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Who Are We?

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Brian Hurwitz is ONE of just a few Criminal Defense Attorneys in Los Angeles with such a high success rate. His Success rate is the result of 3 key things:

  • He Handles ALL cases personally. You will NOT be handed off to a less experienced Junior Attorney Like with most other Law Firms.
  • Unlike Ex District Attorneys that  spend most of their careers in only 1 Courtroom, therefore, developing relationships with only 1 Judge and Prosecutor, Brian has spent EVERY day in courts (2 courts in a day sometimes!) ALL over Los Angeles developing strong relationships with ALL the Judges and prosecutors in LA.
  • Only Brian’s Aggressive determination, persistence, fearlessness, willingness to go the extra mile (Answering phone calls, texts and even meeting with clients at night and weekends) , and strength to fight for his clients can achieve the following recent results..
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Jury Trial Success Rate .. RECENT VICTORIES

  • Not Guilty on Felony Robbery (LONG BEACH COURT). THE PEOPLE V. DILLIAN L
  • Mistrial on Lewd Conduct which would have require 290 sex registration (COMPTON COURTHOUSE). PEOPLE V. ELIJAH R.
  • Sexual Battery Dismissed on Eve of Trial (CCB DOWNTOWN LA COURT). PEOPLE V. ALONSO G.
  • Domestic Violence Dismissed on Eve of Trial (BELLFLOWER COURT). THE PEOPLE V. RAJU C.
  • FELONY CRIMINAL THREATS, ASSAULT WITH DEADLY WEAPON, DIVERSION FOR 1 YEAR ON MISDEMEANOR AND THEN DISMISSED (CCB DOWNTOWN LA) THE PEOPLE V. LAKE S.
  • GIVING DRINK TO MINOR AT AVALON CLUB , MET WITH CITY ATTORNEY AND PREVENTED CHARGES FROM BEING FILED BEFORE FIRST COURT DATE. PEOPLE V. ENRIGUE D. (CCB DOWNTOWN LA COURT)
  • PETTY THEFT. PREVENTED CHARGES FROM BEING FILED (CCB DOWNTOWN LA COURT) PEOPLE V. MICHAEL M.
  • DRUNK IN PUBLIC – DISMISSED AT ARRAIGNMENT (SAN FERNANDO)
  • UNDER INFLUENCE OF METH AND POSSESION PIPE – DISMISSED AT ARRAIGNMENT (TORRANCE)
  • FELONY ROBBERY – LIVE IN REHAB SUSPENDED PRISON TIME (LONG BEACH)
  • 3 RD TIME FELONY GRAND THEFT AUTO – LIVE IN REHAB AND SUSPENDED PRISON TIME
  • 7 FELONY GRAND THEFT, AUTO BURGLARY, 2ND DEGREE BURGLARY , SPLIT SENTENCE 6 MONTHS CJ AND 6 MONTHS REHAB
  • 3 TIME OFFENDER CHARGED WITH 6 COUNTS OF FELONY DRUG SALES/TRANSPORTATION OF METH, HEROINE, COCAINE, MARIJUANA, , PLEAD TO 1 COUNT METH SALES WITH 6 MONTHS REHAB

