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Criminal Defense

Is There Such a Thing as ‘Accidental Shoplifting’?

November 07, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Attorney,  Criminal Defense,   Leave a Comment
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Shoplifting in California It often seems like a minor crime – just a two dollar candy bar or something small can’t hurt that much, right? However, shoplifting tends to have a ripple effect on other consumers and the rest of the economy. Experts estimate that each American family pays a “crime tax” of about $500...

What is ‘Competency to Stand Trial’?

November 03, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense,  Rights,   Leave a Comment
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The Defendant Must be Competent A person cannot be tried or adjudged to punishment while that person is mentally incompetent. With ‘Competency to Stand Trial’, a defendant is mentally incompetent if, as a result of a mental disorder or developmental disability, or other condition, the defendant is unable to understand the nature of the criminal...

2017 Seppi Esfandi Law Scholarship Winner Announced!

November 01, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Scholarship,   Leave a Comment
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2017 Scholarship Recipients Recipient: Misty D. Gaubatz Selected by Scholarship Committee: $1,050 Law School: University of Montana Thanks to Misty for her excellent and compelling essay on Domestic Violence. She has given us permission to post the article here on our website: The Essay: Domestic Violence Domestic violence casts a long, far-reaching shadow upon the lives...

Can I Be Charged With Auto Theft for a Rental Car?

October 28, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense,  Rights,   Leave a Comment
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Intent is Everything A key element of an auto theft crime is what an offender intends to do with the vehicle after taking it. Typically, an offender is guilty of auto theft when he takes the vehicle of another with the intention of permanently depriving him of it. Deciding later to keep the property an...

What is a ‘Motion to Suppress’ Evidence?

October 24, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense,  Rights,   Leave a Comment
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‘Motion to Suppress’ Weakens the Prosecution’s Case You are innocent until proven guilty in a criminal case, even if you know you are guilty. A motion to suppress evidence is a request by the defense asking the judge disallow or ‘throw out’ specific evidence well in advance of trial. If the ‘motion to suppress’ is...

The Difference Between Direct vs. Circumstantial Evidence

October 18, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense,  Rights,   Leave a Comment
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The Burden of Proof In Criminal Law, the ‘People’ represented by the District Attorney must prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a conviction of the crime. The prosecution must divulge to the criminal defense attorney all relevant discovery material well in advance, including the evidence they intend to bring...

Criminal Charges at the Airport in L.A.

October 17, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense,  Rights,   Leave a Comment
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Increased Security and Your Rights Since 9/11, security has increased in all US airports, but LAX can be particularly frustrating due to the high volume of people and more intense screening process. This tightening of enforcement led to closer attention on the part of the Transportation Security Administration, and hence to an increase in the...

Will a DUI Affect my Professional or Medical License?

October 10, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense,  Rights,   Leave a Comment
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Disciplinary Consequences We all know that failure to take care of a DUI properly, and a subsequent DUI conviction may result in your driver’s license being suspended. However, some people forget that if you’re licensed through the state as a skilled professional, then you could be facing additional penalties beyond the court and DMV process....

Felonies, Misdemeanors & Infractions: What’s the Difference?

September 27, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense,  Rights,   Leave a Comment
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Three Types of Crimes Criminal offenses in California are classified according to their seriousness. They are categorized in 3 different types: Infraction, Misdemeanor, and Felony. For crimes against property: the gravity of a crime is proportional to the value of the property taken or damaged. The greater the property value, the more serious the crime....

Were You the Victim of an ‘Unlawful Police Stop’?

September 26, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense,  Rights,   Leave a Comment
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Police Misconduct The stakes can be high in a police stop — why and how the law enforcement officer stops you, and how the officer discovers something during the stop, is every bit as important as what they discover. Often the search and seizure process will determine whether someone is allowed to carry on with...

What Crimes are Deportable in California?

September 23, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense,  Rights,   Leave a Comment
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What crimes are “Deportable Crimes”? When it comes deporting an immigrant out of the United States, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities are guided first and foremost by security concerns. So, what exactly is the basis for a person to be deported from the country? List of Deportable Crimes Here is the list of...

