Animal abuse and neglect is not uncommon but it is very hard to police since it’s not widely reported. In order to understand the legal repercussions, it’s important to understand the definition of animal abuse, which covers a broad range of conduct. Animal cruelty happens whenever an animal is physically abused or neglected, like deprived of food, water, shelter or veterinary services. [Read more…]
Elder abuse is neglect, exploitation or harmful mistreatment of anyone who is 65 or older. It can include physical violence, psychological abuse, isolation, abandonment, abduction, false imprisonment or a caregivers neglect and it can also involve taking a senior’s money or property. Elder abuse can be prosecuted as either a felony or a misdemeanor. It depends on the defendant’s criminal history and the facts of the case. [Read more…]
Victimless crimes don’t have a black and white definition, but are still a serious concern and in fact, constitute 86% of federal prison population. Some offenses that have been categorized as a victimless crime include: public drunkenness, vagrancy, various sexual acts, obscenity, pornography, drug offenses and gambling to name a few. If you find yourself being charged with a victimless crime, make sure to call an experienced attorney who can help you get through it.
The United States Constitution allows individuals the right to possess firearms, but every state has different ways of regulating the use and possession of firearms, and California gun laws are among the toughest. California has complicated codes and potential for severe penalties so make sure if you are charged with violating of statutes, you consult with a criminal defense attorney. [Read more…]
Rape – “unlawful carnal knowledge” – is sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent. As far as the law in most states is concerned, a man cannot be “raped,” although he can be sodomized.
The rapist does not have to use physical force; threats of harm are sufficient. In most enlightened states, the victim does not have to resist the rapist physically, especially where any resistance would be futile and might subject her to more danger. For example, if a rapist wields a knife in front of his victim, telling her that he will slit her throat if she does not cooperate, the woman does not have to attempt to struggle with the rapist. To do so could well mean her death. [Read more…]
Walnut Creek is a city located in Contra Costa County, the first county in California to adopt the “Zero Tolerance for Domestic Violence” initiative in February 2000. Zero Tolerance for Domestic Violence is a multi-agency effort, designed to reduce domestic and other violence between people in intimate relationships. It assumes that strong early intervention with those that commit domestic violence offenses at the misdemeanor level will prevent the violence from escalating to the felony-level.
As part of the Zero Tolerance initiative, private and public agencies in Walnut Creek are encouraged to share information with each other to facilitate stronger and more efficient responses to domestic violence. In accordance with the program’s goals, during the first ten years after the initiative began there was an increase in prosecution of misdemeanor domestic violence, but a reduction in felony-level domestic violence charges. In light of these evolving trends in enforcement, if you are accused of domestic violence in Walnut Creek, the best course is to hire experienced and knowledgeable attorneys to defend you and seek the best possible outcome. [Read more…]
There are many possible defenses to a child molestation charge. One of the most common is attacking an accuser’s credibility. This may mean subpoenaing the child’s medical, counseling, or school records, as well as his or her emails and social network accounts. It may mean interviewing the people he or she talks to. The goal is to find a bias and motive to harm you or a child’s history of being untruthful or making false accusations.
Another potential defense is that the touching was accidental. For example, tickling can sometimes lead to accidental touching, and since molestation requires that the touching be “willful,” accidental touching is not sufficient to rise to the level of molestation. Another defense is that you had no intent to arouse the child. For example, if you had to touch the child to deal with a medical issue, there was no molestation. [Read more…]
Somebody contacts the Sheriff’s Office or the police. This is often an adult in a position of authority in relation to the child, such as a parent, relative or teacher. But sometimes a child contacts the police him or herself. Sometimes the child contacts the police many years after the alleged molestation occurred, claiming that he or she didn’t understand the nature of the touch at the time it happened. In San Mateo County, the Sheriff’s Office dedicates a sergeant and detective to oversee online sexual predators for a few hours a week.
The police (and sometimes specially-trained detectives or child psychologists) interview the child to establish his or her version of the story. Typically, the interview is audio or videotaped. It is not uncommon for an interview to use leading questions that propel the child to tell a false version of events. [Read more…]
At Dudek & Cintean, a large number of our cases are sex crimes, including child molestation. In California, the penalties for a sexual offense conviction can sometimes be heavier than those for murder, and can include substantial time in prison, as well as lifetime registration as a sex offender. Because this list is so easily accessible, registration there can affect both employment and housing. If you have been accused of this kind of offense, it is important to understand what “child molestation” is under California law, and how the related criminal prosecution process works from start to finish. We are experienced criminal defense lawyers, two of whom previously worked for the prosecution and therefore have an exceptional understanding of how child molestation charges are handled from the investigation stage, through arrest, settlement discussions, and trial. [Read more…]
California law Penal Code 261.5 PC (a) states unlawful sex with a minor or statutory rape occurs where any person engages in sexual intercourse with a minor and is not married; a minor is any person under the age of 18. In order to be charged with this crime, overt force or threat do not need to be present. [Read more…]