Fraud Part 3: Identity Theft

It's important to know who you are, to know who you aren't, and to know the difference, especially when it comes to using I.D.

According to California Penal Code Section 529, you may be guilty of false Impersonation when:

1. You falsely impersonate someone by pretending to be them in a public or private capacity; AND

2. Perform an act that might cause that person to become liable to a lawsuit, prosecution, become obligated to pay money or gain some personal benefit for yourself by impersonating someone else.

A violation of CPC 529 is a “wobbler” in California. This means that it can be charged as a Misdemeanor or a Felony depending on factors such as how much was allegedly stolen. A misdemeanor offense for false impersonation carries a maximum punishment of up to 1 year in jail and/or a $10,000 fine. A felony offense carries a maximum exposure of up to 3 years in jail in addition to a possible $10,000 fine. This is also considered a "crime of moral turpitude" and will likely have an impact on future job prospects, as well as State and Federal licenses.

In short, carrying an I.D. of a person that looks like you and then telling others that you are the person in the I.D. can get you into trouble. That trouble gets worse if you use the I.D. to obtain something that does not belong to you.

If you or a loved one are Arrested or Charged with Identity Theft, reach out to The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian at www.Kazarianatlaw.com for a free consultation.

Arrested or Charged with Fraud: Part 2 - Forgery

Fraud can occur when you say or do something fraudulent or false, but it can also occur when you create a document which isn't what it pretends to be. Forgery is the action of creating or producing a false document, signature, banknote or work of art and is considered a type of fraud. 

Some of the more common examples of forgery include: 

CPC 470(a) - forging or counterfeiting a California Driver’s License or ID Card. This could include changing the birth date, name or physical description, photograph or expiration date on any government issued I.D. card.

CPC 470(b) - makes it illegal to display or even possess a forged or counterfeit license.

Because it is a type of fraud, Forgery is considered a "crime of moral turpitude" and can greatly affect your future prospects for employment as well as create difficulties in applying for state licenses. 

If you or someone you know is charged with Forgery, don't wait; contact The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian for a free consultation by visiting www.kazarianatlaw.com.

Arrested or Charged with Fraud: Part One - Theft by Fraud and CPC 484

The crime of “Fraud” in the State of California boils down two basic elements:

  1. A fraudulent or deceptive act which either results in an undeserved benefit; OR
  2. Which may also cause harm or loss to another person.

Essentially, doing or saying something to deceive another person, which results in your gain and/or a victim’s loss could be considered fraud.  However, there are a vast number of crimes that come about when a person commits an act commonly known as “fraud.”  By far, the most common type of fraud charges which are filed in California are theft related fraud charges.  The most common charge for theft is Penal Code Section 484(a), which states:

CPC 484(a) “every person….who shall knowingly and designedly, by any false or fraudulent representation or pretense, defraud any other person of money, labor, or real or personal property…is guilty of theft.”

So, if you were to walk into a store, steal some merchandise off the shelf and walk out without paying, you have committed a theft.

If you take that same item and tell a store employee, “I already paid” as you breeze out the door, you have committed the same crime by a different means and could face the exact same punishment!

However it happened, if you are arrested and find yourself charged with fraud, theft, or any other crime, contact The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian for a free consultation at (855) 918-4253 .  For more information on these and other criminal charges, stay tuned to www.kazarianatlaw.com

Burglary Charges are Serious, Do You Know What to do if You are Charged?

If you or a loved one have been accused of burglary, what you do next can be critical. Being charged with burglary as a misdemeanor  can be downright frightening. If the burglary is charged as a felony it can be even worse. You should be armed with all the information  to understand the charges against you and what you must do to protect your rights in the criminal justice system.

It is important to understand what burglary is. The simple definition is “entering of a structure  with the intent to commit larceny or any a felony.” The State of California defines burglary in Penal Code § 459-460 which therein lists the various types of burglaries those being either 1st or 2nd degree. Depending on the type of building you entered will determine the degree of burglary as to either 1st or 2nd degree.  The crime of 1st degree burglary is always charged as a felony whereas 2nd degree burglary can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the prosecutor’s discretion. Often referred to as "breaking and entering," you can be charged with burglary even though there is no forced entry. 

The penalty or punishment for burglary will  vary depending how the crime is charged.  The crime of 1st degree burglary carries a punishment range of 2, 4 or 6 years in the State Prison, whereas 2nd degree burglary carries a punishment or 1 year in the county jail or 16 months, 2 or 3 years in the State Prison which will be served in the county jail pursuant to Penal Code § 1170(h).

Due to the various legal technicalities and difficulties of proof, prosecutors often settle cases for lesser charges or than burglary.  As with any crime, if you are charged with burglary, it is important that you do not make any statements or answer any questions before you speak with a criminal defense attorney. Any statements you make can be used against you when the case goes to court. It is imperative that you are calm, cool and collected, as well as polite to the police. Oftentimes, your interview will be taped, so it is important that you speak clearly and with confidence in your voice.

You need an attorney who is familiar with California Statutes and laws regarding burglary. In addition, you want an attorney who is experienced within the courtroom. Your attorney should conduct an investigation and request all records and any evidence from the prosecutor. Evidence in the case must be collected in accordance with strict legal rulings and laws. If this did not happen in your case, your attorney may request the evidence to be excluded from being used against you at trial. Make sure that you follow all of the advice and guidance that your burglary attorney gives you. With careful planning, you may be able to avoid a prison sentence and have a new life ahead of you without the fear of having a felony hanging over your head.

If you or a loved one have been arrested or charged with the crime of burglary, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney. Call The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian at (855) 918-4253 today to set up a free consultation with an attorney who can give you clear and concise information about your rights.

"Drunk in Public" - CPC 647(f)

Despite what it may seem, it is not a crime to have a few beers and to happen to be in a public place. In order to be in violation of California Penal Code 647(f) a person must be under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both in a "public place" and EITHER:

(1) Be unable to exercise care for their own safety or the safety of others, OR

(2) Interfere with, obstruct, or prevent others from using streets, sidewalks or other public ways.

The courts have given a general definition in defining a "public place" as any place that is accessible by the general public where they are free to come and go as they wish, such as a sidewalk or in a parked car on a street. Other public places include streets and sidewalks, public businesses, restaurants, parks, hotels, and any area outside a home where a stranger is free to walk.

The charge of CPC 647(f) is a misdemeanor in California and carries with it a punishment of up to six (6) months in jail and/ or a base fine of up to $1,000. This type of charge, depending on your record and the location of the charge, may be eligible for Diversion, or Deferred Entry of Judgment. As such, hiring a capable Defense Attorney can potentially prevent you from having a conviction on your record.

Depending on the individual facts of your case, you may have a valid defense to the charge of CPC 647(f), especially if you were not in a public place, or if you were not voluntarily intoxicated.

If you or a loved one is ever arrested for California Penal Code 647(f) (drunk in public) or any other Criminal Charge, it is vital to seek help as soon as possible. Contact The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian www.kazarianatlaw.com and schedule a free consultation today.

Domestic Violence - A Felony in the Family?

Whenever the Police are called to the scene of a domestic disturbance, there is almost always the suspicion of some type of Domestic Violence charge considered. What this means is that there is a very high likelihood one of the parties will be arrested and booked into jail. While there are a number of Penal Codes which may apply, given the individual facts of the case, one of the more common charges filed is California Penal Code 273.5 - Corporal Injury Upon a Spouse or Cohabitant.

Battery upon a person is always a crime, but when you have a special relationship with the alleged victim, the charge can quickly become more serious, with much more serious penalties. 

Penal Code Section 273.5 applies when the alleged victim either is or was one or more of the following:

(1) The offender’s spouse or former spouse.

(2) The offender’s cohabitant or former cohabitant.

(3) The offender’s fiancé or fiancée, or someone with whom the offender has, or previously had, an engagement or dating relationship.

(4) The mother or father of the offender’s child.

Even if the victim does not desire prosecution in a case like this, the District Attorney will likely file charges as a matter of Public Policy.

Additionally, California Penal Code Section 273.5 is what is known as a "wobbler" meaning it can be charged as a Misdemeanor or as a Felony.  If charged as a misdemeanor, it can result in up to a year in jail, but if charged as a Felony it can result in up to 4 years in a State Prison.

If you or a loved one are arrested for the charge listed above or any other Criminal Charge, it is vital to seek out help as soon as possible. Contact The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian www.kazarianatlaw.com and schedule a free consultation.

Credit Where Credit is Due

In the state of California, you have a right to receive credit for any and all of the time you spend in a jail cell. This means that each and every calendar day that you are in custody entitles you to at least one day of credit. How custody credits work is if you are arrested on January 1, 2017 at 11:58 PM and you are released on January 2, 2017 at 6:30 AM, under the California Penal Code, you have been in jail for two actual days as opposed to six hours. 

In most cases and depending on the crime you are charged with in accordance with California Penal Code Section 4019, you are also entitled to an additional two days for conduct credit (also known as Good Time/Work Time Credits) totaling your time served in jail to be four days in jail (2 actual days plus 2 conduct credits totaling 4 days). To break it down and explain even further, even though you spent two actual days in jail the court will credit you for four days through CPC 4019.

Depending on the individual facts of your case, this jail time credit can be used to resolve fines, reduce community service, or even satisfy time for a jail sentence pronounced in your case.

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, it is vital to contact an Attorney immediately.  Please reach out to The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian at www.KazarianatLaw.com to schedule a free consultation today.

10 Days and Counting - DMV Hearing Requests Following a DUI

If you find yourself arrested and/or charged with a DUI, it may be very confusing, especially if it is the first time this has happened.

In the state of California, not only can you face penalties by the court if you are convicted in a DUI matter, but you can also face consequences from the DMV with or without a conviction of that same DUI conduct. Moreover, the DMV will not wait for a DUI conviction to occur in court, but will take action against your driving privileges prior to the conclusion of your DUI proceedings in court.

One tip that will save the automatic suspension of your driving privileges from the alleged DUI conduct is for you or your attorney to request a DMV Hearing within 10 days from the date that you are arrested, cited or otherwise from the alleged DUI conduct. This request will result in an automatic stay of that suspension of your driving privileges until the results and/or outcome of that DUI DMV Hearing. The Hearing does not guarantee that your driving privileges will remain, but it does mean that there is at very least a delay in that suspension until a finding is reached by the DMV Hearing Officer from the alleged DUI conduct.

If you were arrested or cited for a DUI contact The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian at www.KazarianAtLaw.com today for a free consultation, before it’s too late.

Early Termination of Probation

If you plead or are found guilty of a Misdemeanor offense in the state of California, it is highly likely that you will be sentenced to Informal Probation, also known as court probation.

If this happens, the court will order you to complete all the terms and conditions of your probation for a term of months, usually a period of three years, after which time the probation will terminate.  However, if you have satisfactorily completed all orders of your probation, it is possible to have that probation terminated early, in other words before that term of three years has expired.

Penal Code Section 1203.3 allows the court to revoke, modify, change, or terminate probation. You must request a hearing with the court to state the reasons why terminating probation best serves the interests of justice. "Interests of justice" is determined by the judge who takes into account all circumstances including but not limited to your good conduct, whether you have complied with all their terms of your probation, whether you pose a threat to the community, whether you have reformed, and whether you have consistent employment amongst others. The court may then grant your motion for early termination of probation based on the persuasiveness of your argument.

Once the court grants early termination of probation you may then immediately qualify for an expungement (Penal Code Section 1203.4) which, with the right attorney, could all be completed at the same hearing.

For a free consultation with an attorney to find out if your probation may be eligible for early termination, contact The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian at www.KazarianatLaw.com without further delay.