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2019 Criminal Law

Criminal Law

What we call criminal law broadly refers to federal and state laws that make certain behavior illegal and punishable by imprisonment and/or fines. Our legal system is largely comprised of two different types of cases: civil and criminal. Civil cases are disputes between people regarding the legal duties and responsibilities they owe each other. Criminal cases, meanwhile, are charges pursued by prosecutors for violations of criminal statutes.

The stakes are high when you are facing criminal charges. This includes your reputation and future. You need an ally in your corner with a true dedication to protecting your well-being and best interests. Let us stand up for you.

At Active Law Group, we can help in these criminal law categories, both misdemeanors and felonies:

  • DUI
  • Drug crimes
  • Assault and battery
  • Domestic violence
  • White Collar crimes
  • Violent Crimes
  • Sex crimes

…and other subcategories of each. Call Our (A.L.G.) team for a FREE consultation for professional, confidential defense services for the best possible legal outcome.

Felony

In California, a felony is a crime that carries a maximum sentence of more than one year in jail or prison. The most serious California felonies can even be punished by death. People convicted of a felony in California may also be fined up to $10,000 in addition to — or instead ofimprisonment. Alternatively, a judge may sentence a felony offender to California formal (felony) probation. If granted felony probation the offender will serve, at most, one year in county jail.

Misdemeanors

In California a misdemeanor is defined as a crime for which the maximum sentence is no more than one year in county jail. A misdemeanor is more serious than an infraction but less serious than a California felony.

California misdemeanors fall into two basic categories:

  1. Standard” California misdemeanors, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000; and
  2. Gross” or “aggravatedmisdemeanors,” punishable by up to 364 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000 or more.

California defines a “crime” or “public offense” as an act committed or omitted in violation of a law forbidding or commanding it which can be punished upon conviction with either death, imprisonment, fine, removal from office or disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust or profit in California.

Sex Crimes

The term “sex crimes” encompasses everything from misdemeanors like a violation of California Penal Code Section 314 (Indecent Exposure) or Penal Code Section 647.6 (Annoy or Molest a Child Under 18), to felonies that are categorized as “serious and violent,” like Penal Code Section 261 (Rape). There are few things in our society that carry such a badge of shame as being charged with a sex crime. The only thing worse is being convicted of a sex crime.

A sex crime conviction almost always results in having to register as a sex offender every year for the rest of your life. If that happens, you will have to walk into a police station to register as a sex offender within five days of your birthday every year and for the rest of your life. And that will be the least of your worries.

Sex Offenses:

  • Rape
  • Child molestation
  • Date rape
  • FMS (False Memory Syndrome)
  • Fondling
  • Incest
  • Indecent exposure
  • Munchausen by proxy syndrome
  • Sex offender registration
  • Possession of Child pornography
  • Sexual Battery
  • Lewd conduct
  • Spousal rape
  • Statutory rape
  • Sodomy

Sex crime accusations often come from very unreliable sources or from persons that have an agenda. Nothing brings out accusations and allegations of a sex crime like divorce, child custody disputes, or when a man simply breaks up with his girlfriend. Unfortunately, the criminal justice system is full of falsely accused men that were set up by people they once loved and trusted. These cases often lack physical evidence and overzealous prosecutors rely solely on circumstantial evidence. Yet defendants frequently plead guilty or are convicted at trial because their criminal defense attorneys lacked the proper expertise.

If you or a loved one is under investigation or charged with a sex crime, you need an experienced Active Law Group criminal lawyer to assist you. While being accused of a sex crime is both humiliating and horrifying, being found guilty of a sex crime will have catastrophic consequences for you, your family, and your future. Make sure you hire a criminal lawyer with a proven track record in handling sex crimes. The Active Law Group will aggressively protect your rights to ensure the best possible outcome.
Call today for a Free consultation. +1(800)-237-3027.

Drug Offenses

Types of Drug Offenses:

  • Trafficking
  • Possession
  • Transportation
  • Possession for sale
  • Marijuana cultivation
  • Manufacturing

Laws Regarding Prescription Drugs:

‍In 2017, there were nearly 2,200 opioid overdose deaths in California, per the California Opioid Overdose Surveillance Dashboard. Opioid overdose deaths have reached epidemic levels all over the United States. There are a few laws that many states have enacted to manage the public health crisis.

