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What Is an Effective Alibi?

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One of the easiest defenses to use in a criminal case is that of an alibi. An alibi simply means that you have evidence of being in another location or with another person when the alleged crime was said to have occurred. This usually means that it would have been impossible for you to have committed the crime. 

Here are a few examples of effective alibis and what to do to get legal support after being charged with a crime.

Evidence You Could Not Have Been At the Crime Scene 

The most effective forms of alibi are tangible records that prove you were somewhere else, like: 

Paper Receipts 

A paper store receipt or a record of a credit card transaction that has the date and time on it can be a powerful piece of evidence that clears your name, proving that you were somewhere else entirely when the alleged crime was committed.

Surveillance Video 

Video footage is a highly compelling alibi, similar to a paper receipt, that can provide proof you couldn’t possibly have committed the crime because you were caught on camera somewhere else. Talk to the owner or manager of any establishments you were at when the crime in question was allegedly committed and request any surveillance footage they have from that time and date.

Social Media Posts 

You may be able to use your social media posts as an alibi if you posted an Instagram or Snapchat story or “checked in” at a different place other than the crime scene at the same time the crime was supposedly committed. Even if you were alone and there isn’t anyone else who can testify to where you were, your cell phone’s GPS may provide enough evidence. 

Third-Party Witness Testimony  

If someone was with you, however, obtaining their testimony — either written or under oath — can be helpful in your case. Even if it’s not enough to stand against other, more compelling evidence against you, it may be just enough to raise doubt and avoid a guilty verdict. 

Create a Formidable Alibi With the Help of a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer 

Arguably, a good alibi is one of the most effective ways to create doubt in the prosecution’s case against you or even flat-out prove your innocence. However, you need the help of an experienced attorney to be successful. Contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Chad Lewin for an appointment at (800) 458-1488.

By : Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Chad Lewin | March 26, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Does My Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Need to Know the Truth?

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If you’ve been charged with a crime and are hiring a defense lawyer to help, you may be wondering if your attorney needs to know the entire truth. 

The short answer is: not necessarily. 

The longer answer is: 

Your Attorney May Not Want to Know The Whole Truth 

Some criminal defense lawyers only want to know information that is absolutely necessary to your case. They may want to avoid any potential ethical conflicts that could come with an admission of guilt or having access to otherwise compromising information about their client. 

Or, They May Ask You For Every Detail 

Other lawyers want to make sure they’re not going to run into any surprises later on down the road when the prosecution makes their case against you. They may ask you to let them know everything that happened, regardless of whether or not it makes you look guilty. 

The information you give your criminal defense lawyer is protected by attorney-client privilege, meaning that you won’t be penalized for anything you tell your attorney in confidence. 

This is why it’s so important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after being arrested, before answering any questions. You can talk to your attorney about what happened and let them tell you which questions you should answer and which you shouldn’t. 

Understanding Your Lawyer’s Restrictions & Responsibilities 

Your lawyer cannot knowingly allow you to commit perjury, or lie under oath. They also can’t bring forward evidence that they know is false. This is why some attorneys will ask to be kept in the dark about certain things; if they weren’t aware or didn’t know you were lying, they cannot be held responsible. 

However, a lawyer who does know a client is guilty may still recommend taking the case to trial. For example, if police misconduct would likely cause your case to be dismissed, your admission of guilt in private is largely irrelevant since your defense would primarily focus on evidence suppression and dismissal. 

Should You Contact a Los Angeles Defense Attorney After Being Arrested for a Crime? 

If you were arrested for a criminal offense in California, your rights are at risk right now and you can’t afford any delays. Contact Los Angeles criminal defense Chad Lewin for an appointment at (800) 458-1488. We offer affordable payment plans to ensure everyone has access to quality legal representation and look forward to serving you in our office.

By : Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Chad Lewin | March 17, 2021 | Criminal Defense

What Does a Los Angeles Criminal Appeals Court Do?

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Contrary to popular belief, a criminal appeal is not a retrial of the case. You cannot appeal a criminal verdict for just any reason; generally, you must have grounds for an appeal. The appellate court will review the lower court’s records to determine if you have the right to appeal your case. 

This can happen if: 

Your Trial Was Unfair 

First and foremost, the United States Constitution guarantees all citizens the right to a fair trial. You also have the right to due process, the freedom to plead the Fifth Amendment to avoid self-incrimination, and the right to legal counsel. You have the right to a trial by jury and your bail may not be excessive. 

If any of these elements were not freely provided to you during your trial, you may be able to file an appeal. 

