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David S. Kestenbaum
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David Kestenbaum’s Answers

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  • How do I know which "friendly" questions should not be answered & how do I respond?

    My boyfriend for no reason socked me in the eye with his fist. Since it was the 3rd time he had "put hands on me" I went with black eye & gave all info & police took photos of eye. The Detective keeps trying to "fish" for more info about relations...

    David’s Answer

    You should cooperate with the detective. The questions he is asking you (sleep together, have kids) are necessary to determine what crime he might have committed. It is a different crime if you are just dating than if you have children together, as an example.
    It is more than your word against his, since the police have photos of your eye. Also, if he has a criminal record, the DA will take that into account as to whether to file a felony or misdemeanor.
    If you are afraid, you should go to a shelter for battered women. They are located all over. There should also be a DV advocate with the DA's office who can help you get housing. You must protect yourself. If the case is filed, you will eventually have to testify, unless he pleads to something.
    Good luck!

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  • I have a court date for DUI

    Hit a parked car due to black outs, I have a mengenioma. Got arrested for DUI. Passed the breath test that wasn't good enough, cops took me to get a blood test and arrested me. I got a ticket to appear in court then received a letter of court dat...

    David’s Answer

    Yes, you should at least sit down with an attorney for a consultation. Based on your description, the police obviously feel you had drugs in your system since your BAC was low, but you must have appeared under the influence of something. The continuance was probably to complete the blood test. Only you know what they might find, including prescription medications. If they find any drugs that might affect your driving, as shown by the accident, they will charge you with VC 23152(e) Driving under the influence of drugs..
    Good luck!

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  • What are the consequences and options for a person arrested on Felony charges,

    The person is on non-immigrant status in LA, US. His max duration as non-immigrant is getting over in Jan next year. He has been arrested on a Felony charges in LA, on Credit card related issues. What will be consequences and best options to get...

    David’s Answer

    If he is charged with multiple credit card fraud counts, the probable outcome is jail followed by deportation. In fact, deportation will almost always follow the jail sentence.
    Sounds like his first court appearance is tomorrow and they will appoint the Public Defender if he cannot afford an attorney to represent him in court. These are generally crimes of Moral Turpitude, so they are definitely deportable offenses. Before falling on his sword, he should see if 1) they have sufficient evidence to convict him 2) whether an attorney can plead it down to a misdemeanor without moral turpitude...
    Accepting fault is good at Church, not so good in court! He needs to consult an immigration attorney.

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  • Why don't parolee's,have to work if they have restitution orders in place.

    The man involved in killing my has a restitution order in place ,the IRS sent me a letter stating they could not locate the person,I called his parole office and was told he doesn't have to work ,I ask why and was told to call a lawyer, I don't un...

    David’s Answer

    Contact victims of violent crimes unit through the local district attorney's office.
    Sorry to hear, but don't count on this person working to pay restitution.
    I am reclassifying to Debt Collection....
    Good luck!@

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  • Can i do anything if i found out i was convicted of a crime after statue of limitations ran out?

    Crime-2005. Statue of limitations 3 years. First brought to the police in 2011 by ex friends. Arrested-2011. Convicted-2012. Non serious/non violent crime. Max punishment was one year which i got. I was not on the run or anything. My ex fr...

    David’s Answer

    If your attorney didn't raise the issue at both your arraignment (Serna Motion) or before trial, Motion to Dismiss due to SOL running out, then you might have an argument for an appeal due to Ineffective Assistance of Counsel.
    However, you don't state when the case was FILED; just when you were arrested. If the case was filed back in 2005, then it is a Serna issue for not notifying you of the charges pending. If it was embezzlement that wasn't discovered until 2011, then the statute never started. Or if it was a sex crime, it may have a 6 year SOL. Lastly, even though you weren't on the run, if you were out of the Jurisdiction, then the SOL wouldn't be running either.
    If the maximum punishment was 1 year, then it was a misdemeanor and the case should have been dismissed for lack of speedy prosecution (ROST Motion).
    However, i have a hard time believing that an attorney would miss the fact that you were not arrested for 6 years on a misdemeanor if that is in fact the case.
    Good luck!

