Criminal defense is about defending rights. And everyone has rights. Yet when you have been charged with a crime and are swept up in the criminal justice system, you quickly learn that nobody is as interested in defending your rights as you are, and you cannot do it alone. For fierce, uncompromising criminal defense call Leah Legal now!
When you or someone you know and love are suddenly arrested on criminal charges in Los Angeles or throughout Southern California, you have an immediate "emergency" on your hands. You are likely in a situation you have never been in before, such that confusion and uncertainty can run rife.
And if you are more familiar with the legal process because you are facing a repeat charge, that only means that the stakes will be that much higher as to potential sentencing, and there will still be legal surprises that can "ambush" you absent an experienced criminal defense attorney who has seen it all before.
Leah Legal Criminal Defense Law Office has been serving the L.A. and Southern California Area for years with top-tier legal advice and representation across a wide range of practice areas. Attorney Leah Naparstek, who graduated law school with high honors, has accumulated deep hands-on experience in criminal, DUI, and immigration law over the last decade. She has earned admission to numerous bars and law associations and has earned the respect of colleagues and clients alike.
But in the end, what matters most about Leah Legal is that we are passionate about helping people in need, and we are a law firm that is dedicated unreservedly to fighting for you and your best interests. From day one, we work tirelessly and creatively in forming the best possible defense strategy for your case and in undermining the arguments and evidences of the prosecution. We always insist on obtaining the best possible outcome for our client in every case we take on.
Qualities That Set Leah Legal Apart from the Crowd
When you become our client at Leah Legal, we bring you more than just legal knowledge and experience, we also bring you a dedication to serving your best interests in every possible way. We pride ourselves on a number of specific qualities that set our law firm apart in a crowded industry. These include:
- Our experience is both deep and wide as to practice areas and is focused exclusively on criminal defense. We are fully familiarized with the specifics of local court processes and even have detailed knowledge of the tendencies of specific judges, prosecuting attorneys, and "expert witnesses" frequently called in by DAs.
- We do not hesitate to take on your case based on what kind of charge you face. We handle both felonies and misdemeanors, DUI, drug crime, theft, assault & battery, sex crime, and other charges. No case is too big, too small, too easy, or too hard for us to invest our time in it.
- We take the time to thoroughly investigate the details of every case. This means doing our own "homework" and not just relying on the police report or the prosecution's version of events. We probe for any weaknesses in the evidence to be brought against you and identify any mitigating factors in your favor.
- We adhere to a high "work ethic." Criminal defense is not a 9-to-5 endeavor. It often takes long, unpredictable hours to best serve our clients, and we take that duty too seriously to stop short of whatever it takes, and however long it takes, to get the job done.
- Leah or another experienced associate will always handle your case. We do not play the law mill game. A "law mill" in legal talk is a law firm that takes on excessively high numbers of clients all at once and then assigns most of them to inexperienced lawyers. This gains them extra work but is bad for the clients. We always handle your case personally and give you the representation you deserve.
- Leah Legal brings you the skills of a trial lawyer and negotiator together. This means your chances of a pre-trial dismissal, a plea deal that reduces your charge and/or sentence, or an acquittal are all increased. These two skills complement each other, for only when the prosecution fears going to trial against you do they become more willing to negotiate.
- We keep ourselves constantly accessible to our clients at all times. We share our cell phone numbers with you and we let you know how to contact us for a fast response and keep you informed of new developments as soon as they occur. Communication is key in winning legal battles, and we always keep multiple lines of communication open.
- Leah Legal brings you the highest caliber of legal representation but does not charge you exorbitant rates. We keep ourselves affordable and always let our fees be known upfront from the beginning.
We Fight for You Through Every Stage of the Legal Process
All of the advantages mentioned above are brought to bear on behalf of our clients throughout the entirety of the legal process, and we can take over a case no matter what stage it is currently at.
We can assist you from the moment of the arrest, or if you fear you may soon be arrested and/or charged, even before this occurs. Leah Legal can provide you with critical and timely advice on each next step at this critical juncture and help you begin preparing your defense as early as possible. Under certain circumstances we are able to speak with the investigating detective and or the prosecutor and prevent a filing altogether. When this is not possible, we are often able to prevent an embarrassing arrest by arranging for you to go to the police station to be booked at a certain designated time.
After the arrest, the police report and other information will be handed over to the prosecutor, often a DA. The case will be reviewed to decide if there is enough evidence that the alleged crime even took place and if the defendant is likely the perpetrator.
Normally, the DA will trust the police report and file the charges it supports. At this point he or she will make a formal "complaint" detailing the charge against you.
