Former Police & Prosecutors...
Now California Criminal Defense Attorneys
Our California criminal defense attorneys handle misdemeanor, felony, DUI and juvenile cases throughout Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Ventura, Riverside, San Diego, Orange County, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Our staff of California criminal lawyers includes three former prosecutors and two former career police officers. Together with our private detectives and forensic experts, we work as a team, drawing on more than half a century of law enforcement experience.
We know firsthand how cops and district attorneys put together cases. We used to be in their shoes. We have the playbook. Now we use this insider knowledge to your advantage in fighting your criminal charges.
An Aggressive, Proactive Approach to all Cases
Some California criminal defense lawyers take a wait-and-see approach. They stall until the first court date, or until they receive the police reports, before investigating and working up your case.
By contrast, we believe there's no time to waste. The most critical window for defense work may be the first few days following an arrest, or even prior to formal charges being filed. By getting to work immediately, often we can locate favorable defense evidence and witnesses, and get a "head start" towards defeating the charges.
Private Defense Investigation by Former Police
Make no mistake. Cops concern themselves mainly with aiding the prosecution and building up a case against you. They should not be relied upon to gather favorable evidence that helps exonerate their suspect. They are not on your side.
Our private defense investigators are all former career police officers. But now their job is to find the evidence that will benefit you. We assign them to re-interview and locate witnesses, to canvass neighborhoods, to obtain surveillance tapes, to do background checks on key prosecution witnesses, and to locate evidence to corroborate our client's version of the events.
Knowing the Local Courts
Every county and every courthouse has its own way of doing things. The criminal court process in Los Angeles County, for example, differs significantly from the process in San Bernardino. But even within San Bernardino County, the procedures at the central courthouse vary considerably from Rancho Cucamonga or Victorville.
We assign each of our California criminal defense attorneys to a specific set of courthouses. By working day in and day out in the same places, we develop trusting relationships with judges, prosecutors, probation officers and court staff. Moreover, we know how things work in particular courtrooms, and with particular prosecuting agencies. We've learned whom to talk to, who has discretion, and the most effective ways to get the job done.
Close Personal Contact with Your Attorney
Facing criminal charges traumatizes people. Nothing compounds the stress more than the inability to reach your attorney.
At the Shouse Law Group, we put a premium on the accessibility of our California criminal defense lawyers and support staff. We're here to provide moral and emotional support as well as legal representation. To do this, we observe two policies:
- Every client phone call, email or text is returned the same day; and
- Every client gets the personal cell phone number of his/her attorney and the lawyer's assistant
Not only does this provide you the assurance of knowing you can reach your lawyer at critical times. It also helps us to do our job more effectively.
We find that close client interaction is pivotal to our work. Our clients are the best resource for understanding what happened and who the key players are in the case. We want to hear from you, and you'll definitely be hearing from us as together we map out the story and put together the best defense possible.
Early Intervention Before Charges Get Filed
Sometimes it's possible to stop criminal charges from ever being filed.
After making an arrest or investigating a suspected crime, the police take their evidence to the district attorney. The D.A. evaluates the potential case and decides what criminal charges (if any) to file. Usually, the prosecutor makes this decision based solely on what the police present. But often there's much more to the story.
Many times our California criminal lawyers can also meet with the D.A. during this same time period. We can present our witness statements, our evidence and our information.
Knowing your side of the story may affect the D.A.'s calculations. When the prosecutors see the whole picture, not just what the cops (or the alleged "victim") have to say, they may decide to file lesser charges (a misdemeanor rather than a felony, for example) or not to file criminal charges at all (we call this a "D.A. Reject").
Legal "Second Opinions"
Perhaps you already have a California criminal defense lawyer. Your case has been pending for awhile. Your attorney advises you on a certain case strategy, such as accepting the D.A.'s offer, or taking the case to trial. Now you face a major life decision. And you're just not sure what to do.
We can evaluate your case and offer our independent judgment as to your various options and the merits of each. Much like a patient may see another doctor for a "second opinion" before deciding whether to undergo an elective surgery, we can give you a legal second opinion.
In the end, we may concur with your present attorney's position. Or we may not. Or we may suggest a totally different approach. But our advice to you will be (a) unbiased, (b) independent, (c) looking only to your best interests, and (d) based on a careful analysis of all the facts and law.
Bail & Release Help
If your loved one is custody, our California criminal defense attorneys can often arrange a "bail hearing" to get bail reduced or to secure an "OR release." We assist inmates in custody at any of the state's jails, including the Twin Towers Jail, the Los Angeles Men's Central Jail, the Orange County Central Jail, the Ventura County Jail, the West Valley Detention Center, the Robert Presley Riverside County Jail and the Clark County Detention Center (Las Vegas Jail).
Types of Cases We Handle.
California DUI Defense Lawyers
Our California DUI defense attorneys are former DUI prosecutors and law enforcement officers with decades of experience both prosecuting and defending drunk driving cases.
As a former Deputy D.A., Los Angeles DUI lawyer Neil Shouse worked closely with the CHP and police toxicologists, compiling evidence and presenting cases in court. Now he fights DUI charges. Among the drunk driving cases we handle are
Vehicle Code 23152(a) , underage DUI , DUI causing injury , hit and run and gross vehicular manslaughter .
California Violent Crime Charges
Prosecutors and judges take violent crimes the most seriously. California's mandatory sentencing laws can lead to harsh prison sentences.
But many people accused of violent offense are truly innocent. Often the situation arose out of self-defense, accident, misidentification, false accusations or mental illness. Our Los Angeles criminal attorneys can help you explore these defenses and fight the charges. We also defend clients prosecuted under California's Three Strikes Law and California's gang enhancement .
Among the violent crime charges we defend against are:
- Penal Code 187 Murder
- Penal Code 207 Kidnapping
- Penal Code 211 Robbery
- Penal Code 215 Carjacking
- Penal Code 245 Assault
- Penal Code 422 PC Criminal Threats
- Penal Code 451 Arson
California Sex Crimes Charges
Conviction for a criminal sex offense can lead to years in California state prison , getting ostracized from the community, and having to register for life
as a sex offender . But many innocent people get falsely accused of sex crimes, especially date rape, lewd acts with a child, and sexual assault.
Our California criminal defense lawyers start by scrutinizing the accuser's background. We look to see if the accuser has a history of telling lies, and a bias against our client. We independently investigate the case with our own private detectives and forensic experts. Often times we can get charges reduced or dismissed, or secure an acquittal at trial.
We defend against all sex crimes charges, including
- Penal Code 243.4 Sexual Battery
- Penal Code 261.5 Statutory Rape
- Penal Code 288 Lewd Acts with a Child
- Penal Code 290 Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
- Penal Code 311: Child Pornography
- Penal Code 314 Indecent Exposure
- Penal Code 647(a) Lewd Conduct in Public
- Penal Code 647(b) Prostitution Solicitation
California Financial Crime Charges
Most people accused of theft or financial crimes are good citizens with minimal records who simply took a wayward path. And some are factually innocent. In any case, our California criminal defense attorneys can help you fight the charges, often times keeping the stigma of a criminal conviction off your record.
We represent clients as to all financial and property crimes, such as
- Penal Code 459 PC Burglary
- Penal Code 487 Grand Theft
- Penal Code 488 Petty Theft (Shoplifting)
- Penal Code 496 Receiving Stolen Property
- Penal Code 503 Embezzlement
- Penal Code 666 Petty Theft with a Prior
More people get wrongfully accused of domestic violence than any other type of crime. Sometimes a person strikes his wife or girlfriend by accident or in self-defense during a mutual struggle.
Other times the accuser lies to the police and makes up false allegations of abuse. Accusers fabricate stories out of anger or jealousy, or to gain the upper hand in divorce or child custody proceedings. Whatever the case, our Los Angeles criminal attorneys can help you fight back.
We defend clients against any accusations of domestic violence, spousal battery or spousal abuse, in particular
- Penal Code 243(e)(1) Domestic Battery
- Penal Code 273a Child Endangerment
- Penal Code 273d Child Abuse
- Penal Code 273.5 Corporal Injury to a Spouse or Cohabitant
California Drug Crimes Attorneys
Police frequently use unreliable informants, defective warrants and other illegal methods to make drug busts. Our California criminal lawyers can challenge these unconstitutional searches and search warrants , in an effort to get evidence and cases thrown out of court.
We represent clients in all misdemeanor or felony narcotics charges, including
- Health & Safety Code 11350 HS Possession of a Controlled Substance
- Health & Safety Code 11351 HS Possession for Sales
- Health & Safety Code 11352 HS Sales or Transportation of a Controlled Substance
- Health & Safety Code 11377 HS Possession of Methamphetamine .
Contact us for a Free Consultation
We like to start every case the same way: by listening. We sit down with you (and your witnesses) to hear exactly what happened. The police and the accusers are going to have their story. We'll be presenting yours. So we want to start by hearing and understanding your side of it. Call us at (888) 327-4652 or email us to schedule a consultation to see if we're the right California criminal defense lawyers for you.
We have local criminal law offices in Burbank, Glendale, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Palm Springs, Pasadena, Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Ana, Torrance, Van Nuys, Ventura and West Covina.