Daily Archives - January 3, 2018

CEO in Los Angeles is Charged With Asking an Alleged Drug Trafficker To Kill One of His Former Business Associates

Love it or hate it, despite its controversial reputation, Homeland Security does know how to do its job and is often unable to prevent terrible crimes from occurring.

Homeland Security agents in New Orleans were listening to the phone calls of an alleged drug dealer from Los Angeles last year. During one of the conversations, the investigators heard something that caught their attention.

First of all, it is necessary to state that the suspect was allegedly dealing methamphetamine and this was the main subject of the investigation. However, during the above-mentioned conversation, he told the person on the phone that he was actually asked to make a “hit”, meaning that he was supposed to kill a person for money.

Needless to say, this triggered a reaction from the investigators, so they began digging deeper and their search led them through New Orleans towards Los Angeles and San Diego. The investigation was a very through one and the Homeland Security agents even went as far as to stage a bloody murder scene with the help of the potential victim.

As a result, in April, David Philips – a CEO of one of the large medical marketing companies – was arrested. He was charged with plotting the death of one of his former business associates.

As it turns out, Philips, who is 36 years old and living in Culver City, got in touch with the drug dealer and told him he would forgive his debt on one condition. As it was a pretty serious debt – $30, 000 – the drug dealer was more than willing to listen. Philips wanted him to murder his former business associate. The name of the drug dealer, who is not cooperating with the investigators, as well as the name of the possible victim are still being withheld for the purpose of the criminal investigation.

Philips was arrested on Sepulveda Boulevard on April 25th. It was then that the drug dealer met Philips and showed him staged photos of the victim. The victim on those staged photos was covered in blood and seriously battered. The drug dealer came straight to the Philips’ office – he was running the NKP Medical Marketing firm. Since that day, Philips was taken to New Orleans and is now waiting for the trial. Philips, on the other hand, decided to plead not guilty.

Initially, the entire investigation was centered on the meth dealer. However, once the investigators from New Orleans heard about a potential hit, they were forced to intervene. Subsequently, an undercover agent got in touch with the alleged meth dealer, posing as a dealer himself. He then offered to connect him to a contract killer. In return, the meth dealer was supposed to sell his meth for a discounted price. Consequently, the two met again April. This time, the meth dealer did not come empty-handed. He had photos of the potential victim, his home address, as well as his phone number, and he presented all of that information to the undercover investigator. The meth dealer was then arrested only a few days later with enough evidence to implicate him. He agreed to cooperate and told the investigators about Philips. He said that he took $30,000 from Philips so as to start a kind of marijuana venture. Unfortunately for him, he failed and could not return the money. Nevertheless, Philips was willing to forgive that debt if the meth dealer would kill a person for him. The would-be victim was actually one of Philips’ previous partners and they ran their business together up until 2014-15. This is when they began to clash and could not settle their differences.

The potential victim was claiming that Philips himself was pretty harsh and often threatened to ‘take care’ of people that he did not like. He also remarked about having friends with automatic weapons. One way or the other, the two had no interaction since September 2016. This is also when the meth dealer was caught for mentioning a hit in one of his phone conversations.

Philips was arrested in his office when the meth dealer arranged a meeting with him and handed him a staged photo. The would-be victim in the photo was covered in bruises and had a gunshot wound to his forehead. There was blood all over the wall behind him. When Philips took the picture, his hands were shaking and he was generally nervous.

There were also several other defendants that were arrested for being involved in the meth distribution plot as well as the possible hit that was supposed to be arranged by the meth dealer.

On the other hand, Philips’ lawyer claims that his client is not guilty and did nothing wrong. He is claiming that the would-be victim is just a former coworker of the client and that he was not all that important to Philips to begin with. Furthermore, the employees at the Philips’ office refused to allow the journalists to enter the premises and claimed that Philips was framed and that the government plotted  against him. However, they did not want to share any additional details on the matter.

The investigation is currently checking all the details and we are going to have more answers soon enough. For now, it appears that Philips hired a meth dealer, who owed him money to kill his former business partner, since they had their differences in the past. All the evidence is pointing out that Philips is guilty, but we are going to let the court decide what really occurred. Hence, if you wish more details, go ahead and wait a bit for a new article for more information on the case.

Dmitry Gorin, ESQ
Law Offices of Dmitry Gorin

Bill Cosby’s Sexual Assault Case Finally Goes to Trial

In the past, whenever people heard Bill Cosby’s name, they would laugh and smile – the guy really was a great comedian and people still remember some of his most successful roles in numerous TV shows and motion pictures.

