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Domestic Violence Charges of George Zimmerman are Dropped.

In a previous blog post we predicted that George Zimmerman was going to get hammered by the prosecutors in Florida for his new assault and domestic violence charges, as a sort of retribution for the killing of which he was previously acquitted. We anticipated that George Zimmerman’s criminal defense attorneys were going to have their hands full trying to get him a fair trial given the publicity of his murder trial earlier this year.

Well…. it turns out we were wrong. Once again, George Zimmerman is either very lucky or he is very good at picking criminal defense lawyers to get him out of trouble. It was announced this week that George Zimmerman’s criminal charges were dismissed.

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Riverside Criminal Defense Attorney Weighs in on George Zimmerman Arrest

I could hardly believe it when I heard on the news this morning that George Zimmerman was arrested AGAIN today.

This is the same George Zimmerman who shot and killed Treyvon Martin and was subsequently acquitted following a very public jury trial. Many people felt that George Zimmerman got lucky. Here was a man facing life in prison for murder, who, due to some fine lawyering by his criminal defense attorneys, narrowly escaped conviction. You would think that someone who had been through that, and had faced the very real possibility of life in prison, would be scared, and make a firm commitment to avoid any run ins with the law. You would think that this guys would live everyday of his life with gratitude for the fact that he dodged a bullet, but seemingly no such luck. This guy was involved in an incident just a few months after being acquitted in which he was accused of punching his father in law in the face, and pulling a gun on his father in law and his estranged wife. There was an ipad involved in this incident which was thought to contain evidence of this crime, but the ipad was broken to the point that no evidence was recoverable. Charges were either dropped or never filed.

This week, Zimmerman was arrested again in Florida. He is now being accused of assaulting his girlfriend with a gun, in addition to some amount of domestic violence or battery. He is facing several charges including at least one felony. My suspicion is that Mr. Zimmerman will be willing to take these charges to trial, as he may be very confident that he can win at trial, as he has once before. Likewise, I suspect the District Attorney will be somewhat reluctant to plea bargain as they may feel like this is their chance for a second bite at the apple, so to speak. A second chance to get a conviction against Mr. Zimmerman, who they likely perceive as a menace, at this point.

At this point, one might rightfully ask what the chances are that George Zimmerman can get a fair trial in Florida. If I was representing Mr. Zimmerman in his new criminal case in Florida, I would have real concerns about whether or not he can get a fair trial in Florida, given that virtually everyone in that state knows about his case, as a result of the extremely high publicity given to his Murder trial. In addition, the media has reported heavily regarding his subsequent brushes with law enforcement. This is one of the issues that a defense attorney at trial wrestles with. A skilled criminal defense attorney takes jury selection very seriously, as he knows that a jury who is biased against his client will likely result in a conviction.

In addition to issues relating to whether their is a venue in which Zimmerman can get a fair trial, there will be evidentiary issues that impact whether or not Zimmerman will get a fair trial. As a criminal defense attorney I would fight like crazy to keep out any evidence that alludes directly or indirectly to Zimmerman’s previous legal battles. If the jury were find out about those, it could be extremely prejudicial to his new case. A cagey prosecutor would know this, and would likely look for ways to get the information in.

Only time will tell how Mr. Zimmerman will fair against the State of Florida in his new criminal case. If the case proceeds to to trial, it will be a monumental task for his defense attorneys to select a fair jury, in a proper venue, and keep all of the prejudicial information away from the jury.

Even if Mr. Zimmerman avoids a conviction this time, one has to wonder what the chances are that this is Mr. Zimmerman’s last run in with law enforcement.

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Murder Charges Dropped Against Los Angeles / Compton Man

As a Criminal Defense Attorney, the fear that haunts us the most is that of the possibility that an innocent man or women might go to jail. This is what we fight against daily. Our job is to act as a quality control mechanism, to ensure that the government is not able to send innocent people to jail.

The LA times is currently reporting on a man by the name of Justin Marquis Scott, against whom the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office recently brought Murder charges (California Penal Code Section 187).

Fortunately for Mr. Scott he had a diligent Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney who fought to demonstrate his innocence. His criminal defense attorney was able to show through multiple sources of video footage, that Mr. Scott was at other locations during the time of the murders, thereby creating reasonable doubt that Mr. Scott was involved in the murder. Kudos to the Los Angeles Attorneys at the District Attorneys office who did the right thing and dismissed the criminal charges upon determining that there was little chance that they could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Scott was the murderer. The district attorney could have elected to push the case to trial and let the jury decide. Instead, the DA took the high road and made certain charges dropped .

If you are ever facing criminal charges in Los Angeles, you will want an experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney fighting for you. Please do no hesitate to give us a call. Our team of Defense Lawyers stand ready to fight for you in your time of need.

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Miranda Warning Requirements Upheld- Norwalk Criminal Conviction Overturned

It was encouraging as one who is concerned about the fact that the police routinely trample individuals’ constitutional rights, to read the recent article in the LA Times reporting on the voided conviction of a Norwalk man.

Under Miranda one who is being interrogated, in custody, has a right to an attorney. When someone exercises this right and requests an attorney, all questioning should stop until the requested attorney is present.

