Van Nuys Civil Litigation Lawyers
Experience. Skill. Results. We Can Defend Your Rights.
At Williams And Seemen, our Los Angeles, Pasadena and Van Nuys attorneys handle a wide range of civil litigation matters throughout California. It is extremely important that you seek the assistance of a qualified legal team with real trial experience when attempting to navigate through California’s complex legal system.
Civil litigation differs from criminal prosecution because civil litigation typically involves disputes between individuals, businesses, or organizations regarding the legal duties and responsibilities they owe each other. There are some circumstances in which the same facts that give rise to a criminal case can also be the grounds for a civil law suit. Although our firm prides itself on its trial skills, we use a client-centric approach to try and resolve clients’ disputes smoothly and quickly if possible.
Types of Civil Litigation Cases
Civil Litigation cases include, but are not limited to the following areas:
- Police Shooting
- Wrongful Imprisonment
- Racial Profiling
- Police Beating
- Excessive Force
- Sexual Assault
If you believe your rights have been violated by another party's wrongdoing, our civil litigation attorneys are equipped with the legal arsenal you need to best resolve your case. You can trust us to provide personalized attention and effective litigation strategies that increase your chances of reaching a favorable outcome. When times get tough, you need Williams And Seemen to advocate for your best interests.
I've been arrested, what should I do?
First, remain silent. Just because you are arrested, it does not automatically mean charges will be filed against you. Staying quiet, however, is the most important decision you can make If you are ever questioned by police, do not give a statement. Be polite, calm, and state, “I am choosing to remain silent, I want a lawyer.” Once any statements are made, those admissions can very well be enough to have the case filed. Do not consent to searches, this too allows officers to do anything they want to your property and you, and by giving them consent you make their jobs even easier. Once you are arrested, it is true the police no longer need your permission or a warrant to search–they are allowed to search your person and what is within your immediate control–however, they still will need your permission or a warrant to search certain things, for example a cell phone, so, never consent to a search when the officers ask for your permission. Never flee or run–this makes things worse–additional charges can be added, and worse you can be hurt–tased, shot, beat, you name it. Once in a holding cell, stay quiet as well. Anyone can be a snitch and the jail cell or even the backseat of the patrol car could be wired for sound–save the conversations with your lawyer, which are confidential and cannot hurt you. Also, once you are out, do not post about your case on social media. District Attorneys, City Attorneys and yes police monitor social media–and what you say or WRITE can and will be used against you.
How do I bail out of jail?
Once arrested and jailed, there is a process allowing the person arrested to get released from jail. The accused may be released from jail for exchange of money–hence BAIL. A promise of property also works as a promise you will return to Court for all hearings. You cannot miss a court date when released on bail. If you make all court dates your bail is refunded to you whether you are found innocent or guilty. The bail amount depends on the jurisdiction where you are arrested and the Judge. Other factors that decide how large the bail amount is is the seriousness of the crime, your record and previous or current bench warrants. A judge can also release the accused without the requirement of posting bail–called being released on your own recognizance (“OR.”) If you cannot afford bail–or have no property to post, you can hire a bail bonds agent. A bonds agent promises to pay the full amount of bail to the court if you do not show up to Court, thus the bonds agent will have to find someone responsible for paying any costs they have to incur to track you down. In exchange for posting the full bond, the bonds agent will ask you to pay about eight to ten percent of your bond which is NONREFUNDABLE. So why hire a bonds agent? Because you can get out of jail for far less then paying the full bail amount. Your attorney will have a trusted bonds agent, so do not forget to contact your attorney if you are interested in bonding out of jail.
I have my first court appearance--what should I expect?
The first Court date is called the arraignment. That is where an accused will enter a plea (not guilty, guilty or no contest), bail and release can be determined, and a future court date is set: either a pretrial or in a felony case, the preliminary hearing. You will also be advised of your Constitutional rights and know your specific charges. In most misdemeanor cases, your attorney can make the appearance on your behalf without you having to be present. If you are charged with a felony, there are essentially two arraignment hearings –one occurs at the very start of your case. The second occurs after the preliminary hearing. If you are in custody, you MUST be arraigned within 48 hours (not including weekends or holidays). Once you enter a plea of not guilty, you have the right to a speedy trial. In a misdemeanor trial, a speedy trial must be done within 45 days unless your defense requests a delay. If you are in custody, the trial must be done within 30 days, unless your defense requests a delay. In a felony case, you have the right to a preliminary hearing within 10 days of your arraignment. After your preliminary hearing, you also have an “Information Arraignment,” in which case you have the right to trial within 60 days of this second arraignment.