Legal Case Highlights - Defense Attorney in Los Angeles Steve Levine

 

 

 

People v. Mark Breceda, Rosemary Ramirez, Manuel Garcia:

The corruption case brought by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office against three Irwindale officials collapsed when prosecutors announced they could no longer proceed. The dismissal followed a series of legal setbacks for the office. An appellate court dismissed an early round of charges after concluding that prosecutors failed to present grand jurors with evidence favorable to the defendants. Garcia's attorney, Steven Graff Levine, praised last week's dismissal and said his client is seeking to recoup legal fees from Irwindale. "He's out of his life savings," Levine said, "to defend a crime he absolutely did not commit."

Click for Los Angeles Times story or click here for article capture

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People v. Grewal:

Steve recently petitioned the California Supreme Court in a case seeking to determine the definition of a slot machine in California, and the Supreme Court accepted the case for review.  The Court accepts less than 3 % of petitions it receives for review.  The case generated great interest, as the Indian Tribes, who control slot machines in California, and the California State Lottery, which controls billions of dollars of legalized gambling monies, filed amicus briefs to the Court.  Steve argued before the Supreme Court on May 6, 2015, and the Court issued its opinion on June 25, 2015.

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People v. Conrad Murray:

Steve Levine represented Matt Alford, a Houston lawyer and partner of Ed Chernoff, who was Conrad Murray's lawyer.  Alford conducted a televised interview with the Today Show, and thereafter Judge Michael Pastor called him into court for a possible contempt hearing as it was alleged he violated the court's standing order for defense lawyers not to publicly discuss the case.  Steve was present when Conrad Murray was sentenced, and thereafter, in a hearing before Judge Pastor, got the possible contempt action dismissed against Matt Alford.

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People v. David Cassidy:

Steve Levine represents David Cassidy. Cassidy's publicist, Jo-Ann Geffen, said he is in rehab at an undisclosed location. She said Cassidy had some drinks after testifying in a civil matter in a Los Angeles court on the day he got charged with DUI.

"David just completed a stint in rehab and was doing very well in sobriety," Geffen said in a prepared statement. "He was in Los Angeles to attend depositions by Sony Pictures Television, respondents in a lawsuit filed by Cassidy in 2011 over what he claims are monies long due him from "Partridge Family" merchandise, home video, etc. It appears as if the pressure led to a brief relapse."

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Click here for coverage by LA Times

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People v. Paris Hilton:

Steve Levine headed Paris Hilton's appellate team and argued before Judge Sauer that Paris Hilton should not have to return to jail after she was released on electronic monitoring.

Paris Hilton's original DUI charges alleging that on September 27, 2006 she was driving under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and a drug. In January 2007 she subsequently pleaded no contest to reckless driving charges stemming from the incident. A judge sentenced her to 3 years of probation, mandatory attendance at an alcohol education program, and fines of $1,500.

On May 4, 2007, Judge Sauer sentenced Paris to 45 days in jail for violating the terms of her probation. According to prosecutors, she failed to enroll in an alcohol education course by mid-April 2007, and she was stopped for two more traffic violations, including driving with a suspended license. After she was released by the Sheriff's Department and placed on electronic monitoring prior to the completion of her sentence, the City Attorney petitioned Judge Sauer to put her back in jail. The Sheriff's Department picked her up and took her to court, for all the world to see. Steve Levine wrote and argued the motion before Judge Sauer, explaining that he had no authority to put her back in jail as only the Sheriff's Department had that authority.

Paris Hilton's Attorney Beverly Hills, California

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People v. Breceda:

In the case of People v. Breceda, the District Attorney's Office obtained an embezzlement indictment against four Irwindale City Council members for eating expensive meals in New York City they did not pay for and then putting in for a per diem.  Steve made a motion to dismiss based on the fact that the District Attorney's Office withheld exculpatory documents from the grand jury, i.e., documents showing that the practice was allowed, and took a writ to the Court of Appeal when the trial court refused to dismiss the indictment.  The District Attorney's Office argued that only the prosecutors conducting the grand jury had the duty to disclose this exculpatory information, and if they were unaware of the documents, there was no violation, even if the documents were in the possession of the District Attorney's Office.

The Court of Appeal agreed with Steve, and held that the District Attorney's Office has the duty to disclose exculpatory information it possesses to the grand jury, even if the individual prosecutors are unaware of such information, and dismissed the indictment against the City Council members.  The District Attorney's Office took the case to the California Supreme Court.  While the case was pending, the Los Angeles Times wrote an editorial highly critical of the District Attorney's position.  On July 17, 2013, the Supreme Court denied review, and the Court of Appeal's decision dismissing the indictment was affirmed.

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People v. Michael Jackson:

Steve Levine represented Defense Attorney Mark Geragos after the Santa Barbara District Attorney's Office subpoenaed his attorney-client documents generated during his representation of Michael Jackson.

Steve Levine prepared a motion to quash, and argued to the court that the subpoena was overbroad, requested privileged material, and was unlawful. After argument, the court agreed and pared down the subpoena. No privileged documents were turned over to the prosecution, and the People rested their case. Michael Jackson was thereafter acquitted.

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People v. Phil Spector:

Steve Levine represented Defense Attorney Robert Shapiro when the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office attempted to subpoena him to testify as to an item of evidence, a fingernail, that allegedly turned up missing after the defense team searched Phil Spector's home after the crime scene was released by law enforcement. After a hearing in Judge Fidler's chambers, it was decided that Robert Shapiro would not testify.

