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Articles Tagged with criminal defense attorney

Last week, four students were arrested after police discovered a “detailed” plan to “shoot and kill as many people as possible” at Summerville High School in Tuolumne, California. Other students at the school heard the suspects discussing the shooting last week, so they told school staff, who then contacted the sheriff’s office. According to the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s office, the plan was so detailed that it included the names of the would-be victims. The four suspects were in the process of securing weapons. The suspects have not been identified since they are minors. Those four students had a court hearing Oct. 13th to determine whether they will be released from custody. They will be getting mental health evaluations.

Criminal Conspiracy (CA Penal Code 182)

Criminal conspiracy exists when two or more people agree to commit almost any unlawful act and then take some action toward its completion. The action taken does not need to be a crime in itself, but must indicate that those involved in the conspiracy knew of the plan and intended to break the law.

CA Penal Code 182 defines criminal conspiracy as taking place when:  

  • You agree with one or more other people to commit a crime at some time in the future, and
  • One of them commits an overt act in furtherance of that agreement.  

In this instance, prosecutors would have a good case for conspiracy because the four students allegedly plotted to plan a school shooting and had already commenced the ‘overt act’ of securing guns.

Conspiracy to Commit Murder (CA Penal Code 189)

The type of conspiracy you are convicted of will determine your punishment. Some conspiracies are wobblers – they can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony. A conspiracy to commit murder has all the same elements as conspiracy, expect one possesses the specific intent to kill another person unlawfully and commits an act in furtherance of that act. If convicted, you will face punishment that is equivalent to first-degree murder. It is punishable by death or 25 years to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Withdrawal from the Conspiracy

One may withdraw from his or her role in a conspiracy before someone in the group takes an overt act to further the crime in order to be absolved of criminal liability. If you wait until after someone commits an overt act to affirm your withdrawal, you will still be charged with the conspiracy but will not be held liable for any crimes that are committed after you communicated your withdrawal. Continue reading

According to a San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) report, the San Diego region’s overall crime rate, violent-crime rate, and property-crime rate has remained relatively stable, and is even down 1 percent. While some categories of violent crime showed a few upticks, it is telling that the crime rate in the region has remained stable given the legislative changes enacted in the recent years that have allowed ex-offenders returning to local communities. A total of 5,335 violent crimes (those involving homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) were reported to local police in the region between January and June of 2015; an average of 29 per day. Domestic violence incidents are also up 4% from 2014.

While property crimes such as burglaries are reported to have dropped by approximately 13% throughout the San Diego region, the La Jolla area has seen an increase in crime. Reported robberies in La Jolla have doubled from five to 10, and rapes have increased from zero to eight incidents the first half of the year. Thefts over $400 and motor vehicle thefts have also increased from 49 to 54 incidents.

What is Robbery?

In California, Penal Code 211 defines the crime of robbery as taking personal property that belongs to someone else from the victim’s person or immediate presence, and against the victim’s will, through the use of force or fear.

Robbery is different from theft in that it must occur when the victim/property owner is present during the crime. The crime of robbery can also occur during a burglary of a home if the residents happen to be inside at the time. Robbery is always a felony under California law.

Robbery is considered a first degree felony if:

  • It is committed against any driver or passenger of a vehicle
  • It takes place in an inhabited structure
  • It takes place at an ATM after someone has just used it

It is punishable by up to six years imprisonment, a fine of $10,000, or felony formal probation.

Robbery in the second degree is committed whenever it does not meet the definition of first degree robbery. It is punishable by up to five years imprisonment, felony probation, and a $10,000 fine. Continue reading

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