What I thought to do today was kind of give a little background over the things, what kind of cases that typically come through my office. These aren’t everything I do but these are some of the more common things that I see and it’ll help you when you’re talking with family and friends and something comes up, and say hey I know who does that. So I’m going to start out with traffic. Traffic offenses, the more common ones that we deal with are DUIs, that’s kind of the biggest one of everything. Probably half my case load are those because that’s what the prosecutor, half their case load is, they file those complaints, So the defense attorney you respond to whatever they do. So that’s the big one there. Kind of related lesser than that are suspended licenses, revoked licenses, licenses not in your possession, reckless driving, hit and run.
Those are all traffic misdemeanors and you go to jail for up to a year on those opposed to your typical speeding tickets where they are just fines. So that kind of takes care of that. Next big category is drugs. The typical things that I see a lot of are possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance. You know when you think of a controlled substance people use it. Under the influence of the controlled substance, OK that is kind of a serious one because even though it’s a misdemeanor there is a mandatory minimum 90 day jail sentence on that one so that’s a big one for misdemeanor and then paraphernalia we get a lot of those with pipes and whatever paraphernalia that people have. Next big category is property. Property crimes. There’s a lot in here I don’t put them all but these are the big ones I see a lot. Petty theft, grand theft, shoplifting a lot of those. Different types of fraud, insurance fraud, welfare fraud. You know Orange County did a little thing with the car repair industry here not too long ago where they did a sting operation on a lot of repair shops. Auto body shops got hit for that insurance fraud. Embezzlement, forgery, larceny, burglary and vandalism that comes up sometimes actually in crimes against a person you know. Domestic violence. The husband and wife get in a fight and what do they do they destroy some property. So the D.A. throws a vandalism charge on there besides the domestic violence charge which carries a mandatory minimum one year license suspension. So, tip to you, if you get in a quarrel don’t mess up the property. You lose your license for a year if you do.
Another thing it’s kind of general it’s not really a crime but people refer to it as a white collar crime as opposed to whatever but it’s things like internet crime, Identity theft and credit card fraud. Those types of things. This next thing isn’t really these IRS tax problems. They can lead to criminal prosecutions if you have tax problems and you get contact from CID which isn’t the name of the guy it’s the criminal investigation division. They are very intimidating. They’re packing heat. They come with their badge and they flash it and people just go wobbly kneed cause they’re dealing with the feds there and it can be very frightening but most of mine I try to nip it in the butt before there. So things like collections, audits, no filers. People get their wage garnished, there bank accounts levied or maybe they put a lien on their property. Those are some of the tax problems I can help people avoid. The next are is crimes against a person. Assault and battery, domestic violence DV, assault with a deadly weapon. What could be assault with a deadly weapon? Your fist, that’s the common one. Your feet, I’ve seen everything come out of there. Obviously guns or knives. Cars are very common. When people try to deliberately take somebody out. A weapons charge, sexual assault, threats and trespass. This next category they don’t really fit in nicely with those other things. I just throw them under miscellaneous.
Conspiracy, every thing I’ve talked about so far if two or more people do it, you’re going to get a conspiracy charge on there and the D.A. loves those cause they’re easy to prove. And they’re great to use as leverage to negotiate term one against another. Juvenile same thing, everything I’ve talked about so far juveniles can do it but they’re a total different court setting. Closed to the public, just the judge probation the D.A. and the parents and the juvenile and the criminal defense attorney. Clearing your record. That’s a big one. Especially with the economy, people trying to get work. They’ve had a past criminal history. They want to get their record cleared up. I can help them do that. Depending on what it is there are different procedures you use. Expungement is the common one but there is also certificates of rehabilitation and heaven forbid if you have to get a pardon from the governor those aren’t given out easily. If they are given out they are usually given at the end of the governors term. You know ,out of county, out of state and out of country representation I do a lot of that. Orange County is a destination county people come here for entertainment. There’s Disneyland, Knott’s Berry farms, there’s the beaches. We got the Ducks and the Angels here. And so I represent a lot of people that come here on business or something. They do some entertainment or maybe they’re on vacation. They get DUIs, maybe their kid swipes something at Disneyland they get a shoplift charge there. They get a DUI charge they live back in Indiana. Quite often I can help them without them having to come back here to California to take care of that. So keep that in mind for your out of state relatives when they’re visiting. Hopefully they don’t get in trouble but…
Next thing warrants. There are all kinds of warrants. You got arrest warrants, you got search warrants, you got bench warrants. Usually search warrants the prosecutor thinks they got something on you so they go to the judge and they write up an affidavit. Say why they want to go search and what they’re looking for. That’s what a search warrant is. That could lead to an arrest warrant where they come to the judge say OK this is what we got on the guy. We want an arrest warrant so they go and they arrest the guy. A bench warrant is what the judge does if you don’t comply if he told you to be there at a certain day in court and you’re not there. If you didn’t pay a fine or whatever you were supposed to do and you don’t do it. The judge from the bench will issue a warrant for your arrest. Last thing on this miscellaneous category, probation violations. Typically on a misdemeanor you’re going to get a three year probation period and if during that three years you do something and it violates that probation you’re going to be back in front of that judge that sentenced you and at that time you can be sentenced up to the maximum under whatever you plead to or were found guilty of. OK, so it’s a pretty serious thing and criminal defense attorneys can help you out a lot on those. I’m going to try to wrap this up so I can take a few questions. Bail, a lot of things people do when they first get arrested is they call a bail bondsman. Well that’s a big mistake because you call an criminal defense attorney an attorney can a lot of times get you out without you posting the bail. And that money that would go to the bondsman can be used toward your criminal defense attorney fees. So even if he cant get you out your own recognizance almost any attorney can get your bail rate reduced on that and can help you find a bonds man if you don’t know one. Alternative sentencing people want to know what to do. You know my life is crumbling apart be cause of this. My family my wife ready to leave me my job is threatening to fire me.
What can I do to stay out of jail. There are certain programs depending what the charges are and a lot of times we can negotiate with the prosecutor or the judge depending on what court you’re in or what judge you’re in front of to do what’s called SEC or home confinement. That’s becoming more popular as the jails are over crowded. Finally, any questions? I probably have time for one question. Statistically crime is down but you read in the newspaper all these horrendous things so you think that crime is up. Statistically the last stats that came out from the FBI. The crime here in Orange County is down and Irvine was rated for the eighth year in a row as the safest city in America for violent crime, not property crime but violent crime. I don’t know but it has hit the bondsman because they are over crowded with all the officers. On a DUI first time will just site and release you like a traffic ticket.
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