What is probation?

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by admin on November 29, 2010

Probation in general: If a crime is eligible for probation, and the judge grants probation as part of the sentence, then whatever the maximum time for the crime is gets suspended and a grant of probation is ordered.  From there, the person would be told of certain conditions of probation – which may include county […]

Juvenile defense lawyer – Orange County

by admin on February 19, 2009 · 0 comments

Orange County juvenile criminal defense FAQ’s In California, anyone under 18 is considered a minor.  In general, the goal of the juvenile justice system is rehabilitation, but that doesn’t mean the charges can’t be serious and have lasting effects. What happens when a child is arrested? The criminal laws apply to minors in the same […]


The short answer is yes.  Think about all that’s working against you already.  If the police think they had enough evidence to arrest you, your case is more than likely going to be referred to the District Attorney’s office for prosecution. So what should you do in the time period between when you were arrested […]

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Unless you’re asking about carrying a knife in specific areas that are prohibited (schools, courthouses, some governmental offices, etc.), the two laws you need to know are Penal Code sections 12020 and 653k. Penal Code section 12020(a) makes it a felony to carry a “dirk or dagger” concealed on your person.  A knife, no matter […]


Unfortunately, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re free. The District Attorney has, in most cases, up to three years from the date of the crime to file felony charges and up to a year to file misdemeanor charges. It just means that for some reason, your case was not filed by the date you were told […]

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In California, driving under the influence (DUI or “drunk driving”) is covered in two ways under two different laws. The general section for DUI is 23152(a) of the Vehicle Code. It makes it illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs at any level. The second charge is 23152(b) – driving with a […]

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By filing a formal motion with the court, you can seek to have a conviction taken off your record in a process known as expungement. The procedure depends on whether the conviction was for a misdemeanor or a felony, the punishment imposed and your age at the time of the conviction. By expunging your conviction, […]


Only the prosecution can file charges and only the prosecution can drop or dismiss charges. They may take into account the victim’s wishes not to “press charges,” but it is their decision. Your attorney may be able to convince the prosecution to drop charges (or to not file them in the first place) by presenting […]

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What is "statutory rape"?

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by admin on October 2, 2008 · 0 comments

The age of legal consent for sexual intercourse in California is 18 years old. The crime of “statutory rape” (more correctly called “unlawful sexual intercourse” today) is sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 18. Even if the “victim” was a willing, consenting partner, if they are under 18, it is still a […]


California law provides several options for possession of drug offenses, but the outcome depends on several factors. First-time offenders may be eligible for a drug diversion program that will allow you to attend counseling and ultimately get the charges wiped from your record. That option may not be available if you have a prior record […]


What are the Miranda rights?

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by admin on September 24, 2008 · 6 comments

In 1966, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling in a case that dramatically changed criminal procedure. Whenever a person is “in custody” and being subjected to interrogation, law enforcement is required to inform them of certain rights. Those rights that must be explained to a suspect are: The right to remain silent; that […]


What is the "Three Strikes" law?

by admin on September 22, 2008 · 2 comments

In 1994, California voters passed legislation enacting the “Three Strikes” law. If you are convicted of any felony after having two previous “serious” or “violent” felonies, you face a mandatory sentence of 25 to life in state prison. If you have one previous “strike” conviction, any sentence you get on a new felony will be […]


Burglary is when a person enters a building with the intent to steal or commit a felony inside. The prosecution must feel they have evidence to show your son’s intent to steal before he entered the store. If they cannot show that intent, the burglary charge must be dismissed.  Since burglary is a felony and […]


If you were convicted of a misdemeanor or most felonies and were granted probation, you may be eligible to have the conviction expunged or taken off your record. There are limitations on what expunging a conviction means and what crimes are eligible. If you were convicted of a felony and were sentenced to state prison, […]


You do not have to register if you are arrested, only if you are convicted – and then, only if you are convicted of a crime that requires registration.  That registration is a lifetime requirement and becomes part of a public database, so even though you are not required to register for an arrest, you […]


When someone is arrested and booked into jail, a bail amount is set.  Bail is designed to ensure a person released from jail will return to court to face the charges.  The amount is usually determined from a standard scheduled amount for each crime.  The bail for most felonies can range from $10,000 and up.  […]


What is an Arraignment?

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by admin on September 10, 2008 · 2 comments

An arraignment is the first court appearance in a criminal case.  The accused is formally told of the charges against them and enters a plea (usually a “not guilty” plea).  The court will then set bail and dates for the next court appearance.


What is a Misdemeanor?

by admin on September 10, 2008 · 8 comments

A misdemeanor is a criminal offense that carries a maximum punishment of up to a $1,000 fine and/or up to a year in the county jail.  Although a misdemeanor is less serious than a felony, a conviction will still result in a criminal record and should be taken seriously.


What is a Felony?

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by admin on September 10, 2008 · 9 comments

A felony is the most serious of criminal charges.  They are punishable by fines, imprisonment in state prison or, in the case of capital murder, death.  Some examples of felonies include drug possession, murder, rape, robbery and grand theft.