Being charged with a violent crime can be intimidating, especially given the long jail sentences that can come with conviction. The Los Angeles court system takes violent crime charges very seriously, whether it’s domestic violence that occurred at home or a felony assault charge involving serious injury. Overall, violent crime convictions can result in decades of jail time, years of probation, and other secondary consequences.
Successfully fighting a violent crime charge requires an experienced and committed defense lawyer. Attorney Aaron Spolin is a former prosecutor with direct experience handling a wide array of violent crimes, from assault to murder. Spolin Law’s past success handling violent crime charges is due to its forceful approach to representation. The firm thoroughly investigates the facts of each case, files effective legal motions to prevent unfair prosecution tactics, and powerfully advocates to judges and jurors.
If you or a family member has been charged with a violent crime, call Spolin Law at (310) 424-5816 to learn what we can do to fight (and potentially win) your case.
Common Violent Crime Cases We Handle
Accusations of violent crimes are difficult to combat, but attorney Aaron Spolin is more than up to the challenge. Spolin Law has successfully handled hundreds of criminal cases, including cases involving:
- Domestic Violence
- Misdemeanor Assault & Battery
- Felony Assault & Battery
- Attempted Murder
- Disorderly Conduct
The impact of a conviction and the subsequent punishments for a violent crime can be unfathomable, but with the help of an experienced, quality attorney, your chances of retaining your freedom are much higher than if you were to go it alone.
Punishments for Violent Crimes
Violent crime charges carry some of the strongest penalties in the criminal justice system. While misdemeanor offenses (including simple assault and battery) are only punishable by up to six months in jail, felony violent crimes (including robbery and felony assault) frequently result in several years of jail time. Homicide crimes can involve decades or a lifetime in jail. If the accused has already been convicted of a crime in the past, this can significantly increase the punishment for a new violent crime. Sentences for violent crimes also frequently involve probation, which is usually a period of years where the convicted individual is forced to regularly report to a probation officer, potentially submit to drug testing, giving up significant privacy rights.
Conviction of a violent crime can also result in secondary consequences. For example, a conviction can affect a non-citizen’s immigration status and may result in deportation. Another major secondary consequence involves damage to your reputation. A criminal conviction goes onto your permanent record. This means that certain future employers, prospective landlords, government bodies, and other entities may be able to see your misdemeanor or felony conviction. Many convictions also affect professional licenses, which can prevent you from working as a nurse, doctor, lawyer, real estate agent, or in other licensed businesses.
Legal Defenses Against Violent Crime Charges
There are a number of effective defenses to violent crime charges. These defenses fall into two general categories: (1) the wrong person has been accused/charged or (2) the accused person did commit the act but with adequate justification. Here are some examples of legal defenses to violent crime charges.
- Self Defense – If you reasonably believe you are threatened, you may be entitled to use proportionate force to defend yourself. For example, if someone lunges at you with a knife and you strike him to deflect the blow, you will likely be able to raise this defense. Note, however, that your self defense must be proportionate; you can’t bring a gun to a fistfight.
- Defense of Others – If you reasonably believe another person is threatened, you may be able to use proportionate force to defend that person. Using a force to break up a fight or stop a shooting may be cases where the “defense of others” legal defense prevents a criminal conviction.
- Coercion – If you were threatened or otherwise forced to commit a crime, you may have a defense under the principle of coercion. The most common example is probably a bank teller who is forced at gunpoint to collect money from the bank’s safe, rob the bystanders of their valuables, and assist the robbers in their getaway.
- Inadvertent Act – Conviction for a violent crime usually requires that the accused intended to commit the act. If you had no intention of carrying out the violent act, you generally can’t be found guilty. The inadvertent act defense could apply to a gun repairman whose gun accidentally goes off or a baseball batter who hits a bystander on his back-swing.
- Necessity – You are sometimes permitted to commit a “crime” if it is necessary to avoid a greater danger. The defense of necessity might apply to a “violent” crime in the case of someone physically restraining an individual who is about to cause major property damage.
- Entrapment – You may have a defense of entrapment if the idea for committing the crime came from law enforcement and you were not otherwise inclined to commit that crime. For example, if an undercover policeman convinced you to assault a neighborhood drug dealer to “defend the neighborhood,” an entrapment defense may be appropriate.
- Mistaken Identity – You should never be committed of a crime that you did not commit. Raising this defense involves showing how the prosecutor’s case does not prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Other Defenses – Other defenses may be appropriate depending on the circumstances. Insanity, mental incapacity, and involuntary intoxication are a few examples of other legal defenses that sometimes apply in the cases of violent crimes.
A successful legal defense generally results in a not-guilty verdict or an outright dismissal. To learn more about defenses to violent crimes, and to discuss your case, call Spolin Law at (310) 424-5816 and ask to speak with an attorney.
Finding an Experienced Violent Crimes Attorney
Choosing your attorney will be the most important decision you make. A top-notch attorney can be the difference between the worst-case and the best-case scenario. This is true whether the case is resolved with a plea deal, sentencing hearing, or jury verdict. The stakes are especially high when violent crimes have been charged, as the prosecutor may be seeking years or decades of jail time.
Attorney Aaron Spolin, a former prosecutor and award-winning trial attorney, has a track record of success handling violent crime cases. He has been on the winning side of hundreds of cases, including a recent successful jury verdict on murder charges. Spolin Law’s success is based in great part on:
- Thoroughly investigating the facts of each case
- Hiring private investigators or analysts when appropriate
- Negotiating favorable plea deals with prosecutors
- Filing legal motions to vigilantly protect clients’ rights
- Fighting for non-jail sentences at sentencing hearings
- A record of success at trial
To learn what you can expect and for a free consultation, call Spolin Law at (310) 424-5816.