Wednesday, August 10, 2016

What We're Working on Now

I haven't been posting as frequently as I'd like recently because we've been busy crusading for justice.

Summer is usually a slow time of year for us. Vacation schedules mean that filing deputies at the DA's office aren't processing new cases, judges are out and prospective clients have less disposable income to invest in their own defense.  We're bucking the trend this year and keeping busy with a steady stream of great cases. Here's a summary of what we're working on now:

Restraining Orders

My year-long winning streak with restraining orders finally came to an end last month, but we're starting to string together some more "W"s.

Last week, I represented a woman in Chatsworth who had been served with a restraining order petition by her knucklehead ex-boyfriend. We beat that case and she left the courthouse with a restraining order against him.

She really did a great job of helping me prepare and making sure that I had the necessary documents to demonstrate that the petitioner was abusing the legal system. We put together a response that was clear, concise and easy for the judge to understand.  The hearing went quickly and my client emerged victorious because she followed my advice and presented herself in a very professional manner.

Yesterday, I represented a man who had been served with a restraining order by his own brother. The petitioner (the guy who was seeking the order against my client) came to court prepared with hundreds of pages of documents and photos, meticulously organized in 3-ring binders with color-coordinated tabs and everything. I was impressed with his organization. Unfortunately for him, he did not understand the rules of evidence and most of his exhibits were inadmissible at the hearing. This is why hiring a professional attorney will dramatically increase your chances of success.  We beat that case and my client avoided being slapped with an unnecessary restraining order.

Criminal Defense

This morning, we successfully petitioned the Downey Court to release my client from probation early in a DUI case.  He had been convicted before I represented him and his status on probation was having a severe financial impact for him.  He was demoted from a lucrative position at work and the demotion carried a $100K decrease is his yearly salary.  We showed the judge how my client was being disproportionately burdened by remaining on probation and why an early termination served the "interests of justice". The judge understood and agreed to release my client from probation prior to his scheduled termination date. Now he can get back to work earning good money and paying taxes to support the court system.

A client in San Bernardino had recently been falsely accused of committing serious sexual offenses against an underage girl.  I worked with police investigators and prosecutors to help them understand that the allegations were false and that the girl was merely seeking attention. The District Attorney declined to prosecute my client due to a lack of evidence.  In these types of cases, it is important to drive the investigation into a dead end before it builds momentum, snowballs out of control and destroys an innocent person's life.  I'm proud that we were able to mitigate the damage in this case.

We're still appearing regularly in the Catalina Courthouse.  More and more tourists are discovering Avalon and a few of them even get to see the inside of the Sheriff's holding cell. The most common incidents arising on Catalina include fishing violations, drunk in public and battery. We're also making special appearances on behalf of other attorneys who are unavailable to personally appear on the island. (Fun fact: Celebrity attorney Mark Geragos was arrested in Avalon and spent a night in jail during his honeymoon, nearly 30 years ago).

I'm currently working on a large-scale marijuana cultivation case, some DUIs, a handful of domestic violence matters, a few smaller-scale drug charges and a really interesting child abuse case. I can't discuss details until the cases are resolved, but check back for updates as they become available.

Medical Marijuana

We're continuing to work with medical marijuana dispensaries to form proper business entities and to ensure continued compliance with California's complicated regulatory structure. The laws are changing quickly and we're doing everything we can to help our clients operate in accordance with the rules.

I'm also contributing regular columns for, an online magazine devoted to marijuana culture. My pieces, entitled "Ask a Weed Lawyer", appear each Sunday. As the name suggests, I answer common questions about marijuana laws and I try to dispel some popular myths and misconceptions.  If you haven't done so already, follow the link and enter your email address to have daily issues delivered to your inbox completely free.

That's what we've been working on, in a nutshell.  If you or a loved one has questions about criminal defense, restraining orders or medical marijuana in Southern California, call us for a free attorney consultation.  (714) 449-3335.  Ask for John.

Thanks for reading.

Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyer