The Criminal Bail Reform Movement’s Next Steps

Posted on Thursday, August 10th, 2017 at 9:14 am    

By Anna Olevsky, Law Student Clerk

On July 20th, 2017, Senators Kamala Harris (CA-D) and Rand Paul (KY-R) announced that they had teamed up to write a bipartisan bill on bail reform. Bail systems across the country have been subjects of contention for many years. Although the U.S. Supreme Court has stated that the Constitution prohibits “punishing a person for his poverty,” many U.S. states currently have policies in place which keep those who cannot afford bail in jail for extended periods of time before their trial. Oftentimes, the amount of bail money required greatly exceeds the means of an average American citizen – even for petty crimes, like shoplifting. Those who are wealthy, however, are able to avoid pretrial incarceration, even if they pose greater flight risks for more severe crimes. Additionally, Senators Harris and Rand highlight some of the other consequences of our current bail system in their article, such as the disparate impact on black and Latino defendants, many of whom are required to pay significantly larger sums for bail. In order to solve this problem, the senators have introduced the Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act.  Under the bill, each state would receive a grant from the Department of Justice, in order to “carry out the most effective policies, tailored for its needs.” In return, the states will have to provide better data collection on the pretrial process, as well as progress reports, in order to ensure that the practices are not discriminatory in nature.

These senators are not the only legislators who have attempted to overhaul the bail system. In Maryland, the Court of Appeals determined that it is unconstitutional to hold a defendant in jail for no reason other than an inability to afford bail. While this does not eliminate the use of money bail, it does make it necessary to first take into account the individual flight risk. In Texas, the State Supreme Court determined that money bail should only be used in the “narrowest of cases” for people charged with misdemeanors. Instead, judges can order supervision tools, such as GPS monitoring or drug testing. In the California State Legislature, Assembly Bill 42 has been proposed, which would end the use of money bail schedules, instead requiring the use of pretrial services agencies. This has been met with opposition from Republican lawmakers, however, who have asserted that the state would have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to reimburse counties for establishing these new pretrial services. In addition to Republican lawmakers, several interest groups, such as bail bond agents, have been staunchly opposed to the measures passing across the country. In New Jersey, where voters supported a measure which nearly eliminated cash bail, bail bondsmen are planning to sue Gov. Chris Christie.

California is in particular need of a solution, as the state’s median bail rate is five time higher than that of the rest of the country. The Human Rights Watch has analyzed California data and has found many troubling statistics. Over 63 percent of prisoners in county jails have not been sentenced, but are serving time because they cannot afford to pay bail. Racial disparities are common as well – for example, black people are nine times as likely to suffer pretrial incarceration than white people in San Francisco. This standard of pretrial incarceration is costing the Californian taxpayer, as well. According to Human Rights Watch analysis from 2014-2015, California spent $37.5 million in six counties jailing people whose cases were dismissed or never filed. Of the almost 1.5 million felony arrests in California from 2011-2015, 459,847 were not guilty of a crime. Currently, most defendants rely on bail bondsmen to be released. The system allows defendants to pay off their bail in one of three ways: They can pay the full amount, 10 percent of the actual bail amount, or they can schedule a payment plan in order to get out of detention. The bail bond payment is not refundable, however – even if the case is dismissed.  These numbers make a compelling argument for why bail reform must be pushed forward.

While some lawmakers may be troubled by the initial cost of implementing pretrial service agencies, the eventual savings should lead to long-term benefits. By incorporating a model for pretrial risk assessment, we can better identify those who pose an actual flight risk, as well as a danger to others, and allow the rest to go free. GPS monitoring could also be incorporated as an alternative measure, in order to allow those who pose no real threat to continue caring for their families and paying their bills. Senator Harris and Senator Rand have come up with a promising alternative to the controversial bail system. The Pretrial Safety and Integrity Act allows each state to tailor its system as it sees fit, whether that be by implementing a risk assessment model, or limiting pretrial incarceration to felons. This bill is the right step in the direction of eliminating discriminatory practices and unconstitutionally expensive bail.


Los Angeles County Bail Schedules – Felony and Misdemeanor

Posted on Monday, July 17th, 2017 at 6:23 pm    

Los Angeles County maintains a “schedule” (i.e., a list) of the amount of bail recommended for various criminal charges.  You can use these lists to look up how much bail your judge will likely offer.  You should also know that bail is not always set at the amount listed in the schedule; sometimes the judge will set a higher or lower bail amount and may offer “OR release” without bail.  Spolin Law’s Complete Guide to Bail explains how bail is set and how to fight for a lower bail amount.

