Author Archive

WHEN YOU BUY IT, KNOW WHERE IT CAME FROM

Posted on: May 6, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
No Comments

California Penal Code 496

Orange County criminal defense attorneyIn California, it is against the law to buy, sell, conceal, receive, or withhold property that you know is stolen. However, before you can be convicted for receiving, possessing, or trafficking in stolen property, a prosecutor must be able to prove that you knew the property was stolen. More precisely, to convict you of receiving stolen property, the state must prove that you either knew or “reasonably should have known” that the property was stolen. If you are charged with receiving stolen property in southern California under California Penal Code 496, arrange at once to speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

If you buy a $1,000 watch from a stranger on the street for $35, for example, a prosecutor may contend that you “reasonably should have known” that the watch was stolen. On the other hand, those charged with receiving stolen property may be innocent for several reasons. If you genuinely did not know that the property was stolen, if you genuinely believed that the property was legally yours to begin with, or if the property came into your possession without your knowledge – someone hid it in a closet or in the trunk of your car, for example – a good defense attorney will clearly explain your side of the story to a prosecutor, a judge, and if necessary, to a jury. However, you must put your attorney on the case as early as possible. Evidence can deteriorate, witnesses can become forgetful, and evidence and witnesses can both disappear if you don’t act promptly.

Receiving stolen property is a “wobbler” charge in California, meaning that it can be prosecuted either as a felony or as a misdemeanor depending on the details of the crime and the suspect’s criminal record. A misdemeanor conviction is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. A felony conviction is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. In Orange County, if you are charged with receiving, possessing, or trafficking in stolen property, it’s imperative – call an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately.

HONESTY IS ALWAYS THE BEST POLICY

Posted on: May 4, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
No Comments

Orange County criminal defense lawyerIf you are charged with a serious felony – or even with a less serious misdemeanor – one of your concerns will be what to say and what not to say. When it comes to consulting with your own defense attorney, however, the answer to that dilemma is easy. You must be entirely candid and honest with your attorney. That’s the only way you can be properly and effectively represented in a criminal proceeding. If you give your attorney any inaccurate information, or if you withhold information, your defense may be at risk if the truth is disclosed later and unexpectedly. If you’re charged with a theft or a robbery, a sex crime or a drug crime, or with DUI in southern California, contact a trustworthy and experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible.

When you are a criminal defendant, your consultations with your lawyer are protected by attorney-client privilege, one of the most basic foundational principles of our entire legal system. What you tell your attorney is more privileged and protected than anything else you say to anyone under the law. Don’t withhold anything. Tell it all candidly and frankly. You do not want your defense attorney to be in the dark about anything pertinent to your case.

The best defense attorneys often can craft a defense that turns the negatives in your story into positives. Let’s say that you broke into a convenience store to steal beer because you are addicted to alcohol. That’s a negative. But the case looks much different if you’re a combat veteran who’s been trying to obtain alcohol treatment through the Veterans Administration and that treatment has been delayed by bureaucratic inefficiency and red tape. While no guarantee of an outcome can ever be promised in any particular criminal case, those are the kinds of facts that can make the difference between jail time and probation. If you face any criminal charge for a theft, a robbery, a sex or drug crime or DUI, speak at once – honestly – with an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

A TAXI COSTS SO MUCH LESS

Posted on: May 1, 2015 by in DUI
No Comments

California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County DUI lawyerIf you are convicted of DUI in California, you’ll pay fines, fees, penalties, and assessments. You’ll pay tuition for DUI school and your insurance rates will go up. You may have to pay to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle. Your driver’s license will be suspended and you’ll have to pay a fee when the suspension period is over. In other words, if you are convicted of DUI in California, you’ll be in a financial position that very few Californians can actually afford. If you’re charged with DUI in Orange County, contact an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer immediately. Yes, you’ll pay an attorney’s fee, but a seasoned DUI attorney may be able to save you from some of the costlier expenses that come with a DUI conviction.

