Articles Posted in Criminal Defense

No one should have to be the victim of domestic violence, but this type of abuse is prevalent around the country and the globe. In the United States alone, approximately 20 people every minute are victimized at the hands of a person with whom they have an intimate relationship. Yet, even though domestic violence is a very serious and real problem in the United States, there are also countless instances of people being falsely accused of the crime.

When a person is accused of domestic violence in California, they face severe criminal penalties and public shame. Jail time, fines, and developing a criminal record can result from a conviction. Even when there is no conviction, the accusations alone can follow a person and may lead to many negative life outcomes such as losing a job or a shattered reputation.

Top Reasons Why False Domestic Violence Accusations are Made

It is disturbing and unfair when a person lies about domestic violence. It is particularly concerning for a person who is on the receiving end of these false allegations. The top reasons why people lie about domestic abuse include:

  • When a couple is parting ways by means of divorce or separation and especially when children are involved, claiming that the home environment was unsafe because of domestic abuse is a way to strengthen one party’s case for child custody.
  • When intimate relationships fail, the amount of emotion involved can be high. Especially if the dissolution of a relationship was not mutual, jealousy and rage can motivate a person to say things that aren’t true about their ex. This need for revenge can easily provoke a person to tell lies to hurt someone.
  • When tensions are high and a disagreement becomes intense, one party involved may misunderstand the situation and feel like domestic abuse happened when it did not.
  • If someone has something that another person wants, greed may be what prompts a person to say that domestic violence and other abuse took place.

If you were accused of domestic violence in California, you have to get the most experienced and skilled California criminal defense attorney to examine your case and develop a winning strategy to beat your charges. When the assertions made about you are untrue or if you do not believe that your actions constitute domestic violence, then David M. Boertje is a San Diego domestic violence defense attorney who can aggressively handle your case and fight so that you see the best outcome possible. Continue reading

After a conviction for a crime, if you were sentenced to probation, it is incredibly important that you understand the terms of your probation in California. If you violate these conditions, even if you do so unwittingly, you could still be sent back to jail. To best preserve your ability to serve your time outside of jail, you must completely abide by the requirements of your probation. Doing so can help you better get through your sentence as quickly and painlessly as possible.

If you are unsure about how to follow the terms of your probation in San Diego, David M. Boertje is a San Diego criminal defense attorney who can answer your questions and clear up any confusion you may have. David M. Boertje is dedicated and committed to providing the most effective criminal defense services to individuals who have been charged with both misdemeanor and felony crimes. The California criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of David M. Boertje has a successful track record of helping people who are charged with crimes have their case dismissed, get their charges reduced, obtain the most advantageous plea bargains, as well as achieve not guilty verdicts.

What are the Consequences of Violating Your California Probation the First Time?

People who are interested in purchasing a gun must do so lawfully because the repercussions that come with unlawful possession of a firearm in California are harsh. According to the Giffords Law Center, California has an A rating on gun laws and is the most restrictive state in the nation when it comes to gun legislation. This is why it is incredibly important to understand California’s strict gun laws so that if you purchase one, you do so legally. Once you own a gun, you must follow the laws to avoid any potential pitfalls that could result in you getting tangled up in the criminal justice system.

What California Gun Control Questions are Asked Most Often?

If you are unsure about issues like illegal possession of weapons, what is in the Gun Control Act, or how you are allowed to use your firearm, a knowledgeable California criminal defense lawyer can help. The following information may provide more clarity when it comes to the most common concerns and inquiries about gun ownership in California:

  • How old must you be to buy a gun?

People who are over the age of 18 are legally allowed to buy rifles and shotguns as well as ammunition for them. You have to be older than 21 years of age for all other types of legally available firearms.

  • How can you legally sell a firearm in California?

People who are older than 21 years of age must have a Federal Firearms License, must contact their local police station that they applied for the license, and have an appropriate location for selling firearms.

  • Who regulates gun ownership?

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution provides Americans the right to keep and bear arms and the federal government determines what people qualify to own specific types of firearms. The ability to carry in public, though, is regulated by the state and local governments.

  • What must you do to buy a firearm in California?

