Criminal Defense Overview
The attorneys at the law firm of Bensamochan & Poghosyan, LLP provide strong and effective criminal defense representation in Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside County, and throughout southern California. Our lawyers represent people charged with felonies and misdemeanors in state and federal trial courts and appeals courts. Below is a brief description of the firm's major areas of practice.
An arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can cause you to lose your driver's license, even if you are never convicted of DUI! You must act quickly to protect your license and defend against all the long-term negative consequences a DUI conviction can bring. See our DUI page for more information.
Drug crimes are vigorously prosecuted at both the state and federal levels, and harsh sentences with mandatory minimum penalties are often imposed upon conviction. The government maintains a long list of controlled substances including not only common street drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, crack, ecstasy, and LSD, but also prescription painkillers and other drugs such as Oxycontin, Oxycodone, and Morphine, obtained without a proper prescription. The law outlaws the possession, distribution, sale, cultivation or manufacturing, and trafficking of these narcotics, with enormous fines and lengthy prison sentences imposed on conviction.
Drug arrests and prosecutions are often fraught with misidentifications and questions surrounding searches and seizures and other constitutional rights. Our defense looks closely at the police tactics used. Where appropriate, we also investigate options for our clients such as drug courts, diversion programs, and treatment options as opposed to incarceration under laws such as Prop 36.
A spouse or former spouse, a current or former boyfriend/girlfriend, or other relative or household member may be able to get a temporary restraining order (TRO) against you by alleging physical, verbal or mental abuse or threats. Before any long-term protective order can be issued, however, you have the right to attend a hearing and challenge these allegations of abuse. False allegations are sometimes brought in connection with a divorce or child custody dispute, as retaliation or revenge following an argument, or due to a misunderstanding between persons in a close relationship. A restraining order is a powerful weapon and can be used to order you out of the house and restrict your contact with other members of your family. We make sure you have the opportunity to defend against these charges before any long-term consequences are imposed upon you.
Robbery and burglary are distinguishable because robbery involves taking money or property from a person, while burglary involves stealing from a dwelling. Most modern property crimes, however, are simply categorized as theft offenses, and distinguishing one crime from another rests on technical statutory language. When a person is arrested for a theft offense, the way in which the crime is charged has an important impact on the preparation of the defense and what the potential consequences are if convicted. With former experience in the district attorney's office, we are aware of these distinctions and their importance in trial preparation and defense.
Being charged with a sex offense is a very serious matter, because conviction can result in registration as a sex offender under Section 290 of the California Penal Code. Being placed on the sex offender registry is a lifetime disability, severely limiting where you can live and work and impacting virtually every area of your personal and professional life. Sex offenses can range from anything from sodomy and actual sexual assaults such as rape and attempted rape, to whatever the prosecutor decides to charge as a "lewd and lascivious act."
Sex crimes are difficult cases to defend because special rules often apply to the use of witnesses and other evidence, and because many jurors are predisposed against anyone charged with a sexual offense. Not all criminal defense lawyers take these cases or can handle them appropriately. Be sure to contact an attorney who understands the special handling required in defending charges of sex offenses.
A charge of homicide can be prosecuted in any number of ways - as first degree murder or second degree murder, voluntary or involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide or vehicular homicide - and the potential penalties vary greatly depending upon the charge. From the initial filing of charges to plea negotiations to jury verdict, we work for the best possible outcome in your case, whether it be dismissal of charges, a not guilty verdict, or a lesser offense.
In California, violent crimes and other "serious felonies" are subject to the state's habitual offender or repeat offender laws, also known as "three strikes and you're out." If you have been convicted of two previous strike offenses, a third arrest can place you at risk for life in prison without parole, even if the offense itself would not warrant such a harsh punishment. We work to see that you are not convicted of a strike offense or that previous offenses not be counted against you at trial wherever possible.
Although they are often considered "victimless" crimes, an arrest or conviction for prostitution or solicitation can cause serious problems in one's personal, professional and social life at home, at work, and in the community. In addition, these offenses may be charged as sex offenses, and conviction could place you on the sex offender registry for life. We will vigorously defend against these charges on your behalf. You may have defenses available such as a lack of intent or entrapment, or the prosecution may have a weak case but count on you to plead guilty out of embarrassment. Where the case is weak, we may be able to secure a dismissal or a charge reduction, or we may seek to have your rights vindicated with an acquittal at trial.
If you have been previously convicted of a crime, you may be eligible to have your record cleared. We can work with you post-conviction to rehabilitate your record and remove the disabilities which can restrict where you live and work and how you are viewed in the eyes of the public and the judicial system. Options include obtaining a certificate of rehabilitation, having a felony reduced to a misdemeanor or a strike offense reduced to a non-strike offense, removal from the sex offender registry, and more.
Southern California Criminal Defense Attorneys
You can count on the attorneys at Bensamochan & Poghosyan, LLP to provide a complete defense of the charges brought against you. If you are a resident alien or other immigrant, any contact with the criminal justice system can have serious consequences for your immigration status. Our firm will work not only to defend you in court but also represent you in any removal proceedings brought by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. For strong, effective defense by skilled and knowledgeable attorneys in Los Angeles and throughout southern California, contact Bensamochan & Poghosyan, LLP for a free consultation.