However, those times are long gone as, throughout the years, Cosby has managed to become known as a sexual predator – a rapist, who sexually assaulted dozens of women throughout the course of his life. Over decades, numerous women have come out to accuse Cosby of raping them. However, things got all the more serious back in 2014 when Hannibal Buress, a standup comedian, decided to call Cosby explicitly during one of the shows. The show naturally went viral. Even more women were then prepared to call Cosby out and accuse him of raping them. Some of the cases even dated back to the 70s and 80s and cannot be prosecuted because they are beyond the Statute of Limitations.

However, the case kicked off just last month. This is about a crime that allegedly took place back in 2004. The Statute of Limitations is still in order and there is time to proceed with the case. One of Cosby’s alleged victims initially went to the police and claimed that Cosby forced her into sexual intercourse right after giving her pills and some wine. Cosby, on the other hand, said the pills were meant to help the woman with stress and that everything they did was absolutely consensual. Back then, the case was settled in Civil Court. However, during his testimony, Cosby mentioned that he always gave pills to the women he wanted to sleep with. These records eventually went public and caused many more women to come out with allegations and accusing Cosby of drugging them. If Cosby is found guilty, he risks spending the rest of his life in prison. Sexual assault crime cases cannot and must not be taken lightly, since they come with some serious legal consequences.

If you or your loved ones were charged with sexual assault, you must not take the matter lightly either, even if you are 100% certain that you have done nothing wrong! After all, the penalties and consequences may be quite severe. You risk losing your job, ruining your reputation, being labeled a sexual predator, and even going to prison for many years, which is probably the last thing you want.

To make sure that you are doing everything necessary ensure that you are not wrongfully accused and will not go to prison, it is crucial to make sure that you hire a qualified, genuinely experienced legal representative that will not let you down. Only a professional lawyer has the skills and the expertise that are necessary to help you out of such a difficult and challenging situation.

Also, make sure that you stay away from the accuser. Even if you have certain child custody responsibilities or maybe you are working with the accuser in the same office, make sure that whenever you are near the accuser, a third party is there as a witness. And, do not contact the accuser over the phone – all correspondence should be presented in written form only and not via social networks. That way, you will be 100% certain that there is no way the accuser will have anything else on you to use in court.

Of course, being wrongfully accused of sexual assault is frustrating. However, no matter how sad or angry you may be, do not allow those emotions to best you. After all, if you say or do something rash and irrational, you will be the only one to suffer the consequences. Try and keep calm and let the professionals handle the matter for you.

There is one important thing that you will need to take into consideration and that is, of course, assessing the motives. Why did the person falsely accuse you of such a terrible crime? Perhaps it is a jealous ex who wants revenge or maybe there were alcohol and drugs involved in the process and the person cannot recollect if it was consensual to begin with.

In the end, you will need to provide your lawyer with all the information you can remember to help him or her build a clearer picture so they can make an informed decision in line with all of the gathered information.

Odds are, you will be looking for the best legal expert out there to help you out in such a dire situation and you will need to find the best criminal attorney possible.

Dmitry Gorin, ESQ
Law Offices of Dmitry Gorin

Eight People Were Injured By a Hit And Run Driver in Los Angeles

Car accidents are not a rare thing these days. After all, due to the large number of vehicles on the streets of major cities, it is no wonder that accidents happen on a daily basis. Some of those accidents really stand out from the crowd.

Last Sunday, the authorities of Los Angeles confirmed that there was a major accident, when a hit and run driver slammed into an entire crowd of diners on a sidewalk. According to the official reports, at least 8 people were injured.

The accident was caused by a hit and run driver, who slammed into one of the parked vehicles. The vehicle moved ahead all the way and was stopped by a fence. However, by that time, at least several people were underneath the vehicle, according to some witnesses.

Another witness also claims that the driver who caused provoked the accident briefly stepped out of the car for several moments. He then jumped back inside, though people around were forcing him to remain outside, until the law enforcement authorities arrived. Allegedly, the driver was disoriented.

One of the victims, a 44-year-old man, was taken to hospital in a critical condition, and several other victims were also taken to the hospital.

Needless to say, traffic violations are very common these days. Modern society relies on cars – they are a genuinely invaluable part of our transport infrastructure. Hence, it is very important, crucial even, to make sure that you know what to do when a traffic violation has occurred and how to protect yourself from all sorts of different legal consequences.

