San Fernando Valley Criminal & DUI Defense Lawyers

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Once Reduced, A Felony is a Misdemeanor for All Purposes

If you have been convicted of a felony in California, there is a good chance that the felony conviction can be reduced to a misdemeanor under California law. Under California Penal Code Section 17, a “wobbler” felony can be reduced to a misdemeanor any time probation is granted and no form of state prison (even a suspended sentence) has been imposed. This means that if you are having trouble getting or keeping a job because of your criminal history, you should call a lawyer about trying to clean up your past. What Types of Convictions are Relevant? If you have a prior …

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Prostitution: Beware of a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude

Many people, myself included, feel that prostitution should be legalized, regulated, licensed and taxed. Maybe one day that will happen in our fine state. However, the federal government views this crime much differently than the state. Because prostitution under California Penal code Section 647 (a) is a crime involving moral turpitude or CIMT, it could be cause for deportation, denial of naturalization or denial of re-entry into the United States for a non-U.S. citizen. What Are the Consequences? That’s alright, we say. Here in Los Angeles and in other locations, there are diversion programs for prostitution. I can plead guilty to …

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What to do if you were Arrested for DUI Over the Holidays?

Were You Arrested for DUI Over the Holidays? If you or someone close to you was one of the unlucky people who were arrested for DUI this holiday season, then you are in good company. The task forces were out in force and the number of people arrested is quite high. Remember that the best way to deal with a DUI arrest is to deal with it immediately and not ignore it. First, read all the paperwork you got when you were arrested. If you or your loved one is still in jail, call me and we can talk about ways to …

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Getting Arrested During the Holidays really Sucks!

Getting arrested is NOT a good way to avoid family events during the holidays. I know that we all have certain obligations this time of year. We need to spend money on holiday gifts. We need to see family and friends to share meals and exchange presents. We need to attend holiday parties for work. Some must travel to see family and friends, while others stay home and entertain. Either way, there will be a lot of family in the next two weeks. There will be a lot of expenses in the next two weeks and there will be a …

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Recent Changes in Criminal Defense in Ventura County

By now a lot of people have heard or dealt with the changes that have occurred in Ventura County’s criminal justice system. The biggest change is the seemingly permanent closure of the work furlough program. Work furlough is a jail substitute where people who were convicted of crimes and sentenced to jail could serve their time at a facility located at the Camarillo airport. The location was supervised by probation officers and allowed “inmates” to leave during the day for work and return to the facility at night, thereby getting day for day credit for their stay in the program …

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How Much Should it really cost to hire a Criminal Defense Attorney

I got an unsolicited email this weekend. A potential client was asking how much I would charge to represent them in a drug possession for sale case. God bless this potential client who said she was trying not to take too much of my time, but wanted to get an idea of what it would cost to hire me. I emailed back that I had some questions: Where is the case, some background information on the client, criminal history, some specific facts about the case, etc. The client indicated she had been quoted about $5,000 from two different lawyers. She seemed to …

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Before you go out Drinking, Have a Plan

If you start the night off with a plan, you are more likely to end the night sleeping in your own bed instead of sleeping at the grey bar motel. Throughout the past 20 plus years I have been representing people for DUI in California, I have found that when people have a plan at the beginning of the night, their night tends to end more successfully. What does that mean to you? Before you go out drinking, formulate an action plan for your night. Decide several things before you leave your house. First, even before you decide who is going …

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Drunken Boater Not Charged in Connection with Friend’s Death

A Los Angeles man was sentenced to 36 months of probation in Sonoma County Superior Court on October 12th, 2016 in connection with the death of his lifelong friend while wakeboarding out on Lake Sonoma earlier this year. The defendant, 30-year-old Andrew Scheff, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of operating a recreational vessel with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more, while a concurrent misdemeanor boating under the influence charge was dismissed. According to the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office, prosecutors found that there was insufficient evidence to prove that boating under the influence caused the …

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Military Diversion Avoids any Criminal Conviction

Getting Clients into Military Diversion Have you ever heard of Veteran’s Court? Some people have, but even fewer people have heard of the Military Diversion Program. Diversion is a concept that was all but done away with back in the late 1990’s . Back then, if you were arrested for a drug crime, you could agree to waive time for 18 months to three years, remain crime free and complete an outpatient drug program in order to get your case dismissed. Since 1997, the deferred entry of judgment (DEJ) program replaced the drug diversion program. The big difference between the two programs is …

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DEJ is Better than Prop 36

No I don’t Want Prop 36 When I can get Diversion Drug cases these days are interesting. If the case does not involve sales or possession for sale, it will normally be a misdemeanor. When I speak to a prosecutor about settling the case, prosecutors often suggest “Prop 36” as a settlement. I bite my tongue and suggest that my client appears to be “DEJ” eligible. This week I actually had a prosecutor look at me and say, “Do you think that’s enough for your client” suggesting the client should have more intensive therapy instead of the 20 week outpatient program …

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