Los Angeles Violent Crime Has Increased
According to statistics from the Los Angeles Police Department released at the end of 2016, robberies were up by 13%, aggravated assaults were up by 10% and homicides were up by 5%. Overall, violent crime has increased by 10% over last year and 38% over two years ago.
Asst. Chief Michel Moore, who oversees the LAPD’s patrol operations, believes efforts of police officers on the streets has had an effect, but the root causes of crime - joblessness, homelessness, and substance abuse - run deep and will require the community’s help to solve.
In Los Angeles County, the jail population has decreased, from 18,500 inmates just before Prop. 47 passed to about 16,500 inmates this November. Narcotics arrests have dropped, as busy police officers decide that the time needed to process a case is not worth it.
According to some law enforcement officials, more criminals are now on the streets instead of in jail due to recently passed Prop 47, which sought to reduce the numbers of inmates in jail. But those not in jail are not receiving the drug and mental health treatment the measure had promised. And without the threat of a felony prosecution, defendants that go before a judge are less likely to choose the option of receiving treatment over serving time.
Getting Pulled Over by Police
Being pulled over by a police officer can be incredibly stressful. From the moment those lights turn on you immediately start questioning what you did wrong and how you are going to prove you are innocent.
It’s important to remain calm and follow these guidelines:
- Look for a convenient area to pull over - make sure it is safe for the officer to pull in behind you. Also, if it is dark, you might decide to pull over to an area that is well lit. All of these actions will show the police officer that you are taking their safety into account.
- Slow down, turn on your turn signal and pull over
- Take the keys out of the ignition and place them on the dash
- Relax and take a deep breath
- Roll down your driver’s side window
- Turn on interior lights if it is dark
- Make sure all your movements are slow so that the officer can watch you and ensure that you are not drawing a weapon or hiding something
- Do not reach for anything, but rather, place your hands on the steering wheel
- When the officer approaches, allow him or her to speak first. Typically he or she will ask for your license and registration.
- Reach for them slowly and deliberately, hand them to the officer, and then place your hands back on the wheel
- Be polite and answer any questions asked of you
- Follow any orders given to you by the officer
- Getting pulled over can be stressful, but as long as you make the officer feel comfortable and safe and you act responsibly, you have a better chance of getting through the experience.
Miranda Rights and Police
In 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona, that individuals arrested because they are believed to have committed a crime are allowed certain rights that must be explained to them. This must happen before any interrogation. It’s important to note that these rights only need to be read when a person has been taken into custody. “Miranda Rights” are meant to protect a suspect from self-incrimination and is protected under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Those “Miranda Rights” are as follows:
- You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions.
- Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law.
- You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present during questioning now or in the future.
- If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you before any questioning if you wish.
- If you decide to answer questions now without an attorney present, you will still have the right to stop answering at any time until you talk to an attorney.
- Knowing and understanding your rights as I have explained them to you, are you willing to answer my questions without an attorney present?
Interrogations by Police
Regardless of if you are informally interrogated by a police officer (such as during a pullover for a traffic violation) or formally interrogated for a crime, remember that there are specific laws that protect you. An officer will use any number of tactics to get a confession from you, regardless of you are guilty or not. It has been shown in clinical research that these tactics are effective in getting confessions from people who are later exonerated by DNA, and thus have always been innocent.
There are two key things to remember if you are being interrogated:
1. Interrogations are set up and conducted to produce confessions - even from the innocent
2. The best way to protect yourself is to remain quiet about anything. Do not make a statement without first talking to a criminal defense attorney. The best way to not incriminate yourself is to not say anything at all.
If You End Up In Jail
If you are detained in jail, remember there are still ways to incriminate yourself. There are some general guidelines you should follow, including the following:
- Do not discuss anything over the phone. This is often recorded and can be overheard.
- Do not discuss with fellow in-mates. Remember that anyone in jail is looking for a way out. That could include providing information about you in order to improve their position with the state.
- Do not make statements or answer questions without an attorney present.
- Never waive your rights to something without first speaking with an attorney.
- Know how to be steadfast with your requirement that an attorney be present during any interrogation or questioning.
Jail and Bond
Unless you are dealing with a minor charge, your bond will probably not be set until you appear before a judge during an arraignment. An arraignment is the first part of courtroom-based proceedings. This is what happens during an arraignment:
- The person charged goes before a criminal court judge
- The judge reads the charges against the person
- The judge asks the person if he or she has an attorney or if they need the assistance of a court-appointed attorney
- The judge asks the person if they will plead “guilty,” “not guilty,” or “no contest.”
- The judge sets a bail amount, if necessary
- The judge announces the date of the future proceedings, such as a preliminary hearing, pre-trial motion, or trial.
During an arraignment, you want to make sure you have the best possible outcome from your case. Ensure that you understand everything that you are being charged with. Make sure you have received counsel.
Working with a Criminal Defense Attorney
Criminal charges can be complex, requiring much gathering of evidence and information. It’s highly advised that you work with an experience criminal defense attorney that will be able to advise you on the best defense.
Working with Sevens Legal, APC
If you or loved ones is accused or charged with any type of crime call us. Let us support and help you during this tough time. Our firm award winning attorneys provides hope and peace of mind. The Sevens Legal, APC office is located in both San Diego and Escondido. We have time and time again helped Southern California residents get their cases dismissed or penalties reduced.
Criminal Defense Attorneys
3555 4th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103
Phone: (619) 297-2800