After your arrest and detainment, a judge will typically set your bail. Bail is an amount of money that you post to be released from detention in jail. Once bail is set, you or your loved ones can pay it in the form of bail bonds, cash, or property. When you are bailed out of jail, you are expected to return for your scheduled court date. If you do not attend court, then you will lose the rights to the bail that was posted for you. If you attend your hearing, then you will be reimbursed.

If a judge decides that you should be released on what is called ‘your own recognizance,’ then you will not have to post any type of bail to be released from prison. If you or a loved one has been arrested and you are confused about the bail bond process, reach out to a San Diego criminal defense lawyer right away. 

Who Can be Released on Their Own Recognizance in California?

Being released on your own recognizance (O.R.) means that the judge believes that you are trustworthy enough to come back for your court date without having to put up collateral, or bail. For the majority of the state of California, O.R. release does not just automatically happen, and while many criminal defendants may be eligible, not everyone is. 

Those individuals seeking O.R. release cannot have any of the following be true:

  • The charges are so substantial that a conviction can lead to a death sentence.
  • The defendant’s release may put public safety in jeopardy.
  • There is no belief that the defendant will actually come to their court date.

Being released on O.R. is the best possible outcome after an arrest, but getting to this point is not an easy task. This is one of the many reasons why having an experienced legal defense attorney on your side after you are arrested can be so invaluable. An attorney who knows the criminal justice system in California and understands exactly what is necessary to argue for O.R. release on a defendant’s behalf is a critical tool in preserving your freedom. 

The San Diego criminal defense attorney David M. Boertje has a track record of success helping clients tangled up with the criminal justice system achieve O.R. release. If it is possible to get released on one’s own recognizance, attorney David M. Boertje can argue effectively on a defendant’s behalf to secure this ideal situation. Continue reading

You can be charged with the crime of failure to appear in court if you fail to appear in court when you are summoned. If you signed a written note that you will attend a court hearing in California, if you were subpoenaed to appear before the court, or if a judge ordered you to come back to court, and you do not show up, you can face severe punishment. Depending on your situation, you could face misdemeanor or felony criminal charges. 

Not every defendant who misses a court date does so on purpose and because they were negligent or irresponsible. There are situations in which a defendant misses a hearing through no fault of their own. If you unintentionally missed your court date, you need effective and proficient legal representation arguing your position to the judge. David M. Boertje is a San Diego criminal defense attorney who can do just that.

When is it OK Not to Appear in Court?

As a rule, there is never a time that it is acceptable not to appear in court. This is why if you have a court date, you work hard to make sure you get there. Though, there are times when it is impossible to make it to your court date. In this situation, you could potentially be relieved of criminal consequences.

Failure to appear in court is a crime in the state of California that is punishable by jail time and expensive fines. This is true when failing to appear is willful, meaning that a person specifically did not try to make it to a court or directly attempted to miss their scheduled date.

In situations in which a defendant tried to make it to court, did not willfully miss their court date, but experienced something that prevented them from being able to make their court date, they can avoid criminal penalties. Emergency situations are an example. Let’s say that on the way to court you were involved in a serious car accident and were injured. This would be an unexpected occurrence that would make it difficult for anyone to continue with their day as planned. Continue reading

In the state of California, when someone restrains or detains another person against their will and in an unlawful manner, this is known as false imprisonment. False imprisonment, or false arrest, as it is also known, impedes a person’s ability to move and infringes on their freedom. As such, it is a crime in California the same way that it is a crime across most of the United States. If you were arrested for false imprisonment, you may be facing a misdemeanor or a felony charge. It really comes down to the details of your case, and the prosecutor has the authority to determine which charge will be levied against you. 

After an arrest in California, you can trust the skilled legal guidance of the San Diego criminal defense attorney David M. Boertje. It is best not to take on criminal charges alone. David M. Boertje knows the criminal justice system and can fight on your behalf to secure the most favorable outcome for your case.

What Determines if False Imprisonment Will be a Misdemeanor or Felony?

The prosecutor tasked with assessing your case will look at many factors when determining the right level of charges. If force and aggression were used to detain someone or if fraud was a factor, then a felony may be the prosecutor’s decision. This is especially true for a person who already has a long criminal history. 

If a prosecutor chooses a felony charge, then the punishment will be harsher than it would be with a misdemeanor. With a misdemeanor, a year in county jail would be the maximum penalty, but with a felony, that penalty could increase to up to five years spent behind bars in state prison.

Not only will false imprisonment likely lead to some amount of jail time if a conviction takes place, but the victim of such an experience may also be able to file a civil suit against the individual who subdued them. Civil cases are different from criminal cases. In a criminal case, the bar to serve a guilty verdict is high, and jurors must believe a defendant committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Civil cases, by contrast, only require jurors to believe that a defendant likely was negligent. While criminal cases where a guilty verdict is decided will result in some type of punishment, a civil case can result in financial compensation to the plaintiff.

