OLDEST PROFESSION REMAINS ILLEGAL

Posted on: July 15, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyCalifornia Penal Code 647(b)

They say it’s the oldest profession, but after all these years, it remains an illegal profession. Prostitution and solicitation are misdemeanors under California Penal Code 647(b). A first-offense conviction on either charge is punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. However, these charges are sometimes difficult to prove, and a good criminal defense lawyer can offer real help to a defendant facing a prostitution or solicitation charge. If you are charged with either crime in Orange County, don’t plead guilty or try to act as your own lawyer. Instead, arrange at once to speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

If you’re charged with prostitution or solicitation, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be convicted. The state still must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. While no guarantees can ever be made about the outcome of any single criminal case, an experienced defense attorney can sometimes have prostitution or solicitation charges dismissed entirely. Innocent people are sometimes accused of prostitution because they’ve been “entrapped” by police officers or because some other misunderstanding has transpired. If you were arrested because you were simply misunderstood, if you were misidentified, or if the allegation against you was entirely fabricated, your attorney will make certain that your side of the story is explained and understood.

Prostitution and solicitation laws are enforced and prosecuted aggressively in southern California. Third parties who organize and/or profit from prostitution – “pimps” and “madams” – can also face criminal charges. These are not the most serious crimes in the world, but you do not want a conviction for prostitution or for solicitation on your criminal record. If you’re accused of prostitution or solicitation in Orange County, it’s essential for you to obtain legal help and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.

ALCOHOL ABUSE MAY BE RISING

Posted on: July 13, 2015 by in DUI
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Orange County DUI attorneyCalifornia Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

In the United States in 2015, the lives of nearly 33 million adults are impacted by alcohol abuse or addiction, and about 80 percent of those 33 million adults have never sought counseling or treatment. That’s one of several findings in a recent study published by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). The research also found that alcohol abuse may be rising in the United States. Whether or not you have a “problem” with alcohol use or abuse, when you’re charged with driving under the influence in southern California, you have a problem with the law. You can get help for the legal problem by contacting an experienced Orange County DUI attorney immediately after a DUI arrest.

The NIAAA researchers surveyed approximately 36,000 adults about their alcohol consumption. Four in ten adults said that in the last year, they had consumed five or more drinks at a time at least once. That’s up from three in ten a decade ago. It’s important for everyone to know that both public and private alcohol counseling and treatment programs are available in abundance in Orange County and throughout southern California.

Whether you merely have a social drink with friends, or you drink somewhat more frequently, if you’re accused of DUI in Orange County under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), you’ll need high-quality legal advice and representation at once. Along with DUI counseling and classes, a sentence for a DUI conviction can also include time in jail, a fine from $390 to $1,000, a suspension of your driver’s license, and harsh terms of probation. Pleading guilty to a first-time DUI may seem like the quick and expedient thing to do; don’t do it. If you’re arrested for DUI, don’t try to be your own attorney, and don’t plead guilty. Instead, fight the charge with the help of an experienced Orange County DUI attorney.

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION FRAUD – AND YOU

Posted on: July 10, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense lawyerCalifornia Insurance Code 1871.4 and California Penal Codes 549 and 550

Workers’ compensation fraud happens far too frequently in California. In most cases, the crime is charged as a misdemeanor, and a conviction is punishable by up to a year in jail. However, if the fraud is egregious, the crime can be prosecuted as a felony, and a conviction for the felony charge is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000 or twice the amount of the fraud, whichever is greater. If you are accused of committing workers’ compensation fraud in southern California, it’s imperative to retain legal representation and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible. Workers’ comp fraud in California typically happens in one of these three ways:

  • when an employee fakes or exaggerates a medical condition to receive workers’ compensation benefits
  • when an employer lies about an employee’s injury to keep that employee from receiving workers’ comp benefits (and raising the employer’s premium)
  • when a doctor bills workers’ compensation insurance for treatments that a patient did not need or receive

California healthcare providers who are accused of workers’ compensation fraud also need to be concerned about professional discipline. For doctors, any criminal conviction that is “substantially related” to the medical profession can lead to professional disciplinary action. Nurses and pharmacists can also face discipline and license revocation.

If you are charged with workers’ compensation fraud in southern California, you should be represented by a knowledgeable attorney who understands the serious nature of the charge and who routinely helps clients who are accused of fraud. Your lawyer will line up evidence and witnesses on your behalf; will fight to discredit the government’s case and its witnesses; and will work hard to bring your workers’ compensation fraud case to its best possible resolution. You simply cannot face a fraud charge alone; if you are charged with the crime in southern California, arrange at once to speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

THE “HARVEY WAIVER” IN CALIFORNIA LAW

Posted on: July 8, 2015 by in DUI
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Orange County DUI attorneyCalifornia Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Sometimes in California, a criminal defendant can be sentenced for a crime without actually being convicted of the crime. That’s right. If you are charged with two offenses at the same time – say DUI and reckless driving, or DUI and hit-and-run – you might be offered a plea bargain that includes a “Harvey Waiver.” Of course, you should consult with an experienced Orange County DUI attorney before agreeing to any DUI-related plea bargain, but basically a Harvey Waiver works like this. The state offers to keep one of the charges off your criminal record if you agree to serve the sentence you would have served if you had been convicted of that charge.

