In California, police are required to advise you of your right to an attorney and your right to remain silent if and when two conditions are met: You are in custody and the police intend to ask you questions that may lead to an incriminating response. Questions about your name, address, height, weight, eye color and tattoos do not meet the incriminating response test. If police did arrest you, fail to advise you of your rights and ask you questions about the crime for which you were arrested, your answers may be inadmissible. When the police ask you questions about a crime you are accused of, it is always best to politely inform them unequivocally you do not want to answer any questions.
The answer here is almost always NO. Misdemeanor criminal convictions almost universally lead to a grant of informal probation, where you are not required to report to a probation officer. Your only commitment on informal probation is to satisfy the terms of your probation, such as pay your fine or complete your community service, and show proof of completion to the court. The other requirement on a grant of informal probation is simply to not commit any new crime, or to violate no law.
The answer here is almost always yes. Initially, with a grant of felony probation, you will be required to schedule an appointment with the probations department very soon after your plea is complete. You will be required to keep the probation officer advised of where you are living and working, and keep all scheduled appointment. Depending on the nature of your case, you may be asked to submit to random drug testing or alcohol screening. The good news is, if you keep all schedule appointments, pay your fines and fees in a timely fashion and satisfy your probation officer you are on the right track, many times you simply have to check in periodically in order to satisfy your probationary requirements. Your probation officer would much rather have a successful probationer than a failure on probation.
In California, regardless of what crime you are convicted of, if you are granted probationary supervision and successfully complete that supervision, you have a statutory right to have your plea withdrawn and case dismissed. The authority for this proposition can be found in Penal Code section 1203.4. If you were required to register as a sex offender as a result of your plea, you will still be required to do so and this benefit also does not wash out a DUI conviction earlier than the current 10 year period. Also, you will not be able to own a firearm. However, the benefits of a section 1203.4 dismissal are huge and should not go unclaimed. If you earned this benefit, you should take advantage of it and which we at the Law Office of Steven S. Mitchell are happy to assist.
The prosecuting agency has the ultimate and final decision making authority in deciding who to formally accuse of a crime. They can make the decision to charge you even if your significant other indicates they do not support prosecution. However, in California, crime victims have a state Constitutional right to make their feeling known regarding the crime where they are the named victim and the prosecution is required to listen. Many times, the victim’s input is paramount and can lead to a much more favorable result should he or she not wish to participate. And, finally, no conviction can be obtained by the prosecution in a simple domestic violence case if the named victim does not testify, except in highly unusual circumstances.
In California, Penal Code section 1203.097 requires that anyone convicted of a crime involving domestic violence, and who is granted probation, to complete a one year, once a week class dealing with anger management and domestic violence issues. Domestic violence crimes are defined very broadly, including any type of violence between persons who are currently or formerly dating, engaged, co-habitants, married or who share a child in common. Violence can include physical violence, threats or even vandalism. At the Law Office of Steven S. Mitchell, where domestic violence crimes are one of our areas of expertise, we can help you manage the difficult maze that you are faced with when the government accuses you of a crime involving domestic violence.
The police have many tools available to them when investigating allegations of criminal conduct. One of the tools widely used by police investigating allegations of sexual abuse of a child is to have the child, or the child’s parent, contact the accused by phone to try to obtain damaging admissions to help prove their case. This phone call will be secretly recorded and, if admissions are made, such as, “I only did that once,” or “I was drunk and I don’t know what I was thinking,” these recordings will be played for the jury at trial. This is powerful evidence of guilt and the police are free to employ this technique in investigating allegations of crime. The Law Office of Steven S. Mitchell strongly advises not to discuss allegations against you of criminal conduct with anyone in any setting other than your attorney.
When you agree to the conditions necessary to maintain a driver’s license in California, you agree to provide a sample of your blood or breath when stopped by police and accused of driving while impaired by alcohol. If you do refuse to provide a sample, the DMV can and will suspend your driving privilege for one year. However, when you do refuse to provide a sample, the police are required to obtain a search warrant to extract your blood for chemical analysis. So, if your blood was drawn against your will and without a search warrant, the evidence obtained from analyzing your blood may be inadmissible against you.
When the government accuses you of wrongdoing, certain constitutional rights are activated. One of those rights is the right to remain silent. If you are arrested, in custody and the police begin to ask you questions about the crime you are accused of, you have every right to tell them you do not want to answer ANY questions. When you make that magic statement, the police are required to scrupulously honor your desire and cease questioning. If questioning continues and admissions are made, those admissions are most likely unavailable to the prosecution as evidence against you during the prosecution’s case in chief. However, any admission would be available to impeach your testimony should you say something different under oath. The Law Office of Steven S. Mitchell strongly advises anyone accused of a crime by the police to politely refuse to answer ANY questions and ask for your attorney to be present during ANY questioning by police.
