Our Full Criminal Defense Team At Your Service

LA Criminal Defense Attorney

The most important decision you will make in defending your California criminal court case is the decision to hire a qualified criminal defense attorney. It can make all the difference in whether you are found guilty or not. You want a firm like Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney that will make sure you understand your rights, the key points of the law, and most importantly the most effective way to plan your defense. Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney will take on the prosecutors and mount an aggressive defense on your behalf.

Our firm is available to you any time – and we mean any time, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. At Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney, we believe you deserve a great defense and we are committed to providing it for you. Your initial consultation is free of charge; all you need to do is call us at 310-933-9439.

Whether you have been arrested for a DUI or other driving crime, a case of assault or battery, a drug crime, a theft crime, a violent crime or any other criminal case – we can help!

If you receive a criminal conviction, you are likely to pay a heavy price in terms of financial penalties and time spent in jail or in prison. With probation you will need to serve for years plus hours of community service, your future will be adversely affected, as well. DUI penalties will most likely include the loss of your license and extra expense to attend classes, not to mention the cost of installing a mandatory IID (Ignition Interlock Device.)

Perhaps the most severe penalty you will face is the fact of having a criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life. It can be difficult to find employment, get accepted for college or job training programs, or even do something as basic as rent an apartment or apply for a mortgage in order to buy a house. This is not the time to place your future into the hands of an underpaid and overworked public defender; you certainly don’t want to hire a criminal attorney just because they will work cheap. Unfortunately, when it comes to legal representation you will most likely get what you pay for!

Our attorneys at Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney are not only qualified and experienced, they truly have your best interests at heart. Every case is handled individually, and you are not just another number or a case file. When you make the call to our office, we will be with you from that moment until your case reaches its conclusion. We are here for you!

Our team has successfully defended the cases of many Los Angeles residents, and we will give the same dedicated focus and unwavering support to you.

            

Contact Us Anytime

24/7/365 by Calling  310-933-9439

We offer all potential clients a free legal consultation and lead attorney Jay Devitt as well as others on our legal team can immediately get started working on your case! Winning is our priority and we do everything in our power to fight your case and fight it the right way. We are located in Los Angeles, CA, and serve the entirety of Los Angeles County in all areas of criminal defence.

With You
Through the Whole Process

At Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney, we never farm any part of your case off to another firm. We personally oversee your case at every step in the process. You need an advocate fighting for you from the very first actions, through to potential negation of settlements, and in the courtroom if your case goes to trial. If you have just been charged and are nervous about what will happen next – don’t worry. Call us and we’ll be there for you!

Even if you have started working with another law firm but just don’t feel you are getting what you need, we can pick up your case wherever you are in the process and get to work on your behalf. We stay with you through all of the following parts of the process:

  1. Bail Hearing

A bail hearing will be held to determine whether you are likely to flee and avoid appearing for your court appearances. Most people are not considered as flight risks and therefore are allowed to post bail rather than be held at the jail.

If you need to call us from the jail to ask about professional bail bond providers, we can recommend someone to you that will not only arrange to set up your bond payment – they can even get you a discount on the bail fee.

We want to work to get you out of jail so that we can consult with you and start immediately on building your defense – even before you have an arraignment before a judge. This puts you one step up in dealing with the whole process.

  1. An Arraignment

The first time you will be required to appear in court – or sometimes simply before a judge in a video appearance – is known as an arraignment. This is when you have the chance to enter your initial plea, either as not guilty, guilty, or no contest.

Our advice is that you should always enter a plea of not guilty at your arraignment. Later, in the pretrial phase, you may want to consider a different plea if there is a plea bargain involved. Even if you agree to plead guilty in exchange for something like a deferred entry of judgment, you could still have your case dismissed which would allow you to keep your arrest off your record.

Our first thought at Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney is always to get you approved for an acquittal or a dismissal; we also know how to argue for a reduced sentence by means of a plea deal if that is your best possible option.

  1. During the Pretrial Phase

The pretrial phase is where most California criminal court cases get handled and resolved. We would prefer that you never have to make it to court. Having a skilled criminal defense attorney on your side will help you during this phase of your case, as you want someone who understands how the system works and is adept at getting deals from the prosecution.

There are a number of legal maneuvers that may be helpful to you during the pretrial phase; we can raise doubts that you actually committed a crime or question whether the evidence against you was legally obtained. Perhaps there was no probable cause for your arrest, or we have reason to suspect the testimony of an arresting officer is not trustworthy in your case (a tactic known as filing a Pitchess motion.)

If there is a plea bargain to be had and it is in your best interest, this is the point where we can get that done in conjunction with the prosecutor in the case. Of course, we will never arrange for a plea deal that you do not agree to.

  1. The Actual Trial

If your case must actually go to court, our goal will be to defend you in such a way as to win your acquittal. Prosecutors know that we often call their bluff at trial, and sometimes decide to drop cases or offer a plea deal even after the trial has begun. That is just one more advantage of having Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney on your side.

But if your case does go to trial and we have to face a jury on your behalf, we are experts in challenging the arguments raised by prosecutors, in cross-examining witnesses that testify against you, in calling witnesses that will testify for you, and in gathering evidence that will work in your favor and help to exculpate you and clear your name.

We want to get you a full acquittal, but a plea deal may be the final result of your trial.

  1. The Sentencing Hearing

If for any reason you are found guilty of the charges against you, we will shift into the gear of getting the lightest possible sentence for you.

Along with the prosecution, we – as your defense team – will get a chance to explain to a judge what we feel an appropriate sentence would be for you. We will tell the judge about any mitigating factors that could work in your favor and will seek to have your sentence be on the lighter end of the sentencing scale as provided in California law.

  1. If You Have a DMV Hearing

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) you most likely have received a pink temporary license that allows you to drive for 30 days. To preserve your right to continue driving, you will need to request an administrative hearing with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 10 days after your arrest.

This is not an actual trial but can result in penalties and fines. You will want to have the most positive outcome possible at this hearing. That is another reason to have expert legal advice with an attorney by your side during this process. You can be required to face an administrative hearing and a trial on the same DUI charge. We know the ins and outs of both processes and will work to challenge your charges and/or to help you receive the minimum possible consequences.

Areas of Practice

While some California criminal defense legal firms only specialize in a few key areas, we at Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney cover a broad range of expertise in our practice. Here are a few of our most-requested types of cases (we have others, but these are at the top):

California law lists the crime of assault as unlawfully attempting to inflict bodily harm or injury on another person. This crime requires the element of intent; in other words, you cannot be convicted of an accidental assault. A prosecutor will have to show, among other elements, that at the time of assault you had the present ability to carry out the physical act of assault. If you simply were not able to commit such an act, you obviously cannot be held liable for doing so.

There is a category of assault known as aggravated assault; this involves the inflicting of a serious injury to another person as a result of the assault. The penalties for aggravated assault are more serious. California holds that crimes of assault against protected classes of persons – such as the elderly, the disabled, and police officers – are particularly grievous and will receive much more severe treatment.

One of the ways we work to defend you at Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney is to make sure the standard of reasonable doubt is considered in your assault charge. If a prosecutor cannot prove you had a definite intent to harm someone, then you cannot be convicted of assault.

Though many people think of assault and battery as the same thing, in legal terms they are not. Battery is a more serious charge and it does not require an actual physical injury in order to be proven. Sometimes, if no injury occurs, a case of battery can be pled down to a charge of assault.

Battery can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. Misdemeanor battery carries penalties of as much as 6 months in jail and a financial penalty of up to $2,000. The jail time and penalties for a felony are, as you would expect, even higher.

Additionally, if there is serious bodily injury involved in a battery case, the sentencing guidelines are tougher. The protected classes of people under the laws of battery are broader, as well, including law enforcement officers, traffic control officers, transportation workers, and emergency response and medical workers.

At Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney, we will employ a number of defense tactics to help defend you against the charge of battery. These include mistaken identity, lack of intent, false accusation, lack of physical contact, and lack of compelling evidence to convict.

The charge of domestic violence is very similar to those of assault and battery in terms of the kinds of actions that are committed and proof that is required to convict. There is one unique element, however, and that is the relationship of the accused to the alleged victim at the time of the event.

This means that if any of the following relationships existed at the time a violent act was threatened, attempted, or committed – then the crime is considered one of domestic violence.

  • Spouse
  • Co-habitant
  • Former spouse
  • Former co-habitant
  • Romantic partner
  • Former romantic partner
  • The other parent of your child

There are instances of domestic violence that can involve a child or an elder member of a household; these may be liable for additional charges of child abuse or elder abuse.

A fairly regular occurrence is the raising of domestic violence charges by one party against another for false reasons. Some of these include seeking leverage in a child custody battle, or for revenge after a romantic relationship has ended.

One of our goals at Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney will be to help you understand the charges of domestic violence raised against you and how we can help make a plan to defend against them. We do not want you to be harmed because someone else has falsely accused you of domestic violence just to gain an advantage over you.

Driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs in California is a crime that is taken very seriously. If you have operated a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08% or higher, you can be sentenced to loss of your license, you can be ordered to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in fines, you can be required to attend a DUI school, and you can be sentenced to time in jail as well as other penalties.

For those who drive commercial vehicles, the BAC legal limit is lower at .04%; and, for drivers under the age of 21, the BAC for conviction of DUI is only .01%. In all cases, even if your BAC registers under the legal limit, if it can be demonstrated that your driving was impaired and you have traces of any alcohol or drugs in your blood, you can still be convicted of DUI

At Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney, we often can work to get a DUI case dismissed because we can demonstrate that law enforcement did not conduct proper procedure during your arrest. Similarly, there are times when the evidence obtained against you is faulty. There are tricks of the trade that police officers sometimes use, and we know when to look for these and advocate on your behalf.

We can also work to obtain a reduction in your sentence or in the charges themselves, such as obtaining a charge of reckless driving rather than DUI.

There are other crimes that involve driving a motor vehicle in addition to DUI. Some of these include hit and run, road rage, reckless driving, evading an officer, driving with a suspended license, driving on the wrong side of the road, driving without a license and more.

These crimes can be charged on the misdemeanor or felony level.

If the crimes are considered to be more serious, you can lose your driver’s license, be required to serve time in jail or prison, pay hefty fines, and attend driving education classes. If the crimes are less severe, you may still garner points assessed against your driving record which can count toward you being classified as an HTO (Habitual Traffic Offender). A person who is an HTO pays much higher rates for insurance and, if you are arrested for further motor vehicle offenses, will have to face consequences that are automatically heightened. Your punishment will be greater than a person who is not classified as an HTO.

At Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney, we know the ins and outs of the DMV system and have a lot of experience defending motor vehicle cases at jury trials. We will build a solid defense case for you and get you the best possible result while protecting your driving record.

Drug crime charges are many and varied in the state of California. Every separate charge often has its own legal definition and burden of proof, requiring a specialized approach by your criminal defense attorney.

You could be accused of simple possession of a controlled substance; your charge could simply be being under the influence of an illegal drug. Still, you might be charged with one of the weightier crimes such as the manufacture of illegal narcotics, possession for sale, or drug trafficking.

At Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney, we work to master the minutiae of California drug laws so that we can provide a solid defense against the wide array of drug-related charges.

Using marijuana is still a crime for those under the age of 21 in California, or for those who possess more than one ounce (which is a measure of 8 grams). Also, if you possess prescription drugs for in order to sell or use them in a wrongful manner - -well, that’s a crime in California, as well.

You really don’t want to have any kind of drug abuse charge on your criminal record, as this can affect future endeavors such as applying for jobs or getting into college. An experienced criminal defense attorney who understands drug charges is a great advantage for you.

Our goal will always be to work with you to obtain an acquittal or pretrial dismissal of your case, or at the very least to obtain a favorable plea that will help to reduce your sentence if you are charged and convicted. We take pride in being well-versed in all of the classes and subclasses of drug charges that can be brought in California.

In California, the illegal taking of another person’s property without her or his knowledge or consent is a crime of theft. The professionals at Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney have wide experience in defending those accused of theft.

Theft charges can be classified as petty theft (if the value of items taken is less than $950) or grand theft (more than $950 in value). There are also other crimes involving theft that are classified as robbery, burglary, appropriating or receiving stolen property, car-jacking, or grand theft auto (or grand theft with a firearm).

You may be able to raise such defenses as you believed you had a right of ownership to the property that was taken, or you did not actually take the property that it is alleged you did. The prosecution may not be able to prove it was your intent to deprive the other person of their property. Whatever the mitigating factors might be, we will help you build a defense that fits your situation, based on our research of the facts and any other details we help you uncover.

It is entirely possible to have your case dismissed, or certainly to have the charges reduced or your sentence made lighter. These are outcomes that we achieve for many of our clients.

If you are accused of a crime involving fraud, the state has a particularly high bar of proof which must be demonstrated. This crime requires absolute proof that you unlawfully took the property of another person (and that the property did not belong to you) and that you committed an action that gained an undeserved benefit for yourself or caused the other person to suffer an undeserved loss. Fraud can be perpetrated against people, companies, or government agencies.

A crime of fraud can be charged if there is a demonstrated violation of trust, such as is the case in embezzlement. The majority of fraud cases involve financial gain and the hiding of a person’s true identity.

Specific categories of crimes involving fraud would include insurance fraud, check fraud, forgery, identity theft, credit card fraud, mortgage fraud, mail fraud, defrauding senior citizens, and even more. Often thought to be primarily a white-collar crime, there are actually a large number of cases prosecuted among people of all social and economic levels.

Because the fraud statutes in California are so complex, and the crimes are viewed as serious by the courts and judges of the state, an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands the law and the types of defenses that can be mounted is essential. This is one of our main specialties at Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney.

California courts consider crimes that involve an element of violence to be worthy of extra scrutiny and serious consequences.

