Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyers Since 1987
Former senior prosecutors who have specialized in advocating for the accused for over 2 decades
Since 1987, Southern California criminal defense lawyers Paul Takakjian and Stephen Sitkoff have dedicated their legal practice to defending and preserving the rights of individuals charged with criminal offenses. Our legal defense team represents clients throughout Southern California — including in Los Angeles, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange Counties — in cases involving DUI, drug crimes, sex crimes, theft crimes, domestic violence and violent crimes, as well as DMV license suspension hearings.
Why retain our criminal defense firm
During the critical moments following your arrest and throughout the criminal process, our experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers and staff help you navigate these uncharted waters. If you have been arrested or have found yourself targeted as a suspect in a criminal investigation, do not delay in consulting our LA criminal defense experts. We do not believe in a “one size fits” all approach to representing our clients and for that reason, we will patiently review every detail of your case to insure that you receive an assessment that is specific to the unique circumstances in your case. At your free initial consultation, we explain how these factors can benefit you:
- Our criminal defense lawyers of Los Angeles have practiced law for over 30 years and are former senior deputy district attorneys who previously prosecuted cases for the DA’s office in virtually every criminal court in Los Angeles County.
- Managing Partner Paul Takakjian is a former senior prosecutor with the Los Angeles District Attorneys Office and certified criminal law specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization
- Managing Partner Stephen Sitkoff is a former senior prosecutor with the Los Angeles District Attorneys Office and former Superior Court Commissioner
- Clients who retain our firm will be represented by Mr. Takakjian or Mr. Sitkoff, not an associate or contract attorney
- Our firm practices criminal and DUI defense exclusively
We recognize the fear and anxiety evoked by an arrest, whether you are charged with a first offense or have a lengthy criminal history, and we take the necessary steps to prepare the best defense possible. During your free initial consultation, we will provide you with a candid and thorough assessment of your case and explain each and every possible scenario you could expect to encounter.
Our expert legal team specializes in criminal and drunk driving defense
Being arrested or investigated for a crime can be a terrifying experience due to both the present and future uncertainties one is faced with. Therefore, it is unwise to place your future, reputation, and liberties in the hands of an attorney just as inexperienced as you. Our 60 plus years of unmatched legal experience in both criminal and DUI defense allows us to provide our clients with insights and perspectives that would otherwise be unavailable to them. We pride ourselves on providing our clients with the peace of mind of knowing that we will be prepared with the appropriate response to every possible issue that may arise during the course of their case. We take decisive, proactive measures at every phase of the criminal process to defend you against charges such as:
- DUI — Whether you are charged with a felony or misdemeanor drunk driving charge, your DUI lawyer Los Angeles from our defense team will thoroughly review the circumstances of your case beginning with the arrest, to examine whether any of the evidence could be suppressed due to either an unlawful arrest or violation of your search and seizure protections. Additionally, we scrutinize the chemical evidence against you by retesting a split sample of the prosecution’s blood or urine evidence through our own independent toxicology lab and/or ordering the arresting agency to turn over the maintenance, calibration, and use log records of the breathalyzer used in your arrest. We will also represent you in the DMV Admin Per Se (APS) hearing and will subpoena the arresting officer to cross-examine him or her on possible procedural mistakes, which may have been committed. It is important to note that this cross-examination takes place outside of the prosecutor’s presence, making the APS hearing an important and critical opportunity to impeach the credibility of the arresting officer by causing him to testify to case details that conflict with what he or she wrote in the police report.
- Drug Possession — Drug arrests have led to stiff penalties for nonviolent offenders and harsh punishment of people who suffer from substance addiction and mental illness. It has also unfairly resulted in felony criminal records for many others. After an arrest for a felony or misdemeanor drug crime, your first concern will likely be the possibility of jail time. However, while that issue would be addressed during your initial consultation with us, we would not be satisfied with simply keeping you out of jail. Therefore, our assessment would also include reviewing your eligibility for deferred entry of judgment (DEJ) or drug diversion programs, which can result in not only avoiding jail, but also avoiding a criminal record. It is also important to note that before engaging in any plea negotiations, we will first examine whether law enforcement lawfully searched you to determine whether the evidence against you can be suppressed.
