Articles Posted in Defense

If you have been arrested for a DUI, it is nothing more than a charge against you. Oftentimes, an arrest alone does not manifest into a charge. You may appear in Court on the date assigned, and find that no charges had yet been filed. However, that is not always the case.

A charge alone does not lead to a conviction.  You can only be convicted in one of two ways; 1) you enter a plea of guilty, or 2) you are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in trial. There are ways to prepare your case so that you give yourself the best possible chance of getting your case dismissed, or in the very least reduced.

There are many different ways you can fight a Los Angeles DUI Offense.

When you have been arrested on suspicion for a criminal offense, it is in your best interest to seek the counsel of an experienced legal counsel. There are two options when it comes to retaining legal counsel; securing the help of a public defender, or hiring a private criminal defense attorney.

A public defender is a court appointed lawyer who will help defend you in your case for a cost that is reasonable in comparison to your income. Whereas a public defender is in the courtroom every day and knows the prosecutor and Judges really well, they are also incredibly swamped with a caseload.

Lets consider Peter, the public defender. He works in the Courtroom and sees about 30 to 40 clients a day. As the Prosecutor speaks to each client, Peter has about 10 minutes to speak to each person about their case. He doesn’t get the opportunity to call around to friends and family, to look into the background of your case and to discuss the details of the facts with you. All of these are extremely important to your case and to the successful outcome of your case.

Many of our clients who have been charged with a Driving Under the Influence charge, claim that they did not become intoxicated at their own volition. Many argue that someone tampered with their drink, and added more alcohol or possibly even a drug that led them to become intoxicated.

This is a defense that has to be presented carefully. It requires strong evidence that supports the argument being made. Prosecution will prepare a strong rebuttal in each situation, but an experienced San Diego DUI Lawyer will be able to anticipate the potential arguments and will have a powerful defense prepared in your favor.

To prove that there was involuntary intoxication, one of the strongest types of evidence that may be presented is witness testimony. If a person can provide testimony that they directly observed someone pouring alcohol or drugs into your drink, without your knowledge, your case may have a strong defense. However, there are several concerns by prosecutors when proving a criminal case through the use of witness testimony.

When a person is arrested for a Drug charge in Southern California they could possibly face a conviction and jail time. Any drug charge on a person’s record could cause future issues with job and school applications. It is in the person’s best interest to do all that they can and utilize all available defenses to assure that the charge is reduced or dismissed.

Many of our clients are not guilty of the crime they are being charged with, and it is simply a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Many of our clients inform us that the drugs that are found in their possession are not theirs, but a friend’s or an acquaintance.

For example, lets’ say that Dan and Frank go to the beach and Frank drives. Unbeknownst to Frank, Dan has brought marijuana in a bag and put it in Frank’s glove compartment. After the beach, Dan forgets to take his marijuana with him and leaves it in the car. A couple days later Frank gets pulled over for a routine traffic violation and when he reaches for his insurance, the bag of marijuana falls out and officers arrest him for possession of a controlled substance.

There is an extensive portion of the California Penal Code dedicated to theft offenses. There are many different types of theft cases, and leaves room for many different charges under the code. One of the elements required for a person to be convicted of a theft charge is that there must be specific intent. Specific intent means that the person charged with San Diego theft, must have the intent to deprive a person of their property permanently. If this intent is not there, then the person may have a strong defense to the theft violation.

For example, Dan is studying at the library. He notices that someone’s laptop is unattended and sitting on a desk. He picks up the laptop, puts it in his bag and walks away. Later at home, he deletes the files and programs on the laptop and puts on his own. He puts in his own passwords and information. In this situation, the evidence indicates that Dan had every intent to take the laptop and not return it. By deleting all the programs and installing his own, there is strong support that Dan would not be returning the laptop to the owner. If Dan used the specific intent defense in court, it would likely be denied.

In comparison, David is studying at the library. He notices that someone has left their laptop unattended on the desk. David is doing some work and needs to look up something for him to be able to continue with his studying. He walks over to the laptop and looks up something using the internet browser. He does not move the laptop and after looking up what he wants, he leaves the laptop as it was and closes what he was looking at only. Additionally, he leaves a note on the desk telling the owner that he used the laptop just to look up something briefly and apologizes for the inconvenience and thanks them for allowing him to use their laptop.

Self defense is a defense that may be applicable in certain Southern California assault cases. Whether the defense will apply depends on the specific facts of the case. If a knowledgeable San Diego Criminal Defense attorney is able to argue self defense successfully, then the case may be completely dismissed.

The evaluation of whether self defense will be influential will depend on certain factors that must be met in an assault. If all the elements are not met, then self defense will not apply and the case will go.

It is the prosecutor’s job to demonstrate to the Court that the person charged is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In an assault case, they must prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt before a person can be found guilty and charged. They will do this by presenting evidence to the Judge and in certain cases, the jury. Evidence may include an officer’s report, witness testimony, photographs and any other evidence that was gathered from the scene.

Self Defense is a defense that may be applicable in certain Los Angeles criminal cases. If a successful self defense assertion can be made, then it provides a complete defense and the case may be dismissed.

In order for self defense to be an appropriate defense, several elements must be met. First and foremost, you must believe that you are in imminent danger. The standard that is used, is that of the reasonable person. The Court will look to determine if a reasonable person in your situation would feel that they were in imminent danger.

For example, let’s say that Dan sends Victor an email saying ” I hate you, I am going to kill you”. Victor then takes his gun, goes over to Dan and shoots him. Victor does not have a self defense argument. When Dan sent the email, he was not in the same room as Victor, and Victor had no reason to believe that his life was in imminent danger. The reasonable person in Victor’s situation would not have believe there was any immediate harm to his well being and therefore, the first element of self defense would not be met.

When a person is charged with a criminal case in southern California, the burden is on prosecution to prove that the person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Looking at an example will provide clarification. Dan was stopped by officers on suspicion of driving under the influence. He was sleeping in the backseat of his parked car, in a parking lot, with the engine off and the key in his pocket. The parking lot was to a Target store, and no bar, club or restaurant. Dan submitted to a breath test and blew a .10, well above the legal limit for blood alcohol.

When brought before the Judge, prosecution will argue that Dan was in fact driving under the influence, even if he was found sleeping in the backseat of his parked car. They will use the facts of the situation ( known as circumstantial evidence) to create a scenario for the court that demonstrates that at some point, Dan was driving while under the influence.

California Penal Code §503 makes it unlawful for a person to fraudulently appropriate property of another person’s that has been entrusted to you. This charge is often also referred to as employee theft of fraud. To put it more simply, it is when a person uses their position of trust to steal from those who have entrusted them.

Embezzlement can be extended to money, or personal property, as long as it has been misappropriated by a person who is being trusted with it.

An example of an embezzlement case would be a typical bank teller scenario. A bank tells is entrusted by others to handle their money and protect it. If the bank teller is stealing money and directing it into their own account, they will be charged with embezzlement. Embezzlement is a more serious form of theft because it is being abused by someone who is trusted with the person’s property.

A commonly used defense in California drug sales, illegal gambling and prostitution cases is entrapment. Entrapment is a defense that the person engaged in unlawful conduct due to the coercion or pressure from a law enforcement officer. To be a successful defense, the person must not be predisposed to committing the illegal act being charged and there must be actual harassment, fraud or pressure directed by law enforcement towards the person charged.

Entrapment is a frequently used in situations where an undercover officer asks to buy drugs or solicit from a person who obliges and are subsequently charged with the sale of drugs or prostitution. If the entrapment defense is successful, then any evidence obtained is excluded from trial. This is what is referred to as the exclusionary rule.

For example, let’s discuss a situation where Person A is a law abiding citizen. He is a family man, is a high paying vice president of a large corporation job and has never been arrested or charged with any criminal offense besides several unpaid parking tickets. Person A is approached by an officer and asked to sell him some heroin. Person A refuses and explains that he is not the person to talk to, and he wouldn’t know where to obtain any illegal controlled substances. The officer insists, and begins to call and appear at places Person A is with his family. After repeatedly asking for a week, the officer calls up Person A and tells him that he will have Person A sent to jail for unpaid parking tickets and will personally assure that he serves jail time if he doesn’t comply with the officer’s demands. Person A, afraid of jeopardizing his job agrees and obtains the heroin. The officer immediately reports Person A and has him charged for felony drug possession. As evidence the officer presents pictures and recorded conversations of Person A obtaining the heroin from a known drug dealer and transferring it over to the officer.