Articles Tagged with criminal defense

Computer or internet-related crimes include fraud, embezzlement, identity theft, and sex crimes.  If you have been charged with one of these crimes in the state of California, it is imperative that you reach out to a skilled and experienced California criminal defense attorney. To convict you of a computer or internet-related crime, the prosecutor must establish the elements necessary to make the causal connection between you and the alleged wrongdoing.  An experienced attorney will explore all avenues of reasonable doubt with regard to the elements of the criminal charge.   With your freedom and reputation at stake, rely on a skilled attorney to defend you against the charges levied by the state.

Computer fraud is prohibited on both state and federal levels. On the federal level, the crime is codified by the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Under the law, computer fraud occurs when the following four elements are proved:

  • The defendant has accessed a protected computer;

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.

During a dispute over his son, rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs allegedly attacked an assistant UCLA football coach and a UCLA intern by swinging a kettlebell at them. Combs was accused of assault with a deadly weapon as well as making criminal and terrorist threats and battery by UCLA police. Combs says that he was defending himself and his son Justin. His son, Justin Combs, is a redshirt on the UCLA football team.

The confrontation allegedly happened after UCLA conditioning coach Sal Alosi told Justin to get off the field during a summer workout. Later that same day, Justin and Sean Combs walked into his office, and the conversation became heated. Sources say that Combs allegedly grabbed a kettlebell and swung it around.

Nathalie Mora, a representative for Combs Enterprises, provided a statement that said, “The various accounts of the event and charges that are being reported are wholly inaccurate. What we can say now is that any actions taken by Mr. Combs were solely defensive in nature to protect himself and his son.”

California voters passed Proposition 184 in 1994. Proposition 184 created the “Three Strikes” sentencing law, significantly increasing the penalties for second and third offenders of serious felonies. According to the California Penal Code, when a defendant has at least two previous “strikes,” he or she is eligible to be sentenced to a prison term of 25 years to life. However, the judge has discretion to dismiss one or more of the defendant’s serious or violent penalties if he or she does not feel 25 to life is an appropriate punishment. In 1996, the California Supreme Court decided “People v. Romero,” granting the judge this discretion.

In order for the judge to exercise this discretion, the defense attorney must submit a Romero Motion declaring that dismissing defendant’s previous strike would be in the best interest of justice. Under California Penal Code 1385, the judge must state his or her reasons for dismissing defendant’s previous strikes. Under a Romero motion, the judge will consider several factors in defendant’s case, including:

  • Age at the time the previous crime was committed

Whether you have a felony, misdemeanor, or infraction conviction, you can petition the court to expunge your criminal record. However, it is a common misunderstanding in California that getting a California Expungement means you get your criminal record completely destroyed or tossed in the trash. That is far from the truth.

California Expungements pursuant to California Penal Code 1203.4 allow those convicted of a crime to re-open their old conviction and change their guilty plea to a not guilty one. The court then dismisses the case so you can truthfully and legally say you were never convicted of the crime that was charged.

What Should I Know When Applying for a California Expungement?