Saffari Law Group

Have you been ARRESTED or contacted by the Police, a Detective, FBI, or CPS?

Results

Trial Tested and Client Trusted.

Criminal Defense Results

I have been fighting for the rights and freedoms of others for over 18 years.  I work tirelessly to see that each of my clients is given their day in court.

Ninaz Saffari Signature
Ninaz Saffari

Senior Lawyer

Investigation of A.R.  – San Diego Police Department — May 2024)

Facts:

Client and his wife engaged in a heated argument that turned physical with both assaulting the other. He allegedly attempted to strangle her and prevented her from using her cell phone to call police, thereby forcing her to flee the home. She went to a friend’s house then called S.D.P.D.

As a result, Client was arrested on suspicion of the following felonies;

Assault by Means Likely to Produce Great Bodily Injury (GBI), f.k.a. Aggravated Assault (California Penal Code section 245(a)(4) P.C.); and

Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (California Penal Code section 273.5(a) P.C.).

Potential Maximum Sentence:

Five years in prison for 273.5(a) P.C., which could also have included a sentencing enhancement as a Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a) & (b) P.C.; “Violent Felonies”: California Penal Code section 667.5(c) P.C.; “Serious Felonies”: California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) P.C.).

Four years in prison for 245(a)(4) P.C. plus possible Strike enhancement.

See also California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 875 (“Assault with Deadly Weapon or Force Likely to Produce Great Bodily Injury — Pen. Code §§ 240, 245(a)(1)-(4), (b)”); and

CALCRIM Number 840 (“Inflicting Injury on Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent Resulting in Traumatic Condition — Pen. Code § 273.5(a)”)

The Process:

Client’s wife told police she believed he intended to do her serious harm and that she feared for her life. Therefore, he was lucky the investigating detective did not recommend he be charged with “Second-Degree” Attempted Murder (California Penal Code section 664 P.C. & California Penal Code section 187(a) P.C.). Notwithstanding, Client could still have been charged with Attempted Murder, which carries a possible life sentence.

To further bolster her case, the wife immediately obtained both a criminal Emergency Protective Order (EPO) (California Family Code section 6251 F.C.), as well as a civil Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) (California Code of Civil Procedure section 527.6 P.C.).

Fortunately, Client was wise enough to have someone photograph the injuries he had sustained from the wife. After retaining The Saffari Law Group (SLG), Ninaz Saffari immediately contacted the detective, explained that Client had only been defending himself, and submitted the time-stamped photograph.

At that point, however, the detective had already submitted the file to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office for felony prosecution. But before formal charges were filed, the DA’s Office reviewed Ninaz’s statement and photo.

Result:

The DA’s Office officially rejected the file and thereby declined to file charges (including for any misdemeanors).

Juvenile Facing 8 Years in CYA  for Allegedly Assaulting & Robbing Rival Gang Member; Result: Plea Reduction to Misdemeanor, Record Sealed, No Jail Time

In re A.D. (Eastlake Juvenile Court — East L.A.) (May 2024)

Facts:

Client, an alleged gang member, was 17 years old when he was arrested by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) on suspicion for attacking, beating up, and robbing a rival gang member on behalf of his own alleged gang.

As a result, he was prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office).

Charges:

Client was charged with the following felony:

Robbery (California Penal Code section 211 P.C.), charged as a Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a) & (b) P.C.; “Violent Felonies”: California Penal Code section 667.5(c) P.C.; “Serious Felonies”: California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) P.C.).

Unfortunately, while the case was pending, Client was arrested in another incident that resulted in him being charged with the following misdemeanors:

Vandalism (California Penal Code section 594(a) P.C.); and

Petty Theft (California Penal Code section 484 P.C.; California Penal Code section 486 P.C.; California Penal Code section 490.2 P.C.).

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 1600 (“Robbery — Pen. Code § 211”);

CALCRIM No. 2900 (“Vandalism — Pen. Code § 594”); and

CALCRIM Number 1801 (“Grand and Petty Theft — Pen. Code §§ 486, 487–488, 490.2, 491”).

Maximum Sentence:

If convicted of the Robbery-Strike, Client likely would have been incarcerated in a California Division of Juvenile Justice (f/k/a California Youth Authority) facility until age 25.

The Process:

Fortunately, Ninaz Saffari has extensive experience in representing minors in juvenile criminal cases, including while she worked for four years as a Deputy Public Defender for the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office, including a full year working at the Inglewood Juvenile Court.

Nevertheless, because of the serious nature of the felony, as well as Client’s subsequent arrest, Ninaz had to fight extra hard for more than six months.

Result:

Ninaz was able to get all the charges dismissed in consideration for Client pleading to Assault by Means Likely to Produce Great Bodily Injury (GBI)/Aggravated Assault (California Penal Code section 245(a)(4) P.C.), a non-Strike felony.

However, because this is a “Wobbler” offense (California Penal Code section 17(b) P.C.), after one year, the felony will be reduced to a misdemeanor, and Client’s juvenile record will be sealed.

Otherwise, Client did not have to spend a single day in a detention center as a result of his plea.

Client Facing 2 Life Sentences + 41 Years for Disemboweling His Wife with a Knife/Attempted Murder; Overwhelming Evidence; Result: Out of Prison in 6.5 Years

People v. S.P. (Orange County Superior Court – Central Justice Center (Santa Ana) (April 2024)

Facts:

Client had a long history of chronic drug abuse and domestic violence that ultimately resulted in him physically and emotionally abusing his wife over a three-day period. This weekend ended with him stabbing her in the stomach, thereby disemboweling her in front of their three minor children. Then, when his wife tried to escape their home, he physically assaulted her and otherwise prevented her from leaving. Fortunately, she survived.

As a result, he was arrested by the Orange Police Department, and prosecuted by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Charges:

Client was charged with the following felonies:

Deliberate and Premeditated Attempted Murder (“First-Degree Attempted Murder”) (California Penal Code section 664 P.C. & California Penal Code section 187(a) P.C.);

Aggravated Mayhem (California Penal Code section 205 P.C.);

Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW)
(California Penal Code section 245(a)(1) P.C.) with a Strike enhancement for Great Bodily Injury (GBI). See (California Penal Code section 667(a) & (b) P.C.; “Violent Felonies”: California Penal Code section 667.5(c) P.C.; “Serious Felonies”: California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) P.C.);

2 counts of Making a Criminal Threat (a.k.a. Criminal Threat) (California Penal Code section 422 P.C.) – both Strikes;

Intimidating/Dissuading a Witness or Victim (California Penal Code section 136.1 P.C.) – Strike offense;

Corporal Injury to Spouse (273.5(a) P.C.);

4 counts of Child Endangerment (California Penal Code section 273a P.C.); and

False Imprisonment (California Penal Code section 236 P.C.).

Finally, Client was charged with the following misdemeanor:

Simple Domestic Battery (California Penal Code section 243(e)(1) P.C.).

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 601 (“Attempted Murder: Deliberation and Premeditation — Pen. Code §§ 21a, 189, 664(a)”);

CALCRIM Number 800 (“Aggravated Mayhem — Pen. Code § 205”);

“Assault with Deadly Weapon or Force Likely to Produce Great Bodily Injury — Pen. Code §§ 240, 245(a)(1)-(4), (b)”: CALCRIM Number 875 ;

“Criminal Threat — Pen. Code § 422”: CALCRIM Number 1300;

CALCRIM No. 2622 (“Intimidating a Witness (Pen. Code § 136.1(a) & (b)”);

CALCRIM Number 840 (“Inflicting Injury on Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent Resulting in Traumatic Condition — Pen. Code § 273.5(a)”);

CALCRIM Number 821 (“Child Abuse Likely to Produce Great Bodily Harm or Death (Pen. Code § 273a(a)”);

CALCRIM No. 1240 (“Felony False Imprisonment — Pen. Code §§ 236, 237”); and

CALCRIM Number 841 (“Simple Battery: Against Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent — Pen. Code § 243(e)(1)”).

Maximum Sentence:

Life in prison with the possibility of parole for the Attempted Murder and Aggravated Mayhem counts (two life terms); four years in prison for ADW (not counting the Strike enhancement); six years in prison for the two Criminal Threats counts (excluding Strike enhancements); four years in jail or prison for Dissuading a Witness (excluding Strike enhancement); five years in prison plus Strike for Corporal Injury; 24 years for the Child Endangerment counts; three years in the Orange County Central Men’s Jail for False Imprisonment; and one year in the Orange County Central Men’s Jail for the misdemeanor Domestic Violence charge; and one year in jail for the misdemeanor Domestic Violence charge.

The Process:

Client had initially been represented by first one private attorney and then another – both who bungled the job, and the second who was suspended by the State Bar of California. Fortunately, Client’s mother found and retained Ninaz Saffari of the Saffari Law Group.

In the two years she represented Client, Ninaz literally did everything a criminal defense attorney could do to achieve the ultimate result. No less than four separate Deputy District Attorneys cycled through the case, with the first three refusing to make any offers at all and insisting on life in prison. So, too, did the victim, who appeared at most of the hearings.

For example, Ninaz filed two separate Motions for Mental Health Diversion (California Penal Code section 1001.36 P.C.), which, based on the severity of the wife’s injuries, were both denied by the judge. She also put together a substantial mitigation package in an attempt to show the Deputy DA and the judge that Client had been suffering from severe mental health problems at the time of the incident.

Orange County courts are notoriously hard on defendants, and their prosecutors rarely make favorable offers. And on those rare occasions they do, they require the defendant to “plead to the sheet” (i.e., plead guilty to literally every single charge in consideration for a lesser sentence). That’s why Ninaz’s ultimate result was almost unheard of.

The fact that Client had previously been convicted of the following offenses certainly did not make Ninaz’s job easier:

Being Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance (California Health and Safety Code section 11550 H.S.C.) – misdemeanor;

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (California Health and Safety Code section 11364 H.S.C.) – misdemeanor;

Simple Assault (California Penal Code section 240 P.C.) – misdemeanor;

Possession of Methamphetamine (California Health and Safety Code section 11377 H.S.C.) – misdemeanor;

Violating a Protective Order (California Penal Code section 273.6(a) P.C.) – misdemeanor;

misdemeanor Vandalism (California Penal Code section 594(a) P.C.);

Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (California Penal Code section 273.5(a) P.C.) – misdemeanor; and

Resisting Arrest, a.k.a. Resisting, Delaying, or Obstructing a Public Officer, Peace Officer, or Emergency Medical Technician (California Penal Code section 148(a)(1) P.C.) – misdemeanor.

Specifically, a fourth D.D.A. was finally assigned to the case, and on the first day of the preliminary hearing, his supervisor finally caved in and made an offer that was so incredible, Ninaz had to maintain a poker face to hide her amazement.

Result:

Final plea resulted in a dismissal of the Mayhem charge and reduction of the four felony Child Endangerment offenses to misdemeanors, with a total a sentence of only 14 years in prison. However, Client received 4.3 years’ credit for time in custody awaiting trial plus good-behavior credits. This resulted in a balance of 9.7 years. However, with good-time credits reducing his sentence by one-third, Client can be released in as little as six-and-a-half years.

 

Client Facing Three Years in Jail & Sex Registration for Misdemeanor Sexual Battery; Overwhelming Evidence; Result: Civil Compromise, No Jail, Case Dismissed
People v. A.H. (San Francisco County Hall of Justice — August 2023)
Facts:
Client, the accuser, and mutual friends went clubbing in San Francisco. Everyone drank heavily that night, then all went to sleep at a local hotel. In one room, the accuser and a friend slept in one bed and Client slept in another. Client allegedly fondled her on three separate occasions that night against her will.
The accuser went to the police, who monitored and recorded a “pretext call” between the accuser and Client wherein the latter made numerous incriminating statements. In addition, Client texted the accuser numerous incriminating messages.
As a result, he was arrested by the San Francisco Police Department.
Charges:
 with the following misdemeanor:
Sexual Battery, a.k.a. Touching Intimate Part of Another
 (California Penal Code section 243.4(e)(1) P.C.) (three counts against the same accuser).
See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 938 (“Sexual Battery: Misdemeanor — Pen. Code § 243.4(e)(1)”).
Maximum Sentence:
Three years in the county jail (one year for each count); ten years’ sex registration — Sex Offender Registration (California Penal Code section 290 P.C.); and public disclosure on Megan’s Law website.
The Process:
After extensive negotiations with the DA’s Office, Ninaz was finally able to work out a civil compromise, wherein Client paid the accuser a certain sum of money in consideration for her dropping her complaint.
Result:Case Dismissed

Charges:

Client was therefore charged by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office with three felony counts of:

Engaging in Oral Copulation or Sexual Penetration with Child 10 Years of Age or Younger (California Penal Code section 288.7(b) P.C.).

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 1128 (“Engaging in Oral Copulation or Sexual Penetration with Child 10 Years of Age or Younger — Pen. Code § 288.7(b)”); and

CALCRIM Number 1127 (“Engaging in Sexual Intercourse or Sodomy with Child 10 Years of Age or Younger — Pen. Code § 288.7(a)”).

Maximum Sentence:

Life in prison.

The Process:

This was a brutal and exhausting case, spanning two-and-a-half years – all while Client was denied bail and sat in the Santa Clara County Main Jail awaiting trial.

The Client, who was adamant that he was innocent, refused to take any deal so Ninaz pushed it all the way to the first day of trial. However, during jury selection, the judge pressured the prosecutor to make an unbelievable offer – something that was virtually unheard of in Santa Clara County, which has very conservative judges and juries.

Result:

Client plead no contest (i.e., without admitting guilt) to a single felony count of:

Lewd or Lascivious Acts on a Child Under Age 14 Using Duress (California Penal Code section 288(b)(1) P.C.).

See also CALCRIM Number 1111 (“Lewd or Lascivious Act: By Force or Fear — Pen. Code § 288(b)(1)”).

He received a five-year sentence; however, with the time spent in jail awaiting trial plus good-time credits, Client will be out in 12 months.

 

People v. E.C. (Orange County Superior Court – West Justice Center

 — August 2023)

Facts:

Client allegedly shoplifted almost $4,000 worth of clothing from Nordstrom’s. She was/is a licensed Customs Broker with the Department of Homeland Security and, therefore, stood to lose her license and career (not to mention her freedom).

Charges:

As a result, Client was charged by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office with the following felony:

Grand Theft (California Penal Code section 487(a) P.C.)

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 1801 (“Grand and Petty Theft — Pen. Code §§ 486, 487–488, 490.2, 491”).

Maximum Sentence:

3 years in the Women’s Central Jail – Orange County. Plus loss of license.

The Process:

Ninaz fought this case as hard she could for nine months. Fortunately, she was able to have Client released on O.R. (her own recognizance) without having to pay for a bail bond.

Orange County criminal courts are notoriously difficult on defendants, and their prosecutors virtually never make offers for lesser charges or offer any type of diversion program.

Notwithstanding, she was ultimately able to convince the Assistant D.A. to reduce the felony charge to a misdemeanor because Grand Theft is a “Wobbler” offense (California Penal Code section 17(b) P.C.), which means that the prosecutor has the discretion to charge the offense as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

Ninaz was able to do so after preparing and submitting a mitigation package for Judicial Diversion (Court-Initiated Diversion) (California Penal Code section 1001.95 P.C.).

Result:

Even better, the judge agreed to give Client Informal Diversion (California Penal Code section 1001.94 P.C.; California Penal Code section 1001.95 P.C.) – an almost unheard of result in Orange County.

Specifically, after one year, following completion of community service and a Course For Theft Awareness Program, Client’s misdemeanor conviction would be expunged (per California Penal Code section 1203.4 P.C.), and the entire case dismissed. Not a single day in jail and she kept her license and career.

Federal Criminal Investigation of X.Z. (U.S. Attorney’s Office — Central District of California — February 2024)

Facts:

Client was about to be arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for allegedly participating in an international money laundering operation connected to a Mexican drug cartel. Fortunately, as soon as he learned that the FBI wanted to interview him (to gather incriminating evidence), Client lawyered up with the Saffari Law Group (SLG).

Potential Charges:

Conspiracy (18 U.S.C. § 371) – 5 years

Laundering of Monetary Instruments (18 U.S.C. § 1956) – 20 years

Operating an Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business (18 U.S.C. § 1960) – 5 years

Attempt to Evade or Defeat Tax (26 U.S. Code § 7201) – 5 years

Fraud and False Statements (26 U.S. Code § 7206) – 3 years

See United States Sentencing Guidelines (U.S.S.G.)

Potential Maximum Sentence:

Thirty-eight years in federal prison.

The Process:

Ninaz Saffari of the SLG spent the better part of a year trying to convince the federal prosecutors that Client was innocent – i.e., he had unwittingly participated in the scheme because his boss had lied to him about the origins of the laundered cash.

Result:

Ninaz obtained a written Non-Prosecution Agreement for Client.

People v. R.L. (LAX Airport Courthouse — August 2023)

Facts:

Client allegedly assaulted another man who standing in line to wait to use a public restroom at the beach, then drove away afterwards. The accuser’s wife followed Client to his car, then took a photo of its license plate, which is how the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) were able to track him down. The accuser was treated at the scene by EMTs from the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

As a result, Client was arrested.

In fact, however, it was the accuser who had started the fight, forcing Client to defend himself.

Charges:

Client was charged by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office (CA’s Office) with the following misdemeanor:

Simple Battery, a.k.a. Battery Upon Another (California Penal Code section 242 P.C.).

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 960 (“Simple Battery — Pen. Code § 242”).

Maximum Sentence:

Six months in the Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail.

The Process:

Although only charged with a misdemeanor, Ninaz Saffari had to fight particularly hard on this case because of the Client’s extensive criminal record, which included the following previous arrests:

First-Time DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23152(a) V.C.);

DUI — Operating a Vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.08% or Higher (Vehicle Code section 23152(b) V.C.) (convicted);

Evading an Officer in a Vehicle (California Vehicle Code section 2800.2 V.C.) (convicted); and

Resisting Arrest, a.k.a. Resisting, Delaying, or Obstructing a Public Officer, Peace Officer, or Emergency Medical Technician (California Penal Code section 148(a)(1) P.C.).

Nevertheless, they were also only misdemeanor offenses and, as Ninaz argued, he had not been arrested in more than 24 years.

In any event, Ninaz filed a Motion for Judicial Diversion (Court-Initiated Diversion) (California Penal Code section 1001.95 P.C.), which was granted.

Result:

Client received 180 days’ Diversion; no incarceration or jail; two-dozen therapy sessions; 21 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, etc. Once all that is done, Client will have his record wiped clean.

FEDERAL Pre-File: Client Facing 38 Years in Prison for Allegedly Laundering Drug Money for a Mexican Cartel; Result: Non-Prosecution Agreement; No Jail Time

 

Federal Criminal Investigation of X.Z. (U.S. Attorney’s Office — Central District of California — February 2024)

 

Facts:

 

Client was about to be arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for allegedly participating in an international money laundering operation connected to a Mexican drug cartel. Fortunately, as soon as he learned that the FBI wanted to interview him (to gather incriminating evidence), Client lawyered up with the Saffari Law Group (SLG).

 

Potential Charges:

 

Conspiracy (18 U.S.C. § 371) – 5 years

Laundering of Monetary Instruments (18 U.S.C. § 1956) – 20 years

 

Operating an Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business (18 U.S.C. § 1960) – 5 years

 

Attempt to Evade or Defeat Tax (26 U.S. Code § 7201) – 5 years

 

Fraud and False Statements (26 U.S. Code § 7206) – 3 years

 

See United States Sentencing Guidelines (U.S.S.G.)

 

Potential Maximum Sentence:

Thirty-eight years in federal prison.

 

The Process:

 

Ninaz Saffari of the SLG spent the better part of a year trying to convince the federal prosecutors that Client was innocent – i.e., he had unwittingly participated in the scheme because his boss had lied to him about the origins of the laundered cash.

 

Result:

 

Ninaz obtained a written Non-Prosecution Agreement for Client.

Client Facing Six Month in Jail for Simple Battery; Result: Diversion, No Jail, Case Dismissed

 

People v. R.L. (LAX Airport Courthouse — August 2023)

Facts:

Client allegedly assaulted another man who standing in line to wait to use a public restroom at the beach, then drove away afterwards. The accuser’s wife followed Client to his car, then took a photo of its license plate, which is how the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) were able to track him down. The accuser was treated at the scene by EMTs from the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

As a result, Client was arrested.

In fact, however, it was the accuser who had started the fight, forcing Client to defend himself.

Charges:

Client was charged by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office (CA’s Office) with the following misdemeanor:

Simple Battery, a.k.a. Battery Upon Another (California Penal Code section 242 P.C.).

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 960 (“Simple Battery — Pen. Code § 242”).

Maximum Sentence:

Six months in the Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail.

The Process:

Although only charged with a misdemeanor, Ninaz Saffari had to fight particularly hard on this case because of the Client’s extensive criminal record, which included the following previous arrests:

First-Time DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23152(a) V.C.);

DUI — Operating a Vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.08% or Higher (Vehicle Code section 23152(b) V.C.) (convicted);

Evading an Officer in a Vehicle (California Vehicle Code section 2800.2 V.C.) (convicted); and

Resisting Arrest, a.k.a. Resisting, Delaying, or Obstructing a Public Officer, Peace Officer, or Emergency Medical Technician (California Penal Code section 148(a)(1) P.C.).

Nevertheless, they were also only misdemeanor offenses and, as Ninaz argued, he had not been arrested in more than 24 years.

In any event, Ninaz filed a Motion for Judicial Diversion (Court-Initiated Diversion) (California Penal Code section 1001.95 P.C.), which was granted.

Result:

Client received 180 days’ Diversion; no incarceration or jail; two-dozen therapy sessions; 21 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, etc. Once all that is done, Client will have his record wiped clean.

People v. M.C. (LAX Airport Courthouse – March 2021)

Facts:

Client, a landlord of an apartment building in Santa Monica, was accused by one of his tenants of breaking into her apartment while she away, stealing her laptop, and then illegally changing the locks on the front door.

Charges:

As a result, Client was prosecuted by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office (CA’s Office) for the following six misdemeanor counts:

Theft (in general) (California Penal Code section 484(a) P.C.) (4 counts);

Tenant Lockout (California Penal Code section 451 P.C.); and

Tenant Harassment (Santa Monica Municipal Code section 4.56.020(l)).

Potential Maximum Sentence:

2 years in county jail.

See also California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 1800 (“Theft by Larceny — Pen. Code § 484”);

CALCRIM Number 1801 (“Grand and Petty Theft — Pen. Code §§ 486, 487–488, 490.2, 491”);

CALCRIM Number 1804 (“Theft by False Pretense — Pen. Code § 484”);

CALCRIM Number 1805 (“Theft by Trick — Pen. Code § 484”); and

CALCRIM Number 1806 (“Theft by Embezzlement — Pen. Code §§ 484, 503”).

However, Client was on federal probation at the time of his arrest for the following federal felony conviction:

Wire Fraud (Fraud by Wire) (18 U.S. Code § 1343).

Therefore, even a misdemeanor conviction would have likely resulted in him being sentenced to five years in federal prison pursuant to the United States Sentencing Guidelines (U.S.S.G.).

The Process:

Client immediately hired Ninaz Saffari after he was charged. She, in turn, immediately got to work – specifically, she commenced an in-depth and comprehensive investigation and prepared a voluminous exculpatory package that she then provided to the assigned Deputy CA.

Result:

Even after the filing of formal charges, after reviewing Ninaz’s evidentiary package, the prosecutor dismissed all charges. No probation violation ensured.

Investigation of X.L. – Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office (CA’s Office) — February 2024)

Facts:

Client is a young female college student with a temporary education visa. Her live-in boyfriend at the time called the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) to report that she had attacked him. As a result, she was arrested on the following misdemeanor:

Simple Domestic Battery (California Penal Code section 243(e)(1) P.C.).

Potential Maximum Sentence:

One year in county jail, plus immediate deportation upon release (loss of potential permanent residency status).

See also California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 841 (“Simple Battery: Against Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent — Pen. Code § 243(e)(1)”); and

CALCRIM Number 852A (“Evidence of Uncharged Domestic Violence”).

The Process:

Client prudently retained the Saffari Law Group immediately after her arrest, but before the CA’s Office could file formal charges.

SLG’s Ninaz Saffari immediately reached out and began working with the assigned Deputy CA to convince them that prosecution was not merited in this situation.

Result:

CA’s Office ultimately declined to file charges. In addition, her arrest record will be cleared in as little as 12 months after the arrest pursuant to California Senate Bill CA SB731 (“Clean Slate Law” which entitles you to automatic arrest clearance and even convictions under certain circumstances and after 12 months; effective 07/01/23).

People v. J.P.C.C. (Criminal Courts Building (C.C.B.)/Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center – December 2023)

Facts:

Client was riding shotgun in his girlfriend’s vehicle when she ran a stop sign, thereby causing them to be pulled over by a patrol car from the West Covina Police Department.

Police searched the vehicle and found over one pound of marijuana plus almost $20,000 in cash. This occurred despite both Client and girlfriend refusing to provide consent to warrantless search.

Client denied he was on parole or probation, but when W.C.P.D. ran his driver’s license, they told him there was an arrest warrant out for him for a parole violation. This was true since Client had been previously convicted of the following felony:

Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (California Penal Code section 273.5(a) P.C.). Even worse, this had been charged as a Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a) & (b) P.C.; “Violent Felonies”: California Penal Code section 667.5(c) P.C.; “Serious Felonies”: California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) P.C.)

In addition, the officers forced Client to open his iPhone where they allegedly found evidence of identity and credit-card theft.

As a result, Client was arrested for the following:

Felony Identity Theft (California Penal Code section 530.5 P.C.);

Misdemeanor Possession for Sale of Cannabis (California Health and Safety Code section 11359 H.S.C.); and

Possession of a Forged or Fake Credit Card (California Penal Code section 484(g) P.C.).

Potential Maximum Sentence:

8 years in state prison plus 6 months in the Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail = 3 years in prison for Identity Theft; 6 months in county jail for the marijuana; 3 years in prison for Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card; plus 2 years in prison for the parole violation.

See also California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 2040 (“Unauthorized Use of Personal Identifying Information — Pen. Code § 530.5(a)”);

CALCRIM Number 2352 (“Possession for Sale of Cannabis — Health & Saf. Code § 11359”); and

CALCRIM Number 1956 (“Use of Forged, etc., Access Card — Pen. Code § 484g(a)”).

The Process:

Client hired the Saffari Law Group after his arrest, but before formal charges could be filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office)

SLG’s Managing Attorney, Ninaz Saffari, immediately contacted the detective assigned to the case. However, he had already transferred the case to the DA’s Office for prosecution.

She later provided him a package of exculpatory evidence.

She also eventually filed a Motion for Return of Seized Property (California Penal Code § 1536 P.C.), which the judge granted, thereby returning Client’s confiscated cash – all except $4,000 that the arresting police officers pocketed for themselves! Ninaz informed the police department of this fact for a possible Internal Affairs Division investigation.

Result:

Ninaz obtained an outstanding plea: a simple misdemeanor on the marijuana charge; no jail; informal probation with likelihood of Early Termination of Probation (California Penal Code section 1203.3 P.C.) followed by Expungement (California Penal Code section 1203.4 P.C.). And there was no parole violation.

People v. R.M. (Riverside County Superior Court — September 2023)

Facts:

Client got into an argument with his then-domestic partner, who refused to let him leave when he tried to do so. When he tried to squeeze past her, she squeezed his testicles with force, thereby injuring him and causing him to seek medical attention. He was also forced to defend himself when she attacked him, thereby resulting in visible injuries to her.

As a result, the girlfriend called the Murrieta Police Department who arrested Client on suspicion of having committed the following:

Potential Charges:

Felony Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (California Penal Code section 273.5(a) P.C.). In addition, Client could also have been charged with a Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a) & (b) P.C.; “Violent Felonies”: California Penal Code section 667.5(c) P.C.; “Serious Felonies”: California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) P.C.).

Potential Maximum Sentence:

Five years in state prison plus possible Strike enhancement.

See also California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 840 (“Inflicting Injury on Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent Resulting in Traumatic Condition — Pen. Code § 273.5(a)”).

The Process:

Ninaz Saffari submitted a mitigation/exculpation package to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, which convinced them to formally decline to file charges after the falsity of the accuser’s statements came to light.

Result:

Case dismissed.

Client Facing 30 Years in Prison plus Lifetime Sex Registration after Pleading Guilty to  Sexually Assaulting a Minor; Client Admitted All to Police; Result: 30 Days in Jail

 

State of Arizona v. K.M. (Pinal County Superior Court, Arizona — February 2024)

Facts:

Client, then age 15, allegedly raped a then-7-year-old girl over two days. Eight years later, the girl and her mother finally filed a police report in regard thereto. Unfortunately, Client (who is autistic and otherwise mentally challenged), admitted to doing so, including to forcing the girl to orally copulate him, when interviewed by a sex crimes detective from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona. As a result, Client was immediately arrested.

Charges:

Client was charged by the Pinal County District Attorney’s Office with the following felonies pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes:

Sexual Conduct with a Minor (ARS 13-1405(A));

Sexual Assault (ARS 13-1406(A));

 

Molestation of a Child (ARS 13-1410(A)); and

 

Sexual Conduct with a Minor (ARS 13-1405(A)).

The Process:

Ninaz Saffari fought this case for almost two years, after being admitted to temporarily practice on a Pro Hac Vice status. Client was already facing life in prison after admitting to the sexual abuse of the girl, who – along with her parents – pressed hard for serious prison time.

Ninaz worked with a forensic psychotherapist who conducted an extensive evaluation of Client, and confirmed that he suffered from various mental issues, including autism, that significantly contributed to the charged offenses. Ninaz provided his three reports to the Pinal County Probation Department.

In addition, Ninaz argued vociferously that Client had been a mentally-challenged minor at the time, and readily accepted complete responsibility for his actions when interviewed by police.

She also argued that but for the delayed reporting (by eight years), Client would have been sentenced as a juvenile, and that since the incident, he had no contact with law enforcement whatsoever, much less any convictions, and much less related to any sexual offenses.

Ninaz also had Client voluntarily enroll in a sex-offender, in-patient therapy program.

Client ultimately pled guilty to two counts of Attempted Molestation of a Child (13-1410A). Nevertheless, he was still facing 15 years in prison for each count – to run consecutively (or 30 years total)

 

Result:

Based largely on the Sentencing Memorandum, she prepared, Client was sentenced to the following (which even the prosecutor acknowledged was an extraordinary result):

Only 30 days in the Pinal County Jail; “lifetime” probation pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-719, but with the opportunity to have it terminated early after only five years, as well as his Arizona Sex Offender Registration.

FEDERAL Pre-File: Client-Mortgage Broker Facing 25 Years in Federal Prison for Alleged Nationwide Fraud Ring; Result: No Charges Filed

 

Federal Criminal Investigation of J.D. (United States Attorney’s Office – District of Massachusetts — March 2023)

 

Facts:

 

Client was on the verge of being arrested and prosecuted along with several dozen of his alleged co-conspirators for participating in a nationwide mortgage-fraud ring/racketeering conspiracy.

 

Potential Charges:

 

Literally all of Client’s alleged co-conspirators were in fact charged and prosecuted for the following federal felony offenses:

Conspiracy to Defraud the United States (18 U.S.C. § 371)

Wire Fraud (Fraud by Wire) (18 U.S. Code § 1343)

Honest Services Fraud (18 U.S. Code § 1346)

Obstruction of Criminal Investigations (18 U.S. Code § 1510)

Money Laundering (Laundering of Monetary Instruments) (18 U.S.C. § 1956)

Potential Maximum Sentence:

25 years in federal prison.

 

The Process:

 

Client received notification that a Special Agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

was looking for him and wanted to interview him. Fortunately, Client immediately lawyered up with Ninaz Saffari, who spent the better part of a year convincing the federal prosecutors that the wire-tap evidence they had was weak and could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury that Client had even implicitly or tacitly agreed to any conspiracy, or that he had committed any other crimes. This process entailed multiple trips to Boston to meet with these prosecutors.

Result:

Case closed with no charges filed; verbal non-prosecution agreement reached.

Client Facing Eight Years in Prison for Hit-and-Run DUI Causing Injury with BAC Above .20%; Result: Misdemeanor Plea, No Jail, Conviction to be Expunged in 18 Months

 

People v. B.R. (Harbor Justice Center Newport Beach — September 2023)

 

Facts:

 

Client allegedly drove while highly intoxicated (alcohol), made a wide right turn, swerved into oncoming traffic, injured two people who were each riding electric bicycle-scooters, then drove away from the scene of the accident.

 

As a result, he was arrested by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department after allegedly failing a Field Sobriety Test (FST), and after being transferred to the Orange County Central Men’s Jail.


At the jail, Client provided two breath samples that produced BAC results of .237% and .234%.

 

In fact, however, Client had not tried to flee, but only drove around the corner to park safely in the first available space.

 

Charges:

 

Client was charged by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office with the following felonies:

 

 

In addition, Client was charged with the following sentencing enhancement as the first two felony counts:

 

Driving with BAC of .20% or Higher (California Vehicle Code section 23538(b)(2) V.C.).

 

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 2100 (“Driving a Vehicle or Operating a Vessel Under the Influence Causing Injury — Veh. Code § 23153(a), (f), (g)”); and

 

CALCRIM Number 2101 (“Driving with 0.08 Percent Blood Alcohol Causing Injury — Veh. Code § 23153(b).

 

Maximum Sentence:

Four years in state prison for 23153(a) V.C./23153(b) V.C., plus another four years for 20001(a) V.C., plus a 9-month Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Program (instead of typical 90 days) for 23538(b)(2) V.C.

In addition, Client was a Registered Nurse and, therefore, stood to lose his license and career.

 

The Process:

 

SLG’s Managing Attorney, Ninaz Saffari, fought this case tooth-and-nail for at least 12 months, going to at least 15 court hearings, and speaking to literally ten different prosecutors. Finally, after she set the case for preliminary hearing, she was able to get it resolved.

 

Result:

Client pled out to a single misdemeanor — First-Time DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23152(a) V.C.) with dismissal of the hit & run and all other charges/enhancements; no jail, 9-month DUI program (because of the high BAC), and 3 years informal probation.

However, after only 18 months, Client is eligible for Early Termination of Probation (California Penal Code section 1203.3 P.C.) and Expungement (California Penal Code section 1203.4 P.C.), which would leave him with no criminal record.

Client Facing One Year in Jail for False Report of Emergency; Result: Informal Diversion, No Jail, Case Dismissed after 6 Months

 

People v. S.L. (Van Nuys West Courthouse — October 2023)

 

Facts:

 

Deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) allegedly received an “active shooter” 911 call from Client. Specifically, Client allegedly claimed to be a counselor at a rehabilitation facility in Malibu (where she was currently an in-patient resident) and that there was an “active shooter” currently roaming the property. However, when deputies arrived, they found no such threat.

 

Client was thereafter identified by a staff person as a former client/in-patient at the facility, and claimed that Client had made several similar false calls in the past.As a result, she was arrested.

 

Charges:

 

Client was charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office)

with the following misdemeanor:

False Report of Emergency (California Penal Code section 148.3 P.C.).

See related misdemeanor charges:

Making a False Police Report (California Penal Code section 148.5 P.C.); and

Making a False Representation to a Peace Officer (California Penal Code section 148.9(a) P.C.).

Maximum Sentence:

One year in the county jail for 148.3 P.C.

 

The Process:

 

After some initial resistance, the prosecutor finally relented to Ninaz Saffari’s requests for diversion.

 

Result:

Judge granted six months’ Informal Diversion (California Penal Code section 1001.94 P.C.; California Penal Code section 1001.95 P.C.): no jail, no probation, Client to complete her 30-day residential treatment program, 90 days out outpatient counseling, and case dismissed.

Client Facing Two-and-a-Half Years in Jail for Battery on Police Officers & EMTs; Result: Diversion, No Jail, Case Dismissed

 

People v. T.W. (LAX Airport Courthouse — November 2023)

 

Facts:

 

Client was allegedly thrown out of a famous West Hollywood bar – the Abbey — for being drunk and disorderly by several bouncers, who then called the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station. In fact, however, someone had apparently spiked his drink with an unknown drug that made him act extremely erratically – something that was completely out of character for him (particularly since he had never done drugs before).

 

The presence of multiple, uniformed, armed deputies caused Client to panic. Even after he was subdued on the ground, he kept lashing out and kicking at both the deputies and EMTs from the Los Angeles County Fire Department who arrived on scene.

 

As a result, he was arrested for allegedly assaulting multiple peace officers & paramedics while they were engaged in the performance of their duties. Specifically, he was arrested for suspicion of, among other things, Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW) on a Police Officer (California Penal Code section 245(c) P.C.).

 

Charges:

 

Client was charged by the DA’s Office with the following misdemeanors:

 

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 945 (“Battery Against Peace Officer — Pen. Code §§ 242, 243(b), (c)(2)”);

 

CALCRIM Number 960 (“Simple Battery — Pen. Code § 242”); and

 

CALCRIM Number 2656 (“Resisting Peace Officer, Public Officer, or EMT — Pen. Code § 148(a)”).

 

Maximum Sentence:

Twelve months in jail for 243(b) & (c) P.C.; six months for 242 P.C.; and one year in jail for 148(a)(1) P.C.

The Process:

 

It took Ninaz Saffari numerous attempts, plus the submission of a mitigation package, but she was finally able to convince the prosecutor to go along with Informal Diversion (California Penal Code section 1001.94 P.C.; California Penal Code section 1001.95 P.C.) without having to plead guilty to even a single misdemeanor.

 

Specifically, she convinced the Assistant DA from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) that the Client had been drugged by another patron and thereafter beaten up by the bouncers.

 

Result:

Judge granted six months’ diversion: no jail, no probation, 26 anger management classes, 1 week of outpatient alcohol treatment, restitution, and, a stay-away order. Client successfully completed the program and the entire case was dismissed with no conviction on his record.

 

Pre-File: Client Arrested for Committing Lewd Acts Upon a Minor, Max: 8 Years in Prison plus Lifetime Sex Registration; Result: DA’s Office Officially Declined to File Charges

 

Arrest of H.N. (Baldwin Park Police Department — January 2024)

 

Facts:

 

Client, a young man from British Columbia, Canada, allegedly met a 15-year-old girl from San Diego online. He allegedly traveled there to meet up with her at a hotel for sexual purposes.

 

However, he was thereafter arrested in a sting operation by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department on suspicion of having committed the following felonies:

Lewd or Lascivious Acts on a Child Under Age 14 (California Penal Code section 288(a) P.C.);

Contacting a Minor with the Intent to Commit a Lewd Act (California Penal Code section 288.3);

Arranging Meeting with Minor for Lewd Purpose (California Penal Code section 288.4(a)(1)); and

Going to Meeting with Minor for Lewd Purpose (California Penal Code section 288.4(b)).

