Brother of Paris Hilton Pleads Guilty

According to a 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

Since 2002, 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. […]
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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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Elements Of A Crime

In the July 2013, California Supreme Court case People v. Davis, Mr. Davis was arrested at a rave party after he sold blue pills to an undercover officer. The California Health and Safety Code lists methylenedioxy amphetamine (MDA), commonly known as Ecstasy, as a controlled substance. However, subsequent tests revealed that the blue pills contained […]
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The Hearsay Rule and Its Exceptions

Whether watching court trials on the news, movies or popular television shows, we all have been exposed to some kind of court proceeding. Perhaps one of the most memorable events during a trial is when you see an attorney yell “objection!”, when opposing counsel is questioning a witness. While there are many objections an attorney […]
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Aaron Hernandez and First Degree Murder

There are several different violent crimes a person can be charged with in the United States of America. One such example is Murder; which is defined as the intentional and unlawful killing of another human being. However, there are different degrees of murder a person can be charged with. Professional athlete Aaron Hernandez (formally of […]
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Negligence and Michael Jackson

On October 2, 2013, a jury found AEG Live not liable for negligence in the case of KATHERINE JACKSON, ET. AL. VS. AEG LIVE LLC, ET. AL. (Los Angeles Superior Court Case #: BC445597). The case was filed by the family of Michael Jackson, one of the world’s biggest Pop Stars. The verdict shocked not […]
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Court Upholds Broad-Based Expungement

While some states restrict expungement of records to cases in which the defendant was innocent or wrongfully prosecuted, California is more willing than other states to give criminal defendants a fresh start following a criminal conviction. In People v. Parker, a June 24, 2013 decision from the Second Appellate District, the Court considered the case […]
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Man Held In Solitary Confinement For 41 Years

71-year-old Herman Wallace died on October 8, 2013, approximately one week after being released from prison in Louisiana. Mr. Wallace, a member of the Black Panthers and one of the Angola 3, was convicted of armed robbery in 1971 and sent to Angola State Prison. The next year, he was accused of fatally stabbing a […]
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Law Enforcement and Qualified Immunity

The Supreme Court of the United States of America is the highest court in the country. The Court hears cases that are on appeal from a United States Circuit Court decision. The Supreme Court can choose to overturn the opinion of the lower court, or they can rule Stare Decisis, which is Latin and translates […]
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Revenge Porn Now Illegal in California

In October 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that expanded the definition of disorderly conduct and invasion of privacy. Senate Bill 255 outlaws so-called “revenge porn,” which involves the posting of private, pornographic photos of another person as a means of revenge against an ex-partner. The bill, which goes into effect immediately, specifically […]
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Murder Suspect Gives Up

A woman accused of murdering her two children has requested the death penalty. In September 2013, police in Orange County arrested 42-year-old Marilyn Edge of Scottsdale, Arizona in connection with the murder of her two children, aged 9 and 13. Prosecutors allege that Ms. Edge poisoned her children after she lost a custody battle with […]
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Expunging California Criminal Records

Expungement in California, particularly for expunging California criminal records, is a vital legal process for individuals aiming to conceal their criminal history from the public eye. This process, while not completely erasing the conviction, significantly lessens its impact, thereby enhancing opportunities in employment, housing, and other crucial aspects of life. Key Penal Code Sections for […]
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When Criminal Law And Immigration Law Collide

The question often arises: can a criminal conviction be a snake in the grass as far as your immigration status is concerned? The California Supreme Court recently considered this question in the September 11, 2013 case of People v. Martinez. In 1992, Mr. Martinez was arrested for and charged with possession of marijuana. He pled […]
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The 4th Amendment and Illegal Search of Property

As a citizen of the United States of America, it is always good to know your legal rights. Perhaps one of the most common questions that people ask is whether it is legal for police to search one’s personal property without the consent of the owner and/or a warrant? The 4th amendment forbids unreasonable searches […]
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Felony Pretrial Procedure

After the arrest and before the trial, there are a number of important events that take place in the life of a felony criminal case. Once a person is arrested, a judge determines the amount of bail. Bail cannot be tied to the evidence against the person — instead, the judge determines the likelihood that […]
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The Heat Of The Moment

A sudden passion can separate murder from manslaughter, in a legal sense — but, where is that line drawn? On June 3, 2013, the California Supreme Court delivered People vs. Beltran, (124 Cal.App.3d 335). Mr. Beltran shared a residence with Claire Joyce Tempongko and Ms. Tempongko’s son. While the son called Mr. Beltran “Dad,” Mr. […]
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Discovery In Criminal Cases

Traditionally, discovery in criminal cases was a one-way proposition: the prosecutor had a duty to disclose evidence to the defense, but the defense had no duty to reciprocate. That dynamic changed with Proposition 115. Proposition 115, narrowly approved by voters on June 5, 1990, made reciprocal discovery the rule in California criminal cases. While the […]
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Thurgood Marshall – The First Black Supreme Court Justice

When one thinks of the Civil Rights Movement two names might come to mind. The first, without a doubt, is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; and the other may be Malcolm X. These two people were both huge contributors to the movement, and moved the public with famous and powerful speeches. However, one important and […]
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Johnnie Cochran

“If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit!” That line was made famous during the O.J. Simpson trial by a man who himself became a household name in America. His name was Johnnie Cochran. However, few seem to know that Johnnie Cochran was a well accomplished attorney and famous in his own right prior to the […]
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Taking & Storing DNA Evidence During The Booking Process in California

On March 20, 2014, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that California’s taking and storing DNA profiles from anyone arrested on suspicion of a felony is Constitutional. This caused a bit of controversy throughout the State, because some argue that this practice should not be legal. The state of Maryland practices the same […]
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According to a 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) 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.

