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Posts tagged "Criminal Defense Lawyers"

How does an infraction differ from a misdemeanor?

An infraction is a minor offenses which is punishable by a fine only, like most minor traffic violations.  A misdemeanor is any crimes that can result in county jail time, even if jail time is not imposed.  The mere fact that it is punishable by possible local custody makes it misdemeanor.  A felony is any crimes where you could get a state prison commit, even if you get no custody on the case.

Can you terminate probation early in Vista Courts?

You can terminate Probation early in Vista Courts.  It requires a motion to be filed stating the request for early termination and the reason.  Usually additional documentation is included with the motion supporting the early termination.   A court date is assigned about 3-4 weeks later, the District attorney is served a copy of the request for early termination and will respond agreeing or opposing the request.  At the hearing, a Judge will hear both sides and make the decision whether early termination is appropriate.

A Petty theft in Oceanside is prosecuted in Vista Courts

A petty theft in Oceanside is prosecuted in Vista Courts, as are petty theft cases in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Escondido, San Marcos and Fallbrook.  Most petty thefts occur in retail outlets and are also called shoplifting.  Thefts of merchandise $950 or less in value are misdemeanors and carry fines and possible custody. Usually the individual is stopped by store security, interviewed by store security and held for the local police or sheriff to take over the investigation.

Is a weapon necessary for assault with a deadly weapon charge?

A weapom is not necessary for an assault with a deadly weapon charge, commonly referred to as ADW, also known as California Penal Code 245.  There may be a weapon required for some of the subsections, however, one of the subsections simply requires "...assault on the person of another with a deadly weapon or instrument, other than a firearm, or force likely to produce great bodily injury..."

Marijuana Possession and Sales in Vista Courts

Marijuana Possession and sales  cases in Vista Courts could dramatically change with the upcoming election where the recreational use of marijuana will be on the ballot.  While marijuana is still an illegal drug federally, we have seen the federal government condone and not prosecute cases except where there are commercial grow  operations not regulated by state laws and illegal trafficing of marijuana.  California is still prosecuting marijuana possession, cultivation, and sales cases criminally unless they are in accordance with both state and local laws.

Are cell phone searches illegal without a warrant?

Cell phone searches without a warrant are unreasonble searches and illegal. Anything found in that search may not be used against the person arrested. However, if there is sufficient information to get a warrant to search the contents of the phone, then it may be searched.  There are also possible exigent circumstances that may justify the cell phone searches without a warrant, like officer safety or destruction of evidence.

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 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.

Is "shoplifting" and "petty theft" the same?

"Shoplifting" merchandise valued at $950 or less from a commercial outlet carries the same penalties and can also be charged as a "petty theft".  But a shoplifting over $950 in value is grand theft which is a felony and therefore not the same. There may be other charges in a theft case like "burglary" which is the entry into a building with the intent to commit theft or other felony.  Commercial burgalries may also be misdemeanors if the value of items take is $950 or less.  Burglary of a residence is a felony and a strike under the 3 strikes law.  

What happens on a Domestic Violence charge at Arraignment?

Arraignment on domestic violence charges officially informs you of the charges that the District Attorney has filed against you, addresses bail, sets future court dates for negotiations and trial, and also results in a "protective order" for the victim.  If the victim is not present, the Court will automatically impose a protective order which is a temporary restraining order, that prevents any contact with the "victim" during the pendency of the proceedings.  If the "victim" is present, then he or she may address the Court and ask that there not be a "no contact" order" and the Judge could impose a less restrictive "no negative contact order" which allows contact but no harassing, threatening, or assaultive type behavior.

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