In some cases, the DA may decide to drop the charges if the evidence seems too weak, or will even agree to a plea bargain to reduce the charges. Thus, already, the legal wheels are beginning to turn, and it pays to have a skilled California defense attorney on scene to press for dismissal or reduction of charges.
The Criminal Arraignment
We can begin building you a solid case long before your arraignment (initial court date), but the arraignment is clearly a critical moment in the overall legal process.
Here, you will be formally read the charge against you by the presiding judge. At this point, you will have to enter a plea of "guilty," "no contest," or "not guilty." It is also at this point that bail will be set if you were not already bailed out earlier.
Understand that your arraignment is not an actual trial as such. But having your lawyer present at the arraignment can greatly affect how your case proceeds. It is possible that violations of your rights will be cited by your defense attorney, which will then lead to evidence against you being thrown out of court and your case being dismissed. It is also possible a favorable plea agreement can be worked out and agreed to at this point, avoiding the need to actually go to trial.
At Leah Legal, we know how to use the time between your arrest and arraignment wisely to maximize your chances of a win without ever going to trial.
The Criminal Preliminary Hearing
If no plea deal takes place at the arraignment, and you plead "not guilty," then your case moves toward trial. But first, your defense attorney will have another chance to fight for you at your preliminary hearing.
Here, the defense finally gets access to the police report and all other evidence given already to the prosecution. This is the "discovery" process, and it better equips us to fight and win your case.
The prosecutor will unveil his or her evidence at the preliminary hearing and seek to persuade the judge that not only was the alleged crime actually committed but that you are very likely the one who committed it. The judge must then decide if this evidence is weighty enough for you to be "held to answer" in a jury trial. If not, the case will be dismissed. This may happen if the witnesses against you are not deemed "credible" or if existing evidence is too heavily "conflicting."
The defense will be given not only the evidence being used against you but also any evidence deemed "exculpatory," meaning seemingly in your favor. It is your right to have such evidence, if it exists, revealed to your defense attorney at the preliminary hearing, and a failure to do so can get your case dismissed.
Note that we at Leah Legal will take this opportunity to seek to have evidence declared inadmissible in court if it was obtained unlawfully. And we will cross-examine witnesses of the prosecution, pinning them down to a single, unchangeable "story." The preliminary hearing is like a miniature trial to determine if there will be an actual trial. The burden of proof is lower, but what happens here can determine what evidence the jury will see and strongly influence how your case is ultimately resolved.
The preliminary hearing can end in a dismissal, a plea deal, or a trial date. But you only have a right to a preliminary hearing if it is a felony charge. With misdemeanors, you would go straight from the arraignment to pre-trial, after which a trial will take place if the case cannot be resolved without one.
The Criminal Trial
At Leah Legal, we have extensive experience in presenting convincing arguments in court, in finding evidence and witnesses in your favor, in calling our own "expert" witnesses to counter those brought in by the prosecution, and in exposing the weaknesses in the case brought against you.
Most cases don't even go to trial, but because of Leah Legal’s strong reputation at this phase, you are more likely to get a dismissal or favorable plea at the arraignment or preliminary hearing.
If a jury trial commences, we will always fight for an acquittal as the first option. We never give up before the battle has even begun, like some so-called defense attorneys. However, we also understand the realities you are facing and know when and how to negotiate for a reduced charge/sentence instead of risking a conviction with a sentence at or close to the maximums.
Thus, it is possible to "win" a case even when a conviction cannot realistically be avoided. This might mean getting a DUI charge reduced to wet reckless, getting jail time exchanged for community service and probation, or receiving a lighter fine.
By excluding or undermining the reliability of the prosecution's evidence and witnesses from early in the process, we build a foundation for winning the best possible outcome to every case. It can be the difference between a conviction and an acquittal or between a harsh sentence and a much lighter one.
We Are Always Here to Help
We at Leah Legal are here first and foremost to be a "lifeline" to those facing daunting criminal allegations that they don't know how to combat on their own. We turn the tables and put the prosecution at the disadvantage instead of you.
From the moment we answer the phone when you call for a free consultation to moment your case is concluded, we apply both our legal expertise and our most strenuous efforts to winning your case. At every stage of the legal process, every step of the way, we put ourselves in your shoes and fight for you like we would want to be fought for, were our roles reversed.
To learn more about our criminal defense services in your practice area of concern, feel free to call us anytime 24/7/365 at 818-484-1100 for a free, no-obligation legal consultation and immediate assistance when you need it most.