Tag Archives: juvenile

New Years Eve DUI and gun use crackdown

This year, California is cracking down on New Years Eve celebrations.  There is a joint task force crack down on drunk drivers.  They are deploying saturation patrols to look for drunk drivers.  There will be more obvious DUI checkpoints.  You will see more cops on foot in crowded areas.  You will not see undercover agents who are looking to arrest people for drug crimes.

This year they are also cracking down on gun use.  In the wake of the recent tragedies in Colorado, Wisconsin and Connecticut, police are trying to be more aware of gun use and take them away from people.  Riverside county especially is looking for those who shoot guns into the air in celebration.  A person who does that will be arrested for negligent discharge of a firearm, which is a felony.  This charge is extremely serious.  It does not matter if the gun is legally registered and owned.  If you shoot into the air, you face getting arrested.  The reason is that the bullet that goes up must come down.  And people can get seriously hurt and/or killed by that bullet.

Please be responsible this New Years Eve with both your drinking and your use of firearms.

 

Holiday joint task force

Because of all the celebrating which occurs over the holidays, California law enforcement agencies have created joint task forces to crack down.  This means that in addition to more DUI checkpoints, there is an increase in saturation patrols.  These are cops that drive around looking for drunk drivers.  The problem with the saturation patrols is that they do not need to post the location where they will be.  With checkpoints, the law enforcement agency conducting them must post the location and times 48 hours prior to the checkpoint.  This requirement is not the same for saturation patrols.  In California there are hundreds upon hundreds of possible violations.  It could be something obvious like speeding, or something not so obvious like having a headlight that is too dim or a broken license plate light.  Officers will look for any reason to pull over a vehicle they suspect is being driven by an individual who is driving under the influence.

Sometimes officers become lucky and get more than a drunk driver: they find someone with warrants, drugs, no license, or worse.  If you get arrested over a holiday, the cops have 48 hours to keep you in jail before they have to get you in front of a judge.  This excludes weekends and holidays.  Tuesday, December 25th, is a court holiday.  Therefore, it does not count in the 48 hour limit, which keeps you in jail longer if you’re arrested.

The Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache does not rest, because cops do not rest.  Stephanie Arrache is always available by phone 24 hours a day if there is an emergency.  If you or a loved one is arrested during the holiday season, do not hesitate to call or email.  You will be answered immediately.  The holiday season is not the time to feel scared and alone because you or a loved one were arrested!

 

 

 

Arrested while on vacation

Some people have the unfortunate experience of being arrested while on vacation.  Southern California is a vacation destination for people from all over the world.  It’s a new and unfamiliar place.  Some people drink a bit too much and find themselves lost.  Before they know it, they’re arrested for being drunk in public.  To some people, they may not speak English.  The confusion of language could lead to unfortunate circumstances that lead to jail.  The change of currency could lead to theft charges.  Customs that are normal in your own hometown could lead to arrest here.  People from Vegas are used to walking down the street with alcohol.  That’s not allowed here.  The possible criminal charges are all vast and different.

Here’s one refreshing thing to know: you can hire a local attorney to handle everything for you.  Stephanie Arrache has helped many people from other states in the United States, and even other countries, fight their criminal charges.  If it’s a misdemeanor crime, which many vacation crimes tend to be, an attorney can go to court on your behalf.  You do not need to go to court.  Felony charges are a bit different, but can have the same results.

If you were arrested while on vacation, you need an attorney you can trust will handle your case in the right way.  Stephanie Arrache is not only experienced and knowledgeable, she is trustworthy and reliable.  She will keep you updated and handle your case with the diligence you would want.  You need an attorney who will fight for your rights.  You need Stephanie Arrache.

Call today for more information!

DUI Checkpoints 8/25/12

A California joint task force “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign started August 17, and is ending Labor Day on Sept. 3. This will create more DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols. Remember that it is always safer, wiser and cheaper to have a designated driver, or call a cab. We at the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache would rather people drive safe than get new clients.

The following are the published DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols for Saturday 8/25/12 in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange County and San Diego Counties:

Friday August 24
Anaheim- undisclosed location, 6pm-2am
Compton- undisclosed location, 7pm-3am
Garden Grove- roving saturation patrol
Inglewood- undisclosed location, 8pm-3am
Lake Elsinore- undisclosed location, undisclosed time
Palm Desert- undisclosed location, 9pm-3am
Placentia- roving saturation patrol
Redlands- Southbound Wabash Ave, between Brockton and Colton Ave, 10pm-3am

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about DUI checkpoints or if you were arrested at a checkpoint.

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

1701 N. Palm Canyon

Suite 8

Palm Springs, CA 92262

(760) 778-8295

DUI Checkpoints August 18, 2012 (8/18/12)

A California joint task force “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign started on August 17, and ending Labor Day on Sept. 3.  This will create more DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols.  Remember that it is always safer, wiser and cheaper to have a designated driver, or call a cab.  We at the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache would rather people drive safe than get new clients.

The following are the published DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols for Saturday 8/18/12 in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange County, and San Diego Counties:

Burbank- undisclosed location, 7pm-3am

Chino- undisclosed location, 7pm-2am

Covina- undisclosed location, 6pm-2am

Hemet- undisclosed location, 8pm-2am

Norco- undisclosed location, 8pm-3am

Perris- undisclosed location 6pm-2am

Rancho Mirage- undisclosed location, 9pm-4am

San Diego- Lemon Grove, 6pm-2am

Santa Monica- undisclosed location, 7pm-3am

Saturation Patrols: El Segundo, Gardena, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Inglewood, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Redondo and Torrance

 

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about DUI checkpoints or if you were arrested at a checkpoint.

