Torrance Criminal Defense Attorneys | Former Torrance Court Prosecutors
If you are facing criminal charges, it is important to understand your rights and how to invoke those rights. In some criminal cases, charges may be reduced or dismissed due to violations of a person’s constitutional rights. Our experienced Torrance criminal defense attorneys can identify potential defenses and will address the issues in an effective manner.
What are some constitutional rights that a defendant has?
Persons who have been investigated and charged with crimes have a variety of rights that are guaranteed by the United States Constitution. These include:
- Right to remain silent.
- The right to a trial.
- Due process rights to receive notice and be heard.
- Right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
- Right to confront and cross examine witnesses.
How do you raise defenses?
If there is evidence that your constitutional rights have been violated, then you can raise the issue through pretrial motions. This could include a motion to dismiss the case and a motion to exclude evidence from being considered. An attorney will know how to best address these issues and the appropriate procedure to follow.
Our team consists of former district attorneys who are experienced in criminal defense and understand how to hold the prosecution accountable. We can identify potential defenses and will advocate for you to receive a fair resolution of your case. If you are facing criminal charges, then contact us to learn how we will fight to protect your rights.
We have committed our criminal and DUI defense practice to defending clients in the South Bay for almost 3 decades. With over 70 years of combined criminal trial experience as former Torrance Court prosecutors and law enforcement instructors, Torrance criminal defense lawyers, Paul Takakjian and Stephen Sitkoff, have earned a reputation as the premiere criminal defense attorneys in the South Bay. Our areas of Torrance criminal defense practice range from minor infractions to more serious misdemeanor and felony offenses, such as drunk driving charges, sex crimes, theft crimes, drug crimes, domestic violence charges, and juvenile crimes. Contact us today online or by phone at (424) 757-0865.
Our expertise includes, but are not limited to, the following:
DUI – Also referred to as “drunk driving,” this offense is considered the most common crime in the South Bay and is typically charged as a misdemeanor unless aggravating circumstances are present in the case, such as your prior record of DUI convictions and/or if your DUI arrest involved an accident resulting in injury or death to another. For example, if the arrest (even without an accident causing injury) is your 4th DUI arrest within the last 10 years, you could be deemed a habitual offender, resulting in your drunk driving charge being elevated from a misdemeanor to felony DUI. In addition, if your arrest is your 1st DUI offense or even your 1st time ever being arrested, you could still be charged with a felony if your Torrance DUI involves a traffic collision causing injury or death. As experienced Torrance criminal defense attorneys, Mr. Takakjian and Mr. Sitkoff are experts at identifying factual weaknesses in breath and chemical evidence, as well improper police search and seizure procedure.
Drug Crimes – We have defended drug-related offenses for almost 3 decades. Our cases have ranged from minor simple possession of controlled substances and/or prescription drugs to the most serious narcotics offenses, such as possession with intent to sell, and cultivation or manufacturing with intent to sell. Our extensive experience in defending drug crimes has also resulted in many close professional relationships with local drug/alcohol rehabilitation programs throughout the South Bay. Our commitment to our clients extends beyond preserving their freedoms and liberties. Therefore, our clients can expect our firm’s support in locating reputable rehabilitation programs, so that they can get the rehabilitative treatment they need. Our experience as former senior prosecutors gives us a unique advantage and insight into law enforcement investigative tactics and procedures as well. Our expert knowledge of the rules of evidence and criminal procedure ensures flaws and factual weaknesses in the prosecution’s case will be identified and used to our clients’ advantage in trial or plea negotiations.
Theft Crimes – The crime of theft is very broad and encompasses many different specific criminal acts. A Theft crime can be shoplifting, petty theft, grand theft, commercial and residential burglary, receiving stolen property, fraud, forgery, embezzlement, and grand theft auto. Furthermore, the charge level can range from infraction, misdemeanor, or felony depending on your prior record, facts of the case, and the amount of the theft. For example, shoplifting a $10 DVD from a retail store as a 1st offense would result in a misdemeanor citation for shoplifting. However, the charge would carry the potential for a reduction to an infraction since the was below $50. Alternatively, if the same $10 DVD were illegally taken from another person’s home after you illegally entered the residence, you would be charged with a straight felony of residential burglary, carrying the potential for a strike under California’s 3 Strikes law. Whether you were wrongfully accused or simply exercised poor judgment, you can rest assured that our Torrance criminal defense attorneys will craft a dynamic defense strategy specifically prepared for your unique case facts. Theft charges can be dismissed in Torrance Court without an acquittal at trial through reductions to lesser non-theft related offenses or complete dismissal through diversionary sentences.
