NO MORE DATE RAPE!

Posted on: February 25, 2015 by in Criminal Defense, Sex Crimes
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California Penal Code 261

Orange County criminal defense lawyerGovernor Jerry Brown signed the “Yes Means Yes” bill into law last September. It’s the law that requires college students in California to give “affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement” to any sexual activity. Silence or a lack of resistance does not imply or constitute consent according to the new law, and a drugged, drunk, or unconscious person cannot give consent. If you’re charged with rape under the new provision or with any other sex crime, you’re in very serious circumstances, and you will need serious legal help at once. Contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible.

“Yes Means Yes” gives sex crime victims additional legal tools and protections, but some believe that false accusations will increase and that many may be wrongly accused. When lawmakers were considering the bill, critics said it may send universities into murky legal waters. Under criminal law, rape and sexual assault occur when one person forces another into sex despite the denial of consent, a standard commonly referred to as “no means no.” The new California standard, “yes means yes,” means that a sex act can only be presumed consensual if both partners have unambiguously consented. Even if no objections are raised, unless explicit consent is obtained, a sexual encounter may be legally considered rape. The standard is not new in California; state universities have operated under these rules for several years. Now, however, the same standard will be applied to every public and private campus that receives state funding.

What hasn’t changed are your basic rights. If you’re charged with any sex crime in California, the state still must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Let an experienced criminal defense attorney represent you. If you are charged with violating the “Yes Means Yes” law or with any other sex crime in Orange County, contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible.

GUN LAWS IN CALIFORNIA’S WILD, WILD WEST

Posted on: February 23, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Codes 417, 16590, 25400, 26100, 26500, and 30600

Orange County criminal defense attorneyStarting in January 2016, if you believe that a close relative is about to commit gun violence, you can ask a California judge to have the police seize that person’s firearms at least temporarily. The Gun Violence Restraining Order or “GVRO” was created by Assembly Bill 1014, which Governor Brown signed into law last year. In Orange County and across southern California, if you are charged with or being investigated for any firearms-related crime, get in touch immediately with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

California law specifies precisely what kinds of firearms are and are not legal and who may and may not own, carry, and use a firearm in this state. Several types of firearms including automatic weapons are illegal in California. An experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney can defend suspects charged with these crimes and other weapons charges:

– brandishing a firearm or weapon: California Penal Code 417
– carrying a concealed firearm: California Penal Code 25400
– committing a “drive-by” shooting: California Penal Code 26100
– possession of illegal firearms: California Penal Code 16590 and 30600
– illegal sale of a firearm: California Penal Code 26500

A GVRO will temporarily prohibit someone from owning, carrying, or using a firearm or firearms ammunition. Beginning next January 1, when a GVRO is issued against someone, a legal hearing must be scheduled and held within 21 days. The person requesting the restraining order will have to offer persuasive evidence that the subject of the GVRO should not be allowed to have firearms. If the court is persuaded, a one-year GVRO will be issued and possibly extended after additional hearings on a year-by-year basis. In Orange County, if you are accused or suspected of violating any California firearms law, don’t wait – arrange at once to speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

BICYCLISTS ARE HIT-AND-RUN VICTIMS TOO!

Posted on: February 20, 2015 by in Criminal Defense, Violent Crime
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California Vehicle Code 20002

Orange County criminal defense lawyerIn recent years, politicians in Los Angeles and Orange counties have increasingly asked residents to explore alternative transportation as local transportation agencies deal with stricter emissions standards and dwindling resources. According to the Los Angeles Times, hit-and-run accidents involving bicyclists increased by a disturbing 42 percent from 2002 to 2012 in Los Angeles County, and at least 36 bicyclists died in crashes where drivers fled the scene. Hit-and-run accidents involving bicyclists are on the rise in Orange County too, including the tragic death of 44-year-old Daniella Palacios in Anaheim on the day after Halloween last year.

You may be charged with misdemeanor hit-and-run under California Vehicle Code 20002 if you leave the scene of an accident, but if anyone is injured or killed, the hit-and-run will be charged as a felony. Call an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible if you are charged in Orange County with either felony or misdemeanor hit-and-run.

For bicyclists who are injured by drivers, a major disappointment is how rarely hit-and-run drivers are caught. About 80 percent of the hit-and-run cases in Los Angeles from 2008 to 2012 remain unresolved. With so many hit-and-run offenders getting away, prosecutors are aggressively prosecuting those who are arrested. It’s a crime you really do not want to be charged with in southern California these days.

In our state, it’s a felony to flee the scene of an accident that kills or severely injures someone, and a conviction can mean up to four years in prison and $10,000 in fines. Even in misdemeanor hit-and-run cases with no serious injuries, you could face up to $1,000 in fines and up to a year in jail. If you’re charged with hit-and-run in Orange County or elsewhere in southern California, do not plead guilty, and do not try to act as your own attorney. Get trustworthy legal representation instead, and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer at once.

DESTROYING EVIDENCE WILL NOT HELP YOUR CASE

Posted on: February 18, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 132, 134, 135

Orange County criminal defense attorneyRandy Daniel Shattuck of San Jose was sentenced on September 5, 2013 to 21 months in prison for destroying evidence. The judge also imposed a fine of $3,000 and sentenced the defendant to three years of supervised release. It’s always right and natural to protect ourselves and our freedom. Sometimes, however, some of us go about it the wrong way. In California, it’s illegal to conceal or destroy evidence that you know is relevant to a trial or to any other legal investigation or proceeding. If you’re being investigated for a crime or if you’re accused of destroying evidence, get legal help at once and speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney. Even if the evidence is important only in a non-criminal proceeding like a personal injury case or a divorce, it’s still illegal to destroy or conceal it.

California Penal Code 135 makes it a crime to destroy or conceal evidence, but it is a crime only if you know that the evidence is going to be used as evidence and only if you destroy it “willfully.” It can put some people in a dilemma. You have a right not to incriminate yourself, but you cannot dispose of or hide evidence that might be considered incriminating. If you end up in this situation for any reason, speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Lawyer-client confidentiality will apply, but your attorney can only offer sound legal advice after learning the complete details of your situation.

Destroying or concealing evidence is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Offering false written or false physical evidence in any California legal proceeding is a felony punishable by 16 to 36 months in prison under California Penal Code 132 and 134. If you’re charged with DUI, a drug or sex crime, or a theft, fraud, or robbery in Orange County, or if you have any concerns about evidence that may be in your possession, get the legal advice you need and consult immediately with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

DUI’S AND PROFESSIONAL LICENSING DON’T MIX!

Posted on: February 16, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Code 23103 and 23103.5

Orange County DUI defense attorneyA DUI accusation is something that you very much want to avoid if you’re a professional person in southern California. In addition to the criminal DUI charge and the DMV’s action to suspend your driver’s license, the group that issues your professional license may impose even more penalties. If you are a professional in Orange County, let an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney provide the legal assistance you need if a licensing board takes action against you.

The possibility of addiction is a primary issue for most licensing boards. You may need witnesses and evidence to demonstrate that your DUI charge was an isolated incident and that you are not addicted to alcohol or any other substance. Licensing boards are also concerned with crimes of moral “turpitude,” a depraved act of thoughtless disregard for the welfare of others. In southern California, an experienced DUI defense lawyer can help professional persons challenge disciplinary actions based on a DUI charge including the revocation or denial of your professional license or certification. Accountants, attorneys, real estate agents, civil engineers, physicians, nurses, pilots, contractors, dentists, pharmacists, and teachers are just some the professionals in California whose licenses may be revoked or denied on the basis of a DUI charge or conviction.

If you are a professional accused of DUI in Orange County under California Vehicle Code 23103 and 23103.5, do not plead guilty, and do not try to act as your own attorney. Instead, get legal help at once. A good DUI lawyer can also help professionals in Orange County deal with professional licensing boards, but do not wait to obtain that help. If you are charged with DUI in Orange County or elsewhere in southern California, safeguard your career and let an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney fight for justice on your behalf.