A Harvey Waiver allows the state to punish you for a crime without the expense and trouble of a trial. What you get in return for accepting a Harvey Waiver is a criminal record that does not show the charge or conviction. Especially in DUI cases when a second charge is involved, the Harvey Waiver is a tool that prosecutors use frequently in California.

If you are charged with DUI in Orange County under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b) – whether or not you’re also facing a second charge – contact an Orange County DUI attorney immediately. Good DUI lawyers successfully represent clients in every county in California by aggressively challenging prosecutors and working for reduced charges, dismissals, and acquittals.

In some cases, however, when there are two crimes and the evidence against a defendant is conclusive, the prosecutor may offer a Harvey Waiver. Don’t accept it – or any other offer – without careful consideration and the advice of your DUI attorney. Your decision will have to be based on your own personal situation and needs. If you are charged with DUI, now or in the future, be absolutely certain that you have high-quality legal advice, and call an experienced Orange County DUI attorney promptly.

ONCE AGAIN, CRIME IS ON THE RISE

Posted on: July 6, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense lawyerFor almost twenty-five years, crime rates in the United States have been plummeting, but that trend now seems to be rapidly reversing. From 1990 through 2014, the number of violent crimes dropped by 32 percent across the U.S. as a whole; in the biggest cities, the crime rate fell by 64 percent. The U.S. wasn’t alone; crime has been falling in England since 1995 and in France since 2001. In 2015, however, crime is on the rise once again in a big way. Gun violence is increasing in almost every major U.S. city. Homicides are up in Baltimore, New York, St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Atlanta. The trend is the same in Los Angeles. By mid-May, violent crimes in L.A. were up by 25 percent over the January-to-mid-May period last year.

No one can identify with certainty the reasons behind what the media is now calling a “crime wave.” Some blame the harsh tactics employed by some police officers and police departments; others accuse politicians and the critics of the police. There’s an abundance of finger-pointing and hot air, but no real answers. What is certain is that while crime rates may go up and down, your constitutional rights remain the same. 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.

As crime rises this summer – including crimes against police officers – the police may be quick to make arrests, and the rights of some suspects may be violated. If you are charged with a crime in Orange County, be polite, but exercise your constitutional rights. Insist on having a lawyer present during any questioning. Then call an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible.

IDENTITY THEFT IN REAL LIFE

Posted on: July 3, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyCalifornia Penal Code 530.5

If you’ve seen the 2013 film Identity Thief, you know that it’s a heartwarming comedy starring Jason Bateman as a victim of identity theft and Melissa McCarthy as the thief. While the Melissa McCarthy character in the film is a bold and guilty-as-sin identity thief – with a heart of gold, of course – in real life, some of those charged with identity theft aren’t guilty at all. In many cases, there’s been an honest mistake or a misunderstanding; in other instances, the charge has been entirely fabricated, and no identity theft even happened. If you are charged with identity theft under California Penal Code 530.5, it’s a serious charge. Get serious legal help at once and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

The law in California defines identity theft as the “unauthorized use of personal identifying information to obtain credit, goods, services, or medical information in the name of another person.” People usually commit identity theft for money, but revenge and retaliation can also be motives. Identity theft in California may be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony depending on the particulars of the crime. A conviction for felony identity theft is punishable by up to 3 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. A conviction for misdemeanor identity theft is punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. If you are convicted under the federal identity theft statute, you’ll face substantially higher fines and in some cases up to thirty years in federal prison.

Identity Thief is a fine comedy, but in real life – whether you are victimized by the crime or charged with it – there’s nothing fine about identity theft. If you are charged with identity theft in southern California, don’t try to act as your own attorney. Get the legal help you need as quickly as possible and speak immediately with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

TEENS AND THE OC DUI TASK FORCE

Posted on: July 1, 2015 by in DUI
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Orange County DUI defense lawyerCalifornia Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Each year since 2009, more and more of the California drivers who die in traffic accidents have tested positive for drugs. In 2009, 27.8 percent of the drivers killed in California traffic collisions tested positive for drugs; by 2013, that figure was up by an additional five percent. In response, California police agencies are focusing on teenage “drugged driving.”

In April, a number of area law enforcement groups met to learn more about the increasing number drug-related DUI charges involving teens. The Orange County DUI Task Force is committed to educating young people about the prevention and consequences of drugged driving. If your teen is accused of DUI in Orange County – whether the allegation involves drugs or alcohol or both – fight the charge and contact an experienced Orange County DUI defense lawyer as quickly as possible.

The agencies represented at the Task Force gathering – local law enforcement agencies and the California Office of Traffic Safety – unveiled their newest plans for combatting drunk and drugged driving. Many speakers mentioned the case of Sommer Nicole Gonzales, 19, who was convicted in Orange County the same week that the Task Force met. The young woman is going to prison for eleven years for driving into and killing a bicycle rider when she was high on methamphetamine in 2014.

