Domestic Violence Conviction Affects Gun Ownership
Domestic Violence Conviction Affects Gun Ownership
In a recent ruling, the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the City of Los Angeles properly prosecuted a defendant for a weapons violation. The plaintiff in the case worked as a security guard. While employed, a court convicted him on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge.

The California Penal Code prohibits persons convicted of domestic violence from owning, purchasing or possessing a firearm for a period of 10 years. Because of the nature of his work, the court permitted the guard to carry a weapon while on duty only. Because he successfully completed the other terms of his sentence, the court later vacated the man’s conviction.

Following that, the plaintiff purchased two handguns. Two officers from the state’s Bureau of Firearms went to the plaintiff’s home to confiscate the weapons, due to the plaintiff’s prior domestic abuse conviction. The plaintiff refused to relinquish the weapons, so the BOF officers arrested the man and seized the guns.

The city filed charges against the guard, citing the conviction and the state’s 10-year ban on gun ownership. They later dropped the charges against the guard, but he filed a lawsuit against the ban, and also claimed false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. The trial court found in favor of the city and the plaintiff appealed to the 9th Circuit Court.

Earlier this month, the Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of the 10-year ban on gun ownership following a domestic abuse conviction. Previously, the Court had upheld a lifetime ban on gun ownership for similarly convicted defendants. In its opinion, the Court indicated that while the man’s conviction was vacated following the successful completion of the other terms of the sentence, the 10-year ban on gun ownership was not vacated. The plaintiff was mistaken in his belief that the prohibition on gun ownership was also lifted when the conviction was vacated.

Los Angeles domestic violence attorney


Even after the Court vacated the man’s conviction, certain elements of domestic violence law still apply. This case shows how complex domestic abuse cases are, and how far-reaching their consequences can be. It also explains why you need an experienced domestic violence attorney when you’ve been accused of spousal abuse or some type of domestic assault.

Robert Helfend is a Los Angeles domestic violence attorney with more than 30 years of trial experience in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California. Don’t rely on an inexperienced defense attorney when you freedom and your rights are at stake.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County domestic violence case.

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PUC Tags Uber for DUI Complaints
PUC Tags Uber for DUI Complaints
Investigators from California’s Public Utilities Commission recommended a $1.13 million fine for Uber related to DUI complaints against their drivers.

According to investigators, clients lodged 2,074 impaired driving complaints against Uber drivers over a 1-year period. California requires ride-hailing companies to adopt a zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policy. PUC investigators say they found no evidence that Uber followed up on the complaints. They cited the company’s dismissal of just 28% of the identified drivers during that time. Investigators are asking the Commissioners to determine that Uber has no effective zero-tolerance policy, as the law requires.

Uber says its policy is to separate with drivers who accumulate three complaints about drunk driving, whether or not the company can validate the complaint. Investigators say the policy does not comply with the zero-tolerance requirement. Additionally, they say that they found evidence of drivers that had accumulated more than three complaints, but still worked for the company.

LA DUI Lawyer


A zero-tolerance policy underscores the seriousness of a drunk driving arrest. The state’s zero-tolerance requirement means that a driver facing a drunk driving arrest can lose not only his or her license, but also his or her job. That’s why you need an experienced DUI lawyer when you’re facing a DUI in LA.

Robert Helfend is an experienced criminal defense attorney who represents his clients aggressively. He helps his clients address both the criminal and administrative processes that accompany an impaired driving arrest. Being able to address the criminal and administrative processes successfully can make the difference between moving forward with your life following a drunk driving arrest, and losing everything you’ve worked for.

Don’t rely on an inexperienced lawyer, and don’t attempt to defend yourself against a drunk driving charge. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County DUI case.

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Drug possession arrest in LA-Detroit ring
Drug possession arrest in LA-Detroit ring
Prosecutors have charged two men in connection with a heroin trafficking ring that transported drugs from Los Angeles to Detroit. A Detroit resident and a Pasadena man face drug possession and conspiracy charges following the arrest of a drug courier at Los Angeles International Airport. The Pasadena man was also a fugitive, and was wanted in Detroit for a 2012 attempted murder.

Police arrested the courier, a Detroit woman, in early March as she attempted to board a plane from Los Angeles to Detroit. TSA agents discovered two kilos of heroin and one kilo of cocaine in her checked luggage. Federal prosecutors charged the woman with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, possession with intent to distribute heroin, and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. If convicted she could be sentenced to life in prison.

According to prosecutors, the Detroit man hired the woman to transport the drugs from Pasadena to Detroit, aboard a commercial flight. She picked up the drugs from the Los Angeles man and attempted to board the flight. Following her arrest, authorities also arrested the other two men.

During a search, they discovered a UPS receipt for a package bound for Detroit. Authorities in Michigan intercepted the package and discovered that it contained an additional quantity of heroin and fentanyl, for which the men were also charged.

Los Angeles drug possession attorney


Although California has reduced the criminalization of drug possession, Proposition 47 does not apply to drugs intended for sale. Those penalties are still in place, and they are severe. In addition, transporting drugs for sale becomes a federal crime. The vast majority of federal prosecutions today involve drug crimes, so prosecutors are well equipped to try drug cases in the federal court system. That’s why you need an experienced drug possession attorney with specific experience in federal defense.

Robert Helfend is an experienced, aggressive Los Angeles based criminal defense attorney who takes cases in both federal and state courts. Mr. Helfend manages each case personally, so his clients always receive his full attention and the benefit of his extensive criminal defense experience.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County drug possession case.

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Compton Attempted Murder Conviction Tossed
Compton Attempted Murder Conviction Tossed
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Ryan ruled last month that Marco Contreras, 41, was “factually innocent” of an attempted murder at a Compton gas station that occurred in 1997. Prosecutors initially won a conviction against Contreras, but investigators later determined that three other men were likely responsible for the crime.

An eyewitness saw a man fire a number of shots at a man at the gas station. The witness wrote down the license number of the getaway vehicle. Police traced the vehicle to Contreras. Contreras’ brother, Miguel, told police that he owned the vehicle, and they subsequently charged Miguel with attempted murder, attempted robbery and being an accessory after the fact. At Miguel’s preliminary hearing, the witness spotted Marco in the courtroom, and identified Marco as the shooter.

At Marco’s trial, the witness said she was no longer sure that Marco was the shooter, and defense witnesses testified that Marco was home and asleep at the time of the incident. Nonetheless, the jury convicted Marco of attempted murder.

Miguel served a 16-month sentence for being an accessory after the fact. Following his release, Miguel told police that Marco did not participate in the shooting. A detective believed that another man, who was a known gang member, was the actual shooter. The man fled to Missouri when police attempted to question him.

Eventually, Miguel decided to help the police build a case against the man they believed was the actual shooter. During a secretly recorded conversation with one of the two men now accused of the crime, the man admitted that the shooting was a “hit” on the victim and was drug-related. Law students from Loyola’s Project for the Innocent assisted in reviewing the original evidence and convincing prosecutors to re-examine Contreras’ conviction.

Investigators now believe that a third defendant recruited two other men to kill the intended victim. Miguel said his role in the attempted murder was limited to “assisting” a friend. Prosecutors have formally charged the three men they now believe are responsible for the crime.

Los Angeles murder attorney


Murder and attempted murder are among the most serious criminal charges you can face in California. Your life is literally on the line in a murder trial. That’s why you need an experienced, aggressive murder lawyer working for you. Robert Helfend takes murder defense cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

Don’t rely on an inexperienced or overworked attorney, especially when your future is at stake. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County murder case.
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Antitrust Charges for VA Official
Antitrust Charges for VA Official
The US Attorney’s office in San Francisco charged a former high-ranking official in the state’s Veteran’s Affairs Department with antitrust violations related to the department’s construction contracts.

Prosecutors charged an Assistant Deputy Secretary and seven other individuals with bid rigging. This action follows an earlier investigation that led to charges against former California State Senator Leland Yee and other individuals associated with Chinatown gangs.

The Veterans Affairs Department sought to remodel the kitchen area of a veteran’s home in Los Angeles and to construct new residential facilities for veterans in Ventura County. Federal prosecutors alleged that the accused man took bribes of $12,000 in exchange for helping a developer win the two projects. The developer was actually an FBI informant. Prosecutors charged the other six defendants with fraud related to their bids on a renovation project for the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Bid rigging came to the forefront after organized crime investigators intercepted a phone call between then State Senator Yee and the gang leader. Prosecutors won a conviction against both men. The gang leader received two life sentences under federal RICO statutes. Leland Yee received a 5-year sentence in exchange for accepting bribes and admitting that he told an undercover FBI agent that he could help buy weapons from dealers in the Philippines.

Los Angeles antitrust lawyer


Although this particular case stemmed from a separate investigation, federal and state investigators watch procurement and contracting processes carefully. A misstep in a public procurement process can lead to criminal charges. That’s why you need the advice and counsel of an experienced antitrust lawyer like Robert Helfend when you are facing antitrust charges.

Federal prosecutions are intense. While the likelihood of conviction is high, that doesn’t mean conviction is automatic, and it doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to defend yourself.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County antitrust case.

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Lancaster Sex Crimes Appeal Rejected
Lancaster Sex Crimes Appeal Rejected
A three-judge panel rejected the appeal of a Lancaster man earlier this month who sought to have his conviction overturned. A Lancaster jury convicted Joseph Cornett of sex crimes involving separate attacks on 15 year old girls in 2015. He posed as a police officer and “arrested” one of his victims as she walked down the street. The girl was able to escape and sought help nearby. Cornett attempted to flee the scene in his vehicle, but drove through some sand and got stuck. Responding officers arrested him.

Initially, Cornett refused to leave his cell for sentencing. The judge ordered him to be forcibly removed from his cell and brought to court. The trial judge sentenced Cornett, who is HIV-positive, to 100 years in prison following his convictions in each case. Cornett repeatedly challenged the judge, who called Cornett a “monster” and said that the crimes were among the most brutal the judge had seen.

Cornett claimed that he was high on PCP at the time of the attacks, and that the victims had willingly entered his vehicle, so he did not kidnap them. He appealed the guilty verdicts, saying that the trial judge did not allow the jury to see evidence about one of the victims, taken from her Facebook page. The appeals panel indicated in its ruling that the evidence against Cornett was overwhelming, and declined to alter the original sentences.

Lancaster sex crimes attorney


Californians are entitled to an appeal following a criminal conviction. An appeal is not a chance to re-try a case to get a better result. Instead, the appeals process determines whether trial mistakes occurred, and if those mistakes influenced the trial court’s verdict. The best way to eliminate the need for an appeal is to work with an aggressive, experienced criminal defense attorney during your trial. Robert Helfend is an experienced sex crimes attorney. He takes cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

Some defense attorneys avoid taking sex crimes cases. Mr. Helfend does not judge his clients based on accusations against them. Instead, he works hard to ensure that the trial court properly includes and excludes evidence. He bases his defense on the facts of the case.

Don’t settle for an attorney who doesn’t want to defend you aggressively. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273- 5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County sex crimes case.

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Securities fraud charge for TV producer
Securities fraud charge for TV producer
Federal authorities arrested a Calgary television producer in Los Angeles on charges of grand theft, forgery and securities fraud. Authorities intercepted the 45-year old man at Los Angeles International Airport, as he returned from a trip to Hong Kong.

Federal prosecutors charged the man after he was indicted by Nassau County, NY grand jury. The action stems from a complaint by a New York resident, who alleged investment losses of nearly a half-million dollars. According to the complaint, the man convinced investors to purchase tablets that could display 3-dimensional information.

The man worked for Sungame, a Las Vegas company that sold the tablets to investors for $1,000 each with the promise that the company would repay the full purchase price within weeks of the investor’s purchase. The majority of investors never received their money. Instead, the man used the funds to artificially inflate the apparent earnings of the company and acquire more tablets. Some investors who initially provided capital received funds. He used the remaining funds to pay his personal expenses.

The man had also been fined in Canada in 2015 for illegally trading securities, but left the country. Following revelations of accounting improprieties at Sungame in 2014, the company was forced to restate its earnings. The company’s stock price lost more than 95% of its value at that time. The company’s stock value continued to drop and currently trades at about $0.02 per share.

Los Angeles securities fraud lawyer


Investing is a complex activity. Federal prosecutors have a strong interest in investigating and prosecuting securities fraud cases. The federal government instituted nearly 375 new white collar crime prosecutions in February 2017. Although the number of white collar prosecutions is on a downward trend, federal prosecutors don’t shy away from high-visibility or high-value cases. That’s why you need an experienced securities fraud lawyer, if you’re facing a federal white collar prosecution.

Robert Helfend has practiced criminal defense for more than 30 years, and takes cases in both the state and federal court system. He is known as an aggressive, experienced attorney who provides effective defense. He also devotes his full attention to his clients. Unlike what may happen at larger, less personal law firms, Mr. Helfend manages each case personally. He does not pass any clients to less experienced attorneys. Experience matters!

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County securities fraud case.

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Embezzlement Charge for Former Compton Treasurer
Embezzlement Charge for Former Compton Treasurer
Federal prosecutors charged a former Compton deputy treasurer with embezzlement of nearly $4 million. According to the complaint, federal authorities allege that the official diverted funds over a period of six years.

