Common Mistakes to Avoid After a DUI Arrest

Common mistakes to avoid after a DUI arrest

Getting arrested for a DUI can be a frightening and confusing experience. It's easy to make mistakes that could worsen your situation. Knowing what not to do is as important as knowing what to do. Perlman & Cohen Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers are here to guide you through this complex situation.

After a DUI arrest, the decisions you make can significantly affect the outcome of complex legal process in your case. It's essential to act wisely and seek professional guidance.

Many people inadvertently complicate their cases by making common mistakes. This guide aims to help you avoid these pitfalls and prepare you for the legal challenges ahead.

What Is a DUI?

A DUI, or driving under the influence, occurs when a person operates a vehicle while their ability to do so is impaired by alcohol or drugs. This definition applies regardless of whether the substance is legal, prescription, or illegal.

Law enforcement officers assess impairment through field sobriety tests, breathalyzers, or blood tests. A DUI charge can have severe repercussions.

Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher is illegal in all 50 states. However, you can be charged with a DUI even if your BAC is lower, especially if your driving is notably impaired.

The key factor is whether the substance affected your ability to drive safely. Every DUI case is taken seriously because of the potential danger to the driver and others.

Why Is a DUI So Serious?

A DUI is considered a severe offense due to its potential to cause harm. Impaired drivers can cause accidents, resulting in injuries or deaths.

Therefore, the legal system treats DUIs with strict penalties to deter such dangerous behavior. A DUI conviction can lead to both immediate and long-lasting effects.

The gravity of a DUI also stems from its effect on your record and personal life. It can affect your employment, especially if driving is part of your job.

Moreover, a DUI conviction can lead to social stigma and personal embarrassment, further highlighting the need for careful legal handling of DUI cases.

Legal Penalties for DUI Convictions

The penalties for a DUI conviction can be harsh and vary by state. In California, penalties may include fines, jail time, and mandatory DUI education programs.

First-time offenders can face huge fines and suspension of their driver's license. A first offense is typically punished by up to five years probation, a fine of up to $1,000 (plus penalty assessments), a most immediate license suspension, a six-month ignition interlock defense, and mandatory DUI school.

Under California Vehicle Code Section 23540, repeat offenders face even harsher penalties, including longer jail times and more extensive fines. Each subsequent DUI offense within ten years can result in increased penalties, so avoiding further DUI charges is best.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Common mistakes to avoid

One critical aspect of handling a DUI arrest is knowing what not to do. Many defendants unknowingly complicate their cases by making easily avoidable mistakes.

Failing to Request a DMV Hearing

After a DUI arrest, you have ten days to request a hearing from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This hearing is your chance to challenge the suspension of your driver's license. Failing to request this hearing automatically results in license suspension, which can substantially alter your daily life.

You must request a DMV hearing as soon as possible. This allows you to potentially retain your driving privileges while your case is handled in court. Not doing so can result in unnecessary complications and extended periods without a license.

Not Seeking Legal Representation

Many people think they can handle DUI charges on their own, especially if it's their first offense. However, DUI laws are complex, and the stakes are high. An experienced DUI defense attorney can work the legal system effectively and may help reduce the charges or penalties.

Legal counsel and representation are pivotal in DUI cases. A skilled lawyer can spot weaknesses in the prosecution's case, such as issues with the DUI testing procedures or breaches of your legal rights during the arrest. Having a lawyer increases your chances of a favorable outcome.

Admitting Guilt or Providing Incriminating Statements

One of the most common mistakes is admitting guilt or making incriminating statements to the police. It's important to remain silent and request an attorney. Anything you say can be used against you in court.

Admitting guilt can severely limit your defense options. Even if you believe you are guilty, meeting with an attorney to explore all possible defenses is critical. Legal professionals can often find aspects of the case you may not be aware of, which could be essential for your defense.

Ignoring Court Dates and Legal Obligations

Missing court dates can trigger additional charges and a warrant for your arrest, so attend all scheduled court appearances and meet all legal obligations by the court date. Staying engaged with your case shows the court your commitment to resolving the matter responsibly.

Keeping track of court dates and legal requirements is essential. Failing to do so can lead to further legal troubles, with severe consequences, including increased fines or jail time. Your attorney can help you manage these obligations and remind you of important dates and requirements.

Failing to Follow Legal Advice

Your defense lawyer will provide you with advice based on their experience and knowledge of the law. Ignoring this advice or choosing the wrong attorney can harm your case. Trusting your lawyer's guidance and following their recommendations closely is important.

Always follow your attorney's advice to navigate the DUI legal process successfully. They understand the complexities of the law and know the best strategies for your particular case. Ignoring their advice can lead to more legal procedures and less favorable outcomes.

Driving with a Suspended License

If your license is suspended, driving during this period is illegal and can lead to additional charges. This mistake is seen as disregarding the law which can complicate your DUI case. It's critical to stick to the terms of the suspension until you can legally drive again.

Under CA 14601.1 (a), continuing to drive with a suspended license can result in extended suspension periods. This crime is also punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in jail. Finding alternative transportation methods during suspension is important to avoid these severe penalties.

Neglecting to Gather Evidence

Collecting evidence is imperative in defending against DUI charges. This includes documenting your actions before the arrest, such as food and drink intake, and gathering witness statements. This evidence can be pivotal in challenging the prosecution's claims.

Neglecting to have criminal defense attorney collect relevant evidence can weaken your defense. Your attorney can help you collect the necessary evidence, which could play an important role in the outcome of your case.

Legal Consequences of DUI Mistakes

Legal consequences of DUI mistakes

The consequences of making mistakes after a DUI arrest can be severe. These serious consequences can include increased penalties, fines, and longer periods of license suspension.

Increased Penalties and Fines

Mistakes like failing to attend court dates or driving with a suspended license can trigger increased penalties and fines. These financial penalties are in addition to the original DUI penalties and can become a big burden.

Longer License Suspension Periods

Ignoring legal advice and court orders can result in extended license suspension periods. This can hinder your ability to work and perform daily activities, making it essential to adhere to all legal directives.

Impact on Employment and Personal Life

A DUI conviction, especially with additional complications from mistakes, can have a major burden on your employment and personal life. It can hinder job prospects, especially in industries requiring clean driving records, and affect your reputation.

Steps to Take After a DUI Arrest

  1. Remain calm: Stay calm during the arrest to avoid any actions that could worsen your situation.
  2. Use your right to remain silent: Exercise your right to remain silent. Talk to a lawyer as soon as possible.
  3. Contact an attorney: Contact an experienced DUI lawyer to address your case immediately.
  4. Request a DMV hearing: Remember to request a hearing within the specified time to challenge your license suspension.
  5. Document everything: Record everything tied to your arrest and the events before it.
  6. Follow legal advice: Adhere to the advice given by your attorney and cooperate fully with their strategy.
  7. Attend all court dates: Make sure to attend and comply with any court orders.

How a Los Angeles DUI Attorney Can Help

Call Our Los Angeles DUI Attorney for a Free Consultation

Call our Los Angeles DUI attorney for a free consultation

Taking immediate action to protect your future is critical if you've been arrested for a DUI. Perlman & Cohen Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers can provide the robust defense you deserve.

During your initial consultation, we'll review the specifics of your case, advise you on the best course of action, and start formulating a defense strategy. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.

How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help in Assault Cases

How a criminal defense lawyer can help in assault cases

When facing assault charges, having a skilled criminal defense lawyer by your side is crucial.

These legal professionals are familiar with the complexities of criminal law and can navigate the criminal justice system effectively. They provide vital support, guidance, and representation to defend your rights and ensure a fair trial.

Perlman & Cohen Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers specialize in assault cases and are committed to achieving the best outcomes for our clients.

A criminal defense lawyer's role involves everything from legal advice to courtroom representation. They start by thoroughly evaluating your case, identifying potential defenses, and planning a strategic response. Their expertise can make a meaningful difference in the result of your case, possibly reducing or even dismissing the charges.

Trusting your defense to an experienced lawyer can help mitigate the stressful impacts of facing heavy criminal charges.

Definition of Assault

In legal terms, assault is an attempt or threat to inflict injury on another person with an apparent ability to do so. It is important to note that actual physical contact is not required to occur for an action to be considered assault.

The mere intention and capability to cause harm can qualify as an assault under the law. This broad definition encompasses various behaviors and situations, making legal guidance essential.

A deep knowledge of assault is key to preparing a defense, as the specifics can vary widely from one case to another.

Factors such as the threat's severity, the incident's context, and the presence of any weapons can all influence the classification and severity of the charge.

Legal experts in assault cases can dissect these nuances to build a strong defense. They must interpret how the law applies to your situation and represent your interests accordingly.

Types of Assault Charges

The Job of a Criminal Defense Lawyer

The job of a criminal defense lawyer

A criminal defense lawyer provides critical support from the moment you face charges. They are your advocate, protecting your rights throughout the legal process. Their criminal law and procedure knowledge allows them to challenge the prosecution's case effectively.

A defense attorney's primary goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for you, whether through dismissal, acquittal, or reduced charges.

Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation

The first step in your defense is a detailed consultation and case evaluation.

During this meeting, your lawyer will gather all relevant information about the incident and formulate a defense strategy. They assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case and explain your legal options. This initial evaluation is critical in setting the direction for your defense.

Developing a Defense Strategy

Developing a strong defense strategy is where your attorney's expertise truly shines. They consider all available evidence, identify legal precedents, and craft arguments that support your case.

Each strategy is unique to your situation, taking into account the charges, the prosecution's evidence, and any potential legal defenses.

Representing Clients in Court

Your lawyer represents you in all court proceedings, from arraignments to trials. They speak on your behalf, cross-examine prosecution witnesses, and present your case to the judge and jury.

Effective courtroom representation is necessary for a successful defense, as it influences how the judge and jury perceive your case.

Legal Process for Assault Cases

  1. Arrest and booking. If suspected of assault, law enforcement officers will arrest you and take you to the station for booking.
  2. Bail hearing. Shortly after your arrest, you'll have a bail hearing, at which the judge will decide whether you can be released from custody before trial and under what conditions.
  3. Arraignment. You'll hear the formal charges at your arraignment and enter a plea. Your lawyer will be present to advise you.
  4. Discovery phase. Both sides exchange evidence during the discovery phase. Your lawyer will scrutinize the prosecution's evidence for any weaknesses or inconsistencies.
  5. Pre-Trial motions. Your lawyer may file motions to dismiss certain charges or exclude evidence if your rights were violated during the investigation.
  6. Trial. During the trial, your lawyer will argue your case, challenge the prosecution's claims, and aim to establish reasonable doubt among the jurors.
  7. Sentencing. If convicted, the sentencing phase will determine the penalties. Considering all mitigating factors, your lawyer will argue for the lightest possible sentence.

Defense Strategies in Assault Cases

Defense strategies in assault cases

Building a defense in assault cases requires a thorough understanding of the facts and the law. Your criminal defense attorney will tailor a defense strategy based on the specifics of your case.

Self-Defense and Defense of Others

One common defense is claiming self-defense or defense of others. This argument is valid if you believe that you or another person were in imminent danger of harm and that the force used was necessary to prevent that harm.

It's important to show that the response was proportional to the threat. Evidence such as witness statements or surveillance video can substantiate a self-defense claim.

Lack of Intent or Accidental Harm

Another defense strategy is to argue that there was no intent to cause harm or that any harm caused was accidental. In assault cases, intent can be a key element that the prosecution needs to prove.

If your attorney can demonstrate that the actions were not deliberate or intended to cause harm, this can weaken the prosecution's case.

False Accusations and Mistaken Identity

False accusations and mistaken identity are not uncommon in assault cases. Your defense lawyer will investigate the credibility of witnesses and the accuracy of their statements. They might also use alibi evidence or other forms of proof to demonstrate that you could not have committed the assault.

Challenging Evidence and Witness Testimonies

A critical part of your defense will be challenging the evidence and testimonies presented by the prosecution. This includes questioning the reliability of witness statements, the legality of how evidence was obtained, and the integrity of physical evidence.

Effective cross-examination and the use of expert witnesses can be key tactics in this strategy.

Benefits of Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Pushing for a Dismissal

Your attorney will actively seek to have the charges against you dismissed if there are substantial grounds to do so. This could be due to insufficient evidence, procedural errors, or legal rights violations.

Achieving a dismissal means the charges are dropped, and the case does not proceed to trial.

Negotiating a Plea Bargain

If dismissal is not possible, your lawyer may negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor. This often involves agreeing to plead guilty to a lesser charge in return for a more lenient sentence.

Negotiating a plea can enormously reduce the penalties you face and may also shorten the legal process.

Mitigating Factors at Sentencing

Even if convicted, your lawyer will argue for including mitigating factors at sentencing. These factors could include your background, the circumstances of the offense, and any remorse shown. Presenting these factors effectively can lead to reduced penalties.

How Perlman & Cohen Can Assist

How Perlman & Cohen can assist

Common Challenges in Assault Cases

Expungement and Record Sealing for Assault Convictions

Expungement is a legal process that can clear an assault conviction from your criminal record under certain conditions. This can greatly benefit your future, particularly regarding employment opportunities, as many employers conduct criminal background checks.

Qualifying for expungement typically requires completing your sentence, including any probation, and not committing further offenses.

Record sealing is another option that may be available, which prevents the public from accessing details of your conviction. While the record is not destroyed, sealing it can provide benefits like expungement.

It's important to consult with your attorney to determine eligibility for these options and be aware of the process involved. Our criminal defense lawyers are here to help you.

Our Los Angeles Assault Attorney Offers a Free Consultation

Our Los Angeles assault attorney offers a free consultation

A criminal case involving assault is a major concern. At Perlman & Cohen, our criminal defense attorneys treat each criminal defendant with the care and compassion they are owed. We believe that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Our top priority is providing you with the robust defense you deserve.

Contact us today to schedule a free case consultation.

Types of Assault Charges

Types of assault charges

Assault crime charges can vary widely and are taken very seriously in Los Angeles. The law defines multiple types of assault, each with its own criteria and severe penalties.

Understanding the various assault charges can help you know what to expect if you or someone you know is facing such accusations. Perlman & Cohen Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers are well-versed in defending clients against these felony charges.

The consequences of being convicted of an assault charge can be severe and life-altering. It is crucial to have knowledgeable legal representation to navigate the complexities of assault charges.

We will explain the different types of aggravated assault that occur, the legal processes involved, possible defense strategies, and how expungement might be an option after a conviction.

Our experienced attorney aims to provide clear, concise information to help you understand these serious legal matters.

Definition of Assault

Assault in California is an attempt to injure another person violently. This includes not only completed acts of violence but also any credible attempts or threats to use force against someone when you can carry out the threat.

Importantly, no physical contact or physical injury must occur for an act to be labeled assault. The goal of harm or fear of harm is sufficient. Legal definitions can vary, but the essence of assault remains an attempt or threat to inflict injury on another.

In legal terms, if you try or threaten to strike someone in a threatening manner, and you have the apparent ability to carry out the attack, it counts as assault. This broad definition aims to protect individuals from the serious consequences of physical harm and the fear of imminent harm.

Differences Between Assault and Battery

Many people confuse assault with battery, but they are distinct charges under the law. Assault is the attempt or threat to inflict injury, while battery is the actual physical contact or force used against another person. You can be charged with assault without ever touching the victim.

Battery requires actual physical contact. It occurs when you intentionally strike or physically attack another person. This contact does not need to cause injury; unwanted or offensive touching is sufficient to constitute a battery.

Knowing the difference between these criminal charges is critical for anyone facing these accusations or those studying criminal law.

Common Types of Assault Charges

Common types of assault charges

There are several specific types of assault charges in California, each with its own set of legal standards and potential penalties.

Simple Assault

Simple assault is the basic form of assault under California law. It involves an attempt to cause violent injury to or recklessly cause physical harm to another person without the use of weapons or the intent to cause major bodily harm. This charge can apply even if no physical contact was made as long as there was an attempt or threat.

California Penal Code Section 240 defines simple assault, and the penalties can include fines of up to $1,000 and/or jail time of up to six months in county jail. This is generally considered a misdemeanor unless specific circumstances make the charge a felony. The exact penalty can vary, depending on the facts of the case and the defendant's criminal history.

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault involves a higher level of gravity, including assaults that cause serious bodily injury or more aggravated assaults involving the use of a weapon. California Penal Code Section 245 outlines aggravated assault and stipulates stricter penalties due to the greater potential harm to the victim.