Maximum Sentence:

Eight years in state prison for 288(a) P.C. alone.

 

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 1112 (“Lewd or Lascivious Act: Child 14 or 15 Years — Pen. Code § 288(c)(1)”).

 

Lifetime mandatory Sex Offender Registration (California Penal Code section 290 P.C.).

The Process:

 

After Client retained her, Ninaz Saffari immediately reached out to the assigned Detectives, commencing a 16-month ordeal.

 

Result:

Ninaz convinced the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office to formally decline all charges.

Client Facing Two Years in Jail for Domestic Battery & Violation of Protective Order w/ Injury; Result: Misdemeanor,  No Jail, 3 Months’ Outpatient Counseling, Informal Probation

 

People v. B.C. (Orange County Superior Court – West Justice Center

 — December 2023)

 

Facts:

 

Client allegedly assaulted and injured her fiancée-boyfriend in violation of a protective order that was issued pursuant to California Penal Code section 136.2 P.C. (Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO)) in a pending criminal proceeding. As a result, she was arrested by the Huntington Beach Police Department.

 

After HBPD arrived at Client’s residence, they discovered Client was subject to an “active peaceful contact restraining order” involving her fiancée that had been issued almost eight months earlier. Notably, he did not want her arrested, much less prosecuted, for the incident.

 

In fact, however, Client had only been defending herself against

 

Charges:

 

Client was charged by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office with the following misdemeanors:

 

 

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 841 (“Simple Battery: Against Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent — Pen. Code § 243(e)(1)”);

 

CALCRIM Number 2702 (“Violation of Court Order: Protective Order or Stay Away—Physical Injury — Pen. Code §§ 166(c)(2), 273.6(b)”).

 

Maximum Sentence:

Twelve months in jail for 243(e)(1) P.C. plus the same for 166(c)(2) P.C.

 

The Process:

 

Ninaz battled it out with the DA’s Office for more than nine months on this case.

 

Result:

Pled to simply Domestic Battery, got only a 90-day outpatient counseling program instead of the standard 52 weeks (365 days) and 3 years’ informal probation.

Federal Case: Client Facing 70 Years to Life for Drug Trafficking – Overwhelming Evidence; Result: 26 Months in Prison with Good Time Credits

 

United States of America v. E.C. (United States District Court – Central District of California (Los Angeles) — December 2023)

 

Facts:

 

Client was a mid-level trafficker who had made numerous controlled (and videotaped) sales of narcotics to an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) over an extended period. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was also involved in the investigation.

 

In addition, Client was selling drugs and firearms through various social media accounts. Thus, the evidence against him was overwhelming.

 

Specifically, Client sold relatively large amounts (but less than kilogram-weight) of methamphetamine, cocaine, fentanyl, and illegal prescription drugs. Client was on probation at the time he committed the offenses.

 

Charges:

 

Client was charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office — Central District of California with the following felonies:

 

  • Counts # 1 through # 5: Distribution of Cocaine, Oxycodone, and Fentanyl ((21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1)), (b)(1)(C));

  • Count #6: Distribution of Methamphetamine (21 S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A)(viii)) (Class A Felony); and

  • Count #7: Distribution of Fentanyl (21 S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B)(vii)).

 

Maximum Sentence:

10 years (120 months) to life imprisonment (21 U.S.C. § 846, § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A)(viii)) for Distribution of Methamphetamine alone. Each count carried a minimum of ten years each (or 70 years minimum total).

 

Criminal History:

 

Previous convictions – all misdemeanors:

Pre-File: Client-Doctor Facing 20 Years in Federal Prison for Receiving Numerous Large Packages of Ketamine in the Mail; Result: No Charges Filed

Federal Criminal Investigation of R.A.V.  (United States Postal Inspection Service– April 2023)

Facts:

Client was buying prescription ketamine off the Dark Web. An Inspector from the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) intercepted the package and came to his house. Fortunately, he wasn’t home. The Inspector left his business card, as well as a formal letter to put Client on notice that the USPIS wanted to interview him regarding an unspecified matter.

In addition, Client was a resident physician on the verge of becoming a fully licensed doctor who therefore stood to lose his license and career if he was convicted of even a misdemeanor.

Potential Charges:

Client was obviously facing multiple violations of the United States Controlled Substance Act (21 U.S.C. §§ 801, et. seq.)

Specifically, because of the number and alleged amounts of shipments alleged to have been received by Client, he faced a likely federal felony charge of Distribution/ Manufacturing/ Possession with Intent to Distribute (21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1)).

Potential Maximum Sentence:

Statutory maximum generally is 20 years.

See Federal Drug Penalties.

The Process:

Wisely, the Client retained the Saffari Law Group before any charges were filed. SLG’s Managing Attorney, Ninaz Saffari, immediately reached out to the Inspector and explained to him that there was no way to prove that Client was the one who had ordered the drugs.

Specifically, she argued that it was common practice – as the feds were well aware – for neighbors to order drugs to the next-door home, knowing the resident was at work and therefore wouldn’t be home, so that the drugs could be retrieved without risk. She thereby convinced him that there was no way for federal prosecutors from the United States Attorney’s Office to prove that Client himself had ordered the ketamine.

Result:

Case closed with no charges filed.

Pre-File: Client-Teacher Faced 5 Years in Prison for Felony Domestic Violence; Result: No Charges Filed & Arrest to be Sealed

 

Pending Prosecution of L.C.C. (San Diego County District Attorney’s Office

— April 2023)

 

Facts:

 

Client, a woman, was arrested by the San Diego Police Department for suspicion of committing felony domestic battery – specifically, Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (California Penal Code section 273.5(a) P.C.).

 

Maximum Sentence:

Five years in state prison plus permanent revocation of state teaching license.

 

The Process:

 

Client retained the Saffari Law Group (SLG) to intervene before the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office formally filed charges.

SLG conducted an intensive and comprehensive investigation, prepared a package of exculpatory/mitigating evidence, and provided it to the arresting SDPD Officer. He, in turn, forwarded it to the SDDA’s Office (SLG was unaware at the time the file had been transferred thereto).

 

The assigned Assistant DA reviewed the package, declined to file (felony or misdemeanor) charges, then sent it on to the  San Diego City Attorney’s Office, which also declined to file (misdemeanor) charges after reviewing the package.

 

Result:

Case closed with no charges filed. SLG is now in the process of filing a California Senate Bill 393 petition to get the arrest sealed.

People v. R.D. (Van Nuys West Courthouse — December 2023)

Facts:

Client was pulled over by uniformed Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers, ostensibly for a moving violation. They used this as a false pretense to question him and unlawfully search his vehicle. As a result, they found a so-called “ghost gun” – i.e., an unregistered handgun with no serial numbers that was assembled through various parts obtained from an unknown source. As a result, Client was arrested.

Charges:

Client was charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) with the following felony:

Carrying a Concealed Firearm on Your Person or in a Vehicle (California Penal Code section 25400(a)(1) P.C.).

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 2521 (“Carrying Concealed Firearm within Vehicle — Pen. Code § 25400(a)(1)”).

Maximum Sentence:

Three years in jail.

The Process:

After Ninaz Saffari commenced her own investigation, she found that the officers who pulled Client over were assigned to the notorious LAPD Mission Division – the most scandal-plagued LAPD division since Rampart in the ‘90’s.

Next, she scrutinized all three officers’ body-worn video (BWV) camera footage and saw that none of them had turned on their BWVs at the outset of the incident, as required by LAPD policy. Instead, they turned them on halfway through, thereby omitting the lead officer’s initial explanation as to why Client was pulled over. The BWVs proved that the officers had lied in their police report that Client had made “furtive movements” that justified a warrantless search. 

As a result, Ninaz filed a Motion to Suppress Evidence (California Penal Code section 1538.5 P.C.) to exclude the seized ghost gun (and its ammunition) based on the violation of Client’s rights under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Notably, Client’s case caught the attention of an investigative reporter from the Los Angeles Times who had been writing a series of articles about these corrupt LAPD Officers from the Wilshire Division who were unlawfully pulling over young Latino drivers on false pretenses and conducting warrantless searches for contraband – all without turning their BWVs on.

Result:

At the hearing on the 1538.5 P.C. motion, the prosecutor admitted that the involved officers were “unavailable to testify” about Client’s stop and arrest, and that they themselves were under investigation – clearly, as part of the Mission Division scandal. The judge therefore dismissed the case, as confirmed by the L.A. Times article written thereon: 

“Prosecutors drop charges in ‘ghost gun’ case linked to LAPD gang unit scandal” by Libor Jany (Los Angeles Times, Dec. 5, 2023).

People v. R.S. (Criminal Courts Building (C.C.B.)/Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center — October 2023)

Facts:

Client and the accuser got into a wild brawl with each using a hammer and a wrench, respectively, over a business dispute and the latter’s commercial establishment, resulting in serious injuries to both.

Charges:

Client was charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) with the following felonies:

  1. Deliberate and Premeditated Attempted Murder (“First-Degree Attempted Murder”) (California Penal Code section 664 P.C. & California Penal Code section 187(a) P.C.); and

  2. Aggravated Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury (California Penal Code section 243(d) P.C.).

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 600 (“Attempted Murder — Pen. Code §§ 21a, 663, 664”);

CALCRIM Number 601 (“Attempted Murder: Deliberation and Premeditation — Pen. Code §§ 21a, 189, 664(a)”); and

CALCRIM Number 925 (“Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury — Pen. Code §§ 242, 243(d)”).

Maximum Sentence:

Life in prison with potential parole for 664/187 P.C. plus six years in county jail for 243(d) P.C. with serious injury.

The Process:

At the culmination of the preliminary hearing, the judge dismissed the 664/187 P.C. based on self-defense, but allowed the Deputy DA to continue prosecuting the 243(d) P.C. felony (i.e., Client was “held to answer” thereon).

The Result:

Final plea to misdemeanor Trespass to Closed Lands (California Penal Code section 602 P.C.(o)) – dismissal of assault charge; no jail; drug & alcohol outpatient counseling only. Client successfully completed the program so even the Trespass was dismissed.

See also CALCRIM Number 2932 (“Trespass: Entry into Dwelling — Pen. Code § 602.5(a) & (b)”); and

CALCRIM Number 2929 (“Trespass After Making Credible Threat — Pen. Code § 601(a)”).

People v. S.F. (Criminal Courts Building (C.C.B.)/Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center — June 2023)

Facts:

Google notified the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) that a certain account owner had been downloading child pornography, which in turn led to sex crimes detectives receiving a CyberTip Report.

After obtaining a search warrant, they raided Client’s residence. At that time, Client allegedly made numerous incriminating statements. Far worse, police allegedly found on his computer numerous Child Sex Abuse Materials (CSAM)

As a result, he was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) – specifically, by detectives from the Los Angeles Regional ICAC Taskforce (Internet Crimes Against Children).

Charges:

Client was charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) with the following felony:

Possession and Control of Child or Youth Pornography (California Penal Code section 311.11(a) P.C.).

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 1145 (“Possession of Matter Depicting Minor Engaged in Sexual Conduct — Pen. Code § 311.11(a)”).

Maximum Sentence:

Three years for 311.11(a) P.C. plus lifetime Sex Offender Registration (California Penal Code section 290 P.C.) and public disclosure on Megan’s Law website.

The Process:

Ninaz worked with her longtime computer forensics expert — who once taught at the National Security Agency (NSA)

 – on this case.

Result:

Client received a Felony Reduction to a Misdemeanor (California Penal Code section 17(b) P.C.) for 311.11(a); Tier One Sex Offender Registration (10 years); and 52 sessions of Sex Offender Counseling.

People v. N.A. (Criminal Courts Building (C.C.B.)/Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center — June 2023)

Facts:

Google notified the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) that a certain account owner had been downloading child pornography, which in turn led to sex crimes detectives receiving a CyberTip Report.

After obtaining a search warrant, they raided Client’s residence. Police therein allegedly found on his computer numerous Child Sex Abuse Materials (CSAM)

As a result, he was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).

Charges:

Client was charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) with the following felonies:

  1. Possession and Control of Child or Youth Pornography (California Penal Code section 311.11(a) P.C.); and

  2. Distribution of Child Pornography (California Penal Code section 311.1(a) P.C.).

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 1145 (“Possession of Matter Depicting Minor Engaged in Sexual Conduct — Pen. Code § 311.11(a)”); and

CALCRIM Number 1141 (“Distributing Obscene Matter Showing Sexual Conduct by a Minor — Pen. Code §§ 311.1(a), 311.2(b)”).

Client had a clean criminal record aside from a single misdemeanor conviction for DUI — Operating a Vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.08% or Higher (California Vehicle Code section 23152(b) V.C.).

Maximum Sentence:

Three years in state prison for 311.11(a) P.C., another three years for 311.1(a) P.C., plus lifetime Sex Offender Registration (California Penal Code section 290 P.C.) and public disclosure on Megan’s Law website.

The Process:

Ninaz was able to negotiate an extraordinary plea that included dismissal of the 311.1(a) P.C. charge.

Result:

Client received a Felony Charge Reduction to a Misdemeanor plea (California Penal Code section 17(b) P.C.) for 311.11(a) P.C.; Tier One Sex Offender Registration (10 years); and 52 sessions of Sex Offender Counseling.

People v. P.H. (LAX Airport Courthouse — May 2023)

Facts:

Male Client was accused of stealing a luggage bag containing thousands of dollars in cash from an LAX terminal after he had disembarked from a cross-country flight. CCTV footage captured him and an alleged female accomplice exiting the terminal with the bag and leaving the scene.

Los Angeles Airport Police were able to ID Client and the female, who was arrested shortly thereafter by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).  

After she allegedly confessed to the theft, Client surrendered himself to the LAPD for arrest and booking.

Charges:

Client was charged with misdemeanor Grand Theft (California Penal Code section 487(a) P.C.), which was quite fortunate for him because typically this would be a felony charge due to the value (more than $950) of the allegedly stolen property.

See also California Criminal Jury Instructions, CALCRIM Number 1801 (“Grand and Petty Theft — Pen. Code §§ 486, 487–488, 490.2, 491”).

Maximum Sentence:

Twelve months in jail.

The Process:

Ninaz filed and argued a Motion for Judicial Diversion (Court-Initiated Diversion) (California Penal Code section 1001.95 P.C.). She also convinced the Court that the female was the one who had initiated taking the bag.

Result:

Judge granted Judicial Diversion: no jail, no probation, a single eight-hour anti-theft class, restitution, and, after six months, the case will be dismissed with no conviction.

People v. O.M. (Baldwin Park Police Department — May 2023)

Facts:

Client ran into her ex-spouse at a restaurant while he was with his new girlfriend. An argument erupted between the two women, and the girlfriend attacked Client, forcing her to defend herself.

Charges:

Client was cited by Baldwin Park P.D. in February 2023 for suspicion of Simple Battery, a.k.a. Battery Upon Another (California Penal Code section 242 P.C.), a misdemeanor.

Maximum Sentence:

Six months in county jail. See also California Criminal Jury Instructions, CALCRIM Number 960 (“Simple Battery — Pen. Code § 242”).

The Process:

Ninaz was able to convince the prosecutor that Client had acted in self-defense, including by providing him photos of her injuries.

Result:

In May 2023, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) formally issued a no-charge/“decline to file” letter, confirming the case would not be prosecuted.

People v. R.S. (Criminal Courts Building (C.C.B.)/Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center — October 2023)

Facts:

Client and the accuser got into a wild brawl with each using a hammer and a wrench, respectively, over a business dispute and the latter’s commercial establishment, resulting in serious injuries to both.

Charges:

Client was charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) with the following felonies:

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 600 (“Attempted Murder — Pen. Code §§ 21a, 663, 664”);

CALCRIM Number 601 (“Attempted Murder: Deliberation and Premeditation — Pen. Code §§ 21a, 189, 664(a)”); and

CALCRIM Number 925 (“Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury — Pen. Code §§ 242, 243(d)”).

Maximum Sentence:

Life in prison with potential parole for 664/187 P.C. plus six years in county jail for 243(d) P.C. with serious injury.

The Process:

At the culmination of the preliminary hearing, the judge dismissed the 664/187 P.C. based on self-defense, but allowed the Deputy DA to continue prosecuting the 243(d) P.C. felony (i.e., Client was “held to answer” thereon).

The Result:

Final plea to misdemeanor Trespass to Closed Lands (California Penal Code section 602 P.C.(o)) – dismissal of assault charge; no jail; drug & alcohol outpatient counseling only. Client successfully completed the program so even the Trespass was dismissed.

See also CALCRIM Number 2932 (“Trespass: Entry into Dwelling — Pen. Code § 602.5(a) & (b)”); and

CALCRIM Number 2929 (“Trespass After Making Credible Threat — Pen. Code § 601(a)”).

People v. O.M. (Baldwin Park Police Department — May 2023)

 

Facts:

Client ran into her ex-spouse at a restaurant while he was with his new girlfriend. An argument erupted between the two women, and the girlfriend attacked Client, forcing her to defend herself.

Charges:

Client was cited by Baldwin Park P.D. in February 2023 for suspicion of Simple Battery, a.k.a. Battery Upon Another (California Penal Code section 242 P.C.), a misdemeanor.

Maximum Sentence:

Six months in county jail. See also California Criminal Jury Instructions, CALCRIM Number 960 (“Simple Battery — Pen. Code § 242”).

The Process:

Ninaz was able to convince the prosecutor that Client had acted in self-defense, including by providing him photos of her injuries.

Result:

In May 2023, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) formally issued a no-charge/“decline to file” letter, confirming the case would not be prosecuted.

People v. P.H. (LAX Airport Courthouse — May 2023)

Facts:

Male Client was accused of stealing a luggage bag containing thousands of dollars in cash from an LAX terminal after he had disembarked from a cross-country flight. CCTV footage captured him and an alleged female accomplice exiting the terminal with the bag and leaving the scene.

Los Angeles Airport Police were able to ID Client and the female, who was arrested shortly thereafter by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). 

After she allegedly confessed to the theft, Client surrendered himself to the LAPD for arrest and booking.

Charges:

Client was charged with misdemeanor Grand Theft (California Penal Code section 487(a) P.C.), which was quite fortunate for him because typically this would be a felony charge due to the value (more than $950) of the allegedly stolen property.

See also California Criminal Jury Instructions, CALCRIM Number 1801 (“Grand and Petty Theft — Pen. Code §§ 486, 487–488, 490.2, 491”).

Maximum Sentence:

Twelve months in jail.

The Process:

Ninaz filed and argued a Motion for Judicial Diversion (Court-Initiated Diversion) (California Penal Code section 1001.95 P.C.). She also convinced the Court that the female was the one who had initiated taking the bag.

Result:

Judge granted Judicial Diversion: no jail, no probation, a single eight-hour anti-theft class, restitution, and, after six months, the case will be dismissed with no conviction.

People v. N.A. (Criminal Courts Building (C.C.B.)/Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center — June 2023)

Facts:

Google notified the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) that a certain account owner had been downloading child pornography, which in turn led to sex crimes detectives receiving a CyberTip Report.

After obtaining a search warrant, they raided Client’s residence. Police therein allegedly found on his computer numerous Child Sex Abuse Materials (CSAM).

As a result, he was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).

Charges:

Client was charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) with the following felonies:

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 1145 (“Possession of Matter Depicting Minor Engaged in Sexual Conduct — Pen. Code § 311.11(a)”); and

CALCRIM Number 1141 (“Distributing Obscene Matter Showing Sexual Conduct by a Minor — Pen. Code §§ 311.1(a), 311.2(b)”).

Client had a clean criminal record aside from a single misdemeanor conviction for DUI — Operating a Vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.08% or Higher (California Vehicle Code section 23152(b) V.C.).

Maximum Sentence:

Three years in state prison for 311.11(a) P.C., another three years for 311.1(a) P.C., plus lifetime Sex Offender Registration (California Penal Code section 290 P.C.) and public disclosure on Megan’s Law website.

The Process:

Ninaz was able to negotiate an extraordinary plea that included dismissal of the 311.1(a) P.C. charge.

Result:

Client received a Felony Charge Reduction to a Misdemeanor plea (California Penal Code section 17(b) P.C.) for 311.11(a) P.C.; Tier One Sex Offender Registration (10 years); and 52 sessions of Sex Offender Counseling.

People v. S.F. (Criminal Courts Building (C.C.B.)/Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center — June 2023)

Facts:

Google notified the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) that a certain account owner had been downloading child pornography, which in turn led to sex crimes detectives receiving a CyberTip Report.

After obtaining a search warrant, they raided Client’s residence. At that time, Client allegedly made numerous incriminating statements. Far worse, police allegedly found on his computer numerous Child Sex Abuse Materials (CSAM).

As a result, he was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) – specifically, by detectives from the Los Angeles Regional ICAC Taskforce (Internet Crimes Against Children).

Charges:

Client was charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) with the following felony:

Possession and Control of Child or Youth Pornography (California Penal Code section 311.11(a) P.C.).

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 1145 (“Possession of Matter Depicting Minor Engaged in Sexual Conduct — Pen. Code § 311.11(a)”).

Maximum Sentence:

Three years for 311.11(a) P.C. plus lifetime Sex Offender Registration (California Penal Code section 290 P.C.) and public disclosure on Megan’s Law website.

The Process:

Ninaz worked with her longtime computer forensics expert — who once taught at the National Security Agency (NSA)

– on this case.

Result:

Client received a Felony Reduction to a Misdemeanor (California Penal Code section 17(b) P.C.) for 311.11(a); Tier One Sex Offender Registration (10 years); and 52 sessions of Sex Offender Counseling.

People v. R.H. (Compton Courthouse — May 2023)

Facts:

Client was accused by two-dozen young female employees of sexually abusing them while working at his business. He was also accused of committing forced oral copulation and similar offenses against two of his young stepchildren many years earlier.

This case received a substantial amount of local publicity because of the nature of the allegations, the number of accusers, and the then-current MeToo movement’s ascendancy.

See, e.g., “Owner of Paramount Silk Screen Printing Shop Charged with Sexual Assault, Molestation of 11 More Victims” (October 30, 2020 — CBSNews.com/CBS Los Angeles).

In addition, after Long Beach Police Department raided Client’s residence, business, and vehicle, they discovered dozens of firearms, including many of which LBPD claimed were illegal because they were fully automatic or otherwise illegally converted.

As a result, Client was facing two separate prosecutions.

The Process:

Ninaz aggressively and relentlessly fought this case for years, including defending Client at a two-week-long preliminary hearing.

During this period, she also filed numerous motions, including Motions to Dismiss (California Penal Code section 995) and Motions to Suppress Evidence (California Penal Code section 1538.5), which allowed her to suppress much of the purported evidence against him.

Charges:

In the sex crimes, case Client was charged with sixty-five (65) felony counts, including:

Forcible Rape (California Penal Code section 261(a)(2): California Penal Code section 261(a) (2) P.C.);

Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child Under 14 (California Penal Code section 269(a) P.C.); Sexual Penetration of a Minor (California Penal Code section 289(h)&(i) P.C.); Lewd or Lascivious Acts on a Child Under Age 14 (California Penal Code section 288(a) P.C.: California Penal Code section 288(a) P.C.);

Assault with Intent to Commit Rape (California Penal Code section 220(a)(1) P.C.); 1

Sexual Battery of a Restrained Victim (California Penal Code section 243.4(a) P.C.); Sexual Battery by Fraud (Penal Code section 243.4(c) P.C.);

Aggravated Sexual Battery (§ 243.4(d) P.C.); and

Sexual Battery, a.k.a. Touching Intimate Part of Another (California Penal Code section 243.4(e)(1) P.C.).

In the gun case, Client was prosecuted for 17 separate felonies, including:

Possession of an Assault Weapon (California Penal Code section 30605 P.C.); Possession of a Large-Capacity Magazine (California Penal Code section 32310 P.C.); and Carrying a Loaded Firearm on One’s Person or in a Vehicle (California Penal Code section 25850(a) P.C.).

Maximum Sentence:

No less than 12 life sentences (because of the nature of the alleged crimes plus multiple-victim enhancements), plus hundreds of additional years when accounting for all the remaining charges in both cases.

Result:

Ninaz pushed the case all the way to the eve of trial, at which point she was able to obtain an exceptional plea bargain – guilty to the less serious sex crimes (i.e., excluding the rape and penetration charges) with a 22-year-sentence.

However, with time served while awaiting trial (including good-time credits), plus the anticipated reduction for good behavior in prison, Client will be out in as little as a decade.

In addition, all the gun charges were dismissed.

People v. J.R. (Pomona Courthouse — Oct. 2022)

Facts:

Client was accused of stabbing (with a kitchen knife) & striking (with a baseball bat), & wounding Victim #1, striking twice (with a rock) Victim #2, who was over age 65.

Charges:

Two counts of Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW) (California Penal Code section 245(a)(1), with each being charged as a Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b)California Penal Code section 667.5(c) (“Violent Felonies”)California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) (“Serious Felonies”).

One count of Felony Elder Abuse (California Penal Code section 368(b)(1).

Maximum Sentence:

Minimum ten-and-a-half years in prison with at least two-third’s minimum because of the Strikes.

The Process:

This case was complicated by the fact that Client had the following felony convictions on his record:

Assault with a Deadly Weapon;

Receiving Stolen Property (California Penal Code section 496(a)); and

Assault by Means Likely to Produce Great Bodily Injury/Aggravated Assault (California Penal Code section 245(a)(4)).

At the preliminary hearing, Ninaz was able to get the Elder Abuse charge dismissed.

Result:

Ninaz obtained a no-more-jail/time-served (five months in Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail awaiting trial) plea to a single felony, NON-STRIKE count of Assault by Means Likely to Produce Great Bodily Injury (Penal Code § 245(a)(4)).

Also received two years’ formal probation, but after one year will be eligible to have Felony Reduction to a Misdemeanor (California Penal Code section 17(b)) & Early Termination of Probation (California Penal Code section 1203.3).

People v. J.S. (Criminal Courts Building (C.C.B.)/Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center — Nov. 2022)

Facts:

Client – a first-year medical doctor — was arrested for allegedly beating up his girlfriend and injuring her following a domestic dispute.

Charges:

Felony Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (California Penal Code section 273.5)

Misdemeanor Domestic Battery (California Penal Code section 243(e)(1)

Maximum Sentence:

Forty-eight months in state prison, plus potential permanent loss of medical license because domestic violence conviction would constitute a crime of “moral turpitude”.

The Process:

As with most of her Domestic Violence cases where spousal injury is alleged, Ninaz Saffari had to fight this case for many months before finally getting the result she wanted. The defense was complicated by the fact that the responding Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers’ body-worn video cameras filmed the girlfriend implicating client and revealing her obvious facial injuries.

In addition, the girlfriend’s roommate also was filmed claiming that she believed client had been the aggressor based on overheard statements he allegedly made.

First, she was able to get the felony charge dropped by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) after showing the prosecutor photographic evidence that the purported victim had previously attacked and visibly injured client, and that he had only been acting in self-defense in this most recent incident.

Second, during protracted negotiations, the prosecutor insisted he plea out to misdemeanor Simple Battery, a.k.a. Battery Upon Another (California Penal Code section 242) with 200 hours of community service.

Result:

Client pled to misdemeanor Aggravated Trespassing (California Penal Code section 601) with likely Expungement (California Penal Code section 1203.4) in the future; zero jail time, zero community service, informal probation, and one year of weekly DV counseling. Client was thereby able to keep his medical license.

People v. T.L. (Norwalk Courthouse — Sept. 2022)

Facts:

Adult female client was accused of shoving her elderly mother (over age 65) to the floor and thereby seriously injuring her.

As a result, she was arrested & charged by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) and prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office).

Charges:

Felony Elder Abuse (California Penal Code section 368(b)(1)).

In addition, because of the alleged serious injury, client faced the possibility of this crime being charged as Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b); California Penal Code section 667.5(c) (“Violent Felonies”); California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) (“Serious Felonies”)).

Finally, if convicted, she could face the following sentencing enhancements:

Inflicting Great Bodily Injury (GBI) (California Penal Code section 12022.7).

Maximum Sentence:

Four years in prison (excluding any enhancements).

The Process:

This case took an inordinately long time to resolve based on the age of the purported victim, despite the fact that client was a military veteran who had been honorably discharged, and who had no criminal record.

First, Ninaz filed a Motion for Penal Code § 1170.9 Probation, which was denied.

But subsequently, the more Ninaz Saffari researched her background, including how she had been repeatedly sexually traumatized by male servicemen.

As a result, Ninaz first filed a Motion for Military Diversion (a.k.a. Veterans Diversion) (California Penal Code section 1001.80). Unfortunately, that was also denied.

Thereafter, Ninaz utilized the services of her favorite clinical psychologist who conducted an in-depth interview of her. As a result, Ninaz filed a Motion for Mental Health Diversion (California Penal Code section 1001.36).

Result:

The third motion was finally granted with the following provisions: one year of weekly counseling, including for anger management and to resolve client’s issues with her mother. In other words, no jail and only informal probation for 12 months. The case will be dismissed upon successful completion.

People v. M.L. (Investigation by Downey Police Department: https://www.downeyca.org/our-city/departments/police, possible prosecution in Norwalk Courthouse: https://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/info/SE — August 2022)

Facts:

Client’s sister alleged to police that Client had sexually molested her very young daughter and, therefore, sought to press criminal charges against him.

In addition, the sister went to civil court and obtained a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) (California Code of Civil Procedure section 527.6) against him, with the hope of eventually making it a Permanent Restraining Order (see, e.g., California Penal Code section 649.9(k) – Stalking R.O.).

Potential Charges:

Lewd Acts with a Minor Child Under 10 (California Penal Code section 288).

Maximum Sentence:

Eight years in prison plus lifetime plus lifetime sex registration.

Sex Offender Registration (California Penal Code section 290)

Sex Offender Registration Act: Penalties for Violation (California Penal Code section 290.018)

Megan’s Law website.

Process:

Ninaz Saffari was forced to fight for Client on two fronts – with the (female) investigating detective (Downey PD) who ultimately transferred file to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) for prosecution.

She first investigated the sister’s accusations, which included her interviewing numerous witnesses/other family members, who all agreed her allegations were false based on the fact that Client had virtually never been left alone with the child.

Also, without revealing any details, Ninaz took other extraordinary steps in the hope of proving these claims were false or even outrighted fabrication, including proving to the prosecutor that the sister had a financial motive in falsely accusing Client.

Result:

On the morning of the hearing on the semi-permanent R.O., Ninaz learned that both the DA’s Office and the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office (CA’s Office) had declined to file charges.Later that morning, the civil court denied the sister’s petition for the R.O.

People v. J.M. (Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center: http://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/info/ccb – August 2022)

Facts:

Accuser/purported victim was a pizza delivery driver who delivered a pizza to a residence. He claims when he knocked on the door, Client’s co-defendant grabbed the pizza from his disabled arm while Client tossed two $20 bills (that would prove to be counterfeit) at the man.

The accuser then claims that Client showed him and gripped the butt of a handgun in his waistband and nodded at him in a threatening way. Co-defendant then allegedly slammed the door in his face. The accuser returned to work and called the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).

Unfortunately, when police arrived to investigate, Client admitted he had a firearm in the trunk of his nearby vehicle (but denied “flashing” or possessing a handgun as alleged). Even worse, client allowed police to search his vehicle without a warrant, wherein they found a loaded shotgun in the trunk and a box of hollow-point ammo in the center console.

Client and co-defendant were arrested shortly thereafter.

Charges:

Second-Degree Robbery (California Penal Code section 211;

Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b); California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) (“Serious Felonies”)); and

Carrying a Loaded Firearm on One’s Person or in a Vehicle (California Penal Code section 25850(a) – misdemeanor).

Maximum Sentence:

Five years in prison for the robbery, plus a year in county for the misdemeanor (excluding any potential sentencing enhancement for the Strike offense).

Process:

Ninaz was able to convince the prosecutor that he had an extremely weak case because the purported victim had changed his story at least four times (and possibly five), including switching the identity of the assailant who allegedly had a gun.

She also emphasized the fact that Client had only very recently moved from Florida, where carrying a shotgun in your trunk is completely legal, and that he was unfamiliar with California’s far more stringent gun laws.

Result:

The Robbery and Strike charges were dismissed on the first day of jury trial. Client pled to the single misdemeanor with zero jail time, one year of informal probation, and one gun safety class.

People v. I.G. (Santa Clarita Courthouse: https://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/info/new – July 2022)

Facts:

While traveling on a Greyhound bus on Interstate 5, Client got into a verbal altercation with an adult female passenger who had been speaking very loudly on her cell phone. This prompted Client to tell her that she needed to lower her voice. He thereafter returned to his seat, but the woman then began playing music very loudly on her cell phone.

This once again prompted Client to confront her. She rose from her seat in response, and the two engaged in a heated argument, which became violent when the woman (who was Black) stood up, got in his face nose-to-nose, screamed racist epithets, and took a swing at him (he’s Latino). Client, a former boxing student, ducked the swing and struck her twice while pulling his punches. This was followed by the woman kicking him.

Charges:

Notwithstanding, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) pulled the bus over, interviewed the driver, client, the woman, and several eyewitnesses. The officers thereafter cited the client with a misdemeanor – specifically, Simple Battery, a.k.a. Battery Upon Another (California Penal Code section 242), which carries a maximum 6-month jail sentence upon conviction.

Ninaz Saffari’s Investigation:

Ninaz went to extraordinary lengths to prove Client was innocent by virtue of self-defense. See CALCRIM No. 3470 (“Right to Self-Defense or Defense of Another (Non-Homicide)”). This included her personally obtaining numerous witness statements, which all supported his defense.

Result:

The judge granted Ninaz’s motion and granted Judicial Diversion (Court Initiated Diversion) (California Penal Code section 1001.95), which only required to attend weekly anger-management classes for six months to be followed by full dismissal of the case/charge.

People v. A.E. (Michael Antonovich Antelope Valley Courthouse – June 2022

Felony charges:  

Possession of Child Pornography (California Penal Code?section 311.11(a)); and

Distribution of Child Pornography (California Penal Code?section 311.1(a)).

Worst-case scenario: Six years in a California penitentiary plus lifetime Sex Offender Registration (California Penal Code?section 290), including full publication of the allegations & conviction(s) on Megan’s Law website

The process: Ninaz Saffari kept in close contact with the lead detective from day one, and also prepared & submitted a mitigation package to the DA’s Office. 

Result: Ninaz obtained a very good deal for the client in light of the strong evidence against him — a reduced plea for a single count felony of possession of child porn with 180 days in jail and two years’ formal probation. However, because of overcrowding, the non-violent nature of the offense, Covid concerns, and with good behavior, client will likely be released after serving only 2-4 weeks therein. 

Better yet, once client successfully completes probation, because this is a “Wobbler” (California Penal Code section 17(b)), client will be eligible for a reduction to a misdemeanor. At that point, his lifetime registration requirement will be reduced to 10 years, and his information will be removed from the Megan’s Law website.

People v. D.L. (CCB Court – downtown – 06/22) 

Facts:

Client was alleged to have stalked a celebrity comedienne (“Ms. T.”) over the course of approximately one year. According to the police report, client displayed an abnormal and delusional fixation on Ms. T., allegedly sending her hundreds of direct messages on Instagram and on a text-based social media platform.  

He allegedly followed her to 13-15 of her live comedy shows across the United States, and allegedly sent her bizarre and disturbing electronic messages. However, Ms. T. denied that client ever threatened her in person or through a social media platform. Notwithstanding, she obtained a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) (California Code of Civil Procedure section 527.6: https://codes.findlaw.com/ca/code-of-civil-procedure/ccp-sect-527-6.html) against him, and two subsequent Emergency Protective Orders (EPO) (California Family Code section 6251: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=FAM&sectionNum=6251). 

Charge: Stalking (California Penal Code section 646.9: https://codes.findlaw.com/ca/penal-code/pen-sect-646-9.html). 

The process: This was a fairly challenging case because the DA’s Office and, most importantly, the victim, believed client posed a significant threat to her. 

In addition, when initially interviewed by police, client essentially admitted to all the allegations. 

Worst-case scenario: Five years in state penitentiary. 

Result: Client granted Mental Health Diversion (California Penal Code section 1001.36: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=1001.36.&lawCode=PEN) – two-year period; 90-day residential program; and stay-away order for two years.

People v. A.S.> (Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center: http://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/info/ccb — June 2022)

Client was a repeat customer for whom Ninaz Saffari had years earlier gotten a misdemeanor Domestic Battery case (California Penal Code section 243(e)(1)) dropped.

This time, he was alleged to have physically assaulted his then-current romantic partner on three separate occasions. He was therefore charged by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office with three misdemeanor counts of Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (California Penal Code section 273.5).

Worst-case scenario: Three years in the county jail (if convicted of all counts & judge orders max sentences to run concurrently).

The process: The evidence was overwhelming against client – namely, the police reports, the anticipated testimony of the purported victim/complainant, and graphic photos of the complainant’s alleged injuries.

Indeed, in light of these alleged injuries and his prior arrest, Ninaz was surprised that he wasn’t charged with three felony counts of Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent. In any event, the prosecution wasn’t willing to offer any deal whatsoever so Ninaz pushed hard for trial.

Fortunately, thanks to Ninaz’s relentless advocacy, on the first day of jury trial, the Deputy City Attorney prosecuting the case offered an unbelievable deal, that, of course, client accepted.
 
 The result: Client pled to a single misdemeanor charge of Simple Trespassing/Unauthorized Entry of a Residence(California Penal Code section 602).

The sentence: No jail; three years of informal probation (aka summary probation); one year of weekly anger management counseling; and a $500 fine.

Halfway through his probation period (18 months), he’ll be eligible to Early Termination of Probation(California Penal Code section 1203.3), followed by Expungement (California Penal Code section 1203.4) of the conviction immediately thereafter from his permanent record.

People v. J.N. (San Fernando Courthouse: https://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/info/las — May 2022)

Client was an active-duty military person who was pulled over one night by California Highway Patrol (CHP) after he had struck a moving vehicle and while he was speeding and driving erratically on a Los Angeles County freeway. He admitted to the CHP officer that he had been drinking earlier in the evening at a sushi bar. Client failed the Field Sobriety Test (FST) and, as a result, was arrested, charged, and prosecuted by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office for First-Time DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23152).

Although this charge would not typically result in a jail term (and “only” a misdemeanor conviction), for the client such a conviction would automatically result in a dishonorable discharge. In other words, it would result in the complete loss of his career, and dramatically adverse consequences for his ability to secure future employment.

Result: After fighting non-stop for over a year (including with the DMV to retain client’s driver’s license), Ninaz Saffari was able to secure him Military Diversion (California Penal Code section 1001.80). 

This meant no jail, only summary/informal probation, three months of weekly counseling (which client had already completed), a relatively small fine, paid restitution (which was covered by his insurance company in re the other driver’s vehicle damage), and after as little as 18 months (assuming he stayed out of trouble), the charge would be dismissed and thereby leave client with a clean record.

United States of America vs. A.M. (United States District Court – District of Nevada: https://www.nvd.uscourts.gov – May 2022)

Major drug trafficking case based out of Las Vegas as a result of a joint investigation by the FBI and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office — District of Nevada).

Specifically, client was filmed and recorded selling large quantities of crystal meth in seven separate controlled buys by an undercover FBI agent in just over a four-month period. In addition, a firearm was seized from client in connection with his arrest, thereby further elevating his potential prison term pursuant to United States Sentencing Guidelines (U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1(b)(1)).

If convicted of all charges, he could be looking at up to four decades in federal prison for each of those seven counts alone – see below (with a minimum sentence of 85% even with good time credits). Specifically, client was facing a Level 32 offense (which includes a felony gun charge).

The case was further complicated by the fact that client had served multiple previous (state) prison terms – one for Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW) (California Penal Code section 245(a)(1)) and Possession for Sale of a Controlled Substance (California Health and Safety Code section 11351).

In fact, client has numerous criminal felony arrests, several of which resulted in convictions, on his record:

First-Time DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23152);

First-Degree Residential Burglary (California Penal Code section 460(a); California Penal Code section 459;

Taking an Automobile Without Consent, a.k.a. “Joyriding” (California Vehicle Code section 10851);

Robbery (California Penal Code section 211);

Armed Robbery/Second-Degree Robbery (California Penal Code section 212.5(c));

Assault with a Firearm (California Penal Code section 245(a)(2));

Receiving Stolen Property (California Penal Code section 496(a));

Perjury (California Penal Code section 118);

Excessive Speed on a Highway (California Vehicle Code section 22349);

Failure to Appear: Written Promise (California Vehicle Code section 40508);

misdemeanor Reckless Driving (California Vehicle Code section 23103);

misdemeanor Driving on a Suspended License (California Vehicle Code section 14601.1(a));

misdemeanor Fraudulent Use of Telephone (California Penal Code section 502.7);

misdemeanor Making a False Representation to a Peace Officer (California Penal Code section 148.9(a)); and

misdemeanor Providing False Information on a Document to the DMV (California Vehicle Code section 20).

Last, but certainly not least, client was alleged to have been a “mid-level drug trafficker” and an associate a violent criminal street gang. Based on the foregoing, client was considered to be a “career offender” under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1 and U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2.

Cooperation was never on the table – in 17 years, Ninaz Saffari has never represented someone who became an informant or otherwise testified against others to save their own hide.

Current federal charges:

Approximately one dozen felony counts, primarily for the following federal crimes:

Seven counts: Title One, United States Code, section 841(a)(1)) – Possession with the Intent to Distribute and Distribution of Controlled Substances (Crystal Meth) (max sentence for each count = 20 years);

Multiple counts: Title One, United States Code, section 843(b)) – Use of a Communication Facility to Further the Commission of a Felony Controlled Substance Offense (max sentence for each count = 4 years) (i.e., using a phone to make drug deals);

One count: Title One, United States Code, section 846 – Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances (Crystal Meth); and Conspiracy to Use of a Communication Facility to Further the Commission of a Felony Controlled Substance Offense (max sentence = 20 years); and

One count: Title 18, United States Code, section 924(c)(1)(A)) — Use of a Firearm or Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Offense (max sentence = 10 years).

See: justice.gov.

Result: Client accepted a guilty plea to a single Count of the indictment in this case, Distribution of a Controlled Substance (Methamphetamine), in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B)(viii)).

In consideration, the U.S. Attorney’s Office (“U.S.A.O.”) agreed to dismiss all the remaining counts; not to pursue any additional counts resulting from this investigation; recommended a two-level reduction in the applicable sentencing guidelines offense level, pursuant to the United States Sentencing Guidelines (U.S.S.G.) § 3E1.1; and move for an additional one-level reduction if available under that section.

However, the deal does not cover any heretofore unknown crime of violence as defined by 18 U.S.C. § 16, nor any criminal tax violations (including conspiracy to commit such violations chargeable under 18 U.S.C. § 371.

The USAO acknowledged “a statutory minimum sentence of 5 years imprisonment; and a statutory minimum term of supervised release of 4 years of supervised release, … [unless he] qualifies for safety-valve relief from the statutory minimum sentence … in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(f)….” See also: sgp.fas.org.

Notwithstanding, both parties agreed to recommend to the court a term of eight years (96 months). However, with 15% good time credits, client will only serve 6.8 years (81.6 months) – and, with a little luck, he’ll serve out the last half of that sentence in a halfway house. Ultimate sentence will also likely include a five-year supervised release period thereafter.

Ninaz Saffari worked tirelessly for almost a year to obtain this highly unusual deal – again, extraordinary because it did not require client to rat out his criminal associates.

People v. D.B. (San Fernando Courthouse: https://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/info/las— 04/22)

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies raided the home of “David” and found him with 30 grams of methamphetamine. He was therefore he was charged with felony Possession for Sale of Methamphetamine (California Health and Safety Code section 11378).

David had previously served three terms in prison – twice for similar offenses, including Possession of Methamphetamine (California Health and Safety Code section 11377)as well as for First-Degree Residential Burglary (California Penal Code section 460(a); California Penal Code section 459).

This latter conviction was a Strike Offense under California Penal Code section 667(d) and California Penal Code section 1170.12(b).

With his priors, including the Strike, if convicted of this latest charge, he could be sentenced for as much as six years in prison.

Ninaz Saffari fought this case for three long years before the DA’s Office made her an unbelievable deal.

Result: Plea to misdemeanor possession with no jail and no probation.

Investigation of C.B. (LA County APS — April 2022)

Client had recently married her elderly boyfriend, who was the father of two adult men who despised her because the father had transferred a significant amount of money into a trust for his new wife – money that the sons knew would otherwise have gone to them upon their father’s death.

As a result, the sons embarked on a relentless, months’-long campaign to get the client imprisoned and hopefully divorced from their dad. Specifically, they repeatedly called both the Los Angeles Police Department and the county Department of Adult Protective Services, falsely claiming that client was both physically and financially abusing the father.

On each of the several occasions where LAPD officers arrived, they found no evidence whatsoever of any abuse. But APS opened an investigation, which could have resulted in the following felony charges against the client:

Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (California Penal Code section 273.5);

Domestic Battery (California Penal Code section 243(e)(1));

Elder Abuse (California Penal Code section 368); and

Injuring an Elderly Person (California Penal Code section 368(b)(2)).

Even a single felony conviction for one of these charges could have resulted in prison time. Fortunately, the client and her husband hired Ninaz Saffari, who frequently and extensively communicated with the authorities. As part of these communications, she provided the investigator evidence that the sons’ allegations were false and motivated by financial gain.

Result: The APS investigator notified Ninaz that the investigation was completed and no charges would be filed. Case closed.

People v. M.C. (Downtown Criminal Courthouse: http://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/info/ccb— March 2022)

Client allegedly molested his toddler child in public (according to several eyewitnesses), although client was so allegedly intoxicated at the time, that he was unaware that his actions in cuddling the child were being misconstrued.

However, a little later, client was allegedly captured by CCTV cameras from local businesses passing out in public while the child ran up and down the adjoining sidewalk.

Based on these supposed eyewitness accounts, client was arrested and charged with felony Lewd Acts with a Minor Child Under 14 (California Penal Code section 288).

Max. term: eight years in a state penitentiary plus lifetime Sex Offender Registration (California Penal Code section 290) with lifetime disclosure on the Megan’s Law website.

After fighting this case with everything she had for the better part of a year, Ninaz Saffari obtained an unprecedented offer. Indeed, even the prosecutor told her, “We don’t give out offers like these” (or words to that effect).

Result: Reduction to Child Endangerment (California Penal Code section 273a) and misdemeanor Annoying or Molesting a Child Under 18 (California Penal Code section 647.6). If the client successfully completes one year of rehab and two years of formal probation, the child molestation charge (Penal Code section 647.6) will be dropped, and the client will not have to serve a single day in jail.

People v. R.S. (DT Los Angeles Superior Court): http://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/info/ccb— March 2022)

Client got into an argument with an unhoused man on Hollywood Boulevard at night. As client was walking away from him, the unhoused man suddenly charged at him from behind, with the entire incident captured on a business’s surveillance camera.

Just before the unhoused man attacked him, client suddenly spun around and allegedly smashed a full 40-ounce bottle of beer against the attacker’s head, sending the man sprawling forward. Client then allegedly jumped on the man and allegedly beat and kicked him multiple times. Client then allegedly stood up, kicked the man in the face, then allegedly smashed a cell phone against his head before walking away.

As a result, the DA’s Office charged client with “Second-Degree” Attempted Murder (California Penal Code section 664: https://codes.findlaw.com/ca/penal-code/pen-sect-664.html; California Penal Code section 187(a) (https://codes.findlaw.com/ca/penal-code/pen-sect-187.html) and was therefore facing a potential life sentence with possible parole if convicted of that charge.

Ninaz Saffari took the case to preliminary hearing, where she was able to prove to the judge that client clearly had no intention to kill the purported victim.

Result: Attempted murder charge dismissed with prejudice (meaning that the DA’s Office cannot be refiled against client).

Investigation of B.S. (Undisclosed LA County Police Agency — February 2022)

Client is a high-level executive with a top-five global super-corporation and therefore stood to lose this position based on the allegations of his former romantic partner. Specifically, she claimed that he either intentionally or unintentionally-but-recklessly (i.e., without failing to warn her and without using a latex condom) gave her an STD (sexually transmitted disease).

Without disclosing significant detail for reasons we are not at liberty to disclose, the former partner was willing to proceed with criminal charges against him. In California, you can be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in the county jail if you are proven in a court of law, and beyond a reasonable doubt, to have intentionally (and not merely recklessly) transmitted HIV/AIDS, herpes, or any other STD to an unknowing person.

The specific criminal charge is a violation of California Health and Safety Code section 120290(g)(1) (Intentionally Transmitting Sexually Transmitted Disease). (Prior to 2018, this crime would have been charged as a felony with potential prison time upon conviction.)

Alternatively, the prosecutor could have charged client with one or more of the following offenses:

Simple Battery (California Penal Code section 242);

Battery Causing Injury to Specified Victim Not a Peace Officer (California Penal Code section 243(b)-(c)(1)); and/or

Domestic Battery (Penal Code section 243(e)(1)).

The latter two charges could have resulted in as much as a full year in jail.

As a result, client hired Ninaz Saffari on a pre-file basis to head off any police investigation, as well as criminal charges. Again, even a single misdemeanor conviction would have resulted in client losing his position and millions of dollars.

Result: No charges filed and no successful police investigation.

People v. E.V.S. (Compton Superior Courthouse: https://www.sandiego.gov/police — February 2022)

Client – a former professional actor with almost two dozen credits to his name, including significant roles in multiple major Hollywood films – had dropped his vehicle off to get fixed at a mechanic’s shop. One month later, the mechanic finally told him it was ready. Client borrowed a friend’s car and drove to the mechanic’s garage.

The mechanic told client that he had fixed the initial problem, but had also changed out many old parts and, therefore, client would have to pay him five times the initial quote. Not surprisingly, client was furious, telling him that he had never authorized such work. The mechanic backed down and they negotiated a much lower price.

But then things devolved from there. After client got into his supposedly repaired vehicle, he discovered it wouldn’t start! He got out of the car and argued with the mechanic. When client accidentally dropped the keys he was holding to his friend’s car, mechanic scooped them off the ground and refused to return them, effectively committing the crime of False Imprisonment (California Penal Code section 236).

And that’s when things further spiraled downward. Mechanic, unprovoked, shoved client backwards, thereby committing Simple Battery (California Penal Code section 242).

At that point, client went back to his friend’s car and retrieved a hammer from the trunk. He then returned to the mechanic and demanded he return the friend’s car keys. That’s when mechanic grabbed some type of heavy metal instrument or object (possibly a wrench or pipe) and smashed client over the head! Client fought back and struck mechanic with the hammer, but mechanic injured him far worse.

Deputies arrived from the Compton Sheriff’s Station. The mechanic claimed client had attacked him without provocation with the hammer, and denied striking him back, much less with a metal object. As a result, client was arrested and charged with felony Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW) (California Penal Code section 245(a)(1)).

Maximum sentence: four-and-a-half years in prison.

At the preliminary hearing, Ninaz Saffari put the arresting sheriff’s deputy on the stand. He confirmed that the mechanic had refused to provide the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department with video footage from his multiple security cameras which would have revealed exactly what happened that day.

The deputy also admitted that the mechanic had been acting strangely during the interview, repeatedly walking away from the deputy and otherwise being extremely uncooperative and cagey.

Next, Ninaz surprised the deputy when she informed him that the mechanic had not picked up off the ground client’s own-vehicle keys (as the deputy had until then believed), but had refused to give back client’s friend’s keys.

Finally, even the deputy himself believed the mechanic had been lying about not having attacked client when the client was brought forward with blood streaming from his head and mouth.

Result: Assault with a Deadly Weapon charge dismissed at the culmination of the Preliminary Hearing.

Investigation of R.O. by Burbank Police Department: https://www.burbankpd.org Sex Crimes Unit – Nov. 2021)

Client was accused of a host of offenses, including allegedly fondling (over clothing) a minor who was a member of his family. As a result, he was charged by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office with the following misdemeanors:

Lewd Acts with a Minor Child Age 14 or 14 with Defendant at Least 10 Years Older (California Penal Code section 288(c)(1));

Annoying or Molesting a Child Under 18 (California Penal Code section 647.6);

Sexual Battery (California Penal Code section 243.4);

Making a Criminal Threat (California Penal Code section 422);

False Imprisonment (California Penal Code section 236);

Simple Battery (California Penal Code section 242); and

Violating a Protective Order (California Penal Code section 273.6).

If convicted of all counts, and if handed consecutive sentences, he would be facing as much as seven years in the Los Angeles County Men’s Jail facility.

In addition, the client was a DACA recipient and therefore faced deportation as the sex crimes are considered to be moral turpitude offenses.

Result

Ninaz Saffari got the client six months of Informal Diversion (California Penal Code section 1001.94; California Penal Code section 1001.95) with only once-a-month counseling, no jail, followed by dismissal of all charges. And the client’s DACA status was undisturbed.

People v. B.S. (Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center: http://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/info/ccb – Nov. 2021)

Making a Criminal Threat (California Penal Code section 422);

False Imprisonment (California Penal Code section 236);

Simple Battery (California Penal Code section 242); and

Violating a Protective Order (California Penal Code section 273.6).

If convicted of all counts, and if handed consecutive sentences, he would be facing as much as seven years in the Los Angeles County Men’s Jail facility.

In addition, the client was a DACA recipient and therefore faced deportation as the sex crimes are considered to be moral turpitude offenses.

Result

Ninaz Saffari got the client six months of Informal Diversion (California Penal Code section 1001.94; California Penal Code section 1001.95) with only once-a-month counseling, no jail, followed by dismissal of all charges. And the client’s DACA status was undisturbed.

People v. E.C. (Riverside County Superior Court – October 2021)

Client’s wife called police on him, claiming he had set a fire in the interior of their living room. She also accused him of possessing a firearm in the presence of their two young children, which the police believed had placed the minors in jeopardy.

Shortly thereafter, a SWAT team arrived and after a five-hour standoff, the client was arrested. In a case that garnered some local media attention, the client was eventually charged with the following felonies.

Arson (California Penal Code section 451(b);

Child Endangerment (California Penal Code section 273a; and

Domestic Battery (California Penal Code section 243(e)(1))

In addition, the Arson charge was prosecuted as a Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b));
California Penal Code section 667.5(c) (“Violent Felonies”);
California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) (“Serious Felonies”).

In addition, the client was served with an Emergency Protective Order (EPO) (California Family Code section 6251)

Based on the foregoing, if he had been convicted of all charges, including the Strike enhancement, he would receive as much a decade-and-a-half in prison (with the Arson/Strike portion served at 85% minimum, even with good behavior).

Ninaz fought the case hard, convinced of the client’s innocence, and was ready to go to trial. However, in light of how conservative Riverside County judges and juries are, the client understandably did not want to risk a trial.

Result: A single felony plea to Arson with a Robbery (California Penal Code section 211) with NO prison or even jail; three months of mental health counseling; one year of child endangerment counseling; and four years of formal probation.

However, he will be eligible for Early Termination of Probation (California Penal Code section 1203.3) after only 24 months, followed by immediately by Felony Reduction to a Misdemeanor (California Penal Code section 17(b)), followed immediately by an Expungement (California Penal Code section 1203.4) and thereby dismissal of the misdemeanor charge/conviction.

People v. L.W. (Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center – October 2021)

L.W. was caught on a surveillance camera holding up a medical marijuana dispensary at gunpoint (with what appeared on camera to be a semi-automatic handgun). The video footage also captured him dragging one of the employees by the neck, allegedly almost strangling the employee.

Unfortunately for L.W., who was high on illegal narcotics at the time, the outside CCTV camera captured the license plate of his getaway vehicle, which is how police eventually caught up with him.

As a result, he was charged with the following felonies:

Armed Robbery/Second-Degree Robbery (California Penal Code section 212.5(c));

Robbery (in General) (California Penal Code section 211);

Robbery in Concert (California Penal Code section 213(a)(1)(A))

(because the interior surveillance camera showed him coming in with an accomplice, and the outside camera showed a third accomplice – the getaway driver).

Assault with a Firearm (California Penal Code section 245(a)(2))

Assault with Intent to Commit a Felony (California Penal Code section 220)

Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW) (California Penal Code section 245(a)(1) (max 4 years)

Making a Criminal Threat (California Penal Code section 422) (because he allegedly threatened to shoot the employee during the incident).

In addition, he was also charged with a Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b));
California Penal Code section 667.5(c) (“Violent Felonies”);
California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) (“Serious Felonies”).

, as well as a special allegation of Personal Use of a Firearm During a Felony (California Penal Code section 12022.5)

As a result of all the foregoing charges and sentencing enhancements, L.W. was facing at least two dozen years in state prison. And because of the Strike charge, if convicted (which, based on the surveillance footage, was all but certain), he would have to serve at least 85% of that sentence.

See also Punishments for Robbery (California Penal Code section 213)

Ninaz Saffari fought this case with everything she had for over a year. Finally, and incredibly, she obtained an offer that even the judge said on the record was “unheard of”, confirming that in all his years on the bench, he had never given such a light sentence in light of the circumstances, the charges, and the overwhelming evidence against the defendant.

Result: A single felony plea to Robbery (California Penal Code section 211) with a nine-year suspended sentence, one year of in-patient rehab, followed by four years of formal probation. In other words, if L.W. successfully completes his rehab and probation, he won’t have to serve a single day in jail/prison.

People v. L.W. (Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center – October 2021)

L.W. was caught on a surveillance camera holding up a medical marijuana dispensary at gunpoint (with what appeared on camera to be a semi-automatic handgun). The video footage also captured him dragging one of the employees by the neck, allegedly almost strangling the employee.

Unfortunately for L.W., who was high on illegal narcotics at the time, the outside CCTV camera captured the license plate of his getaway vehicle, which is how police eventually caught up with him.

As a result, he was charged with the following felonies:

Armed Robbery/Second-Degree Robbery (California Penal Code section 212.5(c));

Robbery (in General) (California Penal Code section 211);

Robbery in Concert (California Penal Code section 213(a)(1)(A))

(because the interior surveillance camera showed him coming in with an accomplice, and the outside camera showed a third accomplice – the getaway driver).

Assault with a Firearm (California Penal Code section 245(a)(2))

Assault with Intent to Commit a Felony (California Penal Code section 220)

Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW) (California Penal Code section 245(a)(1) (max 4 years)

Making a Criminal Threat (California Penal Code section 422) (because he allegedly threatened to shoot the employee during the incident).

In addition, he was also charged with a Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b));
California Penal Code section 667.5(c) (“Violent Felonies”);
California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) (“Serious Felonies”).

, as well as a special allegation of Personal Use of a Firearm During a Felony (California Penal Code section 12022.5)

As a result of all the foregoing charges and sentencing enhancements, L.W. was facing at least two dozen years in state prison. And because of the Strike charge, if convicted (which, based on the surveillance footage, was all but certain), he would have to serve at least 85% of that sentence.

See also Punishments for Robbery (California Penal Code section 213)

Ninaz Saffari fought this case with everything she had for over a year. Finally, and incredibly, she obtained an offer that even the judge said on the record was “unheard of”, confirming that in all his years on the bench, he had never given such a light sentence in light of the circumstances, the charges, and the overwhelming evidence against the defendant.

Result: A single felony plea to Robbery (California Penal Code section 211) with a nine-year suspended sentence, one year of in-patient rehab, followed by four years of formal probation. In other words, if L.W. successfully completes his rehab and probation, he won’t have to serve a single day in jail/prison.

People v. A.H. (Burbank Ct. – Sept. 2021):

In late Jan. ’18, Burbank Police Department officers arrested Client (then twenty-five years old) for almost half-a-dozen counts of armed robbery (with use of a semi-automatic handgun) committed over a period of less than a quarter-hour at around 5:00 a.m.

A SWAT team arrested him at his San Fernando Valley apartment. As a result, he was prosecuted for the following:

Five counts of Second-Degree Robbery (California Penal Code section 212.5(c));

Five Special Allegations of Personal Use of a Firearm During a Felony (California Penal Code section 12022.5);

Five Strike Offenses (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b); California Penal Code section 667.5(c) (“Violent Felonies”)).

If convicted of all counts, including the Special Allegations and Strikes, he was looking at thirty-three years in a state penitentiary, to be served at 85% even with good-behavior credits (because of the Strikes).

This was a case Ninaz Saffari would have happily taken to trial, particularly in light of the fact that none of the five purported victims were able to identify him as the armed robber. In fact, several described a completely different looking culprit; one testified that several men had committed the robbery; and one testified that he was certain Client was not the culprit.

Notwithstanding, however, Client – who has been incarcerated since his arrest 3.5 years ago, understandably did not want to risk going to trial and thereby face more than three decades in prison if convicted of all charges.

Ninaz fought as hard and as long as she could to get him a no-prison, one-Strike deal, even going all the way up to District Attorney George Gascón’s #2 man. Unfortunately, however, because of the gun allegations, Client was forced to choose between either no prison and two Strikes, or five years in prison and a single Strike.

Client chose the latter because he understandably did not want to risk getting a Third Strike (California Penal Code section 667(e)(2)), which would automatically result in a 25-to-life sentence. Keep in mind that a Strike can be something as relatively innocuous as Making a Criminal Threat (California Penal Code section 422).

Result: Five years in prison; however, because of custody credits, and with good-time credits in prison at two-thirds minimum for a Strike offense (because of current overcrowding conditions), Client will be a free man in as little as one year.

People v. S.M. (Compton Superior Court – Sept. 2021):

Client was arrested, charged, and prosecuted for three separate felony counts of Making a Criminal Threat (California Penal Code section 422).

Each of these, in turn, were also charged and prosecuted as separate Strike Offenses (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b)); California Penal Code section 667.5(c) (“Violent Felonies”); California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) (“Serious Felonies”).

More specifically, client was alleged to have threatened to harm or kill three different purported victims on two dates. As a result, if convicted of at least one felony count stemming from each of those dates, he faced a maximum of eight years in state prison. (Since he had no prior criminal record, he would not receive any Strike enhancements on the current charges. However, he would have to serve at least 85% of any current sentence because of the Strike(s).)

Result: LADALF was able to get Client Mental Health Diversion (California Penal Code section 1001.36), which will consist of six months of weekly anger management counseling, along with one year of weekly mental health therapy. Finally, if he stays out of trouble for 12 months, all three charges will be dismissed with prejudice.

People v. J.C. (C.S. Foltz Criminal Justice Ctr. – Aug. 2021): This was an extremely unusual case, one which LADALF’s chief attorney Ninaz Saffari had never previously dealt with. The facts are what made this case relatively unique. Specifically, one night Ms. C. had gone out to meet a man she had recently met (“David”), who secretly drugged her drink. That was the last thing she remembered before she blacked out. When she awoke the next morning, she almost had a heart attack – literally. Her heart was pounding wildly, her body was shaking, and she truly believed she was about to die. She had never felt anything even remotely resembling this before, not least of all because she had never done drugs before. (J.C. was an upstanding citizen who had never been in trouble before, and who had worked full-time for many years at a bank.) Because she couldn’t think straight, she jumped in her car and drove onto the freeway in search of a CHP officer. Minutes later, she saw a CHP patrol car on the side of the freeway. She immediately pulled over, stopped in front of him, and notified him of what had happened. Unfortunately, the CHP officer didn’t believe her story, had her perform a Field Sobriety Test, then arrested her when she failed. He then transported her to a local hospital, where she voluntarily submitted to a drug test, which came out positive for crystal meth. As a result, she was charged with Driving Under the Influence of a Drug (California Vehicle Code section 23152(f)). As a result, she faced her first criminal conviction and a maximum of 12 months in jail. Result: Ninaz was able to convince both the prosecutor and the judge to give J.C. Judicial Diversion (Court Initiated Diversion) (California Penal Code section 1001.95) with only once-per-week alcohol/drug counseling for three months and a single two-hour online Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) class. She paid no fines, there was no probation, and no jail. Once she completes her program, her case will be dismissed.

People v. A.G. (Investigated by LAPD Sex Crimes Detective – August 2021):

The four-year-old daughter of a family friend, as well as the purported victim’s mother herself, called LAPD to report that the girl had been sexually molested by “Arthur”.

As a result, Arthur was arrested on suspicion of Lewd Acts with a Minor Child Under 14 (California Penal Code section 288), which carries a maximum prison sentence of eight years.

By the time Arthur hired us, as we learned after we immediately reached out to the detective, was that the file had been sent to the DA’s Office for the filing of a formal charge.

As always with Pre-File cases, we immediately conducted our own thorough investigations, the results of which included the mother’s text messages, as well as other exculpatory information.

This evidence convinced the detective that there were serious credibility issues with the purported victim and her mother. Better yet, it did the same with the assigned prosecutor, who fortunately had not yet filed the case.

Result: The DA’s Office notified us that the case had been rejected and no charges would be filed.

People v. N.C. (Gardena PD Investigation – August 2021):

The sister of the suspect, “Nick”, whom she was living with, called Gardena police to report that he had beaten and choked her. When the officers arrived, they allegedly determined that she had been visibly injured. Fortunately, Nick had left the premises before they arrived. Even more fortunately, he wisely hired me on a Pre-File basis.

After reaching out to the detective in charge of the investigation, I learned that Nick was about to be charged with felony Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (California Penal Code section 273.5).

Even worse, Nick had two previous Strike convictions under California’s so-called Three Strikes Law, which is codified at California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b); California Penal Code section 667.5(c) (“Violent Felonies”); and California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) (“Serious Felonies”).

As a result, if charged and convicted of the current offense, he would receive a Third Strike (Penal Code section 667(e)(2)) – a conviction which entails a mandatory prison sentence of 25-to-life.

As if all that wasn’t bad enough, this detective had a long, unpleasant history with Nick, and had previously sent him off to a 12-year prison sentence on one of the prior Strikes. By all accounts, the detective truly had it in for Nick and, therefore, was determined to send him off to prison for life.

Result: As a result of extensive efforts, including techniques I’m not at liberty to disclose in this case summary, the detective closed the case (and, therefore, declined to send it to the DA’s Office for the filing of formal charges).

People v. E.B. (Inglewood Courthouse – July 2021)

Client was charged with a felony for Willfully Inflicting Corporal Injury on a Spouse Resulting in Traumatic Condition (California Penal Code section 273.5) and was therefore facing as much as four years in a state penitentiary.

In addition, he was also being charged with a Special Allegation of Inflicting Great Bodily Injury (GBI) under circumstances involving domestic violence (California Penal Code section 12022.7(e)), which meant he could receive a five-year enhancement, or a total of nine years.

In addition, because physical injury was alleged, “Edward” was also facing a Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b)), which means that if convicted and sentenced to prison, he would have to serve at least 85% of the sentence, even with good-time credits.

We fought this case tooth-and-nail, including filing numerous motions and constantly pushing the case towards trial. The prosecutor was extremely aggressive to the point where she wanted to put the client’s very young children on the stand to testify against him – something that in our experience was unheard of. In addition, she felt particularly confident because there were several purported eyewitnesses who could supposedly testify against Edward.

Result: On the eve of trial, despite constantly telling us that she would never do so, the prosecutor offered our client Diversion – six months of domestic violence classes to be followed by a full dismissal. He never served a single day in jail.

People v. J.B. (DTLA courthouse – July 2021)

“James” was prosecuted for Second-Degree Robbery pursuant to California Penal Code § 211, which comes with a maximum 60-month state penitentiary term (but see below).

However, since he allegedly threatened the purported victim with a bladed weapon, he was also facing a Special Allegation of Personal Use of a Dangerous Weapon During the Commission of a Felony (California Penal Code section 12022). He was therefore now facing nine years behind bars.

But far worse, James already had several Second-Degree Robbery convictions on his record. As a result, if convicted on the current charge, he would receive a Third Strike (California Penal Code section 667(e)(2)). This means that a conviction thereunder would result in a possible life term.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, while we were representing James, he was arrested once more – again, for armed robbery and charged with two more counts of Second-Degree Robbery, this time with Special Allegations of Personal Use of a Firearm During a Felony (California Penal Code section 12022.5), all but guaranteeing at least a quarter-century in prison and, more likely, life, if convicted of the two pending Strikes.

Result: We were able to consolidate both cases with a five-year plea. With custody credits of one year, and with the current two-thirds minimum sentence for Strikes (because of overcrowding), James will be out in as little as 32 months.

People v. R.M. (Downey PD investigation – July 2021)

“Robert” wisely hired us as soon as he learned he was being investigated by the Downey Police Department for suspicion of Forcible Rape of a Minor Under Fourteen (California Penal Code section 264(c)(1)). If charged and convicted, he would receive as much as thirteen years in state prison.

As always when we are hired on a Pre-File basis, we immediately contacted the investigating detective who, fortunately, had not yet transferred the file over to the District Attorney’s Office for formal prosecution. Better yet, the detective was receptive and open-minded to our client’s insistence of innocence.

Result: After providing the detective with the results of our extensive investigation, and following many calls with him, we were able to convince him to drop the case. No charges filed.

People v. S.J. (Criminal Courts Bldg. DTLA: http://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/info/ccb — 04/2021

Client’s home was raided by a joint task force of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) – specifically, the latter’s East Los Angeles Narcotics Bureau.

Over a dozen DEA agents and LASD Sheriff’s deputies, as well as an LASD helicopter, swooped down upon and raided client’s home, where 20 kilos of near-pure cocaine and almost half-a-million dollars were allegedly seized from his safe.

Incredibly, even unbelievably, because this was considered to be a non-violent offense, and because the feds handed off the prosecution to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) on state-only charges, and because of the no-jail policy in place at the time to fight Covid, client was merely cited and released! This might not have been the case had he been arrested with firearms. (All the alleged drugs and cash were, of course, confiscated as evidence.)

If you can’t believe this, neither did the client’s alleged associates, who demanded a letter from the DEA confirming his arrest and pending prosecution, lest the client be forced to face obvious complications with said associates. But that’s precisely what Ninaz Saffari did – she obtained this confirmation directly from the lead DEA Special Agent on the case.

An additional complication stems from the fact that the client previously served a long prison term for mid-level drug trafficking.

Current charges:

Possession for Sale of a Controlled Substance (California Health and Safety Code section 11351); and

Sale or Transportation of a Controlled Substance (California Health and Safety Code section 11352).

Likely minimum sentence if convicted of all charges: 25 years because of previous conviction. In addition, client would be required to register as a habitual drug offender pursuant to California Health & Safety Code section 11590 – see Narcotics Offender Registration — )for at least five years.

Status: Undetermined.

In re R.S. (East Lake Juvenile Courthouse – February 25, 2021)

Client’s family retained LADALF’s Ninaz Saffari after learning that he had been investigated for allegedly sexually abusing a four-year-old extended-family member dozens of times over an extended period. As a result, the client, who was a minor at the time of the alleged incidents, was now facing the following potential charges:

Lewd Acts with a Minor Child Under 14 (California Penal Code section 288); and

Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child (California Penal Code section 288.5).

Ninaz immediately contacted the investigating detective who informed her that he had already transferred the matter to the DA’s Office for filing charges. Indeed, the detective had even issued the client a summons to appear in court.

Ninaz had numerous conversations with the detective, as well as the family, which was understandably extremely concerned and adamant about the client’s innocence (as was, of course, the client himself). As usual, Ninaz conducted a thorough investigation, and ultimately convinced the detective that the potential case was, at best, extremely weak.

Result: DA’s Office declined to prosecute.

People v. J.C. (Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center – February 2021)

Client was prosecuted for Deliberate and Premeditated Attempted Murder (“First-Degree Attempted Murder”) (California Penal Code section 664 & California Penal Code section 187(a)) with several enhancements, including Personally Discharging a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony (California Penal Code section 12022.53(c)).

LADALF’s founder Ninaz Saffari fought the case – as always – with everything she had, always relentlessly pushing the case to trial, thereby always keeping the prosecution on the ropes. This included her filing multiple motion, such as a “995 Motion”, i.e., a Motion to Suppress Evidence (California Penal Code section 1538.5).

At every step of the way, Ninaz forced the prosecutor to confront the weaknesses of his case. Finally, once the Deputy DA realized the judge was inclined to dismiss the entire case, the client accepted a deal that was too good to pass up.

Result: Reduced plea to Assault with a Firearm (California Penal Code section 245(a)(1)). The deal meant immediate release (with nine months’ time served while awaiting trial) and two years’ formal probation.

People v. I.M. (Pasadena Courthouse – January 2021)

Client had been investigated by Arcadia PD for possible DV charges and, in fact, the detective had already referred the case to the DA’s Office for prosecution by the time the client hired LADALF.

Specifically, the authorities were looking to charge client with felony Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (California Penal Code section 273.5) because of visible injuries on the purported victim (the client’s boyfriend). Maximum sentence: four years in prison.

After conducting a thorough investigation, LADALF’s leader Ninaz Saffari was able to compile substantial exculpatory evidence proving that the purported victim had falsely accused the client of assaulting him when, in fact, the injuries actually resulted from consensual activities.

Nevertheless, it took Ninaz several months to convince the detective that the client was innocent. Fortunately, the detective ultimately agreed with her and forwarded her exculpatory package to the DA’s Office, which, after carefully reviewing it, decided not to prosecute.

Result: declination of charges with likely sealing of the arrest in less than three years when the applicable statute of limitations expires.

People v. B.D. (Norwalk – January 2021)

Suspect received a letter from a sex crimes detective from the LA County Sheriff’s Dept. informing him that he was under investigation for allegedly molesting a four-year-old child, and that he was wanted for questioning.

If charged, he would be prosecuted for a felony – specifically, Lewd or Lascivious Act: Child Under 14 Years (California Penal Code section 288(a)), which carries an eight-year maximum sentence, as well as mandatory lifetime sex-offender registration (California Penal Code section 290(b)).

Suspect hired LADALF founding attorney Ninaz Saffari, who immediately conducted her own investigation. After compiling sufficient exculpatory evidence, Ninaz contacted the detective, who was receptive, but who informed her he was conducting the investigation jointly with the DA’s Office.

Ninaz then contacted the assigned Deputy District Attorney and, with the exculpatory evidence, convinced him to formally decline charges.

Result: case dismissed.

People v. C.J. (C.C.B. Courthouse – DTLA – January 2021)

Client was caught on a surveillance camera allegedly ambushing and shooting multiple times at the purported victim at fairly close range with a semi-automatic handgun.

As a result, he was charged with Deliberate and Premeditated Attempted Murder (“First-Degree Attempted Murder”) (California Penal Code section 664 & California Penal Code section 187(a)).

In addition, he was charged with the following sentencing enhancements:

Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b)) and California Penal Code section 1192.7) because client had a previous conviction for First-Degree Residential Burglary (California Penal Code section 460(a));

Personally Discharging a Firearm During the Commission of a Serious Felony (California Penal Code section 12022.53(c)); and

Gang Enhancement (California Penal Code section 186.22).

However, LADALF leader Ninaz Saffari filed a Motion to Dismiss (California Penal Code section 995).

Result: After an exhausting two-day hearing, the judge granted her motion and dismissed all charges.

People v. E.B (Inglewood Courthouse – December 2020)

Client was charged with violating California Penal Code section 273.5 (felony Corporal Injury on a Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent) with a special allegation/sentencing enhancement for Inflicting Great Bodily Injury (GBI) (California Penal Code section 12022.7).

In addition, the alleged domestic violence crime was also being charged as a Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b) and California Penal Code section 1192.7). As a result, he was facing eight years in state prison (three years for Penal Code section 273.5 plus five years for the GBI enhancement). Also, he was facing the loss of an opportunity to apply for a license as a California insurance broker.

The evidence against the client was strong but LADALF founder Ninaz Saffari pushed relentlessly and aggressively towards trial, and filed numerous motions against the DA’s Office.

Result: On the eve of trial, the Deputy DA made an offer that was too good to refuse: misdemeanor Pen. Code section 273.5 with no jail or probation, with diversion only and 52 counseling sessions on an accelerated basis with dismissal of the charge to follow. With two sessions a week, he will have a clean record in six months and be eligible to obtain his insurance broker’s license.

People v. M.C. (LAX Courthouse – December 2020)

Client was falsely accused of numerous theft crimes by his ex-girlfriend. He hired Ninaz Saffari to try to convince the LAPD detective investigating him to not refer the case for prosecution. Ninaz quickly conducted her own investigation, then prepared and presented a package of exculpatory evidence to the detective which proved that the woman was lying for financial reasons.

However, after Ninaz repeatedly refused to allow the detective to interview the client, the detective then referred the case to the City Attorney’s Office for prosecution, which then filed five theft-related charges against him. Fortunately, however, after Ninaz spoke at length with the prosecutor, and provided the same exculpatory package, the CA’s Office dismissed all charges.

People v. P.T. (Van Nuys Courthouse – December 2020)

Client’s previous attorney had worked out a horrible deal for him – five-and-a-half months in jail for five misdemeanor counts of Driving on a Suspended License (California Vehicle Code section 14601.1(a)).

After Ninaz Saffari took over the case, at his sentencing hearing, she managed to re-negotiate the plea to five days’ jail but as a suspended sentence (so, therefore, no incarceration), as well as 20 days’ community labor. Client was particularly thrilled because instead of surrendering to sheriff’s deputies to begin his sentence, as he thought he would have do to at that time, he instead went home to spend the holidays with his family.

