If You’re Looking for a Compassionate Lawyer, Avoid Making These Mistakes

compassionate lawyer

Approximately 68 million people in the U.S. are currently living with a criminal record, which means at some point they may need an attorney. No matter the legal situation, it’s important to have a compassionate lawyer who genuinely cares about winning your case.

Despite the importance of finding a highly respected lawyer who will work hard for you, many people fall into the same rut over and over again. To ensure you don’t fall into that rut, here are a few mistakes you should avoid making in your search for a caring lawyer.

Believing the Hype

There’s no question that those law firms that can afford television ads or the radio jingles you hear all the time might be the first law firms that pop into your mind when looking for a lawyer who will work hard for you. Despite the claims of grandeur on television, the ads are in no way a method to determine how credible the firm is. Don’t believe the hype until you actually speak with a lawyer in person and research their experience.

Bigger Doesn’t Always Mean Better

The old adage that “bigger is better” might hold relevance in other fields, but not law. Just because a law firm is big doesn’t mean they’re going to have compassionate lawyers working with you or that they can handle your case as adeptly as an independent lawyer would. If you want personal attention given to your case, you’re better off at a smaller firm.

Not Asking Questions

There’s no such thing as an irrelevant question, especially if this is your first time searching for a lawyer. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is failing to ask any questions that come to mind. If you’re uncertain, ask about it. Communication is key to collaborating with lawyers.

Using Cost as a Determining Factor

Just as bigger doesn’t mean better, more expensive doesn’t mean more results. Cost should definitely be on your radar, but it shouldn’t be what deters you or propels you in hiring a reputable lawyer. In any case, you should be seeking the highest level of legal representation for your case.

Looking for a great lawyer can be tough, but as long as you’re aware of these critical mistakes and know how to avoid them, you should be on the path to hiring a great lawyer to represent you.

California Court’s Computer Glitch Leads To False Arrests

criminal defense lawyerA new legal software system has gone haywire in California, according to a public defense attorney who discovered the bug.

In November 2016, Brendon Woods filed a motion to eliminate the Odyssey Case Manager software until the glitch could be fixed. The software led to mistaken criminal records, unnecessary court trials, listing misdemeanors as felonies, as well as the misidentification of drug defendants, instead filing them as sex offenders.

The new Odyssey system is far different than the old system, likely explaining the number of injustices that were made by mistake. The user interface is so unfriendly that what used to take just two clicks now takes around 25, according to Debbi Pearson, a local representative of the Service Employees International Union.

The California public defenders’ office also says that the system error has caused 12,000 files to be backlogged, and that number continues to grow by 300 every day.

The system is used by 26 court systems in California, and it is impossible to tell how many false reports were actually filed. Any convicted criminal in any of these courts who have been charged within the past few months may have been the victim of an unjust system.

As this case is unusual, the University of California at Davis law professor Elizabeth Joh doesn’t know exactly what this system error means for the court or the victims. She considers what would happen if a system error that leads to wrongful arrest leads to investigation for a separate crime. She wonders what would happen, say if a second investigation led to drug evidence.

In 1994, the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision that allowed prosecuting attorneys to use evidence seized during an arrest, even with an invalid warrant, since the police made the arrest in good faith.

“So how do individual criminal defendants identify and challenge the ‘fruits of computerized error,’?” Joh said, quoting Justice David H. Souter’s 1994 case opinion.

There is no answer at this point in time, only potential theories. For these cases, anyone convicted of a crime they didn’t commit needs a criminal defense lawyer that will work hard for you, no matter the circumstance. Whether you need a sex crime attorney, a theft lawyer, DUI, or domestic violence lawyer, if your charges were falsely handled to you, you don’t deserve another single second behind bars. You need a criminal defense lawyer who believes you and realizes that this is not your fault and that the system is broken.

