Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor or felony charge in Van Nuys or elsewhere in Los Angeles County, it’s in your best interest to seek legal representation immediately. Representing yourself or allowing a public defender to do so may seem like a good idea, but you are statistically far more likely to beat your charges or get them dismissed or reduced by partnering with an aggressive and experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney. As our clients know, a good criminal defense lawyer can often bring to light details of a case that may make the difference between a walking free and going to prison for years.
At the Law Offices of Mark Daniel Melnick, we provide fearless legal representation for our clients in all kinds of criminal defense matters, including but not limited to those involving drunk driving, domestic violence, drug crimes, weapons crimes, theft and other property crimes, federal crimes, juvenile crimes, fraud and other white collar crimes, murder, sex crimes, prostitution, BUI, and habitual offender violations. Remember: you have the right to remain silent as well as the right to an attorney after an arrest. If you are questioned about your alleged crime, you should certainly be polite to law enforcement officials in order prevent your situation from becoming worse, but you are not obligated to answer their questions. Tell the police that you are unwilling to make any statements until you have spoken with your criminal defense attorney. Any other approach can be a recipe for disaster when it comes to criminal defense.
DUI / Drunk Driving
Many drivers think that you have to blow .08% or higher on a breathalyzer test to be arrested for DUI. Nothing is further from the truth. A law enforcement officer can charge a driver with DUI as long as they have probable cause to suspect impairment. Individuals who drive erratically or demonstrate signs of impairment, such as slurred speech, can be arrested on this evidence alone; in fact, you can be charged with drunk driving if your BAC is well under .08% as long as you are exhibiting other signs of impairment.
Drivers may also not know that an arrest for drunk driving involves both California’s criminal justice system and the Department of Motor Vehicles. If you are arrested for DUI or refuse to consent to a roadside preliminary breath test, you can expect that the DMV will suspend your license unless you take steps to prevent them from doing so. This so-called administrative suspension is a completely different matter than any license revocation you may be subject to as a result of a conviction. When you’re seeking legal representation to help you resolve your DUI case, make sure you are working with a drunk driving attorney who can assist you with both your criminal defense and the administrative aspects of your case. By seeking legal representation as soon as possible after an arrest for DUI, you can be sure you’re doing everything possible to avoid prison time, expensive fines, license suspension, mandatory counseling, and other penalties associated with a first-time or repeat DUI conviction. Learn More »
Unlike other kinds of criminal cases, charges of domestic violence can stem from nothing more than the word of one party against another. When police arrive at the scene of a domestic dispute, emotions can be running high and one spouse or other domestic partner may allege that the other hurt them. This alone can be enough to trigger an arrest for domestic violence. Unfortunately, just being arrested for domestic violence can result in the accused being subject to an temporary order not to return to their residence or see their children. What’s worse is that even if the individual pressing charges later retracts their accusation, state prosecutors will still seek to secure a conviction.
Also, juries are often unjustly biased against criminal defendants in domestic violence cases. A person accused of domestic violence may be convicted in the court of public opinion long before a trial begins, but the truth is that many individuals charged with domestic violence are completely innocent. For example, a parent engaged in a child custody battle with another parent may benefit from falsely accusing them of domestic violence, or a jealous spouse may try to seek revenge for infidelity by making such an allegation. If you have been arrested for domestic violence, get help – call an aggressive domestic violence lawyer today. We’re not interested in judging you or incriminating you – our only goal is to protect your rights and get you the best outcome we possibly can for your case. Learn More »
There are a number of substances that are illegal under both California state law and federal law under nearly any circumstances. These include heroin, crack cocaine, LSD, non-pharmaceutical methamphetamine, and psychedelic mushrooms. Other drugs, such as morphine, benzodiazepines, oxycodone, and even cannabis are perfectly legal to possess as long as the person carrying them has a prescription to do so; however, these drugs can never be legally sold or even given to another person. Drug crimes such as possessing or selling controlled substances are punishable by prison time and expensive fines, especially when large quantities of narcotics are involved. Drug crimes can be very challenging because unlike in other situations, the police may have contraband in their possession that they can use in court as evidence against you. A drug crimes attorney can help hold the people to their burden of demonstrating beyond a reasonable doubt that the drugs were yours and that you were in control of them at the time of your arrest. If you’ve been arrested for the possession, distribution, manufacturing, or trafficking of a controlled substance, contact a dedicated drug crimes lawyer today to schedule a free consultation. Learn More »
There are many different types of criminal offenses that involve weapons crimes. For example, under California Penal Code 29800, convicted felons, narcotic drug addicts, and individuals convicted of certain misdemeanors can be arrested if they’re found in possession of firearms. This and other weapons crimes charges – such as using a firearm in the commission of a crime or carrying a concealed firearm – are very serious matters and can result in harsh sentences for those convicted. The State of California has some of the strictest gun laws in the United States, and defendants should be prepared to deal with aggressive prosecutors who are experts at securing guilty verdicts in such cases. If you have been charged with unlawfully possessing a gun or committing another weapons crime, pick up the phone and contact a dedicated weapons crimes attorney today. We will act immediately to protect your rights and help you fight your charges.
Theft and Other Property Crimes
Theft, burglary, extortion, and robbery are all property crimes. A property crime involves a person taking property that is not theirs from another individual or unlawfully entering a home or other structure in order to commit a felony or steal something. California law categorizes property crimes based on whether or not breaking and entering was involved and whether the defendant employed violence against the victim. By definition, robbery involves the use of force or intimidation to steal property and takes place in the presence of the victim. Burglary, on the other hand, can occur without the victim being there. Theft (also known as larceny) is the same as burglary except that no illegal entry is involved. Shoplifting is an example of theft or larceny. When a person breaks into a car or other vehicle, locked or otherwise, however, the crime always is classified as larceny. If you have been charged with theft or another property crime in Van Nuys or elsewhere in Los Angeles County, contact a property crimes attorney as soon as possible.
Federal crimes are very different from those violations of state law. Not only are the court rules and procedures different from those in state criminal court, but federal prosecutors are extremely well-funded and experienced attorneys are ruthless in their prosecution of those indicted. Defendants in such cases have an uphill battle ahead of them in proving their innocence because the federal government will seldom seek an indictment unless convinced that it has an airtight case due to the substantial effort, time, and expense criminal proceedings at the federal level involve. The best time for an individual to get a lawyer involved is as soon as they suspect they may be the target of an investigation. By the time a person is indicted, it may already be too late. If you are a possible defendant in a criminal case involving computer crimes, fraud crimes, embezzlement, forgery, federal drug charges, money laundering, kidnapping, or another federal crime, contact a skilled federal crimes attorney today to find out what your legal options are for fighting your charges and protecting your reputation. Just being indicted is usually enough to ruin an individual’s chances of securing employment for the rest of their lives even if they are never convicted. Don’t wait – contact the Law Offices of Mark Daniel Melnick to speak with an experienced federal crimes lawyer today.
The juvenile justice system exists in parallel to the criminal justice system for adults but differs in many important respects. The focus on the juvenile justice system is on rehabilitation, counseling, and education rather than punishing offenders, as it is with the criminal justice system. Juvenile crimes are classified as either status offenses or delinquent crimes. Status offenses are those that involve acts that would not necessarily be crimes if committed by an adult. These include, for example. drinking alcohol or driving a vehicle without a license. Delinquent crimes, however, involve offenses that are always illegal such as assault, domestic violence, drug crimes, and others. If you have a child or another loved one who has been charged with a status offense or a delinquent act, contact a knowledgeable juveniles crimes attorney who can help protect their future.
Other Felonies and Misdemeanors
Besides representing clients in the kinds of criminal defense cases listed above, we also represent clients in cases involving other felonies and misdemeanors including but not limited to white collar crimes, murder, sex crimes, prostitution, BUI (Boating Under the Influence) and habitual offender (three strikes) violations. We can also assist with expungements of an existing criminal record. Contact our Van Nuys office today to speak with a skilled criminal defense lawyer about your legal situation if you need representation in an important matter of criminal defense. We will work very hard for you and leave no stone unturned in finding ways to demonstrate your innocence and get you the best possible outcome under the law.