DUI RESULTS

  • BAC .10/.10 DUI DISMISSED , PLEA TO WET RECKLESS (VAN NUYS COURT)
  • BAC .12/.12 DUI WITH TRAFFIC ACCIDENT AND DUI DISMISSED , PLEA TO WET RECKLESS (SAN FERNANDO COURT)
  • BAC .08/.08 DUI DISMISSED , PLEA  TO EXHIBITION OF SPEED (METRO DOWNTOWN LA)
  • BAC .17 , DUI DISMISSED , REFUSAL DISMISSED OPEN CONTAINER IN VEHICLE  DISMISSED, AND PLEA TO WET RECKLESS (METRO DOWNTOWN LA)
  • REFUSAL, PAS OF .18 , DISMISSED REFUSAL, (EAST LA)
  • BAC .19/.18 DUI DISMISSED AND PLEA TO DRUNK IN PUBLIC (METRO COURT DT LA)
  • DRIVING UNDER INFLUENCE OF MARIJUANA ., SET FOR TRIAL DUI DISMISSED
  • BAC .17/.17 – CASE FILED AFTER 6 MONTHS/WARRANT ISSUED/CLIENT ARRESTED 2 YEARS LATER/ FILED SERNA MOTION GOT CASE DISMISSED FOR  LACK OF SPEEDY TRIAL (VAN NUYS)
  • BAC .09/09, ALSO CHARGED WITH DRIVING SUSPENDED LICENSE FROM PRIOR DUI, CLIENT WAS ARRESTED AT DUI CHECKPOINT. RESULT: DUI DISMISSED, PLEA TO DRIVING ON SUSPENDED LICENSE. (METRO DOWNTOWN LA)
  • BAC .19/.19 WITH TRAFFIC ACCIDENT, CASE DISMISSED. ( PREVENTED DMV FROM SUSPENDING LICENSE) (BELLFOWER)
  • BAC .17/.17 CLIENT SLEEPING IN VEHICLE PARKED IN FRONT OF CHP STATION WITH KEY IN IGNOTION, CAR RUNNING. CASE DISMISSED! (PREVENTING DMV FROM SUSPENDING DRIVER LICENSE) (GLENDALE)
  • BAC.10/.10 – DUI DISMISSED, PLEA TO WET RECKLESS (VAN NUYS)

Practice Areas

DUI

California DWI & DUI Laws

According to the most recent California DUI statistics, there were nearly 1,500 alcohol-involved fatalities in 2007.

That may not seem like many, considering there were more than 200,000 DUI arrests, but once you realize that 1,500 people left behind their parents, siblings, children, spouses, friends, and other loved ones, the number becomes staggering.

Due to these high numbers, in 2011, California join many other states by allowing the Department of Motor Vehicles to immediately suspend the driver’s license of anyone suspected of driving under the influence. This law, know as Admin Per Se, enables law enforcement to confiscate a suspected offenders driver’s license. The license is then sent to the DMV, where it is held until the predetermined suspension time is over or the charge is found to have no merit at a hearing.

Per California’s driving under the influence (DUI) laws, it’s illegal to operate a motor vehicle with any of the following blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentages:

  • 0.08% or higher? 21 years old or older operating a regular passenger vehicle.
  • 0.04% or higher?operating a commercial vehicle.
  • 0.01% or higher?younger than 21 years old.

The state’s DUI laws include medications, too. You can’t legally drive if you’ve consumed illegal drugs or:

  • Excessive amounts of drugs with alcohol in them (such as cough syrup).
  • Prescription medication.
  • Over-the-counter medication.

DUI convictions stay on your driving record for 10 years.

Understand Your DUI Penalties

Not all DUI penalties or charges are the same. Depending on your age, license type, and any previous convictions, you could face:

  • Admin Per Se license suspension.
  • Criminal license suspension
  • Fines.
  • Jail time or community service.
  • DUI school.
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID).
  • SR-22 filing.

An Admin Per Se suspension occurs when the officer takes your license after you fail or refuse a chemical test. This action is taken by the CA Department of Motor Vehicles, under Admin Per Se laws and is in addition to any criminal charges given when refusing or failing a BAC test.

The officer will issue an Order of Suspension and possibly a temporary license. The officer’s report, your license and any other information is then sent to the DMV. The DMV then will conduct a review. This review can set aside the suspension. You also have the right to request a hearing if you believe the suspension is unjustified. You must request an administrative hearing within 10 days of receiving the suspension order.

You face harsher Admin Per Se license suspension penalties if you refuse to submit to a chemical test upon being pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving.

Younger than 21 years old

  • First Offense: Suspended for 1 year.
  • Second Offense: Revoked for 2 years.
  • Third Offense: Revoked for 3 years.

21 years old or Older

  • First Offense: Suspended for 1 year.
  • Second Offense: Revoked for 2 years.
  • Third Offense: Revoked for 3 years.

