Archive for the ‘ Criminal Defense ’ Category

THEFT AND LARCENY: NO DISTINCTION IN CALIFORNIA

Posted on: April 13, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 484 and 487

Orange County criminal defense lawyerIn some states “theft” and “larceny” are considered and defined as distinct crimes, but in California law, theft and larceny are basically the very same thing. Depending on the value and nature of the stolen property, a larceny/theft may be prosecuted as a felony or as a misdemeanor in this state. If you are charged with any theft or larceny in Orange County, it’s imperative that you contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible. Related theft and larceny charges available to California prosecutors include:

  • Robbery (California Penal Code 211)
  • Identity theft (California Penal Code 530.5)
  • Forgery (California Penal Code 470)
  • Receiving stolen goods (California Penal Code 496)
  • Embezzlement (California Penal Code 503)

You may also be prosecuted for larceny in California if you don’t return leased or rented property such as rental cars, furniture, equipment, and even materials checked out from the public library. Any time you steal or move another person’s property with no intention of returning it, you may be charged with larceny under California Penal Code 484.

The charge in California is grand larceny if you steal property valued at more than $950, a firearm, an automobile, an animal, or certain food or agricultural products valued at more than $250. A conviction for grand larceny can land you behind bars for three years if grand larceny is charged as a felony and for one year if it’s charged as a misdemeanor. The charge is petty larceny if you steal property valued at less than $950. It’s a misdemeanor, but a petty larceny conviction can still put you in jail for up to six months. If you face any larceny charge in southern California, arrange at once to get legal representation, and speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible.

YOU AREN’T ALLOWED TO THROW THE DISHES

Posted on: April 10, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 243(e)(1) and 273.5

crime of domestic violenceIf you throw something at your girlfriend or boyfriend, a partner you cohabit with, or at your spouse in the course of a heated argument, you’re breaking the law in California. It doesn’t matter if you throw something like a spoon or something more dangerous. It’s domestic violence, and if you’re charged with any crime of domestic violence in Orange County, you’ll need the legal help of an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

For the police to make a domestic violence arrest in California, probable cause is all that’s needed. A spot where your coffee mug impacted with a wall, for example, is probable cause. When you throw something in anger and there are no damages or injuries, you’ll likely be charged with simple assault, but if a prosecutor believes that you threw an object and intended it as a weapon, you could be charged with domestic battery under California Penal Code 243(e)(1). If your partner is injured, you could be charged with willful infliction of corporal injury under California Penal Code 273.5. Willful infliction of corporal injury can be charged as a misdemeanor, but if the injury is severe or if you have prior criminal convictions, it can be charged as a felony

Any conviction for a crime of domestic violence can negatively affect your employment opportunities, your child custody agreement, and more. Your partner could have a restraining order issued, and you could conceivably end up looking for a new residence. If you face any domestic violence charge in Orange County, speak at once with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately. Don’t ruin your relationship and land yourself in legal hot water. If fighting with your partner results in being arrested, call a California criminal defense attorney in Orange County at once, and let your lawyer do some fighting – for justice.

LOSING AND RESTORING YOUR FIREARM RIGHTS

Posted on: April 8, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 29800

Orange County criminal defense lawyerLosing your right to own a firearm may not be the harshest penalty in the criminal justice system, but for people who work in a number of jobs, losing your right to possess or own a firearm could negatively impact your employment and damage your future opportunities. If you are charged in Orange County with any of the crimes discussed here – now or in the future – speak about your case right away with an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

Your right to possess a firearm could be lost permanently if you are convicted of any felony in California under California Penal Code 29800 or if you’re convicted of threatening a law enforcement officer or intimidating witnesses, brandishing or negligently discharging a firearm, assault, battery, sexual battery, or domestic violence. A number of other misdemeanor convictions can result in a ten-year loss of your firearm rights. Domestic violence convictions are a leading reason why Californians lose their firearm rights. You can lose your firearm rights if you’re convicted for making criminal threats, stalking, or harassment. A Temporary Restraining Order may also prevent you from possessing a firearm.

It’s genuinely difficult to regain your firearm rights in California in fewer than ten years. A felony conviction in California imposes a lifetime ban on gun ownership, so an expungement of your conviction is a necessary step. Expungement, however, is not the first step in a complicated process. If you have a felony conviction that prevents you from possessing firearms, that conviction first must be reduced to a misdemeanor. If the court agrees, you may then request to have the misdemeanor conviction expunged.

However, some people will never restore their firearm rights in California; if you are convicted of brandishing or negligently discharging a firearm, or if you’re convicted of a violent felony, it’s possible you may never possess a firearm again. If you are charged with a crime in Orange County that threatens your firearm rights, or if you seek to restore those rights, contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer for help as soon as possible.

JUSTICE FOR JUVENILES, JUSTICE FOR ADULTS

Posted on: April 6, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyCalifornia’s Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) provides education and rehabilitation to youthful offenders in our state who have serious criminal backgrounds and genuine treatment needs. Most juvenile offenders are committed to county facilities where they can be closer to their families and to the local social services imperative to successful rehabilitation. Turning 18 in California changes the way the law treats you. If you’re 18 or over and you’re charged with a drug crime or a sex crime, a robbery, a burglary, or DUI in Orange County, contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.

