Our Los Angeles Criminal Defense Firm Was Established in 1987
Former senior prosecutors who have specialized in advocating for the accused for over 2 decades
Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP was founded 26 years ago by former district attorneys dedicated to defending and preserving the rights of individuals charged with criminal offenses. Our 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, and domestic violence, as well as aggravated felony offenses.
Why retain our criminal defense firm
During the critical moments following your arrest and throughout the criminal process, our experienced attorneys and staff help you navigate these uncharted waters. If you have been arrested, do not delay in consulting our legal team. We do not believe in a “one size fits” all approach to representing our clients and for that reason, we will 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 attorneys are former senior deputy district attorneys who have each practiced criminal law for over 30 years.
- 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 invoked 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 unmatched experience in 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, our DUI 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 unfair punishment of people who suffer from substance addiction and mental illness. It has also unfairly resulted in felony criminal records for many others. Even possessing a miniscule amount of cocaine could result in felony charges. After an arrest for a felony or even misdemeanor drug possession, your first concern will likely be the possibility of jail time. During your initial consultation with us, that issue would be addressed, however, 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.
Contact our dedicated criminal defense team in Los Angeles
Get the help you need with your criminal defense case if you have been arrested in Southern California. Call Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP at 888-579-4844 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation today. Because we understand that arrests occur 24/7, we are available to help you at any time.