Articles Tagged with misdemeanor

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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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

Every year during the holidays, tons of San Diegans will be receiving packages of goods that they have ordered online. Meanwhile, porch pirates will be following Amazon, UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service to steal these goods from the homes of others. San Diego legislators are working to combat porch pirates at the state level. While porch pirating is a low level theft crime under Proposition 47, stealing packages off porches is still a crime.  

What is a Porch Pirate?

A porch pirate is someone who takes packages and goods that are left on the doorsteps or porches of homes. Essentially, a porch pirate is a thief.

California Ranks #3 for Porch Pirating

With the growth of online shopping comes a common problem in San Diego, California, and throughout the United States – porch pirating.

A survey as indicated by The Mercury News report, reveals that the Golden State made the top 10 list of states with the highest rates of porch pirating.

The City of San Diego ranks number 9 on the list for the top cities in California with porch pirating issues.

What is Proposition 47?

The enactment of California Proposition 47 reduced the penalties for crimes such as theft of property under $950. This includes porch pirating. The penalties for theft were reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor.  

According to an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune, this proposition encourages people to steal because if they are caught, the penalties are slim to none. As a result, there has been an increase of theft in the San Diego area.   

Why do People Commit Porch Piracy?

People often steal from the porches of others because of financial woes. They may not be able to afford the goods themselves. Some do it for the rush of stealing and getting away with it. Others may commit porch piracy because of drug abuse and mental illness issues.

How to Prevent Porch Piracy

Below are some tips to prevent porch piracy:

  • Install door cameras or porch surveillance cameras
  • Request signature be required for delivery
  • Deliver to another address such as a UPS store, FedEx Kinkos, or Walgreens
  • Schedule the package to arrive when you know you will be home for the day

Common Defenses to Porch Pirating

Although porch pirating is a misdemeanor, it is still an offense in the State of California. There are several defenses that may apply if you are charged with this crime. The most common defenses include:

  • Mistaken identity
  • False accusation
  • Insufficient evidence
  • Believing that the property belonged to the person being accused

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