WHEN A MARRIAGE IS AGAINST THE LAW

Posted on: March 20, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyWhen you get married in California, you probably aren’t committing a crime, but some people are. In fact, most of us are unaware that there are a number of “marriage crimes” that can be committed in California and most other states. If you’re charged by the authorities with committing one of these crimes, you’ll need legal help, so you should contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately. The marriage-related crimes in California include:

1. Bigamy: If you marry someone while you are still married to someone else, you can be convicted of bigamy under California Penal Code 281 and 283. Despite recent television shows about polygamy like “Sister Wives” and “My Five Wives,” bigamy is still very much a serious crime in California. Bigamy may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor with a maximum jail sentence of one year or as a felony with a maximum sentence of three years.

2. Marrying the husband or wife of another: It takes two to commit bigamy, and if you marry someone who is already married, the crime is “marrying the husband or wife of another” under California Penal Code 284. Marrying the husband or wife of someone else is a felony punishable by 16 to 36 months behind bars.

3. Incest: Incest isn’t always about sexual abuse or pedophilia. California’s incest law, Penal Code 285, makes it a crime for two consenting adults to marry if they are too closely related. A conviction for incest in California is punishable by 16 to 36 months behind bars and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Additionally, an incest conviction may make you subject to California’s lifelong sex offender registration requirement.

Don’t let a misunderstanding about marriage ruin your life. If you’re accused of any of these “marriage crimes” in Orange County, get legal help fast and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.

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CALIFORNIA CITIES LEAD NATION – IN CAR THEFTS

Posted on: March 18, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 487(d)(1) and California Vehicle Code 10851

Orange County criminal defense attorneyCalifornia cities topped the list of urban areas with the highest automobile theft rates in 2013, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Bakersfield topped the national list, followed by Fresno, Modesto, and the San Francisco Bay Area. If you steal a car in California, be prepared to pay the penalty. An accused car thief can be charged with grand theft auto or with the lesser crime of joyriding. Both crimes may be charged as misdemeanors or as felonies under California law, depending on the details of the crime and the suspect’s criminal history. If you face any charge for stealing a car in Orange County for any reason, get legal help fast and arrange at once to speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

Grand theft auto is almost always charged as a felony under California Penal Code 487(d)(1). Grand theft auto is usually the charge if you keep a stolen car for an extended period of time or if you sell or intend to sell a car for parts or to a buyer. A conviction for grand theft auto is punishable 16 to 36 months in custody along with fines and probation.

Joyriding, especially when it’s a first offense, is usually prosecuted as a misdemeanor under California Vehicle Code 10851. Still, a joyriding conviction is punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000. Depending on the evidence in a car theft case, an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney may be able to argue that you did not intend to steal the vehicle, or that you genuinely believed that it was yours or that you had permission to drive it, or that you’ve been falsely accused.

Dealing with criminal charges is never easy for anyone, but if you’re accused of car theft, exercise your right to remain silent and do not try to act as your own attorney. Instead, do what it takes to protect your freedom and your future. Obtain the serious legal help that you’re very much going to need and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.

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CALIFORNIA AGGRESSIVELY PROSECUTES ELDER ABUSE

Posted on: March 16, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 368

Orange County criminal defense attorneyElder abuse may be prosecuted as a felony or as a misdemeanor in California depending on the specifics of the case. If you are accused of elder abuse in Orange County, you’ll need the advice and services of an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney. Misdemeanor elder abuse is punishable by a year in jail and a fine of up to $6,000. If you are charged with felony elder abuse, you could go to prison for up to four years and even more if the victim sustained bodily harm or was 70 or more years old.

Elder abuse laws in California are somewhat complex and difficult to understand. While there are a variety of circumstances that count as elder abuse, it does not include general criminal activity against older persons, such as home break-ins, muggings in the street, or distraction burglary, where a stranger distracts a resident at the doorstep while another person enters the property to steal. The law in California defines elder abuse as causing or permitting any of these conditions or situations when a victim 65 years old or older:

– financial exploitation or abuse
– the infliction of injury or pain, or physical abuse
– isolation or ridicule that inflicts mental suffering or emotional abuse
– willfully or negligently placing a dependent senior into an unhealthy or unsafe situation

Like any criminal charge, the state must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict you of elder abuse. In some cases, an elderly person actually injured himself or herself, or there was a misunderstanding, or a suspect has simply been falsely accused. A good defense attorney will ensure that your side of the story is fully told and understood and that your criminal case is brought to its best possible conclusion. If you are charged with elder abuse under California Penal Code 368 in Orange County, discuss your case at once with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

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FIRST, YOU GET SICK: THEN, YOU GET ARRESTED

Posted on: March 13, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County DUI defense attorneyIf you are a diabetic driver suffering from hypoglycemia – low blood sugar – you could be arrested and charged with DUI. It’s happened before in California. The symptoms of hypoglycemia are quite similar to the signs of driving under the influence. Get legal representation at once if you are wrongly accused of DUI in Orange County or anywhere in southern California, and contact an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney. The symptoms of hypoglycemia include impaired vision, slow or slurred speech, disorientation, fatigue, and even an unusual breath odor. Mistaking hypoglycemia for intoxication is actually a mistake almost anyone could make.