Drivers younger than 21 years old face two kinds of alcohol-related offenses, and both affect their driving privileges: possessing alcohol, and violating the Zero Tolerance Law.

Possession of Alcohol

If you’re younger than 21 years old, you can’t possess alcohol in your vehicle unless the container is full, sealed, and unopened. You also must either:

  • Be with a parent or legal guardian.
    • or
  • Be working for a person with an off-site liquor license.

Breaking this law leads to:

  • Vehicle impoundment for 30 days.
  • Fines of up to $1,000.
  • License suspension for 1 year.

Zero Tolerance Law

The Zero Tolerance Law is exactly what it sounds like: California won’t tolerate any amount of alcohol (specifically, 0.01% or higher) for drivers younger than 21 years old.

The first time you’re charged with drunk driving, you face:

  • License suspension for 1 year (under the Admin Per Se Laws).
  • Criminal charges.
  • DUI school.
  • Hundreds of dollars in fines.

Your DUI attorney and judge will inform you of the longer suspension periods, higher fines, and more stringent DUI programs you face if you have a second or subsequent offense.

NOTE: Your suspension period is based on whether you submitted to the chemical test. See “Chemical Test Refusal Penalties” below for more information.

First Offense

  • Immediate license suspension per the state’s Admin Per Se policy for at least 4 months.
  • Up to 6 months in jail.
  • Up to $1,000 in fines. Keep in mind additional penalty fines and legal fees.
  • $125 fee for license reissue.
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device.
  • DUI program. The length varies depending on factors like your BAC at the time of arrest.
  • SR-22 filing.

Second and Subsequent Offenses

The California Driver Handbook describes penalties for second and subsequent DUI offenses as “increased,” meaning you will face longer jail time and more expensive fines, in addition to the DUI program and SR-22 filing requirement.

Your license suspension and revocation periods change, too. For example, a second or subsequent offense within 10 yearsof your prior offense brings license suspension or revocation for at least 1 year.

Because penalties beyond first offenses are dependent upon the offense number, it’s best to contact a CA DUI attorneyfor help.

Commercial drivers caught with a BAC of 0.04% or higher while operating a commercial vehicle can expect the following license suspension periods:

  • First Offense: 1 year
  • Second and Subsequent Offenses (in a 10-year period): Permanently

Note that these suspension periods are in addition to any fines, jail time, and DUI programs the CA DMV and court system impose.

Also, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Disqualification of Drivers wields a big hand when it comes to commercial drivers and the offenses that disqualify them?sometimes permanently?from having a valid CDL.

CA Ignition Interlock Device

You may be ordered to install an ignition interlock device (IID) into your car as part of your DUI penalties.

An IID is a small gadget wired to your vehicle’s ignition that requires breath samples before you can start your vehicle, as well as periodically throughout your drive. If an IID detects alcohol on your breath, the vehicle won’t start.

You may be required to have an IID installed if:

  • You had a BAC of at least 0.15%.
  • You had moving violations prior to the DUI.
  • You refused the chemical test.
  • You’re convicted in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, or Tulare Counties.

You will be given forms and procedure instructions for monitoring the installation and use of your IID. Expect to pay various fees and related costs, including administrative service fees and restriction fees.

California provides a list of IID providers. Make sure the provider you choose is licensed in the state.

California’s Three Strikes Law delivers certain sentences to people who commit multiple serious and violent felonies?specifically, upon a “third strike,” a convict receives a life sentence with the possibility of parole only after 25 years.

Proposition 36 revised which crimes warrant life sentences, authorized re-sentencing, and detailed when to maintain life sentences.

Some CA DUI offenses fall under the Three Strikes Law. These include the most serious offenses?those that involve severe injuries and death. Not only do you face extended jail time, longer (or even permanent) license revocation, and higher fines and court costs, but you might also face civil lawsuits.

If your case falls under the state’s Three Strikes Law, don’t try to navigate the court system alone; seek legal representation as soon as possible.

Most DUI suspects must appear in court. Regardless of how you plan to plead, it’s best to hire a DUI attorney to help you get the best possible outcome, as well as provide assistance navigating your DUI penalties.

