Archive for the ‘ Criminal Defense ’ Category

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.