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  • What is the Best Way to Introduce your case to a Prospective New Attorney ?

    I have an excellent case for Financial Fraud on an Elder by a Nursing Home. I prepared a 3 page summary of the case showing the causes of action and supporting primary instances of clear and convincing evidence. It is complete and concise. Howev...

    David’s Answer

    Have you filed a police report? Has the Public Guardian done an investigation? These agencies can investigate and possibly get the restitution for the elder without you having to retain an attorney (sorry my brethren!). Many prosecuting agencies, such as the LA DA's office have special units dedicated to protecting elders from physical AND financial abuse.
    At least they can help bolster your claims.
    As far as the best way to present, i would contact the attorney first and ask if you can send the summary prior to a meeting. We often get unsolicited requests via email and snail mail that i don't have time to review. A call first would alert the lawyer that this is a legitimate potential case so they will actually look at the summary. Like the police, the more work you have done and the less they have to do, the happier they are.
    Good luck!

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  • How do I get a restraining order?

    What are the requirements to get a restraining order against someone ? Are there different types of orders ?

    David’s Answer

    Yes, there are different types of Orders. If you applying for a Domestic Violence TRO, they will often waive the filing fee. If it is a civil harassment issue, you have to pay the fees.
    Since you placed this under DV, i presume that is the type of TRO you are seeking. Go to the courthouse that issues them near you. Not all courthouses handle these, so make sure before you go. They usually provide assistance in filing out the forms that you then give to the Sheriff to serve on the person you are seeking to restrain.
    Good luck!

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  • Do I have a case against my harassing ex-landlord, who I filed a restraining order against and where do I find a lawyer?

    I'm a single mother w/ a 10 yr old daughter. I rented a 2nd flr duplex with a single male landlord downstairs in Santa Monica. He stalked me daily, phone calls, emails, love letters, burned cd's, opening my mail, ending in an escalated middle of...

    David’s Answer

    Since this is not Domestic Violence restraining order, i will reclassify under litigation. I am not sure how much the expenses are that you seek to recover, but if it is under $10,000 you can sue in Small Claims court. I doubt an attorney will take it on a contingency as they usually only do that on Personal Injury cases.
    Good luck!

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  • What will likely happen in court if I was arrested for being under the influence of a controlled substance- but I wasn't?

    I was arrested for a violation of CA HS 11550. Except I wasn't under the influence of anything! I was pulled over leaving my house, which I was in the process of moving out of due to its bad reputation for people my landlord associates with always...

    David’s Answer

    To prove that you were under the influence the prosecution needs to either have a blood or urine test showing the presence of a narcotic, or a statement from you refusing to take a blood or urine test that can be used as evidence of guilt in court. They would also have taken you into a room with a drug recognition expert who would have looked at your eyes pulse and other various tests to determine if you are under the influence and if so, what what. Without that it is unlikely that you will be charged with anything.
    I recommend that you retain a local attorney who appears in Ventura Court often, and we will contact the da to see if charges can be blocked. If you don't hire an attorney now, you will have to wait until you go to court to see if charges are filed a case rejected or sent out for further investigation, which is the norm in Ventura.
    Most of us here on offer offer free consultations and I suggest that you Avail yourself of that opportunity you immediately. Good luck!

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  • Who is the arresting officer?

    In the police report, 2 officers signed as the arresting officers. But one of them, I have never even encountered... 2 officers took me to the station to be booked but the second officer isn't listed in the report. The report lists the main offi...

    David’s Answer

    Without looking at the report, it is hard to say. What were you arrested for? In a DUI arrest, several officers could be listed. But the arresting officer is the one who put the cuffs on you!
    My real question is why you want to know? You should have an attorney who can explain it to you.

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