People v. P.T. (San Fernando Courthouse – November 2020)

Client was arrested and charged with participating in a gambling ring (a felony). With more than half-a-dozen prior convictions, including for similar offenses, he was facing at least four years in prison (not including enhancements for the priors). See California Penal Code section 182 — California’s general Conspiracy statute.

Result: Probation only with time served, potential early termination of probation, and possible expungement.

People v. M.M. (LAX Airport Courthouse – November 2020)

Client was a licensed professional who was prosecuted for multiple counts of domestic violence involving the same purported victim. Specifically, the charges were for Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (California Penal Code section 273.5).

Therefore, if convicted of all counts, he would have been facing a maximum sentence of multiple years in county jail (if the sentences ran consecutively), as well as the permanent revocation of his license and end to a successful career.

Result: Case dismissed on the first day of trial.

People v. Ryan X. (Compton Courthouse – October 2020):

Client was driving his vehicle and inadvertently came too close to a bicyclist, who was so enraged that he slammed his car on the vehicle’s hood. In a knee-jerk reaction, client turned his car into the bicyclist, knocking him over but, fortunately, not injuring him.

Nevertheless, client was arrested for and charged with Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW) (California Penal Code section 245(a)(1) (max 4 years).

In addition, he was also charged with a Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b);
California Penal Code section 667.5(c) (“Violent Felonies”);
California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) (“Serious Felonies”).

Thus, if he was convicted and sentenced to the max of 48 months, he would still have to serve almost 41 months, even with good behavior, because of the Strike enhancement.

Client hired Ninaz Saffari, who was able to convince the prosecutor to drop the charge from the felony ADW to a misdemeanor Simple Battery (California Penal Code section 242l), which nevertheless could have resulted in a 1-year jail sentence upon conviction.

Result: Fortunately, Ninaz was able to get him an outstanding misdemeanor deal with no jail, informal probation, and community service, with dismissal eligibility after successful completion of probation. And because of Covid, he didn’t even have to do any community service.

People v. J.L. (LAX Courthouse – September 2020)

Client was arrested at LAX for possession of child pornography after police discovered allegedly incriminating images on his iPhone. After it was discovered that he allegedly forwarded at least one of these images to another person, and posted one or more of these images on a chat room site, he was formally prosecuted for the following offenses:

Possession of Child Pornography (California Penal Code section 311.11(a)); and

Distribution of Child Pornography (California Penal Code section 311.1(a)).

As a result, he was facing six years in prison, as well as mandatory lifetime sex-offender registration (California Penal Code section 290(b)).

In addition, because the client was a foreign national, even a misdemeanor conviction would have resulted in him being deported.

Fortunately, however, Ninaz Saffari, LADALF’s lead attorney, was able to negotiate a greatly reduced plea to one count of Second-Degree Commercial Burglary (California Penal Code section 460), a charge which wouldn’t affect his immigration status if ultimately dismissed.

Even better, after the client successfully completed his probation, which included counsing and community service, Ninaz was able to get his burglary conviction expunged.

Result: final charge dismissed, client ended up with a clean record.

People v. B.M. (Criminal Courts Bldg., DTLA – September 2020)

Client was arrested for felony Vandalism (California Penal Code section 594) after seven or eight LAPD officers barged into his home and put him in handcuffs him in the middle of the night. He was alleged to have intentionally damaged the purported victim’s car. If convicted of a felony, he could have conceivably faced prison time.

Result: After pushing the case to trial, Ninaz Saffari was able to work out a civil compromise with the entire case being dismissed with prejudice. She then filed a petition to seal the arrest itself so client will have a clean record. Fortunately, the petition was granted.

People v. O.G. (Inglewood Superior Court – August 2020)

The client was sitting in a legally parked car in his Nissan sedan when Inglewood PD accosted because they believed his windows were illegally tinted. “Officer Mendoza” claimed he smelled burnt marijuana and saw an open container of beer in the car. As a result, he cuffed the client after the latter stepped out of the car. Ofc. Mendoza, believing he had probable cause to search because of the marijuana smell and the open container, then did just that.

First, Ofc. Mendoza found a half-smoked joint in the center console. Then he found a cooler in the back seat with five empty beer cans. He then opened the glove box and found two loose nine-millimeter bullets, followed by a nine-millimeter semi-automatic pistol with a full clip.

Because of a prior Strike conviction (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b) and California Penal Code section 1192.7) for First-Degree Residential Burglary (California Penal Code section 460(a)), the client was facing three years in county jail plus five years in state prison for the Strike enhancement.

LADALF lead attorney filed a Motion to Suppress Evidence (California Penal Code section 1538.5) and, at the hearing on the motion (which was held at the same time as the preliminary hearing), argued that because the California Vehicle Code only criminalized (as an infraction) illegally-tinted windows (i.e., windows with less than 70% transparency) while the car is being driven, the initial “stop” was illegal.

Next, she argued that due to the legalization of marijuana, the same Vehicle Code only criminalized marijuana use and possession of an open container of alcohol (both as infractions) if and only if the user/possessor was driving. In other words, she argued, because no infractions whatsoever had occurred or were occurring, Ofc. Mendoza had no probable cause to search for “additional evidence of contraband” (as he put it). After Ninaz’s withering cross-examination of Ofc. Mendoza, the judge agreed with Ninaz. Result: he dismissed the entire case.

People v. V.J. (Criminal Courts Bldg., DTLA – January 2020)

Client tried to shoplift a six-pack of beer but when the store’s security guard tried to stop him, he threatened him with a broken beer bottle. As a result, instead of being charged with a simple Shoplifting/Petty Theft misdemeanor charge (California Penal Code section 459.5), he was charged with what’s known as an Estes Robbery” (California Penal Code section 211). See People v. Estes (1983) 147 Cal.App.3d 23.

Since this is charged as a violent robbery, it’s also charged as a Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b) and California Penal Code section 1192.7) and was, therefore, facing a maximum of nine years in prison.

This max was quite possible in light of the fact that he had several theft-related convictions when he was a juvenile. (Even though his record was sealed as a juvenile, those convictions – which included at least one strike – would have nevertheless been used against him if he had gone to trial and lost the current case.)

Result: Ninaz Saffari worked closely with her rehabilitation placement counselor and, therefore, was able to successfully petition the judge to grant the client Mental Health Diversion (California Penal Code section 1001.36) with in-patient treatment. This meant that once the client completed the program, the charge would be dismissed.

People v. T.S. (Beverly Hills Courthouse: https://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/info/BH –06/2019)

Woman in her 20’s was driving recklessly and at excessive rate of speed through residential Westwood (not in the Village but in the UCLA student apartments area off Westwood Blvd.) while heavily intoxicated and allegedly also high on heroin and cocaine.

Unfortunately, she crashed into a parked car and was arrested by officers of the Los Angeles Police Department. She failed a field sobriety test (FST) and was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23152).

Fortunately, since she remained at the scene of the crash, as opposed to attempting to flee therefrom, she was not charged with misdemeanor Hit and Run with Property Damage but No Injuries (California Vehicle Code section 20002).

But she was charged with two additional misdemeanor counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance (California Health and Safety Code section 11350) when, at the time she was searched at the local police station, she was found to have small quantities (i.e., personal use) of cocaine and heroin. In addition, she was charged with misdemeanor DUID — Driving Under the Influence of a Drug (California Vehicle Code section 23152(f)).

Max potential sentence if convicted of all charges: More than 24 months in the Women’s Central Jail Los Angeles County — Century Regional Detention Facility.

Result: Since the evidence was overwhelming that client was far above the .08% BAC level when she crashed, Ninaz Saffari had no choice but to work out a plea deal for a first-time DUI with no jail, one year of AA classes, informal probation, and a fine. But in consideration, the drug and DUID charges were dismissed.

People v. J.C. (Central Civil West Superior Courthouse, March 2019 )

Client was being investigated for Welfare Fraud (California Welfare and Institutions Code section 10980) with possible additional charge of Grand Theft (California Penal Code section 487). The latter charge alone, upon conviction, could result with a maximum felony sentence of three years in the county jail (plus up to six months for the underlying misdemeanor welfare fraud charge).

Ninaz Saffari spoke to the assigned California Welfare Fraud investigator and convinced him that they had made a mistake. Importantly, during the state’s investigation, Ninaz made sure to prevent her client from speaking with the detective because these interviews are typically done to prove specific intent to defraud the state.

Result: The authorities agreed not to pursue charges — case dropped.

People v. J.C. (Los Angeles Superior Court – Van Nuys, September 2018)

The client was charged with felony Robbery (a Strike, which is a violent felony) and was facing 26 years in prison. The client had a previous Robbery conviction and was on parole. His previous lawyer got the client an 8-year-prison offer on the felony Robbery charge, which would have resulted in a second Strike on his record for the new case. Ms. Saffari reviewed the police report, the transcript of the accusers’ testimony, and the LAPD officers’ body-cam footage. She presented evidence of inconsistencies in the case to the District Attorney, as well as problems with the accusers’ credibility, and pushed the case to a jury trial. The Robbery charge was dismissed and the client received a no-jail, no-probation deal for Receiving Stolen Property (a reduced charge). The client avoided having a second Strike on his record.

People v. P.L. and Z.L. (L.A. Superior Court – Pomona, February 2018)

The clients (a husband and wife) were charged with Felony Child Endangerment after their child was inadvertently left in a “hot car” and passed away. Each client was facing 12 years in prison.  After putting together, a mitigation package and presenting it to the District Attorney, Ms. Saffari negotiated formal diversion, which ultimately resulted in a dismissal for both clients.

People v. J.G. (Los Angeles Superior Court – LAX Courthouse, February 2018)

The client was charged with 12 felony counts of Lewd Acts Against a Minor, and was facing a total of 10 years in prison. The client’s previous attorney continued the case for 10 months with no results while the client was in custody. After taking the case, Ms. Saffari filed a Motion to Dismiss based on the violation of the client’s speedy trial rights. After several hearings on the motion, and after she had the case set for a jury trial, and within 2 months of her taking the case, the client was released with time served and no probation. Ms. Saffari negotiated a reduced plea to Unlawful Sex with a Minor, with all other charges dismissed.

People v. I.R. (L.A. Superior Court – Burbank, February 2018)

The client was charged with felony Elder Abuse and faced 7 years in prison for allegedly embezzling more than $50,000 through credit card fraud. Ms.Saffari negotiated no jail time with formal diversion, and the case was ultimately dismissed. The client was an insurance broker who was able to save her license and career.

People v. R.M. (DTLA – CCB, January 2018)

Client was arrested with two ounces of cocaine and two ounces of crystal meth so charged with two counts: one of Possession for Sale of a Controlled Substance (California Health and Safety Code section 11351) (cocaine) and one of Possession for Sale of Methamphetamine (California Health and Safety Code section 11378). He had a prior expunged felony conviction for the same former charge many years earlier, but was nevertheless now facing four years in prison.

Client ultimately pled no contest to two wobbler felonies for Possession of a Controlled Substance (California Health and Safety Code section 11350) (cocaine and meth), but after he successfully completed probation, the wobblers were reduced to misdemeanors, which were then expunged. As a result, the judge withdrew the guilty pleas and entered not guilty pleas, thereby dismissing all charges.

See also “Wobbler” at California Penal Code section 17(b).

People v. J.C. (Van Nuys courthouse — September 2017)

Client was prosecuted for a dozen violent felonies, including:

“Gang Rape” (Forcible Rape in Concert) (California Penal Code section 264.1(a));

Aggravated Kidnapping – Robbery, Rape, Other Sex Offenses (California Penal Code section 209(b));

Oral Copulation by Force or Fear (California Penal Code section 287); and

Forcible Sexual Penetration with a Foreign Object (California Penal Code section 289).

Specifically, the client and five other males (three adults and two juveniles) allegedly kidnapped and gang-raped a 16-year-old girl over a weekend.

After months of intensive efforts, however, Ninaz procured a videotape from someone connected to one of her client’s co-defendants, which unequivocally proved that the girl had literally lied about every criminal allegation.

In addition, following an intensive investigation she conducted with her favorite private investigator, Ninaz was able to learn that the girl had made similarly false sexual-assault allegations in the past to cover up her weekend runaway episodes from her parents. (Sadly and despicably, one of those falsely accused males was convicted and forced to serve significant time in jail.)

All of the foregoing came to light during the preliminary hearing. Based on her performance in court leading up to the prelim, the other five (male) defense attorneys wisely stepped back and allowed her to take the lead. They – and their clients, and their clients’ families – could not have been happier with the result.

With the video and other evidence she uncovered, Ninaz competed a scathing cross-examination of the accuser, who refused to even look at the video, or even to say another word when confronted with her lies.

As a result, Ninaz immediately filed a Motion to Dismiss (California Penal Code section 995).

Result: Before the judge ruled on the motion, the prosecutor dismissed all charges against all six defendants. As Ninaz exited the courtroom that day, she was embraced by a large group of grateful relatives of the (falsely) accused. All six defendants went home within a day or two.

People v. C.W. (L.A. Superior Court – Downtown Criminal Court, June 2017)

The client was charged with felony Witness Intimidation (a Strike) and False Arrest. Ms.Saffari took the case to Jury trial. she obtained a verdict of not guilty on the Witness Intimidation charge and a hung jury (8 voted not guilty and 4 voted guilty) on the False Arrest charge. The client will not go to prison because of the not guilty verdict on the Strike charge. Retrial is set for January 2019 but, again, this time the client will not face any jail time. She is confident that the client will be acquitted on the lesser charge in the retrial.

People v. R.C. (Criminal Courts Bldg., DTLA – March 2017)

Client stabbed the victim 30 times with a knife and so was charged with Deliberate and Premeditated Attempted Murder (“First-Degree Attempted Murder”) (California Penal Code section 664) with a potential life sentence, including enhancements for a Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b) and California Penal Code section 1192.7) and Personal Use of a Dangerous Weapon During the Commission of a Felony (California Penal Code section 12022).

During a three-week jury trial, LADALF founder Ninaz Saffari introduced evidence that the parties had previously engaged in mutual combat, and that the victim had previously threatened the client.

Result: The jury found him not guilty because of “imperfect self-defense”. Therefore, he was only convicted of attempted Voluntary Manslaughter (California Penal Code section 192(a)) (non-Strike) with an 8.5-year sentence. With credits for time served and good behavior, he could be out in as little as four years.

People v. O.H. (Los Angeles Superior Court – LAX Courthouse, March 2017)

The client was charged with felony Possession for Sale and Transportation of Methamphetamine, Cocaine, and Heroin. Santa Monica PD had been investigating him for months, searched his house pursuant to a search warrant, and arrested him. The client was facing 5 years in prison. Ms.Saffari negotiated a deal for the client with no jail time and probation only.

People v. A.S. (L.A. Superior Court – Metropolitan Courthouse, January 2017)

The client was charged with DUI (Driving Under the Influence) Causing Injury (California Vehicle Code section 23153).

Maximum sentence: The prosecutor sought four years in prison based on the traffic collision resulting in injury.

The process: Ms. Saffari put together a mitigation file and presented it to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office).

The result: She was able to negotiate a plea down to a simple misdemeanor First-Time DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23152) with no jail time, 40 hours of community service, six months of weekly Alcoholics Anonymous classes, and a small fine.

People v. JK (LA Sheriff’s Dept. – West Hollywood, September 2016)

This was a Pre-File case. The client was investigated for Sexual Battery against a hotel housekeeper. Ms.Saffari contacted the detective investigating the case and provided her with evidence to support the client’s side of the story. She also had the client take a polygraph test, which he passed. After providing evidence of the polygraph to the District Attorney, the D.A. rejected the case and declined to file charges.

People v. P.W. (LAX Courthouse — April 2016):

LADALF’s client “Patricia” had just graduated at the top of her class from college when she hired us on a Pre-File basis because of a Beverly Hills Police Department investigation. Specifically, she had been caught on a surveillance camera allegedly shoplifting a $4,000 purse from Barney’s department store.

We immediately contacted the BHPD detective in charge of the matter, but he had already referred the case to the DA’s Office for prosecution. And sure enough, she was arrested and charged the following day with Grand Theft (California Penal Code section 487)

Notwithstanding, we quickly put together a mitigation package, which included the fact that this was Patricia’s first arrest ever, and that she had been accepted to numerous Ivy League graduate-school programs. We also offered to have Patricia repay the full retail value of the purse. After getting the detective on our side, we then met with the prosecutor, who also agreed to the deal.

Result: Patricia was placed in an informal diversion program. After completing that and paying restitution, the case was dismissed.

People v. D.R. (LAPD investigation — March 2016)

Our client “Derrick” was the subject of a Los Angeles Police Department Sex Crimes unit investigation for suspicion of felony Sexual Battery (California Penal Code section 243.4(a)).

By the time Derrick hired us, the detectives not only had already forwarded the matter to the District Attorney for prosecution, but actually arrested Derrick. As a result, he was facing 48 months in a California penitentiary.

We immediately went to work with our private investigator and thereby were able to collect substantial evidence proving the Derrick’s innocence. We then took this package and met with the detective, who, after reviewing the evidence, agreed that the matter should never have been forwarded for prosecution. In fact, the detective even called the prosecutor had told him that he (the detective) had made a mistake and believed Derrick should not have been arrested.

Result: The prosecutor agreed with the detective after reviewing our evidence and dropped the charges.

People v. A.S. (Investigated by LAPD – March 2016):

“Andy” and his then-girlfriend returned from a gallery opening in DTLA and got into a heated argument, undoubtedly fueled by too much alcohol. She ended up calling the police and accused him of assaulting her.

When uniformed officers arrived at their residence to investigate, they found no signs of injury on her. Nevertheless, after speaking with her, they arrested Andy on suspicion of misdemeanor Domestic Battery (California Penal Code section 243(e)(1)). As a result, if convicted, he could expect to receive as much as twelve mos. in the county lock-up.

Fortunately, he hired Ninaz Saffari on a Pre-File basis. After instantly conducting her own investigation and presenting the results thereof to the prosecutor, she convinced him that their case was extremely weak.

Result: Case rejected (no charges filed).

People v. W.S. (Los Angeles Superior Court – Norwalk, February 2016)

Client was charged with 2 felony counts of Failure to Register as a Sex Offender. The District Attorney had previously made an offer of 2 years in prison to the client. The client’s previous attorney could not get him a better deal. Ms. Saffari met with the District Attorney Supervisor and showed him that they had inconsistencies in their case based on Ms. Saffari’s investigation. As a result, the client served only 30 days in jail instead of 2 years in prison.

People v. M.D. (CCB Courthouse – DTLA – January 2016) Client repeatedly stabbed his girlfriend with a knife and, therefore, was charged with Deliberate and Premeditated Attempted Murder (California Penal Code section 664 & California Penal Code section 187(a)), which carries a maximum life sentence. In addition, client was facing sentencing enhancements for the following: Personal Use of a Dangerous Weapon During the Commission of a Felony (California Penal Code section 12022); and Inflicting Great Bodily Injury (GBI) (California Penal Code section 12022.7); and Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b) and California Penal Code section 1192.7 (because the client had several previous convictions, including for at least one serious felony). In addition, while out on bail, the client was arrested for sexually assaulting and committing felony domestic violence against a second woman. He was therefore charged with the following new counts: Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (California Penal Code section 273.5); and Oral Copulation by Force or Fear (California Penal Code section 287). He was therefore now facing two life sentences. Fortunately, LADALF founder Ninaz Saffari pushed tirelessly and aggressively towards trial in the first case (thereby always keeping the prosecutor on the defense). As she did so, she was able to successfully argue that there was no proof the attempted murder charge was intentional. Better yet, she was able to present evidence that the attack may have been in self-defense. Finally, she was able to consolidate both cases into a single felony plea for attempted Voluntary Manslaughter (California Penal Code section 192(a)). Result: Nine years, out in four-and-a-half with time served and good behavior.

People v. J.M. (Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center: http://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/info/ccb — 12/15)

Client was arrested as part of a major drug trafficking investigation by LAPD’s Gang and Narcotics Division in downtown.

Client was arrested with approximately 40 pounds of high-quality crystal meth and was, therefore, charged by the DA’s Office with the following felonies:

Sale or Transportation of a Controlled Substance (California Health and Safety Code section 11352);

Possession of Methamphetamine (California Health and Safety Code section 11377);

Possession for Sale of Methamphetamine (California Health and Safety Code section 11378); and

Possession for Sale of Methamphetamine While on Bail (California Penal Code section 12022.1).

Max potential sentence: No prior drug convictions and no alleged sales to undercover cops; therefore, 20 years.                                              

In addition, the client was facing civil forfeiture of several pricey assets, including a new Maserati, as well as other luxury vehicles.

Finally, he would be subject to at least a half-decade of Narcotics Offender Registration (California Health and Safety Code section 11590).

Status: While Ninaz Saffari was deep into reviewing the wiretap transcripts of hundreds of hours of recorded calls between client and his alleged associates, client suddenly disappeared. It was at first believed he may have fled to Mexico but additional information/evidence raised the distinct possibility (if not probability) that he may have been murdered and buried. To date, his body – alive or dead – has not yet been recovered.

People v. C.C. (Los Angeles Superior Court – Downtown Criminal Court, November 2015)

The client had 5 separate cases for felony Narcotics Sales in different courthouses. Ms.Saffari was able to consolidate all of the client’s cases into one case. After hiring and working with a drug-treatment placement counselor, Ms.Saffari was able to convince the District Attorney Supervisor to place the client into a drug program. She negotiated no jail time with dismissal of all five cases after the client successfully completes the program.

People v. A.R. (Los Angeles Superior Court – LAX Courthouse, April 2015)

People v. A.R. (Los Angeles Superior Court – LAX Airport Courthouse, April 2015)

The client was charged with felony DUI (Driving Under the Influence) Causing Injury (California Vehicle Code section 23153).

Maximum possible prison term: Forty-eight months in a California penal institution, not including the following potential sentencing enhancement:

Refusal to Submit to DUI Chemical Test (California Vehicle Code section § 23612); and

Inflicting Great Bodily Injury (GBI) (California Penal Code section 12022.7).

The result: Ms. Saffari negotiated a no-jail/no-prison deal for the client with community service only. Specifically, client was able to plea down to a simple misdemeanor First-Time DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23152).

People v. J.B. (Los Angeles Superior Court – LAX Courthouse, March 2015)

The client was charged with felony Burglary and Receiving Stolen Property. She was facing a Strike on her record and 6 years in prison. Ms. Saffari presented evidence to the District Attorney that showed that there was no evidence to support the Burglary charge. As a result, the Burglary charge was dismissed, and the client accepted an offer to the reduced charge of Receiving Stolen Property with no jail time. This case was featured in a local newspaper article.

People v. P.M. (Los Angeles Superior Court (LAX) — February 2015)

Client was charged with felony Grand Theft (California Penal Code section 487). Ninaz was able to establish that there were serious issues with both police and witnesses positively identifying the client as the culprit.

Result: She negotiated an offer for informal diversion and a dismissal after the client completed 60 hours of community service.

People v. M. H. (Los Angeles Superior Court – LAX Courthouse, June 2014)

The client was charged with 2 counts of Domestic Violence. Ms.Saffari took the case to jury trial and successfully argued self-defense for the client. The client testified and the jury believed him. The verdict was not guilty on both counts.

People v. Corey Stewart (Los Angeles Superior Court – Torrance, May 2014)

The client was charged with 2 counts of Rape. He was facing 2 Strikes on his record and 2 life sentences in prison. Ms.Saffari lined up eight expert witnesses for jury trial. She also provided the District Attorney with a GPS map of the client’s whereabouts on the day in question which proved that the primary accuser was lying. Ms.Saffari was also prepared to impeach the other accuser with irrefutable evidence of her lies based on her social media statements. The District Attorney dismissed the entire case on the first day of trial, and the client walked out a free man after 14 months in custody. (See Corey Stewart’s video on my home page.) This case received significant local media attention.

People v. G.S. (Los Angeles Superior Court – downtown C.C.B., April 2014)

The client was charged with 2 counts of felony Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW) (California Penal Code section 245(a)(1)) for use of a semi-automatic weapon. The client maintained his innocence, so Ms. Saffari took the case to jury trial.

The client was facing a Strike (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b)) on his record and 27 years in prison.

During jury trial, she proved that the witnesses were lying by impeaching them with their prior inconsistent statements and by putting credible defense witnesses on the stand to contradict them. Ms.Saffari also put a fingerprint expert witness on the stand who testified that no matching fingerprints were found on the gun.

Result: The verdict was not guilty on all counts, and the client was acquitted of all charges.

People v. R.M. (LAX Airport Courthouse, November 2013)

Client was prosecuted for Second-Degree Murder (California Penal Code section 192(a)&(b)) and looking at a possible life-with-possible-parole sentence after he struck and killed a pedestrian with his vehicle. Client tested just below the legal limit for a DUI; however, he had a prior conviction for a First-Time DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23152) on his record so the DA’s Office wanted the max for him.

Specifically, at the prior-DUI sentencing hearing, client had been warned that if he was arrested for another DUI offense that resulted in someone’s death, he would be charged with what’s known as a “Watson Murder” (California Penal Code section 187) (which, again, is charged as second-degree murder). See People v. Watson (1981) 30 Cal.3d 290.

Result: Reduced plea to felony Vehicular Manslaughter (California Penal Code section 191.5(c)) with three years in prison, out in less than 18 months with good behavior and time served.

People v. B.H.. (Criminal Courts Bldg., DTLA – November 2013)

Client was facing at least a decade in prison for allegedly sex-trafficking a minor across state lines, as well as related felony pimping charges. Specifically, these offenses are charged as Human Trafficking (California Penal Code section 236.1), Pimping (California Penal Code section 266h), and Pandering (California Penal Code section 266i).

In addition, he was on probation at the time  from a previous felony pandering conviction, so was also facing an immediate jail sentence based on that alone.

Result: Case dismissed on first day of trial – DA’s Office decided not to re-file.

People v. A.S. (Downtown CCB courthouse — November 2013)

Our client “Adam” and his lover had an acrimonious break-up, which prompted her to make false criminal charges against him that had viciously attacked and wounded her. Shortly thereafter, LAPD arrested him on suspicion of the following offenses:

Felony Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (California Penal Code section 273.5) and

Misdemeanor Domestic Battery (California Penal Code section 243(e)(1)).

If convicted of these charges, he would risk a sentence of 48 months in prison (for the felony) and one year in the county jail (for the misdemeanor).

Immediately after he was arrested but before he was actually charged by the DA’s Office, Adam hired LADALF’s managing attorney Ninaz Saffari on a Pre-File basis. She immediately called the supervising detective, who informed her that he had already referred the matter to the DA for prosecution.

She and her private investigator immediately conducted a thorough investigation from which they gleaned substantial evidence that exonerated Adam. She then met with the assigned prosecutor and carefully went over all the evidence with him. As a result, the Deputy DA realized that Adam’s ex had actually attacked him, and he had only defended himself.

The D.D.A. quickly dropped the matter, but then referred the matter to the City Attorney’s Office for possible prosecution on the misdemeanor Domestic Battery charge. But after meeting with the Deputy City Attorney and going over the evidence with him, he, too, rejected the case.

However, only eight weeks later, the ex again filed another criminal complaint him with the LAPD, claiming he once again had attacked and injured her. Once again, Adam was arrested on suspicion of the same charges and thrown in jail. Ninaz and her P.I. put together an updated package of exonerating evidence, which, again, proved Adam had only acted in self-defense.

Result: Also once again, she had to meet with prosecutors from both the DA and CA’s Office, before both agreed to reject the case.

People v. J.C. (Los Angeles Superior Court – Inglewood Courthouse, October 2013)

This case involved the DUI arrest of the client who had a BAC of .20 (more than twice the legal limit of .08) and who was now facing his second DUI conviction. Not surprisingly, then, he was arrested, charged, and prosecuted for:

Second DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23540) – a misdemeanor.

Punishments upon conviction:

In addition, the client wanted to enlist in the U.S. military but would not be able to do so with a DUI on his record (since his first conviction had been expunged pursuant to California Penal Code section 1203.4).  

Ms. Saffari filed a Motion to Suppress Evidence (California Penal Code section 1538.5) based on the invalidity of the police traffic stop.

Result:

The City Attorney reduced the charge to a Dry Reckless (California Vehicle Code section 23103) with no jail, a small fine, and 60 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. The client was thereafter eligible to enlist.

People v. G. P. (Los Angeles Superior Court (CCB), October 2013)

The client was charged with 5 felony counts of Worker’s Compensation Insurance Fraud and Attempted Perjury. The client was a non-citizen permanent resident who faced deportation as a result of the charges. He was also the father of two young children. Two prosecution witnesses claimed that the client was not present in the area where the client claimed he had been injured on the job. Ms. Saffari had the client take a polygraph exam, which he passed. She was also able to cast doubt on the credibility of the prosecution’s witnesses by providing the District Attorney with other (defense) witness statements and by pointing out inconsistencies in the prosecution’s witness statements. Ms.Saffari set the case for a jury trial. The District Attorney dismissed the case on the first day of trial after Ms. Saffari announced that she was ready to proceed. As a result, the client was able to stay in the country and is now a permanent U.S. citizen.

People v. N.B. (Los Angeles Superior Court – LAX Courthouse, September 2013)

The client was an out-of-state resident charged with felony Transportation of Marijuana. Ms.Saffari presented evidence to the District Attorney that the marijuana was being transported for medical purposes to a dying cancer patient who lived out of state. The District Attorney called the detective investigating the case, and both agreed to give the client formal diversion. As a result, Ms. Saffari negotiated a plea agreement to a reduced charge of Simple Possession with 48 Narcotics Anonymous meetings and 30 days’ community service only. The case was dismissed after 18 months.

People v. J.B. (Los Angeles Superior Court – LAX Airport Courthouse, August 2013)

The client was a California-licensed attorney who was charged with a DUI with Refusal to take a Breathalyzer Test (California Vehicle Code section § 23612), as well as with felony Possession of Cocaine.

Specifically, he was charged with Possession for Sale of a Controlled Substance (California Health and Safety Code section 11351).

Maximum sentence:

Up to four years’ incarceration for the felony cocaine charge; plus…

Even a standard misdemeanor First-Time DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23152) can technically (though very rarely) come with a maximum 12-month county jail sentence — e.g., the Los Angeles County Men’s Jail or the Women’s Central Jail Los Angeles County — Century Regional Detention Facility.

But if you’re convicted of the underlying first-time DUI, for example, and you are found to have refused the Breathalyzer test (a.k.a. “chemical test”), then, upon sentencing, you will automatically receive an additional forty-eight hrs. in jail; an additional six months of your Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Program, and an automatic 12-months driver’s license suspension from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

In addition, the client faced the permanent loss of his law license (i.e., disbarment) from the State Bar of California.

Result:

Ms. Saffari was able to convince the assigned prosecutor, a Deputy District Attorney from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) to dismiss the Refusal charge and give the client a standard misdemeanor First-Time DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23152) with informal probation.

On the felony Possession charge, Ms. Saffari convinced the D.D.A. to give the client Informal Diversion (California Penal Code section 1001.94; California Penal Code section 1001.95) with 45 Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) classes.

The client successfully completed his diversion program, after which the prosecutor dismissed the drug charge entirely.

In addition, because the DUI was a simple misdemeanor (and not an offense involving a crime of “moral turpitude”), the client kept his law license.

Finally, after only halfway through his probationary period (during which he was not required to report to a probation officer, submit to any alcohol or drug tests, or even do any community service), the client – after paying a relatively small fine — was thereby rendered eligible for:

Early Termination of Probation (California Penal Code section 1203.3), followed immediately by:

Expungement (California Penal Code section 1203.4). As a result, he would end up with a completely clean record.

People v. R.P. (Los Angeles Superior Court – downtown C.C.B., August 2013)

This was a Pre-File case. The client was arrested for felony Grand Theft based on his full confession to the police. Ms.Saffari was able to negotiate a No-Charge deal between the investigating detective and the accuser. As a result, the case was not forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office and no charges were filed.

People v. K.E. (Los Angeles Superior Court – LAX Airport Courthouse, July 2013) The client was an adult female non-citizen green-card holder who had a high-paying federal government job with a high security clearance. She was charged with felony Vehicular Manslaughter (California Penal Code section 191.5(c)) See also: California Penal Code section 192(c). In addition, she was accused of having been drinking alcohol some time prior to the incident, which would have elevated the charge to: Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated (California Penal Code section 191.5(b)). Maximum potential prison sentences: Six years in prison. In addition, even a misdemeanor Vehicular Manslaughter conviction (i.e., no DUI allegation/charge and only criminal negligence alleged) would have resulted in deportation and loss of her job. The process: Ms. Saffari hired an accident reconstructionist as an expert witness and presented his report to the prosecutor assigned to the case. The expert’s report showed that the other party was at fault because the other party had been driving at an unsafe speed. Next, Ms. Saffari was able to attack the accuracy of the Breathalyzer machine (which had initially indicated that the client had been at a .08% blood alcohol content (BAC) level, which would have justified a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23152) charge/enhancement. Specifically, at the preliminary hearing, she devastated the state’s case during her cross-examination of the Breathalyzer technician by showing that the machine had not properly maintained and serviced; that the log books were incomplete and out of order; and that the technicians himself had insufficient training and experience to properly operate it. As a result, the judge ruled against any DUI charge/enhancement. Final result: After Ms. Saffari set the case for jury trial, the prosecutor reduced the charge to misdemeanor Reckless Driving Causing Injury (California Vehicle Code section 23104) – a minor charge which added points to her Department of Motor Vehicles (DMVrecord, but was not serious enough to jeopardize her career, her high-security clearance, or her legal residency status in the U.S. In fact, her only punishment was performing 300 hours of community service only. Client kept her job and was not deported.

People v. J.G. (Los Angeles Superior Court – Beverly Hills courthouse, May 2013)

The client was an international tourist charged with felony Possession of Cocaine. Other attorneys with whom the client had consulted all told him he would have to do a Deferred Entry of Judgment for 1 year and, therefore, would have to stay in the country during the entire DEJ period. The client only had 1 month left on his tourist visa.  Ms. Saffari negotiated a special deal for informal diversion with the District Attorney, which allowed the client to do Narcotics Anonymous meetings on an accelerated basis.  He was allowed to complete 30 N.A.’s in 3 weeks. The D.A. gave the client informal diversion, 30 N.A.’s, a $500 fine, then dismissed the case after 3 weeks.

People v. L.F. (Los Angeles Superior Court – LAX Airport Courthouse, June 2013)

The client was a Registered Nurse facing possible loss of her nursing license if convicted of a DUI. She was arrested at a police checkpoint with a .12 BAC, or 50% above the .08 legal limit. Therefore, she was charged with a misdemeanor for:

First-Time DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23152).

Maximum punishments:

  • Up to six months in jail (not all California counties);
  • Typically 36 months of summary probation (typically 3 years); 
  • Typically 90 days of a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Program;
  • Approximately a few thousand dollars in fines; and
  • Typically a 180 days’ driver’s license suspension or restriction.

Ms. Saffari negotiated with the District Attorney’s Office Supervisor and got the charge reduced to a Wet Reckless (California Vehicle Code section 23103) with no adverse consequences to her license.

(Unfortunately, a Dry Reckless was not an option in light of the high blood alcohol content.)

People v. N.H. (Los Angeles Superior Court – LAX Courthouse, August 2013)

The client’s wife caused self-inflicted injuries but falsely claimed to the LAPD that the client had cut and beat her. As a result, the client was charged with 7 counts of Domestic Violence and faced up to 7 years in prison. Ms. Saffari fought the case and went all the way to jury trial. She presented video evidence that his wife had been the aggressor during a previous fight. She also impeached the wife with the prior inconsistent statements she had made to the police that proved she was lying. One count was dismissed by the judge after Ms.Saffari filed and successfully argued a Motion to Dismiss based on insufficiency of the evidence. The jury voted not guilty on all 6 counts.

In re R.S. (Beverly Hills Courthouse — April 2013)

A 15-yer-old Beverly Hills high school student was arrested for allegedly running over another student in a stolen BMW and thereby breaking his leg. As a result, he was facing a potential Attempted Murder charge (California Penal Code section 664), and related crimes, including:

Grand Theft (California Penal Code section 487) and a sentencing enhancement for Inflicting Great Bodily Injury (GBI) (California Penal Code section 12022.7).

Client’s family initially hired a “big name” lawyer who took their money but otherwise did nothing (including returning any of their calls). The only court appearances he made was to request multiple continuances, thereby leaving the client in a juvenile detention center for six weeks until LADALF’s founding attorney Ninaz Saffari was hired.

The first thing Ninaz did was to visit the client (something the previous attorney never did) and carefully went over the police report with him and explained the facts, evidence, charges. And applicable law.

Ninaz thereafter conducted an in-person conference with client’s parents and probation officer, thereby convincing the latter that client came from a respectable background, had never been in trouble before, and deserved the latter’s support.

Ninaz was also able to prove that client had only been a passenger, had nothing to do with the stolen car, and had no idea the driver – the vehicle owner’s daughter – was going to run over the other boy.

Result: diversion, probation, and ultimately a total dismissal of all charges.

People v. S.B. (Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse, Long Beach: https://www.courts.ca.gov/facilities-la-longbeach.htm-Jan. 2010)

S.B., a white, tatted-up biker with a prison record, had been arrested and jailed after allegedly waiving an AR-15 in the air and threatening a Black neighbor – all while allegedly yelling racial epithets at the neighbor. When the police raided S.B.’s residence, they found a number of other firearms in a gun safe therein.

Based on the foregoing, he was charged with the following felonies:

Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW) (California Penal Code section 245(a)(1));

Brandishing Firearm or Deadly Weapon: Felony (California Penal Code section 417(b));

Making a Criminal Threat (California Penal Code section 422);

Felon in Possession of a Firearm (California Penal Code section 29800);

Felon in Possession of Ammunition (Penal Code section 29800);

In addition, he was charged with the following enhancements:

Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b); California Penal Code section 667.5(c) (“Violent Felonies”); California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) (“Serious Felonies”));

Gang Enhancement (California Penal Code section 186.22) (because he was allegedly a member or associate of a white supremacist prison gang – a charge which Ninaz Saffari was quickly able to debunk and get dismissed); and

Hate Crime Enhancement (California Penal Code section 422.55).

Finally, because he had previously been convicted of a Strike, he was facing up to 27 years in prison.

Result:

Ninaz was able to work out an extraordinary plea deal – a single non-Strike felony for Assault with a Firearm (California Penal Code section 245(a)(2)). Although he agreed to a prison term of seven years, with time served while awaiting trial and good behavior – and, again, because it was not a Strike conviction – assuming he behaved himself, he would be out in just over three years.

People v. J.D. (Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center – Aug. 2005) In Ninaz Saffari’s very first trial – only a few months after she began working as a Deputy PD for LA County, she defended an unhoused, mentally-ill man for three different types of Trespass misdemeanors: Simple Trespassing (California Penal Code section 602) – two counts; and Aggravated Trespassing (California Penal Code section 601) – one count. If convicted, he would face as much as two years in jail. Ninaz tried the case before a jury, and convinced them that the defendant, for the most part, did not intentionally trespass on a church’s property. She even proved that the priest who testified for the prosecution had lied about the defendant having a knife on him during one of the incidents. Despite the fact that the defendant had a felony conviction on his record for Grand Theft (California Penal Code section 487)Ninaz was nevertheless able to get the following verdict: Not guilty on the two Simple Trespassing counts, and hung jury on the Aggravated Trespassing count. Result: In lieu of trying the case a second time, the prosecutor – who had been shell-shocked by his totally unexpected defeat – offered the defendant an impossible-to-reject plea for Trespass as an Infraction (California Penal Code section 602.8), which entailed only a small fine. Interestingly, the presiding judge told Ninaz’s colleague afterwards that he was amazed at her trial skills, explaining that he believed that the prosecution had “an open and shut case” before Ninaz addressed the jury. He had no idea this had been her first time up at bat.

Juvenile Facing 8 Years in CYA  for Allegedly Assaulting & Robbing Rival Gang Member; Result: Plea Reduction to Misdemeanor, Record Sealed, No Jail Time

In re A.D. (Eastlake Juvenile Court — East L.A.) (May 2024)

Facts:

Client, an alleged gang member, was 17 years old when he was arrested by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) on suspicion for attacking, beating up, and robbing a rival gang member on behalf of his own alleged gang.

As a result, he was prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office).

Charges:

Client was charged with the following felony:

Robbery (California Penal Code section 211 P.C.), charged as a Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a) & (b) P.C.; “Violent Felonies”: California Penal Code section 667.5(c) P.C.; “Serious Felonies”: California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) P.C.).

Unfortunately, while the case was pending, Client was arrested in another incident that resulted in him being charged with the following misdemeanors:

Vandalism (California Penal Code section 594(a) P.C.); and

Petty Theft (California Penal Code section 484 P.C.; California Penal Code section 486 P.C.; California Penal Code section 490.2 P.C.).

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 1600 (“Robbery — Pen. Code § 211”);

CALCRIM No. 2900 (“Vandalism — Pen. Code § 594”); and

CALCRIM Number 1801 (“Grand and Petty Theft — Pen. Code §§ 486, 487–488, 490.2, 491”).

Maximum Sentence:

If convicted of the Robbery-Strike, Client likely would have been incarcerated in a California Division of Juvenile Justice (f/k/a California Youth Authority) facility until age 25.

The Process:

Fortunately, Ninaz Saffari has extensive experience in representing minors in juvenile criminal cases, including while she worked for four years as a Deputy Public Defender for the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office, including a full year working at the Inglewood Juvenile Court.

Nevertheless, because of the serious nature of the felony, as well as Client’s subsequent arrest, Ninaz had to fight extra hard for more than six months.

Result:

Ninaz was able to get all the charges dismissed in consideration for Client pleading to Assault by Means Likely to Produce Great Bodily Injury (GBI)/Aggravated Assault (California Penal Code section 245(a)(4) P.C.), a non-Strike felony.

However, because this is a “Wobbler” offense (California Penal Code section 17(b) P.C.), after one year, the felony will be reduced to a misdemeanor, and Client’s juvenile record will be sealed.

Otherwise, Client did not have to spend a single day in a detention center as a result of his plea.

Client Facing 2 Life Sentences + 41 Years for Disemboweling His Wife with a Knife/Attempted Murder; Overwhelming Evidence; Result: Out of Prison in 6.5 Years

People v. S.P. (Orange County Superior Court – Central Justice Center (Santa Ana) (April 2024)

Facts:

Client had a long history of chronic drug abuse and domestic violence that ultimately resulted in him physically and emotionally abusing his wife over a three-day period. This weekend ended with him stabbing her in the stomach, thereby disemboweling her in front of their three minor children. Then, when his wife tried to escape their home, he physically assaulted her and otherwise prevented her from leaving. Fortunately, she survived.

As a result, he was arrested by the Orange Police Department, and prosecuted by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Charges:

Client was charged with the following felonies:

Deliberate and Premeditated Attempted Murder (“First-Degree Attempted Murder”) (California Penal Code section 664 P.C. & California Penal Code section 187(a) P.C.);

Aggravated Mayhem (California Penal Code section 205 P.C.);

Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW)
(California Penal Code section 245(a)(1) P.C.) with a Strike enhancement for Great Bodily Injury (GBI). See (California Penal Code section 667(a) & (b) P.C.; “Violent Felonies”: California Penal Code section 667.5(c) P.C.; “Serious Felonies”: California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) P.C.);

2 counts of Making a Criminal Threat (a.k.a. Criminal Threat) (California Penal Code section 422 P.C.) – both Strikes;

Intimidating/Dissuading a Witness or Victim (California Penal Code section 136.1 P.C.) – Strike offense;

Corporal Injury to Spouse (273.5(a) P.C.);

4 counts of Child Endangerment (California Penal Code section 273a P.C.); and

False Imprisonment (California Penal Code section 236 P.C.).

Finally, Client was charged with the following misdemeanor:

Simple Domestic Battery (California Penal Code section 243(e)(1) P.C.).

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 601 (“Attempted Murder: Deliberation and Premeditation — Pen. Code §§ 21a, 189, 664(a)”);

CALCRIM Number 800 (“Aggravated Mayhem — Pen. Code § 205”);

“Assault with Deadly Weapon or Force Likely to Produce Great Bodily Injury — Pen. Code §§ 240, 245(a)(1)-(4), (b)”: CALCRIM Number 875 ;

“Criminal Threat — Pen. Code § 422”: CALCRIM Number 1300;

CALCRIM No. 2622 (“Intimidating a Witness (Pen. Code § 136.1(a) & (b)”);

CALCRIM Number 840 (“Inflicting Injury on Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent Resulting in Traumatic Condition — Pen. Code § 273.5(a)”);

CALCRIM Number 821 (“Child Abuse Likely to Produce Great Bodily Harm or Death (Pen. Code § 273a(a)”);

CALCRIM No. 1240 (“Felony False Imprisonment — Pen. Code §§ 236, 237”); and

CALCRIM Number 841 (“Simple Battery: Against Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent — Pen. Code § 243(e)(1)”).

Maximum Sentence:

Life in prison with the possibility of parole for the Attempted Murder and Aggravated Mayhem counts (two life terms); four years in prison for ADW (not counting the Strike enhancement); six years in prison for the two Criminal Threats counts (excluding Strike enhancements); four years in jail or prison for Dissuading a Witness (excluding Strike enhancement); five years in prison plus Strike for Corporal Injury; 24 years for the Child Endangerment counts; three years in the Orange County Central Men’s Jail for False Imprisonment; and one year in the Orange County Central Men’s Jail for the misdemeanor Domestic Violence charge; and one year in jail for the misdemeanor Domestic Violence charge.

The Process:

Client had initially been represented by first one private attorney and then another – both who bungled the job, and the second who was suspended by the State Bar of California. Fortunately, Client’s mother found and retained Ninaz Saffari of the Saffari Law Group.

In the two years she represented Client, Ninaz literally did everything a criminal defense attorney could do to achieve the ultimate result. No less than four separate Deputy District Attorneys cycled through the case, with the first three refusing to make any offers at all and insisting on life in prison. So, too, did the victim, who appeared at most of the hearings.

For example, Ninaz filed two separate Motions for Mental Health Diversion (California Penal Code section 1001.36 P.C.), which, based on the severity of the wife’s injuries, were both denied by the judge. She also put together a substantial mitigation package in an attempt to show the Deputy DA and the judge that Client had been suffering from severe mental health problems at the time of the incident.

Orange County courts are notoriously hard on defendants, and their prosecutors rarely make favorable offers. And on those rare occasions they do, they require the defendant to “plead to the sheet” (i.e., plead guilty to literally every single charge in consideration for a lesser sentence). That’s why Ninaz’s ultimate result was almost unheard of.

The fact that Client had previously been convicted of the following offenses certainly did not make Ninaz’s job easier:

Being Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance (California Health and Safety Code section 11550 H.S.C.) – misdemeanor;

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (California Health and Safety Code section 11364 H.S.C.) – misdemeanor;

Simple Assault (California Penal Code section 240 P.C.) – misdemeanor;

Possession of Methamphetamine (California Health and Safety Code section 11377 H.S.C.) – misdemeanor;

Violating a Protective Order (California Penal Code section 273.6(a) P.C.) – misdemeanor;

misdemeanor Vandalism (California Penal Code section 594(a) P.C.);

Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (California Penal Code section 273.5(a) P.C.) – misdemeanor; and

Resisting Arrest, a.k.a. Resisting, Delaying, or Obstructing a Public Officer, Peace Officer, or Emergency Medical Technician (California Penal Code section 148(a)(1) P.C.) – misdemeanor.

Specifically, a fourth D.D.A. was finally assigned to the case, and on the first day of the preliminary hearing, his supervisor finally caved in and made an offer that was so incredible, Ninaz had to maintain a poker face to hide her amazement.

Result:

Final plea resulted in a dismissal of the Mayhem charge and reduction of the four felony Child Endangerment offenses to misdemeanors, with a total a sentence of only 14 years in prison. However, Client received 4.3 years’ credit for time in custody awaiting trial plus good-behavior credits. This resulted in a balance of 9.7 years. However, with good-time credits reducing his sentence by one-third, Client can be released in as little as six-and-a-half years.

 

Client Facing Three Years in Jail & Sex Registration for Misdemeanor Sexual Battery; Overwhelming Evidence; Result: Civil Compromise, No Jail, Case Dismissed
People v. A.H. (San Francisco County Hall of Justice — August 2023)
Facts:
Client, the accuser, and mutual friends went clubbing in San Francisco. Everyone drank heavily that night, then all went to sleep at a local hotel. In one room, the accuser and a friend slept in one bed and Client slept in another. Client allegedly fondled her on three separate occasions that night against her will.
The accuser went to the police, who monitored and recorded a “pretext call” between the accuser and Client wherein the latter made numerous incriminating statements. In addition, Client texted the accuser numerous incriminating messages.
As a result, he was arrested by the San Francisco Police Department.
Charges:
 with the following misdemeanor:
Sexual Battery, a.k.a. Touching Intimate Part of Another
 (California Penal Code section 243.4(e)(1) P.C.) (three counts against the same accuser).
See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 938 (“Sexual Battery: Misdemeanor — Pen. Code § 243.4(e)(1)”).
Maximum Sentence:
Three years in the county jail (one year for each count); ten years’ sex registration — Sex Offender Registration (California Penal Code section 290 P.C.); and public disclosure on Megan’s Law website.
The Process:
After extensive negotiations with the DA’s Office, Ninaz was finally able to work out a civil compromise, wherein Client paid the accuser a certain sum of money in consideration for her dropping her complaint.
Result:Case Dismissed

Charges:

Client was therefore charged by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office with three felony counts of:

Engaging in Oral Copulation or Sexual Penetration with Child 10 Years of Age or Younger (California Penal Code section 288.7(b) P.C.).

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 1128 (“Engaging in Oral Copulation or Sexual Penetration with Child 10 Years of Age or Younger — Pen. Code § 288.7(b)”); and

CALCRIM Number 1127 (“Engaging in Sexual Intercourse or Sodomy with Child 10 Years of Age or Younger — Pen. Code § 288.7(a)”).

Maximum Sentence:

Life in prison.

The Process:

This was a brutal and exhausting case, spanning two-and-a-half years – all while Client was denied bail and sat in the Santa Clara County Main Jail awaiting trial.

The Client, who was adamant that he was innocent, refused to take any deal so Ninaz pushed it all the way to the first day of trial. However, during jury selection, the judge pressured the prosecutor to make an unbelievable offer – something that was virtually unheard of in Santa Clara County, which has very conservative judges and juries.

Result:

Client plead no contest (i.e., without admitting guilt) to a single felony count of:

Lewd or Lascivious Acts on a Child Under Age 14 Using Duress (California Penal Code section 288(b)(1) P.C.).

See also CALCRIM Number 1111 (“Lewd or Lascivious Act: By Force or Fear — Pen. Code § 288(b)(1)”).

He received a five-year sentence; however, with the time spent in jail awaiting trial plus good-time credits, Client will be out in 12 months.

 

People v. E.C. (Orange County Superior Court – West Justice Center

 — August 2023)

Facts:

Client allegedly shoplifted almost $4,000 worth of clothing from Nordstrom’s. She was/is a licensed Customs Broker with the Department of Homeland Security and, therefore, stood to lose her license and career (not to mention her freedom).

Charges:

As a result, Client was charged by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office with the following felony:

Grand Theft (California Penal Code section 487(a) P.C.)

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 1801 (“Grand and Petty Theft — Pen. Code §§ 486, 487–488, 490.2, 491”).

Maximum Sentence:

3 years in the Women’s Central Jail – Orange County. Plus loss of license.

The Process:

Ninaz fought this case as hard she could for nine months. Fortunately, she was able to have Client released on O.R. (her own recognizance) without having to pay for a bail bond.

Orange County criminal courts are notoriously difficult on defendants, and their prosecutors virtually never make offers for lesser charges or offer any type of diversion program.

Notwithstanding, she was ultimately able to convince the Assistant D.A. to reduce the felony charge to a misdemeanor because Grand Theft is a “Wobbler” offense (California Penal Code section 17(b) P.C.), which means that the prosecutor has the discretion to charge the offense as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

Ninaz was able to do so after preparing and submitting a mitigation package for Judicial Diversion (Court-Initiated Diversion) (California Penal Code section 1001.95 P.C.).

Result:

Even better, the judge agreed to give Client Informal Diversion (California Penal Code section 1001.94 P.C.; California Penal Code section 1001.95 P.C.) – an almost unheard of result in Orange County.

Specifically, after one year, following completion of community service and a Course For Theft Awareness Program, Client’s misdemeanor conviction would be expunged (per California Penal Code section 1203.4 P.C.), and the entire case dismissed. Not a single day in jail and she kept her license and career.

Federal Criminal Investigation of X.Z. (U.S. Attorney’s Office — Central District of California — February 2024)

Facts:

Client was about to be arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for allegedly participating in an international money laundering operation connected to a Mexican drug cartel. Fortunately, as soon as he learned that the FBI wanted to interview him (to gather incriminating evidence), Client lawyered up with the Saffari Law Group (SLG).

Potential Charges:

Conspiracy (18 U.S.C. § 371) – 5 years

Laundering of Monetary Instruments (18 U.S.C. § 1956) – 20 years

Operating an Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business (18 U.S.C. § 1960) – 5 years

Attempt to Evade or Defeat Tax (26 U.S. Code § 7201) – 5 years

Fraud and False Statements (26 U.S. Code § 7206) – 3 years

See United States Sentencing Guidelines (U.S.S.G.)

Potential Maximum Sentence:

Thirty-eight years in federal prison.

The Process:

Ninaz Saffari of the SLG spent the better part of a year trying to convince the federal prosecutors that Client was innocent – i.e., he had unwittingly participated in the scheme because his boss had lied to him about the origins of the laundered cash.

Result:

Ninaz obtained a written Non-Prosecution Agreement for Client.

People v. R.L. (LAX Airport Courthouse — August 2023)

Facts:

Client allegedly assaulted another man who standing in line to wait to use a public restroom at the beach, then drove away afterwards. The accuser’s wife followed Client to his car, then took a photo of its license plate, which is how the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) were able to track him down. The accuser was treated at the scene by EMTs from the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

As a result, Client was arrested.

In fact, however, it was the accuser who had started the fight, forcing Client to defend himself.

Charges:

Client was charged by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office (CA’s Office) with the following misdemeanor:

Simple Battery, a.k.a. Battery Upon Another (California Penal Code section 242 P.C.).

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 960 (“Simple Battery — Pen. Code § 242”).

Maximum Sentence:

Six months in the Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail.

The Process:

Although only charged with a misdemeanor, Ninaz Saffari had to fight particularly hard on this case because of the Client’s extensive criminal record, which included the following previous arrests:

First-Time DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23152(a) V.C.);

DUI — Operating a Vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.08% or Higher (Vehicle Code section 23152(b) V.C.) (convicted);

Evading an Officer in a Vehicle (California Vehicle Code section 2800.2 V.C.) (convicted); and

Resisting Arrest, a.k.a. Resisting, Delaying, or Obstructing a Public Officer, Peace Officer, or Emergency Medical Technician (California Penal Code section 148(a)(1) P.C.).

Nevertheless, they were also only misdemeanor offenses and, as Ninaz argued, he had not been arrested in more than 24 years.

In any event, Ninaz filed a Motion for Judicial Diversion (Court-Initiated Diversion) (California Penal Code section 1001.95 P.C.), which was granted.

Result:

Client received 180 days’ Diversion; no incarceration or jail; two-dozen therapy sessions; 21 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, etc. Once all that is done, Client will have his record wiped clean.

FEDERAL Pre-File: Client Facing 38 Years in Prison for Allegedly Laundering Drug Money for a Mexican Cartel; Result: Non-Prosecution Agreement; No Jail Time

 

Federal Criminal Investigation of X.Z. (U.S. Attorney’s Office — Central District of California — February 2024)

 

Facts:

 

Client was about to be arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for allegedly participating in an international money laundering operation connected to a Mexican drug cartel. Fortunately, as soon as he learned that the FBI wanted to interview him (to gather incriminating evidence), Client lawyered up with the Saffari Law Group (SLG).

 

Potential Charges:

 

Conspiracy (18 U.S.C. § 371) – 5 years

Laundering of Monetary Instruments (18 U.S.C. § 1956) – 20 years

 

Operating an Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business (18 U.S.C. § 1960) – 5 years

 

Attempt to Evade or Defeat Tax (26 U.S. Code § 7201) – 5 years

 

Fraud and False Statements (26 U.S. Code § 7206) – 3 years

 

See United States Sentencing Guidelines (U.S.S.G.)

 

Potential Maximum Sentence:

Thirty-eight years in federal prison.

 

The Process:

 

Ninaz Saffari of the SLG spent the better part of a year trying to convince the federal prosecutors that Client was innocent – i.e., he had unwittingly participated in the scheme because his boss had lied to him about the origins of the laundered cash.

 

Result:

 

Ninaz obtained a written Non-Prosecution Agreement for Client.

Client Facing Six Month in Jail for Simple Battery; Result: Diversion, No Jail, Case Dismissed

 

People v. R.L. (LAX Airport Courthouse — August 2023)

Facts:

Client allegedly assaulted another man who standing in line to wait to use a public restroom at the beach, then drove away afterwards. The accuser’s wife followed Client to his car, then took a photo of its license plate, which is how the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) were able to track him down. The accuser was treated at the scene by EMTs from the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

As a result, Client was arrested.

In fact, however, it was the accuser who had started the fight, forcing Client to defend himself.

Charges:

Client was charged by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office (CA’s Office) with the following misdemeanor:

Simple Battery, a.k.a. Battery Upon Another (California Penal Code section 242 P.C.).

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 960 (“Simple Battery — Pen. Code § 242”).

Maximum Sentence:

Six months in the Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail.

The Process:

Although only charged with a misdemeanor, Ninaz Saffari had to fight particularly hard on this case because of the Client’s extensive criminal record, which included the following previous arrests:

First-Time DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23152(a) V.C.);

DUI — Operating a Vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.08% or Higher (Vehicle Code section 23152(b) V.C.) (convicted);

Evading an Officer in a Vehicle (California Vehicle Code section 2800.2 V.C.) (convicted); and

Resisting Arrest, a.k.a. Resisting, Delaying, or Obstructing a Public Officer, Peace Officer, or Emergency Medical Technician (California Penal Code section 148(a)(1) P.C.).

Nevertheless, they were also only misdemeanor offenses and, as Ninaz argued, he had not been arrested in more than 24 years.

In any event, Ninaz filed a Motion for Judicial Diversion (Court-Initiated Diversion) (California Penal Code section 1001.95 P.C.), which was granted.

Result:

Client received 180 days’ Diversion; no incarceration or jail; two-dozen therapy sessions; 21 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, etc. Once all that is done, Client will have his record wiped clean.

People v. M.C. (LAX Airport Courthouse – March 2021)

Facts:

Client, a landlord of an apartment building in Santa Monica, was accused by one of his tenants of breaking into her apartment while she away, stealing her laptop, and then illegally changing the locks on the front door.

Charges:

As a result, Client was prosecuted by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office (CA’s Office) for the following six misdemeanor counts:

Theft (in general) (California Penal Code section 484(a) P.C.) (4 counts);

Tenant Lockout (California Penal Code section 451 P.C.); and

Tenant Harassment (Santa Monica Municipal Code section 4.56.020(l)).

Potential Maximum Sentence:

2 years in county jail.

See also California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 1800 (“Theft by Larceny — Pen. Code § 484”);

CALCRIM Number 1801 (“Grand and Petty Theft — Pen. Code §§ 486, 487–488, 490.2, 491”);

CALCRIM Number 1804 (“Theft by False Pretense — Pen. Code § 484”);

CALCRIM Number 1805 (“Theft by Trick — Pen. Code § 484”); and

CALCRIM Number 1806 (“Theft by Embezzlement — Pen. Code §§ 484, 503”).

However, Client was on federal probation at the time of his arrest for the following federal felony conviction:

Wire Fraud (Fraud by Wire) (18 U.S. Code § 1343).

Therefore, even a misdemeanor conviction would have likely resulted in him being sentenced to five years in federal prison pursuant to the United States Sentencing Guidelines (U.S.S.G.).

The Process:

Client immediately hired Ninaz Saffari after he was charged. She, in turn, immediately got to work – specifically, she commenced an in-depth and comprehensive investigation and prepared a voluminous exculpatory package that she then provided to the assigned Deputy CA.

Result:

Even after the filing of formal charges, after reviewing Ninaz’s evidentiary package, the prosecutor dismissed all charges. No probation violation ensured.

Investigation of X.L. – Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office (CA’s Office) — February 2024)

Facts:

Client is a young female college student with a temporary education visa. Her live-in boyfriend at the time called the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) to report that she had attacked him. As a result, she was arrested on the following misdemeanor:

Simple Domestic Battery (California Penal Code section 243(e)(1) P.C.).

Potential Maximum Sentence:

One year in county jail, plus immediate deportation upon release (loss of potential permanent residency status).

See also California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 841 (“Simple Battery: Against Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent — Pen. Code § 243(e)(1)”); and

CALCRIM Number 852A (“Evidence of Uncharged Domestic Violence”).

The Process:

Client prudently retained the Saffari Law Group immediately after her arrest, but before the CA’s Office could file formal charges.

SLG’s Ninaz Saffari immediately reached out and began working with the assigned Deputy CA to convince them that prosecution was not merited in this situation.

Result:

CA’s Office ultimately declined to file charges. In addition, her arrest record will be cleared in as little as 12 months after the arrest pursuant to California Senate Bill CA SB731 (“Clean Slate Law” which entitles you to automatic arrest clearance and even convictions under certain circumstances and after 12 months; effective 07/01/23).

People v. J.P.C.C. (Criminal Courts Building (C.C.B.)/Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center – December 2023)

Facts:

Client was riding shotgun in his girlfriend’s vehicle when she ran a stop sign, thereby causing them to be pulled over by a patrol car from the West Covina Police Department.

Police searched the vehicle and found over one pound of marijuana plus almost $20,000 in cash. This occurred despite both Client and girlfriend refusing to provide consent to warrantless search.

Client denied he was on parole or probation, but when W.C.P.D. ran his driver’s license, they told him there was an arrest warrant out for him for a parole violation. This was true since Client had been previously convicted of the following felony:

Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (California Penal Code section 273.5(a) P.C.). Even worse, this had been charged as a Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a) & (b) P.C.; “Violent Felonies”: California Penal Code section 667.5(c) P.C.; “Serious Felonies”: California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) P.C.)

In addition, the officers forced Client to open his iPhone where they allegedly found evidence of identity and credit-card theft.

As a result, Client was arrested for the following:

Felony Identity Theft (California Penal Code section 530.5 P.C.);

Misdemeanor Possession for Sale of Cannabis (California Health and Safety Code section 11359 H.S.C.); and

Possession of a Forged or Fake Credit Card (California Penal Code section 484(g) P.C.).

Potential Maximum Sentence:

8 years in state prison plus 6 months in the Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail = 3 years in prison for Identity Theft; 6 months in county jail for the marijuana; 3 years in prison for Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card; plus 2 years in prison for the parole violation.

See also California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 2040 (“Unauthorized Use of Personal Identifying Information — Pen. Code § 530.5(a)”);

CALCRIM Number 2352 (“Possession for Sale of Cannabis — Health & Saf. Code § 11359”); and

CALCRIM Number 1956 (“Use of Forged, etc., Access Card — Pen. Code § 484g(a)”).

The Process:

Client hired the Saffari Law Group after his arrest, but before formal charges could be filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office)

SLG’s Managing Attorney, Ninaz Saffari, immediately contacted the detective assigned to the case. However, he had already transferred the case to the DA’s Office for prosecution.

She later provided him a package of exculpatory evidence.

She also eventually filed a Motion for Return of Seized Property (California Penal Code § 1536 P.C.), which the judge granted, thereby returning Client’s confiscated cash – all except $4,000 that the arresting police officers pocketed for themselves! Ninaz informed the police department of this fact for a possible Internal Affairs Division investigation.

Result:

Ninaz obtained an outstanding plea: a simple misdemeanor on the marijuana charge; no jail; informal probation with likelihood of Early Termination of Probation (California Penal Code section 1203.3 P.C.) followed by Expungement (California Penal Code section 1203.4 P.C.). And there was no parole violation.

People v. R.M. (Riverside County Superior Court — September 2023)

Facts:

Client got into an argument with his then-domestic partner, who refused to let him leave when he tried to do so. When he tried to squeeze past her, she squeezed his testicles with force, thereby injuring him and causing him to seek medical attention. He was also forced to defend himself when she attacked him, thereby resulting in visible injuries to her.

As a result, the girlfriend called the Murrieta Police Department who arrested Client on suspicion of having committed the following:

Potential Charges:

Felony Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (California Penal Code section 273.5(a) P.C.). In addition, Client could also have been charged with a Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a) & (b) P.C.; “Violent Felonies”: California Penal Code section 667.5(c) P.C.; “Serious Felonies”: California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) P.C.).

Potential Maximum Sentence:

Five years in state prison plus possible Strike enhancement.

See also California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 840 (“Inflicting Injury on Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent Resulting in Traumatic Condition — Pen. Code § 273.5(a)”).

The Process:

Ninaz Saffari submitted a mitigation/exculpation package to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, which convinced them to formally decline to file charges after the falsity of the accuser’s statements came to light.

Result:

Case dismissed.

Client Facing 30 Years in Prison plus Lifetime Sex Registration after Pleading Guilty to  Sexually Assaulting a Minor; Client Admitted All to Police; Result: 30 Days in Jail

 

State of Arizona v. K.M. (Pinal County Superior Court, Arizona — February 2024)

Facts:

Client, then age 15, allegedly raped a then-7-year-old girl over two days. Eight years later, the girl and her mother finally filed a police report in regard thereto. Unfortunately, Client (who is autistic and otherwise mentally challenged), admitted to doing so, including to forcing the girl to orally copulate him, when interviewed by a sex crimes detective from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona. As a result, Client was immediately arrested.

Charges:

Client was charged by the Pinal County District Attorney’s Office with the following felonies pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes:

Sexual Conduct with a Minor (ARS 13-1405(A));

Sexual Assault (ARS 13-1406(A));

 

Molestation of a Child (ARS 13-1410(A)); and

 

Sexual Conduct with a Minor (ARS 13-1405(A)).

The Process:

Ninaz Saffari fought this case for almost two years, after being admitted to temporarily practice on a Pro Hac Vice status. Client was already facing life in prison after admitting to the sexual abuse of the girl, who – along with her parents – pressed hard for serious prison time.

Ninaz worked with a forensic psychotherapist who conducted an extensive evaluation of Client, and confirmed that he suffered from various mental issues, including autism, that significantly contributed to the charged offenses. Ninaz provided his three reports to the Pinal County Probation Department.

In addition, Ninaz argued vociferously that Client had been a mentally-challenged minor at the time, and readily accepted complete responsibility for his actions when interviewed by police.

She also argued that but for the delayed reporting (by eight years), Client would have been sentenced as a juvenile, and that since the incident, he had no contact with law enforcement whatsoever, much less any convictions, and much less related to any sexual offenses.

Ninaz also had Client voluntarily enroll in a sex-offender, in-patient therapy program.

Client ultimately pled guilty to two counts of Attempted Molestation of a Child (13-1410A). Nevertheless, he was still facing 15 years in prison for each count – to run consecutively (or 30 years total)

 

Result:

Based largely on the Sentencing Memorandum, she prepared, Client was sentenced to the following (which even the prosecutor acknowledged was an extraordinary result):

Only 30 days in the Pinal County Jail; “lifetime” probation pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-719, but with the opportunity to have it terminated early after only five years, as well as his Arizona Sex Offender Registration.

FEDERAL Pre-File: Client-Mortgage Broker Facing 25 Years in Federal Prison for Alleged Nationwide Fraud Ring; Result: No Charges Filed

 

Federal Criminal Investigation of J.D. (United States Attorney’s Office – District of Massachusetts — March 2023)

 

Facts:

 

Client was on the verge of being arrested and prosecuted along with several dozen of his alleged co-conspirators for participating in a nationwide mortgage-fraud ring/racketeering conspiracy.

 

Potential Charges:

 

Literally all of Client’s alleged co-conspirators were in fact charged and prosecuted for the following federal felony offenses:

Conspiracy to Defraud the United States (18 U.S.C. § 371)

Wire Fraud (Fraud by Wire) (18 U.S. Code § 1343)

Honest Services Fraud (18 U.S. Code § 1346)

Obstruction of Criminal Investigations (18 U.S. Code § 1510)

Money Laundering (Laundering of Monetary Instruments) (18 U.S.C. § 1956)

Potential Maximum Sentence:

25 years in federal prison.

 

The Process:

 

Client received notification that a Special Agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

was looking for him and wanted to interview him. Fortunately, Client immediately lawyered up with Ninaz Saffari, who spent the better part of a year convincing the federal prosecutors that the wire-tap evidence they had was weak and could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury that Client had even implicitly or tacitly agreed to any conspiracy, or that he had committed any other crimes. This process entailed multiple trips to Boston to meet with these prosecutors.

Result:

Case closed with no charges filed; verbal non-prosecution agreement reached.

Client Facing Eight Years in Prison for Hit-and-Run DUI Causing Injury with BAC Above .20%; Result: Misdemeanor Plea, No Jail, Conviction to be Expunged in 18 Months

 

People v. B.R. (Harbor Justice Center Newport Beach — September 2023)

 

Facts:

 

Client allegedly drove while highly intoxicated (alcohol), made a wide right turn, swerved into oncoming traffic, injured two people who were each riding electric bicycle-scooters, then drove away from the scene of the accident.

 

As a result, he was arrested by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department after allegedly failing a Field Sobriety Test (FST), and after being transferred to the Orange County Central Men’s Jail.


At the jail, Client provided two breath samples that produced BAC results of .237% and .234%.

 

In fact, however, Client had not tried to flee, but only drove around the corner to park safely in the first available space.

 

Charges:

 

Client was charged by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office with the following felonies:

 

 

In addition, Client was charged with the following sentencing enhancement as the first two felony counts:

 

Driving with BAC of .20% or Higher (California Vehicle Code section 23538(b)(2) V.C.).

 

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 2100 (“Driving a Vehicle or Operating a Vessel Under the Influence Causing Injury — Veh. Code § 23153(a), (f), (g)”); and

 

CALCRIM Number 2101 (“Driving with 0.08 Percent Blood Alcohol Causing Injury — Veh. Code § 23153(b).

 

Maximum Sentence:

Four years in state prison for 23153(a) V.C./23153(b) V.C., plus another four years for 20001(a) V.C., plus a 9-month Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Program (instead of typical 90 days) for 23538(b)(2) V.C.

In addition, Client was a Registered Nurse and, therefore, stood to lose his license and career.

 

The Process:

 

SLG’s Managing Attorney, Ninaz Saffari, fought this case tooth-and-nail for at least 12 months, going to at least 15 court hearings, and speaking to literally ten different prosecutors. Finally, after she set the case for preliminary hearing, she was able to get it resolved.

 

Result:

Client pled out to a single misdemeanor — First-Time DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23152(a) V.C.) with dismissal of the hit & run and all other charges/enhancements; no jail, 9-month DUI program (because of the high BAC), and 3 years informal probation.

However, after only 18 months, Client is eligible for Early Termination of Probation (California Penal Code section 1203.3 P.C.) and Expungement (California Penal Code section 1203.4 P.C.), which would leave him with no criminal record.

Client Facing One Year in Jail for False Report of Emergency; Result: Informal Diversion, No Jail, Case Dismissed after 6 Months

 

People v. S.L. (Van Nuys West Courthouse — October 2023)

 

Facts:

 

Deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) allegedly received an “active shooter” 911 call from Client. Specifically, Client allegedly claimed to be a counselor at a rehabilitation facility in Malibu (where she was currently an in-patient resident) and that there was an “active shooter” currently roaming the property. However, when deputies arrived, they found no such threat.

 

Client was thereafter identified by a staff person as a former client/in-patient at the facility, and claimed that Client had made several similar false calls in the past.As a result, she was arrested.

 

Charges:

 

Client was charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office)

with the following misdemeanor:

False Report of Emergency (California Penal Code section 148.3 P.C.).

See related misdemeanor charges:

Making a False Police Report (California Penal Code section 148.5 P.C.); and

Making a False Representation to a Peace Officer (California Penal Code section 148.9(a) P.C.).

Maximum Sentence:

One year in the county jail for 148.3 P.C.

 

The Process:

 

After some initial resistance, the prosecutor finally relented to Ninaz Saffari’s requests for diversion.

 

Result:

Judge granted six months’ Informal Diversion (California Penal Code section 1001.94 P.C.; California Penal Code section 1001.95 P.C.): no jail, no probation, Client to complete her 30-day residential treatment program, 90 days out outpatient counseling, and case dismissed.

Client Facing Two-and-a-Half Years in Jail for Battery on Police Officers & EMTs; Result: Diversion, No Jail, Case Dismissed

 

People v. T.W. (LAX Airport Courthouse — November 2023)

 

Facts:

 

Client was allegedly thrown out of a famous West Hollywood bar – the Abbey — for being drunk and disorderly by several bouncers, who then called the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station. In fact, however, someone had apparently spiked his drink with an unknown drug that made him act extremely erratically – something that was completely out of character for him (particularly since he had never done drugs before).

 

The presence of multiple, uniformed, armed deputies caused Client to panic. Even after he was subdued on the ground, he kept lashing out and kicking at both the deputies and EMTs from the Los Angeles County Fire Department who arrived on scene.

 

As a result, he was arrested for allegedly assaulting multiple peace officers & paramedics while they were engaged in the performance of their duties. Specifically, he was arrested for suspicion of, among other things, Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW) on a Police Officer (California Penal Code section 245(c) P.C.).

 

Charges:

 

Client was charged by the DA’s Office with the following misdemeanors:

 

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 945 (“Battery Against Peace Officer — Pen. Code §§ 242, 243(b), (c)(2)”);

 

CALCRIM Number 960 (“Simple Battery — Pen. Code § 242”); and

 

CALCRIM Number 2656 (“Resisting Peace Officer, Public Officer, or EMT — Pen. Code § 148(a)”).

 

Maximum Sentence:

Twelve months in jail for 243(b) & (c) P.C.; six months for 242 P.C.; and one year in jail for 148(a)(1) P.C.

The Process:

 

It took Ninaz Saffari numerous attempts, plus the submission of a mitigation package, but she was finally able to convince the prosecutor to go along with Informal Diversion (California Penal Code section 1001.94 P.C.; California Penal Code section 1001.95 P.C.) without having to plead guilty to even a single misdemeanor.

 

Specifically, she convinced the Assistant DA from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) that the Client had been drugged by another patron and thereafter beaten up by the bouncers.

 

Result:

Judge granted six months’ diversion: no jail, no probation, 26 anger management classes, 1 week of outpatient alcohol treatment, restitution, and, a stay-away order. Client successfully completed the program and the entire case was dismissed with no conviction on his record.

 

Pre-File: Client Arrested for Committing Lewd Acts Upon a Minor, Max: 8 Years in Prison plus Lifetime Sex Registration; Result: DA’s Office Officially Declined to File Charges

 

Arrest of H.N. (Baldwin Park Police Department — January 2024)

 

Facts:

 

Client, a young man from British Columbia, Canada, allegedly met a 15-year-old girl from San Diego online. He allegedly traveled there to meet up with her at a hotel for sexual purposes.

 

However, he was thereafter arrested in a sting operation by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department on suspicion of having committed the following felonies:

Lewd or Lascivious Acts on a Child Under Age 14 (California Penal Code section 288(a) P.C.);

Contacting a Minor with the Intent to Commit a Lewd Act (California Penal Code section 288.3);

Arranging Meeting with Minor for Lewd Purpose (California Penal Code section 288.4(a)(1)); and

Going to Meeting with Minor for Lewd Purpose (California Penal Code section 288.4(b)).

Maximum Sentence:

Eight years in state prison for 288(a) P.C. alone.

 

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 1112 (“Lewd or Lascivious Act: Child 14 or 15 Years — Pen. Code § 288(c)(1)”).

 

Lifetime mandatory Sex Offender Registration (California Penal Code section 290 P.C.).

The Process:

 

After Client retained her, Ninaz Saffari immediately reached out to the assigned Detectives, commencing a 16-month ordeal.

 

Result:

Ninaz convinced the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office to formally decline all charges.

Client Facing Two Years in Jail for Domestic Battery & Violation of Protective Order w/ Injury; Result: Misdemeanor,  No Jail, 3 Months’ Outpatient Counseling, Informal Probation

 

People v. B.C. (Orange County Superior Court – West Justice Center

 — December 2023)

 

Facts:

 

Client allegedly assaulted and injured her fiancée-boyfriend in violation of a protective order that was issued pursuant to California Penal Code section 136.2 P.C. (Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO)) in a pending criminal proceeding. As a result, she was arrested by the Huntington Beach Police Department.

 

After HBPD arrived at Client’s residence, they discovered Client was subject to an “active peaceful contact restraining order” involving her fiancée that had been issued almost eight months earlier. Notably, he did not want her arrested, much less prosecuted, for the incident.

 

In fact, however, Client had only been defending herself against

 

Charges:

 

Client was charged by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office with the following misdemeanors:

 

 

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 841 (“Simple Battery: Against Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent — Pen. Code § 243(e)(1)”);

 

CALCRIM Number 2702 (“Violation of Court Order: Protective Order or Stay Away—Physical Injury — Pen. Code §§ 166(c)(2), 273.6(b)”).

 

Maximum Sentence:

Twelve months in jail for 243(e)(1) P.C. plus the same for 166(c)(2) P.C.

 

The Process:

 

Ninaz battled it out with the DA’s Office for more than nine months on this case.

 

Result:

Pled to simply Domestic Battery, got only a 90-day outpatient counseling program instead of the standard 52 weeks (365 days) and 3 years’ informal probation.

Federal Case: Client Facing 70 Years to Life for Drug Trafficking – Overwhelming Evidence; Result: 26 Months in Prison with Good Time Credits

 

United States of America v. E.C. (United States District Court – Central District of California (Los Angeles) — December 2023)

 

Facts:

 

Client was a mid-level trafficker who had made numerous controlled (and videotaped) sales of narcotics to an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) over an extended period. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was also involved in the investigation.

 

In addition, Client was selling drugs and firearms through various social media accounts. Thus, the evidence against him was overwhelming.

 

Specifically, Client sold relatively large amounts (but less than kilogram-weight) of methamphetamine, cocaine, fentanyl, and illegal prescription drugs. Client was on probation at the time he committed the offenses.

 

Charges:

 

Client was charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office — Central District of California with the following felonies:

 

  • Counts # 1 through # 5: Distribution of Cocaine, Oxycodone, and Fentanyl ((21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1)), (b)(1)(C));

  • Count #6: Distribution of Methamphetamine (21 S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A)(viii)) (Class A Felony); and

  • Count #7: Distribution of Fentanyl (21 S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B)(vii)).

 

Maximum Sentence:

10 years (120 months) to life imprisonment (21 U.S.C. § 846, § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A)(viii)) for Distribution of Methamphetamine alone. Each count carried a minimum of ten years each (or 70 years minimum total).

 

Criminal History:

 

Previous convictions – all misdemeanors:

Pre-File: Client-Doctor Facing 20 Years in Federal Prison for Receiving Numerous Large Packages of Ketamine in the Mail; Result: No Charges Filed

Federal Criminal Investigation of R.A.V.  (United States Postal Inspection Service– April 2023)

Facts:

Client was buying prescription ketamine off the Dark Web. An Inspector from the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) intercepted the package and came to his house. Fortunately, he wasn’t home. The Inspector left his business card, as well as a formal letter to put Client on notice that the USPIS wanted to interview him regarding an unspecified matter.

In addition, Client was a resident physician on the verge of becoming a fully licensed doctor who therefore stood to lose his license and career if he was convicted of even a misdemeanor.

Potential Charges:

Client was obviously facing multiple violations of the United States Controlled Substance Act (21 U.S.C. §§ 801, et. seq.)

Specifically, because of the number and alleged amounts of shipments alleged to have been received by Client, he faced a likely federal felony charge of Distribution/ Manufacturing/ Possession with Intent to Distribute (21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1)).

Potential Maximum Sentence:

Statutory maximum generally is 20 years.

See Federal Drug Penalties.

The Process:

Wisely, the Client retained the Saffari Law Group before any charges were filed. SLG’s Managing Attorney, Ninaz Saffari, immediately reached out to the Inspector and explained to him that there was no way to prove that Client was the one who had ordered the drugs.

Specifically, she argued that it was common practice – as the feds were well aware – for neighbors to order drugs to the next-door home, knowing the resident was at work and therefore wouldn’t be home, so that the drugs could be retrieved without risk. She thereby convinced him that there was no way for federal prosecutors from the United States Attorney’s Office to prove that Client himself had ordered the ketamine.

Result:

Case closed with no charges filed.

Pre-File: Client-Teacher Faced 5 Years in Prison for Felony Domestic Violence; Result: No Charges Filed & Arrest to be Sealed

 

Pending Prosecution of L.C.C. (San Diego County District Attorney’s Office

— April 2023)

 

Facts:

 

Client, a woman, was arrested by the San Diego Police Department for suspicion of committing felony domestic battery – specifically, Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (California Penal Code section 273.5(a) P.C.).

 

Maximum Sentence:

Five years in state prison plus permanent revocation of state teaching license.

 

The Process:

 

Client retained the Saffari Law Group (SLG) to intervene before the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office formally filed charges.

SLG conducted an intensive and comprehensive investigation, prepared a package of exculpatory/mitigating evidence, and provided it to the arresting SDPD Officer. He, in turn, forwarded it to the SDDA’s Office (SLG was unaware at the time the file had been transferred thereto).

 

The assigned Assistant DA reviewed the package, declined to file (felony or misdemeanor) charges, then sent it on to the  San Diego City Attorney’s Office, which also declined to file (misdemeanor) charges after reviewing the package.

 

Result:

Case closed with no charges filed. SLG is now in the process of filing a California Senate Bill 393 petition to get the arrest sealed.

People v. R.D. (Van Nuys West Courthouse — December 2023)

Facts:

Client was pulled over by uniformed Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers, ostensibly for a moving violation. They used this as a false pretense to question him and unlawfully search his vehicle. As a result, they found a so-called “ghost gun” – i.e., an unregistered handgun with no serial numbers that was assembled through various parts obtained from an unknown source. As a result, Client was arrested.

Charges:

Client was charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) with the following felony:

Carrying a Concealed Firearm on Your Person or in a Vehicle (California Penal Code section 25400(a)(1) P.C.).

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 2521 (“Carrying Concealed Firearm within Vehicle — Pen. Code § 25400(a)(1)”).

Maximum Sentence:

Three years in jail.

The Process:

After Ninaz Saffari commenced her own investigation, she found that the officers who pulled Client over were assigned to the notorious LAPD Mission Division – the most scandal-plagued LAPD division since Rampart in the ‘90’s.

Next, she scrutinized all three officers’ body-worn video (BWV) camera footage and saw that none of them had turned on their BWVs at the outset of the incident, as required by LAPD policy. Instead, they turned them on halfway through, thereby omitting the lead officer’s initial explanation as to why Client was pulled over. The BWVs proved that the officers had lied in their police report that Client had made “furtive movements” that justified a warrantless search. 

As a result, Ninaz filed a Motion to Suppress Evidence (California Penal Code section 1538.5 P.C.) to exclude the seized ghost gun (and its ammunition) based on the violation of Client’s rights under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Notably, Client’s case caught the attention of an investigative reporter from the Los Angeles Times who had been writing a series of articles about these corrupt LAPD Officers from the Wilshire Division who were unlawfully pulling over young Latino drivers on false pretenses and conducting warrantless searches for contraband – all without turning their BWVs on.

Result:

At the hearing on the 1538.5 P.C. motion, the prosecutor admitted that the involved officers were “unavailable to testify” about Client’s stop and arrest, and that they themselves were under investigation – clearly, as part of the Mission Division scandal. The judge therefore dismissed the case, as confirmed by the L.A. Times article written thereon: 

“Prosecutors drop charges in ‘ghost gun’ case linked to LAPD gang unit scandal” by Libor Jany (Los Angeles Times, Dec. 5, 2023).

People v. R.S. (Criminal Courts Building (C.C.B.)/Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center — October 2023)

Facts:

Client and the accuser got into a wild brawl with each using a hammer and a wrench, respectively, over a business dispute and the latter’s commercial establishment, resulting in serious injuries to both.

Charges:

Client was charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) with the following felonies:

  1. Deliberate and Premeditated Attempted Murder (“First-Degree Attempted Murder”) (California Penal Code section 664 P.C. & California Penal Code section 187(a) P.C.); and

  2. Aggravated Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury (California Penal Code section 243(d) P.C.).

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 600 (“Attempted Murder — Pen. Code §§ 21a, 663, 664”);

CALCRIM Number 601 (“Attempted Murder: Deliberation and Premeditation — Pen. Code §§ 21a, 189, 664(a)”); and

CALCRIM Number 925 (“Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury — Pen. Code §§ 242, 243(d)”).

Maximum Sentence:

Life in prison with potential parole for 664/187 P.C. plus six years in county jail for 243(d) P.C. with serious injury.

The Process:

At the culmination of the preliminary hearing, the judge dismissed the 664/187 P.C. based on self-defense, but allowed the Deputy DA to continue prosecuting the 243(d) P.C. felony (i.e., Client was “held to answer” thereon).

The Result:

Final plea to misdemeanor Trespass to Closed Lands (California Penal Code section 602 P.C.(o)) – dismissal of assault charge; no jail; drug & alcohol outpatient counseling only. Client successfully completed the program so even the Trespass was dismissed.

See also CALCRIM Number 2932 (“Trespass: Entry into Dwelling — Pen. Code § 602.5(a) & (b)”); and

CALCRIM Number 2929 (“Trespass After Making Credible Threat — Pen. Code § 601(a)”).

People v. S.F. (Criminal Courts Building (C.C.B.)/Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center — June 2023)

Facts:

Google notified the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) that a certain account owner had been downloading child pornography, which in turn led to sex crimes detectives receiving a CyberTip Report.

After obtaining a search warrant, they raided Client’s residence. At that time, Client allegedly made numerous incriminating statements. Far worse, police allegedly found on his computer numerous Child Sex Abuse Materials (CSAM)

As a result, he was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) – specifically, by detectives from the Los Angeles Regional ICAC Taskforce (Internet Crimes Against Children).

Charges:

Client was charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) with the following felony:

Possession and Control of Child or Youth Pornography (California Penal Code section 311.11(a) P.C.).

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 1145 (“Possession of Matter Depicting Minor Engaged in Sexual Conduct — Pen. Code § 311.11(a)”).

Maximum Sentence:

Three years for 311.11(a) P.C. plus lifetime Sex Offender Registration (California Penal Code section 290 P.C.) and public disclosure on Megan’s Law website.

The Process:

Ninaz worked with her longtime computer forensics expert — who once taught at the National Security Agency (NSA)

 – on this case.

Result:

Client received a Felony Reduction to a Misdemeanor (California Penal Code section 17(b) P.C.) for 311.11(a); Tier One Sex Offender Registration (10 years); and 52 sessions of Sex Offender Counseling.

People v. N.A. (Criminal Courts Building (C.C.B.)/Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center — June 2023)

Facts:

Google notified the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) that a certain account owner had been downloading child pornography, which in turn led to sex crimes detectives receiving a CyberTip Report.

After obtaining a search warrant, they raided Client’s residence. Police therein allegedly found on his computer numerous Child Sex Abuse Materials (CSAM)

As a result, he was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).

Charges:

Client was charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) with the following felonies:

  1. Possession and Control of Child or Youth Pornography (California Penal Code section 311.11(a) P.C.); and

  2. Distribution of Child Pornography (California Penal Code section 311.1(a) P.C.).

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 1145 (“Possession of Matter Depicting Minor Engaged in Sexual Conduct — Pen. Code § 311.11(a)”); and

CALCRIM Number 1141 (“Distributing Obscene Matter Showing Sexual Conduct by a Minor — Pen. Code §§ 311.1(a), 311.2(b)”).

Client had a clean criminal record aside from a single misdemeanor conviction for DUI — Operating a Vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.08% or Higher (California Vehicle Code section 23152(b) V.C.).

Maximum Sentence:

Three years in state prison for 311.11(a) P.C., another three years for 311.1(a) P.C., plus lifetime Sex Offender Registration (California Penal Code section 290 P.C.) and public disclosure on Megan’s Law website.

The Process:

Ninaz was able to negotiate an extraordinary plea that included dismissal of the 311.1(a) P.C. charge.

Result:

Client received a Felony Charge Reduction to a Misdemeanor plea (California Penal Code section 17(b) P.C.) for 311.11(a) P.C.; Tier One Sex Offender Registration (10 years); and 52 sessions of Sex Offender Counseling.

People v. P.H. (LAX Airport Courthouse — May 2023)

Facts:

Male Client was accused of stealing a luggage bag containing thousands of dollars in cash from an LAX terminal after he had disembarked from a cross-country flight. CCTV footage captured him and an alleged female accomplice exiting the terminal with the bag and leaving the scene.

Los Angeles Airport Police were able to ID Client and the female, who was arrested shortly thereafter by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).  

After she allegedly confessed to the theft, Client surrendered himself to the LAPD for arrest and booking.

Charges:

Client was charged with misdemeanor Grand Theft (California Penal Code section 487(a) P.C.), which was quite fortunate for him because typically this would be a felony charge due to the value (more than $950) of the allegedly stolen property.

See also California Criminal Jury Instructions, CALCRIM Number 1801 (“Grand and Petty Theft — Pen. Code §§ 486, 487–488, 490.2, 491”).

Maximum Sentence:

Twelve months in jail.

The Process:

Ninaz filed and argued a Motion for Judicial Diversion (Court-Initiated Diversion) (California Penal Code section 1001.95 P.C.). She also convinced the Court that the female was the one who had initiated taking the bag.

Result:

Judge granted Judicial Diversion: no jail, no probation, a single eight-hour anti-theft class, restitution, and, after six months, the case will be dismissed with no conviction.

People v. O.M. (Baldwin Park Police Department — May 2023)

Facts:

Client ran into her ex-spouse at a restaurant while he was with his new girlfriend. An argument erupted between the two women, and the girlfriend attacked Client, forcing her to defend herself.

Charges:

Client was cited by Baldwin Park P.D. in February 2023 for suspicion of Simple Battery, a.k.a. Battery Upon Another (California Penal Code section 242 P.C.), a misdemeanor.

Maximum Sentence:

Six months in county jail. See also California Criminal Jury Instructions, CALCRIM Number 960 (“Simple Battery — Pen. Code § 242”).

The Process:

Ninaz was able to convince the prosecutor that Client had acted in self-defense, including by providing him photos of her injuries.

Result:

In May 2023, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) formally issued a no-charge/“decline to file” letter, confirming the case would not be prosecuted.

People v. R.S. (Criminal Courts Building (C.C.B.)/Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center — October 2023)

Facts:

Client and the accuser got into a wild brawl with each using a hammer and a wrench, respectively, over a business dispute and the latter’s commercial establishment, resulting in serious injuries to both.

Charges:

Client was charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) with the following felonies:

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 600 (“Attempted Murder — Pen. Code §§ 21a, 663, 664”);

CALCRIM Number 601 (“Attempted Murder: Deliberation and Premeditation — Pen. Code §§ 21a, 189, 664(a)”); and

CALCRIM Number 925 (“Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury — Pen. Code §§ 242, 243(d)”).

Maximum Sentence:

Life in prison with potential parole for 664/187 P.C. plus six years in county jail for 243(d) P.C. with serious injury.

The Process:

At the culmination of the preliminary hearing, the judge dismissed the 664/187 P.C. based on self-defense, but allowed the Deputy DA to continue prosecuting the 243(d) P.C. felony (i.e., Client was “held to answer” thereon).

The Result:

Final plea to misdemeanor Trespass to Closed Lands (California Penal Code section 602 P.C.(o)) – dismissal of assault charge; no jail; drug & alcohol outpatient counseling only. Client successfully completed the program so even the Trespass was dismissed.

See also CALCRIM Number 2932 (“Trespass: Entry into Dwelling — Pen. Code § 602.5(a) & (b)”); and

CALCRIM Number 2929 (“Trespass After Making Credible Threat — Pen. Code § 601(a)”).

People v. O.M. (Baldwin Park Police Department — May 2023)

 

Facts:

Client ran into her ex-spouse at a restaurant while he was with his new girlfriend. An argument erupted between the two women, and the girlfriend attacked Client, forcing her to defend herself.

Charges:

Client was cited by Baldwin Park P.D. in February 2023 for suspicion of Simple Battery, a.k.a. Battery Upon Another (California Penal Code section 242 P.C.), a misdemeanor.

Maximum Sentence:

Six months in county jail. See also California Criminal Jury Instructions, CALCRIM Number 960 (“Simple Battery — Pen. Code § 242”).

The Process:

Ninaz was able to convince the prosecutor that Client had acted in self-defense, including by providing him photos of her injuries.

Result:

In May 2023, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) formally issued a no-charge/“decline to file” letter, confirming the case would not be prosecuted.

People v. P.H. (LAX Airport Courthouse — May 2023)

Facts:

Male Client was accused of stealing a luggage bag containing thousands of dollars in cash from an LAX terminal after he had disembarked from a cross-country flight. CCTV footage captured him and an alleged female accomplice exiting the terminal with the bag and leaving the scene.

Los Angeles Airport Police were able to ID Client and the female, who was arrested shortly thereafter by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). 

After she allegedly confessed to the theft, Client surrendered himself to the LAPD for arrest and booking.

Charges:

Client was charged with misdemeanor Grand Theft (California Penal Code section 487(a) P.C.), which was quite fortunate for him because typically this would be a felony charge due to the value (more than $950) of the allegedly stolen property.

See also California Criminal Jury Instructions, CALCRIM Number 1801 (“Grand and Petty Theft — Pen. Code §§ 486, 487–488, 490.2, 491”).

Maximum Sentence:

Twelve months in jail.

The Process:

Ninaz filed and argued a Motion for Judicial Diversion (Court-Initiated Diversion) (California Penal Code section 1001.95 P.C.). She also convinced the Court that the female was the one who had initiated taking the bag.

Result:

Judge granted Judicial Diversion: no jail, no probation, a single eight-hour anti-theft class, restitution, and, after six months, the case will be dismissed with no conviction.

People v. N.A. (Criminal Courts Building (C.C.B.)/Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center — June 2023)

Facts:

Google notified the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) that a certain account owner had been downloading child pornography, which in turn led to sex crimes detectives receiving a CyberTip Report.

After obtaining a search warrant, they raided Client’s residence. Police therein allegedly found on his computer numerous Child Sex Abuse Materials (CSAM).

As a result, he was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).

Charges:

Client was charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) with the following felonies:

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 1145 (“Possession of Matter Depicting Minor Engaged in Sexual Conduct — Pen. Code § 311.11(a)”); and

CALCRIM Number 1141 (“Distributing Obscene Matter Showing Sexual Conduct by a Minor — Pen. Code §§ 311.1(a), 311.2(b)”).

Client had a clean criminal record aside from a single misdemeanor conviction for DUI — Operating a Vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.08% or Higher (California Vehicle Code section 23152(b) V.C.).

Maximum Sentence:

Three years in state prison for 311.11(a) P.C., another three years for 311.1(a) P.C., plus lifetime Sex Offender Registration (California Penal Code section 290 P.C.) and public disclosure on Megan’s Law website.

The Process:

Ninaz was able to negotiate an extraordinary plea that included dismissal of the 311.1(a) P.C. charge.

Result:

Client received a Felony Charge Reduction to a Misdemeanor plea (California Penal Code section 17(b) P.C.) for 311.11(a) P.C.; Tier One Sex Offender Registration (10 years); and 52 sessions of Sex Offender Counseling.

People v. S.F. (Criminal Courts Building (C.C.B.)/Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center — June 2023)

Facts:

Google notified the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) that a certain account owner had been downloading child pornography, which in turn led to sex crimes detectives receiving a CyberTip Report.

After obtaining a search warrant, they raided Client’s residence. At that time, Client allegedly made numerous incriminating statements. Far worse, police allegedly found on his computer numerous Child Sex Abuse Materials (CSAM).

As a result, he was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) – specifically, by detectives from the Los Angeles Regional ICAC Taskforce (Internet Crimes Against Children).

Charges:

Client was charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) with the following felony:

Possession and Control of Child or Youth Pornography (California Penal Code section 311.11(a) P.C.).

See also Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) CALCRIM Number 1145 (“Possession of Matter Depicting Minor Engaged in Sexual Conduct — Pen. Code § 311.11(a)”).

Maximum Sentence:

Three years for 311.11(a) P.C. plus lifetime Sex Offender Registration (California Penal Code section 290 P.C.) and public disclosure on Megan’s Law website.

The Process:

Ninaz worked with her longtime computer forensics expert — who once taught at the National Security Agency (NSA)

– on this case.

Result:

Client received a Felony Reduction to a Misdemeanor (California Penal Code section 17(b) P.C.) for 311.11(a); Tier One Sex Offender Registration (10 years); and 52 sessions of Sex Offender Counseling.

People v. R.H. (Compton Courthouse — May 2023)

Facts:

Client was accused by two-dozen young female employees of sexually abusing them while working at his business. He was also accused of committing forced oral copulation and similar offenses against two of his young stepchildren many years earlier.

This case received a substantial amount of local publicity because of the nature of the allegations, the number of accusers, and the then-current MeToo movement’s ascendancy.

See, e.g., “Owner of Paramount Silk Screen Printing Shop Charged with Sexual Assault, Molestation of 11 More Victims” (October 30, 2020 — CBSNews.com/CBS Los Angeles).

In addition, after Long Beach Police Department raided Client’s residence, business, and vehicle, they discovered dozens of firearms, including many of which LBPD claimed were illegal because they were fully automatic or otherwise illegally converted.

As a result, Client was facing two separate prosecutions.

The Process:

Ninaz aggressively and relentlessly fought this case for years, including defending Client at a two-week-long preliminary hearing.

During this period, she also filed numerous motions, including Motions to Dismiss (California Penal Code section 995) and Motions to Suppress Evidence (California Penal Code section 1538.5), which allowed her to suppress much of the purported evidence against him.

Charges:

In the sex crimes, case Client was charged with sixty-five (65) felony counts, including:

Forcible Rape (California Penal Code section 261(a)(2): California Penal Code section 261(a) (2) P.C.);

Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child Under 14 (California Penal Code section 269(a) P.C.); Sexual Penetration of a Minor (California Penal Code section 289(h)&(i) P.C.); Lewd or Lascivious Acts on a Child Under Age 14 (California Penal Code section 288(a) P.C.: California Penal Code section 288(a) P.C.);

Assault with Intent to Commit Rape (California Penal Code section 220(a)(1) P.C.); 1

Sexual Battery of a Restrained Victim (California Penal Code section 243.4(a) P.C.); Sexual Battery by Fraud (Penal Code section 243.4(c) P.C.);

Aggravated Sexual Battery (§ 243.4(d) P.C.); and

Sexual Battery, a.k.a. Touching Intimate Part of Another (California Penal Code section 243.4(e)(1) P.C.).

In the gun case, Client was prosecuted for 17 separate felonies, including:

Possession of an Assault Weapon (California Penal Code section 30605 P.C.); Possession of a Large-Capacity Magazine (California Penal Code section 32310 P.C.); and Carrying a Loaded Firearm on One’s Person or in a Vehicle (California Penal Code section 25850(a) P.C.).

Maximum Sentence:

No less than 12 life sentences (because of the nature of the alleged crimes plus multiple-victim enhancements), plus hundreds of additional years when accounting for all the remaining charges in both cases.

Result:

Ninaz pushed the case all the way to the eve of trial, at which point she was able to obtain an exceptional plea bargain – guilty to the less serious sex crimes (i.e., excluding the rape and penetration charges) with a 22-year-sentence.

However, with time served while awaiting trial (including good-time credits), plus the anticipated reduction for good behavior in prison, Client will be out in as little as a decade.

In addition, all the gun charges were dismissed.

People v. J.R. (Pomona Courthouse — Oct. 2022)

Facts:

Client was accused of stabbing (with a kitchen knife) & striking (with a baseball bat), & wounding Victim #1, striking twice (with a rock) Victim #2, who was over age 65.

Charges:

Two counts of Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW) (California Penal Code section 245(a)(1), with each being charged as a Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b)California Penal Code section 667.5(c) (“Violent Felonies”)California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) (“Serious Felonies”).

One count of Felony Elder Abuse (California Penal Code section 368(b)(1).

Maximum Sentence:

Minimum ten-and-a-half years in prison with at least two-third’s minimum because of the Strikes.

The Process:

This case was complicated by the fact that Client had the following felony convictions on his record:

Assault with a Deadly Weapon;

Receiving Stolen Property (California Penal Code section 496(a)); and

Assault by Means Likely to Produce Great Bodily Injury/Aggravated Assault (California Penal Code section 245(a)(4)).

At the preliminary hearing, Ninaz was able to get the Elder Abuse charge dismissed.

Result:

Ninaz obtained a no-more-jail/time-served (five months in Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail awaiting trial) plea to a single felony, NON-STRIKE count of Assault by Means Likely to Produce Great Bodily Injury (Penal Code § 245(a)(4)).

Also received two years’ formal probation, but after one year will be eligible to have Felony Reduction to a Misdemeanor (California Penal Code section 17(b)) & Early Termination of Probation (California Penal Code section 1203.3).

People v. J.S. (Criminal Courts Building (C.C.B.)/Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center — Nov. 2022)

Facts:

Client – a first-year medical doctor — was arrested for allegedly beating up his girlfriend and injuring her following a domestic dispute.

Charges:

Felony Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (California Penal Code section 273.5)

Misdemeanor Domestic Battery (California Penal Code section 243(e)(1)

Maximum Sentence:

Forty-eight months in state prison, plus potential permanent loss of medical license because domestic violence conviction would constitute a crime of “moral turpitude”.

The Process:

As with most of her Domestic Violence cases where spousal injury is alleged, Ninaz Saffari had to fight this case for many months before finally getting the result she wanted. The defense was complicated by the fact that the responding Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers’ body-worn video cameras filmed the girlfriend implicating client and revealing her obvious facial injuries.

In addition, the girlfriend’s roommate also was filmed claiming that she believed client had been the aggressor based on overheard statements he allegedly made.

First, she was able to get the felony charge dropped by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) after showing the prosecutor photographic evidence that the purported victim had previously attacked and visibly injured client, and that he had only been acting in self-defense in this most recent incident.

Second, during protracted negotiations, the prosecutor insisted he plea out to misdemeanor Simple Battery, a.k.a. Battery Upon Another (California Penal Code section 242) with 200 hours of community service.

Result:

Client pled to misdemeanor Aggravated Trespassing (California Penal Code section 601) with likely Expungement (California Penal Code section 1203.4) in the future; zero jail time, zero community service, informal probation, and one year of weekly DV counseling. Client was thereby able to keep his medical license.

People v. T.L. (Norwalk Courthouse — Sept. 2022)

Facts:

Adult female client was accused of shoving her elderly mother (over age 65) to the floor and thereby seriously injuring her.

As a result, she was arrested & charged by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) and prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office).

Charges:

Felony Elder Abuse (California Penal Code section 368(b)(1)).

In addition, because of the alleged serious injury, client faced the possibility of this crime being charged as Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b); California Penal Code section 667.5(c) (“Violent Felonies”); California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) (“Serious Felonies”)).

Finally, if convicted, she could face the following sentencing enhancements:

Inflicting Great Bodily Injury (GBI) (California Penal Code section 12022.7).

Maximum Sentence:

Four years in prison (excluding any enhancements).

The Process:

This case took an inordinately long time to resolve based on the age of the purported victim, despite the fact that client was a military veteran who had been honorably discharged, and who had no criminal record.

First, Ninaz filed a Motion for Penal Code § 1170.9 Probation, which was denied.

But subsequently, the more Ninaz Saffari researched her background, including how she had been repeatedly sexually traumatized by male servicemen.

As a result, Ninaz first filed a Motion for Military Diversion (a.k.a. Veterans Diversion) (California Penal Code section 1001.80). Unfortunately, that was also denied.

Thereafter, Ninaz utilized the services of her favorite clinical psychologist who conducted an in-depth interview of her. As a result, Ninaz filed a Motion for Mental Health Diversion (California Penal Code section 1001.36).

Result:

The third motion was finally granted with the following provisions: one year of weekly counseling, including for anger management and to resolve client’s issues with her mother. In other words, no jail and only informal probation for 12 months. The case will be dismissed upon successful completion.

People v. M.L. (Investigation by Downey Police Department: https://www.downeyca.org/our-city/departments/police, possible prosecution in Norwalk Courthouse: https://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/info/SE — August 2022)

Facts:

Client’s sister alleged to police that Client had sexually molested her very young daughter and, therefore, sought to press criminal charges against him.

In addition, the sister went to civil court and obtained a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) (California Code of Civil Procedure section 527.6) against him, with the hope of eventually making it a Permanent Restraining Order (see, e.g., California Penal Code section 649.9(k) – Stalking R.O.).

Potential Charges:

Lewd Acts with a Minor Child Under 10 (California Penal Code section 288).

Maximum Sentence:

Eight years in prison plus lifetime plus lifetime sex registration.

Sex Offender Registration (California Penal Code section 290)

Sex Offender Registration Act: Penalties for Violation (California Penal Code section 290.018)

Megan’s Law website.

Process:

Ninaz Saffari was forced to fight for Client on two fronts – with the (female) investigating detective (Downey PD) who ultimately transferred file to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) for prosecution.

She first investigated the sister’s accusations, which included her interviewing numerous witnesses/other family members, who all agreed her allegations were false based on the fact that Client had virtually never been left alone with the child.

Also, without revealing any details, Ninaz took other extraordinary steps in the hope of proving these claims were false or even outrighted fabrication, including proving to the prosecutor that the sister had a financial motive in falsely accusing Client.

Result:

On the morning of the hearing on the semi-permanent R.O., Ninaz learned that both the DA’s Office and the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office (CA’s Office) had declined to file charges.Later that morning, the civil court denied the sister’s petition for the R.O.

People v. J.M. (Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center: http://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/info/ccb – August 2022)

Facts:

Accuser/purported victim was a pizza delivery driver who delivered a pizza to a residence. He claims when he knocked on the door, Client’s co-defendant grabbed the pizza from his disabled arm while Client tossed two $20 bills (that would prove to be counterfeit) at the man.

The accuser then claims that Client showed him and gripped the butt of a handgun in his waistband and nodded at him in a threatening way. Co-defendant then allegedly slammed the door in his face. The accuser returned to work and called the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).

Unfortunately, when police arrived to investigate, Client admitted he had a firearm in the trunk of his nearby vehicle (but denied “flashing” or possessing a handgun as alleged). Even worse, client allowed police to search his vehicle without a warrant, wherein they found a loaded shotgun in the trunk and a box of hollow-point ammo in the center console.

Client and co-defendant were arrested shortly thereafter.

Charges:

Second-Degree Robbery (California Penal Code section 211;

Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b); California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) (“Serious Felonies”)); and

Carrying a Loaded Firearm on One’s Person or in a Vehicle (California Penal Code section 25850(a) – misdemeanor).

Maximum Sentence:

Five years in prison for the robbery, plus a year in county for the misdemeanor (excluding any potential sentencing enhancement for the Strike offense).

Process:

Ninaz was able to convince the prosecutor that he had an extremely weak case because the purported victim had changed his story at least four times (and possibly five), including switching the identity of the assailant who allegedly had a gun.

She also emphasized the fact that Client had only very recently moved from Florida, where carrying a shotgun in your trunk is completely legal, and that he was unfamiliar with California’s far more stringent gun laws.

Result:

The Robbery and Strike charges were dismissed on the first day of jury trial. Client pled to the single misdemeanor with zero jail time, one year of informal probation, and one gun safety class.

People v. I.G. (Santa Clarita Courthouse: https://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/info/new – July 2022)

Facts:

While traveling on a Greyhound bus on Interstate 5, Client got into a verbal altercation with an adult female passenger who had been speaking very loudly on her cell phone. This prompted Client to tell her that she needed to lower her voice. He thereafter returned to his seat, but the woman then began playing music very loudly on her cell phone.

This once again prompted Client to confront her. She rose from her seat in response, and the two engaged in a heated argument, which became violent when the woman (who was Black) stood up, got in his face nose-to-nose, screamed racist epithets, and took a swing at him (he’s Latino). Client, a former boxing student, ducked the swing and struck her twice while pulling his punches. This was followed by the woman kicking him.

Charges:

Notwithstanding, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) pulled the bus over, interviewed the driver, client, the woman, and several eyewitnesses. The officers thereafter cited the client with a misdemeanor – specifically, Simple Battery, a.k.a. Battery Upon Another (California Penal Code section 242), which carries a maximum 6-month jail sentence upon conviction.

Ninaz Saffari’s Investigation:

Ninaz went to extraordinary lengths to prove Client was innocent by virtue of self-defense. See CALCRIM No. 3470 (“Right to Self-Defense or Defense of Another (Non-Homicide)”). This included her personally obtaining numerous witness statements, which all supported his defense.

Result:

The judge granted Ninaz’s motion and granted Judicial Diversion (Court Initiated Diversion) (California Penal Code section 1001.95), which only required to attend weekly anger-management classes for six months to be followed by full dismissal of the case/charge.

People v. A.E. (Michael Antonovich Antelope Valley Courthouse – June 2022

Felony charges:  

Possession of Child Pornography (California Penal Code?section 311.11(a)); and

Distribution of Child Pornography (California Penal Code?section 311.1(a)).

Worst-case scenario: Six years in a California penitentiary plus lifetime Sex Offender Registration (California Penal Code?section 290), including full publication of the allegations & conviction(s) on Megan’s Law website

The process: Ninaz Saffari kept in close contact with the lead detective from day one, and also prepared & submitted a mitigation package to the DA’s Office. 

Result: Ninaz obtained a very good deal for the client in light of the strong evidence against him — a reduced plea for a single count felony of possession of child porn with 180 days in jail and two years’ formal probation. However, because of overcrowding, the non-violent nature of the offense, Covid concerns, and with good behavior, client will likely be released after serving only 2-4 weeks therein. 

Better yet, once client successfully completes probation, because this is a “Wobbler” (California Penal Code section 17(b)), client will be eligible for a reduction to a misdemeanor. At that point, his lifetime registration requirement will be reduced to 10 years, and his information will be removed from the Megan’s Law website.

People v. D.L. (CCB Court – downtown – 06/22) 

Facts:

Client was alleged to have stalked a celebrity comedienne (“Ms. T.”) over the course of approximately one year. According to the police report, client displayed an abnormal and delusional fixation on Ms. T., allegedly sending her hundreds of direct messages on Instagram and on a text-based social media platform.  

He allegedly followed her to 13-15 of her live comedy shows across the United States, and allegedly sent her bizarre and disturbing electronic messages. However, Ms. T. denied that client ever threatened her in person or through a social media platform. Notwithstanding, she obtained a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) (California Code of Civil Procedure section 527.6: https://codes.findlaw.com/ca/code-of-civil-procedure/ccp-sect-527-6.html) against him, and two subsequent Emergency Protective Orders (EPO) (California Family Code section 6251: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=FAM&sectionNum=6251). 

Charge: Stalking (California Penal Code section 646.9: https://codes.findlaw.com/ca/penal-code/pen-sect-646-9.html). 

The process: This was a fairly challenging case because the DA’s Office and, most importantly, the victim, believed client posed a significant threat to her. 

In addition, when initially interviewed by police, client essentially admitted to all the allegations. 

Worst-case scenario: Five years in state penitentiary. 

Result: Client granted Mental Health Diversion (California Penal Code section 1001.36: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=1001.36.&lawCode=PEN) – two-year period; 90-day residential program; and stay-away order for two years.

People v. A.S.> (Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center: http://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/info/ccb — June 2022)

Client was a repeat customer for whom Ninaz Saffari had years earlier gotten a misdemeanor Domestic Battery case (California Penal Code section 243(e)(1)) dropped.

This time, he was alleged to have physically assaulted his then-current romantic partner on three separate occasions. He was therefore charged by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office with three misdemeanor counts of Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (California Penal Code section 273.5).

Worst-case scenario: Three years in the county jail (if convicted of all counts & judge orders max sentences to run concurrently).

The process: The evidence was overwhelming against client – namely, the police reports, the anticipated testimony of the purported victim/complainant, and graphic photos of the complainant’s alleged injuries.

Indeed, in light of these alleged injuries and his prior arrest, Ninaz was surprised that he wasn’t charged with three felony counts of Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent. In any event, the prosecution wasn’t willing to offer any deal whatsoever so Ninaz pushed hard for trial.

Fortunately, thanks to Ninaz’s relentless advocacy, on the first day of jury trial, the Deputy City Attorney prosecuting the case offered an unbelievable deal, that, of course, client accepted.
 
 The result: Client pled to a single misdemeanor charge of Simple Trespassing/Unauthorized Entry of a Residence(California Penal Code section 602).

The sentence: No jail; three years of informal probation (aka summary probation); one year of weekly anger management counseling; and a $500 fine.

Halfway through his probation period (18 months), he’ll be eligible to Early Termination of Probation(California Penal Code section 1203.3), followed by Expungement (California Penal Code section 1203.4) of the conviction immediately thereafter from his permanent record.

People v. J.N. (San Fernando Courthouse: https://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/info/las — May 2022)

Client was an active-duty military person who was pulled over one night by California Highway Patrol (CHP) after he had struck a moving vehicle and while he was speeding and driving erratically on a Los Angeles County freeway. He admitted to the CHP officer that he had been drinking earlier in the evening at a sushi bar. Client failed the Field Sobriety Test (FST) and, as a result, was arrested, charged, and prosecuted by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office for First-Time DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23152).

Although this charge would not typically result in a jail term (and “only” a misdemeanor conviction), for the client such a conviction would automatically result in a dishonorable discharge. In other words, it would result in the complete loss of his career, and dramatically adverse consequences for his ability to secure future employment.

Result: After fighting non-stop for over a year (including with the DMV to retain client’s driver’s license), Ninaz Saffari was able to secure him Military Diversion (California Penal Code section 1001.80). 

This meant no jail, only summary/informal probation, three months of weekly counseling (which client had already completed), a relatively small fine, paid restitution (which was covered by his insurance company in re the other driver’s vehicle damage), and after as little as 18 months (assuming he stayed out of trouble), the charge would be dismissed and thereby leave client with a clean record.

United States of America vs. A.M. (United States District Court – District of Nevada: https://www.nvd.uscourts.gov – May 2022)

Major drug trafficking case based out of Las Vegas as a result of a joint investigation by the FBI and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office — District of Nevada).

Specifically, client was filmed and recorded selling large quantities of crystal meth in seven separate controlled buys by an undercover FBI agent in just over a four-month period. In addition, a firearm was seized from client in connection with his arrest, thereby further elevating his potential prison term pursuant to United States Sentencing Guidelines (U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1(b)(1)).

If convicted of all charges, he could be looking at up to four decades in federal prison for each of those seven counts alone – see below (with a minimum sentence of 85% even with good time credits). Specifically, client was facing a Level 32 offense (which includes a felony gun charge).

The case was further complicated by the fact that client had served multiple previous (state) prison terms – one for Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW) (California Penal Code section 245(a)(1)) and Possession for Sale of a Controlled Substance (California Health and Safety Code section 11351).

In fact, client has numerous criminal felony arrests, several of which resulted in convictions, on his record:

First-Time DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23152);

First-Degree Residential Burglary (California Penal Code section 460(a); California Penal Code section 459;

Taking an Automobile Without Consent, a.k.a. “Joyriding” (California Vehicle Code section 10851);

Robbery (California Penal Code section 211);

Armed Robbery/Second-Degree Robbery (California Penal Code section 212.5(c));

Assault with a Firearm (California Penal Code section 245(a)(2));

Receiving Stolen Property (California Penal Code section 496(a));

Perjury (California Penal Code section 118);

Excessive Speed on a Highway (California Vehicle Code section 22349);

Failure to Appear: Written Promise (California Vehicle Code section 40508);

misdemeanor Reckless Driving (California Vehicle Code section 23103);

misdemeanor Driving on a Suspended License (California Vehicle Code section 14601.1(a));

misdemeanor Fraudulent Use of Telephone (California Penal Code section 502.7);

misdemeanor Making a False Representation to a Peace Officer (California Penal Code section 148.9(a)); and

misdemeanor Providing False Information on a Document to the DMV (California Vehicle Code section 20).

Last, but certainly not least, client was alleged to have been a “mid-level drug trafficker” and an associate a violent criminal street gang. Based on the foregoing, client was considered to be a “career offender” under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1 and U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2.

Cooperation was never on the table – in 17 years, Ninaz Saffari has never represented someone who became an informant or otherwise testified against others to save their own hide.

Current federal charges:

Approximately one dozen felony counts, primarily for the following federal crimes:

Seven counts: Title One, United States Code, section 841(a)(1)) – Possession with the Intent to Distribute and Distribution of Controlled Substances (Crystal Meth) (max sentence for each count = 20 years);

Multiple counts: Title One, United States Code, section 843(b)) – Use of a Communication Facility to Further the Commission of a Felony Controlled Substance Offense (max sentence for each count = 4 years) (i.e., using a phone to make drug deals);

One count: Title One, United States Code, section 846 – Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances (Crystal Meth); and Conspiracy to Use of a Communication Facility to Further the Commission of a Felony Controlled Substance Offense (max sentence = 20 years); and

One count: Title 18, United States Code, section 924(c)(1)(A)) — Use of a Firearm or Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Offense (max sentence = 10 years).

See: justice.gov.

Result: Client accepted a guilty plea to a single Count of the indictment in this case, Distribution of a Controlled Substance (Methamphetamine), in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B)(viii)).

In consideration, the U.S. Attorney’s Office (“U.S.A.O.”) agreed to dismiss all the remaining counts; not to pursue any additional counts resulting from this investigation; recommended a two-level reduction in the applicable sentencing guidelines offense level, pursuant to the United States Sentencing Guidelines (U.S.S.G.) § 3E1.1; and move for an additional one-level reduction if available under that section.

However, the deal does not cover any heretofore unknown crime of violence as defined by 18 U.S.C. § 16, nor any criminal tax violations (including conspiracy to commit such violations chargeable under 18 U.S.C. § 371.

The USAO acknowledged “a statutory minimum sentence of 5 years imprisonment; and a statutory minimum term of supervised release of 4 years of supervised release, … [unless he] qualifies for safety-valve relief from the statutory minimum sentence … in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(f)….” See also: sgp.fas.org.

Notwithstanding, both parties agreed to recommend to the court a term of eight years (96 months). However, with 15% good time credits, client will only serve 6.8 years (81.6 months) – and, with a little luck, he’ll serve out the last half of that sentence in a halfway house. Ultimate sentence will also likely include a five-year supervised release period thereafter.

Ninaz Saffari worked tirelessly for almost a year to obtain this highly unusual deal – again, extraordinary because it did not require client to rat out his criminal associates.

People v. D.B. (San Fernando Courthouse: https://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/info/las— 04/22)

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies raided the home of “David” and found him with 30 grams of methamphetamine. He was therefore he was charged with felony Possession for Sale of Methamphetamine (California Health and Safety Code section 11378).

David had previously served three terms in prison – twice for similar offenses, including Possession of Methamphetamine (California Health and Safety Code section 11377)as well as for First-Degree Residential Burglary (California Penal Code section 460(a); California Penal Code section 459).

This latter conviction was a Strike Offense under California Penal Code section 667(d) and California Penal Code section 1170.12(b).

With his priors, including the Strike, if convicted of this latest charge, he could be sentenced for as much as six years in prison.

Ninaz Saffari fought this case for three long years before the DA’s Office made her an unbelievable deal.

Result: Plea to misdemeanor possession with no jail and no probation.

Investigation of C.B. (LA County APS — April 2022)

Client had recently married her elderly boyfriend, who was the father of two adult men who despised her because the father had transferred a significant amount of money into a trust for his new wife – money that the sons knew would otherwise have gone to them upon their father’s death.

As a result, the sons embarked on a relentless, months’-long campaign to get the client imprisoned and hopefully divorced from their dad. Specifically, they repeatedly called both the Los Angeles Police Department and the county Department of Adult Protective Services, falsely claiming that client was both physically and financially abusing the father.

On each of the several occasions where LAPD officers arrived, they found no evidence whatsoever of any abuse. But APS opened an investigation, which could have resulted in the following felony charges against the client:

Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (California Penal Code section 273.5);

Domestic Battery (California Penal Code section 243(e)(1));

Elder Abuse (California Penal Code section 368); and

Injuring an Elderly Person (California Penal Code section 368(b)(2)).

Even a single felony conviction for one of these charges could have resulted in prison time. Fortunately, the client and her husband hired Ninaz Saffari, who frequently and extensively communicated with the authorities. As part of these communications, she provided the investigator evidence that the sons’ allegations were false and motivated by financial gain.

Result: The APS investigator notified Ninaz that the investigation was completed and no charges would be filed. Case closed.

People v. M.C. (Downtown Criminal Courthouse: http://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/info/ccb— March 2022)

Client allegedly molested his toddler child in public (according to several eyewitnesses), although client was so allegedly intoxicated at the time, that he was unaware that his actions in cuddling the child were being misconstrued.

However, a little later, client was allegedly captured by CCTV cameras from local businesses passing out in public while the child ran up and down the adjoining sidewalk.

Based on these supposed eyewitness accounts, client was arrested and charged with felony Lewd Acts with a Minor Child Under 14 (California Penal Code section 288).

Max. term: eight years in a state penitentiary plus lifetime Sex Offender Registration (California Penal Code section 290) with lifetime disclosure on the Megan’s Law website.

After fighting this case with everything she had for the better part of a year, Ninaz Saffari obtained an unprecedented offer. Indeed, even the prosecutor told her, “We don’t give out offers like these” (or words to that effect).

Result: Reduction to Child Endangerment (California Penal Code section 273a) and misdemeanor Annoying or Molesting a Child Under 18 (California Penal Code section 647.6). If the client successfully completes one year of rehab and two years of formal probation, the child molestation charge (Penal Code section 647.6) will be dropped, and the client will not have to serve a single day in jail.

People v. R.S. (DT Los Angeles Superior Court): http://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/info/ccb— March 2022)

Client got into an argument with an unhoused man on Hollywood Boulevard at night. As client was walking away from him, the unhoused man suddenly charged at him from behind, with the entire incident captured on a business’s surveillance camera.

Just before the unhoused man attacked him, client suddenly spun around and allegedly smashed a full 40-ounce bottle of beer against the attacker’s head, sending the man sprawling forward. Client then allegedly jumped on the man and allegedly beat and kicked him multiple times. Client then allegedly stood up, kicked the man in the face, then allegedly smashed a cell phone against his head before walking away.

As a result, the DA’s Office charged client with “Second-Degree” Attempted Murder (California Penal Code section 664: https://codes.findlaw.com/ca/penal-code/pen-sect-664.html; California Penal Code section 187(a) (https://codes.findlaw.com/ca/penal-code/pen-sect-187.html) and was therefore facing a potential life sentence with possible parole if convicted of that charge.

Ninaz Saffari took the case to preliminary hearing, where she was able to prove to the judge that client clearly had no intention to kill the purported victim.

Result: Attempted murder charge dismissed with prejudice (meaning that the DA’s Office cannot be refiled against client).

Investigation of B.S. (Undisclosed LA County Police Agency — February 2022)

Client is a high-level executive with a top-five global super-corporation and therefore stood to lose this position based on the allegations of his former romantic partner. Specifically, she claimed that he either intentionally or unintentionally-but-recklessly (i.e., without failing to warn her and without using a latex condom) gave her an STD (sexually transmitted disease).

Without disclosing significant detail for reasons we are not at liberty to disclose, the former partner was willing to proceed with criminal charges against him. In California, you can be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in the county jail if you are proven in a court of law, and beyond a reasonable doubt, to have intentionally (and not merely recklessly) transmitted HIV/AIDS, herpes, or any other STD to an unknowing person.

The specific criminal charge is a violation of California Health and Safety Code section 120290(g)(1) (Intentionally Transmitting Sexually Transmitted Disease). (Prior to 2018, this crime would have been charged as a felony with potential prison time upon conviction.)

Alternatively, the prosecutor could have charged client with one or more of the following offenses:

Simple Battery (California Penal Code section 242);

Battery Causing Injury to Specified Victim Not a Peace Officer (California Penal Code section 243(b)-(c)(1)); and/or

Domestic Battery (Penal Code section 243(e)(1)).

The latter two charges could have resulted in as much as a full year in jail.

As a result, client hired Ninaz Saffari on a pre-file basis to head off any police investigation, as well as criminal charges. Again, even a single misdemeanor conviction would have resulted in client losing his position and millions of dollars.

Result: No charges filed and no successful police investigation.

People v. E.V.S. (Compton Superior Courthouse: https://www.sandiego.gov/police — February 2022)

Client – a former professional actor with almost two dozen credits to his name, including significant roles in multiple major Hollywood films – had dropped his vehicle off to get fixed at a mechanic’s shop. One month later, the mechanic finally told him it was ready. Client borrowed a friend’s car and drove to the mechanic’s garage.

The mechanic told client that he had fixed the initial problem, but had also changed out many old parts and, therefore, client would have to pay him five times the initial quote. Not surprisingly, client was furious, telling him that he had never authorized such work. The mechanic backed down and they negotiated a much lower price.

But then things devolved from there. After client got into his supposedly repaired vehicle, he discovered it wouldn’t start! He got out of the car and argued with the mechanic. When client accidentally dropped the keys he was holding to his friend’s car, mechanic scooped them off the ground and refused to return them, effectively committing the crime of False Imprisonment (California Penal Code section 236).

And that’s when things further spiraled downward. Mechanic, unprovoked, shoved client backwards, thereby committing Simple Battery (California Penal Code section 242).

At that point, client went back to his friend’s car and retrieved a hammer from the trunk. He then returned to the mechanic and demanded he return the friend’s car keys. That’s when mechanic grabbed some type of heavy metal instrument or object (possibly a wrench or pipe) and smashed client over the head! Client fought back and struck mechanic with the hammer, but mechanic injured him far worse.

Deputies arrived from the Compton Sheriff’s Station. The mechanic claimed client had attacked him without provocation with the hammer, and denied striking him back, much less with a metal object. As a result, client was arrested and charged with felony Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW) (California Penal Code section 245(a)(1)).

Maximum sentence: four-and-a-half years in prison.

At the preliminary hearing, Ninaz Saffari put the arresting sheriff’s deputy on the stand. He confirmed that the mechanic had refused to provide the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department with video footage from his multiple security cameras which would have revealed exactly what happened that day.

The deputy also admitted that the mechanic had been acting strangely during the interview, repeatedly walking away from the deputy and otherwise being extremely uncooperative and cagey.

Next, Ninaz surprised the deputy when she informed him that the mechanic had not picked up off the ground client’s own-vehicle keys (as the deputy had until then believed), but had refused to give back client’s friend’s keys.

Finally, even the deputy himself believed the mechanic had been lying about not having attacked client when the client was brought forward with blood streaming from his head and mouth.

Result: Assault with a Deadly Weapon charge dismissed at the culmination of the Preliminary Hearing.

Investigation of R.O. by Burbank Police Department: https://www.burbankpd.org Sex Crimes Unit – Nov. 2021)

Client was accused of a host of offenses, including allegedly fondling (over clothing) a minor who was a member of his family. As a result, he was charged by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office with the following misdemeanors:

Lewd Acts with a Minor Child Age 14 or 14 with Defendant at Least 10 Years Older (California Penal Code section 288(c)(1));

Annoying or Molesting a Child Under 18 (California Penal Code section 647.6);

Sexual Battery (California Penal Code section 243.4);

Making a Criminal Threat (California Penal Code section 422);

False Imprisonment (California Penal Code section 236);

Simple Battery (California Penal Code section 242); and

Violating a Protective Order (California Penal Code section 273.6).

If convicted of all counts, and if handed consecutive sentences, he would be facing as much as seven years in the Los Angeles County Men’s Jail facility.

In addition, the client was a DACA recipient and therefore faced deportation as the sex crimes are considered to be moral turpitude offenses.

Result

Ninaz Saffari got the client six months of Informal Diversion (California Penal Code section 1001.94; California Penal Code section 1001.95) with only once-a-month counseling, no jail, followed by dismissal of all charges. And the client’s DACA status was undisturbed.

People v. B.S. (Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center: http://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/info/ccb – Nov. 2021)

Making a Criminal Threat (California Penal Code section 422);

False Imprisonment (California Penal Code section 236);

Simple Battery (California Penal Code section 242); and

Violating a Protective Order (California Penal Code section 273.6).

If convicted of all counts, and if handed consecutive sentences, he would be facing as much as seven years in the Los Angeles County Men’s Jail facility.

In addition, the client was a DACA recipient and therefore faced deportation as the sex crimes are considered to be moral turpitude offenses.

Result

Ninaz Saffari got the client six months of Informal Diversion (California Penal Code section 1001.94; California Penal Code section 1001.95) with only once-a-month counseling, no jail, followed by dismissal of all charges. And the client’s DACA status was undisturbed.

People v. E.C. (Riverside County Superior Court – October 2021)

Client’s wife called police on him, claiming he had set a fire in the interior of their living room. She also accused him of possessing a firearm in the presence of their two young children, which the police believed had placed the minors in jeopardy.

Shortly thereafter, a SWAT team arrived and after a five-hour standoff, the client was arrested. In a case that garnered some local media attention, the client was eventually charged with the following felonies.

Arson (California Penal Code section 451(b);

Child Endangerment (California Penal Code section 273a; and

Domestic Battery (California Penal Code section 243(e)(1))

In addition, the Arson charge was prosecuted as a Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b));
California Penal Code section 667.5(c) (“Violent Felonies”);
California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) (“Serious Felonies”).

In addition, the client was served with an Emergency Protective Order (EPO) (California Family Code section 6251)

Based on the foregoing, if he had been convicted of all charges, including the Strike enhancement, he would receive as much a decade-and-a-half in prison (with the Arson/Strike portion served at 85% minimum, even with good behavior).

Ninaz fought the case hard, convinced of the client’s innocence, and was ready to go to trial. However, in light of how conservative Riverside County judges and juries are, the client understandably did not want to risk a trial.

Result: A single felony plea to Arson with a Robbery (California Penal Code section 211) with NO prison or even jail; three months of mental health counseling; one year of child endangerment counseling; and four years of formal probation.

However, he will be eligible for Early Termination of Probation (California Penal Code section 1203.3) after only 24 months, followed by immediately by Felony Reduction to a Misdemeanor (California Penal Code section 17(b)), followed immediately by an Expungement (California Penal Code section 1203.4) and thereby dismissal of the misdemeanor charge/conviction.

People v. L.W. (Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center – October 2021)

L.W. was caught on a surveillance camera holding up a medical marijuana dispensary at gunpoint (with what appeared on camera to be a semi-automatic handgun). The video footage also captured him dragging one of the employees by the neck, allegedly almost strangling the employee.

Unfortunately for L.W., who was high on illegal narcotics at the time, the outside CCTV camera captured the license plate of his getaway vehicle, which is how police eventually caught up with him.

As a result, he was charged with the following felonies:

Armed Robbery/Second-Degree Robbery (California Penal Code section 212.5(c));

Robbery (in General) (California Penal Code section 211);

Robbery in Concert (California Penal Code section 213(a)(1)(A))

(because the interior surveillance camera showed him coming in with an accomplice, and the outside camera showed a third accomplice – the getaway driver).

Assault with a Firearm (California Penal Code section 245(a)(2))

Assault with Intent to Commit a Felony (California Penal Code section 220)

Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW) (California Penal Code section 245(a)(1) (max 4 years)

Making a Criminal Threat (California Penal Code section 422) (because he allegedly threatened to shoot the employee during the incident).

In addition, he was also charged with a Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b));
California Penal Code section 667.5(c) (“Violent Felonies”);
California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) (“Serious Felonies”).

, as well as a special allegation of Personal Use of a Firearm During a Felony (California Penal Code section 12022.5)

As a result of all the foregoing charges and sentencing enhancements, L.W. was facing at least two dozen years in state prison. And because of the Strike charge, if convicted (which, based on the surveillance footage, was all but certain), he would have to serve at least 85% of that sentence.

See also Punishments for Robbery (California Penal Code section 213)

Ninaz Saffari fought this case with everything she had for over a year. Finally, and incredibly, she obtained an offer that even the judge said on the record was “unheard of”, confirming that in all his years on the bench, he had never given such a light sentence in light of the circumstances, the charges, and the overwhelming evidence against the defendant.

Result: A single felony plea to Robbery (California Penal Code section 211) with a nine-year suspended sentence, one year of in-patient rehab, followed by four years of formal probation. In other words, if L.W. successfully completes his rehab and probation, he won’t have to serve a single day in jail/prison.

People v. L.W. (Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center – October 2021)

L.W. was caught on a surveillance camera holding up a medical marijuana dispensary at gunpoint (with what appeared on camera to be a semi-automatic handgun). The video footage also captured him dragging one of the employees by the neck, allegedly almost strangling the employee.

Unfortunately for L.W., who was high on illegal narcotics at the time, the outside CCTV camera captured the license plate of his getaway vehicle, which is how police eventually caught up with him.

As a result, he was charged with the following felonies:

Armed Robbery/Second-Degree Robbery (California Penal Code section 212.5(c));

Robbery (in General) (California Penal Code section 211);

Robbery in Concert (California Penal Code section 213(a)(1)(A))

(because the interior surveillance camera showed him coming in with an accomplice, and the outside camera showed a third accomplice – the getaway driver).

Assault with a Firearm (California Penal Code section 245(a)(2))

Assault with Intent to Commit a Felony (California Penal Code section 220)

Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW) (California Penal Code section 245(a)(1) (max 4 years)

Making a Criminal Threat (California Penal Code section 422) (because he allegedly threatened to shoot the employee during the incident).

In addition, he was also charged with a Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b));
California Penal Code section 667.5(c) (“Violent Felonies”);
California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) (“Serious Felonies”).

, as well as a special allegation of Personal Use of a Firearm During a Felony (California Penal Code section 12022.5)

As a result of all the foregoing charges and sentencing enhancements, L.W. was facing at least two dozen years in state prison. And because of the Strike charge, if convicted (which, based on the surveillance footage, was all but certain), he would have to serve at least 85% of that sentence.

See also Punishments for Robbery (California Penal Code section 213)

Ninaz Saffari fought this case with everything she had for over a year. Finally, and incredibly, she obtained an offer that even the judge said on the record was “unheard of”, confirming that in all his years on the bench, he had never given such a light sentence in light of the circumstances, the charges, and the overwhelming evidence against the defendant.

Result: A single felony plea to Robbery (California Penal Code section 211) with a nine-year suspended sentence, one year of in-patient rehab, followed by four years of formal probation. In other words, if L.W. successfully completes his rehab and probation, he won’t have to serve a single day in jail/prison.

People v. A.H. (Burbank Ct. – Sept. 2021):

In late Jan. ’18, Burbank Police Department officers arrested Client (then twenty-five years old) for almost half-a-dozen counts of armed robbery (with use of a semi-automatic handgun) committed over a period of less than a quarter-hour at around 5:00 a.m.

A SWAT team arrested him at his San Fernando Valley apartment. As a result, he was prosecuted for the following:

Five counts of Second-Degree Robbery (California Penal Code section 212.5(c));

Five Special Allegations of Personal Use of a Firearm During a Felony (California Penal Code section 12022.5);

Five Strike Offenses (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b); California Penal Code section 667.5(c) (“Violent Felonies”)).

If convicted of all counts, including the Special Allegations and Strikes, he was looking at thirty-three years in a state penitentiary, to be served at 85% even with good-behavior credits (because of the Strikes).

This was a case Ninaz Saffari would have happily taken to trial, particularly in light of the fact that none of the five purported victims were able to identify him as the armed robber. In fact, several described a completely different looking culprit; one testified that several men had committed the robbery; and one testified that he was certain Client was not the culprit.

Notwithstanding, however, Client – who has been incarcerated since his arrest 3.5 years ago, understandably did not want to risk going to trial and thereby face more than three decades in prison if convicted of all charges.

Ninaz fought as hard and as long as she could to get him a no-prison, one-Strike deal, even going all the way up to District Attorney George Gascón’s #2 man. Unfortunately, however, because of the gun allegations, Client was forced to choose between either no prison and two Strikes, or five years in prison and a single Strike.

Client chose the latter because he understandably did not want to risk getting a Third Strike (California Penal Code section 667(e)(2)), which would automatically result in a 25-to-life sentence. Keep in mind that a Strike can be something as relatively innocuous as Making a Criminal Threat (California Penal Code section 422).

Result: Five years in prison; however, because of custody credits, and with good-time credits in prison at two-thirds minimum for a Strike offense (because of current overcrowding conditions), Client will be a free man in as little as one year.

People v. S.M. (Compton Superior Court – Sept. 2021):

Client was arrested, charged, and prosecuted for three separate felony counts of Making a Criminal Threat (California Penal Code section 422).

Each of these, in turn, were also charged and prosecuted as separate Strike Offenses (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b)); California Penal Code section 667.5(c) (“Violent Felonies”); California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) (“Serious Felonies”).

More specifically, client was alleged to have threatened to harm or kill three different purported victims on two dates. As a result, if convicted of at least one felony count stemming from each of those dates, he faced a maximum of eight years in state prison. (Since he had no prior criminal record, he would not receive any Strike enhancements on the current charges. However, he would have to serve at least 85% of any current sentence because of the Strike(s).)

Result: LADALF was able to get Client Mental Health Diversion (California Penal Code section 1001.36), which will consist of six months of weekly anger management counseling, along with one year of weekly mental health therapy. Finally, if he stays out of trouble for 12 months, all three charges will be dismissed with prejudice.

People v. J.C. (C.S. Foltz Criminal Justice Ctr. – Aug. 2021): This was an extremely unusual case, one which LADALF’s chief attorney Ninaz Saffari had never previously dealt with. The facts are what made this case relatively unique. Specifically, one night Ms. C. had gone out to meet a man she had recently met (“David”), who secretly drugged her drink. That was the last thing she remembered before she blacked out. When she awoke the next morning, she almost had a heart attack – literally. Her heart was pounding wildly, her body was shaking, and she truly believed she was about to die. She had never felt anything even remotely resembling this before, not least of all because she had never done drugs before. (J.C. was an upstanding citizen who had never been in trouble before, and who had worked full-time for many years at a bank.) Because she couldn’t think straight, she jumped in her car and drove onto the freeway in search of a CHP officer. Minutes later, she saw a CHP patrol car on the side of the freeway. She immediately pulled over, stopped in front of him, and notified him of what had happened. Unfortunately, the CHP officer didn’t believe her story, had her perform a Field Sobriety Test, then arrested her when she failed. He then transported her to a local hospital, where she voluntarily submitted to a drug test, which came out positive for crystal meth. As a result, she was charged with Driving Under the Influence of a Drug (California Vehicle Code section 23152(f)). As a result, she faced her first criminal conviction and a maximum of 12 months in jail. Result: Ninaz was able to convince both the prosecutor and the judge to give J.C. Judicial Diversion (Court Initiated Diversion) (California Penal Code section 1001.95) with only once-per-week alcohol/drug counseling for three months and a single two-hour online Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) class. She paid no fines, there was no probation, and no jail. Once she completes her program, her case will be dismissed.

People v. A.G. (Investigated by LAPD Sex Crimes Detective – August 2021):

The four-year-old daughter of a family friend, as well as the purported victim’s mother herself, called LAPD to report that the girl had been sexually molested by “Arthur”.

As a result, Arthur was arrested on suspicion of Lewd Acts with a Minor Child Under 14 (California Penal Code section 288), which carries a maximum prison sentence of eight years.

By the time Arthur hired us, as we learned after we immediately reached out to the detective, was that the file had been sent to the DA’s Office for the filing of a formal charge.

As always with Pre-File cases, we immediately conducted our own thorough investigations, the results of which included the mother’s text messages, as well as other exculpatory information.

This evidence convinced the detective that there were serious credibility issues with the purported victim and her mother. Better yet, it did the same with the assigned prosecutor, who fortunately had not yet filed the case.

Result: The DA’s Office notified us that the case had been rejected and no charges would be filed.

People v. N.C. (Gardena PD Investigation – August 2021):

The sister of the suspect, “Nick”, whom she was living with, called Gardena police to report that he had beaten and choked her. When the officers arrived, they allegedly determined that she had been visibly injured. Fortunately, Nick had left the premises before they arrived. Even more fortunately, he wisely hired me on a Pre-File basis.

After reaching out to the detective in charge of the investigation, I learned that Nick was about to be charged with felony Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (California Penal Code section 273.5).

Even worse, Nick had two previous Strike convictions under California’s so-called Three Strikes Law, which is codified at California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b); California Penal Code section 667.5(c) (“Violent Felonies”); and California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) (“Serious Felonies”).

As a result, if charged and convicted of the current offense, he would receive a Third Strike (Penal Code section 667(e)(2)) – a conviction which entails a mandatory prison sentence of 25-to-life.

As if all that wasn’t bad enough, this detective had a long, unpleasant history with Nick, and had previously sent him off to a 12-year prison sentence on one of the prior Strikes. By all accounts, the detective truly had it in for Nick and, therefore, was determined to send him off to prison for life.

Result: As a result of extensive efforts, including techniques I’m not at liberty to disclose in this case summary, the detective closed the case (and, therefore, declined to send it to the DA’s Office for the filing of formal charges).

People v. E.B. (Inglewood Courthouse – July 2021)

Client was charged with a felony for Willfully Inflicting Corporal Injury on a Spouse Resulting in Traumatic Condition (California Penal Code section 273.5) and was therefore facing as much as four years in a state penitentiary.

In addition, he was also being charged with a Special Allegation of Inflicting Great Bodily Injury (GBI) under circumstances involving domestic violence (California Penal Code section 12022.7(e)), which meant he could receive a five-year enhancement, or a total of nine years.

In addition, because physical injury was alleged, “Edward” was also facing a Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b)), which means that if convicted and sentenced to prison, he would have to serve at least 85% of the sentence, even with good-time credits.

We fought this case tooth-and-nail, including filing numerous motions and constantly pushing the case towards trial. The prosecutor was extremely aggressive to the point where she wanted to put the client’s very young children on the stand to testify against him – something that in our experience was unheard of. In addition, she felt particularly confident because there were several purported eyewitnesses who could supposedly testify against Edward.

Result: On the eve of trial, despite constantly telling us that she would never do so, the prosecutor offered our client Diversion – six months of domestic violence classes to be followed by a full dismissal. He never served a single day in jail.

People v. J.B. (DTLA courthouse – July 2021)

“James” was prosecuted for Second-Degree Robbery pursuant to California Penal Code § 211, which comes with a maximum 60-month state penitentiary term (but see below).

However, since he allegedly threatened the purported victim with a bladed weapon, he was also facing a Special Allegation of Personal Use of a Dangerous Weapon During the Commission of a Felony (California Penal Code section 12022). He was therefore now facing nine years behind bars.

But far worse, James already had several Second-Degree Robbery convictions on his record. As a result, if convicted on the current charge, he would receive a Third Strike (California Penal Code section 667(e)(2)). This means that a conviction thereunder would result in a possible life term.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, while we were representing James, he was arrested once more – again, for armed robbery and charged with two more counts of Second-Degree Robbery, this time with Special Allegations of Personal Use of a Firearm During a Felony (California Penal Code section 12022.5), all but guaranteeing at least a quarter-century in prison and, more likely, life, if convicted of the two pending Strikes.

Result: We were able to consolidate both cases with a five-year plea. With custody credits of one year, and with the current two-thirds minimum sentence for Strikes (because of overcrowding), James will be out in as little as 32 months.

People v. R.M. (Downey PD investigation – July 2021)

“Robert” wisely hired us as soon as he learned he was being investigated by the Downey Police Department for suspicion of Forcible Rape of a Minor Under Fourteen (California Penal Code section 264(c)(1)). If charged and convicted, he would receive as much as thirteen years in state prison.

As always when we are hired on a Pre-File basis, we immediately contacted the investigating detective who, fortunately, had not yet transferred the file over to the District Attorney’s Office for formal prosecution. Better yet, the detective was receptive and open-minded to our client’s insistence of innocence.

Result: After providing the detective with the results of our extensive investigation, and following many calls with him, we were able to convince him to drop the case. No charges filed.

People v. S.J. (Criminal Courts Bldg. DTLA: http://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/info/ccb — 04/2021

Client’s home was raided by a joint task force of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) – specifically, the latter’s East Los Angeles Narcotics Bureau.

Over a dozen DEA agents and LASD Sheriff’s deputies, as well as an LASD helicopter, swooped down upon and raided client’s home, where 20 kilos of near-pure cocaine and almost half-a-million dollars were allegedly seized from his safe.

Incredibly, even unbelievably, because this was considered to be a non-violent offense, and because the feds handed off the prosecution to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) on state-only charges, and because of the no-jail policy in place at the time to fight Covid, client was merely cited and released! This might not have been the case had he been arrested with firearms. (All the alleged drugs and cash were, of course, confiscated as evidence.)

If you can’t believe this, neither did the client’s alleged associates, who demanded a letter from the DEA confirming his arrest and pending prosecution, lest the client be forced to face obvious complications with said associates. But that’s precisely what Ninaz Saffari did – she obtained this confirmation directly from the lead DEA Special Agent on the case.

An additional complication stems from the fact that the client previously served a long prison term for mid-level drug trafficking.

Current charges:

Possession for Sale of a Controlled Substance (California Health and Safety Code section 11351); and

Sale or Transportation of a Controlled Substance (California Health and Safety Code section 11352).

Likely minimum sentence if convicted of all charges: 25 years because of previous conviction. In addition, client would be required to register as a habitual drug offender pursuant to California Health & Safety Code section 11590 – see Narcotics Offender Registration — )for at least five years.

Status: Undetermined.

In re R.S. (East Lake Juvenile Courthouse – February 25, 2021)

Client’s family retained LADALF’s Ninaz Saffari after learning that he had been investigated for allegedly sexually abusing a four-year-old extended-family member dozens of times over an extended period. As a result, the client, who was a minor at the time of the alleged incidents, was now facing the following potential charges:

Lewd Acts with a Minor Child Under 14 (California Penal Code section 288); and

Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child (California Penal Code section 288.5).

Ninaz immediately contacted the investigating detective who informed her that he had already transferred the matter to the DA’s Office for filing charges. Indeed, the detective had even issued the client a summons to appear in court.

Ninaz had numerous conversations with the detective, as well as the family, which was understandably extremely concerned and adamant about the client’s innocence (as was, of course, the client himself). As usual, Ninaz conducted a thorough investigation, and ultimately convinced the detective that the potential case was, at best, extremely weak.

Result: DA’s Office declined to prosecute.

People v. J.C. (Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center – February 2021)

Client was prosecuted for Deliberate and Premeditated Attempted Murder (“First-Degree Attempted Murder”) (California Penal Code section 664 & California Penal Code section 187(a)) with several enhancements, including Personally Discharging a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony (California Penal Code section 12022.53(c)).

LADALF’s founder Ninaz Saffari fought the case – as always – with everything she had, always relentlessly pushing the case to trial, thereby always keeping the prosecution on the ropes. This included her filing multiple motion, such as a “995 Motion”, i.e., a Motion to Suppress Evidence (California Penal Code section 1538.5).

At every step of the way, Ninaz forced the prosecutor to confront the weaknesses of his case. Finally, once the Deputy DA realized the judge was inclined to dismiss the entire case, the client accepted a deal that was too good to pass up.

Result: Reduced plea to Assault with a Firearm (California Penal Code section 245(a)(1)). The deal meant immediate release (with nine months’ time served while awaiting trial) and two years’ formal probation.

People v. I.M. (Pasadena Courthouse – January 2021)

Client had been investigated by Arcadia PD for possible DV charges and, in fact, the detective had already referred the case to the DA’s Office for prosecution by the time the client hired LADALF.

Specifically, the authorities were looking to charge client with felony Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (California Penal Code section 273.5) because of visible injuries on the purported victim (the client’s boyfriend). Maximum sentence: four years in prison.

After conducting a thorough investigation, LADALF’s leader Ninaz Saffari was able to compile substantial exculpatory evidence proving that the purported victim had falsely accused the client of assaulting him when, in fact, the injuries actually resulted from consensual activities.

Nevertheless, it took Ninaz several months to convince the detective that the client was innocent. Fortunately, the detective ultimately agreed with her and forwarded her exculpatory package to the DA’s Office, which, after carefully reviewing it, decided not to prosecute.

Result: declination of charges with likely sealing of the arrest in less than three years when the applicable statute of limitations expires.

People v. B.D. (Norwalk – January 2021)

Suspect received a letter from a sex crimes detective from the LA County Sheriff’s Dept. informing him that he was under investigation for allegedly molesting a four-year-old child, and that he was wanted for questioning.

If charged, he would be prosecuted for a felony – specifically, Lewd or Lascivious Act: Child Under 14 Years (California Penal Code section 288(a)), which carries an eight-year maximum sentence, as well as mandatory lifetime sex-offender registration (California Penal Code section 290(b)).

Suspect hired LADALF founding attorney Ninaz Saffari, who immediately conducted her own investigation. After compiling sufficient exculpatory evidence, Ninaz contacted the detective, who was receptive, but who informed her he was conducting the investigation jointly with the DA’s Office.

Ninaz then contacted the assigned Deputy District Attorney and, with the exculpatory evidence, convinced him to formally decline charges.

Result: case dismissed.

People v. C.J. (C.C.B. Courthouse – DTLA – January 2021)

Client was caught on a surveillance camera allegedly ambushing and shooting multiple times at the purported victim at fairly close range with a semi-automatic handgun.

As a result, he was charged with Deliberate and Premeditated Attempted Murder (“First-Degree Attempted Murder”) (California Penal Code section 664 & California Penal Code section 187(a)).

In addition, he was charged with the following sentencing enhancements:

Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b)) and California Penal Code section 1192.7) because client had a previous conviction for First-Degree Residential Burglary (California Penal Code section 460(a));

Personally Discharging a Firearm During the Commission of a Serious Felony (California Penal Code section 12022.53(c)); and

Gang Enhancement (California Penal Code section 186.22).

However, LADALF leader Ninaz Saffari filed a Motion to Dismiss (California Penal Code section 995).

Result: After an exhausting two-day hearing, the judge granted her motion and dismissed all charges.

People v. E.B (Inglewood Courthouse – December 2020)

Client was charged with violating California Penal Code section 273.5 (felony Corporal Injury on a Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent) with a special allegation/sentencing enhancement for Inflicting Great Bodily Injury (GBI) (California Penal Code section 12022.7).

In addition, the alleged domestic violence crime was also being charged as a Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b) and California Penal Code section 1192.7). As a result, he was facing eight years in state prison (three years for Penal Code section 273.5 plus five years for the GBI enhancement). Also, he was facing the loss of an opportunity to apply for a license as a California insurance broker.

The evidence against the client was strong but LADALF founder Ninaz Saffari pushed relentlessly and aggressively towards trial, and filed numerous motions against the DA’s Office.

Result: On the eve of trial, the Deputy DA made an offer that was too good to refuse: misdemeanor Pen. Code section 273.5 with no jail or probation, with diversion only and 52 counseling sessions on an accelerated basis with dismissal of the charge to follow. With two sessions a week, he will have a clean record in six months and be eligible to obtain his insurance broker’s license.

People v. M.C. (LAX Courthouse – December 2020)

Client was falsely accused of numerous theft crimes by his ex-girlfriend. He hired Ninaz Saffari to try to convince the LAPD detective investigating him to not refer the case for prosecution. Ninaz quickly conducted her own investigation, then prepared and presented a package of exculpatory evidence to the detective which proved that the woman was lying for financial reasons.

However, after Ninaz repeatedly refused to allow the detective to interview the client, the detective then referred the case to the City Attorney’s Office for prosecution, which then filed five theft-related charges against him. Fortunately, however, after Ninaz spoke at length with the prosecutor, and provided the same exculpatory package, the CA’s Office dismissed all charges.

People v. P.T. (Van Nuys Courthouse – December 2020)

Client’s previous attorney had worked out a horrible deal for him – five-and-a-half months in jail for five misdemeanor counts of Driving on a Suspended License (California Vehicle Code section 14601.1(a)).

After Ninaz Saffari took over the case, at his sentencing hearing, she managed to re-negotiate the plea to five days’ jail but as a suspended sentence (so, therefore, no incarceration), as well as 20 days’ community labor. Client was particularly thrilled because instead of surrendering to sheriff’s deputies to begin his sentence, as he thought he would have do to at that time, he instead went home to spend the holidays with his family.

People v. P.T. (San Fernando Courthouse – November 2020)

Client was arrested and charged with participating in a gambling ring (a felony). With more than half-a-dozen prior convictions, including for similar offenses, he was facing at least four years in prison (not including enhancements for the priors). See California Penal Code section 182 — California’s general Conspiracy statute.

Result: Probation only with time served, potential early termination of probation, and possible expungement.

People v. M.M. (LAX Airport Courthouse – November 2020)

Client was a licensed professional who was prosecuted for multiple counts of domestic violence involving the same purported victim. Specifically, the charges were for Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (California Penal Code section 273.5).

Therefore, if convicted of all counts, he would have been facing a maximum sentence of multiple years in county jail (if the sentences ran consecutively), as well as the permanent revocation of his license and end to a successful career.

Result: Case dismissed on the first day of trial.

People v. Ryan X. (Compton Courthouse – October 2020):

Client was driving his vehicle and inadvertently came too close to a bicyclist, who was so enraged that he slammed his car on the vehicle’s hood. In a knee-jerk reaction, client turned his car into the bicyclist, knocking him over but, fortunately, not injuring him.

Nevertheless, client was arrested for and charged with Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW) (California Penal Code section 245(a)(1) (max 4 years).

In addition, he was also charged with a Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b);
California Penal Code section 667.5(c) (“Violent Felonies”);
California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) (“Serious Felonies”).

