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THEFT AND LARCENY: NO DISTINCTION IN CALIFORNIA

Posted on: April 13, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 484 and 487

Orange County criminal defense lawyerIn some states “theft” and “larceny” are considered and defined as distinct crimes, but in California law, theft and larceny are basically the very same thing. Depending on the value and nature of the stolen property, a larceny/theft may be prosecuted as a felony or as a misdemeanor in this state. If you are charged with any theft or larceny in Orange County, it’s imperative that you contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible. Related theft and larceny charges available to California prosecutors include:

  • Robbery (California Penal Code 211)
  • Identity theft (California Penal Code 530.5)
  • Forgery (California Penal Code 470)
  • Receiving stolen goods (California Penal Code 496)
  • Embezzlement (California Penal Code 503)

You may also be prosecuted for larceny in California if you don’t return leased or rented property such as rental cars, furniture, equipment, and even materials checked out from the public library. Any time you steal or move another person’s property with no intention of returning it, you may be charged with larceny under California Penal Code 484.

The charge in California is grand larceny if you steal property valued at more than $950, a firearm, an automobile, an animal, or certain food or agricultural products valued at more than $250. A conviction for grand larceny can land you behind bars for three years if grand larceny is charged as a felony and for one year if it’s charged as a misdemeanor. The charge is petty larceny if you steal property valued at less than $950. It’s a misdemeanor, but a petty larceny conviction can still put you in jail for up to six months. If you face any larceny charge in southern California, arrange at once to get legal representation, and speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible.

YOU AREN’T ALLOWED TO THROW THE DISHES

Posted on: April 10, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 243(e)(1) and 273.5

crime of domestic violenceIf you throw something at your girlfriend or boyfriend, a partner you cohabit with, or at your spouse in the course of a heated argument, you’re breaking the law in California. It doesn’t matter if you throw something like a spoon or something more dangerous. It’s domestic violence, and if you’re charged with any crime of domestic violence in Orange County, you’ll need the legal help of an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

For the police to make a domestic violence arrest in California, probable cause is all that’s needed. A spot where your coffee mug impacted with a wall, for example, is probable cause. When you throw something in anger and there are no damages or injuries, you’ll likely be charged with simple assault, but if a prosecutor believes that you threw an object and intended it as a weapon, you could be charged with domestic battery under California Penal Code 243(e)(1). If your partner is injured, you could be charged with willful infliction of corporal injury under California Penal Code 273.5. Willful infliction of corporal injury can be charged as a misdemeanor, but if the injury is severe or if you have prior criminal convictions, it can be charged as a felony

Any conviction for a crime of domestic violence can negatively affect your employment opportunities, your child custody agreement, and more. Your partner could have a restraining order issued, and you could conceivably end up looking for a new residence. If you face any domestic violence charge in Orange County, speak at once with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately. Don’t ruin your relationship and land yourself in legal hot water. If fighting with your partner results in being arrested, call a California criminal defense attorney in Orange County at once, and let your lawyer do some fighting – for justice.

LOSING AND RESTORING YOUR FIREARM RIGHTS

Posted on: April 8, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 29800

Orange County criminal defense lawyerLosing your right to own a firearm may not be the harshest penalty in the criminal justice system, but for people who work in a number of jobs, losing your right to possess or own a firearm could negatively impact your employment and damage your future opportunities. If you are charged in Orange County with any of the crimes discussed here – now or in the future – speak about your case right away with an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

Your right to possess a firearm could be lost permanently if you are convicted of any felony in California under California Penal Code 29800 or if you’re convicted of threatening a law enforcement officer or intimidating witnesses, brandishing or negligently discharging a firearm, assault, battery, sexual battery, or domestic violence. A number of other misdemeanor convictions can result in a ten-year loss of your firearm rights. Domestic violence convictions are a leading reason why Californians lose their firearm rights. You can lose your firearm rights if you’re convicted for making criminal threats, stalking, or harassment. A Temporary Restraining Order may also prevent you from possessing a firearm.

It’s genuinely difficult to regain your firearm rights in California in fewer than ten years. A felony conviction in California imposes a lifetime ban on gun ownership, so an expungement of your conviction is a necessary step. Expungement, however, is not the first step in a complicated process. If you have a felony conviction that prevents you from possessing firearms, that conviction first must be reduced to a misdemeanor. If the court agrees, you may then request to have the misdemeanor conviction expunged.

However, some people will never restore their firearm rights in California; if you are convicted of brandishing or negligently discharging a firearm, or if you’re convicted of a violent felony, it’s possible you may never possess a firearm again. If you are charged with a crime in Orange County that threatens your firearm rights, or if you seek to restore those rights, contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer for help as soon as possible.

JUSTICE FOR JUVENILES, JUSTICE FOR ADULTS

Posted on: April 6, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyCalifornia’s Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) provides education and rehabilitation to youthful offenders in our state who have serious criminal backgrounds and genuine treatment needs. Most juvenile offenders are committed to county facilities where they can be closer to their families and to the local social services imperative to successful rehabilitation. Turning 18 in California changes the way the law treats you. If you’re 18 or over and you’re charged with a drug crime or a sex crime, a robbery, a burglary, or DUI in Orange County, contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.

