Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Discusses Top 5 Local Criminal Law Stories of 2011

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As the New Year approaches, Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, Jerod Gunsberg, discusses the top five local criminal law stories of 2011. Including the famous, the infamous, and laws and programs which impact the average citizen, the top 5 is a snapshot of Los Angeles this past year.

criminal defense attorneys, Los Angeles: Law Offices of Jerod Gunsberg
This fundamentally changes the way both prosecutors and the defense bar approach sentencing issues.

With New Year’s Day quickly approaching, Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, Jerod Gunsberg, looks at the top five local stories of 2011 and suggests how each had an impact on the citizenry of Southern California.

1. Conrad Murray Trial per "Los Angeles Times": Dr. Conrad Murray’s conviction of involuntary manslaughter for his role in the death of Michael Jackson was the celebrity criminal trial story of the year.

”A lot of credit to the defense attorneys in this case for doing a noble job in the face of overwhelmingly unfavorable evidence against their client,” Jerod Gunsberg comments.

"This case is notable not only because of the celebrity-factor, but it is a definite warning to doctors or anyone entrusted to caring for patients that medicine is not a business in which the customer gets whatever he wants."

2. No More Red Light Cameras: 2011 is the year in which Los Angeles’s red-light cameras were put out of commission as reported in the "Los Angeles Times." For years, these cameras have infuriated drivers who argued the light was yellow when they went through it, only to find (weeks later) a letter in the mail showing a photograph of them running a red light and a demand for payment. After it came to light that these cameras were 1) not making driving any safer, 2) not cost effective, and 3) that payments of the fines were likely not enforceable by the court, the City decided to terminate the program.

“The scrapping of these red light cameras is long overdue, they served no purpose to anyone except as a revenue generator for the city,” says Gunsberg.

3. Sentencing Realignment – State Prisoners to Serve Time in County Jail: In an effort to bring California’s overcrowded state prisons in line with federal law, the California legislature enacted a “realignment plan” as reported in "The Huffington Post." Under this plan, anyone convicted of a non-violent offense will be sentenced to serve their time in county jail rather than state prison. In Los Angeles County, there is concern that the already cover-crowded county jail system will become even more overcrowded, forcing the early release of thousands of inmates.

Criminal Defense Attorney Los Angeles, Gunsberg, adds, “This new law has only been in effect since October 1, so it remains to be seen whether this law will motivate Los Angeles County to seriously look at alternatives to incarceration for non-violent and drug offenders, or whether the new law will be used as a pretext to build new jail facilities in the county. Either way, this fundamentally changes the way both prosecutors and the defense bar approach sentencing issues.”

4. Federal Crackdown on Los Angeles Medical Marijuana Dispensaries: as seen on NBC Southern California, in a seeming reversal of its hands-off approach, the U.S. Department of Justice began a crackdown on Los Angeles’ medical marijuana dispensaries. Although illegal under federal law, qualified patients are permitted to use medical marijuana in accordance with California state law. At one point, the Obama administration had made an informal promise not to target legitimate medical marijuana dispensaries in California; however, that policy changed this year. Medical marijuana dispensary operators and landlords who had dispensaries as tenants were either raided by the DEA or received notices to cease operations under the threat of federal changes.

5. Lindsay, Lindsay, Lindsay: Lindsay Lohan makes the list for the second year in a row. After her theft case, her Los Angeles probation violation, her brief stays in jail, her bungled efforts at complying with the terms of her probation, it seems that Lindsay is ending the year on the upswing and finally in compliance with her probation.

Gunsberg again, “There is a misconception that she was treated differently than everyone else. That’s not true. Lindsay received the same treatment, the same sentence, the same punishment and the same early-release from jail that anyone in her position would have received. What was truly interesting about the Lindsay Lohan saga is that it allowed the public to see exactly how the probation and county jail system works.”

Criminal defense attorney, Los Angeles, Jerod Gunsberg, invites you to visit his website for more information at http://www.gunsberglaw.com or contact his office at 323-633-3423, Law Offices of Jerod Gunsberg – Los Angeles, 333 S. Grand Avenue, 25th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90071.

About Jerod Gunsberg:

Jerod Gunsberg is admitted to practice in all California State Courts and the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Mr. Gunsberg regularly handles misdemeanors as well as felony cases. He is a member of numerous professional organizations including National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, Los Angeles Criminal Courts Bar Association.


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criminal defense attorney, Los Angeles, Jerod Gunsberg