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. 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) 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.

The 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) 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.

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

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 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.

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 an 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) 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.

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 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) 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, 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.

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) 448-1529 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) 448-1529 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.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, our team of expert criminal defense lawyers is dedicated to fighting aggressively for our clients’ rights. To schedule a consultation with a lawyer at our firm, call us at (310) 448-1529 or contact us online. Located in Westside Towers in LA, our office is minutes from Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood and steps away from the Expo/Bundy Station. We have flexible hours and offer weekend appointments, and we will visit you in jail for consultation on your case.

 

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 (Meth) 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 ExpertSince 2002, 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.

Arash is admitted to practice before all California State Courts and the United States District Court for the Northern, Eastern, Central & Southern Districts of California. Arash is the host of the Podcast Hashing Out the Law and volunteers on a regular basis at the Mesereau Free Legal Clinic, in South Los Angeles. During his free time, he enjoys playing basketball and photography.

 

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 all fields of Criminal Defense, with an emphasis in Self-Defense cases.

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:

Law Offices of Arash Hashemi
11845 W Olympic Blvd, Suite 520
Los Angeles, CA 90064
T: (310) 894-8548
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

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 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.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, our team of expert criminal defense lawyers is dedicated to fighting aggressively for our clients’ rights. To schedule a consultation with a lawyer at our firm, call us at (310) 448-1529 or contact us online. Located in Westside Towers in LA, our office is minutes from Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood and steps away from the Expo/Bundy Station. We have flexible hours and offer weekend appointments, and we will visit you in jail for consultation on your case.

 
 

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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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 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?

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, our team of expert criminal defense lawyers is dedicated to fighting aggressively for our clients’ rights. To schedule a consultation with a lawyer at our firm, call us at (310) 448-1529 or contact us online. Located in Westside Towers in LA, our office is minutes from Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood and steps away from the Expo/Bundy Station. We have flexible hours and offer weekend appointments, and we will visit you in jail for consultation on your case.

 
 

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 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. We provide you with experienced and aggressive counsel. Call us today at (310) 448-1529 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.

     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.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, our team of expert criminal defense lawyers is dedicated to fighting aggressively for our clients’ rights. To schedule a consultation with a lawyer at our firm, call us at (310) 448-1529 or contact us online. Located in Westside Towers in LA, our office is minutes from Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood and steps away from the Expo/Bundy Station. We have flexible hours and offer weekend appointments, and we will visit you in jail for consultation on your case.

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: https://www.hashemilaw.com/practice-areas/criminal-law/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.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, our team of expert criminal defense lawyers is dedicated to fighting aggressively for our clients’ rights. To schedule a consultation with a lawyer at our firm, call us at (310) 448-1529 or contact us online. Located in Westside Towers in LA, our office is minutes from Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood and steps away from the Expo/Bundy Station. We have flexible hours and offer weekend appointments, and we will visit you in jail for consultation on your case.

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.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, our team of expert criminal defense lawyers is dedicated to fighting aggressively for our clients’ rights. To schedule a consultation with a lawyer at our firm, call us at (310) 448-1529 or contact us online. Located in Westside Towers in LA, our office is minutes from Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood and steps away from the Expo/Bundy Station. We have flexible hours and offer weekend appointments, and we will visit you in jail for consultation on your case.

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.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, our team of expert criminal defense lawyers is dedicated to fighting aggressively for our clients’ rights. To schedule a consultation with a lawyer at our firm, call us at (310) 448-1529 or contact us online. Located in Westside Towers in LA, our office is minutes from Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood and steps away from the Expo/Bundy Station. We have flexible hours and offer weekend appointments, and we will visit you in jail for consultation on your case.

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.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, our team of expert criminal defense lawyers is dedicated to fighting aggressively for our clients’ rights. To schedule a consultation with a lawyer at our firm, call us at (310) 448-1529 or contact us online. Located in Westside Towers in LA, our office is minutes from Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood and steps away from the Expo/Bundy Station. We have flexible hours and offer weekend appointments, and we will visit you in jail for consultation on your case.

In the July 2013, California Supreme Court case People v. Davis, Mr. Davis was arrested at a rave party after he sold blue pills to an undercover officer. The California Health and Safety Code lists methylenedioxy amphetamine (MDA), commonly known as Ecstasy, as a controlled substance. However, subsequent tests revealed that the blue pills contained MDMA, a similar substance that is not on the list of prohibited drugs. At trial, the officer testified that MDMA was a party drug that could affect a person for up to 24 hours — the officer did not give any further details. The jury — apparently reasoning that MDMA contained the word “meth” — convicted Mr. Davis.

On appeal, Mr. Davis’ criminal defense attorney challenged the conviction. The Court noted that the Health and Safety Code does include a provision that similar substances are implied to be on the prohibited list, if the defendant had the intent to circumvent the law by selling a slightly different substance. Because there was no evidence in the record that Mr. Davis had the requisite criminal intent, the conviction was reversed.

