WHEN THE CRIME RATE RISES

Posted on: August 31, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyIf you are arrested and charged in Orange County with driving under the influence, robbery, theft, a sex crime, or a drug crime, contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney at once. The crime rate is up this year in southern California, and when crime goes up, so do arrests. When arrests go up, sometimes innocent people can be accused of crimes that they didn’t commit. If that happens to you, get reliable legal assistance as quickly as possible.

According to the Los Angeles Times, in the first half of 2015, crime in Los Angeles was up by 12.7 percent; crimes were up in every category except for murders. Other violent crimes in Los Angeles increased by more than 20 percent. Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck attribute the increase to rising gang violence, an escalation in the number of homeless persons, and a ballot measure that voters approved in November that reduces felony drug possession and theft charges to misdemeanors.

No one should miscalculate the unavoidable role that media pressure, public opinion, and politics plays in many California criminal prosecutions. Judges want to be re-elected, prosecutors want to win convictions, and the police want criminals off the street. When the crime rate is up, the public expects law enforcement authorities to “crack down” on crime and make more arrests. A good criminal defense attorney understands how these pressures might impact your case.

Dealing with criminal charges is never easy for anyone, but if you’re accused of a robbery or theft, a drug crime or sex crime, or DUI in Orange County, exercise your right to remain silent and do not try to act as your own lawyer. Instead, act to protect your freedom and your future. Retain the high-quality legal counsel that you’re very much going to need, and speak immediately to an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

THE CONSEQUENCES OF HIT-AND-RUN

Posted on: August 27, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Vehicle Codes 20001 and 20002

Orange County criminal defense lawyerHit-and-run collisions involving bicyclists rose by 42 percent from 2002 to 2012 in Los Angeles County, according to a recent report in the Los Angeles Times. Hit-and-run accidents involving bicyclists are also on the rise in Orange County. If you are involved in a traffic collision in Orange County, do not leave the scene. Under California Vehicle Code 20002, a misdemeanor hit-and-run conviction is punishable by up to six months in jail and up to three years on probation, a fine of up to $1,000, restitution to any victim(s), and two points on your driver’s license. If you are charged with hit-and-run in Orange County, contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer immediately.

If you damage property and leave without identifying yourself and providing contact information, you may be slapped with a misdemeanor hit-and-run charge. However, if you cause a personal injury or if you are responsible for a fatality, the hit-and-run will almost certainly be prosecuted as a felony. If you are convicted of felony hit-and-run under California Vehicle Code 20001, the penalties can include a fine of up to $10,000, up to three years behind bars, and up to four years if you caused a serious injury or fatality. Even if you crash into an empty property or an unattended vehicle, you are required by law to leave your name and contact information for the owner.

Talk To A Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Where the traffic is heavy – like it is in many of California’s large cities – hit-and-run happens more. With so much chaotic activity in downtown urban settings, it’s no surprise that drivers are sometimes wrongly charged with hit-and-run. When collisions draw crowds, investigating police officers can easily get confused and make mistakes. If you charged with hit-and-run – leaving the scene of an accident – retain trustworthy legal counsel as quickly as possible. Put an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer to work fighting for justice on your behalf, and don’t wait to make the call.

WHEN A DUI CHARGE IS A FELONY

Posted on: August 26, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County DUI lawyerYou can conceivably be charged with what the courts in California call a “Watson murder” – a second-degree murder charge – if you cause someone’s death while you are driving under the influence. DUI is typically a misdemeanor in California, but even without a fatality, there are several ways that a DUI violation can be charged as a felony. If you are accused of either felony or misdemeanor DUI now or in the future in southern California, contact an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer as quickly as possible.

In California, if you have three DUI convictions and you are charged with the crime for a fourth time – within a ten-year timeframe – that fourth DUI charge will be a felony charge. “Wet reckless” convictions are considered DUI convictions when counting prior offenses. If you have previously been convicted of a felony DUI – at any time – and you are charged again with DUI, you’ll again face a felony charge. If you cause an accident while driving under the influence and that accident results in a death, you can be charged with vehicular homicide or with the second-degree “Watson” murder. There’s no better reason to take a taxi or to find some other alternative to driving under the influence.

