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WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CARJACKING AND AN AUTO THEFT?

Posted on: February 2, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 215 and 663

orange county criminal defense attorneyWhen someone steals a parked car, it’s auto theft. But when someone takes a car directly from another person by using force or intimidation, it’s carjacking. If you’re charged with carjacking in Orange County, you’re going to need serious legal help right away. Immediately contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

Under California Penal Code 215, a carjacking is defined as the use of force or fear to take a motor vehicle from another person with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive that person of the vehicle. A carjacking charge is a felony charge, and if convicted, a suspect could serve up to nine years in a California prison. If a weapon is used in a carjacking, the prison term can be even longer. Under California Penal Code 663, even an unsuccessful attempt to carjack a vehicle can be prosecuted as a carjacking.

Of course, to be convicted for carjacking or any other offense, a prosecutor must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If you are accused of carjacking because someone has misidentified you, or if no carjacking took place and the accusation against you was entirely fabricated, an experienced criminal defense attorney can make sure that your version of the incident is fully explained and clearly understood.

Criminal charges are tough for anyone to deal with, but if you’re charged with carjacking, take advantage of your right to remain silent, and do not try to act as your own lawyer. Don’t plead guilty or accept any plea bargain before consulting a defense attorney. When you’re accused of committing any crime, you must act to protect your freedom and your future. Obtain the legal advice and representation that you’re really going to need if you’re charged with carjacking, and call an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately.

IF ARRESTED FOR DUI, KNOW WHY

Posted on: January 30, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County DUI attorneyPeople who haven’t had professional legal training can sometimes have half-correct – and even half-baked – notions and ideas about the law. This seems to be particularly true about DUI laws. Many people, for example, do not understand that a DUI charge in California affects your driving privilege. The state initiates two distinct proceedings every time a DUI charge is filed: the DMV administrative proceeding to suspend your license and the criminal DUI case. If you’re charged with DUI in Orange County, you should have an experienced Orange County DUI attorney represent you before the DMV.

Every California driver also needs to understand clearly that if you injure someone while driving under the influence, you could be sued for damages by the victims in civil court. Combined with the DMV proceeding and the criminal charge, it means that you can actually be punished for DUI in three different ways in California.

Another widely misunderstood element in DUI cases is chemical testing. If you took a chemical DUI test and you measured a blood alcohol content (BAC) level over the legal limit, it does not automatically mean that you will be convicted. A good DUI defense lawyer can usually challenge the test results or develop a more promising line of defense. Another misunderstanding: many people do not realize that the attorney you select can make all the difference. Find a trustworthy DUI defense attorney with substantial experience representing DUI defendants. An experienced DUI lawyer can protect your rights and fight aggressively for the best possible resolution to your DUI case.

There’s one final aspect that many may not realize about DUI laws: the legal penalties can be genuinely harsh, including a driver’s license suspension, fines and fees, probation, DUI classes, and in some cases, jail time. If you are charged with DUI in Orange County, retain experienced legal counsel as quickly as possible and arrange to speak with a trustworthy Orange County DUI attorney immediately.

DUI’S, IN CALIFORNIA, CAN FOLLOW YOU HOME!

Posted on: January 28, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County DUI defense attorneyIf you are visiting California with an out-of-state license, and if you’re arrested and charged with DUI while driving in our state, the law can be complex and the consequences can be harsh. If you’re a visitor to Orange County and you’re charged with DUI, it’s absolutely vital to retain legal counsel immediately and contact an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney who has helped scores of drivers just like you.

In California, when you are arrested for DUI under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), you will be told that your driving privilege in California will be suspended in 30 days. From the date of the arrest, you have ten days to ask for a hearing with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to dispute the driver’s license suspension. If you must return to your home state, a trustworthy DUI defense lawyer can represent you at the DMV hearing, but your lawyer must request that hearing within ten days of your arrest.

Living in another state does not mean that you can avoid a driver’s license suspension. Under the Interstate Drivers License Compact (IDLC), 45 of the 50 states report DUI arrests and other driving violations to one another. If you don’t ask for a DMV hearing, or if you just ignore it and leave the state, your home state may suspend your license either immediately or after a California DUI conviction. Only Michigan, Tennessee, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin are not part of the IDLC agreement.

Visitors charged with DUI in southern California are wise to retain the advice and services of an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney. Your attorney can fight for your driving privilege before the DMV and also defend you against the DUI charge in criminal court. The right DUI attorney can advocate aggressively on your behalf and bring your DUI case to its best possible resolution. If you’re an out-of-state visitor who faces both a DUI charge and a driver’s license suspension in Orange County, call and arrange to consult with an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney as quickly as possible.

ARE ALL ROBBERIES FELONIES?

Posted on: January 26, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 211

Orange County criminal defense attorneyIn 2012, more than 56,000 robberies were committed in California. If you’re arrested and charged with robbery in Orange County, you’ll need to get legal help immediately and speak to an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney. California Penal Code 211 defines robbery as the “taking of personal property in the possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear.”