One such law is the Good Samaritan Law, California Assembly Bill 635, which protects those who try to revive someone they believe to be suffering from an overdose from criminal prosecution. People can feel confident that they will not be charged with drug-related crimes if calling in a suspected overdose, even if they are in possession of controlled substances.

A standing order for naloxone is another law in California that opens up access to the potentially lifesaving medication. A standing order is a law that allows the medication to be dispensed through local pharmacies without requiring a prescription for it.

Drug Possession, Distribution, and Trafficking Laws:

In November 2014, Proposition 47 made changes to the Uniform Controlled Substances Act in California. This relaxed some of the drug possession laws, moving them from felony charges to misdemeanors, essentially decriminalizing “simple possession” of most illegal drugs.

In general, there are three main types of drug charges: infractions that do not typically involve jail time or major penalties, misdemeanors that involve minor penalties, and felonies that mean major jail time and harsh penalties. Under Proposition 47, possession of controlled substances for personal use, deemed “simple possession,” is classified as a misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to one year in county jail, community services, and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

Controlled substances fall under California Health and Safety Code 11350. Possession of the following for personal use are considered a violation of this code and a misdemeanor offense in California:

  • Heroin, opium derivatives, and other Schedule I opioids
  • Cocaine base
  • Mescaline, peyote, and synthetic cannabis
  • Schedule II opiates and narcotics
  • Schedule III hallucinogens
  • Schedule III, IV, or V controlled substances without a valid prescription

A secondary offense can increase the fine up to $2,000 (or community service) and bring up to two years in a county jail. A misdemeanor offense can become a felony if you are a registered sex offender or have been convicted of what is deemed a “serious” felony (assault, rape, attempted murder, voluntary manslaughter, robbery, burglary, bank robbery, murder, arson, carjacking, kidnapping, or first-degree burglary).

California has a “three strikes” program in place, which means that if you are charged with two felonies involving serious or violent offenses in the state, you may be subject to 25 years to life in prison on your third offense.

Marijuana Legalization Current Laws in California:

In November 2016 under Proposition 64, the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act. This decriminalized personal possession and the growing of marijuana for adults aged 21 and over for personal use.

Proposition 64 dictates that landlords are allowed to decide if marijuana can be consumed on private property, and businesses can then apply for permits from the city of residence. Tobacco and alcohol are prohibited from being used at cannabis lounges.

It is illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana. Senate Bill 65 and Senate Bill 94 also make it illegal to travel with an “open container” of marijuana while driving or to consume it while operating a vehicle, the Press Democrat explains. These laws took effect on January 1, 2018.

Marijuana possession is still considered a misdemeanor offense if the offender is under the age of 18, if possession occurs on school grounds, or if the person has more than 28.5 grams on their person. Marijuana possession becomes a felony offense if the perpetrator is aged 18 or older and selling or distributing the drug to minor. Sale or distribution to a minor between the ages of 14 and 17 carries a penalty of three to five years in prison, and selling or distributing to a minor under the age of 14 can land you between three and seven years in prison.

Under a new provision coming in 2019, Assembly Bill 1793 will help to identify people who have marijuana-related felonies on their record and overturn these felony charges. The Sacramento Bee publishes that close to 200,000 Californians may be impacted.

Another recent law, Senate Bill 1294, aims to help minority cannabis growers by allowing local jurisdictions to apply for technical assistance and waived license fees from the Bureau of Cannabis Control. The goal is to expand the commercial marijuana growing industry, opening it up to those with fewer financial means, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Laws Regarding Methamphetamine in California‍:

Meth is a major drug threat in the state of California, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). As such, penalties related to meth possession, distribution, intent to sell, driving while under the influence, and manufacturing are harshly punished.

Meth is a dangerous synthetic stimulant drug that is made in clandestine laboratories (typically in Mexico) and then shipped across the southwest border (SWB) into Southern California. Laws involving meth also generally include PCP, ketamine (special K), gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), and some anabolic steroids as well.

Simple possession of meth has been downgraded to a misdemeanor under Proposition 47, but any attempt to distribute, manufacture, or sell it is a felony offense, often ineligible for drug diversion programs. There are several laws involving meth.

Liquor Related Crimes

While drinking alcohol is legal for people over the age of 21, there are still laws about where and when people may drink. Often, getting caught drunk in public can lead to a criminal charge. An alcohol-related crime on your record could mean hefty fines, jail time, and mandatory alcohol counseling, including Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Types of Alcohol Crimes:

Alcohol can be enjoyed safely and legally in private homes and where it is legally sold, such as a bar or restaurant. However, drinking outside of these places, or going out into public after drinking can be illegal. If you are caught drinking or drunk in public, you can be charged with a misdemeanor crime.

