Michael Cernyar has considerable experience in successfully defending individuals and companies accused of a wide range of criminal acts. As examples, he has handled multiple cases involving allegations of the following:
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Received 2014 Top Lawyers in California award recognized as the Highest in Ethical Standards and Professional Excellence.
Received the distinguised Avvo's Top Contributor award.
Received the distinguished Avvo's Client's Choice award.
Received 2013 Top Lawyers in California award recognized as the Highest in Ethical Standards and Professional Excellence.
Received the distinguished Avvo's Client's Top Attorney Criminal Defense award with a superb ranking of 10 (top rank).
Nominated as Long Beach's best criminal defense attorney
Nominated as the Cochran Firm's best criminal defense attorney
Michael Cernyar’s practice in criminal appeals includes experience in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, along withCalifornia's Appellate Court.
In any appeals case, an appellate lawyer will be looking for court committed errors or attorney committed errors (substantive errors or procedural errors), or the appellate attorney will argue that the facts considered by the previous jury were wrong.
Since the courts of appeals possess only appellate jurisdiction, they do not hold trials. Instead, appeals courts decide only the question of whether the trial court followed proper procedures in reaching its conclusion in a particular case. Accordingly, an appeals court considers only the record (that is, the papers the parties filed and the transcripts and any exhibits from any trial) from the trial court, and the legal arguments of the parties. These arguments, which are presented in written form, and can range in length from dozens to hundreds of pages, are paradoxically known as “briefs.” Sometimes lawyers are permitted to add to their written briefs with oral arguments before the appeals judges. At such hearings, only the parties' lawyers are allowed to speak to the court.
The court of appeals cannot find anyone “guilty” or “not guilty” since the appeals court is judging the trial itself, not the defendant, no one is ever convicted or sentenced by an appeals court. When a convicted client “wins” an appeal, it does not mean that he is now found to be innocent. It means that his trial was judged by the appeals court to have been improperly conducted in one way or another. The client is still subject to being tried again on the same charges. Sometimes the prosecutor will opt not to try the client again. Accordingly, the charges may be dismissed entirely.Read More →
In addition to his legal studies, Michael Cernyar graduated with honors in economics and subsribes to the theory of freakonomics, the study of incentives. Studies have shown that 60% of the people charged with a crime are guilty. However, more than 80% of those people charged are being convicted. Thus, innocent people are being convicted everyday. Why?
Michael's theory is that the high conviction rate of innocent people is due to many issues, but Sheeple is a significant reason. Sheeple are people who voluntarily acquiesce to a suggestion without critical analysis or thought. Sheeple tend to blindly accept and take statements at face value. Remarkably, Sheeple deep down believe that everyone charged with a crime is guilty.
Sheeple come in all walks of life. The policeman who blindly believes the alleged victim. The prosecutor who blindly believes the policeman. The judge or jurist who blindly believes the police and/or prosecutor. Sadly, even some defense attorneys are Sheeple.
Sheeple tend to spend the vast majority of their day electronically wired to audio, radio, video, electronic games, television and/or the Internet. They spend more time listening to someone else's opinions & beliefs and little time applying critical thought or having a fresh idea of their own. Sheeple have the propensity to be news junkies, watch fabricated and reality television shows, and read fictional books. They tend to be brainwashed into certain opinions and beliefs and are incapable of applying critical thought to your set of facts.
Michael Cernyar has been studying the phenomenon of Sheeple for years. He knows what makes Sheeple tick, when to avoid them and when to exploit them. That is one of many reasons for Michael's success.
If you are wrongfully accused, then you may find that you are stymied by a system that would preferably convict the wrongfully accused than admit a mistake. You may be entirely innocent. Or maybe you are not entirely innocent, but are accused with serious violations you did not commit. Every case has flaws. Michael Cernyar has the wisdom to discover and exploit the serious and significant flaws in your case so that he can defend you and your Rights during this troubling period in your life.