When anyone under 18 is arrested in California, police agencies involve the parent or parents promptly. Protecting teens and getting them “back on track” is the overriding goal of California’s juvenile court system. The legal penalties imposed on teens convicted of crimes can include juvenile detention, community service, probation, “boot camp,” and restitution for damages. Regular “adult” courts are markedly different. Keeping the public safe and punishing criminal behavior are the first concerns of California’s adult criminal courts.

In California, a minor can be prosecuted for any felony or misdemeanor, but procedures and outcomes are substantially different for those over and under 18. A California criminal defense lawyer with both juvenile and adult defense experience can help you considerably if your teen is arrested in Orange County or anywhere in southern California. Call at once if your child is accused of or involved in criminal activity. Juvenile offenses carry legal and personal consequences that can impact a youth for the rest of his or her life. If you’re an adult or if you’re the parent of a teen charged with a DUI, a drug or sex crime, burglary, or robbery, arrange at once to speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

NOT WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR

Posted on: April 1, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 32

Orange County criminal defense attorneyWhen Dionne Warwick sang the classic tune, “That’s What Friends Are For,” she wasn’t singing about crime. It’s good to be a friend, but if you’re a friend in the wrong way, you might be committing a criminal act. California Penal Code 32 defines what it means to be an “accessory after the fact.” An accessory after the fact is someone who helps another individual who has committed a felony avoid arrest, trial, conviction, or punishment. If you’re charged with being an accessory after the fact, you’ll need a good lawyer immediately. In Orange County, contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney at once.

In California, being an accessory after the fact is the type of offense that’s called a “wobbler.” At a prosecutor’s discretion, a wobbler can be prosecuted either as a felony or as a misdemeanor; a prosecutor will consider the particulars of the alleged crime and the defendant’s previous criminal record. “After the fact” means after the original crime took place, so being charged as an accessory after the fact is not usually considered as serious as aiding and abetting or being a co-conspirator. For example, if you drive a “getaway” car in a bank robbery, you’ll be prosecuted for bank robbery, but if you permit the robber to hide in your basement, and you had no knowledge of the bank heist beforehand, you’ll be prosecuted as an accessory “after” the fact.

Before the state can convict you, a prosecutor must prove that you knowingly harbored, concealed, or aided a person with knowledge that the person had committed, was charged with, or was convicted of a felony, with the purpose of protecting him or her from arrest, trial, conviction, or sentencing. So the next time a friend shows up at 3:00 a.m. needing help, you first need to ask, “What kind of help?” If you’re arrested and charged with being an accessory after the fact in Orange County or anywhere else in southern California, get the legal help you need from a skilled defense lawyer who will fight for justice on your behalf. Contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately.

WHERE DID ALL THE CRIMINALS GO?

Posted on: March 30, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense lawyerAround the globe, crime is plummeting. In the developed nations, the rate has been falling dramatically for about twenty years. In the United States, the decline began about 1990; since that year, the number of violent crimes has dropped by 32 percent. In the big cities, crime has dropped 64 percent. The aging of the “baby boomers” is one plausible explanation; most crimes are committed by older teens and twenty-somethings, but the U.S. population is now growing older. Others have offered explanations including legal abortion (fewer children born into crime-friendly environments) and the reduction in lead paint and lead-based gasoline (fewer cognitive problems caused by exposure to lead). Improved police work, advancing technology, heightened security, gentrification in the big cities, and scores of other reasons are put forth to explain the world-wide reduction in crime.

Another reason for the drop in crime: harsh penalties. If you are convicted of a crime of violence in California, the penalty will probably be severe. A violent crime is any crime where violence is used or threatened against a victim – with or without a weapon. In southern California, if you’re accused of assault and battery, domestic violence, or making criminal threats, obtain the skilled defense representation you’re going to need and call an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

Despite the statistics, the courts remain busy, and scores of suspects are still prosecuted for crimes every day. Sexual crimes happen more often. Bank fraud, money-wire scams, and identity theft are on the rise. If you’re arrested and charged with one of these crimes in Orange County – or with robbery, burglary, or DUI – contact a good defense attorney at once. Don’t try to represent yourself, and don’t wait to obtain legal help. If you’re accused of committing one of these crimes in southern California, speak promptly to an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS AFTER A FELONY CONVICTION

Posted on: March 23, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyTravel restrictions are one of the penalties commonly imposed on felony offenders in California. Even if you don’t serve time in custody, your travel will probably be severely restricted upon a felony conviction. However, if you’re charged with a felony in Orange County or elsewhere in southern California, contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible. Remember: a charge is not the same as a conviction, the state must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and a good criminal defense lawyer can help.

The state can impose several kinds of travel restrictions. A judge may require no travel whatever except for your job or for legal or medical reasons. Standard felony probation and parole often require a convicted offender to remain in the jurisdiction where he or she was convicted. Someone on probation in Orange County, for instance, generally will not be allowed to relocate during the probation period. Restrictions on travel are not always compatible with opportunities for rehabilitation. An offender may be unable to take a good job or to live with family members in another county or state. Travel restrictions can also tie an offender to the streets and neighborhoods where drug dealers and old crime partners can be located.