In Orange County, if you’re charged with driving under the influence under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b) – as a misdemeanor or as a felony – retain the advice and services of a good DUI defense attorney immediately. You can go to jail for a year in this state for a conviction on the misdemeanor charge alone, so having legal representation is imperative. A good DUI attorney knows how to challenge blood test results and the testimony of prosecution witnesses. No result can ever be promised regarding the outcome of any criminal case, but savvy DUI attorneys win cases routinely for their clients in southern California, and when the evidence against a client is overwhelming, DUI attorneys help arrange for reduced or alternative sentencing. If you’re charged with DUI in Orange County, don’t wait – call an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer right away.

A SHAMEFUL AND HUMILIATING ACCUSATION

Posted on: August 24, 2015 by in Sex Crimes
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California Penal Codes 647(a), 647(b), 266(h), and 261(i)

Sexual-AssaultIn another crime story out of New York City, undercover female subway cops are being assigned this summer to fight a rise in sex crimes on the New York subways. For the most part, the subway cops aren’t fighting rapists and violent criminals. Groping and public lewdness are the predominant subway sex crimes in New York. In southern California, crimes like groping, solicitation, and lewd conduct – while not necessarily violent – are still nevertheless prosecuted aggressively. If you are charged with a sex crime under California Penal Codes 647(a), 647(b), 266(h), or 261(i), contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer at once for the legal help you will very much need.

Obviously, public lewdness isn’t homicide, but it’s generally thought of as humiliating and shameful, and it’s a crime you don’t want to be charged with or convicted of. An arrest for a sex crime, of course, does not mean that you’ll be convicted, but it does mean that you’ll need to fight the charge with help from an experienced California defense lawyer. You may have been wrongly identified, or the incident could have been just a big mistake or misunderstanding. Alternately, you may be the victim of a false accusation. If you’re charged with public lewdness or any other sex crime in Orange County, let a good criminal defense lawyer find out what really happened and advocate for justice on your behalf.

When a criminal charge involves a crime of a sexual nature – whether it’s a violent rape or someone exposing himself or herself on a subway – your defense lawyer’s experience and training can mean the difference between a conviction and an acquittal. If you are accused of public lewdness or any other crime of a sexual nature in Orange County or elsewhere in southern California, don’t wait. Get help at once. Arrange immediately speak about your case with an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

“MIRANDA” RIGHTS AND YOU

Posted on: August 21, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense lawyerEvery adult in the United States knows that they have legal rights that the criminal justice system is bound to honor and respect. Since the Supreme Court’s 1966 ruling in the case of Miranda vs. Arizona, law enforcement officers are required by law to explain your “Miranda rights” only after you have been formally arrested and prior to questioning you. It’s not like television – if the police do not read your Miranda rights, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you get to “walk” and that the charges will be dropped. In real life, as you might expect, it’s a little more complicated than that. In Orange County, if you are charged with a drug crime or a sex crime, a robbery, theft, or DUI, retain the legal help you need by contacting an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer at once. Your Miranda rights are:

  • You have the right to remain silent and to know that anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.
  • You have the right to have an attorney present during any questioning.
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, you have the right to have an attorney appointed for you by the court.

Whether or not the police “read” your rights to you, and whether or not you are under investigation or arrest, you have those rights. Exercise them politely. If you’re questioned by the police either before or after an arrest – or merely as part of an investigation – simply and cooperatively explain that you choose to remain silent and that you want an attorney present during any questioning. Police officers know the rules, and most of them will honor your request. If you’re charged with a felony or misdemeanor drug, sex, theft, or DUI crime in southern California, now or in the future, you’re going to need fast, high-quality legal representation. It’s imperative after an arrest – arrange as quickly as possible to consult with an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

“ENHANCEMENTS” TO DUI SENTENCES

Posted on: August 19, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County DUI defense attorneyIf you’ve recently read that your local police agency is “cracking down” on driving under the influence, it’s nothing new. You could have read the very same news story half-a-century ago. And while fewer people die in alcohol-related crashes now than died fifty years back, all of the fines, penalties, and warnings seem powerless to keep a few genuinely dangerous drivers off the street. If you’re charged with driving under the influence in Orange County, get legal help immediately. Contact an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney as quickly as possible.

