CAN YOU REFUSE TO BE TESTED FOR DUI?

Posted on: August 5, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County DUI defense attorneyPersons accused of driving under the influence in California need swift legal help. After an arrest for DUI in southern California, immediately arrange to speak with an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney. When you’re driving and you are pulled over by police officers in southern California, they may ask you to submit to one or more field sobriety tests (FSTs). Unless you are under 21 or on probation for a previous DUI conviction, you are not required to take any field sobriety test, and most California DUI lawyers recommend that you don’t. The three most common FSTs used in California work like this:

1. In the “walk-and-turn” test, a driver is asked to walk a straight line, turn, and walk back.

2. In the “one-leg” test, a driver must try to stand on one leg without wobbling.

3. In the “horizontal gaze nystagmus” test, a driver has to follow an object visually so that the driver’s eye movements can be observed.

Chemical DUI tests are supposed to be more “scientific” and precise, but they aren’t necessarily either. Urine, blood, and breath tests are conducted to measure a suspect’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level. Unless you are on probation for a previous DUI or you are under 21 years old, you should politely decline to submit to a chemical DUI test until you have actually been arrested. However, after an arrest, your license can be suspended for up to a year if you refuse to submit to a chemical DUI test.

Hire an Orange County DUI Defense Attorney

No matter what the result of any test is, you cannot be convicted of driving under the influence unless the prosecution can prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If you are accused of DUI in Orange County, contact a good DUI lawyer right away. Let an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney protect your legal rights and fight for justice on your behalf. If you are charged with DUI under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b) – now or in the future – make the call immediately.

A DECLINE IN HATE CRIMES AND HOMICIDES

Posted on: August 5, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense lawyerCalifornia Attorney General Kamala Harris reported in June that the crime rate dropped in California in 2014, with significant declines in both hate crimes and homicides. Hate crime offenses were down nearly nine percent last year and down 46 percent over the last decade. The statewide homicide rate dropped slightly more than four percent, and robberies in California were down by about ten percent. If you are charged with a robbery or a theft, a drug offense, or a sex crime in Orange County, obtain the legal help you need and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer immediately.

Guns accounted for about seventy percent of California’s murder weapons last year. And despite recent stories in the news media, citizen complaints against police officers actually dropped to their lowest level last year since 1990. Also in 2014, five California law enforcement officers tragically lost their lives in the line of duty. Roughly 1.2 million arrests were made by California police officers in 2014, and that’s the lowest figure since 1969 in this state.

The California criminal justice system uses a variety of approaches to deter and prosecute crime; incarceration, probation, fines, and community service are just a few of the penalties handed down by California criminal courts. If you’re charged with a robbery, theft, a drug offense, or a sex crime in Orange County, do not try to act as your own attorney. Do not plead guilty, and don’t risk any further your freedom or your future. While no outcome can ever be guaranteed in any particular criminal case, you nevertheless must retain an attorney who will fight aggressively on your behalf and who knows what it takes to prevail.

Talk To An Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you’re being charged with a crime in Orange County, obtain the trustworthy and knowledgeable legal representation you need and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible.

REHABILITATION NOT PUNISHMENT

Posted on: August 3, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County juvenile defense attorneyIf your teenager is taken into custody and accused of committing a crime, you first want to know if your child is guilty or innocent. If your teenager is in fact “guilty as charged,” you want to make sure that a lesson is learned and that the incident doesn’t follow and haunt your teenager for the rest of his or her life. If your child is accused of a crime in Orange County, arrange immediately to speak with an experienced Orange County juvenile defense attorney. A number of options are available in California to help juveniles who have been convicted of crimes in this state. Those options include:

  • Informal probation: Informal probation is frequently ordered for a nonviolent first offense. A probation officer will develop a program that includes education and counseling; upon successful completion of the program, the original charge can usually be dropped. Probation terms typically include school attendance, counseling, drug testing, a curfew, and restitution when appropriate.
  • Deferred entry of judgment (DEJ): DEJ requires an admission of guilt, but after the successful completion of the 12-to-36 month DEJ program, the original charge can be dismissed.
  • Formal probation: A California juvenile court may sentence a minor to formal probation. Sometimes probation can be completed at home. In other cases, the court will assign the ward to “suitable placement” in a relative’s home or a group home. Minors needing more discipline are sent to “probation camp” with a structured daily schedule including education and counseling for up to a year.
  • Commitment: Apart from prison, the most serious legal punishment for a minor in California is commitment to the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). Juveniles convicted of violent crimes or sex offenses may be committed to the DJJ, and its jurisdiction over a minor can last until that person is 25 years old.

Of course, if your child is innocent of a crime, none of these options are appropriate, and you’ll need swift, high-quality legal assistance. If your teenager is arrested in Orange County – now or in the future – and accused of any criminal offense, don’t wait. Contact an experienced Orange County juvenile defense attorney immediately.

WHAT CONSTITUTES INSURANCE FRAUD?

Posted on: July 31, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Codes 484, 487, 488, and 666

Orange County criminal defense attorneyInsurance fraud happens if someone deceives an insurance company to obtain funds to which that person is not entitled. The most common insurance fraud is the false or exaggerated claim that seeks compensation for injuries or property damages that were not actually suffered. But insurance fraud also happens when con artists sell fraudulent insurance policies to unsuspecting victims or when agents or brokers steal or otherwise divert legitimate insurance payments made by policyholders. Insurance fraud cases can be complicated and detailed, and simply being charged with the crime doesn’t mean you’re guilty. If you are accused of insurance fraud in Orange County or elsewhere in southern California, take your case immediately to an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

“Premium diversion” happens when you make a payment on a legitimate policy, but the agent or broker steals and pockets your payment rather than applying it to your policy. In some cases, victims have paid for years and then filed a claim only to learn that they actually have no policy. Insurance fraud also happens when a doctor, an auto mechanic, or any other service provider inflates the charge for services or simply bills an insurance company for work that was never performed.

Hire an Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney

To convict someone for insurance fraud under California Penal Codes 484, 487, 488, or 666, a prosecutor must prove that the suspect intentionally acted to benefit from a false claim or false billing. If you mistakenly, genuinely believed that your claim was legitimate, and you had no criminal intent, you are not guilty. In most instances, insurance fraud is prosecuted as a felony. Fines and prison time are the typical penalties for insurance fraud convictions, although individual sentences depend on the details of the crime and the amount of money involved. A court may also order the payment of restitution to victims. If you are charged with insurance fraud in southern California, it is considered a serious crime and it is aggressively prosecuted, so don’t even think about going to court by yourself. If you’re accused of the crime, arrange at once to speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

THE WET RECKLESS OPTION IN DUI CASES

Posted on: July 29, 2015 by in DUI
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Orange County DUI defense lawyerCalifornia Vehicle Code 23103 and 23103.5

DUI suspects in the state of California are sometimes provided with the chance to avoid a conviction for DUI by pleading instead to a “wet reckless” charge. It’s not a crime that the police can charge against you; wet reckless is the monopoly, so to speak, of California’s prosecutors. Under California Vehicle Code 23103 and 23103.5, wet reckless is sometimes offered to DUI suspects as a plea bargain option. If the case against you is “open and shut,” agreeing to the wet reckless plea bargain may in fact be your best alternative, or it may not. If you’re charged in Orange County with driving under the influence, speak first – and immediately – with an experienced Orange County DUI defense lawyer.

A nolo contendere plea to a wet reckless charge keeps a DUI conviction off your record, so if you drive for a living or hold a professional license, your employment shouldn’t be affected. Your fine will probably be lower, and you’ll avoid any time in jail. However, the California Department of Motor Vehicles may still act to suspend your license temporarily, and if you are charged again with DUI within the first ten years after a wet reckless conviction, California courts will consider that wet reckless conviction to be the equivalent of a previous DUI conviction.

No outcome can ever be promised in any specific criminal case, but an experienced Orange County DUI defense lawyer will fight aggressively on your behalf to bring your DUI case to its best possible conclusion. If there’s any flaw or error in the state’s case against you, a good DUI lawyer will find that flaw and use it to your advantage. If you are accused of driving under the influence in Orange County or anywhere in southern California, don’t delay. Get the legal help you need and contact an experienced DUI defense lawyer as quickly as possible.

A CROSS-SECTION OF THE COMMUNITY

Posted on: July 27, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense lawyerIf you are charged with a crime in southern California, you have the constitutional right to be represented by an attorney. If you are currently facing any criminal charge, contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney right away. The Constitution also gives defendants the right to a trial by jury, but it never says that the jury must be comprised of your “peers.” Nevertheless, if your case goes to trial, it will be heard by a jury that represents a cross-section of your community. If you are charged with a robbery or a theft, a drug offense, a sex crime, or a white-collar crime in Orange County, get the legal help you need and speak to an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible.

A jury of your peers does not mean that an African-American suspect has the right to an exclusively African-American jury or that a female suspect must be tried only by female jurors. A jury is ostensibly a reflection of the makeup and diversity of your entire community. Citizens are selected randomly for jury pools. Before a trial, the attorneys and the judge examine each prospective juror for anything that might bias that person’s judgment. If you are charged with a crime and the case goes to trial, an experienced defense attorney will do everything possible to see that you face a neutral and unbiased jury.

Actually, very few criminal cases are heard by juries. Charges are sometimes dropped, and defendants sometimes plead guilty or accept plea bargains. Still, it’s reassuring to know that if you’re accused of a crime in southern California, you have the right to an attorney and to a jury trial. If you are charged with a robbery, theft, drug crime, sex crime, or a white-collar crime in Orange County, get the legal help you need and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer immediately.

A BOOMING CALIFORNIA BUSINESS

Posted on: July 24, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorney

California Penal Code 487(d)(1) and California Vehicle Code 10851

According to the Los Angeles Times and the National Insurance Crime Bureau, California’s metropolitan areas top the nation in per capita auto theft. The San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward area had the worst per capita car theft record in the nation in 2014. Bakersfield was second, and the Stockton-Lodi area was third. With so many car thefts in California, innocent people are inevitably going to be accused. If you’re charged with stealing a car in Orange County, arrange at once to speak about your case with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

Despite a slight decline since the 1990s, car theft is still a booming business in California, and we aren’t talking about teens who steal and then abandon a car for a joyride – although that too is a California crime problem. But if your car is stolen in this state, there’s a good chance that you will never see it again. Older vehicles are taken and stripped for their parts, while newer luxury cars often are shipped abroad and sold to buyers who have no idea that the cars they’re buying were stolen. The advice about car theft never changes. The best way to prevent it is to lock your car and take your keys. You might also consider investing in a device that locks your steering wheel or a GPS tracking device.

A suspected car thief in California can be charged with grand theft auto or with the lesser crime of joyriding. If you take a vehicle for a short drive and abandon it, you’ll most likely be charged with joyriding. If you keep a stolen car, sell it, or strip it for parts, the charge is probably going to be grand theft auto. If you are charged with either crime in southern California under California Penal Code 487(d)(1) or California Vehicle Code 10851, insist on your right to have a lawyer present during any questioning, and arrange immediately to speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

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WHAT TO TELL YOUR ATTORNEY

Posted on: July 22, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyIn Orange County, if you are accused of a robbery or theft, a drug crime or a sex crime, a DUI offense, or a crime of domestic violence, you must retain legal help at once and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney. When a criminal defense attorney in California takes on a client charged with a crime, that lawyer must put the client’s best interests above everything else, even if the client admits to being guilty. After all, a confession can be coerced, offered to protect someone else, or the product of a confused or unsound mind. Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming and you are found guilty by a jury, your attorney’s job hasn’t ended. Negotiating for reduced or alternative sentencing is an important part of a criminal defense lawyer’s work.