APPEALING DUI CONVICTIONS ARE POSSIBLE

Posted on: February 13, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Code 23103 and 23103.5

Orange County DUI defense attorneyIf you make the choice to appeal a DUI conviction in California, make sure that your decision is reasonable rather than emotional. Appealing a DUI conviction can be a long and difficult challenge in the California court system. Still, if you believe that you were wrongly convicted, you may be able to appeal your conviction. Be sure you’ve obtained the counsel of an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney before making any final decision.

Don’t appeal your DUI conviction merely as a ruse to avoid some of its legal consequences; you should only appeal a DUI conviction when you genuinely believe that you are innocent. A good DUI defense lawyer can help you determine if sufficient grounds exist for potentially overturning your DUI conviction. Success is more likely if you work with an experienced DUI defense lawyer.

Legal grounds for appealing a DUI conviction may include false arrest, lack of evidence, or jury or prosecutorial misconduct. If you’re convicted of a misdemeanor DUI under California Vehicle Code 23103 and 23103.5, you have only 30 days to file an appeal with the Appellate Division of the Superior Court. A felony DUI appeal also must be filed within 30 days. A prosecutor has already proven guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt,” so an appeal must convince the court that the conviction was made in error. Appealing a felony DUI conviction can take up to a year.

When you genuinely believe in your innocence, seek the advice of an experienced California DUI defense attorney regarding an appeal. If a good DUI lawyer agrees that you have grounds to overturn the conviction, that lawyer can fight diligently to defend your rights and set the record straight. If you’re considering an appeal, or if you’re facing any DUI-related charge in Orange County, speak at once to an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney.

KIDNAPPING

Posted on: February 11, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 207, 208, 209, and 209.5

Orange County criminal defense attorneyWhen someone is convicted of kidnapping in California, that person faces up to eight years in prison. However, sometimes what’s happened is a mistake or a misunderstanding rather than an actual kidnapping. These are the three elements that constitute kidnapping in California and the elements that the state must prove to convict a kidnapping defendant:

1. A kidnapper took, held, or detained someone by force or by instilling reasonable fear.
2. A kidnapper moved the victim or made the victim move a substantial distance.
3. The victim did not consent to that movement or was too young to consent.

If you’re charged with kidnapping in Orange County, get the legal representation that you’re very much going to need and speak immediately to an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney. Kidnapping is a serious felony and a “strike” crime under California’s Three Strikes Law. Aggravated kidnapping is an even more serious crime. Aggravated kidnapping happens when force, fear, or fraud is used and the victim is a child under age 14; when a kidnapper makes a ransom demand; when a victim sustains serious injuries or dies; or when a kidnapping is linked to a carjacking or another other crime. Life in prison can be the penalty for aggravated kidnapping in California.

A kidnapping charge is not the equivalent of a conviction. If you actually believed that an alleged victim was accompanying you voluntarily and you had no criminal intent, that’s a defense; sometimes kidnapping claims are completely fabricated and only later discredited by a skilled defense attorney. Some kidnapping cases also depend on the exact interpretation of the terms “movement” and “substantial distance.” If you pull a person into the next room, it’s probably battery, but it’s not kidnapping. Get legal representation if you are charged with kidnapping in southern California and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney at once.

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MILLIONS SPENT ON KEEPING AN EYE ON SEX OFFENDERS

Posted on: February 9, 2015 by in Criminal Defense, Sex Crimes
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California Penal Code 243.4, 261, and 261.5

Orange County criminal defense attorneyParoled sex offenders in the state of California must take periodic lie detector tests and participate in more treatment programs in response to calls for stricter oversight. In 2014, the state spent about $8.5 million on contractors who provide polygraph exams, treatment programs, and other sex offender services, and lawmakers plan to more than double that amount this year. If you are convicted of a rape or sexual battery in California, it’s a conviction that will follow you for the rest of your life. If you are charged with any sex crime in Orange County, it’s a serious matter. Get serious legal help immediately and arrange to speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

The state is working to identify California’s most dangerous sex offenders and to reduce parole caseloads. The idea is for parole agents who oversee the highest-risk offenders to handle fewer cases than their colleagues who manage lower-risk offenders. Additional polygraph exams will help parole agents confirm that offenders are complying with their release conditions. Parolees could be asked about attendance at 12-step addiction programs or inappropriate contact with other convicts. All sex offender parolees are now required to participate in specially-designed treatment programs. Previously, only high-risk offenders had to do that. California now has more than 7,000 paroled sex offenders.