Each year, 10,000 people are wrongfully convicted of serious crimes. Don’t give up if you’ve been falsely accused or convicted, Call criminal defense lawyer Kia Champion for the highest level of legal representation possible.

Don’t Lose Hope If You’ve Been Charged With DUI — You Have Options

DUI defense attorneyIf you’ve recently been charged with DUI, you may not believe that you need a DUI defense attorney. In many cases, people who have been charged believe that they don’t have a chance to make things better.

The truth is, the average person drives drunk 80 times before their first DUI. You don’t need a lawyer to plead guilty, but regardless of whether you were intoxicated, you still have options to reduce your sentence. For this, you will need a DUI defense attorney.

Get a highly respected lawyer’s opinion

There’s no harm in asking. When you’re being charged with a DUI and don’t think there’s any hope, just ask. A lawyer will tell you outright if you have a case for yourself. You may have missed something when reading through your incident report, something that only a lawyer could pick up on.

Evaluate Your Options

If the lawyer believes that you can make a case for yourself, that is good news. Evaluate plea deal options, like a lesser sentence.

In many cases, if the field sobriety test was inconclusive, if your BAC level was close to the legal limit, or if there was no striking difference in your behavior when you were pulled over, you have a higher probability of having a reduced sentence.

Reckless driving is the most often reduced sentence. Reckless driving is still a misdemeanor, but results in a far lesser sentence that will not result in harsher punishment if you happen to be charged for the same crime in the future.

In the state of California, a “wet reckless” is also a plea option. A wet reckless is similar to a reckless driving charge, but the driver admits that they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This charge is implemented as a half-way measure, where the driver admits that there was some wrongdoing. If the reckless driving resulted in any injuries or fatalities, or if this was a repeat offense, there is a lower likelihood of the plea being granted.

If you are charged with a wet reckless, the DMV still has the right to suspend your license. Future DUI charges will also be treated as repeat offenses, despite the reduced sentence.

A drunk driving defense attorney knows the law back and forth. They know how to grant you the highest level of legal representation. Kia Champion is a compassionate lawyer who wants to make sure that you are granted the justice you deserve.

The Life of a Criminal Defense Attorney in Los Angeles

People often ask me what it takes to be a successful criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles. The answer is not simple. It requires more than just knowledge of the law. It requires more than having the ability to cross-examine witnesses on the stand. It requires more than having the ability to negotiate. It requires more than being charismatic. It requires more than being able to set forth strong arguments. It requires more than hard work. It requires more than empathy for your client. It requires more than perseverance.

The truth is to be a successful criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles; it requires all of these things.

To be a successful criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles, you must be able to juggle all of the things I mentioned. It is no easy task. Many lawyers don’t have the personalities to be able to balance the substantive legal work with the humanistic side of the profession.

On any given day, my day goes something like this: I go to court and encounter a district attorney out for blood. Within a split second of meeting him or her, I have to make a snap decision on the best way to disarm her. It’s a tightrope walk. I’m not sure it can be taught. You either have the ability to do it or you don’t. I then have to go back to my office and pour over the discovery to find holes in the prosecution’s case. Once I’ve found what I’m looking for, I reach out to the prosecutor and push my agenda, all the while making them feel that we’re on the same team. I prepare for trial; practicing the questions I’m going to ask and statements I’m going to make. I take calls from clients, all of whom are deeply concerned about losing their freedom. It’s not enough to act like I care. To be a successful criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles, you have to actually care. Empathy is not an act. It requires you to feel what the other person is feeling. It’s the only way I know how to effectively do my job.

A sharp legal mind is also a prerequisite for being a successful criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles. To put on a successful defense, knowledge of the law is a must, as is the ability to illuminate evidence so that the DA, judge, and jury can clearly see what you want them to see. It requires a comprehensive knowledge of the facts of the case, as well as the elements of the crime.

Finally, how you present yourself is key to being a successful criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles. The saying “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” is accurate. People remember how well you are put together. It’s human nature. I pride myself on always making a positive impression when I meet people by making sure they way I dress, walk, talk, and interact with others are impeccable.

I hope I have shone some light on what it takes to be an effective and successful criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles. Thank you for your time.

Plea Deals to Consider When Facing Serious Assault Charges

assault attorney

In an assault case, the prosecution and defense may compromise to reduce the defendant’s charges. This is known widely as a “plea deal.”

In the case of a plea deal, the defendant pleads guilty or no contest to one or more of the charges brought against them under specific circumstances set forth by their assault attorney and prosecution. The following are examples that an attorney might propose in order to lessen the defendant’s time served.

Sentencing with Jail Time
Sometimes time in jail cannot be avoided. These cases are often the result of:

  • a defendant’s prior criminal record
  • the state requiring mandatory jail time for the specific type of assault charge
  • the defendant having faced more serious charges

Sentencing with No Jail Time
If the defendant’s criminal history is minimal or nonexistent, it is possible for a assault attorney to agree to a full sentence without a jail sentence. The defendant would serve the extent of his or her sentence on probation, under rigid circumstances, and must comply with the probation terms accordingly.

After the completion of probationary time without issue, the charges may be dismissed. The court does not reach a conviction unless the defendant, whose sentence had been deferred, commits another crime while on probation, or violates the terms.

It is also possible for the defendant to be convicted of the crime, but serve the sentence on probation without jail time. The charges will not be dismissed. This is known as a suspended sentence.

Diversion Program
Some states offer diversion programs, which are rehabilitative requirements that the defendant must complete to avoid conviction. He or she does not plead guilty or no contest to the charges, or appear in trial, and simply completes the designated program. These programs often include anger management, drug or alcohol rehabilitation, or therapy sessions. There are additional terms that are often outlined, and the defendant must meet with a probation officer regularly to prove that h or she is meeting the requirements of their sentence.

In many cases, failure to comply with the terms of the diversion program requires an automatic guilty plea.

Pleading to a Lesser Charge
The defendant may plead to a lesser charge in order to avoid a more severe sentence. This is often used when the assault in question is a more minor altercation, like a bar brawl or fight in the street. The defendant may plead guilty to disorderly conduct. In order to plea to a lesser charge, the victim of the assault must not be particularly vulnerable, seriously injured, or a family member.

Regardless of the circumstance of an assault, every defendant deserves the highest level of legal representation with a highly respected lawyer. An assault attorney is necessary in order to face charges with confidence, but over 10,000 people are convicted of serious crimes each year because their attorneys did not work hard enough to achieve justice. Kia Champion, of Champion Law Firm, is a criminal defense lawyer who will work hard for you, and represent you fairly.

6 Reasons You Might Need a Criminal Defense Attorney

highest level of legal representationThe criminal justice system has failed too many people in Los Angeles. That’s why every individual should have the right to the highest level of legal representation, regardless of the charges brought against them. An experienced criminal defense lawyer will fight for you to ensure that you are treated fairly.

There are many types of legal situations that require you to find a lawyer — divorces, buying a home, making a will — but when you’re facing criminal charges, there’s so much more at stake. Here are six of the most common reasons Los Angelenos suddenly find themselves in need of the highest level of legal representation, a Los Angeles criminal law attorney.

  1. About 10,000 people are convicted of crimes they did not commit every year in the United States.Without proper representation, you could add to that statistic. Almost 4,000 collective years have been served by wrongfully convicted people. Don’t think that just because you’re innocent, you don’t need an attorney. If you’ve been charged with false allegations, hire a lawyer to uncover the truth right away.
  2. Systematic inequality targets people differently. While a lot of white people smoke marijuana in Los Angeles, people of color are more than three times as likely to be arrested on marijuana charges than white people. While possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is not considered a crime in the state of California, possession with the intent to sell is still a punishable offense. Distinguishing the intent of your possession is often hard to determine. If you’re charged with criminal possession of marijuana, call a drug crimes lawyer in Los Angeles immediately.
  3. Sometimes the lines between state and federal law become blurry. While medical marijuana is legal in California, marijuana possession of any sort is still illegal under federal law. If you’ve been charged with federal possession of marijuana in California, hire a lawyer to clear the air.
  4. More than one fifth of the adult population has a criminal record. Don’t risk another employment opportunity due to an outstanding conviction; hire an expungement attorney to do right by you.
  5. Don’t let one DUI ruin your life for decades to come. Being convicted of driving under the influence in California can have extremely adverse effects, but being charged does not mean that you have to plead guilty without any hope. An experienced lawyer will explore every possible defense.
  6. If you have been convicted of two violent or serious crimes, a third conviction can guarantee you 25 years to life in prison. If you’ve been charged with a third strike crime, there are multiple options for defense. However, with the rest of your life on the line, self-defense shouldn’t be one of them. Criminal attorneys can negotiate with the prosecution to avoid a third strike on the the defendant’s record.

Regardless of your past, you deserve the highest level of legal representation that Los Angeles has to offer. If you’ve been wronged, call Champion Law Firm today. Your future is too important to wait.

Know Your Rights: 6 Sex Crimes That Could Land You in Jail

sex crime attorney

Did you know that around 10,000 Americans are charged with crimes they didn’t commit every year? So much so that a total of 3,944 years have been spent in our prisons by people who were innocent of their crimes. While most people are aware of most of the major crimes and punishments that could land you in jail, some criminal offenses might surprise you.

In the United States, sex offenders are treated like an untouchable class. Often, when prosecuting these cases, raw emotions take over, which is exactly how innocent men and women end up in prison.

To help you avoid making any mistake that could have you consulting a sex crime attorney, consider these sex violations.

Taking nude photos of yourself as a minor
Believe it or not, teenagers who take nude photos of themselves could be charged with child pornography and registered as a sex offender. Furthermore, minors who text nude photos that are viewed in another state could face federal child pornography charges.

Visiting a prostitute
In many states, patronizing a prostitute is an offense that could lead to being registered as a sex offender. In states like Louisiana, prostitutes can be charged as sex offenders as well.

Urinating in public
At least 13 states require those charged with public urination to register as sex offenders. And if you were caught urinating in public near an elementary school, then you’ll need a sex crime attorney ASAP. In states with this type of law, the urination must take place in front of a minor to be considered a sex crime.

Flashing your breasts
In the state of California, if you flash your breasts to a large crowd of people for the purpose of gratifying yourself or to offend someone else, you can be arrested. Indecent exposure can also lead to being registered as a sex offender.

Having consensual sex with a minor, even if you are a minor as well.
There are 29 states that have laws that require teenagers who have engaged in consensual sex to register as sex offenders. In Georgia, for example, a 17-year-old was placed on the sex offender registry for having consensual sex with her boyfriend who was 15 at the time. It’s important for young people to understand their state’s consent laws, and to know if any Romeo and Juliet laws apply in their area.

Sleeping with your sibling
It’s not just a taboo in American society; incest is against the law. One celebrity that learned this lesson the hard way was football player Tony Washington. He had sex with his 15-year-old sister when he was 16, but did not know it was illegal.

With more than 68 million Americans possessing a criminal record, it’s no secret that these sex crime laws are broken all the time. If you ever find yourself needing the highest level of legal representation, contact a local sex crime attorney with specific experience in this area. These cases are particularly complex, and not all criminal defense lawyers will have handled cases like this before.

Not all Los Angeles sex crimes attorneys are the same, which is why you deserve a sex crimes defense attorney with both knowledge and experience. Not only should your sex crime attorney have all the facts about your case, but they should also be ready, willing, and able to fight for your legal rights. Educate yourself on other laws you may not know about and save yourself the pain of appearing in court for an innocent mistake.