Jerry L. Steering has been practicing criminal law since 1984 (in California since 1986.) He has tried and otherwise litigated hundreds of criminal cases, including murder cases, manslaughter cases, assault and battery cases, drug possession and drug manufacturing cases, DUI cases, Vehicular homicide cases, white-collar investor fraud cases, sex-offender or drug offender registration cases, violation of court order cases, domestic violence cases, theft and embezzlement cases, towing industry cases, and the general spectrum of criminal violations. Mr. Steering’s law practice involves representing persons in Orange County, Los Angeles County, San Diego County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, Imperial County, Ventura County and other place throughout California and the United States.
Mr. Steering is also licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia and has practiced in federal courts outside of California pro hac vice, including the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Mr. Steering is also a Members of the Bars of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court (since 1987).
He is also a member of the State Bar of Georgia and has also litigated cases in Georgia, Alabama and the District of Columbia. He is an expert in police brutality / excessive force and false arrest cases, and has been litigating these cases since 1984.The great majority of Mr. Steering’s law practice is devoted to defending bogus criminal cases against the victims of abuse by the police, and suing police officers and other government officials, for claims such as false arrest, police brutality / excessive force, malicious prosecution, and other “Constitutional Torts.”
Mr. Steering is an expert in defending your bogus criminal action, in a way to best protect and enhance your ability to ultimately obtain some justice; reasonable compensation and redress, for your police beating; for your false arrest; for your unlawful search and seizure; for your malicious criminal prosecution; and for what’s usually at the center of all of the above, the exercise of our right to freedom of speech, and to complain to public officers, about misconduct by them or others, under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
MR. STEERING IS A POLICE MISCONDUCT ATTORNEY WHO DEFENDS BOGUS CRIMINAL ACTIONS.
Mr. Steering has been defending these bogus criminal cases and suing the involved officers since 1984.He understanding the ever changing legal landscape and understands how to play this Contempt of Cop game to get you justice; both in the form of vindication in the bogus criminal action brought against you, and compensation and vindication in the form of monetary compensation for the police outrages perpetrated against you.
The majority of Mr. Steering’s firm’s law practice is defending bogus “contempt of cop” criminal actions, usually followed by Mr. Steering filing and prosecuting lawsuits against the very same police officers who beat-up, falsely arrested and falsely accused the innocent of criminal conduct, to protect themselves and their employing agency from liability to the innocent for their outrages.
Most of Mr. Steering’s criminal and civil cases involve core Bill of Rights type issues; the difference between living in a free society of a police state. Most of these federal civil rights cases involve police violation of person(s) fourth amendment rights (i.e unreasonable searches of persons and their places and effects, and unreasonable seizures of person (false arrest and unreasonable force, procuring bogus and malicious criminal prosecutions) and first amendment violations (retaliation for protected speech and to petition for redress and various other “Constitutional Torts” , including police whistleblowing cases (Cal. Labor Code Section 1102.5.)
One substantial advantage that Mr. Steering can provide you, is a better chance at obtaining favorable evidence, to either leverage a favorable plea agreement, or flat-out win your criminal case, when you couldn’t otherwise do so.If you don’t sue police officers, you simply don’t know what types of evidence is “out there” (i.e. in the possession of police agencies.) Because pre-trial discovery is extremely limited in California state court criminal prosecutions, most lawyers who only practice criminal law will not have an opportunity to even find out what types of evidence is available. The type of evidence that can exonerate you, and can show that the Constable is not telling the truth. There are hundreds of different types of evidence that lawyers who only practice criminal law, usually do not know the existence of. For example, if you’re presently being represented by a criminal lawyer, make sure, they get the minimal types of “discovery”, that is available from various police agencies; most of which is “available”, only for a certain amount of time.
MR. STEERING’S NOTABLE LAGUNA BEACH FALSE ARREST CASES.
Mr. Steering’s first police misconduct federal jury trial was in downtown Los Angeles in the old federal courthouse (312 N. Spring Street) against the City of Laguna Beach. That trial resulted in a plaintiff’s verdict against the Laguna Beach PD Officer (Ron Sapp) for the false arrest and use of unreasonable force upon a soccer-mom (mace in the face), including a punitive damage award personally against Officer Sapp.
