owner’s home and driven to and from work so getting away was not even possible during off hours. Other violations could be coming considering the man worked sometimes more than fourteen hours a day.

Of course the hours worked are of little concern to the man who was basically held hostage. A possible kidnapping charge may not be ruled out. At present Mr. Pardeep Kumar is charged with assault with a deadly weapon, involuntary servitude, human trafficking, and mayhem.

Not only is he in trouble with California but there could possibly be other federal charges to be answered for. The restaurant owner will be in need of a California defense attorney to not only present the best defense for him but to possibly investigate any plea bargain options if the case against him is too strong. It is the only way he can hope to have any chance of escaping this situation he has found himself in. Human Trafficking is a very serious charge and the case must be turned over to an experienced defense counsel immediately to make the best of what seems to be a very bad situation for the defendant.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with human trafficking or any other crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

Photo: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

ap_denise_huskins_kidnapping_jc_150325_4x3_992A woman from Vallejo, California has gone missing for the second time this week. The first time her boyfriend called the police and said she was forcibly taken from his home and soon after a ransom demand had been sent to him. The police were skeptical but they soon brought in the FBI to help with the case. The missing woman Denise Huskins showed up at her mother’s home two days later. She had also contacted her father by phone and left a voicemail detailing her whereabouts.

Police and the FBI during those two days had come to think the boyfriend’s story was not very believable. When Ms. Huskins reappeared they were very interested to speak with her. They had already been frustrated in trying to prove what they were being told by her boyfriend who by now is being thought of mare as an accomplice to an elaborate hoax. A lot of police time was spent with a search being conducted throughout the neighborhood and other activities that seem to have all been a big waste of time.

The woman has again disappeared. She never boarded a plane that was to take her to an interview with the FBI. Police have not been able to contact others in her family either. There is word that the victim has retained an attorney. That is a good thing because either way she will need an informed lawyer to handle any fallout from her disappearance whether the story is true or not.

A California defense attorney will have to use all their skills to get the best result for this client. The police will not take the wasted time and effort too kindly. If she is charged the best chance for making her side of the story heard will be with the help of a California defense attorney with trial experience.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with kidnapping or any other crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

 

Photo: Vallejo Police Department / AP News

vehicular manslaughterIt took a long while find out who has struck and killed a pedestrian in the Pacific Palisades last December, but the driver has been identified. The son of a California judge was walking home from a party when Marguerite Vuong hit him with her car while driving to her job at a Postal facility. Her vehicle was damaged and she took the vehicle home to get another car so she would not be questioned about the damage to the vehicle. Her husband has also been sentenced for lying to the police telling them he was the driver.

Surveillance cameras from nearby houses eventually led police to the Vuong home. It was particularly painful to the family of the young man as he did not die immediately after the accident. He passed away days later and maybe he would have survived if the couple had called the police immediately. The defendant and her husband both pleaded no contest. She was sentenced to three years in jail and he was given a one year jail sentence. Police had a recording of Mrs. Vuong at the police station telling her husband to tell the lie about him being the driver.

A hit and run case involving a fatality is a difficult case for all those involved. Many cases involving vehicular homicide are at their most basic an unintentional occurrence. It’s the trying to cover things up and avoiding the situation that makes the most trouble for the driver. In California a defense attorney must be called in all for cases involving the death or injury to a pedestrian colliding with a car.

Mrs. Vuong who has said she feels remorse would be doing much better if the accident was phoned in immediately and a California defense attorney was consulted as soon as possible. She did accept a plea bargain but her actions did tie the hands of her representative in what he could do to keep her sentence to a minimum.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with vehicular manslaughter or any other crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 448-1529 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

St. Patrick’s DaySt. Patrick’s Day is usually reserved for Parades and getting together with your friends. Unfortunately some times that get together involves drinking after work and that can turn the day from fun to no fun quickly. The National Highway Safety Council however rates this as one of the worst days involving traffic fatalities. The state of California had taken notice of those statistics and many DUI checkpoints were set up to prevent accidents and fatalities.

When these days come along safety is certainly the issue. Sometimes though the best intentioned driver may still be found to be over the legal limit when going through one of these checkpoints. The idea that maybe there was no probable cause has been settled long ago but there are still some ways to fight a DUI ticket in California. Many times for instance throughout the country the breathalyzer or other tests used may have been improperly performed giving a tainted result. You have no way of knowing this and if you go to your trial alone and just willing to pay the fine you never will know.

A DUI can cost you fines, possibly time lost from work as you have to find other means of transportation, and higher insurance costs – and that is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other problems caused by having this on your record a DUI might even cost you a better job in the future and a second DUI (if you ever get another) can create even greater problems with fines, suspensions and possibly even jail time.

In the California legal system a person with a DUI needs a defense attorney to make sure all of these questions about testing, probable cause, and other nuances of the law are asked. Only a California DUI defense attorney can achieve the best result for anyone that has been charged with DUI.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with a DUI or any other crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 448-1529 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood.

assaultA night at a sports bar in Oceanside, California turned ugly and when it was over a man had been injured in a hit and run accident that later was found to possibly be much more than that. The driver of the vehicle was eventually arrested by police, who were led to his home by a GPS device that the defendant is required to have due to his being on probation. The accused, James Medvec, has ties to the Hells Angels and he had argued with a small group of people at the bar earlier that night.

The man hit was the father- in- law of a woman who Medvec allegedly said inappropriate things to. He was quoted by others at the scene to say he would hit the woman, her husband, and her father-in-law when he saw them outside as everyone was leaving. Then a car appeared and hit the elder gentleman and sped off. He has suffered a collapsed lung and some broken bones.

The original complaint was set to ask for an attempted murder charge but that was later taken out. Medvec is still facing charges of assault and leaving the scene of an accident. The seriousness of the charges even without the attempted murder complaint, combined with the defendant’s record, will make this a hard case for his defense counsel. A person who loses control of their temper can find themselves in serious problems. Maybe not to this extent- but it can happen.

If you or a family member is arrested for assault or have a vehicular based offense filed against you a California defense attorney should be contacted immediately. The case above shows that the more serious charge was dropped possibly due to his attorney’s knowledge of California statutes in such cases. Contact an experienced today if you are in trouble with the law.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with assault or any other crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

attorneyA California woman, who was operating a vehicle that hit another car, killing the driver and seriously injuring his wife, has pleaded guilty recently in a San Diego courtroom to a manslaughter charge. The accident happened in February of 2013. A seventy seven year old man driving a car that the defendant hit was killed and his wife suffered many broken bones. In a tragic note the woman, Soranon Boopanon, a veteran of the United States Air Force, was on her way to a Veterans facility that is helping her with disabilities related to her 13 year Air Force career.

The attorney for the defense had tried to have the case sent to a military venue but it was settled in a San Diego County courtroom instead. The defendant was under the influence of anti-depressants, including valium, at the time of the accident. The woman ran a red light and, by eyewitness accounts, she speeded up to get through it. She is to be sentenced later this year bringing a close to the case.

She faces up to seven years for the plea and it may be less if the court system can be convinced to take the Defendant’s military service and disability into consideration. That may be difficult to do however due to the fatality involved and her impairment.

The California criminal court system has many cases like this one that aren’t a cut and dried affair. The defendants California criminal defense attorney for instance did try to change the venue of the case to a military one that may have taken her service and related disability into account.

Any person charged with a crime and headed to trial should make the effort to contact a California defense attorney and not leave things up to just making a plea or using a public defender. It’s your life that is at stake and there are many filings and strategies that your attorney can devise to get your case the best possible result.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with manslaughter or any other crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

Conrad HiltonAccording to an Los Angeles Times article on March 3, 2015 the brother of Paris Hilton, Conrad, is scheduled to appear in a Los Angeles courtroom to be arraigned on an assault charge. This stems from an in July of last year incident last year when the younger brother of the socialite and reality TV star became belligerent on a flight from London. He was said to have been going into the bathroom on a few occasions and used it for smoking tobacco and marijuana. He became abusive to an attendant and grabbed another by the shirt. He was heard to call the attendants and the crew “peasants”.

Then he attempted to hit one of the crew members after the problem with the attendants before he returned to his seat and fell asleep. The crew then restrained him. Others on the flight were said to be upset and frightened. At one point Mr.  Conrad Hilton told an attendant he would have her fired and that his father had once paid $300,000 to get his son out of a similar incident on another flight.

There is a plea agreement that Mr. Hilton has signed that admits guilt and he promises to show up for all future court dates and not argue any points of the case during the arraignment. He does face up to six months in jail and a year of supervised release.

A California assault charge is a bad mark on a person’s record. If you or someone you know has a hearing scheduled for a crime, a criminal defense attorney is a must. As this case shows even when a suspect is guilty the negotiations to mitigate the punishment can be accomplished if the attorney has criminal defense experience. Having the right criminal defense attorney could even lead to a dismissal of the charge or having the charge reduced to a lesser one with a much lighter sentence.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with assault or any other crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

Photo: Conrad Hilton, with his parents Kathy Hilton & Rick Hilton in 2008 (Matt Sayles / AP)

Chatsworth Street RaceThere was an illegal street race in Chatsworth, California that led to the deaths of two spectators and seriously injured another. Israel Venezuela was arrested by the Valley Traffic division according to the LA Daily News story on March 5, 2015. He is the second man arrested for the crash which occurred on February 26, 2015. The first man arrested has been quoted as saying he was not driving the Mustang that careened into a crowd that had gathered to watch the race.

Mr. Venezuela turned himself in after police released his name as a person of interest. He is under arrest for suspicion of murder and bail has been set at $2,000,000. He is believed to be the man driving the car that went out of control on Plummer Street in Chatsworth. The first man arrested, Mr. Henry Gevorgyan, has a court appearance scheduled for March 11. At that time a hearing date will be set at which time it will be determined whether there is evidence that he should also face charges in the incident and be tried.

Another legal matter connected to the case is that Councilman Mitch Englander wants to have an ordinance that will allow the city to seize and destroy vehicles in future incidents of this nature. The loss of life and serious injury connected to any illegal activity can have grave consequences for all involved. Even in a case such as this where injuring innocent bystanders was not the intent of those involved.

It is clear that a California defense attorney is involved in the case as the court activities relating to the first man can attest. The second defendant is in serious need of the same help, as anyone else in charges stemming from any illegal activity. If a family member has been charged with a crime, they must go to an experienced attorney who is used to the California criminal justice system and all of the intricacies of criminal law if they hope to secure the best possible result in their case.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with vehicular manslaughter or any other crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

Photo: Jeff Scharping

Bruce JennerThe auto accident that occurred earlier in February of 2015, involving reality TV star Bruce Jenner, is still under investigation by the Major Crimes Bureau of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. An examination of the phone records of all parties involved is still underway in order to determine if anyone may have been negligent in operating their vehicle at the time of the accident. Though video from the event seems to show that Bruce Jenner wasn’t using his phone at the time of impact, he could still face misdemeanor or felony charges that could result in jail time depending on the findings of investigators.

Legal professionals who have spoken publicly about the accident feel as though Bruce Jenner will likely escape criminal charges for his part in the accident that resulted in one death. And even if the television personality did face criminal charges, the fact that this would be his first serious offense would likely limit the possibility (or length) of a prison sentence.

Negligent driving that results in a death or vehicular manslaughter can carry some very stiff penalties. A conviction on this type of charge can result in anywhere from one year up to more than six years behind bars.

The possibility of any prison time (let alone up to six years) should compel the accused to immediately consult with an experienced attorney. If you have been involved in an auto accident and criminal charges are pending you need a criminal defense attorney that has experience dealing with felony charges stemming from operating an automobile.

The right criminal defense attorney can evaluate the evidence gathered at the scene, including any video footage, consult with eyewitnesses and even conduct a re-enactment if necessary to gather the information necessary to construct the strongest possible defense. The right defense strategy could mean the difference between a lengthy prison sentence; probation or even having charges dismissed.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with vehicular manslaughter or any other crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

Photo: Ringo H.W./AP

BatteryAn Illinois woman has brought charges of battery and infliction of emotional distress against the owner of a Kane County haunted house. The incident that prompted the filing occurred in October of 2014, when the woman claims that she and her teenage daughter were accosted by two employees in the parking lot of the haunted house.

The plaintiff, Regina Janito, claims that two employees, both dressed as clowns verbally assaulted her and her daughter and even went so far as to poke at them with sex toys during the encounter. There is a civil suit that is pending where the plaintiff is seeking unspecified damages for the emotion pain and distress that her family suffered during the event – but the civil matter will remain on hold until the criminal case has been resolved.

Both the owner of the haunted house and the two employees who were accused of being involved in this incident need a good criminal defense attorney on their side. Battery is a very serious charge that can carry some stiff penalties for those who face a possible conviction – so this incident needs a thorough examination by someone who has explored the defendants’ side of the story. If the incident occurred on haunted house property, was it part of the show? Did the defendants simply take the theatrics a little too far or was there intent to harass or harm in their actions?

