Dec 12, 2020
Dordulian Law Group’s President and Founder, Samuel Dordulian, served as a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney for 13 years, spending half his career in the Central Sex Crimes Unit. On Friday, he successfully represented the family of a deceased victim against the attempt by District Attorney Gascon to inexplicably dismiss special allegations of great bodily injury for a third-time offender in a case involving a DUI car accident where Jacob Scianni died and two passengers were seriously injured. The case is noteworthy given the controversial special directives issued this week by recently elected District Attorney, George Gascon.
Under D.A. Gascon’s new special directives, sentencing enhancements will no longer be utilized, even for violent crimes. That means special circumstances allegations, like the ones in the fatal car accident case Samuel Dordulian successfully upheld, will no longer be filed by the D.A.’s office. Such special allegations were previously used to help ensure violent and repeat offenders received longer sentences. As Dordulian notes in the interview, these new policies significantly impact victims of crime and their families. negative consequences:
Under the new special directives, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office will:
As a former sex crimes prosecutor, Dordulian handled hundreds of domestic violence and sexual assault/abuse cases. Under the new directives, because domestic violence and child abuse are not considered “violent felonies,” the perpetrator is now always eligible for immediate release from custody and $0 bail. In other words, every criminal who commits an act of domestic violence or child abuse in Los Angeles County will now be immediately released following arrest. This is extremely disconcerting to Dordulian given his years of experience with these types of cases, and the effect such policies will have in terms of removing protections for victims.
“These are dangerous policies that serve no one but perpetrators, and actually put victims of sexual assault, abuse, and domestic violence in particular at greater risk. In fact, these policies put all citizens in Los Angeles County at risk for their safety.”
Another controversial aspect of Gascon’s new directives is a stipulation whereby the District Attorney’s Office will now pay for funeral expenses for the criminal who is shot by the police, regardless of the circumstances of the incident. For example, in a scenario where a wanted murderer is pulled over and suddenly opens fire, but the officer (or officer’s partner) then returns fire and kills the perpetrator, the county will now pay for that criminal’s funeral expenses.
“The District Attorney is acting like the Public Defender instead of focusing on pursuing justice against criminals and the safety and well-being of our residents, specifically those who are victims of crime.”
Stay tuned to the Dordulian Law Group blog for updates related to this story as well as a forthcoming detailed examination of Gascon’s policies and the potential ramifications for residents of Los Angeles County (particularly victims of violent crime).
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.