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SHOULD YOU ACCEPT A PLEA DEAL?

Posted on: October 16, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyAfter a criminal charge has been filed in California, a plea bargain can be negotiated at any point in the legal process. In some cases, an agreement can be offered and accepted at the arraignment; in other cases, agreements are reached at the last moment, after a jury has started deliberations. Plea bargains are good for the courts and the public, because they mean fewer trials and less spending. Plea bargains are also good for district attorneys, because a conviction – even for a lesser charge – is still a conviction. But are plea bargains good for defendants in criminal cases? Like so many questions about the law, the answer is, “It depends.” Before you accept a plea bargain, if you are charged in Orange County with a theft, a drug crime, a sex crime, a white-collar crime, or a DUI, discuss your case and your options with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

If you are charged with a crime and offered a plea bargain, it’s important to remember that prosecutors offer these deals for their own purposes and not out of the goodness of their hearts. A plea bargain may or may not be right for you. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can negotiate for the best possible deal or advise you to reject any deal and fight for your acquittal. Everything depends on the details of the charge and the strength of the evidence against you, but if you are charged with committing any crime, it’s imperative to retain high-quality legal counsel and then adhere to the advice your attorney provides.

In Orange County, most criminal cases end when the state and the defense agree to a plea bargain. The defendant pleads guilty to one or more charges, and in return, the prosecutor drops or reduces the remaining charges or recommends a reduced sentence. For example, a defendant charged with DUI may plead guilty to the lower charge of wet reckless, accept the less severe penalties, and avoid a DUI conviction. In some cases, depending again on the specifics of the charge, you may be able to avoid jail time by accepting a plea bargain. However, before accepting any plea deal, if you’re charged with a theft, a drug crime, a sex crime, a white-collar crime, or a DUI in Orange County, speak first and at once with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

THE CRIME REMAINS THE SAME

Posted on: October 14, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County defense attorneyCalifornia Penal Code 647(b)

In the last thirty years, there have been a tremendous number of changes in the law. Same-sex marriage and medical marijuana are legal, but the DUI laws are tougher. One thing that never seems to change, however, is “the oldest profession.” The laws forbidding prostitution and solicitation are still enforced and aggressively prosecuted in California. You may not engage in prostitution, offer to engage in prostitution, or hire or try to hire someone for prostitution in this state. “Madams” and “pimps” who organize or gain financially from prostitution may also be charged. In Orange County, if you are charged with prostitution or with solicitation, you’ll need immediate legal help. You’ll need to contact an experienced Orange County defense attorney at once.

Misunderstandings and mistakes can sometimes lead to prostitution charges. If you were being inappropriate or if you were misunderstood, it’s possible that you might be charged. It’s also possible that you’ve been falsely accused or misidentified. If you’re charged with prostitution or solicitation under California Penal Code 647(b), the state still must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt before you can be convicted. No lawyer can ever promise or guarantee a result in any criminal case, but the truth is that prostitution and solicitation charges are sometimes reduced or entirely dismissed when a good attorney advocates on your behalf.

Solicitation and prostitution are misdemeanors in California, but if you’re convicted, you could still serve time in jail. The potential penalties for a conviction on a first offense can include up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Penalties are harsher with subsequent convictions. If you are charged with prostitution or solicitation in Orange County, you’ll need trustworthy legal representation fast. Don’t plead guilty. Fight the charge. The help you need is right here. Don’t try to act as your own lawyer, and don’t accept any agreement or plea bargain unless you’ve consulted first with an experienced Orange County defense attorney.

THE HOLIDAYS AND DUI CHECKPOINTS

Posted on: October 12, 2015 by in DUI
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Orange County DUI lawyerCalifornia Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

With Labor Day gone, school back in session, and the holidays approaching, it’s that time of year when police departments in California conduct more DUI checkpoints. If you are detained at a DUI checkpoint, be cooperative, and you’ll probably pass through without trouble. After you’ve identified yourself and produced your license and vehicle registration, you may politely decline to answer any questions. If you are arrested at a DUI checkpoint, obtain legal help at once and contact an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer.

