Articles Tagged with California criminal defense attorney

Seeing those lights flashing and hearing the sirens coming for you can be a distressing situation to be in for anyone. When the police pull you over or knock on your door, it is natural to feel scared, nervous, and unsure even if you have nothing to hide because you have not committed any crime. On the other hand, if you did do something unlawful, the level of your concern can be much more overwhelming.

It is important that if you are arrested or brought into the police station for questioning in San Diego that you have an attorney to protect your interests and safeguard your rights. It can be intimidating when the police are questioning you, no matter what your involvement is with a potential criminal situation. What you say can be used against you, which is why having the protection of a San Diego criminal defense lawyer is so incredibly important.

How Do the Police Get People to Give Them Information?

People who witness a criminal act can respond in a variety of ways. It is possible that a person may decide to intervene and attempt to stop the crime from happening. Or, they may call local law enforcement and report it. Then there are those who may completely ignore it and take no action. A common question people have is if they see a crime happening, are they legally required to report it? In general, you will not be subject to legal repercussions if you do not report a crime, but there are some situations in which you could be. 

When are You Required to Report a Crime?

There are several instances in which you can forgo reporting a criminal act that you have knowledge of and remain free from the heavy hand of the law. That is to say, not reporting a crime is not always a crime itself and therefore, not punishable. But there are exceptions to this.

One way that your knowledge can be criminal is when you are aiding and abetting a crime. Even if you did not commit a crime, if it can be shown that you have aided and abetted a criminal action, you are now liable for potential charges. 

Under California’s parties to crime laws, when you have taken action that helped another party carry out a crime, you will be considered an aider and abettor. The actions that would deem you as such include:

For instance, maybe you helped cover up a criminal act or you provided assistance devising its plot but when the crime was committed you physically were not there. You are still implicated in the criminal act and can be charged.

Another instance in which you may suffer negative legal consequences when you have knowledge of a crime is if your job requires you to report incidents of child neglect and abuse. Professions that are under this mandatory duty include teachers, social workers, and firefighters.

Knowing about child abuse happening or simply having a reasonable belief that it is happening even if you do not have concrete evidence, means you must report it. There is also a time requirement for specific professionals to make these reports. Fines and jail time are realities that can come from failing your responsibility to preserve the welfare of children.

Last, federal laws make a failure to report felony federal offenses a crime. You would be considered to be obstructing justice and if convicted, fines and jail time can ensue. Continue reading

The vast majority of people in the United States have and use their smartphones for many things including making calls, taking pictures, and sending texts. In fact, it is estimated that 300 million Americans have a smartphone. What that means is that as high as 90% of the entire United States population has a smartphone at their disposal.

The ability to connect with each other is incredibly easy due to the widespread presence of these multifunctional handheld devices. This is typically a good thing, but in some cases, the ease at which one can circulate virtually any type of information could also be highly problematic. This is especially so if what is being sent out is sexually explicit.

Is it Unlawful to Sext?

If you have sent a text that had a video or a picture that was sexual in nature, then you have sexted. In the state of California, there are no laws on the books that prevent people from sexting. There is nothing criminal about two consenting adults sending each other sexual texts. But, in other circumstances, what is texted out from your phone could lead to some type of sexual offense charge.

For example, if you have been sending sexual texts to a minor that can come with serious legal implications. People that are sending inappropriate, sexual texts to minors can face punishment under California’s child pornography laws. There is no tolerance for this type of activity in the state. It is illegal to send any of the following:

  • Sexual matter to a minor that is meant to motivate the child to respond by engaging in sexual acts.
  • Sending anything that is considered child pornography to anyone. Any media that shows a person who is under the age of 18 doing sexual acts is child pornography.
  • Knowingly be in possession of lewd and pornographic matters that involve children.

It is possible that your sexting can be a reason for your arrest and charges of either a felony or misdemeanor crimes. If you are charged at the misdemeanor level, then you could face up to a year in jail, hefty fines as high as $1,000, and informal probation. Felonies have much harsher penalties. Felonies can result in jail time up to five years, potentially a $10,000 fine, and formal probation.

It is not just fines and jail time that a conviction carries. Also, people that are charged with certain sex crimes will be required to become registered sex offenders. Once you are deemed a registered sex offender, as long as you reside in California you will have to keep this registration current. In other words, every year you will have to register. Continue reading

If you think that you will get away with giving out services or products from your job without your employer knowing, you may have some success. But you also could face serious repercussions if you are caught. Any product or service that is worth more than $1,000 that you unlawfully provide to another party under the table could result in commercial bribery charges. This behavior is commonly called providing kickbacks. The state of California punishes individuals arrested, charged, and convicted of commercial bribery with jail time. 