In California, every robbery is a felony. A robbery in the first degree is a robbery committed either inside an inhabited structure, on a public transportation vehicle (a bus, taxi, streetcar, subway, or cable car), or the robbery of anyone who has just used an ATM and is still in its vicinity. In California, robbery in the first degree is punishable by three to nine years in state prison. However, if a firearm is used in the commission of the robbery, a suspect may face ten or more years in prison. Second-degree robbery in California is punishable by a prison term of two, three, or five years, depending on the circumstances of the crime and the defendant’s criminal history.

If you’re accused of robbery, but you genuinely believed that you owned or had a legal right to whatever was taken; if someone else committed the robbery and you were misidentified; or if the robbery story is a complete fabrication, a good defense lawyer can ensure that your defense is clearly presented and fully understood. A prosecutor cannot convict you of any crime unless your guilt can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. If you’re charged with robbery in Orange County, do not act as your own attorney. The crime and the potential consequences are too serious. Instead, take your case to an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.

EARLY PAROLE FOR MANY INMATES?

Posted on: January 23, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense lawyerProposition 47, a measure that reclassifies certain low-level, non-violent felonies as misdemeanors in California, was approved by the state’s voters in November. Proposition 47 now makes it possible for scores of non-violent offenders to be resentenced and in some instances released from the state’s overly-congested prison system. While the measure helps thousands of people who’ve been already been convicted of a crime, if you’re accused of DUI, a drug or sex crime, or a fraud or robbery in southern California, you still need to contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer immediately for the legal representation that you are still very much going to need.

Historically, California’s prison system has been one of the most crowded and costly anywhere in the nation. Non-violent property felonies such as shoplifting, theft, and check fraud under $950, as well as illicit personal drug use, will now be misdemeanors under Proposition 47, and with retroactive application of the measure, thousands of inmates may now be eligible for early release. Proposition 47 requires a thorough review of an offender’s criminal history before re-sentencing, to ensure that the individual does not pose a risk to the public. The measure will save California an estimated $150 million that can be used for financing truancy and dropout prevention, victim services, mental health and drug abuse treatment, and other alternatives to imprisonment.

However, Proposition 47 will impact only about 30 percent of the prison inmates in California. According to the Department of Corrections, as of 2013, 70 percent of the California prison population was serving a sentence for a violent offense. Nevertheless, the passage of Proposition 47 is good news for anyone convicted of a non-violent crime or facing a charge for one. If you’re accused of any non-violent drug crime, sex crime, theft or robbery, or if you’re charged with DUI in southern California, get trustworthy legal help at once and call an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer immediately.

HAVE YOU COMMITTED INSURANCE FRAUD?

Posted on: January 21, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Codes 548, 549, 550, and 551

Orange County criminal defense attorneyThe legal definition of auto insurance fraud is any act committed with the intention of fraudulently obtaining money from an auto insurance company. Even if you’ve simply made an honest mistake, inaccurate or incorrect legal, medical, or insurance forms may be considered evidence of an attempt to defraud. Insurance fraud cases are aggressively pursued because insurers want to avoid paying claims whenever possible. If you’re accused of auto insurance fraud in Orange County, you’ll need to get legal help at once and speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

The Insurance Research Council believes that about 40% of all auto theft claims are fraudulent, and the group also believes that fraudulent claims comprise about 40% of all auto-related medical claims. Because auto insurance fraud laws are so technical and complicated, and a number of different actions are considered auto insurance fraud under California Penal Codes 548, 549, 550, and 551, it is imperative to be represented by an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney if you’re accused of the crime.

If you are being investigated or interrogated for insurance fraud, do not answer questions from any police or insurance investigators until you first have the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Penalties for auto insurance fraud in California are harsh and can include fines and prison terms. If you are innocent – if you made an honest mistake or if you were falsely accused – or if the circumstances warrant a dismissal or reduction of your charges, an experienced defense attorney can present and explain those circumstances to the court.

Claim forms are complicated; honest mistakes are easy to make. If you are suspected of auto insurance fraud in southern California, let an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney evaluate your circumstances, develop a defense strategy, and fight for the best possible resolution to your case. Don’t hesitate to make the call.

TIPS TO AVOID A DUI

Posted on: January 19, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County DUI defense attorneyIf you’re charged with driving under the influence in Orange County, contact an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney as quickly as possible. These recommendations may help if you’re stopped by the police and they suspect that you are driving under the influence:

1. Stop quickly and cautiously whenever a police officer signals you to pull over. Always know precisely where you’ve placed your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance.

2. While being pleasant and polite, exercise your right to remain silent.

3. Unless you are 18 or under, or unless you are on probation for a prior DUI, politely decline to submit to any DUI test prior to being arrested. You may not decline a test after you’ve been lawfully arrested, at which point you should insist on a blood test rather than a breath test. Let your lawyer deal with the test result.

