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Author of the Art ofThe Perfect DefenseYour essential guide to Criminal Defense in Los Angeles

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One of the Highest Rated Lawyers in AVVO View Profile at AVVO

The story behind one of the longest running criminal defense law firms in Los Angeles county…

I began my legal mission to become the best criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles over 25 years ago. Immediately upon passing the California bar exam I opened up my own private criminal defense practice. I had the background of working for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (which gave me an idea from the prosecutor’s side of how they investigated and prosecuted cases). At that time, in the early 1990’s Ira Reiner lost the position of District Attorney of Los Angeles County to Gil Garcetti, whose son is now the Mayor of Los Angeles. It was interesting to see the political upheaval that followed when Mr. Garcetti took office and the lead up to Ira Reiner’s defeat. I also worked for a Los Angeles Superior Court judge as his research attorney in 1992 (which gave me a great prospective on how a judge decides a case and what will really matter to them in making their decisions. I basically strategized with the judge before he made his legal rulings. This behind the scenes look at the inner workings of the DA’s Office and the process of how a judge decides cases has served me well since the first time that I appeared in court to present day.

I entered the practice of criminal defense with an eye towards how I could become the best. I took every case I could get my hands on and did not really care how much the client paid me…I just wanted the experience and the opportunity to truly test my skills. If the client wanted to go to trial, I reveled in the chance to destroy the prosecutor’s case and win for my clients. Over the years I have litigated many serious murder cases, complex federal crimes and just about every case you can imagine. I have represented people from every walk of life, doctors, lawyers, police officers, actors, athletes, the list goes on and on. Because I was a top level debater in college and law school I have had a huge advantage over the prosecutors and racked up many impressive wins. Today, I still love what I do and enjoy the battle of a great trial. If you want to read more of my story, please pick up a copy of my book…”The Art of the Perfect Defense.” It is my effort to help someone that is in trouble and looking for answers to their questions.

The practice of criminal defense and specifically sex crime defense in Los Angeles has many different elements to it. Some cases must be litigated to the fullest extent to give your client the justice they deserve, while others must be negotiated in a political landscape that can be quite treacherous for the faint of heart attorneys that do not have the battle tested experience to properly defend their clients for a sex crime case in Los Angeles County. Many times the prosecutor that you are dealing with does not have the authority to settle a case, and the defense attorney must know who to talk to in order to achieve a fair resolution for their client. There are so many different facets of a sex crime case, that you are best served by meeting face to face with the attorney you are considering hiring and coming with a list of questions that get down to what you are going to need to know in order to choose someone that will protect your rights, freedom and reputation.

A.V. Peer review rated. Top 5% of attorneys in the nation.

Mr. Hedding & Mr. Kessel have handled Federal Matters all over the nation.

Only Attorney to have his client pardoned by a sitting U.S. President.

Handled numerous high profile cases which have garnered national media attention.

What should you do if you find out you are the subject of a Federal Investigation?

One mistake that I see people making time and time again, is not acting when they realize that the feds are investigating them. This can have ramifications that will affect them the rest of their lives! By consulting with and hiring a seasoned federal criminal defense attorney, many times a case can be dealt with in a manner that puts a person in the best possible position to avoid federal custody time and forever having a mark on their personal record. Attorneys that are well versed in dealing with the federal government know the steps to take to preserve your rights, protect your reputation and assist you in a federal case with the least damage possible.

If you have a federal investigation hanging over you head, then you should immediately set up an appointment with an attorney that has traveled the road you are about to take. When someone meets with me to consult on a federal case, I always tell them that anything that we discuss is confidential and even if they do not hire me, I can not and will not reveal any of the information we discuss…ever! This gives a person, that is the subject or target of a criminal investigation, the peace of mind in knowing that they can speak freely and I am there to help them get a handle on what they are facing and to begin the process of protecting themselves and making smart decisions in their best interests!

What should you do if you find out you are the subject of a Federal Investigation?

Starting for the beginning point of a federal criminal case, this is called the investigative phase, the federal agents (FBI, Homeland Security, DEA, ICE etc.) will gather information to be presented to the federal prosecutors. As part of this investigative or pre-filing process the federal agents will typically conduct surveillance, talk to witnesses, use informants, obtain search warrants and do whatever they deem necessary to fully investigate a case. Once they believe that they have fully figured out the target person’s role in the criminal conduct, they will then take the case to the United State’s Attorney’s Office to be filed against a particular person. The AUSA’s (Assistant United State’s Attorney’s) will then decide what the next move will be. Sometimes they tell the government agents to do more investigation and tell them specifically what they want done. Other times, if the person being investigated has an attorney, the prosecutors will call that attorney directly and discuss the case with them. Another option is to simply file an Indictment against the person and tell the agents to go and arrest them.

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