Basic Elements of a Crime

Some criminal offenses are regulatory offenses, such as DUI and running a stop sign. These offenses require no proof of criminal intent. All other crimes require proof of both:

  • A criminal act (actus rea)
  • Criminal intent (mens rea)

Criminal intent depends on the statute, but is most often defined as intentionally or knowingly committing a criminal act. Mr. Davis committed a criminal act by selling the MDMA, but he lacked the intent to violate the law.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with drug possession 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.

hearsay

Whether watching court trials on the news, movies or popular television shows, we all have been exposed to some kind of court proceeding. Perhaps one of the most memorable events during a trial is when you see an attorney yell “objection!”, when opposing counsel is questioning a witness. While there are many objections an attorney can use in court, a fairly common one is hearsay. Hearsay is usually defined as: an out of court statement (not made under oath) introduced to prove the truth of the matter of the asserted, and is not admissible evidence in court. However, there are numerous exceptions to the rule of hearsay, some examples are: a statement made under impending death, an admission, a excited utterance, prior testimony, etc …

Hearsay can be written, oral, or even a gesture. Any piece of information that is intended to infer a fact is defined as hearsay. When an attorney objects on the grounds of hearsay, the main reason is to prevent any statements that are made outside of a courtroom from being used as evidence in court. Usually the witness is telling what has been said to them, and not what they know personally. However, hearsay evidence is excluded only in actual court trials, and is admissible in other judicial proceedings, such as a DMV Hearing or any other Administrative Hearing.

One exception to the hearsay rule is a statement that is made under the belief of an impending death or “Dying Declaration.” This means that if the statement in questions was made by a person who was dying, or believed to be dying, the statement is admissible in court. For example, if a person who had a malignant brain tumor made a statement prior to his impending death, what that person said would be allowed into evidence under the Dying Declaration exception of the Hearsay rule.

Just as hearsay can be admissible, there are certain circumstances when it is inadmissible: such as journals, word of mouth, rumors, etc … For example in the case of The People of California vs. Orenthal James Simpson (O.J Simpson), Nicole Brown Simpson’s journals were not able to be used in court as evidence because they contained her personal written words about events that occurred. Because the defense had no way of questioning Nicole Simpson about the writings in the journals, the journals were not allowed to be used as evidence. This is an example of evidence that is inadmissible under the hearsay rules.

In conclusion, hearsay is a common objection used by attorneys during trial. It is defined as second hand information that is introduced to prove the truth of the matter asserted. It does not only have to be by spoken words, but can also be documents, journals, gestures, etc … There are several exceptions to the rule of hearsay where evidence can be introduced in court.

There are several different violent crimes a person can be charged with in the United States of America. One such example is Murder; which is defined as the intentional and unlawful killing of another human being. However, there are different degrees of murder a person can be charged with. Professional athlete Aaron Hernandez (formally of the New England Patriots) is currently being charged with murder in the first degree. What exactly constitutes murder in the first degree, and what are the sentencing consequences if a person is convicted of murder in the first degree?

Typically when a person is charged with first degree murder, it is because the prosecution is alleging that the defendant murdered the victim deliberately, and that the act was premeditated. Meaning, the defendant had the intent and plan to murder the victim AND he/she carried out that plan. Some examples of first degree murder are: the use of a bomb and/or destructive device, or if the defendant tortured the victim which in turn caused their death.

Aaron Hernandez is being charged with this particular degree of murder because; the prosecution argues that the killing of the victim, Odin Lloyd, was deliberate and planned by Hernandez and his co-defendants Carlos Ortiz and ErnestWallace. Some of the evidence that is being presented to allege this is that Hernandez was in fact in contact with the victim within the last 10 hours of his life and that the victim’s body was found about a mile away from Hernandez’s place of residence.

If a person is found guilty, and convicted of first degree murder, they face 25 years to life in prison, with a possibility of parole after the 25 years. Depending on whether or not the homicide was considered a hate crime, the defendant could face life without the possibility of parole. Another deciding factor of parole is the state in which the trial is held. In States that still have the death penalty one can also be sentenced to death for being convicted of first degree murder. Because Aaron Hernandez is being charged in the state of Massachusetts, if convicted he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In conclusion, if Aaron Hernandez is in fact convicted of first degree murder, he will face life in prison without the possibility of parole. The evidence obtained by the prosecution in the case alleges that Hernandez plotted the death of Odin Lloyd, and willingly killed him. In a court of law, first degree murder is a violent crime and if convicted of such a crime one will be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison, and on occasion without parole. Due to the overwhelming evidence presented against Hernandez, he not only ended his NFL career, but might have permanently lost his freedom as well.

On October 2, 2013, a jury found AEG Live not liable for negligence in the case of KATHERINE JACKSON, ET. AL. VS. AEG LIVE LLC, ET. AL. (Los Angeles Superior Court Case #: BC445597). The case was filed by the family of Michael Jackson, one of the world’s biggest Pop Stars. The verdict shocked not only many people around the globe but some legal scholars as well. But what exactly is “negligence?”

In a law dictionary, negligence is defined as “Failure to exercise the care toward others which a reasonable or prudent person would do in the circumstances, or taking action which such a reasonable person would not.” In this case, Michael Jackson’s mother (Katherine) and his three children (Prince, Paris, & Blanket), all party to the lawsuit, claimed that AEG Live was negligent in hiring Doctor Conrad Murray, which ultimately led to the death of the famous “King of Pop.”
After a lengthy court battle spanning over several months, the jury ruled that AEG Live could not be held responsible for the death of Jackson because it was not the company’s responsibility to protect Jackson’s health. AEG Live contested that they had hired Dr. Murray to look after Jackson’s health, so it was in fact the doctor’s sole responsibility and not theirs. However, many opposed the verdict, arguing that it was in fact AEG Live that hired Dr. Conrad Murray who ultimately issued Michael the fatal dose of anesthetic. Hence, AEG Live should be held responsible for the Doctor’s actions.