Traffic violations come in a huge number of different forms. The law enforcement authorities use that term very often and are punishing drivers to prevent similar accidents from taking place in the future. There are two major types of traffic violations that are most commonly taking place on city roads:

  • Moving violations. This is when the violation was committed by a vehicle in motion that can basically be attributed to a DUI (Driving Under the Influence), running a stop sign or a red light, as well as failing to yield.
  • Faulty car equipment or parking violations are largely attributed to all sorts of non-moving violations as well as unreliable car equipment. Parking near fire hydrants, in a space that is clearly marked as a non-parking area, as well as broken side-ways mirrors or tail lights are some of the examples of non-moving violations.

Most traffic violations are labeled as minor and are therefore not resulting in expensive fines or incarceration. Instead, you are going to be obligated to pay administrative fees, but you won’t go to trial. However, there is an exception concerning speeding tickets. If you have received too many of those, you may well be required to pay a huge fine or even go to trial by jury.

Of course, most traffic tickets are deemed as strict-liability crimes. This basically implies that whether or not the person had any criminal intentions or maybe did not want to commit the offense to begin with, he or she is still going to be convicted for the crime. There is only one piece of evidence that is needed in such a case – the fact that the crime took place and was committed by that person to begin with. The best examples of such crimes are speeding, failure to yield to other traffic and failure to use turn signals.

There are also serious traffic violations and these may be considered felonies or misdemeanors depending on the circumstances,. Reckless driving is one of the best examples of this. Reckless driving may imply that a person was willfully or intentionally driving in such a manner that he or she was disregarding the safety of other drivers and pedestrians. In that case, the driver will face some serious legal consequences. We are talking about time in county jail, suspension of their driver’s license and a criminal record.

In that case, the prosecution will need to prove that you were driving recklessly intentionally and willfully. And speed alone will not be enough in that case. There will need to be proof that you were actually driving in an aggressive manner and committing dangerous actions — weaving in and out of the traffic, and so on.

Moreover, driving without insurance is a dangerous crime as well. There is a chance that you could lose your license and will face hefty fines and a criminal records. Now, of course, there is a way to dismiss the ticket if you can prove you were actually driving with your insurance. You will need to do so within a set amount of time.

There are a number of additional traffic violations and even though these are pretty common these days, it does not necessarily imply that you can avoid involvement. After all, if you are driving carefully and in a responsible manner, there is a huge chance that you will never have to deal with the repercussions of traffic violations to begin with.

Dmitry Gorin, ESQ
Law Offices of Dmitry Gorin

Harsh DUI Laws of California May Be Applied To Boat Owners As Well

California’s DUI laws are among the strictest in the country. The law enforcement authorities of California are not taking DUI offenses lightly, and for good reason. After all, if a person is driving under the influence of alcohol, he or she is not merely putting his or her life in danger. Other people may well get hurt as well – the driver’s passengers, others drivers, and even pedestrians. It is no wonder that even misdemeanor DUI offenses come at a very high price in legal terms.

Recently, California authorities decided to extend the DUI law to boaters as well. This means that people operating their boats under the influence of alcohol are going to be put under equal legal pressure and will have to face similar legal penalties as those for car drivers.

This is mostly due to the fact that California has the largest number of boat accidents and fatalities that are related to alcohol abuse. In fact, the official statistics clearly indicates that as much as 25% of all boating accidents are related to DUI.

Operating the vessel under the influence of alcohol is already a pretty serious crime and the sentence may well involve up to a year in county jail or $1,000 in fines or both. In addition, if someone was injured because of your actions during the accident, you may face a year in state prison and up to $5,000 in fines or both.

And again, the process works pretty much the same as it would if you are pulled over for operating a car under the influence of alcohol. To determine the levels of alcohol in your system, the law enforcement authorities will require you to submit to a blood or breath test. Of course, you can refuse to do that, but your refusal may well lead to much more detrimental legal penalties.

The new proposed legislation is merely extending the rights that the law enforcement authorities already have. This means that from now on, they can obtain special search warrants that will allow them to search those suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and who refused to submit to the tests. Furthermore, the law enforcement authorities can now obtain new search warrants that will allow them test the blood of the suspected DUI driver even if he or she refuses to do so.

Of course, California has always implemented the so-called “implied consent” law. This basically means that if you obtained your driving license in California, you automatically agreed that if you will be pulled over under suspicion of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and will automatically need to submit yourself to the blood alcohol test. Furthermore, under the new legislation, the police required a special warrant, but only if there were no “exigent circumstances”. This implies that waiting for a warrant in such a situation could cause injury, death, or any other type of harm to an individual. The exigent circumstances may very well differ and will be established in court post-factum, since they are not the same in every individual case.