If you suffer hypoglycemia but a police officer suspects you of DUI, you may not perform well if you take the field sobriety tests. You can decline, but do so respectfully, and anticipate that you’ll be taken into custody anyway. Breathalyzer tests can also be wrong for people suffering with diabetes. When someone is having a diabetic reaction, a breathalyzer cannot determine the difference between alcohol and acetone; it may register a high level of alcohol where there isn’t any. Frankly and candidly, if you suffer hypoglycemia, ketosis, or ketoacidosis while you are driving, you can be a danger to yourself and others on the road, and in California you can lose your driving privilege. Nevertheless, you should not be prosecuted on criminal charges. You didn’t break the law and you’re not guilty of DUI under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b).

Hypoglycemia is a condition that can impact almost anyone. Take it seriously. If you are dealing with hypoglycemia or with any other condition that reduces your ability to drive safely, you may want to consider not driving at all. Still, if you are charged with DUI in Orange County, get the legal help you need and speak right away with an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney.

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HATERS NEED TO KNOW

Posted on: March 11, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 422.6, 422.7, and 422.75

Orange County Criminal Defense AttorneyIn California, a hate crime is a crime committed against a person, property, or group when the crime is motivated by an alleged bias or hatred towards the apparent race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, gender identity, or other characteristic represented by the victimized person, property, or group. If there is evidence of hate on the part of a suspect, that suspect can be additionally charged with a hate crime. If you’re accused of any crime in Orange County and authorities charge it as a hate crime, arrange immediately to contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

California’s hate crime laws work in two ways. Under California Penal Code 422.6, it is a crime to interfere with someone else’s civil rights or to damage or destroy someone else’s property because of that person’s racial, ethnic, or other protected traits. Under California Penal Code 422.7 and 422.75, if you commit a crime like assault or vandalism, and you are motivated in part because of the victim’s racial, ethnic, or other protected traits, your offense will be considered a hate crime, and your sentence for the original crime can be enhanced.

For most felonies in California, that enhancement is one to four years, although it depends on the crime itself and the circumstances. Enhancements for misdemeanor hate crime convictions can include community service, fines, and in some cases up to a year in jail. In addition to a criminal conviction, you could also be sued by the victim or victims in civil court.

To convict you of a hate crime, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a motivating factor was your intention to interfere with an individual’s or a group’s civil rights. That’s not always easy to prove, and it’s a reason why you must have a good criminal defense attorney fighting for justice on your behalf. If you’re charged with any hate crime in Orange County, take your case to an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.

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WHAT IF YOU CAN’T BE IN COURT?

Posted on: March 9, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense lawyerIf you’ve been charged with a felony in California, there’s no way around it; you’ll have to be physically present in the courtroom. But if the charge against you is a misdemeanor, you do not have to be present provided that your attorney is in court to represent you. In many misdemeanor cases, once you’ve retained legal counsel by contacting an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer, you may not have to appear in court at all, and your attorney can appear on your behalf. Nevertheless, if you’re accused of DUI, a drug or sex crime, or a fraud or robbery in southern California, whether the charge is a misdemeanor or a felony, you still need to contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible.

Of course, you certainly have the right to appear in court if you choose to, and if you do not have legal representation, you must. If you do not have an attorney, and you do not personally appear in court, the court can issue a bench warrant, and your failure to appear will be filed as a separate criminal charge. When you appear in court without an attorney, the process can also be lengthy, and just waiting for your case to be heard can eat up your entire day.

It is always in your best interests to seek the counsel of a trustworthy, experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney if you are charged with a crime in Orange County. The right attorney will guide and advise you from start to finish, and you’ll be able to make the informed decisions that are best for you. When you are charged with a misdemeanor, a good defense attorney can save you from the trouble and aggravation of missing work or school and taking an entire day off to appear in court. If you face any misdemeanor or felony DUI, drug, sex, or robbery charge in Orange County, contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible.

WHEN DUI BECOMES HISTORY

Posted on: March 6, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County DUI defense attorneyYou’ve seen it. You’ve heard about it. Now it’s going to happen. The computer-guided, thoroughly-automated car of science fiction is almost here. A few of the driverless vehicles will be on some California roads as soon as 2020. And it’s now likely that by 2030, DUIs, accidents with injuries, and tickets could actually be history. Computer giants such as Google are working with automakers to perfect the driver-free automobile and bring it to the marketplace – and to California’s streets and highways – as rapidly as possible. For now, however, we’re all still stuck in the year 2015, and some drivers in California still drive under the influence. You still need legal counsel if you’re charged with DUI in Orange County or elsewhere in southern California, and you’ll still need to call an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney.

