Under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, you have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. This means that if you are arrested for drug possession in Orange County, it is important to look into how the drugs were found during the arrest. If they were wrongfully obtained, you may be able to have key components of the prosecution’s case thrown out.
Police in Orange County can legally search you or your property or person only if they have obtained a search warrant from a judge or the search qualifies as an exception to the warrant requirement under federal or California law. Therefore, officers cannot search you or your property for drugs in Orange County without a warrant unless: Read the rest »
A 28-year-old Anaheim man and a 24-year-old Westminster man face murder charges following the fatal shooting of another man in an Anaheim park. According to a news report in the Orange County Register, the men are schedule to appear in court on January 23, 2015. Officials believe the Westminster man drove the Anaheim man to the park where the passenger got out and shot the victim in the head. They then drove away before being apprehended later that night. The alleged shooter faces a maximum of 50 years to life in prison and the driver, who allegedly also had a gun, faces 26 years to life. They are being held on $1 million bail.
All criminal convictions can have life-changing consequences for the defendant and his or her family, but no charge carries as much gravity as murder. First-degree murder is punishable in Orange County by 25 years to life imprisonment in California state prison. When a murder is related to a hate crime or the death of a peace officer, a conviction can result in a life term without parole. In some cases, first-degree murder can be changed to capital murder with the potential of the death penalty. Read the rest »
Having a criminal record can affect your employment opportunities, your credit and even your personal relationships. Adults in California can have to have certain misdemeanors and even felonies erased or expunged from their record as long as they were not sentenced to California State prison. There are several conditions adult offenders must meet in order to get their convictions expunged. The process is, however, different for juveniles.
Having a juvenile record is not always as detrimental as an adult record, but it can still have a professional, financial and social consequences. It is in the best interest of Orange Country residents with a juvenile arrest or conviction to research how they can have their record sealed. Read the rest »
A 23-year-old man is being held in Santa Ana on suspicion of embezzlement and money laundering while working as a bank teller in Orange County. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, he was arrested nearly a year after Huntington Beach detectives began their investigation. Officials initiated the investigation after an elderly man reported being defrauded almost $200,000 by a Wells Fargo teller in Huntington Beach. The 23-year-old man was then transferred to San Clemente where he was accused of taking over $40,000 from another customer. He lost his job and has been charged with embezzlement and money laundering. He could face federal charges as well.
Embezzlement is when someone wrongfully takes personal property with which he or she was entrusted. For example, if a bookkeeper skims the books, that is embezzlement. It is also a form of embezzlement to keep money meant for a business and fail to put that transaction on the books. Depending upon how the stolen property is handled, it could lead to a number of other serious crimes such as money laundering. Read the rest »
Two women, aged 27 and 26, were acquitted of second-degree murder but convicted of voluntary manslaughter and assault following the death of a 23-year-old Huntington Beach woman. According to a KTLA news report, they were found guilty by an Orange County jury in July and sentenced last week to six years in state prison.
During the trial, it was revealed that the victim threw the first punch elevating the verbal argument to a confrontation. The two women joined in and their actions were caught on film. The fight was described during the trial as mutual combat, but the two women were convicted because they fatally kicked the victim in the head. She died in January, three days after the melee. Read the rest »
If you or a loved one is facing charges for heroin possession in Orange County, you are probably experiencing significant stress and fear. The charges you face are serious and the consequences of a conviction are severe. It is important that you do not face significant challenge alone and contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
First, it is important to review the charges you are facing. If you were arrested with a small amount of heroin, you are likely facing possession charges. If, however, you stored the drugs in a manner that appears as if you planned on selling the drugs, or if you had more drugs than you could use on your own, you may face possession with intent to sell charges. There is no set quantity of heroin that automatically changes a simple possession case to a possession with intent sell case. Therefore, it is at the discretion of officials to determine the severity of your charges. Read the rest »
The rights afforded to all individuals under the constitution are different for minors in juvenile court than adults in criminal court. For example, juveniles do not have the right to face a jury of their peers. Only judges oversee juvenile cases. Juveniles also do not have a right to bail. They are typically released to their parents or guardians prior to their arraignment.
There are, however, a number of constitutional rights that juveniles do have in Orange County. Here are a few protected rights that all juveniles have: Read the rest »
If you have been arrested for a drug-related offense in Orange County, there is a chance that you will face a lengthy jail or prison sentence. With the right legal guidance, however, you may be able to resolve your case outside the traditional criminal justice system. In Orange County, certain non-violent drug offenders can secure a place in California drug court, which focuses on rehabilitation rather than incarceration.
The drug court system in California is an alternative to criminal prosecution. The goal of the drug courts in Orange County is to provide alcohol and drug rehabilitation to reduce the chances of repeat offenses. There are a few different drug courts that are available for non-violent offenders, including: Read the rest »
California marijuana laws have changed dramatically in recent years. Now, residents of Orange County can legally obtain a prescription for medical marijuana use. Individuals with a medical marijuana card may possess up to eight ounces of dried cannabis. Furthermore, the courts have shifted in recent years to avoid harsh punishment for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana. Many defendants are able to avoid a sentence and heavy fines with the help of an Orange County criminal defense attorney.
A conviction for simple marijuana possession typically results in a fine of $100. Defendants under the age of 21 may also face a yearlong license suspension. However, each case is different and there are still severe punishments that can result from marijuana-related convictions. Individuals who possess over an ounce may face misdemeanor penalties that include jail time or mandatory participation in a deferred entry of judgment program. Read the rest »
Facing criminal charges is a serious matter, whether you are a juvenile or an adult. There are significant differences, however, between juvenile court and Orange County adult court. While the adult criminal justice system serves to prosecute and penalize individuals for breaking the law, juvenile court tends to provide more opportunities for rehabilitation.
Here are a few of the many differences between juvenile court in Orange County and the adult criminal justice system: Read the rest »