Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

Los Angeles Mortgage Fraud Arrests

April 19th, 2012

Mortgage fraud is one of those terms that people use without fully understanding what it is.  In the wake of the bursting of the housing bubble in 2008, the media started to focus on mortgages that ended up in foreclosure.  In particular, we became much more aware of banking practices that included giving mortgages to people who had no or little demonstrated income.

As a criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles, I can tell you that mortgage fraud is something else entirely.  While it remains to be seen whether anyone associated with major banking institutions will be criminally charged for their role in processing dubious mortgage applications, charges of mortgage fraud generally involve the applicant rather than the bank.

In California mortgage fraud cases involve a variety of related charges; mortgage fraud is more than one thing, and it almost always involves allegations that several laws were broken.

Yesterday’s arrest of nine people is a good example of how mortgage fraud cases are charged. The nine are accused of  committing fraud in connection with the sale of six houses, and netting $2.4 million in the process. Here’s how their arrests were reported by the Los Angeles Times.

“The suspects are accused of obtaining titles to the residential properties, taking out loans in the names of straw buyers, and selling the homes at inflated prices, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.

Two of the loans were in names of identity fraud victims, authorities said.

In allegedly carrying out the scheme, the suspects used false bank account and employment documents, according to authorities.”

The essence of mortgage fraud is an allegation that the accused lied on their mortgage application.  The lie or misrepresentation has to be material, and can include withholding information from the bank or other institution that is reviewing the application.  Because the lie is alleged to have been made for financial motives, and a way to obtain money, mortgage fraud cases almost always include grand theft charges (California Penal Code section 487a).  This is punishable by a three-year sentence per violation.

There are common fact patterns in mortgage fraud cases, and the charges described above include two of them. One is that a straw buyer was used.  When the bank is unlikely to accept the application of a buyer, oftentimes because of a bad or incomplete credit history, a different person (the straw man or woman) is named on the application.

This case also includes allegations that the purchase price of the house was inflated. This is where the straw (and potentially others) resell the property at successively higher prices.

In addition to grand theft, mortgage fraud cases can involve the following charges: identity theft, forgery, recording a false or fraudulent financial instrument, as well as notary fraud and escrow theft.

Given the number of people who were arrested, this case also involves conspiracy charges.  It won’t be surprising, therefore, if prosecutors consider using the testimony of ”smaller fish” in an effort to build a stronger case against the perceived leaders of the conspiracy.

This case is a good example of how mortgage fraud cases are much more complicated than they first appear.

 

 

 

 

 

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California’s Child Molestation Law: Giant Statute of Limitations Loophole

April 10th, 2012

The recent arrest of a former Modesto teacher highlights just how treacherous California’s statute of limitation law can be regarding allegations of molesting a minor.

Christopher James Hooker, 41, is, to state the obvious, not a sympathetic figure.  He left his wife and family to live with a former student.  He and the student are adamant that their sexual relationship did not begin until after she turned 18.  Not surprisingly, the student’s mom hates Mr. Hooker, and has vowed revenge.

Thanks to California’s statute of limitations law, her wish might come true.  On Friday, April 6, 2012, Hooker was arrested and charged with sexual assault of a minor.  The charges do not, however, relate to the women he recently moved in with.  Apparently, the prosecutor couldn’t find any evidence that his current relationship is unlawful. Instead, the charges filed against Mr. Hooker relate to a different student—a 17 year old he befriended while teaching back in 1998.

It is a common misconception that murder is the only crime that doesn’t carry a statute of limitation.  That may have been the case several decades ago, but not anymore.  In fact some states including California have abolished the statute of limitations for aggravated rape (which among other things can require that the victim be seriously injured).

In addition, the legislature has made it much easier for prosecutors to file molestation charges almost at any time.  At first, the California legislature voted to abolish the statute of limitation retroactively, but the courts struck that down as unconstitutional.  The current statute of limitations for filing charges of molestation against a minor is ten years.  That would seem to be a problem for prosecutors filing charges against Mr. Hooker for what he allegedly did 14 years ago.

There is, however, a giant loophole in California statute of limitation law.  Molestation charges can also be brought one year from the date it is reported to the authorities regardless of when that happens, and even if the ten-year time limit has expired.  That’s probably why prosecutors have concluded that the statute of limitations isn’t a problem with respect to Mr. Hooker.

