Archive for the ‘ Criminal Defense ’ Category

WHAT THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT TELLING YOU, COULD BENEFIT YOU!

Posted on: February 6, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyIt’s the 21st century and we live in a surveillance society. You probably already know about the government’s ability to track your cell phone calls and monitor your online activity. What you may not know about is the StingRay device, an intrusive cell phone surveillance technology more-or-less secretly used by law enforcement. Courts are now rejecting the use of this device and the secrecy that surrounds it. If you are charged with a sex crime, a drug crime, or a theft or robbery in Orange County based on evidence gathered by a StingRay device or some other surveillance technology, get legal help immediately and discuss your case at once with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

An IMSI catcher – commonly called a StingRay – functions like a cell tower. It can track a suspect’s location and provide other information. The federal government has been using StingRay devices since at least 1995. Although the StingRay is now commonly used by federal, state, and local law enforcement, they’ve all tried to hide their use of StingRay devices. In one Maryland case last year, a judge suppressed cell phone evidence after the police refused to explain how they used it to locate their suspect in the case. In another Maryland case, a prosecutor withdrew the evidence gathered by the device and dropped all charges against the suspect.

If you are prosecuted for a crime based on evidence gathered by surveillance technology, you will need an aggressive defense attorney who will insist on full details and complete disclosure regarding the surveillance. If your rights were violated by the police, a good defense lawyer can use that violation to your advantage. If you’re accused of any sex, drug, theft, or robbery crime in Orange County, get legal help and arrange to speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately.

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CALIFORNIA CRIME RATES TAKE A CLIFF DIVE

Posted on: February 4, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense lawyerWe may have some problems in California, but FBI and California Department of Justice crime statistics are telling us that the crime rate is dropping in our state. Figures are not yet available for 2014, but the statistics for 2013 confirm that the crime rate hasn’t been this low in California in almost fifty years. Both violent crimes (such as robberies and assaults) and property crimes (such as burglary and auto theft) are down. Still, if you face a drug or sex crime charge, a DUI charge, or a theft, fraud, or robbery charge in Orange County, you should arrange to speak at once with an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

California’s crime figures are extraordinary when you consider that California’s population has boomed in the last several decades. Even with more development, more cars, and more people, the statistics verify that crime is dropping and Californians are safer. In 1992, for example, the violent crime rate was 1,120 violent crimes per 100,000 residents; in 2013, that rate dropped to 422. Only one percent of the violent crimes in California in 2013 were homicides. And in Orange, Los Angeles, and Riverside counties, the number of violent crimes dropped by more than ten percent.

Incarceration, probation, fines, counseling, and community service are some of the tools available to California courts. Depending on the crime, there may be additional penalties such as sex offender registration or mandatory use of an IID device for DUI offenders. Beyond the legal penalties, any criminal conviction can negatively impact your life – and especially your employment opportunities – for years to come. If you are arrested for DUI, a drug or sex crime, or a fraud or robbery in Orange County, politely exercise your right to remain silent, and do not put your future or your freedom even more at risk. Instead, get legal help promptly from someone who can fight for justice on your behalf, and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer immediately.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CARJACKING AND AN AUTO THEFT?

Posted on: February 2, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 215 and 663

orange county criminal defense attorneyWhen someone steals a parked car, it’s auto theft. But when someone takes a car directly from another person by using force or intimidation, it’s carjacking. If you’re charged with carjacking in Orange County, you’re going to need serious legal help right away. Immediately contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

Under California Penal Code 215, a carjacking is defined as the use of force or fear to take a motor vehicle from another person with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive that person of the vehicle. A carjacking charge is a felony charge, and if convicted, a suspect could serve up to nine years in a California prison. If a weapon is used in a carjacking, the prison term can be even longer. Under California Penal Code 663, even an unsuccessful attempt to carjack a vehicle can be prosecuted as a carjacking.

Of course, to be convicted for carjacking or any other offense, a prosecutor must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If you are accused of carjacking because someone has misidentified you, or if no carjacking took place and the accusation against you was entirely fabricated, an experienced criminal defense attorney can make sure that your version of the incident is fully explained and clearly understood.

Criminal charges are tough for anyone to deal with, but if you’re charged with carjacking, take advantage of your right to remain silent, and do not try to act as your own lawyer. Don’t plead guilty or accept any plea bargain before consulting a defense attorney. When you’re accused of committing any crime, you must act to protect your freedom and your future. Obtain the legal advice and representation that you’re really going to need if you’re charged with carjacking, and call an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately.

ARE ALL ROBBERIES FELONIES?

Posted on: January 26, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 211

Orange County criminal defense attorneyIn 2012, more than 56,000 robberies were committed in California. If you’re arrested and charged with robbery in Orange County, you’ll need to get legal help immediately and speak to an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney. California Penal Code 211 defines robbery as the “taking of personal property in the possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear.”