Los Angeles County Felony Bail Schedule PDF:

Los Angeles County Felony Bail Schedule

Los Angeles County Misdemeanor and Infraction Bail Schedule PDF:

Los Angeles County Infraction and Misdemeanor Bail Schedule

Reducing, Paying, or Eliminating Your Bail

To learn more about how you can reduce, pay, or eliminate your bail, read the Spolin Law Complete Guide to Bail.


Minor Charged With Homicide Found “Fit” for Juvenile Court

Posted on Friday, June 2nd, 2017 at 12:01 pm    

After an approximately two-week court hearing in Inglewood Juvenile Courthouse, a 17-year-old Spolin Law client facing homicide charges has been found “fit” to remain in juvenile court. While she could have faced life in prison in adult court, in juvenile court her maximum period of confinement is now eight years.

When a minor is charged with a crime, the prosecutor may petition the juvenile court to transfer the case to adult court. The vast majority of minors facing homicide charges end up transferred to adult court, where a finding of guilt routinely results in a lifetime behind bars. Minors kept in juvenile court are confined in Juvenile Hall, which must release them by the age of 25. While adult court is focused on retribution and punishment, juvenile court focuses on rehabilitation, and the educational and extracurricular activities offered in Juvenile Hall reflect this.

The minor was represented by Aaron Spolin throughout the proceeding. Further details of the case and applicable legal defenses cannot be disclosed due to the strict confidentiality rules associated with juvenile court. After the minor is arraigned in the juvenile court, the case will proceed to the pre-trial phase.


Claimed Civil Rights Violations by City of Oakland

Posted on Thursday, May 25th, 2017 at 2:57 pm    

By Rachel Silber, Spolin Law Criminal and Civil Rights Law Clerk

Earthjustice, purportedly the largest nonprofit environmental law organization in the nation, is representing a historically African American West Oakland community in a case that claims their civil rights have been violated by the City and Port of Oakland. For more than a decade, the City and Port of Oakland have allowed for numerous expansions in pollution-emitting activities. In response, the citizens of Oakland have described their experiences in decreasing health due to increased diesel emissions. The Pacific Institute, in conjunction with the Coalition for West Oakland Revitalization, found in a recent report that Oakland has diesel emissions 90 times higher than the California average.

Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a pillar civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or nationality, the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project has filed a complaint in opposition of the city’s systemic neglect for its residents well-being. As 80% of the West Oakland city is populated with minorities, the Project alleges that that the community is suffering at the hands of racial discrimination from the City and Port. Margaret Gordon, a team member on the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project and community member for over 20 years, recalls how difficult and unjust it is to live with toxic pollution. The community’s struggle due to the City and Port’s approval for industrial expansion has increased unhealthy vapors that infiltrate both the lungs and homes of community residence. Yana Garcia, an attorney who focuses on environmental justice issues with Earthjustice, states that the City and Port have, “consistently ignored federal protections against discrimination,” and adds how the city’s administration does not plague other parts of Oakland, where the [racial] demographics are different.

The US National Library of Medicine lists in a 2001 medical journal how an “association between different levels of air pollution and various health outcomes including mortality, exacerbation of asthma, chronic bronchitis, respiratory tract infections, heart disease and stroke”  have been correlated. The seniors and children in the West Oakland community have experienced “gasping asthma attacks.” The residents have been reported twice as likely to be sent to the emergency room than the Alameda country average. A release from the Alameda Country Department of Public Health notes that the residents of West Oakland can expect to live nine years less than those on in other parts of Oakland. This does not sit well with the community.

The City and Port of Oakland receive federal funds. This means that Earthjustice can use Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, a section that declares that “any agency receiving federal money cannot discriminate on the basis of race, color or national origin.”  Because the City any and Port allegedly utilize these grants to fund projects that increase dangerous health hazards for the community, Earthjustice argues that the City and Port have a responsibility and obligation to ensure the safety and equal opportunity between Oakland districts. The complaint has been sent to the Department of Transportation as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If Earthjustice’s complaint is accepted, a full-scale investigation into the City and Port of Oakland’s engagements will be examined. The EPA determines if a complaint warrants an investigation within 20 days, with 180 to reach a conclusion. If the City and Port of Oakland are found to have committed the acts outlined in the complaint, the administration is given a chance to fix the issue. If the city’s administration chooses not to, the EPA has the ability to withhold federal funds. The withholding of federal funding does not equate to factories having to shut down. If they have the financial means, these factories have the chance to continue their operations, no matter the pollution emissions. Additionally, a possible conflict of interest between Earthjustice and their submitted complaint to the EPA may warrant more obstacles. With a political shift and a transitioning EPA, there may not be as much tenacity within the EPA to resolve the issue as there once was in previous years. Whether the political climate will affect this specific case is unknown. Nonetheless, Earthjustice highlights that communities with complaints under Title VI have been awaiting a response for more than a decade.

In October of 2016, Prologis, a major developer, was given permission by the City and Port to build an Oakland Army Base warehouse. What they did not include in their plan was an air quality improvement strategy. The community apparently expects 55 truck docks, and 78 truck trailer stalls. The amount of construction vehicles that number of parking stalls amounts to is unknown. Presumptively, the West Oakland community can expect a drastic increase in the poor quality of air with the addition of this new project. Even if the EPA accepts West Oakland’s complaint, with viable evidence against the construction of the Army Base warehouse, the EPA has never formally reported a violation of civil rights in the plethora of cases they’ve investigated. It is with this information that Earthjustice has made the additional move of simultaneously filing cases with the federal courts in California.

While there are laws to protect the environment, there are limitations inherent in the organizations tasked with enforcing these laws. Although California is at the forefront of environment protectionist laws, and Earthjustice is doing everything in their organizational power to defend the City of Oakland’s community, advocates argue that time is of the essence. With an increase in hospital visits in conjunction with an increase in construction and pollution-emitting activities, there is no resolution in sight. It will be up to Earthjustice and their push in the federal courts to yield results. In utilizing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect a community comprised of 49% African Americans, 17% Latinos, and 13% Asians, one may see how Earthjustice has a suitable case that may even be powerful enough to reach the Supreme Court. In the meantime, the health of the community is expected to continue its decline. The daunting odds and difficult path ahead will not stop West Oakland’s citizens and activist organizations from pressing forward in the fight for an improved quality of life.


Freedom of Speech on the College Campus

Posted on Tuesday, April 4th, 2017 at 11:34 am    

By Rachel Silber, Spolin Law Criminal and Civil Rights Law Clerk

Los Angeles Daily News covered a story about Kevin Shaw, President of Pierce College’s Young Americans for Liberty, who claims that last fall he was banned from passing out copies of the U.S. Constitution on his college campus. Pierce College’s Woodland Hills Campus has designated free speech zones; Shaw reports the space is about the size of three parking spots. Shaw filed a lawsuit against Pierce College’s Woodland Hills campus on Tuesday, March 28th, with the claim that the college has infringed on his civil right to freedom of speech. The Los Angeles Community College District has a rule that asserts its colleges are forums of public speech only in the selected areas. Shaw has voiced his disdain for the rule, claiming that other students feel the rule is “arbitrary.” The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a group dedicated to defending the rights of students on college campuses, is on Shaw’s side. The foundation’s litigation director announced that public campuses are not allowed to limit students’ freedom of speech to tiny spaces. Pierce College allegedly had no further comments on the lawsuit.

Tinker v. Des Moines is a landmark United States Supreme Court case presiding over the function of freedom of speech in public schools. After the Vietnam War, many public schools designated freedom of speech to small zones in an attempt to limit protests. When two Des Moines, Iowa students wore black armbands to school in protest of Vietnam war, they were suspended. The first ruling in a U.S. District Court ruled in favor of the school, concluding that the armbands would disrupt student learning. After losing in a U.S. Court of Appeals, the students went directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. Ruling 7-2 in the favor of the students, the Supreme Court stated that students had free rights, and do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate” (Justice Fortas, Tinker v. Des Moines). In other cases, such as Morse v. Frederick, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that school officials have the right to prohibit students’ freedom of speech when encouraging illegal activities. After Tinker, two categories for the rights to freedom of speech have arisen regarding public schools. The first is that students have their right to freedom of speech, but secondly, school officials have the right to limit the speech if it is promoting illegal activities. Whether the court rules that Shaw’s activity in passing out U.S. Constitutions promotes illegal activities is unknown. However, many college campuses have reportedly been redefining their rules on freedom of speech, and expanding speech zones.