In conclusion, as one of the jurors stated “There are no winners in this. Somebody had to die for us to be here… itwas really a tragic situation.” The death of Michael Jackson was truly a tragedy, however Katherine Jackson’s attorney could not convince a jury that AEG Live was negligent in hiring Doctor Murray.

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) 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.

While some states restrict expungement of records to cases in which the defendant was innocent or wrongfully prosecuted, California is more willing than other states to give criminal defendants a fresh start following a criminal conviction.

In People v. Parker, a June 24, 2013 decision from the Second Appellate District, the Court considered the case of a man who was convicted of possessing and selling cocaine base. Although he was originally sentenced to five years in prison, the trial court later suspended that sentence and placed Mr. Parker on probation. When Mr. Parker completed the period of probation and applied for expungement, the trial court denied the petition, holding that Mr. Parker was technically still in prison.
The appeals court reversed their stance, interpreting Penal Code Section 1203 broadly to mean that an individual should be “reward[ed]” for “successfully completing his probation by mitigating some of the consequences of his conviction” via expungement.

Your expungement
Even if you think you are ineligible, speak to a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney about expungement. The system is ready to grant an expungement to all who are even arguably entitled to relief, and the benefits are too great to pass up. Remember:

• When the job application or loan application asks if you have ever been convicted of a crime, you may truthfully answer “no.”
• The casual Internet surfer, such as an inquisitive boss or boyfriend, cannot find any evidence of your conviction.
• Some, but not all, legal disabilities may also be removed, making it easier to apply for a professional license or attend a state school.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, our team of expert criminal defense lawyers is dedicated to fighting aggressively for our clients’ rights. To schedule a consultation with a lawyer at our firm, call us at (310) 448-1529 or contact us online. Located in Westside Towers in LA, our office is minutes from Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood and steps away from the Expo/Bundy Station. We have flexible hours and offer weekend appointments, and we will visit you in jail for consultation on your case.

71-year-old Herman Wallace died on October 8, 2013, approximately one week after being released from prison in Louisiana. Mr. Wallace, a member of the Black Panthers and one of the Angola 3, was convicted of armed robbery in 1971 and sent to Angola State Prison. The next year, he was accused of fatally stabbing a prison guard. Although the evidence against Mr. Wallace was rather thin, consisting mainly of testimony from paid informers, prison officials confined Mr. Wallace to a closet-sized cell for the next 41 years. The punishment remained in effect even after Mr. Wallace was diagnosed with cancer.

On October 1, 2013, Mr. Wallace was released after a federal judge overturned his conviction because the grand jury that indicted Mr. Wallace excluded women. Witnesses state that the gravely ill Mr. Wallace was largely unaware of the events as he drifted in and out of consciousness, but that he did smile and nod when told that he was free.

Cruel and unusual punishment
Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys frequently use the Eighth Amendment to help minimize the punishments that convicted offenders receive. Although the phrase is frequently associated with the death penalty and capital cases, what constitutes cruel and unusual punishment depends on:
Evolving standards of decency
Proportionality (the punishment should fit the crime)
Poor confinement conditions

The definition of cruel and unusual punishment is very vague and can be difficult to prove in court, but it is obvious in extreme cases such as the case involving Mr. Wallace. Others point to lengthy sentences imposed for minor drug violations, as part of the so-called “war on drugs.” The bottom line is that the sentence should be proportional to the crime that was committed — and not society’s opinion of the crime or criminal.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, our team of expert criminal defense lawyers is dedicated to fighting aggressively for our clients’ rights. To schedule a consultation with a lawyer at our firm, call us at (310) 448-1529 or contact us online. Located in Westside Towers in LA, our office is minutes from Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood and steps away from the Expo/Bundy Station. We have flexible hours and offer weekend appointments, and we will visit you in jail for consultation on your case.

The Supreme Court of the United States of America is the highest court in the country. The Court hears cases that are on appeal from a United States Circuit Court decision. The Supreme Court can choose to overturn the opinion of the lower court, or they can rule Stare Decisis, which is Latin and translates to “let the decision stand.” This means the Supreme Court chooses to uphold the decision of the lower court and not hear the case. A recent case heard by the Supreme Court was Stanton vs. Sims. The facts of the case were: a civilian (Stanton) sued a police officer on the grounds that the officer invaded her property without permission; this resulted in Stanton getting injured. The officer was sued and held liable. He filed an appeal that went to the Supreme Court, which ultimately reversed the decision of the 9th District Court.

It all began when Officer Mike Stanton responded to a late night call of “unknown disturbance” in La Mesa, California. This specific area has a history of gang violence, and when Officer Stanton saw a young man (later identified as Nicholas Patrick) he yelled out “Police” to which Patrick did not respond, and made his way into a yard. Stanton followed after the man, kicking through the gate and in turn knocking down, and injuring homeowner Drendolyn Sims. Patrick was then stopped and questioned by Stanton, but he was not charged with a crime.

Drendolyn Sims then sued Officer Mike Stanton alleging that he had violated Sims’ constitutional rights by entering her private property. Judge Reindhart of Los Angeles’ 9th Circuit Federal Court agreed that Stanton had indeed violated the law. Concluding the officer had no reason to believe that Patrick was dangerous, or had committed a crime the judge ruled in favor of Sims.

Officer Stanton filed an appeal to the higher court, and without even bothering to hear any arguments the court issues an eight-page unsigned opinion that reversed the opinion of the 9th Circuit. The court said that officers had “qualified immunity” from lawsuits if their actions did not CLEARLY violate the Constitution, which in this case it did not.

