EXPUNGEMENT EXPLAINED

Posted on: November 9, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyCalifornia Penal Code 1203.4

More than 70 million people in the United States have a criminal record. That makes them subject to scores of federal and state laws and regulations that restrict their rights, from voting to housing and employment to owning a firearm or obtaining a driver’s license. While some of the regulations make good sense, others have nothing to do with the original crime and conviction. Some of the regulations are arbitrary, unfair, and unreasonable. If you’re routinely turned away by employers, a criminal record may be the reason why. With help from an experienced defense lawyer, most California misdemeanors and some felonies can be expunged under California Penal Code 1203.4. Learn more about having your criminal record expunged by speaking right away with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

The current system’s basic unfairness was highlighted in May. Although there is no federal legal procedure that allows for the expungement of federal criminal convictions, a District Court Judge in Brooklyn took it upon himself to expunge a conviction he had personally handed down a decade earlier. District Court Judge John Gleeson noted the “adverse impact” the conviction for a minor insurance fraud charge has had on one woman’s ability to obtain employment. In his decision, Judge Gleeson wrote: “I sentenced her to five years of probation supervision, not to a lifetime of unemployment.”

Expungement permanently seals a criminal record from the general public – employers, landlords, and anyone else checking into your background. However, if you served a sentence in a California state prison, you are not eligible for expungement. Otherwise, if you need to have a criminal record expunged, speak with a criminal defense lawyer who routinely handles expungements on behalf of clients. Your attorney will review your record, and if you are eligible, your attorney will explain expungement and initiate the procedure. If something that happened years ago is preventing you from landing a job or is still detrimental to you in any other way, speak as quickly as you can with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

YOU, STOLEN PROPERTY, AND THE LAW

Posted on: November 6, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange Country criminal defense lawyerCalifornia Penal Code 496

California harshly penalizes defendants convicted of buying, receiving, hiding, selling, or otherwise keeping from its owner any property that they know is stolen property. If you are charged in Orange County with receiving or possessing stolen property, obtain high-quality defense representation as quickly as you can – contact an experienced Orange Country criminal defense lawyer immediately. Insist on your right to remain silent, do not try to act as your own attorney, and do not plead guilty before consulting with an experienced defense attorney. Instead, fight the charge with help from a lawyer who will investigate the case on your behalf, determine the truth, and advocate aggressively for the justice you need and deserve.

In California, the crime of receiving or possessing stolen property may be prosecuted as either a felony or as a misdemeanor. A conviction on the felony charge is punishable by 16 to 36 months behind bars and a fine of up to $10,000. A conviction on the misdemeanor charge is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. If you intended to return the property, or if you took or obtained the property by mistake – or while intoxicated – with no criminal intent, your lawyer will explain your intent and in some cases will be able to have the charge dismissed. If your case goes to trial, your attorney will explain what happened and ask for justice from a jury of your peers.

Witnesses forget details and evidence deteriorates or disappears if you don’t act swiftly. If you are charged with receiving or possessing stolen property in Orange County or anywhere else in southern California under California Penal Code 496, put a reliable attorney on the case right away. In fact, if you are charged with any theft or theft-related crime – robbery, burglary, auto theft, shoplifting, or embezzlement – make the call immediately to an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

LEWD BEHAVIOR OR INNOCENT CAMPING?

Posted on: November 4, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorney

California Penal Code 647(a)

Actress Dita de Leon has set up a campsite in the backyard of her home in the Hollywood Hills, and she rents a tent to visitors for $40 a night using the home-sharing website Airbnb.com. “I wanted to share the view, I wanted to share this amazing experience,” Ms. de Leon told KABC News. Residents of multi-million dollar homes in the neighborhood are outraged. Some claim to have seen guests openly engaging in sexual activity. One Los Angeles police officer who investigated the scene told KABC that Ms. de Leon has done nothing wrong and is not violating any laws.

If you are accused of lewd behavior in public in southern California, obtain legal help at once by contacting an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney. Lewd behavior happens when a person engages in sexual conduct in a public setting, especially for the purpose of sexual gratification or to annoy or offend another. Upon a conviction, lewd conduct is punishable in California by up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000 under California Penal Code 647(a).

Ms. de Leon says that she plans to continue to allow “friends” and guests to enjoy her land and her view. Clearly, public lewdness isn’t a crime of violence, but it’s generally thought of as vulgar and shameful, so it’s a crime that you do not want to be accused or convicted of. An arrest for a sex crime, of course, is not the equivalent of a conviction, but it does mean that you’ll need to fight the charge with help from an experienced California defense lawyer.

When a criminal accusation involves a sex crime – whether it’s a violent rape or someone exposing himself or herself in public – a defense attorney’s experience can sometimes mean the difference between going to prison and being acquitted. If you are accused of public lewdness or any similar crime in southern California, don’t wait. Discuss your case immediately with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

MOST COPS KNOW THE RULES

Posted on: November 2, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense lawyerEverybody knows that the police are not allowed to “entrap” suspects. It happens a lot more on television that it does in real life. In the movies and on TV, entrapment happens when a police officer sells illegal drugs and then busts the person who bought them or if a police officer poses as a prostitute, suggests a transaction, and then arrests the person who agrees to the transaction. In real life, these situations may or may not constitute entrapment – the details are what matter. If you are charged with a crime in Orange County or elsewhere in southern California, and if you believe that you have been the target of illegal entrapment by law enforcement officers, take your case immediately to an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

Legally speaking, an entrapment allegation hinges on a number of factors. If you set forth entrapment as your defense – unlike many other defenses – you will have to prove that you were actually entrapped. This means confessing that you committed the crime and trying to explain that you only did it because you were duped by the police. Entrapment is extremely difficult to prove in a court of law, and if you’re charged with a crime in southern California, your attorney may recommend an alternate approach.

The police understand the rules of entrapment, and undercover officers are particularly skilled and trained at not crossing the line. You may have the vague feeling that you were entrapped, but to use entrapment as a defense, you must be able to prove it. Let an experienced defense lawyer help. If you have been genuinely entrapped or if your rights have been violated in any way by the police, your attorney will fight aggressively for justice on your behalf. If you are charged with a drug crime, a sex crime, a white collar crime, a theft, or a DUI in Orange County or anywhere in southern California, arrange at once to discuss your case with an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

THE BEST WAY TO DEAL WITH DUI

Posted on: October 30, 2015 by in DUI
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Orange County DUI defense attorneyCalifornia Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

If you are charged with driving under the influence in Orange County or anywhere else in southern California, fight the charge and put your case immediately in the hands of an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney. Frankly, most DUI cases are quite routine and almost boring. They are misdemeanor cases involving first-time DUI offenders who didn’t hurt anyone or cause any damage. However, one recent DUI incident in Orange County could have been a thrilling scene in a spectacular Hollywood action film.

In October, an Anaheim police sergeant attempted to stop a vehicle for a traffic violation in the early morning hours. The driver refused to stop, and the subsequent pursuit reached 70 miles per hour on Anaheim streets, but it didn’t last long. The driver crashed into a fire hydrant and sent geysers of spraying water as much as 200 feet into the air. The vehicle then knocked down a fence and came to a stop after crashing into a tree in the front yard of a residence, according to Anaheim Police Department Sergeant Daron Wyatt. The suspect was hospitalized for minor injuries and then booked for failure to yield and for driving under the influence.

If you are charged with DUI in Orange County under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), don’t plead guilty unless an experienced DUI defense attorney recommends it in your case. If you’re accused of driving under the influence anywhere in southern California, you should know that working with a good DUI defense attorney is the best way to deal with the situation. A good DUI lawyer will protect your rights, explain the law and the options it gives you, and lead you through the legal process to the best possible conclusion of your DUI case. If you’re charged with DUI now or in the future in southern California, protect yourself and contact an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney immediately.

