Case Results

$500,000

Our firm represented numerous minors who were unlawfully pepper-sprayed by Probation staff while housed within Los Angeles Juvenile Hall. Our federal civil rights lawsuit alleged that after Probation staff unlawfully pepper-sprayed minors for the most minor and trivial of infractions, staff would then intentionally turn off the water to the cells preventing the minors from being able to decontaminate themselves and wash themselves of the OC spray.

Black Lives Matter Protestor Charged With Aggravated Assault and Battery

Obtained judicial diversion for Black Lives Matter protestor charged with aggravated assault and battery. The case will be dismissed and sealed after a 12-month diversionary period.

Unlawful discharge of firearm charge

Unlawful discharge of firearm charge – we intervened early on before the first court date and convinced DA not to file the case. No criminal charges were filed against the client.

Felony elder abuse charges dismissed

Felony elder abuse charges were dismissed after the preliminary hearing. The client was facing an 18-year state prison sentence.

Murder charge dismissed

Murder charge dismissed in exchange for a plea to a 3-year deal on a lesser voluntary manslaughter charge. The client was looking at a life sentence.

Attempted Murder

Our client Brandon R. was charged with three counts of premeditated attempted murder. In addition, the District Attorney’s office had alleged numerous special gang and firearm enhancements. If convicted, Brandon was facing 35 years to life in prison.

At trial, the defense called fingerprint and DNA experts establishing the lack of physical evidence tying our client to the shootings. Defense experts were able to exclude Brandon as being the donor of DNA left on crucial items of evidence recovered from the scene; despite the State’s evidence being inconclusive on the issue. Defense also called an eyewitness identification expert discrediting the State’s contention that the ID of our client by eye-witnesses was reliable and credible.

After two days of deliberation, the jury returned not guilty verdicts on all charges. In addition to defense’s comprehensive case-in-chief, the jury credited Mr. Sterling’s cross-examination of the State’s gang expert and lead detective as the primary reason for disbelieving the State’s theory and motive behind the shootings.

Felony Domestic Violence/Assault With A Deadly Weapon

Our client Cohen M. was charged with multiple counts of felony domestic violence and assault with a shotgun. After extensive investigation and pretrial settlement talks, the District Attorney’s office offered our client a non-jail plea bargain in exchange for community service and domestic violence counseling. Our client was facing 9 years in state prison of convicted.

However because defense investigation revealed serious credibility issues and a motive to lie on behalf of the complaining witness, our client (despite a very reasonable and safe plea offer) elected to go to trial. After a week-long trial, the jury returned not guilty verdicts on all counts. The jury credited Mr. Sterling’s aggressive cross-examination of the government’s witnesses as the reason for disbelieving the victim’s accusations.

Federal Bank Fraud

Our client Michael V. was under investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office for conspiracy to commit fraud, among many other federal charges. After an 8 month inquiry, our aggressive advocacy and cooperation resulted in the case being dropped by authorities.

Residential Burglary

Our client Leticia M. was charged with multiple counts of residential burglary and felony evading arising from a crime spree that spanned many months and included numerous victims. The District Attorney’s office had also alleged that the homeowners were present during the commission of all of the burglaries which served as a special allegation, increasing our client’s potential state prison sentence.

After presenting to the District Attorney’s office, the many factors in mitigation, including depression, duress, and addiction, we successfully obtained probation and no jail for our client. Leticia, who was set to enroll in UCLA prior to being arrested, was facing 10 years in state prison if convicted.

Felony Possession of Drugs – A Finding of Factual Innocence

Justin B. was charged with felony possession of cocaine. The case arose from a set of unusual circumstances when police believed that Justin was the victim of a crime. After conducting a welfare check at his home, police discovered cocaine in Justin’s dining room.

After cross-examination of the investigating officer at the preliminary hearing, Mr. Sterling persuaded the court to dismiss all charges based on insufficient evidence.

Mr. Sterling subsequently filed a motion for a finding of factual innocence on Justin’s behalf. In a second hearing on the issue of actual innocence the court issued a written opinion finding Justin factually innocent. The court then ordered for the sealing and destruction of the arrest record in our client’s case.