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Schouse Law Offices
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Schouse Law Offices
Niel Schouse

837 S. Cochran Ave.
Los Angerles CA 90036
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Alt. Phone: (877) 378-6502

Shouse Law

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Experience Means Everything!

Together we offer more than 70 years enforcing, prosecuting--and now defending--DUI cases. If you got arrested for DUI anywhere in California, call us for a free, confidential phone consultation.

Southern California Criminal Defense Lawyers

Neil Shouse

A graduate of UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School, Los Angeles California DUI Lawyer Neil Shouse spent five years as a deputy district attorney. He won more than 96% of his 50+ jury trials. Today Mr. Shouse puts that insider law enforcement experience to work by defending clients charged with DUI throughout California. Mr. Shouse has been featured as an expert legal commentator on the Dr Phil Show, Good Morning America, CNN, Court TV and Fox News Channel.
Robert Little, San Bernardino County criminal defense attorney. A former San Bernardino Deputy District Attorney, Mr. Little is a Board Certified Criminal Trial Specialist with the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He has been featured as an expert legal commentator on Court TV.
Darrell York, Los Angeles & Ventura criminal defense attorney. Mr. York spent 24 years as a Glendale CA police officer before going into criminal defense. His assignments included patrol, narcotics, internal affairs, DUI task force, police sergeant and field training officer.
Michael Scafiddi, San Bernardino & Riverside criminal defense attorney. Mr. Scafiddi is president of the San Bernardino County Bar Association and a former Ontario CA police officer and police sergeant. As a police officer, he investigated almost every crime on the books, from DUI to robbery to domestic violence to murder.

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Former Police & Prosecutors...
Now California Criminal Defense Attorneys

Our California criminal defense attorneys handle misdemeanor, felony, DUI and juvenile cases throughout Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Ventura, Riverside, San Diego, Orange County, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Our staff of California criminal lawyers includes three former prosecutors and two former career police officers. Together with our private detectives and forensic experts, we work as a team, drawing on more than half a century of law enforcement experience.

We know firsthand how cops and district attorneys put together cases. We used to be in their shoes. We have the playbook. Now we use this insider knowledge to your advantage in fighting your criminal charges.

An Aggressive, Proactive Approach to all Cases

Some California criminal defense lawyers take a wait-and-see approach. They stall until the first court date, or until they receive the police reports, before investigating and working up your case.

By contrast, we believe there’s no time to waste. The most critical window for defense work may be the first few days following an arrest, or even prior to formal charges being filed. By getting to work immediately, often we can locate favorable defense evidence and witnesses, and get a "head start" towards defeating the charges.

Private Defense Investigation by Former Police

Make no mistake. Cops concern themselves mainly with aiding the prosecution and building up a case against you. They should not be relied upon to gather favorable evidence that helps exonerate their suspect. They are not on your side.

Our private defense investigators are all former career police officers. But now their job is to find the evidence that will benefit you. We assign them to re-interview and locate witnesses, to canvass neighborhoods, to obtain surveillance tapes, to do background checks on key prosecution witnesses, and to locate evidence to corroborate our client’s version of the events.

Knowing the Local Courts

Every county and every courthouse has its own way of doing things. The criminal court process in Los Angeles County, for example, differs significantly from the process in San Bernardino. But even within San Bernardino County, the procedures at the central courthouse vary considerably from Rancho Cucamonga or Victorville.

We assign each of our California criminal defense attorneys to a specific set of courthouses. By working day in and day out in the same places, we develop trusting relationships with judges, prosecutors, probation officers and court staff. Moreover, we know how things work in particular courtrooms, and with particular prosecuting agencies. We’ve learned whom to talk to, who has discretion, and the most effective ways to get the job done.

Close Personal Contact with Your Attorney

Facing criminal charges traumatizes people. Nothing compounds the stress more than the inability to reach your attorney.

At the Shouse Law Group, we put a premium on the accessibility of our California criminal defense lawyers and support staff. We’re here to provide moral and emotional support as well as legal representation. To do this, we observe two policies:

  1. Every client phone call, email or text is returned the same day; and

  2. Every client gets the personal cell phone number of his/her attorney and the lawyer’s assistant

Not only does this provide you the assurance of knowing you can reach your lawyer at critical times. It also helps us to do our job more effectively.

We find that close client interaction is pivotal to our work. Our clients are the best resource for understanding what happened and who the key players are in the case. We want to hear from you, and you’ll definitely be hearing from us…as together we map out the story and put together the best defense possible.

Early Intervention Before Charges Get Filed

Sometimes it’s possible to stop criminal charges from ever being filed.

After making an arrest or investigating a suspected crime, the police take their evidence to the district attorney. The D.A. evaluates the potential case and decides what criminal charges (if any) to file. Usually, the prosecutor makes this decision based solely on what the police present. But often there’s much more to the story.

Many times our California criminal lawyers can also meet with the D.A. during this same time period. We can present our witness statements, our evidence and our information.

Knowing your side of the story may affect the D.A.’s calculations. When the prosecutors see the whole picture, not just what the cops (or the alleged "victim") have to say, they may decide to file lesser charges (a misdemeanor rather than a felony, for example)…or not to file criminal charges at all (we call this a "D.A. Reject").

Legal "Second Opinions"

Perhaps you already have a California criminal defense lawyer. Your case has been pending for awhile. Your attorney advises you on a certain case strategy…such as accepting the D.A.’s offer, or taking the case to trial. Now you face a major life decision. And you’re just not sure what to do.

We can evaluate your case and offer our independent judgment as to your various options and the merits of each. Much like a patient may see another doctor for a "second opinion" before deciding whether to undergo an elective surgery, we can give you a legal second opinion.

In the end, we may concur with your present attorney’s position. Or we may not. Or we may suggest a totally different approach. But our advice to you will be (a) unbiased, (b) independent, (c) looking only to your best interests, and (d) based on a careful analysis of all the facts and law.

Bail & Release Help

If your loved one is custody, our California criminal defense attorneys can often arrange a "bail hearing" to get bail reduced or to secure an "OR release." We assist inmates in custody at any of the state’s jails, including the Twin Towers Jail, the Los Angeles Men's Central Jail, the Orange County Central Jail, the Ventura County Jail, the West Valley Detention Center and the Robert Presley Riverside County Jail.

Types of Cases We Handle…

California DUI Defense Lawyers

Our California DUI defense attorneys are former DUI prosecutors and law enforcement officers with decades of experience both prosecuting and defending drunk driving cases.

As a former Deputy D.A., Los Angeles DUI lawyer Neil Shouse worked closely with the CHP and police toxicologists, compiling evidence and presenting cases in court. Now he fights DUI charges. Among the drunk driving cases we handle are Vehicle Code 23152(a), underage DUI, DUI causing injury, hit and run and gross vehicular manslaughter.

California Violent Crime Charges

Prosecutors and judges take violent crimes the most seriously. California’s mandatory sentencing laws can lead to harsh prison sentences.

But many people accused of violent offense are truly innocent. Often the situation arose out of self-defense, accident, misidentification, false accusations or mental illness. Our Los Angeles criminal attorneys can help you explore these defenses and fight the charges. We also defend clients prosecuted under California’s Three Strikes Law.

Among the violent crime charges we defend against are:

  • Penal Code 187 Murder

  • Penal Code 207 Kidnapping

  • Penal Code 211 Robbery

  • Penal Code 215 Carjacking

  • Penal Code 245 Assault

  • Penal Code 422 PC Criminal Threats

  • Penal Code 451 Arson

California Sex Crimes Charges

Conviction for a criminal sex offense can lead to years in California state prison, getting ostracized from the community, and having to register for life as a sex offender. But many innocent people get falsely accused of sex crimes, especially date rape, lewd acts with a child, and sexual assault.

Our California criminal defense lawyers start by scrutinizing the accuser’s background. We look to see if the accuser has a history of telling lies, and a bias against our client. We independently investigate the case with our own private detectives and forensic experts. Often times we can get charges reduced or dismissed, or secure an acquittal at trial.

We defend against all sex crimes charges, including


California Financial Crime Charges

Most people accused of theft or financial crimes are good citizens with minimal records who simply took a wayward path. And some are factually innocent. In any case, our California criminal defense attorneys can help you fight the charges, often times keeping the stigma of a criminal conviction off your record.

We represent clients as to all financial and property crimes, such as


California Domestic Violence Attorneys

More people get wrongfully accused of domestic violence than any other type of crime. Sometimes a person strikes his wife or girlfriend by accident or in self-defense during a mutual struggle.