Thus, if he was convicted and sentenced to the max of 48 months, he would still have to serve almost 41 months, even with good behavior, because of the Strike enhancement.

Client hired Ninaz Saffari, who was able to convince the prosecutor to drop the charge from the felony ADW to a misdemeanor Simple Battery (California Penal Code section 242l), which nevertheless could have resulted in a 1-year jail sentence upon conviction.

Result: Fortunately, Ninaz was able to get him an outstanding misdemeanor deal with no jail, informal probation, and community service, with dismissal eligibility after successful completion of probation. And because of Covid, he didn’t even have to do any community service.

People v. J.L. (LAX Courthouse – September 2020)

Client was arrested at LAX for possession of child pornography after police discovered allegedly incriminating images on his iPhone. After it was discovered that he allegedly forwarded at least one of these images to another person, and posted one or more of these images on a chat room site, he was formally prosecuted for the following offenses:

Possession of Child Pornography (California Penal Code section 311.11(a)); and

Distribution of Child Pornography (California Penal Code section 311.1(a)).

As a result, he was facing six years in prison, as well as mandatory lifetime sex-offender registration (California Penal Code section 290(b)).

In addition, because the client was a foreign national, even a misdemeanor conviction would have resulted in him being deported.

Fortunately, however, Ninaz Saffari, LADALF’s lead attorney, was able to negotiate a greatly reduced plea to one count of Second-Degree Commercial Burglary (California Penal Code section 460), a charge which wouldn’t affect his immigration status if ultimately dismissed.

Even better, after the client successfully completed his probation, which included counsing and community service, Ninaz was able to get his burglary conviction expunged.

Result: final charge dismissed, client ended up with a clean record.

People v. B.M. (Criminal Courts Bldg., DTLA – September 2020)

Client was arrested for felony Vandalism (California Penal Code section 594) after seven or eight LAPD officers barged into his home and put him in handcuffs him in the middle of the night. He was alleged to have intentionally damaged the purported victim’s car. If convicted of a felony, he could have conceivably faced prison time.

Result: After pushing the case to trial, Ninaz Saffari was able to work out a civil compromise with the entire case being dismissed with prejudice. She then filed a petition to seal the arrest itself so client will have a clean record. Fortunately, the petition was granted.

People v. O.G. (Inglewood Superior Court – August 2020)

The client was sitting in a legally parked car in his Nissan sedan when Inglewood PD accosted because they believed his windows were illegally tinted. “Officer Mendoza” claimed he smelled burnt marijuana and saw an open container of beer in the car. As a result, he cuffed the client after the latter stepped out of the car. Ofc. Mendoza, believing he had probable cause to search because of the marijuana smell and the open container, then did just that.

First, Ofc. Mendoza found a half-smoked joint in the center console. Then he found a cooler in the back seat with five empty beer cans. He then opened the glove box and found two loose nine-millimeter bullets, followed by a nine-millimeter semi-automatic pistol with a full clip.

Because of a prior Strike conviction (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b) and California Penal Code section 1192.7) for First-Degree Residential Burglary (California Penal Code section 460(a)), the client was facing three years in county jail plus five years in state prison for the Strike enhancement.

LADALF lead attorney filed a Motion to Suppress Evidence (California Penal Code section 1538.5) and, at the hearing on the motion (which was held at the same time as the preliminary hearing), argued that because the California Vehicle Code only criminalized (as an infraction) illegally-tinted windows (i.e., windows with less than 70% transparency) while the car is being driven, the initial “stop” was illegal.

Next, she argued that due to the legalization of marijuana, the same Vehicle Code only criminalized marijuana use and possession of an open container of alcohol (both as infractions) if and only if the user/possessor was driving. In other words, she argued, because no infractions whatsoever had occurred or were occurring, Ofc. Mendoza had no probable cause to search for “additional evidence of contraband” (as he put it). After Ninaz’s withering cross-examination of Ofc. Mendoza, the judge agreed with Ninaz. Result: he dismissed the entire case.

People v. V.J. (Criminal Courts Bldg., DTLA – January 2020)

Client tried to shoplift a six-pack of beer but when the store’s security guard tried to stop him, he threatened him with a broken beer bottle. As a result, instead of being charged with a simple Shoplifting/Petty Theft misdemeanor charge (California Penal Code section 459.5), he was charged with what’s known as an Estes Robbery” (California Penal Code section 211). See People v. Estes (1983) 147 Cal.App.3d 23.

Since this is charged as a violent robbery, it’s also charged as a Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b) and California Penal Code section 1192.7) and was, therefore, facing a maximum of nine years in prison.

This max was quite possible in light of the fact that he had several theft-related convictions when he was a juvenile. (Even though his record was sealed as a juvenile, those convictions – which included at least one strike – would have nevertheless been used against him if he had gone to trial and lost the current case.)

Result: Ninaz Saffari worked closely with her rehabilitation placement counselor and, therefore, was able to successfully petition the judge to grant the client Mental Health Diversion (California Penal Code section 1001.36) with in-patient treatment. This meant that once the client completed the program, the charge would be dismissed.

People v. T.S. (Beverly Hills Courthouse: https://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/info/BH –06/2019)

Woman in her 20’s was driving recklessly and at excessive rate of speed through residential Westwood (not in the Village but in the UCLA student apartments area off Westwood Blvd.) while heavily intoxicated and allegedly also high on heroin and cocaine.

Unfortunately, she crashed into a parked car and was arrested by officers of the Los Angeles Police Department. She failed a field sobriety test (FST) and was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23152).

Fortunately, since she remained at the scene of the crash, as opposed to attempting to flee therefrom, she was not charged with misdemeanor Hit and Run with Property Damage but No Injuries (California Vehicle Code section 20002).

But she was charged with two additional misdemeanor counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance (California Health and Safety Code section 11350) when, at the time she was searched at the local police station, she was found to have small quantities (i.e., personal use) of cocaine and heroin. In addition, she was charged with misdemeanor DUID — Driving Under the Influence of a Drug (California Vehicle Code section 23152(f)).

Max potential sentence if convicted of all charges: More than 24 months in the Women’s Central Jail Los Angeles County — Century Regional Detention Facility.

Result: Since the evidence was overwhelming that client was far above the .08% BAC level when she crashed, Ninaz Saffari had no choice but to work out a plea deal for a first-time DUI with no jail, one year of AA classes, informal probation, and a fine. But in consideration, the drug and DUID charges were dismissed.

People v. J.C. (Central Civil West Superior Courthouse, March 2019 )

Client was being investigated for Welfare Fraud (California Welfare and Institutions Code section 10980) with possible additional charge of Grand Theft (California Penal Code section 487). The latter charge alone, upon conviction, could result with a maximum felony sentence of three years in the county jail (plus up to six months for the underlying misdemeanor welfare fraud charge).

Ninaz Saffari spoke to the assigned California Welfare Fraud investigator and convinced him that they had made a mistake. Importantly, during the state’s investigation, Ninaz made sure to prevent her client from speaking with the detective because these interviews are typically done to prove specific intent to defraud the state.

Result: The authorities agreed not to pursue charges — case dropped.

People v. J.C. (Los Angeles Superior Court – Van Nuys, September 2018)

The client was charged with felony Robbery (a Strike, which is a violent felony) and was facing 26 years in prison. The client had a previous Robbery conviction and was on parole. His previous lawyer got the client an 8-year-prison offer on the felony Robbery charge, which would have resulted in a second Strike on his record for the new case. Ms. Saffari reviewed the police report, the transcript of the accusers’ testimony, and the LAPD officers’ body-cam footage. She presented evidence of inconsistencies in the case to the District Attorney, as well as problems with the accusers’ credibility, and pushed the case to a jury trial. The Robbery charge was dismissed and the client received a no-jail, no-probation deal for Receiving Stolen Property (a reduced charge). The client avoided having a second Strike on his record.

People v. P.L. and Z.L. (L.A. Superior Court – Pomona, February 2018)

The clients (a husband and wife) were charged with Felony Child Endangerment after their child was inadvertently left in a “hot car” and passed away. Each client was facing 12 years in prison.  After putting together, a mitigation package and presenting it to the District Attorney, Ms. Saffari negotiated formal diversion, which ultimately resulted in a dismissal for both clients.

People v. J.G. (Los Angeles Superior Court – LAX Courthouse, February 2018)

The client was charged with 12 felony counts of Lewd Acts Against a Minor, and was facing a total of 10 years in prison. The client’s previous attorney continued the case for 10 months with no results while the client was in custody. After taking the case, Ms. Saffari filed a Motion to Dismiss based on the violation of the client’s speedy trial rights. After several hearings on the motion, and after she had the case set for a jury trial, and within 2 months of her taking the case, the client was released with time served and no probation. Ms. Saffari negotiated a reduced plea to Unlawful Sex with a Minor, with all other charges dismissed.

People v. I.R. (L.A. Superior Court – Burbank, February 2018)

The client was charged with felony Elder Abuse and faced 7 years in prison for allegedly embezzling more than $50,000 through credit card fraud. Ms.Saffari negotiated no jail time with formal diversion, and the case was ultimately dismissed. The client was an insurance broker who was able to save her license and career.

People v. R.M. (DTLA – CCB, January 2018)

Client was arrested with two ounces of cocaine and two ounces of crystal meth so charged with two counts: one of Possession for Sale of a Controlled Substance (California Health and Safety Code section 11351) (cocaine) and one of Possession for Sale of Methamphetamine (California Health and Safety Code section 11378). He had a prior expunged felony conviction for the same former charge many years earlier, but was nevertheless now facing four years in prison.

Client ultimately pled no contest to two wobbler felonies for Possession of a Controlled Substance (California Health and Safety Code section 11350) (cocaine and meth), but after he successfully completed probation, the wobblers were reduced to misdemeanors, which were then expunged. As a result, the judge withdrew the guilty pleas and entered not guilty pleas, thereby dismissing all charges.

See also “Wobbler” at California Penal Code section 17(b).

People v. J.C. (Van Nuys courthouse — September 2017)

Client was prosecuted for a dozen violent felonies, including:

“Gang Rape” (Forcible Rape in Concert) (California Penal Code section 264.1(a));

Aggravated Kidnapping – Robbery, Rape, Other Sex Offenses (California Penal Code section 209(b));

Oral Copulation by Force or Fear (California Penal Code section 287); and

Forcible Sexual Penetration with a Foreign Object (California Penal Code section 289).

Specifically, the client and five other males (three adults and two juveniles) allegedly kidnapped and gang-raped a 16-year-old girl over a weekend.

After months of intensive efforts, however, Ninaz procured a videotape from someone connected to one of her client’s co-defendants, which unequivocally proved that the girl had literally lied about every criminal allegation.

In addition, following an intensive investigation she conducted with her favorite private investigator, Ninaz was able to learn that the girl had made similarly false sexual-assault allegations in the past to cover up her weekend runaway episodes from her parents. (Sadly and despicably, one of those falsely accused males was convicted and forced to serve significant time in jail.)

All of the foregoing came to light during the preliminary hearing. Based on her performance in court leading up to the prelim, the other five (male) defense attorneys wisely stepped back and allowed her to take the lead. They – and their clients, and their clients’ families – could not have been happier with the result.

With the video and other evidence she uncovered, Ninaz competed a scathing cross-examination of the accuser, who refused to even look at the video, or even to say another word when confronted with her lies.

As a result, Ninaz immediately filed a Motion to Dismiss (California Penal Code section 995).

Result: Before the judge ruled on the motion, the prosecutor dismissed all charges against all six defendants. As Ninaz exited the courtroom that day, she was embraced by a large group of grateful relatives of the (falsely) accused. All six defendants went home within a day or two.

People v. C.W. (L.A. Superior Court – Downtown Criminal Court, June 2017)

The client was charged with felony Witness Intimidation (a Strike) and False Arrest. Ms.Saffari took the case to Jury trial. she obtained a verdict of not guilty on the Witness Intimidation charge and a hung jury (8 voted not guilty and 4 voted guilty) on the False Arrest charge. The client will not go to prison because of the not guilty verdict on the Strike charge. Retrial is set for January 2019 but, again, this time the client will not face any jail time. She is confident that the client will be acquitted on the lesser charge in the retrial.

People v. R.C. (Criminal Courts Bldg., DTLA – March 2017)

Client stabbed the victim 30 times with a knife and so was charged with Deliberate and Premeditated Attempted Murder (“First-Degree Attempted Murder”) (California Penal Code section 664) with a potential life sentence, including enhancements for a Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b) and California Penal Code section 1192.7) and Personal Use of a Dangerous Weapon During the Commission of a Felony (California Penal Code section 12022).

During a three-week jury trial, LADALF founder Ninaz Saffari introduced evidence that the parties had previously engaged in mutual combat, and that the victim had previously threatened the client.

Result: The jury found him not guilty because of “imperfect self-defense”. Therefore, he was only convicted of attempted Voluntary Manslaughter (California Penal Code section 192(a)) (non-Strike) with an 8.5-year sentence. With credits for time served and good behavior, he could be out in as little as four years.

People v. O.H. (Los Angeles Superior Court – LAX Courthouse, March 2017)

The client was charged with felony Possession for Sale and Transportation of Methamphetamine, Cocaine, and Heroin. Santa Monica PD had been investigating him for months, searched his house pursuant to a search warrant, and arrested him. The client was facing 5 years in prison. Ms.Saffari negotiated a deal for the client with no jail time and probation only.

People v. A.S. (L.A. Superior Court – Metropolitan Courthouse, January 2017)

The client was charged with DUI (Driving Under the Influence) Causing Injury (California Vehicle Code section 23153).

Maximum sentence: The prosecutor sought four years in prison based on the traffic collision resulting in injury.

The process: Ms. Saffari put together a mitigation file and presented it to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office).

The result: She was able to negotiate a plea down to a simple misdemeanor First-Time DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23152) with no jail time, 40 hours of community service, six months of weekly Alcoholics Anonymous classes, and a small fine.

People v. JK (LA Sheriff’s Dept. – West Hollywood, September 2016)

This was a Pre-File case. The client was investigated for Sexual Battery against a hotel housekeeper. Ms.Saffari contacted the detective investigating the case and provided her with evidence to support the client’s side of the story. She also had the client take a polygraph test, which he passed. After providing evidence of the polygraph to the District Attorney, the D.A. rejected the case and declined to file charges.

People v. P.W. (LAX Courthouse — April 2016):

LADALF’s client “Patricia” had just graduated at the top of her class from college when she hired us on a Pre-File basis because of a Beverly Hills Police Department investigation. Specifically, she had been caught on a surveillance camera allegedly shoplifting a $4,000 purse from Barney’s department store.

We immediately contacted the BHPD detective in charge of the matter, but he had already referred the case to the DA’s Office for prosecution. And sure enough, she was arrested and charged the following day with Grand Theft (California Penal Code section 487)

Notwithstanding, we quickly put together a mitigation package, which included the fact that this was Patricia’s first arrest ever, and that she had been accepted to numerous Ivy League graduate-school programs. We also offered to have Patricia repay the full retail value of the purse. After getting the detective on our side, we then met with the prosecutor, who also agreed to the deal.

Result: Patricia was placed in an informal diversion program. After completing that and paying restitution, the case was dismissed.

People v. D.R. (LAPD investigation — March 2016)

Our client “Derrick” was the subject of a Los Angeles Police Department Sex Crimes unit investigation for suspicion of felony Sexual Battery (California Penal Code section 243.4(a)).

By the time Derrick hired us, the detectives not only had already forwarded the matter to the District Attorney for prosecution, but actually arrested Derrick. As a result, he was facing 48 months in a California penitentiary.

We immediately went to work with our private investigator and thereby were able to collect substantial evidence proving the Derrick’s innocence. We then took this package and met with the detective, who, after reviewing the evidence, agreed that the matter should never have been forwarded for prosecution. In fact, the detective even called the prosecutor had told him that he (the detective) had made a mistake and believed Derrick should not have been arrested.

Result: The prosecutor agreed with the detective after reviewing our evidence and dropped the charges.

People v. A.S. (Investigated by LAPD – March 2016):

“Andy” and his then-girlfriend returned from a gallery opening in DTLA and got into a heated argument, undoubtedly fueled by too much alcohol. She ended up calling the police and accused him of assaulting her.

When uniformed officers arrived at their residence to investigate, they found no signs of injury on her. Nevertheless, after speaking with her, they arrested Andy on suspicion of misdemeanor Domestic Battery (California Penal Code section 243(e)(1)). As a result, if convicted, he could expect to receive as much as twelve mos. in the county lock-up.

Fortunately, he hired Ninaz Saffari on a Pre-File basis. After instantly conducting her own investigation and presenting the results thereof to the prosecutor, she convinced him that their case was extremely weak.

Result: Case rejected (no charges filed).

People v. W.S. (Los Angeles Superior Court – Norwalk, February 2016)

Client was charged with 2 felony counts of Failure to Register as a Sex Offender. The District Attorney had previously made an offer of 2 years in prison to the client. The client’s previous attorney could not get him a better deal. Ms. Saffari met with the District Attorney Supervisor and showed him that they had inconsistencies in their case based on Ms. Saffari’s investigation. As a result, the client served only 30 days in jail instead of 2 years in prison.

People v. M.D. (CCB Courthouse – DTLA – January 2016) Client repeatedly stabbed his girlfriend with a knife and, therefore, was charged with Deliberate and Premeditated Attempted Murder (California Penal Code section 664 & California Penal Code section 187(a)), which carries a maximum life sentence. In addition, client was facing sentencing enhancements for the following: Personal Use of a Dangerous Weapon During the Commission of a Felony (California Penal Code section 12022); and Inflicting Great Bodily Injury (GBI) (California Penal Code section 12022.7); and Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b) and California Penal Code section 1192.7 (because the client had several previous convictions, including for at least one serious felony). In addition, while out on bail, the client was arrested for sexually assaulting and committing felony domestic violence against a second woman. He was therefore charged with the following new counts: Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (California Penal Code section 273.5); and Oral Copulation by Force or Fear (California Penal Code section 287). He was therefore now facing two life sentences. Fortunately, LADALF founder Ninaz Saffari pushed tirelessly and aggressively towards trial in the first case (thereby always keeping the prosecutor on the defense). As she did so, she was able to successfully argue that there was no proof the attempted murder charge was intentional. Better yet, she was able to present evidence that the attack may have been in self-defense. Finally, she was able to consolidate both cases into a single felony plea for attempted Voluntary Manslaughter (California Penal Code section 192(a)). Result: Nine years, out in four-and-a-half with time served and good behavior.

People v. J.M. (Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center: http://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/info/ccb — 12/15)

Client was arrested as part of a major drug trafficking investigation by LAPD’s Gang and Narcotics Division in downtown.

Client was arrested with approximately 40 pounds of high-quality crystal meth and was, therefore, charged by the DA’s Office with the following felonies:

Sale or Transportation of a Controlled Substance (California Health and Safety Code section 11352);

Possession of Methamphetamine (California Health and Safety Code section 11377);

Possession for Sale of Methamphetamine (California Health and Safety Code section 11378); and

Possession for Sale of Methamphetamine While on Bail (California Penal Code section 12022.1).

Max potential sentence: No prior drug convictions and no alleged sales to undercover cops; therefore, 20 years.                                              

In addition, the client was facing civil forfeiture of several pricey assets, including a new Maserati, as well as other luxury vehicles.

Finally, he would be subject to at least a half-decade of Narcotics Offender Registration (California Health and Safety Code section 11590).

Status: While Ninaz Saffari was deep into reviewing the wiretap transcripts of hundreds of hours of recorded calls between client and his alleged associates, client suddenly disappeared. It was at first believed he may have fled to Mexico but additional information/evidence raised the distinct possibility (if not probability) that he may have been murdered and buried. To date, his body – alive or dead – has not yet been recovered.

People v. C.C. (Los Angeles Superior Court – Downtown Criminal Court, November 2015)

The client had 5 separate cases for felony Narcotics Sales in different courthouses. Ms.Saffari was able to consolidate all of the client’s cases into one case. After hiring and working with a drug-treatment placement counselor, Ms.Saffari was able to convince the District Attorney Supervisor to place the client into a drug program. She negotiated no jail time with dismissal of all five cases after the client successfully completes the program.

People v. A.R. (Los Angeles Superior Court – LAX Courthouse, April 2015)

People v. A.R. (Los Angeles Superior Court – LAX Airport Courthouse, April 2015)

The client was charged with felony DUI (Driving Under the Influence) Causing Injury (California Vehicle Code section 23153).

Maximum possible prison term: Forty-eight months in a California penal institution, not including the following potential sentencing enhancement:

Refusal to Submit to DUI Chemical Test (California Vehicle Code section § 23612); and

Inflicting Great Bodily Injury (GBI) (California Penal Code section 12022.7).

The result: Ms. Saffari negotiated a no-jail/no-prison deal for the client with community service only. Specifically, client was able to plea down to a simple misdemeanor First-Time DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23152).

People v. J.B. (Los Angeles Superior Court – LAX Courthouse, March 2015)

The client was charged with felony Burglary and Receiving Stolen Property. She was facing a Strike on her record and 6 years in prison. Ms. Saffari presented evidence to the District Attorney that showed that there was no evidence to support the Burglary charge. As a result, the Burglary charge was dismissed, and the client accepted an offer to the reduced charge of Receiving Stolen Property with no jail time. This case was featured in a local newspaper article.

People v. P.M. (Los Angeles Superior Court (LAX) — February 2015)

Client was charged with felony Grand Theft (California Penal Code section 487). Ninaz was able to establish that there were serious issues with both police and witnesses positively identifying the client as the culprit.

Result: She negotiated an offer for informal diversion and a dismissal after the client completed 60 hours of community service.

People v. M. H. (Los Angeles Superior Court – LAX Courthouse, June 2014)

The client was charged with 2 counts of Domestic Violence. Ms.Saffari took the case to jury trial and successfully argued self-defense for the client. The client testified and the jury believed him. The verdict was not guilty on both counts.

People v. Corey Stewart (Los Angeles Superior Court – Torrance, May 2014)

The client was charged with 2 counts of Rape. He was facing 2 Strikes on his record and 2 life sentences in prison. Ms.Saffari lined up eight expert witnesses for jury trial. She also provided the District Attorney with a GPS map of the client’s whereabouts on the day in question which proved that the primary accuser was lying. Ms.Saffari was also prepared to impeach the other accuser with irrefutable evidence of her lies based on her social media statements. The District Attorney dismissed the entire case on the first day of trial, and the client walked out a free man after 14 months in custody. (See Corey Stewart’s video on my home page.) This case received significant local media attention.

People v. G.S. (Los Angeles Superior Court – downtown C.C.B., April 2014)

The client was charged with 2 counts of felony Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW) (California Penal Code section 245(a)(1)) for use of a semi-automatic weapon. The client maintained his innocence, so Ms. Saffari took the case to jury trial.

The client was facing a Strike (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b)) on his record and 27 years in prison.

During jury trial, she proved that the witnesses were lying by impeaching them with their prior inconsistent statements and by putting credible defense witnesses on the stand to contradict them. Ms.Saffari also put a fingerprint expert witness on the stand who testified that no matching fingerprints were found on the gun.

Result: The verdict was not guilty on all counts, and the client was acquitted of all charges.

People v. R.M. (LAX Airport Courthouse, November 2013)

Client was prosecuted for Second-Degree Murder (California Penal Code section 192(a)&(b)) and looking at a possible life-with-possible-parole sentence after he struck and killed a pedestrian with his vehicle. Client tested just below the legal limit for a DUI; however, he had a prior conviction for a First-Time DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23152) on his record so the DA’s Office wanted the max for him.

Specifically, at the prior-DUI sentencing hearing, client had been warned that if he was arrested for another DUI offense that resulted in someone’s death, he would be charged with what’s known as a “Watson Murder” (California Penal Code section 187) (which, again, is charged as second-degree murder). See People v. Watson (1981) 30 Cal.3d 290.

Result: Reduced plea to felony Vehicular Manslaughter (California Penal Code section 191.5(c)) with three years in prison, out in less than 18 months with good behavior and time served.

People v. B.H.. (Criminal Courts Bldg., DTLA – November 2013)

Client was facing at least a decade in prison for allegedly sex-trafficking a minor across state lines, as well as related felony pimping charges. Specifically, these offenses are charged as Human Trafficking (California Penal Code section 236.1), Pimping (California Penal Code section 266h), and Pandering (California Penal Code section 266i).

In addition, he was on probation at the time  from a previous felony pandering conviction, so was also facing an immediate jail sentence based on that alone.

Result: Case dismissed on first day of trial – DA’s Office decided not to re-file.

People v. A.S. (Downtown CCB courthouse — November 2013)

Our client “Adam” and his lover had an acrimonious break-up, which prompted her to make false criminal charges against him that had viciously attacked and wounded her. Shortly thereafter, LAPD arrested him on suspicion of the following offenses:

Felony Corporal Injury to Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (California Penal Code section 273.5) and

Misdemeanor Domestic Battery (California Penal Code section 243(e)(1)).

If convicted of these charges, he would risk a sentence of 48 months in prison (for the felony) and one year in the county jail (for the misdemeanor).

Immediately after he was arrested but before he was actually charged by the DA’s Office, Adam hired LADALF’s managing attorney Ninaz Saffari on a Pre-File basis. She immediately called the supervising detective, who informed her that he had already referred the matter to the DA for prosecution.

She and her private investigator immediately conducted a thorough investigation from which they gleaned substantial evidence that exonerated Adam. She then met with the assigned prosecutor and carefully went over all the evidence with him. As a result, the Deputy DA realized that Adam’s ex had actually attacked him, and he had only defended himself.

The D.D.A. quickly dropped the matter, but then referred the matter to the City Attorney’s Office for possible prosecution on the misdemeanor Domestic Battery charge. But after meeting with the Deputy City Attorney and going over the evidence with him, he, too, rejected the case.

However, only eight weeks later, the ex again filed another criminal complaint him with the LAPD, claiming he once again had attacked and injured her. Once again, Adam was arrested on suspicion of the same charges and thrown in jail. Ninaz and her P.I. put together an updated package of exonerating evidence, which, again, proved Adam had only acted in self-defense.

Result: Also once again, she had to meet with prosecutors from both the DA and CA’s Office, before both agreed to reject the case.

People v. J.C. (Los Angeles Superior Court – Inglewood Courthouse, October 2013)

This case involved the DUI arrest of the client who had a BAC of .20 (more than twice the legal limit of .08) and who was now facing his second DUI conviction. Not surprisingly, then, he was arrested, charged, and prosecuted for:

Second DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23540) – a misdemeanor.

Punishments upon conviction:

In addition, the client wanted to enlist in the U.S. military but would not be able to do so with a DUI on his record (since his first conviction had been expunged pursuant to California Penal Code section 1203.4).  

Ms. Saffari filed a Motion to Suppress Evidence (California Penal Code section 1538.5) based on the invalidity of the police traffic stop.

Result:

The City Attorney reduced the charge to a Dry Reckless (California Vehicle Code section 23103) with no jail, a small fine, and 60 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. The client was thereafter eligible to enlist.

People v. G. P. (Los Angeles Superior Court (CCB), October 2013)

The client was charged with 5 felony counts of Worker’s Compensation Insurance Fraud and Attempted Perjury. The client was a non-citizen permanent resident who faced deportation as a result of the charges. He was also the father of two young children. Two prosecution witnesses claimed that the client was not present in the area where the client claimed he had been injured on the job. Ms. Saffari had the client take a polygraph exam, which he passed. She was also able to cast doubt on the credibility of the prosecution’s witnesses by providing the District Attorney with other (defense) witness statements and by pointing out inconsistencies in the prosecution’s witness statements. Ms.Saffari set the case for a jury trial. The District Attorney dismissed the case on the first day of trial after Ms. Saffari announced that she was ready to proceed. As a result, the client was able to stay in the country and is now a permanent U.S. citizen.

People v. N.B. (Los Angeles Superior Court – LAX Courthouse, September 2013)

The client was an out-of-state resident charged with felony Transportation of Marijuana. Ms.Saffari presented evidence to the District Attorney that the marijuana was being transported for medical purposes to a dying cancer patient who lived out of state. The District Attorney called the detective investigating the case, and both agreed to give the client formal diversion. As a result, Ms. Saffari negotiated a plea agreement to a reduced charge of Simple Possession with 48 Narcotics Anonymous meetings and 30 days’ community service only. The case was dismissed after 18 months.

People v. J.B. (Los Angeles Superior Court – LAX Airport Courthouse, August 2013)

The client was a California-licensed attorney who was charged with a DUI with Refusal to take a Breathalyzer Test (California Vehicle Code section § 23612), as well as with felony Possession of Cocaine.

Specifically, he was charged with Possession for Sale of a Controlled Substance (California Health and Safety Code section 11351).

Maximum sentence:

Up to four years’ incarceration for the felony cocaine charge; plus…

Even a standard misdemeanor First-Time DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23152) can technically (though very rarely) come with a maximum 12-month county jail sentence — e.g., the Los Angeles County Men’s Jail or the Women’s Central Jail Los Angeles County — Century Regional Detention Facility.

But if you’re convicted of the underlying first-time DUI, for example, and you are found to have refused the Breathalyzer test (a.k.a. “chemical test”), then, upon sentencing, you will automatically receive an additional forty-eight hrs. in jail; an additional six months of your Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Program, and an automatic 12-months driver’s license suspension from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

In addition, the client faced the permanent loss of his law license (i.e., disbarment) from the State Bar of California.

Result:

Ms. Saffari was able to convince the assigned prosecutor, a Deputy District Attorney from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office) to dismiss the Refusal charge and give the client a standard misdemeanor First-Time DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23152) with informal probation.

On the felony Possession charge, Ms. Saffari convinced the D.D.A. to give the client Informal Diversion (California Penal Code section 1001.94; California Penal Code section 1001.95) with 45 Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) classes.

The client successfully completed his diversion program, after which the prosecutor dismissed the drug charge entirely.

In addition, because the DUI was a simple misdemeanor (and not an offense involving a crime of “moral turpitude”), the client kept his law license.

Finally, after only halfway through his probationary period (during which he was not required to report to a probation officer, submit to any alcohol or drug tests, or even do any community service), the client – after paying a relatively small fine — was thereby rendered eligible for:

Early Termination of Probation (California Penal Code section 1203.3), followed immediately by:

Expungement (California Penal Code section 1203.4). As a result, he would end up with a completely clean record.

People v. R.P. (Los Angeles Superior Court – downtown C.C.B., August 2013)

This was a Pre-File case. The client was arrested for felony Grand Theft based on his full confession to the police. Ms.Saffari was able to negotiate a No-Charge deal between the investigating detective and the accuser. As a result, the case was not forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office and no charges were filed.

People v. K.E. (Los Angeles Superior Court – LAX Airport Courthouse, July 2013) The client was an adult female non-citizen green-card holder who had a high-paying federal government job with a high security clearance. She was charged with felony Vehicular Manslaughter (California Penal Code section 191.5(c)) See also: California Penal Code section 192(c). In addition, she was accused of having been drinking alcohol some time prior to the incident, which would have elevated the charge to: Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated (California Penal Code section 191.5(b)). Maximum potential prison sentences: Six years in prison. In addition, even a misdemeanor Vehicular Manslaughter conviction (i.e., no DUI allegation/charge and only criminal negligence alleged) would have resulted in deportation and loss of her job. The process: Ms. Saffari hired an accident reconstructionist as an expert witness and presented his report to the prosecutor assigned to the case. The expert’s report showed that the other party was at fault because the other party had been driving at an unsafe speed. Next, Ms. Saffari was able to attack the accuracy of the Breathalyzer machine (which had initially indicated that the client had been at a .08% blood alcohol content (BAC) level, which would have justified a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23152) charge/enhancement. Specifically, at the preliminary hearing, she devastated the state’s case during her cross-examination of the Breathalyzer technician by showing that the machine had not properly maintained and serviced; that the log books were incomplete and out of order; and that the technicians himself had insufficient training and experience to properly operate it. As a result, the judge ruled against any DUI charge/enhancement. Final result: After Ms. Saffari set the case for jury trial, the prosecutor reduced the charge to misdemeanor Reckless Driving Causing Injury (California Vehicle Code section 23104) – a minor charge which added points to her Department of Motor Vehicles (DMVrecord, but was not serious enough to jeopardize her career, her high-security clearance, or her legal residency status in the U.S. In fact, her only punishment was performing 300 hours of community service only. Client kept her job and was not deported.

People v. J.G. (Los Angeles Superior Court – Beverly Hills courthouse, May 2013)

The client was an international tourist charged with felony Possession of Cocaine. Other attorneys with whom the client had consulted all told him he would have to do a Deferred Entry of Judgment for 1 year and, therefore, would have to stay in the country during the entire DEJ period. The client only had 1 month left on his tourist visa.  Ms. Saffari negotiated a special deal for informal diversion with the District Attorney, which allowed the client to do Narcotics Anonymous meetings on an accelerated basis.  He was allowed to complete 30 N.A.’s in 3 weeks. The D.A. gave the client informal diversion, 30 N.A.’s, a $500 fine, then dismissed the case after 3 weeks.

People v. L.F. (Los Angeles Superior Court – LAX Airport Courthouse, June 2013)

The client was a Registered Nurse facing possible loss of her nursing license if convicted of a DUI. She was arrested at a police checkpoint with a .12 BAC, or 50% above the .08 legal limit. Therefore, she was charged with a misdemeanor for:

First-Time DUI (Driving Under the Influence) (California Vehicle Code section 23152).

Maximum punishments:

  • Up to six months in jail (not all California counties);
  • Typically 36 months of summary probation (typically 3 years); 
  • Typically 90 days of a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Program;
  • Approximately a few thousand dollars in fines; and
  • Typically a 180 days’ driver’s license suspension or restriction.

Ms. Saffari negotiated with the District Attorney’s Office Supervisor and got the charge reduced to a Wet Reckless (California Vehicle Code section 23103) with no adverse consequences to her license.

(Unfortunately, a Dry Reckless was not an option in light of the high blood alcohol content.)

People v. N.H. (Los Angeles Superior Court – LAX Courthouse, August 2013)

The client’s wife caused self-inflicted injuries but falsely claimed to the LAPD that the client had cut and beat her. As a result, the client was charged with 7 counts of Domestic Violence and faced up to 7 years in prison. Ms. Saffari fought the case and went all the way to jury trial. She presented video evidence that his wife had been the aggressor during a previous fight. She also impeached the wife with the prior inconsistent statements she had made to the police that proved she was lying. One count was dismissed by the judge after Ms.Saffari filed and successfully argued a Motion to Dismiss based on insufficiency of the evidence. The jury voted not guilty on all 6 counts.

In re R.S. (Beverly Hills Courthouse — April 2013)

A 15-yer-old Beverly Hills high school student was arrested for allegedly running over another student in a stolen BMW and thereby breaking his leg. As a result, he was facing a potential Attempted Murder charge (California Penal Code section 664), and related crimes, including:

Grand Theft (California Penal Code section 487) and a sentencing enhancement for Inflicting Great Bodily Injury (GBI) (California Penal Code section 12022.7).

Client’s family initially hired a “big name” lawyer who took their money but otherwise did nothing (including returning any of their calls). The only court appearances he made was to request multiple continuances, thereby leaving the client in a juvenile detention center for six weeks until LADALF’s founding attorney Ninaz Saffari was hired.

The first thing Ninaz did was to visit the client (something the previous attorney never did) and carefully went over the police report with him and explained the facts, evidence, charges. And applicable law.

Ninaz thereafter conducted an in-person conference with client’s parents and probation officer, thereby convincing the latter that client came from a respectable background, had never been in trouble before, and deserved the latter’s support.

Ninaz was also able to prove that client had only been a passenger, had nothing to do with the stolen car, and had no idea the driver – the vehicle owner’s daughter – was going to run over the other boy.

Result: diversion, probation, and ultimately a total dismissal of all charges.

People v. S.B. (Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse, Long Beach: https://www.courts.ca.gov/facilities-la-longbeach.htm-Jan. 2010)

S.B., a white, tatted-up biker with a prison record, had been arrested and jailed after allegedly waiving an AR-15 in the air and threatening a Black neighbor – all while allegedly yelling racial epithets at the neighbor. When the police raided S.B.’s residence, they found a number of other firearms in a gun safe therein.

Based on the foregoing, he was charged with the following felonies:

Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW) (California Penal Code section 245(a)(1));

Brandishing Firearm or Deadly Weapon: Felony (California Penal Code section 417(b));

Making a Criminal Threat (California Penal Code section 422);

Felon in Possession of a Firearm (California Penal Code section 29800);

Felon in Possession of Ammunition (Penal Code section 29800);

In addition, he was charged with the following enhancements:

Strike Offense (California Penal Code section 667(a)&(b); California Penal Code section 667.5(c) (“Violent Felonies”); California Penal Code section 1192.7(c) (“Serious Felonies”));

Gang Enhancement (California Penal Code section 186.22) (because he was allegedly a member or associate of a white supremacist prison gang – a charge which Ninaz Saffari was quickly able to debunk and get dismissed); and

Hate Crime Enhancement (California Penal Code section 422.55).

Finally, because he had previously been convicted of a Strike, he was facing up to 27 years in prison.

Result:

Ninaz was able to work out an extraordinary plea deal – a single non-Strike felony for Assault with a Firearm (California Penal Code section 245(a)(2)). Although he agreed to a prison term of seven years, with time served while awaiting trial and good behavior – and, again, because it was not a Strike conviction – assuming he behaved himself, he would be out in just over three years.

People v. J.D. (Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center – Aug. 2005) In Ninaz Saffari’s very first trial – only a few months after she began working as a Deputy PD for LA County, she defended an unhoused, mentally-ill man for three different types of Trespass misdemeanors: Simple Trespassing (California Penal Code section 602) – two counts; and Aggravated Trespassing (California Penal Code section 601) – one count. If convicted, he would face as much as two years in jail. Ninaz tried the case before a jury, and convinced them that the defendant, for the most part, did not intentionally trespass on a church’s property. She even proved that the priest who testified for the prosecution had lied about the defendant having a knife on him during one of the incidents. Despite the fact that the defendant had a felony conviction on his record for Grand Theft (California Penal Code section 487)Ninaz was nevertheless able to get the following verdict: Not guilty on the two Simple Trespassing counts, and hung jury on the Aggravated Trespassing count. Result: In lieu of trying the case a second time, the prosecutor – who had been shell-shocked by his totally unexpected defeat – offered the defendant an impossible-to-reject plea for Trespass as an Infraction (California Penal Code section 602.8), which entailed only a small fine. Interestingly, the presiding judge told Ninaz’s colleague afterwards that he was amazed at her trial skills, explaining that he believed that the prosecution had “an open and shut case” before Ninaz addressed the jury. He had no idea this had been her first time up at bat.
Latest Article