- Juvenile Crimes — As former prosecutors who previously prosecuted cases and for the last two decades, defended clients in juvenile court, we recognize that youth and immaturity can result in poor decision-making. While we acknowledge the importance of holding juvenile offenders accountable for their poor decisions, we firmly believe that a consequence of a youthful and immature mistake should not be a juvenile criminal record, which can affect college acceptance or future employment prospects. For that reason, we aggressively pursue DEJ or diversion for our juvenile clients to insure that they not only learn from their mistakes, but also are not further punished in the future for mistakes they made as youths. Some of the most common juvenile offenses are vandalism , DUI, shoplifting, assault and battery, and possession of a controlled substance, which can be dismissed after successful completion of a DEJ or juvenile diversion program.
- Sex Crimes — Our firm possesses particular expertise in the area of sex crimes due Mr. Takakjian and Mr. Sitkoff formerly being members of the elite sex crimes prosecution unit during their time with the District Attorney’s office. Our experience provides us with an unmatched experience and insight that many other firms lack. It is paramount to be represented by an experienced sex crime lawyer due to the consequences of a sex crime conviction. Consequences such as long-term imprisonment, a criminal record for a sex crime, and worst of all, lifetime registration as a sex offender can be avoided depending on the facts of your case. Whether it be for the purposes of negotiating a plea bargain or raising a trial defense, we utilize experts in the areas of both forensic science and psychology, and perform our own independent investigation to insure that we achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients, specifically, an outcome that does not include sex offender registration.
- Violent Crimes —There are many offenses that fall into this category such as assault and battery, assault with a deadly weapon, domestic and spousal abuse, criminal threats, mayhem, and murder to name a few. These offenses are prosecuted aggressively, as well as sentenced harshly because they involves a victim(s) who was physically harmed. In some cases such as those involving allegations of domestic violence, the cooperation of the victim is not needed in order for the prosecution to continue with their case. Whether it be raising a solid self-defense argument, attacking the forensic evidence linking our client to the crime, or negotiating a civil compromise dismissal with the victim, we have the experience to insure that our clients receive the most aggressive and dynamic advocacy possible. We further recognize the collateral consequences of a violent conviction and therefore, are not satisfied with simply avoiding jail time. A violent conviction, even at a misdemeanor level, can disqualify a person from certain professions that involve responsibilities for childcare (teachers and educators) or medical patients (medical care professionals). Therefore, we strive to negotiate reductions in charges to non-violent and non-moral turpitude offenses to prevent our clients from suffering many of the unforeseen consequences a violent crime conviction carries.
- Prefile Investigations — In some criminal cases where the evidence is insufficient at the time of initial reporting to police, the case would be assigned to a detective for further investigation, also known as a prefile investigation. This phase represents the first stage in the criminal procedural process and involves the assigned detective(s) interviewing witness, interrogating “targets” or suspects, freezing bank accounts, executing search warrants, and/or engaging in surveillance operations. The following are a few of the criminal offenses that are most commonly investigated prefile:
- VC 20001/VC 20002 - Hit & Run with Injury and/or property damage
- PC 273.5(a)/PC 243(e)1 - Spousal Abuse or Domestic Battery
- PC 288(a) - Lewd Act With a Minor Under 14 years old
- PC 503 - Embezzlement
- HS 11351 - Possession with Intent to Sell Narcotics
- PC 242 - Battery
- PC 459 - Residential Burglary
- PC 548(a) - Insurance Fraud
Contact our dedicated Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers today
If you have been arrested in Los Angeles County or anywhere else in Southern California, please call us at (888) 579-4844 for your free no-obligation consultation. We are available 24/7 with offices conveniently located in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Torrance, Pasadena, West Covina, Orange, Newport Beach, Oxnard, Westlake Village & Rancho Cucamonga.