If you were arrested for a criminal violation of law relating to domestic conflict (Penal Code sections 242, 243, 245 or §273.5), you need some answers-now. Going back to jail or having a conviction with lasting consequences is not an option for you. As much as we would like, we just can't turn back the clock and change things; but there may be a legal way to prevent an arrest from becoming a conviction. As an attorney who has successfully handled cases like yours over the past 30 years, I'll help you now by giving you information about what can be done. Many of my clients have either had their cases dismissed or reduced to lesser offenses.
A few examples follow---------
William R--Misdemeanor PC 273.5 charge (DV) and child endangering dismissed on day 8 of the 10 day trailing period based on defense strategy and legal research (see CCP sec. 1219). Client avoided three years probation, fines, contribution to shelters, community service and a one year DV counseling program (that's not free!). Client comment: "unbelievable."
Felix O. -PC 273.5 charge dismissed on day of trial based on certain motions I filed and DA unable to go forward; Felix avoids deportation;
Ricaredo T.,--PC 273.5 charge reduced to disturbing the peace, avoids deportation;
Taymor T., ---charges reduced;
Jonathan M., --- all charges dismissed in a battery case against his girlfriend.
Convictions for domestic violence can have serious consequences such as jail/state prison terms, fines, one-year counseling programs, deportation for non-citizens and strict probation terms. In recent years, prosecutors have taken a harder line in these cases. With certain rare exceptions, cases can no longer be "diverted" and dismissed after a period of good behavior. DA's demand guilty pleas with numerous probation conditions. The right to a jury trial can counter these demands.
In one of my cases, the prosecution insisted on bringing a case to trial even though the alleged victim did not appear. The prosecutor intended to use the victim's 911 emergency call tape and photos as evidence. The case was dismissed as the jury entered the courtroom when the DA finally realized the defense was likely to prevail (although no outcome was "guaranteed").
Note also that the recent U.S. Supreme Court case of Crawford v. Washington (2004) provides, in some cases, powerful defense ammunition. Your lawyer must know Crawford inside and out.
In another case, a client was ordered to attend counseling in return for eventual dismissal of all charges (Donald C.). In another, the prosecutor held an office hearing resulting in eventual dismissal. Note again that these "office hearing" dispositions are becoming rare. Don't count on it happening and don't count on the DA dismissing the case even if the complaining witness, as often happens, demands that the case be dropped.
One important tool for any attorney representing a DV case is the following statute:
CCP § 1219.
"(b) Notwithstanding any other law, no court may imprison or otherwise confine or place in custody the victim of a sexual assault or domestic violence crime for contempt when the contempt consists of refusing to testify concerning that sexual assault or domestic violence crime.
(2) "Domestic violence" means "domestic violence" as defined in Section 6211 of the Family Code."
Call me for a no charge consultation to discuss the facts and available strategies. I also want to know some positive things about you since it's important for the prosecutor and judge to know you as a person, not just as another case number.
Consider the following when choosing a lawyer to represent you:
1) Criminal law practice a must-a friend's civil attorney will not know the current applicable law or the local court policies;
2) If an attorney guarantees your case will be won for a high fee, continue searching;
3) Make sure you know what legal services are included for the fee (one court appearance or a jury trial?) and get it in writing;
4) Get the lawyer's state bar number and check online (www.calbar.org) for attorney complaint and other information about the lawyer.
5) Choose a lawyer who listens-experienced lawyers know that the client has valuable information that can be used to defend the case successfully.
Call me now for a confidential consultation at no charge
MICHAEL L. SHULTZ-1 (800) 8700-529-