Criminal Defense: gang member turns life around

Posted on Posted in Current Events

I can’t count the number of times I’ve had clients tell me that they have been in and out of the system so often that one more stint won’t matter.  They just want me to get them the least amount of time possible.  This always makes me sad.  People shouldn’t just assume that because they’ve spent time in jail, that they aren’t worth more than going back.  People mess up.  They make mistakes.  This is especially common in youth.  People, especially young people, make dumb choices that sometimes result in jail.  That doesn’t mean that they should give up on themselves.  People can change.  They can learn.  I had one client who was convicted of armed robbery (and a few other things) at 18.  After 9 years in prison, he learned he wanted out, and never wanted to go back.  Now, at 65, he has led a law abiding existence, and never went back to jail.  (He was a client on a traffic violation- nothing serious.  More annoying to him than anything.)  But, he’s one of those stories of a kid who grew up in East LA, who turned his life around after a few dumb choices.

The Sacramento Bee recently published an article with another success story.  This guy, Edward Martinez, was a former gang member in the Fresno area.  He was jumped in at 13.  Juveniles are not able to make rational decisions.  They aren’t able to fully comprehend that getting jumped into a gang is probably not the wisest idea.  Especially when they see older family members who are members, as happened in Edward Martinez’s case.  He had older brothers and cousins who were members.  His mother had recently passed away after a car accident.  He was not making the best choices for himself.

Between 13 and 20, Edward Martinez committed some misdemeanor crimes.  His father was getting fed up with his behaviors.  It wasn’t until Edward was facing 8 years in prison on 3 felony charges with gang enhancements that he realized it was time to make major decisions.  His attorney was able to negotiate a plea that involved lowering the charges to misdemeanors, and his full-time enrollment in a school program.  He chose culinary school, and enrolled in a baking program.  While there, he thrived.  He loved what he did and decided he needed to make this change permanently.  He was successful and is now an executive pastry chef in a world renowned restaurant.

These success stories are possible for everyone.  It is what I want for my clients who have given up on themselves.  It frustrates me to see clients frustrated with themselves, who do not want to work to save themselves.  Edward’s story is possible for every single one of my clients, no matter what has happened in their past!

To read Edward’s amazing story, click here.


If you want to discuss how you can turn your life around, contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm today!

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

A Criminal Defense Firm

PO Box 3297

Palm Springs, CA 92262

Office: (760) 237-8295

Cell: (760) 668-8295



Leave a Reply