While the legislation does not imply that the law enforcement authorities will need a search warrant each time, it does ease up the pressure on drivers, who were often forcedly pulled over and made to submit to blood tests.

If you or perhaps your loved ones were charged with DUI, it is very important, crucial even, not to hesitate and to make sure that you get in touch with a qualified, experienced legal professional at the earliest opportunity. That way, you will ensure that your legal penalties will be minimized or the charges will be dropped. The DUI attorney will be able to gather all the necessary evidence to establish that the law enforcement authorities had no legal rights to force you to submit to a blood test in the first place. This is how you can get the lowest sentence quickly.

Dmitry Gorin, ESQ
Law Offices of Dmitry Gorin

Here Is What Dismissal Without Prejudice Stands For

When it comes to the legal process, things can get complicated, especially if you don’t have the right attorney to help you handle the matter properly. Preliminary hearings often occur several months after an arraignment takes place, and the prosecution will get an opportunity to review all of the available case evidence against the defendant. In the mean time, if you have a qualified, experienced legal representative, the lawyer will also get a chance to look for inconsistencies in case evidence as well as the prosecution’s allegations. Like, for example, did the law enforcement officer pull the driver over because he had a reason to? And was the search performed in the defendant’s car lawful?

During the demonstration of all the available evidence, both in favor and against the defendant, the judge can make an educated decision in line with all of the gathered information. If there is sufficient evidence against the defendant, the judge will allow the case to go to trial. If there is no evidence that would definitively implicate the defendant of any crime, the case will be dismissed and the prosecution will have a chance to refile their charges. As far as dismissal goes, there are two major categories – dismissal with prejudice and without prejudice.

Dismissal without prejudice may sound like a great option, as it indicates the case is closed for good, but it actually implies that you have one more try.

If there is not enough evidence against you, you can file a motion to dismiss all charges. However, if the case is dismissed without prejudice, the prosecution can refile the charges in the future. Yet, as far as it goes, the state does have several choices:

  • Changing the charged offense. In some cases, the charges are not suitable for the committed crime. For instance, some of the most aggressive prosecutors may easily file domestic violence charges, when in fact there is no established relationship between the victim and the offender. Moreover, if the charges are filed by a woman against a man, the prosecutors will automatically consider them to be in a relationship, when in fact it this is not even remotely so.
  • More evidence is also an option. After all, there is a big difference between establishing probable cause for the arrest and proving that the defendant is guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. For instance, a hypothetical drug test was administered to a possible DUI driver, but the results were so unreliable that the judge decided to dismiss that evidence. The prosecutors will need to bring in a professional chemist to establish if the results were viable to begin with.
  • Changes in the law system. The law is very flexible and versatile. It is constantly changing. Furthermore, some of the things that were deemed as barely legal in the past are now actively being used in court. At times, the changes in law could help the defendant.

Despite the fact that the prosecutors will have a chance to refile their charges in the above-mentioned circumstances, it is rarely the case. Dismissal without prejudice does not have a toll on the statute of limitations. Hence, time starts ticking. The physical evidence from the scene will deteriorate quickly and the notes of the police officers witnessing the crime could be long gone already, since the law enforcement destroys these after a short life cycle.

In some cases, if the prosecution establishes flaws in the case evidence beforehand, dismissal without prejudice could turn out to be voluntary, if, for instance, the prosecution invited a professional chemist to verify the evidence and the chemist did not show up in court on time. The prosecutor will realize that the judge will not change the time and there are two options – either arrive empty-handed or file a voluntary dismissal without prejudice in order to refile the charges later and to start it all over again.

One way or the other, when it comes to dismissing the case from the outset, you will need to seek aid from industry experts. While there are plenty of different law firms that are quite readily available on the net, odds are, you will search for the best lawyers that will not let you down and will help you in your time of legal need.

Law Offices of Dmitry Gorin

Los Angeles Law Enforcement Will Be Utilizing Drones In Their Investigations

Los Angeles law enforcement authorities will have the permission to use drones in order to make the most from surveillance in the most challenging criminal situations and instances. The Los Angeles authorities granted the police with their permission to make use of the drones for surveillance. The permission will be active for one year and it is meant to help with lowering crime rates. However, not everyone is happy about that decision. There have been a number of protests against the decision and people are genuinely afraid that the usage of drones will invade their private lives, will not help in any actual way, and simply ruins Fourth Amendment Rights.