If you are interested in buying a firearm in California, you have to undergo a background check. You must file an ATF 4473 so the federal government can look into your background and see if there is anything that would prevent you from being able to purchase a firearm. Sellers use the information that the ATF 4473 brings about to determine a potential purchaser’s eligibility for buying a firearm.

Some states also require that people who want to purchase a firearm have a permit. In California, if you want to buy a shotgun or a rifle, a permit is a must. Also, California mandates taking a gun safety class and obtaining a passing grade on a written test before a person can purchase a gun. Continue reading

Sex crime charges in California are some of the most difficult ones for people to overcome for many reasons. The public disgrace and shame that goes along with a sex crime arrest are considerable. When an accusation of some type of sexual assault is made, it is common for people to naturally side with the victim. Because of the nature of sex crimes, people will tend to feel bad for a victim and want immediate justice by having the alleged perpetrator punished to the harshest extent. Even when a sexual assault accusation is false, the person who was victimized by such dishonesty may never be able to fully escape the stigma that goes along with the charges. They may always be treated differently.

It is incredibly important that if you were arrested for a sex crime in San Diego, that you obtain the counsel of an experienced San Diego sex crime defense attorney immediately. Getting started on your case as soon as possible can minimize the impact that the allegations will have on your life. Quickly working on your case will also be crucial to building the strongest defense strategy to improve your chances of getting a not guilty verdict.

The Different Types of Sexual Assault Crimes in San Diego

Sexual assault comes in many different forms and the state of California does not take these offenses lightly. Convictions can result in many years in state prison, high fines, as well as having to register as a sex offender, which is a permanent black mark on your name and your life. 

The following are some examples of sexual assault:

  • Rape is a violent offense that can take place between people familiar with each other or not, and sexual intercourse is forced on an unwilling party or parties. There are many forms of rape including:
    • Date rape happens between people who have some type of relationship with each other.
    • Spousal rape happens between people who are married.
    • Statutory rape happens when a person who is 18 years of age and older engages in sexual intercourse with a person between the age of 14 to 17. Knowing or not knowing a person is considered a minor does not shield a person from prosecution.
  • Prostitution is when a person either pays for sexual acts or accepts money to perform sexual acts.
  • Sexual Battery is an unwanted touch that is sexual in nature from one party to another.
  • Indecent Exposure is when a person displays their genitalia in public.
  • Lewd Acts happen when a person engages in sexual behaviors in public where they can be seen.
  • Pornography is sexual content that can exist in pictures, videos, artwork, or in writing.
  • Child Molestation happens when sexual and lustful actions are directed at minors.

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The final phase of San Diego County’s $205 million construction for a juvenile detention center has been approved. San Diego supervisors voted for $75 million to go to the transition center without any dissent. The new facility will be a replacement for the Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility, which was erected in 1954. The supervisors supported the construction of the new facility because it will be better equipped to house important therapeutic services that are meant to help youngsters who got caught up in the criminal justice system. By minimizing punitive responses to these younger individuals and favoring more intrinsic healing methods, it is believed that these young people’s prospects will be improved.

In November, a portion of the facility will open with 96 beds available to minors who were charged with serious offenses. When the second and third phase of construction is completed, 72 to 96 beds will be open for minors. There will be a focus on understanding the children’s past trauma and the way those experiences may have been a reason for the child’s criminal behavior.

The Impact of Incarceration on Juveniles

Most of the juveniles who make mistakes and are arrested will not be convicted. For others who have the misfortune of being incarcerated for crimes committed, there is going to be an increased risk for these young people to be more vulnerable to many negative life and health outcomes. The system can affect minors in many ways including the development of mental health conditions, the inability to finish school as well as struggles to find jobs and earn a living. Ultimately, these children often re-engage in criminal acts and are sent back to jail. According to studies that examine trends with youths that are tangled up in the juvenile justice system, the longer a young person is behind bars the more likely that when they become adults they will have problems with their physical and mental health.

