THE MORE DUI’S YOU HAVE, THE WORSE THE PUNISHMENT BECOMES

Posted on: January 9, 2015 by in DUI
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Orange County DUI defense attorneyCalifornia Vehicle Code 23103 and 23152. In California, your fourth DUI is a felony. If you are charged with DUI – whether it’s a first offense or you’ve been convicted previously – you’ll need to obtain legal counsel immediately and contact an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney. In Colorado, a man named Danny Lovern was charged last year with DUI for the sixteenth time. Subsequent DUIs are not felonies in Colorado. In California, a fourth or subsequent DUI is a felony, but the maximum sentence for a sixteenth DUI in Colorado is a year in jail. The Colorado prosecutor took Lovern’s case before a grand jury, and grand jurors indicted him on assault and attempted manslaughter. They determined that for Lovern, simply getting behind the wheel while impaired constituted the assault and attempted manslaughter of anyone who might be on the road with him.

Almost anyone can make a mistake or be in the wrong place at the wrong time. When you’ve been convicted of DUI two or even three times, you can still say it was just a bad break, and you can be much more cautious about avoiding drinking and driving. But what should the law do about the person busted for DUI for the umpteenth time, someone who isn’t helped by DUI classes or rehab and who isn’t concerned about the law? When should the state simply say that enough is enough?

California’s system, for all of its faults, may offer a more effective approach than Colorado’s. Under California Vehicle Codes 23103 and 23152, beginning with someone’s fourth offense, DUIs in California are felonies, so the more chronic offenders are punished more harshly and serve longer terms than first-time and second-time offenders. Thus, it’s unlikely that a case like Danny Lovern’s could happen in California. But if you face a DUI charge in southern California, now or in the future, take your case at once to an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney.

When The Clock Runs Out

Posted on: January 7, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyStatutes of limitations restrict the amount of time prosecutors have to charge someone for a crime. The statutes differ for different crimes, and for the same crime, they differ from state to state. If you’re accused of DUI, a drug or sex crime, or a fraud or robbery in southern California, contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately. It’s rare for the authorities to make a mistake regarding the statute of limitations, but if the statute has expired for the crime you’re accused of committing, in most cases a good defense attorney will be able to resolve the mistake quickly.

California has complicated statutes of limitations for criminal cases. For crimes punishable by death or by life in prison, there is no statute of limitations. California has different statutes of limitations for a number of different offenses, and there are various exceptions, but generally speaking:

– For misdemeanors, the statute of limitations is a year.

– For felonies punishable by 8 or more years in prison, the statute of limitations is 6 years.

– For other felonies, the statute of limitations is 3 years.

California’s tolling provisions can give prosecutors additional time to file criminal charges. Consult a criminal defense attorney if you need help determining how the statute of limitations may impact your particular case or situation.

Today, the way we think about statutes of limitations is changing. Some states now begin the statute of limitations period for sex crimes from the date that DNA establishes a suspect’s identity – without regard to how long ago the crime actually occurred. In most cases involving minors, most states now provide that the statute of limitations begins only when the victim turns 18. In Orange County, if you’re accused of DUI, a drug or sex crime, or a fraud or robbery, or if you have any concerns about how a statute of limitations impacts a case that involves you, speak to an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately.

What Grand Juries Do

Posted on: January 5, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense lawyerAfter a grand jury announced in November that it would not indict a Missouri police officer in the shooting of a young man named Michael Brown, many asked, “What exactly is a grand jury?” A grand jury is a group of people who can indict you for a crime – that’s the important thing to know. If a prosecutor takes your criminal case to a grand jury in southern California, you’ll very much require the advice and services of an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

Because their proceedings are conducted confidentially, grand juries have become a somewhat enigmatic part of the U.S. legal system. A grand jury is convened by a prosecutor to help the prosecutor decide if charges should be filed in a specific criminal case. Grand jurors are free to scrutinize almost any evidence and to examine almost anyone as a witness. Grand jury hearings are conducted behind closed doors; the identities of witnesses are kept secret to encourage them to speak freely. Attorneys may not accompany witnesses into the hearing room, and grand jury proceedings do not allow defense arguments or rebuttals. At its most basic, a grand jury really isn’t a public proceeding at all; it’s an investigative tool – nothing more – used by prosecutors to help them make decisions to charge or not to charge individuals with specific crimes.

Although a prosecutor will seriously consider a grand jury’s decision – and will in most cases agree with it – a grand jury’s conclusion is not binding; the prosecutor may still file a criminal charge. Whether or not your case goes before a grand jury, if you’re charged any felony or misdemeanor drug, sex, theft, or DUI crime in Orange County or elsewhere in southern California, speak at once with an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer for the legal advice and defense representation that you are very much going to require.

