Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Criminal Defense is Not Always for Criminals

The term "Criminal" in Criminal Defense refers to the nature of allegations, accusations, and assumptions. It does not mean that the accused is a criminal. In fact, it is very common that my clients are just regular people who have found themselves in an unfortunate, and very unusual, situation.

The following is an example of just a few recent results I have achieved for my clients.

Misdemeanor Theft (Shoplifting): Client was arrested after allegedly concealing $70 worth of merchandise and attempting to exit a warehouse store. After discussing the issues at hand with the prosecutor and painting a picture of certain mitigating circumstances, there was a small fine and the criminal case was dismissed.

Misdemeanor Drunk in Public: Client was assisting a heavily-intoxicated friend from a bar. The friend could barely stand, so client was supporting her to another friend's vehicle so she could go home and sleep it off. Rather than assisting the inebriated female, police arrested the Good Samaritan - despite the absence of any objective signs of intoxication; despite the fact that the client was neither a danger to himself nor others. Because the client had a prior DUI, the District Attorney sought to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. Attorney Givot called their bluff and, rather than entertaining any of the misdemeanor offers extended by the DA, he set the matter for trial. When it was clear that the Defense was ready to fight and win, the criminal case was dismissed.

Felony Possession of Heroin: Client suffered a loss of consciousness while in public. Paramedics discovered a small quantity of Heroin in his pocket. At the Emergency Room, client was arrested and upon his release from the hospital he was booked for felony possession. Client was formally charged by the District Attorney and faced two years in State Prison. After careful negotiation and close work with the prosecutor, client will complete a drug treatment program and a short period of probation. When probation is complete, criminal case will be dismissed.

Felony DUI Manslaughter: Client, just 24-years-old, was out for the evening with his 26-year-old female companion. After dinner, a few drinks, and lots of laughs, the two headed toward home in client’s high-performance sports car. Although there was no evidence of reckless driving or excessive speed for the conditions, the vehicle lost control on a windy road with an uneven grade. Tragically, the car struck a tree on the passenger side and the companion was killed instantly. Client was charged with multiple felony counts and faced nearly a decade in state prison. The legal team, which included Mr. Givot and Attorney David Borsari and Attorney Veronica Guzman, worked tirelessly reviewing evidence, law, custody credits, and specific mitigating factors. The team worked with the client’s family as well as prosecutors to achieve the best possible result in a case where there could be no winner. Ultimately, the case resolved without the trauma of a trial and the client is expected to be home after serving approximately 364 days.

Misdemeanor DUI (under 21-years-old) and Possession of Alcohol by a Minor: Client was stopped by police for allegedly speeding. Police discovered an unopened beer in the center console and accused client of driving while intoxicated. Client was arrested and charged, despite the fact that the police did not perform any chemical blood/alcohol test. After exposing and discussing the inherent weaknesses of the prosecution’s case, client paid a small fine for the beer and the criminal case was dismissed.

Felony Domestic Violence: Client, a Paramedic in Southern California, found himself in a heated argument with his wife. The exchange, just one of many sparked by economic difficulties, led to yelling and, ultimately, both spouses removing themselves from the situation. Nevertheless, before separating themselves to cool off, both had called police claiming the other had assaulted them. When police arrived, client’s wife – who had scratched her own arms out of frustration – claimed the scratches were caused by client. He was arrested and booked on suspicion of felony spousal battery. Attorney Givot met with client prior to the arraignment and noted right away that client’s fingernails had been so frequently bitten for so long, that the finger tips had literally begun to grow over the nails – thus making it impossible for client to have scratched anyone. On the day of the arraignment, Attorney Givot went to both the District Attorney and the arresting Police agency to discuss the matter BEFORE any formal charges were filed. After a harried morning of running around, no criminal charges were filed.

As you can see, there are no small criminal cases...each is very important to the people involved.

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges or has been arrested, there is no time to waste. Contact the Law Office of David J. Givot for your FREE consultation.

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