The never-ending “crackdown” on DUI has resulted in “enhanced” sentences in California. What that means is that when you are convicted for DUI, your sentence can be lengthier if – for example – you were speeding or you had a child under 14 as a passenger. Here’s a list of the sentencing enhancements that apply in California DUI cases:

  • High blood-alcohol content (BAC) reading: The state enhances a DUI sentence when a driver’s blood-alcohol content level reaches or surpasses 0.15 percent, almost twice the legal limit.
  • Previous convictions: If you were convicted of DUI in the last 10 years, your minimum jail time, DUI school attendance time, and license suspension duration may all be “enhanced” as part of your sentence.
  • Speeding or reckless driving: If the offender was driving 20 or more miles-per-hour over the limit (or 30 or more miles-per-hour over the limit on a highway), a DUI sentence will be enhanced.
  • Accidents and injuries: Property damage is a DUI penalty enhancement, but if an impaired driver injures anyone, the DUI will probably be charged as a felony.
  • Endangering a child: An enhancement is imposed if anyone under 14 is in a vehicle when the driver is pulled over for suspicion of DUI.

An experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney can challenge the prosecutor’s case and advocate on your behalf if you are prosecuted for DUI under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b). Whether or not you also face enhancement charges, if you’re accused of DUI now or in the future, contact an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney as quickly as possible.

WILL “HUNCHLAB” INFRINGE ON YOUR RIGHTS?

Posted on: August 17, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyEven in 2015, a criminal act still must be committed before you can be charged with it, and if you are charged with a drug, sex, or theft crime in Orange County, you’ll need to contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible. If you saw the film Minority Report, you know it’s about a police team that works to stop crimes before they happen. It hasn’t come to California yet, but there’s now a software program that gives the police tools to fight crime before it happens. It’s called “HunchLab.” It’s being used in Philadelphia, and the New York Police Department (NYPD) is giving the program a two-year trial run.

Here’s what the Hunchlab website says: “HunchLab is a web-based predictive policing system. Advanced statistical models automatically include concepts such as aoristic temporal analysis, seasonality, risk terrain modeling, near repeats, and collective efficacy to best forecast when and where crimes are likely to emerge.” What all that simply means is that the software merges a great deal of data – times, dates, weather, location, socioeconomic factors, and historic crime levels – to predict where and when certain kinds of crimes are likely to occur. The NYPD will test Hunchlab in several police precincts over the next two years.

The idea of ‘predictive policing” has civil liberties activists worried that HunchLab could infringe on the civil liberties of the innocent. But HunchLab isn’t science fiction, and the fact is, a crime still must occur before you or anyone else can be arrested for it. If you’re accused of a crime in southern California, get legal help immediately. In Orange County, if you are charged with a sex crime, a drug crime, an assault, theft, or robbery, don’t take any further risks. Get the legal help you really need and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately.

CRIMINAL THREATS ARE SERIOUS BUSINESS

Posted on: August 14, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 422

Orange County criminal defense lawyerMaking terrorist or criminal threats is against the law in California. A terrorist or criminal threat is a threat to do violence to, hurt, injure, or kill others with the intention of frightening or intimidating others or sparking panic. Criminal threats are made in writing, by phone, electronically, or personally. Terrorist or criminal threats include phoning in bomb threats, sending threatening texts or emails, terrorizing or threatening anyone for a political or religious reason, threatening to hurt your spouse or partner or ex-spouse or ex-partner, or simply threatening a neighbor or anyone else with harm.