You may be asked to take a field sobriety test or a “PAS” (preliminary alcohol-screening) test at the checkpoint. You must comply if you are under 21 or on probation for a previous DUI conviction. Otherwise, you should politely decline to be tested at that time. If you are placed under arrest, however, and the police ask you to submit to a DUI test, you must comply at that time – and only after being arrested – or face an additional criminal charge. It really goes without saying: don’t drink and drive. Arrange in advance for a designated driver, call a cab, or find a room or a couch for the night. If you’re detained at a sobriety checkpoint, arrested, and charged with DUI, obtain legal help as swiftly as possible by contacting an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer.

No attorney can ever promise or guarantee a particular result in any criminal proceeding. Still, a trained and experienced DUI attorney can often bring into doubt DUI test results and the testimony of the arresting officer(s). In California, DUI charges are sometimes reduced and sometimes dismissed entirely. Alternately, a reasonable plea bargain may be accepted, or you may be found not guilty at a trial and acquitted entirely. A good DUI lawyer can evaluate your case and provide the legal advice and the aggressive legal defense that’s right for you. If you are charged with DUI in southern California under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), make the call without delay to an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer.

NOW MORE THAN EVER, KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

Posted on: October 9, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense lawyerCrime-fighting technology has come a long way, but crime continues. You probably remember the old cop shows on TV, when the technology for detecting crime patterns was a map on the wall and a box of push-pins. Those days are gone, but the crimes that detectives tracked are not. In Orange County, if you are charged with a drug crime or a sex crime, a robbery, theft, or DUI, retain the legal help you need immediately and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

Today’s detectives rely on computer technology instead of maps and pins to record and analyze crime patterns, and Orange County is no exception to the trend. Residents in Fountain Valley are now able to benefit from this crime-fighting technology. Now, Fountain Valley residents can view live, real-time updates about police activity in their neighborhoods. In September, the Fountain Valley Police Department enhanced its website with a feature called “Community Dashboard,” which shares crime statistics and trends. Using Google Maps, the site will chart aggravated assaults, residential and commercial burglaries, vehicle burglaries, and car thefts in Fountain Valley. “Timely information helps residents to better protect themselves and their property,” Fountain Valley police Captain Mike Simko told the OC Register.

As crime-fighting technology advances, the rights of suspects in criminal cases can be endangered. Technology complicates the legality of surveillances, searches, and other police activities. If you are arrested in Orange County, let an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney review your case to determine if the police violated your rights in any way during an investigation, a search, an arrest, or an interrogation. When you’re arrested for any crime, you have the right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney present during questioning. Politely insist on your rights after any arrest and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible.

DUI? CALL AN ORANGE COUNTY DUI ATTORNEY

Posted on: October 7, 2015 by in DUI
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Orange County DUI attorneyCalifornia Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

With the holidays bearing down upon us, it means people everywhere will be celebrating, drinking, and getting arrested for DUI. The holidays always mean heightened DUI enforcement by the California Highway Patrol and local law enforcement agencies. You can count on seeing some news stories about DUI “task forces” who will be looking to make every possible drunk driving arrest. If you’re charged with DUI this holiday season, contact an experienced Orange County DUI attorney immediately.

The law in California says that you cannot drive a vehicle if you are at or over the 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC) level. Everyone reacts differently to alcohol, but if you drink more than a 12-ounce beer or 6-ounce glass of wine, you are probably wise to refrain from driving until you’ve had a night’s sleep. If you weigh a hundred pounds or less, even one beer or glass of wine can put you above the legal limit. If you do choose to drink, don’t drive. Use a designated driver, a car service, or a taxi, or find a room or a friend’s couch for the night. It might be inconvenient, but it’s not as inconvenient as the jail, the hospital, or the morgue.

If you are nevertheless charged with DUI – let’s assume that you’re wrongly accused and you’re innocent – how do you defend yourself? Speak first with an experienced DUI lawyer. A good DUI lawyer will challenge any DUI test results as well as the testimony of the arresting officer(s). An arrest is not the equivalent of a conviction. Don’t give up. Fight the charge. You cannot be convicted of DUI unless the state can prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced DUI lawyer can protect your rights, explain your legal options, and fight aggressively for justice on your behalf. If you face a DUI charge under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b) during the holidays, speak at once to an experienced Orange County DUI attorney.