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Plea Bargains

Posted on: January 2, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyMost criminal cases in Orange County are decided when the defense and the prosecution agree to a plea bargain. The defendant in a plea bargain agrees to plead guilty to one or more charges. The prosecutor agrees to drop the other charges, reduce them, or recommend a lesser sentence. For example, in a California DUI case, a defendant may plead guilty to the lower “wet reckless” charge and accept the less severe consequences. You may be able – in some cases – to avoid jail time by accepting a plea bargain. Nevertheless, if you face a DUI charge, a drug or sex crime charge, or a theft, fraud, or robbery charge in Orange County, before you agree to any plea bargain, speak first with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

Sometimes a plea bargain agreement can be reached early in a case, even at the arraignment; in other cases, prosecutors have offered and defendants have accepted plea bargains while a jury is in deliberations. Plea bargains are good for the courts; they reduce the number of costly trials. Plea bargains benefit defendants, who avoid the harshest penalties. Finally, plea bargains are also good for prosecutors, because a conviction on reduced charges is still a conviction.

Should you accept a plea bargain if you’re charged in Orange County with a serious crime? The answer, of course, hinges on the nature of the offense and the details of your specific case. Just remember that prosecutors offer plea bargains to serve their own interests, and any plea bargain may or may not be in your own best interests. Don’t agree to anything before consulting with a good criminal defense lawyer. If you’re accused of DUI, a drug or sex crime, or a fraud or robbery in southern California, don’t wait to make the call. Contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately.

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About Identity Theft

Posted on: December 29, 2014 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense lawyerCalifornia Penal Code 530.5. If you steal someone else’s identity to commit fraud, you are guilty of the crime of identity theft. Even if you never actually use the other person’s identity, just stealing it with the intention of using it is a crime under California Penal Code 530.5. Additionally, if you sell or give another person’s “identity” to a third person, it may also be considered identity theft. If you are charged with identity theft in Orange County, get legal help at once by arranging to speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

Personal ID information can include but is not limited to a person’s name, thumbprint, driver’s license number, Social Security number, bank account number, debit or credit card numbers, passport number, tax identification number, and computer passwords. Depending on the details of the alleged crime, identity theft can be prosecuted in California as either a felony or as a misdemeanor. Identity theft is typically linked to another theft or fraud crime such as forgery, embezzlement, insurance fraud, healthcare fraud, or elder abuse.

Still, to convict you of identity theft, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you had criminal intent. If you obtained someone else’s “identity” innocently or accidentally, or if you’ve been misidentified or falsely accused, in most cases a good criminal defense attorney should be able to prove it. However, it is much harder to argue that you are innocent if you are involved in a subsequent fraud or theft that is tied to the original identity theft.

You must protect your rights and your future if you are charged with identity theft in Orange County. Make certain that you are properly represented and defended. If you’re charged with identity theft or with any crime related to an identity theft, you must have a knowledgeable attorney with considerable experience representing white-collar crime defendants. Contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer immediately.

Pot Through The Mail

Posted on: December 26, 2014 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyCalifornia Health and Safety Code 11360 and 11361. If you’re caught with less than an ounce of pot, the fine is a hundred dollars, and it’s not even a misdemeanor. Licensed dispensaries sell plenty of medical marijuana to patients referred to them by doctors. You might even that marijuana is legal in this state. Think again. If you are charged with the sale or distribution of marijuana in California, it’s a felony. And don’t even think about sending pot through the mail. If you’re accused of selling or distributing marijuana in Orange County, contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately.

If you’re caught trying to send pot through the U.S. Postal Service, you can be prosecuted for sale and transportation of marijuana under California Health and Safety Code 11360; if you are convicted, you could serve two to four years in prison, although most offenders are put on formal probation for all or part of the term. Proposition 47 did not affect California Health and Safety Code 11360, so sending pot in the mail is still a felony in our state. The sale or delivery of any amount of marijuana to a minor is a felony punishable by 3 to 7 years in prison under California Health and Safety Code 11361.

When you’re caught trying to mail marijuana, you may be apprehended at the post office or immediately after you leave there. Alternatively, you could receive a notice weeks later that you are being charged with a felony and you must show up for an arraignment. Either way, you’re going to need skilled and trustworthy legal help right away. If you’re charged with shipping marijuana through the mail, or if you’re accused of any marijuana-related crime in Orange County, put your case immediately in the hands of an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney who can provide the aggressive legal representation you’ll need.

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Healthcare Fraud

Posted on: December 22, 2014 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyCalifornia Penal Code 550(a). Healthcare fraud in California includes medical insurance billing fraud, health insurance fraud, HMO fraud, Medicare fraud, and Medi-Cal Fraud. According to a recent AARP Bulletin, more than $60 billion dollars is lost every year in the United States to Medicare fraud. Most healthcare fraud crimes are charged against healthcare professionals accused of submitting inflated or fraudulent claims. If you are accused of healthcare fraud in Orange County or anywhere in California, retain legal representation at once by contacting an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.

Nearly 2,000 people have been charged with more than $6 billion in Medicare fraud since the Justice Department launched its Medicare Fraud Strike Force in 2007. In 2013, a record number of healthcare fraud cases were prosecuted nationally. In California, it’s also a crime to assist someone else in submitting a fraudulent claim, to solicit someone else to submit a fraudulent claim for you, or to engage in a conspiracy with others to submit a fraudulent claim.

