Articles Tagged with California criminal defense attorney

Individuals who are arrested for alleged crimes can be held in prison until their trial date, even though being arrested does not prove a crime was committed or that the person who was arrested is guilty of any wrongdoing. When this happens, the “innocent until proven guilty” idea does not seem to really apply. The amount of time that a person must sit in jail while they await the official filing of charges and setting of a court date can take months. Defendants who are arrested are extremely lucky to be able to see their day in court in a few weeks, but most of the time, a person awaiting a court hearing will at least spend a couple of months behind bars. The most severe felony criminal charges can keep a person awaiting court for years.

The reason why it can take so long to get a court date is that there are a lot of procedural actions that have to be taken when a person is arrested, including:

  • The prosecution will review a case and determine if charges should be filed.

The criminal justice system is set up to make the truth known, and in doing so, prosecute those who have violated the law while keeping innocent individuals safe from harm. Even though the system works for most cases, it is not perfect. Sometimes an innocent person is convicted of a crime they did not commit. Jailing an innocent person is an incredible tragedy and deplorable misfortune.

The importance of having effective and experienced legal representation is crucial to defending your rights and freedoms when you are charged with a crime. David M. Boertje is a San Diego criminal defense attorney who has a proven track record of successfully helping defendants see their best possible outcome in court. Whether it be negotiating the most beneficial plea deal, having charges reduced, or having charges completely dropped, David M. Boertje has handled thousands of criminal cases and knows how to best serve individuals facing criminal charges. The Law Offices of David M. Boertje is committed to helping you fight your charges and overcome them so you can move on with the rest of your life.

How Often are Innocent People Convicted of Crimes?

The Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment protects people who are not competent from being unfairly prosecuted during a criminal trial. In some situations, it is beneficial for a defendant to be declared incompetent to stand trial because they lack the ability to understand their charges or they are mentally unfit to be involved in their own case. Often, incompetence gets confused with an insanity declaration. In fact, the two are different.

If you have been arrested for a crime, David M. Boertje is a San Diego criminal defense attorney who can help you fight your charges and secure the best possible outcome. David M. Boertje’s goal is always to have your charges dropped and your case dismissed. When that is not possible, finding ways to get your charges reduced and keeping you out of jail is the next approach. Potentially, your case may benefit from asking a judge to declare you incompetent to stand trial or you may be able to go to trial and use the insanity defense.

What is the Difference Between an Insanity Plea and Being Declared Incompetent to Stand Trial?

Maybe you used another person’s credit card because you believed that you had permission to do so. The problem is that when a credit card or debit card is used without permission, the purchases are considered a form of theft by the California court system. This is unlawful activity, and if you are charged with using another person’s credit card to make purchases, you could be charged with credit card fraud in California.

A California credit card fraud charge can be prosecuted at both the state and federal level depending on the details of the case. As a white-collar crime, there are stiff penalties associated with credit card fraud. If you are facing penalties, it is vital to protecting your freedom and your future that you have the very best San Diego criminal defense attorney representing you. A first-rate attorney will know how to examine your San Diego fraud case at every angle to devise an effective strategy that will make it difficult for the prosecution to prove their case against you.

What Type of Defense Strategies Can be Used in a San Diego Credit Card Fraud Case?

Detainment by the police is not an ideal situation; it can come with excessive distress and angst. The important thing for anyone who is pulled over by a California law enforcement officer is to know that cooperation is key to preserving your legal rights, civil liberties, and freedoms. Regardless of your connection with a crime, becoming aggressive and uncooperative with law enforcement will almost always result in an unfavorable legal outcome for you. 

There are several reasons why working with a San Diego criminal defense attorney is beneficial for defendants. A skilled and tactical California criminal defense attorney is immensely helpful for defendants when they are detained by ensuring police do not unfairly question them and bully them into self-incrimination. The advantages of working with an attorney do not end there. Your legal counsel will know how to comprehensively evaluate your criminal situation and extract any incidents where there was misconduct on the part of authorities. If there is evidence of inappropriate or unlawful behavior by law enforcement, you can have the evidence they collected against you either be thrown out or you could potentially have your charges completely dropped. 

David M. Boertje has dedicated his life to protecting the rights and liberties of individuals arrested for crimes in Los Angeles. He has a thorough knowledge of California criminal laws and keeps up to date on all changes that transpire. He knows about the programs and alternative options that individuals arrested for crimes have available to avoid prison time and to beat their charges.

When Can a California Police Officer Engage in Stop-And-Frisk Actions?

It is legal for a California police officer to pat you down. An officer can pull you over or stop you if they have some amount of suspicion that you were involved in a crime. If they have a valid court-ordered warrant, they can come to your home and make an arrest. If you are only detained for a short amount of time and not patted down, then this is known as a Terry Stop. However, if the police think that you have weapons on your person, they can then elevate a Terry Stop to a stop-and-frisk where they can physically inspect your body to feel for potential weapons. 

You have rights too, though. The 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution protects you from being victimized by unreasonable search and seizure actions against you by the authorities. If you were illegally stopped and frisked by law enforcement in California, this is a breach of your civil rights. When this type of behavior happens, the information collected, or evidence against you will be invalid with respect to supporting your criminal charges. Continue reading

COVID-19 has changed all of our lives and the way we conduct daily activities. Limitations on store capacity, curfews, and fears of contracting the virus have led more people to do their shopping online. You can go down any street these days and see multiple homes with packages on their front step or porch. Because there has been a marked increase in online ordering, everything from home goods to groceries, there has been a corresponding rise in these packages being stolen.

“Porch piracy” is the term used to label the act of stealing a package off of someone’s porch or the entrance to their home. The theft of packages has gotten the attention of Senator Brian W. Jones who, in response to the issue, put forth Senate Bill 358. This bill would make the penalties for porch piracy much tougher so that individuals tempted to engage in the crime would be dissuaded from doing so.

What are the Current Porch Pirate Laws in California?

According to Senator Jones, current laws are too soft on criminals who steal from others. SB 358 would fix the lenient punishments by replacing them with harsher ones. Right now theft of one’s package from their home is considered a misdemeanor. This classification does not change even in situations in which the offender continues to commit the crime. Under the provisions of SB 358, a first offense will result in a misdemeanor. However, if an individual is arrested in three or more instances for porch piracy over a three year period of time, the charges will be elevated to a felony level.

Going from a misdemeanor to a felony means that the amount of time spent behind bars will be increased. Not only are there more packages being sent to homes, but the law in California treats porch pirates differently than they treat a person who breaks into a home and robs it. This is another reason why there are more offenders who are guilty of committing the crime on a regular basis. Individuals convicted of porch piracy do not fear the California criminal justice system because the penalties are too weak. So, there is no real deterrent for these individuals.

SB 358 has not yet been passed. Currently, the legislation is waiting to be assigned a hearing date.  Continue reading

When a person is incarcerated for a crime in California and they are a parent, there are several different things that can happen. The child may be placed with the other parent, or the child may be placed with another family member. When a relative is not an option, the child may be thrown into the foster care system. The court will look at the specific details of a child’s case and make a determination on what is the best possible action to take for the well-being of the child.

Even though the court’s goal is to place a child in a safe home that will provide for a bright future, that does not always occur. There are over 430,000 children throughout the country in foster care. In the state of California, there are more than 60,000 in the system. According to the research, children who were involved in the foster care system have much higher rates of homelessness and about one-third of the unaccompanied homeless children live in the state of California.

The Impact of Incarceration on Families in California

After an arrest, it is advisable to connect with the most experienced and strategic legal representation possible. When you work with a California criminal defense attorney who has a proven track record of success helping defendants lower their charges, have their charges dropped, and obtain the best results for their legal situation, you will be properly positioned to protect your legal rights. David M. Boertje is a San Diego criminal defense attorney who understands that people facing criminal charges must be provided the very best legal counsel because the aftermath of a conviction can substantially impact a person’s life forever. 

It is vitally important that individuals with minor children to look after stay out of prison whenever possible. Prison time can cause your child to have to go into the foster care system and depending on your case, you may lose your parental rights to your child forever. Even if your child is not put into the foster care system, they may be placed with a family member or the other parent who is not currently serving time. After you are released from jail, your ability to connect with your child can be severely limited and potentially even revoked.

In some situations, keeping a child from their biological parent, if that parent is a danger, is necessary and right. In other situations, a parent may be substantially restricted from having a relationship with their child, and the negative implications for the child can hurt them for the long-term. Working with David M. Boertje, a dedicated and tactical California criminal defense attorney will ensure that you are suitably represented. Continue reading

In an effort to minimize the prison population in California and better manage the associated costs, more inmates may be eligible for early parole. Included in this population are nonviolent sex offenders, according to a ruling by the California Supreme Court. The ballot measure, which was approved four years ago, was aimed at non-violent felons. The measure did not include language excluding sex offenders who were charged with non-violent felonies.

While former Gov. Jerry Brown has been an outspoken backer of the initiative, he said that he was not in favor of the measure including those convicted of sex crimes. The lower appeals court ruled that the way the initiative was written, it plainly includes all non-violent felonies including those convicted of sex crimes. When the ruling by the lower appeals court went to the high court, the ruling was upheld.

As a result of the ruling, 20,000 inmates may have the opportunity to gain early parole. Of those 20,000 inmates impacted by the initiative, approximately 50% are individuals serving their time for sex offenses and the other 50% had a previous sex crime conviction but were presently serving time for another crime such as burglary. These numbers were reported by Janice Bellucci the executive director of the Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws. The courts indicated that the actual number of inmates who would be eligible for consideration would come to just over 4,000.

Bellucci says this ruling by the lower appeals court and which was maintained by the California Supreme Court is “a significant victory” for individuals convicted of sex crimes in California. Even though the ruling allows for sex offenders to gain consideration for parole, that does not mean a parole board will permit early release for these individuals. Ultimately, the parole board has a wide capacity for which they can determine who is paroled and who is not.

What Legal Defenses Can be Used When Charged With a Sex Crime in California?

When you have been arrested and charged for a sex crime in California, the penalties are high. The stigma of just a sex crime accusation follows a person forever and will negatively affect their life, even when there is no conviction. A conviction has even deeper implications for a person’s ability to sustain to return to a normal life after serving their time. 

It is best to have the most strategic and resourceful California criminal defense attorney representing you when you are arrested and charged with a sex crime. Possible legal defense approaches could include:

  • The alleged victim consented to the act.
  • The alleged victim falsely accused the defendant of committing the act.

Continue reading

If you suspect that you have an outstanding warrant in your name it is best to be proactive and look into it. You may find you have either an outstanding California bench warrant or an outstanding arrest warrant. Either way, should you find that you do have an outstanding warrant in California, the sooner you take action, the higher your chances of reducing the associated penalties you face.

If you need assistance determining your status with respect to a warrant in California, David M. Boertje can help. David M. Boertje is a California criminal defense attorney that can confirm if you actually have a warrant in your name or not. When you have a warrant in your name it is best to have a knowledgeable San Diego criminal defense attorney by your side when you go to court to address the situation.

How Can You Find Out if You Have a Warrant in California?

If you are confused about researching your criminal history to see if a warrant exists or if you want to make sure that a warrant you believe exists is really in your name, you can always work with a San Diego criminal defense lawyer. Your attorney will not only inform you about the existence of your warrant but they will also be able to tell you why you have a warrant and they can find out what your bail amount is. There are other ways that you can look to see if you have an outstanding California warrant including searching either of the following websites:

  • The local sheriff or court
  • Superior Court of California

Another route you can take is to have a background check performed on yourself. Your criminal history, including if you have a warrant will show up on that report. Both a bench and arrest warrant allow the police to put you under arrest if you are found. The difference between the two is that an arrest warrant names you in a crime while a bench warrant is issued when you have violated a court order.

It is important to understand that any police officer has access to information regarding your warrant. This means that it doesn’t matter which local court issued your warrant, an officer that you encounter anywhere in the state of California or in the country can see it. This is because your warrant will show up on the website of the U.S. Department of Justice. Continue reading

A week-long trial in San Diego ended in a jury deciding in favor of a victim of police brutality, with a $1.5 million settlement paid out by the city. Attorneys for the plaintiff argued that the incident in which the victim was thrown onto the ground and pepper-sprayed by police was a case of excessive force and false arrest. According to reports, San Diego police officers were aware of an assailant who was attacking the homeless population in the city. As a result, they were visiting many homeless encampments in plain clothes and not uniforms. The officers were trying to warn the homeless populations of the danger in order to keep them safe.

The authorities, who were not in uniform, gathered at a trolley stop near the Fashion Valley mall and prepared to visit a homeless encampment in a nearby riverbed to warn them about the assailant. Before they left the trolly station, they heard a loud noise in the vicinity and believed that they were taking fire from projectiles. As a result, one officer drew a gun, and when the victim was spotted, the officer approached him thinking that he was the culprit.

The plaintiff was simply heading back to his home after a night out drinking with friends. When he saw the officer approaching him and ordering him to raise his hands and get on the ground, he did not heed the orders. Because the plaintiff was not compliant with the orders, one officer pulled out pepper spray and shot him in the face with it, after which another officer slammed him to the ground, smashing his face against the pavement. The plaintiff sustained broken front teeth, jaw injuries, and nerve damage from the incident.

The plaintiff’s legal team argued that he had little time to respond to the situation and make any sense of what was happening. The noise that the officers heard was a result of an iPhone charging block being thrown and falling near the officers. When the plaintiff was given the commands, not only did he not have time to comprehend what was happening, it was also being done by officers in plain clothing.

Subsequently, the plaintiff was pulled off the ground and handcuffed. While this was happening, another individual admitted to the officers that they threw the charger. The individual who actually threw the charger faced no repercussions.

Why Did This Case Take so Long to be Seen in Court?

The case was delayed by a couple of factors including the coronavirus outbreak. Many trials and cases that were to be seen in the courts were delayed as a result of the pandemic. Additionally, city lawyers were successful in having the judge presiding over this incident be removed from the case just before it came to trial. These lawyers believed the judge made many adverse rulings and may be biased. Continue reading

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