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January 2016 Archives

What can happen with my "heroin possession" case?

Heroin possession is now a misdemeanor and no longer a felony, but it does potentially carry up to a year in jail, $1000 fine and registration as a narcotics offender with local police where you live.  Fortunately, the legislature has provided treatment options in many cases in lieu of punitive sanctions.  Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs there is and one of the most difficult to remain clean from.  Heroin addiction left untreated will most certainly ruin a persons life, their families lives and ultimately result in an early death.  The good news is there are options and medications which can help someone detox off opiates, the problem is staying clean.  The underlying issues that lead to addiction need to be addressed.  If someone does not have the desire to quit and is only doing it to avoid jail, then the prognosis is not good.  Heroin possession becomes much more serious if possession for sale or sale is involved

Is an injury required in a "Domestic Violence" case?

An injury is not required in a "domestic violence" case.  There are misdemeanor and felony domestic violence (DV) charges.  The most common misdemeanor DV charge is California Penal Code PC 243(e)(1) commonly called spousal battery - it is an unlawful use of force or violence against a spouse or someone whom you have had a dating relationship.  It can be simply a rude or angry touching without injury.  That could be a pushing or grabbing where no marks are left.  The felony DV charge is commonly referred to as spousal abuse with injury per PC 273.5(a)  The difference is the injury.  Often time, if the injury is minor like redness, minor bruising or other minor injury, the District Attorney will file the felony charge as a misdemeanor PC 273.5(a) per 17(b)(4).  

Is Shoplifting also Petty Theft?

Shoplifting is also "petty theft" if the amount or value stolen does not exceed $950.  Thefts over that amount then become "Grand Theft".  These thefts can take the form of simply taking merchandise, exchanging merchandise that was stolen, credit card fraud, embezzlement (theft by employee), or other type theft.  The most common "shoplift" is the taking an item and walking out of the store with it, usually concealing it in a bag or clothing.  Often times people use changing rooms to steal items by wearing them out of the stoire without paying for them, or bagging them after removing elctronic tags.

What is a "Soliciting Prostitution" Sting Operation?

A "soliciting prostitution" sting operation is an operation routinely run by local law enforcement to arrest "Johns".  This operation is used by nearly every local law enforcement agency other than the California Highway Patrol.  Oceanside Police, Escondido Police and Carlsbad Police seem to use it more than other departments and the way they run it may differ.  They offer an "opportunity" to solicit sex for money by individuals, usually males and referred to as "Johns".  The crime is the "asking for sex in return for payment"  whether or not it is performed or not is irrelevant.  There are possible entrapment issues, but the police try to be careful to avoid those issues.   Additionally, most people do not want to go to trial, even if they have a good case, because of the embarassment, fear their family, spouse, girlfriend or employer will find out.  Fortunately an experienced criminal defense attorney can play an important role in trying to get the charges dismissed if there are defensible issues, or reduced to lesser unrelated charges like "disturbing the peace".

What is the DUI Pink Sheet Suspension Notice?

The DUI pink sheet suspension notice you get when you are arrested is also a temporary license for 30 days if your license was valid at the time of the stop.  It is extremely important that you read pink sheet.  It tells you that a suspesnion of your drivers license by DMV will take effect in 30 days from your arrest, regardless whether you have been to Court or convicted.  This suspension is in addition to any suspension arising from a conviction for DUI and the length of the suspension depends on the reason for the suspension and prior DUI history.