The Law Offices of Fountain & Hattersley is one of the oldest criminal defense law firms in Pasadena. Ray Fountain has been trying criminal cases for over 30 years and Patricia Hattersley has been a criminal defense trial attorney for over 20 years. Our firm was established with one goal in mind: to provide exceptional legal service to individuals accused of felony and misdemeanor crimes in the Pasadena and surrounding areas in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties. We know all too well that a misunderstanding, a lapse in judgment, or a simple mistake can easily spiral out of control, putting your reputation, freedom, and livelihood in jeopardy. Whether you are charged with a simple misdemeanor or a very serious felony, the consequences can be devastating and life-changing. A criminal conviction can possibly send you to jail and can forever stain your record and prevent you from ever getting a license, a good job, a loan or inexpensive insurance.
When the criminal justice system is stacked against you, the only person standing between you and a conviction is a good criminal defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Fountain & Hattersley we are here to support you with what may seem like an impossible situation when you are facing criminal charges. With decades of prosecutorial and criminal defense experience, our attorneys are uniquely qualified to handle any and all criminal charges that you will have to deal with. We have helped hundreds and hundreds of clients win their cases and clear their names and be free from a criminal record which would otherwise ruin their lives. Our clients get the full advantage of years of experience and our knowledge of the ins and outs of the criminal justice system and the criminal courts. Because we have served both on the prosecution and defense side of criminal cases, that has helped us establish relationships with the decision makers in your case which can work to your advantage.
At the Law Offices of Fountain & Hattersley we believe that the strongest defense relies on creating an effective partnership with our clients through open and direct communication. That is why we always strive to make ourselves available at all reasonable times to respond to your every phone call, text or email. Get started today with a free, confidential telephone consultation with one of our Pasadena criminal defense attorneys. Call us at (626)793-4111 or fill out our online contact form aand we will contact you right away to answer your questions. Our primary focus points include evaluating your case, determining the best course of action, preparing a strong defense, and, fighting to obtain the best possible outcome for you. Our attorneys have the skills and experience to provide you with outstanding legal representation in defending your criminal case every step of the way.
If you’ve found yourself in the back of a police car or sitting in a police station for questioning, you may be confused about what to do next. Whether you are factually innocent or not, you have rights. Moreover, to better protect your rights from the first stages of your case, you should not talk to the police or settle for a guilty plea before you speak with us. We will ensure that your rights are respected.
Federal and state laws ensure that individuals arrested or charged with a criminal offense have their rights protected at every stage of the criminal justice system process. In essence, you have the right:
Also, in court, you have the right:
Even if you’re convicted of the crime, you will still have rights. If law enforcement officers or any other involved party violates your rights during the criminal justice process, the Pasadena Criminal Defense Attorneys at the Law Offices of Fountain & Hattersley can help. We will listen to your story, determine what rights were violated, and aggressively fight against those violations. Some violations may result in the dismissal of your case.
When you’re in trouble and need to confront accusations, you need to find an advocate who can navigate the daunting criminal justice system. Your future may seem uncertain, and you may not have someone with a comprehensive understanding of sensitive and sometimes controversial. An attorney with extensive prosecutorial experience will be in a better position to give you a unique perspective into how police officers and prosecutors gather and present evidence to the court. This can make a world of difference to ensure your rights are protected and you get the best possible outcomes. With so much at stake, there’s no room for error when representing clients accused of a crime. As such, only the best attorney should be retained.
A criminal defense attorney who has prosecutorial experience is familiar with both sides of a criminal trial, understands how cases progress and are better equipped to defend you. Some of the matters that a former prosecutor can easily recognize include:
As former prosecutors, we know where to look for weaknesses in the case and faults in the evidence, which can work in your favor. Our skills and knowledge of criminal prosecution is a key competitive advantage to our criminal defense clients. With two former prosecutors in our team, our law firms’ credentials and experience are simply unparalleled.
Depending on the charges against you, a guilty plea or conviction could mean losing your license or job, an enduring mark on your record, paying hefty fines and even significant time behind bars. Even a misdemeanor that may be relatively minor can have a haunting impact, which means that every case should be treated seriously no matter the charge. Having a proven trial attorney in your corner and fighting for you is essential to your legal, personal, and professional well-being.
You want to be assured that you have a lawyer who has the skill, tenacity, courage, and experience to know how to navigate a case from the word go. This can include discussing plea agreements and trying a case before a judge or jury, if necessary. Many attorneys avoid going to trial due to lack of preparation, limited courtroom trial experience, or just don’t have the necessary drive to achieve an outcome that best serves the interest of a client. Trial expertise is a form of art requiring years of training and experience as well as natural talent. Effective trial attorneys prepare a client’s case from the outset, leveraging their experience to minimize risks.
At the Law Offices of Fountain & Hattersley, we are relentless about protecting your freedom and giving you the best opportunity for a successful outcome. Our attorneys are distinct and don’t shy away from a trial. In fact, we will handle every case as if it might go to trial. Fountain & Hattersley are highly trained, passionate about trying cases, and have proven themselves as excellent trial attorneys. Our trial attorneys relish the opportunity to attack cases head-on at every turn. With a compelling argument in court, we can achieve an acquittal, dismissal, or reduced sentence if the prosecutor believes they will not be able to meet their burden of proof.
As former prosecutors and now in private practice, attorneys Ray Fountain & Patricia Hattersley have amassed 40+ years of experience and gained notoriety as fearless advocates in Pasadena and surrounding legal communities. We know arresting officers, district attorneys, and the local courts. Also, by knowing how prosecutors conduct investigations, gather evidence, and handle criminal cases, we can attack the evidence against you and exploit any weaknesses.
Consulting with an attorney right after an arrest or during an investigation will greatly influence your case. At this point, we can better understand your potential cases and possible options to avoid harsh legal penalties. We can identify any violations of your rights, missteps, or wrongful accusations. Also, involving us early in the legal process can help us negotiate with the prosecutor before formal charges are filed. The criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Fountain & Hattersley look out for you from the beginning, making strategic decisions to help you avoid criminal charges before they’re filed.
One benefit of choosing the Law Offices of Fountain & Hattersley is the fact that we are wholly dedicated to your situation. We provide our clients with the close personal attention they need during this stressful and difficult time. You will work directly with Fountain or Hattersley – not with a case manager, a paralegal or legal secretary. We don’t see you as a case number and will spend as much time as it takes to accurately assess your situation, develop a strong defense strategy that reflects your goal, and fight for you in court. Attention to detail is one of our anchors, which has allowed us to achieve great results for our clients. Similarly, we will leave no stone unturned your case.
We take client problems to heart, offering compassionate and aggressive representation to get the results they need. We take a proactive approach to your case and deal with your situation in a manner that will allow you to resume the life you had before the arrest.
Contrary to what is often depicted in TV shows and movies, a trial is only one stage of a longer process. The court system can seem like a maze, and once you’re in, you may not know which way to go. Court rules and state laws can be very complex and confusing to a person who doesn’t understand the technicalities. The team of Fountain & Hattersley can explain what to expect as well as your options for strong defense strategy.
Pasadena criminal defense lawyers at Fountain & Hattersley can help you if you’ve been arrested, charged for a crime, or under investigation. We dominate the courtroom, control the situation, and ensure your case is handled fairly. We are not intimated by prosecutors, juries, or judges. From investigation to final dispositions or appeals, our attorneys will aggressively defend you of charged with a crime in Pasadena and surrounding communities.
Mr. Fountain was a life saver for me. I was in deep depression, going through a divorce and made some poor choices. He helped me through the legal process and took the weight off of my shoulders while I was facing criminal charges. He always returned my calls and texts quickly, would make time to see me at his office when I had concerns and helped me get treatment and rehabilitation for my issues. I highly recommend Mr. Fountain because he is professional, responsive and will make the best of your legal situation.
I was charged in a death penalty murder case for a murder-robbery I did not commit. Mr. Fountain and Patricia H. represented me and did an outstanding job. After four jury trials the case was eventually dismissed. I have since gone on to live a productive life. If it were not for Mr. Fountain’s and Patricia’s dedication and trial skills there was a very good chance I would have been convicted and possibly sent to death row.
In California, a misdemeanor is a crime that’s less serious than a felony but more serious than an infraction. It is defined as a crime for which the maximum sentence if 1 year in county jail. Misdemeanors in California fall into two categories:
Certain crimes are known as wobbler offenses and can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. However, most misdemeanors are treated as relatively minor offenses. With the help of the aggressive Pasadena criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Fountain & Hattersley, your chances of received maximum penalties are very slim, In fact, we’ve helped many first-time offenders receive short-term probation instead of jail time.
After an arrest, hiring an experienced, aggressive attorney is the single most important step you can take. The state of California has some of the toughest sentences in the country, making it a stressful place to be charged with a crime. With the help of the team of Fountain & Hattersley, you won’t have to face law enforcement, prosecutors, and courts alone. Some of the defense strategies that we can use to get your charges reduced or dismissed include:
We have experience in most areas of California criminal law and will provide you with proactive representation.