If you are arrested and charged with making a criminal or terrorist threat under California Penal Code 422 – even if you simply meant it as a joke and you were misunderstood – you’re going to need high-quality legal help fast. You’ll need to contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer at once. Before you can be convicted of making a criminal threat, the state must prove these elements of the crime:

  • You intentionally threatened to kill or inflict physical harm on another person or persons, or you threatened violence against a building, structure, or facility.
  • You made the threat to be understood as a threat.
  • The threat conveyed seriousness and the immediate prospect of violence.
  • The threat was believed, and it caused sustained fear in the victim, beyond what is momentary, fleeting, or transitory.
  • You had the willingness, resources, and ability to carry out the threat.

In California, a criminal threat may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or as a felony, depending on the gravity of the threat, its result, and the prosecutor’s discretion. To win a conviction, the prosecution must prove all five of the elements listed here. If you are charged with making criminal or terrorist threats in southern California, it’s entirely possible that you were innocent or that you were legally protected when you spoke – in self-defense or in the exercise of your freedom of speech. If you’re accused of making criminal threats in Orange County, now or in the future, contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer promptly.

THEY NEED A WARRANT TO SEARCH YOUR PHONE

Posted on: August 12, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyThe U.S. Constitution promises legal rights to every person in the United States, and all of us should know precisely what those rights are. For example, if you are stopped by a law enforcement officer when you’re driving, and the officer asks to search your cell phone, he or she must either obtain your consent to the search or obtain a warrant. In Orange County, if you are arrested and charged with a crime because of something a police officer found on your cell phone, discuss your case at once with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

Many of us store a considerable amount of private personal information on our cell phones: addresses and telephone numbers, personal photographs, and even financial information. Police are forbidden to search your cell phone without your consent – or without a warrant – as a result of last year’s Supreme Court decision in the case Riley v. California. In that ruling, the majority of the justices determined that your cell phone merits the same legal protections as your residence.

If you are pulled over by the police, and an officer asks to search your cell phone, politely refuse. If you consent, anything discovered on your cell phone can be used against you in a court of law. Most of these incidents could be described as “fishing expeditions,” because if the police genuinely believe your phone has evidence they need, they’ll obtain a warrant. If you’re arrested for a crime on the basis of other evidence, the police may confiscate your phone until they have a warrant. In Orange County, if you are arrested for a theft or a robbery, a drug crime, or a sex crime because of evidence that was found on your cell phone, or if you believe that your phone, vehicle, home, or place of business was searched in violation of your constitutional rights, discuss your case immediately with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

FELONY OR MISDEMEANOR?

Posted on: August 10, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County criminal defense lawyerIn the state of California, like every other state, most crimes are either felonies or misdemeanors. However, in California, a third group of crimes may be prosecuted either as felonies or as misdemeanors. The crimes that can be charged either as felonies or misdemeanors are called “wobblers.” The way the case is prosecuted depends on the details of the alleged crime and the defendant’s previous criminal history. In Orange County, if you’re charged with any crime that’s a wobbler, contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible. A variety of crimes are considered wobblers in California.

If you’re charged with DUI in California, in most cases the law spells out whether the charge will be a misdemeanor or a felony. A DUI case may be charged as a felony rather than a misdemeanor for a number of reasons, including previous DUI convictions and whether you caused injuries or deaths. Intoxicated driving that causes an injury or a fatality will almost certainly be charged as a felony. Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor DUI or a felony under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), and whether it’s your first offense or one of several, it’s imperative to have quality legal representation from a good Orange County DUI defense attorney.

Hire an Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyer

A suspect with no priors may be charged with a misdemeanor while another suspect – with previous convictions – may be charged with a felony for the exact same crime. Whether the charge against you is a felony or a misdemeanor, you must have skilled, trustworthy, and aggressive legal representation if you are charged with any crime in Orange County. If the charge is DUI or any other “wobbler,” let an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer handle your defense, protect your rights, and bring your case to its best possible conclusion. If you are charged with a crime in Orange County, now or in the future, it’s imperative to make the call to a good Orange County criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.