A large portion of youth that get into trouble with the law are already suffering from physical and mental health issues. Of all the children going into the juvenile system, 46% are in need of emergency medical care while 70% of the population that is incarcerated are afflicted with one or more mental health conditions. A shared factor amongst these young people is that almost all of them were victims of trauma. When a child who has already been devastated with horrendous life experiences is put into the juvenile justice system, their distress amplifies. It becomes a challenging task to help them overcome their anguish so that they can heal and move forward. Continue reading

The San Diego County prison has reported the highest death rate when compared to all other large counties in the state. This led the Democratic Party of San Diego County to request that the Joint Legislative Audit Committee do a review that will look at deaths that took place in the prison system during the last 15 years. What the DPSD is seeking to achieve is answers as to why the prison system in San Diego County has seen such a large number of deaths and what is being done to address the problem.

Specifically, the lawmakers who made the audit request are inquiring about:

  • How the San Diego Sheriff’s Department has acted to lessen incidents of death.
  • What the demographics of the deaths are and if minorities are dying at a higher rate than other groups.
  • What the sum total was that the county paid to families that took legal actions as a result of death.
  • Examine practices and funds used for the Citizens’ Law Enforcement Review Board.

The Sheriff’s Department has accepted the review and is in full cooperation with it.

How Did the Request for the Audit Come About?

The San Diego Union-Tribune did a write-up about the deaths that were occurring in the prison system entitled “Dying Behind Bars.” This article was used by the lawmakers to justify their request for an audit. According to the article, the San Diego County prison system is the sixth-largest in the state of California but has the most deaths. Deaths and suicide are markedly high for inmates in this specific system. 

It was found that the prisons were mismanaged in terms of how inmates were treated and what services to which they had access. The article showed that several individuals who died from suicide could have been saved if the suicide-prevention methods were improved and strengthened. Likewise, inmates who had illnesses were not given the quality healthcare they needed. 

Potentially preventable deaths present a real tragedy caused by an ill-prepared prison system. This loss of life was also very costly. The prison system had to pay millions of taxpayer dollars to settle legal challenges that resulted.

The next panel of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee will meet sometime this summer. This is when the request for the audit will be seen and if approved, findings would likely be made available by 2022 or earlier. Continue reading

Citizens of the United States, both those who are unencumbered by the criminal justice system and are free and those who are serving time behind bars after a criminal conviction, have rights. Being arrested, charged, and then convicted of a crime in California is never the intended outcome for a defendant, yet convictions happen every day. Jail time as a consequence of a conviction is also common, but serving time does not make you less of a human or a citizen of the country. You still are entitled to basic rights under the United States constitution.

If you do not know what your rights are, you will have a much harder time understanding situations in which you may not be treated equitably. Understanding your rights can help you keep the dignity you are entitled to as well as protect you from inhumane abuse. David M. Boertje is a San Diego criminal defense attorney who offers experienced and skilled legal counsel and defense to individuals who are arrested for crimes in San Diego. A conviction can have many life-long negative implications. Having the most proficient legal defense supporting you is important to improving the chances that you see the best outcome possible, including avoiding having to spend time in jail.

What Rights Do You Have While You are Serving Time in a California Jail?

An arrest is a suspicion of a crime, not a confirmation of one. When you enter the criminal justice system, you are innocent until proven guilty, and you should be treated like this. When it is proven that you committed a crime, you will face punishment for that offense. If your penalty includes jail, while you are behind bars you are afforded the following protections:

  • You can not be treated in a cruel and depraved way.
  • You must be granted access to services and resources that are available to support a disability or illness if you have one.
  • You have the ability to connect with and use the court system if you need to, so if you have a complaint you are allowed to voice it.
  • You do not lose due process while in the prison system. For example, if it is alleged that you committed a crime while you were incarcerated you can use witnesses and other evidence to defend yourself. You will not be granted professional legal representation, but you have the right to fight back against the accusations.
  • You must be able to get the treatment you need for physical and mental issues.
  • You must not be discriminated against.
  • You have the right to practice your religion without obstruction and if you do not have a religion, you cannot be forced to partake in religious practice.

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After a conviction, when jail time is on the table, there may be options for how you serve your time. Generally, being allowed to serve your time at your home instead of behind bars is preferable. Not every crime will qualify for alternative sentencing like home detention or house arrest, but for those that do, your best chances of getting this outcome will be to work with a savvy and talented San Diego criminal defense attorney.