Investigators say that the official targeted fees from parking tickets, business licenses and other city income streams. Audits conducted during the investigation showed that the official diverted between $200 and $8,000 in city funds daily.

Investigators believe that the official spent the funds on personal expenses, including rebuilding his home and buying luxury vehicles. Their case against the official focused on city programs that received federal funds. If convicted, the official could receive a sentence of as much as five years in federal prison. Investigators have not said whether the official will also face state charges in the matter.

Los Angeles Embezzlement Attorney


Embezzlement charges are often work-related and have a number of long-term consequences. In most cases, the victim wants to be made whole. In the case of federal prosecution, however, the government has a significant interest in discouraging others from attempting the same crime. That’s why you need to hire an experienced embezzlement attorney like Robert Helfend.

Robert Helfend practices criminal defense in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California. He takes cases in both federal and state courts, and will work aggressively to get the charges against you reduced or dropped.

Facing federal charges can be a stressful experience, but having an experienced attorney by your side in court can help make the adjudication process easier. Mr. Helfend handles each case personally, so you’ll always work directly with him to create and present your defense.

Federal prosecutions are difficult because the federal government has a very high conviction rate. Only the strongest federal cases proceed to trial, which explains why federal prosecutors are so successful. It also explains why you need to work with an experienced federal criminal defense attorney.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County embezzlement case.

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Fraud Conviction Lands Former MD in Prison
Fraud Conviction Lands Former MD in Prison
A former Newport Beach physician who faked his own death to avoid a fraud prosecution will spend 29 months in prison. Prosecutors charged Tigran Svadjian with insurance fraud in 2002. The charges stemmed from $2.4 million in fraudulent Medi-Cal claims.

Prosecutors agreed to let Svadjian travel to Moscow to see his ailing mother. After Svadjian left the country, Russian officials notified the State Department that Svadjian had died while in Moscow and was cremated. Federal prosecutors dropped the charges against Svadjian.

The case reemerged when Russian authorities arrested Svadjian last year as he tried to re-enter the country on a forged Lithuanian passport. He had been living in Egypt, and worked as a scuba instructor. US federal agents traveled to Russia to escort Svadjian back to the United States, where he was charged with fleeing.

Svadjian told federal investigators that he paid a Russian police officer about $200 to issue a fake death certificate. Federal prosecutors destroyed evidence from the case against Svadjian because they believed he was dead. Instead, they charged him with unlawful flight from prosecution, which is a five-year felony.

Prosecutors said that the original fraud charges had a five-year statute of limitations. It is unclear whether the statute of limitations was suspended when Svadjian left the country. Prosecutors said that they would not reinstate the fraud charges against him.

Federal Fraud Lawyer


Federal prosecutions are rarely straightforward, but the federal government doesn’t give up easily. If you’re facing federal fraud charges, hiring an experienced fraud lawyer is your best bet. Robert Helfend practices criminal defense, and has 30 years of experience. He takes both federal and state cases, and will work to ensure you receive the best possible representation in court.

Don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney to provide the best possible defense. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273- 5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County fraud case.

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Traffic stop nets Pasadena identity theft ring
Traffic stop nets Pasadena identity theft ring
A traffic stop in Pasadena led to the arrests of three people suspected of identity theft. Police conducted the stop after noting that the suspect vehicle had no license plates.

After stopping the vehicle, police discovered that the car was stolen. When they searched the vehicle, they found a collection of documents and equipment associated with identity theft. They included falsified tax returns, credit card readers and identity documents with the names of individuals.

Police arrested two Duarte residents and a Pasadena man, and charged them with identity theft. They also held the Pasadena man on a parole violation. According to court records, all three persons had prior convictions for a variety of offenses, including identity theft, grand theft auto, receiving stolen property, drug offenses, sexual offenses and vehicular homicide.

Pasadena identity theft attorney


If you’re arrested for identity theft, your first move should be to hire an experienced identity theft attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in Los Angeles County courtrooms. He has defended thousands of Californians accused of crimes.

Identity theft usually isn’t a crime that happens in isolation, so investigators will often try to tie other felony charges together. Multiple felony convictions in California can put you at risk of life imprisonment, thanks to California’s Three Strikes Law. Being able to reduce or eliminate felony charges is crucial to a successful criminal defense.

Mr. Helfend is an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney who will work tirelessly to provide exceptional representation. He handles each case personally, so you will work directly with him to prepare your defense.

When you face identity theft charges, don’t wait to contact an attorney. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County identity theft case.

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