To defend against bribery charges in California, you will need a knowledgeable and competent defense. David M. Boertje is a San Diego criminal defense attorney who has extensive experience helping individuals charged with crimes fight to overcome them and secure the most favorable outcome possible.

What Happens if You are Charged with Bribery in California?

When an employee knowingly takes a product or service to their own benefit without the consent and permission of the owner of the business they work for and offers it to another party this is considered bribery. It is not just the person who is fraudulently offering the valued product or services that can be arrested and charged. The parties that accept these products or services can also be arrested and charged.

For a commercial bribe to take place, an individual intentionally tries to insert influence with the goal of defrauding the business for which they work. Commercial bribery is considered to be a corrupt act and the value of the property that was used in the dishonest transaction will determine how severe the penalties are.

Products or services that are $1,000 or more can result in a misdemeanor-level crime. This crime comes with prison time that can be as long as one year. When the products or services are high-value, the crime can be moved up to the felony level. Felony bribes can put a person in state prison for up to three years.

Successfully combating bribery charges can be done with a targeted and strategic approach. A talented San Diego criminal defense attorney will be able to scrutinize your case and find areas that can be advantageous for your defense. Some of the arguments that could potentially be made include:

  • Your employer knew that the transactions were taking place.
  • You did not have corrupt intent when you were engaging in the transactions.
  • The amount of the product or service in question was under $250 and therefore does not incur criminal penalties.

The time spent behind bars and the establishment of a criminal record can be very damaging to one’s life after they serve their time. Being able to have your charges dropped, or at the very least reduced is the ultimate objective.  Continue reading

The United States has an ethos that favors fairness, especially when it comes to the criminal justice system. While the criminal justice system is imperfect, it is based on the idea that a person who is charged with a crime is essentially innocent until it can be proven they are guilty. Known as the “presumption of innocence,” such an attitude aims to minimize the risk that people will be given unfair trials for their alleged crimes. 

People in the United States have certain fundamental rights, such as the presumption of innocence. If you were arrested and charged for a crime in San Diego or the surrounding areas, it is essential to get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer who can safeguard your rights and work diligently to secure the best possible outcome for your case. David M. Boertje is a San Diego criminal defense attorney that is dedicated to helping aggrieved people charged with crimes secure justice.

Interjecting Fairness Into Criminal Law

In the absence of the presumption of innocence, obtaining a fair and true outcome in a criminal case becomes much more of a challenge. The legal principle of the presumption of innocence makes it so that the state has the responsibility to prove the charges are correct and that the person is guilty of the criminal acts for which they are being tried.

In a civil case, the bar for showing that a person is liable for paying another for their damages is not as high as proving guilt is in a criminal case. To be convicted of a crime, it must be shown that a person is believed to have committed their crime beyond a reasonable doubt. If there is any doubt whatsoever, then thwarting a conviction is what should take place. 

Because the burden of proof is the job of the state, a defendant’s criminal defense counsel will try to combat any claims and evidence produced to instill doubt in a judge and jury. If the legal defense is strategic, detailed, and focused, this can be so. Simply being charged with a crime does not mean that there has been a conviction. The only time that a person will have a pronouncement of guilt is if the state successfully shows that culpability exists.

Another right that defendants have is that they do not have to produce information that could hurt their case. Defendants do not have to self-incriminate. 

Defendants also can answer questions or talk if they choose, but if they decide not to then that is well within their rights, too. Should a defendant refrain from speaking and remain silent, this is lawful. Additionally, staying silent is not an action that is supposed to mean that a person must be guilty. Many defendants are advised to stay silent and end up walking away from the court with a verdict of their innocence. Continue reading

When a person is arrested and charged with a crime, developing a thorough legal defense can improve the chances of obtaining the best possible outcome in their case. While any defendant can choose to represent themselves without counsel, this route is seldom advised. Effectively resolving a criminal case for the benefit of the client is the goal and job of a criminal defense attorney. 

Finding a suitable pathway to the most favorable results is the preeminent objective of your attorney. Your attorney will defend your interests and rights, while lending counsel to advise you of your most advantageous options. Ultimately, though, you have the final say in what you choose to do.

How Attorneys Try to Secure the Best Outcomes for Their Clients

The way your attorney will attempt to competently resolve your case can vary. Some of the avenues your attorney may pursue include:

  • Your attorney may try to have your case dismissed. When the evidence clearly shows you are not guilty of the crimes you are charged with, your attorney can request that your case be dismissed. With sufficient grounds, the request may be successful.
  • Sometimes certain defendants are eligible for specific diversion opportunities. This could be counseling programs or other therapeutic and rehabilitative work that, if fully completed, may lead to the charges being dismissed.
  • Law enforcement has to follow specific guidelines and rules when they make an arrest. If there were violations of these procedures, your attorney will alert the court. A judge may review the information and determine that the case should be dismissed on the grounds of a violation of rights.
  • A plea bargain may provide the best path for minimal repercussions for an alleged crime. Plea bargains can allow a defendant to get their case either dismissed or their charges reduced.
  • If the case goes to trial, your attorney will compile as much evidence as possible to build a compelling case for your defense. In addition to strategic defense, your attorney will forcefully examine any witnesses brought against you. Your legal counsel will also make the case that the jury should at the very least have doubt about the charges and at best, believe that you are not guilty. When successful, the jury may decide that you are not guilty of your charges and then you will be free of criminal punishment.

When you work with a proficient criminal defense attorney, your lawyer’s objective will always be to have your charges reduced or dropped. Your attorney will fight to protect you and will look into many different strategies to help you overcome your charges. Continue reading

If you were issued a restraining order in California, you are required to follow the guidelines set forth in that decree. Violations of these legal pronouncements are a crime, and because of this, jail time and fines could be the end result.

It is best to get in touch with a San Diego criminal defense attorney as soon as you can once charges are made that you violated your restraining order terms. The best way to counter your charges is to get a talented and knowledgeable legal professional on the case and in a position to best protect your interests. David M. Boertje is a San Diego criminal defense lawyer who has helped countless individuals facing criminal legal challenges overcome their situation and secure the best possible outcome. David M. Boertje can assist you with your specific legal predicament.

What Punishments Can Result From a California Restraining Order Violation?

Prostitution is illegal in the state of California. Despite this, it is possible that if a person is arrested for prostitution, they may not be prosecuted. It is not just the person selling prostitution services who can be arrested and charged with crimes, the buyer of such services can also be arrested. “Johns” may also face harsh criminal penalties if convicted of soliciting sex services.

If you have been arrested for a sex crime, either selling or soliciting sex services, you will need a skilled criminal defense attorney protecting your interests. Since law enforcement engages in sting operations to identify sex workers, but mainly their customers, being caught engaging in these illegal acts can have devastating results. Working with a San Diego sex crime defense attorney improves your chances of overcoming your charges and getting the most favorable results.

How Do Prosecution Stings Happen in San Diego?

Police officers in San Diego who are tasked with finding prostitution activities go undercover in many different ways including:

  • Posing as a prostitute on websites, chat rooms, social media, and other online forums.
  • Renting venues that are commonly associated with sex solicitors. Massage parlors are common.

Prostitution stings in San Diego have the main goal of identifying the people who are looking for sex services and willing to pay for them. If you are arrested for solicitation of sex services in San Diego and convicted, you can spend months in jail and pay heavy fines. With multiple solicitation arrests, you may be subject to an extended jail sentence.

It is necessary that the authorities show that a defendant had the intent to engage in a sexual act with another party and that there would be a transaction of some form of compensation for the sex. One defense available to a defendant is that they have been the victim of entrapment. Entrapment by police is different from simply being caught in a sting. If entrapment exists, it can make for a strong defense against solicitation charges.

Entrapment happens when a person is forced into committing a crime they had no prior desire to  commit. For example, if it can be shown that a defendant was tricked, intimidated, pressured, or was on the receiving end of other forceful acts to get them to pay for sex services, this would be considered entrapment. 

Law enforcement largely goes after solicitors more so than prostitutes themselves. This is because it is believed that if the demand for sex services is eliminated, the supply will disappear. Also, there is some belief that it is improper to punish someone for offering sex-related services. Amnesty International, for instance, believes that all sex services, both buying, and selling should be decriminalized.

Still, in some cases, prostitutes themselves are arrested and people who are shown to be their pimps can also be arrested. 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.

Continue reading

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

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