As a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer, I know that most people are entirely untroubled by this situation.  Most people seem to believe that no amount of time is too long to file molestation charges.  On some emotional level, that reaction might seem satisfying.  But statute of limitations charges exist for a reason. The more time passes the harder it is to find evidence.  And the memory of witnesses is especially likely to fade over time.  Moreover, child molestation charges are being made in an increasing number of divorce cases, where couples are fighting over custody.  It’s an extremely serious charge to make against someone, and unfortunately it is all too easy to make.

Time will tell whether the charges brought against Mr. Hooker are warranted.  A few things are already clear.  One is that the charges have already served one of its intended purposes.  The former student broke up with him after he was arrested. Her mother is no doubt happier.

It’s also clear that statute of limitations issues in sexual abuse cases are no place for amateurs. It is an especially important area, and one that you should bring to an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

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Police Dogs Sniffing For Drugs Are Surprisingly Unreliable

April 2nd, 2012

As a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles, I see firsthand how dogs can be used to prevent a wide array of people from being treated justly.

Before going any further, let’s get something out of the way:  I love dogs.  But when it comes to how dogs are used to determine who gets arrested and what happens during and after the arrest, my complaint isn’t with the dogs; it’s how the police use dogs.

The constitutionality of using dogs when someone has been stopped is well established.  In 2005, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures is not violated when, as part of a traffic stop, a dog is brought in to sniff the exterior of the car.  This doctrine was decided in Illinois v. Caballes, in which the car was stopped by the police for about ten minutes.  There is no hard and fast rule how much time has to pass waiting for the dog before the search becomes unreasonable.  In making this decision, most of the Justices focused on the extent to which the dog sniffing dog was intrusive.

Justice Souter, however, disagreed with the decision, focusing on how academic research had questioned the reliability of dogs brought to potential crime scenes. His basic point was simple—dogs aren’t especially reliable at identifying drugs or contraband.

“The infallible dog, however, is a creature of legal fiction. Although the Supreme Court of Illinois did not get into the sniffing averages of drug dogs, their supposed infallibility is belied by judicial opinions describing well-trained animals sniffing and alerting with less than perfect accuracy, whether owing to errors by their handlers, the limitations of the dogs themselves, or even the pervasive contamination of currency by cocaine. . . . Indeed, a study cited by Illinois in this case for the proposition that dog sniffs are “generally reliable” shows that dogs in artificial testing situations return false positives anywhere from 12.5 to 60% of the time, depending on the length of the search”

It’s not that dogs don’t have a much better sense of smell than humans do—they clearly do.  They are unreliable, however, because dogs have a strong desire to please their handlers.  Thus, it can be difficult to tell whether the dog is reacting to the presence of drugs or is reacting to subtle clues sent by the police officer who is handling the dog.  An increasing array of research suggests that dogs can be easily misled into “finding” drugs when they don’t exist.  A more recent study published in the journal, Animal Cognition, showed error rates on up to 85%. Interestingly, the dogs were most likely to be wrong about finding drugs when their handler suspected that a given location had drugs.

The studies mentioned above assume that the police officer handling the dog is being fair.  But unfortunately that isn’t always the case.  Sometimes the police officer in question deliberately acts in a way that encourages the dog to act if drugs are present.  A recent stop that was videotaped is a good example of this.  As reported in The Huffington Post, filmmaker Terrance Huff and his friend were stopped in a small town in Illinois on their way back from St. Louis.  The stop lasted 17 minutes and was videotaped by a camera that was located on the dashboard of the police cruiser.  The stop didn’t result in an arrest, but it nonetheless shows some questionable police conduct.

When an expert who trains police officers in dog handling techniques was shown the video, he concluded that the police officer acted improperly by among other things changing how he used his voice to signal the dog to react as if drugs were present.

“Just before the dog alerts, you can hear a change in the tone of the handler’s voice. That’s troubling. I don’t know anything about this particular handler, but that’s often an indication of a handler that’s cuing a response.” In other words, it’s indicative of a handler instructing the dog to alert, not waiting to see whether the dog will alert.

“You also hear the handler say at one point that the dog alerted from the front of the car because the wind is blowing from the back of the car to the front, so the scent would have carried with the wind,” Papet says. “But the dog was brought around the car twice. If that’s the case, the dog should have alerted the first time he was brought to the front of the car. The dog only alerted the second time, which corresponded to what would be consistent with a vocal cue from the handler.”

It turns out the officer in involved in this incident, Michael Reichert, has had a checkered past.  And at least one judge has found his courtroom testimony not to be credible. He was let go by one police department but was later reinstated and then hired by others.

So what does mean for someone who is arrested in Los Angeles on suspicions of possessing drugs in their car?  Does it mean that the use of drug sniffing dogs will be found to be improper?  Probably not.  Dogs are likely to be a part of police work for the foreseeable future.  But what these cases do show that defending a case involves digging into details.  You can’t assume that the stop was proper, or that the officer was honest, or that the dog wasn’t tricked, or any number of other details that might show that the arrest wasn’t proper, or that there is more going on than the police officer initially realized. This is yet another example of why being a criminal defense lawyer requires attention to detail and persistence.  It’s also why people who have been arrested rarely can judge whether or not they have a solid defense. For that, you need to call an experienced criminal defense attorney.

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Prosecutors Acting Badly

March 28th, 2012

Sometimes people are repeatedly surprised by the same thing.  It happens over and over again, and yet people are shocked as if they are experiencing it for the first time.

That’s the first thing that crossed my mind when I heard that 60 Minutes had reported about Michael Morton, who had spent 25 years in prison for a murder that DNA evidence later showed he did not commit.  The most surprising aspect of Mr. Morton’s odyssey through our criminal justice system is not that he was exonerated by DNA evidence.  As documented by the Innocence Project, that has happened more than 100 times. The supposedly shocking of Michael Morton’s ordeal is that he was the victim of prosecutorial misconduct.  Specifically, the prosecutors didn’t turn over evidence that tended to show that Morton wasn’t guilty.

As a criminal defense lawyer, I interact with prosecutors, both state and federal, on a daily basis.  There is no question that a vast majority of them are honest and hardworking.  But we should stop being surprised that some prosecutors hide evidence or don’t otherwise live up to their responsibilities.  The criminal justice system is set up so prosecutors have a tremendous amount of control over what happens to those who are arrested. Prosecutors are often much more influential than judges, who try a small percentage of cases. It can be very tempting for prosecutors to cut corners to help convict someone who they already “know” is guilty.

Too often, prosecutors win cases because the accused lacks the resources to mount a full defense.  This is one reason why it’s so important to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side.  That is one way to make prosecutorial misconduct less likely. I have no illusions that my mere presence forces prosecutors to be more diligent than they otherwise would be. I firmly believe that most prosecutors are diligent.

But I do wish that we would stop being surprised when we hear that some prosecutors acted badly or cheated the system. It’s both a rare event and, given the number of cases that go through the system, one that happens all the time.

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Plea Bargaining Errors Can Now Be Challenged

March 21st, 2012

The United States Supreme Court has established a new important constitutional remedy–to challenge the results of a plea bargain that was accepted or rejected because of bad legal advice.

The Supreme Court today decided two cases that define when and how plea bargain errors can be challenged.  In Missouri v. Frye, the Court decided that the constitutional right to receive a competent legal defense also applies to the plea bargaining phase.  Thus, when a lawyer representing a criminal defendant acts incompetently when advising whether to accept or reject a plea bargain, the accused’s constitutional rights have been violated.

The Court’s decision in Lafler v. Cooper shows how judges should in the future handle lawyers who are incompetent in advising their clients about plea bargains.  Anthony Cooper was charged under Michigan law with an intent to commit murder, possession of a firearm by a felon, and possession of marijuana. The prosecuting attorney offerred to drop some of the charges in exchange for Cooper pleading guilty to charges that brought with them a prison sentence of between 51 and 85 months.

Cooper’s defense attorney advised against accepting the plea bargain. The lawyer believed that the prosecution couldn’t prove an intent to murder because Cooper didn’t point his gun above the waist of the person he shot. Cooper accepted his lawyer’s advice and his case proceeded to trial, where he was found guilty on all the charges.  Cooper was sentenced  to a mandatory minimum prsion sentence of  15-30 years.  Under this sentence, Cooper will spend at least twice as many years in prison as he would have under the plea bargain he rejected.

