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Criminal defense, Need more responses please

Los Angeles, CA |

T is my 19yr old daughter. T's roommates E & S wanted her to move out, she did not. So E&S accused her of threaten them with a knife to get her out. T was arrested & in jail since Jan. DA charged her with criminal threat, as a felony. But No injury, no physical fight, just verbal disagreement. Same officer T refuse to date is now Eva's boyfriend & he may be behind it. I am unemployed , unable to hire private attorney for her or bail her out, bail set too high. The PD insists E&S are lying, he said due to major inconsistencies in their story. If so, why is DA so eager to take this to trial, what am I missing? Should I see & plead with DA or will it make things worse for T? Also, I have means to get this to the media. Should I take it & get media involve or will it make it worse? Please help

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Attorney answers 4


Your daughter appears to be in good hands with the public defender. Many DA's are typically stubborn and it appears this one is no different. Please be patient.

The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice based upon the query without additional details. It is highly recommended that one should seek advice from a criminal defense attorney licensed in your jurisdiction by setting up a confidential meeting. Moreover, this response does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship since this message is not a confidential communication because it was posted on a public website, thereby publicly disclosing the information, which is another reason to setup a confidential meeting with an attorney.


The best thing you can do is encourage your daughter to take this to trial. If she's been in custody since January her trial date should be coming up. Why is DA so eager to take this to trial? Maybe s/he's bluffing (good chance) because he realizes his witnesses are no good, maybe he hasn't interviewed the witnesses yet to prepare them for trial, maybe because he knows it's a loser but wants the trial experience. There could be any number of reasons. But stay away from the DA. Anything you say to the DA is a "statement" by you which could turn around on your daughter; you don't know what would help her and what wouldn't.

I suppose the best thing you can do is go to your daughter's apartment and retrieve her things. You can only imagine how these girls have gone through them. I would do it with the help of the PD to negotiate a time and place you can do this without the girls being there.

The media would probably not be interested in this - just my opinion. The story as you've described it is some girls lying to the police to get a roommate out. Right now this isn't a "story" - it's a sad picture of human nature.

It sounds like the PD has it under control. The LA Public Defender's Office is one of the best in the country. Don't think that a privately-retained attorney could speed this up or convince a DA to dismiss the case. That's not realistic.

Good luck to you and your daughter.


Your daughter has a good Public Defender from what you have described. The DA's Office will push hard on these types of cases because they are not good cases for the DAs. They want to show they are tough on violent crimes. Criminal Threats are very difficult for the DA to prove. Your daughter has a good chance to win at trial.

Seth Weinstein, Esq.
Southern California Criminal Defense
(310) 707-7131

This reply should NOT be considered a legal opinion of your case / inquiry. At this time I do not have sufficient factual/legal documentation to give a complete answer to your question and there may be more to the issues you raised then I have set out in my brief reply.


Personally I never try cases in the media because it usually make things worse. The DA is not going to dismiss just because they've been contacted by the media. And Ms. Gutekunst is absolutely right. There is nothing particularly special or unusual about this case that would attract the media's attention. I know you're extremely concerned and upset, but you need to let your daughter's pubic defender do his or her job. Repeatedly posting information here is not going to change things because none of us have all the information that her public defender has or has a crystal ball. If the PD says that after the review of the report he or she feels the witnesses are lying, then that is a good thing. Just hope for the best.

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