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THE OLDEST (ILLEGAL) PROFESSION

Posted on: June 22, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 647(b)

Orange County criminal defense attorneyIt’s called the oldest profession, but in California, it’s a profession that’s against the law. Suspects arrested for prostitution – or for solicitation of a prostitute – are aggressively prosecuted in California. If you’re charged with prostitution or solicitation in southern California, you’re going to need legal help immediately. Contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney at once to retain the high-quality defense representation you’ll need.

Prostitution is defined as engaging in a sexual act in exchange for money or for some other consideration (drugs, for example). In California, it’s against the law to engage in prostitution or to hire (“solicit”) or to attempt to hire someone to engage in prostitution. Any third party who arranges or profits from prostitution – a “madam” or a “pimp,” for example – may also face a solicitation charge.

Under California Penal Code 647(b), prostitution and solicitation are misdemeanors. If it’s a first offense and you are convicted, the crime is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Innocent people are often accused of prostitution because they’ve been “entrapped” by police officers or some other misunderstanding has occurred. If you’re accused of prostitution or solicitation, the police still must adhere to legal investigation and arrest rules, and a prosecutor still must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s completely possible that you simply said something that was inappropriate, that you had no criminal intent, or that you were misinterpreted; it’s also possible that you’ve been misidentified or that you’ve been falsely accused.

A good criminal defense lawyer can help if you’re accused of prostitution or solicitation in Orange County or anywhere else in southern California. Exercise your right to remain silent. Don’t try to act as your own attorney. Instead, insist on your right to have a lawyer present during any questioning, and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.

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BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR WORDS

Posted on: June 19, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 422

law3Even though Californians have the right to freedom of speech – and we exercise it ceaselessly – the free speech right is not absolute. Libel and slander, for example, are against the law. The legal system has always recognized some reasonable limits when it comes to freedom of speech. For example, if you threaten to kill or physically harm someone in California, it may be a serious crime. Making criminal threats can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or as a felony under California Penal Code 422. If you are arrested for making criminal threats in southern California, get the legal help you need by promptly contacting an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

A “criminal threat” in California is making a threat to kill or injure someone, without ambiguity and with enough specificity that the person threatened reasonably feels “sustained fear.” The threat may be spoken, written, or transmitted electronically. The communication must be meant as a threat, whether or not there’s an actual intention to carry out the threat. If the threat is vague, ambiguous, or ridiculous, no crime is committed. The law requires “an immediate prospect of execution of the threat” for the threat to constitute a crime. However, if you make a serious criminal threat and you then aggressively approach or intimidate the person you’ve threatened, the incident could be charged as an assault, which is an even more serious offense.

If you thoughtlessly said something that you didn’t really mean, or if someone has falsely accused you of making a criminal threat, you’ll need an attorney who can explain your side of the story and make certain that it is understood. In southern California, if you are arrested and accused of making a criminal threat, don’t try to explain anything to the police. Politely exercise your right to remain silent, and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible.

REMOVE YOUR ANKLE BRACELET – GO TO JAIL

Posted on: June 17, 2015 by in DUI
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California Penal Code 310.7 and 310.10

Orange County criminal defense attorneySince 2011, when the United States Supreme Court ordered California to relieve prison overcrowding, California’s judges have frequently imposed alternative sentencing. Requiring offenders to use a GPS tracking device is commonly an element of alternative sentencing. If you have been sentenced to parole or to house arrest in California with a GPS device, and you remove that device without authorization, it’s a violation, and your parole officer can have you jailed immediately under California Penal Code 310.7. A hearing will be held, your parole may be revoked, and you could serve the remainder your sentence in custody. You’ll need the immediate help of an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

The use of GPS devices to monitoring convicted offenders was first approved by California voters in 2006. Proposition 83, the initiative that introduced GPS monitoring, was meant to reduce prison overcrowding, but within its first fifteen months, more than 5,000 convicted California offenders faced jail time for tampering with their tracking devices.

