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David S. Kestenbaum
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David Kestenbaum’s Answers

2,091 total


  • What are the possibilities?! Will I have any chance of convincing them to possibly drop the case? Are my career dreams ruined?

    Hello, I am a young female, aspiring attorney, and a overall moral person( or at least I thought I was). On January 4th I got arrested for grand theft from a department store. This is so far out of my character and so embarrassing I can't even sta...

    David’s Answer

    So sorry to hear about this lapse of judgement. Now is the time to retain an experienced attorney to try to get the case diverted out of the criminal system. That can be done by a referral from the City Attorney's office to the APPS program, or a City Attorney Hearing where the incident is discussed informally and no charges are filed.
    I take it you have people that will vouch for you as well as a respectable resume; these need to be presented to the City Attorney or they will simply file the case and let you deal with it in court. There is a huge advantage if the case is diverted PRE-FILING as opposed to in court. If no charges are filed, your arrest is deemed a "detention" and no longer an "arrest." If that plan doesn't work, it is up to your lawyer to convince the Judge to allow you to participate in Judicial Diversion pursuant to PC 1000.94. This takes 12 months and results in your plea being set aside (you have to plead to the charge, but sentencing is postponed 1 year) and the case dismissed.
    Macy's has a fairly experienced Loss Prevention squad, and they also have surveillance tapes that can be viewed. While being a good person is not a defense, if your conduct doesn't fit the profile of a shoplifter, then it is possible to reach an agreement with the store not to prosecute, but this is rare.
    I was the filing deputy for the City Attorney's office in Van Nuys for 8 years and reviewed many cases like yours. Your scenario needs to be presented to the correct prosecutor to evaluate and hopefully give you a break.
    Most of the attorneys on AVVO offer free consultations. Meet and retain someone you are confident in and comfortable with. As a future attorney, you know that you shouldn't represent yourself!
    Good luck!

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  • So will this show up at the airport if im getting ready to fly

    Iam on informal probation and have bench warrent hold i gotta go to court next month

    David’s Answer

    If the warrant is being "held" for a month, it is not in the system and you should be ok. Also, if you are flying domestically, it probably wouldn't show up any way. Apparently you have an attorney who got the BW held, so that is the person to listen to.

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  • Hello anybody here knows of any private home confinement program in Los Angeles?

    Inmate AB109

    David’s Answer

    Are you talking about house arrest? This is handled through Sentinel in Los Angeles. Were you approved for home confinement by the sentencing judge? If not, you will have to rely on the LA Sheriff's department releasing you on home detention.

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  • Can i be put on an Alternative Prosecution Program?

    I recieved a infraction for alcohol consumption by a minor i was wondering what are the chances that i could be placed on an Alternative Prosecution Program or APPS in Los Angeles? Or some type of diversion program offered by the court?

    David’s Answer

    You ate facing a one year license suspension if convicted. It doesn't matter if you were driving or not. Some courts have diversion programs.
    Best to consult with an attorney to go over the specifics such as how you were confronted by the police etc.

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  • It says no appearance scheduled but ticket says court before 4/5/16 then she goes and when she goes what should she expect there

    My twin sister is 26 and she has never been in trouble with the law shes actually Is a very good person she was arrested and charged with HS11377 (A) & HS11364 (A) she got released a few hours later and shes scared whats going to happen she was ar...

    David’s Answer

    When she was released from custody, she would have either been given a date to appear in court from a bail bondsman, citation from the sheriff with a court date on it, or a certificate of release pursuant 849 of the Penal Code. What you see online means that the DA has not filed the case yet. They have until April to do so before the court date. This is a possession of drugs case as well as drug paraphernalia, both are eligible for deferred entry of judgment pursuant to Penal Code section 1008 sec. Since she has some time between now and the court date, if she is using drugs, now is the time to seek treatment. If she is willing to do that, and experienced attorney may be able to convince the prosecutor to not file charges and allow whatever treatment she is doing to be a substitute for the deferred entry of judgment program. Of course, if the drugs and drug paraphernalia weren't hers, she may have legal defenses to the charges. However if she is using drugs, this is a wake up call to seek treatment.
    Good luck!

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  • What is punishment for violating restrain order first time

    Violate restrain order

    David’s Answer

    It depends upon the type of Restraining Order as well as the type of violation. If you have been arrested for violating a Restraining Order, you should meet with a criminal defense attorney asap. Bring the Restraining Order as well as any other documents you may have to the consultation.
    Just because you are arrested does not mean that they will file a criminal case against you. And experienced criminal defense attorney can contact the prosecutor immediately to try and keep the case out of the criminal court system. There are several options available to prosecutors including setting the matter for a hearing that is held informally in their office. Of course, if there were injuries to the other party as opposed to a note left on a car, you face different obstacles. That is where we come in, to help you through those obstacles. Good luck!

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  • How can I take care of this without going to jail?

    I had a failure to appear for a traffic violation in 2011 in los angeles, I've been working out of state since 2012. I had forgotten i had the court appearance, was pulled over in 2012 before in LA i was told there was an arrest warrant out for me...

    David’s Answer

    What was the traffic violation and which courthouse were you supposed to appear in? Some Judges allow the attorney to represent you without you appearing (PC 977(a)) but on a warrant, most want you to appear.
    So please post what the violation was and the courthouse so I can better advise.
    On the other hand, some people consider a DUI or Driving on Suspended License to be the same as a speeding ticket and they aren't; they are misdemeanors in most instances.
    You probably have a suspended driving privilege in California and, if you got licensed in another state, they may be notified by the California DMV via the Interstate Compact.
    Take care of this ASAP.

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  • Can you kindly explain what this means? why does it show FURTHER INVESTIGATION?

    Arrested but charges were not filed by DA. I was assured by the DA that I was cleared of all wrong doing I ordered a record review from DOJ california and it shows: DISPO: PROS REL-DET ONLY-FURTHER INVESTIGATION

    David’s Answer

    The DA has up to the Statute of Limitations (3 years for most felonies ), so they don't have to file the case by your arraignment date. They may want the police to do more forensic tests, talk to more witnesses, etc.
    However, this probably means the case was Rejected by the DA and therefore your arrest is deemed a Detention only.
    If the DA Rejected the case, they should have given you a Reject number.

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  • Could he get a longer sentence? He did turn himself in.

    My son was sentenced to a year in county jail with three years probation for felon in possession of a gun. He has been off parole for twenty years. He was three hours late to court to turn himself in. This was because of transportation problems ( ...

    David’s Answer

    Why is he returning to court if he surrendered? Since he is already getting a year, the only thing the Judge could do would be to either sentence him to the midterm for Prison (not sure what he pled to) OR have him waive the backtime (from the date he turned himself in to the 18th.....)
    Since he turned himself in the same day, if the Judge isn't Attila the Hun, then he shouldn't get any more time.
    Of course, if he was running late, he should have notified the court and/or his attorney.
    They may have taken a Cruz waiver meaning if he didn't show up, the Judge isn't bound by the prior sentence agreement.
    His attorney should be there with him on the 18th.

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  • Is it illegal to buy something with no intent on keeping it?

    It's that season again....so is it illegal to buy something with actually no intention of ever keeping it? Just want to use it for a little bit and then return it. Ethically this feels messed up because the store has expenses with this (shippin...

    David’s Answer

    Since you are using the item and admitting that you had no intention to keep it. If the retailer gets "used" merchandise back, they may not accept it or give you credit.

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