Articles Tagged with felony

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.

If you have been charged with burglary in the state of California, it is important that you get in touch with a skilled and experienced California criminal defense attorney. If you are convicted, you will face jail time, fines, reputational damage, and other consequences. To convict you, the state’s prosecutor will have to prove each element of the crime of burglary beyond a reasonable doubt. A skilled attorney will explore every avenue with regard to reasonable doubt and mount the strongest possible defense on your behalf. The purpose of this article is to explain the elements of the crime of burglary and the nature of reasonable doubt.

Penal Code 459 PC Defines Burglary in the State of California

Burglary is one of the oldest crimes in the world. In the U.S., each state has a different statute defining the crime. In California, Penal Code 459 PC is the law that provides the state’s definition of burglary. It defines burglary as “entering a room, structure, or locked vehicle with the intent to commit a felony therein.” Under this definition the crime of burglary has two sides:

If you have been charged with a crime in the state of California, you may face doubly serious consequences if you already have a felony conviction on your record. This is because California has a Three Strikes sentencing law on its books. Enacted in 1994, the law was intended to deter repeat offenders by levying increased punishment on subsequent serious felonies. Specifically, at its inception, California’s Three Strikes law required that a defendant convicted of a second, third, or other felony to be sentenced to a prison term twice the length ordinarily provided for the crime. The “strikes” model is one of escalation – the more strikes on one’s criminal record, the greater the punishment. While a second felony strike doubles the stakes, a third may triple them or worse. Upon receipt of a third strike via conviction of a serious felony following two or more previous such convictions, a prison term of at least 25 years to life is to be doled out by the state.  Since 1994, California’s Three Strikes sentencing law has been subject to some important amendments. Now, as then, it must be said, the law is serious business. As such, individuals facing a potential second or third strike would do well to rely on the skill and expertise of California criminal defense attorney.

Understanding the Difference Between a Felony and a Serious Felony

Language matters in lawmaking. When the California legislature crafted the Three Strikes law in 1994, it was concerned with “serious” felonies. This may create some confusion, as it is common knowledge that a felony is already termed as such to designate a crime more serious than a misdemeanor. What, then, constitutes a serious felony? The following list makes clear the crimes that are regarded as serious, and thereby triggering the Three Strikes law, by the state:

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?

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: