Recent Case Results: Pasadena Criminal Defense Lawyer Ann Gottesman

[Please note: For confidentiality reasons, specific details of the cases must be omitted to protect the identity of the Clients. While attorney Ann Gottesman is dedicated to achieving the best possible results for her clients, there is no guarantee that your case will result in a dismissal, charge reduction, DMV set-aside, acquittal, probation or no incarceration. The facts of each case are different, and while Ann Gottesman has resolved many cases successfully, no attorney can guarantee a result in a particular case. Call Ann for a free consultation to discuss the facts of your unique case.]

March 2013 | Pasadena Court: Felony Vehicle Theft Case Dismissed

Client had an old felony warrant for a charge of unlawful possession of a vehicle without the owner’s consent. (Grand theft auto) My client had been living with a heavy burden for several years, knowing she had an outstanding warrant but no way to deal with it. She did not currently live in the area, had little finances, and was in poor health. I was granted permission by the Judge to appear in court without Client despite the charge being a felony. The warrant was recalled and held for about one month. During that time, I was able to obtain some case information from archives with the help of the court clerk and spoke to the District Attorney. I explained the unusual and mitigating circumstances of my client’s predicament, the implausibility that the charges could be proved so many years after the incident, and the constitutional issues that arose due to the lack of notice of the warrant (i.e., Speedy Trial and Due Process). After considering all this, the District Attorney did the right thing and dismissed the case. 

March 2013 | West Covina Court: Vandalism Charged Dismissed on Eve of Trial

Client charged with vandalizing another person’s vehicle. The evidence strongly corroborated my client’s version of events which indicated he was factually innocent and did not commit this offense. This case was set for a jury trial and we were ready to proceed. After numerous discussions with the prosecutor, the case was dismissed a day before trial was to begin.

September 2012 | Torrance Court, NOT GUILTY of Attempted Murder & NOT GUILTY of Attempt Voluntary Manslaughter

Client was charged with committing a willful and deliberate attempted murder and faced a mandatory sentence of 15 years to life if convicted. We showed the jury that Client was followed and severely beaten by the alleged victim and his brother just prior to alleged crime. With a broken jaw, Client managed to escape from the victim and victim’s brother and ran to his vehicle. When client attempted to leave the gas station where the beating had just occurred, he ran into the alleged victim, causing the victim’s right leg to be severed upon impact with a gas station pump pole. The incident was captured on the gas station’s security video camera. Victim claimed Client yelled out of his window that he would kill him, as he drove towards the victim. The victim and his brother were impeached and their credibility damaged during cross examination. The jury acquitted Client of attempted murder and also found client not guilty of attempted voluntary manslaughter. Client was convicted of a much less serious charge of assault with a deadly weapon and mayhem, and was sentenced to 6 years in prison with credits for time served, resulting in only 3 more years of custody. There was no reasonable offer made by the District Attorney prior to trial despite the obvious weaknesses in their case. Instead of facing a life term, client will be back with his family in approximately 3 years.

May, 2012 | Pasadena Court: DUI Charges Dismissed & DMV Set Aside

Client was arrested for a first offense DUI misdemeanor and his breath test results indicated a BAC of a .09/.09 with a preliminary test result of .11/.11. After submitting subpoenas to obtain the video of the stop, accuracy checks and calibration records of the breath machine and other documents, I carefully analyzed the evidence. I discovered a discrepancy in an official document that the officer signed under penalty of perjury. (The document is called the DS367.) This discrepancy resulted in four (4) DMV hearings during which time three officers were cross examined by me. I uncovered some unethical behavior by the arresting officer which called into question the accuracy of key pieces of information, including the time of the stop. The time of the stop is crucial information in a DUI case because it is evidence of the time of driving, for which there must be some evidence, in order for the DMV to suspend the driver’s license. The time of driving is also important in the court case. After months of hearings and debate, the DMV finally “set aside” the case. (A “set aside” by the DMV means, in effect, that the DMV is dismissing the case and will not issue a suspension.) Then, based upon the officers’ testimony at the DMV hearings, which included the arresting officer’s admission that he signed falsely under penalty of perjury, the Pasadena City Prosecutor also agreed to do the right thing—dismiss all DUI charges against my client. Since my client won his case at the DMV as well as in court, he is no longer at risk of losing his license or having a DUI misdemeanor conviction on his record. This saved his job.