If you’re a parent, talk with your teens about the dangers and the consequences of driving under the influence. If your teenager is charged with DUI in California, and the prosecution can prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, there’s no reason to expect mercy from the court. However, a good DUI defense lawyer can often successfully challenge the state’s evidence. Of course, no final result can ever be guaranteed in any particular criminal case, but if your teen is charged with DUI in Orange County, consult at once with an experienced Orange County DUI defense lawyer.

CLEANING UP YOUR RECORD

Posted on: June 29, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyCalifornia Penal Code 1203.4

In the state of California, if you have been convicted of a criminal charge, it’s something that could conceivably follow you for the rest of your life. Even a misdemeanor conviction can keep you from obtaining a better-paying job or a professional license. With help from an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney, a misdemeanor conviction and sometimes even a felony conviction may be expunged from your record. If you’ve been turned down for a number of jobs in southern California and you need to learn more about expungement, arrange at once to speak with a good criminal defense lawyer. In most cases, you are entitled to expunge your conviction under California Penal Code 1203.4 if you were convicted of a crime and you:

  • have successfully completed probation
  • are not facing another pending criminal charge
  • are not serving a sentence for another conviction

If you pled guilty or no contest to a misdemeanor charge, you may be eligible to have your record expunged after three years if you have satisfied and completed all of the terms of your probation. Sometimes, even if there was a probation violation, you may still have the conviction expunged if you eventually completed probation successfully. Some felony convictions can also be expunged in some circumstances with an attorney’s help.

Today’s technology lets prospective employers see your criminal record with the click of a mouse. You’ll need to work alongside a good criminal defense lawyer – an attorney who regularly handles misdemeanor and felony expungements – if you want your record cleaned up. If your attorney determines that you’re qualified for expungement, he or she will be able to help you. If a previous conviction is preventing you from getting the job you need or hurting you in any other manner, arrange at once to talk about expungement with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

BAD CHECKS, HONEST MISTAKES, AND CRIMINAL INTENT

Posted on: June 26, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyCalifornia Penal Code Section 476(a)

If you write a bad check in California, you can be criminally prosecuted under California Penal Code Section 476(a). If you write a check, you know that the funds are insufficient, your intent is to defraud, and the state can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, you can serve time behind bars. If you’re charged with writing a bad check in Orange County, you need to get good legal help fast – you’ll need to contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

Writing a bad check is a felony in California if the amount exceeds $950, and it’s a misdemeanor for lesser amounts. If you’re convicted of the felony charge, you could serve up to three years in a California state prison. If you’re convicted of the misdemeanor charge, you could serve a year in a county jail. It doesn’t matter if you have insufficient funds in an ongoing account or if you write the check against a closed account; the crime is committed the moment you write a check with the intent to defraud.

A criminal charge, of course, isn’t the equivalent of a conviction, and if you are accused of writing a bad check, a prosecutor must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If it’s a checking account that you routinely use, it’s possible that you simply weren’t aware of your balance and you made an honest mistake. In other cases, someone may have forged your name. Always keep your checks in a secure location. If you close a checking account, always completely destroy any leftover blank checks.

If you’re accused of writing a bad check in Orange County or anywhere else in southern California, don’t try to explain anything to the police. Their job is to obtain evidence against you, so don’t say anything. Politely exercise your constitutional right to remain silent, and then contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.

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DUI? YOU NEED A DUI ATTORNEY

Posted on: June 24, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County DUI attorneyFar too many of the people who are charged with DUI in California simply plead guilty and take the penalties. But when you look at the number of DUI arrests in California and compare it against the number of convictions, you can see that many other Californians are challenging DUI charges successfully. And when you consider the consequences of a California DUI conviction, it’s easy enough to see; retaining the services of a good DUI defense lawyer is a smart investment. If you are accused of driving under the influence in Orange County, contact an experienced Orange County DUI attorney immediately.

Shockingly enough, many of the drivers charged with DUI under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b) don’t even think about retaining legal counsel. If you don’t, and you plead guilty, you’ll be fined, your driver’s license will be suspended, you’ll be ordered to attend DUI school, your insurance rates will go up, and you might even spend time behind bars.

Why hire an attorney to handle your DUI case? A good DUI lawyer understands the unreliability of field sobriety and chemical DUI tests. An experienced attorney is also trained in interrogation and cross-examination, so if there’s an error or a discrepancy in the arresting officer’s testimony, it will be exposed. Even if the evidence against you is devastating, and you’re convicted, a DUI lawyer will still advocate for reduced or alternative sentencing.

Whether the DUI charge against you is a felony or a misdemeanor, and whether it’s your first DUI offense or you’ve been through the system before, every California DUI case is serious. You must have experienced counsel. In Orange County or anywhere else in southern California, after any DUI arrest, put your case in the hands of an experienced Orange County DUI attorney as quickly as possible.