When anyone under 18 is arrested in California, police agencies involve the parent or parents promptly. Protecting teens and getting them “back on track” is the overriding goal of California’s juvenile court system. The legal penalties imposed on teens convicted of crimes can include juvenile detention, community service, probation, “boot camp,” and restitution for damages. Regular “adult” courts are markedly different. Keeping the public safe and punishing criminal behavior are the first concerns of California’s adult criminal courts.

In California, a minor can be prosecuted for any felony or misdemeanor, but procedures and outcomes are substantially different for those over and under 18. A California criminal defense lawyer with both juvenile and adult defense experience can help you considerably if your teen is arrested in Orange County or anywhere in southern California. Call at once if your child is accused of or involved in criminal activity. Juvenile offenses carry legal and personal consequences that can impact a youth for the rest of his or her life. If you’re an adult or if you’re the parent of a teen charged with a DUI, a drug or sex crime, burglary, or robbery, arrange at once to speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

A PASSAGE INTO ADULTHOOD THAT NEEDS SOME ADULTS

Posted on: April 3, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County DUI lawyerSouthern California’s young people get excited in the spring because it’s time to start organizing graduation parties and anticipating prom night. Graduation is a symbol of adulthood, but graduation night will nevertheless need plenty of real adult supervision. If you’re the parent of a teenager in Orange County, you can help keep graduation night safe. If your teenager is arrested for DUI under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), get legal help at once and speak to an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer.

Parents can take several proactive steps to help make sure graduation night is safe and fun for all. The most imperative thing you must do is to make certain that any party your teenager attends, at your home or elsewhere, is alcohol-free. Hosts in California can be held liable if a teen drives away intoxicated and the result is property damages and/or personal injuries. If you have a dozen or more teens at your home, ask other parents to help, and be willing to help other parents if the party’s at their home.

Your goal as a parent on graduation night is to keep everyone safe by preventing any intoxicated driving. Don’t hesitate to check backpacks, oversized purses, and any packages that could carry alcohol; in any group of a dozen or so teens, one or two will predictably try to pull something. Call the parents if you think one of the teens is high on alcohol or drugs. They may not like you calling their parents, but teens like jail, the hospital, and the morgue even less. Your kids are precious. Do everything you can to keep them safe on prom night this year. If you need a DUI lawyer for your teen – or even for yourself – in Orange County on graduation night or any other night, contact an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer without delay.

NOT WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR

Posted on: April 1, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 32

Orange County criminal defense attorneyWhen Dionne Warwick sang the classic tune, “That’s What Friends Are For,” she wasn’t singing about crime. It’s good to be a friend, but if you’re a friend in the wrong way, you might be committing a criminal act. California Penal Code 32 defines what it means to be an “accessory after the fact.” An accessory after the fact is someone who helps another individual who has committed a felony avoid arrest, trial, conviction, or punishment. If you’re charged with being an accessory after the fact, you’ll need a good lawyer immediately. In Orange County, contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney at once.

In California, being an accessory after the fact is the type of offense that’s called a “wobbler.” At a prosecutor’s discretion, a wobbler can be prosecuted either as a felony or as a misdemeanor; a prosecutor will consider the particulars of the alleged crime and the defendant’s previous criminal record. “After the fact” means after the original crime took place, so being charged as an accessory after the fact is not usually considered as serious as aiding and abetting or being a co-conspirator. For example, if you drive a “getaway” car in a bank robbery, you’ll be prosecuted for bank robbery, but if you permit the robber to hide in your basement, and you had no knowledge of the bank heist beforehand, you’ll be prosecuted as an accessory “after” the fact.

Before the state can convict you, a prosecutor must prove that you knowingly harbored, concealed, or aided a person with knowledge that the person had committed, was charged with, or was convicted of a felony, with the purpose of protecting him or her from arrest, trial, conviction, or sentencing. So the next time a friend shows up at 3:00 a.m. needing help, you first need to ask, “What kind of help?” If you’re arrested and charged with being an accessory after the fact in Orange County or anywhere else in southern California, get the legal help you need from a skilled defense lawyer who will fight for justice on your behalf. Contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately.

WHERE DID ALL THE CRIMINALS GO?

Posted on: March 30, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense lawyerAround the globe, crime is plummeting. In the developed nations, the rate has been falling dramatically for about twenty years. In the United States, the decline began about 1990; since that year, the number of violent crimes has dropped by 32 percent. In the big cities, crime has dropped 64 percent. The aging of the “baby boomers” is one plausible explanation; most crimes are committed by older teens and twenty-somethings, but the U.S. population is now growing older. Others have offered explanations including legal abortion (fewer children born into crime-friendly environments) and the reduction in lead paint and lead-based gasoline (fewer cognitive problems caused by exposure to lead). Improved police work, advancing technology, heightened security, gentrification in the big cities, and scores of other reasons are put forth to explain the world-wide reduction in crime.

Another reason for the drop in crime: harsh penalties. If you are convicted of a crime of violence in California, the penalty will probably be severe. A violent crime is any crime where violence is used or threatened against a victim – with or without a weapon. In southern California, if you’re accused of assault and battery, domestic violence, or making criminal threats, obtain the skilled defense representation you’re going to need and call an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

Despite the statistics, the courts remain busy, and scores of suspects are still prosecuted for crimes every day. Sexual crimes happen more often. Bank fraud, money-wire scams, and identity theft are on the rise. If you’re arrested and charged with one of these crimes in Orange County – or with robbery, burglary, or DUI – contact a good defense attorney at once. Don’t try to represent yourself, and don’t wait to obtain legal help. If you’re accused of committing one of these crimes in southern California, speak promptly to an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

YOU CAN’T COVER UP A DUI

Posted on: March 27, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County DUI defense attorneyDUI could not be more serious. If you’re charged with DUI in Orange County, contact an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney immediately. Sometimes drunk drivers, in their efforts to avoid arrest and conviction, come up with some of the most desperate stunts and antics. They never work. If you’re stopped for suspicion of DUI, cooperate while politely exercising your right to remain silent, and call a good DUI attorney immediately. That’s what one 20-year-old driver should have done in February.

Bryan Byers, of Sparta, New Jersey, was charged with DWI after colliding with a guard rail and a stop sign. But that’s only where this story begins. The resourceful Byers, rather than notifying the police or calling an attorney, called a friend. Alexander Zambenedetti soon arrived with some 5-gallon buckets of water. They dumped the water on the roadway to create black ice.

For southern Californians who haven’t experienced it, “black ice” is a thin coating of glazed ice on a roadway. It’s virtually transparent, allowing black asphalt and macadam roadways to be seen through it – hence the term “black ice.” Black ice makes it almost impossible for drivers to maintain traction, and it causes thousands of minor accidents – as well as a few serious ones – every year, mostly in the northeast states and the Midwest. Byers and Zambenedetti conspired to tell police that black ice was the cause of Byers’ crash. Police arrived before the two could complete their scheme, and officers saw skid marks under the ice that the suspects had created.

Both men were arrested for DWI, which is called DUI in California. If you are charged with DUI in Orange County under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), don’t get any creative ideas. You could face additional charges if you tamper with evidence or attempt to cover up evidence. Instead, get the help you really need, and contact an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney as quickly as possible.

DO DRUNK PEOPLE SPEAK ANOTHER LANGUAGE?

Posted on: March 25, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County DUI defense attorneyAt Queens College and Columbia University, computer researchers have created a program that claims to identify drunk people based on their speech patterns. The scientists believe that someday, their computer program could be installed in cars to prevent intoxicated drivers from cruising down the highway. During two years of research, the investigators compiled speech pattern data from 162 participants in various stages of intoxication. The scientists believe they have precisely identified the speech patterns most frequently linked to intoxication: slurring, stammering, and stuttering.

While the details are new, the story is an old one. Over the years, DUI defense attorneys have seen an assortment of “scientific” devices – all claiming to identify or measure intoxication – come and go. Let an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney handle your case if you’re charged with DUI in Orange County under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b). A number of defendants arrested for DUI on the basis of breathalyzer results, for instance, have had charges dropped or won acquittals because it’s difficult to establish a uniform system of measurement for something like alcohol that affects everyone differently. To work properly, devices like breathalyzers must be precisely calibrated and routinely maintained. Still, some scientists have the highest hopes for this particular software, even though currently it only identifies a driver’s intoxication level with about 75 percent accuracy.

In the never-ending battle to outsmart would-be drunk drivers, speech pattern recognition software is one of the many tools currently in development. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hopes to develop alcohol detection sensors that could eventually be installed in every vehicle in the United States. Technology is on the march, but if you’re charged with DUI in Orange County or anywhere else in southern California, you need legal help today. Get the help you need by arranging immediately to speak with an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney.

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS AFTER A FELONY CONVICTION

Posted on: March 23, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyTravel restrictions are one of the penalties commonly imposed on felony offenders in California. Even if you don’t serve time in custody, your travel will probably be severely restricted upon a felony conviction. However, if you’re charged with a felony in Orange County or elsewhere in southern California, contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible. Remember: a charge is not the same as a conviction, the state must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and a good criminal defense lawyer can help.

The state can impose several kinds of travel restrictions. A judge may require no travel whatever except for your job or for legal or medical reasons. Standard felony probation and parole often require a convicted offender to remain in the jurisdiction where he or she was convicted. Someone on probation in Orange County, for instance, generally will not be allowed to relocate during the probation period. Restrictions on travel are not always compatible with opportunities for rehabilitation. An offender may be unable to take a good job or to live with family members in another county or state. Travel restrictions can also tie an offender to the streets and neighborhoods where drug dealers and old crime partners can be located.

Relocation may be allowed in some cases, however, even if you’ve been convicted of a felony. When the reason is a good one, you can petition the court for special permission to move, but that process can be lengthy and complicated, and you’ll need the advice and services of an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney. If you are charged with a felony DUI, a sex crime or drug crime, or a robbery or theft in Orange County, or if you are on probation but you must relocate, ask an Orange County criminal defense attorney to work on your behalf. If you need legal help today, make the call now.