There are a few different alcohol-related crimes. An Active Law Group criminal defense lawyer can help you against these following, and more:

  • Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, or DUI/DWI
  • Cycling Under the Influence of Alcohol, or CUI
  • Drunk in Public
  • Open Container Violation
  • Purchasing Alcohol for a Minor

An Active Law Group attorney with knowledge of California alcohol law and experience in defending people against criminal alcohol charges can assist you with your case. Trying to navigate the complicated court system without a lawyer is difficult and can mean that you are pressured into signing a plea deal or confessing to a crime that there may not be enough evidence for. An Active Law Group attorney will evaluate every aspect of your case and fight for your rights and freedom.

White-Collar Crimes

Types of White-Collar Crime in California:

In California, white-collar crimes range from fraud and computer crimes to forgery, car insurance fraud and environmental crime. Embezzlement is another type of white-collar crime. According to the state’s Penal Code Section 503, embezzlement is taking property or money entrusted to you. You may be accused of intentionally transferring it to yourself to permanently deprive the true owner.

Other types of white-collar crimes in California include:

  • Mortgage Frau
  • Unemployment Insurance Fraud
  • Worker’s Compensation Fraud
  • Medi-Cal Fraud
  • Health Care Fraud

Difference between Misdemeanor and Felony Punishments:

A white-collar misdemeanor is considered a serious crime, punishable by time in county jail ranging from days to months, but never longer than one year. A white-collar felony is considered a harsher, more serious crime than a misdemeanor. It is punishable by state prison time. The time in state prison for a felony white-collar crime is at least one year.

Want To Avoid the Harsh Punishments of a White Collar Conviction?

If you or a family member have been accused of and/or arrested for a white-collar crime in California, the law is not on your side right now. Prosecutors are focused on getting a conviction or unfair guilty plea. You have the right to defend yourself with the help of a strong defense team. Let the Active Law Group be your strong defense team. Contact our Lake Forest, Active Law Group Team immediately for a FREE consultation at +1(800)-237-3027

Violent Crimes

VIOLENT CRIMES- In Los Angeles County, Riverside, Orange, and San Diego County’s.

The category of violent crimes encompasses a wide range of criminal acts. A criminal act may be physical in nature and cause bodily harm; it could also include harm done to another through the use of verbal threats. Each case that’s classified under the violent crime spectrum is unique, and because there’s so much at stake, you need an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to aggressively defend your case. 

If you are suspected of murder, aggravated assault or another violent crime, an experienced Active Law Group criminal defense attorney can secure your rights. Our skilled lawyers will not only look for ways to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed but will also focus on developing an effective criminal defense trial strategy. 

Contact Active Law Group Today! 

California Penal Code section 667.5 includes the following violent crimes: 

Domestic Violence: Domestic violence is defined under California Penal Code 243(e)(1) as battery committed on a former spouse, spouse, partner, parent of one’s child, fiancé, or any individual with whom the defendant is intimate.

Robbery: According to California Penal Code 211, robbery is defined as taking someone’s property from their body or area of possession by force or fear.

Homicide: Homicide can be divided into two broad groups depending on the intent: 

  • Murder, as stated in California Penal Code 187, “is the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought.”
  • Manslaughter, which is defined by California Penal Code 192 as “the unlawful killing of a human being without malice.” Manslaughter can be broken down into three subcategories:
  1. Voluntary: an act that occurred within a heat of passion
  2. Involuntary: the homicide was committed during the commission of a non-felony crime
  3. Vehicular Manslaughter: a homicide was committed while operating a vehicle during the commission of a non-felony crime
  • Child Endangerment: Child Endangerment is defined by California Penal Code 273a as willfully placing a child in danger or by causing or allowing the following to be inflicted upon a minor:
  1. Unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering
  2. Injury to person or health
  3. Endangerment of health or safety 
  • Arson: California Penal Code 451 and 452 describes arson as a willful, malicious, or reckless act of setting fire to any building, forest land, or property that is not one’s own property.
  • Elder Abuse: Elder abuse broadly described includes the unjustifiable infliction of physical or mental suffering upon an elder person according to California Penal Code 368.

If you or a family member has been accused of or arrested for a battery, weapon or murder charge, we urge you to contact Active Law Group to discuss the case and how we might be able to help. +1(800)-237-3027