In addition, in federal civil rights cases (under 42 U.S.C. § 1983) the only way to get a judgment directly against the officer’s municipal employer is to prove that a policy, custom or practice of the municipal entity was a proximate cause of the constitutional violation perpetrated against the civilian by the officer. See, Monell v. Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978) ln L.K. v. City of Laguna Beach (1986), Mr. Steering was actually able to prove that the Laguna Beach PD mace policy was unconstitutional, and that it resulted in the unconstitutional use of mace upon L.K. by Officer Sapp.
Mr. Steering also obtained a $380,000.00 settlement in a case involving the Laguna Beach Police Department and a Laguna Beach native; Elisha “Skip” Torrance. See, “Man stunned by deputies in his bedroom gets $380,000″, Orange County Register, November 19, 2010.
Laguna Beach Police Department Detective Larry Bammer lived up to his name in the Skip Torrance affair. A fight had taken place between two groups of drunken adults in front of the Rooftop Bar in Laguna Beach. LBPD Officer Larry Bammer detained several persons suspected of being involved in the fight. He learned that the man who started the fight was a man named “Dana”, and the ladies being detained on the curb claimed not to have known “Dana” last name.
While this was going on, a drunken lady walked by Officer Bammer, heard that he was looking for someone, and told him that she saw a man yell out and drive away quickly in a Subaru. The lady even had the license plate written down. However, this was several blocks away from the fight scene.
Officer Bammer then had Orange County Sheriff’s Deputies go to Mr. Torrance’s home. He was fast asleep. Mr. Torrance was the man who yelled out and drove away quickly. However, the yell was from stubbing his tow while wearing sandals.
The Sheriff’s Department deputies jumped over the wall at Mr. Torrance’s home, walked around to the back yard, saw him sleeping in his bed through the rear slider, opened the slider, walked inside and shook Mr. Torrance by his underwear while he was sleeping, to wake him up.
When Mr. Torrance woke up he saw two silhouettes pointing their flashlights at him. He jumped-up out of bed to turn on the lights, and the deputies tased him, handcuffed him and took him to jail for resisting an officer.
CRIMINAL DEFENSE OF”RESISTANCE OFFENSE” CASES:
Almost all “resistance offense” criminal cases are procured by the same police agency that perpetrated the very outrage complained of against the innocent civilian. This is done to shift the blame from the police officer to the beating victim (you, the innocent) for necessitating the use of force or other outrage. What the police and the prosecutors do is to charge you with committing some act that they claim is a crime and that somehow justified the police beating that you received. This is no joke. This is how the game works.
This author has been playing this game since 1984 and things have only gotten worse for the innocent civilian in the real world of what the police can do to you and your home and property. The American public basically has no idea what their basic rights and freedoms are, and how they have been shrinking since 1968. No one except the police, the lawyers and the judges care about these shrinking constitutional protections until some police outrage is perpetrated against them or a loved one.
Moreover, most law abiding innocent types who didn’t grow up in the ghetto do not believe that police officers do bad things to people who don’t deserve it. When we hear about a claim in the media that the police perpetrated some outrage against a civilian, the first thing that comes to our mind is what did the civilian do to make the police do what they did to him. Culturally, we tend to shift the blame for the use of force or other serious intrusion on the liberty of another, to the person upon whom the force was used.
What suing police officers and defending bogus “resistance offense” criminal cases since 1984 has taught this author, is that the civilian usually is the one completely in the right, and the constable usually is the one in the wrong. This is the Contempt of Cop Game, and it is a game in a very real sense.
The first rule of this game is that police perjury is rampant and sanctioned by public prosecutors. In this world there really is no crime of perjury; at least one that is enforced.I n the real world, there is no such thing as perjury. Perjury takes place in virtually every trial in some form. Ask any trial lawyer, judge, court reporter, clerk and bailiff. If the court staff had a nickel for every canard or prevarication or outright lie told by a peace officer in a California state or federal courtroom, they would be richer than Bill Gates. There are two sides testifying in every civil trial. Someone is lying; one or the other. Same thing in criminal cases, except because of one’s right not to be called a a witness against oneself at trial (U.S. Const. Amend. 5), “There ain’t no lying when there’s no testifying”.
