Daniel Perlman Law https://danielperlmanlaw.com Criminal and DUI Defense Attorney in Los Angeles Tue, 27 Oct 2020 00:53:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.3.4 California Man Charged with Multi-Million COVID-Relief Fraud https://danielperlmanlaw.com/blog/2020/10/california-man-charged-with-multi-million-covid-relief-fraud.shtml Sat, 24 Oct 2020 22:30:03 +0000 https://danielperlmanlaw.com/?p=6368 United States Attorney for the Central District of California Nicola T. Hanna, along with Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, announced the charges made against a California man on October 16, 2020, for engaging in a fraudulent scheme that was designed to swindle the United States government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) out of around $9 million in bank loans.

Andrew Marnell, 40, has been served with a criminal complaint and has been charged with one count of bank fraud, in violation of 18 USC § 1344, after illegally obtaining approximately a $9 million loan through a fraudulent scheme that targeted the US government’s Paycheck Protection Program.

The criminal complaint filed against the defendant alleges that he has submitted fraudulent loan applications to different insured financial institutions through the PPP, on behalf of several different companies. The complaint further alleges that the defendant has received approximately $9 million in PPP loans through his fraudulent scheme. The defendant’s tactic was revealed in the investigation, wherein it was shown that all the loan applications to different banks submitted by the defendant through the US government’s PPP were fraudulent, and contained false information, glaring omissions, and misleading statements regarding the companies’ respective business operations. It also was reported that the defendant submitted altered documents particularly, forged federal tax filings and employee payroll records. Apart from falsifying documents, investigations also revealed that the defendant had submitted loan applications through the government’s PPP, under different aliases, for several different companies.

With his new, illegally obtained wealth, the defendant allegedly engaged in risky trades in stock-market bets by transferring the proceeds from the PPP loans to his brokerage account. Additionally, the defendant also actively spent hundreds of thousands from the proceeds of the PPP loan on making bets and playing games at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino, among at least two other Strip casinos in Las Vegas.

Reports on the defendant’s illegal uses of the PPP loan proceeds revealed that he had had a net loss of over $500,000 in May 2020, and a net loss $2,773,455.40, for the month of June 2020 alone, according to his brokerage account. Furthermore, information from the Bellagio Hotel & Casino noted that the defendant was present in the casino and was actively gambling from July 9 to July 11, 2020, where he lost over $150,000 in just a span of two days.

The defendant was also found to have been recently fired from a credit analyst position at the Wells Fargo company after being found in an investigation in 2018 that the defendant has been embezzling money from the company through a company credit card to support his gambling addiction.

The Payroll Protection Program is being administered by the United States Small Business Administration as a part of the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act – a federal law that was enacted in March of 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to provide emergency financial assistance to American citizens who are suffering from the economic distress that the pandemic has brought to the nation. The program offers loans to businesses, in which it is specified that proceeds from the PPP shall be used only on certain permissible expenses, including interests on mortgages, payroll costs, rent, and utilities. Additionally, the Payroll Protection Program has declared the authorization of up to $349 billion in forgivable loans, where interests and principal on the PPP loan shall be entirely forgiven, if and only if, the business is able to utilize 60% of the loan proceeds on payroll expenses and spend the loan on the aforementioned permissible expenses within a designated period of time. All loans made through the Paycheck Protection Program are fully guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

In April of 2020, the Congress has authorized additional PPP funding amounting to over $300 billion. The Paycheck Protection Program currently allows qualifying small business and other eligible organizations to receive loans with a maturity of two years, and an interest rate of only one percent.

Investigations on the case were made by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – Office of the Inspector General, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency – Office of the Inspector General, along with the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, and the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General. The California Department of Justice – Bureau of Gambling Control also assisted in the investigation, in which the collaborative efforts of the aforementioned law enforcement agencies have, ultimately, resulted to the bringing of justice to the atrocious acts of criminals who are currently taking advantage of the pandemic that is severely affecting the whole nation.

As a result of the successful investigation, the prosecution of the million-dollar case involving the Paycheck Protection Program fraudulent scheme is currently being handled by the Trial Attorney Scott Armstrong of the Department of Justice – Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, along with the Assistant United States Attorney Kerry Queen of the Central District of California.

On the morning of July 16, 2020, Andrew Marnell was arrested by the federal authorities. The defendant has subsequently made his initial court appearance in the afternoon of July 16, 2020, at the United States District Court in Los Angeles. During the court hearing, prosecutors have noted that the defendant’s approximated $9 million defrauded loans may increase in amount as the investigation continues. Furthermore, the defendant was ordered detained, pending a hearing on July 21, 2020. The defendant is facing a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison.

With the provided criminal documents containing allegations that are not evidence of guilt, the public is reminded that the defendant shall be presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the state has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Further information regarding any possible allegations of attempted fraud involving the Paycheck Protection Program, the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and other COVID-19 related schemes shall be reported to the National Center for Disaster Fraud of the Department of Justice by contacting them through their Hotline at (866)-720-5721, or through their NCDF Web Complaint Form at  https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

Other PPP Fraud Articles

Read More About Texas Max Charged in Multi-Million Dollar COVID-19 Relief Fraud

Read More About Hawaii Man Faces Charges for Multi-Million Dollar Fraud Involving COVID19 Relief

Businessman Charged with Bank Fraud for Multi-Million-Dollar Payroll Protection Program Fraudulent Scheme

Hawaii State’s Attorney’s Office Pursuing Charges Against Honolulu CEO for PPP Fraud

Aviron Pictures Executive Faces Charges for Allegedly Pocketing PPP Funds

Federal Criminal Defense Pro
Daniel R. Perlman
1601 Vine St
Suite 747
Los Angeles, CA 90028


(877) 753-0060


Bench Warrant Searches https://danielperlmanlaw.com/blog/2020/05/bench-warrant-searches.shtml Thu, 21 May 2020 23:43:50 +0000 https://danielperlmanlaw.com/?p=6359 ILLEGAL SEARCH SERIES

This is part one of a multi-part series on police searches, warrants, entries, and arrests that is of critical interest to my clients and the public.

Today’s article will discuss only whether police may enter a home (dwelling) with a bench warrant.

First, what is a bench warrant?

The bench is where the judge sits, so a bench warrant is issued by the bench (judge) for an arrest based on a case that has already been in his or her court.  It is often issued for failing to show up when you’ve agreed or been told to appear in court.  It can also be issued if you fail to complete or show proof of progress in some activity required by the court for a conditional release, term of release on bail or your terms of probation. 

A bench warrant may also occur if you violate an order of the court or a term of probation – a common example would be if you are subject to an order to not be in the company of another person or persons and it is found by the court that you are not complying with the order.  Another example of when a bench warrant may issue is if you have been subpoenaed to appear in court as a witness and you do not show up on the date and time listed on the subpoena. 

There are several other circumstances when a bench warrant may issue, but the most common is the Failure To Appear (FTA).  Some of the other examples involve not paying child support, not showing up for jury service, failure to obey an eviction, and so on.

Bench warrants will often be issued with a certain amount attached to them, for example, “A bench warrant will issue in the amount of $20,000.”  A judge may also issue with “no bail” amount, meaning that once you are arrested you will be brought to court and may not bail out.

Any warrant acts to command any law enforcement officer to arrest you and bring you before a judge.

What Law Applies?

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution is only 54 words long.  Yet, millions and millions of words have been written about it. How to interpret it.  How to act on it.


Three strikes and 25 to life.  When the 3-strikes law was passed in California, any felony would do.  In fact, the first “test” case for the 3-strikes law was a Hispanic man on the central coast who stole a $15 hammer from a hardware store.  Because he had two prior strikes and had priors for shoplifting, a now-defunct law called “Petty theft with a prior” was used to charge this man with a felony and he was sentenced as a third striker to 25-life.  Not only is petty-theft with a prior no longer an option for prosecutors to give someone a felony for multiple shoplifting charges, but beginning with a strong position by LA County’s former head DA, Steve Cooley, prosecutors in California are no longer allowed to allege a third strike except for serious or violent felonies.

How is a Bench Warrant Resolved or Cleared?

Bench Warrants are resolved generally in one of two ways:

  1. You or Your attorney go to court, advance the case with the clerk and the prosecutor and wait for the case to be ready to be called. Once called, offer an explanation and apology for why you did whatever caused the warrant to be issued.  The goal is to get the warrant recalled and quashed and for your case to be returned to good standing.
  2. You are arrested.  In many places around California, if you have an active bench warrant the police will come to known locations for you, including your last known address.  In Los Angeles County, this is somewhat unusual for misdemeanors and many lesser felonies as law enforcement is too busy with new cases, but outside LA County, it is not unusual for law enforcement to regularly pick up even subjects of misdemeanor warrants.  Even if the police don’t know where you currently live or stay, or are too busy to come look for you (LA), you can still be arrested if you are stopped for a traffic violation, come to a checkpoint, enter or exit the country, arrive at an airport, and the like.

If you voluntarily take care of your outstanding warrant as described in section one above, it is common that the court will forgive one such transgression. However, if you are picked up for the warrant it may be difficult to convince the judge that you are worthy of the court’s trust to release you again.

Additional Penalties

Under California Law, you can be charged with a separate crime for Failure to Appear (FTA), as either a misdemeanor or felony.  Not only is this a violation of probation (if you are on probation), but it can result in additional jail time, increased probation and other terms.  It is always best to engage the services of an attorney to recall your warrant before you are caught.

The Police May Enter Your Home or a Dwelling to Arrest You

In the end, if you have an active, outstanding bench warrant issued by the court, you are a effectively a fugitive, and law enforcement may enter your home to effectuate an arrest.  Not only are such entries and arrests violent and dangerous, but they are frightening experiences for you and anyone else in your home, including family, friends, children or roommates. Such legal entry can result in the discovery of new crimes and injuries and damage to your property are not uncommon consequences of a police search.  Generally, there is no violation of your rights or those of the home you were sheltering in to challenge either your arrest or any other negative that results from the freedom of the police to make entry.

Examples in my practice have included finding a gun, drugs or other materials that could result in new charges against you or anyone else in the residence. Often these new charges can be far more serious than those that resulted in the bench warrant in the first place.

If in doubt, always consult with a qualified criminal defense attorney about how to avoid arrest and additional problems because of a bench warrant.

While California Law is specifically considered in this article, it is more or less accurate anywhere in the United States.

I am always available to discuss these and other issues with you. Please call if you have questions or concerns.

Netflix Show Shows How Police Tactics Are Used https://danielperlmanlaw.com/blog/2019/01/netflix-show-shows-police-tactics.shtml Thu, 31 Jan 2019 16:00:32 +0000 https://danielperlmanlaw.com/?p=6346 A new Netflix show is shedding light on the use of police tactics to elicit a confession from those accused of crimes. Without giving too much away, the Netflix show “The Innocent Man” showcases how detectives sought to convince accused men that they committed acts of crime. All the while the men maintained that what they were found guilty of “was only a dream.”

Police Officer Tactics Showcased on Netflix Hit

False confessions have become a hot button topic as more and more cases have been exposed. If you have been accused of a crime you know you did not commit, you need to be aware of the police tactics an officer might use.

Police Officer Tactics

If you have ever been arrested and questioned by police, you know how frightening that situation can be. Police officers and investigators will use any number of tactics to get a confession from you. Below we outline what it means to be arrested, and the tactics to be aware of should you be arrested.

Being Arrested by a Police Officer

When you are arrested by a police officer, there is a specific set of events that occur. A police officer must follow legal procedures from arrest to actual placement of a suspect in jail. It’s important to be aware of what these procedures are, as if any of these are violated, a criminal defense attorney may be able to build a strong defense off of those violations.

An “arrest” is when a police officer takes a suspect into custody.

Miranda Rights

If you’ve ever watched a law-themed TV show you might be familiar with the Miranda Rights. In 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona, that individuals that have been arrested because they are believed to have committed a crime are allowed certain rights that must be explained to them prior to any police questioning. “Miranda Rights” are mean to protect a suspect from self-incriminating themselves and is protected under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Those “Miranda Rights” are as follows:

  • You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions.
  • Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law.
  • You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present during questioning now or in the future.
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you before any questioning if you wish.
  • If you decide to answer questions now without an attorney present, you will still have the right to stop answering at any time until you talk to an attorney.
  • Knowing and understanding your rights as I have explained them to you, are you willing to answer my questions without an attorney present?

To Note: Miranda rights only need to be ready when an individual has been taken into police custody and is under interrogation.

Important to Know

There are a number of tactics that can be employed by police officers to obtain confessions from individuals accused of committing crimes. These tactics are often meant to trip an individual up, so if you are wanted for questioning, you should know what to expect and how to protect your legal rights.

If you are wanted for an interview about a crime, you need to remember these two key elements:

  • Interrogations are meant to produce confessions
  • The best way to protect yourself – even if you know you are innocent – is to not make a statement without first talking to a criminal defense attorney. Remember that the best way avoid saying something that might be incriminating is to not say it at all.

If an officer wants to question you, tell them that you will not make a statement without an attorney being present. You might need to repeat this, but it’s best if you stay steadfast with your need for an attorney, regardless of whatever tactics they might use to get you to talk.

Additionally, it has been shown that police tactics can often encourage someone to confess to a crime they did not commit. Often times accused suspects confess to a crime, and are then exonerated by DNA evidence that proves they were not guilty. Research has been done over the years on why this happen, and proves that often scared juveniles and people with diminished mental capacity are at greater risk for providing false confessions. Often times these individuals are scared and lured by the tactics in hopes that they can just get to the end of the interrogation and then go home. As a result, many interrogations are now recorded on audio and video.

Tactics Employed During Interrogated

Below we outline a number of tactics that might be used by police officers during an interrogation.

The Reid Technique

The Reid Technique was first developed in the 1940s. This will seem familiar, as it is the type of questioning that you are used to seeing in the media, on movies and television. Suspects are placed in a dingy room in the police station, and are usually placed with one “good cop,” and one “bad cop.”

On TV and in movies, you are most likely able to spot this technique, and call it out for how obvious it may seem, but this type of questioning is actually very effective in real life when it comes to obtaining confessions. Within the Reid Technique, there are three concepts that police rely on to convince the suspect that it is in his or her best interested to confess to a crime, regardless of if they are guilty or not. Here are those three concepts:

  • Isolation. The interrogators will isolate the suspect from family and friends in an attempt to make that person feel alone, hence the often used windowless interrogation room.
  • Maximization. An interrogating officer will start out stating that the suspect is guilty and that the suspect and all the other people on the case know that the suspect is guilty. An officer will present the theory of how the crime went down. Often times this is based on evidence, and other times the officer is simply grappling for straws and fabricating the story in an attempt to get the actual full story. During this presentation of the “theory,” an officer will essentially “drop breadcrumbs,” or offer details that a suspect will then parrot back to the officer. Any claims by the suspect are ignored or refuted by the interrogator. Hence, the “bad cop” role. The “bad cop” knows the suspect is lying, knows the suspect committed the crime, and knows that the suspect is only wasting everyone’s time by refusing to come clean.
  • Minimization. After the “maximization” part of the interview is complete, the officer will move on to the “good cop” role of “minimization.” This is when the interrogator tells the suspect that they believe the motives behind the crime, and that everyone else will also understand the motives, so why not just confess? Oftentimes individuals will be lured with promises of a lesser charge if they confess, or the ability to just go home.

The best way to defend yourself against the Reid Technique is to avoid saying anything and asking for a lawyer.

Informal Questioning Tactics

Not all interrogations happen in a small, windowless room. Often times, police interaction occurs outside of the police station, when you are stopped for a traffic violation or other violation. These conversations are called “informal questioning” and happens every time you interact with a police officer. Just as with a formal interrogation, it’s important to remember there are things you can do to defend yourself.

If you are stopped by a police officer and are unsure why, assume that the officer suspects you have committed a crime – either speeding, driving with a broken tail-light, or even something as serious as murder. At any point, that officer will try to get you to confess to the crime they suspect you committed. Remember this, and act accordingly. If it’s a simple violation, such as a speeding ticket, wait for the ticket to be written, etc… and then ask if you are free to leave. If you are released, then leave. But if an officer continues to informally interrogate you, you are able to say you do not wish to answer any questions and that you would like to speak to an attorney.

A Note About Lying

We all agree that lying is not good, but that doesn’t mean that lies aren’t told every day, even by police officers. There is no law or rule that says a police officer cannot lie or make up evidence. That means police officers can even make up that a co-defendant has confessed to a crime. There are some things police are prohibited from, including making threats and promises. But there are many grey areas when it comes to these threats or promises, and police interrogation tactics often cross into that grey area.

Bottom Line: the best way to defend yourself when being questioned by an officer is to ensure that a defense attorney is with you. Your defense attorney will investigate the case and be able to advise you on your best defense.

Working with a Criminal Defense Attorney

As you can see, being interrogated by a police officer, even if it’s an informal situation can be a potentially incriminating experience. An experience criminal defense attorney will be able to advise you on the best defense as well as protect you during an interrogation. That is why it is key to not say anything until you have received legal guidance.

Any criminalcharge could result in prison time, other serious penalties, and a criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life. The good news is that there is a defense to every charge or accusation. Contact our office in Los Angeles at 562-287-5333, at 562-287-5333 or by e-mail to discuss your case with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.

Daniel R. Perlman, Esq.
Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman

Sexual Assault Charges Against Kevin Spacey https://danielperlmanlaw.com/blog/2019/01/sexual-assault-charges-kevin-spacey.shtml Thu, 24 Jan 2019 16:00:52 +0000 https://danielperlmanlaw.com/?p=6345 Just a little over a year ago actor Kevin Spacey was accused of numerous counts of sexual assault. Following the allegations, he retreated from the public eye – until recently.

Actor Kevin Spacey Facing Numerous Sexual Assault Charges

Spacey came back into the public eye when he released an odd video in late December. In the YouTube video, the actor delivers a three-minute monologue in character as his former “House of Cards” protagonist, Frank Underwood.

At the same time the video was announced, it was also announced Spacey is facing criminal charges in a 2016 case of alleged sexual assault. The actor was scheduled for arraignment on a charge of indecent assault and battery on Jan. 7.

The incident he is being arraigned for took place in July 2016 and allegedly involved the actor groping the genitals of an unwilling 18-year-old. He later apologized to and also made an official statement announcing himself to be gay.

It’s unclear what Spacey’s recent YouTube video was meant to be about. The line between Spacey and the character remained fuzzy as the actor made the following statements, albeit as Underwood: “We’re not afraid, not of what we said, not of what we did and we’re still not afraid. Because I promise you this: If I didn’t pay the price for the things that we both know I did do, I’m certainly not going to pay the price for the things I didn’t do.”

California Rape Laws

Rape charges in California are based on different factors including the age of the person you have allegedly assaulted and if they are blood related. The three main rape offenses include: date rape, spousal rape, and statutory rape.

Date rape: a sex crime when there is non-consensual sexual activity with a friend or acquaintance.

Spousal rape: when sexual penetration occurs with a spouse without his or her consent.

Statutory rape: when a person has consensual sex with a person under the age of 18. (In California there is a defense rule that investigates if the defendant and the alleged victim are less than three years apart. If they are close in age, the sex crime can be classified as a misdemeanor instead of a felony.)

A violent rape crime can result in a 3, 6, or 8 years sentence in a California state prison. Additionally, it counts as a strike against a defendant as part of California’s three-strike law. Those accused and convicted of committing a sex crime are also required to register as sex offenders. If you have been accused of any of these crimes, you will want to work with a criminal defense attorney that can build your defense.

False Rape Allegations

Let’s say a campus has done all they can to prevent sexual assaults. Even then, they are still not 100% preventable. Because of that, it’s important to know what steps you should take if you have been accused of committing sexual assault.


A commonly cited estimate is that false allegations account for 2 percent of all rape reports. According to Slate, official data for what law enforcement terms “unfounded” rape reports (ones that police determine to have not taken place) is unclear and conflicting as a result of differing local policies and procedures. On average though, based on the data that is available, 8 percent to 10 percent of all reported rapes are “unfounded.”

But not all reports that are classified as unfounded are actually false. In some of the cases, women who were actually victims of rape were either not believed, pressured into recanting statements, or charged with false reporting actually found vindication later on. This only furthers the debate.

Gray Area of Rape Allegations

There also appears to be a gray-area that is appearing in cases – one that hinges on mixed signals, alcohol-deluded memories, and misunderstandings of what constitutes sexual assault. Sometimes accusations can be cries for attention or attempts at covering up embarrassing moments.

The Impact of False Rape Accusations

While rape is not something to be taken lightly, neither should unfounded allegations. If you have been falsely accused of rape, beware, for the allegations can have tragic results.

Fighting False Rape Accusations

If you have been wrongly accused of committing rape, you need to treat the accusations seriously. Though they may seem ridiculous, they can have long-lasting consequences. You can lose your job, face fines, or be sent to prison. There are a number of things you need to do if you have been accused of rape.

Hire an Attorney

A criminal defense attorney will be able to respond to and defend you against the allegations you are facing. You should contact one as soon as you are informed of the charges. They will be able to provide you with guidance and next steps on how to proceed.

Stay Away Accuser

Stay away from the accuser until you have a chance to legally defend yourself. Chances are there will be an evidentiary hearing where you will be able to state your side of the case. Until then, avoid the accuser so that he or she will not be able to make further accusations.

If you must be near the accuser, due to employment or child custody arrangements, try to ensure a third party is always present so that he or she can act as a witness. Additionally, try to limit communication and try to ensure that all communication is in written form – via text or email. Any communication should state the facts. Do not contact the person via social media such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Remember that everything you say or write can be held against you in a court of law.

Control Emotions

Being accused of rape is frustrating and angering. But you need to try to keep your emotions in line. This means being responsible about your next steps and how you protect yourself. Do not approach the accuser with attempts to defend yourself. Try to keep a calm head.

Assess Motives

Working with your attorney, try to asses any motive your accuser may have for the false allegations. Often times a jealous ex will make attempts to get back at his or her partner. If you believe the sex was consensual, were there other circumstances involved, such as alcohol or drug use that might have caused you or your accuser to become hazy about the events? A criminal defense attorney might be able to help you uncover any motive that may exist. This motive can assist a defense attorney should the case go to trial, or during the process of negotiating.

Detailed Account

If you can, provide your attorney with a detailed account of the events that led to the accusations. You should tell your lawyer everything, even details you think might not be pertinent. You never know what detail a lawyer may be able to use to help you win your case.


Do you have any witnesses that might have seen the interaction? Do you have an alibi? Are there character witnesses that can attest to both yours and your accuser’s potential motives?

A Note About California’s Rape Shield Law

Though you might have a witness, it should be noted that in California, a defendant is not legally able to introduce information about the alleged victim’s previous sexual conduct to prove the alleged rape was consensual. This means that a defendant is not able to bring evidence from past relationships or other previous sexual conduct to prove the accuser is making false accusations. This is part of California’s “rape shield laws” that are pursuant to Evidence Code Section 1103 and apply to the following offenses:

  • Rape under Penal Code 261;
  • Spousal/marital rape under Penal Code 262;
  • Rape in concert under Penal Code 264.1;
  • Sodomy under Penal Code 286;
  • Oral copulation by force under Penal Code 288(a); and
  • Forcible penetration with a foreign object under Penal Code 289

This can put defendants at a serious disadvantage when trying to prove the encounter was consensual. Circumstances do exist in which a defendant will be able to introduce evidence without breaking these laws.

A defendant will need to work with his or her defense lawyer to have such evidence admitted. “Habit evidence” about the alleged victim’s prior sexual conduct can show the accuser’s testimony is not trustworthy. “Habit” means information about the accuser’s regular ways of acting in particular situations. This form of evidence is admissible because it shows that the alleged victim acted in accordance with his/her habits on a particular occasion.

Working with a Defense Attorney

Once you and your attorney have discussed the specifics of the allegations that you are facing, you will be informed about the strengths and weaknesses of your case, including the risks of conviction and punishment that you face. A defense attorney will be able to negotiate a plea deal or decide to move forward with a trial, while constantly working to ensure your best interests.

The criminal defense lawyers at Daniel Perlman Law in Los Angeles will put our experience to work for you. We believe every defendant has the right to a zealous defense. We offer free initial consultations and will usually quote a flat fee that will cover all the services necessary for your case, including trial. To schedule a free consultation with one of our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers, call 877-887-4541 or contact us by e-mail.

Daniel R. Perlman, Esq.
Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman

DUI Lawyer in Los Angeles https://danielperlmanlaw.com/blog/2019/01/dui-lawyer-los-angeles.shtml Thu, 17 Jan 2019 16:00:59 +0000 https://danielperlmanlaw.com/?p=6344 No one would deny that New Year’s Eve is a big night for people driving under the influence, DUI. Every year, despite the rise in ride-sharing services, despite the heavy crackdown with police check-points, and despite all the widespread information about how dangerous it is to drive under the influence, thousands of people will be arrested for just that.

Los Angeles DUI Lawyer

If you have been arrested for drunk driving anywhere in the Los Angeles area, you owe it to yourself to get the advice of a knowledgeable Los Angeles DUI attorney as soon as possible. The fines, license suspension and increased insurance rates that may result from a DUI arrest can together represent a much greater expense for you than an attorney’s fee.

Contact a Los Angeles DUI Attorney Today!

As a former prosecutor, Los Angeles DUI lawyer Daniel Perlman understands prosecution strategies inside and out. He is committed to staying ahead of the prosecution through uncovering any procedural errors, contradictory evidence or violations of your civil rights. Mr. Perlman’s ability to challenge the evidence obtained against you helps him develop an effective defense strategy.

Free Initial Consultation – Los Angeles DUI Lawyer

For a free initial consultation about your options for resolving a Los Angeles DUI charge, contact us at the Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman in Los Angeles online or call 213-514-8324 or 213-514-8324. Mr. Perlman will determine the right defense strategy based on the facts of your specific case. We handle all types of DUI cases, including:

First-offense DUI: Contrary to the rumor mill, nearly 80 percent of our first offender clients’ cases are resolved without a DUI conviction. A first DUI offense anywhere in the Los Angeles area represents a pivotal point in your life. It is critical to understand all the consequences you are facing. These go beyond fines, driver’s license suspension and financial hardship to the real threat of dramatically increased penalties should you face any alcohol-related charge again down the line.

Underage DUI: Alleged juvenile DUI offenders face unique challenges when facing such charges. We are prepared to respond to those challenges. Drivers under the age of 21 are placed under heightened scrutiny by California law. Any driver under 21 who has a blood alcohol concentration of .01 or higher may be charged with a misdemeanor crime.

Felony DUI: These are serious charges that require urgent attention. Felony charges include DUI causing an injury or a fourth offense within 10 years. A DUI may be a felony in Los Angeles in a number of ways:

  • A fourth DUI conviction within a 10-year period
  • A DUI causing bodily injury where the drunk driver caused the accident
  • A DUI conviction if the defendant has one prior felony DUI conviction
  • The last thing you want is a felony conviction on your record. In addition to the possibility of serving a significant period of time in prison, a felony DUI conviction could significantly impair your future employment opportunities.

DUI involving drugs, whether prescription drugs or banned substances (“street drugs”), carries the same penalties as DUI involving alcohol. Many people who are arrested for driving under the influence of drugs are shocked to find out that they may be convicted of a crime for driving while under the influence of a legal drug. In California, drivers may be convicted of driving under the influence if their driving is impaired by illegal drugs or prescription medications. Even drivers who have a valid prescription for a medication may be convicted of driving under the influence.

Drivers who are under the influence of marijuana and other illegal drugs are likewise shocked to learn that they can be arrested for driving under the influence even if they used drugs several days prior to driving. Since marijuana and other drugs may remain in a person’s system for an extended period of time, a chemical test may show traces of the drug several days after it was taken.

Multiple DUI charges will result in higher penalties based on how many times you have been previously convicted. We are often successful in minimizing statutory jail sentences by seeking treatment options. The days when any drunk driving charge was treated like a traffic ticket are long gone. Even first-time offenders charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in California face an array of life-changing consequences today, so if you have one or more prior DUIs on your record, your need for a dedicated defense lawyer is critical.
Whether this is your second DUI charge or your fourth within 10 years – which means you are looking at a felony charge and the possibility of a serious jail sentence – your situation is tough, but not hopeless. The single best step you can take is to contact an attorney nowwho will truly focus on your case and pursue every option for protecting your future.

DUI involving an accident causing property damage, injury and/or death requires a knowledgeable, experienced defense attorney. This is as serious as it gets, involving the possibility of state prison, so it is important to hire a diligent and skilled lawyer. It is critical to recognize that a DUI involving an accident or injury can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor – and that your attorney may be able to impact that decision by the district attorney. Your case may call for challenging not only the circumstances of the DUI arrest itself, but the causes and outcomes of the crash, including:

  • Whether you broke a traffic law or were otherwise negligent in addition to driving under the influence
  • The number of people injured in your auto accident and the severity of their injuries
  • Boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs can have the same negative consequences as driving a vehicle while intoxicated.
  • DMV hearing: Act promptly to protect your driving privileges. We must request your hearing within 10 days of your release or your license will be automatically suspended.

Possible DUI Defenses

Although it is never easy to beat a DUI charge in Los Angeles, you probably have a stronger defense than you think. In order to expand your options for a positive outcome, our law firm seeks to determine any procedural or civil rights violations, including:

  • Why did the arresting officer pull you over?
  • Was there a field sobriety test?
  • Was there probable cause to support the DUI arrest?
  • How was the blood test at the police station administered?
  • Are there inconsistencies between the police report and the criminal complaint?

There are hundreds of possible police errors, and they can add up to reduce your charges. Depending on the facts of your misdemeanor or felony DUI case, our DUI attorneys can concentrate on seeking a dismissal based on any violation of your constitutional rights or a reduction based on other errors or mistakes by law enforcement. Our Los Angeles DUI lawyers are also fully prepared to secure a victory by casting doubt on the evidence obtained against you. There are numerous possibilities to defend your DUI charges, but the first step in that defense is giving us a call!

Los Angeles DUI Attorney

In addition to defending clients against criminal DUI charges, we also represent clients at DMV hearings, which will determine the length and conditions of a driver’s license suspension or whether a license will remain valid.

To learn more about our approach to client service in Los Angeles DUI defense, contact the Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman in Los Angeles at 213-514-8324, at 213-514-8324 or by e-mail. Whether you were arrested coming out of a bar; leaving a restaurant or birthday party; or celebrating a special holiday such as New Year’s Eve, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July (Independence Day), Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s or St. Patrick’s Day, it is essential to hire a DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible to seek the best possible results you can get.

Working with a Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you are facing a DUI conviction, you’ll want to work with a criminal defense lawyer that handles DUI cases. Once you and your attorney have discussed the specifics of the allegations you are facing, you will be informed about the strengths and weaknesses of your case, including the risks of conviction and punishment that you face. A defense attorney will be able to negotiate a plea deal or decide to move forward with a trial, while constantly working to ensure your best interests.

The criminal defense lawyers at Daniel Perlman Law in Los Angeles will put our experience to work for you. We believe every defendant has the right to a zealous defense. We offer free initial consultations and will usually quote a flat fee that will cover all the services necessary for your case, including trial. To schedule a free consultation with one of our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers, call 877-887-4541 or contact us by e-mail.

Daniel R. Perlman, Esq.
Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman
11355 West Olympic Blvd.
Suite 200,
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 299-2009

Robbery Suspects Evade Police https://danielperlmanlaw.com/blog/2019/01/robbery-suspects-evade-police.shtml Thu, 10 Jan 2019 16:00:02 +0000 https://danielperlmanlaw.com/?p=6343 The Friday night before Christmas, five men led police on a high-speed chase across freeways and surface streets before they abandoned the Kia Soul they were in and fled on foot. The men were wanted for the alleged armed robbery of a watch and clock repair shop in Old Town Pasadena.

Residents Glued to TV as Suspected Robbers Evade Police

Los Angeles residents were glued to their TVs on the Friday night before Christmas, watching a high-speed chase across the Los Angeles area.

Isiah Nichols, 20, was held in lieu of $50,000 bail; Emmanuel McNeal, 20, was held without bail; Rashi Treadwell, 25, was held in lieu of $150,000 bail; Hanif Washington, 19, was held in lieu of $1 million; and Jack Austin, 20, was held in lieu of at least $50,000 bail, according to inmate records from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The gunpoint robbery occurred at 4:20 p.m. Friday at Shant’s Clock and Watch Repair in Old Town Pasadena.

The suspects drove away, evading police and leading patrol cars on a high-speed chase. At times the suspects drove on the wrong side of streets, narrowly missing other vehicles before eventually pulling onto an off-ramp in East Hollywood.

That’s when the suspects abandoned the car and led police on a ground chase. The suspects could be seen fleeing through backyards, jumping fences, and climbing onto roofs – all the while being followed by helicopters.

As night fell, Police established a perimeter in the area where the suspects were last seen and brought in a K-9 unit and used air units to search for the suspects.

“Two dogs were deployed and there were two dog bites,” Pasadena Police Lt. Max Dahlstein told reporters. “There was an announcement by the helicopter. If a dog is going to be deployed, we let them know that a dog is going to be deployed. They had ample opportunity to come out from where they were. They made a decision to stay hidden.”
Shortly after, all suspects were taken into custody.

Evading Arrest

Evading arrest is a serious and punishable crime. California defines “evading arrest” as the act of attempting or actively running away from a police officer that has made clear his or her intentions to arrest you. Whether a suspect is fleeing by foot or by car, it is unlawful to evade a police officer’s right to arrest. While a law enforcement officer may believe that an individual is evading arrest, often times that might not be the intention of the suspect. In fact, sometimes a suspect is completely unaware that a police officer is in pursuit of them. When this is the case, the accusation of evading a police officer can get tricky.

Many factors influence the outcome of an evading the police charge. Questions that need to be answered include: Was the police officer in full uniform and the suspect was able to determine that the officer was an actual police officer at the time of the arrest? Were there language barriers that made the arrest attempt unclear to the suspect? In the case of a car chase, was the individual aware that police vehicles were trying to pull the individual over? Were the visual or audible signals coming from the police vehicles not understood by the person being pursued?

These questions must all be examined in your case. You’ll want to work with a skilled criminal defense attorney that has handled similar cases and can build your defense.

Charges You May Face

The gravity of the evading arrest charge will depend on other aspects of the incident. For example, if the individual was driving recklessly while evading the officer. If the individual is driving recklessly while fleeing a police officer, and while doing so, shows disregard for the safety of others and property, the individual may be charged with a more serious violation. Depending on the severity of the situation, the incident can be classified as either a misdemeanor or felony.

To secure a conviction of a misdemeanor or felony, a prosecutor must prove:

  • The suspect had intent to purposely evade a police officer
  • The officer in pursuit was flashing at least one red light from the front
  • The suspect saw or should have seen the officer’s flashing lights
  • The officer’s vehicle was sounding a siren
  • The officer’s vehicle was distinctively marked as a police vehicle
  • The officer was wearing a distinctive police uniform

Evading arrest is typically classified as a misdemeanor in California. This is the case unless aggravating factors exist. In the presence of aggravating factors, a suspect could be charged with “felony reckless evading.” Penalties for misdemeanor evading arrest may include up to one year in county jail and $1,000 in fines. In some cases, the state of California could also have your vehicle impounded for up to 30 days.

Felony Reckless Evading

Felony charges can be brought if the crime of evading arrest has aggravating factors. According to California Vehicle Code, a suspect could be charged with “felony reckless evading” if he or she evades a police officer in a motor vehicle and, in doing so, drives with a willful disregard for the safety of others. Willful disregard is often judged on actions such as running red lights, failure to stop at stop signs, and paying attention to pedestrians.

Penalties for felony reckless evading can include:

  • Up to three years in state prison
  • Up to $10,000 in various fines
  • Impounded vehicle for 30 days

Working with a Criminal Defense Attorney

As you can see, being accused of a crime is a very serious matter, and should be handled accordingly. An experience criminal defense attorney will be able to advise you on the best defense should you be accused of any number of crimes.

Our Practice

While we offer a full-service criminal defense practice, handling all charges, a large portion of our practice is engaged in defending those charge with murder (homicide) and other life sentence or death penalty cases including third strike allegations (under the California three strikes law). The rest of our practice regularly handles cases ranging from minor in possession, fake ID, driving under the influence (DUI) on up to domestic violence. Common felony charges handled in our office include, assault with a deadly weapon (ADW), sex offenses, arson, mayhem, armed robbery, (Estes Robbery). In addition, many of our clients have been accused of Auto Theft including Grand Theft Auto (GTA), and crimes alleging gang allegations, firearms allegation, and sneaking drugs or weapons into jails or prisons. Narcotics and drugs charges have been positively affected by proposition 47, but transportation, cultivation, manufacturing and sales remain frequent client matters in our office. An area of criminal defense that has become more active in recent years includes pimping, pandering and in particular human trafficking. Our office can handle your theft, credit card fraud, medical billing or worker’s compensation fraud, or any white collar criminal matter whether it is a felony or misdemeanor. We represent adults and juveniles in both state and federal courts on all criminal charges.

Working with a Defense Attorney

Once you and your attorney have discussed the specifics of the allegations that you are facing, you will be informed about the strengths and weaknesses of your case, including the risks of conviction and punishment that you face. A defense attorney will be able to negotiate a plea deal or decide to move forward with a trial, while constantly working to ensure your best interests.

The criminal defense lawyers at Daniel Perlman Law in Los Angeles will put our experience to work for you. We believe every defendant has the right to a zealous defense. We offer free initial consultations and will usually quote a flat fee that will cover all the services necessary for your case, including trial. To schedule a free consultation with one of our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers, call 877-887-4541 or contact us by e-mail.

Any criminal charge could result in prison time, other serious penalties, and a criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life. The good news is that there is a defense to every charge or accusation. Contact our office in Los Angeles at 562-287-5333, at 562-287-5333 or by e-mail to discuss your case with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.

Daniel R. Perlman, Esq.
Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman

Distracted Driving Over the Holiday Season https://danielperlmanlaw.com/blog/2019/01/distracted-driving-holiday-season.shtml Thu, 03 Jan 2019 16:00:50 +0000 https://danielperlmanlaw.com/?p=6342 Over the holiday season we all tend to be a little… distracted. If that’s impacted your driving and you’ve been charged with a serious traffic violation, you’ll want to work with a criminal defense attorney.

Holiday Season and Distracted Driving

Distracted driving at any time can lead to traffic violations, but especially during the holiday season.

Dealing with Traffic Violations

Traffic violations happen every day. As a driving society, we all deal with minor and/ or serious traffic violations at some point during the course of our lives. When those traffic violations occur, you will need to know how to legally protect yourself from the repercussions.

Traffic Violations

The term “traffic violation” is an umbrella term for a wide variety of incidents. Traffic violations are so closely regulated by law enforcement as a way to educate bad drivers, while also preventing unsafe driving habits. Years of research has proven that most drivers want to be compliant with these rules so that they avoid being caught. Here are some examples of traffic violations:

  • Moving Violations are issued when a traffic law is violated by a vehicle in motion. Examples of moving violations include: speeding, drunk driving (DUI), failure to yield, and running a stop sign or red light.
  • Non-moving Violations are issued for parking violations or faulty car equipment. Examples of non-moving violations include: parking in a clearly labeled no parking zone,broken tail lights, broken side-view mirrors, and parking in front of fire hydrants.

Processing Traffic Violations

Most traffic tickets are viewed as minor offenses, often called “infractions.” Because they are considered “minor,” you are only required to pay administrative processing fees, rather than being subject to the incarceration or large fines that accompany criminal cases. It is not required that you go to jury trial. The exception to this is some speeding tickets: where the person has far exceeded posted speed recommendations, and unpaid speeding tickets. These fines can often be very large and sometimes require you to go before a jury for trial.

Strict Liability Offenses for Traffic Violations

The majority of traffic tickets are issued for “strict-liability” offenses. This means regardless of if there is criminal intent or not, a person can be convicted of the crime. The only proof required to commit someone is the fact that the act was committed and the person was caught committing the act. Examples of strict-liability offenses include:

  • Speeding
  • Failure to use turn signals
  • Failure to yield to other traffic

Serious traffic violations, listed below, can be charged as misdemeanor crimes or felonies.
Reckless Driving And/Or Excessive Speeding Traffic Violations

According to California Vehicle Code 23103, a person can be convicted of reckless driving if he or she drives with “willful or wanton” disregard for the safety of others. This charge is a criminal offense and if convicted you face the following repercussions: recording in a criminal record, suspension of your driver’s license, time in county jail.

The prosecution will need to prove that you were driving with “willful or wanton” disregard for others. Speed alone is not typically enough to establish this, therefore it will need to be shown that you were either driving aggressively, weaving in and out of traffic in a dangerous fashion, driving on the wrong side of the road, or committing other dangerous acts while behind the wheel. All these show that you are guilty of driving recklessly.

Driving Without Insurance

Repercussions of driving without insurance include: suspension of your driver’s license and/or vehicle license, potentially hefty fines, and a traffic ticket. Often times you are able to have the ticket dismissed if you are able to prove you have insurance. This will need to be done within a certain amount of time following the day you received the ticket. A ticket is only able to be dismissed if you actually have insurance at the time you were pulled over.

Driving Without a License

Driving without a license has two categories under which you could be charged: correctable offenses and willful violations.

Correctable offense: You left your driver’s license at home. This is often treated as a “fix-it” ticket. You will receive a ticket, but then must prove that you have a valid driver’s license by bringing your license with you to the courthouse that issued the ticket.

Willful violation: You are driving on a suspended or revoked license. Moving violations often result in the suspension or revocation of a license. If you are found driving on a suspended or revoked license you can face these repercussions: citation, arrest, and being charged with a misdemeanor offense.

In California, a willful violation can also result in your car being impounded for 30 days and having to appear in court.

What To Do If You Are Charged With Traffic Violations

You are entitled to all constitutional protections provided to criminal defendants, including the right to a court-appointed attorney and a jury trial if you are accused of committing a serious traffic violation.

At the Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman, we help Southern California drivers who face driver’s license suspension or problems renewing a license due to multiple traffic violations or especially serious offenses.

Avoid Traffic Violations

Serious traffic violations happen, but that doesn’t mean they cannot be avoided. By being a good, cautious, and conscientious driver, you can prevent serious traffic violations from ever happening in the first place.

Safe Driving Tips

  • Be cautious and alert whenever you get behind the wheel of a car
  • Approach streets or busy intersections with a greater sense of caution
  • Be aware of everyone else on the road. That includes pedestrians and bicyclists that you must share the road with.
  • When driving during the night, make sure headlights and tail-lights are working. This will ensure that your car is clearly visible to other cars, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
  • Properly maintain your car by doing frequent brake, light, and engine checks.
  • Practice extra precaution when entering or exiting parking lots because you will most likely need to cross a sidewalk to enter or exit. Pedestrians might be crossing in the direct path of your car.
  • Follow posted required speed limits.
  • Avoid distractions while driving, including: texting, phone calls, or reaching for things in your car.

If You Are Pulled Over for Traffic Violations

If you get pulled over for committing either a minor or a serious traffic violation, there are some things you can do to help your position. These are especially important to follow if you plan on challenging the ticket at a later time.

1. Most traffic stops start with a police car following you and turning on the emergency lights or sirens. When this happens, use your indicator to show the police officer that you see them and then safely merge over to the right side of the road. Stop as soon as possible in a safe place. This not only shows the officer that you are being compliant, but if you want to challenge the ticket you will want to have a clear idea of where the infraction occurred. You’ll then be able to return to the same area to notate all details, including where the speed limits are posted and where the infraction occurred.

2. When you look for a place to stop your car, remember that the police officer will need to approach the rights side of the car to speak with you. Make sure that he or she is able to stand by the side of your car safely.

3. Roll your window down all the way, then turn off the engine. If you are being pulled over at night, turn on the interior light of your car. Next, place your hands on the steering wheel. This will show the officer that they are able to approach safely.

4. When the officer approaches, he or she will likely ask you for your license and registration. Only reach for these things once you have been asked.

5. If you feel that the police officer is not an actual police officer, you are able to ask for his or her photo identification and badge. You are also able to ask the officer to call a supervisor to the scene or ask to follow the officer to a police station. There have been reported cases of people posing as police officers and you want to ensure your safety as well as theirs.

6. A police officer is not legally able to search your vehicle unless you give them probable cause. Probable cause can be hiding or throwing something under the seat or out your window or any other form of movement that they might question as they approach your car.
If an officer has reasonable suspicion that you might be armed or dangerous they are allowed to frisk you.

7. A police officer is legally able to seize any illegal objects, including: open beers or drug paraphernalia that are in “plain view.” Your car can be searched if you or any or the car’s occupants are arrested for probable cause. An officer can also search the car if the car needs to be towed. This is often called an “inventory search” and can be performed even if there was no initial reason to suspect there was anything illegal inside.

8. By remaining calm and compliant you have a much better case if you wish to contest the violation later on. If you do wish to contest the violation, you will want to contact a criminal defense lawyer that can advise you on the next steps to take.

Working with a Criminal Defense Lawyer

At the Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman we represent drivers of all kinds in the traffic courts of Southern California. We also advise drivers with commercial licenses who need help with violations ranging from speeding to DUI. Our law firm offers free consultations and flexible payment plans for drivers whose traffic violation problems have gotten out of hand. To discuss how our Los Angeles traffic violation lawyers can help you manage your traffic fines and resolve license suspension problems, contact the Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman in Los Angeles at 213-514-8324.

Daniel R. Perlman, Esq.
Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman

Do Domestic Violence Incidents Spike Over the Holidays? https://danielperlmanlaw.com/blog/2018/12/domestic-violence-incidents-spike-holidays.shtml Thu, 27 Dec 2018 16:00:20 +0000 https://danielperlmanlaw.com/?p=6340 It’s long been reported that over the holiday season, there’s often an uptick in domestic violence cases. But is that true?

Spike in Domestic Violence During Holidays

Do Domestic Violence Incidents Spike Over the Holidays?

It’s a claim boldly asserted in the media every year: Domestic violence increases over the holidays. While this idea seems to make sense – the holiday season is filled with the stress of family tension and the endless amounts of alcohol at various gatherings and celebrations – is it really accurate to make such claims?

According to experts, this theory is completely unfounded. In a report released by the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, a study was unable to “find any reliable, national study linking the holidays with an increase in domestic violence.”

Additionally, data from the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the country’s confidential, 24/7 helpline shows that the call volumes on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day was far lower than on an average day.

This might be due to the fact that victims are less likely to reach out for help during the holidays due to the pressure of keeping their families intact around the time of year.

If the holidays have been stressful and you’ve been misjudged and accused of domestic violence, you’ll want to work with a criminal defense attorney.

Our Stereotypical Images of Domestic Violence

In spite of the stereotypical images we might have, the truth is that anyone can be a victim of domestic violence. They can be of any age, sex, race, culture, religion, education, employment, or marital status. Most victims are women, but men, too, can fall prey. Women tend to be wary of strangers, but it is those closest, like a husband, a lover, a boyfriend, or another family member who is most likely to victimize them.

One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States, more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. Three to four million women in the United States are beaten in their homes each year by their husbands, ex-husbands, or male lovers. One woman is beaten by her husband or partner every 15 seconds in the United States.

A critical juncture is often reached when a woman attempts to leave a relationship, no matter how abusive it has been. Women who leave relationships often have to opt to live in poverty, a very difficult choice to make. There are many social, cultural factors that contribute to encouraging women to stay and try and make the situation work. All too often, violence is a familiar pattern for the woman, as well as her partner.

Listening to men who abuse their wives, they often speak of how terribly inadequate their wives are. “She’s too lazy and doesn’t do what I tell her!” It is also incredibly evident that these abusive men are tremendously dependent on their partners. Fears of rejection, emotional withdrawal, and/or abandonment are major factors that actually cause these men to be violent. Men who batter women are often psychologically incapable of leaving the relationship.

We often think of domestic violence largely in terms of women, but abuse of men happens far more often than we realize. Though men are usually physically stronger than women, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they always escape violence in their relationships. An abused man, in particular, faces a shortage of resources, skepticism from police, and major legal obstacles, especially when it comes to gaining custody of his children from an abusive mother.

Male victims must deal with issues that most female victims don’t have to contend with. Victims of both genders are reluctant to report abuse because they are embarrassed, or they are afraid of making the problem worse. Male victims have to contend with their identity as a man, thinking of what their friends and family will think if it is discovered that they “let” a female partner abuse them. Statistics, gathered by the ManKind Initiative which campaigns for male abuse victims, show that a surprising 38 per cent of domestic abuse victims are male.

California’s Domestic Violence Laws

In effect since 2000, California’s Domestic Violence Laws have been called a patchwork of statutes that attempt to provide help for domestic violence victims. The laws, however, still leave untouched some of the biggest obstacles victims face. In general, California’s domestic violence laws are an honest attempt to prevent violence in familial or intimate relationships.

The state starts by identifying domestic violence as when an individual commits a criminal act within one of the types of relationships specified by the California Penal Code. These relationships are defined as a spouse or former spouse; cohabitant or former cohabitant in a home; a parent with whom the individual has a child; or a partner in a dating relationship. These classifications are adequate for most domestic violence situations.

The Penal Code criminalizes domestic violence under Section 273.5. It is a crime when an individual’s willful conduct leads to a “corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition” suffered by a person with whom the individual has one of the familial or intimate relationships specified by the domestic violence laws of California.

The Penal Code also criminalizes battery within one of the specified familial or intimate relationships. A prosecutor can choose to charge a defendant with battery under Section 243(d) if the defendant “inflicted serious bodily injury” on the victim. Battery under Section 243(d) reflects a greater degree of harm suffered by the victim of domestic violence.

As would seem likely, domestic violence often occurs in tandem with child abuse. To address this situation, a prosecutor may charge a defendant with a crime based on domestic violence, under several sections of the Penal Code that apply. A prosecutor chooses which criminal charges to pursue based on the severity of the conduct and harm to the victim, along with other circumstances of the case.

Pursuant to Penal Code §836, there are mandates for arrest when a defendant violates a restraining order. This law recognizes both the potential consequences of restraining order violations and the casual treatment these violations too often receive from police. California police are now mandated to arrest offenders who violate domestic violence restraining orders. There is a shortcoming in this legislation in that there is no equivalent obligation on a district attorney to prosecute cases of restraining order violations sent to them by police.