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Crude Oil Theft Case:

Case involves theft of a half-million dollars worth oil from California processing facility. Steve Levine, acting as legal counsel for the facility owner where the stolen crude oil ended up being located by authorities, was able to keep charges from being filed against his clientc. As noted in the video, Steve Levine released a statement indicating that his client 'has cooperated in the investigation and has denied any wrongdoing.'

Steve Levine represented crude oil processing plant owner where stolen crude ended up for processing.

Video Report as seen on KGET News

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People v. Joe Francis:

In 2011, Francis was charged with three misdemeanor counts of false imprisonment, one count of assault causing great bodily injury, and one count of dissuading a witness. Remarks made by Francis in a May 22, 2013 interview with the Hollywood Reporter led to some controversy. A juror who sat on the case sent a letter to Gawker about the comments made by Francis suggesting the jury was 'retarded' and 'should be shot dead'.

 

Report on the Joe Francis 'Girls Gone Wild' case with coverage of courtroom, comments by Francis and other events.

Video Report as seen on KCBS News

 

Steve Levine interviewed on Fox11 about the Joe Francis case & circumstances of legal hurdles faced by celebrities in courtroom.

Video Report as seen on KTTV's Good Day LA

 

Click here to read more about the controversy >>>

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People v. David Boysen:

In 2006, David Boysen was charged with murdering his parents, on Easter morning in 1982, 24 years earlier. There was no physical or forensic evidence linking him to the crime, just statements from his ex-wife and sister. Now remarried, he has steadfastly maintained his innocence. Steve Levine argued to the trial court that his due process right to a fair trial was compromised because alibi witnesses had died and exonerating evidence had disappeared. Steve prepared a 75-page motion to the trial court. After a three-day hearing, the case was dismissed. The San Diego County District Attorney's Office appealed, and Steve Levine represented David Boysen before The Court of Appeal, and the dismissal was upheld. The People again appealed and the case was accepted for review by the California Supreme Court. Steve Levine again prevailed as the Supreme Court ruled in David Boysen's favor.

Click here to read more about the case >>>

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People v. DeWitt:

Client, female (see video) was charged with battery stemming from an incident made famous on youtube.com, wherein she lightly "bipped" the victim on the back of the head with some papers during a City Council meeting, and the victim fell to the floor in mock agony. Client was charged with civil contempt for walking near the victim during a scheduled court appearance. Steve Levine argued the contempt motion, and the contempt was later dismissed.

Steve Levine represented woman who was accused of a attacking another at a Carson City Council meeting, but the attack was caught on video revealing the true circumstance of the events as they occurred.

People v. DeWitt case seen on YouTube

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People v. Hernandez:

Client shot a man six times in a crowded Target parking lot. Client was with his wife and child, and the victim was with his daughter. Victim survived. Client faced charges carrying a term of 35 years-to-life. The offer by the People was 29 years. Steve Levine convinced the jury that the shooting was in the "heat of passion," and the jury agreed. Client received 18 years, which Steve Levine was able to reduce to 10 years based on a motion he wrote after the California sentencing laws changed, in the wake of the United States Supreme Court's Cunningham decision.

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People v. Gzoyan:

Client, a father, and his son were charged with murder after the son shot and killed his sister's ex-boyfriend in broad daylight. Both fled the murder scene after the shooting. Boyfriend was stalking the sister. Steve Levine convinced the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office to dismiss the murder charge against the father and let him plead to charge of accessory after the fact.

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People v. Martinez:

Client and wife were suspected of committing federal mortgage fraud. Client talked to the FBI without counsel, and withheld information. At the time, he was not a citizen. Steve Levine was able to convince the the U.S. Attorney's Office to continue the case for over one year, during which time client obtained citizenship. Steve Levine also convinced the federal prosecutors to drop charges against the wife, and drop the mortgage fraud charges. Client eventually pleaded no contest to lying to a federal agent and received 40 hours of community service.

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People v. Genislow:

The client, a 69-year-old woman, tried to burn down her condominium while her 10-year-old daughter was inside. She was charged with arson and attempted murder. Steve Levine worked out a disposition in which she received probation and mandatory court ordered counseling.

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People v. Wallace:

Client, an attorney, was charged with 25 counts of insurance fraud, stemming from a "capping" scheme, in which accidents were staged, and monies collected. The cases were old, lacked proof, and were filed just before the statute of limitations expired. The case was then further delayed for a year, during which time the statute of limitations expired. Just before the preliminary hearing, Steve Levine filed a motion to dismiss for violation of the statute of limitations because the documents in support of the probable cause finding (which tolled the statute) were missing from the court file, making it impossible to review that finding. The trial court agreed and all 25 counts were dismissed.

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People v. Babaali:

Client, a doctor, was convicted of felony sexual battery because he performed an allegedly unauthorized breast exam on a female employee. The statute, however, did not fit the crime, and Steve Levine filed a 27-page motion for acquittal. The trial court agreed and the felony convictions were dismissed.

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People v. Coffee:

Client was charged with drug possession after Garden Grove police officers entered his camper without permission and found a small quantity of drugs inside. Steve Levine filed a motion to suppress based on the illegal entry. Thereafter, the Orange County District Attorney's Office agreed to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor.

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People v. Turner:

Steve Levine obtained a reversal on appeal after Mr. Turner was convicted of residential burglary on the grounds that the trial court improperly excluded a 911 call from the victim, which could have proved his innocence.

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"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it ..."

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