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SE HABLA ESPAÑOL: 1-310-478-3100

Criminal Defense Overview

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyers

When you come under investigation, or are indicted, or arrested — your world is turned upside down, especially if this is your first contact with the criminal justice system. Regardless of whether or not you were involved in a criminal act (and plenty of good people do end up getting involved in criminality, often without intending to do so) you suddenly find yourself in a position where your reputation hangs by a thread, and your future is on the line.  Typically there is a sudden prospect of financial ruin, separation from loved ones, and destruction of your business or professional standing.

In this situation you need a  qualified criminal defense lawyer who you can trust and rely on. Under the U.S. Constitution, when arrested or indicted, a person has the right to remain silent and retain legal counsel.  Exercise this right!  Oftentimes a person who considers himself to be innocent feels that refusing to talk to investigators is a sign of guilt — it is not.  It is a sign of proper, appropriate caution.  If you choose to exercise this right immediately, doing so can have a significant favorable impact on the outcome of your case.  Be polite to law enforcement, and indicate that you are willing to answer their — but only with the presence and advice of an attorney.

Types of Criminal Charges

In more than eighty years of combined practice, David Elden & Victor Sherman has  handled a vast number of criminal charges in the Los Angeles and elsewhere.  David Elden & Victor Sherman have the resources, experience and commitment to be able to achieve the most favorable possible outcome for his clients, in both the state and the federal judicial system.   He knows when to be tough and aggressive — and when to be smart and operate with persuasiveness and finesse on your behalf. Following are a range of criminal charges which are commonly brought to David & Victor:


Although assault and battery are legally defined as two separate offenses, they are often lumped together in one criminal charge. The penalties for these crimes will depend on whether or not a weapon was used and other circumstances surrounding the criminal act and the arrest.

Bankruptcy Fraud

An individual or business may reach a point where there are overwhelming debts and relentless efforts to collect, causing that company or individual to seek protections provided by filing a petition with the Bankruptcy Court.  The Court requires the creditor to present a clear and accurate picture of his liabilities (debts) and the assets available to liquidate the debts. All facts submitted must be true and accurate, and are verified under oath by the bankruptcy petitioner when he or she testifies in bankruptcy court. The vast majority of bankruptcy fraud cases involve efforts by the bankruptcy petitioner to obtain relief from debts without fully disclosing all assets.

Child Pornography

In child pornography cases, early representation is particularly importanthere in part because judge and jury may be prejudiced against you because of the nature of your charges.  Child pornography charges are often complex and may involve a number of different specific actions. Penalties may vary depending upon the specific case, as well as the jurisdiction.


Conspiracy is a separate crime often packaged together with fraud or drug charges. Whether the objective is corporate fraud, terrorism or robbing a convenience store a conspiracy exists when two or more people to agree to carry out an illegal or otherwise prohibited act.  It is a separate charge to the crime the conspirators intend to commit and, with the exception of conspiracy to commit an offense against, or defraud, the US government (18 USC § 371), it is not necessary for any member of the conspiracy to take steps to commit the intended crime.

Criminal Trespass

Knowingly entering onto another person’s property without authorization or consent is legally defined as criminal trespass. If you have entered onto another person’s property and intentionally destroyed, demolished or defaced any part of the property, you will also be charged with criminal trespass.

Customs Crimes — Import Export Domestic Violence

From child abuse to spousal abuse, harassment, stalking and neglect, there are countless ways that one can be charged with domestic violence under Georgia law. This is one of the easiest crimes to accuse someone of, and many false accusations are made out of jealousy, bitterness or revenge.

Drug Offenses

Being accused of a drug offense in Atlanta is no laughing matter. In fact, you may be facing felony charges and a hardened prosecution in court. Crimes involving serious drugs such as crystal meth, heroin, and cocaine will receive much stiffer penalties than offenses involving marijuana.

Drug Possession

Arrested on charges of possession? There are several different defense strategies that have proven effective in fighting possession charges, depending on the type of drug and the quantity that was found in your possession. DUI Defense Driving under the influence is a serious criminal charge in Atlanta, and the minimum penalties for a first-time DUI charge include at least one full day in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, 12 months of probation, 40 hours of community services, one year driver’s license suspension and other possible penalties.