California’s Three Strikes Law
California’s Three Strikes Law was originally meant to keep violent offenders off the streets but has evolved into a complicated sentencing strategy. This law requires repeat offenders who have already committed a serious or violent felony to have their time in prison doubled. Penalties are far more serious for certain third-time offenses and may include 25 years to life in state prison. The number of offenses that can be counted as strikes has grown over the years. If you’re charged with a strike offense, we can help you mount the strongest possible defense to the charge and the sentencing enhancements.
Hit and run in California is a wobbler, and can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. Misdemeanor hit and run offenses usually involve property damage while felony offenses are those causing injury or death to another person. Under VC 20001, an individual involved in a traffic accident in which another person is injured or killed must stop the vehicle, remain at the scene, and exchange identification with the other parties and/or police officers. If the traffic collision resulted in death, the driver must immediately contact law enforcement if they have not arrived at the scene. These requirements apply regardless of who is at fault or the outcome of the crash. In most cases, people are charged with hit and run vehicular manslaughter because they believe there’s no need to stop if they were not at fault.
In addition to proving that you killed someone in a car accident, the prosecutor has to prove that you were driving in an illegal way or in a dangerous manner in order for you to be convicted of vehicular manslaughter. However, you may face additional hit and run charges if you fled the scene without identifying yourself. Penalties will depend on the specific facts of your case but may be more severe if convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
If your child has been arrested for committing a criminal offense, you may find yourself in a stressful and devastating situation with a wide range of emotions. You may also have many questions concerning the Juvenile justice system, and you’re not sure whether you need an attorney for your child’s case. At the Law Offices of Fountain & Hattersley, our Juvenile defense attorneys work to protect the future of young people and to help them understand the court system.
Some of the most common juvenile offenses include:
Unlike adults who are prosecuted for committing crimes, juveniles are prosecuted for delinquent acts. However, serious delinquent acts may be considered crimes, and the juvenile may be subjected to a trial in the adult system. The trial part of a juvenile case encompasses a jury hearing on whether or not the minor is delinquent. If the minor is considered delinquent, the court will decide what action should be taken. If the matter proceeds, the intake officer will dismiss the case, handle it informally, or file a formal petition against the child. The outcome of an informal proceeding includes mandatory counseling, a stern lecture, mandatory community service, probation, payment of restitution to the property owner, and/or probation.
Domestic violence denotes a violent confrontation that happens between individuals in specific, established relationships such as husbands and wives, mothers and daughters/sons, fathers and son/daughters, current or former cohabitant, and current or former domestic partner, fiancée, and a person with whom the accused has a child with. Domestic violence carries mental and emotional scars that last longer than physical ones. It includes threatening, beating, sexual assault, or other harm to the person of another. Angry words can escalate to a slap or push.
Domestic violence isn’t a specific charge; as a result, it’s important that you understand that actual offense you’re likely to face if accused of hurting or even threatening a current or even former loved one. Most domestic violence offenses are wobblers. California takes domestic violence crimes very seriously. Unfortunately, most of these offenses are based on false accusations, and you may feel completely overwhelmed. If you or someone close to you has been accused of domestic violence, we can help you defeat baseless charges and clear your name.
As you probably are well aware, sex crimes draw significant attention from the media and other public outlets. What’s more, California laws have been toughened to deal with offenses of this nature. A sex crime conviction can seriously damage your future. Moreover, in addition to the penalties that accompany the alleged crime, you’ll likely be left with the burden of lifetime sex offender registration. This can have an adverse impact on your personal and professional life.
A sex crime in California refers to any felony or misdemeanor of a sexual nature. Common sex crimes we defend include, but not limited to rape, lewd conduct, prostitution, date rape, child sexual abuse, indecent exposure, lewd acts with a child, oral copulation by force, failure to register as a sex offender, and possession of child pornography.
Every sex crime allegation in California is taken seriously, but in a rush to obtain justice and vengeance, false arrests and prejudiced convictions are a tragic outcome. We understand that law enforcement officers, in some cases, arrest individuals based on mistaken identity, false accusation, and even innocent misunderstandings. This is one of the main reasons why we diligently fight to protect the rights of our clients.
White collar crimes refer to illegal acts characterized by concealment, deceit, or violation of trust and are not primarily dependent upon threat or application of force or violence. White collar crimes are committed to obtaining money, service, and property, secure a personal or business advantage or avoid payment of services. White collar crimes cover a plethora of illegal activities. They basically involve complex financial records and long-term investigations before any charges are filed, sometimes well before you know you’re under investigation. If you think you may be a suspect or have been arrested, you will need practical advice from a seasoned and meticulous defense attorney who has successfully handled similar cases.
Most white collar crimes are charged as felonies because they radically change the victim’s future. Nonetheless, some of these crimes may be charged as wobblers. White collar offenses are prosecuted at the state and federal level. However, depending on the complexity of the crime, a concurrent federal and state investigation could be conducted. Regardless of your situation, you should not collaborate with the investigating team without involving a seasoned white-collar crime defense lawyer. At the Law Offices of Fountain & Hattersley, we have broad experience defending against white collar crimes and will not be thrown off by the complicated financial or technical evidence.
California drug laws are not as lenient as one may have thought. Prosecutors and law enforcement officials are aggressive when dealing with serious drug cases. They will not want to know if you were at the wrong place at the wrong time, have been struggling with addiction, or were unaware of an illegal substance. In recent years, we’ve witnessed an intensified attention to and an increase in the prosecution and punishment for drug crimes. Under California’s three-strikes law, for instance, mere drug possession carries the possibility of a sentence 25 years to life.
Some of the most common drug charges that we defend include:
Whether you’re charged with simple possession of a controlled substance or large-scale drug trafficking, our Pasadena experienced drug crime attorneys draw on years of experience as prosecutors to help you fight the charges. We can also help you secure an effective drug treatment program.
California law defines a felony as any crime that attracts a maximum sentence of more than 1 year in county jail or state prison, and/or a maximum fine of up to $10,000. Alternatively, an offender may be sentenced to California formal (felony) probation. If felony probation is granted, the offender will serve a maximum sentence of one year in county jail.
California felonies are divided into two categories: straight felony and wobbler felony. Straight felonies are those that can be charged and sentenced as a felony, which means that they cannot be reduced to a misdemeanor. Most straight felonies count as a strike under California’s three strikes law. Wobblers can, on the other hand, are crimes that may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. This depends on the defendant’s criminal history and specific facts of the case.
While most felony convictions do not attract a death penalty, even less severe sentences like parole, prison terms, and probation can have life-long negative consequences. Time is of the essence in felony cases; the earlier you retain an aggressive criminal defense lawyer, the better your chances of avoiding a California felony conviction are. If you’re charged with a California felony, our attorneys will work with investigators and other experts to search for evidence that can lead to a dismissal or reduction in your charges.
In California, homicide is the unlawful killing of a human being and may be charged as murder or manslaughter. California PC 187 defines murder as the unlawful and unjustified killing of a human being with malice aforethought. Malice is a clear intent to kill or a reckless disregard for human life. Manslaughter is divided into voluntary, involuntary, and vehicular manslaughter. If charged under the Felony Murder Rule under California PC 189, you can be convicted without any proof of malice provided you caused the death of another human being. A person can also be charged with attempted murder if he/she has the intent to kill, took a step toward doing so, but the target was injured as a result.
Manslaughter is killing another person in the heat of passion or during a sudden quarrel. This crime can be divided into voluntary, involuntary, and vehicular manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter is an intentional killing of another person, whereas unintentional killing occurs as a result of gross negligence or the commission of a misdemeanor. Vehicular manslaughter applies to situations where a driver kills another with or without gross negligence, during the commission of a lawful act, or knowingly causes the accident for financial gain.
At the Law Offices of Fountain & Hattersley, we stand ready to support you through this difficult situation and build you the strongest defense possible. We know what it takes to set the record straight.
In the field of criminal defense, cases involving gang crimes are quite unique. Prosecutors, judges, lawyers, and the community typically view gang membership as a crime, which isn’t entirely the case. Gang membership is an activity that is constitutionally protected under the First Amendment. Understanding the difference between a group whose members may be separately involved in a crime and a group whose members commit crimes so as to further the group’s criminal agenda is critical.
However, it’s easy for the bar and the judiciary to overlook this distinction due to the widespread move to abolish criminal street gangs. California PC 186.22 is part of the California Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act, which is the state’s gang enhancement law. Participating in a street gang and committing a crime for the benefit of a gang could mean additional sentencing even if you were not directly responsible for the crime or are not a gang member. The punishment of a gang crime can also mean serving a life sentence.
Our Pasadena Criminal defense attorneys have the knowledge of the law in this area as well as the understanding of the First and Fourteenth Amendments and how they relate to gang crime charges. We know how to effectively negotiate with prosecutors and aggressively advocate in favor of removing the stigma of these charges.
As local Pasadena criminal defense lawyers, we understand the trauma that comes with being arrested, charged with a crime, or spending time in jail. The decisions that you make right after an arrest can determine the outcome of your case. The team of Fountain & Hattersley can help navigate the complex justice system with much ease. We will work tirelessly to vindicate you, avoid a conviction, or minimize potential penalties.