Public institutions, especially higher academic institutions, take great pride in their diversity. An academic environment in conjunction with a multitude of different political influences, there are bound to be some sort of chafing of ideals between communities. Free expression protects these communities when adding opposing views into the intellectual atmosphere a college campus provides. Nonetheless, The Washington Post’s, In Defense of Free Speech, reported that around 40% of millennials, the student body majority on college campuses, “favor government restrictions on offensive speech” (Petri, 2015).

There will be no punishment in the court ruling in favor of Pierce College or Shaw. The court’s conclusion on Shaw verses Pierce College could have the ability to outline other public institutions and its relationship to freedom of speech in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Until then, Shaw plans on not provoking the situation until the court makes a conclusion.


Weapon Possession and Child Endangerment: A News-Based Legal Analysis

Posted on Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 at 11:16 am    

By Rachel Silber, Spolin Law Criminal and Civil Rights Law Clerk

On Sunday, March 19th, Manhattan Beach Patch reported a hit-and-run outside Los Angeles International Airport around 9am. The 41-year old man who was suspected of the hit-and-run allegedly had a loaded handgun inside his Chevy Avalanche, along with a 12-year-old child. Safety precautions led officers to remove the suspect from his vehicle, where he is described as becoming aggressive towards the officers and trying to jump back into his car. Officers then pushed the suspect to the ground, where he was taken into custody.  The 12-year-old child who was in the vehicle said that there was a loaded handgun in the car. Police later reported they had found a loaded Glock semi-automatic pistol in the suspect’s center console. The suspect was booked under charges of possession of a stole firearm, outstanding warrants, child endangerment, and resisting arrest.

California Penal Code section 25605 outlines rules relating to possessing a handgun. The Penal Code states a handgun may in certain circumstances be possessed by a legal resident over the age of 18, so long as the handgun stays within that person’s place of residence, business, or private property (California Penal Code § 25605). It is illegal to openly carry guns unless one has obtained the proper license to carry a concealed weapon.  Obtaining concealed weapon licenses in California is extremely difficult.  One of the many requirements is outlined in Penal Code section 31645, which necessitates a passing score on a firearms and safety test. However, one is not permitted to obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon if they are deemed lacking in moral character, or have no special purpose to carry a weapon. Whether the alleged hit-and-run suspect had a license to carry a concealed weapon is unclear. However, the fact that he was arrested outside terminal 2 of LAX indicates that he violated the restrictions that prohibit weapons in school zones, buildings housing governing officials, polling places, and public transit facilities. LAX being a public transit facility, carrying a weapon in its vicinity is illegal.

The courts do not take gun laws lightly, and California has a reputation for forcefully enforcing gun law violators.  Prosecutors routinely offer uncompromising plea deals to those charged with weapon-related offenses, and courts are loath to undercut these offers. The result for those with illegal firearms can amount to significant jail or prison time as well as substantial fines.

California Penal Code 273a defines child endangerment as, essentially, putting a child through physical or mental pain, allowing injury to a child under the adult’s supervision, or placing a child in a dangerous situation. This penal code is different from child abuse, as it allows for punishment even if a child doesn’t directly suffer injury. Child endangerment prosecutions can be initiated as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the case. A misdemeanor results in up to one year in county jail, whereas a felony results in up to six years in a state prison. It is common that if proof arises where a child is placed in a situation with risk of great harm, the suspect will be charged with a felony. The suspect has yet to have a court hearing, but due to the circumstances of the situation, it will not be surprising if he is charged with a felony. Endangering a 12-year-old child with a loaded Glock outside the terminal of one of America’s business airports has the potential to involve significant jail or prison time. Nonetheless, as with all criminal cases reported in the news, there may be more to the story than law enforcement has reported.  For example, there is a possibility that the suspect may have been lawfully carrying a firearm and simply forgot that it was inside his vehicle when he entered the vicinity of the airport.  However, we will have to save any discussion of possible defenses for another day or, perhaps, another blog post.


Spolin Law Wins Civil Rights Matter for Client

Posted on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 at 4:58 pm    

Spolin Law is pleased to announce a successful civil rights outcome for a client whose property was taken by the Covina Police Department, located in Los Angeles County.

