This website is currently under construction. Its design and content are intended exclusively to help innocent victims of malicious prosecution understand the truth underlying the criminal (in)justice system.
You are guided not to peruse, examine, review or otherwise utilize this website if any of the following conditions exists:
- you have committed a crime
- you have reported or filed one or more false criminal or civil allegations or declarations
- you are Palos Verdes Estates resident Cindy or Dan Dunbar, or have any possible intent of conveying information from or about this website to Cynthia Dunbar or Daniel Dunbar (read carefully the Dunbar Disclaimer below)
THE SIEGE BEGINS
When an innocent person suddenly finds himself the target of a maliciously motivated legal attack, it is not uncommon for confusion, fear, panic, and eventually deep indignation to consume his mind. In that state, making prudent, informed decisions can be difficult, if not impossible. Hopefully, you have come to this website at the early stage of your righteous legal defense.
THE DECK IS STACKED
If a local judge or District Attorney appears to be taking your false accuser's side, there is a very good chance that liberal bias, corruption and/or misconduct already have leaked into your case. Indeed, the system often is not fair, particularly if current social trends (e.g., #MeToo, Occupy Wall Street, etc.) have created a strong riptide of bias pulling you out to sea.
This is precisely the perturbed condition in which Defendant.com's founder found himself from mid-2017 through mid-2019. Resultantly, after prevailing against his false accuser on all fronts (click here), he developed a deep purpose - to help members of the public concerned about unjust, malicious prosecution by developing Defendant.com. Malicious prosecution is a dire public affair that if not rectified shall lead to further unfair and tragic loss of innocent defendants' liberty. Only through the unfettered interchange of ideas such as those on Defendant.com may political and social changes be brought about to fix this alarming injustice.
You, an innocent defendant being maliciously prosecuted, now are not alone. Defendant.com's founder took a series of defensive reactions that led to him being vindicated of fabricated allegations. Allow Defendant.com to expose for you what really is happening behind the curtain of criminal justice, and precisely what this founder did to prevail.
To be fair, in most cases innocent defendants being maliciously prosecuted have not been "shrinking violets" throughout their lives. Something you've done has created a strong motive for your accuser to desire to cause you enormous harm. Moreover, if the District Attorney is playing along, there is a good chance that you have been operating in a confrontational, though perfectly legal fashion.
There are a handful of motivations for your false accuser to engage in the horrific crime of perjury. The most common, by a long shot, is vengeance for a real or perceived detrimental action that concluded to your false accuser's disfavor. You may have spurned, rejected or otherwise disassociated from your false accuser. You may have criticized your false accuser directly or to a third party who then transmitted those unfavorable comments.
In today's stratified society, another factor driving false accusation is nearly as powerful: Envy. You may be far wealthier or physically attractive than your false accuser. You may have beaten your false accuser in some form of contest, such as an election, business opportunity or even an athletic pursuit. If your false accuser is terribly insecure, it won't take much to light the fuse of raging jealousy.
There is no nice way to say it: your false accuser probably is a hateful, spiteful, emotionally disturbed person. Loving, benevolent, stable people don't falsify evidence and fabricate criminal allegations.
More often than not, your false accuser has failed in life. Whether it be professional and/or personal failure, things did not go to according to plan. Perhaps he/she has experienced one or more failed marriages, failed career or in the case of the most troubled souls, the self-esteem crushing combination of the two. Some in life fail (e.g., Thomas Edison) but respond with a fervent dedication to succeed, learning from what they view as a setback. Then there are those who, rather than try to improve, are determined to bring down others around them. Seeing others around them happily succeeding personally and professionally creates uncontrollable envy and disdain. This is the person who has falsely accused you of one or more crimes.
Understand that it is common for perjurers to face no serious consequence for their illegal, malicious acts. In the infamous, discredited Rolling Stone magazine article depicting a gang rape that actually never happened (click here), not only did the false accuser never face any serious consequence, but she even was allowed to keep her identity private while those falsely accused had their public reputations ruined. As was the case with false accuser "Jackie," the deceitful party seems to be allowed under current law to claim that her false statement was "what she believed at the time."
The District Attorney Misbehaves with Impunity: Understand that District Attorney prosecutors face virtually no consequence for bringing charges unjustified by evidence that falls well below the legal standard of proving your guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt." The deputy district attorney (DDA) maliciously prosecuting you won't get demoted, fired or suffer any financial harm when you prevail. In fact, particularly in liberal states like New York and California, there is a high probability the DDA shall be rewarded by his/her superiors for bringing the invalid case.
Social vs. Legal Justice: Your being falsely charged may driven by the DA abusing the criminal justice system in order to exact social justice of the DA's own liberal design. The DA, often with the utmost arrogance and disregard for the law, predetermines with prejudice who is "bad" and who is "good" or in DA-speak, "righteous." Sad but true, in cases where incriminating evidence is lacking, this often is the driving force behind the DA's use of bringing charges as a social deterrent. Had roles been reversed but the alleged crime identical, there is a high probability your false accuser would not be charged. See Defendant.com's Back Story page and click here to watch recorded examples of a false accuser engaged in not one but two alleged cases of video recorded vehicular assault; however, no charges were brought by the DA. It is a near certainty that had the victim of those alleged assaults been the one driving the car, he would have been arrested within the hour.
Massively Unlevel Playing Field: The District Attorney's office knows that you know trials are a crap shoot; even patently innocent like you may be convicted while obviously guilty (O.J. Simpson, R. Kelly, Michael Jackson) acquitted. The DA is spinning life's roulette wheel with your future, and not their own or that of your false accuser. This "heads I win, tails you lose" dynamic is the driving force behind what has become a criminal injustice system. There is nothing but upside for an overzealous, liberal DA to maliciously charge you with crimes you did not commit. For the falsely accused, losing what is most valuable is on the line: your actual freedom.
Even though it's clear the DA has no case due to insufficient evidence (thus disproving your guilt if not proving your innocence), no defendant is blind to the risks of getting a criminal record. So, the risks are massively asymmetric. You may become a convict, while the DA wins no matter how your case concludes. At a minimum, you were forced to hire an expensive attorney and endure weeks, months or even years of stress being a criminal defendant. If the the liberally inclined DA believes you are "a bad guy" because you engage in conservative or perceivably uncivil (though perfectly legal) behavior, the DA may look at bringing unjustified charges against you as a social deterrent, "teaching you a lesson" for defying social standards the DA believes you should follow.
Count Stacking: The dirtiest and most abusive trick of the prosecutorial trade is to "build" or "assemble" an artifially "tall" case by stacking numerous counts or charges, even if some or all are knowingly illegitimate. The District Attorney doesn't charge you with the first offense it claims to have discovered. Instead, the DA scours the current evidence landscape (and may patiently delay filing for) anything that it can dress up as an additional offense. The DA's office is quite familiar with exhausted, unsettled juries' compromising tendency to "split the baby," acquitting the defendant of some charges while convicting him of others. Thus, if the DA wants to escalate artificially the odds of any conviction, the DA has no downside to stacking your case with unsubstantiated, baseless charges falling well below the legally required "provable beyond a reasonable doubt" standard. Another advantage is that by having the local investigating police department postpone (vs. real time) informing you of each false accusation, your ability to defend yourself weakens (e.g., exculpatory video footage or witnesses become harder, if not impossible to access).
Torrance, California DDA Elicia Stoller shamefully provided Defendant.com's Founder with a case study in "count stacking," attempting to prosecute a handful of illegitimate charges (see examples below). DDA Elicia Stoller evidently was not driven by fulfilling her sworn duty of applying the relevant law to credible, reliable evidence. Instead, she appears maliciously to have been stacking as many charges as possible against the Constitutionally-protected citizen she disfavored.
Emphasizing False Accuser's Non-Credible Evidence or Testimony while Ignoring Credible Exculpatory Evidence: For the reasons listed above, it is not uncommon for a District Attorney acting with this impunity improperly to a) rely on evidence (including testimony) lacking credibility, reliability and/or clarity and b) give little-no weight to exculpatory evidence, even when it not only disproves your guilt but proves your innocence. Again, it must be emphasized that for the reasons listed above, the District Attorney just doesn't care that the charge(s) are unsubstantiated by credible, reliable evidence or more egregiously that the evidence proves your innocence.
Example: As you may read on Defendant.com's Back Story page, a false accuser's very own home video surveillance footage unquestionably disproved one of her stacked charges and unquestionably was too "fuzzy" related to another. Any accountable, honest district attorney viewing this surveillance video never would have brought those two ludicrous charges. This is particularly true given the false accuser had a criminal rap sheet and long track record for making false statements to the police, judges and employer(s) - the order itself was based on the false accuser and her husband's apparent perjury and accordingly would be reversed unanimously by the higher court. However, one has to wonder if Torrance, California Deputy District Attorney Elicia Stoller even watched the surveillance video, or did she choose to ignore their exculpatory content entirely.