Other times the accuser lies to the police and makes up false allegations of abuse. Accusers fabricate stories out of anger or jealousy, or to gain the upper hand in divorce or child custody proceedings. Whatever the case, our Los Angeles criminal attorneys can help you fight back.

We defend clients against any accusations of domestic violence, spousal battery or spousal abuse, in particular


California Drug Crimes Attorneys

Police frequently use unreliable informants, defective warrants and other illegal methods to make drug busts. Our California criminal lawyers can challenge these unconstitutional searches and search warrants, in an effort to get evidence and cases thrown out of court.

For clients struggling with addiction problems, we can often help you get Proposition 36, PC 1000 drug diversion or other treatment programs as an alternative to jail.

We represent clients in all misdemeanor or felony narcotics charges, including

  • Health & Safety Code 11350 HS Possession of a Controlled Substance

  • Health & Safety Code 11351 HS Possession for Sales,

  • Health & Safety Code 11352 HS Sales or Transportation of a Controlled Substance

  • Health & Safety Code 11377 HS Possession of Methamphetamine.


Contact us for a Free Consultation

We like to start every case the same way: by listening. We sit down with you (and your witnesses) to hear exactly what happened. The police and the accusers are going to have their story. We’ll be presenting yours. So we want to start by hearing and understanding your side of it. Call us at  (888) 327-4652  (888) 327-4652 or email us to schedule a consultation to see if we’re the right California criminal defense lawyers for you.

We have local criminal law offices in Burbank, Glendale, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Palm Springs, Pasadena, Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Ana, Torrance, Van Nuys, Ventura and West Covina.

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Neil Shouse

Neil Shouse - Managing Attorney

An honors graduate of UC-Berkeley and Harvard Law School, Neil Shouse served five years as Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County. He prosecuted more than 60 criminal trials, and handled more than 1,000 evidentiary hearings. He earned a reputation as one of the toughest and most successful trial prosecutors, with an astounding 96% success rate in felony criminal jury trials to verdict.

As a trial prosecutor, Mr. Shouse's cases ranged from DUIs and drug charges to complex, high profile murders. He worked in close partnership with police, detectives, the California Highway Patrol, criminalists and fellow prosecutors.

Among his cases was the successful prosecution of Shadae Schmidt, a college student who shot and killed her mother and then staged a fake robbery scene. Shadae Schmidt was defended at the trial by Michael Jackson lawyer Thomas Messereau.

Mr. Shouse frequently speaks as a guest legal commentator on national television. He has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, Court TV, Fox News Channel and Public Television.

Prior to serving as a trial prosecutor, Mr. Shouse was a litigator for several of the nation's top law firms, including the global law firm Sidley Austin Brown & Wood. In that role, he represented such clients as AT&T, Microsoft, Metropolitan Life, Western Union and KPMG.

Mr. Shouse belongs to the many legal organizations, including the

  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
  • California Public Defenders Association
  • National College for DUI Defense
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Beverly Hills Bar Association

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Attorney Profiles

Southern California Criminal Defense Lawyers

Neil Shouse, Los Angeles criminal defense attorney. A graduate of UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School, Mr. Shouse served 5 years as a Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney. He won 96% of his more than 40 jury trials. Mr. Shouse has been featured on CNN, Fox News, Court TV and Good Morning America.
Robert Little, San Bernardino County criminal defense attorney. A former San Bernardino Deputy District Attorney, Mr. Little is a Board Certified Criminal Trial Specialist with the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He has been featured as an expert legal commentator on Court TV.
Darrell York, Los Angeles & Ventura criminal defense attorney. Mr. York spent 24 years as a Glendale CA police officer before going into criminal defense. His assignments included patrol, narcotics, internal affairs, DUI task force, police sergeant and field training officer.
Michael Scafiddi, San Bernardino & Riverside criminal defense attorney. Mr. Scafiddi is president of the San Bernardino County Bar Association and a former Ontario CA police officer and police sergeant. As a police officer, he investigated almost every crime on the books, from DUI to robbery to domestic violence to murder.
John Murray, Los Angeles criminal defense attorney. Featured as an expert legal commentator on Fox News Channel, Mr. Murray has successfully defended criminal cases from petty theft to armed robbery. Mr. Murray has developed particluar expertise in California DMV law, and has helped hundreds of DUI clients to save their drivers licenses.

Private Investigators:

Of Counsel

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Frequently Asked Questions about Criminal Defense

Q: Can a person be punished for attempting to commit a crime?

A: Many jurisdictions have either a general "attempt" crime or individual statutes that make attempted murder or attempted robbery or the like a crime. The purpose of these statutes is to punish an individual who has shown himself or herself to be dangerously inclined to commit a crime without waiting until the criminal act is actually completed. In order to convict a person for an attempted crime, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person had the intent to do an act or bring about certain consequences that would amount to a crime, and that he or she took some step beyond mere preparation towards that goal.

Q: What is a "grand jury"?

A:  A grand jury is a group of people called together by the prosecutor to gather information about suspected criminal activity by listening to testimony from witnesses and examining documents and other evidence. The prosecutor acts as legal advisor to the grand jury and directs the flow of witnesses and evidence. At the end of the proceeding, the grand jury decides whether there is enough evidence to put the defendant on trial for the crime.

Q: Who is the "prosecutor"?

A: Prosecution refers to the government's role in the criminal justice system. When criminal activity is suspected, it is up to the government to investigate, arrest, charge and bring the alleged offender to trial. Prosecutors are the lawyers who work for the government and who are responsible for presenting the government's case against a defendant. Prosecutors may be called county attorneys, city attorneys, or district attorneys.

Q: How does the prosecutor decide which cases to pursue?

A: The first thing the prosecutor looks for is a legally sound case, or one without any obvious defects that will get it thrown out of court, such as violations of the defendant's constitutional rights or destruction of evidence crucial to the defense. The prosecutor next decides if there is enough evidence, with regard to both the quantity and the quality thereof, to make conviction probable. Finally, the prosecutor decides if prosecuting the case fits in with the office's policy objectives, or whether a more informal disposition such as pre-trial diversion may be in order.

Q: What is the difference between parole and probation?

A: Parole and probation are employed in the punishment phase of the criminal justice process. Parole comes into play after a person has been imprisoned and is released subject to supervision by an officer of the court. Probation, by contrast, refers to a criminal sentence separate and distinct from incarceration. Probation is the most frequent sentence imposed for less serious or first offenses and typically involves releasing the convicted offender into the community subject to a list of terms and conditions.

Q: What is "restitution"?

A: Restitution involves ordering the defendant to pay the victim a sum of money designed to compensate the victim for the monetary costs of the crime, such as medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. By federal law, under the Mandatory Victims' Restitution Act of 1996, restitution is required when a violent crime has been committed and for certain other, limited, offenses. Many state and federal laws also require a criminal offender to make restitution to the victim, and the court will order restitution under those laws when the offender is sentenced.

Q: What is "white collar crime"?

A: White collar crime is a term originally used to describe criminal activity by members of the upper classes in connection with their professions. Today, the most common definition of white collar crime no longer focuses on the social status of the offender but rather on the type of conduct involved: illegal acts using deceit and concealment to obtain money, property, or services, or to secure a business or professional advantage. White collar crimes are usually less violent than other crimes, but their effects can be just as devastating, such as in the recent Enron case.

Q: Are children charged with committing crimes prosecuted in the same manner as adults?

A: Children are subject to a separate judicial system called the juvenile court system. Generally, the focus of the juvenile court system is more on rehabilitation than on punishment. In some cases, however, older juveniles who commit more serious crimes will be charged as adults and tried in the regular criminal courts. In such cases, their sentence, too, will be more in accord with adult punishment, whereas in juvenile court any incarceration is usually in a more rehabilitative setting and generally ends when the juvenile attains the age of majority.

Q: Do I need a lawyer to represent me even if I am innocent?

A: Every criminal defendant needs a criminal defense lawyer. Innocent defendants are perhaps in even greater need of zealous representation throughout the criminal process to ensure that their rights are protected and that the truth prevails. Even innocent people end up in jail, so the best way to prevent that miscarriage of justice is to employ the services of a seasoned veteran of criminal defense law.

Q: If I simply intend to plead guilty, why do I need a lawyer?

A: Even if you are guilty of the crime with which you are charged, it is imperative that you seek the advice of experienced counsel so that you can minimize your sentence and maximize your opportunities to move ahead toward a brighter future. Criminal defense attorneys are needed to equalize the balance of power between the defendant and the prosecution and to ensure that the constitutional rights that are guaranteed to all criminal defendants, whether guilty or not, are preserved.

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