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shutterstock_12304342.jpgA conviction for a drug offense can change your life profoundly. Drug possession, sale or delivery of illicit substances, drug manufacturing, and related offenses are punishable by significant penalties, including jail time. It is important to start working on a defense strategy. Contact a skilled criminal defense lawyer with experience in drug crime cases for help.

Evidence Obtained Unlawfully

Criminal defense attorneys use many different strategies to demonstrate their client’s innocence. Sometimes, defense lawyers seek to invalidate the evidence against the defendant. In drug crime cases, evidence often includes illicit substances, drug paraphernalia, and items used to manufacture or sell drugs, such as scales and large amounts of cash.

If the police did not follow proper procedure when obtaining evidence against a defendant, the evidence might be inadmissible in court. The Fourth Amendment protects individuals against unreasonable searches and seizures of personal property. Police typically need probable cause or a search warrant to search someone’s property. Evidence acquired in violation of a defendant’s constitutional rights may be suppressed, effectively destroying the prosecution’s case against the defendant.

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san jose criminal defense lawyerAre you or a loved one facing a criminal charge of any kind? No matter how mild or severe it seems, it is important to realize just how big an impact a conviction of any type can have on every facet of your future—even for a first offense. That is why it is essential to find a knowledgeable, compassionate legal advocate who understands not just your actions, but also the deeper factors that may have contributed to your behavior. A skilled lawyer can then help the prosecutor and court appreciate that you are more than just a criminal defendant who deserves conviction and punishment, but a whole person with underlying issues and motivations, who may be in need of rehabilitation and improvement. In fact, you may be the ideal candidate for a mental health criminal diversion program.

A Different Type of Diversion Program

Many people are aware that California is a leader in creating criminal diversion programs to address not only the facts of a crime, but also the causes behind it. Often, a criminal offense has its roots in drug use, and our state has pioneered programs that offer alternatives to jail time for drug offenders. But another common cause of poor decision-making is mental or psychological disorders, and California is at the forefront of pre-trial diversion programs for these defendants as well.

Is Mental Health Pre-Trial Diversion Available to You?

If you are eligible for a mental-health diversion program, you may be able to receive treatment for your behavior’s underlying causes, rather than spending your sentence behind bars. Sections 1001.36 and 1001.82 of the California Penal Code make mental health diversion available to a variety of defendants in both misdemeanor and felony cases. You may be eligible if you are not an unreasonable danger to the community, you have been diagnosed with a psychological or mental health disorder (except for pedophilia, borderline personality disorder, or antisocial personality disorder) that significantly impacted the charged offense, and an approved mental health professional testifies to your strong suitability for treatment. You must also agree to the relevant terms of the Penal Code and the requirements of the treatment program. If the judge offers you a treatment option, you would have up to two years to successfully complete the program, at which point your case would be dismissed without a conviction.

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shutterstock_576370024.jpg Burglary is the act of breaking into a private residence with the intention of stealing something. In California, this is a serious crime that can lead to consequences including jail time. There are two different classifications of burglary in the state of California — first-degree and second-degree. The legal ramifications that follow a burglary charge will depend on the degree of the crime. 

Differences between First and Second-Degree Burglary 

Many different criminal charges, including murder and fraud, are divided into the degree to classify the nature of the crime. This is the same for burglary charges. Burglary is classified as entering any private building with the intention of committing either grand or petit larceny (theft of personal property). Here are the differences between first-degree and second-degree burglary in California:

  • First-Degree Burglary — First-degree burglary is classified as entering an inhabited residence with the intention to steal. This includes homes and residential buildings such as apartments, houses, townhomes, motorhomes, barns and even personal stables. 

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san jose credit card fraud lawyerIn the digital age of 2022, it is important to understand the legal implications of using electronic financial tools such as debit and credit cards, online banking or online shopping. Financial crimes can range anywhere from a fake gift card to tax evasion. Due to the complex nature of financial crimes, many instances of fraud are overlooked until it is too late. According to California law, it is a fraudulent crime to use an expired credit card or debit card to make any sort of purchase. Depending on the severity of the crime and the offender's background, perpetrators using an expired credit card may face felony charges. 

Understanding Credit Card Fraud

When attempting to understand credit card fraud and the various ways this crime is achieved, it is first important to understand the definition of fraud in the state of California. Fraud is described as any activity intended to deceive, misrepresent, fool or twist any known fact with the intention of hurting another person or using their legal or financial rights for your benefit. In other words, you can be committing fraud when you intentionally lie to gain a benefit. In the case of credit card fraud, a person would intentionally be “lying” or misusing their expired credit card with the intention of gaining a benefit through making a purchase. Credit card fraud can also look like:

CA defense lawyerThe term “stalking” is sometimes used in an informal or even joking manner. For example, someone may say that another person is “stalking” their social media if that person comments on every post.

In reality, stalking is considered a serious criminal offense in California. An individual convicted of stalking could face up to five years in prison.

If your ex has accused you of stalking him or her, do not make the mistake of underestimating this allegation. You could be arrested and charged with a criminal offense. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you defend yourself against stalking charges.

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