Being arrested in California for false imprisonment can have far-reaching negative implications including establishing or adding to criminal history, jail time, and potentially payment of a settlement to a victim for their damages. Continue reading

Today’s technology can make or break a criminal case. Specifically, the ability to identify DNA, which can more easily find people that could be linked to or associated with a crime is a big deal. DNA is one of the primary pieces of evidence forensic investigators will be looking for when they sweep a crime scene. If found, a prosecutor may build a case around it and target the person whose DNA was left behind. Even though DNA can be a robust and convincing piece of evidence against a defendant, it is not always enough to secure a guilty verdict. 

In some cases, DNA alone can be convincing and lead to a conviction. In others, a jury is tasked with believing beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant committed a crime in order to convict. If they are not sure and still have some lingering doubts, it could be possible for a defendant with DNA evidence against them to avoid conviction.

Residents of San Diego and the surrounding areas who are arrested should immediately get in touch with professional legal counsel. The San Diego criminal defense attorney David M. Boertje has been devoted to helping individuals mixed up in the criminal justice system fight for the best outcomes, including not guilty verdicts or reduced charges. David M. Boertje knows how to get results.

What Happens if DNA Leads to a Conviction?

When DNA is present, this piece of evidence can be compelling enough for a jury to want to convict. It is not always the situation, but defendants should know that it can be. Even if a guilty verdict is rendered, a defendant is not out of options. A defendant has the right to appeal that verdict and potentially get a better result.

There are several examples in which DNA was a primary reason for a guilty verdict. However, upon appeal, a conviction of a crime was overturned. This is the best possible result of an appeal.

Individuals arrested and charged with crimes can strategically position themselves to secure the most favorable outcomes for their cases when they have experienced legal counsel on their side. When it comes to DNA evidence, this is certainly powerful proof that may show a link to a crime. Though, in the absence of other forms of evidence, it can be hard for a jury to believe that a defendant committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt and then convict. Should this happen, and there be serious questions and a lack of supplemental evidence to support the DNA exhibit, the defendant may have a case to make that, upon appeal, can overturn their guilty verdict. Continue reading

When the prosecution is making their case against a defendant who is charged with various crimes, they may make use of witness testimony as part of their strategy. Some witnesses can be extremely credible and make it an uphill challenge for the defense to overcome. Other times, the believability of a witness can be questioned, and a talented criminal defense lawyer will know how and where to find inconsistencies to potentially make their testimony less impactful on the defendant’s case.

When you have been arrested for a crime in San Diego or the surrounding areas, the best way to go about combating such charges is to do so with effective and competent legal counsel. For the majority of his professional life, the San Diego criminal defense attorney David M. Boertje has been representing aggrieved individuals accused of crimes and fighting to secure the best possible outcomes for them. When a case goes to court, getting a “not guilty” verdict is always the goal. But, when this does not seem likely, having charges reduced or negotiating a fair plea agreement could be appropriate alternatives.

When is a Witness’s Testimony Credible?

Ultimately, credibility comes down to what the jurors believe when they hear a witness speak. During a trial, witness statements can be quite powerful for either the prosecution or the defense. Yet, not every witness called is going to deliver a compelling story that sways the jurors to believe in their credibility.

The way that a witness comes off, their personality, the consistency of their statements, their background, if they have a criminal past, their connection to the case, and more can all go into what makes up a trustworthy witness or one who is suspect.

Some key factors that go into the credibility of a witness include:

  • Can the witness benefit financially from the outcome of the case?
  • Does the witness exhibit, or can be shown to have any type of bias or prejudice?
  • Does the witness have certain disabilities or limitations that may have hampered their ability to fully hear or see an event?
  • Does the witness have a drug or alcohol problem and did they have either in their system at the time they claim they heard or saw something?
  • Do they have a clear and consistent memory of the events that took place or do they often struggle to remember what happened when questioned?
  • Is the witness’s behavior consistent with truth telling?
  • Has the witness said different things at different times about an event in question?

Even if a witness is completely honest, there is no way to tell how each juror will interpret what they say. This is especially true because to some extent, people all have varying amounts of different subconscious biases. For example, it could be that one juror may not be as trustful of men with blue eyes and blonde hair simply because of an experience they had with someone of the same characteristics in their past. Continue reading

When two parents are responsible, loving, and protective of their children, whether they are together as a couple or separated, it is reasonable to say having each person in the child’s life greatly benefits the child. For most parents, the thought of having their child abducted can be sickening and immensely upsetting. Typically, when one thinks of child abduction, one imagines a malicious type of stranger grabbing a child and running away. While this does happen, the majority of child abductions are perpetrated by parents.