Sex Crimes – Mr. Takakjian and Mr. Sitkoff, during their tenure with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, held positions within the prosecuting agency’s special prosecution units. These units were staffed with only the most seasoned prosecutors who would be specifically assigned to only the most serious cases. One of the units Mr. Takakjian and Mr. Sitkoff were assigned to was the elite sex crimes special prosecution unit. Our experience and expertise provides us with rare insight and unique advantage in defending sex offenses such as child annoyance, child molestation, statutory rape, forcible rape, sexual battery, indecent exposure, lewd act in public, as well as high-tech sex crimes such as contacting a minor for the purposes of committing a lewd act and possession/distribution of child pornography. The consequences of a sex crime conviction go beyond long state prison sentences and fines. A conviction could mean registering as a sex offender under California Penal Code 290 for the rest of your life.
Violent Crimes – A violent crime is a criminal act involving the use or threat of force upon another. Offenses such as murder, battery, assault with a deadly weapon, or domestic violence are violent offenses where the primary objective is the violent act. Whereas, you can be charged with a violent crime even if the act does not involve actual physical contact or even injury. For example, criminal threats, stalking, and assault are a few violent offenses that do not require physical contact nor injury between you and the victim. Furthermore, violent crimes are often punished more harshly due to the impact upon the victims. In addition, a criminal record with a violent conviction can jeopardize gun ownership rights, citizenship, professional licensing, and future employment.
Why Hire Our South Bay Criminal Defense Firm?
We recognize there are many of Torrance criminal defense lawyers to choose from. However, there are very few with comparable experience and expertise to our criminal attorneys. Whether you are fighting serious felony charge or a DMV license suspension hearing, our approach and preparation remain unchanged. We believe in an honest and transparent attorney-client relationship, and partner with our clients to achieve the common goals we set together from the moment the decision is made to retain our services. Most importantly, when you retain Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP, your criminal lawyer will either be Paul Takakjian or Stephen Sitkoff, not an inexperienced contract lawyer.
If you have been arrested in Torrance, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Lawndale, Palos Verdes, Lomita, Gardena, Rolling Hills Estates, or any of the surrounding areas within the South Bay, please contact us at (424) 757-0865 for your free no-obligation consultation. We are available 24/7 with an office conveniently located at 3655 Torrance Blvd., in the city of Torrance.
Criminal offenses committed anywhere in the South Bay are prosecuted out of the Southwest District Courthouse located at 825 Maple Avenue in the city of Torrance. Commonly referred to as the Torrance Court, services the following cities in the South Bay:
Rolling Hills Estates
Palos Verdes Estates
The criminal offense level and/or the city you were arrested in determines which prosecutorial agency would be tasked with prosecuting you. For example, a charge of misdemeanor petty theft committed in Redondo Beach would be prosecuted by the Redondo Beach City Attorneys Office, whereas a charge of felony domestic violence would be prosecuted by the Los Angeles District Attorneys Office. Not every city within the South Bay has its own prosecuting agency. For example, all crimes committed in Manhattan Beach are prosecuted by the Los Angeles District Attorneys Office, regardless of whether the charge is filed as a misdemeanor or felony.
Location and Phone Directory
825 Maple Avenue
Torrance, CA 90503
Criminal Clerks Office – (310) 222-6500
Torrance City Attorneys Office – (310) 618-2740
Redondo Beach City Attorneys Office – (310) 318-0633
Hermosa Beach City Attorneys Office – (310) 318-0345
Los Angeles District Attorneys Office (Southwest) – (310) 222-3552
Los Angeles Public Defenders Office (Southwest) – (310) 543-4300