Moreover, in California, perjury requires either two witnesses or one witness whose testimony can be corroborated: In California the prosecution need to show more than the testimony of a single witness to convict another of perjury:
(a) Every person who, having taken an oath that he or she will testify, declare, depose, or certify truly before any competent tribunal, officer, or person, in any of the cases in which the oath may by law of the State of California be administered, willfully and contrary to the oath, states as true any material matter which he or she knows to be false, and every person who testifies, declares, deposes, or certifies under penalty of perjury in any of the cases in which the testimony, declarations, depositions, or certification is permitted by law of the State of California under penalty of perjury and willfully states as true any material matter which he or she knows to be false, is guilty of perjury.
This subdivision is applicable whether the statement, or the testimony, declaration, deposition, or certification is made or subscribed within or without the State of California.
(b) No person shall be convicted of perjury where proof of falsity rests solely upon contradiction by testimony of a single person other than the defendant. Proof of falsity may be established by direct or indirect evidence.
No one gets prosecuted for perjury save a few politicians and entitlement recipients. The police all know this.
The judges all know this. The lawyers all know this. The bailiffs all know this. The courtroom clerks all know this. The court reporters all know this. So, not to worry about lying police reports. If they are put on the stand by the prosecution and they get caught lying for the prosecution, there is zero chance that the prosecutor is then going to prosecute them for perjury.
The second rule of the game is that in the real world that the police can fabricate their police reports to procure your bogus criminal prosecution, without any real world repercussions.
After the police beat you up and/or falsely arrest you and the police agency submits a “package” to the District Attorney’s Office, the Deputy District Attorney who reviews the case for potential criminal filing are almost always simply going to accept and rely on what is shown in the initial police reports. This not because these filing Deputy District Attorneys are evil people.
This is because these Deputy District Attorneys simply don’t have the time to extensively review anything other than the initial arrest reports in making their decision to prosecute the subjects of those reports. Most Deputy District Attorneys who make the decisions whether to prosecute you and what for are forced to review between 15 and 30 cases per day. There is simply no time other than to read the initial arrest reports. There is no time to review the audio or video recordings, the use of force reports, any internal investigations (that the DA actually has to move the court to even see) or other items of evidence.
Police officers are trained on how to justify their conduct in court; both when they are attempting to frame you in a criminal case for some “resistance offense” (i.e. the defendant struck my fist with his jaw). Moreover, the laws of search and seizure of persons, places and property are extremely complicated and are ever changing. The police know what police keywords / buzzwords they can accuse you of that will ultimately, in the real world almost always justify their conduct. Accordingly, it is easy for the police to procure your bogus criminal prosecution, to shift the blame for their conduct from them to you, and to preclude you from suing them via your bogus criminal prosecution.
POLICE MISCONDUCT IN ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA.
The sad fact is that most good citizen types have a fantasy world belief system about the police. They believe that police officers don’t do bad things to people who don’t deserve it, and that for the most part, most of the claims that we all hear about of police brutality and other police transgressions are either false, overblown and extremely rare. Chances are that if you are reading this article, that: 1) you used to be one of those fantasy world types and 2) you are not that way any more.
ALL ORANGE COUNTY POLICE AGENCIES ARE INSTITUTIONALLY DISHONEST, AND SOME ARE SIMPLY BRUTAL, SADISTIC AND ROUTINELY PROCURE THE BOGUS CRIMINAL PROSECUTION OF THEIR VICTIMS.
In today’s world of civil litigation and a never ending cascade of civil judgements against police officers and their employing entities,police agencies are in the real world, never really honest and forthcoming. It is just not within them. Their political office and desire to remain there or to attain higher office will generally cause otherwise honest public servants, to deny that not proven by video or audio recordings, or other real evidence.