As high as 78% of all missing children reports happen when one parent unlawfully takes their child. In these instances, it is generally a parent who has an established custody arrangement and fails to follow it. Out of all of these situations, the leading reason why parents who violate their child custody agreement do so is that they want the agreement to change or be modified. Then, for more than 20% of the missing child reports, it is not either parent that abducts the child but rather another family member like a grandparent.

What Happens When a Parent Unlawfully Takes Their Child in California?

The good news is, in many instances when a parent unlawfully takes their child, the child usually is not in danger and will likely be returned home without much fanfare. 

If a parent acts in an egregious way by taking their child and fleeing the state, being unresponsive, and keeping the child in an unknown location for a long period of time, then they may be charged with parental kidnapping. Also, if one parent refuses to abide by child custody guidelines and denies the other parent access to their child, parental kidnapping charges may apply here too.

The criminal charges of parental kidnapping can be either a felony or a misdemeanor because this type of crime is what is considered a wobbler.

Misdemeanor parental kidnapping charges in California can come with punishments including:

  • $1,000 fine
  • One year in county jail

Felony parental kidnapping charges in California can come with punishments including:

  • Three years or less in state prison
  • $10,000 or less in fines

There are several aspects of a potential kidnapping case that a prosecutor will examine when it comes to determining the right charge to apply. The child’s safety and well-being are one of the top considerations. If there is any belief that the child was in danger at any time while they were with the parent who allegedly kidnapped them, it is highly likely that the prosecution will favor a felony charge over a misdemeanor. In this case, having a San Diego felony defense attorney is the best option for overcoming one’s charges.

Even if the crime is determined to be a misdemeanor, a conviction can result in the parent who kidnapped their child losing any unsupervised access they previously had to their child. Continue reading

Sex work can be a bit of a gray area in terms of legality. The big difference between, say, being an escort and engaging in prostitution, is payment for sex. What may start out as a legal arrangement could become illegal should money be exchanged for sex. Conviction for a prostitution crime can come with punishments including up to $1,000 in fines and jail time.

If you were charged with a solicitation or prostitution violation, there are legal defenses available to you. The prosecutor on your case must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you had the intent to participate in a sex act, entered an agreement to the terms of how the sex act would be compensated, and then engaged in the sex act. For solicitation charges, though, a sexual act does not even have to happen.

To protect your best interests after an arrest, consider connecting with an experienced San Diego prostitution defense attorney at the Law Offices of Davide M. Boertje to have your situation professionally evaluated.

The Legality of California’s Sex Industry

Prostitution charges or solicitation charges can be devastating to your reputation and could result in issues within your career and/or your home and personal life. The stigma of such charges alone can cause irreparable harm in one’s life. Fighting such charges with convincing and persuasive arguments may help you avoid criminal penalties and go a long way toward clearing your name.

Prostitution occurs when there is intent to engage in a sexual act and there is a financial transaction to pay for it. Prostitution is illegal in California. Soliciting another person for a sex act and offering to pay for it is also illegal in California.

An escort is a person who provides non-sexual companionship and is paid for those services. Hiring an escort is legal in the state of California, but there are guidelines. The police department must issue a California escort worker with a valid permit to operate. Without one, a person calling themselves an escort would be doing so unlawfully.

One can legally engage in a sexual act with a licensed escort. This is true as long as there was no exchange of compensation and both parties consented to the act. It becomes unlawful when any lewd or sexual act takes place and a fee is paid for the act.

Think about this scenario: You want to hit the town and try a new restaurant, but your friends are all busy. Perhaps you hire an escort to accompany you so you do not have to go alone. If you are hiring a licensed escort from a reputable agency, this is a legal practice in the state of California. Though should some type of sexual activity occur between you and the escort you hired, and payment is made, then this would be considered a crime. Continue reading

Under the law, you cannot pretend to be someone that you are not. If you try to falsely represent yourself as another person, this could lead to significant criminal penalties. California forgery charges are strict, and depending on the details of the crimes, you could be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony. Time behind bars and steep fines could result. And, if you did not have a criminal history in the past, a forgery conviction will change that quickly. As a result, the rest of your life could be negatively impacted by that criminal record that will follow you around wherever you go, tainting your reputation.

David M. Boertje is a San Diego felony defense attorney who can help you when you have been arrested for a criminal act like forgery. While there are clear examples of forgery, such as taking another person’s check and trying to cash it as if the check were yours, there are also other examples of forgery that may not at first seem like a crime at all.

What is Forgery in California?

California describes forgery as the falsification of documents. Some examples include:

  • Falsely trying to cash another person’s check.
  • Rewriting or making adjustments to another person’s will without their consent.
  • Signature tampering.
  • Taking another person’s plane ticket and posing as that person to get on a flight.
  • Trying to claim lottery winnings that are not your own.
  • Signing a contract with another person’s name.
  • Filing for a license in another person’s name.
  • Trying to withdraw more money from your account than you have by cashing a check.
  • Making fake money and trying to use it to procure goods and services.