IF YOU ARE ACCUSED OF ROBBERY

Posted on: October 5, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyCalifornia Penal Code 211

In this state, robberies happen frequently. In 2012, more than 56,000 robberies were reportedly committed in California. If you’re accused of committing a robbery in Orange County under California Penal Code 211, you’re going to need high-quality, reliable legal assistance, and you’re going to need it fast. Contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney after any arrest for robbery. The law in California 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.”

Robbery is charged as a felony in this state, although the law recognizes robbery in two degrees. A first-degree robbery is a robbery committed in a structure that’s inhabited, the robbery of a passenger or a driver on a bus, taxi, streetcar, subway, or cable car, or the robbery of anyone who has just used an ATM and is still in the ATM’s vicinity. A conviction for first-degree robbery is punishable in California by three to nine years in a state prison. If a firearm is used during the crime, the sentence has be increased to ten years or more. Second-degree robbery is punishable upon conviction by up to five years in prison.

Of course, if you are accused of committing a robbery in Orange County, the state cannot convict you unless it can prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s possible that you genuinely believed that what you took was yours and that you had no criminal intent. It’s also possible that you didn’t rob anyone – that you’ve been misidentified or that no robbery even took place. A good criminal defense attorney can guarantee that your side of the case will be precisely told and fully understood. If you’re accused of any robbery in southern California, do not try to act as your own attorney. Instead, take your case immediately to an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

TO ACCEPT OR NOT TO ACCEPT

Posted on: October 2, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense lawyerIf you are arrested and charged with a crime in Orange County, your first court appearance is called the arraignment. At an arraignment, your rights and the potential sentence you face are read to you, you may enter a plea, and in most cases, the prosecution will offer you a plea bargain. It’s imperative that you’re accompanied to your arraignment by an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer. Do not plead guilty or accept any plea bargain unless your attorney recommends it. Plea bargains provide a swift resolution to cases in a criminal justice system that’s continually backed up and crowded. If your attorney believes that you will be found not guilty at trial, or if your attorney is confident that the charge against you will reduced or dismissed, you’ll be advised against taking the plea bargain.

It happens far too often. A person very much like yourself is arrested for a misdemeanor. You’re innocent, but you’re afraid of going to jail because you’ll lose your job. The prosecutor offers you a fine and community service in return for a guilty plea and reminds that that if you turn down the plea and force the case to go to trial, jail is likely if you’re convicted. You accept the plea bargain out of fear, without realizing that the state really had no conclusive evidence against you. A good defense lawyer could probably have negotiated to have the charge dropped, but now you’ll pay a fine and have a criminal conviction on your record.

Don’t let that happen. In southern California, if you’re charged with a drug or sex crime, a theft or fraud, DUI, domestic violence, or a white-collar crime, you really must retain the counsel of an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer. If you’re accused of a felony or a misdemeanor in Orange County now or in the future, make the call as quickly as possible.

YOU CAN DETER BURGLARS

Posted on: September 30, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 459

Orange County criminal defense lawyerIf you commit a burglary in California and you’re found guilty, a number of penalties may be imposed by the court if you are convicted. In the state of California, burglary may be prosecuted as a felony or as a misdemeanor depending on the circumstances of the incident, what was stolen, if weapons were used, if injuries occurred, and if the suspect has prior convictions. If you are charged with burglary in Orange County or anywhere else in southern California, promptly contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer who can fight aggressively for justice on your behalf.

The crime rate has been declining in California. Roughly 1.2 million arrests were made by California police officers in 2014. That sounds like a lot, but it’s the lowest arrest figure since 1969 in this state. To help keep the crime rate low in Orange County, these are some recommendations for protecting yourself and your home from burglars:

  • If plan to be away for a night or longer, ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your home.
  • Lock everything whenever you leave home, even if it’s only for a quick errand.
  • When you leave your home, leave some lights on.
  • Don’t tell everyone on Facebook if you’re going to be away from home.
  • Keep valuable items out of sight.
  • If you have a security system, use it.

