If you are facing felony charges in Los Angeles, your future may be in serious jeopardy.
Felony convictions can come with prison sentences and life-long consequences that can make it difficult to get a job, retain housing, or even maintain custody of your children.
It is crucial that you hire an experienced Los Angeles felony defense lawyer to vigorously defend your rights and prevent your life from being affected by an avoidable conviction.
You can count on our experienced former prosecutors and top defense attorneys to navigate you through the storm and secure the best outcome possible. We will work diligently to identify any weaknesses in the District Attorney’s case, present you in the best possible light, and explain how you are so much more than the allegations in the police report.
At Chudnovsky Law, our Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys will shine a light on the criminal process for you. When you have our experienced attorneys defending you, we will fight hard to ensure the worst scenarios won’t come to pass.
Get peace of mind. Call Chudnovsky Law at (213) 212-5002 for your free consultation today.
Experienced Former Prosecutors In Your Corner
When your freedom is on the line, you want the strongest defense possible. You get that with talented lawyers who have experience working as prosecutors.
With over 75 years of combined experience in criminal defense and prosecution, our attorneys Tsion Chudnovsky, Kareem Aref, Suzanne Crouts, and Robert Weinberg thoroughly understand the felony court process in Los Angeles. We have experience with every part of the California Penal Code and have deep relations in the Los Angeles County court system that help ensure the best outcome possible.
We know how prosecutors think because our team has worked in the district attorney's office. This knowledge gives us an edge when negotiating a resolution to your case.
Remember, you are innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a court of law or unless you enter a guilty plea. But if you face charges in Los Angeles, you may feel judged already. That is why you need legal help from Chudnovsky Law.
We offer affordable fees and flexible payment plans.
Criminal Offenses in California
The California Penal Code defines three types of criminal offenses: infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. The latter crimes are punishable by state prison sentences of over one year.
The most common categories of felonies are:
- Aggravated battery
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Child abuse
- Domestic abuse
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Fraud or embezzlement
- Grand theft auto
- Possession, distribution, or trafficking of narcotics
- Rape and other sex crimes
- Theft, robbery, or burglary
- Weapons violations
A felony charge in California requires that either a judge or a grand jury determines probable cause.
Grand juries are optional in California. If a grand jury compels you to testify, you will not have access to counsel, though we can prepare you for what you might face there. However, a suspect rarely testifies at a grand jury proceeding in California.
Most likely, a grand jury or a judge will determine probable cause without your knowledge. The first notice of your charges will likely happen when the police arrest you. When this happens, do not speak to anyone until you speak to your lawyer. That's the time to contact Chudnovsky Law.
Felony Penalties in California
The sentencing guidelines for California felonies include at least one year in a California state prison, although your attorney can negotiate shorter and/or alternate sentencing. Additionally, some sentences include fines, confiscation of assets, or probation after completing a prison term.
The length of a prison term depends both on the charge and on aggravating or mitigating factors. Judges have the discretion to adjust punishments as appropriate to the case.
Our defense attorneys can reduce the stress of variable sentencing with their experience and knowledge. We will make sure you understand the potential consequences of a guilty verdict and its likely consequences.
By knowing what you should expect in a trial, you can make educated decisions when entertaining plea deals.
Aggravating Sentencing Factors
Even if the sentencing guidelines for a crime are six to 12 years, the court can sentence you to even more time. Aggravating factors allow judges to add years or even decades to your prison term
“Three Strikes” Enhancement
The most common aggravating factor is the Three Strikes law, originally passed in California in 1994. It requires a state prison sentence of 25 years to life for any offender convicted of a third violent or serious felony.
This law doesn’t just kick in at the third strike. If a court previously convicted you of a felony, this enhancement adds five years to your sentence for each prior felony conviction.
Another common aggravating factor involves firearms. If the court convicts you of brandishing a firearm, shooting someone with a firearm, or killing someone with a firearm during the commission of another crime, your sentence will increase. At a minimum, your sentence will increase by 10 years, and the court can sentence you to 25 years to life.
Aggravating Factors Can Add More Prison Time Than the Base Term
Even a relatively minor felony can result in decades of prison time due to aggravating factors. And prosecutors often try to add aggravating factors to a charge simply to improve their negotiating position.
Our Los Angeles felony defense lawyers will use all of the tools the law allows to dispose of aggravating factors from your charges and minimize your sentence if the court finds you guilty.
The Value of an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
Courtroom dramas on television often show defendants who choose to represent themselves. While this makes for good television, it’s generally a very unwise decision in real life.
Criminal defense attorneys have a wealth of legal knowledge that pays dividends in the legal process. They know hundreds of years of case law and use that information to get authorities to dismiss charges or prevent prosecutors from using evidence against you in the trial.
This knowledge in action may result in a prosecutor dropping charges because they no longer can prove their case.
Even when your attorney can't get the prosecutor to drop charges, they can use their legal knowledge to negotiate lesser charges or sentencing in a plea bargain. Prosecutors have about as much discretion as judges when negotiating sentences, and many felony charges fall into a category of crimes known as "wobblers."