Relocation may be allowed in some cases, however, even if you’ve been convicted of a felony. When the reason is a good one, you can petition the court for special permission to move, but that process can be lengthy and complicated, and you’ll need the advice and services of an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney. If you are charged with a felony DUI, a sex crime or drug crime, or a robbery or theft in Orange County, or if you are on probation but you must relocate, ask an Orange County criminal defense attorney to work on your behalf. If you need legal help today, make the call now.

WHEN A MARRIAGE IS AGAINST THE LAW

Posted on: March 20, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyWhen you get married in California, you probably aren’t committing a crime, but some people are. In fact, most of us are unaware that there are a number of “marriage crimes” that can be committed in California and most other states. If you’re charged by the authorities with committing one of these crimes, you’ll need legal help, so you should contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately. The marriage-related crimes in California include:

1. Bigamy: If you marry someone while you are still married to someone else, you can be convicted of bigamy under California Penal Code 281 and 283. Despite recent television shows about polygamy like “Sister Wives” and “My Five Wives,” bigamy is still very much a serious crime in California. Bigamy may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor with a maximum jail sentence of one year or as a felony with a maximum sentence of three years.

2. Marrying the husband or wife of another: It takes two to commit bigamy, and if you marry someone who is already married, the crime is “marrying the husband or wife of another” under California Penal Code 284. Marrying the husband or wife of someone else is a felony punishable by 16 to 36 months behind bars.

3. Incest: Incest isn’t always about sexual abuse or pedophilia. California’s incest law, Penal Code 285, makes it a crime for two consenting adults to marry if they are too closely related. A conviction for incest in California is punishable by 16 to 36 months behind bars and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Additionally, an incest conviction may make you subject to California’s lifelong sex offender registration requirement.

Don’t let a misunderstanding about marriage ruin your life. If you’re accused of any of these “marriage crimes” in Orange County, get legal help fast and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.

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CALIFORNIA CITIES LEAD NATION – IN CAR THEFTS

Posted on: March 18, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 487(d)(1) and California Vehicle Code 10851

Orange County criminal defense attorneyCalifornia cities topped the list of urban areas with the highest automobile theft rates in 2013, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Bakersfield topped the national list, followed by Fresno, Modesto, and the San Francisco Bay Area. If you steal a car in California, be prepared to pay the penalty. An accused car thief can be charged with grand theft auto or with the lesser crime of joyriding. Both crimes may be charged as misdemeanors or as felonies under California law, depending on the details of the crime and the suspect’s criminal history. If you face any charge for stealing a car in Orange County for any reason, get legal help fast and arrange at once to speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

Grand theft auto is almost always charged as a felony under California Penal Code 487(d)(1). Grand theft auto is usually the charge if you keep a stolen car for an extended period of time or if you sell or intend to sell a car for parts or to a buyer. A conviction for grand theft auto is punishable 16 to 36 months in custody along with fines and probation.

Joyriding, especially when it’s a first offense, is usually prosecuted as a misdemeanor under California Vehicle Code 10851. Still, a joyriding conviction is punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000. Depending on the evidence in a car theft case, an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney may be able to argue that you did not intend to steal the vehicle, or that you genuinely believed that it was yours or that you had permission to drive it, or that you’ve been falsely accused.

Dealing with criminal charges is never easy for anyone, but if you’re accused of car theft, exercise your right to remain silent and do not try to act as your own attorney. Instead, do what it takes to protect your freedom and your future. Obtain the serious legal help that you’re very much going to need and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.

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CALIFORNIA AGGRESSIVELY PROSECUTES ELDER ABUSE

Posted on: March 16, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 368

Orange County criminal defense attorneyElder abuse may be prosecuted as a felony or as a misdemeanor in California depending on the specifics of the case. If you are accused of elder abuse in Orange County, you’ll need the advice and services of an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney. Misdemeanor elder abuse is punishable by a year in jail and a fine of up to $6,000. If you are charged with felony elder abuse, you could go to prison for up to four years and even more if the victim sustained bodily harm or was 70 or more years old.

Elder abuse laws in California are somewhat complex and difficult to understand. While there are a variety of circumstances that count as elder abuse, it does not include general criminal activity against older persons, such as home break-ins, muggings in the street, or distraction burglary, where a stranger distracts a resident at the doorstep while another person enters the property to steal. The law in California defines elder abuse as causing or permitting any of these conditions or situations when a victim 65 years old or older:

– financial exploitation or abuse
– the infliction of injury or pain, or physical abuse
– isolation or ridicule that inflicts mental suffering or emotional abuse
– willfully or negligently placing a dependent senior into an unhealthy or unsafe situation

Like any criminal charge, the state must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict you of elder abuse. In some cases, an elderly person actually injured himself or herself, or there was a misunderstanding, or a suspect has simply been falsely accused. A good defense attorney will ensure that your side of the story is fully told and understood and that your criminal case is brought to its best possible conclusion. If you are charged with elder abuse under California Penal Code 368 in Orange County, discuss your case at once with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

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