You very much want to avoid being convicted for any sex crime in California. Sometimes sex crime charges are based on mistakes, misunderstandings, misidentifications, or false accusations. A good criminal defense lawyer is often able to offer real legal help to clients facing any of these charges. If you face any charge for any sex crime or sex-related crime in Orange County or anywhere in southern California, for the high-quality defense representation you need and deserve, contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.

WHAT THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT TELLING YOU, COULD BENEFIT YOU!

Posted on: February 6, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyIt’s the 21st century and we live in a surveillance society. You probably already know about the government’s ability to track your cell phone calls and monitor your online activity. What you may not know about is the StingRay device, an intrusive cell phone surveillance technology more-or-less secretly used by law enforcement. Courts are now rejecting the use of this device and the secrecy that surrounds it. If you are charged with a sex crime, a drug crime, or a theft or robbery in Orange County based on evidence gathered by a StingRay device or some other surveillance technology, get legal help immediately and discuss your case at once with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

An IMSI catcher – commonly called a StingRay – functions like a cell tower. It can track a suspect’s location and provide other information. The federal government has been using StingRay devices since at least 1995. Although the StingRay is now commonly used by federal, state, and local law enforcement, they’ve all tried to hide their use of StingRay devices. In one Maryland case last year, a judge suppressed cell phone evidence after the police refused to explain how they used it to locate their suspect in the case. In another Maryland case, a prosecutor withdrew the evidence gathered by the device and dropped all charges against the suspect.

If you are prosecuted for a crime based on evidence gathered by surveillance technology, you will need an aggressive defense attorney who will insist on full details and complete disclosure regarding the surveillance. If your rights were violated by the police, a good defense lawyer can use that violation to your advantage. If you’re accused of any sex, drug, theft, or robbery crime in Orange County, get legal help and arrange to speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately.

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CALIFORNIA CRIME RATES TAKE A CLIFF DIVE

Posted on: February 4, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense lawyerWe may have some problems in California, but FBI and California Department of Justice crime statistics are telling us that the crime rate is dropping in our state. Figures are not yet available for 2014, but the statistics for 2013 confirm that the crime rate hasn’t been this low in California in almost fifty years. Both violent crimes (such as robberies and assaults) and property crimes (such as burglary and auto theft) are down. Still, if you face a drug or sex crime charge, a DUI charge, or a theft, fraud, or robbery charge in Orange County, you should arrange to speak at once with an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

California’s crime figures are extraordinary when you consider that California’s population has boomed in the last several decades. Even with more development, more cars, and more people, the statistics verify that crime is dropping and Californians are safer. In 1992, for example, the violent crime rate was 1,120 violent crimes per 100,000 residents; in 2013, that rate dropped to 422. Only one percent of the violent crimes in California in 2013 were homicides. And in Orange, Los Angeles, and Riverside counties, the number of violent crimes dropped by more than ten percent.

Incarceration, probation, fines, counseling, and community service are some of the tools available to California courts. Depending on the crime, there may be additional penalties such as sex offender registration or mandatory use of an IID device for DUI offenders. Beyond the legal penalties, any criminal conviction can negatively impact your life – and especially your employment opportunities – for years to come. If you are arrested for DUI, a drug or sex crime, or a fraud or robbery in Orange County, politely exercise your right to remain silent, and do not put your future or your freedom even more at risk. Instead, get legal help promptly from someone who can fight for justice on your behalf, and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer immediately.