You teach your child to avoid danger and to protect themselves when appropriate. You also teach them not to start fights or try to hurt other people. It can be quite confusing for kids. Across the country, fights and other violent acts are taking place in schools. The causes of these incidents can vary, but it is nonetheless a serious problem for all of us. 

In some situations, a person may engage in violence as a result of trying to defend themselves against physical harm by another party. If self-defense can be shown, the legal criminal implications will be much less than if the aggressive actions were intentional and unprovoked.

If your child was involved in a physical altercation in which law enforcement had to intercede, it is best to connect with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. If you believe that your child was the victim of an attack and acted in self-defense, it will take a proficient and knowledgeable legal professional to help make the case. David M. Boertje is a San Diego criminal defense attorney who can help your family should your child find themselves facing criminal charges.

Can Minors Plead Self-Defense?

When it comes to physical violence, there is assault and then there is the battery. California’s assault and battery definitions are not the same. The two are quite different. Assault happens when a person has the ability to inflict harm and attempts to inflict harm on another person. For example, if a person tries to push another party but no harm was inflicted, it can still be considered assault.

By contrast, battery takes place when someone attempts to harm another party and succeeds. So if the damage inflicted on another party did cause injuries and harm, then the crime would no longer be assault but rather elevated to battery.

When an adult is facing an assault and/or battery charge, they will be processed in the criminal justice system. The result is likely going to be some severity of punishment in the form of prison time and potentially a costly fine. Not to mention, the blemish on the person’s record will reflect poorly on them when they try to get a job, apply for a loan, or take part in other life opportunities.

For juveniles, though, the case is likely to be adjudicated in the juvenile court system. The main difference between the criminal justice system and the juvenile court system is that the former relies on punitive actions while the latter emphasizes rehabilitation.

As long as a young person under the age of 18 did not commit an egregious act that warrants the adult criminal justice system, they can get a second chance in the juvenile system. Though, if your child is convicted of assault or battery, their school may take action such as expulsion due to zero-tolerance rules. This is why having a skilled criminal defense lawyer advocating for your child is so critically important. Continue reading

The statute of limitations for a crime is the length of time that a person can be charged with committing that crime. If the statute of limitations has passed, and no criminal charges have been made, prosecutors may try to still apply criminal charges. However, an experienced attorney will be able to defend against such actions if charges are brought about after the statute of limitations has expired.

When a crime is committed, law enforcement will investigate the incident. When the perpetrator or perpetrators of the crime are unknown, the police will be looking for a person of interest who may have committed the offense. 

Even if you are not an official person of interest, law enforcement may be an ongoing presence in your life. It is normal to feel distressed, anxious, and uneasy if your life is constantly being scrutinized by law enforcement. 

Similarly, if you were arrested for a crime, but the prosecution did not charge you, you would be let go. However, the prosecution may still believe that you have a connection to the crime, and if they want to charge you, they will keep on your case. This too is a perplexing and upsetting position for anyone.

When Does the Time Run Out for Law Enforcement to Charge Individuals With Crimes?

The classification of crime, whether a felony or misdemeanor, will impact the duration of time in which a prosecutor can bring charges. Once the police establish that a crime has taken place, the statute of limitation begins to toll. In California, misdemeanor crimes typically have a one-year statute of limitations, while felonies have three years. There are some deviations from this general rule, in which the statute of limitations has different time frames:

  • Assault and battery misdemeanors have one year while felonies have three years.
  • Theft crimes in San Diego are one year for misdemeanors and three for felonies.
  • Fraud of public money and any crime that has the death penalty, life in prison, or life in prison without parole have no statute of limitations.
  • Forcible rape has no statute of limitations.
  • Violent or forceful rape of a spouse has no statute of limitations.
  • Murder has no statute of limitations.
  • Gang rape has no statute of limitations.
  • Treason has no statute of limitations.
  • Aggravated kidnapping has no statute of limitations.
  • Felonies, where at least eight years or more behind bars can be assessed, have a six-year statute of limitations.
  • Making child pornography or not registering as a sex offender when a conviction exists has a 10-year statute of limitations.
  • Elder abuse has a five-year statute of limitations.
  • Various forms of fraud can have a four-year statute of limitations.
  • Medical professionals who have committed sexual crimes against their patients have a two-year statute of limitations.

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When you hire a criminal defense attorney after you are charged with a crime, the ultimate goal of your attorney is to get your charges dropped or secure a “not-guilty” verdict. To accomplish this, your attorney will comprehensively review your case and develop the most tactical and strategic plan to negotiate with the prosecution or persuade a judge or jury. If it is possible to avoid having your case tried in the first place, that is another angle that your lawyer may pursue.

There can be very serious implications to criminal convictions, such as extensive time in jail, costly fines, destroyed reputation, and missing time with your family. Having quality legal counsel improves your chances of overcoming your charges. Your attorney will employ specific methods and actions that will improve your chances of getting the best results.

Five Tactics That Could Beat Criminal Charges

The following tactics could be successful in winning your criminal case:

  • Simply because charges are made and a case is active does not mean that it will go to trial. There are many instances in which there are clear flaws in a criminal prosecution. A lawyer who identifies these issues can file a Motion to Dismiss your case. If there are established grounds for a case dismissal, a judge may grant the motion and you will be free from your charges.
  • If law enforcement did not have legitimate legal cause for stopping or detaining you, it is possible to file a Motion to Suppress. If your lawyer can show that the police wrongfully stopped you and detained you and the motion is granted, it is likely that the prosecution will back down and drop the case.
  • Your lawyer can break down the forensic test results and show that they cannot be trusted and were conducted improperly.
  • Finding mistakes on behalf of law enforcement and discrediting officer testimony.
  • Taking the time to scrutinize every piece of evidence and each detail of the case to show that you are innocent of the charges you are facing.

The quality of your legal counsel will weigh heavily on how successful and effective your defense will be. An aggressive, convincing, and experienced attorney who has a history of getting the best possible results will be your best choice. Skilled lawyers like David M. Boertje know what they are doing and can provide the peace of mind that they will work hard for you.

If your case can be concluded expeditiously and not be tried in court, you will save time, money, and be better shielded from public shame. It is incredibly important that you connect with a qualified attorney as soon as you can after your arrest. Continue reading

If you were arrested in California for a crime, connect with an attorney to protect your rights and your freedoms right away. Depending on what crime you allegedly committed and the details surrounding the incident, it is possible that you will spend many years in prison and have to pay high fines if you are convicted. The aftermath of a conviction can be life-changing, and not in a good way.

Every year many Americans attempt to defend themselves from criminal charges without legal representation. The criminal justice system, though, is complex and tough to navigate. Accused people can easily be mistreated if they go it alone and are not prepared or knowledgeable about what to do to be successful.

In San Diego County, David M. Boertje is a San Diego criminal defense attorney who has represented thousands of criminal cases. As an experienced criminal defense lawyer, David M. Boertje has dedicated most of his professional life to providing superior legal defense services to people accused of crimes ranging from low-level misdemeanor cases to complicated felony charges. After an arrest, consider connecting with the Law Offices of David M. Boertje.

Why is the Criminal Justice System So Complicated?

Navigating the criminal justice system in the United States without proper training, with no understanding of how the system works, and with inadequate knowledge of laws and legal rights is virtually impossible. Even the most basic criminal charges may require many steps and actions to be taken combined with skilled strategy along the way.

There are several things to think about before you decide you want to self-represent yourself in your criminal case including:

  • Do you know how to interpret the law?
  • Do you know how to compile evidence to support your case?
  • Do you know how and when to file motions?
  • Do you know how to negotiate with prosecutors?
  • Do you know how to develop an effective and persuasive defense strategy?
  • Do you know how to challenge evidence presented against you?
  • Do you know what objecting to witness testimony is and how to do it?
  • Do you know how to formulate articulate and convincing arguments?
  • Do you know how to question witnesses and call them?

The questions above only represent a portion of the knowledge necessary to mount an effective defense that has a chance of getting a not guilty verdict or having charges dropped. 

This is why working with an experienced attorney with a proven track record of success getting charges reduced, dropped, obtaining favorable plea deals, and securing not-guilty verdicts is so critical. While Americans have a constitutional right to self-representation, when it comes to achieving the most favorable outcome possible, it is wise to work with a professional criminal defense attorney. Continue reading

The terms ‘murder’ and ‘homicide’ are sometimes used interchangeably as if they mean the same thing. In the legal world, however, the meanings of ‘murder’ and ‘homicide’ are quite different. Because of this, the way that a person is sentenced if they are convicted of murder or homicide will vary.

The one thing these two terms have in common is that whether a murder or a homicide was committed, the outcome is the same. Another person loses their life. Murder and homicide are some of the most serious crimes that go to court. These criminal acts often result in the harshest penalties.

If you live in or around the greater San Diego area and you were arrested for allegedly killing another person, it is in your best interest to immediately connect with a San Diego homicide attorney. Working with an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney will improve your chances of beating your charges or having them lessened. 

If you were charged with statutory rape in California because the person you were intimate with portrayed themselves as older than they actually were, could you still be convicted? 

It has never been easier to get in touch with people you know or want to get to know. Even with restrictions and limitations on in-person gatherings, there is nothing holding people back from connecting online. Whether it be through dating services, social media apps, or other online platforms, communication between people can be done without having to actually be physically next to someone.

If you are meeting someone for the first time, or you have met them before, assuming they are a certain age is not good enough. When sex is involved, you still may be criminally charged if the person with whom you were intimate was not of legal age. When the person you had relations with showed you a fake ID or met you in a club where only those who are 21 years of age and older can frequent, you may think it is reasonable to be mistaken about their age. 

Going to court can be scary and distressing. Knowing that there will be a district attorney set to ensure you are convicted of your charges does not make things any better. 

When it comes to criminal cases, the defendant, or the person who is accused of the crimes, is not given the opportunity to choose who the prosecutor is. Also, the defendant will not be able to ask for a different prosecutor than the one who is assigned to their case. The only thing that a defendant can do is preclude some prosecutors from being considered. 

If there is a real and clear conflict of interest, then there is a chance for a new prosecutor. A conflict of interest happens when one party has something to gain from the fall of another. For example, if the defendant is alleged to have harmed a particular victim who is related to the prosecutor, it could be argued that the prosecutor has a bias and therefore should be ruled out as an option.

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.

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