4. Frankly, if you’re planning to have a drink or two, you should arrange for a taxi, a car service, or a designated driver. If you aren’t driving, you can’t be guilty of DUI.

In California, even for a misdemeanor first-time DUI conviction with no property damage or injuries, the penalties can include three to five years of probation and up to six months in jail; a driver’s license suspension for six months; several thousand dollars in fees, fines, and other penalties; and completion of an alcohol education course. With each subsequent DUI conviction in California, offenders face increasingly severe penalties, so while it’s important to avoid a first conviction, it’s even more imperative to avoid a second or subsequent DUI conviction. If you are charged with DUI in Orange County under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), don’t wait. Get the legal help you need as quickly as possible, and arrange immediately to consult with an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney.

NO MEANS NO!

Posted on: January 16, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 243.4

Orange County criminal defense lawyerIn every state in the nation, sexual battery is an extremely serious crime. California law defines sexual battery as the non-consensual, intimate touching of another person for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse. Depending upon the details of the allegation, sexual battery may be prosecuted in California as either a misdemeanor or as a felony. Even a slight touch that may have been considered innocuous years ago can now result in a sexual battery allegation. If you’re accused of sexual battery under California Penal Code 243.4 in Orange County or elsewhere in southern California, get legal representation at once and speak to an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

The distinction between a felony and a misdemeanor sexual battery charge will depend on the way the victim was allegedly touched. If someone physically restrains a victim during a sexual battery, for example, that’s going to be charged as a felony. A conviction for felony sexual battery carries a sentence of 2 to 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. A conviction for misdemeanor sexual battery carries a maximum sentence of a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. If the victim is your employee, your fine may be increased by another $1,000.

Even a misdemeanor sexual battery conviction looks bad on anyone’s criminal record; the consequences can last a lifetime. Still, if you’re prosecuted for sexual battery, the state must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In many cases, the whole thing was a misunderstanding; in other cases, suspects have been falsely accused. Have an experienced criminal defense attorney protect your rights and investigate the facts. If you are charged with sexual battery now or in the future anywhere in southern California, don’t wait. Arrange at once to meet with an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

Keep Your Children Safe

Posted on: January 14, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyCalifornia Penal Code 647.6. California courts always make the best interests of children a top priority. For example, the state aggressively prosecutes suspects accused of molesting children. But what many Californians may not understand is that even making a questionable or an inappropriate comment to a child under 18 can be a crime in California, and it’s considered the legal equivalent of molesting a child. If the state can prove to a jury that you verbally “annoyed” a child with the intention or for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification, you could be sentenced to a year in jail and fined $5,000. If you are charged with molesting or annoying a child in Orange County, you’ll need to contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately.

Under California Penal Code 647.6, “molesting” and “annoying” both mean conduct or speech driven by sexual interest in a minor child or in minor children in general. Instances of annoying a child under 18 include but are not limited to: discussing with a minor his or her sexual history or preferences; soliciting a minor for a sex act or offering to perform a sex act on a minor; and exposing one’s self in a setting where minors are likely to see you.

To obtain a conviction for annoying a child, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you spoke or acted with a sexual motive. The law exempts questions a minor might be asked for legitimate professional reasons by a lawyer, doctor, therapist, or law enforcement officer. If you are accused of annoying a minor, it is a serious allegation, and you must take it seriously. Don’t let a misunderstanding or a false accusation ruin your life. If you’re accused of annoying a minor in Orange County, get legal help fast and call an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately.

Settle For a “Wet Reckless!”

Posted on: January 12, 2015 by in DUI
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Orange County DUI defense attorneyIf you are charged with DUI in Orange County, you’ll need the counsel of an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney, someone who can address your concerns and fight for justice on your behalf. In California, often a DUI suspect will be offered a chance to avoid a DUI conviction by pleading guilty instead to “wet reckless.” The police cannot charge you with wet reckless; wet reckless was designed exclusively to be offered to DUI defendants by prosecutors as a plea bargain option under California Vehicle Code 23103 and 23103.5. If the evidence against you is overwhelming, pleading to wet reckless may indeed be your best option, but in other cases, it may not be. Don’t accept any plea bargain offer from a prosecutor prior to speaking with an experienced DUI defense lawyer.

Some jobs and professional licenses are not available to those with DUI convictions; pleading to wet reckless lets a defendant keep or apply for such a job. For most employers, a wet reckless conviction simply is not as serious as a DUI conviction. By pleading nolo contendere to a wet reckless charge, you may be able to pay lower fines, attend fewer hours of driving classes, and avoid jail time. However, the Department of Motor Vehicles may still suspend your driver’s license, and your insurance rates may go up. If you are charged with any alcohol-related driving offense in the future, the courts count your wet reckless conviction as the legal equivalent of a prior DUI conviction.

Although no guarantee of results can ever be made regarding any particular criminal case, an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney will work to bring your DUI case to its best possible resolution. If you are charged with DUI in Orange County, don’t wait. Call an experienced DUI defense lawyer immediately.

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