The Role of Prosecutors in Domestic Violence Cases

Despite opportunities presented by circumstances over the years, one critical aspect of crimes like rape, domestic violence, and child abuse has not been addressed by legislators. It is the district attorney’s absolute power to refuse to file charges no matter how solid the evidence. Though a district attorney may refuse to file charges on a whole crime category, there is no legal remedy for victims. The results of this unrestricted prosecutorial discretion was notably demonstrated in Sonoma County where the district attorney’s rate of conviction on domestic violence was one of the lowest in the state, and where cases of violence against women and children were systematically undercharged.

Though, overall, California does a fair job in domestic violence law enforcement, there is still considerable work to be done to make domestic violence laws effective in protecting victims and their children. The American Bar Association (ABA) recommends that states make legal assistance more available and affordable to victims of domestic violence and their children by encouraging lawyers to do pro bono work in domestic violence cases, expanding legal services programs to represent parents and children affected by domestic violence, establishing specialized legal clinics, and requiring abusers to pay court costs and attorney’s fees. Better education and training for judges and law enforcement personnel are also needed.

Daniel R. Perlman, Esq.
Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman

The Trouble with Eyewitness Testimony https://danielperlmanlaw.com/blog/2018/12/trouble-eyewitness-testimony.shtml Thu, 20 Dec 2018 16:00:12 +0000 https://danielperlmanlaw.com/?p=5954 Eyewitness Testimony…the Gold Standard?

Eyewitness testimony is understood by most people to be the gold standard when it comes to reconstructing the details of certain events that haven’t been documented by any other means. This belief comes into question when any number of people can witness a crime in progress and later report substantially different accounts than others witness present at the same event. Seemingly obvious items like gender, hair color, or if the person was wearing a hat can vary. In is further astounding when those same witnesses will later provide totally different details of the incident to another questioner.

This situation is most unfortunate because the foundation of the American judicial process is the reliability of witnesses, especially in a courtroom setting. Eyewitness testimony can make a deep impression on a jury, which is often exclusively assigned the role of sorting out credibility issues and making judgments about the truth of witness statements. Our evidentiary system presumes the reliability of eyewitness testimony unless it has been tainted by official action, as when a judge tells jurors to disregard a witness’s testimony. Jurors, too, often will assume the reliability of first-hand accounts of a crime’s details and tend to over-credit eyewitnesses.

Knowing that the system depends on factual truth, perjury is a crime, because lying under oath can subvert the integrity of a trial and the legitimacy of the judicial system. Perjury is a crime defined as knowingly making a false statement under oath and while merely misremembering is not a crime. In a jury trial, misremembered testimony is functionally the same as perjured testimony when it comes time to read the verdict.

Memory is not a Cell Phone Video

We all know how our memory works, or at least we think we do. Some events we firmly believe are burned permanently in our memory. In our mind’s eye, we “see” just what has happened.

We think our memory works like a cell phone video: the mind records events and then, on cue, plays back an exact replica of them. This, however, is not what study of memories has shown. Psychologists have found that memories are reconstructed rather than played back each time we recall them. The act of remembering, says eminent memory researcher and psychologist Elizabeth F. Loftus of the University of California, Irvine, is “more akin to putting puzzle pieces together than retrieving a video recording.” Even questioning by a lawyer can alter the witness’s testimony because fragments of the memory may unknowingly be combined with information provided by the questioner, leading to inaccurate recall.

Decades of research show that memory is neither precise nor fixed. Even after hearing the statistics, we are reluctant to distrust a sincere eyewitness. For instance, we would expect a moment of high stress to focus the mind and sharpen recall, but the opposite is true. Violence, stress, and the presence of a weapon during an incident actually weaken memory. Racial differences between the witness and the suspect can impair identifications. Unconscious transference, or confusing someone seen in one place with someone seen in another place, is common. Identification can also be impaired by how long the witness is exposed to the suspect, the delay between the incident and the identification, and post-event information, such as feedback from the police or other witnesses.

Eyewitnesses to A Story of National Importance

For those who followed the Ferguson case from the first Anderson Cooper interviews on CNN through the unprecedented release of the grand jury proceedings, the stories of eyewitness variability are familiar and unnerving. Some witnesses stuck to their stories, even when their recollections were physically impossible. One witness claimed to have specific knowledge of events even though she had taken shelter behind a dumpster at the time when the events occurred. Other, more creditable witnesses had given police one account of events and then presented modified accounts to the grand jury. Some had watched various videos of the shooting and made their grand jury testimony conform to what they had viewed.

Ultimately, the Grand Jury panel of nine white and three black members heard 70 hours of testimony from 60 witnesses and three medical examiners. They declined to indict Officer Darren Wilson in Michael Brown’s death. After the decision was announced, the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office did something that almost never happens. They released transcripts of the proceedings, giving observers a rare glimpse into the closed-door hearing.

It may have been motivated by the desire of the prosecutor to demonstrate the utmost transparency in a volatile, highly political case, but, among other notable items, it exposed to public scrutiny redacted police statements and contradictory autopsies. Most telling were the conflicting witness accounts, which only seemed to leave a murkier picture of what happened.

Far from what many of the eyewitnesses had hoped, their testimony only added to the confusion, rather than help create a clear cut account of the shooting.

Visual Identification as Eyewitness Testimony

One common form of eyewitness “testimony” is purely visual and it relies on the same memory as a verbal account. The eyewitness selects the alleged perpetrator from a police lineup, or from police sketches and other facial compositing methods. Soon after selecting a suspect, eyewitnesses are asked to make a formal statement confirming the ID and to try to recall any other details about events surrounding the crime. At the trial, which may be years after the incident, eyewitnesses usually testify in court. It is an unfortunate fact that individuals with an unusual visual presence, for whatever reason, puts them at heightened risk for false identifications by eyewitnesses.

Factors Affecting Eyewitness Evidence

The New Jersey Supreme Court has made a detailed study of the factors affecting eyewitness evidence and divided these factors into two categories. In general, there are things that can be controlled by the criminal justice system and those that are beyond the control of the system.

Of the things that can be controlled by the criminal justice system, predominant is the photographic or physical lineup. Studies show that witnesses select the wrong suspect from a photo lineup roughly a quarter of the time. When the suspect is left out of a lineup, witnesses pick an innocent person more than a third of the time – even when told that the suspect may not appear in the lineup.

Lineups are responsible for many mis-identifications, but there are practical steps that a law-enforcement agency can take to minimize error, and for litigants, the absence of these steps can raise a red flag.

Lineups should be blind or double-blind, meaning that the officer administering the lineup does not know who the suspect is. This removes the danger of unintentional suggestion. The officer should emphasize that the suspect may not appear in the lineup. The witness should not feel obligated or pressured to pick anyone.

Of course, lineups should be constructed so that the suspect does not stand out. Photos should have similar lighting, and headshots should be the same size. Errors tend to increase when there are too many photos to choose from; the optimal number seems to be six. Two suspects should not appear in the same lineup. Multiple viewings of the same suspect should be avoided.

The police should carefully avoid post-identification feedback or confirmation, which can create a false sense of confidence in a witness. If a witness hears that he or she did a “good job” picking a certain face, even the wrong one, she is more likely to repeat the mistake at trial. For the same reason, multiple witnesses to the same event should be told not to discuss the identification procedure with other witnesses.

“Show-up” identifications, where the police produce a single suspect for identification, are inherently suggestive, although sometimes necessary. The accuracy of a show-up identification diminishes quickly following an event, so show-ups should be used, if at all, within two hours of the event.

Variables beyond the Control of the Criminal Justice System

Some variable, which can often be the deciding factors in any given case, are beyond the control of the criminal justice system. They can directly affect a person’s ability to perceive and recall.

A person under high psychological stress at the time of an event is less likely to make a reliable identification later. Studies of eyewitnesses, including one controlled study of military personnel, consistently show that high stress impairs recall and identification.

When a weapon is present during an event, it can distract the witness’s attention away from the suspect and lead to poor descriptions and mis-identification later, especially when the event has a short duration. Weapon focus has been shown to decrease the accuracy of identifications by about 10 percent.

Other uncontrollable variables are influenced by a witness’ personal perceptions. Distance, lighting, and how long a witness had to view the suspect are all important, as are the witness’s own characteristics, such as age, race bias, or level of intoxication. Personal characteristics of the suspect, even something as simple as wearing a hat or different facial hair, have been shown to affect identifications.

Memory decay is inevitable and irreversible. The more time that passes between the event and the identification, the more likely a witness is to misidentify or fail to recall a suspect.

This is particularly a factor with trials that consume whole decades, but the system can minimize its effect by staging identifications as soon as possible after the event.

We Should Rethink the Value of Eyewitness Testimony

In light of scientific evidence and just as important, practical experience, it appears increasingly apparent that the American public and the judicial system in particular should rethink the value of eyewitness testimony and visual identifications. To totally dismiss them would unnecessarily discard the valuable information they can provide in many situations, however. What this type of evidence calls for is recognition on the part of judges, juries and the general public that eyewitness accounts do have their limits and we should take them into account.

The recent calls for police body cameras seem to be an attempt to come up with a less impeachable source of eyewitness accounts, but this technology, too, must be interpreted by people. The human variable has always been and always will be the determinant factor in whatever technology or methodology we might bring to bear on the problems associated with eyewitness evidence.

Daniel R. Perlman, Esq.
Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman

Accused of Internet Crime? https://danielperlmanlaw.com/blog/2018/12/accused-internet-crime.shtml Thu, 13 Dec 2018 16:00:09 +0000 https://danielperlmanlaw.com/?p=6336 According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2018, 43% of businesses fell victim to cyber security breaches in 2018. And in California alone, businesses lost more than $214 million through cybercrime alone. In our day and age, when almost everything is done online, it can be unclear as to what’s legal or illegal. If you’ve been wrongfully accused of an internet crime, you need the lawyers at the Law Offices of Daniel Perlman to defend you.

Internet Cybercrime

It has now been reported that economic losses of $125 million spurred by the breach were among the largest on record ever recorded. If you have been affected by Internet crime and identity theft, there are things you can do.

  • Check your credit reports.
  • Consider placing a credit freeze on your files. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name.
  • Monitor existing credit card and bank accounts closely.
  • Place a fraud alert on your files. A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and that they need to verify that anyone seeking credit in your name really is you.

As Internet crime becomes more prevalent across the U.S., it’s important to know how to protect yourself against it, but also to know how to protect yourself if you are accused of it.

People Fear Internet Crime and Want More Security

According to a survey of 2,028 U.S. adults conducted in September by the Harris Poll, nearly 3 out of 4 adults have change their online behaviors as a result of the threat of cybercrime. That means that 74% of those surveyed believe that they needed to change their habits in order to remain safe when using the Internet.

The most common changes in habits were not conducting private transactions on shared computers, changing passwords more often, not providing personal information when online, and not using private Wi-Fi connections.

What’s the Cause Behind the Changes in Internet Habits?

The answer points to the perceived amount of security that exists when one logs on to a computer. Data breaches were up 23% in 2014. Of the respondents surveyed, 42% answered that they feel less secure than they did when using the Internet five years ago. Additionally, 44% of those polled had experienced a security breach first-hand.

Yet, despite the fact that users had changed habits, and also feel less secure, 81% of those polled have not invested in theft protection when it comes to online theft or identity theft.

It seems that people still have some faith. Despite the fact that the health care industry experiences more data breaches (37% in 2014) than any other sector, still 68% of U.S. adults still trust health care providers with their personal data. And close to 68% adults also trust the financial sectors. 67% trust the education sectors.

Those most negatively viewed were the retail and government sector. Only half of consumers trust the retail industry with their information. And even less, 41%, trust the government with private information.

Of those polled, 93% want the public and private sectors to increase their crime protecting services, including more investment in cyber security or an increase in qualified personnel to handle cybercrime.

How to Protect Your Identity Online

With the amount of fear that people feel when logging on, you should know there are ways to be smart when it comes to cyber security. Here are some things you can do to protect yourself:

  • Create “complicated” passwords that no one could logically guess. These passwords should contain upper and lowercase letters, numbers and other characters.
  • Do not open email attachments that come from unknown sources. These attachments can contain viruses that allow criminals to access your computer.
  • Use a firewall and keep it current. This can help to block viruses from infiltrating your computer.
  • Most companies have strict policies when it comes to asking for information online, and thus do not usually ask for too much important information. If you feel that there you are being asked for questionable information, it’s best to contact the organization directly by phone or confirmed email.

Being Accused of Cybercrime

With the prevalence of cybercrime being so high, it’s also important to know what to do if you are accused of committing online crime.

The federal government and individual states all have laws that criminalize various types of behavior that occurs on computers, computer systems, and the Internet. If you are accused of this type of crime, you’ll want to now the potential penalties you could face.

What is “Computer Crime”?

A number of offenses fall under the category of “computer crime.” It’s defined as any crime that either targets a computer, or that uses a computer to commit a crime. Computer crime can also fall under several different state or federal laws. Here are some basic types of computer crime:

  • Unlawful use or access. Based on the state you live in, it might be illegal to use or access someone else’s computer without permission or authority. This type of crime typically includes cases where a person physically accesses someone else’s computer by directly using it, gains access electronically, or uses a virus to hack into or gain access to another person’s computer.
  • Gaining access for fraudulent purposes. Some states have laws that punish people for using a computer in order to accomplish a fraudulent act. This means that if you use a computer, computer software, or computer network to fraudulently obtain goods or services of any kind you can face consequences.
  • Data theft. Accessing, copying, damaging, or altering information you don’t have permission to use can be considered a computer crime. Some states have additional penalties for cases wherein the data theft results in damage. There are often less severe penalties for thefts that do not result in data being damaged, altered, or destroyed.
  • Child pornography. The federal government and all 50 states have laws that agree it is a crime to make, posses, or transmit images child pornography. There are also laws that prohibit the transmission of harmful materials to children.

In these laws, “harmful materials” include: sexual or pornographic images that are legal for adults to view, but are harmful to, or inappropriate for, children.

What is “Internet Crime”?

Computer crimes cover a wide range of actions, but”Internet crime” laws apply to activity that specifically involves the Internet in some way, including: emails, websites, and using the Internet to commit identity theft or other fraud. There are unique federal and individual state laws that rule over Internet crime.

  • Luring and/or soliciting children. Most states have laws that make it a crime for a person aged 18 years or older to use the Internet to communicate, solicit, lure, or entice a child (usually under the age of 16) to engage in a sexual act. A person can be in violation of these laws if they believe the person is 16 years or younger, even if that person is actually an adult.
  • Online harassment, stalking, and bullying. Some states have laws criminalizing the useof the Internet to stalk, harass, or make criminal threats against another person. Typically these state laws require that the threats made must be credible. The state’s law might also punish Internet communications that have the intention to threaten or harass even if the threat is not credible. As of late, some states have enacted cyber bullying laws criminalizing harassment aimed specifically towards minors.
  • Additional laws. Some federal and state crimes apply to both computer and Internet criminal cases. An example of this is federal wire fraud, where a person uses a computer or electronic communications device to fraudulently obtain someone else’s property.
  • New laws. As more and more people use computers and the Internet, laws are regularly introduced to protect victims of online crime.

Penalties for Computer and Internet Crime

There are numerous types of computer and Internet crimes, and thus there are also various penalties you could face if you are accused of one of these crimes. Here is an overview of those penalties:

  • Fines. A misdemeanor conviction could result infines of a few hundred dollars to $1,000 or more. Felony convictions can have fines that exceed $100,000.
  • Jail or prison. The most serious crimes can result in a prison sentence of 20 years or more.
  • Probation. Probation terms differ widely, but typically start at least one year. During probation, a person is required to not commit additional crimes, maintain employment, report to a probation officer, and pay all associated court costs and fines.

These penalties are severe, not to mention the additional repercussions you could face if you are accused of a computer or Internet crime.

Working with an Attorney

Being accused of a computer or Internet crime is not something that should be taken lightly. Even if you are not convicted, you could face losing your job or suffer the serious stigma of having been accused of a crime. These types of cases can be very complicated because they can involve both state and federal laws. You’ll want to work with a defense attorney that has the effective defense strategy to take on state and federal computer crime laws.

At the Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman, we apply our extensive knowledge of the criminal justice system to aggressively defend clients accused of committing Internet crimes, including:

  • Online credit card fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Bank fraud
  • Forgery scams
  • Telecommunications fraud
  • Other types of Internet fraud
  • Software piracy
  • Craigslist-related crimes
  • Child pornography offenses
  • Other Internet sex crimes

Attorney Daniel Perlman will investigate the evidence obtained against you to determine if the charges fit the crime you allegedly committed. In all cases, this includes evaluating whether the prosecution has enough evidence to prove criminal intent. We will consult industry-leading experts, including Internet and computer specialists, when necessary to bolster your defense.

Contact Our Law Firm Today

At the Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman, we have the legal knowledge, technical savvy and practical experience to help clients fight all types of Internet-related criminal charges. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today at 562-287-5333, at 562-287-5333 or by e-mail.

Daniel R. Perlman, Esq.
Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman