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In very simple terms, a Ramey Warrant is an arrest warrant that is obtained by a police agency by going directly to a judge and bypassing the district attorney.

Typically, in order for a police agency to get a warrant, they must submit a report to the District Attorney and, if the District Attorney feels there is enough evidence to file the case, the police agency can request that the case be filed and at the same time, an arrest warrant issued. This is referred to as a “Walk-through Warrant.” However, with a Ramey Warrant, the officer may skip the district attorney and go directly to a judge. The police agency must submit a declaration, along with a report, to the judge setting out their reasons for requesting that the judge issue the warrant. If the Judge believes that there is probable cause, and sufficient evidence that this person has committed a crime, then the judge will issue the warrant. These types of warrants are often requested and processed after regular business hours.

So why would a police agency choose to get a Ramey Warrant instead of just the traditional arrest warrant? Well for one reason, it is faster. The police agency may not want to wait for the District Attorney’s Office to review the paperwork, which they have submitted. So, they bypass this and go straight to the source. However, most commonly, this is done when a police officer feels that he may not have enough evidence for the district attorney to actually file the charges. He doesn’t want to take the chance that the district attorney will reject the case. So, if he can get a judge to issue a Ramey Warrant, he can then arrest the person and question them with the hope of obtaining enough information and sufficient evidence to present it to the District Attorney for filing. Basically, the officer’s hope is that, once they have the individual in their possession, they will get what they need to make their case and end up with the sufficient evidence needed to get the case filed.

There are some who believe that as the weather warms up, there is an increase in criminal behavior. This however may be due to the increase in the number of interactions that people have with one another during the warmer months. Warmer weather can bring together potential wrongdoers, victims, and belongings all in the same place.

Southern California, with its beaches and warm weather, is a very popular vacation destination. Even for those who live in Southern California, the beaches become a popular place for people to hang out and party during the summer months. Orange County California is especially known for this due to the beautiful beaches and Orange County attractions.

Orange County law enforcement agencies are very well aware of this and employ officers specifically to watch the beach communities, making sure that things don’t get too out of control. They will be busy writing tickets and making arrests for disturbing the peace, drunk in public and disorderly conduct throughout the summer.

As a criminal defense attorney practicing in Orange County, California for more than 20 years, I have represented many individuals charged with battery, as well as battery on a peace officer. The legal definition of battery is: “Any willful and unlawful use of force of violence upon the person of another.” We often hear the term “battery” in conjunction with the term “assault”. However, they have different meanings.

In California, “Assault” is defined as an intentional attempt to physically injure another or a menacing or threatening act or statement that causes the other person to believe they are about to be attacked. So notice that I said “intentional attempt”. You do not have to have had actual physical contact with another person to be charged with assault. Just the threat of physical harm can get you arrested if that person believes that you are serious. A failed attempt to hit, kick or strike someone is also considered an assault because you had intent to hit but missed. Unlike “Assault”, “Battery” requires some form of physical contact. A conviction for battery could result in a fine of $2,000.00 or jail time up to six months, or both.

When we talk about battery on a police officer, the charge becomes much more serious. Police Officers fall within a protected class, which, including peace officers includes custodial officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, lifeguards, security officers, and others who fall within this “protected class”. If convicted of battery on a peace officer, the penalties can include State prison for up to three years.

A 24-year-old man was sentenced to 4 years in prison and 15 years probation after being found guilty of cyberstalking a fellow student at the University of Central Florida. As an Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney, it has been my experience that the Orange County Courts are extremely aggressive when it comes to this type of crime.

Cyberstalking is a relatively new crime, which is occurring more often due to the increased sophistication of electronic communication. Law enforcement agencies have actually developed special “task forces” to investigate and handle these matters as more incidents are being reported. In 1998, the California legislature amended it’s stalking laws to include electronically communicated threats. Basically, cyberstalking is stalking by the use of an electronic communication device. California stalking laws prohibit harassing and/or threatening someone to the point that they fear for their safety or the safety of a family member. If the threat or harassment is communicated through email, text, phone, Internet, video, fax or any other electronic device, it is referred to as cyberstalking.

Regardless of how severe the circumstances, the Orange County District Attorney prosecutes stalking cases aggressively. Here are some examples of cyberstalking, some of which may come as a bit of a surprise to some people:

Unwanted/unsolicited threatening or harassing emails;
Unwanted and/or disturbing pages, instant messages, text or sext messages I (“sexts” or “sexting” refers to sending explicit photos or messages, cell phone to cell phone);
Posing as another person in a chat room and writing things on behalf of that individual that are intended to anger other chat room participants;
Posting embarrassing, or humiliating information about the alleged victim;
Posting personal information (including a phone number, address, workplace, etc) about another person, encouraging others to harass that person.

Logging into on-line accounts to empty a person’s bank account or ruin that person’s credit.

In order to be convicted of cyberstalking, the prosecution must prove the same elements as in the traditional California anti-stalking laws, only the credible threat must have been made electronically. The following are the elements that must be proven:

Maliciously or willfully harassed or threatened another person
Made a credible threat against that person;
Placing that person in reasonable fear for them self or their family;
The threat or harassment was communicated by the Internet or other electronic device.