Fraud Crimes

Fraud can be simple or complex and can be combined with embezzlement, money laundering, and other white-collar offenses. Fraud charges can strike individuals, small businesses, and corporate officers and directors. Working with a team of investigators with law enforcement backgrounds and forensic accountants with IRS backgrounds, we can attack fraud charges on the merits of the evidence while working with the prosecution to eliminate or reduce as many charges as possible on legal, procedural or jurisdictional grounds. Fleeing Police If you have disobeyed the verbal, visual or audio instructions or signs given by a police officer, you will be charged with fleeing police. If you cause an accident that resulted in serious property damage, injury or death while fleeing from police, you will face a harsher sentence. Hit & Run If you are involved in an accident or collision, you are legally required to stop and speak to the other people in the accident regardless of whether you think it was minor or not. According to the law, you are required to leave the other driver with your contact information and also file a report with the police. Failure to do so will result in criminal charges.

Internet Crimes/Identity Theft

If you have been charged in state or federal court with identity theft, unauthorized access to financial information, or any other offense that might be characterized as an Internet crime, early representation is key. Juvenile Crimes Anyone under the age of 17 who is accused of a crime in Georgia will go through the juvenile court system. Unlike the adult criminal system, the juvenile system focuses more on rehabilitation and treatment than penalties like jail or prison. Manslaughter Manslaughter is defined as the unpremeditated killing of another person. There are three different types of manslaughter charges under Georgia law: voluntary, involuntary and vehicular homicide. The penalties for manslaughter charges can include a lengthy prison sentence and more.

Money Laundering

State and federal prosecutors often seek money-laundering charges against prospective defendants in complex conspiracy investigations involving drug trafficking or fraud crimes for two practical reasons. First, the possibility ofa conviction on an additional charge provides the government with that much more leverage in plea negotiations. Second, it allows serious felony charges to be brought against persons whose connection to a drug or fraud conspiracy is attenuated at best. Sometimes, money laundering charges are most valuable for the government as a means of compelling cooperation in the prosecution of someone else.

Obstruction of Justice

Anything that interferes with the administration and due process of law is considered an obstruction of justice. This is a serious offense that is tried as a felony in the majority of cases, and a conviction can result in jail time, stiff fines, community service, probation and other penalties.

Probation Violations

Georgia judges will sometimes choose to impose probation on a criminal offender rather than penalties such as jail or prison. Probation involves a set of guidelines that must be followed at all times, and when these guidelines are broken there will be penalties under the law. Prostitution This type of sex crime involves the exchange of sexual acts or favors for money, gifts or compensation. According to Georgia law, it is illegal to agree to or engage in sex for money, regardless of their age. There are also criminal penalties for those who solicit sex from a prostitute.

Public Drunkenness

Also known as public intoxication, the crime of public drunkenness involves appearing drunk or under the influence in a public place. You will be arrested for this crime in Atlanta if you appear in public with a BAC of .08% or higher and if you create a public disturbance, if you become a threat or if you cause danger to those around you.

Public Indecency

This crime involves exposing oneself in public or performing lewd acts in a public place. Also referred to as indecent exposure in other states, a conviction for public indecency may result in imprisonment in county jail for up to 12 months.

Theft Crimes

From serious offenses like burglary and auto theft to misdemeanor crimes like shoplifting, there are numerous theft crimes that one can be accused of in Atlanta. The penalties for theft crimes range depending on the value of the items stolen and other factors as well.

Traffic Offenses

Have you been charged with a traffic violation in or around Atlanta? These offenses range from minor speeding tickets to more serious crimes like vehicular homicide. For everyday offenses, penalties will probably include fines, traffic school and points on a driver’s record.

Violent Crimes

Criminal acts that incorporate the use of weapons or violence are classified under Georgia law as violent crimes. Violent crimes are one of the most serious criminal offenses that one can be accused of, and these cases are aggressively prosecuted in state and federal courtrooms. Weapons Charges An individual can be charged with a weapons offense in Georgia for buying, selling or distributing a firearm or weapon illegally. There are also weapons charges related to grenades, brass knuckles and other automatic rifles that are illegal. These types of crimes are felonies in Georgia.

White Collar Crime

Commonly committed by people in positions of power, white collar crimes are non-violent acts that achieve illegal financial gain. These crimes include fraud, extortion, embezzlement, money laundering, computer crimes, tax crimes, identity theft, conspiracy and other offenses.

Why You Should Act Now, and Not Wait, If You Even Suspect You Are Under Investigation

From the moment a person is accused of committing a crime and even before he or she is arrested or formally charged, a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can intervene to ensure that law enforcement does not violate the person’s rights in any way. By hiring a  qualified  and experienced criminal lawyer, this ensures that a person does not fall victim to an unreasonable search and seizure or an arrest when there is insufficient evidence to warrant this. In essence, a criminal defense lawyer serves the purpose of keeping the legal system balanced. Without criminal defense, a defendant would be taken advantage of by law enforcement personnel and the District Attorney (prosecution.) To learn about criminal FAQ and how you can protect your rights, call the Premier Federal Criminal Defenders today.

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