Even after you’ve been formally charged with a crime, you are considered (“presumed”) innocent until and unless the state can prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Your defense lawyer’s job is to dispute the evidence and cast doubt on the prosecutor’s case against you. Your attorney is not required to prove that you are innocent, but rather to prevent the prosecutor from proving that you are guilty. Some attorneys operate on the principle that the less they know, the better, and they believe this approach helps them to remain objective. Let your lawyer tell you what he or she wants to hear. If a defense attorney wants the whole truth from you, tell it. Your communication with your lawyer is confidential and privileged. Be certain, however, that when you tell an attorney the truth, it really is the truth. If you change your story later, it complicates your lawyer’s ability to defend you.

Be honest with your attorney, but don’t feel obligated to answer questions that aren’t asked. The most important thing, after hiring an attorney to represent you in a criminal matter, is to follow that attorney’s advice. If you are charged with a drug crime, a sex crime, a theft crime, or a DUI in southern California, discuss your case at once with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

NOT THE SCHOOL YOU WANT TO ATTEND

Posted on: July 20, 2015 by in DUI
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Orange County DUI attorneyCalifornia Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

From jail time to fines, probation, and driver’s license suspensions, the penalties for a DUI conviction in California are quite serious penalties. A DUI arrest in California actually triggers two separate procedures: a criminal prosecution for the DUI charge itself, and an “administrative” procedure by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to suspend your driver’s license. DUI classes are usually ordered by the criminal court after a conviction, and the same classes are also typically required by the DMV to keep or to regain your license. Yes, it’s confusing. If you are arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Orange County or elsewhere in southern California, arrange to contact an experienced Orange County DUI attorney as quickly as possible.

Orange County drivers convicted of driving under the influence are typically required by the court to enroll in alcohol or “DUI education” classes. For a first conviction, it’s usually 36 hours of classes stretched over twelve weeks. Some offenders will qualify for a restricted drivers’ license for getting to and from DUI school. A conviction for a second offense usually means 18 months of classes, and no restricted license is offered. A third or subsequent DUI conviction within a ten-year period can mean classes for two-and-a-half years. Every time an offender is sent to DUI school, that offender must pay his or her own “tuition,” which is not inexpensive.

DUI classes are something to be avoided. They’re time-consuming, costly, and exceedingly inconvenient. If you are accused of DUI in Orange County under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), a good DUI lawyer can help you fight the charge, challenge the prosecutor’s case and witnesses, contest any DUI test results, and fight tirelessly to bring your case to its best possible conclusion. If you are charged with driving under the influence in Orange County, speak immediately with an experienced Orange County DUI attorney.

GRAND THEFT AND PETTY THEFT

Posted on: July 17, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyCalifornia Penal Codes 487 and 488

Theft crimes in California are charged as either grand theft or petty theft depending upon the value and nature of what’s allegedly been stolen. Under California Penal Code 487, grand theft happens when the value of the money, labor, or property allegedly stolen exceeds $950. For stolen items other than cash, the worth is determined by the present market value rather than the original purchase price. If you are accused of grand theft in Orange County, retain quality legal help and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.

Under California Penal Code 488, petty theft is any theft offense that does not constitute grand theft. If the value of the property taken does not exceed $950, the offense will be charged as a petty theft. Prior to November 2014, all vehicle and firearms thefts in California were prosecuted as grand theft, but with the passage of Proposition 47, grand theft in those cases will be the charge only if the vehicle or firearm allegedly stolen has a value at or exceeding $950. However, even a petty theft is a serious crime in California, and a petty theft conviction is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, up to 6 months in jail, or both. You’re going to need a good Orange County criminal defense attorney if you’re charged with either grand theft or petty theft.

Many innocent people have been accused of theft crimes. Sometimes, the whole thing is a misunderstanding, or perhaps you actually believed that the item or items you took were yours. Defendants are sometimes wrongly identified, and sometimes no theft ever took place and the allegation was entirely fabricated. If you are charged with a theft crime, immediately contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney who will fight for justice on your behalf and bring your case to its best possible conclusion.