The driverless cars of the near future will take you anywhere and everywhere. Computerized scanners will observe nearby vehicles and steadily make incremental safety adjustments. DUI laws may simply become anachronisms in a world where you just tell your car to take you home. In a fully-computerized system, everyone’s well-being will also be enhanced by the permanent cessation of high-speed police chases. The cops will be able to halt a car remotely and electronically.

Thus, DUI may only be a memory in another fifteen years. But if you’re facing a DUI charge today under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), obtain legal help from a good DUI defense lawyer. Don’t plead guilty, don’t try to act as your own attorney, and don’t put your future at risk. A good DUI lawyer can develop a strong defense and fight aggressively to bring your DUI case to its best possible conclusion. If you’re charged with DUI in Orange County, speak as quickly as possible with an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney.

WHEN YOU APPROACH A DUI CHECKPOINT

Posted on: March 4, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County DUI defense attorneyIn most driving situations, the police must have probable cause to believe that you’ve broken the law before they can stop you. However, DUI checkpoints are not like most driving situations. Probable cause isn’t needed to stop drivers at a DUI checkpoint. If you’re arrested in Orange County for DUI under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), at a DUI checkpoint or anywhere else, arrange immediately to speak with an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney.

DUI checkpoints lead to hundreds of DUI arrests in southern California, so many police agencies use them extensively. The signs of intoxication that a police officer looks for include alcohol on your breath, slow or slurred speech, a lack of coordination, red or watery eyes, and fumbling for your driver’s license or registration. All such evidence is plainly circumstantial, and while no guarantee can ever be made regarding the outcome of any particular criminal case, if you’re arrested for DUI for any circumstantial reason, the right DUI attorney may be able to offer an effective defense on your behalf.

The law requires law enforcement agencies to alert drivers approaching DUI checkpoints by posting signs. You aren’t required to pass through a DUI checkpoint if you don’t want to. So long as you obey the traffic laws, you can avoid the checkpoint, but don’t give the officers any reason to stop you – like making an illegal U-turn. Smartphone apps are also now available that alert drivers of DUI checkpoints in their vicinity.

If you are arrested for DUI at a DUI checkpoint or elsewhere in Orange County or southern California, speak at once with a good DUI defense lawyer who can compile evidence and examine witnesses on your behalf while working to discredit the state’s case against you. Don’t wait. If you are charged with DUI, contact an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney as quickly as possible.

YOU REALLY MUST WATCH WHAT YOU SAY

Posted on: March 2, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneySimply making a threat to physically harm someone may be a crime in California. Specifically, the crime is making a threat to kill or injure another person in such a way that the person being threatened is put in a state of reasonably “sustained fear” for his immediate safety or for the safety of his or her family. The law requires “an immediate prospect of execution of the threat” for the threat to be a crime. The threat can be verbal, written, or even sent through e-mail or social media. Making criminal threats can be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony under California Penal Code 422.

If you’re accused in Orange County of making a criminal threat, speak at once with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney. You cannot be convicted of making a criminal threat if the threat was vague or ambiguous, if the recipient wasn’t in actual fear or if the fear was only momentary, if you merely made a threatening gesture, or if there was no threat and you have been falsely accused. To convict you, the prosecution must establish that the recipient of the threat actually feared for his or her safety or for the safety of his or her family. If the person didn’t take the threat seriously, no crime was committed.

If you are convicted of a misdemeanor for making a threat, you face up to a year in jail. If you are convicted of a felony, you could serve up to four years in a California prison. If you use or brandish a weapon while making a threat, another year will be added to your sentence. Thoughtlessly saying something that you didn’t mean, in most cases, isn’t a crime, but if you are charged with making a criminal threat in Orange County, obtain legal representation at once and call an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING EVIDENCE

Posted on: February 27, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense lawyerIf you’re accused of DUI, a drug or sex crime, or a fraud or robbery in Orange County, don’t wait to get legal representation. Contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer immediately. Along with your other legal rights when you are charged with a crime, you have the right to present evidence on your own behalf. Your legal right to present evidence in a criminal case is fundamental. To prevent false or misleading evidence from being considered in a trial, California enforces a set of rules for evidence called the Evidence Code. The Evidence Code is complicated and quite precise, but a good Orange County criminal defense lawyer is familiar with what the Evidence Code requires and what evidence can be considered.

In criminal cases, your defense attorney can examine the evidence that the state has gathered against you. The process of obtaining and examining that evidence is called “discovery.” It takes time and must be done by the rules, but an experienced criminal defense lawyer routinely obtains and examines evidence on behalf of defendants. If you are not represented by an attorney, you could spend months gathering evidence that might not even be admissible. Discovery is governed by precise guidelines, and any blunders could delay and hurt your case. Don’t take that chance.

If there is important evidence that a judge or a jury needs to see, your defense lawyer will know how to present that evidence. In a criminal case, evidence can include blood test results, police accident reports, surveillance tapes, and essentially any other items that pertain directly to the case. Don’t try to act as your own attorney, and don’t accept a plea bargain without consulting first with an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer. If you’re charged with any drug or sex crime, DUI, or fraud or robbery in Orange County, make the call promptly.