For a first DUI conviction in California, the minimum fine is $390, and $1,000 is the maximum. You’ll also pay “penalties” and “assessments,” which may cost more than the fine itself. A first conviction usually means three months of DUI school. Tuitions vary but you’re probably looking at around $600. A DUI conviction also means a suspension of your license, and when the suspension is over, you’ll pay a fee of $125 to have your license reinstated. If you are ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle, you’ll pay a small monthly charge and an installation cost of around $100.

Your insurance premiums will go up, and of course, if driving is part of your work, a DUI conviction could put your job at risk. There’s simply no reason to drive under the influence – a taxi costs much less than a conviction or an accident. Nevertheless, if you’re charged with DUI in southern California, you may be able to reduce some of the expenses with the help and services of an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer. If you’re charged with DUI now or in the future under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), make the call promptly.

VIDEO: NOT JUST FOR PROSECUTORS

Posted on: April 29, 2015 by in DUI
No Comments

California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County DUI lawyerMany California police agencies now use mobile audio and video recording devices. If you are arrested for DUI, these recordings can show prosecutors, judges, and jurors what really happened when you were pulled over. Audio and video evidence frequently helps DUI defendants prove that they are not guilty. In Orange County, if you are arrested for DUI under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), arrange at once to speak with an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer. One of your lawyer’s first moves will be to obtain any pertinent recording that is in the possession of law enforcement.

Many police officers in California now record stops for DUI, discussions with suspects, and field sobriety tests. Some officers will take video of your driving behavior prior to pulling you over. The recordings can protect the innocent police officer when there’s a false accusation of abuse or brutality, but the real value of audio and video recordings is the evidence they provides to defendants. It’s no longer the word of a DUI suspect against the word of a respected officer. If the police had no reason to stop you, the video can prove it. If you were not slurring your words, the audio can prove it. If you performed well on a field sobriety test, again, the video can prove it. California drivers should know that you are never obligated to take a field sobriety test unless you are 21 or over or on probation for a previous DUI.

Historically, when it’s your word against an arresting officer, juries and judges have generally given the officer the benefit of the doubt. Video and audio recordings eliminate that bias. In some DUI cases, scrutiny of the recording can lead to an acquittal or even a dismissal prior to trial. If you are accused of DUI in southern California, contact immediately an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer who knows how to use audio and video evidence effectively in your defense.

ROBBERY, BURGLARY, AND CALIFORNIA LAW

Posted on: April 27, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
No Comments

California Penal Codes 211 and 459

Orange County criminal defense lawyerAlthough people typically use the terms “burglary” and “robbery” interchangeably, in California law, these are two different and distinct terms and crimes. If you are charged with either in southern California, contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible. Jail is a potential penalty for either crime.

In California, what is the difference between burglary and robbery? Under California Penal Code 459, burglary is “entering a structure with the intent to commit a theft once inside.” Actually committing a robbery or a theft isn’t required for a burglary prosecution, and neither is a forced entry. If the prosecution can demonstrate that a defendant “entered” a “structure” with the “intent” to commit a theft or a robbery, that defendant can be convicted of burglary.

When you take something from someone else through the use of violence, force, threats, and/or fear, that’s the definition of robbery in California. In this state, first and second-degree robbery are considered felonies under California Penal Code 211. A conviction for first-degree robbery can land you in a California prison for up to nine years, and a second-degree robbery conviction can put you there for up to five years. A conviction for first-degree residential burglary can put you in a state prison for up to six years, and you may also face a fine of up to $10,000.

Of course, to convict you of either robbery or burglary, a prosecutor must prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s not always easy. People are sometimes accused of these crimes because of mix-ups, misinterpretations, and misidentifications. Sometimes someone with a grudge will completely fabricate a robbery or burglary story. Still, if you’re accused, you’ll require the help of an attorney who regularly defends burglary and robbery suspects – someone who can fight tenaciously for justice. If you are arrested and accused of burglary or robbery in southern California, arrange to speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer immediately.