Cal. Penal Code Section 118 provides:
“(a) Every person who, having taken an oath that he or she will testify, declare, depose, or certify truly before any competent tribunal, officer, or person, in any of the cases in which the oath may by law of the State of California be administered, willfully and contrary to the oath, states as true any material matter which he or she knows to be false, and every person who testifies, declares, deposes, or certifies under penalty of perjury in any of the cases in which the testimony, declarations, depositions, or certification is permitted by law of the State of California under penalty of perjury and willfully states as true any material matter which he or she knows to be false, is guilty of perjury.
This subdivision is applicable whether the statement, or the testimony, declaration, deposition, or certification is made or subscribed within or without the State of California.
(b) No person shall be convicted of perjury where proof of falsity rests solely upon contradiction by testimony of a single person other than the defendant. Proof of falsity may be established by direct or indirect evidence.”
The District Attorney’s Office is not going to prosecute one of their officer witnesses who get caught lying on the stand. Instead they will usually defend the officer, turning justice on it’s head. The fact is that barring political human sacrifices (i.e. Mark Furhrman lying about using the “N” word at O.J. Simpson’s criminal trial or going after welfare recipients), public prosecutors just do not prosecute perjury cases; especially against their own witnesses. In the police profession, lying under oath well isn’t a vice, it’s a virtue.
THE GOOD OL’ BOYS NEVER LEFT ORANGE COUNTY.
Brad Gates is perhaps Orange County’s most colorful politician, a 6-foot-4 San Juan Capistrano native who got his first taste of policing as a member of the Sheriff’s Junior Mounted Posse, a volunteer organization that patrolled on horseback. He referred to himself as a “cowboy,” and his office adornments include the souvenir book “Sheriffs of the Wild West.”
In 1989 Orange County Sheriff Brad Gates has finally had a verdict rendered against him for violating the civil rights of a political rival by using sheriff’s investigators by tape-recording their conversations and trumping up charges against them. He also essentially sold Carry Concealed Weapon permits to his campaign contributors.
Sheriff Gates is perhaps Orange County’s most colorful politician, a handsome, 6-foot-4 San Juan Capistrano native who got his first taste of policing as a member of the Sheriff’s Junior Mounted Posse, a volunteer organization that patrolled on horseback. He sometimes refers to himself as a “cowboy,” and his office adornments include the souvenir book “Sheriffs of the Wild West.” He announced his intent to retire in 1997.
THE ELECTION FOR ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF OF 1998; MIKE CARONA vs. PAUL WALTERS.
In a bitter contest between two former friends, in 1998 Orange County Marshal Mike Carona beat Santa Ana Police Chief Paul M. Walters by several points in the race to succeed longtime county fixture Brad Gates and become the first new Orange County sheriff in 24 years. Brad Gates had his own sordid history of cronyism and corruption during his 24 years as the Sheriff of Orange County.
Orange County, California had a Sheriff’s Department that was run by Sheriff Mike Carona, who was released from federal prison in 2015 for witness tampering (instructing witness (Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl) to lie to a federal Grand Jury.) Carona was the Head Marshall for the Orange County Marshall’s Office, that used to serve as the bailiffs and the court security personnel at the Orange County Courthouse. The County Marshall’s Office used to also serve “civil process” and executed arrest warrants.
Until Sheriff Carona went to prison, Orange County was a fantasy assignment for those truly sadistic peace officers, who “get-off” on beating inmates and arrestees. Carona’s Assistant Sheriffs, George Jaramillo and Don Haidl were both criminally prosecuted.
Mike Carona was the former head Orange County Marshall before the Sheriff’s Department took over Court Services, such as bailiffs in the Court rooms. He was never a line / street cop. When Sheriff Carona ran for Sheriff his campaign and political tactics were influenced to commit unlawful acts by the same two Gentlemen who did the same with the 1998 campaign for District Attorney. Gabriel Nassar and Eugene Abbadessa convinced both newly elected Sheriff Carona and newly elected District Attorney Tony Rackauckas both “sold” bages (Carona; Deputy Sheriff’s badges [Reserve]) and “Commissioner” badges (for the Tony Rackauckas Foundation) for a $5,000.00 “constribution”.
