The Orange County Criminal Lawyer Blog
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Everyone has heard the Miranda advisement “You have the right to remain silent. Everything you say can and will be used against you…” As an Orange County criminal defense lawyer, I would like everyone to hear that everything you post on Facebook or other social media will be used against you. In just the last few months I’ve seen the following:

-Two gang members and a friend post a video of a fight they got in with a rival gang member.

-A woman posts a picture of herself holding a meth pipe and blowing a ring of smoke.

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It is common for children to be placed in therapy when sexual abuse is either suspected or alleged. In fact, police departments, social workers and child abuse investigators will frequently refer cases to child therapists that they believe will assist with disclosure or treatment of sexual abuse.

It is critical that criminal defense attorneys, representing clients in molestation or sexual abuse cases, get any and all therapy records and examine the records for impeaching or exonerating evidence.

Therapists are mandated reporters under California law. If a therapist has made an official report saying that a child claimed abuse, that information will be discoverable and should simply be listed in a police report. Attorneys should issue a subpoena duces tecum or “SDT” to the therapist for all records regarding the child, including emails, notes, billing statements, photocopies of books and photographs of toys that were used as part of the therapy.

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In nearly twenty years of practice as an Orange County criminal defense attorney, I have seen the following too many times to recall:

He has been served with a temporary restraining order and wants to fight it. The says there’s no reason for it. They simply had a breakup and he said some mean things. There was no violence, no harassment and no threats. Imposition of the restraining order can have consequences- he could lose his job and his ex-wife could use the restraining order against him if she ever decides to take him back to court to get more child support. Shortly before the restraining order hearing he calls and says his ex-girlfriend wants to “drop” the restraining order. I ask how he knows this and he says “she called me”.

He should never have taken that call. Unless there is some specifically carved out exception such as “the parties may have electronic communication solely for the purposes of discussing continuing financial obligations,” a restraining order prohibits contact for ALL  purposes.

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As an Orange County criminal defense lawyer who has handled thousands of domestic violence or spousal abuse cases, I get calls daily from people who were arrested or whose significant other was arrested because neighbors heard them fighting and called the police. You do not have to be married to be charged with “spousal abuse”—it applies if you were ever in a dating relationship with the other party.

In Orange County most domestic violence or spousal abuse arrests are unwanted by either party. The concept of “pressing charges” is a myth. One does not get arrested or prosecuted based on whether the other party decides to “press charges”. What this means is that your desire that your partner NOT be arrested is largely irrelevant. In most cases the police will make an arrest if they:

  1. See any injury or
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The Single Most Important Lesson From Making a Murderer: How YOU Can Protect Yourself

The world is abuzz with talk of Netflix’s new docuseries “Making a Murderer”, which chronicles the investigation and murder trial of Manitowic County resident Steven Avery and his nephew, Brenden Dassey. Even Anonymous, the international hacktivist organization has gotten involved, threatening to release confidential emails between investigators and former District Attorney Ken Kratz. The series reviews the evidence and viewers are left believing that two men were wrongfully convicted and sentenced to terms of life imprisonment for crimes they did not commit. The conviction of one of these men, Brendan Dassey, would have been impossible had he done one simple thing- exercised his right to remain silent.

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Моst реорlе hоре never to be charged with a criminal offense in their lifetime, but thousands of Orange County residents are so charged every year. Fоrtunаtеlу, оur јudісіаl brаnсh hаs а рrеsumрtіоn оf іnnосеnсе untіl рrоvеn guіltу, аnd thіs mеаns thаt аnуоnе сhаrgеd wіth а сrіmе, whеthеr іt bе DUІ оr mаnslаughtеr, hаs thе rіght tо а strоng dеfеnsе. Fоr thе bеst dеfеnsе, thоugh, іt’s nесеssаrу tо fіnd а gооd experienced criminal defense аttоrnеу. When choosing a criminal defense lawyer, be sure to look for the following:

  1. Еduсаtіоn: Тhеrе аrе оvеr 200 lаw sсhооls іn Аmеrіса аррrоvеd bу thе Аmеrісаn Ваr Аssосіаtіоn, but thеу’rе dеfіnіtеlу nоt аll еquаl. In California and Orange County even, there are countless unaccredited law schools. Іnquіrіng аbоut аn аttоrnеу’s еduсаtіоn іsn’t аn аffrоnt tо а lаwуеr. Staycie R. Sena went to Stanford Law School, which is uniformly considered the best law school in California and often ties in ranking for the best law school in the world.

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Mel Gibson is a well-known local hothead. It came as no surprise to Southern California or Orange County residents then when officials in Sydney, Australia said they were investigating him for criminal assault or battery on a member of the paparazzi. Worse, that member was a woman, who claimed that he shoved her in the back and spit on her. Police claim they did a thorough investigation, which included talking with witnesses and reviewing security camera footage, but have ultimately decided not to file criminal charges, much to the anger of the alleged victim.

Assault and battery can be serious charges. As an Orange County criminal attorney I defend innocent people of accusations of assault and battery weekly. But most people are not subject to the careful scrutiny that Mel Gibson received before charges are filed. Unfortunately, assault and battery charges are often filed on nothing more than a simple verbal allegation, such as “he punched me.”

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The Orange County Sheriff’s Department is warning residents of Orange County to plan ahead for Labor Day festivities that involve alcohol. The agency will be deploying multiple DUI checkpoints throughout the area with the intention of arresting anybody who is driving a vehicle who is under the influence of alcohol.

Officials recommend planning ahead to get a safe ride home at the end of the night. Such plans can include designating a sober driver, using Uber or a taxi service, or calling a sober friend or family member to give you a ride home. They also recommend taking car keys away from any individual who appears to be intoxicated so they are unable to drive.

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ivdripA West Virginia woman was recently sentenced to 6 years in prison for placing fecal matter in her son’s IV drip.

Having been born with Hirschsprung’s disease, the 9 year old boy was being treated at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio. Hirschsprung’s disease affects the bowels and requires many surgeries, and in this case the use of a colostomy bag.

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A 14 year old girl was arrested in South Carolina for sexual abuse involving a 3 year old.

According to the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Department , the girl was arrested after posting a video allegedly showing sexual abuse of the 3 year old. Multiple calls to the police department alerted authorities to the Facebook post which led to her arrest.

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