In conclusion, in order for a plaintiff to overcome the “qualified immunity” given to law enforcement, he/she must prove that the officer clearly violated the constitution. In the case of Stanton vs. Sims the Supreme Court did not see a clear violation and reversed the decision of the 9th Circuit Court.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, our team of expert criminal defense lawyers is dedicated to fighting aggressively for our clients’ rights. To schedule a consultation with a lawyer at our firm, call us at (310) 448-1529 or contact us online. Located in Westside Towers in LA, our office is minutes from Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood and steps away from the Expo/Bundy Station. We have flexible hours and offer weekend appointments, and we will visit you in jail for consultation on your case.

In October 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that expanded the definition of disorderly conduct and invasion of privacy. Senate Bill 255 outlaws so-called “revenge porn,” which involves the posting of private, pornographic photos of another person as a means of revenge against an ex-partner. The bill, which goes into effect immediately, specifically outlines the following elements that define revenge porn:

· The photograph or image is of intimate body parts.
· The parties had agreed that the image would remain private.
· The photographer subsequently distributed the image.
· The photographer had the intent to cause emotional distress.

Those Convicted of revenge porn face a maximum of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine — the punishment is more severe if the offender is a repeat offender or if the victim was a minor.
Privacy rights in a digital world

Before SB 255, Section 647 of the Penal Code was largely concerned with “peeping Toms” and other sexually-driven video surveillance, such as spy cameras in fitting rooms, which were used unbeknownst to the victims. The new law is an attempt to limit privacy rights, and therein lies the potential for abuse. Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys immediately identified potential defenses for people wrongfully accused of violating the law:

• The law only applies if the pictures were made by someone else. If a woman takes a nude photo of herself and sends it to a man, that man cannot be prosecuted under Section 647 if he subsequently posts the picture.
• Prosecutors must prove the intent to cause emotional distress, as opposed to the intent to annoy or embarrass.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, our team of expert criminal defense lawyers is dedicated to fighting aggressively for our clients’ rights. To schedule a consultation with a lawyer at our firm, call us at (310) 448-1529 or contact us online. Located in Westside Towers in LA, our office is minutes from Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood and steps away from the Expo/Bundy Station. We have flexible hours and offer weekend appointments, and we will visit you in jail for consultation on your case.

A woman accused of murdering her two children has requested the death penalty. In September 2013, police in Orange County arrested 42-year-old Marilyn Edge of Scottsdale, Arizona in connection with the murder of her two children, aged 9 and 13. Prosecutors allege that Ms. Edge poisoned her children after she lost a custody battle with their father. Police arrested Ms. Edge after she slammed her car into an electrical pole in Costa Mesa. There was a propane tank in the car, and authorities theorize that Ms. Edge was trying to blow herself up. Ms. Edge struggled with police and first responders as she tried to strangle herself with an electrical cord.

When state District Judge Craig Robinson asked Ms. Edge if she wanted to postpone her arraignment, Ms. Edge responded that she agreed to the postponement “only if you promise me the death penalty.”

Plea Bargaining

Although no competent Southern California defense attorney would ever recommend that a client accept a sentence in which the client is executed, plea bargaining is an important part of the criminal justice system, for reasons that include:

  • If the defendant is currently incarcerated, it can be better to work out a plea agreement for a short jail sentence, so the defendant may be released.
  • An attorney can often negotiate a reduced sentence or a reduced charged. It may be better to accept the reduced sentence than proceed to trial and hope to be found not guilty, especially if, as in Ms. Edge’s case, the facts are clearly unfavorable.

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.

Expungement in California, particularly for expunging California criminal records, is a vital legal process for individuals aiming to conceal their criminal history from the public eye. This process, while not completely erasing the conviction, significantly lessens its impact, thereby enhancing opportunities in employment, housing, and other crucial aspects of life.

Key Penal Code Sections for Expunging California Criminal Records

  • Section 1203.4a: For cases without probation in California record expungement.
  • Section 17: Facilitates the reclassification of specific felonies, known as “wobblers,” to misdemeanors in the context of expunging records.
  • Section 1203.4: Pertains to cases where the defendant was on probation during the expungement process.

Eligibility and Process for Expunging Records in California

To be eligible for expunging criminal records in California, one must meet certain criteria under each statute. This includes fulfilling all probation requirements and maintaining a clean record during this period.

Steps for Expunging California Criminal Records

  1. Prepare the Petition: Assemble your criminal record and submit the petition to the relevant agencies.
  2. Personal Statement: Provide a statement detailing the conviction and the positive changes made since then.
  3. Court Hearing: A hearing is scheduled where your petition for expunging the California criminal record is reviewed and potentially approved.

Directly Addressing FAQs on Expunging Records

  • General Process: Ensure eligibility and actively pursue the steps for expunging criminal records.
  • Ineligible Records: Some grave offenses, such as specific sex crimes, may not be eligible for expungement.
  • Expunging Felonies: Certain felonies, known as “wobblers,” can be reduced and possibly expunged.

Legal Assistance for Expunging Records

  • Obtaining Records: Contact the California Department of Justice to access your records for expungement.
  • Free Record Searches: Utilize state or local government resources for complimentary searches.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, Attorney Hashemi specializes in providing legal representation for cases involving expunging criminal records. If you’re considering expungement or require legal assistance, please reach out to us at(310) 448-1529 or schedule a consultation.

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The question often arises: can a criminal conviction be a snake in the grass as far as your immigration status is concerned? The California Supreme Court recently considered this question in the September 11, 2013 case of People v. Martinez. In 1992, Mr. Martinez was arrested for and charged with possession of marijuana. He pled guilty and completed his probation without incident. Subsequently, he had the conviction expunged, and then married and had four children.

The problem was that, according to the record, no one advised Mr. Martinez that the criminal conviction could have immigration consequences. When he applied for an adjustment of status in 2008, his application was denied because of the criminal conviction — immigration authorities do not recognize expunction. ICE then promptly began deportation proceedings against Mr. Martinez.

Criminal Pleas and Unintended Consequences

The rule in California and elsewhere is that a plea is invalid if:

  • The defendant was not advised of the immigration consequences of the plea.
  • That failure of advisement created prejudice, and the defendant would not have pled guilty if properly advised.

It is so important to work with a California criminal defense attorney who sees the big picture and understands all possible ramifications of a criminal conviction. A criminal conviction for even minor offenses (Mr. Martinez’ conviction was based on about $8 worth of marijuana) can have serious implications for your immigration status. Some facts to remember:

  • ICE only considers some offenses to be deportable. Your attorney needs to know which ones.
  • The prosecutor cannot use your immigration status as a basis for the sentence recommendation.

The generic warning the State gives you — “this plea may have consequences on your immigration status” — is generic and almost worthless. At a time like this, you need specific and professional advice from a competent attorney before you appear before the judge.

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) 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.

As a citizen of the United States of America, it is always good to know your legal rights. Perhaps one of the most common questions that people ask is whether it is legal for police to search one’s personal property without the consent of the owner and/or a warrant? The 4th amendment forbids unreasonable searches and seizures, but what happens when a person’s significant other gives consent to do the search? In the case of Walter Fernandez vs. California, the police searched the home of Fernandez with the consent of his girlfriend, while he was not in attendance. This case is a bit more complicated and has the lower courts split, so it is now going to the United States Supreme Court.

In 2009, there was a report of a robbery and stabbing in which Los Angeles Police Department responded to. The victim described the attacker as a man with a tattoo on his head, and when officers spotted a man running from the crime scene to an apartment, they pursued. After hearing shouts and yells they knocked on the door to find Fernandez’s bleeding and bruised girlfriend holding a baby. Upon seeing the officers, Fernandez began to angrily yell and scream stating: “You don’t have the right to be here. I know my rights.”

The officers then took Fernandez into custody, removing him from his property. They then returned to the apartment and with the consent of the girlfriend, entered and searched the property. Amongst Fernandez’s belongings, they found Drifters gang paraphernalia, along with a knife and a gun. After being positively identified by the victim, Fernandez was then taken to jail and ultimately convicted of robbery while acting as part of a street gang and of illegal gun possession. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Fernandez then appealed his case citing Georgia vs. Randolph, 547 U.S. 103 (2006). In this case, a man from Georgia objected police entering and searching his home, while his estranged wife gave consent. The husband then filed a case stating that the police had violated his rights, and the courts ruled in his favor. Fernandez, however, lost his case in the California Court of Appeals.

When Fernandez’s attorney filed another appeal, the U.S Supreme Court agreed to hear the case due to the overwhelming fact that the lower courts are split on this issue. Stanford law professor Jeffrey Fisher will argue for Hernandez and feels that the court should not weaken the 4th Amendment right against unreasonable searches. Louis Karlin, a deputy state attorney general from Los Angeles, will join with an Obama administration attorney and argue to uphold the decision of the previous courts.

In conclusion, the case of Walter Fernandez vs. California has the lower courts split. Because of this, the U.S Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case. Depending on what the Supreme Court rules, this could further define American’s 4th Amendment and the protections under it.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you 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.

After the arrest and before the trial, there are a number of important events that take place in the life of a felony criminal case. Once a person is arrested, a judge determines the amount of bail. Bail cannot be tied to the evidence against the person — instead, the judge determines the likelihood that the defendant will appear at trial, if released. The judge may consider things like the defendant’s ties to the community, the severity of the offense and the flight risk of the defendant.

Once bail is set, the defendant may generally either post cash bail for the full amount, which is refunded after the trial, or pay a bondsman a nonrefundable fee, usually 10 percent of the bail amount. In other instances, especially in nonviolent misdemeanors and traffic citations, a judge may release a defendant on OR (own recognizance) bond, meaning the defendant simply promises to return for trial.

It is usually best that the defendant be out of jail, pending trial (if at all possible), because it is much easier for the attorney to meet with the defendant and prepare a vigorous defense.

Preliminary Hearing

A felony prosecution usually begins with an indictment returned by a grand jury. A grand jury is a group of people that meets to determine whether the prosecutor has enough evidence to proceed against a defendant — the grand jury returns a true-bill or no-bill.
Most Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys prefer a preliminary hearing to a grand jury hearing in felony cases. This is because the defendant’s lawyer may appear at a preliminary hearing and question witnesses.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with a felony 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.

A sudden passion can separate murder from manslaughter, in a legal sense — but, where is that line drawn? On June 3, 2013, the California Supreme Court delivered People vs. Beltran, (124 Cal.App.3d 335). Mr. Beltran shared a residence with Claire Joyce Tempongko and Ms. Tempongko’s son. While the son called Mr. Beltran “Dad,” Mr. Beltran was extremely physically abusive. Witnesses stated that there were death threats in addition to the severe physical violence. After he locked Ms. Tempongko in her bedroom and barricaded the door, Ms. Tempongko obtained a restraining order against Mr. Beltran. But, Mr. Beltran kept an apartment key.

On the night of her death, Ms. Tempongko was bludgeoned and stabbed 17 times. Mr. Beltran was almost immediately arrested for and charged with the crime. According to Mr. Beltran, he argued with Ms. Tempongko on the night she was killed, and that heated argument drove him to commit the crime. Essentially, the jury was faced with the question of what motivated that heinous crime: the past history of violent abuse or the heated argument just prior to the event?

