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 »
Computer crimes, often referred to as cybercrimes, involve the use of computers to carry out illegal activities, such as fraud and identity theft. Computer crimes are taken very seriously by law enforcement in Orange County. You can face felony charges for cybercrimes if the authorities believe you carried out a fraudulent scheme on the Internet, used email to obtain sensitive information or accessed a computer without permission.
You can also face charges for selling prescription drugs online, promoting Internet gambling or for soliciting a minor online. These are all serious allegations that can tarnish your reputation and result in years of incarceration.
If you are facing computer crimes in Orange County, you will have to act quickly. Officials in Orange County and California are known for aggressively investigating and prosecuting computer crimes. California even has an eCrime unit tasked with prosecuting large-scale technology crimes. This is the largest unit of its kind in the United States. Read the rest »
Last year, the body of a 36-year-old female Army veteran was found in the Santa Ana Mountains. According to an NBC Los Angeles news report, her 55-year-old male roommate was found guilty for her death on July 29, 2014. During the trial, the jury listened to a 911 call from the victim in which she said that she was afraid of her roommate. They were also showed video of the man entering a library where he allegedly researched how long it takes a human body to decay. Jurors convicted the man of second-degree murder and his sentencing was scheduled for September 12, 2014. He faces 15 years to life in state prison.
Murder in California is defined as “the unlawful killing of a human with malice aforethought.” Murder is the most aggravated type of homicide. Murder is always unlawful, and unlike manslaughter, it involves malice. Under Penal Code 187, malice is when the “killing resulted from an intentional act” or when it was deliberately performed with a conscious disregard for human life. Read the rest »
Two consultants and a marketer are facing federal fraud charges for falsely billing health insurance programs for over $50 million. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, a federal grand jury indicted the three individuals on multiple counts of mail fraud. Officials believe they lured patients to an Orange surgery center for medical procedures that they were told were covered by their health insurance plans. These allegedly unnecessary procedures such as tummy tucks, nose jobs, liposuctions and breast augmentations resulted in false bills.
This alleged scheme resulted in over $50 million of claims to union and PPO health-care benefit programs. The 30-year-old marketer from San Pedro and the 31- and 44-year-old consultants from Placentia and Tustin respectively, could each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for every count of mail fraud. Read the rest »
In 2010, an Orange County man was convicted for a gang murder and sentenced to life in prison. According to a recent news report in the Los Angeles Times, Orange County prosecutors have agreed to vacate that conviction because they say crucial evidence was not provided to the defense at the time. The defendant will now face a new trial.
During the original trial, the prosecution relied on testimony from three informants including a “jailhouse snitch” who provided information with the hope of receiving an early release from prison. The defense attorneys for the convicted Seal Beach man say that the prosecution routinely utilizes snitches and then conceals their work from the defense. In this case, they only provided four out of 300 pages of notes! Read the rest »
A 43-year-old Huntington Beach woman who pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $750,000 from her employers has been sentenced to eight years in state prison. According to a news report in The Huntington Beach Independent, the woman was a part-time bookkeeper who embezzled $171,000 from an Irvine-based company and $578,000 from a Huntington Beach-based company by hiding extra salary checks she paid to herself.
She legitimately made about $2,000 a month, but was spending over $20,000 a month on vacations, vehicles, and breast enhancement surgeries, the report said. The charges she was sentenced for include grand theft embezzlement, money laundering, forgery, and falsifying financial records. Read the rest »
A 37-year-old Anaheim man has been taken into custody after another man was found dead in his own apartment. According to a CBS news report, the roommates of the victim found him in their apartment in the 1300 block of North Harbor Boulevard in Santa Ana. Officials have not released any information that connects the Anaheim man with the victim, but they were allegedly acquaintances. The 37-year-old man is being held by the Santa Ana Police in lieu of $1 million bail on suspicion of murder.
California Penal Code 187 (a) defines murder as the “unlawful killing of a human being or a fetus with malice aforethought.” Homicide refers to all types of killing including manslaughter, justifiable killings, and murder. Murder charges always carry the most severe penalties. Read the rest »
Two Orange County men face multiple wire fraud charges after allegedly defrauding investors out of at least $3.5 million. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, they allegedly targeted wealthy investors between June 2009 and March 2014 in Orange, Los Angeles, and Riverside Counties. Officials say the men used investments in Euro Bank Trust Corp., for their own personal gain. They have also been accused of making a variety of deceptive statements regarding the wealth of their company and what they could offer to investors. They pleaded not guilty to the charges and could face jury trial as early as July.
Wire fraud is a federal crime that involves fraud carried out through any form of television, radio, or wire communication including e-mail and even text messaging. According to U.S. Code 1343: “Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio, or television communication” has committed wire fraud. Read the rest »
A 27-year-old Anaheim man will face 22 years of prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, he entered a guilty plea in connection with an incident that occurred off Zeyn Street in Anaheim the night of August 29, 2012. Officials say a 39-year-old man was in a physical confrontation with a 53-year-old Irvine man when the 27-year-old decided to join in. The 53-year-old man was killed and the 39-year-old man was convicted of murder. The 27-year-old faces 22 years in prison instead of the 11-year maximum sentence for voluntary manslaughter because of a previous conviction involving gang activity.
In this case, the Anaheim man was able to plead guilty to manslaughter because he played a smaller, secondary role in the murder of the victim. It is important to understand the differences between voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, and murder because their penalties are significantly different. Read the rest »