If your work for a doctor or a clinic and you accidentally charged Medicare too much, or if you inadvertently mailed duplicate bills or bills for visits that never happened, you could be charged with Medicare fraud. The problem is that these mistakes are the same mistakes everybody makes: doing the math wrong, getting the numbers backwards, or putting the information on the wrong line on a form. Criminal intent can be difficult for a prosecutor to prove in these cases.

So, if you’re charged with healthcare fraud, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be convicted. A prosecutor still must prove your criminal intent and still must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If you’re charged with healthcare fraud in Orange County or anywhere in southern California, get the skilled and trustworthy legal help you need and take your case to an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately.

FIRST-OFFENSE DUI: Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Posted on: December 19, 2014 by in DUI
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Orange County DUI defense attorneyDUI is prosecuted as a serious crime in California, and those who are convicted cannot expect any leniency from the courts. If you’re charged with DUI in southern California, you’re going to need experienced and effective legal help immediately. Take your case at once to an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney if you’re accused of driving under the influence. 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 fines, fees, and other penalties
– completion of an alcohol education course

Sometimes a first-offense DUI charge can be reduced or entirely dismissed. A good DUI attorney may also be able to negotiate a satisfactory plea bargain: house arrest or probation, for example. Should your case go to trial, DUI test results can be challenged; prosecution witnesses can sometimes be discredited; and your own witnesses, including experts, can be called to testify on your behalf. DUI cases are sometimes also thrown out on constitutional grounds. However, a dismissal or a reduction of charges isn’t always possible. Sometimes the evidence is overwhelmingly against a defendant. You want an attorney who will candidly evaluate your case, tell you the bad news as well as the good, and provide frank advice.

With each subsequent DUI conviction in California, offenders face increasingly severe penalties; while it’s important to avoid a first conviction, it’s even more important to avoid a second or subsequent DUI conviction. While no guarantee can ever be made regarding the result of any particular case, if you are arrested for DUI in Orange County or elsewhere in southern California, your best hope for justice is to take your case immediately to an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney.

Prostitution: California Penal Code 647(b)

Posted on: December 17, 2014 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense lawyerAdmittedly, prostitution and solicitation are usually crimes that do not involve the use of force or violence, but the laws against prostitution and solicitation are still enforced and prosecuted aggressively in southern California. The law in California prohibits prostitution, offering to engage in prostitution (soliciting), or hiring or attempting to hire someone to engage in prostitution (also soliciting). Middle parties who arrange or profit from prostitution can also face criminal charges. If you’re accused of prostitution or any prostitution-related crime in Orange County, it’s imperative for you to obtain legal help immediately. Contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible.

Prostitution and solicitation charges are sometimes simply the result of mistakes or misunderstandings. It’s entirely possible that you were simply inappropriate, you had no criminal intent, and you were misinterpreted; it’s also possible that you’ve been misidentified or that you’ve been falsely accused. If you’re charged with one of these crimes, a prosecutor still has to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. No guarantee can ever be made regarding the result of any particular case, but a good defense lawyer can often have these kinds of charges reduced or dismissed entirely.

In California, prostitution and solicitation are misdemeanors under California Penal Code 647(b). For a first conviction on either charge, the potential penalties include up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. However, a good criminal defense attorney can offer real legal help to clients facing these kinds of charges. If you’re accused of prostitution or any prostitution-related crime in southern California, do not try to act as your own attorney, and do not plead guilty or accept any plea bargain before consulting a good defense lawyer. You’ll need trustworthy legal representation, so you’ll need to contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer immediately.

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Your Rights And The Law

Posted on: December 15, 2014 by in Criminal Defense
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man being arrestedEvery person in the United States has civil, legal, and constitutional rights, and one of the missions of the criminal justice system is to ensure that those rights are honored and protected. However, the way it works seldom resembles anything you might see on television. If you are arrested and charged with a crime, and the police do not inform you of your “Miranda” rights, it does not mean you can simply walk away with no consequences. However, if you face a DUI charge, a drug or sex crime charge, or a theft, fraud, or robbery charge in southern California, and you were not informed of your rights – or if those rights were violated by the police – get legal help promptly and speak at once with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

The U.S. Supreme Court established the principle of “Miranda rights” in the 1966 case Miranda v. Arizona. Since that time, the law requires police officers to explain your Miranda rights only after you have been formally arrested but before interrogating you. Your Miranda rights include: the right to remain silent and to know that anything you say can be used against you in a court of law; the right to have a lawyer present during any questioning; and the right to have an attorney appointed for you if you cannot afford one.

If the police interrogate you for any reason – whether they inform you or not – you always have the right to remain silent, and most defense attorneys will tell you to exercise that right. If you’re accused of any felony or misdemeanor drug, sex, theft, or DUI crime in southern California, now or in the future, speak at once with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney for the legal counsel and defense representation that you are very much going to need.