If you are facing criminal charges you need to enlist the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The right attorney can gather the necessary facts from your story, from the scene and from eye witnesses in order to develop the best defense strategy possible. If the criminal charges are trumped up or if you have been wrongfully accused, your attorney will work diligently to have those charges reduced or dismissed to ensure the best possible outcome to the case.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with battery or any other crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

Photo: Robert Keller

terrorist threats A fourth grader in Kermit, Texas has been suspended from school for making what school officials have referred to as terrorist threats. The boy’s father has a very different view of the scenario that played out on school grounds but administrators are sticking with the punishment thus far.

The investigation began after the nine year old boy told a classmate that he could make him “disappear” with the help of the “One Ring.” The comment seems to refer to elements from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which the boy had recently watched according to his father. While, on the surface, this whole situation and subsequent punishment might seem a bit over the top, it is the school’s job to thoroughly investigate any event and to act with student and school safety in mind.

The charge of making a terrorist threat may not be warranted considering the details of the event and the boy may not have intended his friend any ill will as his father claims, but these days every perceived threat needs to be taken seriously. As upset as the boy’s parent might be with the punishment, their son might have gotten off lightly – if the school’s investigation had shown clear evidence of a threat, the punishment could have been much more severe. A true terrorist threat could have resulted in expulsion or possibly even time in a juvenile detention center.

If you (or a family member) are facing punishment for terrorist threats or an other criminal activity, you need to reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Having a qualified attorney on your side during the early stages of an investigation will help to ensure that the best possible defense strategy will be employed right from the start. The right attorney knows what details will be critical to establishing a solid defense and how to use that information to produce the fairest and most favorable outcome in any criminal case.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with terrorist threats or any other crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

Photo: Jason Steward

Aggravated AssaultA woman in Jacksonville, Florida has been released from prison after having served three years as part of a plea agreement for three counts of aggravated assault. The charges stemmed from an incident where the woman discharged a weapon at her husband and his two children.

While 1095 days might have felt like an eternity to the 34 year old, the situation could have been much worse. The original trial resulted in a guilty verdict from a jury – if that original ruling had not been thrown out by a judge who ruled that the court mishandled specific aspects of the case, the woman could have faced a 60 year sentence due to Florida’s strict gun laws.

This woman alleged that she had suffered abuse at the hands of her husband and that she used the gun in order to protect herself. Laws are in place to protect the innocent, but in instances like the above where self defense and/or “stand your ground” could conceivably come into play, trials tend to become much more complex.

This case is a perfect example of why it is so critical to get in contact with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible following an incident where charges could be filed. There is a strong chance that critical details and extenuating circumstances could escape you during the initial interaction with law enforcement officials who are working the case. Those details may provide the foundation necessary to keep charges down or possibly limit the punishment you could face as a result of your involvement.

A defense attorney will carefully gather all of the pertinent facts surrounding and leading up to the event in order to build the strongest defense. This diligence will help to ensure the most favorable result in an aggravated assault case or any case where criminal charges are filed.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with aggravated assault or any other crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.


Photo: WJXX-TV/WTLV-TV, Jacksonville, Florida

MurderA North Carolina man who has spent nearly the last forty years behind bars has been cleared of charges after an investigation conducted by the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission. Joseph Sledge had escaped from prison just one day prior to the murders and was picked up, charged and ultimately convicted of the crime.

Sledge was convicted despite the fact that he had no history of violent crime and no direct connection to the crime scene – in fact hair found at the crime scene that was believed to be from the killer did not match Sledge. A life sentence was handed down for the crimes, meaning that Sledge would likely have never seen outside the prison walls if not for the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission investigation.

As accurate as our justice system can be, there are instances where it has failed the innocent. This is evident by the fact that Joseph Sledge is the eighth person cleared of criminal charges over the course of the nine years that the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission has been in operation.

While it is likely that the attorneys for those wrongfully accused did their best with the information that was available at the time of the trials, instances of wrongful conviction illustrate just how important having the right defense attorney on your side can be. Enlisting the help of a good defense attorney is essential regardless the level of crime – while murder cases like the above will carry the stiffest possible penalties, even lower level crimes can carry heavy fines, probation or the possibility of jail time.

The right defense attorney will thoroughly examine all evidence related to the case in order to determine the best course of action for your defense. Having a properly constructed defense strategy and an attorney who can quickly evaluate and process new information as it comes in to combat the actions of the prosecution can produce the best outcome for you in a criminal case.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with murder or any other crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 448-1529 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.


Photo: WRAL.com, Chad Flowers & Edward Wilson

Suge Knight

Former music mogul Suge Knight is suspected of running over two men after an argument in Compton. The confrontation between Suge Knight and two unidentified men took place at 3:00 p.m. on January 29, 2015, on the set of “Straight Outta Compton,” a biopic about the group N.W.A.

Witnesses says that about 20 minutes after the alleged argument, the victims were at Tam’s Burgers near Central and East Rosecrans avenues. It is believed that Suge Knight followed the men in his truck, hit them, then backed over them in the parking lot.

One of the victims suffered undisclosed injuries, and the other died. The incident is being investigated as a homicide rather than a traffic accident because deaths caused by vehicles are considered homicides when it is determined the driver intentionally used the vehicle as a weapon.

Suge Knight’s lawyer stated that Knight plans to turn himself in to authorities and that “we are confident that once the investigation is completed, he will be totally exonerated.”

Leaving the scene of an accident is a serious criminal violation and can lead to felony charges in California. If you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident, also known as a hit and run accident, you need a experienced and skilled Los Angeles hit and run defense lawyer.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. To schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

Photo: (Frank Wiese, AP) Rapper Tupac Shakur, left, and Marion "Suge" Knight attend an August 15, 1996, voter registration event in South Central Los Angeles. Shakur was slain a few weeks later in Las Vegas.

driverA major, multi vehicle accident in Baker City, Oregon is being referred to as a miracle for the man behind the wheel of a pickup truck. While the 27 year old vehicle was completely totaled as a result of being pinned between two semi trucks, the man was amazingly able to walk away from the wreck suffering only a few, minor injuries as a result of the ordeal.

Thankfully this driver was able to escape serious injury and while that may be a miracle in the eyes of many it doesn’t necessarily close the case. Police will still need to carefully evaluate the scene of the accident in order to determine the exact cause of the damage. If there is evidence that one or more drivers were negligent there still could be some serious charges handed down.