Penalties for aggravated assault can include substantial fines (of up to $10,000) and longer prison sentences (of up to four years), especially if a weapon was used or grave injury occurred.

The law recognizes the increased danger in these cases and imposes harsher consequences to deter such severe offenses.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Assault with a deadly weapon is a form of aggravated assault. It is a physical assault that involves using a weapon or other means capable of causing significant injury or death.

Under California Penal Code Section 245, this charge can apply to assaults involving firearms, knives, or any deadly weapons or objects used in a way that could cause dire harm.

The penalties for assault with a deadly weapon can be severe, including long prison terms and high fines, especially if a serious assault occurs and results in drastic injuries or if a firearm is involved. The law takes a stringent approach to these cases to reflect the high risk posed to public safety.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence refers to assaults that occur within domestic settings, such as between spouses or domestic partners. This type of assault can encompass physical harm, threats, or psychological abuse.

California laws specifically address domestic violence under several statutes, providing definitions and detailing the penalties. Many forms of domestic violence are charged under Penal Code 243(e)(1).

Penalties for domestic violence under Penal Code 243(e)(1) may include a fine of up to $2,000 and a six-month term in the county jail. Other penalties could include mandatory counseling.

The severity of the penalties will hinge on the circumstances of the first assault offense, previous offenses, and the presence of any protective orders at the time of the incident.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is an act of assault that includes any form of non-consensual sexual contact or behavior. California Penal Code Section 243.4 addresses sexual assault and provides specific definitions and penalties. This crime is taken seriously due to its profound impact on victims.

The penalties for aggravated sexual assault can be severe. This is a wobbler criminal offense, which can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony.

The penalties for a felony could include a prison sentence of up to four years and a fine of up to $10,000. This is in addition to mandatory registration as a sex offender. The law aims to protect victims considerably and deter potential offenders through strict legal consequences.

The Legal Process for Assault Charges

  1. Police Report. The legal process usually starts when someone reports an assault to the police. The police will investigate the claim and collect evidence.
  2. Arrest. If there is enough evidence, the police may arrest the person accused of assault.
  3. Charges Filed. The prosecutor reviews the evidence and decides whether to file assault charges based on the strength of the evidence.
  4. Arraignment. The defendant appears in court, hears the charges, and pleads guilty or not guilty.
  5. Bail Hearing. If applicable, the court will consider bail, allowing the defendant to remain free until trial under certain conditions.
  6. Trial. Both sides present evidence and argue their cases before a judge or jury. The prosecutor must prove the defendant committed the assault beyond a reasonable doubt.
  7. Sentencing. If convicted, the defendant is sentenced. The penalties vary based on the type of assault and other factors.

Defense Strategies for Assault Charges

Defense strategies for assault charges

Defending against assault charges can involve several potential strategies, depending on the case's specifics.

Self-Defense and Defense of Others

One common defense is claiming self-defense or defense of others. This is a strong defense strategy tailored to argue that the accused was not the aggressor and only used force to protect themselves or someone else from harm.

It requires proving that the threat of harm was real and imminent and that the force used was necessary and reasonable under the circumstances.

Lack of Intent

Another defense focuses on the lack of intent to cause harm. Assault charges often depend on the accused's intent to threaten or cause harm. Showing no intent to hurt someone can be a valid defense, especially in cases of verbal assault where the actions were misconstrued or accidental.

False Accusations

False accusations are not unusual in assault cases. Defense strategies may involve proving that the accuser is not telling the truth or has a motive to lie. This requires carefully examining the evidence and possibly presenting witnesses corroborating the defendant's events.

Insufficient Evidence

Finally, a defense might argue that the evidence presented by the prosecution is insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of the assault. This can involve challenging the credibility of evidence or witnesses and presenting counter-evidence that supports the defendant's innocence.

Expungement and Record Sealing for Assault Convictions

Expungement can clear an assault conviction from your public criminal record. Under California law, expungement is available for those who have completed their probation and meet other specific criteria. This process can help lessen the long-term consequences of a conviction.

If eligible, the court may agree to expunge your record, meaning the assault conviction would not appear in most background checks. This can greatly improve your ability to secure employment, housing, and other opportunities.

It is important to consult a lawyer to know if you qualify for expungement or record sealing.

How Perlman & Cohen Can Help You With Your Assault Defense

Perlman & Cohen Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers specialize in defending against all assault charges. We understand the nuances of criminal defense and work tirelessly to make legal defenses to ensure the best possible outcome for our clients. Our law office will review your case, gather evidence, and craft a robust defense strategy tailored to your situation.

We are committed to protecting your rights and will work through the legal system on your behalf. Whether you are facing vehicular assault or sexual assault charges, we have the expertise and experience to provide a strong defense.

We even handle cases involving bodily injury of a police officer and aggravated assault charges. Our experienced criminal defense attorney is here to help you if you have been accused of serious bodily harm.  

Connect With Our Los Angeles Assault Attorney for a Free Consultation

Connect with our Los Angeles assault attorney for a free consultation

Facing assault charges can be overwhelming and stressful. It is crucial to have an experienced lawyer during the process who can defend your rights. Perlman & Cohen Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers is here to help you.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss either misdemeanor assault or felony assault charges.

Can You Shoot Someone Who Breaks Into Your House?

Can you shoot someone who breaks into your house

When someone breaks into your home, it's more than just a property crime; it feels like a violation of your safety and privacy. Many people wonder if they have the right to defend themselves in such a situation, including using a gun. The laws around self-defense, especially in California, are specific and require understanding.

Knowing your rights and the legal boundaries of defending yourself and your home is crucial. We can review your situation at Perlman & Cohen Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers, and provide a strong defense.

California law gives you the right to defend yourself and your property, but there are limits to this right. You can't just shoot someone for trespassing. The situation must meet certain criteria for using deadly force to be considered legal.

Our legal team is here to help you understand your rights and guide you on what to do if you ever find yourself in such a frightening scenario.

Understanding Your Right to Self-Defense in California

In California, the law recognizes your right to defend yourself if you believe you're in imminent danger of being hurt or killed. This means you can use force to protect yourself, but that force must be reasonable and necessary for the threat you face.

It's not a free pass to act whatever you want; you must genuinely believe you're in danger. Plus, the force you use must match the threat level.

Self-defense can include defending yourself in your own home, which leads to what's commonly known as the "castle doctrine." This principle allows you to use even deadly force to protect yourself from intruders.

However, the belief that you're in danger must be reasonable. You can't shoot someone running away or no longer a threat.

The Legal Foundations of Home Protection

California's laws provide a legal foundation for protecting your home and yourself from intruders. The law understands your home as your sanctuary, where you have every right to feel safe and secure.

If someone forcefully and unlawfully enters your home, you're presumed to have a reasonable fear of great bodily harm to yourself or others. This presumption is a key part of justifying using force in self-defense.

However, the use of force in home protection is subject to scrutiny. You must prove that you had a reasonable belief that the force was necessary to prevent serious bodily injury or death.

The law requires that your response be proportional to the threat. Excessive force, beyond what's necessary to neutralize an immediate threat, can lead to legal consequences.

California's Castle Doctrine Explained

The castle doctrine in California allows residents to use deadly force within their homes if they have a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or serious bodily injury.

If someone breaks into your house, you have the right to defend yourself without the duty to retreat. The intruder's unlawful and forceful entry into your home is enough to presume that you have a reasonable fear for your safety and those in your home.

However, this doctrine has its limitations. You can only use such force if there's a direct and immediate threat. If the intruder is fleeing, or there's a way to avoid using deadly force safely, the law expects you to take those options.

The Conditions Under Which Deadly Physical Force is Justified

The conditions under which lethal force is justified

Limitations and Obligations Under the Law

Even in your own home, the law sets boundaries on deadly force. You can't use deadly force unless you plan to prevent imminent death or serious bodily injury. The law also considers whether such force was necessary and whether any reasonable alternatives were available. Be aware of these conditions to ensure your actions stay within the legal framework of self-defense.

Furthermore, after using force, you have certain obligations. You must report the incident to law enforcement officers as soon as possible. Not doing so can lead to complications and suspicions about the legality of your actions. Communicating clearly and cooperating with law enforcement is crucial while ensuring you protect your legal rights.

Immediate Steps to Take Following an Incident

  1. Ensure safety. First, make sure the threat is neutralized and you and others are safe. Do not pursue the intruder if they flee.
  2. Call 911. Report the incident to a police officer immediately. Please provide them with all the necessary information, but avoid making speculative statements.
  3. Do not alter the scene. Preserve the scene until law enforcement arrives. Moving or altering anything could affect the investigation.
  4. Seek legal representation. Contact a criminal defense lawyer before making detailed statements to a law enforcement officer. Your attorney will guide you on what to say to protect your rights.
  5. Document everything. Write down everything you remember about the incident, including times, actions, and your fear during the event.
  6. Cooperate with the investigation. Comply with the instructions of law enforcement officers on the scene. Your cooperation can be crucial for a favorable outcome.
  7. Follow up. Stay in touch with your lawyer to understand the next steps and prepare for legal proceedings.

Legal Implications of Using Deadly Force in Home Defense

Legal implications of using deadly force in home defense

When you use deadly force in self-defense, especially in your home, can lead to serious legal implications. While the law offers protections under the castle doctrine, each case is subject to intense scrutiny. The circumstances of the incident, your actions, and the perceived threat will all be closely examined to determine if the use of force was justified.

Potential Criminal Charges and Defenses

If you've used physical force in home defense, you might face charges ranging from manslaughter to murder if the prosecution believes the force was not justified. However, you can claim self-defense as an affirmative defense. This means you acknowledge the act but argue it was justified under the circumstances.

Your criminal defense attorney will work to prove that your actions met the legal criteria for self-defense, focusing on the reasonable belief of imminent threat and the proportionality of the force used.

Another potential defense is the castle doctrine, specifically addressing situations where someone unlawfully and forcefully enters your home. This doctrine can provide a strong basis for defending your actions, assuming they fall within the legal parameters for using lethal force in self-defense.

Someone Breaks Into Your House: Best Practices To Follow

How Perlman & Cohen Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers Can Help

Building a Strong Defense Strategy

Both self-defense and the castle doctrine emphasize the importance of constructing a solid defense strategy. Our team gathers evidence, interviews witnesses, and consults experts to support your case. We focus on proving the reasonableness of your fear and the necessity of your actions.

Furthermore, we explore all possible defenses, from demonstrating the legality of your actions under the castle doctrine to challenging the prosecution's evidence.

While this differs from the stand-your-ground law, deadly physical force could still be justified in some situations. We aim to build a comprehensive defense addressing every incident aspect and your actions.

Contact Perlman & Cohen Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers for a Free Case Consultation

Contact Perlman & Cohen Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers for a free case consultation

Facing legal proceedings after defending yourself in your home can be overwhelming. But you don't have to go through it alone. Perlman & Cohen Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers are here to help.

Our experienced team understands the complexities of self-defense laws and is ready to support you every step of the way. If you are accused of using unlawful force with a deadly weapon, you need a strong legal defense. Contact us today to schedule a free case consultation.

The Long-Term Impact of a Felony Conviction

The long-term impact of a felony conviction

Getting a felony conviction is life-changing. It can affect your job, where you can live, and even your relationships. This isn't just about spending time in jail. A felony stays on your record and can make life harder forever. At Perlman & Cohen Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers, we understand how a criminal record can impact your life. A criminal conviction can create obstacles, but felony convictions feel like a mountain.

A felony conviction is more than a mistake. It's a label that sticks with you, affecting your future in ways you might not expect. Whether you're applying for a job, looking for a place to live, or trying to take out a loan, that conviction comes up. It's a reminder of the past that can block many paths to a better future. Felony offenses and felony charges can also impact child custody rights. If you face criminal charges, learn more below and contact us for a case consultation.

Understanding the Scope of a Felony Conviction

Felonies are serious crimes, and the law treats them that way. If you're convicted, the court sees your actions as more harmful than lesser offenses. As a convicted felon, you could be stripped of many rights you used to enjoy. Criminal records are generally available to the public, and this conviction could follow you everywhere.

This kind of conviction divides your life into before and after. Before, you might not have thought twice about applying for a job or a loan. But after, each application form that asks about criminal history can feel like a stop sign. Felonies include a wide range of crimes, from burglary to violent crimes (like murder), each with its own set of long-term consequences. A conviction for a violent crime can have serious consequences. If you are facing a felony charge, contact our criminal defense lawyer to schedule a case consultation.

Comparing a Misdemeanor to a Felony

Misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, but that doesn't mean they're not serious. Even a misdemeanor conviction can have long-lasting effects. But felonies come with harsher sentences, including longer jail time. For example, a murder conviction could result in life in prison.

While both can affect your life, felonies are especially tough. They can make finding employment or housing much harder. This is because the law and society see felonies as a sign of more serious criminal behavior. The differences affect everything from your freedom to your future opportunities. We have seen a felony conviction affect all areas of someone's life.

Immediate Consequences of a Felony Conviction

Right after a felony conviction, your life will start to change. You might face time in jail or prison, which is hard. But the effects stretch beyond just spending time in prison. You might lose your job, home, or even custody of your children.

These immediate consequences are just the beginning. The conviction goes on your record, which can close doors for years. It's a tough path, and the first steps after conviction can be some of the hardest. The conviction is a shadow that follows you, making each step forward a bit harder.

Social and Economic Impacts of a Felony Record

Social and economic impacts of a felony record

Living with a felony record is challenging. It's like carrying a weight that only you can see, but everyone feels. This invisible burden can change how people see you and limit your chances to move forward.

Employment Challenges and Professional Restrictions

Finding a job is one of the biggest hurdles. Many employers hesitate to hire someone with a felony conviction, and some professions might even be off-limits entirely. It's a frustrating cycle where you want to move on, but the conviction holds you back.

You might have to say goodbye to dreams of certain careers. And even if you find a job, it might differ from what you hoped for. The best plan is to look for employers open to giving you a chance. It's about finding the right fit and showing that your past doesn't define you.

Housing and Educational Opportunities

Finding a place to live can also be tough. Many landlords do background checks and might not want to rent to someone with a felony conviction. This could include anything from rape and drug crimes to domestic violence. And if you're thinking about going back to school, that conviction could affect your financial aid. Some scholarships and loans might be out of reach, but you should keep pursuing your dreams. It's about finding the paths that are still open. We can help you explore your options.

Civil Rights and Personal Freedoms

A felony conviction can remove some of your most basic rights. Many people only think about this part of the punishment once it's gone. This loss can make you feel like you're still paying for your mistake long after your sentence is over.

Loss of Voting Rights, Firearm Possession, and Jury Service

In many places, if you have a felony conviction, you can't vote. This means you don't have a say in laws that affect you daily. You also might not be able to own a gun or serve on a jury. Many people take these rights for granted but can be out of reach for convicted felons.

Getting these rights back can be challenging. It often involves a long legal process, and success is not guaranteed. But losing these rights can motivate you to fight harder to regain them. It's a reminder of what's at stake and why it's worth it to keep pushing forward.

Implications for Travel and Immigration Status

Traveling outside the country can also be complicated. Some countries won't let you in if you have a felony conviction. If you're not a U.S. citizen, that conviction could affect your immigration status or even lead to deportation.

This can forgo your dreams of seeing the world or being separated from family in other countries. It's a tough reality that many convicted felons face. But it's also a call to action, a reason to explore legal options that might help clear the way for a better future.

Facing Life with a Felony Conviction

Facing life with a felony conviction

Living with a felony conviction is about navigating a world set against you. It's about facing each day, knowing you must work harder to prove yourself. But it's also about not letting your past define your future.

Social Stigma and Relationship Strains

The social stigma of a felony conviction can be one of the hardest obstacles to overcome. People might only judge you if they know the whole story. This judgment can strain relationships with family, friends, and potential partners.

It's a daily challenge to show the world who you are, not just what's on paper. But it's also an opportunity to build stronger, more honest relationships with people who see beyond the conviction. These connections can be your foundation as you rebuild your life.

Access to Credit, Loans, and Financial Aid

Trying to get a loan or financial aid with a felony conviction can feel like hitting a wall. Banks and other lenders might see you as a risk and turn you down.

This can make going to college or buying a home much harder. However, some organizations and programs understand and want to help. It's about finding these resources and making the most of them.