What is the Discovery Process in a Criminal Case?

September 16, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Attorney,  Criminal Defense,   Leave a Comment
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What is the Discovery Process in a Criminal Case? “Discovery helps both sides gather evidence and avoid surprises in court” Discovery is the process by which evidence is exchanged between the criminal defense attorney and the prosecution prior to court or trial. The exchange of evidence is an important component of a criminal investigation and...

Can I Own a Gun if I’m a Marijuana User?

August 28, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense,  Rights,   Leave a Comment
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Federal Law When purchasing a gun, you are required to fill out Federal “Firearms Transactions Record” Form (ATF Form 4473), where question 11e specifically inquires about your current drug usage. If you take marijuana medically or recreationally, and answer this question honestly, you will be disqualified from purchasing the gun. “Are you an unlawful user...

Can an Employer ask for My Criminal Record in California?

August 23, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense,  Rights,   Leave a Comment
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One‑In‑Four Americans If you are one of the four Americans with a criminal record, you may run into obstacles in your job search. Surveys suggest that an alarming 92% of employers conducted criminal records checks on some job candidates, and 73% conducted criminal background checks on all candidates. An estimated one in four Americans has...

What are the Laws for Recreational Marijuana in California?

August 21, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense,  Rights,   Leave a Comment
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California will soon become the world’s largest legal marijuana market with an estimated value of over $7 billion dollars. When the law kicks in for marijuana to be legally bought and sold recreationally, plants can be grown, manufactured, tested, distributed and sold to adults within the State of California thanks to the passing of Prop...

Drunk in Public: 10 Things to Know

August 03, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense,  Rights,   Leave a Comment
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Have you been arrested for Drunk in Public? Here are 10 things to know about your case: 1. You are Not Guilty of PC 647(f) You are not guilty of PC 647(f) if you were simply drunk in public. After all, our whole western civilization has been built and rests on a foundation of liquor...

The Importance of Early Intervention

June 17, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Attorney,  Criminal Defense,   Leave a Comment
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What is Early Intervention? Early intervention refers to the window of time between a defendant being arrested and their charges being filed, usually at their arraignment. A well-connected, seasoned criminal defense attorney can contact the prosecuting agency and convince them that there is insufficient evidence to successfully prosecute. By utilizing an early intervention expert it’s...

What Happens at a California Arraignment?

June 15, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Attorney,  Criminal Defense,   Leave a Comment
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Arraignment FAQs Here at Esfandi Law we get lots of questions about the California arraignment process, so we decided to answer the most frequent ones in this article. Many people are confused or misinformed about what to expect at an arraignment. They are often left with more questions than answers once they leave the courtroom....

Reminder to Graduates: Please Don’t Drink and Drive

June 08, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in DUI,  Special Report,   Leave a Comment
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Drinking and Driving Car crashes remain the leading cause of death for teens. Graduation is a time for celebration, but this also brings in the loss of rational decision making. Couple this with reckless, wild behavior, lack of experience driving, impaired motor skills, and distraction from a carload of friends, and you have a perfect...

Domestic Violence Stats: Nationwide, California & Los Angeles

June 06, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Attorney,  Criminal Defense,   Leave a Comment
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Introduction First of all, if you are the accused in a Domestic Violence case, it is recommended that you contact a qualified Domestic Violence Defense Attorney about the details of your case. Domestic violence is loosely defined as a “spectrum”, and often a “pattern of behaviors” that include physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, and psychological abuse,...

Driving on Drugs: DUID Fatalities Surge

May 29, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in DUI,   Leave a Comment
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Nationwide Drugged Driving Fatalities For the first time, there are now more drivers killed that are positive for drugs than those who were positive for alcohol. Nationwide, 43% of drivers that were tested in fatal crashes had used drugs, eclipsing the 37% who tested above the legal limit for alcohol in 2015, according to a...

Possible Defenses for a California DUI, DUID

May 26, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Attorney,  DUI,   Leave a Comment
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Below we will discuss a few popular defense strategies for winning a California DUI case. Please bear in mind that every DUI case is unique regarding the circumstances, and should be discussed in detail with an experienced DUI defense attorney. Were You Actually Driving a Motor Vehicle? One of the first things that must be...