Court cases involving automobile accidents can involve a multitude of different details and types of evidence. There can be eyewitness accounts, traffic cameras, sobriety tests and accident reenactments that all play a role in the severity of charges that a driver or drivers may face, if any will face charges at all.

Whenever there are so many factors that come into play in an incident that could yield criminal charges, you need to have an experienced attorney on your side. Just because there were no serious injuries in an accident doesn’t mean that a driver will get off without charges. Charges for personal or public property damage, reckless driving, DUI and other charges could all still be filed and stiff penalties could go along with each one of those charges.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can compile all of the facts along with your detailed account of the events that took place so a strong defense can be put into place. Your defense attorney can work to ensure that you don’t face any unfair charges as a result of your involvement in a motor vehicle accident and work to negotiate the best possible outcome for your case.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. To schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, close to Santa Monica, Westwood, and Beverly Hills. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

*Photo by Sergi Karplyuk

On January 13, 2015, three suspects ranging in age from 14 to 17 allegedly participated in a full day’s long crime spree that included such serious acts as carjacking, robbery, attempted fleeing police and murder. Police are currently keeping the identity of the suspects under wraps because the teens are also suspects in a host of other robberies in the area.

Though the crimes listed in this particular spree all occurred within the same 24 hour period, there are multiple victims. There was also a single victim who was first robbed by the suspects and then later assaulted and shot at when he confronted them regarding the robbery at a later point in the day.

The fact that there are multiple victims and crimes committed in multiple locations (including inside a fast food restaurant) will mean that prosecutors will have plenty of ammunition when it comes time for a trial. There could be a number of eye witnesses who are willing to testify as well as surveillance video of the crimes as they were being committed.

Whenever there are criminal investigations that involve multiple suspects involved in the same crime or series of crimes the water can get a bit murky as well – especially if the prosecution seems to have a strong case. One defendant (or more) might take a plea in an effort to get a lighter sentence, which can put the other defendants in a very difficult situation.

In these types of cases it is critical that the accused secure the help of a defense attorney as soon as possible. An experienced criminal defense attorney can gain access to and pour over all of the evidence present in the case and listen to the details of your specific story in order to determine the most logical and effective defense strategy. If others had more involvement in the planning or execution of the crime, your attorney can use that critical information in an effort to minimize or even eliminate the charges you’ll face.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. To schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

State officials said that the lie detector tests will help the government better determine which offenders are most dangerous and in need of increased supervision.

The question that will be asked of parolees can range from whether they are attending 12-step addiction programs to whether they are lingering at playgrounds or having inappropriate contact with children.

All sex offender parolees also are required to participate in special treatment programs. Previously, only high-risk offenders had to undergo such treatment. As a result California’s spending on treatment programs has gone from $8.5 million last year to $18.3 million this fiscal year.

California is not the first state to adopt the new practices. At least 18 other states have a similar policy. However, California has by far the largest population of sex offenders on parole numbering around 6,250.

California also has the nation’s largest program of tracking sex offender parolees’ movements with satellite-linked GPS devices. But that program has had some big failures, including Phillip Garrido, who was convicted of keeping Jaycee Dugard hidden at his Contra Costa County home for 18 years, and John Gardner III, who is serving a life sentence for killing two San Diego teenagers.

prevent crimes while getting offenders the treatment and services they need.

Convicted sex offenders are required to undergo the lie-detector tests as a condition of their parole. Since results of such tests are not acceptable in court they can’t be used as evidence, but parole agents can use the results for investigative purposes.

Brenda Crowding, a parole administrator, states that so far the tests seem to be motivating sex offenders to quickly admit any wrongdoings to get out of taking the lie detector tests.

Sex crime charges of any kind damage your reputation and ability to obtain employment for many years to come. At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide you with experienced and aggressive counsel. Call us today at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Our office is in the Westside Towers, within a mile of Santa Monica and Westwood. We have flexible office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

With the start of a New Year comes the enforcement of new laws. Lawmakers in California passed over 900 new laws that went into effect January 1, 2015. However, most of the time the general public is not aware of the new laws. So here are some selected new laws every Californian should know:

  •  (SB 967)“Yes Means Yes”: To receive funding from the State, colleges must only consider sex consensual if both parties actively agree to it and are not drunk or passed out. In addition, throwing out the old refrain of “no means no” and replacing it with “yes means yes.” California becomes the first state in the nation to use this rubric for sexual consent.
  •  (SB 838)Audrie’s Law: Teenagers convicted of sexually assaulting someone who is unconscious or can’t give consent will face stiffer punishments. The punishment will now include mandatory sexual-offender treatment. The bill is named for Audrie Pott, a teenager who killed herself after photos surfaced of her sexual assault.
  •  (SB 1255)“Selfie” Revenge Porn Rights: This law expands and already existing law that makes it a misdemeanor to distribute a naked picture of someone, often in an act of revenge, even if the photo was originally taken by the naked person.
  • (SB 926)Sex Abuse Rights: Children who claim they’re victims of a sex crime have until their 40th birthday to file charges. Previously the cutoff age was 28, however, the new age limit only applies only to crimes committed on or after January 1, 2015.
  •  (AB 1147)Massage Parlor Oversight: Local governments get greater oversight of massage parlors. This is because massage parlors are known to have been used as a front for sex trafficking.
  •  (SB 505)Gun Owner Welfare Check: Requires law enforcement agencies to encourage their officers to consult with gun ownership records when conducting welfare checks. This is something agents didn’t do before Isla Vista shooter Elliott Rodger killed six people in May of 2015.

If you have been accused of violating one of the new laws in 2015 or any other crime contact the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi. We provide you with experienced and aggressive counsel. Call us today at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Our office is in the Westside Towers, within a mile of Santa Monica and Westwood. We have flexible office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.

The Los Angeles Police Department has been using technology to tell patrol officers where crime is most likely to occur and also to identify and keep track of ex-convicts and others they believe are most likely to commit crimes. Yes, you read that right; the LAPD is tracking “potential” criminals using a technology dubbed LASER.

The police say the technology has already helped reduce crime in one of Los Angeles’ crime ridden neighborhoods. Captain Ed Prokop, the head of the division that patrol’s Newton said, “This is a tremendous step forward. Without this, I couldn’t do my job.”

How does this technology work? LASER uses data tracking and collection. This is accomplished with the use of license plate scanners, cell phone trackers, etc. and is often done with little public knowledge or regulation. Privacy advocates say LASER is not clearly regulated and it unfairly focuses on ex-convicts even though they have done their time. Kade Crockford of the ACLU says “People who have paid their debts to society shouldn’t remain stigmatized in the eyes of the police.”