Legal Avenues for Mitigating the Impact

Even with a felony conviction, there are legal steps you can take to lighten the load. These options won't erase the past but can help open up the future. It's about knowing what's available and taking action.

Expungement and Record Sealing in California

In California, expungement can offer a fresh start. It doesn't completely erase your record, but it can show that you've served your time and moved on. Record sealing is another option, making your record less visible to the public eye.

Both legal processes have requirements and limitations, but they're worth exploring if you want to leave the past behind. It's a step toward not letting a felony conviction define the rest of your life.

Pardon and Certificate of Rehabilitation

A pardon is one of the highest forms of forgiveness from the state. It can restore rights and signify that you've turned your life around. A Certificate of Rehabilitation is another step you can take. It's not a pardon but a statement from the court that you've rehabilitated.

These options are not easy to achieve but are powerful symbols of change. They require effort, patience, and a clean record since your conviction. But for many, they're a goal worth pursuing.

How Perlman & Cohen Can Help

Let Perlman & Cohen Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers Help You Rebuild Your Life After a Felony Conviction

Let Perlman & Cohen Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers help you rebuild your life after a felony conviction

Rebuilding your life after a felony conviction is a journey. It's about facing challenges head-on and finding ways to move forward. At Perlman & Cohen Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers, we believe in second chances. We're here to help you navigate the legal system and explore every option to mitigate the impact of your conviction. Contact us today to schedule a case consultation.

What to Do When You Have Been Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence in California

What to do when you have been falsely accused of domestic violence in California

Being falsely accused of domestic violence in California can turn your world upside down. Suddenly, you find yourself facing serious charges that can affect every part of your life. You must stay calm but act quickly to protect your rights and your future. Remember, being accused does not mean you are guilty. At Perlman & Cohen Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers, we know that false domestic violence allegations and false domestic violence accusations are more common than many people realize. We are here to provide you with the strongest possible defense against domestic abuse allegations.

Understanding the gravity of domestic violence charges is the first step toward defending yourself. These allegations can lead to a permanent criminal record, affecting your employment, housing, and custody of your children. Taking immediate action is essential to ensure a fair fight in court. The right strategy and legal support matters for your case. Explore strategies for managing a false accusation or a false police report below. Then, contact our experienced criminal defense lawyer to schedule a consultation.

Immediate Steps to Take After Being Falsely Accused

Once accused, knowing the immediate steps to safeguard your situation is vital. A few steps you need to take include:

  1. Refrain from making any statements to law enforcement without an attorney present. Anything you say can be used against you in court.
  2. Adhere strictly to any restraining orders issued against you. Violating these orders can severely harm your case.
  3. Start compiling a list of potential witnesses and gather evidence that can support your innocence.

Our domestic violence lawyer is here to help you if you have been accused of a domestic violence crime.

Avoid Contact with the Accuser

After an accusation of domestic or spousal battery, avoid any form of contact with the accuser. This is crucial to prevent any further allegations that could complicate your case. Direct communication can backfire even if you believe you can resolve the misunderstanding.

Instead, communicate through your attorney to ensure that all interactions are documented and legal. If there are shared responsibilities or children involved, coordinate these through a third party or legal representative. Avoiding contact helps to maintain the integrity of your defense and prevents additional charges like harassment or intimidation.

Collect and Preserve Evidence

Gathering evidence is key to disproving false allegations. Collect any texts, emails, voicemails, or social media communications that can prove your innocence or contradict the accuser's claims. Take note of any relevant dates, times, and locations that can be verified through surveillance footage, receipts, or witness statements.

Maintain a detailed journal of events related to the accusation. This can include interactions with the accuser before and after the alleged incident. Secure any physical evidence that may be relevant and make copies of all documentation. Remember, the more evidence you can provide, the stronger your defense will be.

Securing Legal Representation

Secure legal representation

Hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer is critical when facing false accusations. An attorney can navigate the legal system, advise you on the best course of action, and represent you in court. They know the complexities of domestic violence cases. They will work to discredit false claims. With their expertise, you can challenge the accusations while defending your rights.

The Role of a Criminal Defense Attorney

A criminal defense lawyer is your advocate, offering legal advice and building a strong defense on your behalf. They will examine the evidence against you, identify weaknesses in the prosecution's case, and argue for the dismissal or reduction of charges. 

Your attorney will also take care of all communications with the prosecution and court, ensuring that your side of the story is heard. They can negotiate plea deals if appropriate and strive for a favorable outcome, such as acquittal or a less severe penalty.

Preparing Your Defense Strategy

Your defense strategy hinges on the specifics of your domestic violence case. Your lawyer will collect evidence, interview witnesses, and develop a legal argument that challenges the accuser's credibility and the validity of the evidence against you. They might also explore defenses such as alibis or the accuser's motive to accuse falsely. 

Preparing for trial involves meticulously reviewing all available evidence and possibly consulting forensic experts. Your attorney will prepare you for testimony, ensuring you present your case clearly and convincingly.

Strategies for Defending Against False Accusations

Managing the Emotional and Social Fallout of False Accusations

Managing the emotional and social fallout of false accusation

Facing false accusations can be emotionally devastating. It's common to feel angry, frustrated, or depressed. Seeking support from family and friends is crucial during this time. They can provide the emotional backing you need to navigate this challenging period. Consider professional counseling. A therapist can offer strategies to manage stress and anxiety, helping you maintain your focus on your defense. Taking care of your mental health is as important as defending against the accusations.

The Importance of Emotional Support from Counseling and Support Groups

Participating in a support group for individuals facing similar accusations can be incredibly beneficial. Sharing experiences and advice with others who relate to your situation can provide comfort and practical tips for your defense. 

Professional counseling is critical in helping you cope with stress and emotional turmoil. A counselor can help you process your feelings, develop resilience, and stay mentally strong throughout the legal process.

Strategies for Reputation Management and Recovery

Long-Term Considerations and Preventive Measures

Looking ahead, it's essential to protect yourself from future accusations. Always be mindful of how your actions might be perceived and avoid situations that could lead to misunderstandings or false allegations. 

Consider documenting interactions that could be misconstrued, especially in contentious relationships. Maintaining open and transparent communication in all personal dealings can also mitigate the risk of accusations. Remember, prevention is key to avoiding the stress and damage of false accusations.

Our Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer Can Help You

Perlman & Cohen Criminal Lawyers Is Your Los Angeles Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer


Facing false allegations of domestic abuse is a harrowing experience, but you don't have to go through it alone. Perlman & Cohen Criminal Lawyers have the expertise and dedication to fight for your innocence. Our law office will stand with you and work through challenges towards clearing your name. 

It's time to take action. Contact our law office today for a consultation. Let us help you defend your rights and secure a future free from the shadow of false allegations. Rest assured, our experienced criminal defense attorney will be with you every step of the way.

What Constitutes Domestic Violence In California?

What constitutes domestic violence in California

Domestic violence in California refers to physical harm or threats of harm between family members or intimate partners. This includes hitting, stalking, or any behavior that intimidates or harms another person in a domestic setting. California law takes these offenses seriously, protecting those affected and holding perpetrators accountable. The state's definition is broad, covering various forms of abuse beyond just physical violence.

At Perlman & Cohen Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers, we are familiar with California's domestic violence laws and common domestic violence crimes. We have defended clients in countless domestic abuse and domestic violence cases. Now, we would be honored to review your domestic violence case. Learn more about what to do after a domestic violence charge. Then, contact us to schedule a case consultation.

Understanding Domestic Violence Under California Law

According to California domestic violence laws, domestic violence is characterized as abuse or threats of abuse when the parties involved have an intimate relationship. This can include married couples, domestic partners, those who are dating or have dated, and those who live together. California domestic violence law covers a wide range of behaviors, from criminal threats and sexual abuse to physical violence to emotional manipulation. The primary goal of the California Penal Code is to protect individuals from harm within their personal relationships.

Legal Definition and Scope

Under California law, domestic violence encompasses more than just physical assault. It includes any behavior that attempts to control, hurt, or frighten one's partner or family member. This broad definition aims to capture the full spectrum of abuse, from physical attacks to threats, harassment, and stalking. The state recognizes the complexity of domestic violence and seeks to address it comprehensively.