 

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

1701 N. Palm Canyon

Suite 8

Palm Springs, CA 92262

(760) 778-8295

DUI Checkpoints 8/17/12

A California joint task force “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is starting  today, August 17, and ending Labor Day on Sept. 3.  This will create more DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols.  Remember that it is always safer, wiser and cheaper to have a designated driver, or call a cab.  We at the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache would rather people drive safe than get new clients.

The following are the published DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols for Friday 8/17/12 in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange County, and San Diego Counties:

Encinitas- undisclosed location, 6pm-2am

Glendale- undisclosed location, from 8pm-3am

Los Angeles- Hollywood Blvd, between Bronson and Gower, 7pm-3am

Moreno Valley- undisclosed location 8:30pm- 3am. There will also be roving patrols in Moreno Valley

Ontario- undisclosed location, 6pm-2am

Palm Springs- undisclosed location, 8pm-3am

Pasadena- undisclosed location, 8pm-2:30am

Redlands- on westbound San Bernardino Ave, between University and Church, 10:30pm-3am

San Bernardino- undisclosed location in southeast end of city, 6pm-2am

San Marcos- undisclosed location, 6pm-2am

Santee- undisclosed location, 6pm-2am

Temecula- undisclosed location, 9pm- 3am

Thermal- undisclosed location, 6pm – 2am

Saturation Patrols: El Segundo, Gardena, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Inglewood, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Redondo and Torrance

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about DUI checkpoints or if you were arrested at a checkpoint.

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

1701 N. Palm Canyon

Suite 8

Palm Springs, CA 92262

(760) 778-8295

Criminal Defense: Stagecoach 2012 Arrests

Here is an update as to the number of arrests at Stagecoach 2012.  The final tally is: 174.  That is, 174 in 3 days at the country music festival.  The arrests were mostly for alcohol related offenses.  Indio police are currently investigating a claim by a 17-year old girl that she was sexually assaulted in a public porta-potty.  However, at this time, no arrests have been made relating to that alleged incident.

The breakdown of arrests is as follows:

Friday: 57 arrests

Saturday: 69 arrests

Sunday: 48 arrests

The arrests seemed to spike at night.  For example, as of 6pm on Saturday, there were a reported 16 arrests.  This means there were 53 arrests at night.  There are several reasons: people drank all day and became rowdy and uncontrollable at night; people drove home after drinking at the concert; people went out to party after drinking at the concert.

While there were more arrests than any single weekend at Coachella Fest, there were not nearly as many drug related arrests.  The Indio police did not have as many sting operations that were successful at Stagecoach.  However, alcohol related arrests are serious matters which should not be taken lightly.  The Indio District Attorney’s office will be prosecuting these offenses just as vigorously as they will any other case. If you are charged with a misdemeanor offense, you will not need to step foot in a courtroom.  You can hire an attorney you trust and believe in, and have them go to court on your behalf.

For an article on the arrests, click here.

 

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you had any incidents at Stagecoach and need legal advice.

 

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

A Criminal Defense Firm

PO Box 3297

Palm Springs, CA 92262

Office: (760) 237-8295

Cell: (760) 668-8295

www.stephaniearrache.com

FACEBOOK PAGE

Criminal Defense: Criminal Threats PC 422

Criminal Threats: In General

Criminal threats are exactly as they sound: threats of a criminal nature.  Meaning, they are threats of hurting or harming someone.  They are threats of causing great bodily injury, or even death.  The threats can be verbal, written, or made by an electronic communication device.  They can be made by one person or a group.  They can be made to one person or a group.  (For more on gang enhancements, see below)  The crime of criminal threats is codified in Penal Code 422.

Criminal Threats: Elements

To prove a charge of criminal threats, a prosecutor must prove five key elements:

1) The defendant willfully made the threats of causing great bodily harm or death, or the threat to engage in a criminal activity that would lead to great bodily harm or death;

2) The defendant meant for the statement to be taken as a serious threat;

3) The threat was made in such a manner as to clearly show an intent to carry the threat out (regardless of whether it actually was carried out);

4) The threat causes the person to be in fear for their safety, or for the safety of their family; and

5) The threatened person’s fear is reasonable under the circumstances.

For more on the elements, refer to the following case: People v. Toledo.

Criminal Threats: Punishment

PC 422 can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.  This is called a “wobbler” offense.  The specific circumstances often determine how it will be charged.  If charged as a misdemeanor, the person convicted faces up to one (1) year in county jail.  If charged as a felony, the person convicted faces a term of 16 months, 2 or 3 years, depending on the circumstances.

Criminal Threats: Enhancement

If a person uses a weapon during the commission of PC 422, they face a year consecutive enhancement under PC 12022.  This means that the additional one year will be tacked on to the end of the underlying term.

If the person is found to be in a gang, and to have made the criminal threats in furtherance of gang activity, the person will serve an additional 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25-life, depending on the circumstances.  This enhancement is under the gang enhancement, PC 186.22.

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about PC 422, criminal threats.

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

A Criminal Defense Firm

PO Box 3297

Palm Springs, CA 92262

Office: (760) 237-8295

Cell: (760) 668-8295

www.stephaniearrache.com

FACEBOOK PAGE

Criminal Defense: gang member turns life around

I can’t count the number of times I’ve had clients tell me that they have been in and out of the system so often that one more stint won’t matter.  They just want me to get them the least amount of time possible.  This always makes me sad.  People shouldn’t just assume that because they’ve spent time in jail, that they aren’t worth more than going back.  People mess up.  They make mistakes.  This is especially common in youth.  People, especially young people, make dumb choices that sometimes result in jail.  That doesn’t mean that they should give up on themselves.  People can change.  They can learn.  I had one client who was convicted of armed robbery (and a few other things) at 18.  After 9 years in prison, he learned he wanted out, and never wanted to go back.  Now, at 65, he has led a law abiding existence, and never went back to jail.  (He was a client on a traffic violation- nothing serious.  More annoying to him than anything.)  But, he’s one of those stories of a kid who grew up in East LA, who turned his life around after a few dumb choices.

The Sacramento Bee recently published an article with another success story.  This guy, Edward Martinez, was a former gang member in the Fresno area.  He was jumped in at 13.  Juveniles are not able to make rational decisions.  They aren’t able to fully comprehend that getting jumped into a gang is probably not the wisest idea.  Especially when they see older family members who are members, as happened in Edward Martinez’s case.  He had older brothers and cousins who were members.  His mother had recently passed away after a car accident.  He was not making the best choices for himself.

Between 13 and 20, Edward Martinez committed some misdemeanor crimes.  His father was getting fed up with his behaviors.  It wasn’t until Edward was facing 8 years in prison on 3 felony charges with gang enhancements that he realized it was time to make major decisions.  His attorney was able to negotiate a plea that involved lowering the charges to misdemeanors, and his full-time enrollment in a school program.  He chose culinary school, and enrolled in a baking program.  While there, he thrived.  He loved what he did and decided he needed to make this change permanently.  He was successful and is now an executive pastry chef in a world renowned restaurant.

These success stories are possible for everyone.  It is what I want for my clients who have given up on themselves.  It frustrates me to see clients frustrated with themselves, who do not want to work to save themselves.  Edward’s story is possible for every single one of my clients, no matter what has happened in their past!

To read Edward’s amazing story, click here.

 

If you want to discuss how you can turn your life around, contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm today!

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

A Criminal Defense Firm

PO Box 3297

Palm Springs, CA 92262

Office: (760) 237-8295

Cell: (760) 668-8295

www.stephaniearrache.com

FACEBOOK PAGE

 

Criminal Defense: Phone Records

Cops lie.  Shocking, I know.  But it’s true.  Cops lie.  Attorneys lie.  Sometimes even clients lie.  Not me and not you, but some others.  Here’s a lie that a was recently told to a client that particularly made me mad:

My client is being charged with a domestic violence related crime.  She didn’t do anything.  She told me this and I 100% believe her.  She tried to explain this to the cops (something I do not approve of- DO NOT talk to cops, even when proclaiming innocence!).  The cop straight told her that she was lying.  She told him that the boyfriend was practically stalking her- calling her from blocked numbers, harassing and threatening her, etc.  In fact, it’s so bad that we will file a restraining order against her.  She told the cop all of this, and he told her that there’s no way to prove that the private numbers were from the boyfriend.  Wrong!  We can subpoena phone records.  She told the cop I said this and he said I was lying to her.  The nerve!  She called her phone carrier and they independently confirmed EXACTLY what I told her- you can get phone records which contain the private and restricted numbers.  It’s a simple subpoena process.

The end result is that this cop showed my client that she can completely trust what I say, and showed her that I have her back 100%.

Cops are trained to get information out of people.  He was probably trying to bait her to get her to make incriminating statements.  This is precisely why I tell clients to not say a word to cops!  Do not try to proclaim your innocence.  For the most part, cops do not care.  They already have their minds made up. The only thing you should say is: I want my attorney.  Repeat that, and only that, like a mantra.

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about phone records and your case.

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

A Criminal Defense Firm

PO Box 3297

Palm Springs, CA 92262

Office: (760) 237-8295

Cell: (760) 668-8295

www.stephaniearrache.com

FACEBOOK PAGE

Criminal Defense: Facebook is not as private as you think, or want!

I have always told my clients to be careful about what they put on facebook.  People think that what they post is private, especially if they’re page has been restricted to friends only.  However, everything you put on the web can be accessed by facebook officials themselves.  This means that if the cops or District Attorney want your records, they can subpoena them.  And now it has been confirmed that Facebook officials will release every. single. thing. from your page.  Every picture, every status update, every email.

How this can harm your case.  Remember that one time you thought it was funny to post a picture of you with a gun (whether fake or not)?  Well, now it can be used as evidence.  Remember that one time you thought you were being cool by posting a picture of you throwing gang signs?  Well, now the DA has evidence to strengthen their gang enhancement charges.  I can’t tell you how many times I have seen photos of people with known gang members be used against them.  They could have been innocent, but that one photo was so damaging.  Or, that one status was so damaging and incriminating.  Even if you later delete things, they’re still attainable by the cops and DA.

The point is: be careful of what you put on the internet, because it can and will be used against you!

See official Facebook records here.

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about how facebook can comprise your criminal case.

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

A Criminal Defense Firm

PO Box 3297

Palm Springs, CA 92262

Office: (760) 237-8295

Cell: (760) 668-8295

www.stephaniearrache.com

www.facebook.com/palmspringslawyer

Criminal Defense: Penal Code 186.22, the “gang enhancement” laws

Criminal Defense: Penal Code 186.22, the “gang enhancement” laws

Gang activity and 186.22

California has enacted specific laws regarding gang activity.  This means that if a person is determined to be a member of a criminal street gang, he or she can be charged as such.  A criminal street gang is a group of people determined to be acting in concert for illegal purposes.  The local cops or sheriffs have usually identified the gang and noted their activities.  Often, there are gang units within the police unit to monitor the various gangs and then are called upon by the prosecution to speak as to the gang in general and the individual members specifically.

 

California legislators established Penal Code 186.22 to address the issues of gang activity.  It can be charged as a separate crime, or as an enhancement.  Both will be discussed separately in this article.

 

Gang allegations in California should be taken very seriously, as they can not only add time to your current charges, but could implicate future charges, should any arise.  Often, if a person lives in a certain neighborhood or associates with “known” gang members, he or she will be labeled a gang member and charged as such.  A criminal gang in California has three or more members, and has a common name or identifying sign/symbol.

 

Gang activity charge under 186.22

The statute is written to charge any person who “actively participates in any criminal street gang with knowledge that its members engage in or have engaged in a pattern of criminal gang activity, and who willfully promotes, furthers, or assists in any felonious criminal conduct by members of that gang”.  (emphasis added)

 

This means that the prosecutor must prove three main elements:

1)      The person actively participates in a criminal street gang

2)      With the knowledge that the members are engaged in illegal gang activity

3)      And that he or she willfully promotes such activity

 

The gang charge can be either a misdemeanor or a felony.  If it is charged as a misdemeanor, you will be facing up to 1 year in county jail.  If it is charged as a felony, you will be facing 16 months, 2 or 3 years, depending on the facts of the case.

There are defenses and ways to negate those elements.  For example, you can show that while maybe you were affiliated with a gang, you are no longer active.  Though, it is not good to admit past affiliation if the DA does not have concrete evidence to use against you.  This is why it is important to consult a criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable in gang activity.  The Law Firm of Stephanie M. Arrache, a law firm in Palm Springs, CA, has had many successful outcomes with reducing and/or dismissing gang charges.

 

Gang activity enhancements under 186.22

Often times the prosecutor will charge 186.22 as an enhancement, rather than as a separate charge.

If the underlying felony is anything other than a serious felony or a violent felony, the enhancement will be charged as two, three or four years, at the courts discretion.  Under this statute, the court is to award the middle term, unless there are mitigating or aggravating factors.  The court must state any of those reasons on the record to explain why two or four years was awarded, instead of three.

 

If the underlying felony is a serious felony, the enhancement will be for five years.  Serious felonies are listed under Penal Code 1192.7.

 

If the underlying felony is a violent felony, as listed under Penal Code 667.5, the enhancement will be for an additional 10 years in prison.

 

If the underlying felony occurs near any school during operating hours, or when minors are present, the court will consider that an aggravating factor.

 

If the underlying felony is a home invasion robbery or a carjacking, and the court determines that it is done to further the street gang, the individual will be sentenced to 15 years to life in the state prison.  If the underlying felony is extortion or witness intimidation, the individual will be facing 7 years to life in the state prison.

 

 

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about gang enhancements.

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

A Criminal Defense Firm

PO Box 3297

Palm Springs, CA 92262

Office: (760) 237-8295

Cell: (760) 668-8295

www.stephaniearrache.com

www.facebook.com/palmspringslawyer

Criminal Defense: DUI Checkpoints Cesar Chavez Day 3/30/12

The following are the published DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols for Friday 3/30/12 (Cesar Chavez Day) in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange County, San Diego and Long Beach Counties:

Carson- 7pm to 3am undisclosed location

Glendale- undisclosed location, 8pm to 2am

Redondo Beach- undisclosed location, 8pm to 2am

Palmdale- undisclosed location, 6pm to 2am

 

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about DUI checkpoints or if you were arrested at a checkpoint.

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

A Criminal Defense Firm

PO Box 3297

Palm Springs, CA 92262

Office: (760) 237-8295

Cell: (760) 668-8295

www.stephaniearrache.com

www.facebook.com/palmspringslawyer

Criminal Defense: DUI Charges

Criminal Defense: DUI Charges

 1st DUI

A standard 1st DUI is what most people charged with DUI receive.  It means that the person was found driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.  The person must request a DMV hearing within 10 days of the arrest, or else they will lose their license.  If a person requests the DMV hearing, there is a chance they will keep their license.

 

A person convicted of a 1st DUI faces up to 10 days in jail, fines amounting to approximately $2100, community service, alcohol awareness classes, MADD program, and in some counties such as Los Angeles, an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) placed on the car at your own expense.  The person will also lose their license for 6 months, but, absent extenuating circumstances, will be able to apply for a restricted work/school/program license after 30 days.

 

DUI while driving commercial vehicle

A person who is found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol while driving a commercial vehicle faces harsher penalties and a lower threshold.  If a person is driving a commercial vehicle, they cannot have .04 or higher blood alcohol level.   On top of the standard DUI terms, the person will lose their commercial license for a year.  It does not matter that this is the person’s employment or only means of making money.  The DMV will not issue a commercial license for a year.  If the person receives a 2nd DUI while driving a commercial vehicle within a 10 year period, he or she will lose their commercial license indefinitely, meaning, they will never get it back.

 

DUI with 1-2 priors within 10 years

Each DUI within a 10 year period (measured from arrest date to arrest date) counts as a prior.  Priors carry enhancements with them, that generally result in more days in jail (up to 180 for a 3rd), more fines, longer restrictions and longer classes (up to 30 months).  Multiple DUI’s normally result in IID devices, no matter which county or jurisdiction you’re in.

 

DUI with priors not within 10 years

If you have a DUI, but it was more than 10 years ago, it will show up on your record, but cannot be used against you by the courts.  It cannot be charged as a prior.  However, the DMV can use it against you in determining whether to grant you a restricted license, or to grant leniency.  However, any priors do not matter in terms of probable cause in determining whether you were drunk in the instant case.

 

4th DUI within 10 years

If a person receives a 4th DUI within 10 years, and 3 occurred within 7 years, the prosecution has the ability to charge the DUI as a felony.  If a person is convicted of their 4th DUI and it was charged as a felony, the person is facing a stay in state prison, rather than county jail.

 

DUI resulting in Great Bodily Injury

If a person causes an accident which results in great bodily injury to another person, the prosecution may file it as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances.  If there is a child in the car of the person driving under the influence, the prosecutor may add a charge of child endangerment, regardless of whether the child was actually hurt.  This can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.  If it’s a misdemeanor, the person is facing up to 1 year in county jail.  If it is a felony, the person faces, two, four or six year in state prison.  The way the prosecutor determines this usually determines on any injury to a child and the extent thereof.

 

DUI resulting in Death

If a person causes an accident which results in the death of another person or persons, they can be charged with additional charges.  If the death resulted from gross or ordinary negligence, then the person can be charged with vehicular manslaughter, as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances.  If the death resulted from criminal negligence, the person can be charged with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, which is always charged as a felony.  If the death resulted from implied malice, the person can be charged with second degree murder, also always a felony.  If a person has prior DUI convictions, then any death from a subsequent DUI will be charged as second degree murder, as there is an implied, and often explicitly conditioned, knowledge of the dangers of driving under the influence.

 

DUI by person under 21

If a person is under 21, there is a lower threshold to be met.  The person under 21 cannot be driving with a blood alcohol level of .05 or higher.  For a person over 21, the level is .08 or higher.  For a person under 21, they are punished the same as a person over 21, but with the lower level.  If a person under 21 is found guilty of driving with a .05 or higher, he or she will lose their license and not be able to apply for a restricted license for a year.  A person under 21 will also be required to attend a 3 month alcohol awareness class, and possibly, at the court’s discretion, enter a Youthful Offender program, which includes trips to the morgue.

 

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about DUI charges or have been arrested for DUI.

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

A Criminal Defense Firm

PO Box 3297

Palm Springs, CA 92262

Office: (760) 237-8295

Cell: (760) 668-8295

www.stephaniearrache.com

https://www.facebook.com/PalmSpringsLawyer

Criminal Defense: California’s Three Strikes Victory in Riverside County

Criminal Defense: California’s Three Strikes Victory in Riverside County

California’s Three Strikes Rule

The Three Strikes Rule was enacted in California in 1994 to make violent offenders accountable for their crimes. (For more, see here.)  The rationale was that certain violent crimes were deemed to be worse offenses than others, and part of the conviction would include a “strike”.  It was designed “to ensure longer prison sentences and greater punishment for those who commit a felony and have been previously convicted of serious and/or violent felony offenses.”  (For more, see here.)  Just as in the game of baseball, three strikes and you’re out.  Only, what the legislators failed to realize is that this is not a game, but people’s lives.  25% of prison inmates are “three strikers” who are there permanently because they received their third strike. (For more, see here.)  What has been seen to be happening increasingly was that people convicted of violent offenses were being sent to jail for life over some petty crime, merely because they had two other strikes.

 

For example, in 2000, Gary Ewing stole three golf clubs from a pro shop at a country club in Los Angeles.  Mr. Ewing had several misdemeanors on his record.  Most of his charges were petty theft.  Unfortunately, he picked up two strikes for burglaries between 1984 and 2000.  He never actually harmed anyone, though he frightened a couple victims, and threatened one.  But it remains fact that he never actually harmed anyone.  But because of California’s Three Strikes rule, Mr. Ewing, who had two strike priors, and who now stole less than $1200 worth of golf clubs from a golf course, will spend the rest of his life in jail. Ewing v. California  (2003) 538 U.S. 11.

 

 

Effect of California’s Three Strikes

 

The first strike does not have an effect on the current case.  It does not send you to jail for longer, or make parts of your conviction worse.  In theory, it is supposed to act as a warning.  One judge in Riverside county told me once that one strike was not a big deal, and that my client merely had to stay out of trouble.  Unfortunately, this judge was not living the life of my client, nor living in his neighborhood.  The judge didn’t quite understand him.  Needless to say, I fought hard for him and kept that strike off his record.  Hopefully he does remain out of trouble, but if he finds himself back in jail, he won’t have a strike on his record to keep him down.

 

The second strike acts as a sentencing enhancement.   It means that if you have a prior strike, then you will be sentenced to twice the term.  In addition, a person who is sentenced with a prior strike under California’s Three Strikes rule is only eligible for 80% time for non-violent felonies and 85% time for violent felonies.   For example, Mark is charged with Robbery.  The facts are that he stole $40 worth of merchandise from a store.  He is looking at 2, 3 or 5 years in prison.  The DA alleges a prior conviction for methamphetamine possession.  This was not a strike.  However, along with the previous meth possession conviction there was an allegation that Mark was involved in a criminal street gang.  That charge is an automatic strike.  Because of this prior strike, Mark is now looking at a maximum of 10 years in prison.

 

The third strike in California means you’re out.  If a person with two strikes is convicted of any felony, then they will be sentenced to twenty-five years to life.  Again, this is for ANY felony.  If you have two prior strikes, then it is especially important that you hire an aggressive criminal defense attorney to fight on your behalf.  You need to avoid the felony conviction to avoid the wrath of California’s Three Strikes law!

 

How to Fight California’s Three Strikes Rule

 

It is never a good idea to just accept a strike in California.  You should always fight a strike enhancement.  Usually if the crime was not a violent one, or if you have any defenses, you can avoid a strike.  This is where hiring an aggressive criminal defense attorney comes to play.  If you have a prior strike already, do not accept that you have to deal with the enhancement.  Again, an aggressive and good criminal defense attorney can petition the California court to “ignore” the prior strikes for the purpose of sentencing in your current case.

 

For example, I had recent success in filing a motion which led the court to ignore my client’s prior strike for a robbery conviction in his past.  The client and I sat down for lengthy meetings in which he explained his situation to me.  I was then able to argue to the court that the prior strike should not be used as an enhancement.  If the court did not remove the strike, then my client was facing serious prison time.  Without the strike, the court was willing to consider probation.  I wrote the motion and the court agreed that the strike should not be used in consideration on the current case.  Now my client is on probation and not stuck in prison.  These results aren’t always obtained, but it’s definitely something to work towards in your own case.  Do not just accept California’s Three Strikes rule, but find the right criminal defense attorney who will fight to keep it from effecting you!

 

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about California’s Three Strikes Rule, or if you have been arrested but have strikes in your past.

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

A Criminal Defense Firm

PO Box 3297

Palm Springs, CA 92262

Office: (760) 237-8295

Cell: (760) 668-8295

www.stephaniearrache.com

https://www.facebook.com/PalmSpringsLawyer

Criminal Defense: St. Patrick’s Day DUI Checkpoints 3/17/12

The following are the published DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols for Saturday 3/17/12 (St. Patrick’s Day) in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange County and Long Beach Counties:

Buena Park- Beach Blvd and 10th St, from 7pm to 2am

Chula Visat- undisclosed location, 6pm to 1:30am

Hemet- undisclosed location, 7pm to 3am

Lake Elsinore- roving patrols throughout city

Lancaster/Palmdale- Saturday patrols 3/16/12 at 6pm to 3/18/12 at 6am

Long Beach roving patrol the south and east areas of Long Beach, between 8pm and 4am

Los Angeles- Venice Blvd. between Sepulveda Blvd. and Sawtelle Blvd, between 8pm and 2am

Los Angeles Roving patrols

Norco- undisclosed location, 8:00pm and 3:00am

Orange County- Roving patrols at “hot spots”

Pasadena, Roving patrols

Redlands- roving saturation patrols

Riverside County roving patrols

San Gabriel, undisclosed location, 7pm to 3am

San Jacinto- undisclosed location, 7pm to 3am

Twentynine Palms, undisclosed location, 7pm to 3am

West Hollywood, 7pm to 3am, undisclosed location

 

Please be safe on St. Patrick’s Day!  We at the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache would rather have people be safe and drink responsibly than to get new DUI clients!  Pay the extra money for a cab, or have someone be the designated driver.  There are too many accidents waiting to happen, on this wet St. Patrick’s Day!

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about DUI checkpoints or if you were arrested at a checkpoint.

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

A Criminal Defense Firm

PO Box 3297

Palm Springs, CA 92262

Office: (760) 237-8295

Cell: (760) 668-8295

www.stephaniearrache.com

www.facebook.com/palmspringslawyer

DUI Checkpoints 3/16/12

The following are the published DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols for Saturday 3/16/12 in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange County and Long Beach Counties:

Mission Viejo- undisclosed location, 6pm to 2am

Roving patrols at “hot spots” in Orange County

Los Angeles- Figueroa St. between 8th and 9th Streets, 8pm to 2am

Pasadena- undisclosed location, 7pm to 3am

Newport Beach- Jamboree Rd and Santa Barbara Dr, 8pm to 3am

Moreno Valley- undisclosed location 8:30pm to 2:30pm

 

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about DUI checkpoints or if you were arrested at a checkpoint.

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

A Criminal Defense Firm

PO Box 3297

Palm Springs, CA 92262

Office: (760) 237-8295

Cell: (760) 668-8295

www.stephaniearrache.com

www.facebook.com/palmspringslawyer

What is Arraignment?

Criminal Defense: What Is Arraignment?

What is Arraignment- General

Arraignment is the first time you will appear in front of a judge and will plead either guilty or not guilty. If you have not hired an attorney, the court will advise you of your right to hire one, or to have one appointed if you cannot afford one. If you cannot afford one, the court will appoint the Public Defender to represent you. Some judges will play on the fact that some people do not afford one. You need to know your right to have one appointed and tell the judge that you want a lawyer but can’t afford to pay. The court will make you fill out a financial declaration stating your lack of ability to pay for an attorney.

In most cases, the discovery is handed over to your attorney at the arraignment date, and not before. If the discovery is not available, your attorney will request to continue the arraignment until the DA can provide the discovery. Keep in mind that the initial discovery usually consists of basic information, and is not complete. You attorney will file a discovery request to complete their file. They will also do investigation on their own to see if there is more information to be discovered.

What is Arraignment- Misdemeanor

If you were arrested for a misdemeanor, the District Attorney’s office has up to 1 year to file charges. This means that your arraignment must be within 1 year of the arrest date. Misdemeanor arraignments allow you to plead guilty or not guilty. Sometimes the DA will give you an offer at the arraignment and allow you to dispose of your case then and there. This is not advisable, as you haven’t had a chance to review the discovery yet. But, some people who are charged with crimes like simple possession or DUI feel they have no defenses and want to just get it over with and plead there. Again, this is not advisable, as there are always defenses to be made. A good attorney will look over the facts of your specific case and come up with ideas on how to fight the charges.

What is Arraignment- Felony

For a felony arraignment, the process is the same. You are brought before the court and advised of your rights to counsel and a jury. You will either plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead not guilty, pre-trial dates will be set. It is never advisable to plead guilty at arraignment, as you and/or your lawyer have not yet had a chance to go over the discovery.

Arraignment on a felony case where the person has not bailed out must be within 48 hours of the arrest, excluding weekends and court holidays. Any violation of this could result in a case dismissal. If you were arrested for a bailable offense, and bail has not yet been set, the judge will also order a bail hearing to determine the amount of bail. If you were arrested for a felony, and there was no arrest warrant, then you have a right to an arraignment within 48 hours. This includes weekends and holidays.

 

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you want to know more about the arraignment process.

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

A Criminal Defense Firm

PO Box 3297

Palm Springs, CA 92262

Office: (760) 237-8295

Cell: (760) 668-8295

www.stephaniearrache.com

https://www.facebook.com/PalmSpringsLawyer

Criminal Defense: Arrest and your right to remain silent

Criminal Defense: Arrest and your right to remain silent

Arrest and Your Right to Remain Silent During Questioning

If you’ve been arrested, chances are that you are scared and unsure about what to do or not do, say or not say.  You are dragged to a sterile room in a police station.  You are questioned relentlessly.  Sometimes the cops blame you and try to get you mad or frustrated.  They hope they can entice you into arguing back, and giving up vital information.  Or, on the other hand, sometimes they pretend to befriend you, pretend to be on your side.  They try to make you think that they sympathize with you and know you’re being falsely accused.  This is another tactic employed to make you give up information which will incriminate yourself.  Cops are trained in interrogation techniques designed to get information to use against you.

The best thing to do in a situation like this is to not say anything.  It’s better to say nothing than even to deny anything.  All you have to do is say you want a lawyer and then close your mouth.  The prosecutor cannot use this against you.  He or she cannot try to show guilt by the fact that you did not talk to the cops.  You have a Constitutional right to not say anything, to keep your mouth shut.  So use it!

Pending Arrest and Your Right to Remain Silent

If a crime has been committed and the cops are still trying to find a suspect or gather more information, they sometimes ask people to come to the station and talk to them.  Your answer should always be “No.”  They cannot arrest you for not cooperating with them.  And if they had enough information, they would show up with handcuffs.  If they want you to come in, it is likely they think you are involved.  They will use tactics mentioned above, either being argumentative or overly friendly, to try to get information to use against you.  They do not want to hear your side of the story for any other reason than to use it against you.  They are not on your side.  Cops are trained to analyze situations and decide who committed crimes.  If they want you to come in, there is nothing that will benefit you.

If the cops have asked you to come in to the station, you should say no.  Or you should call your lawyer and have them tell the cops no.  If the cops want to talk to you, make them do their own work and arrest you.  Do not give them any help.  Do not say anything.  Do not even deny.  Hire an attorney and let them talk for you.  Afterall, that is what attorneys are trained to do: talk.

What to do about an Arrest and Your Right to Remain Silent

If you have been arrested or fear that you will be arrested, keep in mind that you should just say nothing at all.  Saying nothing is better than even denying.  You have a right to an attorney and a right to remain silent.  Cops are trained to advise you of those rights because they are extremely important and are rights that need to be protected and cherished.  They are rights that need to be used.

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have been arrested or fear an arrest and want to know about your right to remain silent.

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

A Criminal Defense Firm

PO Box 3297

Palm Springs, CA 92262

Office: (760) 237-8295

Cell: (760) 668-8295

www.stephaniearrache.com

https://www.facebook.com/PalmSpringsLawyer

Criminal Defense: Health and Safety Code 11359 Marijuana Sales

Criminal Defense: Health & Safety Code 11359 Marijuana Sales

 Elements of Health & Safety Code 11359 Marijuana Sales

Health & Safety Code 11359 is the statute against possession of marijuana for sales. The prosecutor must prove that you intended to sell the marijuana found in your possession.  They must also prove that you knew it was marijuana.  If they are able to prove these elements, then you could face 16 months, 2 or 3 years in jail plus fines.  The court takes sales charges very seriously.

Defenses to Health & Safety Code 11359 Marijuana Sales

If you are charged with Health & Safety Code 11359 Marijuana Sales, you do have some defenses to assist you in fighting the charge.  Often the cops will charge you with marijuana sales if they find you with multiple baggies of individually wrapped quantities of marijuana.  These are usually measured out in equal amounts, which indicates selling.  However, a good attorney can persuade the prosecutor that you possessed the baggies because you just bought them.  Similarly, if you possess a large amount of cash when arrested, the cops will argue that you just sold a large quantity of marijuana.  However, an attorney can argue that you had the money because you were looking to buy marijuana for your own personal use.  Convincing the court that you were possessing, or trying to possess the marijuana for personal use is a much better route to take, as there are more options for you penalty-wise and expungement-wise.

What to do if you are charged with Health & Safety Code 11359 Marijuana Sales

If you are charged with Health & Safety Code 11359 marijuana sales, you need to consult an attorney immediately.  There are many routes which your case can take, but they need to be discovered early on.  You want to fight these charges aggressively.

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have been arrested for marijuana sales.

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

A Criminal Defense Firm

PO Box 3297

Palm Springs, CA 92262

Office: (760) 237-8295

Cell: (760) 668-8295

www.stephaniearrache.com

https://www.facebook.com/PalmSpringsLawyer

Criminal Defense: Marijuana Arrest Records

Criminal Defense: Marijuana Arrest Records

Marijuana Arrests

California is becoming more lenient in their rules against possession of marijuana.  When a person is caught with less than one ounce (28.5 grams), they are charged with an infraction.  The penalty for this is only $100 and no jail time.  Possession of more than one ounce carries a penalty of up to 6 months in jail, up to $500 in fines, or both.  Possession by a person over 18 on school grounds is a misdemeanor, punished by up to 6 months in jail, $500 in fines, or both.  Possession by a person under 18, of less than an ounce, on school grounds, is punishable by $250.  A second offense carries an additional 10 days in juvenile hall. If a person has a valid medical marijuana card, they will not be charged at all, and the case will be dismissed.

The abovementioned refers to simple possession only.  This does not apply to sales, transportation, or cultivation.  It also does not apply to concentrated cannabis.  These are all accompanied by stricter penalties.
Marijuana Arrest Records

If you were arrested for simple possession, which means possession for personal use under one ounce, you have a right to have your records sealed.  This applies to people convicted of simple possession, possession on school grounds, or offering, giving away or transporting less than one ounce.  If you were convicted of any of these offenses, your records should be automatically sealed after two years.  Once the records have been sealed, the person can truthfully say that they have never been arrested or convicted of a crime.  Likewise, the district attorney, cops, probation department and courts cannot say that the person was arrested or convicted.  However, the two year time limit does not apply if the person is still on probation, in jail, paying fines, or any other term of the criminal penalty.  Likewise, if there is a civil suit pending, the two year rule does not apply.  The records will get sealed upon termination of all collateral penalties and suits.

Of course, this relief only applies to California, as per state law, and does not necessarily apply to Federal law.  As of today, marijuana possession is still illegal under Federal law.

Hiring an attorney for a Marijuana Arrest

If you were arrested for marijuana possession you will want to hire an attorney.  Because the rules are beneficial to a person with simple possession of less than an ounce, you will want to ensure that you are being convicted of the right thing.  A good attorney can get you the best deal to make sure that after 2 years, your records will be automatically sealed.  You do not want marijuana possession to ruin your life.

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have been arrested for marijuana possession or have questions about sealing your marijuana possession records.

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

A Criminal Defense Firm

PO Box 3297

Palm Springs, CA 92262

Office: (760) 237-8295

Cell: (760) 668-8295

www.stephaniearrache.com

https://www.facebook.com/PalmSpringsLawyer

Criminal Defense: Seal Juvenile Records

Criminal Defense: Seal Juvenile Records

 Seal Juvenile Records

 If you committed a crime as a juvenile and were subsequently convicted, you most likely want to seal those records as an adult.  You don’t want one mistake as a kid to ruin your chances for success as an adult.  The way to do this is to petition the court to seal the records.  Contrary to common belief, the juvenile arrest records are not automatically sealed once you turn 18.  You must actively try to get your juvenile records sealed as an adult.

How to Seal Juvenile Records

Once you turn 18, or 5 years after the termination of the juvenile court’s jurisdiction over you is when you can petition the court to seal your records.   You must not have committed a crime of moral turpitude, whether it is a felony or misdemeanor.  This means that if you are charged with a crime of moral turpitude, you would want to discuss with your juvenile defense lawyer, a way to negotiate a plea that may change the charge from one of those moral turpitude crimes.  This is also true of certain crimes listed under 707(b) committed when you were 14 or older.  Further, you can’t have pending civil action for the same charges or any felonies or misdemeanors involving moral turpitude after the original charge.  For example, if you are charged with robbery, a crime of moral turpitude, you will not be able to have the juvenile records sealed.  However, if your attorney is able to negotiate a plea to a different charge (for example, disturbing the peace) but the person whom you robbed is suing you in civil court, you still will not be able to have your juvenile records sealed.

Benefits of Being Granted a Petition to Seal Your Juvenile Records

If your crime was not one of moral turpitude or listed under 707(b), your juvenile arrest and conviction records will be sealed.  This means that they will actually be destroyed.  When applying to a job or school, you will truthfully be able to say you were never convicted or arrested.  The district attorney, police and probation will all have to say no.  If you were convicted of a crime that requires sex offender registration, and does not fall under the aforementioned restrictions, you will no longer have to register.

Hiring an Attorney to Seal Your Juvenile Records

The petition process is tricky, and the results are rewarding, which makes it a good idea to hire an attorney to seal your juvenile arrest and/or conviction records.  This is not a process recommended to be done on your own.  An experienced attorney can have the records sealed, so you can move on with your life! Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you want to seal your juvenile arrest and conviction records.

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

A Criminal Defense Firm

PO Box 3297

Palm Springs, CA 92262

Office: (760) 237-8295

Cell: (760) 668-8295

www.stephaniearrache.com

https://www.facebook.com/PalmSpringsLawyer