Archives for posts with tag: juvenile defense

Coachella Fest and StageCoach Music Festival are two highlight events in the Coachella Valley.  Both events are weekend long music festivals which present many different musical artists to thousands of concertgoers.  Coachella Fest was expanded this year into two weekend events with identical lineups.  The two events brings in thousands of music loving people of all ages.

The event also brings in hundreds of arrests.  This year, between the two events (spanning three weekends) Riverside County Sheriffs, in a joint taskforce with other governmental agencies such as the DEA, arrested over six hundred (600) people.  The arrests were for blatant penal code and vehicle code violation, but were also the result of undercover operations.

One of the most common “crimes” which occurred this year was that of underage people using fake ids.  To get a wristband, a person had to show their identification card.  Once they had a wristband, he or she still had to show an id upon entering the beer garden.  Undercover cops were stationed at both the wristband station and the beer garden entrance.  If there was a questionable ID card, a venue employee would hand the ID to the undercover cop who would question the person.  If the cops found the ID to be fake, they would then ask the person if they had any contraband on them.  Under the guise of “checking for contraband relating to underage drinking” the cop would violate the person’s 4th Amendment rights by searching their person or belongings.

Many of the people were not actually arrested, but rather cited and released.  This means they were not taken into physical custody by the police, but given a ticket and told to go to court in Indio on a certain date.  To keep up with the number of arrests, the filing deputy district attorneys were working double time to get all the cases filed.  Some have still not been filed, but they have a year to do so.  Riverside county has implemented a new Diversion program for these fake ID arrests.  The person can plead guilty to a charge, complete one day of classes and/or community service, and upon successful completion the case will be dismissed.  The good thing about this program is that it will not hurt a person’s future.  Many of the people with these charges have no criminal record and are scared about the idea of having criminal charges on their record.  The diversion program will not hurt your future career or education opportunities.

The other two options are pleading to the straight misdemeanor (not at all a good idea) and pleading to an infraction.  An infraction is no more than a speeding ticket which will also not hurt your future endeavors.  The problem is that there is a possible loss of license at the discretion of the court.

The charges most common to these cases are Penal Code 148.9, which is false identification to a peace officer.  This is basically lying to the cops about who you are.  Even if you didn’t lie to the actual cop, but gave the fake ID to the venue employee, and told the cop your true identity because you were freaked out when the cop approached you, they are still charging you with this penal code section.  This charge would be easier to win in trial, depending on the specifics of your case.

The charge which the DA wants people to plead guilty to is Business and Professions Code 25661 which is false identification on a person under 21.  This charge is a bit trickier to win, but is not unwinnable.  Depending on the facts of your case, a good attorney can beat this charge at trial.  It is important to speak with an attorney regarding the specifics of your case.

These charges aren’t the end of the world, but they should still be taken very seriously.  If not handled correctly, you could end up with misdemeanors on your record.  You don’t want that.  Don’t let youthful indiscretion ruin your future employment and educational prospects.

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about being a minor with a fake ID at Coachella Fest or Stagecoach.

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

1701 N. Palm Canyon

Suite 8

Palm Springs, CA 92262

(760) 778-8295

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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.

 

8/17/12

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

 

8/18/12

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

The following are the published DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols for Friday 8/10/12 in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange County, San Diego and Long Beach Counties:

Escondido- at an undisclosed location, between 6pm-3am

Los Angeles- at Broadway, between Daly and Griffen, between 8pm-2am

Oceanside- at an undisclosed location, between 8pm-3am

Palm Springs- at an undisclosed location, between 8pm-3am

Palmdale- at an undisclosed location, between 6pm-2am

Poway- at an undisclosed location, between 6pm-2am

West Hollywood- at an undisclosed location, between 7pm-3am

Whittier- at an undisclosed location, between 7pm-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.

Cases are won or lost daily based on eyewitness ID.  People are incarcerated unfairly based on wrong eyewitness ID.  People waste time in jail for crimes they did not commit based on eyewitness ID.  Identification plays a significant role in the criminal justice system.  Suppose a person sees someone with a gun running out of a liquor store that was just robbed.  That person will then give a description to cops of what he suspect looked like.  He or she may look at pictures of potential suspects, or sit down with a sketch artist to describe the person.  There are so many flaws with this system.

People’s memories are flawed.  People do not retain images as a camera would.  People miss certain facts, or remember what they want to remember.  Add the element of a crime taking place, and elevated heart rate and blood flow, and their ability to remember is even more impacted.  Even if a person is unbiased, they cannot remember everything.

Bias does play a significant role in eyewitness ID.  If a person thinks he or she knows who is committing the crime, they may give attributes of that person to the description.  Racial bias also plays an important role.  In scientific studies, cross-racial identifications are often wrong, as the person states how he or she perceives the race as a whole and does not look for distinguishing characteristics.

Lighting, distance and view inhibitors also play a major role in witness identifications.  If it is dark, then the witness cannot see as clearly.  If they are far away, or there is something in the way, likewise, it is impossible for the witness to see clearly.  If the person has been drinking, that plays a role.  There are so many factors to witness identification which can go wrong.  All aspects need to be considered and analyzed when a case hinges on witness ID.

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about witness identification (ID).

 

Stephanie M. Arrache

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

1701 N. Palm Canyon

Suite 8

Palm Springs, CA 92262

(760) 778-7615

 

 

 

President Obama issued and executive order which grants a sort of amnesty-esque program to people who were brought to this country by their parents and have remained here without obtaining proper citizenship.  This new program is referred to as the Dreamer’s Deferred Action Directive.

The President has made it possible for young adults who came to this country with their parents to remain here and be productive “citizens” of this country.  The problem is that it is not amnesty nor citizenship.  The person will still have to obtain proper citizenship.  But it means they do not need to live in fear of their non-citizenship status and constantly be looking over their shoulders.

The requirements for the program are as follows:

  • The person came to the United States under the age of sixteen
  • They came to this country illegally and with their parents
  • They have continuously lived in the United States for at least five years prior to the Dreamer’s Deferred Action Directive
  • The person is currently in school or has graduated from high school or obtained the General Education Development (GED) certificate; are a member of the United States military; or have been honorably discharged from the United States military
  • HAVE NOT committed a felony or a significant misdemeanor or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety
  • Are not over the age of thirty (30).

 

The issue here is mainly with the “significant misdemeanor” wording.  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has listed most misdemeanors as “significant”, including Driving Under the Influence (DUI), petty theft and simple drug possession.  It does not matter whether there was a jail sentence, as that does not constitute significance or not in the eyes of DHS.

If you are a person who otherwise qualifies for the Dreamer’s Deferred Action Directive, and have pending criminal charges, it is important that you consult an attorney regarding the status of your charges and what can be done.  There are ways that a competent attorney can negotiate a good deal with a prosecutor to maintain your eligibility for this program.  It is important that you inform them of your status and discuss all angles and potential problems.

 

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about the Dreamer’s Deferred Action Directive.

 

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

Twitter @AttyWhoCares

The following are the published DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols for Saturday 6/9/12 in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange County, San Diego and Long Beach Counties:

 

Azusa at an undisclosed location between 6pm and 2am

Inglewood at an undisclosed location from 8pm to 3am

Pacoima on Glen Oaks Blvd between Pierce and Gain from 8pm to 3am

Pasadena DUI saturation patrol from 8pm to 3am

Norco at an undisclosed location from 8pm to 3am

Hemet at an undisclosed location from 7pm to 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

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

 

 

I can’t tell you how many times I have walked into a courtroom and my client is not there.  I wait around hoping he shows up, and try to beg time for him or her to get there.  Finally, when time has run out and the judge calls my case and asks where my client is, I have to give a blank stare and say “Uh, I don’t know.”

I can’t tell you how many times I hear from said client a few days later when he or she informs me that they had been arrested days, hours, minutes before going to court and couldn’t get ahold of me because they couldn’t remember my phone number.

Golden rule: REMEMBER YOUR LAWYER’S PHONE NUMBER!

In today’s day and age, it isn’t necessary to remember phone numbers.  You have them stored in your phone.  You have the person’s email in your email account.  You can contact the person through facebook.  But, I promise you, it will happen that when there’s an emergency, like getting arrested right before another court date, you won’t have access to your phone, email or facebook.  You may be with someone and shout to them “CALL MY LAWYER!!….” But, if you can’t follow that up with “…at (760) 237-8295!” then what is the point?

If I don’t hear from a client for several days, I begin to worry.  Some lawyer’s like not talking to their clients often and consider it a relief when they don’t have to.  I like talking to my clients.  I like keeping them updated and informed.  I like them keeping me updated and informed.  If I don’t hear from someone, I worry.  If I put a call or email into them and don’t hear back, I definitely worry.  I need to know the minute a person has been arrested so I can a) be ready to get onto that case if they want; b) figure out a new game plan for the case I’m currently working on.  If you call me and tell me that you’ve been arrested, it’s much easier for me to pass that info along to the necessary parties.  If I know you’ve been arrested in San Bernardino County and are being held at Glen Helen, then I know to notify the court for a transport order for your Indio case.  You see where I’m going with this??  If I don’t know where you are, I can’t do that!

I had a client who was arrested on a new case but didn’t tell me.  I showed up to court.  He didn’t.

“Where is he?” asks the judge.

“I’ve lost contact with him, You Honor,” I replied.

“Bench warrant issued.”

“Thank you Your Honor, ” I reply out loud. “CRAP!” I secretly mutter in my head.

Cut to 8 days later when my client reappears on the face of the planet.  He explains to me that he was arrested on a new charge.  He had already been taken to court and a public defender was appointed.  But he told the court he had an attorney.  The court graciously continued for a week until I could get there.  He told me I had to go the next day to reaffirm myself as his attorney.  Unfortunately, I had another client with another case in another court.  Again, see where I’m going?  Had he remembered my number he could have told me where he was and I could have fixed everything with the court on a day that I could actually be there.

I know that I’m beginning to sound like an old record on repeat here, but, please.  Please. PLEASE!  Remember your attorney’s phone number!!

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, for more lecturing, er, information on why remembering your attorney’s phone number should be the most important thing you ever do!

 

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 Threats: In General

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

Criminal Threats: Elements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Criminal Threats: Punishment

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

Criminal Threats: Enhancement

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

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

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

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

A Criminal Defense Firm

PO Box 3297

Palm Springs, CA 92262

Office: (760) 237-8295

Cell: (760) 668-8295

www.stephaniearrache.com

FACEBOOK PAGE

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

 

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