California's Penal Code specifically outlines what constitutes domestic violence, emphasizing the importance of intent and impact on the victim. The law also considers the frequency and severity of the abuse, recognizing that even non-physical forms of violence can cause significant harm. This comprehensive approach allows for more effective protection and support for those impacted while also holding abusers accountable for their actions.

Types of Behaviors Classified as Domestic Violence

Types of behaviors classified as domestic violence

Domestic violence includes a variety of harmful behaviors that can affect someone physically, emotionally, and financially. California law recognizes these different forms of abuse, ensuring victims have access to legal protection and support. Understanding these behaviors is key to identifying and preventing domestic violence.

Physical Abuse: From Battery to Assault

Physical abuse is one of the most visible forms of domestic violence. It includes hitting, punching, slapping, or any other action that causes physical harm. California law treats these actions seriously, often leading to significant legal consequences for the perpetrator. The state aims to protect individuals from physical harm and provide support for those affected.

Besides causing immediate harm, physical abuse can have long-lasting effects on a victim's health and well-being. It can result in fear, anxiety, and a sense of powerlessness. California's legal system works to prevent such abuse by offering protection orders and support services. These efforts help ensure the safety of victims and hold abusers accountable.

Emotional and Psychological Abuse

This type of maltreatment can be just as harmful as physical violence. This type of abuse includes insults, threats, isolation, and manipulation. It often leaves deep psychological scars, affecting a person's self-esteem and mental health. California law recognizes the severity of emotional abuse and provides resources to help victims.

Victims of emotional abuse may not have visible injuries, but the impact on their mental health can be profound. The law offers protection and support, understanding the complex nature of these cases. By acknowledging the harm caused by emotional abuse, California helps victims heal and regain control over their lives.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is a serious form of domestic violence that involves any non-consensual sexual activity. California law treats these offenses with the utmost seriousness, offering support and protection to victims. The state ensures that perpetrators face legal consequences, emphasizing the importance of consent in intimate relationships.

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse involves controlling a person's ability to acquire, use, or maintain financial resources. This can include withholding money, stealing, or preventing someone from working. California law offers protection for victims, recognizing financial abuse as a type of domestic violence that can trap victims in abusive relationships.

Child Abuse

Child abuse is a particularly devastating form of domestic violence. It can include physical, emotional, or sexual harm to a child. California provides strong protections for children, with laws designed to ensure their safety and well-being. The state takes action to protect children from harm and supports efforts to heal and recover from abuse.

Elder Abuse

Elder abuse involves harming or exploiting an older person. This can include physical, emotional, or financial abuse. California law offers protections for elders, recognizing their vulnerability and the need for special care.

The Spectrum of Domestic Violence Offenses

Domestic violence can manifest in many ways, from physical attacks to subtle forms of control. California law covers a wide range of offenses, recognizing the various ways abuse can occur. Understanding this spectrum is crucial for providing appropriate support and protection for victims.

Stalking, Harassment, and Threats

Stalking, harassment, and threats are forms of domestic violence that can instill fear and anxiety in victims. California law treats these behaviors seriously, providing legal recourse for those affected. The state offers protection orders and support services to help victims feel safe and secure.

These behaviors often precede or accompany physical violence, making early intervention crucial. California's legal system aims to prevent escalation by addressing these offenses promptly. By taking stalking, harassment, and threats seriously, the state helps protect individuals from further harm.

Economic Deprivation and Coercive Control

Economic deprivation and coercive control involve restricting a person's freedom and autonomy. This can include controlling their finances, limiting their access to resources, or dictating their daily activities. California law recognizes these behaviors as forms of domestic violence, offering protection and support for victims.

These tactics can trap victims in abusive situations, making it difficult to leave or seek help. California provides resources to help victims regain control over their lives and escape abuse. By addressing economic deprivation and coercive control, the state helps break the cycle of violence and support recovery.

Those Impacted By Domestic Violence: Who's Protected?

Those impacted by domestic violence_ who's protected

California law offers protection to a wide range of individuals affected by domestic violence. This includes those in intimate relationships, as well as family members and cohabitants. The state's broad definition ensures that anyone experiencing abuse can access legal support and protection.

Intimate Partner Relationships

Intimate partner relationships are a primary focus of domestic violence protections in California. This includes current and former spouses, domestic partners, and those in dating relationships. The law offers specific resources and protections for individuals in these relationships, recognizing the unique dynamics and risks involved.

Expanding Definitions to Include Former Partners and Co-Habitants

California law also protects former partners and co-habitants from domestic violence. This broader definition ensures that individuals who have left abusive relationships can still receive support and protection. The state acknowledges the ongoing risks and challenges faced by victims, even after leaving an abusive situation.

Legal Protections and Orders of Protection

California offers a range of legal protections for victims of domestic violence. This includes restraining orders and other legal measures designed to keep victims safe. The state's legal system works to provide quick and effective protection for those in need.

Temporary and Permanent Restraining Orders

Temporary and permanent restraining orders are key tools in protecting victims of domestic violence. These orders can prohibit abusers from contacting or approaching the victim, offering immediate and long-term protection. California law allows for quick issuance of temporary orders, with the possibility of converting them into permanent orders after a court hearing.

These orders are crucial for ensuring the safety of victims, allowing them to live without fear of further abuse. The legal process for obtaining restraining orders is designed to be accessible and efficient, helping victims secure protection quickly.

Emergency Protective Orders: Immediate Response Mechanism

Emergency protective orders provide an immediate response to threats of domestic violence. These orders can be issued on the spot by law enforcement, offering instant protection for victims. California law ensures that these orders are available 24/7, providing a crucial safety net for those in danger.

Emergency protective orders are a critical tool in preventing immediate harm and giving victims the time to seek longer-term protection. The state's commitment to making these orders readily available demonstrates a strong dedication to victim safety.

The Consequences of Domestic Violence Convictions

A domestic violence conviction in California can have serious consequences, affecting an individual's freedom, reputation, and future opportunities. The state imposes strict penalties on those found guilty of domestic violence, emphasizing the importance of accountability and the protection of victims.

Impact on Child Custody and Visitation Rights

A domestic violence conviction can significantly impact child custody and visitation rights. California law prioritizes the safety and well-being of children, often limiting or denying custody to those with a history of abuse. These measures ensure that children are protected from harm and placed in safe environments.

The legal system takes into account the best interests of the child, considering any history of domestic violence when making custody decisions. This approach helps safeguard children from abuse and supports their overall welfare.

Count on Perlman & Cohen Criminal Lawyers To Be Your Los Angeles Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer

Count on Perlman & Cohen Criminal Lawyers to be your Los Angeles domestic violence defense lawyer

When facing allegations of domestic violence, it's crucial to have experienced legal representation. Perlman & Cohen Criminal Lawyers specialize in defending those accused of domestic violence in Los Angeles.

Finding the right attorney can make all the difference in your case. Perlman & Cohen offer the expertise and dedication needed to navigate the legal system effectively. We are committed to providing the best possible defense, ensuring your side of the story is heard, and your rights are protected. If you've received accusations of a domestic violence crime, contact us to schedule a case consultation.

How Much Does A Domestic Violence Attorney Cost?

Learn more about our rates that are specific to your case. Our Domestic Violence Attorneys are top rated. We offer a free consultation.

How Much Does a Domestic Violence Charge Cost

Domestic violence is a serious criminal charge, and the consequences of a domestic violence conviction can be significant and long-lasting. If you have been arrested for domestic violence or spousal abuse in Los Angeles, you may be wondering how much a domestic violence charge will cost you. As seasoned criminal defense attorneys, we have seen the heavy financial and emotional toll a domestic violence charge can take on offenders and their loved ones.

From substantial fines to a loss of custody rights, payment of restitution, and possible jail time, the penalties associated with a California domestic violence conviction are not to be taken lightly.

Whether you were recently arrested for a domestic violence crime or charges have already been filed, it is never too late to get qualified legal help. Contact Perlman & Cohen as soon as possible to find out how our reputable domestic violence attorneys can help with your case.

California Domestic Violence Laws

Domestic violence laws vary from state to state, as do the associated penalties. In California, acts of domestic violence can be charged under several different legal statutes, depending on the circumstances and severity of the alleged crime or crimes.