LASER is funded by federal grants and launched in Newton in 2011. Since than it has been funded by additional money in October of 2014 and is now used in eight areas through the city. It includes the LAPD’s high-tech analysis unit and it’s helicopters. Over 3,500 LAPD officers have been trained to use Palantir, which is a platform that was initially introduced to speed up the process of creating files on chronic offenders and now is used throughout the department for a variety of investigative purposes. Other government agencies in New York, Nevada, Wisconsin, Texas and even Canada have been briefed on LASER and show an interest in the program.

The nearly $1 million used to fund LASER does not affect the city budgets and as a result there has been little scrutiny of the program. Police say it works and cite a steady drop in homicides in Newton, compared in other areas not using the program. Privacy advocates say those numbers are not enough to determine whether the program has any effect.

It will be interesting to see the public reaction to LASER once the existence of the program becomes more known. Some might say if you have not done anything or don’t plan on committing a crime than you have no reason to worry. While others might say the government should have no right to essentially spy and track it’s own citizens without cause. Only time, and maybe the court system, will determine whether LASER violates Constitutional rights.

 

On November 4, 2014, California voters approved Proposition 47 (“Prop 47”), which dramatically changed the Justice System in our State. These changes went into effect immediately. Some penalties for common drug and theft crimes in California will be reduced from potential felonies to misdemeanors, shortening the time some offenders spend behind bars to a maximum of up to a year. Crimes covered by Prop 47 include drug possession and the following offenses when less than $950 is involved: shoplifting, check and credit fraud, forgery, theft and possession of stolen goods. As with other misdemeanors, the new maximum sentence will be one year in jail, down from a maximum of three years. Those with histories of violence or sex offenses will NOT be eligible for the lighter sentences. Anyone already serving prison time for a felony conviction on a reclassified crime may be able to petition for a new sentence — even those incarcerated under the state’s “three strikes” law. If you or someone you know needs to file a petition to reduce their existing sentence please contact us online or call us at (310) 448-1529. Below you will find a brief explanation of what changes Prop 47 has made to California law:

* Δ = Defendant

STATUTE

THEN

NOW

PC 459 – Commercial Burglary Wobbler (Could be charged as misdemeanor or felony) If committed during business hours & amount stolen or, attempted to be stolen is $950 or less, it is now a misdemeanor violation of PC 495.5. Can only be charged as a felony if business is closed, Δ is a PC 290 registrant or has prior conviction per PC 667(e)(2)(c)(iv).
PC 470Forgery (Includes PC 471, 472, 475, 476, 484f & 484i(b). Wobbler (Could be charged as misdemeanor or felony) If item forged is check, cashier’s check, traveler’s check, or money order, and the amount does not exceed $950, it is a misdemeanor violation of PC 473 unless Δ is a PC 290 registrant or has prior conviction per PC 667(e)(2)(c)(iv). If forgery also involves identity theft Per 530.5, the forgery can be charged as a felony.
PC 476a(a) – NSF Checks Wobbler (Could be charged as misdemeanor or felony if the amount involved exceeded $450) If the total amount of all NSF checks does not exceed $950, it is a misdemeanor unless Δ is a PC 290 registrant, has a prior conviction per PC 667(e)(2)(c)(iv) or has 3 or more convictions for PC 470, PC 475, or PC 476.
PC 487 – Grand Theft (Includes PC 484e(a), 484e(b), 484e(d), 484g, 484h, 487, 487a, 487b, 487d, 487e, 487h, 487i, 487j and 489) Wobbler (Could be charged as misdemeanor or felony if the amount involved exceeded $950, the item stolen was enumerated fruits/veggies, domestic fowl, fish, and automobile or firearm, or was taken from person) If the value of the item taken does not exceed $950, it is a misdemeanor violation of PC 490.2, petty theft, regardless of the nature of the item stolen and regardless of whether item was taken from the person. Can only be charged as a felony if the Δ is a PC 290 registrant or has prior conviction per PC 667(e)(2)(c)(iv).
PC 496(a) – Possession of Stolen Property Wobbler (could be charged as a misdemeanor or felony) If the value of the property involved does not exceed $950, it is a misdemeanor unless Δ is a PC 290 registrant or has a prior convection per PC 667(e)(2)(c)(iv).
PC 666/484(a)Petty Theft With Prior Convictions Where Δ has 3 or more prior convictions for certain theft offenses could be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Can no longer charge PC666/484(a) unless Δ is a PC 290 registrant, has a prior conviction per PC 667(e)(2)(c)(iv) or prior conviction for PC368(d) or PC 368(e). If so, can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. If not, it is a violation of PC484(a) only.
H&S 11350(a) – Possession of Controlled Substance (Heroin, Cocaine) Straight Felony Misdemeanor unless Δ is a PC 290 registrant or has a prior conviction per PC 667(e)(2)(c)(iv).
H&S 11357(a) – Possession of Concentrated Cannabis Wobbler (could be charged as a misdemeanor or felony) Misdemeanor unless Δ is a PC 290 registrant or has a prior conviction per PC 667(e)(2)(c)(iv).
H&S 11377(a) – Possession of Controlled Substance (Methamphetamines) Wobbler (could be charged as a misdemeanor or felony) Misdemeanor unless Δ is a PC 290 registrant or has a prior conviction per PC 667(e)(2)(c)(iv).

 

 

Criminal Defense Advocate and ExpertFor more than a twelve years, Arash Hashemi has protected the rights of Los Angeles residents facing criminal charges. He’s not only recognized in the area as a strong defender, but as an ideal expert commentator on noteworthy criminal cases. Mr. Hashemi’s insider knowledge of California law and Los Angeles criminal courts gives him the advantage over his competitors.
Beyond his skill and experience, Arash Hashemi has built a strong group of grateful clients because of his insistence on frequent, effective communication. He explains things in a straightforward manner so that the people he represents aren’t just clients but collaborators. His commitment to avoiding legalese and getting to the point quickly serves him well in both the office and in front of the camera.
“Throughout my legal career, I have generated outstanding results for my clients because I’m passionate about protecting their rights,” said Mr. Hashemi. “I bring the same enthusiasm when I’m asked to explain criminal law issues in a clear, concise manner.” It is all these qualities that make Arash Hashemi a criminal defense advocate and expert.

About The Law Offices of Arash Hashemi

The Law Offices of Arash Hashemi offer legal representation to individuals accused of various felonies and misdemeanors. The firm specializes in defending against charges such as sex crimes, drug crimes, and domestic violence because Mr. Hashemi has a unique understanding of both the legal and lifestyle consequences that accompany those allegations.

Contact

To learn more about Mr. Hashemi, please contact:

The Law Offices of Arash Hashemi
brunopisano.com/hash
11845 W Olympic Blvd, Suite 520
Los Angeles, CA 90064
T: (310) 894-8548
F: (310) 448-1528
info@hashemilaw.com

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Iranian American Lawyers Association Statement on Judge Tabaddor

Judge TabaddorOn August 12, 2014, United States Immigration Judge A. Ashley Tabaddor filed suit against the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), challenging an order mandating that Judge Tabaddor, a judge of Iranian descent who was appointed as an immigration judge in 2005, recuse herself from hearing all cases involving Iranian nationals. In the lawsuit, Tabaddor v. Holder, et al., Judge Tabaddor alleges violations of her right to free speech and freedom of association as protected under the First Amendment, and alleges that the DOJ’s recusal order is racially-motivated and facially discriminatory under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Complaint underscores the discriminatory animus behind the DOJ’s blanket recusal order by noting that immigration judges of diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds have long been active in their respective communities without having been subject to similar sweeping recusal orders, and that the order violates the DOJ’s own policies on civic engagement and the free speech and associational rights of judges outside of their official capacity.

The Iranian American Lawyers Association stands with several other organizations, including the National Association of Immigration Judges, Asian Law Center, Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom, as well as the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans and Iranian American Bar Association, in support of Judge Tabaddor’s lawsuit. The DOJ’s sweeping recusal order sets a dangerous precedent which undermines the independence of the judiciary. Judges are appointed to the United States Immigration Courts not based on ethnicity, national origin, or religion, but rather on individual merits, education, training, and experience, which qualify them to serve as judges. For the DOJ to unilaterally issue such a sweeping recusal order threatens the diversity and independence of the judicial branch of government, diminishes the long standing freedom of judges to speak, teach, and volunteer outside of their professional capacity, and further undermines the independence of judges in exercising their own recusal determinations in the manner contemplated in the laws enacted by Congress, on a case-by-case basis, and strips the judiciary of powers vested in the judicial branch. As legal professionals whose mission is to preserve, protect, and maintain the integrity of the legal profession, the Iranian American Lawyers Association regards this as a matter of public interest, as the DOJ’s actions raise serious concerns as to the future of a diverse and independent judiciary that is integral to the functioning of our justice system.

www.ialawyers.org or contact at: ialaLawyers@gmail.com

Michael PhelpsOn September 30, 2014, at approximately 1:40 am Maryland Transportation Officers observed a white Land Rover traveling at 84mph in a 45mph speed zone. The car was crossing double lane lines. Officers initiated a traffic stop and discovered that the driver was non-other than 22-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps. Even though Phelps was cooperative he was “unable to perform satisfactorily a series of standard field sobriety tests,” and was arrested for DUI. In 2004, he was sentenced to 18 months of probation for the same charge, making this his second DUI.

Phelp’s is attempting to come out of retirement and is expected to tryout for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic games. Right after his release Phelps offered an apology on his Twitter feed

Michael Phelps (@MichaelPhelps)

(1/3) Earlier this morning, I was arrested and charged with DUI, excessive speeding and crossing double lane lines.
12:40 PM – 30 Sep 2014

(2/3) I understand the severity of my actions and take full responsibility.
12:40 PM – 30 Sep 2014

(3/3) I know these words may not mean much right now but I am deeply sorry to everyone I have let down.
12:40 PM – 30 Sep 2014

Phelps is taking “full responsibility” for the DUI. If he wasn’t a famous sports athlete would he still take “responsibility?” Will the public forgive him? Should he be forced to go to rehab? etc … These are just some of the question that will be debated in the coming days. It should be an interesting and lively debate.

In California, adults are driving under the influence if they have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher. The limit is 0.04 percent for commercial drivers. If you are between 18 and 21 years old, the DUI threshold is 0.01 percent. Drivers 18 or younger are prohibited from consuming any alcohol. If you have been arrested for DUI, seek help from a skilled criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. It’s especially urgent if you were arrested for DUI after a traffic accident.

If you have been arrested for a DUI give us a call. At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we work tirelessly to defend our clients arrested for driving under the influence. We recognize what is at stake, and we fight to have the charges against you dismissed or reduced.

 

Photo Credits: (Simon Bruty / SI)
 
 

Los Angeles, CA – The Law Offices of Arash Hashemi announced today that their telephone and facsimile numbers have changed. This change takes effect immediately, however, the old telephone number will remain working until October 15, 2014. All facsimile correspondence should be sent to the new number. The new numbers are as follows:

  • Telephone:      (310) 448-1LAW or (310) 448-1529

 

About the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi

The firm began in 2003, in the heart of the San Fernando Valley. A year later, it relocated to Century City and in 2014, moved to its current location in West Los Angeles. Throughout the years the firm has grown steadily, developing broad expertise in the fields of Criminal Defense, Business Litigation, Personal Injury, Car Accidents, Name Changes, Power of Attorney and Notary Public.

 

Contact

To learn more about this launch, please contact:Law Offices of Arash Hashemi

The Law Offices of Arash Hashemi
www.HashemiLaw.com
11845 W Olympic Blvd, Suite 520
Los Angeles, CA 90064
T: (310) 448-1529
info@hashemilaw.com

 

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Ray RiceIn February of 2014, NFL player Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens, and his fiancee Janay Plamer,  were arrested in Atlantic City. The arrest was the result of a “simple domestic assault” which took place between Rice and Palmer. At the time Rice’s attorney said the incident was nothing more than a misunderstanding.

On February 19th TMZ released surveillance video of Rice dragging his unconscious fiancee out of an elevator.  The video caused many to think that the incident was more than a  “minor physical altercation” as described by Rice’s attorney. The NFL stated that they would look into the incident and asses a punishment through their personal conduct policy.

Police later said that they obtained video showing Rice had knocked Palmer unconscious. That footage was not leaked to the public. On March 27th Ray Rice was indicted for aggravated assault charges. The very next day he married Janay Palmer. Rice later agreed to a plea deal which kept his case from going to trial. In July the commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell, suspend Rice for two (2) games for the incident and the NFL case was closed.

On Monday, September 8th, the video from the inside of the elevator was released by TMZ. The video showed Rice hitting Palmer and knocking her out inside the elevator. Public outrage immediately followed and in response the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens suspended Rice indefinitely from the league. The public and the media than started calling for Goodell’s head for not suspending Rice much earlier. The Ravens Organization wasn’t spared from the public outrage either.