In late 2016, the Covina Police Department (CPD) impounded a vehicle belonging to a Spolin Law client.  The vehicle also contained over eight thousand and three hundred dollars ($8,300) of the client’s property.  While the CPD eventually returned the vehicle, they refused to return any of the property.  The CPD claimed that the property was needed for an ongoing investigation into an individual who had no relationship with the Spolin Law client.

Spolin Law filed a legal motion in Los Angeles County Superior Court requesting a judicial order for the Covina Police Department to return all property to the client.  The motion was opposed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The Superior Court then conducted a hearing that spanned two days and during which multiple witnesses testified.  A Deputy District Attorney from the DA’s Office argued that, while there was no current known link between the property and any criminal activity, such a link may eventually be discovered; thus, the property should remain in law enforcement custody indefinitely.   Attorney Aaron Spolin cited the legal and factual bases entitling his client to the property’s full and immediate return.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge granted Spolin Law’s motion and ordered the full and immediate return of the property in question.  As directed by the judge’s order, the Covina Police Department released the property to the client on the following day.

For comments or to learn more about Spolin Law, call (310) 424-5816.


News Focus: Can “Defense Of Others” Apply In Animal Abuse Cases?

Posted on Friday, January 6th, 2017 at 11:59 am    

By Rachel Silber, Spolin Law Criminal and Civil Rights Law Clerk

Riverside Police arrested a man who is accused of killing a pit bull dog.  However, as the Los Angeles Times reported, the Pit Bull was attacking—and eventually killed—the accused man’s poodle.  Read the below analysis for a discussion of “defense of others” and animal abuse laws.

The poodle was on his owner’s property when the pit bull attacked.  After the pit bull clamped his jaws around the poodle’s body, it took three neighbors to unhinge the aggressor dog’s jaws and release the poodle.  According to witnesses, it appeared that the poodle was dead at that time. Authorities then report that the poodle owner (e.g., the defendant), killed the pit bull either at the end of or directly after the dog fight. (Los Angeles Times). On the suspicion of felony animal cruelty, the poodle owner was arrested. He was released on Christmas when he posted $10,000 bail. Whether the pit bull bit the accused when he was trying to unhinge the pit bull’s jaw is unclear. However, the accusation that the poodle was already dead before the pit bull was killed is a key factor in why this case is alleged to be animal cruelty.

Penal Code section 597, California’s animal abuse law, has very strict guidelines that outline what qualifies as animal abuse, and provide specific details to determine the severity of the case. These particulars determine whether the case is to be treated as a misdemeanor or felony. The Penal Code (PC) states that any person who, “maliciously and intentionally maims, mutilates, tortures, or wounds a living animal, or maliciously and intentionally kills an animal” is subject to state imprisonment and/or $20,000 in fines if found guilty as a misdemeanor. (PC § 597) However, if the severity of the animal cruelty case warrants a felony, the punishment is subject to two to three years in prison. Additionally, Penal Code section 12022 conditions that the use of a deadly weapon in the case may add an additional year to the sentence (PC § 12022). The accused was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty because he reportedly violated Penal Code section 597 by intentionally killing the pit bull with a dangerous weapon. If the accused killed the pit bull after his own dog was already dead, and the accused knew that own dog was no longer in danger, that would preclude the affirmative defense of “defense of others.”

If evidence arises showing that the accused acted in defense of his dog while he thought the dog was still alive, then the nature of the case would shift. Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions 3470 outlines the particulars of “self defense”/“defense of others” and how it could be applicable to this case. The Judicial Council instructs that if the defendant reasonably believed the defense of another was needed to protect against immediate danger, then the defendant may use proportional force to act against the attacker. If future evidence establishes that the accused attacked the pit bull out of “defense of others” for the poodle while the poodle was still alive or appeared to be alive, then there may be a viable justification.  If a jury accepts a “defense of others” argument, then the accused must be found not guilty of that crime.

California self defense law was shaped by the 2005 court case People v. Lee, which held that “the defendant must actually and reasonably believe in the need to defend, the belief must be objectively reasonable, and the fear must be of imminent danger to life or great bodily injury” (Cal. Ct. App. 2005).  If one feels his or her life is in immediate danger, human or animal, they have the right for self-defense. Another legal defense that often pertains to animal cruelty cases are accidents. California Penal Code 26 positions accidents as a viable legal defense if the crime was not committed intentionally (PC § 26).

