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Irvine California White Collar Crime Defense Blog

A look at the most addictive drugs

People in California who end up facing criminal charges may ultimately be struggling with a more serious underlying problem. Substance abuse is one of these problems that has been known to contribute to criminal activity as people who are addicted to drugs may engage in behaviors that are risky, illegal or potentially both in order to feed their addictions.

According to the American Addiction Centers, a National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that more than 21 million people in the United States aged 12 and older struggled with some form of substance addiction in 2014 alone. Multiple news headlines in the last few years have highlighted the growing problem of drug abuse and addiction around the country. This problem seems to know no bounds in terms of demographics as people of all races and classes may be affected.

Protecting yourself against modern law enforcement tactics

On social media, the term "friend" has a loose meaning. Some people have hundreds of friends and followers. Law enforcement has figured out how to use this to their advantage to elicit confessions, access incriminating evidence or set people up for arrests.

Local police or federal investigators will sometimes pretend to be someone else in order to gather information over the phone, over the internet or on social media. Sometimes they can get access to your private social media through the smartphone of an actual person who is connected to you. Read more about how to protect yourself from these tactics, many of which the police can legally use!

How bad is a DUI in college?

If you are like most people in California, the thought of drinking among college students does not seem abnormal. In fact, it is almost expected that college kids will experiment to some degree with alcohol. When those students also drive, they can be at risk for being charged with a driving under the influence offense even if they have only had one or two drinks. 

Some people might think that a drunk driving conviction while in college might not be such a big deal, in part because of the expectation that college students will drink even if they are not yet 21 years old. However, there may well be serious consequences for a student if they are convicted of a DUI while still in college.

Having past criminal offenses dismisssed

After having completed the requirements that may come with a criminal offense in Irvine, typically your only wish is to be able to move on with your life. Yet as many of those that our team here at Ron Cordova, Attorney at Law has worked with in the past can attest to, having any record of a past criminal offense can inhibit doing just that. A criminal history can keep you from getting a job or enjoying other benefits such as qualifying for housing. The question then becomes whether there is a way for you to have your criminal record cleared. 

Yet first things first; it is important that you understand your rights. For example, according to The Judicial Branch of California, a prospective employer cannot ask you for any information related to a past arrest that did not result in a conviction, nor can it inquire as to your previous participation in any sort of diversion program. You also cannot be asked about any juvenile offenses you may have been involved in. Even if knowledge of any of the aforementioned activities comes to the employer's attention, that information cannot be a factor in determining whether to fire (or fire) you. 

Most common types of credit card fraud

Credit card fraud is a serious offense. When the police catch someone who committed fraud, the penalty will depend on how much the person has spent on the card. In California, the punishment can be up to two years in county jail.

While most people think of credit card fraud as stealing someone's card information via physical or online theft, there are other examples. You should be aware of the different forms of credit card fraud so you do not fall on the wrong side of the law.

Options for offshore asset tax payments

If you are like many people in Southern California, your financial assets may extend beyond the United States. You might own property in one or more foreign countries. You might have business investments in another nation. You might even have a bank account in another country. These are some of the situations that might make your tax filings more complicated than those of the average U.S. taxpayer. 

For several years, the Internal Revenue Service offered a special program designed to help people get current on past tax responsibilities related to offshore assets. This program was called the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program. One of the key elements of this program was that it was made available to people who consciously tried to avoid paying taxes on these assets. In exchange for making tax payments, participants were able to avoid federal criminal prosecution. This program was phased out at the end of September this year. 

Defending yourself from accusations of online solicitation

You often hear stories of law enforcement authorities catching would-be sexual predators online by posing as intended victims of said predators' actions. Like most in Irvine, you likely have no problem with such actions due to two assumptions, the first being that you would never put yourself in a position to solicit any form of sexual conduct with a minor. The second is that such police action is only done in response to a predator attempting to locate a juvenile victim. Yet as many of those that have come to our team here at Ron Cordova Attorney at Law seeking assistance have discovered, that is not always the case. 

Section 288.3 of the California Penal Code makes it illegal for anyone to contact or communicate with a minor online with the intent to commit an offense. An unintended consequence of this law, however, is that officials are now able to use the Internet as a tool to ensnare potentially unsuspecting people of alleged crimes. Imagine, for a moment, that you engage in online contact with one who identifies themselves as a minor. That person may use any sort of language to entice you into a potential sexual encounter, including: 

  • Flattery 
  • Flirtation
  • Intimidation
  • Pressure
  • Blackmail

Job seeking after a conviction

Among the many challenges faced by people in California who have been convicted of criminal offenses is the task of getting a new job. According to the Society for Human Resources Management, a whopping 96 percent of companies today run background checks on job candidates prior to finalizing a new hire. That, however, does not mean that an applicant with a criminal record cannot find a job but it does mean that such a person must be prepared to address their past.

Forbes recommends that anyone who has been convicted of even a misdemeanor offense first run a background check on themselves before applying for a job. This will allow them to note any errors on the report and work to get them corrected. It will also allow the person to see exactly what details are provided on such a report so they can be ready to discuss them with a potential employer. 

Most common types of credit card fraud

Credit card fraud is a serious offense. When the police catch someone who committed fraud, the penalty will ultimately depend on how much the person spent on the card. the punishment can be up to two years in county jail.

While most people think of credit card fraud as stealing someone's card information via physical or online theft, there are other examples. You should be aware of the different forms of credit card fraud so you do not fall on the wrong side of the law.  

Overcoming an addiction to prescription drugs

Many people dangerously do not realize the risks of taking copious amounts of prescription drugs. When people have been prescribed a medication to help treat persistent symptoms, they may be at a higher risk of becoming addicted if their doctor in California does not regularly monitor their condition to identify improvements. They are also at a higher risk if they do not understand the proper way to take their medication including dosage amounts and whether or not there are substances that should be avoided while a particular medication is being used. 

If people have been convicted of drug crimes and are experiencing the damaging consequences of drug use, they may be looking for ways to overcome their addiction and regain control of their life. According to drugabuse.gov, people can seek professional help where they can learn how to retrain their brain to react to cravings without giving into temptation. This training will also provide them with counseling that can help them identify cues that could increase the intensity of the temptation they feel. 

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