The short answer here is 10 days from the date of your arrest. If you are taken into custody because the police have accused you of driving a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs (D.U.I.), it is imperative that you immediately contact an attorney to begin protecting your future. This is a complicated and byzantine system that can have negative ramifications for years to come. Requesting the DMV hearing is a critical part of your defense and needs quick attention. The Law Office of Steven S. Mitchell can and will assist you during this critical time period if you have been accused of D.U.I.
When crimes involving domestic violence occur, emotions run high and statements are made that later appear regrettable. One common occurrence is when police are called by the party who started the argument, that party lashes out first and then suffers visible injury. The police may assume the aggressor is the victim and arrest accordingly. Police are always quick to make assumptions when they arrive at the scene of an investigation because they are in a hurry, want to make whatever arrest they are going to make and move on. If you were struck first during a physical altercation, this can turn a criminal allegation into a defensible allegation involving mutual combat or self defense. The prosecution is required to disprove self defense and mutual combat beyond a reasonable doubt as part of their domestic violence case against you. So yes, in this situation, this fact pattern would be helpful to your case. If you have been arrested for an allegation of Domestic Violence, you are strongly encouraged to contact the Law Office of Steven S. Mitchell immediately for assistance.
The criminal justice system in California is extremely complicated and very dangerous territory for those who are formally accused of crime. As a prosecutor for very close to twenty years in two different Southern California Counties, and as a former police officer, Steven S. Mitchell is uniquely qualified to understand the police and prosecutorial strategies that will be employed against you. After having sat in the prosecutor’s chair for literally thousands of cases, Mr. Mitchell can anticipate every step the prosecutor will use and defend you accordingly. Very few criminal defense attorneys in Southern California possess Mr. Mitchell’s experience and qualifications. Use this expertise to help you fight back. This system is heavily stacked against the accused and you need all the help you can get!
In California, if you have previously been convicted of a “Serious” felony as defined by Penal Code section 1192.7, or a “Violent” felony as defined by Penal Code section 667.5, you have suffered a prior “Strike” conviction. If you are accused of a new felony after having suffered a “Strike” conviction, your potential punishment is severely enhanced in that you are not eligible for probation, your base term in prison will be doubled and your ability to earn custody credits in prison is reduced from 50% to 20%. However, depending on the age of your prior “Strike” conviction and the surrounding facts and circumstances, it is possible to convince the Court to disregard the prior “Strike” and sentence you as if it never happened. If you have a prior “Strike” conviction in your past and are accused of a new felony offense, you are in serious need of the expertise of an experience criminal defense attorney and are encouraged to contact the Law Office of Steven S. Mitchell immediately for the help you need.
In California, the list of criminal convictions requiring the accused to register as a sex offender for life is long and confusing. One of the few sex related crimes that currently DOES NOT require such registration is a violation of Penal Code section 261.5, otherwise known as Unlawful Intercourse with a Minor. However, there are a myriad of other crimes involving extremely similar conduct the prosecutor can charge you with that do require lifetime Sex Offender Registration if you are convicted of having any sexual contact with a person under the age of 18. If you are accused of sex crime involving a minor, you should immediately contact the Law Office of Steven S. Mitchell for assistance because you are about to embark on a very dark journey where you will be in serious need of experienced representation.
When the police investigate accusations of criminal conduct, they have a wide array of tools available to them. One of those tools is referred to as subterfuge and is entirely legal. The typical scenario is a person is accused of inappropriate sexual contact with a minor and the police invite the accused to the police station to discuss the accusation. When you arrive, the police delicately begin to discuss the accusations and the accused denies everything. Then, as if on cue, an unfamiliar detective enters the room with a zip lock baggie containing cue tips and innocently asks the accused if they are familiar with DNA? The police then falsely tell the accused their DNA is on the cue tips which were swabbed on the minor’s private parts and the admissions from the accused start to pour out. Of course, there is no DNA on the swabs, but the police have just made their case. Remember, the police are not your friend when they are investigating you for a crime. They only want an arrest and conviction. If you face any accusation of crime from the police, politely tell them you will not answer any questions without your attorney and immediately contact the Law Office of Steven S. Mitchell for assistance.