“Wobbler” Crimes Result in Sentencing Reductions of Years
A "wobbler" crime is a crime that prosecutors can charge as either a felony or a misdemeanor. We know if authorities charged you with a crime that falls into this category, and we will negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce the severity of your charges.
Even if the court does not dismiss your charges, it may reduce the felony charge to a misdemeanor, and you will face a lesser sentence. You’ll also avoid sentencing enhancements under the Three Strikes law.
Courtroom Experience Increases Your Chance of a Not Guilty Verdict
Even if we can’t get your charges dismissed and cannot negotiate an acceptable plea bargain, our experience in the courtroom will serve you well. Chudnovsky Law’s felony defense attorneys have decades of experience in courtrooms.
This experience matters during:
- Jury selection
- Pre-trial motions
- Witness preparation
- Opening and closing statements
- Mid-trial objections
- Questioning of prosecution witnesses
Our legal team will limit the evidence and witnesses that the prosecution can use in court and ensure that the court does not seat a jury unfairly prejudiced against you. The judge will rarely prevent the prosecution from violating the rules of the court if your attorney does not object.
Protect yourself at a Los Angeles felony trial by calling a Chudnovsky Law defense attorney.
There are many defense strategies to get a felony dismissed. All felony convictions require that a court finds you guilty of criminal intent beyond a reasonable doubt. Thus a common defense is to present evidence that will give even one jury member a reasonable doubt of your guilt.
Alternatively, even if you committed the act in question, if we can show evidence that you had no criminal intent, the jury should find you not guilty.
We can establish a lack of criminal intent by showing the act was:
- Made in self-defense or to defend another
- Done under duress
- Performed in good faith
- Entrapment by law enforcement
If even one jury member believes you didn't have criminal intent, the jury can't find you guilty of that crime.
A Diversion Program for Drug Crimes
In addition to treating drug use as a crime, California also treats it as a health crisis. You can potentially enroll in a pretrial drug diversion program if prosecutors charge you with drug crimes. If you complete the program, the court may dismiss your charges. Your felony defense lawyer will petition to get you into the program if you qualify.
What Other Consequences Can I Suffer for a Felony Conviction?
Criminal records are publicly accessible. If you have a felony conviction on your record, you can experience legal discrimination.
Due to your felony conviction, you may find that:
- Employers refuse to hire you
- Authorities revoke your professional or occupational license
- Landlords refuse to rent to you
- You don’t qualify for government programs or contracts
- You must disclose your felony status to others
- You appear on registries that reveal your personal information
- You lose your driving privileges
Because these consequences can alter your life, we make all possible efforts to dismiss your charges or reduce them to misdemeanors.
Do I Have to Accept a Plea Bargain Offer if My Lawyer Recommends It?
Absolutely not. We’ll always honestly tell you and make recommendations to get you the lowest punishment possible. But if you disagree with those recommendations, you’re not required to abide by them.
Our legal team will vigorously defend you in court, even if we recommend against a jury trial, and we will agree to plea deals we otherwise recommend against if that’s what you decide.
What Rights Do I Have if I’m Not a Citizen?
The rights in the U.S. Constitution do not differentiate between citizens and non-citizens. Just like citizens, you have the right to due process, are free from illegal searches and seizures, and have the right to a jury trial.
The only significant difference you face in the justice system is that the U.S. government may deport you if the court convicts you of a felony. However, if we can negotiate a plea deal to lower the charge to a misdemeanor, we might protect you from deportation.
The one major exception is individuals on F1 visas. The U.S. government can revoke an F1 visa if the holder gets arrested, even without a conviction. If you are here on an F1 visa and the police arrested you, contact Chudnovsky Law as quickly as possible.
Our Los Angeles Felony Defense Attorneys Can Help
Our attorneys fluently speak six languages other than English. Our ability to communicate with many different people ensures that we can provide you with advice even if you don’t speak English. Your comfort and understanding are of primary importance to our team.
Conveniently Located in the Heart of Downtown Los Angeles
When you are ready to meet your Chudnovsky Law felony defense attorney face to face, getting to our law firm is easy. We’re just two blocks from the Grand Blue Line Bus Station in downtown Los Angeles. Call us today for your case consultation. We’re always ready to provide exceptional felony defense in L.A.
Protect Yourself From a Los Angeles Felony Charge With Chudnovsky Law
Just because authorities accused you of a felony, that doesn't make you guilty. You deserve a high-quality defense from a compassionate and skilled team of criminal defense lawyers.
Your Chudnovsky Law attorneys will listen to your story, investigate your case, and fight for your freedom. We’ve helped hundreds of satisfied clients over the years.
Don’t allow the cost to prevent you from reaching out to us. The cost of a wrongful conviction or a harsh sentence for a charge that the alleged act does not merit will vastly exceed our fees.
Don’t let you or a family member become the victim of an uncaring justice system. If you need the help of a felony defense attorney in Los Angeles, contact the team at Chudnovsky Law for your free consultation today at (213) 212-5002.