All DUI convictions require drivers to complete a DUI program. The course length varies based on your BAC and any previous DUI convictions.

Your judge and DUI lawyer will inform you of your DUI program requirements, but you can review the state’s Department of Health Care Services DUI programs for an overview.

Restricted licenses allow you to drive to and from places designated by your court, and are available for some DUI offenders.

You might be eligible if:

  • This isn’t your second or subsequent DUI offense in the last 10 years.
  • You agreed to the chemical test.
  • Your license wasn’t already suspended or revoked.

To apply for the restricted license:

  • Request the application from the DMV after the mandatory suspension of 30 days is up.
  • Pay the $125 fee to reissue your license (or a $100 fee if you’re younger than 21 years old and the judge deems you can have one).
  • Enroll in the DUI First Offender Program and get the instructor to file Proof of Enrollment Certificate (Form DL 804) with the DMV.
  • Meet certain financial responsibility requirements, such as filing an SR-22 or providing a $35,000 cash deposit, surety bond, or self insurer certificate.
  • Install an IID, a possibility for some drivers.

Generally, you can reinstate your CA driver’s license after a DUI once you:

  • Pay all applicable fines and other fees (including your license reissue fee).
  • Complete any jail time, community service, or other probation order.
  • Successfully complete the DUI program, if ordered, as well as any ordered alcohol or drug treatment programs.
  • Keep your ignition interlock device for the ordered amount of time, if applicable.
  • Finish your suspension or revocation period.
  • File your SR-22 (see below) or present other state-approved proof of financial responsibility.

For more details specific to your case, contact the DMV or the court handling your case.

SR-22: Car Insurance and Proof of Financial Responsibility

You will have to file proof of financial responsibility in order to get your driving privileges back; this includes criminal and Admin Per Se suspension.

Most often, drivers rely on an SR-22 filing. An SR-22 is a type of financial responsibility certificate that proves you’re carrying the state’s required minimum liability coverage. Your insurance provider can file this form with the CA DMV.

You do have other options, though. For example, you can:

  • Post a $35,000 cash bond.
  • Post a surety bond.
  • Self insure.

You probably can see why an SR-22 is the most common choice.

Criminal Defense/Felony.

felony is a more serious crime than a misdemeanor and carries much higher penalties, such as long-term jail sentencing. For example, murder or armed robbery are felonies, while shoplifting — typically a nonviolent crime — is a misdemeanor. In several states, possession of small amounts of marijuana has been downgraded to a misdemeanor. The penalty for misdemeanors often involves only a fine and no jail sentence. If jail time has been ordered, it is for no more than 1 year.

States like Texas, California, Washington, and numerous others have enacted three-strikes laws, wherein those convicted of a felony who have been previously convicted of two or more violent crimes or serious felonies usually receive a life sentence.

Felony versus Misdemeanor comparison chart
Felony Misdemeanor
Severity More severe crimes Less severe crimes
Examples Murder, robbery, grand theft Shoplifting, domestic fight
Punishment Can go to state prison for more than 1 year A sentence of less than 1 yr in county jail and/or fine
Effect on civil liberties Complete loss of second amendment rights, right to vote, serve on jury and hold public office No effect on civil liberties

In the U.S., states get to define and classify most crimes and their punishments. Most states classify their misdemeanors and felonies in some fashion — e.g., “Class A [B, or C] misdemeanor” or “Class B1 felony” — and mete out punishment according to which class a particular crime falls under.[1][2] This means the classification of crimes and their related punishments vary wildly by state, and that what is a misdemeanor in one state may be a felony in another.

These differences are especially apparent when it comes to first-time and subsequent drug offenses, where possession of 1 oz. of marijuana, for example, is legal in Washington State, a misdemeanor in Texas, and a felony in Arizona.[3]

Misdemeanors tend to include nonviolent crimes, such as trespassing, petty theft, vandalism, and disorderly conduct, as well as simple assault (the verbal threat or attempt of physical violence without a weapon) and usually several types of drug possession for first-time offenders.