To deter auto burglaries:

  • Park exclusively in well-lit locations.
  • Lock your vehicle and take your keys.
  • Take valuable items with you or lock them in the trunk, out of sight.

If you are charged with committing a burglary in Orange County, you could be innocent for a number of reasons. You may have genuinely believed that what you took was yours. You might be misidentified or the victim of a false accusation. If you are charged with burglary in Orange County under California Penal Code 459, put your case immediately in the hands of an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

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THE OTHER PENALTIES FOR DUI

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

Orange County DUI defense lawyerMost California drivers already know that the penalties for a DUI conviction in California – even for a first offense – are substantial. A first DUI conviction can mean up to six months in jail and a fine ranging from $390 to $1,000. You’ll be placed on probation for three to five years, your driver’s license will be suspended, you’ll be required to attend and pay for DUI school, and in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Alameda, and Tulare County, you’ll be ordered to install and pay for an ignition interlock device in your vehicle – after your driver’s license suspension ends. That’s a lot of punishment for a single mistake. Obviously, you want to avoid being prosecuted and convicted for DUI in California. If you’re accused of driving under the influence in Orange County, put your case immediately in the hands of an experienced Orange County DUI defense lawyer.

While the criminal punishments for a DUI conviction are formidable, the fact is that those penalties are only the start of your problems if you’re convicted of DUI. Your auto insurance rates will go up, and if your work involves driving, you could lose your job and find it tough to land a new one. And if your DUI was linked to a traffic accident, injury victims or wrongful death survivors could file a lawsuit against you in civil court. In September, the disabled victim of an intoxicated driver received $1.3 million in personal injury compensation. Andrew O’Brien, 26, was injured a year ago in Bremerton, Washington – in September 2014 – when a drunk driver crashed into him and his companion as they walked on a sidewalk. O’Brien suffered a traumatic brain injury; his friend was killed.

It can’t be emphasized enough – drinking and driving never, ever go together. You don’t want to be responsible for a death, a brain injury, or any other harm. Still, even good, responsible adults can make a serious mistake – or be wrongly accused – and end up charged with DUI under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b). If you’re accused of DUI in Orange County, take your case immediately to an experienced Orange County DUI defense lawyer.

DOCTOR SENTENCED FOR EMBEZZLEMENT

Posted on: September 25, 2015 by in White Collar Crimes
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California Penal Code 503

Orange County criminal defense attorneyEmbezzlers commit theft, but they do it surreptitiously and without violence, hoping to avoid detection. Sometimes they succeed, and their embezzlement crime isn’t detected for months or even years. Almost anyone can be a victim, although banks and charitable institutions are the leading targets of embezzlers. In California, depending on the value and the type of property or assets that are taken, embezzlement may be prosecuted either as grand theft or as petty theft. In Orange County, if you are charged with embezzlement by either state or federal law enforcement, obtain legal help at once and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

In August, a Newport Beach doctor accused of embezzling $220,000 from a hospital charity fund was sentenced to a year in jail. Prosecutors said Bruce Allan Hagadorn, 56, has paid his full restitution of $103,865 to the State of California Franchise Tax Board and $250,000 to the medical staff of Irvine Regional Hospital. In 2009, Hagadorn was chief of staff at Irvine Regional and served on the board of the hospital’s charity committee. Before Irvine Regional closed that year, the medical staff voted to donate their residual charity funds to the Hoag Hospital Foundation and asked Hagadorn to coordinate the transfer of funds. Prosecutors, however, said Hagadorn instead wrote checks to himself from the account, paid himself in cash, and deposited the funds into his personal medical practice, Canyon Pacific OB/GYN, in Irvine.

If you’re accused of embezzlement in Orange County, you might have made an honest mistake. It’s also possible that you’ve been “framed” or that the allegation against you is entirely false and no embezzlement actually occurred. Anyone can make a mistake – it doesn’t make you a criminal. Still, if you’re convicted of embezzlement in southern California, jail or prison time is one of the probable punishments you’ll face. If you’re charged with embezzlement under California Penal Code 503, arrange immediately to discuss your case with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.