David M. Boertje is a California criminal defense attorney who has the experience and the skill to argue for house arrest in lieu of prison. House arrest may result in complete home confinement or it can allow for you to have the ability to travel. Potentially you may be able to leave your home to go to court and even personal appointments, school or work, and other approved locations. Typically, a judge is not going to bring up alternative sentencing options. It takes a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to request it, and then to convincingly persuade a prosecutor and judge that house arrest is the best option and that you are worthy of receiving it.

How Does House Arrest in California Work?

House arrest is not a walk in the park; it is meant to be a punishment. There are several rules that people who are able to secure this sentence must follow. These rules vary based on the person and the type of crime that they were convicted of committing. For some, house arrest in California can be very difficult — even more so than prison time. That being said, most people favor the option of home detention over having to spend time in jail. 

The basic tenets of house arrest include:

  • You have to stay inside of your home at all times. In rare instances, you may be able to spend time outside on your property.
  • You will be monitored by way of electronic monitoring devices. This could be an ankle transmitter or GPS tracker. If your crime involved alcohol you may have to wear an alcohol-monitoring bracelet. Drug crimes may require drug patches that are tested weekly. All of these devices must be kept on 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Authorized individuals who are in charge of ensuring you are complying with the rules of your home detention must be admitted into your home without incident to do their job.
  • If you are permitted to travel, you may only go directly to the approved location and then directly back home. Also, you may have to abide by time constraints meaning you will only be allotted a specific amount of time that you can be at a confirmed location before you must return to your home.
  • You may be financially responsible to pay for expenses associated with your home detention sentence.

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If you were arrested in the state of California for vandalism, you could face either misdemeanor or felony charges. The extent of damages and the cost that results go into determining which charge applies. Under the law, when it can be proven that a person willfully and maliciously damaged or tarnished property, that individual will be convicted of vandalism and handed down a punishment for their crime.

There are several defense strategies that can be used to defend against California vandalism charges. A competent San Diego vandalism defense attorney will explore several angles to find which is the best for their client. Some examples of valid arguments include:

  • You did not mean to destroy another person’s property and the incident was a mistake.
  • You were falsely identified as the culprit who committed the vandalism.
  • You did not actually commit the crime and the accusations against you are untrue.

These defense approaches are just a handful of the different ways that your charges may be fought. David M. Boertje is a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in San Diego who will thoroughly review your case and assemble the best strategy aimed at keeping you safe from punishment. As a seasoned San Diego vandalism defense attorney, David M. Boertje will support you and safeguard your legal interests.

What Happens When You are Arrested for Vandalism in California?

Personal property that only belongs to one person can be destroyed by the sole owner, and this will not be considered vandalism under the law. The common misconception is that mischievous young people commit these fairly innocuous acts of vandalism. The truth is that many people of all ages and backgrounds vandalize.

These are just a few examples of vandalism: 

  • Keying a car.
  • Having a fight with your spouse or partner and breaking a valued vase.
  • Spray painting property that is not your own and without permission.
  • Ruining wet cement.
  • Knocking a sign over.
  • Pushing down a mailbox.
  • Throwing a rock through someone’s window.

This list is not exhaustive as there are many actions that constitute vandalism. When the vandalism causes property damage that is at least worth $400, it will be considered a felony. Anything under $400 is a misdemeanor. Sometimes a person vandalizes several types of property that are all under $400, but when added together, the total amount of destruction is more than $400. This makes it possible to be charged with a felony.

The important takeaway is that viciously defacing public or private property that you do not own or partially own with another party is likely going to result in a vandalism charge. When the property that you damage is of high value, more severe penalties will follow because you will be looking at felony charges. Continue reading

Interactions with the police can be scary and distressing. Certain situations in which law enforcement is involved can be downright deadly. Understanding your rights as well as what is legally expected of you when it comes to interacting with law enforcement in California is incredibly important. You may be able to protect yourself from harsh penalties like time spent behind bars as well as expensive fines and other related costs.

Penalties for felony convictions are much harsher than for misdemeanors, but any criminal conviction can affect a person’s life negatively far beyond just serving time. Working with a California criminal defense attorney provides a defendant with hope and the best chances of having their case dropped or at least their charges reduced. Not every legal professional is the same, however; finding the most skilled and vastly experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney is essential to obtaining a favorable outcome and helping you get back to living your life. 

How to Defend Yourself Against Battery on a Police Officer in California 

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