It is a well established principle in the field of criminal law that the only effective way to deter police from violating our constitutional rights such as those contained in the 4th, 5th, and 6th amendments is to suppress evidence obtained through the violation of these rights. Such suppression of evidence, when enforced, has the effect of disincentivizing police from violating such rights. In this case, a Federal Court threw out this Los Angeles County criminal conviction of a man who was interrogated in custody, after having asked for a Criminal defense attorney and being denied. Below is a sample of the conversation between the defendant and the interrogating officer as presented in the LA Times article:

” During the first interview, a detective told Lujan that he had the right to remain silent and to have a lawyer appointed free of charge. During a third interview, in which Lujan confessed, he asked for a lawyer.

“You feel you need one?” a detective asked.

“Yes, I do,” Lujan said.

“OK,” the detective replied. “All right. If that’s what you want to do, we’ll do that.”

“Can I get one in here today?” Lujan asked.

“I really doubt it,” the detective said. “I mean, I’m going to be honest with you. It’s Sunday evening. When you go to court in a couple of days there will be one appointed for you. That’s the way the system is set up …

“If you want to call and hire an attorney, that’s fine. If you want to make a statement without an attorney, that’s up to you. I doubt that if you hire an attorney they’ll let you make a statement; they usually don’t. That’s the way it goes. So, that’s your prerogative; that’s your choice. Now, if you do want to talk to me without an attorney, that’s your choice. You can just tell the jailer, ‘Hey, I’d like to talk to the detectives without an attorney present.’ OK? That’s your choice.” “

Apparently. further interrogation and an eventual confession followed this exchange and the man was convicted in Los Angeles Superior Court in Norwalk, Ca. Thereafter an appeals court reversed the conviction.

Clients who have been arrested frequently ask me about their Miranda Rights and the Miranda Warning Requirements. The typical question stems from the fact that in some cases an arrest occurs and no Miranda advisement is given. This case illustrates well the rule of law associated with Miranda, namely that one has a right to an attorney when being questioned, while being detained against their will ( in custody). If this right is violated, the proper remedy is the suppression of the evidence that came from that interrogation. In this case, the defendant confessed to the crime later, but the appeals court in San Francisco concluded that the second confession was a result of the need to explain the first confession, and that had the first confession which was obtained illegally not been given, the second confession would not have occurred. This illustrates how sweeping a the suppression can be of evidence deemed to be “fruit of the poisonous tree” or in other words evidence collected in violation of one’s constitutional rights, as the second confession (given in court under oath) was suppressed as well as the first.

This overturned conviction is undoubtedly the result of the hard work of some experienced criminal defense attorneys dedicated to ensuring that their clients rights were protected. If you are ever facing criminal charges in Los Angeles County, do no hesitate to contact us. Our team of Experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys understand the Miranda Rules very well and are ready to ensure that your rights are protected.

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Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Reacts to Ca Prison Status

Our Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney weighs in on local news impacting Californians

The Los Angeles Times ran an article today indicating that the State of California has entered into contracts with private businesses who will provide prisons for California Inmates. This development stands to potentially impact some of our clients (and indirectly, their Los Angeles criminal defense attorney ) in the following ways:

1. Overcrowded prisons result in more inmates, especially low-risk inmates like drug offenders, being “kicked” or released early from jail. This is great news for our clients and the Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys who represent them. We have had many clients sign up for plea deals for up to several months of jail time, only to be released a few days later and their sentence is considered completed. Unfortunately, it is difficult to know if and when this will occur, so you cannot plan on it. But, when it happens, the inmates are understandably happy.

2. One of the advantages to inmates of having private run jails, is that this introduces the element of free-market competition, which tends to have the effect of driving up quality of services provided. These contracts to provide jails are worth tens of millions of dollars to the contractors awarded the contracts. These contractors stand to make a lot of money off of these contracts and consequently, the contractors want to do everything in their power to keep the contracts. This means that the contractors are motivated to run their jails in such a way, so as to minimize complaints from inmates. Too many complaining inmates puts pressure on the politicians in power to award such contracts. Thus, inmates in these private jails are likely to experience better conditions than in government run jails where there is no free-market influence. While everyone wants a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney who can help them avoid jail all together, when that is not possible, we want conditions to be ideal.

3. Overcrowded prisons will ultimately force state politicians to address problems with our current criminal system which jails too many non-violent offenders whose problems would be better addressed by drug programs and diversion programs. Our Criminal defense attorneys in Los Angeles fight hard every day because of the disproportionate relationship between crimes and the punishments handed down. Overcrowding of jails is further evidence that the system is broken.

Our team of Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys and Los Angeles DUI Lawyers have the experience and the desire to help you. If you, or someone you love is being charged with a crime in the state of California. Let call us for a free consultation with a highly experienced criminal defense attorney.

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Orange County DUI Attorney /Criminal Defense Attorney Wins at Trial!

Our DUI Attorney in Orange County took a case to trial this week in North Orange Court, in Fullerton, Ca. Our client was being charged with two counts of DUI ( California Vehicle Code 23152(a) and 23152 (b). At the time our client’s blood alcohol concentration was tested his results were 0.06. Our client had only one drink the entire evening and that drink was nearly seven hours before the time he was arrested. The district attorney on this case knew that he had a weak case against our client but he proceeded with a prosecution because he felt like he could get a jury to believe his speculation that our client was driving under the influence.

At trial our Orange County DUI Attorney, Ms. Duran, was able to establish that the People could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that our client was guilty of DUI (CVC 23152 a/b). The jury came back with a NOT GUILTY verdict on both counts. Our client was completely acquitted and rightfully so. This demonstrates the value of hiring an experienced Orange County DUI Attorney to represent you if you are charged with a DUI. Experience means everything in criminal defense.

If you or someone you love is being charged with a DUI in Orange County, or in any of the surrounding Southern California counties, you should call us. Our team of experienced Orange Count DUI Attorneys and Orange County Criminal Defense Attorneys know how to evaluate DUI cases and when necessary they have the experience to go to trial and WIN!

For over 37 years Earl Carter and his team of DUI Attorneys and Criminal Defense Attorneys have been defending people accused of DUI and other crimes in the state of California. Let us put our experience to work for you.

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Orange County DUI Attorney Gets DUI Charge Reduced to Reckless Driving- Saves Nursing License

Our Orange County DUI Attorney, Mr. Sandler, was retained in June by a Nurse who had been accused of DUI. A DUI conviction can be devastating for licensed professionals, and this case was no exception. Our primary goal at the outset of this case was to secure either a complete dismissal of the DUI charges, or at least secure a plea bargain for a reduced charge, such as reckless driving, which would have a much less harmful impact on our client’s professional licensing status. The problem in this case, was that our client had a Blood Alcohol Level that was significantly over the 0.08 Per Se limit, and had demonstrated bad driving prior to being stopped by the police, thereby making a dismissal or a reduced plea a difficult goal for our Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney to achieve.

After lengthy difficult negotiations, our Orange County DUI Attorney was finally able to secure a plea bargain for our client that included a reduced charge of reckless driving. This reduced charge was critical, as it allowed our client to maintain her professional license.

If you are ever charged with a DUI in Orange County, you would be wise to come consult with our highly experienced Orange County DUI Attorney, Mr. Sandler. You will be glad you did.

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San Jose DUI Attorney Gets 0.17 BAC DUI Case Dismissed.

Our San Jose DUI Attorney, Mr. Young, recently won a very contested Suppression hearing resulting in a dismissal of his Client’s DUI Case. Our client was accused of driving with blood alcohol level of 0.17. Our client was pulled over after the officer alleged that our client hesitated at a green light. The officer proceeded to run our client’s license plate number. The office claimed that when he ran the license plate the car was listed as being affiliated with a male parolee. Our client was subsequently pulled over, despite the fact that no male passengers were in the car and despite the fact that the car was registered to our female client.

Under the 4th Amendment of the Constitution, people are to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. The remedy for the violation of the 4th Amendment by the police, is for all evidence obtained as a result of the violation of the 4th Amendment must be suppressed, or in other words, kicked out of court. In a DUI case, once the evidence is suppressed, the state’s case quickly falls apart, and the district attorney has little choice but to dismiss the criminal charges. This is what happened in our case as well. Our San Jose DUI attorney saved our client from severe criminal penalties by demonstrating to the court that the office had no reasonable basis to conclude that the driver of the car was a male parolee, and therefore that this was an illegal traffic stop.

If you are charged with DUI it is critical that you do not assume that you must plead guilty. An experienced DUI Attorney can effectively analyze your case and determine if there are weaknesses in the police’s case against you. Fortunately, this client had the good sense to hire an experienced San Jose DUI Attorney to represent him on his San Jose DUI case. In this case, our San Jose DUI attorney took a case in which his our client had a BAC of 0.17 and made the case go away. This is why you should always consult with an experienced DUI Attorney / Criminal defense attorney, when you are facing criminal charges.

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Riverside Criminal Defense Attorney Saves Client from Jail

Our Riverside criminal defense attorney, Mr. Davitt, was in court today with a typical sticky situation. We were defending our client on a relatively easy hit and run case, when it came to the attention of the district attorney that our client was on probation for a Riverside DUI in 2011. The District Attorney began to immediately threaten jail time as a result of the violation of probation resulting from the Hit and Run. At times like these that your want a skilled criminal defense attorney representing you.

Wanting desperately for our client to avoid jail, criminal defense attorney, Davitt, broke the case down through careful analysis. After scouring the evidence carefully, our Riverside criminal defense attorney was able to find a hole in the state’s case against our client. Mr. Davitt was able to point out to the D.A. that he was unable to positively identify our client as the driver of the vehicle. Mr. Davitt was able to point out 2 other potential drivers. Our criminal defense attorneys in Riverside, used this weakness in the State’s case to negotiate for a plea bargain that avoided jail entirely for our client.

If you ever find your self facing criminal charges in Riverside County, you will want to hire an experienced attorney who understands how to analyze cases and create a defense that will help you avoid jail. This exactly what we do. Don’t trust just any defense attorney, contact the Riverside Criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Earl Carter.