Following Sheriff Mike Carona’s conviction for witness tampering (and his trip to federal prison), Sandra Hutchens was appointed by the Orange County Board of Supervisors in 2008, and thereafter elected Sheriff in 2010.
Although Sheriff Hutchens really did dramatically reduce the incidents of beatings of inmates by jail deputies, and also somewhat reduced the level of brutality being inflicted upon innocents and others by sheriff’s department deputies on the streets, she brought trouble with her from Los Angeles, and that trouble has finally been exposed.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office have been involved in felonious, unconstitutional and tortious conduct by using jail house informants to obtain incriminating statements from jail inmates. See, Jail informant scandal: O.C. sheriff apologizes but says any misconduct was limited to ‘a few’ deputies, Los Angeles Times, May 23, 2017.
Most people think, “Oh well, they’re just getting the guilty guy to confess to what he did so what is the big deal?” Here is the big deal.
First, the way that the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, in conjunction with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, obtained “admissions” and “confessions” from those whom they did not have sufficient evidence to prosecuted, and often even to have arrested them.
The United States Constitution provides that you have the right to counsel at any critical stage of a criminal proceeding, and you also have a right against self-incrimination. Contrary to popular belief, the police have never been required to read “your rights” (Miranda warnings, right to counsel and right against self-incrimination, Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966)) when then arrested you. The police are never really ever required to be read to an arrestee their Miranda warnings. It does not invalidate the arrest at all.
However, if the police desire to question the arrestee while in police custody, unless they are first advised of their right to counsel and right against self-incrimination (i.e. Miranda warnings) the prosecution cannot introduce those statements into evidence at trial.
The idea is that being questioned by the police is so inherently coercive, that in 1966 held that if you are in police custody, unless the police advise you of your right to counsel and right against self-incrimination before they question you, then your answers to their questions can’t be introduced against you at your criminal trial, unless you get on the stand and testify (the exclusionary rule is not a license to lie in court).
Because police inmate informants are not believed by the “confessing / admitting” inmate to be a police officers, the taint of coercion generally does not lie when the snitch / agent inmate gets his fellow inmates to admit or confess.Therefore, there is no fifth amendment / self-incrimination issue when one jail inmate obtains and admission or confession from another.
However, even if the inmate is not entitled to be given his/her Miranda warnings prior to questioning by a police agent (i.e. the fellow inmate asking questions to the defendants about his crime at the behest of the police), they inmate is nonetheless entitled to his lawyer being present. Ergo, if criminal charges have been filed by the District Attorney’s Office, the fellow inmate / police agent cannot question about the suspected crime, and any statements made to the jail informant is excludable from evidence as a violation of the defendant’s right to counsel under the six amendment to the Constitution.
Moreover, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department has long used paid real live gangsters to basically threaten arrestees and criminal defendants with being beaten or murdered by the Mexican Mafia if they don’t say what they want you to say while they are surreptitiously recording the defendant.
This bad enough. However, over a several year period the Orange County Public Defender’s Office and Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals have uncovered basically thirty years of these types of unlawful use of jail inmates by the Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s Office. This conduct is felonious. 18 U.S.C. § 242; violation of federal constitutional rights under color of authority)
Both agencies have for several years now simply denied the existence of these illegal snitch programs; programs that not only violated the technical rights of the accused, but that actually framed many innocents in the process. That is the real problem; inmate gangsters getting innocents to make incriminating statements for $1,500.00 per day (that is no joke). See, 2 jailhouse snitches, who were paid $335,000 over 4 years, spark new legislation”, Orange County Register, March 22, 2017.
Sheriff Hutchens has announced her resignation, and District Attorney Tony Rackauckas continues to deny the undeniable; that his agency has withheld highly exculpatory evidence in even capital cases.
Please contact us at (949) 474-1849 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for visiting with us, and best of luck. Even if you have a legal question that’s important to you, and you just need lawyer input, we’ll be glad to answer your questions.
and former partner** Melvin M.Belli