Criminal Defense Attorney or Public Defender?

May 24, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Attorney,  Criminal Defense,   Leave a Comment
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What Exactly are Public Defenders? There is a longstanding debate between which type of counsel is more effective, a public defender or a criminal defense attorney. Public defenders are attorneys that are appointed to a defendant if they cannot afford their own representation. On the other hand, private attorneys are hired directly by a defendant...

Criminal Defense Attorney Fees: Why Such Disparities?

May 22, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Special Report,   Leave a Comment
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Criminal Defense Lawyers: The Good and The Bad After being arrested, you may find yourself going through the arduous task of hiring a criminal defense attorney. After contacting several, you may be asking yourself “How can some attorneys charge as little as $699 while others charge as much as $10,000?” Unsurprisingly, the answer is the...

California Juvenile Court: How it Works

May 06, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Attorney,  Criminal Defense,   Leave a Comment
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The Purpose of Juvenile Court In one of the landmark US Supreme Court criminal cases in the areas of juvenile delinquency, Kent v US 383 US 541 (1966), the Court described the states’ juvenile court system as the “parens patriae” of juveniles adjudicated under criminal law. This description literally means “parent of the fatherland” and...

What is Considered a Hate Crime in California?

May 04, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Attorney,  Criminal Defense,   Leave a Comment
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Hate Crime: Defined as a Bias The main purpose of hate crime laws, as incorporated under various California Penal Code sections, is to deter threats, violence and other violations, including civil rights violations, against an individual, based on the individual’s real or perceived characteristics, against which the defendant holds some bias. It is this “bias”,...

Hit and Run Statistics in Los Angeles

April 15, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense,   Leave a Comment
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Nationwide vs. Los Angeles Hit and Run accidents in Los Angeles have been steadily rising over the last decade. In fact, a whopping 50 percent of all traffic accidents reported in Greater Los Angeles are categorized as “hit and run”. Compared to the rest of the nation’s 11 percent, it is safe to say it...

How to Get Someone Out of Jail

March 28, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Attorney,  Criminal Defense,   Leave a Comment
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California Bail Bonds Let’s face it, jail is a dangerous place. If your loved one needs help getting out of jail in these Southern California counties: Los Angeles County Riverside County Ventura County San Bernardino County Orange County We are more than happy to assist you. In some instances we can help in Las Vegas...

Gun Crime Statistics in Los Angeles

March 20, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense,   Leave a Comment
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Nationwide Violence vs. Los Angeles The gun crime rate in Los Angeles is considerably higher than the national average in America. On average, the total crime rate is 31 per one thousand residents in the city of Los Angeles, with 6 out of one thousand being violent crimes. It is not the highest violent crime...

Will Feds Crackdown on Recreational Marijuana?

March 13, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense,   Leave a Comment
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Recreational and Medical Marijuana Laws As of 2017, eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational use of cannabis among adults, including Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada. In terms of demographics, this means one in five American adults can legally ingest cannabis as they please under state law. Furthermore,...

What is a “Wobbler”?

March 03, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Attorney,  Criminal Defense,   Leave a Comment
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What is a “Wobbler”? There are several common criminal offenses that a prosecutor can charge as a felony or a misdemeanor, depending upon the specific facts of the case and the defendant’s criminal history. In other words, it can “wobble” between a felony and a misdemeanor. It’s important to note that if you are charged...

Why You Should Never Plead Guilty

February 24, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Attorney,  Criminal Defense,  Rights,   Leave a Comment
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What happens if I plead “Guilty”? You are giving up your constitutional rights: The right to a fair jury trial. The right to testify on your own defense, or to remain silent. The right to cross examine any witnesses. The right to appeal. Arraignment From a strategic perspective, during your arraignment, you should always plead...

Coming to America: The Migrant Crisis of the Americas

January 19, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Special Report,   Leave a Comment
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“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” – the words written at the base of the Statue of Liberty. Lining Up by the Thousands Latin America has...

Knowing Your Rights: What to do During a Police Encounter

January 05, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense,  Rights,   Leave a Comment
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Being stopped by the police can occur anywhere, any time, when least expected. That’s why it’s very important to know your rights as a citizen regarding interaction with law enforcement officers. In this article we will discuss 10 basic rules for dealing with police encounters: Don’t get angry. Always keep your cool and be calm....

Cybercrime in California: It’s Complicated

January 03, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense,   Leave a Comment
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The term “cybercrime” often evokes an image of someone in a foreign country hacking a major government agency when, in reality, cybercrime in California covers a wide range of conduct. This is in addition to any federal crimes that can be committed using the Internet. Common Types of Cybercrime Accessing a device or its data...

Announcing the Seppi Esfandi Law Scholarship

December 19, 2016 by Seppi Esfandi in Scholarship,   Leave a Comment
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2017 winner(s) announced below School is difficult enough without having to worry about finances, that’s why we’ve created a fairly simple scholarship opportunity for all law students. Esfandi Law Firm proudly announces The Seppi Esfandi Law Scholarship, a nationwide private scholarship offered to one law student located in the United States of America. This scholarship...

What is a “Wet Reckless” Plea Bargain?

November 28, 2016 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense,  DUI,   Leave a Comment
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Wet and Reckless “Vehicle Code 23103.5 – If the prosecution agrees to a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to a charge of a violation of Section 23103 in satisfaction of, or as a substitute for, an original charge of a violation of Section 23152, the prosecution shall state for the record a factual basis...

What Are The Steps in A Criminal Case?

September 19, 2016 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense,  DUI,   Leave a Comment
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Criminal Cases in the State of California all follow the same basic procedures. It’s important to know these 7 crucial criminal case steps to develop a successful defense strategy, and maximize the chances of winning, having the charges significantly reduced, or having the entire case completely dismissed. Step 1: Bail Bail is a payment made...

Employment After a Felony Conviction

September 06, 2016 by Seppi Esfandi in Attorney,  Criminal Defense,   Leave a Comment
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Avoid a Felony at All Cost A felony conviction can be devastating to your search for gainful employment, as most reputable companies and desired job positions will merit some form of background check. Depending on the nature of your felony, there are certain jobs that can be impossible to get. For instance, if you have...

New Crime Mapping Web Application

August 24, 2016 by Seppi Esfandi in Attorney,  Criminal Defense,   Leave a Comment
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CrimeMapping is an online public resource created by The Omega Group providing an overview of designated crimes within a particular law enforcement agency. Data is published with the expressed permission of each participating agency and the information is always validated through direct collaboration with law enforcement personnel. The default date range for the map is...

How to Reduce a Felony to Misdemeanor

October 11, 2013 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense,   Leave a Comment

We are commonly asked at our offices if it’s possible to reduce a felony conviction to a misdemeanor, and the answer is commonly yes. I say commonly because there are some limitations to the types of crimes that are eligible for such treatment. The two most important factors that determine if your crime is eligible...

Are You a Victim of an Illegal Search and Seizure?

October 11, 2013 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense,  Rights,   Leave a Comment

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reads as follows: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be...

Your Rights During an Arrest

October 11, 2013 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense,   Leave a Comment

Our nation’s Constitution is the foundation of justice in the United States. The rights that we are guaranteed within that significant document pertain to our day-to-day lives as well as during unfortunate times. The Constitution states explicitly what rights we are guaranteed as citizens and as criminals; however, it is our responsibility to know and understand...

Do You Need to Take a Field Sobriety Test

October 11, 2013 by Seppi Esfandi in DUI,   Leave a Comment
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Should I take a Field Sobriety Test? After reading question after question regarding field sobriety tests and whether or not they are necessary to take, I took it upon myself to answer these questions here. In short, no.  It is not required to take a field sobriety test if you get pulled over for a...

What to do Right After a DUI Arrest in California

October 11, 2013 by Seppi Esfandi in DUI,   Leave a Comment
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There are a few things you should do directly after being arrested for a DUI in California to ensure that you will face the minimum punishment and fines. 1. Contact the DMV The sole purpose of the DMV DUI hearing is to determine whether or not your driver’s license will be suspended as a result...

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