California forgery and counterfeiting laws are serious and when you misrepresent yourself and it harms another party, you could be held criminally liable. Your charges may rise to the level of a misdemeanor charge, but they could also be charged as high as a felony offense. The difference between the two has to do with how much money was involved in a forgery event. Should forgery result in costs over $950, then a felony would be applied. If the forgery was less than $950, a misdemeanor would result.

Misdemeanor forgery charges come with penalties including fines and a year in county jail. While a felony charge could mean up to 16 months in state prison or up to three years in county jail. Restitution payments and pricey fines as costly as $10,000 may also be part of a sentence. Continue reading

Carjacking is a crime in the state of California. It is defined, essentially, as one party using force or threats to take another’s automobile. The penalties for a carjacking conviction can be quite serious. As a felony offense, carjacking can come with many years behind bars. One’s sentence could be as high as nine years. This is why it is critical that when you are arrested for carjacking, you have an experienced and tactical attorney on your side protecting your rights and interests.

David M. Boertje is a San Diego theft crime defense lawyer who has extensive experience providing effective criminal legal defense services to individuals charged with various crimes, including carjacking. The outcome of your case will be heavily impacted by the quality of your legal representation. At the Law Offices of David M. Boertje, building persuasive and compelling legal defenses and providing the highest quality legal counsel for individuals who find themselves facing criminal charges is our focus and objective.

Implications of Carjacking in California

When one party uses force or fear to take a motor vehicle that does not belong to them from another party, against the will of that other party, this is considered the criminal act of carjacking. The party attempting to forcefully steal a car from another party does not even have to be successful to face criminal charges. Even an attempt to engage in such conduct can result in an arrest.

Let’s say you open a car door with someone inside. You try to get them out of the car but they are quick enough to put their foot on the gas and evade you. Should an officer see this scenario, you will be arrested for attempted carjacking. Attempted carjacking has its own penalties with respect to the amount of jail time you could face.

Should you be successful with your carjacking attempt and you take off in another party’s car but there is a passenger in that car, you may also be looking at kidnapping charges. The penalties here are even more severe. Under California’s kidnapping laws individuals who are convicted of this crime are looking at a life sentence in state prison with the possibility of parole.

Ultimately, the extent of the punishment will come down to the details of the crime and the judge’s discretion. The best approach in these situations is to work with an attorney who knows the law, how to protect your rights, and the best way to put together a believable defense that can convince a jury to have doubt about your guilt. If your attorney can accomplish this, that is, put uncertainty into the minds of the jury hearing your case, then you may be able to avoid a conviction. Continue reading

By the third quarter of 2021, there were an estimated 284 million vehicles driving about throughout the United States with 228.2 million licensed drivers. The United States has some of the highest levels of road traffic when compared to other similar developed nations. In terms of states, California has the most licensed drivers. Because of this heavy road traffic, the US also reports more frequent vehicular accidents than its counterparts.

There are many ways a car accident can happen, but speeding, driving under the influence, and distracted driving are some of the most common causes reported. A common misconception is that illegal drunk driving incidents only happen when a driver has alcohol in their system. While driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more is illegal and a frequent occurrence, there are other situations that also constitute driving under the influence.

Can You be Arrested for Driving With Prescription Drugs in Your System?

California drunk driving laws indicate that driving with more than a certain level of alcohol in the system is unlawful, but so is driving with drugs in the system. This is true for illicit substances, over-the-counter medicines, and those that come from a valid prescription.

If the drug or medication you are taking has impairing side effects, even if you only feel the symptoms are minimal, you should avoid driving until the drug is out of your system. If law enforcement pulls you over because they believe that you are driving unsafely or erratically, consistent with someone who is under the influence, they could arrest you if they find you ingested certain medicines.

For example, for nighttime cold medicine, the warning label will often indicate drowsiness is a side effect. Drowsy driving is incredibly dangerous; there are many issues a drowsy driver has operating their automobile that drunk drivers also have. Slower reaction time, inability to stay focused, and struggling to stay awake are just a few. 

Another example is if you suffer from chronic pain, your doctor may have provided you with a prescription for narcotics to manage that pain. It is legal to take narcotics that were prescribed to you. But, if the narcotics cause you to feel dizzy, sleepy, affect your vision, or cause other side effects, you are putting both yourself and others in danger of injury or death when you get behind the wheel.

If you have a prescription or over-the-counter drug in your system and you cause a crash or are arrested, the fact that the medicines you took were legal will not be a valid defense to a driving under the influence of a drug charge. 

There are some aspects of your arrest that you may be able to use in your defense, however. A San Diego DUI defense attorney will know what aspects of your case can be challenged to give you the best chances of overcoming your charges. Continue reading

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