If convicted of cyberstalking, the sentence can range a great deal. Cyberstalking is a “wobbler” meaning that the prosecution can file the case as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon the facts of the incident and the criminal history of the accused.

If convicted of misdemeanor cyberstalking, the sentence may include: up to a year in a county jail and fines of up to $1,000.00.

A felony conviction for cyberstalking may include up to five years in the California State Prison, fines of up to $1,000.00 and possible lifetime registration as a sex offender under Penal Code 290.

There are defenses to this serious charge that an experienced criminal defense attorney will be familiar with and know the best way to present you and your defense to the prosecution. If only one element of the crime that the prosecution must prove is unfounded, the case must be dismissed. In other words, the prosecution must prove all of the elements in order to get a conviction.

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Mission Viejo is the newest City in Orange County to ban sex offenders from city parks, open space areas and community recreation centers, as well as soccer fields. Still at issue are the liability, enforceability and constitutionality of the ban.

The ban would make it a misdemeanor for sex offenders to be in certain areas of the city without written permission from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, which handles services for Mission Viejo. A violation could mean up to six months in jail and/or a fine up to $500.00.

The City of Fullerton has previously passed a law making violators of Jessica’s Law, subject to a fine of to $1,000.00 and six months in jail. In addition to Mission Viejo, the ban has been approved in Irvine, La Habra, Lake Forest, Laguna Hills, Los Alamitos, Huntington Beach, Westminster and Yorba Linda. Irvine has narrowed their law to sex offenders who have targeted minors.

In California, anyone who has been convicted of a sex crime is required to register as a sex offender for as long as they live in California, attend school in California or are working in California.

Anyone who has been accused of a sex crime should seek the immediate advice and assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney whose practice is strictly limited to criminal defense and focuses on sex crimes. An experienced attorney in this field will know the most effective defenses and be better able to present the types of arguments that can influence the prosecutors to limit the charges to those that do not subject a person to sex offender registration.

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Mission Viejo is the newest City in Orange County to ban sex offenders from city parks, open space areas and community recreation centers, as well as soccer fields. Still at issue are the liability, enforceability and constitutionality of the ban.

The ban would make it a misdemeanor for sex offenders to be in certain areas of the city without written permission from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, which handles services for Mission Viejo. A violation could mean up to six months in jail and/or a fine up to $500.00.

The City of Fullerton has previously passed a law making violators of Jessica’s Law, subject to a fine of to $1,000.00 and six months in jail. In addition to Mission Viejo, the ban has been approved in Irvine, La Habra, Lake Forest, Laguna Hills, Los Alamitos, Huntington Beach, Westminster and Yorba Linda. Irvine has narrowed their law to sex offenders who have targeted minors.

In California, anyone who has been convicted of a sex crime is required to register as a sex offender for as long as they live in California, attend school in California or are working in California.

Anyone who has been accused of a sex crime should seek the immediate advice and assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney whose practice is strictly limited to criminal defense and focuses on sex crimes. An experienced attorney in this field will know the most effective defenses and be better able to present the types of arguments that can influence the prosecutors to limit the charges to those that do not subject a person to sex offender registration.

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A 16 year old boy was arrested on suspicion of murder after a 19 year old man was found stabbed and later died at the hospital. The altercation happened at a Huntington Beach park. This young man is facing serious charges, and at his young age, can affect him for the rest of his life. As devastating as something like this is to a parent, one of the most important questions a parent can ask themselves is: How do I protect my child? Teens are still not mature enough to stop, think and really consider how serious their actions are and what the consequences might be. Especially if they have never been in trouble with the law and have never had legal consequences. For this reason, it is extremely important that these minors be represented by experienced criminal defense attorneys, who have experience in not only defending these charges, but who are also experienced juvenile defense attorneys in Orange County, California.
Once a juvenile is arrested for a crime, there are a few different ways law enforcement may proceed. Informal contact with parents, public or private diversion, citation and referral to probation, or arrest. Once the case is submitted to probation, probation has limited discretion whether or not to submit the case to the district attorney or proceed informally. If the case is submitted to the district attorney, they then decide whether to file or dismiss the case. An Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney, specializing in juvenile criminal matters, will be able to advise and guide parents and their child through these procedures.

The juvenile justice system is different from the adult justice system. In Orange County Juvenile Court, the focus is on treatment and rehabilitation for the juvenile while the adult justice system focuses on punishment. However, depending upon the charge, a juvenile can be prosecuted as an adult and be subject to the same penalties as an adult. In a situation where a juvenile is tried as an adult, it usually involves crimes of violence. Juveniles 16 or 17, who commit serious felonies, can be tried as an adult. Also, a juvenile 14 or older being charged with murder can be tried as an adult. However, even if a juvenile is tried as an adult, they are still treated different. There are more options in terms of how and where they are prosecuted and how and where they will serve their sentence.

It is extremely important that an experienced Orange County Juvenile Defense Attorney be retained to represent this young man and further that, the attorney be familiar with the Orange County Juvenile Court. Being familiar with the Judges, District Attorneys, Court Clerks and Probation Department, will help facilitate the best possible outcome for your child. The question parents should ask themselves is what do I do to protect my child. Juveniles make mistakes and most have never known, or been exposed to legal consequences. Preserving your child’s record, so that their college goals and future employment are not affected negatively should be the goal of a good juvenile criminal defense attorney.

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A Laguna Hills man was recently arrested and is in custody on suspicion of lewd and lascivious acts against three children. An allegation of child molestation is probably the most serious of allegations in terms of the effect is has on a person’s future. An experienced Orange County child molestation defense attorney understands the seriousness of the allegations and also understands how actions or information can be misinterpreted. The Irvine Law Office of William Weinberg understands how social workers, hospital staff and school administrators sometimes act before thoroughly investigate and understanding the circumstances surrounding the information they have been given.

In this case, A 37 year old man, who is a bus driver in South Orange County, is being accused of having two children under the age of 14 and a 3 year old, in his apartment and committing lewd acts against them. Lewd acts with a child is described as the touching of a child on his/her body for sexual purposes. These cases often involve accusations that a child was touched or fondled, or that some other act of child molestation took place. A charge of molestation or lewd acts with a minor involves the touching the child anywhere on the body, even on the outside of clothing, if the touching is done “with the intent of arousing or gratifying the lust or sexual desires of the person or the child.”
To be convicted of this charge, it must be proven that the person willfully touched any part of a child’s body or caused the child to touch his/her own body, and that it was done so with the intent to arouse or gratify the lust, passion or sexual desires of the person or the child.
The potential prison sentence if convicted of Penal Code 288 PC/Lewd Acts with a Child, is three, six or eight years in state prison. Further, anyone convicted of this crime is required to, for the rest of their life, register as a sex offender, while living in California, working in California or attending school in California.

Unfortunately, false accusations of child sexual abuse occur more than people realize. If a child makes an allegation of some sort of Lewd and lascivious act, the police and prosecutors typically tend to begin building a case against the accused rather than looking closely at the situation, the child, and what may be going on in the life of both that may have lead to the accusation.

There are situations where children make false accusations. This is done for a number of reasons. One reason might be that there is a new stepparent in the picture and child is unhappy about it. Also, if there is a divorce or custody case pending, one parent may coerce the child into making false accusations or, convince the child that something inappropriate happened.

If you have been falsely accused of a sex crime against a child, or if you think you might be, it is critical that you contact a California Criminal Defense Attorney to protect you and your reputation.

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When a juvenile is charged with a juvenile offense, employing the help of an attorney who has experience specifically in juvenile court will ensure the best outcome for that child. Juvenile court is very different from adult Court. The procedures are different, the language is different and many of the laws are different. Criminal defense attorneys who take the occasional juvenile matter are not going to be as effective in getting the best result for the minor as an attorney who is familiar with the inner workings of the juvenile court system. Further, an attorney experienced in the juvenile courts will have developed relationships with the Judges, district attorneys, court clerks and personnel which gives the attorney an advantage over an attorney who practices primarily adult criminal defense law.

When representing a juvenile, the objective of a good juvenile defense attorney should be: 1) keeping the minor out of custody. The minor should be with their family, in school, and in community where they belong. 2) Keep the offense off the record. When a minor makes a mistake which results in an arrest and/or criminal charges, the objective should be to do whatever possible to get the charges dismissed so that the mistake doesn’t follow them into adulthood; and 3) Help the minor get back on track. Find out what was or is going on in the minor’s life that caused them to get into trouble in the first place. Whether it be drugs, alcohol or hanging around with the wrong crowd, knowing what the triggers are will help determine the best plan for the minor, thereby helping them stay out of trouble in the future, and back on track.

There are many options that do not involve confinement and that allow the juvenile the chance to accept responsibility for what they have done and at the same time preserving their record.

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When a juvenile is charged with a juvenile offense, employing the help of an attorney who has experience specifically in juvenile court will ensure the best outcome for that child. Juvenile court is very different from adult Court. The procedures are different, the language is different and many of the laws are different. Criminal defense attorneys who take the occasional juvenile matter are not going to be as effective in getting the best result for the minor as an attorney who is familiar with the inner workings of the juvenile court system. Further, an attorney experienced in the juvenile courts will have developed relationships with the Judges, district attorneys, court clerks and personnel which gives the attorney an advantage over an attorney who practices primarily adult criminal defense law.

When representing a juvenile, the objective of a good juvenile defense attorney should be: 1) keeping the minor out of custody. The minor should be with their family, in school, and in community where they belong. 2) Keep the offense off the record. When a minor makes a mistake which results in an arrest and/or criminal charges, the objective should be to do whatever possible to get the charges dismissed so that the mistake doesn’t follow them into adulthood; and 3) Help the minor get back on track. Find out what was or is going on in the minor’s life that caused them to get into trouble in the first place. Whether it be drugs, alcohol or hanging around with the wrong crowd, knowing what the triggers are will help determine the best plan for the minor, thereby helping them stay out of trouble in the future, and back on track.

There are many options that do not involve confinement and that allow the juvenile the chance to accept responsibility for what they have done and at the same time preserving their record.

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