A WOBBLER IS NOT A FUZZY STUFFED ANIMAL

Posted on: April 24, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
No Comments

Orange County criminal defense attorneyEveryone in California has heard of felonies and misdemeanors, but not everyone has heard of “wobblers.” Although they sound like fuzzy stuffed animals, they’re not. Wobblers are quite serious. In California, they are the crimes that can be prosecuted as either felonies or as misdemeanors. The law leaves that choice to the discretion of the prosecutor. If you’re charged with a felony or with a misdemeanor in southern California, either way, you’re going to need quality legal help at once. Contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately.

A number of crimes in California may be prosecuted as either misdemeanors or as felonies. A prosecutor’s decision will be based upon the details of the particular crime and the defendant’s prior criminal record. A suspect with no priors who is accused of a crime that’s a wobbler will probably be prosecuted for a misdemeanor, whereas another defendant who commits the same crime may be prosecuted for a felony if that defendant has previous arrests and convictions. Every jurisdiction and every prosecutor is different, of course. Some prosecutors charge wobblers mostly as felonies, while others charge them mostly as misdemeanors. If you’re charged with a crime that’s wobbler, contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Even before the charge is filed, in some cases, your attorney may be able to persuade a prosecutor to go with the misdemeanor charge rather than the felony.

In every criminal case, you must have experienced, quality legal representation whether you are eventually charged with a felony or with a misdemeanor. If you are arrested and charged for any crime in southern California, let an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney handle your case, address your concerns, and advocate aggressively for justice on your behalf. If you face any criminal charge, now or in the future, make the call as quickly as possible.

WHY YOU MAY NEED A CALIFORNIA DUI LAWYER

Posted on: April 22, 2015 by in DUI
No Comments

California DUI lawyerIn Orange County, if you are charged with driving under the influence – even if you are “guilty as sin” – you’ll still need to have an experienced Orange County-based California DUI lawyer advocating on your behalf. Your rights need to be protected, and a good DUI attorney can argue for reduced charges and a reduced sentence. Of course, if you believe that you’re innocent of the charge, you also need to contact a good Orange County DUI attorney as quickly as possible. You should choose an experienced DUI lawyer who routinely represents clients in Orange County DUI cases. It’s also important to choose an attorney that you personally like and trust, since your freedom and future will – to a great extent – be in that attorney’s hands. Don’t be tempted to depression after your arrest, decide all is lost, and plead guilty. Don’t try to act as your own attorney. Why?

  • Maybe you weren’t actually intoxicated when you were pulled over and arrested.
  • If you took a breathalyzer exam, maybe the breathalyzer wasn’t calibrated properly.
  • Maybe you suffer from a medical condition that skewed the breathalyzer result.
  • Maybe the police did not have a legal reason – reasonable cause – to stop you.

And those are only a few of the possibilities. You should understand that if you plead guilty to a DUI charge in Orange County, you’ll pay court costs, substantial fines, your license will be suspended for six months, and you’ll pay higher auto insurance premiums too. While convictions are frequent in California DUI cases, so are reduced charges and acquittals. In the long run, an experienced, Orange County-based California DUI lawyer can save you money, time, and a great deal of aggravation. If you are charged now or in the future with DUI in Orange County under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), make the call without delay.

PUNISHMENTS, PARENTAL RIGHTS, AND THE LAW

Posted on: April 20, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
No Comments

California Penal Code 273(d)

Orange County criminal defense attorneyIn the state of California, the law acknowledges that parents have the right to discipline their children as they see fit – within reasonable limits, of course. Nevertheless, parents can be charged with a crime under California Penal Code 273(d) if the physical punishment of a child is or appears to be cruel or excessive. To quote from the statute itself: “Any person who willfully inflicts upon a child any cruel or inhuman corporal punishment or an injury resulting in a traumatic condition is guilty of a felony.”

If you are a parent or a guardian in southern California, and if you are accused of physically abusing your child, you’ll need to retain legal representation as quickly as possible. You’ll need to arrange at once to speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney. How is “cruel or inhuman” defined by the law? There’s no fixed legal definition in California; the courts consider all of the circumstances in each individual physical abuse case. Spanking is not deemed cruel or inhuman, and despite some efforts in the past to outlaw it in California, corporal punishment remains legal. However, if a child suffers a long-term or visible injury, criminal charges may be filed.

A conviction for physical child abuse could conceivably land a parent or guardian in prison for up to six years and result in a fine of up to $6,000. A restraining order might also be issued, and you could be sentenced to attend court-ordered counseling sessions. Of course, the overwhelming majority of parents would never intentionally harm their children, and in a number of these cases, an accident or a misunderstanding is what has happened – not a crime. If you are charged with physical child abuse in Orange County, make the call at once to an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

Tags:.

BEING LEWD IS RUDE, CRUDE – AND CRIMINAL

Posted on: April 17, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
No Comments

California Penal Code 647(a)

Orange County criminal defense attorneyIf you are charged with lewd conduct in southern California now or in the future, arrange as soon as possible to speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney. Lewd conduct is defined in California law as touching or groping your own or someone else’s genitals, rear, or breasts – in public – with the intent of sexual gratification or offending someone who is watching or may be watching. Under California Penal Code 647(a) – lewd conduct occurs when the suspect knew – or should reasonably have known – that someone else was probably observing the behavior.

Lewd conduct is a misdemeanor in California, but that does not mean it isn’t serious; a conviction is punishable by fines, probation, community service, and/or jail time. However, a conviction does not require you to register as a sex offender. There are a number of reasons you could be accused of lewd conduct. Perhaps the person who saw the incident entirely misunderstood what he or she was witnessing. Maybe you’ve been misidentified, or perhaps someone just fabricated the entire story. For some suspects, mental illness will be the defense.

Of course, before anyone can be convicted of lewd conduct, the state must prove that person’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A prosecutor must prove that touching happened in a location open to public view, that gratification or offense was the motive, and that you knew or should have known others would see the conduct. That’s a lot to prove. Whether you believe that you are guilty or innocent of lewd conduct, if you are charged with the crime in Orange County, obtain trustworthy legal help immediately. If you are accused of lewd conduct or an offense such as indecent exposure or public drunkenness, take your case at once to a skilled and experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

Tags:.

TWO RINGS TO JUMP THROUGH (AND IT’S NO CIRCUS)

Posted on: April 15, 2015 by in DUI
No Comments

California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County DUI lawyerIf you are arrested on suspicion of DUI under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), your driving privilege will be at risk. Some California drivers don’t realize that when you are arrested for DUI in our state, you face two separate proceedings regarding your driver’s license: a criminal DUI proceeding, and an action by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You’ll need legal help to deal with both hurdles, so you’ll need to contact an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer immediately.

You have ten days following a DUI arrest to ask for a hearing with the DMV or your license will be automatically suspended. Completely apart from your criminal DUI case, the DMV tries to determine if you were driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level at or above 0.08 percent or if you refused to take to a chemical DUI test subsequent to being arrested. Should the DMV decide that you were over the legal BAC limit or that you refused a DUI test, your driver’s license will be suspended for four months. If your DUI lawyer is successful on your behalf at your DMV hearing, you’ll keep your license, at least until your DUI court case.

Two issues are considered in your criminal DUI case. The first is, were you driving with a BAC level of 0.08 percent or higher? The second is, were you driving “under the influence” of alcohol or drugs or a combination of both? Your license will be suspended for at least six months if you are convicted of DUI in criminal court. In other words, you and your attorney must prevail at both the DMV hearing and the criminal DUI proceeding or your license will be suspended.

If you do not prevail and your license is indeed suspended – let’s say the evidence against you is overwhelming – your may still be able with your attorney’s help to obtain a restricted license for work, school, legal obligations, and medical appointments. Losing your license is not the only – or worst – penalty you can face for DUI, but it’s the only one you face twice for one offense. If you’re accused of DUI in Orange County now or in the future, immediately contact an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer at once.