April, 2012 | W. Covina Superior Court: NOT GUILTY: Domestic Violence

My client was falsely accused of punching his ex girlfriend (mother of his 2 year old child) during a custody exchange. Just prior to the incident, the alleged victim had been fighting in family court to take away my client’s custody and visitation rights by claiming my client was a bad father, and verbally abusive. But the Judge was not buying this woman’s lies. So one day, during the exchange of the child, the alleged victim called police after she and my client had engaged in an argument. My client claimed he never struck or physically touched this woman. Although the alleged victim’s mother was present at the scene, she admitted she never saw my client punch her daughter. The police arrested my client and he was charged with a misdemeanor battery. If convicted of this offense, he would be at risk of losing all the visitation rights he had fought so hard to obtain in the family court. The alleged victim was known to be volatile, untruthful and had a history of making false accusations of violence against my client. I obtained transcripts from the family court which indicated that the alleged victim had a motive to lie and was angry that the judge in family court was not ruling in her favor. Also, there were no injuries to support the accusation that my client punched the alleged victim in her face above her eye. The prosecutor refused to drop the charges, however on the day trial was to begin, the prosecutor did offer to reduce the charge to an infraction. Adamant that he was innocent, my client refused to plead guilty to ANYTHING and exercised his constitutional rights to a trial. During trial, the alleged victim did not testify consistently and appeared arrogant. After only 45 minutes of deliberation, the jury returned with a unanimous verdict of NOT GUILTY. My client and his family were elated. Now he will be able to focus on being a good father for his son instead of defending himself against false accusations made by his ex-girlfriend.

July, 2011 | L.A. Superior Court: Felony Charge Amended: Probation

My client, who recently lost her job and had no prior criminal record, sadly turned to prostitution to support her two children who just began college. She rented an apartment and hired another woman to split the profits with her. The other woman was also working as a prostitute and would give my client some of the money she earned to pay the apartment bills and paid “referral” fees for the “Johns” that my client brought to the apartment. After a sting operation in which a police officer pretended to be a potential “John”, my client was charged with felony pimping under Penal Code section 266h(a). She confessed to the crime and the other woman also confessed and made incriminating statements against my client. Unfortunately, pimping carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 3 years and probation is not allowed. Throughout the arraignment, pretrial hearing and preliminary hearing, the DA’s offer was 3 years in state prison. After several weeks of gathering character letters and evidence to show the extreme mitigating factors surrounding my client’s life, and researching alternative charges that would allow probation, the District Attorney eventually agreed to amend the charge to conspiracy, which does allow probation. My client was able to avoid a mandatory minimum prison sentence and will serve approximately 30 days more in county jail, at which time she will be released.

June, 2011 | Pasadena Court: Misdemeanor Hit & Run Charges Dropped

My client was an older gentleman who had a prior misdemeanor hit and run from a year ago. He was charged with a second offense this year. The victim alleged my client side-swiped him and that my client left the scene without stopping to exchange his insurance information. A conviction for this offense would have resulted in the loss of my client’s driver’s license and a loss of his independence. The investigating officer did not handle the case in a professional manner and never took any photos of the victim’s vehicle. My client denied hitting the victim’s vehicle and not stopping. My client and I were ready to go to trial. However, after discussing the case with the city prosecutor, she decided to dismiss the misdemeanor hit and run charges and allow my client to plead to a regular infraction for improper lane change.

June, 2011 | Alhambra Court: DUI Dismissed: Factual Innocence Found

My unfortunate client was very intoxicated when he unknowingly confessed to a crime he did not commit. My client’s friend , who had a suspended license and 2 prior DUI convictions was driving my client’s car when he was involved in a minor collision. Although my client was the passenger, he was told by his “friend” that he, my client, was the one driving. The friend told the arriving officers that my client had been driving out of fear that he would end up with a 3rd DUI if he told the truth and admitted to being the real driver. Well, once my client agreed that he had been driving, the officer naturally believed my client was the driver and did not even suspect the friend. After my client sobered up and learned that he was wrongfully arrested and charged with a DUI when he was not even the driver, no one believed him. Luckily, text messages, phone records and witness statements all corroborated my client’s cries of innocence. The Supervising District Attorney was very fair and once she saw all the exculpatory evidence I had collected, she agreed to dismiss all the charges via a court finding of not guilty and stipulate that my client was factually innocent. Factual innocence is needed to seal an arrest record because a dismissal by itself will not get an arrest of a person’s criminal record. A not guilty finding or acquittal is needed to reverse a DMV suspension. The DMV was contacted and the DUI suspension that my client had received months earlier will soon be reversed.