Crimes are often classed as felonies when they involve physical violence or actions that cause other extreme psychological harm or indicate extreme negligence. For example, battery and aggravated assault (the verbal threat or attempt of physical violence while brandishing a weapon), the creation/collection/sharing of child pornography, murder or manslaughter, robbery, repeated DUI/DWI convictions, kidnapping, and vehicular homicide are all felonies. There are other types of felonies that are nonviolent, but considered egregious acts in some other way; this includes crimes such as tax evasion, threatening an officer, grand theft, copyright infringement, perjury, mail fraud, and violation of probation or parole.

Wobbler Crimes

Certain crimes can be prosecuted either as a felony or a misdemeanor, based partly on the discretion of the prosecutor and partly on aggravating factors, e.g. the presence or use of weapons. “Wobbler” is not a legal term but used colloquially because of the nature of the crime. Which crimes are wobblers depends upon the state but some examples include:

  • A DUI charge may be treated as a misdemeanor if no one was harmed by the drunk driver.
  • An assault could be treated as a misdemeanor if no weapons were used.

When a wobbler crime has occurred, it is typical for prosecutors to charge it as a felony to use as a bargaining chip with the accused. If the accused pleads guilty to misdemeanor, the charge is “pled down” from felony to misdemeanor, as long as there are no aggravating factors.

Fines

Fines for misdemeanors vary by state and by crime / class of crime. For example, in Alaska, a Class A misdemeanor (the most serious) can result in fines of up to $10,000. Meanwhile, in most other states, maximum misdemeanor fines tend to be no more than $1,000 to $5,000.

Felony charges often result in fines as well, but they are much heftier. In the state of New York, for example, a Class A-I felony, the most serious of that state’s classification system, can result in a fine of up to $100,000.

Length of Jail Sentence

Depending on the crime, a judge may rule that no jail sentence is required for a misdemeanor charge, or that only probation is required. In the event that incarceration is ordered, it may only be for up to 12 months. (One exception to this general rule is found in Massachusetts, where jail sentencing for a misdemeanor can be set for as long as 2.5 years.) Most convicted of a misdemeanor who must serve time will be sent to a county jail, not a prison.

When felons receive a jail sentence, they are generally placed in a state prison for anywhere from 1-5 years, up to life in prison, depending on the crime committed. Many states, such as Texas and Oklahoma, also still allow and regularly employ capital punishment for murder.

Three-Strikes Laws

Out of 50 states in the U.S., 27 have three-strikes laws. These laws impose harsher sentences on repeat offenders — usually persistent felons. For example, a person who is charged a second or third time for felony assault and battery may be given a sentence of 25 years in prison, or perhaps even life imprisonment.

States with 3-strikes laws are highlighted in red on this map of USA

The effects of three-strikes laws have been difficult to measure, as crime rates have fallen across the United States in recent decades, regardless of the use or lack of three-strikes systems. However, these laws are said to play a part in the growing, costly prison population and disproportionately affect minorities.[4][5]

Any person convicted of a felony or misdemeanor after the age of 18 receives a permanent mark on his or her record, which can affect gun ownership rights and future employment opportunities, depending on the crime(s). A misdemeanor conviction is less likely to affect prospects than a felony conviction. If the misdemeanor was closely related to a previous job, however, gainful employment may be particularly difficult to come by, especially as professional licenses are sometimes revoked when someone is convicted of a misdemeanor crime related to his or her professional life.

While many job applications ask about criminal history, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) puts some limits on how employers can reject those with a criminal background. Even so, more serious crimes will almost always negatively affect job prospects, and many with a criminal background cannot find employment in sectors that deal with people in delicate situations (e.g., nursing, teaching, law, or psychology).

It is possible to seal documents related to a misdemeanor or felony, meaning that information is no longer available to the general public, and that formerly convicted individuals will not even have to disclose their criminal history. This process is known as expungement. How it works and which crimes can be expunged varies by state.

Expungement is most likely to be granted to those convicted of nonviolent, low-level, first-time misdemeanors. Some states require a waiting period of 10-15 years before expungement can even be sought.

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