The Rule

The rule that the Court gave Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers to apply in such situations is that provocation is adequate only when it would render an ordinary person of average disposition liable to act rashly or without due deliberation and reflection, and from this passion rather than from judgment. The mere fact that the jury received a manslaughter instruction was highly offensive to many advocacy groups, as well as the California Attorney General.

You should expect nothing less than total commitment and zealous representation from your attorney, which is what we strive to provide at The Law Offices of Arash Hashemi.

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.

Homeboy Industries

Los Angeles, CA – The Law Offices of Arash Hashemi announced that it has launched a fundraiser in support of Homeboy Industries and the wonderful job they do for the Los Angeles community. The goal is to raise Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) for men and women looking to leave their gang lives behind by joining the Homeboy community, a place that will help them redirect their lives to become better mothers and fathers, reliable and responsible employees, and contributing members of our communities. To donate please visit: HashemiLaw Fundraiser for Homeboy Industries

About the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi

The Law Offices of Arash Hashemi is a leading criminal defense firm, handling all types of misdemeanor and felony cases. For over a decade, the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi has fought passionately to defend the rights of our clients facing criminal prosecution in Los Angeles and surrounding counties.

About Homeboy Industries

Homeboy Industries is a non-profit organization and provides hope, training and support to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women helping them redirect their lives and become contributing members of the community.
Over the course of 25 years, Homeboy Industries has become the largest gang intervention and rehabilitation site in the country. Because of Homeboy Industries, Southern California is safer. Men and women are breaking the cycle of poverty and incarceration.

Contact

To learn more about this fundraiser please contact:

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

To learn about Homeboy Industries please contact:

Homeboy Industries
HomeboyIndustries.org
130 W Bruno St
Los Angeles, California 90012
Tel: (323) 526-1254
Fax: (323) 526-1257
Email: info@homeboyindustries.org

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Traditionally, discovery in criminal cases was a one-way proposition: the prosecutor had a duty to disclose evidence to the defense, but the defense had no duty to reciprocate. That dynamic changed with Proposition 115.

Proposition 115, narrowly approved by voters on June 5, 1990, made reciprocal discovery the rule in California criminal cases. While the law may not mean much in many misdemeanors and low-level felonies, the discovery rules can mean quite a bit for Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys in larger cases.

Types of discovery

Just as in a civil case, there are a number of discovery devices available to learn more information about the other side’s case and avoid “trial by ambush:”

  • Interrogatories: These questions are propounded to the prosecutor by the defense, or vice versa, and must be answered truthfully under oath.
  • Depositions: Each side may want to depose the fact witnesses in a case, including both the lay witnesses and peace officers, as well as any expert witnesses.
  • Document requests: Document requests work a bit differently in criminal cases. The parties may exchange requests and, in addition, the prosecutor has a duty to turn over other evidence, whether it is requested or not.

Discovery is so important in criminal cases because it very often helps to level the playing field. The prosecutor is at a tremendous advantage in terms of the resources available to prosecute the case. Make no mistake: the prosecutor wants to convict you, not to see that “justice” is done.

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) 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.

Thurgood Marshall

When one thinks of the Civil Rights Movement two names might come to mind. The first, without a doubt, is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; and the other may be Malcolm X. These two people were both huge contributors to the movement, and moved the public with famous and powerful speeches. However, one important and significant name is often overlooked: Thurgood Marshall.
Thurgood Marshall attended Lincoln University along side such famous people as poet Langston Hughes and musician Cab Calloway. After graduating from college, Thurgood Marshall decided to attend law school. During this time the University of Maryland School of Law, which was Marshall’s school of choice, had a strict segregation policy in place and he could not apply. Instead Marshall ended up attending Howard University School of Law, and graduated first in the class of 1933.

The year after, Thurgood Marshall began a private practice in Baltimore, and commenced servicing as an attorney for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Not long after, he went on to win the case of Murray v. Pearson, 169 Md. 478 (1936). A case which focused on the strict segregation policy at University of Maryland Law School, the very school which he himself was unable to apply to. After this important victory Marshall founded and was the executive director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Soon he began arguing (and winning) cases in the United States Supreme Court. Such as the famous case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka – 347 U.S. 483 (1954), where the Supreme Court ruled in Marshall’s favor, stating that the “separate but equal” law could no longer be applied to public schools. Brown vs. Board of Education is considered one of the most important legal cases of the century. Marshall ended up winning 29 out of the 32 cases that he argued before the Supreme Court.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed Thurgood Marshall to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Later President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him to be the United States Solicitor General, the first black man to hold the office. Marshall would go on to win 14 out of the 19 cases that he argued. Then in 1967, President Johnson nominated Marshall to be an Associate Justice in the Supreme Court, which the Senate confirmed with a vote of 69-11. Marshall was the 96th person in this position, and the first black man in history. He stayed in this position for the next 24 years where he made significant contributions to civil rights, criminal procedure, along with many other areas of law.

Some would argue that Thurgood Marshall was the initial spark which ignited the flame of the civil rights movement. He forever changed segregation in the United States, and believed that integration was the only way that equal rights would ever truly take hold. After his death in 1993, Marshall has had numerous memorials built in his honor. Including: statues, schools, libraries, and airports, which will ensure that his legacy will forever live on.