Penal Code § 273.5 PC, also known as corporal injury to a spouse, is the most serious domestic violence-related crime under California law. This statute covers any situation in which a person is accused of causing injury to a spouse, co-parent, or cohabitant where the injury results in a traumatic condition.

If you are involved in an altercation or dispute with a spouse or family member and the police get involved, you could also face criminal charges under Penal Code § 243(e)(1) PC (domestic battery)Penal Code § 240 PC (assault)Penal Code § 242 PC (battery), or any number of other domestic violence laws. The California Penal Code is complex and multifaceted, and it is always a good idea to enlist the help of a knowledgeable Los Angeles criminal defense attorney when facing charges for domestic violence.

Penalties for Domestic Violence Charges

The cost of a domestic violence charge depends on the specific criminal charges you are facing. Each of the California statutes noted above carries its own penalties, which may include a jail or prison sentence, substantial court fines, probation, victim restitution, community service, or mandatory counseling or batterers’ intervention classes, among other penalties.

For instance, if you are charged with domestic violence under Penal Code § 273.5 PC, depending on the circumstances of the charge, you could face the following criminal penalties upon conviction:

For subsequent offenses, the penalties become increasingly severe. Under Penal Code § 273.5 (f)(1) PC, any person convicted of violating the domestic violence statute within seven years of a previous conviction faces imprisonment in state prison for two, four, or five years, or in county jail for up to one year, and a fine of up to $10,000.

The defendant may also be required to make payments to a battered women’s shelter and reimburse the alleged victim for the cost of counseling and other expenses related to the domestic violence offense.

Mandatory minimum jail time applies to certain California domestic violence offenses as well, which means convicted offenders may be required to serve a minimum amount of time in jail upon conviction.

Many domestic violence offenses in Los Angeles are wobblers, which means it is up to the prosecutor to review the facts of the case and determine whether to charge the alleged crime as a misdemeanor or felony offense, based on the type of crime, the level of force used and/or harm inflicted, and the defendant’s criminal history. Felony charges are the most serious.

However, domestic violence allegations of any kind carry a negative stigma, and even misdemeanor offenses are punished harshly under California law.

Additional Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction

Defendants facing charges for domestic violence must be aware of the long-term consequences associated with a conviction, which extend beyond fines and jail time. If you are convicted on charges of domestic violence, depending on the charge, you could lose your right to vote or own or purchase firearms, among other important rights. Finding employment with a felony conviction on your record can be extremely difficult, as can being approved for housing. You could even lose custody of your children or face immigration consequences, such as deportation or inadmissibility to the United States, if you are not an American citizen.

A domestic violence conviction also means you would have a permanent criminal record, which can impact your life for years to come. If you face another criminal charge in the future, having a conviction on your record could subject you to more severe penalties if you are convicted and sentenced for the new crime.

How Our Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys Can Help

As you can see, domestic violence charges carry a significant cost. And once charges have been brought, it is unlikely that they will be dropped, even if the alleged victim changes their mind or declines to press charges.

In fact, domestic violence charges can be brought against you even if the other person doesn’t report the incident. Once the police have been called and an alleged act of domestic violence is reported by someone, the matter is in the hands of the District Attorney’s Office. If you have been charged with a domestic violence-related crime in Los Angeles, you need a strong and assertive legal advocate who will fight for your rights and ensure that you have the best possible criminal defense.

Attorneys Daniel Perlman and Matthew Cohen of Los Angeles Criminal Attorneys know how much a domestic violence charge can cost defendants and are committed to putting their expertise to work to help those accused of domestic violence fight back against the charges.

Call Los Angeles Criminal Attorneys today to schedule a consultation with our qualified domestic violence lawyers.

How A DUI Can Affect Your Professional License?

A DUI can affect your professional license adversely. Contact our top rated DUI attorneys for a risk free consultation.

How Can a DUI Affect Your Professional License in California?

If you have a professional license in California, you can lose it with a DUI. State licensing boards do not take kindly to DUI charges or convictions and you should contact the Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys as soon as possible to help you beat a charge.

If you are in the medical or legal professions, military, or any of the other 200 licensed occupations in California, a DUI can keep you from applying for or keeping the professional status you need for employment. You could face disqualification and your career may be in jeopardy.

What is a California professional license?

A professional license is a qualification, admission, certificate, permit or temporary permit, license or temporary license, registration or temporary registration, that is described in the California Business and Professional Codes (BPC) as a requirement for certain jobs in the state of California. These licenses are individual and non-transferable.

Misdemeanor vs. Felony effect on a professional license

A misdemeanor DUI charge typically does not affect your license. But in this electronic age, all illegal behaviors get identified and become available for licensing boards to find. The important thing for most boards is for you to be honest in reporting any illegal activity. Failing to do so brings into question the moral character that a board will want to question.

A felony charge or conviction of either a misdemeanor or felony is another story. While the responsibility to report is the same, there can be criminal penalties involved and more serious actions by state licensing boards. Each board treats DUI offenses a little differently but all are concerned with the honesty and morality of their members.

Can I get a professional work license with a DUI?

Applying for a professional work license with a misdemeanor will probably not be a problem. Anything more serious will depend on the particular Board’s rules. But there are key factors that can make charges and convictions more serious depending on the type of DUI and the license. A DUI for drunk driving would not automatically prevent someone from getting a license from the Board of Pharmacy, for example, but a DUI involving drugs would be a bigger problem to overcome.

Can I lose my Professional License after a DWI or DUI?

A conviction in California for a misdemeanor or felony will result in a notification to the appropriate licensing board or agency. This conviction will probably lead to disciplinary action by that board.

However, a licensing board may not deny your application nor take away your license based on a criminal conviction if the conviction is seven years old and it is not substantially related to the details of your job.

A serious felony can override these rules and can be the most important factor for denying or revoking a professional license.

How can a DUI affect my professional license?

Each profession has its own Board to deal with transgressions. The underlying principles for all are the seriousness of the crime, when it happened, the details involved, was it a misdemeanor or felony, the number of DUIs, are you on probation or parole, and in many cases, what happened after the DUI – have you completed any rehabilitation, etc. All the Boards will want to know if you reported the instance right after it happened or if you tried to hide it.

Here are some of the DUI effects on particular license groups:

DUI and medical license - Physician

A physician is held in high esteem by society and therefore should conduct him- or herself responsibly. A DUI can reflect a violation of that trust, can lead to civil and professional penalties, can jeopardize their residency or specialist programs, can lose their provisional eligibility for insurance programs like Medicare or MediCal, and if serious enough, can result in prison time and medical disqualification.

If there are no unusual circumstances involved, the Medical Board typically does not charge a violation for a single DUI conviction. But it would consider discipline for:

Will a DUI affect my Nursing License?

If you are applying to be a nurse and have been convicted of a first-offense DUI, it is still possible for you to continue with your application because there are very few criminal convictions that will bar you from a nursing license.

But a DUI can affect your ability to take the NCLEX Exam because the test often asks about current or past convictions and board disciplinary actions.

Nursing issues with a DUI:

UI and Dentistry License

The Dental Board of California, like most other boards, is concerned about addiction or substance abuse. Multiple offenses will lead to investigation and possible discipline. A first-offender will probably not have a problem with the Board. But any conviction should be reported, and discipline will probably follow, usually through the processes of Accusations or Stipulated Agreements.

Dentistry issues with a DUI:

Can I get a Pharmacy License with a DUI?

Pharmacists, like physicians, are in constant contact with drugs and chemical substances including narcotics. The potential for abuse is present all the time. Given the job, the Pharmacy Board is very sensitive to any drug violation.

DUI and Pharmacy Licenses are individually judged. Like many other medical professions, a drunk driving charge is not an automatic bar to getting or keeping a license. The discipline depends on the severity of the DUI, multiple DUIs, and rehabilitation terms, and compliance.

DUI and Law Practicing in California

Like physicians, attorneys are held to a higher standard in society. A DUI misdemeanor is not necessarily a “crime of moral turpitude” and a reason to revoke a law license, but if convicted of any DUI, a lawyer must report the details of the arrest and conviction.

BPC Codes 6101 and 6102 direct the State Bar to be notified of any criminal charges and convictions. The notification leads to an immediate investigation. Discipline depends on the circumstances of the DUI.

