Los Angeles Criminal Threats Lawyers
IF YOU HAVE A CRIMINAL THREATS CASE PENDING AGAINST YOU, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Criminal threat cases are taken seriously by the police, prosecutors and judges. In my opinion, you should hire a criminal defense attorney that had defended these type of cases and is well known and respected in the court that your case is pending. Over the course of the past twenty five years, I have seen an alarming shift in how these cases are handled. It is a shift that can have serious long lasting consequences if not handled properly.
In the past, when someone cheated another person or wronged another person and that person became angry and threatened the offending party, there was not much done about it by law enforcement. Sometimes they would contact the person issuing the threats and warn then, or tell the person that was threatened that it is a civil matter and they should sue the other party. And, if they actually did something about it, the worst that would usually come of it would be a misdemeanor charge. Now, I see these cases being charged as felonies all across Los Angeles County courthouses. Further, Penal Code Section 422 (commonly known as criminal threats) is now a strike that can carry harsh consequences for the person being charged.
We all lose our temper. However, if you go too far and actually threaten physical harm to another person then that person now has a powerful response to your threats. In my experience, there are always two sides to a story and it is my job to get my client’s side of the story to the prosecutor and judge and make sure that my client it not unfairly treated. If the action taken by the client is truly an aberration and they had no intent of carrying out the subject threat, then there are many things that can be done to lesson the blow this charge carries. Many times we can get the prosecutor to consider a different charge or even some other resolution that protects the person record. If on the other hand, the person meant the threat and was prepared or did carry it out…that is even more reason to hire the best attorney you can find!
The best way to get the answers you seek is to come and sit down with me face to face so we can go over your case step by step and design the most effective plan to get you the result you deserve.
LEARN WHAT IT TAKES TO AVOID A CRIMINAL THREATS CHARGE ALTOGETHER IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY
This charge is one of the criminal charges that really frustrates me as criminal defense attorney. The biggest problem that I see with it is that the alleged victims in criminal threats cases will sometimes use this charge to gain advantage in a civil setting. In other words, they will claim that they were threatened so they can get the upper hand against someone who they have wronged and are trying to avoid fulfilling their responsibilities to the other party. The classic example of this frustrating circumstance is when one person owes another person money and is trying to avoid paying it, so they claim the other person threatened them and get the police involved so they never have the pay the person the money they owe them.
Hence the way to get out of having to plead guilty to a criminal threats charge is for your defense attorney to investigate, gather evidence and show the prosecutor that the alleged victim is trying to manipulate the criminal justice system to their favor in order to gain some sort of an advantage over the criminal defendant. The prosecutors will listen to logic and arguments that are backed up by facts. They will not listen to speculation and arguments that are not backed up with evidence. Sometimes there are cases where neither side has the proof they need to prove the other side wrong. In this circumstance the case will end up in trial, unless the defense can convince the prosecutors that they are going to lose at trial. Prosecutor hate to lose case and be embarrassed. Therefore, if they feel they will lose, they will get rid of the case.
Another strategy to avoid the harsh effects of a criminal threats charge is to convince the prosecutor to permit the defendant to plead to a different charge that is less serious. The way to do this is to point out issues with the prosecutor’s case and to show the prosecutor that the defendant is not a person who is deserving of a strike on their record for the rest of their life and that the alleged victim is partially to blame for the situation. In order to be successful in getting the prosecutor to change a criminal threats charge, it takes an attorney who is seasoned and who has had success with these type of cases before.
When I handle criminal threat cases, I sit down with the client first and get the whole story as to what happened and why it happened. We then go through all of the information and evidence we can use to either defend the case or mitigate it down to something less serious. We will gather character letters and put together a package for the prosecutor that shows the client in a positive light and makes it clear that they will never get themselves in this situation again. The key is to show the prosecutor that the subject behavior is an aberration that only occurred because of some special circumstances and if they give you a break it will not come back to bite them later.
In criminal defense, one of the biggest things that I see myself getting around time and time again is the judge’s and prosecutor’s fear that if they give you a break, you will not take seriously what you did and be back in the system again with something more serious that harms a member of the public. Then their colleagues who get that case will see they gave you a break and it will reflect poorly on them. If we can get around this issue and give them a reason to trust you, we are home free!