Alleged Acts Are Not Illegal: For the same reasons, it is not uncommon for a District Attorney acting with this impunity to misapply the law itself. Even if you did engage in the act(s) alleged, the act(s) may not even be illegal. The DA may be "count stacking" or playing "social justice warrior" by mischaracterizing perfectly legal acts that the DA's office simply finds offensive to his/her liberal senses. Your defense attorney may be well advised to file a Demurrer Motion with the court to have any such charge dismissed.
Example: As to be detailed on Defendant.com's Back Story page, Torrance, California Deputy District Attorney Elicia Stoller's first of five "stacked" charges was so ludicrous that Judge Johansen hastily threw it out at the Demurrer hearing. She charged as illegal the (illegally) restrained party (of an illegal restraining order/CHRO) hiring a third party to mail to the illegally protected party's attorney the legally required notice of his filing to appeal the very same illegal order. You did not misread the last sentence: California law, for obvious reason, requires the appealing party to notify the opposing side that the CHRO is being appealed (click here). If an appellant fails to serve the opposing party, his entire appellate effort shall terminate. In the case of DDA Elicia Stoller, the successful appeal of the illegal CHRO (click here) led to the complete dismissal of DDA Elicia Stoller's maliciously prosecuted case; one cannot legally violate an illegal order. Fortunately, Inglewood, California Superior Court Judge Kjehl Johansen immediately recognized Stoller's unlawful first count, dismissing it during an early-stage Demurrer hearing.
Understand that your very own defense attorney, who is obligated by his/her bar association and state law to put your interests ahead of his/her own, probably is highly conflicted. Financially, if you are not paying your attorney by the hour but instead a "flat fee," he is highly incented to avoid time consuming pre-trial motions/hearings, trial preparation and the trial itself.
Furthermore, your attorney's long future involves the certainty of having to deal with your prime adversary, the District Attorney's office, over and over again. Thus, while it may be in your personal interest for him to engage in fervent, dedicated, relentless defense of you, propitiating and accommodating the desires of the District Attorney may be in his best interest over time.
Hiring the right attorney is the most important decision you shall make. The following are some thoughts on the matter:
- IMPORTANT: It arguably is very prudent to retain a defense attorney the moment you reasonably suspect that you have been targeted by a false accuser. Waiting until you are contacted by the police department may subject you unnecessarily to hasty, poorly-researched decisions and the retention of an attorney who is poorly suited for your particular needs. If you never are charged, your attorney shall refund your payment upon termination of his retainer. This may be the most wise insurance policy one ever acquires.
- There is a strong case against hiring an attorney who, to cut costs selfishly, does not have at least one full-time assistant, paralegal and/or junior attorney. Otherwise, you may find yourself doing much of your (ungrateful) lawyer's job for him, or the work doesn't get done properly or at all.
- While you want an attorney who knows "the ropes and the judges," you may not want to hire an attorney who lives in your city - he may be considering how fighting the local police department could impact his family's treatment by those same officers.
- Seek an attorney with a track record of lodging detailed, well constructed and articulated defense motions.
- Focus on defense lawyers who enjoy and thus have a track record for going to trial and winning.
- If your case involves an illegal/invalid restraining order (in California see CCP 527.6) that never should have been granted by an incompetent, corrupt or biased judge (e.g., Torrance, California Superior Court Judge Gary Y. Tanaka), be sure to retain an appellate attorney with proven success for reversing illegal orders (click here).
NOTICE: You may contact Defendant.com in order to obtain a short list of criminal defense and civil/appellate attorneys on our "Preferred List." For those seeking counsel in the Los Angeles South Bay/Torrance area, be aware that attorney J. Patrick Carey is not on that list (click here for a respectable alternative).
Since you are innocent, the last thing you may want your defense attorney to do is prematurely initiate and/or pursue an unfavorable, conditional deal/settlement with the District Attorney's prosecutor. Your case is strong - why send the opposite, weak and wrong signal to the opposition? Unless the DA is detached from the "evidence" or delusional, the prosecutor knows her case is weak and won't want to go to trial. Your false accuser may determine to drop charges after coming to realize that you are not of the mind to settle and that he/she shall be cross-examined mercilessly by your attorney at trial, thereby becoming exposed to committing perjury. Indeed, over time a variety of advantages typically accrue to the defendant whose case is being prolonged. Any competent, experienced criminal attorney understands this. However, there are defense attorneys who commit this questionable act nonetheless (see Torrance, California lawyer J. Patrick Carey at bottom of Defendant.com's Lawyers page).
Defense Attorney's Self-Serving Motives for Settling: There are three benefits that accrue particularly and individually to the defense attorney pursuing pre-trial settlement or diversion. This is especially true if you are innocent and the related "evidence" against you is weak. Since your attorney never shall admit his own interests (vs. his client's) are motivating his behavior, allow Defendant.com to explain it. By cutting a deal, your defense attorney:
- Avoids doing the heavy lifting (filing/preparing for/arguing pre-trial motions, trial preparation, the trial itself); this is particularly true if you paid a flat fee retainer vs. hourly charges
- Obtains the ability to blame his client if he is convicted at trial ("I told you to take the deal!")
- Propitiates and pleases the District Attorney by giving its prosecutor an easy win (vs. the "heavy lifting" listed above); this is especially true if you are innocent and the DA shall struggle to argue the case at trial and/or your attorney's business model is to "churn and burn" clients through settlement vs. trials.
Force Your Attorney's Hand Shut: To preclude an unethical attorney from seeking the three benefits above, be sure to put in writing, and obtain your attorney's confirmation, that he shall not a) initiate or pursue any form of settlement discussion, verbally or in writing, and b) respond to any offer of settlement from the District Attorney until he has received written feedback from you on how you want to respond.
Judge May Ignore the Law with Impunity: To be clear, there are many, many competent, fair judges adjudicating civil and criminal trials. However, just as with the prosecuting District Attorney, judges face virtually no consequence for misapplying the law to the evidence in your case. Trial judges not doing their job won't get demoted, fired or suffer any financial harm when you prevail on appeal. On that matter, judges know that statistically almost none of their rulings ever are challenged due to the time and massive expense underlying the appellate process. Moreover, judges are aware that the low statistical odds of an appellate reversal are very much in their favor. Appellate justices instinctively eschew the implicit rebuke that accompanies reversing the ruling of "one of their own." In the case of Julia Pels' 2020's successful appeal of an illegal DVRO, trial court Commissioner James Blancarte was appointed as a judge even after his illegal ruling against Pels. Cementing bad judges in their seats is the fact that once appointed, sitting judges almost always "run" unopposed when elections are due (click here for James Blancarte and here for Gary Tanaka).
Social vs. Legal Justice: Unfortunately, just like prosecutors, certain judges may abuse the justice system to "fix the world" along the lines of their own preconceptions of who is "bad" and who is "good." Applying the law precisely to the credible evidence is secondary to punishing the party who violated the judge's personal sense of civility and decency. See Defendant.com's Back Story page for example of Torrance, CA judge Gary Tanaka. Tanaka seems to have been guided by others in the Torrance courthouse that one of the disputing parties played nice in the neighborhood while the other did not - none of which should play any role in his adjudication of the dispute. In fact, Tanaka presumably knew that the judge assigned the case prior to him had recused himself due to friendship with Torrance courthouse veteran lawyer Dan Dunbar, who was one party to the trial. Moreover, a fellow Torrance courthouse judge, former Palos Verdes Estates mayor George Bird, had been a political foe of Dunbar's adversary in the trial. This local social dynamic, combined with Tanaka's apparent ignorance of the relevant law (CCP Section 527.6), may explain the tremendously poor judgement he exhibited, as confirmed when the Court of Appeal unanimously reversed his illegal order.
Prejudice Against Defendants Who Reject Settlement Offers: Courtroom dockets are overloaded with cases. Perhaps even taking priority over adjudicating each case fairly is a judge's goal to keep clearing out the docket by completing cases overall. Thus, any defendant who appears to be committed "stubbornly" to facing and impeaching his false accuser - consequently being acquitted at trial by a jury of his peers - may be viewed negatively by the judge. In the case described on Defendant.com's Back Story page, defense attorney J. Patrick Carey used this angle in his self-serving but failed scheme to deceive and coerce his patently innocent client into a secretly pursued, unwanted and unattractive settlement. Carey engaged in this misconduct after it became clear his client was unwavering in his determination to win exoneration at trial; this would require substantially more work that Carey "loathed" to do, especially since he'd already been paid a flat fee including trial costs. Consequently, Carey alarmed his trusting client by communicating that upon learning from the DA that the defendant had rejected a (highly conditional) dismissal offer, Judge Johansen may react poorly by ruling unfavorably on objections and motions, and worsen the sentence in the unlikely event of a conviction.