Domestic violence is a terrible plague upon our society. This horrible act happens on a daily bases in every city and state in our country. However, the only time the media and the general public raise any concern is when a celebrity is caught committing such a horrific act. The national news has been dominated by the Ray Rice story for the past week. Some say because it’s good for ratings, while others genuinely want to bring attention to the issue of domestic violence. Some have gone as far as saying a boycott of the NFL is in order. But will any of this stop domestic violence?

I am interested to see what happens when a new “better” story comes around. Will this topic get as much attention or will it be forgotten?

 

Photo Credits: Ovidiu Hrubaru / Shutterstock.com
 
 

FacebookWhile driving, if you look at the car next to you chances are you will see the driver on his/her phone. Some are talking without a headphone. Others might be texting, Tweeting, or updating their Facebook statues. It seems the threat of getting a traffic ticket does not deter these drivers. All those public service announcements saying being on your phone while driving is dangerous don’t work either. Well here is something that might make you think twice next time you want to use your phone to text while driving: going to prion for negligent homicide.

On May 27th Abby Sletten was driving around 85mph, on interstate 29 in North Dakota. Failing to stop, she plowed her Ford Escape in to a stopped SUV. The 89 year old driver of the SUV died on impact. Fortunately the driver’s grand-daughter and great-granddaughter survived.

A witness to the accident stated he was traveling at 80 mph when he saw Sletten pass by him.  The witness also stated he saw the stopped SUV ahead and that Sletten never applied the brakes. The police obtained a warrant and searched Sletten’s cellphone. It was later alleged that at the time of the fatal crash Sletten was texting and viewing pictures on Facebook. Abby Sletten has been charged with negligent homicide.

What exactly is “negligent homicide?” In California negligent homicide is also known as Involuntary Manslaughter (Penal Code 192(a)). It is an unintentional killing that results from reckless conduct or occurs during the commission of an infraction or misdemeanor. If convicted, one could face up to four years in prison.

If you have been arrested for any type of crime, including involuntary manslaughter, you undoubtedly are worried about your future and your freedom. The single most important step you can take after an arrest is to contact an experienced lawyer. At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we have earned a reputation for being tenacious in the courtroom.

Photo Credits: Twin Design / Shutterstock.com

     Discrimination is usually defined as an action that denies social participation or human rights to a person or group of people based on prejudice. Racial discrimination differentiates individuals on the basis of real and perceived racial differences.

On Wednesday, July 16, 2014, Beverly Hills High School principal, Carter Paysinger, filed a lawsuit against the Beverly Hills Unified School District (the “District”) and Board of Education (the “Board”) member Lewis Hall claiming to be the victim “of a malicious campaign of discrimination and retaliation”.

     Paysinger is the first African-American principal in the high school’s 87 year history.  Paysinger’s entire professional career, which spans the course of four decades, was spent working for BHUSD; first as the high school’s long time football coach, next as a teacher, and ultimately as the high school’s principal since 2010.

     Paysinger alleges that he has been a target of the Board’s racism on multiple occasions. The story first broke on TMZ, website notorious for celebrity gossip. The 31-page complaint filed against the District seeks an unspecified amount of reparation and demands a trial by jury for each and every claim made in the suit.

    The lawsuit alleges that BHUSD Vice President, Brian Goldberg, admitted that “it would be easier for Mr. Paysinger if he had lighter skin.” Goldberg, alongside many others, believes the suit to be a publicity stunt, telling The Beverly Hills Courier that the lawsuit is meant to attract public interest in Paysinger’s upcoming book release that he co-wrote with former board member, Steven Fenton. The book, titled Where A Man Stands: Two Different Worlds, An Impossible Situation, And The Unexpected Friendship That Changed Everything, is scheduled for release this upcoming November.

    In May, the Board of Education rejected Paysinger’s claim that the District leaked a draft of an investigation into Paysinger’s financial dealings to the Los Angeles Times. The investigation suggested that Paysinger received financial benefits from registration fees paid to the Beverly Hills Sports Academy. Paysinger allegedly failed to report these benefits in his legally required Statement of Economic Interests Form 700. The Los Angeles County District Attorney ultimately decided not to continue an investigation into Paysinger’s financials.

     An online petition in support of Carter Paysinger has been circulating the internet in support of Carter Paysinger. The petition states that Paysinger has been “instrumental in creating a first class academic environment” and that Paysinger is one of the only people at Beverly Hills High School to be “in touch with the history and cultural makeup of the school”. Currently, the petition has over 200 signatures.

    Although it is unclear as to what exactly is expected to come out of a trial by jury, Paysinger and his legal team claim in the complaint that they would like this lawsuit to “expose [BHUSD’s] pervasive misconduct and make sure no employee or student in the Beverly Hills Unified School District will ever again be judged by the color of his or her skin…for exercising his or her rights.”

California Death Penalty

On July 16, 2014, US District Judge Cormac J. Carney ruled that California’s death penalty violates the 8th amendment of the United States Constitution which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. The case was brought up on a petition made by death row inmate, Ernest Dewayne Jones who was sentenced to death nearly twenty years ago. Jones received the death penalty in 1995 for the 1992 rape and murder of his girlfriend, Julia Miller.
In his ruling, Carney stated that California’s death penalty has created long delays in executions resulting in uncertainty for inmates, most of who will realistically, never meet the needle. He wrote in his decision that the death penalty system in California has resulted in “an inordinate and unpredictable period of delay preceding [the inmates’] actual execution.”
California has sentenced over 900 prisoners to death since 1978 but hasn’t executed a single inmate since 20006. This stems from Judge Jeremy Fogel of United States District Court in San Jose’s ordered changes in California’s execution methods. Nearly 40 percent of California’s 748 death row inmates have been imprisoned more than 19 years.
According to Carney, the system relies on random factors rather than legitimate ones such as the nature of the crime or the date of the death sentence, to determine exactly when a death row inmate meets their execution. The “random few” of the death row inmates that will be executed will have suffered for so long that their death serves no deterrent purpose for the public interest.
A director of the ACLU of Northern California, Natasha Minsker, told the Los Angeles Times that Carney’s ruling marked the first time a federal judge has found the state’s current system unconstitutional.
Professor Douglas A. Berman of The Ohio State University told The New York Times that, technically, California could address Carney’s ruling by immediately moving forward with the executions. He does note that this idea would take a great deal of effort to enact.
In 2012, California voters narrowly affirmed the death penalty—48 percent of voters favored replacing it with life in prison with no parole.
Carney’s decision is expected to inspire similar arguments in death penalty appeals around the country. The case could work its way up through the court system. Judge Carney’s ruling can be appealed to the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Even if the case doesn’t make it to Supreme Court, the ruling will probably generate appeals in any state with large backups on death row.