The Evidence Does or Does Not Support the Verdict 

When prosecutors have a weak case against a defendant, they often introduce what is called circumstantial evidence, or evidence that can’t necessarily be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. Regardless, juries listen to this evidence and make decisions based on it, even though it may only be a theory of what happened and not the truth. 

If circumstantial evidence was used to convict you, or the evidence available in your case does not support the verdict issued, you may have grounds to appeal the decision. 

Legal or Factual Mistakes Were Made by the Judge 

If the court made factual or legal mistakes in your case that caused you substantial harm or greatly affected the outcome of your case, this may be another avenue with which you can pursue an appeal. 

For example, a judge may make a decision not supported by law or the jury may have been given incorrect instructions prior to the deliberation of your case. Legal misconduct by the judge or your attorney at the time may also be considered grounds for an appeal. 

Do You Need a California Appeals Lawyer? 

If you were charged and convicted of a crime, you may be able to appeal your case. It’s important that you have a criminal defense attorney in your corner that has specific experience with the appellate process. 

Contact Los Angeles criminal defense Chad Lewin for a consultation by calling (800) 458-1488. We offer affordable payment plans to ensure everyone has access to quality legal representation and look forward to serving you.

By : Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Chad Lewin | February 10, 2021 | Criminal Defense

What Rights Does a Juvenile Facing Criminal Charges Have?

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It’s frightening being a juvenile and facing the consequences of a crime. Parents of juveniles who are arrested also face many challenges ahead. Protecting your rights or the rights of your child after an arrest or during a criminal investigation is key. Here’s what you need to understand about juvenile rights and how to get legal help. 

Your Right to Reasonable Searches of Your Property  

At school, you have fewer rights against unreasonable searches of your property than you do outside of school. If you are suspected to have committed a crime or violated a school rule, school officials and police officers can conduct a thorough search of your backpack, locker, and your person for evidence of the alleged violation. If you’re not at school though, the police cannot search your vehicle, person, home, or other personal property without first having either your consent, probable cause, or a search warrant issued by a judge. Do not give permission for a search, but don’t resist if police conduct one anyway. 

Your Right to Not Be Questioned Without a Guardian  

Juveniles have the unique right to not be interviewed by the police or school officials in relation to a crime without the presence of a parent or guardian. Police should wait to ask any questions until the child’s guardian has arrived, however, they don’t often do. School officials and law enforcement officers may try to take advantage of a child who doesn’t understand this and attempt to coerce information out of them by promising that answering questions will help their case or lessen their punishment, even if it’s not true. 

Your Rights After Being Arrested 

After being arrested, juveniles have similar rights to adults save for a few exceptions. You can and should still be exercising your right to remain silent, and at this time, you should be allowed to make not one but two phone calls to both a lawyer and your parents or guardian. If the police do not offer, you have the right to request them. 

Should You Contact an Attorney?

If your child was charged with a crime, it’s critical that you get legal assistance immediately. If you’re a juvenile who has been arrested, you can (and should) also talk to an attorney. Chad Lewin is an experienced criminal lawyer who can assist you with navigating the juvenile criminal justice system. Call now at (800) 458-1488 for more information. 

By : Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Chad Lewin | November 10, 2020 | Criminal Defense

What Constitutes Resisting Arrest?

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Resisting Arrest: A Hot Button Issue For U.S. Residents 

This charge has always been largely subjective and up to the police officer arresting you to determine if your actions constitute resisting or not. Since police officers are well known for fabricating evidence or statements that support their actions, you could get pegged for resisting even if you weren’t. Here’s what you should know. 

Behavior Considered Resisting Arrest 

  • Any action that could be considered preventing the police from making an arrest 
  • Posing a danger to the arresting officer or other law enforcement officers on site 
  • Pulling yourself away from an officer who is attempting to handcuff or restrain you 
  • Running or evading the police when they try to arrest you 
  • Passively resisting arrest, such as becoming “dead weight” and forcing the officer to carry your body or drag you to the police car to detain you 
  • Physically harming the police officer who is arresting you 
  • Offering a fake name and address when questioned about your identity by police 
  • Threatening an officer with harm or violence 
  • Taking out a weapon during an arrest 

If you evade the police in your vehicle, this is also considered another form of resisting, however, it’s charged separately. If you are charged with evasion, you are also more likely to catch a charge of resisting arrest, even if you comply with police officers once you are stopped. 

Behavior Not Considered Resisting 

  • Cussing, swearing, or crying, and being upset about your arrest, so long as you do not threaten the officers who are detaining you 
  • Resisting the arrest of someone who you cannot reasonably know is a police officer, such as someone who isn’t wearing a uniform or hasn’t presented their badge 
  • If the arrest was illegal or unlawful, resisting arrest cannot be charged, since a legitimate arrest did not occur in the first place 
  • Defending yourself against being physically assaulted by police officers 

Although these behaviors are technically not considered resisting arrest, law enforcement officials will often use them in their reports to illustrate that you were being belligerent, rude, or combative during the arrest. Even if the officer can’t actually prove that you resisted with video or body cam evidence, if they can prove that you swore or were rude, it makes their claim that you did resist more easily believable by a judge. 

Should You Get Legal Help After Being Accused of Resisting?  

Get legal help after being charged with resisting arrest by calling Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Chad Lewin today for your free consultation at (800) 458-1488. 

By : Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Chad Lewin | September 10, 2020 | Criminal Defense

What Are Some Reasons People Accept Plea Bargains?

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Los Angeles Plea Bargains

A plea bargain is an agreement between a defendant and a prosecutor where the defendant enters a guilty plea for a lesser crime instead of being charged and pleading not guilty to a more severe crime and risking a criminal trial. 

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you may benefit more from accepting a plea bargain than mounting a defense. Here are some reasons people opt for a plea bargain. 

They Are a Public Figure 

Public figures rarely go to trial due to the amount of negative publicity they would receive. This goes for both national and local figures, including town mayors, business owners, and other officials. 

Even if the defendant is completely innocent, going to trial automatically paints the defendant in a negative light. Often, public figures cannot risk being involved in a trial regardless of the evidence available.  

They Can’t Afford the Legal Fees 

The cost to be represented during a criminal trial is naturally higher than the cost to be represented for a plea bargain, simply because the attorney isn’t required to dedicate as much time and effort to a defense strategy. Defendants who believe they can’t afford the legal fees associated with a criminal trial may be more likely to make a deal with the prosecutor. 

They Want the Matter to Be Over Quickly 

In most cases, a plea bargain takes significantly less time from start to finish than a criminal trial. Defendants who are most concerned about getting the matter off the radar as fast as possible may be more inclined to accept a plea bargain. 

The Original Charges are Felonies 

Individuals who have been convicted of a felony lose certain rights, such as the right to possess a firearm and vote. Having a felony on your record also makes it more difficult to get a job or maintain a professional license and may impact civil cases like divorce and child custody.

In cases like these, it may be in the best interest of the defendant to accept a plea bargain to reduce felony charges to misdemeanors if the defendant pleads guilty.  

Do You Need an Attorney’s Help? 

Were you arrested and charged with a crime? You need zealous legal advocacy on your side. Contact Chad Lewin today for more information about your legal rights after being arrested for a criminal offense or to set up an appointment for a free consultation. Call now. 

By : Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Chad Lewin | August 16, 2020 | Criminal Defense

Who Can Give Legal Consent to a Police Search of My Home

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Home searches are often performed when law enforcement believes a crime has been committed in the home or there is evidence inside a domicile that is connected to a crime. What are your rights when it comes to consenting to or declining a search of your home? Here’s what to know.  

Who Can Give Legal Consent to a Home Search? 

There are only a few people who can legally consent to allow the police to perform a search of your home. Otherwise, anything found during the search may not be considered viable evidence. This includes: 

The Renter or Homeowner 

If you are the owner or renter of the home, you may consent to the search of it. Any evidence police find within your residence may be admitted into court if you are arrested. 

A Primary Resident 

Another adult primary resident of the home may also agree to a search. For example, your spouse or live-in partner can give what is considered legal consent if you are not home. 

Older Children Under Some Circumstances 

If an older child answers the door and the police believe they are old enough to understand the situation and provide consent to enter the home, they may ask the child to allow a search. 

Roommates Under Some Circumstances 

In some circumstances, a roommate can consent to the legal search of a domicile that you share. However, they may not consent to allow police to search private spaces that belong to you. For example, they may allow the police to search the living room, kitchen, and other shared spaces, as well as their own private space, but not the private spaces of others. 

Who Cannot Legally Consent to a Search of My Home? 

There are many people who cannot provide the consent for the police to legally search your domicile, including: 

  • Landlords. Generally, landlords cannot provide consent to police in place of the renter or primary resident, with the exception of some emergencies. 
  • Small children. 
  • Housekeepers, unless a staff member or live-in housekeeper.  

The Police Searched My Home and Arrested Me — Do I Need a Lawyer? 

If you were arrested after a search of your home, whether you consented to the search or not, it’s important that you secure strong legal advocacy. Being charged with a crime is a frightening experience, especially after having your home invaded and turned upside down by police. 

Contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Chad Lewin today by calling (800) 458-1488. 

By : Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Chad Lewin | July 11, 2020 | Criminal Defense