The state has a provision for violent crimes known as the Three Strikes Law. A conviction for a violent crime is considered to be a strike; after the first strike, a second conviction for violent crime would result in a penalty that is double the penalty. If convicted for a third strike within a 7-year period, you can receive a sentence of 25 years to life in prison. It goes without saying that you do not want the number of strikes on your record to increase. We often work to keep these types of crimes off the records of our clients.

The types of violent crimes that can be prosecuted in California include murder, extortion, manslaughter, assault with a deadly weapon, assault and battery, domestic violence, stalking, robbery, car-jacking, crimes committed with firearms, and many others.

Violent crimes can be punished by prison terms of several years, life in prison, and in some cases by administering the death penalty. Violent crimes are the most serious of those adjudicated in the California system of courts; you want an experienced firm like Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney at your side.

Every single day, there are juveniles that are arrested and charged with crimes in California. Most of these cases are handled through the Juvenile Justice System and receive less harsh treatment than crimes committed by adults. There is also a tendency to offer correctional assistance so as to avoid repeat offenses by juveniles.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney handles juvenile cases with the same level of care and attention that we provide to our adult clients. We often are able to get cases dismissed by presenting evidence in favor of our juvenile clients, or by discrediting the evidence presented against them by the prosecution.

Juvenile crimes in California include underage drinking, vandalism, sexting crimes (which can be charged as child pornography), crimes involving theft, and underage use of marijuana. Sometimes charges are as serious as statutory rape, even if consent for a sexual act was given by a person under the age of 18.

We understand the Juvenile Court System and will skillfully guide our clients (or their parents) through every detail of the case. We want to protect the futures of our juvenile clients, so we work hard for them!

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Jay Devitt

30+

Years of Experience

1,000+

Cases Handled


5

AVVO Reviews

98%

Client Satisfaction

James “Jay” Devitt grew up in Minnesota and always knew he wanted to be a lawyer. After undergraduate school he went to Western State University College of Law in Fullerton and “clerked” his way through law school, working for high profile lawyers that handled the Pinto case vs. Ford Motor Co. as well as the criminal cases People vs. John DeLorean, the Billionaire Boys Club case and the Falcon and the Snowman case. Jay passed the California Bar Exam in 1988 on his first attempt after finishing first in his trial advocacy class at Western State, being published in Law Review, (see 14 W. ST. U. L.REV. 1 (1968)) as well as making the Dean’s List. He was then hired by the 80 lawyer firm Spray, Gould and Bower where he worked for 3 years and met his future wife, another lawyer from a family of lawyers.

Jay opened his own practice in 1991 and has been involved in many high profile cases and has also been profiled and interviewed by the media in the case of People v. Crespo, (after the Mayor of Bell Gardens was shot and killed by his wife). During his 31 years of practice he has represented everyone from housewives to alleged gang members, from trespassing to murder. Mr. Devitt is also an unlicensed private detective and will often go to the scene of the crime if necessary to search for or interview witnesses.

Jay was profiled by Los Angeles Magazine and has been published in both the Los Angeles Daily Journal and the New York Daily Journal (lawyers newspapers). He co-hosted a column in the magazine Law Office Computing and has been on KCAL, KCBS, the Nancy Grace Show on CNN and KNX and KFI radio as well as AM 870 “The Answer”. He has even argued in front of the California Supreme Court in the case of Avedon v. California State Parks.

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Client Testimonials

AN OUTSTANDING CRIMINAL ATTORNEY

All I can say is that I was fortunate to select them as my legal team. They were efficient and aggressive in defending my case. Such a nice staff and with all of the horror stories I heard about other firms, it was nice to have someone that cared. You cannot go wrong by putting them on your side!

Justin from Sherman Oaks

EXPERIENCE MATTERS!

The thing I valued most about the team at LACDA was the experience they brought to my case. It was obvious that they knew what they were doing and had helped many other people like me. They knew the details of my case in and out and kept me updated along the way, which were major problems with other attorneys.

Kimmy from Culver City

TOP RATING FOR THIS FIRM

I have hired Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney, not just one time, but twice; they helped my son when he got mixed up in some business he shouldn’t have. Then, I was involved with a driving incident where I should have been paying more attention but wasn’t. I never felt ashamed or scared because I knew they were there for all of us.

Terry from West Hollywood

SIMPLY THE BEST!

Upon my first meeting in their office I was just simply impressed, not with the big talk that most do, but with the honesty in which we discussed the case and their explanation of what I was facing. It was a long road, but a road I am much happier traveling with Mr. Devitt and his firm. Thanks guys and girls. Highly recommended

Paula from Santa Monica

All Practice Areas

Search among all of the different practice areas we focus on in the field of Criminal Defense. Find information on specific crimes or call us to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.