In response, the authorities claim that the use of drones will be extremely limited only in the most extreme circumstances and instances. One way or the other, the drones will not be used simply for surveillance or in low risk situations. Instead, SWAT will have the permission to use drones if a situation gets out of hand and presents a genuine challenge for the police. Furthermore, the police will only be able to use a single drone for surveillance. Of course, a second drone will be at the station as backup if something goes wrong with the first one.

Needless to say, not everyone was too happy about the idea that drones will be used for surveillance, even if their use will be limited to high risk situations. Right now, the drones can be used in the most extreme instances, but if they will prove to be valuable in such situations, odds are, the authorities will find a reason to extend the program and to make the most from incorporating it even further. Hence, it may even imply intruding into people’s day to day living and their private life as well.

As drones are relatively new and were not used actively in the past, when it comes to legal matters, there is a gray area and this is one of the many reasons why the courts are still undecided on how to proceed in such instances. Some of the courts are trying to apply existing legislation and to make sure that it will work with the drone situation as well. After all, it is not illegal to take photos of a person’s property from a plane or a helicopter, if, of course, those aircrafts are maintaining a certain distance above the ground so there people’s expectations for privacy will also be met in full.

Nevertheless, it is quite obvious that drones are very much different from all of the above-mentioned aircrafts and this is why it is so important to come up with another solution that would allow Los Angeles citizens to make the most from legal needs and requirements.

Is there a possibility that the drones will violate people’s privacy? Well, for example, a person will be convicted for a crime in line with all of the evidence that the drone collected. The defendant’s criminal attorney could argue that all the evidence collected against the defendant was accumulated through the invasion of privacy. Hence, the court will need to find out if the defendant had a reasonable expectation of privacy. Hence, it will need to answer two main questions – did the defendant demonstrate that he or she had a reasonable expectation of privacy and will society consider that the expectation of privacy was reasonable? If both of the questions are answered in a positive manner, it will demonstrate that the defendant did have a reasonable expectation of privacy, so any kind of evidence that was gathered with drones will be completely thrown away.

One way or the other, it is apparent that the drones will be used by the law enforcement authorities more often and this may imply an even deeper invasion of private life. Hence, it is very important, crucial even, to know your rights and to be able to use them properly. Of course, if you have reasons to believe that your own rights were infringed in some way, you will need to get in touch with a qualified, genuinely experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney to make the most from your legal needs and to make sure that your rights were not infringed on in any kind of way.

Dmitry Gorin, ESQ
Law Offices of Dmitry Gorin

Steps You Should Take If Your Child Is Arrested

If your young son or daughter is arrested for a criminal offense, regardless of whether it is a misdemeanor or a full on felony, the very first thing you should do would be to ensure that he or she has proper legal representation in court. Of course, you will want to represent the youngster on your own to make the most from the legal defense strategy, since no one knows children better than their parents do.

Only proper Los Angeles criminal defense legal representation can really help your son or daughter avoid the harsh legal consequences that will put an end to their own free living. Furthermore, your son or daughter may well be charged with some sort of battery crime or a crime that involves drug abuse or a genuine DUI.

One way or the other, if you are looking to get  the most out of your son’s or daughter’s legal representation, it is best and highly advisable for you to get in touch with a genuinely qualified and experienced legal defense expert at the earliest opportunity.

Here are some of the reasons why you should go with a lawyer instead of any other option that is just as readily available out there:

  • A qualified and experienced lawyer will not let you down and will really assess your needs and requirements. He or she has what it takes to defend your son or daughter in court against any and all charges. For instance, what experience do you have in dealing with DUI cases or cases that involve drugs or what do you know about the legal means that may well help you out in a court of law? Well, it really is fairly simple – lawyers have plenty of experience handling cases like this and will not let you down.
  • Of course, if you want to find a better legal representative so your son or daughter can avoid legal consequences of the crime, odds are, you will want some social proof of how qualified the given attorney actually is. If that is the case and you are already searching, simply remember that you will need to dig deeper. If you find awards and cases that were won by the attorney, you will definitely keep on coming back for more.
  • It is also very important to really get to know your legal representative. After all, you will want to stay informed at all times regarding the case and how it will go in court. Hence, you will want to ask questions and see how the criminal attorney will react to them. There is no other way to learn just how experienced the lawyer really is and their success will keep you coming back for more.