Convicted sex offenders now receive a mandatory minimum sentence of 180 days for removing their GPS devices under California Penal Code 310.10. That minimum sentence may go up this year if a proposal currently being considered in Sacramento is adopted. A bill sponsored by State Senator Pat Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) would make it a felony and would increase the minimum sentence to three years for sex offenders who disable their tracking devices. The proposal is a response to the case of two Anaheim parolees who removed their GPS devices and allegedly murdered four people after fleeing to Las Vegas and then Alabama.

If you are accused of a sex crime or any serious crime in Orange County or anywhere in southern California, or if you’re at risk of going to jail because you’ve been charged with removing a monitoring device, put your case immediately in the hands of an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney. With your freedom at stake, don’t wait to make the call.

DO YOU HAVE TO BE THERE?

Posted on: June 15, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense lawyerSouthern California is the home of people with busy lifestyles. Most of us hardly have a moment to spare. And even if we do manage to set aside a few minutes, we don’t want to spend them in court. A court appearance can be aggravating, fraught with anxiety, and even downright scary. However, if the charge is a misdemeanor, and if you quickly retain legal counsel from an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer, you may not have to be present in court, and your lawyer can speak and act in your place.

There’s no way out of it, however, if you are accused of a felony; you have to appear personally in the courtroom. But so long as your lawyer is present to represent you, if the charge against you is a misdemeanor, you do not have to appear. Of course, you have the absolute right to be there if you choose to, and if you do not have a lawyer, you must be present. Failure to appear when you are required to appear is a criminal charge, and a warrant may be issued for your arrest. If you go to court without a lawyer, the process can be quite time-consuming and you could wind up there for the entire day.

Any time anyone is charged with a crime in Orange County, it is always in that person’s interests to have the advice and services of a trustworthy, experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney. The right attorney will help you make the best decisions. When you are charged with a misdemeanor, a good defense attorney can save you from the hassle and aggravation of taking a full day for court and missing work or school. If you face any criminal charge in southern California, contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible.

THE MOST SEVERE DUI SENTENCE

Posted on: June 12, 2015 by in DUI
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California Penal Code 191.5(a)

Orange County DUI attorneyMost people charged and convicted of DUI in California are charged and convicted for a first-offense misdemeanor. Most of these drivers haven’t harmed anyone or damaged any property. They “learn their lesson” and don’t become repeat offenders. In California, if you cause a fatality by driving under the influence with “gross negligence,” the charge under California Penal Code 191.5(a) is gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, a felony sometimes punishable by up to ten years behind bars. Obviously, if you are charged with a crime this serious in southern California, you’ll need high-quality, immediate legal help. Arrange as quickly as possible to speak with an experienced Orange County DUI attorney.

California aggressively enforces the law against driving under the influence, and the penalties can be severe. A fourth DUI within ten years or any DUI with an injury or a fatality is prosecuted as a felony. But a young Pennsylvania man is facing a sentence that’s harsher than any DUI penalty in California. Thomas Gallagher Jr., 29, could reside in a Pennsylvania state prison for the next half-century, and he’ll be there for at least the next twenty years. Gallagher, according to Pennsylvania authorities, was the driver responsible last summer for 18-year-old Meredith Demko’s death in Lancaster County. According to court records, the young man’s blood alcohol content level registered at nearly three times the legal limit. Gallagher was also high on heroin at the time of the crash, authorities charged, and his license had been suspended due to a previous DUI conviction.

Although there are no fifty-year sentences for DUI in California, even a misdemeanor first-offense conviction can land you in jail for up to a year in this state. If you are charged with DUI in Orange County or anywhere else in southern California, fight the charge with help from a trustworthy DUI attorney. Test results can be challenged; witnesses can be cross-examined; the reason you were stopped may not even have been legal. You’re innocent until you are proven guilty. After any Orange County DUI arrest, put your DUI case in the hands of an experienced Orange County DUI attorney, and make the call immediately.

ARE BREATHALYZERS RELIABLE?

Posted on: June 10, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County DUI attorneyIn Orange County, if you are accused of DUI because of a breathalyzer exam result, get the legal assistance you need immediately by speaking to an experienced Orange County DUI attorney. For a number of reasons, breathalyzer machines are generally unreliable for measuring intoxication levels. Now, dozens of Massachusetts DUI cases are being questioned. Authorities found a calibration problem with breathalyzers being used in Amesbury, and sixty-nine DUI cases in Massachusetts are reportedly now being reviewed. Amesbury and other towns in Essex County, Plymouth County, and Cape Cod will depend on field sobriety tests for making DUI arrests in the near future.

In California, the most-used breathalyzer has been the “Intoxilyzer 5000” made by CMI, Inc. How accurate is it? One Idaho man drank a tiny cup of gasoline – which contains no alcohol – and the Intoxilyzer 5000 measured his blood alcohol content level at almost four times the legal limit. If you use antacids, suffer from acid reflux or diabetes, or work with chemicals like toluene or turpentine – or even paint – a breathalyzer might say that you’re intoxicated when you haven’t had a drop.

In the 2013 case Vangelder vs. California, this state’s Supreme Court ruled that testimony from experts who’ve found that breathalyzers are generally unreliable may not be introduced at trial. However, a DUI attorney may still claim that a specific breathalyzer machine is faulty or was operated improperly. That’s one reason why, if you are charged with DUI in Orange County, you must have the help of an experienced Orange County DUI attorney at once.

A California DUI charge puts your freedom, your future, and your driver’s license at risk. Protect yourself; if you are charged in Orange County with DUI – now or in the future – under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), and if that charge is based on a breathalyzer result, speak with an experienced Orange County DUI attorney immediately.

THE REAL COST OF A DRUG CONVICTION

Posted on: June 8, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Health and Safety Code 11350 and 11351

Orange County criminal defense lawyerTwenty-one years ago, Bruce Harrison was part of a motorcycle gang that was targeted by undercover federal drug agents. The agents asked Harrison to transport large amounts of cocaine and marijuana for $1,000 per run. Harrison, now 63, hasn’t even served half of his sentence. He’s got about twenty-nine years to go. Federal sentencing guidelines have been revised since Harrison’s conviction, but the decorated Vietnam vet remains behind bars because he was convicted during the “war on drugs” when sentences were harsher.

If you’re charged with any drug crime in southern California under California Health and Safety Code 11350 and 11351, get high-quality legal help immediately and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer at once. The last thing you want is to end up like Bruce Harrison and grow old in prison. Harsh sentences continue to have lasting ramifications for inmates and for the nation’s prison system. Inmates past age 50 are the fastest-growing group in the federal correctional system, which housed approximately 31,000 50-plus inmates in 2013. As you might imagine, the aging of inmates is also driving up health-care costs in the prison system. The Bureau of Prisons spent over a billion dollars on healthcare in 2013.

If you’re charged with a drug crime in southern California – whether the charge is international drug trafficking or possession of marijuana – exercise your right to remain silent and insist on having a lawyer present during any interrogation. Do not try to act as your own attorney. Instead, you’ll need to retain a criminal defense attorney with considerable experience in California drug cases, someone who can fight aggressively for justice on your behalf. If you face any drug-related criminal charge in Orange County or elsewhere in southern California, take your case at once to an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

DUI ENFORCEMENT IS EVERYWHERE

Posted on: June 5, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County DUI lawyerCan you be arrested for DUI in California if you’re at your own home? The fact is, if a police officer sees you driving and suspects that you are impaired, it doesn’t matter where you are. Let’s say you’ve been with friends and you’ve had several drinks. It’s only a short drive home, and you think you can make it – you have before. But if a police officer sees you driving and believes that you are intoxicated, you may be arrested for DUI in your own driveway or even your garage. If you drive a motor vehicle in California and your blood alcohol content (BAC) level measures 0.08 percent or higher, you can be arrested and charged with DUI.

If you’re accused of DUI in Orange County or elsewhere in southern California under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), contact an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer immediately. It doesn’t matter if you’re arrested at your own residence or in some other part of the state. A DUI conviction in California has substantial long-term ramifications – even if the conviction is for a first offense without property damage or injuries. Never plead guilty to a DUI charge. Instead, dispute the charge, and let a good Orange County DUI lawyer fight for justice on your behalf.

Of course, the best way to avoid being charged with DUI is to avoid drinking before you drive. If you choose to enjoy a few drinks – even if you feel fine at the end of a night – call a taxi or have a designated driver. If law enforcement officers stop you at your own home, politely refuse to answer any questions and insist on your right to have an attorney present during questioning. If you’re arrested, don’t wait. Make the call to an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer as quickly as possible.

WHAT CONSTITUTES AUTO BURGLARY?

Posted on: June 3, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 459

Orange County criminal defense attorneyIn California, you can be charged with auto burglary under California Penal Code 459 if you break into a locked vehicle or the trunk of a vehicle with the intent to commit grand theft auto, steal property from inside the vehicle, or commit some other felony once you’ve gained access to the vehicle. For the burglary statute to apply, there must be evidence of forced entry into a locked vehicle. Simply opening an unlocked vehicle – by itself – is not be enough to constitute auto burglary.

Auto burglary is usually prosecuted as second-degree burglary, and in California, the charge is a “wobbler,” which means it may be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or as a felony depending on the details of the case and the suspect’s prior convictions. A conviction for misdemeanor auto burglary can land you in jail for up to a year, but if you’re convicted of felony auto burglary, you could be sent to prison for up to three years. Of course, being charged doesn’t mean that you’ll be convicted; a prosecutor must still prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney can use a number of legal tools to fight the charge on your behalf. Someone accused of auto burglary may offer defenses including but not limited to:

  • You believed the automobile was yours and no burglary was intended.
  • You were retrieving items or property that are, in fact, yours.
  • You’ve been misidentified and someone else committed the crime.
  • The entire story was a fabrication and no auto burglary occurred.

If you are suspected and arrested for auto burglary in Orange County, politely exercise your right to remain silent, and insist on your right to have an attorney present during any questioning. As quickly as possible, get the legal help you’ll need and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

DEPORTATION AND DRUG LAWS

Posted on: June 1, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Health and Safety Codes 11350 and 11351

Orange County criminal defense lawyerIf you are an immigrant in the United States, and if you are arrested and charged with any drug crime in Orange County under California Health and Safety Codes 11350 and 11351, speak at once with an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer. When Jesús Cordero was arrested in Los Angeles in 2011 for possessing Ecstasy, his lawyer recommended that Cordero should plead guilty so that he could get help and take advantage of drug counseling. When defendants accept that plea bargain and successfully complete counseling, the charge is dropped. In California, many suspects accused of minor drug crimes accept that deal. But Cordero was in the United States without documentation, so for him, a guilty plea could trigger a deportation procedure.

Minor offenders like Cordero may be about to receive some help. California’s legislators this year will consider a proposal to protect immigrants from deportation for minor drug convictions. It makes no difference whether you crossed the border last week without documents or if you’ve been residing here for years with a green card – a drug conviction can make you a candidate for deportation. The proposal now under consideration in Sacramento would let someone charged with minor drug possession choose treatment prior to entering a plea, and if the treatment is successfully completed, no plea would have to be entered. Those failing to finish the treatment would still face the charges and their consequences. This alternative would not be made available to offenders with previous drug sale convictions or violent or serious felony convictions.

Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman of Stockton, the proposal’s sponsor, told the Los Angeles Times, “For those who want to get treatment and get their life right, we should see that with open arms, not see it as a way of deporting somebody.” But for the moment, if you are charged with a drug crime in Orange County, you’ll need to contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer immediately.