Monthly Archives: July 2017

Air Force Veteran and victim of workplace bullying found not guilty

Posted on July 28, 2017

Today our client was found not guilty of creating a disturbance at a federal facility by physically assaulting a co-worker. The complaining witness, a man who was 6 inches taller and 100 pounds heavier than our female client, accused our client of chest bumping him, repeatedly hitting him, and pinning him against a wall. During trial, Deputy Federal Public Defender Angela Viramontes presented evidence that the complaining witness had been actively targeting our client with unfounded threats, accusations, and complaints about her work performance. Attorney […]..

75 year old man with dementia can return to Santa Monica Mountains National Park

Posted on July 28, 2017

Following a verbal altercation with park rangers at Paramount Ranch in the Santa Monica National Park, our 75-year-old client was tasered and dragged out of his car, elbowed in the face, handcuffed, taken to the hospital, and then driven to Orange County to spend a night in jail. He was given six citations. Prosecutors refused to dismiss the case against him even after receiving neurological evidence of his dementia. The case went to trial. Our client was acquitted on the four most serious counts. He […]..

Is STAR a Drug Court?

Posted on July 28, 2017

Yes.  STAR is a specialty court that seeks to help individuals who are on federal supervised release or probation and who are struggling with alcohol, drug or mental health issues.  Like other “problem-solving” or therapeutic courts, drug courts have been in state criminal court systems for over 25 years and they have had very good results – helping people to overcome their addictions, become productive, working members of our community, and not return to prison.  For more information on the history and track record of […]..

Categorical Approach Update

Posted on July 20, 2017

United States v. Ochoa, __ F.3d __, 2017 WL 2836820 (9th Cir. July 3, 2017): The Court held that a conviction for conspiring to export defense articles without a license under 18 U.S.C. §371 and 22 U.S.C. §2778 was not categorically a firearms offense providing grounds for deportation (under either 8 U.S.C. §1101(a)(43)(C) or 8 U.S.C. §1227(a)(2)(C)), and the statute was not divisible, so the modified categorical approach could not be used. United States v. Strickland, __ F.3d __, 2017 WL 2723926 (9th Cir. June […]..

New Evidence Helps Free Client From Life Sentence for Attempted Robbery

Posted on July 10, 2017

A Los Angeles man represented by the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California was freed from state prison this week after serving 10 years of a 40-years-to-life sentence for attempted robbery.  The FPD-CDCA identified new evidence concerning the offense and the client’s culpability, which led to negotiations with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.  With assistance from Loyola’s Project for the Innocent, the parties agreed to modify the client’s sentence to result in his release from custody.  The agreement also […]..

How can I apply to STAR?

Posted on July 1, 2017

Anyone, including the court, the prosecutor, defense counsel or probation officer can make a referral to STAR.  However, STAR is currently limited to portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties, and meets in the Los Angeles and Riverside federal courthouse. To apply, defense counsel should prepare and submit a STAR Program Referral Form. For the Los Angeles program, email the completed form to STAR U.S. Probation Officer Kristie Rzonca (Kristie_Rzonca@cacp.uscourts.gov); for the Riverside program, send to STAR U.S. Probation Officer Sherry Harrision (Sherry_Harrison@cacp.uscourts.gov).  […]..