Tag Archives: Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

4th of July 2013 DUI safety information

California law enforcement is ramping up it’s drunk driving enforcement over the 4th of July weekend.  Starting today and going through Sunday, police will be out in large numbers looking to make arrests.  Police officers are trained to look for relatively minor vehicle code violations (such as texting, not wearing a seat belt, etc.) to pull you over to see if you are DUI.  All if takes is reasonable suspicion for an officer to pull you over and conduct a DUI investigation.  Don’t ruin your fun weekend by going to jail for a DUI.  Riverside county is sending out cops in large numbers this weekend and employing a number of sobriety checkpoint.  Last year they made 60 DUI arrests over the 4th of July holiday.    Los Angeles is conducting a series of DUI checkpoints, which can be seen herejuly4beer-.

The consequences of a DUI can range from standard annoyance (losing your license, fines, classes) to major consequences (murder, vehicular manslaughter).  The risk is not worth it.  Take a cab or have a designated driver.  Or look for local programs like the ones listed below.

Please take advantage of programs out there designed to get you and your friends home safely:

Tipsy Tow

Walter Clark and Yellow Cab 4th of July Free Ride Program

 

DUI checkpoints 5/25/13

The following are the published DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols for Saturday 5/25/13 in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange County and San Diego Counties:

 

Blythe undisclosed location 7pm to 2am

Chula Vista undisclosed location 6pm to 3am

Hermosa Beach eastbound lanes of Artesia at Prospect 9pm to 3am

Pomona undisclosed location 9pm to 3am

Riverside at Woodcrest 7pm to 1am

San Jacinto undisclosed location 7pm 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

1701 N. Palm Canyon

Suite 8

Palm Springs, CA 92262

(760) 778-8295

DUI checkpoints 5/24/13

The following are the published DUI checkpoints for Friday 5/24/13 in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange County and San Diego Counties:

 

Lake Elsinore undisclosed location 8pm to 3am

Los Angeles (Downtown) Figueroa and 9th undisclosed time

Malibu undisclosed location 7:30pm to 3:30am

Moreno Valley undisclosed location, 8:30pm to 2:30am

Ontario undisclosed location and time

Pasadena undisclosed location 7pm to 3am

Poway undisclosed location 7pm to 3am

Redlands 6th Street and Stuart Ave 9pm to 3am

San Bernardino Northeast end 6pm to 2amn

San Dimas undisclosed location 7pm to 3am

Sherman Oaks Ventura and Columbus undisclosed time

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

Feds want to lower DUI level

Currently in California the rate for DUI is .08.  That is the equivalent (roughly!) of 4 1/2 light beers in one hour if you weight 160 pounds.  I say roughly, because there are always varying factors to be considered.  Things like medications, food, sleep patterns, etc. all have an impact on your blood alcohol level.

The Federal government wants to lower the rate from .08 to .05.  This means that same 160 pound person would be legally drunk in 2-3 drinks.  Let’s say you weigh 100 pounds.  You’d be drunk in a little over 1 drink.

The theory behind this is saving lives.  The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) believes that there are too many deaths that arise from drunk drivers.  And their answer is to stomp on your rights and restrict how much you can drink even more.  If they’re truly concerned about drunk drivers, then they could come up with alternate ideas (i.e. free taxi vouchers, free rides home, free bus passes, etc.).  All this will do is lead to more DUI arrests.

There is scientific data that shows how alcohol impairs ones abilities.  The current rate of .08 is where the effects of alcohol are becoming noticeable.  This is worth mentioning because one must wonder how a cop would even begin to look for a driver under the lower rate.  Cops will look for people leaving bars, restaurants, clubs, sports arenas, or anywhere else that they think they’ll find a drunk driver.  No more bothering looking for swerving, or any other factors they claim.

 

Have a Safe and Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a holiday that you either love or hate.  Many women are emotionally addicted to Valentine’s Day and require flowers, chocolates, jewelry, or something equally thoughtful from their significant other.  Many also require a nice dinner.  What often happens at a nice dinner?  A bottle of wine is ordered.  Drinks are had.  Diners enjoy delicious food and great company and lose track of the alcohol that they are drinking.  Then they head home.

Cops know this.  They look for drivers who are likely under the influence in the evening hours of Valentine’s Day.  They stay close to the local eateries known for their wine lists and drink menus.  They love making DUI arrests on this holiday.

Don’t let this happen to you.  Don’t ruin a memorable meal by getting arrested for having a couple glasses of wine.  If you and your Valentine’s Day date are inclined to have a few drinks, then give him or her the gift of a cab ride to and from dinner.  Or, stay at home and cook.  Don’t even go on the roads.  Or drink water instead of wine.  These are all great options to ensure that your Valentine’s Day celebration does not end with you in jail.

Super Bowl Sunday DUI Saturation Patrols

This weekend is the Super Bowl XLVII, taking place in New Orleans at the Superdome.  Baltimore Ravens versus San Francisco 49ers.  Over 100 million people will be tuning in.  The Super Bowl is arguably the most heavily watched sporting event of the American year.  People gather together at bars and parties to watch the big game.  Thus, drinking is increased during the event.  Cops know this.  Prosecutors know this.  And because of this, California police agencies are increasing their DUI saturation patrols.  This means that more cops will be on the street this weekend looking to make DUI arrests.

To get pulled over for a DUI, a cop needs only to have a reasonable suspicion that a violation is occurring.  That brake light you’ve been meaning to fix?  Reasonable suspicion.  That lane change in the middle of an intersection?  Reasonable suspicion.  Going 70 in a 65?  Reasonable suspicion.  There are thousands of potential vehicle code violations which cops are trained to know.  And trained to look for.

Los Angeles Police Department have announced increased saturation patrols.  Riverside County Sheriff’s Department have announced increased DUI patrols.  Palm Desert PD have announced increased patrols.  San Bernardino Sheriff’s have announced more DUI checks.  California Highway Patrol (CHP) will be increasing their lookout for suspected drunk drivers.

The best choice is to have a designated driver or take a cab.  The $30 cab ride is way better than a DUI conviction, suspended license, court fines and alcohol classes.  And it’s better than the possibility of killing yourself or someone else.

We at the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache would always rather have people be safe than get another client.

Why it’s important to trust your lawyer

I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing (and trusting) your attorney.  You do not necessarily have to like him or her.  It does not have to be someone who you would normally associate with.  You don’t have to want to go to coffee or out to dinner with your attorney.  But you do need to have faith in him or her.  If that is lacking, then find a new attorney.

Here is why I can’t stress that enough:

Yesterday I was in court on behalf of a misdemeanor client.  I was talking to the DA about resolving the case in a way that was even better than what my client had hoped for.  While talking to this DA, another attorney walks in.  The DA stops my conversation to inform the defense attorney that he had missed a court date for a client the previous day, and that the judge had issued the warrant.  The attorney’s response was no more than a shoulder shrug followed by an “oh yeah?”  He didn’t even ask which client, which judge, or which case.  He couldn’t have cared less. I can only imagine what will happen down the road where that warrant can come to haunt that man’s client.  I doubt the attorney will throw himself under the bus and explain that the client wasn’t to fault, but it was his own failure.

You need someone you can rely on.  Someone who has your back.  You do not want to risk your credibility and outcome on a lawyer who couldn’t care less about you.

I not only care about my clients, but they are my top priority.  I give out my cell phone number to clients so they have constant contact with me.  Something crosses your mind about the case on a Sunday afternoon, then call me.  You have a realization on Tuesday at 9pm, then call me.  It’s 6am on the morning of your court date and you’re scared, then call me.  It’s my job to make sure that you feel as comfortable as possible during this whole process.

I do not care whether people like me.  I don’t care if my clients wouldn’t hang out with me in different circumstances.  What I do care about is that 100% of my clients know that I have their back and know that they are in good hands.

Call me today if you want to know more about my personalized approach to your criminal defense.  I will never have mistakes that could cost you the outcome of your case!

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!

 

 

 

American Heat Palm Springs Biker Weekend

American Heat Biker Weekend October 19-21, 2012

Every year, thousands of bikers ride into Palm Springs for biker weekend.  It’s actually the American Heat Palm Springs Motorcycle Weekend and a place where people can not only show off their own bikes, but learn about new trends, products and merchandise.  Downtown Palm Canyon, from Amado to Arenas, is cordoned off for people to enjoy the festivities.  People will be able to enjoy live music, activities for kids, merchandise, and bike competitions.  There will be food, alcohol and good old biker fun.

There will also be more law enforcement on patrol.  Though this event historically does not get overly rowdy, there are still more police on hand just in case.  Palm Springs police will be having more officers on DUI patrol in an attempt to crack down on drunk driving.  The surrounding cities will be patrolling more as well.  Beware of undercover agents too.  If Stage Coach and Coachella Fest in April of this year taught us anything, the police are engaging in more undercover operations to catch other activities.  They are trying to crack down on illegal substances, guns, etc. by engaging in undercover operations which border on entrapment.  While this hasn’t been much of an issue in years past, it is something that people should be on the lookout for this year.

We at the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache would rather people be safe than get new clients.  Here are some helpful tips to make sure that your biker weekend fun doesn’t end with you behind bars.

 

Taxi Service:

American Cab Palm Springs: 760-322-4444

Desert City Cab: 760-328-3000

 

Bus Service

SunLine: Bus schedule

 

Hotels:

Palm Mountain Resort & Spa: 800-622-9451

Tuscany Manor Resort: 760-416-8916

Shiloh Inn: 760-320-7676

 

If you have any questions, please contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache.  We are always available to offer advice or suggestions.  And if you are arrested at the American Heat Palm Springs Biker Weekend, we are available to get you bailed out and help you through the legal maze that is a criminal charge.

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!

California AB 472

AB472

California State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D- San Francisco) introduced a bill on February 15, 2011 regarding drug overdose.  As it currently stands in California, a high rate of drug overdose deaths occur because people are afraid of police and medical involvement.  The rationale is that calling an ambulance or taking a friend to a hospital when they are overdosing on illegal drugs, will result in criminal prosecution.  According to the bill’s author, there were 9.8 per 100,000 drug overdose deaths in California in 2006.  This is a shockingly high number!

The bill, as currently amended, would bar criminal prosecution of a person who is overdosing due to illegal drugs. They would not face any criminal prosecution for drugs in their system, on their person, or any paraphernalia, so long as they were seeking medical help.  The bill would also bar criminal prosecution of any person trying to help a person who is currently overdosing.  It would have the same effect in barring prosecution for any substances or paraphernalia found on the person while trying to help an overdosing person seek medical help.

The bill would be codified as Health & Safety Code §11376.5.  This would fall between Health & Safety Code 11376 (Counseling or education programs) and 11377 (Unauthorized possession).  HS 11376 allows the court to impose counseling for any person who is convicted of drug related crimes.  This is in addition to any fines or terms of jail or prison.  HS 11377 provides for the punishment for drug possession “except as authorized by law”.  This clarification would allow the new HS 11376.5 to take control and bar prosecution of crimes.

Many people cannot control their drug addictions.  It is a disease that controls people.  It is no less serious or controlling than other diseases and ailments.  A person should not be scared to seek medical intervention when they are overdosing on an illegal drug.  A person would not be afraid to seek medical attention if having a heart attack or stroke.  The same should be true of an overdose.

The Bill has passed the State House and Senate and is now on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk awaiting his signature.  Let’s hope this bill becomes active law!

 

The text of the Code is as follows:

11376.5.

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, it shall not be a crime for a person to be under the influence of, or to possess for personal use, a controlled substance, controlled substance analog, or drug paraphernalia, if that person, in good faith, seeks medical assistance for another person experiencing a drug-related overdose that is related to the possession of a controlled substance, controlled substance analog, or drug paraphernalia of the person seeking medical assistance, and that person does not obstruct medical or law enforcement personnel. No other immunities or protections from arrest or prosecution for violations of the law are intended or may be inferred.

(b) Notwithstanding any other law, it shall not be a crime for a person who experiences a drug-related overdose and who is in need of medical assistance to be under the influence of, or to possess for personal use, a controlled substance, controlled substance analog, or drug paraphernalia, if the person or one or more other persons at the scene of the overdose, in good faith, seek medical assistance for the person experiencing the overdose. No other immunities or protections from arrest or prosecution for violations of the law are intended or may be inferred.

(c) This section shall not affect laws prohibiting the selling, providing, giving, or exchanging of drugs, or laws prohibiting the forcible administration of drugs against a person’s will.

(d) Nothing in this section shall affect liability for any offense that involves activities made dangerous by the consumption of a controlled substance or controlled substance analog, including, but not limited to, violations of Section 23103 of the Vehicle Code as specified in Section 23103.5 of the Vehicle Code, or violations of Section 23152 or 23153 of the Vehicle Code.

(e) For the purposes of this section, “drug-related overdose” means an acute medical condition that is the result of the ingestion or use by an individual of one or more controlled substances or one or more controlled substances in combination with alcohol, in quantities that are excessive for that individual that may result in death, disability, or serious injury. An individual’s condition shall be deemed to be a “drug-related overdose” if a reasonable person of ordinary knowledge would believe the condition to be a drug-related overdose that may result in death, disability, or serious injury.

 

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

DUI Checkpoint 6/8/12

The following are the published DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols for Friday 6/8/12 in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange County, San Diego and Long Beach Counties:

Altadena at an undisclosed time and location

Hollywood at Highland Ave between Sunset and DeLongpre from 7pm to 3am

Moreno Valley at an undisclosed location from 8:30pm to 2:30am

Palm Desert at an undisclosed location from 9pm to 3am

Perris at an undisclosed location from 6pm to 2am

Oceanside at an undisclosed location from 8pm to 3am

Santa Clarita at an undisclosed time and location

Santa Ana at Main St between Santa Clara and 17th St from 7:30pm to 1:30am

 

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: 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: Stagecoach Festival 2012 legal survival guide

LEGAL GUIDE TO SURVIVING STAGECOACH 2012

Stagecoach Festival is country music’s answer to Coachella Fest.  Stagecoach follows Coachella Fest every year, and brings in just as many fun-loving, music-appreciating, rowdy fans as its rival Coachella Fest.  The cowboys and cowgirls who attend prove that they are just as rowdy and thrill-seeking as their rock music counterparts.  This year, with the line-up include such talents as Miranda Lambert and her husband Blake Shelton (she goes on just after his set ends), Sara Evans, Brad Paisley, Kenny Rogers, Alabama, it is safe to say that we will have large crowds of people.  The main thing is to be safe and to enjoy your time here.  Don’t get arrested and ruin your memories!

Last year, 88 people were arrested.  Most of the arrests were for drug and alcohol related offenses.  However, there were some assault and rape arrests as well.  This year, Indio PD is increasing their undercover sting operations to catch drug and alcohol related crimes.  There were nearly 300 arrests at Coachella Fest (both weekends combined).  Many of those included undercover stings to catch drug sales transactions.  Police were not shy about following some people they suspected.  I spoke with one girl who saw cops taking pictures of her openly.  She didn’t think about the fact that a guard asked for her name and where she was from.  She didn’t think about that fact that a man with no wristband and an earpiece asked for a bum of her cigarette and then walked off with it.  But, on Monday, when she had time to analyze the weekends with a clear head, she realized that she could have been in serious trouble.  She’s now worried and looking over her shoulder.

The point of relaying that story is that I don’t want you to engage in conduct that will cause you to worry after your trip.  I don’t want you to end up in handcuffs.  I want you to enjoy some good ol’ country music.

TIPS

The Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache has been given a tip that cops will be increasing their presence at Neil’s Lounge in Indio.  This bar is a favorite among Stagecoach fans, and tends to be a great after-concert party spot.  Cops know this, and will be increasing their patrols in the area.

STAGECOACH FESTIVAL 2012 DRIVING ROUTES AND ROAD CLOSURES

The following are road closures, expected delays and recommended routes for the weekend during Stagecoach Festival 2012 (April 27-29).  Thousands and thousands of people will be flooding into the valley this weekend, which means driving in the area will be treacherous at best.  Be careful and aware while driving.  Know that the Indio police department will be increasing their DUI saturation patrols while on the lookout for drunk drivers.  Drug and alcohol arrests make up more than half of the arrests during Stagecoach Festival.

SLOW moving route during Stagecoach Festival 2012

Delays will be especially difficult, they said, on the following roadways:

* Jefferson Street, southbound, from I-10 to Avenue 52
* Washington Street, southbound, from I-10 to Avenue 52
* Monroe Street, southbound, from I-10 to Avenue 52
* Highway 111 at Jefferson Street
* Highway 111 at Monroe Street
* I-10 exit eastbound at Jefferson
* I-10 exit eastbound at Monroe

CLOSED roads during Stagecoach Festival 2012

The following roadways will be closed for the event:

* Avenue 49 between Hjorth Street and Monroe Street
* Avenue 50 between Madison Street and Jackson Street
* Hjorth Street between Avenue 49 and Avenue 50
* Madison Street between Avenue 49 and Avenue 52

RECOMMENDED routes during Stagecoach Festival 2012

In order to navigate around the traffic chaos, traffic officers recommend the following alternate routes:

* North and South travel, use Washington Street, Jackson Street, Calhoun Street and Golf Center Parkway
* East and West travel, use Fred Waring Drive, Miles Avenue, Avenue 52 and Avenue 48

TAXI LOCATIONS within the venue

Avenue 52 and Madison street will have a taxi pick-up location inside the venue.

TRANSPORTATION NUMBERS

While there is a taxi pick-up location inside the venue, many people will be partying and hanging out all around the Coachella Valley when not physically at the venue.  You know this, I know this, and Indio PD knows this.  What this means is that the police department will be increasing their saturation patrols in an attempt to catch drunk concert goers.  As always, the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache would rather have people be safe than get new clients.  The following are a list of various transportation companies (cabs, bus, private cars) that can be called to get you and your friends safely from location to location.

American Cab: 760-322-4444

Airport Taxi: 760-328-CABS (2227)

Yellow Cab of the Desert: 760-568-3838

SunBus: 1-800-347-8628 http://www.sunline.org/

Private limo: 760-404-4531

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have 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

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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: George Zimmerman Gets Bail

Most of America is tuned in to the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case.  A child of 17 was gunned down by a concerned neighborhood watchman.  This blog and this firm will not get into whether he did or did not do it.  I was not there.  I have not seen the evidence.  Further, I believe that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.  I believe in that, because I want that for all of my clients.  I believe that most of my clients are innocent.  If they tell me they are, I believe them and fight on their behalf.  It’s about not allowing the prosecution to present evidence which makes my client appear guilty.  It’s about helping people maintain their innocence.  Many times, there are unfortunate and sad situations, and juries can be swayed by their emotions.  I feel bad for Trayvon Martin.  I think most people do!  He was too young to die.  He did not deserve a violent death.  However, I also feel bad for George Zimmerman.  He has been torn apart by the court of public opinion.  That’s just not fair.

Yesterday a court was able to look at the facts of the case and determine whether Mr. Zimmerman was to be allowed bail or not.  The judge was not swayed by the news reports or the crowds of people outside.  He remained fair and impartial.  This important to point out, as many people lose faith in the ability of judges to be fair and impartial.  The judge determined that Mr. Zimmerman was eligible for bail, and set the amount at $150,000.  Most bail bond companies allow a person to post 10% of that to get freed.  I work with several bond companies that will allow 8% upon a written notification by my firm that we have been retained.  I gladly fill this form out for clients to help them catch a break.

The interesting thing about Mr. Zimmerman’s bond is that there are several restrictions imposed.  For example, he is not allowed to drink alcohol or take any drugs.  (There will be an exception for prescribed medications of course.)  George Zimmerman also has an ordered curfew.  These restrictions and orders are not common practice.  Likely it is because this is such a highly publicized case.  The terms of bail in California are generally to violate no law.  If you do violate a law while on bail, there is an enhancement which can be added to the current case.  Plus, there can be new charges filed.

If you want to better understand bail, or the terms of your bail, 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: Arrests at Coachella Update

There is an update on the arrests at Coachella the first weekend (4/13-4/15).  There were a reported 134 arrests by the end of the weekend.  The second weekend (4/20-4/22) there were 101 arrests.  Most of these arrests were for drug or alcohol related offenses.  According to many  concert goers, the police presence was highly felt.  Police were on foot, in cars and even on horseback!  They were on the surrounding streets, inside the concert grounds and walking through the camping areas.  To see a comparison of arrests this year to arrests from years past, click here.

What many concert attendees do not know, however, is that there was a strong UNDERCOVER police presence as well.  Cops went undercover in the concert area and the camping area in order to make drug and alcohol busts.  Many of the arrests were by undercover officers who pretended to be concert goers who wanted to buy drugs.

I spoke with the DA, Paul Zellerbach, who stated that his office was busy processing and filing cases from Coachella.  If you are one of the lucky few who got tickets and are planning on attending this weekend, be careful and aware.

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about arrests at Coachella!

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: Sentencing Alternative- Home confinement

Criminal Defense: Sentencing Alternative- Home Confinement

Sentencing Alternatives in general

The California prisons have been grossly overcrowded.  The courts had been sentencing too many people to prisons, and there just wasn’t enough room to accommodate them.  Because of the budget and money issues in the state, the prisons were forced to close facilities and unable to open more.  This means that the inmates were crammed into already small and uncomfortable spaces.  The problem became so bad that the United States Supreme Court stepped in and demanded that California fix the problems of overcrowding.  In response to this, California came up with several programs.  The first answer to the problem was sending prison inmates to county jail.  All nonviolent, nonserious, nonregisterable inmates are now sentenced to spend their time in county jail.  Before this, county jails were for misdemeanor offenses.  Now, there are inmates convicted of felonies housed there as well.  The person convicted of a felony will still spend the same amount of time they would have spent in prison.  The Legislature is now encouraging other programs as well: camps, Diversion programs, home confinement, community service, etc.  This all falls under the new “Realignment” regulations imposed by the California State Legislature.

Sentencing Alternatives- Home Confinement

One of the new and encouraged alternatives being pushed by the court is Home Confinement.  This basically is an ankle monitoring process.  The person sets up a program with the correctional department where they outline the hours of the home confinement, the location and any and all other guidelines.  The monitors contain a global positioning system (GPS) which will notify the correctional facility of the persons whereabouts.  If the person goes outside of the restricted area, the correctional personnel will immediately be notified.  One major pro of the home confinement system is that you are not forced from your family and friends.  If you have medical issues that need treatment, then this is a good option for you to look into.

Sentencing Alternatives- Drawbacks of Home Confinement

While there are many pros that go along with home confinement, there are many drawbacks as well

*If the monitor malfunctions, the correctional officers have the discretion to take you back into custody.  Even if you did not cause the malfunction.

*There is a per diem (per day) charge for the program.

*Correctional officers can enter your home to search it whenever they want.

*You have the appearance of freedom, which means it is easier to slip and do something illegal.

*If you wreck the device on purpose, you can be taken back to jail immediately to serve the remainder of your sentence.  PLUS they could file new “Escape” charges.

*The court has discretion whether to offer home confinement as a sentencing option.

 

Home confinement may not be the best solution for everyone.  But, it is definitely an option to consider.  Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about home confinement!

 

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: Coachella Fest 2012 Arrest Update

As of 10pm on Saturday night, 39 people had been arrested for drug or alcohol related offenses.  That arrest rate is up from the night before.  Concert goers and locals in the area are reporting a heavier police presence.  This means that people who are at the concert to have fun need to be on guard for police officers.  Don’t let an arrest ruin your fun weekend!

If you are one of the unlucky who get arrested, you need an attorney who understands the specifics of the concert and can represent you effectively!  Don’t get stuck with someone who doesn’t understand and can’t relate to you!

Stephanie Arrache is a local Palm Springs attorney who can help!

 

**** UPDATE 4/16/12: With the close of the first weekend of Coachella Fest, the final numbers are in.  There were ONE HUNDRED (100) arrests over the 3 days of the music and art festival.  Police officers definitely made their presence felt.  This serves as a warning to concert goers for the festival’s second weekend.  Especially with the concert falling on 4/20.  Police will be out en masse, so please be aware next weekend!

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) 237-8295Cell: (760) 668-8295

www.stephaniearrache.com

FACEBOOK PAGE

Criminal Defense: DUI Checkpoints 4/13/12

The following are the published DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols for Friday 4/13/12 (Friday the 13th!!)  in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange County, San Diego and Long Beach Counties:

*Costa Mesa- at an undisclosed location, from 8:00pm to 2:00am

*Fontana- at an undisclosed location, from 6:00pm to 2:00am

*Glendale- at an undisclosed location, from 8:30pm to 3:00am

*Santa Clarita- at an undisclosed location, from 6:00pm to 2:00am

*Sherman Oaks- Ventura Blvd between Tyrone and the 405freeway, from 8:00pm to 2:00am

 

Coachella- No disclosed checkpoints, however police will definitely make their presence known throughout the Coachella Valley this weekend.  Be safe; take a cab or a bus.  There are shuttles from Downtown Palm Springs offered specifically for Coachella Fest.  The shuttles pick up from a parking lot.

 

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 checkpoint sample results

DUI Checkpoint sample results

People know that checkpoints are something to be avoided.  Even if you’re sober, it’s intimidating to drive through one.  Nerves can make you act strangely.  But, does anyone ever really pay attention to what kinds of arrests, detentions, investigations, etc. occur at checkpoints?  Riverside county releases statistics from every checkpoint after they occur.  Here are the statistics for a recent DUI checkpoint in Moreno Valley.  The checkpoint was on 4/6/12 from 8:30pm to 2:30am.  The DUI checkpoint was listed at an undisclosed location within city limits.

The following is an excerpt from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department’s press release regarding the results of the checkpoint:

Operation Results:

  • 2441 Vehicles passed through the checkpoint
  • 9 DUI arrests (7 Alcohol, 2 Drugs)
  • 18 Field sobriety tests for DUI of alcohol
  • 2 Field sobriety tests for DUI of drugs
  • 14 Citations were issued for unlicensed drivers
  • 7 Citations were issued for suspended driver’s license
  • 17 Vehicles towed
  • 14 Citations were issued for various vehicle code violations
  • 1 Arrest for felony warrant
  • 1 Arrest for misdemeanor warrant

As you can see, not only were there 9 DUI arrests, but there were also many tickets for vehicle code violations and 2 arrests on warrants.  17 vehicles were towed.  While there were 20 field sobriety tests for DUI, only 9 people were arrested.  The police cast a wide net during these DUI checkpoints.  Even people who were not driving under the influence were ticketed, arrested or had their vehicles towed.  This means that people need to be careful at DUI checkpoints, regardless of whether they are actually driving under the influence or not.

 

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

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: Cell phone recording helps arrested woman

Normally taped conversations can hurt people accused of crimes.  However, one woman in Florida is relieved that a recorded call helped her case.  Susan Mait was stuck on a street after two of her tires on her SUV blew out.  The 60 year old woman was on the phone with Geico, her insurance company, when cops got there.  The cops claimed she was under the influence and wanted to arrest her.  They also claim she resisted arrest.  The cops said they tried to get her to cooperate, but she kept refusing.  They were FORCED to place her under arrest and struggle with her.

Now for the good part: the cops LIED!  How do we know?  Ms. Gait dropped her phone and Geico recorded the entire incident.  Most insurance companies have policies of recording calls for “training and monitoring purposes”.  In this case, it led to more importance than that!  The recorded call COMPLETELY contradicted what the officers placed in their police reports.  They claimed that they tried to talk to her and she resisted. One officer said she told Ms. Gait three times that she was going to place handcuffs on her, but the call indicates she never mentioned it once.

Recordings can often help prove that a defendant was telling the truth.  If you were arrested and happened to be on the phone with someone who was recording the call, or in a place where there was recording going on, it is important you tell your attorney.  Because the attorney called Geico and received the recordings, Ms. Gait’s DUI charge was dropped (it turned out she was not under the influence of an intoxicating substance) and the resisting arrest charge was lowered to a misdemeanor.  This is why it is important to tell your attorney everything that occurred before, during and after your arrest.  It may not have seemed important to Ms. Gait that she was on the phone with Geico at the time.  But her attorney decided to look into it and it saved her!

The other moral to this story: make sure you record encounters with Coral Springs, Florida, cops!

Read the USA Today article here.

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

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: Coachella Fest 2012 road closures, delays and recommended routes

COACHELLA FEST 2012 DRIVING ROUTES AND ROAD CLOSURES

The following are road closures, expected delays and recommended routes for the two weekends during Coachella fest 2012 (April 13-15 and April 20-22).  There are 200,000 people expected both weekends, which means driving in the area will be treacherous at best.  Be careful and aware while driving.  Know that the Indio police department will be increasing their DUI saturation patrols while on the lookout for drunk drivers.  Drug and alcohol arrests make up more than half of the arrests during Coachella fest.

SLOW moving route during Coachella fest 2012

Delays will be especially difficult, they said, on the following roadways:

* Jefferson Street, southbound, from I-10 to Avenue 52
* Washington Street, southbound, from I-10 to Avenue 52
* Monroe Street, southbound, from I-10 to Avenue 52
* Highway 111 at Jefferson Street
* Highway 111 at Monroe Street
* I-10 exit eastbound at Jefferson
* I-10 exit eastbound at Monroe

 

CLOSED roads during Coachella fest 2012

The following roadways will be closed for the event:

* Avenue 49 between Hjorth Street and Monroe Street
* Avenue 50 between Madison Street and Jackson Street
* Hjorth Street between Avenue 49 and Avenue 50
* Madison Street between Avenue 49 and Avenue 52

 

RECOMMENDED routes during Coachella Fest 2012

In order to navigate around the traffic chaos, traffic officers recommend the following alternate routes:

* North and South travel, use Washington Street, Jackson Street, Calhoun Street and Golf Center Parkway
* East and West travel, use Fred Waring Drive, Miles Avenue, Avenue 52 and Avenue 48

Criminal Defense: Coachella Fest 2011

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival brings music, art, fun and entertainment to the Coachella Valley every year.  Dating back to 1999, the festival boasts Ticketmaster free musical entertainment.

The problem is that cops know the music lovers are there to have fun, and therefore crack down on law enforcement.  In 2011, there were 49 arrests over the three day period.  20 were Friday, 16 Saturday and 13 Sunday.  33 of these were for drug or alcohol related offenses.  The Indio police department ups the number of cops on the streets conducting DUI saturation patrols.  There were over 200 people turned away for trespassing.  The police seemed to show leniency there, as those people could have been arrested as well.

In addition to the arrests of concert-goers, there were incidental arrests as well.  For example, two men were robbed of their wrist bands at knife point on Friday night during the festival in Palm Springs.  This means that those who are in the Valley for the festival need to be aware of threats to their safety by people who want to go to the concert but couldn’t get tickets.

This year there are two weekends of the festival, which means more opportunity for the police to make arrests during Coachella fest.  Please be on your toes and ensure you have a fun, safe and arrest-free time at Coachella fest.

 

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about arrests during Coachella fest.

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: Veteran’s Court

The California Superior Court has begun a program aimed at helping US Veterans, called Veteran’s Court.  These courts are a mixture of criminal courts, mental health court and drug courts, where the person will get help focused on rehabilitation, rather than straight retribution.  According to the Court website, “[t]hey promote sobriety, recovery and stability through a coordinated response that involves cooperation and collaboration with the traditional partners found in drug and mental health courts in addition of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health care networks, the Veterans’ Benefits Administration, and, in some programs, volunteer veteran mentors and veterans’ family support organizations.”

The focus is to help US Veteran’s who are suffering from PTSD-related addictions and problems.  The Legislature understands that there is a serious problem of traumatic stress which affects the veteran’s, and which they need help with recovery.  This program could be the answer.

Qualify for Veteran’s Court

To qualify for Veteran’s Court, you need to 1) have been a military service member; 2) have criminal charges currently pending against you; and 3) have committed the alleged crimes due to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The charges generally are for nonviolent crimes, though some Veterans Courts will take violent, nonhomicide offenders.

The court has a hearing to determine whether the individual qualifies for Veteran’s Court.  There are special evaluators who will determine a person’s admissibility.  If the defendant has independent doctor’s evaluations, it is helpful to present those to his or her attorney prior to the court evaluations, to strengthen your claim for Veteran’s Court.

Counties that have a Veteran’s Court

Los Angeles County Superior Court
Orange County Superior Court
Riverside County Superior Court
San Bernardino County Superior Court
San Diego County Superior Court
Santa Barbara County Superior Court
Santa Clara County Superior Court
Tulare County Superior Court
Ventura County Superior Court

 

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about Veteran’s Court.

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: 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: DUI Checkpoints 4/7/12

The following are the published DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols for Friday 4/7/12  in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange County, San Diego and Long Beach Counties:

Anaheim- Ball Rd, 8pm to 3am

Escondido- undisclosed location, 6pm to midnight

North Hollywood- Victory Blvd at Bellingham, 6pm to 2am

Vista- undisclosed location, 7:30pm to 3:00am

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: 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: New marijuana laws

There is a bill in front of the California Legislature, regarding marijuana possession laws.  If a person is found driving with less than 28.5 grams of marijuana (not including concentrated cannabis), under current laws, the court can (and usually does) revoke the person’s license upon conviction.  The court may order the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to revoke the person’s license.

AB2600 is the bill in front of the Legislature seeking to change the current law.  If a person is caught with less than 28.5 grams of marijuana (excluding concentrated cannabis), the person’s driving privileges will not be able to be revoked.  Even if the person is found while driving with the marijuana, they will not have their license revoked.  The bill was presented in February 2012 by Assembly Member Norby, a Republican member from Fullerton.  The bill, if enacted, will add 13202.51 into the Vehicle Code.  The next hearing on the bill is scheduled for April 16, 2012. Check back with this blog for updates.

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about AB2600

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: US Supreme Court Upholds Jailhouse Strip Search

The United States Supreme Court has decided that it is ok for jail officials to conduct strip searches on inmates.  The right of jails and prisons to conduct strip searches was being challenged by a man who was wrongly arrested for a fine that he had paid in full.  Through a technical error, the police believed the fine had never been paid and there was a warrant issued.  As he was driving with his wife and children, Albert Florence, was pulled over and arrested.  His attempt at explaining that he had paid the ticket fell on deaf ears.  In fact, Mr. Florence kept proof of the paid ticket in his car just in case something like this happened.  The cops refused to let him show them the proof, and instead, placed him under arrest.

After transporting Mr. Florence to the jail, the cops conducted a strip search.  Mr. Florence was taken to two different jails during six days and stripped searched on both occasions.  There was no reason to suspect that he was hiding contraband, but they still performed the search.

Mr. Florence and his attorney filed suit claiming that the strip search violated his constitutional rights.  The search, without any reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing or concealment of contraband, is cruel and unusual punishment and is excessive.  The US Supreme Court, in a decision reached Monday, decided that it was not a violation and upheld the rights of the jails, instead the rights of the human beings.  The majority opinion stated that the jails and prisons have an interest in protecting the other inmates and staff from concealed contraband or diseases, and the only way to determine whether they exist are through a strip search.  There is no need for reasonable suspicion that the inmate is likely hiding contraband.  Unless a person can show that the individual facility has excessive rules, there is no relief.  That means any person taken to jail on a minor matter, or even something they have not done, will be forced to drop his or her pants for the whole world to see.  If that is not cruel and unusual, then I don’t know what is!

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about jailhouse strip searches and your rights as a human being.

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: California Man Pleads Guilty to Arson

California Man Pleads Guilty to Arson

A Cathedral City man pleaded guilty to arson charges today in Indio, at the Larsen Justice Center.  Jesus Abel Hernandez was arrested in December 6, 2011 after he confessed to police that he set a fire at a strip mall in Cathedral City which burnt 8 businesses.  The fire occurred at Date Palm Plaza in Cathedral City.  Mr. Hernandez told police that he set the fire in an insurance scheme.  He was an employee, not an owner, at one of the businesses where the fire occurred.  The business where Mr. Hernandez worked  was owned by a family member, though after an investigation, it was determined that the family member had no part to play in the arson or in the insurance fraud scheme.  According to Mr. Hernandez, his family member was experiencing financial troubles at the meat market, which he owned.  Mr. Hernandez came up with the plan, and enacted said plan, on his own, without the knowledge, aid or assistance of the family member.  As of today, one of the lost businesses has reopened.  Several others are set to reopen in the near future.

 

In exchange for his plea today, Mr. Hernandez was sentenced to 6 years in state prison and ordered to pay 1.5 million in restitution damages to the owner of the property.  A felony burglary charge was dismissed as part of the plea deal.

 

Arson in California

Arson, in California is codified under Penal Code 451.  It is the malicious and willful burning of any structure, land and forest property.  It is punishable by 2, 4 or 6 years in state prison.  Mr. Hernandez received 6 years, which the high terms, due to a number of factors, including number of businesses burned, property damaged, people effected, and the intent to commit insurance fraud.  Because it was intentional and for unseemly purposes, the District Attorney was not willing to be more lenient.

 

Other types of Arson in California

There are other types of arson which can be alleged.  The burning of an inhabited structure or property is punishable by 3, 5, or 8 years in state prison.  Burning which results in great bodily injury to an individual is punishable by 5, 7, or 9 years.  If the person commits the arson while in jail, prison or any prison camp or farm, the abovementioned terms will be consecutive to any terms which he or she is currently serving.

 

Reckless Arson in California

There is a separate crime of reckless arson in California if the burning was unintentional, but caused by a person’s reckless behavior or actions.  To prove that the fire was caused by reckless behavior, the District Attorney must prove that your actions were such that they constituted a substantial and unjustifiable risk of causing a fire, that you ignored the risk, which a reasonable person would not do.  If you are convicted of a misdemeanor reckless burning, you could be sentenced with up to 1 year in county jail, informal probation and fines.   unjustifiable risk of causing a fire, that ehavior, the Distrburning was unintentional, but caused by a person’it was intent

 

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about arson or have been charged with arson.

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: 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: General Overview of a DUI Arrest

Criminal Defense: General Overview of a DUI Arrest

 

DUI Arrest: General Probable Cause

 

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) occurs in California when a person is driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.  To pull you over, the officer must have witnessed you violating some law.  This means that the cop must have seen you violate a Vehicle Code, or some other law.  He or she cannot pull you over without reason.  If the cop didn’t see you driving, but a civilian witness did and reported it to the police, this is often enough for the police to conduct an investigation.  For example, if you were driving and hit another car, and the other driver called the police, there will be enough probable cause for the responding officers to investigate whether you have been drinking.  Though they did not see you behind the wheel, the fact that a civilian did, and reported it, can be enough for them to prove you were driving.

 

Proving a DUI Arrest

 

The prosecution must prove that the person was driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.  This means that, if the person is accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, the prosecution must prove that at the time of driving, the defendant had a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.  This does not necessarily mean that it was .08 or higher at the time of the test after the arrest, when the person wasn’t driving.  This means they actually were driving with a .08 or higher.  To be found guilty of driving under the influence of drugs, this means the prosecution must prove that there was enough intoxicants in your system to affect you, and that you were under the influence of them.

 

Tests Cops Use for a DUI Arrest

 

There are many varieties of field sobriety tests (FST) that cops use in determining whether a person is under the influence.  The most common is the breathalyzer.  A person suspected of DUI will be asked to breathe into a portable breath test which will give the cops a preliminary read on your blood alcohol level.  If you do this test, it can then be compared to tests taken after your arrest at the station.

 

Other FST tests include balance tests, counting tests, alphabet test, eye tests, etc.  The officers have been trained in these tests to look for objective signs of intoxication.  If you have any physical problems which would cause you to do poorly on these tests, such as balance or sight issues, you should tell the officer.

 

You DO NOT have to do any of the FSTs, including the preliminary breath test in the field.  You are not required to take any tests in the field, however, you will likely be arrested if the cop has enough to go on in the way of other evidence.  Once you are placed under arrest and taken to the police station for testing, you are then required to do a blood alcohol test.  You may do either a breath test or a blood test.  Urine tests are no longer used, generally speaking.  If the cops suspect that you are under the influence of a drug, the cops will do a blood test.

 

After the DUI Arrest

After a person has been placed under arrest for a DUI, the cops will generally hold the person until they are sober.  This generally means 4 to 12 hours.  Once the cops feel the person is ready to be released, they will issue a citation which a promise to appear.  The person will sign the citation before being allowed to leave.  This indicates that the person will appear at a court on a specified date and time to answer to the DUI charges.  If the DUI rises to the merits of a felony, bail will be set for the person, and they will not be able to leave on their own recognizance.  Once released, it is important that the person consult an attorney.  DUI charges are never definite, and can be won.  Further, the person only has 10 days to contact the DMV to request a hearing, or else they will automatically lose their license.  This is another area where an attorney can be of assistance.

 

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about DUI arrests or have been arrested for a 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: Co-defendant cases

Result of Acquittal of Co-defendant

The acquittal of one accomplice or co-conspirator does not bar conviction of another. Standefer v U.S. (1980) 447 US 10; People v Summersville (1995) 34 CA4th 1062;  People v Palmer (2001) 24 C4th 856.

Under Penal Code 1100, the court may grant an acquittal of a co-defendant if there is not enough evidence to hold that particular defendant to answer.  The co-defendant may still be a witness in the trial either for or against the witness.  If the court grants the acquittal during a trial, the co-defendant may not be retried.  The acquittal granted by a court does not mean the person is factually innocent.  It only means that the court dismissed the charges against the co-defendant.

 

Statements Made by Co-defendant

A qualified officer may relate a non-testifying codefendant’s out-of-court confession that incriminates the defendant, as long as the magistrate finds it reliable. People v Miranda (2000) 23 C4th 340.

A defendant may challenge the admissibility of a statement made by a co-defendant outside of the court on the grounds that it was involuntary, if the statement goes against the interest of the defendant.  The defendant is able to introduce evidence that the statement was involuntary.  People v Johnson (1989) 47 C3d 1194, 1226. People v Jones (1980) 105 CA3d 572, 581.

However, a co-defendant witness’s testimony is subject to suppression only when the trial testimony itself, as opposed to pretrial statements that were allegedly coerced, is the product of continuing coercion.  The non-testifying defendant must prove that the statement’s admission would deprive the defendant of a fair trial. People v Badgett (1995) 10 C4th 330, 344; People v Douglas (1990) 50 C3d 468, 500.

 

Statements Made By Non-Codefendant

The defense may seek immunity of a witness they seek to have testify in favor of the defendant.  The defense must file a written motion with the court to seek the immunity, and the court has full discretion whether to grant the immunity.  The attorney will include in the motion an offer of proof that the immunity granted will not harm the prosecution’s case, that the expected testimony is clearly exculpatory, and that the testimony is essential to the defense’s case.  People v Hunter (1989) 49 C3d 957, 974; People v DeFreitas (1983) 140 CA3d 835, 837.

 

Evidence Obtained Through Co-Defendant

When a defendant claims that evidence at trial, such as a murder weapon, is the “fruit” of unlawful police coercion of a co-defendant, the defendant must show some connection between the evidence and the coercion that makes the evidence unreliable. People v Lee (2002) 95 CA4th 772, 788.

 

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

https://www.facebook.com/PalmSpringsLawyer

 

Criminal Defense: Improper Immunity in a Co-defendant Case

Criminal Defense: Improper Immunity in a Co-defendant Case

Immunity in General in a Co-defendant Case

Under Penal Code 1324, a prosecutor has the authority to seek immunity for a certain witness in exchange for his or her testimony in any given case.  In the specific instance of a co-defendant case, this is especially important.  If the prosecutor, upon evaluating a case, feels that one co-defendant is “more guilty” of the crimes than other(s), he or she may seek a grant of immunity for the “less guilty” co-defendant.  The prosecutor will then petition the court for the grant of immunity on the promise by the immunized co-defendant that he or she will state certain things against the remaining co-defendant.  The judge will take the prosecutors argument into consideration and either grant or deny the immunity.

 

Often, prosecutors will offer a grant of immunity in an attempt to get the co-defendant to make critical admissions or statements.  A prosecutor will promise immunity to a co-defendant to get information from them.  However, the immunity is not granted through them, but through the court.  A co-defendant should be careful to allude to information known, and not make actual statements or admissions, until such time as immunity has been granted.

 

Improper Coercion for a Grant of Immunity in a Co-defendant case

A defendant is denied a fair trial if the prosecutor’s case relies heavily on co-defendant testimony and the co-defendant witness is placed, either by the prosecution or the court, under a strong compulsion to testify in a particular fashion.  For example, when the co-defendant is granted immunity subject to the condition that his or her testimony is the same as an earlier statement given to police, or that the testimony result in the defendant’s conviction. See People v Maury (2003) 30 C4th 342, 417. An agreement requiring only that the witness testify fully and truthfully, however, is valid. People v Badgett (1995) 10 C4th 330, 358; People v Reyes (2008) 165 CA4th 426, 433.

 

Improper Conditions on a Grant of Immunity in a Co-defendant Case

A prosecutor cannot give a grant of immunity that requires the co-defendant witness to testify in a particular way or that is subject to a condition that the witness’s testimony result in the defendant’s conviction. People v Sully (1991) 53 C3d 1195, 1216.  The grant of immunity cannot be unduly coercive, but must leave the co-defendant witness enough room to make the decision of his or her own free will.  For example, the immunity cannot be based on a co-defendant witness’s ability to make the same exact statements that he or she made to cops previously.  However, it can be based on the promise that the prosecutor will not charge the co-defendant witness with murder, so long as there was proof that he or she did not “pull the trigger”.  People v Knox (1979) 95 CA3d 420, 430.

 

Improper Conditions Choosing One Defendant Over Another in a Co-defendant Casse

A prosecutor cannot unfairly choose one co-defendant over another for the grant of immunity.  The prosecutor has discretion over the choosing of co-defendants, but that right is not indefinite.  There must be substantial reasons for choosing one (or more) over the other(s).  The court’s job is to analyze and evaluate the choosing of the defendant for immunity, and ensure that it was not unfairly chosen.

 

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about Immunity in a Co-defendant 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

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: San Francisco DUIs thrown out for improper police procedure and malfunction

San Francisco PAS test devices manlfunctioned

If you were arrested for a DUI in San Francisco, then your case has a chance to be dismissed, or your guilty plea thrown out. It has been discovered that the San Francisco police were using faulty devices and were not conducting proper accuracy checks of their Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) devices (the Alco-Sensor IV) which are the machines used in the field as part of the Field Sobriety Testing.  A driver is to blow twice into the PAS machines to determine if there is alcohol in the blood.  However, the police have very specific rules for checking for accuracy.  According to the company that manufactures the Alco-Sensor IV, the machines should be checked every 10 days, or after 150 tests.  According to records, this did not happen.  The PAS machine logs kept by the San Francisco officers show that there were no inaccurate reads during any tests.  According to manufacturers of the Alco-Sensor IV, this should not happen.  There would be occasional false reads or inaccurate reads which would require recalibration.

What will happen now after the PAS test malfunction?

The San Francisco District Attorney’s office is working in conjunction with the Public Defender’s office to review cases and convictions which were based solely on PAS test results.  The only inaccurate information came from the PAS tests, specifically the Alco-Sensor IV machines.  This means that if you took the breath test at the station post-arrest, or had blood drawn, your case may not be effected.  However, these new findings may open your case to defenses which were not previously available.

What to do if you were a victim of a PAS test malfunction?

You should consult an attorney if you were arrested or convicted in San Francisco for a DUI based solely on a PAS test made by the Alco-Sensor IV.  You may have a chance to have the conviction thrown out, or the case dismissed.  The PD and DA are working on finding the cases which would be effected by this case, but some may fall through the cracks.  It does not hurt to check with a defense attorney about your case.  And, if you live in another area but were arrested for a DUI, this is a reason for hiring an attorney- any experienced attorney knows to request the PAS maintenance logs and look for discrepancies or issues.

The article which broke the story: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/05/BAT51NGCFC.DTL#ixzz1oLbHjBEu

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about PAS test devices in San Francisco, or in any county.

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

Criminal Defense: Penal Code 640

Penal Code 640

 

What is Penal Code 640

Penal Code 640 applies to specified acts committed in or on a facility of public transportation system.  This means that if any of the following acts occur on a public bus, train, metro or other means of transportation, or in the public building that houses said means of transportation, then Penal Code 640 applies.

Acts covered by Penal Code 640 as an infraction

*Eating or drinking in areas where prohibited.

*Disturbing another person by loud or unreasonable noise.

*Smoking in areas where prohibited.

*Spitting in or an any public transportation facility or vehicle.

*Skateboarding, roller skating, bicycle riding, roller blading, or operating a motorized scooter or similar device in a facility, parking structure or vehicle.

*Evasion of payment for fare.

*Misuse of a ticket, transfer, pass, or token with the intent to evade payment of a fare.

*Unauthorized use of a discount pass.

Acts covered by Penal Code 640 as an infraction

*Willfully disturbing others by engaging in boisterous or unruly behavior.

*Carrying an explosive, flammable liquid or acid.

*Urinating or defecating in an area other than a public restroom.

*Willfully blocking the free movement of another person.

*Willfully tampering with, removing, displacing, injuring or destroying anything in the facility or on a vehicle.

Penalty for the first or second offense of Penal Code 640 as infraction

Penal Code 640 can be an infraction, punishable by up to 48 hours community service, done within 30 days and up to $250 in fines.  The community service hours are not to conflict with the defendant’s school or work hours.

Penalty for third conviction of Penal Code 640 as infraction

Upon a third conviction, Penal Code 640 establishes a more serious penalty, with up to 90 days in county jail and up to $400 in fines.

Penalty for Penal Code 640 misdemeanor

Penal Code 640 establishes a more serious penalty, with up to 90 days in county jail and up to $400 in fines for some actions.

Defenses to Penal Code 640

Ignorance of the prohibition- If you are eating or drinking in an area where such acts are prohibited, yet there is no signage or inadequate signage, you may have a valid defense.

Lack on intent- If you did not have the intent to violate the statute, you have a valid defense.

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have been arrested for Penal Code 640.

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: HS 11550

Health and Safety Code 11550

What is HS 11550

Health and Safety code section 11550 is a statute regulating personal drug use.  It covers the willful and intentional use of certain drugs described in this article,

Substances covered under HS 11550

The substances covered under HS 11550 include both legal and illegal substances.

Opiates.

Opium derivatives- such as heroine and morphine.

Hallucinogenic substances- such as Marijuana (aka pot, weed, etc.) and Peyote.

Depressants

Cocaine, or a cocaine base

(http://www.cognitiveliberty.org/dll/state_scheds/california_schedules.htm)

 

Violation of HS 11500

To violate HS 11550, the prosecutor must prove that you had a detectable amount in your system.  They do not need to prove that you were influenced by the substance or acting in any manner because of it.  They need only prove that it was in your system.  The burden then shifts to you to prove a defense, as will be addressed later in this article.

Penalties for Violation of HS 11550

90 days to 1 year in county jail, if charged as a misdemeanor

Informal probation for 3 to 5 years

Drug counseling

Fines

Diversion program eligible

Gun enhancement: If you are found with access to a loaded weapon, you will be subject to county jail for up to 1 year.  If the court determines that you are addicted to a substance, then it will be charged as a felony.

Second conviction: prison for 2, 3 or 4 years


Defenses to HS 11550

You were taking the substance pursuant to the direction of a medical practitioner who is capable of prescribing such substances.

You did not know they were narcotic substances.  This defense comes in under the involuntary intoxication defense, where you did not voluntarily use the substance.

Improper search/lack of probable cause for the arrest.

You were not under the influence of the substance.  This defense works if the evidence against you is weak (i.e. the officer did not take blood).

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about Health & Safety Code (HS) 11550.

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

Criminal Defense: DUI and the Teaching Credential

Will a teaching credential be revoked upon the conviction of a DUI?

DUI and the Teaching Credential

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges are on the rise. The State of California is cracking down and all counties are initiating more checkpoints and “Saturation Patrols” (cops on patrol looking for drunk drivers, roving throughout their territory). Many teachers, who have never been in trouble, are finding themselves arrested due to driving after a couple drinks. They are worried about losing their credential, which would result in the loss of their jobs. If this applies to you, then you need to consult an experienced DUI lawyer immediately!

Teaching Credential and the 1st DUI Conviction

The California Commission on Teaching Credentialing (CCTC) is very specific about which convictions will result in the loss of a credential. The CCTC conducting research which indicated that 28.61% of the reports to the Commission were for first time alcohol related convictions, which includes DUI, wet reckless and drunk in public charges. (http://www.ctc.ca.gov/commission/agendas/2012-01/2012-01-4D.pdf PPC 4D-1)

The Commission will look at the connection between the conviction and the duties to be performed at work. Normally, there is no connection. Getting arrested after a couple drinks on a Saturday night does not directly relate to the teacher’s ability to teach on Monday morning. However, there are factors to consider: whether the teacher was a chaperone at a school trip or function when arrested, whether the teacher was driving a school vehicle, etc. The CCTC will review the facts surrounding the arrest when coming to a decision. ( http://www.ctc.ca.gov/educator-discipline/FAQ.html#GEN)

Teaching Credential and the 2nd DUI Conviction

Under Education Code section 44421, “the Commission shall privately admonish, publicly reprove, revoke or suspend for immoral or unprofessional conduct, or for persistent defiance of, and refusal to obey, the laws regulating the duties of persons serving in the public school system, or for any cause that would have warranted the denial of an application for a credential or the renewal thereof, or for evident unfitness for service.” (http://law.onecle.com/california/education/44421.html)

Education Code section 44345(c) allows the Commission to deny an application for a credential or renewal of a credential if the person “is addicted to the use of intoxicating beverages to excess.” (http://law.onecle.com/california/education/44345.html) This means that the CCTC must look at the facts of the case, and the person in general, to decide whether they have an alcohol addiction.

The best way to safeguard your credential is to vigorously fight the DUI charge. However, if you lose your case and are convicted, there are ways to fight to keep your credential. You are allowed to present letters of rehabilitation and other documentation to prove that you are not addicted to any substance. (http://www.ctc.ca.gov/educator-discipline/FAQ.html#GEN) This is key in fighting to keep your credential, and why you should consult an attorney.

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about the impact of a DUI on a teaching credential.

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 for Saturday 3/3/12

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

Fontana-  undisclosed location within the city limits between the hours of 6:30 p.m. and 2 a.m

Sherman Oaks-  Ventura Blvd and Columbus, between the hours of 8pm and 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 Checkpoints for Friday 3/2/12

The following are the published DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols for Friday 3/2/12 in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange County and Long Beach Counties:

Coachella- undisclosed location, between 6pm and 2am

Marina del Rey- Lincoln at Maxella, between 8pm and 2am

Moreno Valley-  undisclosed location, between 9pm and 3am

Pasadena- undisclosed location, between 7pm and 2am

Palm Springs- undisclosed location, between 9pm and 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: Concealed Weapons Permit in San Bernardino County

Concealed Weapons Permit San Bernardino County

 

Ability of applying for a Concealed Weapons Permit in San Bernardino County

California law authorizes the local police chief in an incorporated city to issue a permit to carry a concealed weapon to citizens of their city.  Likewise, a Sheriff of a county is authorized to issue a permit to carry a concealed weapon to citizens of their county.  The police chief cannot issue permits to citizens of another city, and a Sheriff cannot issue permits to citizens of another county.  The Sheriff may authorize the permit if the local police chief of an incorporated city has denied the permit to the person, meaning a resident of an incorporated city must first apply to their police department.

Process of applying for a Concealed Weapons Permit in San Bernardino County

Step 1: Go to your local Police Department to obtain the concealed weapons permit application.  If you live in an unincorporated city, or you have been denied by the police department and they do not object, you then may apply with the Sheriff’s department.

Step 2: Fill out and return the application.

Step 3: Background check.  There is nothing you do for this step.  The lea enforcement agency will do a thorough background check to see if there is any reason to deny you based on criminal record, associations, etc.

Step 4: Interview.  You will have to sit down with the police chief or other deciding personnel to talk, at length, about your past, why you want the permit, how you will use it, etc.  At this time, you will bring in up to three (3) handguns with you that you want listed on the permit.  You must list the guns you want to carry concealed with you to the interview, or else they will not be validly carried under your concealed weapons permit.

Step 5: Complete a Safe Weapons Handling class approved by the law enforcement agency.  The Sheriff’s department has it’s own safety class taught by deputies with advanced training in gun safety. *Note: every two (2) years, a person with a concealed weapons permit must complete a 4 hour safety class.

Good Cause for applying for a Concealed Weapons Permit in San Bernardino County

Concealed Weapons permits are not issued to just anyone.  You must have a good reason, or “good cause” for needing the concealed weapons permit.  Just wanting one is not enough.  Telling the cops that they don’t protect well enough is not good enough.  The Attorney General has set out guidelines for good cause, in an opinion issued in 1977, which stated that there must be good cause by way of clear and present danger to the applicant, their family and/or employees.  This was reaffirmed in 2008 by a Federal Court.  Some examples of good cause:

  • You have documented threats that were made against you. (I.e. someone has sent threatening letters to you and followed up with actions which indicated sincerity of the threats.  Further, you have documented these threats with the police and can show police report numbers, times/dates of the threats, and the names individuals)
  • Attorney or judge who fears retaliation
  • Doctors (Medical, Dental) who fear their clients trying to rob them of their money, medicine, or medical supplies
  • Business owner who routinely carries large amounts of money for business purposes
  • Living in a notorious gang neighborhood

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a Palm Springs, California criminal defense firm, for more information on obtaining a permit to carry a concealed weapon in San Bernardino County.

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: Throwing a missile in San Bernardino County

San Bernardino County Throwing of Missiles

 

Missile as defined in San Bernardino

In San Bernardino, it is illegal for any person to throw a missile at a moving vehicle.  For the purpose of this section, the ordinance defines missile as any missile, object or projectile, including but not limited to, a snowball or ice.  The ordinance applies to any location within San Bernardino County, and applies to any person who throws a missile at a moving vehicle, regardless of whether it hits the vehicle, misses or lands inside the vehicle.  It applies to any moving vehicle occupied by one or more person.

Penalty for throwing a missile in San Bernardino

San Bernardino takes the throwing of missiles at a vehicle very seriously.  It is charged as a misdemeanor, and carries a sentence of up to six (6) months in jail and a fine of up to $500.  Both can be applied.  The fact that this is charged as a misdemeanor means that San Bernardino takes this activity very seriously.

Handle a charge of throwing a missile in San Bernardino aggressively

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie Arrache, a Palm Springs criminal defense firm, if you have been charged with throwing a missile in San Bernardino.  These actions are most often pranks with no harm meant.  However, there are serious consequences that follow this prank, and can put a misdemeanor on your record.  This charge can be won, dismissed or even pled down to an infraction if handled aggressively by the right attorney.

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: Riverside County gun possession: firearms including shotgun and rifle

Riverside County Gun Law: firearms, including shotgun and rifle

While the State of California may have certain gun laws, a local government may legally enforce rules that are stricter.  Riverside County has Ordinance No. 514.10 which pertains to the use of firearms within Riverside County.  The ordinance breaks down the law into “firearm” and “loaded rifle or shotgun”.  The ordinance is also broken into Western and Eastern zones, which define certain areas of the county.

Riverside County gun law: firearm defined

The ordinance defines firearm as any “cannon, gun, pistol, revolver, automatic pistol, rifle, shotgun, air gun, pellet gun, and any other weapon designed to discharge one or more projectiles propelled by the expansion of gas.”  The ordinance is inclusive of all firearms, including bb guns and paintball guns.

The ordinance specifically defines “loaded rifle or shotgun” as having an unexpended cartridge in the firing chamber, but not only when the unexpended cartridge or cartridges are in the magazine.  The purpose for this distinction is the ordinance seeks to have a remedy for people who have full magazines, but nothing in the firing chamber.  This implies that the person has good intentions for the gun, and that is what the county is seeking.

Riverside County gun law: firearm possession and shooting/discharge

*It is illegal to shoot a firearm within 300 yards of an inhabited or uninhabited dwelling or house without the written consent of the owner. (Shotgun within 150 yards)

*It is illegal to shoot a firearm within 300 yards of an occupied or unoccupied building without written consent of the owner. (Shotgun within 150 yards)

*It is illegal to shoot a firearm within 300 yards of any farm, dairy, feed yard, or any place where horses, sheep, cattle or any other animal are raised, milked, fed, trained, housed or confined, without the written consent of the owner or operator.  (Shotgun within 150 yards)

*It is illegal to shoot a firearm within 300 yards of any public area, including park, hiking trail, or campground.

*It is illegal to shoot a firearm within 300 yards of any road, highway, or street, unless pursuant to a legal hunting license and in pursuit of legal hunting game.

*It is illegal to shoot or discharge a gun within one (1) mile of any city in the county.  (The distinction between shoot and discharge is important, as it means it doesn’t have to be intentional)

*It is illegal to shoot or discharge between ½ hour after sunset to ½ hour before sunrise.

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about gun possession in Riverside County.

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