DUI and the Military

The Military Services have strict guidelines and carry stronger disciplines for DUI than the civilian world. You will not be allowed to join the United States Armed Forces if you are convicted of any kind of DUI. And if already in the Military, sentences could involve pay deduction, demotion, prison, and/or dishonorable discharge.

Other professions

Real Estate

If you are applying for a real estate license, you should know that the California Department of Real Estate can consider criminal convictions, including a DUI, when evaluating applications. But the Board is more concerned about crimes that are “substantially related” to the job, such as fraud, bribery, or counterfeiting. Reporting your DUI is important because the Board also considers dishonesty a substantial issue.


The application for a liquor license asks questions relative to past behavior including whether the applicant has had a criminal conviction, has been fined, placed on probation, forfeited bail, or is being prosecuted for a law violation. A DUI conviction would make it very difficult to get a liquor license, especially if there were multiple arrests.


Engineers and contractors deal with the public all the time and are expected to be honest and responsible and care for the safety of their clients. The CSLB is concerned more about crimes of theft, fraud, or violence and these will no doubt lead to discipline.

If you have had a DUI within the past seven years, the Board may still accept your application if the DUI is not substantially related to the duties of your job.

What should I do to protect my license after a DUI?

If you get a DUI, you should contact the offices of the Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys to help establish a defense to protect your professional license. You will be advised on your Board’s reporting requirements and disciplinary actions.

You will also learn what you can do to demonstrate good moral character and responsible decision-making involving community service, rehabilitation programs, etc.

How do I fight a DUI charge?

There are many ways to fight a DUI, and the Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys know all of them and can help you challenge evidence including blood test results, erratic driving, and field sobriety tests. Your professional license is too important to fight these allegations by yourself. Contact a good attorney.

Contact the Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys to help with your license protection

We have helped many professionals with their application for licensing and we have helped many professionals keep their licenses in good standing. Contact us today for the information and assistance that will help protect your career.

Contact Attorney Daniel Perlman or Matthew Cohen today at the office of Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys, (310) 557-1700.

How A DUI Affects Your Life?

Learn about the affects of a DUI on daily life.. Contact our top rated DUI attorneys for a risk free consultation.

How a DUI Affects Your Life

If you have been charged with DUI in California, the first thing you should do is contact Perlman & Cohen because a conviction can bring devastating changes your life. Your life may not be over but DUI will put your career and livelihood in jeopardy. Your finances may be ruined for years. Criminal penalties, costly court-ordered classes, and alternative transportation, among others, combined with a possible loss of income, will definitely impact your lifestyle.

Going to college or buying a new house will be a problem because lending institutions frown on criminal behavior. Insurance rates will jump as well. If your car was impounded by the police, there is a fee to get it released. And all this is just the start of your financial woes.

Read The Small Print: Your DUI Can Get You Fired

Many companies have employees sign contracts that contain information relative to criminal behavior and states that this is grounds for dismissal.

So, you could be legally fired for a DUI. And if that happens, it will be difficult to find another job since those other companies have the option to do a background check on you. If they do, they will easily find the DUI because it stays on your record for 10 years – all the more reason to hire a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney. They can do a lot to help you including plea bargain to reduce the charges.

DUI effect on professional license and security clearance

In some professions, where licensing or certifications are required, job loss is very probable. This includes medical professions like doctors and nurses, legal professionals, and commercial transportation drivers. Anyone who deals with the public and needs a high degree of credibility is at risk when given a DUI. Military and government officials who have security clearance are examples of those who have to face a new reality as a result of DUI.  

Can You Travel with a DUI?

Your freedoms will change with a DUI, starting with jail or prison time. Furthermore, you will have less time for recreation and travel with the court-ordered classes (e.g., mandatory DUI classes AA classes) and court appearances you will face, and your travel experience will be very different after a DUI. Even if you can still drive your own car, an IID (ignition interlock device) will be installed and you will have to deal with that. Or you will have to get used to public transportation – buses, Uber cabs, subways, or have to ride with friends.

And forget that travel to other countries because DUI travelers will not be allowed to visit them. There are DUI restrictions in Canada, Japan, Australia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, China, and Malaysia, among others.

Canada says “Not here” to DUI travelers

Canada, especially, is very strict about not allowing American visitors with DUI records. About one-third of all vehicle accident deaths in Canada are caused by impaired drivers. More people die from impaired drivers than from murder in Canada. And they strongly believe it is preventable.

You will need authorization from Canadian immigration officials to get there. But there are some other ways to enter the country. You should consult with a Los Angeles Defense Lawyer to learn about getting a Temporary Residence Permit or entering Canada through the Criminal Rehabilitation process.

Will a DUI affect citizenship application?

DUI affects immigration, too. If you plan to apply for a Green Card, keep in mind that part of that process is to do background checks. Any criminal record will make the process much more difficult.

Will a DUI Ruin My Life?

Family life can suffer from a DUI. Repeated offenses or accidents caused by DUI can tear apart families. Spouses sometimes separate. If you have children, your ability to care for them can change. You could lose custody over a DUI. This is a chain-reaction effect of DUI that can be the most devastating of all.

Your self-image will suffer from a DUI

There is a lot to deal with. The jail time, fines, fees, probation, and 10-year record are part of it. Many people suffer embarrassment and remorse from all the after-effects, and when the loss is extensive, it can lead to great depression. DUI offenders suffer a loss of self-esteem. Their reputation is damaged. They may be out of a job. They may have a broken family.

Their friends and colleagues look at them in an entirely different way. If the DUI caused an accident and someone was injured or death was the result, it is even more devastating to the DUI driver. And the sadness doesn’t even end here. The ultimate negative outcome of DUI can include suicidal thoughts or actions by the driver.

Conviction for DUI Vehicle CODE 23152(a) vc and 23152(b) vc

There are two primary laws for DUI offenders in California. The first is Vehicle Code 23152(a) that makes it illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol. The second is Vehicle Code 23152(b) that makes it illegal to drive with a BAC of .08% or greater. There is a good chance that anyone arrested for DUI will be given both charges.

DUI Penalties Depend On Several Factors

There are also two main factors for determining the severity of a DUI. They are whether you had prior DUIs and whether there were any injuries as a result of your DUI. The charges may be filed as a misdemeanor (e.g. first-time offender, no one was injured, etc.) or a felony (e.g. 4 previous DUIs or someone was injured). The time to hire a Los Angeles Defense Attorney is at the beginning, before the DMV Hearing when there is still a chance to prevent your license from being s

For multiple offenders, there is a 10-year window of probationary time, and penalties get more serious with each offense – another reason to have a good relationship with a Los Angeles Defense Lawyer.

First offense – Misdemeanor DUI

The defendant can get up to 6 months of jail time and suspension of driver’s license for 4-10 months (but driving may be allowed by getting an IID for 6 months); $390- $1000 in fines; 3 or 9 months of DUI classes.

Second offense – Misdemeanor DUI

The defendant can get 96 hours to 1 year in jail and suspension of driver’s license for 2 years (but driving may be allowed by getting an IID for 1 year); $390- $1000 in fines; 18 or 30 months of DUI classes on a second offense.

Third offense – Misdemeanor DUI

The defendant can get 120 days to 1 year in jail; driver’s license suspension for 3 years (but driving may be allowed by getting an IID for 2 years); $390-$1000 in fines; 30 months of DUI classes.

DUI with Injury – Misdemeanor DUI

The defendant can get 5 days to 1 year in Jail; driver’s license suspension for 1 to 3 years (but driving may be allowed by getting an IID for 6 months); $390-$5000 in fines plus restitution for injured parties; 3, 18, 0r 30 months of DUI classes.

First offense DUI with injury – Felony DUI

The defendant can get 16 months to 16 years in state prison; driver’s license suspension for 1 year (but driving may be allowed by getting an IID for 1 year); $1015-$5000 in fines plus restitution for injured parties; 18 or 30 months of DUI classes.

Felony DUI

The defendant can get 16 months or 2 years or 3 years in state prison; driver’s license suspension for up to 5 years; $390-$1000 in fines; 18 or 30 months of DUI classes.

Contact Perlman & Cohen For A Free Consultation The Los Angeles assault attorneys are experienced with many cases of DUI and can advise you of your rights and help you outline a proper defense that will maximize the outcome of your case. Contact Attorney Daniel Perlman or Matthew Cohen at Perlman & Cohen, (310) 557-1700.