A spokesperson for the state attorney general, Kamala D. Harris, said Carney’s decision is being reviewed by her office.

Photo Credits: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

How Does the Criminal Process Work in California?

When I was younger I loved law shows on TV, in particular ones that had to do with crimes, such as the Law & Order franchise. I used to watch them passionately studying the tactics, the procedures and dialogue the lawyers in the shows used. However, after I became a criminal defense attorney I soon learned that real life is very different from television. Now I can’t watch any law show without yelling at the TV calling out all the mistakes.

One thing in particular that stands out to me in TV shows is how the criminal process is portrayed. I understand the shows are made solely for entertainment and not for educational purposes but I think the public should know the criminal process. So I am taking it upon myself to very briefly explain the process.

In California the criminal process begins with the arrest. For the arrest to be constitutional, the arresting agency must have probable cause to believe that a crime was committed and that the person being arrested committed the crime. Contrary to popular belief you do not have to answer any of the police’s questions and no, they are not there to “help you” to explain your side of the story. After the arrest, the prosecuting agency, such as the District Attorney, will review the police reports and decide whether or not to file charges.

Next comes the arraignment, which is the defendant’s first appearance in court. The judge will inform the defendant of his/her constitutional rights and the charges filed. The defendant will then enter a plea of guilty, no contest, or not guilty. None of this is done without a lawyer unless the defendant wants to represent himself/herself.

If the defendant is being charged with a felony a preliminary hearing is scheduled, there is no preliminary hearing in misdemeanor cases. This hearing is like a “mini-trial” where the prosecutor presents witnesses & evidence to try to prove that the defendant committed the crime(s). No jury is present at such a hearing. If the defendant is held to answer he will be arraigned a second time. If no plea deal is reached and the defendant pleads “not guilty,” the case proceeds to trial.

At the trial, the prosecution has the burden to prove that the defendant is guilty of committing the crime(s) beyond a reasonable doubt. Based upon the evidence presented, a jury or a judge determines whether the defendant is guilty or not. If found guilty the judge will schedule a sentencing hearing.

A majority of the people that I come across have no idea how the process works. The ones that think they do are usually wrong because their knowledge was obtained from TV, which is one of the reasons I can’t watch law shows without yelling at the TV. For a more detailed explanation please visit our page: http://brunopisano.com/hash/practice-areas/criminal-law-overview-2/how-does-the-criminal-process-work/

One of the most common questions asked of me is “What is the difference between a civil case and a criminal case?” There are many differences but some of the main ones are easy to distinguish.

A civil case usually involves a dispute between private persons and/or organizations, such as a corporation. A criminal case is brought to the court by either a local, State, or Federal agency against the defendant because of some alleged violation of a law.

One important difference between a civil and criminal case is the burden of proof. In a civil case the burden is always initially on the Plaintiff but can change to the Defendant in some cases; for example when the Plaintiff has made a prima facie case. The standard in a civil case is called preponderance of the evidence. Meaning that if the jury believes the defendant was more then 50% at fault this burden has been met.

In a criminal case the burden is always on the government to prove guilt. The defendant in a criminal case is always assumed to be innocent until the burden has been met by the prosecuting agency. This burden can sometimes fall on the defendant; for example if he/she wishes to claim insanity. The burden in a criminal case is called beyond a reasonable doubt. Meaning that the government must prove the person being charged was for certain the one who committed the crime. If a numerical value were placed on this burden I would argue it to be 99.9%.

These are just a few but important differences that distinguish a civil case from a criminal case.

If you or a loved one is arrested, you know you need a lawyer. But you may not realize that you should retain an attorney whose practice is focused on criminal law. At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, defending people who have been arrested is not a sideline. It’s all we do.

One of the most dramatic manhunts in US history has come to an end with many questions still unanswered. One of them is how to treat Dzhokhar Tsarnaev within the legal system. Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Representative Peter King (R-N.Y.) issued a joint statement commending law enforcement agencies for their efforts and suggested that Tsarnaev should be housed at Guantanamo as an ‘Enemy Combatant.’ (Washington Post Article)

What does this really mean? If Tsarnaev is categorized as an enemy combatant he could ultimately be denied access to the criminal court systems in the United States. He will also not have some of the same rights afforded to a regular criminal; such as the right to be Mirandized, or the right to a speedy trial. The ultimate question in my opinion is, does one who commits such a heinous terrorist act against innocent civilians become a enemy combatant just by the simple act itself or other elements must be present; such as membership in a terrorist group? Let’s hear what the public has to say …

I look forward to reading your opinions on this important issue facing us in the legal system.

On June 17th, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 5 to 4 to uphold the 1992 murder conviction of a Texas man named Genovevo Salinas (Full Story). He sat silently when the police questioned him about the shotgun shells that were found at the scene of the murder and traced to his shotgun. Prosecutors pointed to the defendant’s silence as evidence of his guilt.

In affirming the conviction of Genovevo, the Court’s majority Justices admitted that some suspects might think they had a right to sit silently. “Popular misconceptions notwithstanding,” the Constitution “does not establish an unqualified right to remain silent” said Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. He also noted that prosecutors may not use a defendant’s silence in court as evidence against them.

The Miranda decision states that police must inform suspects of their rights only when they are taken into custody. In the Texas case, Genovevo Salinas was asked to come to the police station and willingly agreed to do so. Since it was agreed that the interview was noncustodial, the police were not legally required to read him his rights. The court ruled that although the suspect has a right to remain silent under the 5th Amendment, a suspect must invoke his rights and physically say that he wishes to remain silent.

On June 20, 2013, The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of the First Amendment’s protection of free speech striking down part of a Federal law regarding funding. The law had required all groups that receive funding for fighting AIDS globally to announce policies “opposing prostitution and sex trafficking.” Several of the groups that receive funding sued to challenge this requirement because it would made it harder for the groups to work with prostitutes who need testing and treatment.

This case is important because it raises the question of whether or not the government can use its funding power to require groups that are receiving that funding to follow its policies. In the past, the court has ruled in favor of federal laws, requiring libraries to filter out pornography from computers and telling subsidized clinics that they may not advise patients about abortions.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said that the government may not control funding to regulate speech outside of the structure of the program itself. He said that the law requiring groups to declare their opposition to sex trafficking is “unconstitutional” and that the law “requires them [groups] to pledge allegiance” to the government’s policies regarding prostitution. The decision was 6 to 2, with Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissenting.