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.