Although the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of Cooper was close–a 5 to 4 vote–it’s clear that Cooper’s lawyer acted incompetently.  His belief that intent to murder requires that the gun be pointed above the waist was simply wrong.  The difference between the judges is what they decided to do about this mistake. Four Supreme Court Justices concluded that Cooper was out of luck because he had a fair trial.  But a majority of Justices decided that Cooper’s constitutional rights were violated.

Thus, the Supreme Court decided that, when a lawyer acts incompetently in connection with a plea bargain, the accused may be able to get the benefit of the original plea bargain offer.  The Court did not spell out how all cases involving plea bargain mistakes should be handled.  When you can show that a lawyer acted incompetently, and that there is a reasonable chance that the accused would have accepted the plea bargain and the judge would have approved it, a judge has wide discretion as to how to proceed. It appears that a judge can order the prosecutor to re-offer the plea bargain that was previously rejected.

What does this mean for people who are involved in the plea bargain process?  First, make sure you are being represented by someone who is experienced and knows what they are doing. This is yet another example why it’s critical to hire an experienced  criminal defense lawyer.  Second, if you or someone you know believe that you accepted or rejected a plea bargain in Los Angeles or in Southern California that was based on a clear error that was made by a criminal defense lawyer, you may be able to get the benefit of the original plea bargain that was offered.  The Supreme Court’s decisions do not mean that plea bargain mistakes will always be fixed.  Overturning a criminal conviction is always a long and difficult fight that is rarely succesful, but now you at least have a chance to fix plea bargain mistakes made by lawyers.

 

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PCP Arrests In Los Angeles and Culver City

February 18th, 2012

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that two individuals have been arrested in Los Angeles County in what law enforcement officials are describing as a huge PCP operation.

PCP is the acronym for the drug  1-(1-phencyclohexyl) piperdine.  It’s chemical name is more commonly known as phencyclidine, and outside of chemistry labs and courts of law is known as Angel Dust, Supergrass, Boat, Tic Tac, Zoom, or  Sherm.

This would be an usually large amount of PCP for a single arrest.  To put 130 gallons in context, California law provides various quantity-based sentencing enhancements for the possession and manufacture of PCP.  Thus, for example, under California Health  and Safety Code Section 11370.4(b), three years are added to a sentence if the amount of PCP exceeds 30 liters, or roughly 8 gallons.  Given the amounts of PCP that are alleged to be involved here, and given that California law prohibits the sale, possession, transportation and manufacture of PCP, as well as the manufacture of certain chemicals that are thought to be precursors of PCP, these are very serions charges.

The most unusual aspect of the arrests in Los Angeles and Culver City is the alleged amount of PCP involved.  The LA Times story, written by Sam Allen, indicates that 130 gallons were seized.  It is important to remember that this Los Angeles Times story was based entirely on information supplied by police or prosecutors, they have an interest in painting the most extreme and damaging picture of the defendants as possible.  In other words:   Don’t believe everything you read.

More facts in this case will come out and those arrested should be presumed innocent.

 

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Arrests in Mexico-Los Angeles-Denver Cocaine Ring

February 13th, 2012

It does make for a nice headline: “Feds Make Largest Mass Drug Arrest in Colo. History.”

On February 9, 2012 federal and state authorities announced that they had arrested more than 80 people in connection with a long investigation of a drug ring that connected Mexico, Los Angeles, and Denver.  Arrests were also made in Mexico and Los Angeles, although most of the action took place in Colorado.  Several dozen kilos of cocaine were seized along with a much smaller quantity of meth and a dozen firearms.

This was a large-scale investigation that appears to have started in 2010, and that involved numerous local law enforcement agencies as well as the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE).

Not surprisingly, the people who ran this investigation and coordinated the arrests were proud of what they had done.  U.S Attorney John F. Walsh convened a press conference at which he tried to make the case that this was a  blow to drug dealers:

“This is a big deal for Colorado. It sends a clear message to people bringing drugs and selling, and that is, ‘Your day will come,’” Walsh said.

This is language that you often hear at press conferences. The headlines are impressive as are the images of police officers standing in front of seized firearms.  I can’t tell you how many of these “record-setting drug arrests” news conferences I have seen over the years.  The amount of drugs seized in Denver certainly wouldn’t be a record here in Los Angeles.

More importantly, too little attention is paid to the fact that these kinds of records are set fairly regularly, and that these press conferences are especially popular during election years.  To be sure, federal prosecutors like Mr. Walsh don’t have to worry about being elected; they are appointed by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate.  But the same cannot be said by local district attorneys; there is a tendency to hold these press conferences as part of an effort to show voters that something is being done about drugs.

But even some of the officials who were involved in this operation tacitly acknowledged that these arrests aren’t going to make a lasting impact on the availability of drugs.  One local prosecutor was unusually candid:

“Adams County District Attorney Don Quick said the bust means that the supply side of the drug chain has been hit but the problem will never truly be resolved until agencies focus on the demand side.”We need to get our kids early so this demand doesn’t exist. If there’s always going to be a demand, there’s always going to be a supply,” Quick said. He said 80 percent of people sitting in jail currently are connected to drug use in some way.”

There is also another interesting and often overlooked aspect of these “record-setting” drug busts.  During the course of the arrests a dozen children were taken out of their parents homes and most likely handed over  to the foster care system. These children are also harmed by how our society has decided to address the real problems caused by cocaine and other drugs.

It is only a matter of time before some other federal prosecutor convenes a press conference to showcase a record drug-related arrest.  For the foreseeable future, that means that I will be plenty busy trying to defend those who have been arrested and who face lengthy prison sentences in federal jails.

 

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Cocaine Related Arrests at LAX

February 13th, 2012

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) was on February 2 the scene of  high-profile drug smuggling arrests. Two Spanish nationals, mother and daughter, were stopped allegedly carrying up to ten pounds of cocaine.  According to the local NBC affiliate, the pair were here just for a stop over, and were scheduled to fly to Australia.

One of the most troubling aspect of the press coverage of this story is that, following their arrests, the mother and daughter provided authorities with incriminating information, including that they had previously received money in exchange for transporting packages.

It is perhaps too much to ask two people who are unfamiliar with American law and culture, and who undoubtedly must have been feeling an enormous amount of fear and anxiety, to know that they shouldn’t speak to authorities without first speaking to a lawyer.  It appears that federal agents paid attention to the two because they had an unusual travel pattern, including short recent trips to Panama and Columbia.

Because of the quantity of cocaine that was seized, and because they were arrested at LAX by federal officials, they are facing federal charges. And that means they are facing much higher potential sentences than they would in the California state system.  Here, each may be facing up to a 40-year sentence. And in federal prison, a forty-year jail sentence means that you almost certainly going to be in prison for more than 30 years.

There is no other way to put it–the federal system is different. Most crimes are state crimes; as a result relatively few lawyers are experienced in defending cases in federal court, which has different prosecutors, judges, juries, and rules than California state courts.

It is impossible to tell from the press coverage just how damaging the statements made to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents will prove to be, but I am certain that people who are arrested for drug crimes, especially ones facing federal charges, are better off talking to a lawyer before they make any statements to the authorities. And that’s true whether you are arrested or just being asked to appear for an interview with the FBI, Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), The Secret Service, IRS, or any other federal agency.

 

 

 

 

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Arrest in 50 Hollywood Arson Fires

January 8th, 2012

Harry Burkhardt has been charged with setting more than 50 fires that, over the past week, unnerved much of Hollywood.

The arrest of Mr. Burkhardt has caused his high-profile case to take an unexpected twist.  The alleged arsons might be connected to the legal troubles facing Mr. Burkhardt’s mother, Dorothee.  She has been involved in a long-standing effort by federal prosecutors to extradite her to Germany to face fraud charges.

The Los Angeles Times’ website described the relationship between mother and son.”

For months, authorities scoured West Hollywood, carrying a photo of a squat, green-eyed woman through a bustling hive of Russian-language social clubs and cafes selling borscht and vareniki dumplings. She was Dorothee Burkhart, a fugitive wanted on a host of fraud charges in Germany.

Dorothee Burkhart was eventually arrested here and, last Thursday, she was in a courtroom for a hearing to extradite her to Frankfurt to face the charges.

Within hours, an arsonist began setting fires across a wide, significant portion of Los Angeles in a four-day assault that caused millions of dollars in damage and left many residents on edge.

On Tuesday, authorities were investigating the relationship between the son and mother — a relationship that appears to be mutually protective, fraught with legal troubles and laced with virulent anti-American sentiment.

These four short sentences and the rest of the LA Times story highlight several underappreciated aspects of what it means to defend criminal charges in the Internet age.  Notice, for example, how Dorothee and her son are painted as personally strange and a threat to our way of life.  This is exactly the kind of imagery that can make it especially hard for criminal defendants to get a fair trial.  The Times’ story is understandably short on details.  At this point, it’s to be expected that no one knows exactly what lead to rash of fires, and to what degree, if any, Mr. Burkhardt is involved.  What is clear, however, is that a good lawyer representing Mr. Burkhardt would, within the ethical limits imposed on attorneys, try to combat the image that has been created that he is some sort of foreign menace.

Dorothee’s predicament highlights another all too common problem—the difficulties faced by defendants who may be suffering from mental health issues.  It appears that Mr. Burkhardt was helping his mother combat the extradition efforts.  And it also appears that she was either distraught or mentally disturbed when he wasn’t in court to assist her.

By Tuesday, Harry Burkhart, a German national who had lived in California for several years, had been dubbed the “Hollywood Feuerteufel” by the German media: the Hollywood Fire Devil. Booked on arson charges, he was being held without bail. And his 53-year-old mother, coincidentally, was back in court fighting her extradition, and appeared disoriented without her son at her side.

“He should come into the court,” she insisted to the U.S. marshals and other law enforcement agents in the courtroom.

She grew more agitated when the hearing began in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret Nagle.

“My first question is: Where is my son?” Dorothee Burkhart shouted. She said her son was mentally ill, adding: “What did you do to my son? Where is he?  Dead?”

“I’m not here to address anything related to your son,” Nagle replied. The judge assured her: “I’m sure he has not disappeared.”

While extradition hearings are relatively uncommon, criminal charges often do implicate the immigration status of the person arrested.  This is yet another aspect of defending criminal charges.  Too often, the criminal charges are handled independently of the immigration issues, with tragic consequences.  The court system is full of stories of defendants who were advised to plead guilty to a lesser charge, only to later find out later that the conviction triggered deportation proceedings.

Perhaps the saddest element of this story is that Dorothee Burkhardt is representing herself.  She apparently turned down the assistance of a public defender on the dubious grounds that, “I don’t want an attorney from this government.”  In today’s world, arrests can in the blink of an eye ruin reputations, and seemingly minor fraud charges can in a few hours garner international press attention.  That in turn means that being an effective criminal defense lawyer may involve more than just defending the specific criminal allegations filed against a client.

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County Jail Felony Sentence is Not Probation

October 23rd, 2011

There are many questions about California’s criminal justice realignment plan.  The cornerstone of this plan is the restructuring of California’s sentencing laws.  As of October 1, 2011, most “non-strike” offenses will be served in county jail rather than state prison.  However, people should not mistake these “county jail felonies” for probationary sentences. Here’s an example:

Let’s say someone is convicted of possession for sale of methamphetamine in violation of Health and Safety Code Section 11378.  Under realignment, there are two sentencing options:  1) A sentence of 16 months, two years, or three years in county jail OR 2) Probation which may include time in the county jail.

This distinction between the two options is important.  Until now, county time on a felony was often the part of a probationary sentence, now both a sentence to a county jail felony and a probationary sentence can both include county jail time.  However, if a person is sentenced to the county jail felony and not probation, he or she will suffer many of the same collateral consequences of being sent to state prison. The two most significant of these consequences is that a county jail felony counts as a “state prison prior” in any future felony cases and county jail felonies are not eligible for dismissal under California Penal Code 1203.4 (commonly called “expungement”).

Defendants and criminal defense lawyers must be very careful to understand that just because someone is sentenced to county jail, the sentence is not probation unless the judge specifically designates the county time as a term of the probationary sentence.

If you or a loved one have questions about criminal justice realignment call a qualified criminal defense attorney, Jerod Gunsberg is available for consultations at (310) 210-0744.

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