Los Angeles Violent Crimes Attorney
Have you been charged with a violent crime in Los Angeles? While violent crimes range in severity, they tend to be treated harshly by the courts if you are convicted. You need an experienced Los Angeles violent crimes defense lawyer on your side. At CBS Law, we represent clients charged with violent crimes.
Violent crimes run the gamut from assault to murder. For a variety of reasons, those convicted of violent crimes often receive harsh penalties. The pressure on prosecutors – from victims, the families of victims, and the public in general – often leads to the prosecutor seeking the maximum penalty allowable under the law.
If you are facing a charge involving a violent crime, find a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer with the experience to provide you with the best defense available. Christopher J. Bou Saeed has that experience, and he will work hard to protect your rights. Call CBS Law today for a free consultation.
Violent Crimes in California
The California Penal Code does not define the term “violent crime.” While it does define “violent felonies,” (PC 667.5(c)), there are some violent crimes that are classified as misdemeanors. And it is not always required that someone be injured, or that a person uses physical force, in order to constitute a violent crime.
“I felt like i was in nightmare. Chris literally saved my life.” – Jesus L.
The following is a list of just some of the violent crimes for which you can be charged in California:
- Assault. Assault is defined in PC 240 as an unlawful attempt to commit a violent injury to another person, coupled with the present ability to do so. Assault may be charged as a misdemeanor, generally referred to as “simple assault.” On the other hand, depending upon the identity of the victim (for example, a peace officer), or other factors (for example, assault with intent to commit a felony), you may be charged with felony assault.
- Battery. Battery is defined in PC 242 as the unlawful use of violence or force against another person. Simple battery is a misdemeanor, and the potential penalty, if you are convicted, is a maximum of 6 months in jail, a fine of $2,000, or both. Numerous factors can affect the potential punishment if you are convicted. Those factors include, among others, (a) battery on peace officers in the performance of their duties (up to a year in jail); (b) if the peace officer (or certain other public employees) is injured, the offense is a wobbler, meaning that it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony; and (c) battery causing serious injury is also a wobbler, but it can result in a sentence of up to four years in prison.
- Robbery. Although robbery is thought of by many people as a theft offense, it is in fact a violent crime. It consists of the wrongful taking of property in the possession or in the immediate presence of another person, against that person’s will, through the use of force or fear. There are two classes of robbery – first and second degree. First degree robbery involves robbery from the operator of or a passenger on a bus, train, or other public transportation vehicle; robbery from someone’s home; and robbery of a person using an ATM. Other robberies are defined as second degree. Regardless of the specifics, robbery is a felony, and the potential sentence, depending upon the facts of the case, could be years in prison.
- Armed Robbery. Using a firearm during the commission of a robbery could lead to an enhanced penalty of an additional 10 years in prison. The enhancement could be greater if the firearm is discharged or if the discharge leads to serious injury or death.
- Homicide. Homicide under California law includes murder (first or second degree), voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, and gross vehicular manslaughter (including manslaughter with or without intoxication). Punishments range from up to a year in county jail, to life in prison, and even death.
- Kidnapping. Kidnapping is defined as holding or detaining a person and transporting that person to another location in the county, or to another county, state, or country. It is a felony, and the penalty varies from three years and upward if you are convicted. Kidnapping during the commission of some other crimes (for example, robbery, carjacking, or certain sexual offenses) carries a potential punishment of life in prison. Other circumstances, for example, kidnapping for ransom, or kidnapping leading to injury or risk of death, can also lead to a life sentence.
- Gang violence. Under PC 186.22, gang membership, gang violence, and “street terrorism” carry severe penalties under California law. For example, merely participating in a criminal street gang, knowing the members engage in gang activity, is a wobbler, and therefore could be charged as a felony. As another example, commission of a violent felony, in connection with gang activity, can lead to a ten-year enhancement of any penalty for the underlying offense.
- Domestic violence. Domestic violence includes many different offenses, when those charges involve an alleged victim who is a present or former spouse or cohabitant, a person with whom the defendant has or had a dating relationship, and others. A domestic violence charge may relate to assault, battery, child or elder abuse, stalking, criminal threats, or other acts involving a spouse, or other covered individual. Domestic violence offenses carry the potential for enhanced sentences.
- Elder and dependent adult abuse. Many of these types of cases are domestic violence offenses. The sentence will depend upon a number of issues, including the existence and severity of any injury.
- False imprisonment and human trafficking. False imprisonment is the unlawful deprivation of personal liberty of another. And human trafficking is false imprisonment with the intent to obtain forced labor or services, or to commit various sexual offenses. Penalties for false imprisonment are severe. and are dependent upon the specific facts of each case.
- Criminal threats. Threatening to commit a crime that could lead to serious injury or death is a violent crime. These threats can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies, and can therefore result in jail or prison time, regardless of whether you carry out the threat.
- Resisting arrest. Resisting arrest (PC 148), without more, is a misdemeanor, carrying a jail term of up to one year. But, for example, if you take an officer’s weapon in the process of resisting arrest, the offense becomes a wobbler. And if that weapon happens to be a firearm, you will be charged with a felony.
- Stalking. The crime of stalking is defined in California as repeatedly following or harassing another person and making a threat, intending that the other person fear for their safety (or for that of their immediate family). This may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony; however, where the acts also violate an existing restraining order, it is a felony. Typically, but not always, the restraining order relates to domestic violence issues.
There are many other offenses that are violent crimes under California law.
“From the moment I met Chris, I knew I was in good hands.” – Kevin H.
Violent Crimes Lawyer in Los Angeles
At CBS Law, we represent clients charged with violent crimes. The California Penal Code is complex. It contains a host of violent crimes and many variations which affect both the particular offense with which a person should be charged, as well as the potential penalty if you are convicted. There are sentencing enhancements, issues involving misdemeanors vs. felonies, and numerous other variations that can affect the charge against you. One of our tasks is to read between the lines and understand the charges against you, which ones are supported by the evidence, and which are not. Mr. Bou Saeed will identify the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and provide you with the best chance for a positive result in your case. Contact our office today at (213) 800-8005
Do NOT speak to law enforcement or investigators about your violent crimes, as that information can and will be used against you in a court of law.
Christopher J. Bou Saeed Founding Attorney of CBS Law