Evading - CVC 2800.1(a) - When an Officer Says “Stop!”

It is important to understand that whenever you are driving your car, you may be stopped by Law Enforcement Officials. If you are signaled to stop by an Officer, and you keep driving, you may be in violation of California Vehicle Code (CVC) 2800.1(a), which reads:

California Vehicle Code (CVC) 2800.1. 

(a) Any person who, while operating a motor vehicle and with the intent to evade, willfully flees or otherwise attempts to elude a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year if all of the following conditions exist:

(1) The peace officer’s motor vehicle is exhibiting at least one lighted red lamp visible from the front and the person either sees or reasonably should have seen the lamp.

(2) The peace officer’s motor vehicle is sounding a siren as may be reasonably necessary.

(3) The peace officer’s motor vehicle is distinctively marked.

(4) The peace officer’s motor vehicle is operated by a peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, and that peace officer is wearing a distinctive uniform.

For example: If you are driving on the freeway and notice a CHP Vehicle pulling you over, but you speed up and keep driving because you don’t have a license, you may be in violation under this code, as well as others!

But, if you are driving your pregnant wife to the hospital and see the same CHP vehicle behind you, but do not stop because she is about to give birth, you may have a defense to the charge.  The crime of Evading is a crime of Specific Intent, that is that you must be willfully attempting to evade Law Enforcement.  If you were continuing to drive because you were worried about a baby being born in your car, you weren’t really driving to evade the police.  If you didn’t specifically intend to flee the officer, then you weren’t evading them.

If you or a loved one has been cited or arrested for CVC 2800.1 (Evading a Police Officer) please don’t hesitate, call The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian for a free consultation 855-918-4253.

DUI Doesn’t Always Include Alcohol - “Weed DUI”

Obviously, using marijuana is now legal for California residents over the age of 21 thanks to Proposition 64. However, it is important to understand that it is still against the law to drive under the influence of marijuana, also called a “Weed DUI”. California Vehicle Code section 23152(e) makes it illegal for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle whether or not the drug is legal.

Being “under the influence” of marijuana is established by the following elements:

  • As a result of consuming marijuana
  • Your mental or physical abilities are so impaired
  • You can no longer drive a vehicle with the caution of a sober person, using ordinary care, under similar circumstances

The circumstances of each individual case will dictate whether the prosecutor will actually be able to prove these elements for a “Weed DUI.” Thus, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney prior to appearing in court.

Possible Penalties for a Weed DUI

If you are convicted for a “Weed DUI” the penalties are the same as if you were driving under the influence of alcohol or any other drug; such as cocaine, methamphetamine or others. Just like a conventional DUI, the penalties for a first-time marijuana DUI, i.e. “Weed DUI,” could include:

 

  • Three (3) to five (5) years of informal probation;
  • Up to six (6) months in county jail;
  • A fine of no less than $390 and up to $1,000;
  • DMV driver’s license suspension
  • Attend and complete a DUI class as directed by the court;

 

Each penalty can be increased significantly if you have multiple DUI within a ten (10) year period whether for alcohol, drugs or both and could include significantly more jail time. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help explain the increased penalties and consequences for multiple DUI’s.

Defenses

If you were arrested for DUI of any drug, including a “Weed DUI,” there are potential defenses at your disposal and you should consult an attorney to make sure your rights are protected. Some defenses include the fact that you were:

  • Not driving,
  • Didn’t use a drug,
  • Used marijuana but were no longer high when you drove or,
  • Your mental and physical abilities were not significantly impaired.

Unlike a conventional DUI of alcohol, there are no accepted scientific standards indicating how marijuana impairs a person’s ability to drive safely or how much marijuana in a person’s system it takes to create an impairment.

If you are cited, charged, or arrested for a violation of CVC 23152(e) - Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, also known as a “Weed DUI” it is important to be aware of all your rights and the defenses available in your particular situation. Don’t rest on your rights, contact The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian at www.KazarianAtLaw.com for a free consultation.

Bench Warrants

There are many reasons why a judge might issue a bench warrant, but there is one main reason: the court wants the defendant to come to court.  Most of the time, a bench warrant is requested when a person fails to appear in court for their appointed court date.

Another common cause for a bench warrant being issued is an alleged probation violation, such as: failure to pay a fine, failure to complete work program/ community service or being terminated from a court issued treatment program.

Whatever the reason, having a bench warrant issued for you means you can be arrested by law enforcement at any time until the bench warrant is recalled. For example, if you are pulled over for a minor traffic incident the police may arrest any person with an outstanding bench warrant; this could include any passengers in your car with warrants.

To recall a bench warrant, so you are no longer subject to being arrested, you must appear in court.

For some misdemeanor bench warrants an attorney can appear on your behalf and have the warrant recalled without your presence in court. However, that all depends on the opinion and viewpoint of the judge assigned to your case. Some judges may require you to appear in person so that they may see “the whites of your eyes” before recalling the bench warrant for your arrest.

Unlike misdemeanor cases, felony bench warrants always require personal appearance by the defendant as a matter of court policy and given the severity of the allegations or charges.

If you have a bench warrant for your arrest it is important to know your rights and all possible defenses available in your particular situation. . Do not hesitate. Protect your rights and contact The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian at www.KazarianatLaw.com for a free consultation immediately.

Driving Without a License - CVC 12500

If you are arrested or cited for Driving Without a License, the types of charges you can face and the seriousness of them can vary greatly.  You may end up charged with a simple Infraction, the equivalent of a traffic ticket.  However, you could also end up cited for the same section of the Vehicle Code, CVC 12500, but filed as a Misdemeanor for Driving Without a License.

If you are cited for a violation of the Misdemeanor version of CVC 12500 - Driving Without a License, you will be given a date to appear in court.  Unlike a traffic ticket, if you are cited or charged with a Misdemeanor Offense of Driving Without a License, even if it is a charge which can also be charged as an infraction, you will be required to appear in court or a Warrant may be issued for your arrest. However, if you hire an attorney, they may appear for you, pursuant to California Penal Code (CPC) 977. 

If you are able to get a license and show Proof of Correction, it may be possible for the charge of CVC 12500 - Driving Without a License, to be reduced from a Misdemeanor to an Infraction, or even potentially dismissed. This type of correction does not guarantee that the charges will be Reduced or Dismissed, but it is certainly beneficial and will minimize your risk of being cited for the same violation again.

If you are cited, charged, or arrested for a violation of CVC 12500 - Driving Without a License, either as a Misdemeanor or as an Infraction, it is important to be aware of all of your rights and the defenses available to you in your particular situation. Don’t rest on your rights, contact The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian at www.KazarianatLaw.com for a free consultation

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.