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Many of us believe that every criminal case ends up at trial. In reality, many cases end with a plea agreement between the defense and prosecution, which often provides a favorable outcome for the defendant. California continues to respect the boundaries of plea agreements in numerous ways. This article will explore the various laws and elements surrounding plea bargains.

Plea Bargains Explained

A plea bargain is a good option when attempting to lessen the risk involved with a trial. A plea bargain is an agreement between the defendant and the prosecution by which the defendant agrees to plead guilty or no contest to criminal charges in exchange for reduced charges, dismissed charges, or the prevention of further charges being filed. Sometimes the defense attorney will recommend an even lower plea bargain sentence. Multiple offers and counteroffers can occur before a plea sentencing arrangement is reached. Plea bargains can occur at any moment during a criminal proceeding. Plea bargains are advantageous because they allow the prosecution and the defense to avoid the uncertainty of a jury. A plea bargain may involve restitution or reparation, the condition that the defendant provide information to the prosecution, or the condition that the defendant provide truthful testimony in another criminal proceeding.

California criminal law can seem overwhelming, and not only because there are many regulations to follow. If you have been convicted of a crime in California, you need the assistance of a seasoned and experienced criminal defense lawyer. With the assistance of an expert criminal defense lawyer, you have a better chance of facing the minimum amount of negative consequences from criminal charges. Considering that reports indicate that there are 187,610 licensed lawyers in the State of California, you might have a difficult time choosing a skilled criminal defense lawyer in the state. This article will discuss several signs that an you can look for to find a skilled criminal defense lawyer.

  • Experience with Similar Cases: Experience is important in finding a skilled criminal defense lawyer. The lawyer will preferably have a long and distinguished track record of defending others in similar criminal cases and reaching positive outcomes in these cases. Because the California criminal law system is quite complicated, it is important to find a lawyer who has a history of expertly handling criminal law cases and navigating the criminal law system.
  • Experience with the Same Judges and Prosecutors: Not only should the lawyer in question have experience in the California criminal law system, the lawyer should also have experience working with the same judges and prosecutors that are involved in the case. This way the lawyer will know how to best anticipate maneuvers by each of these parties and know the various types of presentation methods that are preferred by the judge.

For many people, a prostitution offense might be one of the last crimes of which they could imagine being accused. Despite the potential embarrassment of such charges, it is important to contact an experienced prostitution attorney in California as soon as possible if you find yourself facing allegations of prostitution or solicitation, or of agreeing to engage in either.

Valid Defenses to California Prostitution Charges

Many prostitution charges are brought after so-called sting operations, but the resulting prosecutions can be complicated. There are several valid defenses to prostitution-related charges, including that the sexual or lewd acts were consensual, that no agreement to exchange a sex act for money was ever made, and that even if an agreement was made, no acts in furtherance of the agreement actually ever took place.

Indecent exposure is a crime that is both serious and embarrassing in nature. The crime is defined as willfully exposing your genitals to another person with a desire to either sexually gratify yourself or offend the other individual. You might think that such an act, especially in today’s society, might result in a mere legal slap on the wrist. Well, think again. If you are convicted of indecent exposure in California, you are looking at fines, potential jail time, and guaranteed compulsory registration as a sex offender.

Got your attention now? Any conviction of indecent exposure in the state will require that you register as a California sex offender. As you can see, an indecent exposure charge is no laughing matter. The penalties for conviction are severe, especially as concerns your reputation in the community. Just think of the ramifications of a conviction on your career, education, family, and ability to peacefully coexist in your community. For your freedom and your reputation, you need an experienced California criminal defense attorney to protect your legal rights and mount the strongest possible defense against the state prosecutor’s efforts to convict you.

Indecent Exposure is a Crime of Willfulness

If you have been charged with a hit and run offense of the state of California, you need to know what to expect if you are convicted.  The precise consequences depend first on whether the offense is categorized as a misdemeanor or felony. If you have been charged with either type of hit and run offense, contact an experienced California criminal defense attorney.

Vehicle Code 20002 VC Governs Misdemeanor Hit and Run Offenses in California

In California, Vehicle Code 20002 VC governs misdemeanor hit and run offenses. Under the code, a misdemeanor hit and run offense transpires when a driver leaves the scene of an accident without first identifying him or herself to the other party or parties involved. A perpetrator of a hit and run accident can drive away or leave the scene on foot before exchanging name and insurance information with the other party or parties involved in the accident. The accident must involve damage to a vehicle, home, business, or other personal property for it to be considered a hit and run.

Perhaps more than other criminal charge, prostitution showcases the difficulty of proving the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt. This standard of proof is difficult to meet for most criminal charges – much more so than lesser “by a preponderance of the evidence” – and especially for prostitution. If you have been charged with the crime of prostitution in the San Diego area, it is imperative that you reach out to an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney who is skilled in countering efforts by the state to meet the standard of proof.

The California Penal Code Criminalizes Both Prostitution and Solicitation

California Penal Code Section 653.20-653.28 prohibits prostitution in the state of California. Under the law, the prostitute, customer (sometimes referred to as a “john”), and, if there is one, middleman (“pimp”) may be arrested and prosecuted. In terms of the act or acts prohibited, the law applies both to sex act itself and the offering or agreeing to engage in the act of prostitution. The latter half of the law’s applicability – the mere offering or agreeing – criminalizes even the solicitation of prostitution. In the other words, the act itself need not be consummated – it is enough that an offer or agreement be made.

A felony conviction can result in time spent under incarceration for at least one year. But a felony’s impact does not end there. In California, various privileges and civil rights enjoyed by the general population can be lost due to a felony conviction. It can be increasingly difficult to find gainful employment. A felony conviction can make life difficult for years after jail time or probation has ended, making rehabilitation into society difficult for convicted felons.

When applying for a job, one must disclose felony convictions on applications. Disclosing a felony conviction may result in not getting hired. However, failure to disclose a felony conviction on an employment application may result in termination of employment and an inability to receive unemployment benefits. Unfortunately, an employer is legally allowed not to hire a candidate based on a prior conviction. However, a prior conviction may also be a pretext to decline to hire a felon on the basis of illegal bias, violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin). Federal guidelines only recommend that employers do not automatically disqualify convicted felons on the basis of their conviction. California has adopted this, but an employer may still refuse to hire a convicted felon if there is a valid business reason for the refusal. For example, if the potential job involves access to narcotics, you may be disqualified based upon a felony drug conviction.

If you have been convicted of a felony, it is important to know your rights regarding employment interviews prior to interviewing. You need to know what is illegal for the potential employer to ask and what information you need not disclose. It is important to consult an attorney if you feel you have been illegally discriminated against for past crimes. For example, a prospective employer may not ask you about:

With DUI’s on the rise during this festive time of year, it is a great time to remember how important it is to celebrate responsibly. In fact, the merrymaking month of December has been designated as the National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention month because it is a time when drunk driving crashes are most prevalent. Make your holiday parties be safe celebrations by following these tips provided by Mothers Against Drunk Driving:

~ Designate a sober driver before celebrations begin.

~ Never serve those under the age of 21 alcohol.

The body of a teenage slaying victim found four months ago in an Oregon Park has been identified as a runaway girl from San Diego. On June 26th, police found the murder victim’s unidentified body in Washington Park, Portland. It appeared to them the teen had recently been living on the street and they believed she wasn’t from the area. To help determine the girl’s identity, Portland investigators distributed a sketch of her face to law enforcement agencies across the nation.

After viewing the composite sketch, a detective with Clark County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit, recalled a missing person bulletin that went out during the time of girl’s disappearance. The Washington detective notified the Portland police of his discovery and assisted them in connecting the two cases.

Dental records soon confirmed that the missing girl was 15-year-old Mayra Sophia Cruz Rodriguez, a runaway teen from San Diego. According to Homicide detectives, Mayra was first reported missing June 15 while she was visiting relatives in Vancouver, Washington. She was also reported missing as a runaway in San Diego County.

San Diego County law enforcement has a message for you ‐‐‐ “keep the party off the road.” Enjoy the festivities, dressing in costume, and celebrating with friends, but make plans ahead for having a safe Halloween ~ and beware of becoming another DUI statistic.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, who coordinates the county’s AVOID the 15 anti‐DUI task force, is increasing their patrols to specifically look for drunk drivers on our roadways. The stepped up enforcement begins today, Thursday, October 25 through Sunday, November 4.

“Far too many people spend hours and hours preparing their Halloween costumes and party plans,” said San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore. “But too often impaired drivers never plan ahead for their designated driver and end up making the roads scarier than a horror show.”

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