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I got a ticket for Misdemeanor Vandalism. How can i defend myself.

Los Angeles, CA |

I was at a frat party . every guy was wearing a Hawaiian shirt . i punched a glass window in my own house before going to the frat party , so my hand was bloody . on the walk back home , the cops were in front of my house and my next door neighbor pointed at me , saying I matched the description of the suspect ( who was wearing a Hawaiian shirt ) who broke his roommate's car windows with a frying pan . The fact that my hand wasn't bleeding didn't help . I was written a ticket for misdemeanor vandalism . Basically my neighbor has a witness and the police took pictures of my hand and then took pictures of my shoes saying there were glass shards on my shoe . It didn't really look like there was anything on my shoe . How should I go about this in court ?

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Attorney answers 5

Posted

Do you own the house or rent the house? If you own your home, you have a total defense. You can dispose of your property any way you would like. If you rent the home, you should have an attorney approach the landlord and see if they would be willing to not press charges. The neighbor in most cases cannot press charges on something that does not belong to him/her. You should not post specific facts on the message board. Contact me tomorrow to talk about this case. What court in Los Angeles County is your case assigned?

Seth Weinstein, Esq.
Southern California Criminal Defense Attorney
(310) 707-7131
www.sethweinsteinlaw.com

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.

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall

Posted

The accusation is that a neighbor's CAR was vandalized. The problematic evidence is the glass from the asker breaking the asker's own window.

Posted

It's going to be very difficult to defend yourself at court. You'll need an attorney to present your case for you. You can use avvo to find a couple of local criminal defense attorneys, and give them a call - most will offer a free consultation. Otherwise, if you qualify, you can obtain the services of a public defender, but that won't happen until the you're actually in court. I just can't imagine that fighting this yourself, no matter how straightforward it might seem, would prove to be beneficial. Good luck.

Jasen Nielsen

Posted

Car window glass is different than house window glass. Get shards of both broken windows. The differences will probably be apparent to the eye, but a lab or glass shop can confirm. Did you have med treatment for your hand? Stitches? The injuries and debris in injured part of hand may be indicative of which kind of glass caused your hand injury. Any independent proof that house window was broken before car was vandalized? Anyone witness it? Hear the breaking glass? Or hear what came just before it?

Don't answer any of these questions here. But talk about them with your lawyer. These are the kinds of issues that your lawyer needs to consider in developing your defense, whether for trial or negotiations with the prosecutor. Don't forget to explore a civil compromise under PC 1377 with the prosecutor.

My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.

Gayle Anne-Marie Gutekunst

Gayle Anne-Marie Gutekunst

Posted

Excellent point about the glass.

Posted

You should hire an attorney who will fight this case for you. Vandalism cases are definitely winnable. You seem to think that because there was a witness that your case is lost. However, if the ID is really as vague as you say, then there are holes able to be poked in that. Then there's the fact that there was a party, so you probably have several people who can be witnesses that it wasn't you. Or you can show where you were. The broken window at your house can hopefully be corroborated by witnesses, receipts for fixing the glass, etc. There are so many possible avenues that your defense can take. You need to not give up hope, and should hire a good private attorney. Many of us who have experience in Los Angeles county can definitely give you advice and may of us offer free consultations and payment plans. Good luck!

The above stated is advice only, and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

Posted

The man who represents himself has a fool for a client. Obtain private counsel prior to your arraignment or ask the court to appoint counsel at your arraignment.