Law enforcement authorities are currently conducting an autopsy of the pit bull dog. Depending on whether the accused has a criminal record, he could face significant time in state prison if found guilty. The severity of this type of case can result in hefty fines, if not a considerable amount of jail time even if the case is reduced to a misdemeanor. This case demonstrates the seriousness with which law enforcement take animal abuse cases as well as the limitations of “self-defense” and “defense of others” arguments.


Spolin Law Civil Rights Report – Threatening Letters Sent to California Mosques

Posted on Thursday, December 1st, 2016 at 2:20 pm    

By Rachel Silber, Spolin Law Criminal & Civil Rights Law Clerk

A slew of California mosques received hateful letters from an anonymous group titled “Americans for a Better Way” on November 28th, as reported by KTLA News. The letters were sent to Southern and Northern California mosques, as well as Islamic Centers in San Jose, Claremont, Long Beach, and Northridge.  They were addressed “to the children of Satan,” calling Muslims “a vile and filthy people.” KTLA story link: LAPD, FBI Address Threatening Letters Sent to California Mosques.  LAPD Deputy Chief Michael Downing noted how hateful rhetoric is rooted in fear and escalated by the charged political climate. However, according to the article, Downing believes that these letters are not to be considered a hate crime; rather, they are classified as a “hate occurrence.” One of the letters went on to predict that the federal government would carry out violent, genocidal acts against Muslims.

The rising pressure on Muslims and Islamic culture has been propelled by recent political conditions. The rise of Islam as an minority faith in America can be argued to increase anxiety among certain members of dominant religions. These reservations on Islamic culture, intensified by foreign events and the rise of ISIS, are expressed through hateful mediums, such as these letters (cited above). Although Downing claims that these letters are not to be considered a hate crime, one can argue otherwise. According to a 2015 Huffington Post article, the liberty of religious freedom rests upon civil and political freedoms. And as of November 30th, 2016, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has reported over 100 incidents against Muslims since the presidential election.

Religious freedom is something that Western culture has prided itself on.  Religious rights were written into the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights, and this document is supposed to protect people of all religions, allowing them to freely practice their faith without discrimination. It is a federal crime to threaten or imitate people because of their religion.  Although LAPD claimed these letters are not hate crimes, it can be argued that when these letters referenced an Islamic genocide, a threat was made against a religious group. Regardless of whether “Americans for a Better Way” will be prosecuted, one theme is evident: a rise in religious intimidation is a cause for concern.


Spolin Law Negotiates Two Recent Dismissals

Posted on Wednesday, November 30th, 2016 at 8:00 am    

[Update 1/31/17: The below article announces the November 2016 negotiation of two dismissals for Spolin Law clients.  Since the publication of this article, both cases have been formally dismissed.]

November 30, 2016. Spolin Law is pleased to announce two negotiated dismissals on significant cases within a two-day span.

On the first case, a Spolin Law client was facing felony charges in Riverside County for allegedly violating Penal Code section 136.1(c)(1) (“Felony Threats to a Witness”).  This charge would have been punishable by state prison for two, three, or four years.  Attorney Aaron Spolin, a former prosecutor, is representing the client and took a “trial focused” approach from day one.  He communicated to the assigned Deputy District Attorney an unwillingness to settle for anything less than an outright dismissal, given the client’s clean record and the likelihood of a defense verdict at trial.

Based on this trial-focused approach, the Deputy District Attorney agreed to dismiss the case as long as the client provides letters of reference from members of the community regarding the client’s character, which Spolin Law will help the client to do.  The next court date is coming up next month.  A case dismissal means that there will be no criminal record.

Two days prior to this negotiated dismissal, Spolin Law also negotiated the pending dismissal of a misdemeanor case in Los Angeles County.  The client was charged with violating Business and Professions Code section 25661 (“Using a Forged Identification Card”).  Mr. Spolin also personally represented this client and negotiated a dismissal, which will occur after the client completes twenty hours of community service at an organization of the client’s choosing.  The dismissal will result in no criminal record for this client as well.

These results are based on Spolin Law’s comprehensive approach to criminal defense.  Every legal step is taken to achieve a fair outcome for clients.  This includes preparing each case for trial so that negotiations with the prosecutor’s office can be carried out from a position of relative strength.

For comments or to learn more about Spolin Law, call (310) 424-5816.

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