Michael Cernyar believes in winning. When results matter – you will want the intensity and the experience Michael K. Cernyar brings to your case. Trust the experience and proven results of one of the finest criminal defense lawyers in California.
If your property was seized, then you may find that you are stymied by a system that would preferably keep the seized property than admit a mistake. You may be entirely innocent of any wrong doing, but nevertheless the property was seized. For example you may have unknowingly purchased an asset from a criminal and now the Government wants the asset you rightfully possess. Or you may have entered the United States and forgot to declare an asset at Customs. In these cases and others, the Government will keep the seized property if one fails or refuses to exercise their Rights.
There four doctrines in criminal and civil forfeiture law. The four doctrines include: 1) the relation back doctrine, the heart of forfeiture law; 2) the innocent owner exemption; 3) property subject to forfeiture; and 4) disproportionality. The difference between civil and criminal proceedings are that in civil proceedings some tests are subjective and in criminal proceedings those same tests may be objective.
To simplify the typical forfeiture process, the standard is not beyond a reasonable doubt for the Government to prove that the property should be forfeited. It is a lesser standard, hence making it easier for the Government to prevail. Therefore in forfeiture law, the Government only needs to contend that the seized property is subject to forfeiture. Under asset forfeiture law the best strategy is to trace the proceeds to a legitimate purpose and not to a bank account or a relative.
In forfeiture proceedings, time is of the essence. It is crucial to respond immediately to the Government's notice. Moreover, it is very important that the response is timely, thorough and precise because the law is design so that if any requirement is missing the Government prevails.
Having practiced forfeiture defense for several years, I wish to share with you some information that is essential to your defense. Early involvement by your civil asset forfeiture lawyer is crucial.
Whether you are facing civil or criminal asset forfeiture proceedings, retaining a civil asset forfeiture lawyer soon after receiving notice is crucial for several reasons. First and foremost, failing to respond to the notice in a timely matter may result in a default, meaning that the seized property is lost forever to the government. Second, a timely response must be completed properly, or again the seized property may result in default. Moreover, in addition to the time constraints, many crucial decisions must be made within 30 days of the notice.Read More →
Victims have rights. In many cases the victim's rights are trampled upon so it's best to retain an attorney to enforce those rights. Here are some of the rights that victims have.
In the state of California, victims of domestic violence can refuse to testify against their abusers. Prior to 2009 and the enactment of Marsy’s Law, the California courts had the authority to punish victims of domestic violence with jail terms and community service for refusing to testify. Today, however, due to the implementation of Marsy’s Law, uncooperative victims cannot be given jail terms and community service for refusing to testify, so long as they appear at trial in accordance with the requirements of their subpoenas.
Victims have many more rights under Marsy's Law including:
An expungement is the process of filing a motion with the court to request to seal a prior misdemeanor conviction. It is important to remember that an expungement does NOT remove the prior conviction permanently. Law enforcement, i.e. the police, FBI, immigration officers, and other public officials may still see sealed court files for certain purposes. Typically, people ask for an expungement for employment purposes, or when they want to apply to a college, or were denied housing, or were denied a professional license because of their criminal background.
Our clients believe we are the best because we are fully prepared and better prepared than the other side. Because of this work ethic Michael K. Cernyar has received recognition for his efforts on behalf of his clients. When Michael was with the Cochran Firm and he was nominated as their best criminal defense lawyer in 2005. He was a member of the Robert Blake defense team. Michael was recently nominated as Long Beach's Best Criminal Defense Attorney. Other's consider Michael Cernyar as one of the best criminal defense attorneys in the nation.
Michael K. Cernyar is known as a skillful and clever attorney. He will trail and track each fact in your case in search of mistakes. Michael is known to discover the mistakes and exploit them to his client's advantage.
