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Orange County Criminal Defense Law Blog

Orange County woman pleads guilty to embezzling $1.5 million

A 34-year-old San Juan Capistrano woman pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $1.5 million from her accounting clients on Monday, June 12, 2017. According to documents filed in federal court, she will be receiving a reduced sentence in exchange for her signing a plea agreement with the United States Attorney's Office on May 15.

In the indictment filed against the defendant in this case, investigators alleged that the woman set up a business called Mulder Financial Consulting and listed herself as president over the company. She told prospective clients that she was held an accounting degree from Pepperdine University.

Are search warrants limited?

There is a lot of competing, conflicting information in the media about the role of search warrants in law enforcement. Each and every day, it seems that the rights of citizens roll back a little further, and law enforcement receives a little more room to violate your Fourth Amendment rights. You may wonder if search warrants even apply to the criminal justice system anymore. While your rights may be under attack in any circumstances, a search warrant is still not a blank check for law enforcement officers to do whatever they want to you or your property.

A search warrant offers police the authority to legally search a specific area for a specific list of evidence listed in the warrant. It does not grant police complete and total rights to search any area. For instance, if police obtain a search warrant for your kitchen, they should not also search your attic.

How do burglary and robbery differ?

Burglary and robbery are very similar, but legally distinct concepts that carry separate sentences in a courtroom. Often, the difference between one charge or the other comes down to a some small details, but those details could be the difference between facing fines or community service and facing jail time. It is always wise to know the differences to help protect your rights.

Burglary basically entails gaining unauthorized entry into some structure, usually one that is occupied, with an intent to commit a crime inside that building. It is important to note that the intent to commit a crime is not the same as actually committing any particular crime. It is also important to note that burglary does not entail the use of violence or the threat of violence to another person. In broad strokes, burglary is more about a violation of property than the violation of a person.

What are considered white collar crimes and how they're punished

Crimes such as fraud, corruption, embezzlement, tax evasion and environmental law violations all fall under the umbrella of white collar crimes. This term was first used in 1939 by the then-head of the American Sociological Society in a speech.

In that speech, the president of the professional organization referred to the any crime committed by a high esteem individual in the course of his or her work as a white collar crime. Over time, this type of federal offense has come to encompass any number of different nonviolent crimes that have as the end goal some type of financial gain.

2 Orange County men arrested for possessing counterfeit money

Two Orange County residents, one a 42-year-old and the other a 27-year-old, were arrested on Tuesday, May 30, 2017. They had been under surveillance by the Norco Special Enforcement Team and the United States Secret Service after at least one of the agencies had received an anonymous tip that the two men had potentially been in possession of counterfeit currency.

The multi-agency task force investigating the pair were successful in executing a search warrant at a home along California Avenue's 4500 block in Norco, the same afternoon they were arrested. The search of the home resulted in the discovery of an undisclosed amount of suspected counterfeit currency and firearms charges. The younger of the two men was detained on a probation violation charge as well.

Fullerton police receive specialized drugged driving training

Fullerton Police Department recently became one of only three different California law enforcement agencies to be trained in offering a drug recognition program. The California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles Police Department are the only only two police forces that received this training aside from them.The funding for this highly specialized training was made possible with the help of California's Office of Traffic Safety.

Unique to this Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE) program is its 12-step process which is used to help distinguish whether an individual is impaired by alcohol or drugs. Ultimately, by the time the 12-steps have been gone through, officers are able to pinpoint which one among seven different drugs an individual might have consumed prior to getting behind the wheel to drive.

Saddleback Church mentor is accused of molesting two 14-year-olds

A veteran student mentor with Saddleback Church was arrested on Thursday, May 25, 2017 by the Orange County Sheriff's Department. He's being held in the Orange County Jail on suspicion of having engaged in both inappropriate conduct and lewd acts with minors after two teenage boys came forward and reported having been molested by the 32-year-old Lake Forest man.

Detectives with the Orange County Special Victim's Unit began investigating the man the day prior to his arrest after receiving a tip that he and a 14-year-old boy were involved in a potentially inappropriate relationship. It was during their investigation into those claims that detectives were able to identify an additional 14-year-old boy who also was allegedly being sexually abused by the man.

What is theft?

Understanding the nature of property laws, and theft in particular, is sometimes a bit more complex than it may seem. In general, theft occurs when one party takes or withholds someone else's property or right to that property.

In general, accusations of theft often rely on proving intent on the part of the accused, which is not always so simple. In some cases, one party may sincerely believe that they rightfully own a certain piece of property, or believe that they have the owner's consent to have it.

Bakersfield attorney arrested for $22 million in insurance fraud

A Bakersfield attorney, several of his family members, and two area doctors have been arrested and charged with having conspired in defrauding health insurance companies out of $22 million. A press release issued by the Orange County District Attorney's on May 23, 2017, alleges that the defendants registered fake employees for insurance, but had these individuals take daily urine tests they could bill for.

The attorney arrested for spearheading these fraudulent schemes ran a number of businesses with his wife, son and daughter-in-law at the time of his arrest. In addition to owning a number of sober living homes throughout Southern California, they also operated a staffing agency and medical laboratory.

Attorney General stands up to call for harsher drug sentencing

It is rare to see criminal defense professionals and state prosecutors landing on the same side of an issue, but these are surprising times, to say the least. Recently, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra took on the Trump administration's urging for states to pursue harsher drug crime sentences. In a statement to the Sacramento Press Club, Becerra called the notion of pushing for the harshest achievable drug sentences "crazy," claiming that the policy would adversely affect people of color and underprivileged communities.

The response came after United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructed federal prosecutors to go after the "the most serious, readily provable offense" when prosecuting drug crimes. If this policy comes into effect, those facing drug charges could see years or even decades of their lives evaporate.

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