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.]

April, 2011 | Pasadena Court: Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed

My client was alleged to have gotten in an argument with his girlfriend while under the influence of alcohol. The argument led to my client allegedly choking the victim, throwing her on the bed and hitting her. A conviction for this offense would have resulted in him losing his job and would have caused an obstacle to his ultimate goal of becoming an attorney. After negotiating with the city prosecutor I was able to obtain an offer that allowed my client to go to domestic battery classes for one year, after which time his plea would be withdrawn and the case dismissed.This is called “diversion”. Diversion is a great option (if the prosecutor agrees to it) in cases where the evidence against a defendant is strong and trial is not recommended, because it results in a full dismissal. The Defendant avoids a conviction and the arrest record gets permanently sealed.

February, 2011 | Los Angeles Superior Court: Acquitted of DUI Charges

My client was driving home with a friend from a restaurant where he admitted to consuming four beers over a three hour period. His preliminary alcohol screening test (“PAS) indicated a .09 BAC about 20 minutes after driving and an evidentiary breath test about 50 minutes after driving indicated a .10 BAC. The City Prosecutor refused to reduce or dismiss the DUI charges even though I was able to show the breath test machine was reading almost 10 percent high during the days surrounding the time my client took the breath test and that strong evidence supported a rising blood alcohol defense. We set the case for trial and presented a Toxicologist and eye witness testimony from the friend. The officer testified that my client exhibited physical signs of being intoxicated and that he did not perform the field sobriety tests satisfactorily. The jury came back with a unanimous verdict of NOT GUILTY on both DUI counts (VC 23152(a) and 23152(b). As a result of the acquittal, I was able to get the DMV to reverse a suspension that was unfairly imposed months earlier.

February, 2011 | Fontana Court: Felony Drugs (a LOT of drugs): Probation & No Jail

My client was stopped while driving a truck that was found to contain 1200 pounds of marijuana. This was a very serious charge due to the large amount of drugs. After a thorough investigation of the case and multiple discovery requests, I finally obtained the taped recording of my client’s alleged confession. It turned out the tape showed my client never said the incriminating statements that the officers claimed in the police report that they heard him say! The DA just assumed officers would not lie about such a thing, especially since the interview was recorded. After getting a transcript of the interview, the DA realized their case had serious problems. There was some other incriminating evidence against my client, but without the confession, the DA’s case was greatly weakened. My client did not want to go to trial and risk prison time, so I was able to get him NO JAIL offer with 3 years of probation. Since he was in the United States without any legal status, we knew that if he served any time in custody he would be at risk of immediate deportation and would be taken away from his wife and 6 year old daughter. He avoided deportation and did not do any time in jail. This case is an example of how important it is to obtain ALL of the discovery in a case and not assume anything that the police say is true without confirming it.

January, 2011 | West Covina Court: 5 Prior Strikes Dropped After DA Refused to Acknowledge Error

This was an interesting case. It is an example of how negligent the District Attorney’s Office can be. My client had a long criminal history spanning almost 30 years. Most of the convictions involved petty thefts and minor drug offenses. He also had some serious mental health issues. He was currently charged with resisting arrest and possession of methamphetamine for sale. He was initially represented by the public defender who told him he had FIVE prior strikes and the offer was 6 years (high term on count 2 doubled) and that the offer was “very fair” because the DA is willing to strike 4 of his prior strikes. The first day I visited my new client in jail he told me that there is some mistake and that he does not have 5 strikes. He complained that the public defender did not seem to believe him or listen to him. No one listened to this man because he was mentally ill and had a long criminal record. I decided to investigate his prior alleged strike convictions and as it turned out, the client was correct---he had only one prior strike and it was from 1993, NOT five! I was only able to prove the error by obtaining the plea transcripts in most of the old cases. In one of the cases where the DA alleged in the complaint as a strike prior, I learned that it was actually a co-defendant in that case who plead guilty to robbery, a strike, while my client ended up pleading to a reduced charge of petty theft. Unbelievably, there were three other cases in which the DA alleged strikes against my client in error. After several court appearances and a psychiatric evaluation, the errors were finally corrected and my client was offered a truly reasonable offer of 1 year in the county jail with 3 years probation.

March, 2010 Los Angeles .DUI with .08 BAC or Higher, NOT GUILTY on (b) Count

Acquittal on the "b" count resulting in Client's Driving Privileges Being Restored. Although Client was convicted on the "a" count, the DMV could not issue a "hard" suspension so Client did not lose his job or his ability to drive. 

November, 2010 | Burbank Court: Grand Theft Auto Charges Dismissed

My client (who was in the U.S. on an expired VISA) was driving her husband’s vehicle with her husband in the passenger seat. The car was recently stolen from a dealership and officers stopped the vehicle to investigate. The husband had a long criminal record and was being investigated for stealing numerous other vehicles, several of which my client had been observed driving. When questioned by officers about what she knew about the vehicle, my client allegedly contradicted herself, causing the investigator to suspect my client knew the car she was driving was stolen. The case was filed as a felony and the DA would not drop or even reduce the charge to a misdemeanor. I set the case for a preliminary hearing, at which time the Judge granted my motion to dismiss for insufficient evidence. It was not refilled by the DA. Because of the complete dismissal, my client will not have a criminal record and will have a chance to become legal resident.

October, 2009 | Torrance Court : Jail Time Eliminated

My client embezzled over $60,000 during a 3 year period while working as an accountant in a position of trust for more than 3 years. The District Attorney initially wanted prison time because my client had no money to pay back the restitution. After 2 months of negotiating and providing proof of good character and mitigating factors, I was able to obtain a sentence of no jail time. My client is a mother of a 7 year old girl who can now stay home to raise her child instead of going to prison.

August, 2009 | CCB Los Angeles Superior Court : Sex Crime Charges: Received Probation

Client was charged with committing a lewd and lascivious act on a girl under the age of 14 and the Defendant was more than 10 years older than the victim (PC 288(a)). This was a very serious case with the potential of serious prison time. The evidence against my client was very strong but I knew there was a sympathetic side I could bring out in the Defendant's case. After thoroughly investigating the case and hiring a psychiatrist to evaluate my client, I was able to present mitigating factors to the prosecutor. Without having to go to trial, I was able to convince the prosecutor to allow my client to plead guilty to one count (other 3 counts were dismissed), get credit for the 60 days he was in jail, and 5 years probation with registration requirements. Although my client was charged and convicted of a serious sex offense on an 11 year old child, he only did 60 days in county jail and was then released on probation.