In California, every robbery is a felony. A robbery in the first degree is a robbery committed either inside an inhabited structure, on a public transportation vehicle (a bus, taxi, streetcar, subway, or cable car), or the robbery of anyone who has just used an ATM and is still in its vicinity. In California, robbery in the first degree is punishable by three to nine years in state prison. However, if a firearm is used in the commission of the robbery, a suspect may face ten or more years in prison. Second-degree robbery in California is punishable by a prison term of two, three, or five years, depending on the circumstances of the crime and the defendant’s criminal history.

If you’re accused of robbery, but you genuinely believed that you owned or had a legal right to whatever was taken; if someone else committed the robbery and you were misidentified; or if the robbery story is a complete fabrication, a good defense lawyer can ensure that your defense is clearly presented and fully understood. A prosecutor cannot convict you of any crime unless your guilt can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. If you’re charged with robbery in Orange County, do not act as your own attorney. The crime and the potential consequences are too serious. Instead, take your case to an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.

EARLY PAROLE FOR MANY INMATES?

Posted on: January 23, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense lawyerProposition 47, a measure that reclassifies certain low-level, non-violent felonies as misdemeanors in California, was approved by the state’s voters in November. Proposition 47 now makes it possible for scores of non-violent offenders to be resentenced and in some instances released from the state’s overly-congested prison system. While the measure helps thousands of people who’ve been already been convicted of a crime, if you’re accused of DUI, a drug or sex crime, or a fraud or robbery in southern California, you still need to contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer immediately for the legal representation that you are still very much going to need.

Historically, California’s prison system has been one of the most crowded and costly anywhere in the nation. Non-violent property felonies such as shoplifting, theft, and check fraud under $950, as well as illicit personal drug use, will now be misdemeanors under Proposition 47, and with retroactive application of the measure, thousands of inmates may now be eligible for early release. Proposition 47 requires a thorough review of an offender’s criminal history before re-sentencing, to ensure that the individual does not pose a risk to the public. The measure will save California an estimated $150 million that can be used for financing truancy and dropout prevention, victim services, mental health and drug abuse treatment, and other alternatives to imprisonment.

However, Proposition 47 will impact only about 30 percent of the prison inmates in California. According to the Department of Corrections, as of 2013, 70 percent of the California prison population was serving a sentence for a violent offense. Nevertheless, the passage of Proposition 47 is good news for anyone convicted of a non-violent crime or facing a charge for one. If you’re accused of any non-violent drug crime, sex crime, theft or robbery, or if you’re charged with DUI in southern California, get trustworthy legal help at once and call an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer immediately.

HAVE YOU COMMITTED INSURANCE FRAUD?

Posted on: January 21, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Codes 548, 549, 550, and 551

Orange County criminal defense attorneyThe legal definition of auto insurance fraud is any act committed with the intention of fraudulently obtaining money from an auto insurance company. Even if you’ve simply made an honest mistake, inaccurate or incorrect legal, medical, or insurance forms may be considered evidence of an attempt to defraud. Insurance fraud cases are aggressively pursued because insurers want to avoid paying claims whenever possible. If you’re accused of auto insurance fraud in Orange County, you’ll need to get legal help at once and speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

The Insurance Research Council believes that about 40% of all auto theft claims are fraudulent, and the group also believes that fraudulent claims comprise about 40% of all auto-related medical claims. Because auto insurance fraud laws are so technical and complicated, and a number of different actions are considered auto insurance fraud under California Penal Codes 548, 549, 550, and 551, it is imperative to be represented by an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney if you’re accused of the crime.

If you are being investigated or interrogated for insurance fraud, do not answer questions from any police or insurance investigators until you first have the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Penalties for auto insurance fraud in California are harsh and can include fines and prison terms. If you are innocent – if you made an honest mistake or if you were falsely accused – or if the circumstances warrant a dismissal or reduction of your charges, an experienced defense attorney can present and explain those circumstances to the court.

Claim forms are complicated; honest mistakes are easy to make. If you are suspected of auto insurance fraud in southern California, let an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney evaluate your circumstances, develop a defense strategy, and fight for the best possible resolution to your case. Don’t hesitate to make the call.

NO MEANS NO!

Posted on: January 16, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 243.4

Orange County criminal defense lawyerIn every state in the nation, sexual battery is an extremely serious crime. California law defines sexual battery as the non-consensual, intimate touching of another person for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse. Depending upon the details of the allegation, sexual battery may be prosecuted in California as either a misdemeanor or as a felony. Even a slight touch that may have been considered innocuous years ago can now result in a sexual battery allegation. If you’re accused of sexual battery under California Penal Code 243.4 in Orange County or elsewhere in southern California, get legal representation at once and speak to an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

The distinction between a felony and a misdemeanor sexual battery charge will depend on the way the victim was allegedly touched. If someone physically restrains a victim during a sexual battery, for example, that’s going to be charged as a felony. A conviction for felony sexual battery carries a sentence of 2 to 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. A conviction for misdemeanor sexual battery carries a maximum sentence of a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. If the victim is your employee, your fine may be increased by another $1,000.

Even a misdemeanor sexual battery conviction looks bad on anyone’s criminal record; the consequences can last a lifetime. Still, if you’re prosecuted for sexual battery, the state must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In many cases, the whole thing was a misunderstanding; in other cases, suspects have been falsely accused. Have an experienced criminal defense attorney protect your rights and investigate the facts. If you are charged with sexual battery now or in the future anywhere in southern California, don’t wait. Arrange at once to meet with an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

Keep Your Children Safe

Posted on: January 14, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyCalifornia Penal Code 647.6. California courts always make the best interests of children a top priority. For example, the state aggressively prosecutes suspects accused of molesting children. But what many Californians may not understand is that even making a questionable or an inappropriate comment to a child under 18 can be a crime in California, and it’s considered the legal equivalent of molesting a child. If the state can prove to a jury that you verbally “annoyed” a child with the intention or for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification, you could be sentenced to a year in jail and fined $5,000. If you are charged with molesting or annoying a child in Orange County, you’ll need to contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately.

Under California Penal Code 647.6, “molesting” and “annoying” both mean conduct or speech driven by sexual interest in a minor child or in minor children in general. Instances of annoying a child under 18 include but are not limited to: discussing with a minor his or her sexual history or preferences; soliciting a minor for a sex act or offering to perform a sex act on a minor; and exposing one’s self in a setting where minors are likely to see you.

To obtain a conviction for annoying a child, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you spoke or acted with a sexual motive. The law exempts questions a minor might be asked for legitimate professional reasons by a lawyer, doctor, therapist, or law enforcement officer. If you are accused of annoying a minor, it is a serious allegation, and you must take it seriously. Don’t let a misunderstanding or a false accusation ruin your life. If you’re accused of annoying a minor in Orange County, get legal help fast and call an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately.

When The Clock Runs Out

Posted on: January 7, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyStatutes of limitations restrict the amount of time prosecutors have to charge someone for a crime. The statutes differ for different crimes, and for the same crime, they differ from state to state. If you’re accused of DUI, a drug or sex crime, or a fraud or robbery in southern California, contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately. It’s rare for the authorities to make a mistake regarding the statute of limitations, but if the statute has expired for the crime you’re accused of committing, in most cases a good defense attorney will be able to resolve the mistake quickly.

California has complicated statutes of limitations for criminal cases. For crimes punishable by death or by life in prison, there is no statute of limitations. California has different statutes of limitations for a number of different offenses, and there are various exceptions, but generally speaking:

– For misdemeanors, the statute of limitations is a year.

– For felonies punishable by 8 or more years in prison, the statute of limitations is 6 years.

– For other felonies, the statute of limitations is 3 years.

California’s tolling provisions can give prosecutors additional time to file criminal charges. Consult a criminal defense attorney if you need help determining how the statute of limitations may impact your particular case or situation.

Today, the way we think about statutes of limitations is changing. Some states now begin the statute of limitations period for sex crimes from the date that DNA establishes a suspect’s identity – without regard to how long ago the crime actually occurred. In most cases involving minors, most states now provide that the statute of limitations begins only when the victim turns 18. In Orange County, if you’re accused of DUI, a drug or sex crime, or a fraud or robbery, or if you have any concerns about how a statute of limitations impacts a case that involves you, speak to an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately.

What Grand Juries Do

Posted on: January 5, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense lawyerAfter a grand jury announced in November that it would not indict a Missouri police officer in the shooting of a young man named Michael Brown, many asked, “What exactly is a grand jury?” A grand jury is a group of people who can indict you for a crime – that’s the important thing to know. If a prosecutor takes your criminal case to a grand jury in southern California, you’ll very much require the advice and services of an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

Because their proceedings are conducted confidentially, grand juries have become a somewhat enigmatic part of the U.S. legal system. A grand jury is convened by a prosecutor to help the prosecutor decide if charges should be filed in a specific criminal case. Grand jurors are free to scrutinize almost any evidence and to examine almost anyone as a witness. Grand jury hearings are conducted behind closed doors; the identities of witnesses are kept secret to encourage them to speak freely. Attorneys may not accompany witnesses into the hearing room, and grand jury proceedings do not allow defense arguments or rebuttals. At its most basic, a grand jury really isn’t a public proceeding at all; it’s an investigative tool – nothing more – used by prosecutors to help them make decisions to charge or not to charge individuals with specific crimes.

Although a prosecutor will seriously consider a grand jury’s decision – and will in most cases agree with it – a grand jury’s conclusion is not binding; the prosecutor may still file a criminal charge. Whether or not your case goes before a grand jury, if you’re charged any felony or misdemeanor drug, sex, theft, or DUI crime in Orange County or elsewhere in southern California, speak at once with an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer for the legal advice and defense representation that you are very much going to require.

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