For starters, our caseload is low compared to other attorneys so our focus is on obtaining great results for the few clients we do have. Many of our clients are referrals from past clients. You have never seen an ad or a listing for our firm in the Yellow Pages. We don't send flyer's to people's homes. We won't accept court appointed cases. And yet in our opinon, we maintain the best looking offices in all of Los Angeles. When our clients step into our offices they realize that they are with a successful law practice.
Many times an individual is charged with a crime and is no where near the victim. The defendant can't prove it. He or she has no other apparent alibi. But, wait -- many of today's cell phones contain gps data. The data on the cell phone may be their alibi. At our firm we offer cell phone analysis to assist our clients in their defense.
Far too often other firms will have you initially meet with a senior attorney and then hand you off to a junior attorney once you sign with them. Michael is the senior attorney and will be handling your matter from start to finish because he feels you are too important to pass your case off as a learning experience to a younger attorney. Moreover, Michael realizes you want someone with experience who has seen cases like yours before.
Finally, we will never ask you how many lawyers you have visited or the names of the attorneys you have visited. Frankly, its none of our business. Further, we don't care whom you met with because if you were impressed with them you wouldn't be calling us. We are only concern about you and your results. Our satisfaction is driven by what we can accomplish for you. We could care less about other attorneys. Our only focus is on our clients, not some other law firm.
A free consultation is not an opportunity for the attorney that you are in front of to bad mouth other attorneys. I let my experience do the talking.
The free consultation should be about you and your case. We will discuss what to expect, how the process works, the various judges and what to expect from them, the various prosecutors and how each one is different, worst case scenarios, best case scenarios, strategies and other factors. The purpose of a free consultation is to provide confidence that 1) the attorney has a personality that you can work with, and 2) the attorney is more than capable in handling your situation.
A misdemeanor refers to criminal activity that is punisable by one year or less in the local jail and/or a maximum fine of $1,000. A felony refers to criminal activity that is punishable by more than one year in the prison system and/or a fine of a maximum of $10,000. A wobbler refers to criminal activity that is charged as a felony, but has a possibility of being reduced to a misdemeanor. In matters involving a wobbler, many times a reputable lawyer can either have the felony reduced to a misdemeanor or in the alternative have the felony appear to be a misdemeanor so that the felony can be expunged at a later date, which is good strategy since the typical felony cannot be expunged.
If there are allegations that you committed a crime in Long Beach, San Pedro, Wilmington or the unincorporated area of Torrance, it is likely that your matter will be heard in the Long Beach courthouse. The Long Beach courthouse is one of the more conservative courthouses in the area. It is likely that you will be serving hard jail time if convicted. Recently a young man charged with drunk in public was sentenced to 60 days in jail and a court order that bars him from traveling to certain parts of Long Beach. Long Beach is a tough court.
If you retain a Long Beach criminal attorney who knows the courthouse well, then there is a better chance to have your case dismissed or a sentence reduced to no jail time. Many Long Beach criminal attorneys provide free consultation so meeting with a respectable Long Beach criminal lawyer is likely to improve your opportunity for a dismissal or a reduced sentence which will affect your present and future quality of life. A defendant in the courthouse needs the expertise of a strong Long Beach criminal attorney.
Your Long Beach criminal attorney should be experienced in criminal law and cognizant not only of the law, but also the personalities and individuals involved in their local cases. It may be extremely helpful when your lawyer is known and respected in the local courts by judges and prosecutors, which may make the difference between dismissal, jail time and acquittal.
The Long Beach Courthouse is located at 275 Magnolia, on the corner of Broadway and Magnolia in downtown Long Beach.
The Federal government seized more than $100,000 from client claiming that client recieved the cash through illegal activity.
Through our perseverance and superior knowledge the entire amount was returned.
Victim & husband get into a dispute. Nosy neighbor calls the police. Despite no injuries to the wife, the police arrest the husband for battery. Wife doesn't wish to pursue charges, but the prosecutor refuses wife's request. We are retained to represent the wife's interests.
Through our perseverance and superior knowledge the prosecution finally listened to the wife and the charges were dropped.