Innocent Defendants Should Fear Bad Judges: Recognize that as an innocent defendant, your nightmare scenario is a biased, incompetent, misinformed, uneducated and/or corrupt judge. Innocent defendants are served best by a judge who simply gathers all the relevant, admissible facts and credible, reliable testimony and then properly applies the law to them. If this evidence doesn't prove beyond a reasonable doubt that either a) you committed the alleged acts, or b) the acts were illegal, your innocence should be obvious as long as the judge is intelligent, educated, informed, fair and honest. If your judge lacks any of these traits, you may be unfairly tried. In the case of disgraced-by-appellate-reversal Torrance, California Judge Gary Tanaka, he inadvertently admitted he didn't even know the law relating to the case when he stated, "If this isn't harassment, I don't know what is." Indeed, this sitting judge did not know (or care) what was illegal harassment under California law.
How Did Bad Judges Get the Job? There are many competent, honest, educated and fully informed judges in America. However, it may shock you to learn that judges are not appointed based on merit after proving competence and honor. Judges often lucked their way onto the public gravy train through a political connection and related appointment. A surprisingly high percentage of criminal court trial judges were public defenders (click here and search "Tanaka") - considered by some to be the bottom of the legal totem pole . Had their private practices been flourishing, it is unlikely they would move to the bench for a pay cut and a grinding day-to-day occupational existence. Some of these judges are biased, haven't taken the time to understand the facts and/or law applicable to your case. This leads them to breach their sworn duty: to truly understand the law and the credible evidence, and then apply the law properly to that evidence. In essence, this symptom makes the "bad" judge not much more than an extension of the District Attorney maliciously prosecuting you.
Appealing to a Higher (Quality) Court: As a result, if you lose at trial with an incompetent or corrupt judge, you shall have no recourse but to appeal to a higher court served by truly intelligent, accomplished, honest and educated justices (click here). Even if these justices do not "like you," they are far less likely to breach their simple, sworn duty of applying properly the law to the facts of your case. Instead, the justices will "hold their noses" and do what is right instead of what happened with the lower court judge. Indeed, California Court of Appeal, Second District justices Gregory Weingart, Frances Rothschild, and Jeffrey Johnson all deserve credit for their April 2019 unanimous ruling in favor of Defendant.com's founder, leading to the just dismissal of the maliciously prosecuted case against him (click here). Just to put things in perspective, the incompetent judge who issued the illegal order, Torrance Superior Court Judge Gary Tanaka, unimpressively had worked in the Public Defender's Office after graduating from Western State University's undergraduate and law schools. The appellate justice who reversed Tanaka's illegal order, Gregory Weingart, had been a partner at the prestigious law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP after graduating from Harvard Law School.
Get Away from Bad Judges: If you seek to avoid having your case heard by a biased, corrupt or incompetent judge, your attorney may be able to move your case to a more suitable courtroom (or courthouse if necessary to avoid a "pack" of bad judges). This is precisely what Defendant.com's founder did in moving his maliciously prosecuted case out of Torrance and into Inglewood, California. Moving into an honest, knowledgeable judge's courtroom shall have a salubrious impact on the innocent defendant's case. Whether it be this judge's rulings on motions or objections during trial, or the unlikely event of sentencing, an honest, unbiased judge will allow your obvious innocence to give his rulings the benefit of the doubt in your favor.
NOTICE: If your case is being heard by Torrance California-based California Superior Court Judge Gary Tanaka or George Bird, it may be highly advisable to get out of their respective courtroom.
Views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in Defendant.com's website comment sections belong solely to each comment's author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual. Defendant.com explicitly disclaims any agreement or disagreement with, or endorsement of such views, thoughts and opinions.
Defendant.com's founder engaged in discussion with America's preeminent First Amendment lawyer, Los Angeles's Eugene Volokh, in assessing legal issues relating to its comment sections. Please click here and here for more information on Mr. Volokh's constitutional work. You may click here to watch a 2020 interview with Professor Volokh entitled, "Civil liberties in an epidemic."