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Van Nuys California Criminal Law Blog

3 downsides of going to trial with your case

Many people facing criminal charges mistakenly assume that a prosecutor will not have any interest in taking the case to trial. Unfortunately, this is often not the case, and even small cases are often brought to trial rather than dismissed or offered plea bargains. If you want to get your life back on track, it is sometimes advantageous to avoid a trial, and consulting with a legal representative may be the best way to do so.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there is a 68 percent conviction rate for felony cases in the United States. With odds like these, it is imperative that you proactively do everything within your power to fight for your rights. When you hire a legal representative, you do not have to do this alone. 

The difference between misdemeanor and felony drunk driving

If you're been recently charged with driving under the influence (DUI), in researching the penalties associated with the crime, you might have found that a misdemeanor generally results in a lesser sentence than a felony one. You may have wondered why you were charged with one crime versus the other.

As you already may be aware, misdemeanors are a type of criminal offense that is considered to be much less serious than a felony one. While a misdemeanor charge may leave you serving some time in jail, on probation or paying a fine, it generally won't result in you spending an extended time in state or federal prison.

California to honor Canada's domestic violence restraining orders

California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill on Tuesday, July 25 that will provide reciprocity for a now 6-year-old Canadian law. California law enforcement agencies will now be required to uphold restraining orders in domestic violence cases issued by Canadian authorities statewide.

As for why the governor decided to sign what's now known as SB 204 into law, he noted that both Canada and California have historically enjoyed a close relationship in terms of cross-border travel and trade. He noted that it only makes sense that the two would also uphold restraining orders as well.

California bill disallows license suspensions for unpaid fines

The governor of California signed a bill on June 27, 2017, ending the state's longtime practice of suspending driver's licenses for unpaid traffic citations. In doing so, he cited the fact that studies have shown that suspending the driving privileges of low income individuals only perpetuates an endless cycle of job loss and persistent poverty.

Proponents of the bill second the governor's sentiments. They first started championing the bill to throw out the law in January of 2017 on the grounds that there wasn't a clearly defined connection between the state's suspension of driver's licenses and them being able to ultimately collect fines. 

Defendant to face charges he attempted to kill Van Nuys couple

A 27-year-old Castaic man is scheduled to make an appearance in Los Angeles District Court on August 14, 2017, to face firearms, assault, and attempted murder charges. The man is accused of having brandished a weapon and attempted to inflict harm on a Van Nuys couple in February.

According to a police report in the case, the man is accused of having approached the woman as she sat in her car soon after she pulled in front of his residence along Castaic Oak Lane back in February of 2017. Soon thereafter, he is alleged to have pulled out what has been described as a loaded AK-47 machine gun and pointed it at the woman.

Understanding the difference between detention and an arrest

If you are facing criminal charges, the situation likely began with an interaction with law enforcement. Perhaps they started with a few questions or perhaps you immediately found yourself in handcuffs. If there was any ambiguity, it might be unclear whether you were arrested or simply in detention. It is worth noting that while the former may remain on public record, the latter is an informal interaction.

Why does this matter? Even if you are acquitted of the charges you face, having an arrest on record can negatively impact your life. An attorney can fight to have the instance categorized as a detention. The following are three of the top criteria which determine whether an arrest or a detention took place.

Van Nuys man faces $7 million bankruptcy fraud charges

A Los Angeles federal judge, in a ruling on June 17, 2017, decided that a 68-year-old Van Nuys man should remain in federal custody until his bankruptcy fraud trial begins on Aug. 8. The criminal complaint in this case alleges that the man devised a fake program aimed at helping distressed homeowners avoid foreclosure that netted him as much as $7 million in proceeds.The grand jury met to decide whether the United States Attorney's Office should move forward in prosecuting the man on June 8. In presenting the case to the panel, prosecutors had alleged that the man and his co-conspirators had marketed his company, Valueline, as a foreclosure or eviction relief company.Fake deeds

As part of their scheme, which is said to have occurred between October of 2010 and July of 2013, they noted that he asked homeowners, faced with losing their homes, to sign fake deeds. In doing so, the man reportedly told his customers that they were turning over a portion of their interest in the property, a party that investigators later determined was fictitious.Investigators found that, after signing these fake deeds, the man would then use those fictitious identities to file for bankruptcy for each of them. Doing this would result in the Bankruptcy Code's automatic stay provision kicking in, which would, in turn, stall the foreclosure sale on the individual's property.More falsified documentation

Van Nuys woman strikes police car, leads them on high-speed chase

A 23-year-old woman from Van Nuys was arrested and charged with felony assault on a peace officer among other charges in the early morning hours of June 22, 2017. Officers with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) had begun pursuing the woman earlier that same morning after they noted the car she was driving allegedly had been reported as stolen.

A LAPD officer and his partner were driving around Van Nuys around 2:15 a.m., when they noticed a white Honda pass by them. The officers soon pulled behind the woman and attempted to stop the vehicle. Instead of stopping, though, the woman reportedly put her car in reverse.

How shoplifting is punished in California

When it comes to shopping, no one state has more high-end shopping spots than California. It's these types of establishments that makes the state a mecca for shoplifters. In 2014, Proposition 47 was passed in California. It gave way to reduced sentences for once-serious drug offenses, but also shoplifting as well.

In the state of California, the crime of shoplifting falls into one of two different categories, either petty or grand theft. Whether an individual gets charged with one or the other depends on what police deem the assessed value of the items stolen to be.

Granada Hills man is accused of inappropriate conduct with minor

A 35-year-old Granada Hills man was arrested on June 2, 2017, on suspicion that he engaged in inappropriate communication with a minor. The man was arrested earlier that day after it was discovered that he had allegedly made contact with a student at Patrick Henry Middle School. He had supposedly met the child while chaperoning a field trip the previous week.

The man, a father of another student that attends the same school as the victim in this case, had been accompanying the students on a field trip when it is alleged that he engaged in inappropriate communication with one of them. He's alleged to have spoken with the student with the intention of ultimately carrying out some type of undisclosed, physical felonious activity with the minor.

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