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Posts tagged "criminal defense attorney"

Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft in Vista Courts

Credit card fraud and identity theft in Vista Courts increase over the holidays.  Fraudulent use of a credit card of another without their consent can be a felony or misdemeanor depending on the facts of the crime and the amount of the theft.      Identity theft can include not only using the personal identifying information of another with the intent to defraud  and without consent, but even the possession of the personal identifying information with the intent to defraud, even if not used, can be a felony or misdemeanor.

Identity theft and Credit Card Fraud are often linked

Credit card fraud and identity theft are often linked.  Credit card fraud generally occurrs in one of two ways.  Either someone unlawfully uses the personal information to get a credit card unlawfully in another person's name and then uses that credit card, or gets a stolen credit card and then gets false identity documentation in the name on the stolen cardholder in order to use it.

Is injury required in a "Battery" case?

Injury is not required in a "battery" case.  A misdemeanor battery is without injury, and may simply be an unlawful use of force against another ....a rude or angry touching of the individual.  There are more serious charges that are felonies if there is an injury depending on the seriousness of the injury.  Battery can also vary in seriousness depending on the "victim".  If the "victim is a spouse or someone that you have had a romantic relationshipwith, then it is domestic violence and has greater consequences.  Additionally if the "victim" is a child, police officer, emergency personnel, teacher or other special person under the law, then penalties can also be greater as well as the charges.

Are cell phone searches legal by a police officer?

Cell phone searches are legal by a police officer if he has a search warrant.  The U.S. Supreme Court decided in the case of Riley v. California just this June, 2014, that in most cases a search warrant is required.  There may be some exigent circumstances which could possibly excuse the warrant requirement, but that was not an issue nor really addressed in the Riley case.

How does a "Strike Prior" affect a new felony?

A "strike prior" results in mandatory prison, double the term and 80% of the prison time is served for a new non violent new felony with one strike prior.  There is no expiration of a strike offense and they can increase penalties for the rest of your life.  However, if it is older it may be able to be possible to be stricken or dismissed through negotiations.  Judges have the ability to dismiss a stike allegation over the District Attorney's (D.A.) objection if they make certain findings justifying the dismissal.  The law does give a Judge that discretion.  If the felony charge is reduced to a misdemeanor per Penal Code 17(b) by the D.A. or the Judge, then there is no mandatory increased penalties but prior record is usually a consideration in sentencing.

What if no Criminal charges were filed on my Court date?

If no criminal charges or DUI charges are filed on your Court date, they could still be filed later.  If no charges are filed within 3 Court days and you are in custody, you will be released.  Charges could still be filed as long as they are filed by the D.A. (District Attorney) within the statute of limitations.  The statute of limitations is the law which says any criminal charges must be filed within a specific time frame, depending on the offense, or they can never be filed. Misdemeanors must be filed within 1 year, most felonies must be filed within 3 years.  There are some criminal charges like murder which has no limitation on filing, other serious felonies like child molestation and other serious offenses can be filed many years later.  The California Penal Code can tell you what the various statutes of limitation are for different offenses.

Can a Petty Theft become a Robbery?

Yes, a petty theft can become a robbery.  California Penal Code (PC) 484 Petty theft is stealing proerty $950 or less in value, PC 211 robbery is the taking of property against someones will using force or fear.  The Courts have ruled that someone who steals property and then uses physical force, like pushing or fighting with a security guard while trying to get away is sufficient to escalate the misdemeanor petty theft which carries up to 6 months jail to a felony robbery which carries up to 5 years state prison and is a strike under the three strikes law.

Non Sufficient Funds Check can be a Felony in North County

Issuing a non sufficient funds check (NSF) is really a theft related offense and may be a felony in North County and all of California.  If the check is issued for $450 or less, it may be a misdemeanor. The crime requires issuing a check when you knew there was insufficient funds to cover it at the time and intending to defraud another.   Many times these NSF checks can be made good quickly and criminal charges can be avoided.  The facts and cricumstances of any non suffienct funds check case are extremely important in determining whether the check was written knowing there was no money in the account at the time and if it was done to defraud another.  Post dating a check may avoid the problem, if you are realistically anticipating funds to be available.  You are essentially telling the other person there are not funds now but there should be later, and the facts will determine whether you have issued it with an intent to defraud.  

Felon in Possession of a Firearm or Amunition in Vista Courts

A felon in possession of a firearm or ammunition is a serious crime in Vista and throughout California.  A felon is anyone who has ever been convicted of a felony that was not reduced to a misemeanor, even if it was expunged as a felony. Possession does not mean ownership but simply control or right to control the firearm personally or through another, even if the firearm does not work.   

What is Child Endangerment?

Child endangerment is endangering a child and can be a felony or misdemeanor depending in how severe the danger was to the child. This crime is serious and can have far reaching effects on someones record, career, child custody and visitation.  It does not matter if their are injuries or not for purposes of filing the charges, injuries do matter as far as plea bargaining and sentencing.  It is the putting a child in a situation where they are likely to suffer great bodily injury or death which is a felony, and a misdemeanor for circumstances are not likely to result in great bodily injury or death.  For the actual law and elements of this offense, see California Penal Code 273a(a) and (b)

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