Johnnie Cochran

“If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit!” That line was made famous during the O.J. Simpson trial by a man who himself became a household name in America. His name was Johnnie Cochran. However, few seem to know that Johnnie Cochran was a well accomplished attorney and famous in his own right prior to the Simpson Trial.

Johnnie Cochran graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1955 first in his class. Afterwards he attended UCLA, and in 1959 received a Bachelor of Science in business administration. One of Cochran’s heroes was Thurgood Marshall, so Cochran decided to pursue a career in law. He enrolled in Loyola Marymount Law School and obtained his Juris Doctor in 1962.

After passing the bar in 1963, Johnnie Cochran began working as a Deputy Los Angeles City Attorney in the criminal division. After two years later he decided to open up his own firm: Cochran, Atkins & Evans in Woodstock, Illinois. It was during this time that he represented a woman named Leonard Deadwyler whose husband has been shot and killed by several police officers. Although Cochran lost the case, he stated that this trial had been a turning point in his career. He realized that these kind of cases brought a lot of attention, which established his reputation in the black community as a champion of civil rights.

In 1978 Cochran left Illinois and returned back to Los Angeles where he became the first Black Assistant District Attorney for Los Angeles County. However after serving as a DA for five years, he went back to private practice opening the first of now twenty six Cochran Firms. His reputation as a trial attorney was almost untouchable, because of all of his great successes and theatrical trials wins.

Johnnie Cochran represented countless celebrities and high profile clients during his time. The most high profile case was of course the O.J Simpson, where he managed to get an acquittal for Mr. Simpson on multiple counts of murder. He was highly scrutinized for his help in this trial by many of the major media outlets, along with the general public. Later, he was accused of tampering with the evidence, but to date there has been no evidence to support that accusation.

Even after his unfortunate death from a brain tumor in 2005, Johnnie Cochran’s legacy continues to live on. His name is huge in both the courts, and in pop culture. Although most know him from the O.J Simposon trial, he accomplished so much more for the Black community. While he was alive he appeared in many television shows, and to this day he is mentioned in movies, music, and films. There are schools, and research centers named after him. Johnnie Cochran spoke of how inspired he was by Thurgood Marshall and how much he admired him. So it is fit that in the end Cochran himself is referred to as the Thurgood Marshall of his era.

dna evidenceOn March 20, 2014, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that California’s taking and storing DNA profiles from anyone arrested on suspicion of a felony is Constitutional. This caused a bit of controversy throughout the State, because some argue that this practice should not be legal. The state of Maryland practices the same process, and not long ago was faced with the same question of Constitutionality.

Last year in Maryland vs. King, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that taking DNA samples was a part of the police booking process, similar to fingerprinting. However, the American Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU”) of Northern California argued that California has a completely different process than Maryland, and therefore should not be viewed as the same.

So what is the difference between the process of California and the process of Maryland? Maryland destroys the genetic evidence that was collected of those not convicted; whereas California requires people to apply to have DNA profiles expunged. Otherwise, DNA profiles are indefinitely stored in a state criminal database. That database can be used any time by police, law enforcement, forensics, etc. to match against crime scenes for potential suspects.

Another difference between the processes in the two States is that California collects evidence from “wobblers”, which are crimes that could be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony. Maryland only collects DNA in more serious crimes which are straight felonies. In his concurring opinion, Judge Milan D. Smith Jr. of the 9th Circuit wrote that the differences in the processes between California and Maryland are “materially indistinguishable”, also stating that all felonies are serious crimes. He stated that California allows the arrestee to request an expungement if no charges are filed, the case is dismissed, or person is found not guilty.

In conclusion, there are a few differences between the California arrest process, and the Maryland arrest process. However, both states collect DNA, and both states have been questioned on the Constitutionality of this practice. Furthermore, it seems that this practice will in fact be a legitimate part of the booking, and arrest process for both states.

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you 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: freedomsphoenix.com

In August 2009, David Riley was pulled over in San Diego, California for having expired tags on his car and a suspended driver’s license. The officer impounded Riley’s car and conducted a warrantless search of the car. The officer found two handguns that were later linked to a shooting that had taken place a few weeks prior. During the arrest, the officers confiscated and rummaged through the data on Riley’s smartphone without a warrant. Some of the data on the phone linked Riley to gang activity and the shooting and was entered into evidence at the trial, where Riley was convicted on three charges. Riley argued that allowing police officers to search through data on his cell phone without a warrant is an unacceptable intrusion on personal privacy. California argued that police officers need to be able to confiscate cell phones without first obtaining a warrant for safety reasons and to prevent destruction of evidence. The case was appealed all the way up to the Supreme Court.

On June 25, 2014, the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled that police may not search a smartphone or similar device without a warrant from a judge (Riley vs. California). This decision came as a surprise to court watchers. Many think this may ultimately bring into question whether the government may routinely search all other types of electric devices, such as laptops and tablets.

Legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union said, “By recognizing that the digital revolution has transformed our expectations of privacy, today’s decision is itself revolutionary. We have entered a new world. But our values apply and limit the government’s ability to rummage through intimate details of our private lives.”

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said, “Modern cellphones are not just another technological device. With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans the ‘privacies of life.’ ” He continued “The term ‘cellphone’ is itself misleading shorthand; many of these devices are in fact minicomputers. They could just as easily be called cameras, video players, rolodexes, calendars, tape recorders, libraries, diaries, albums, televisions, maps or newspapers.”

In conclusion, due to the fast development of technology, and the fact that most cellphones now serve as minicomputers, the Supreme Court has ruled that a warrant is needed to search these types of devices. The Supreme Court’s decision in this case affects the scope of Fourth Amendment protection available to personal technology.

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) 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.