LA Criminal Defense

Law Offices of George Kita

Call 213-400-5355!

Someone you love has been arrested in the Los Angeles area, and you need prompt answers and guidance from a trusted and established attorney.

So, who do you turn to for help?

I have helped 100s of clients understand the best approaches for their specific cases. I emphasize early intervention with first-time offenses, and believe that the most significant way to help a client is determining how to take immediate action.

My approaches typically involve prompt contact of the police or prosecution agency involved, to explore the possibilities of out of court resolutions. Swift intervention on a client’s behalf can oftentimes make a difference between a prompt resolution and a drawn out courtroom process.

Call now, at 213-400-5355, to see how I can help!

Los Angeles Criminal Defense in Local Courts

The great majority of criminal cases are heard in the courts near downtown Los Angeles. Gregory Caplan has helped numerous clients in the courts noted below, including, The Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center (Criminal Courts Building/CCB) and Metropolitan Courthouse.

Pre-Filing Alternatives

I have developed efficient and effective approaches to criminal defense in the local community. I focus on intervening at the earliest possible stages, to allow clients to receive consideration for alternative programs.

I have helped numerous clients in the Pre-filing stage. Pre-filing exists prior to the point in time when a case has been filed in court. The Pre-filing stage begins when a law enforcement agency is investigating a person’s involvement in a crime.

The agency may receive a report that a crime has occurred in the local community. Police typically interview the parties involved to determine if a crime has occurred. If the police officers are of the opinion that a crime has occurred and the person suspected of committing the crime is present at the scene, they will facilitate an arrest in most cases.

Even though a person has been arrested, a case is not yet filed in court. This is why it is important for criminal defense attorneys to attempt to intervene with the law enforcement agency and local prosecutor to present the client’s point of view and attempt to steer the case in a direction other than a criminal filing.

While other Los Angeles Criminal Defense Firms wait until the first court date to start work on a case, I believe prompt contact of law enforcement is critical in steering a case towards alternative programs.

Los Angeles Court Alternatives

What alternatives exist in the local jurisdictions? Prosecutions in the local jurisdictions are handled by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, as well as City Prosecutors’ Offices in the local municipalities. Each agency handles there alternatives a bit differently.

The District Attorney has an Office Hearing Program, which is designed to handle low-level violations. On a case by case basis, the District Attorney will handle more significant charges in the program if they believe it will accomplish the goals of the office and the community.

The City Attorneys’ Offices in Los Angeles County have more elaborate programs in place, in part because they handle a greater volume of misdemeanor cases in the local communities.

Many of these cases are “Quality of Life” cases where it is important to find solutions to community concerns such as neighborhood disputes which have escalated into to criminal violations. City Attorney Offices will utilize court alternatives such as Office Hearings, Alternative Prosecution Program (APPS), and City Attorney Diversion, to name a few.

With any of the prosecution alternatives, it is important for a criminal defense attorney to intervene and make appropriate requests as soon as possible. Many of these options must be requested prior to a court filing, and they are not a later consideration once a case is filed in court. I focus immediate attention on trying to qualify clients for all available programs.

Theft Cases

I handle a large number of theft-related violations. These types of charges are especially ripe for consideration for alternative programs, including City Attorney Diversion. I first evaluate a client’s background, to determine effective options for theft programs. I then generally intervene with the local prosecutor to pursue all possibilities.

There are many types of charges which may be resolved with alternatives. Typical charges with which I work are Petty Theft (Shoplifting), Grand Theft, & Burglary.

While many prosecution agencies are initially reluctant to dismiss a case and send a person to a diversion program, an effective defense lawyer will compile relevant information about a client to make compelling arguments to proceed with this type of alternative.

Drug Cases

I have helped numerous clients and their families with Drug Possession charges. It is significant to note that there are a number of effective ways to obtain a dismissal of charges in a drug case. An effective attorney will determine if each and every rule of law was followed in a client’s case. Search and Seizure law offers a number of possible defenses to a drug charge.

Penal Code 1000, commonly known as Drug Diversion is also an alternative to explore with a drug possession case. If a person completes all of the program requirements successfully, he or she can earn a dismissal of the charges.

Likewise, Proposition 36 Court offers a more intensive program designed to allow a person charged with a drug possession offense to obtain a dismissal after successfully completing this program. It is important to understand that any of these options should be explored and discussed thoroughly with an experienced and local criminal defense attorney.

Alcohol Violations

One of the most common causes of arrests is consumption of alcohol. The violations of law vary, including possession of an open container of alcohol, to Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. Law enforcement has stepped up enforcement of alcohol-related charges in recent years, utilizing methods such as Sobriety Checkpoints, where drivers are randomly stopped and questioned about consumption of alcohol or drugs.

Alcohol-related arrests can have life-altering effects on a person. Meticulous analysis of any blood or breath test can reveal some problems in the testing process. Your attorney should carefully evaluate the facts and law to determine the best strategies for your case.

Suspended Driver's License Cases

A common problem faced by many clients is charges involving Driving with a Suspended License, Driving on a Revoked License, or Driving without a Valid License. While solving this type of challenge can be daunting, I understand that to truly solve the problem I must understand the underlying problem which caused the license to be suspended or revoked, and work on resolving my client’s situation from a “global” standpoint, to avoid future similar problems. Many clients find that their problems are easier to solve that they first believed.

Hit and Run Court Alternatives

Law abiding people oftentimes make decisions which run counter to their everyday behavior. A person gets scared after a collision, or panics, or shock sets in, and the person drives away without properly exchanging information with the other vehicle owner. Hit and Run situations typically result from a lapse in good judgment, not criminal intent. In fact, most Hit and Run cases involve persons never in previous trouble with the law. This is what makes these cases unique. These cases are also critical for persons involved to get immediate help from a criminal defense attorney who can intervene and work towards steering the case towards a civil resolution versus a criminal case.

Resolving a Bench Warrant

There are many reasons why so many bench warrants are issued each year. The most frequent warrant stems from the forgotten traffic ticket, which causes complication not only at court, but at the Department of Motor Vehicles, where a person’s privilege to drive is often suspended, pending resolution of the ticket. If a warrant is issued, any law enforcement officer has the authority to arrest that person. This type of arrest often happens years later, at the time of another traffic ticket. An effective attorney will work on these problems globally, so a client can move on with his life.

Probation Violations

When a person pleads guilty or no contest to a felony or misdemeanor, he or she is generally placed on probation. Probation essentially allows a person to complete terms and conditions in the community, rather than face a significant amount of incarceration in a local or state facility. Terms of probation are treated as court orders. Thus, if a person does not complete his terms in a required timeframe, or conducts him or herself in a manner inconsistent with the court orders, then that person would likely be in violation of probation.

Penalties for violating probation range from a fine, community service, and commonly custody time. If a person is considered to be unsuitable for probation, then the court has the authority to terminate probation and sentence that person to the maximum jail sentence allowable by law.

It is very important to follow the terms of probation. If you have a minor violation, the court is more likely to be lenient.

However, depending on the courtroom and judge, even minor violations can result in termination of probation and significant jail or prison time. This is why it is so important to keep in regular contact with your attorney to ensure a high likelihood of success on probation.