18 MORE MONTHS FOR IID PROGRAM

Posted on: October 28, 2015 by in DUI
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Orange County DUI defense attorneyCalifornia Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

If you are charged in Orange County or anywhere else in California with driving under the influence under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), take your case immediately to an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney. In Sacramento, Los Angeles, Alameda, and Tulare County, if you are convicted of DUI for the first time, you will have to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. You’ll pay about $100 for the installation, and you’ll also pay a monthly maintenance and rental fee.

California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 61 into law in September. The legislation extends for another eighteen months the four-county IID pilot program that was set to end in December. California established the pilot program in four counties in 2010 to determine if mandatory IID use is an effective tool against intoxicated driving. The IID pilot program will now extend through mid-2017, giving lawmakers additional time to study the effectiveness of the IID to reduce drunk driving. The IID requires a driver to “blow” a breath sample to start a motor vehicle. If the IID measures alcohol on the driver’s breath above a specified limit, the vehicle won’t start.

A DUI conviction can change your life in profound but very unpleasant ways. You’ll be fined, your driver’s license will be suspended, you’ll be put on probation, and you’ll have to attend DUI school. A jail sentence is also quite possible. Let an experienced DUI lawyer guide through each stage of the legal process, protect your rights, and fight aggressively on your behalf. Your attorney can challenge the legality of the traffic stop, the results of breathalyzer tests, and the veracity of the arresting officer’s testimony. No lawyer can ever promise a specific outcome in any criminal case, but the fact is that good DUI lawyers routinely prevail on behalf of their clients in southern California. If you are charged with DUI, speak at once to an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney.

AUTO THEFT CAN HAVE MANY VICTIMS

Posted on: October 26, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense lawyerCalifornia Penal Code 487(d)(1) and California Vehicle Code 10851

If you steal a car for a short spin and abandon it, you’ll probably be charged with joyriding. Grand theft auto is charged if you keep a stolen car or if you sell the car or the car parts. If you’re charged with either joyriding or with grand theft auto under California Penal Code 487(d)(1) or California Vehicle Code 10851, get legal help immediately and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer. One top-ranking Los Angeles County sheriff’s official recently learned that you can be a victim of auto theft in California even if no one steals your car.

Assistant Sheriff Michael Rothans bought a 2012 Audi A4 after it was seized by sheriff’s deputies from a suspected gang member at a DUI checkpoint. Rothans, the department’s third-ranking official, said he had no idea he was driving a stolen car until more than a year after buying it from Vernola’s Towing in Norwalk. Sheriff’s officials are prohibited from purchasing property that has been seized by the department, and the prohibition also applies to purchases made through a third party. Rothans said he considered the sale a private transaction between friends and thought it was permitted. It turns out that the vehicle was originally stolen from an Orange County car dealership.

Both grand theft auto and joyriding may be charged as misdemeanors or as felonies under California law. However, grand theft auto is almost always charged as a felony under California Penal Code 487(d)(1). If convicted of grand theft auto, you could serve 16 to 36 months in jail along with fines and probation. Joyriding, when it’s a first offense, is usually charged as a misdemeanor under California Vehicle Code 10851; even so, a misdemeanor conviction for joyriding is punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000. If you are accused of joyriding or grand theft auto, obtain the serious legal help that you’re very much going to need, and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer immediately.

HOW TO (SORT OF) CHANGE HISTORY

Posted on: October 23, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyCalifornia Penal Code 1203.4

Time travel stories are fun, but we all know that you can’t actually change history. However, if you’ve been convicted of a crime in California, you might be able to do the next-best thing, and have the conviction expunged. In the past it wasn’t always a pressing matter, but today potential employers – and potential landlords and even potential dates – can just click a mouse and see your criminal history. Anyone can conduct a damaging background check in just seconds. However, you may be able to have a criminal conviction expunged with the help of an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney. If you have a criminal conviction on your record, you’ll need to do all you can to overcome that stigma and enhance your ability to find work. When a conviction is expunged, you are honestly able to say that you do not have a criminal record.

However, not everyone with a conviction qualifies for an expungement. If you did time in a California state prison for your original sentence or for a parole violation, you are not eligible for expungement. Some California criminal convictions cannot be expunged, including sex offenses committed against children. In most other cases, however, you may expunge your criminal records under California Penal Code 1203.4 if you were convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor charge, you successfully completed probation, and you are not currently:

• charged with another crime
• on probation for another conviction
• serving a sentence for another conviction

A good Orange County criminal defense attorney can help. Items that a judge may consider during an expungement hearing include your criminal record, your probation performance, and the reason you are seeking the expungement (such as to obtain a good job to support your family). If you need to have a felony or a misdemeanor conviction expunged from your record in California, make the call immediately, and let an experienced criminal defense attorney help.

DON’T BRING THE BICYCLE

Posted on: October 21, 2015 by in DUI
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Orange County DUI lawyerCalifornia Vehicle Code 21200.5

31-year-old construction worker Matthew Riedel says that he would never drive a car while intoxicated, but he frequently rides a bicycle home – for six miles – after a night of drinking at the popular bars on Williamson Street in Madison, Wisconsin. Riedel told the Capital Times that he makes the ride “at least twice a week.” He’s able to do it because Wisconsin has no prohibition on bicycling while intoxicated. California, on the other hand, explicitly forbids cycling under the influence or “CUI.” Discuss your rights and options at once with an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer if you are charged with cycling under the influence in Orange County or anywhere else in southern California.

If you are convicted of CUI in California under California Vehicle Code 21200.5, you will not be sent to jail. However, you can be fined up to $250, you’ll establish a criminal record, and you’ll have a misdemeanor conviction on that record. If you are under 21, your driver’s license could also be suspended for a year. This year, if you observe the holidays with alcohol and friends, don’t ride the bicycle. Leave it at home. Instead, arrange to ride with a designated driver or call a cab, a limousine, or a ride-sharing service.

When your blood alcohol content (BAC) level reaches or exceeds 0.08 percent, you may not legally operate a bicycle, a boat, or any motor vehicle in the state of California. Even without a BAC measurement, if a law enforcement officer reasonably believes that you are too intoxicated to operate a bicycle, boat, or motor vehicle, you can be arrested and charged with BUI (boating under the influence), CUI, or DUI. If you are charged with any of these crimes over the holidays or in the new year, don’t plead guilty, and don’t fight the charge by yourself. Instead, contact an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer immediately.

HIT-AND-RUN: WHAT YOU MUST KNOW

Posted on: October 19, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense lawyerCalifornia Vehicle Codes 20001 and 20002

According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, a 19-year-old man was arrested in October in connection with a fatal hit-and-run. Sheriff’s investigators arrested Andrew Christopher Michaels at his Laguna Niguel residence. Cesar Medina, 23, was skateboarding and crossing at a green light in San Juan Capistrano when he was hit by a Dodge Ram truck, according to witnesses. The driver fled from the scene, and Medina was rushed to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, where he was declared dead. Sheriff’s investigators received information that led them the next day to Michaels’ home, where they found a Dodge Ram truck believed to be the one that struck Medina.

The details of a hit-and-run incident are key to determining a suspect’s ultimate guilt or innocence. Depending on the damage, injuries, and other circumstances of the case, California prosecutors may charge hit-and-run crimes as felonies or as misdemeanors, but if there’s an injury or a fatality, a hit-and-run is almost always a felony in California. If you are charged with a felony or a misdemeanor hit-and-run in southern California, you will need immediate, high-quality legal representation. You’ll need to contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible.

If you are convicted of misdemeanor hit-and-run under California Vehicle Code 20002, you face up to 6 months in jail, up to 3 years on probation, up to $1,000 in fines, restitution to any victim(s), and two points are placed on your driver’s license. If you are convicted of felony hit-and-run under California Vehicle Code 20001, the penalties can include a fine of $1,000 to $10,000, up to 3 years in prison, and up to 4 years if the accident caused a fatality or a serious injury. If you are charged with hit-and-run in Orange County for any reason, now or in the future, put your case promptly in the hands of an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.