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I Only Attempted a Crime, Can I Still Be Charged?

Attempting to execute a crime is a felony in California, regardless of whether or not you are successful. An attempted crime has its own penalties if you are convicted, which can be as life changing as if you had been charged with the completed crime. Here’s what you should know about attempted crime laws and how to get legal help after being arrested. 

California’s Attempted Crime Law 

California Penal Code 664 states that “every person who attempts to commit any crime, but fails, or is prevented or intercepted in its perpetration, shall be punished where no provision is made by law for the punishment of those attempts.” The penalty assessed is typically one-half the incarceration or fines that would be assessed if the defendant had completed the offense. 

How the State Determines If an Act Qualifies As An Attempted Crime 

To prove that a suspect tried to commit a criminal act, the prosecution must prove that the accused person took a direct step toward completing the offense and meant to do so. A “direct step” entails more than simply putting together the elements of the offense or planning to execute it. It is a gesture toward breaking the law after making arrangements in such a way that demonstrates a clear intention to carry out the illegal act. 

A direct step sets the events in motion and ensures that the act would have been accomplished if the initiative had not been impeded by unforeseen circumstances. If a would-be criminal abandons a plan to break the law before taking a direct step, they are not considered guilty of attempted crime.

Potential Defenses For Attempted Crime 

Possible defenses for a charge of attempted crime include: 

  • The accused did not commit any act that furthered the underlying offense 
  • The accused never intended to commit a crime or did not know that the act was criminal in nature 
  • The accused abandoned the attempted crime prior to taking what would be considered a direct step 
  • The accused is not the person who attempted to commit the crime and another person is responsible, e.g. a case of mistaken identity

Get Help From a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Now 

If you were charged with attempted crime, your future is at stake even if you didn’t complete the offense. Call the Lewin Law Group today at (800) 458-1488 for a consultation. Serving the Los Angeles metropolitan area, including suburbs of Pasadena, Burbank, Santa Monica, Inglewood, and other nearby areas in California.

By : Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Chad Lewin | November 20, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Can I Get Punitive Damages After a Los Angeles Car Accident?

After an accident or injury, you may be eligible for punitive damages in a personal injury lawsuit if the respondent’s conduct was egregious. Despite the fact that civil penalties are seldom issued in personal injury claims, they could be warranted in certain circumstances. Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering punitive damages after a California car accident.

Punitive Damages Defined 

In the vast majority of circumstances, a personal injury petitioner is entitled to receive reparations. These are financial remedies that reimburse a claimant for health care expenses, loss of earnings, reduced projected earnings, and even mental anguish. Given the circumstances, compensation might cover a wide range of expenditures. 

Punitive damages or civil penalties are meant to punish the negligent party and discourage other people from also engaging in the same behavior.  A court may order the offender to pay civil fines to the plaintiff as a punitive action to avoid a recurrent incident.

Proving That Civil Penalties Are Warranted 

For civil fines to be assessed, the plaintiff must show “clear and convincing proof” that the defendant owes not only compensatory reparations, but also punitive damages for their act(s) of gross negligence. This is a higher standard than the proof required for negligence, which is simply by a “preponderance of the evidence.” How much the penalties will be is set by a jury once the request is granted. 

How Much Money Will a Defendant Pay for Punitive Damages? 

Generally, the penalty assessed against the defendant should be proportionate to their wealth or earnings. If the defendant can pay the fine without issue, the goal of discouraging them from acting in the same manner again is unlikely to be met. Damages awarded to the plaintiff should also be calculated based on the amount of harm done. A defendant should not have to pay the same civil penalties for a minor injury as they would if they had caused someone to lose a limb or even their life. 

Get Legal Help From a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Today 

Don’t hesitate after you or someone you love were critically injured in an accident through no fault of your own. The Lewin Law Group can help you recover compensatory and punitive damages if possible. Call now for your consultation at 888.603.0201. Serving Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Long Beach, Anaheim, Santa Ana, and other cities in the LA metropolitan area.

By : Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Chad Lewin | November 20, 2021 | Traffic Accident

How Do I Fight a Coerced Confession?

Criminal Defense Attorney

If someone is innocent of a crime but confesses anyway, this is known as a false confession.  Although confessing guilt for a criminal activity a defendant did not actually engage in seems detrimental to their case, there are a number of reasons why this can occur. 

False confessions are not akin to forced confessions, which law enforcement officers may try to obtain by intimidating or hurting the defendant. Here are the fundamentals of false confessions, as well as what to do if you’re talked into making a confession, and where you can obtain comprehensive legal assistance after being charged with a crime.

Evaluating Confession Types 

The United States criminal code divides false confessions into three separate groups, including compliant, coerced, and voluntary confessions. When the suspect of a criminal offense is led to disbelieve their own recall or memory of what occurred, they start believing they were truly involved and that their memories must be incorrect. This is a coerced confession.

When investigators abuse a subject during an investigation to the point that they admit to the act only to end the aggressive questioning, this is known as a compliant confession. Most voluntary admissions are offered by people who are mentally ill who may not completely grasp their situation and end up inadvertently acknowledging their involvement.

Reasons a Defendant Might Confess to Something They Never Did 

For a variety of reasons, a person could admit to criminal activity they did not engage in. One possibility is that they are seeking to conceal the true culprit of the act. Alternatively, they may feel that if they follow the detectives’ instructions, their sentence might be reduced. People with mental illnesses may make a false confession if they feel it would lead to notoriety.

Get In Touch With a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Right Away 

Your best criminal defense is to hire an attorney as soon as you learn that you are suspected of a crime, before you are ever questioned by law enforcement officers. This allows your lawyer the opportunity to prevent a coercive interrogation before the police secure a confession. If you’ve already spoken with officers and confessed, your attorney can show evidence that you have a mental condition or that you had motivation to offer a false confession. 

Contact Los Angeles defense lawyer Chad Lewin today for a consultation to discuss your case by calling (800) 458-1488.

By : Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Chad Lewin | November 9, 2021 | Criminal Defense
LosAngeles Criminal Defense Lawyer