Articles Posted in Criminal Defense

If you were arrested for a crime in California, the best thing to do right after is to get in contact with a San Diego criminal defense attorney. Building a persuasive and thorough defense is the only way that you can fight your charges and get your desired outcome. Ultimately, defendants will hire an attorney to get their charges dropped and their case thrown out.

Any competent criminal defense attorney in San Diego is going to be fighting for this result. In some cases, though, having this happen is not feasible. When that is the reality, your attorney must be ready to quickly switch to Plan B, which is getting your charges reduced. Reduced charges come with reduced penalties and that is key for any legal professional to shoot for as they represent their clients.

How Does Mistake of Fact Work?

Depending on the nature of your crimes, whether you have been charged with a felony or a misdemeanor, and how much warranted evidence there is against you, your defense attorney will help you build an effective defense. There are situations in which a defendant is charged with a crime that they did not even know they committed. Or a defendant may not think they were committing any crime when they took certain actions.

Think about this: If you believe that a piece of property is rightfully and legitimately yours and you take it, another party can call the police and say that you stole it. When you took the property, you did not believe it was owned by anyone other than yourself. You had no malicious intent to deprive another person of that property because you did not believe it belonged to anyone else. Yet, another party may feel like the property is theirs. 

A qualified criminal defense attorney will be able to show that you in no way took the property from your accuser because you wanted to permanently strip them of ownership of that property. In fact, this could not be true because you never truly believed the property belonged to your accuser in the first place. When you have a reasonable and logical belief that property was your own and you can illustrate this, then charges of larceny likely will not stick.

This type of defense is called Mistake of Fact. As the name implies, as a defendant, you did not know about a specific fact that you would have had to know in order to truly commit a crime. Mistake of Fact is a defense strategy that is used quite often. In the presence of sufficient evidence and quality legal counsel, a defendant can beat their charges using this strategy. Continue reading

A California arrest can be a  distressing and trying experience. If you have been arrested for a crime in the greater San Diego area, you are likely feeling many different emotions as you consider your future. Depending on the nature of your charges, you could be facing harsh penalties that will change your life forever. 

The best way to protect yourself and your freedom is to work with an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney. David M. Boertje is a criminal defense lawyer in San Diego who understands the way that the criminal justice system operates and how to develop customized defense strategies that can improve your chances of having your case dropped or your charges reduced. With a keen understanding of all legal procedures, David M. Boertje has the background you want to handle all the intricate aspects of your case.

What Should You Ask a California Criminal Defense Attorney?

Preparing to choose a criminal defense attorney in California is an important first step towards equipping yourself with the best chances of having a favorable result in your case. When you meet with an attorney, asking targeted questions can help you determine which legal mind will be the best for you. Choosing a defense lawyer in California should not be taken lightly as the outcome of your case will be highly dependent on your legal representation.

Consider bringing with you a list of questions. Here are some samples:

  • Are you licensed and experienced in practicing criminal law in San Diego?
  • How long have you been practicing in San Diego?
  • Do you have courtroom experience? If so, how many years?
  • Have you represented cases like mine? If so, what was the outcome?
  • How will communication work? What is the frequency of communication?
  • Are you responsive to phone calls and emails?
  • Can you tell me what defense strategies may work for my case?
  • What is the payment structure that you offer? Do you have payment plans?
  • Do you charge by the hour or is there a fixed rate that you use?
  • What would be a rough estimate of how much it will cost to hire you for my case?
  • Would pleading guilty be the right avenue for my case?

Writing down the information that you gather when you meet with an attorney is a good way to remember it, evaluate it, and determine then what attorney will serve you the best. When your liberties and freedoms are on the line, working with the most knowledgeable legal counsel is necessary.  Continue reading

If you were arrested in San Diego and your crime is considered a misdemeanor, you may think that you do not have to be too concerned about the outcome of your case. Ideally, avoiding jail time and fines is always the desired end result. Even when a crime is just a misdemeanor, it can still have harsh repercussions. 

It is critical to connect with an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney after you are arrested for any crime. Understanding your rights and fighting to overcome your charges is incredibly important. Working with the right legal counsel in San Diego could be the difference between a clean criminal record and your freedom and costly criminal penalties that will have a negative impact on your life over the long term. David M. Boertje is a California criminal defense attorney who can examine your case and help you after your arrest.

The Negative Im[plications of a Misdemeanor Conviction in California

If convicted of a misdemeanor crime, defendants could face:

  • Community service
  • Jail time
  • Probation
  • Costly fines

It is not just the physical punishments like jail time or fines that will affect your life. If your record is clean, it will not be any longer when a conviction takes place. Any employer, financial institution, or another party that wants to do a background check on you will see your conviction. This could mean that you will have a difficult time moving forward after your conviction. It may be considerably harder to:

  • Get a loan.
  • Be accepted into a school.
  • Find a job.
  • Keep your current job.
  • Develop new relationships with others.
  • Get financial aid.
  • Have a housing application accepted.

These are just some of the struggles a person that was convicted of a California misdemeanor crime can face. It is certainly true, getting along in life is much easier without a criminal background.

It is possible to fight misdemeanor charges, especially if you have a talented and knowledgeable San Diego misdemeanor attorney on your side. Potentially the evidence against you was obtained illegally and can be thrown out. Another way to gain a favorable result is with a persuasive defense strategy. Some examples include:

  • You were under duress at the time the crime was committed and could not avoid doing it without sustaining harm.
  • You were compelled to commit the crime to avoid a much more severe crime from taking place.
  • You committed a crime because you were acting in self-defense.
  • You did not understand or intend to commit a crime and instead, the crime was a mistake of fact.
  • Intoxication was a factor in the crime that was committed.

Continue reading

Being arrested in California for an alleged crime is never a good thing. An arrest can mean serious legal repercussions including jail time and expensive fines. The implications of a criminal record can follow a person around for a very long time, impairing their ability to succeed in life and society.

Depending on the crime that is committed, it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanor crimes tend to be less grievous than felonies and because of this, the penalties that come with them are not as harsh as felonies. Also with misdemeanor crimes, there is often more flexibility with regard to sentencing after a conviction. On January 1, 2021, updated California law gives judges expanded discretion to grant diversion for more individuals convicted of misdemeanor crimes.

How Do New California Sentencing Laws Affect People Convicted of Misdemeanor Crimes?

Before California Assembly bill 3234 was enacted, there were many misdemeanor crimes that did not qualify for diversion programs. Individuals who struggle with drug addiction and mental health issues were typically the only individuals who could be considered for diversion. Now almost all of the misdemeanor crimes with the exception of just a few for stalking, domestic violence, and sex crimes can be considered for diversion by a judge.

This means that if you are charged with any of the following misdemeanors you could be given a diversion by the judge in your case:

  • Drug crimes
  • Criminal threats
  • Elder abuse
  • Child abuse
  • DUI
  • Assault
  • Vehicular manslaughter
  • Carrying a concealed gun

If you are lucky enough to be given a diversion, under AB 3234, it is possible to have your case dismissed. If you complete all requirements of your diversion as set forth by the judge, then you could even have your criminal case erased from your record. Avoiding a criminal record will be critical to the outcome of the rest of your life and your potential success.

Even in situations in which the prosecutor objects to a diversion, the judge still has the final say and can grant it regardless of the position of the prosecution. A judge will set the conditions of the diversion program. Depending on the defendant’s circumstances, this could mean:

  • Attending a substance abuse program.
  • Engaging in some type of community service.
  • Taking anger management courses.
  • A combination of beneficial and rehabilitative programs.

While the enlargement of the diversion program in California is a valuable opportunity for people convicted of certain misdemeanors to overcome their charges and start anew, there are still repercussions that will not change. Restitution to victims must still be paid. If protective orders were issued, they must continue to be followed. Continue reading

When jail should be used as a sentence, how severe it should be, and who it benefits are questions that have been discussed widely in recent years. There are some crimes to which many people would agree jail time is an appropriate response, such as homicide. However, for other crimes, there are different sides in staunch opposition regarding the use of jail time as a penalty. Drug use is one of the crimes that many believe is not remedied with jail time. Individuals addicted to drugs are said to have a disease, and so jailing them for a disease is not fair or effective.

David M. Boertje is a San Diego drug crime defense attorney who can thoroughly investigate your criminal case and develop a decisive strategy for your defense. Specifically, if you have a drug addiction and were arrested because of your condition, there may be alternative programs and options available to avoid jail time and get the help you need to beat your dependency issues.

How Does Jail Time Affect Crime and Drug Use?

With the exception of marijuana in recent years, there are many illegal substances that will result in an arrest if an officer finds them on you. For drug abusers, it may be unavoidable to stay out of prison because of the addiction they suffer. Several experts have labeled addiction a medical condition that can be treated. Medical experts agree that jail time is not an appropriate remedy for someone suffering from a disease of the brain, a.k.a. drug addiction.

What jail time does for drug addicts is potentially keep them away from certain drugs for the period of time they are behind bars. But jail is not a therapeutic experience that gets to the bottom of their condition. It is also true that jail may not even keep users away from drugs because illegal substances are routinely found circulating around prison populations. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, if substance abuse is not treated, the result is going to be negative social consequences. For the state of California, one study showed that when treatment was provided to drug offenders, crime in various communities actually went down.

Certainly, jail can be a scary place for some individuals who make mistakes and get sentenced to time behind bars. The time spent in jail could be enough for some to refrain from engaging in illegal activities again. But for a great many of the jailed population, the criminal history that they have makes it difficult to rejoin life as a productive member of society. Without other options, formerly incarcerated individuals often fall back into the same old habits of breaking the law. Furthermore, addicts who are not given proper treatment opportunities never have their disease addressed. These individuals will likely continue to use drugs. Continue reading

It takes around 25 or more years for a human brain to become fully developed. While people can make bad decisions at any point in their life, younger, more naive children and teenagers are well-known for impulsivity and misjudgments. Some errors made at a young age are easily remedied, but others can impact the quality of life and a child’s trajectory forever. Underage drinking and trying drugs is something that most parents warn their children to avoid. While both can harm a teenager’s physical health and well-being, they can also lead to legal troubles.

The worst thing that can happen to a youth who is experimenting with drugs is to lose their life to drugs that are contaminated or from overdosing. Outside of the tragic loss of life from drug use, being arrested for a California drug crime is another potentially life-altering situation. Drug charges for teens are not just restricted to a certain demographic. Even the most well-off, college-bound teen could make a bad decision that results in legal implications.

How Can a California Drug Arrest Affect a Teen?

The outlook of a teenager’s life can be dramatically altered with just one drug arrest in California. If the teen was arrested for a drug crime and ultimately convicted of their charges, then this may impact their ability to get the funding necessary to go to college. These days, a drug conviction does not make it impossible to get student loans. However, the path to secure that aid comes with required actions on the part of the teen and because of this, the amount of time it could take to get a loan may be longer. Similarly, if aid was dispensed before the conviction happened, the teen may have to pay that money back.

A conviction for a drug offense may result in being denied acceptance to a particular institution of higher learning. If a teen is already enrolled in a course and they are arrested and convicted of a drug crime, disciplinary action by the school may take place. For teens already in college, access to a mentorship, work-study slot, internship, or other type of employment opportunity could be limited and extremely challenging to obtain.

It might not seem fair that one mistake can have such vast implications for the rest of a person’s life, but the reality is that in many cases, it does. This is especially true when it comes to errors in judgment that result in criminal convictions. Continue reading

It is easy to take pictures and videos of intimate moments between two people. Almost everyone has a phone on them at all times that is equipped with a camera and has video capabilities. Today’s most modern phones are so advanced, there are people who actually shoot professional movies with them. The act of taking a video or picture of a person engaged in sexual activity or without clothes on and then sharing it with others without their consent has a name — revenge porn — and the state of California says it is illegal. 

If you were arrested for a sex crime like revenge porn in California, you need skilled and experienced legal counsel defending your rights and fighting your charges. David M. Boertje is a San Diego sex crimes defense attorney who can help you with your case. As a proficient California criminal defense attorney, David M. Boertje thoroughly understands how the system works and knows how to protect your rights. The Law Offices of David M. Boertje will provide you with the strategic defense you need to see the best possible outcome for your case.

What Happens if You are Arrested for Revenge Porn in California?

Romantic relationships do not always work out, and sometimes a breakup turns toxic and bitter. Simply because you have had your heart broken or you were wronged by your ex does not give you permission to share pictures or videos you have of your ex naked or engaged in a sexual act. In the state of California, if you are convicted of revenge porn, you may be subject to paying $1,000 in fines and be sentenced to jail. It can be difficult to think clearly when you are experiencing extreme emotions, but posting intimate materials about your ex online is a big mistake and can alter the course of your life.

Under California’s SB 255, revenge porn was given a valid classification as a crime that could be prosecuted at the misdemeanor level. Posting pictures of your ex without their consent is a crime that will come with an arrest if you are caught. Your full name along with the crime you were arrested for could be made public by law enforcement. That means that your reputation has the potential to be ruined. This would limit your professional opportunities, affect your relationships with others, impede future romantic relationships, and more.

Revenge porn has become a serious problem, which is why legislators are taking notice and passing laws with harsh penalties against it. In some situations, though, the laws create loopholes that your attorney can use to your benefit.  Continue reading

The police do not always need to detain someone before asking them questions. In fact, there are many situations outside of arrests in which you could be questioned by the police. For example, if law enforcement is investigating a case, they may have to speak to witnesses or other parties who could have valuable information about their case. Simply questioning these people in some instances does not mean the person who supplies answers is under any suspicion of committing a crime or will have their words used against them. In other situations, what you say to an officer even if you are not being arrested can come back to cause you serious legal hurdles.

If you have been arrested in San Diego, it is highly advisable that you say nothing about your situation to the police until you have your attorney present. Your San Diego criminal defense attorney will be looking out for your best interests and working to protect you. Anything you say can be taken out of context and even the most innocent statements can be distorted to harm you. David M. Boertje is a San Diego criminal defense attorney that is here to fight your charges to keep you out of prison.

Is it Legal for Police to Question You Without Arresting You?

Sometimes, individuals who are convicted of crimes at the misdemeanor level can be sentenced to serve their time outside of jail and instead be put on probation. Even some felony offenses may qualify for probation. In general, probation and staying out of jail is usually the preferred way to serve a sentence for a crime. There are specific guidelines and terms that will come with a probation sentence in California, and a violation of such specifications means that a court can easily end probation and send a person to jail to serve the rest of their time.

It is not just losing your probation that can come as a result of a violation of its terms; more time may be added to your sentence. Following the direction of your probation is absolutely necessary to get through your sentence in the most efficient and straightforward way possible. Yet, if you do find yourself having difficulties following the terms of your California probation agreement, and you violate them, David M. Boertje can review your case. If there is a way to argue that you should stay out of jail and remain on probation with no extra time added, David M. Boertje will find it.

What Types of Acts are Considered Violations of Probation in California?

If you are over the age of 21 in the state of California you are allowed to have marijuana on your person and use it for recreation. This is true, as long as the amount you have does not exceed 28.5 grams. Thanks to Prop 64, in addition to being able to recreationally possess and use marijuana a person of lawful age can also grow the plant. Just like the way that the amount of marijuana you can have has its limits, so do the number of plants that you grow.

If you have an illegal amount of marijuana on you or if you have too many plants, you can be arrested and charged with a California drug crime. As a defendant facing criminal charges in California, you have to be prepared to go up against an aggressive and ruthless prosecution that will be making every argument that they can to slap you with the most severe penalties. The best way to protect yourself and your rights is to have the most talented and proficient legal defense on your side supporting you.

When Can You be Arrested for Growing Marijuana in California?

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