Los Angeles Criminal Defense Blog

Is the Government Monitoring Your Social Media Accounts?

By Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney on June 15, 2022

Even when you use your privacy settings, your social media accounts are not totally private. In most cases, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media companies will voluntarily share your information and personal messages with law enforcement agencies, whether they have a warrant or not.

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Posted in: Criminal Defense

Were You Accused of Accepting a Kickback?

By Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney on April 17, 2022

A kickback occurs when someone secretly provides some type of compensation to another person as a reward for doing something in an illicit manner. A kickback is a type of bribe, and anyone who offers or accepts a kickback may be subject to prosecution under California and federal law.

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Posted in: White-Collar Crime

Ignorance of the Law – Is It a Defense?

By Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney on March 16, 2022

It is a fundamental legal principle in the U.S. that ignorance of the law is no defense. If ignorance were accepted as an excuse, any person charged with a criminal offense could claim ignorance to avoid the consequences. Laws apply to every person within the jurisdiction, whether they are known and understood. This is based on the idea that laws have been made known to the public in government journals, newspapers, printed publications, online, and other sources.

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Posted in: Criminal Defense

Social Media and Your Domestic Violence Defense

By Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney on March 9, 2022

Social media may be a wonderful way to stay connected with family and friends, but it can damage your domestic violence case. Anything you post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., can be used against you in court. If you are facing domestic violence charges, it may be in your best interests to avoid social media altogether until criminal proceedings are over.

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Posted in: Domestic Violence

What to Do When You’re Accused of Ponzi Scheming

By Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney on March 2, 2022

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment scam that generates returns for early investors with money that comes from later investors. It is named after Charles Ponzi, an Italian swindler who operated in North America and was arrested in 1920. Ponzi schemes promise investors high rates of return with negligible risk. Eventually, when there are not enough new investors to provide sufficient funds to go around, the scheme unravels.

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Posted in: Criminal Defense

What Happens When You Don’t Give a Police Officer Your Real Name?

By Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney on February 15, 2022

False identification to a police officer is illegal under California Penal Code Section 148.9. The law states, “Any person who falsely represents or identifies himself or herself as another person or as a fictitious person to any peace officer . . . upon lawful detention or arrest of the person, either to evade the process of the court, or to evade the proper identification of the person by the investigating officer is guilty of a misdemeanor. . .”

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Posted in: Criminal Defense

Failure to Report Offshore Accounts

By Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney on February 5, 2022

An offshore bank account is any account with a bank located outside of the United States. The most popular offshore banking centers in the global market are the Cayman Islands and Switzerland. Offshore accounts provide financial and legal benefits to banking clients.

If they have more than $10,000 in a foreign bank account, U.S. citizens and residents must report annually to the IRS all financial interests in any bank, securities, or other financial accounts in any foreign country. This is done by filing on or before April 15 of every year IRS form TD F 90-22.1. This form is a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).

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Posted in: Financial Crimes

Accused of a Hate Crime in Los Angeles?

By Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney on January 3, 2022

A “hate crime” is not a crime in itself, but penalty enhancements for a bias-driven criminal offense. A hate crime is defined as:

“hate crime is a crime against a person, group, or property motivated by the victim’s real or perceived protected social group. You may be the victim of a hate crime if you have been targeted because of your actual or perceived: (1) disability, (2) gender, (3) nationality, (4) race or ethnicity, (5) religion, (6) sexual orientation, and (7) association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Hate crimes are serious crimes that may result in imprisonment or jail time.”

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Posted in: Criminal Defense

How Does a Grand Jury Work?

By Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney on December 13, 2021

A grand jury is a body of 19 average citizens called for jury duty. It serves an entirely different purpose than a trial jury. While a trial jury renders a verdict in a criminal trial, the purpose of a grand jury is to determine whether charges should be brought against a suspect. Grand juries work closely with prosecutors and have the power to view evidence and interrogate witnesses. They do not have to be unanimous to issue an indictment (formal charge or accusation of a serious crime). Usually in serious felony cases, prosecutors work with grand juries to determine whether to bring criminal charges against a potential defendant.

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Posted in: Criminal Defense

What Is Obstruction of Justice?

By Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney on December 6, 2021

Under federal law, obstruction of justice is defined as an act that “corruptly or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice.” California statutes do not name any particular offense as “obstruction of Justice.” However, several different crimes fall into this general category.

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Posted in: Criminal Defense