Thursday, April 22, 2021

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in Orange County

HS 11364 prohibits the possession of drug paraphernalia in California.  It is the most commonly-charged misdemeanor offense in Orange County.  

The law specifically says that it is unlawful to possess an opium pipe or any "device, contrivance, instrument or paraphernalia" used to unlawfully smoke or ingest a number of controlled substances that are listed individually in other parts of the California Health & Safety Code.  That includes straws, spoons, pipes, foil, and any virtually anything else that is used to consume meth, cocaine or heroin.  It does not include pipes, bongs or papers used to smoke marijuana.  

Starting this year, the law includes an exception for syringes and hypodermic needles that are used solely for personal use.  The exception will remain in effect until January 1, 2026.  This temporary carve-out was intended to help slow the spread of blood-borne diseases like HIV that are transmitted by sharing needles.  

To be convicted of violating HS 11364, the DA must prove that: 

  • The defendant possessed the item
  • The defendant knew (or should have known) that he possessed the item
  • The defendant knew that the item was drug paraphernalia
  • The defendant intended to use the item to ingest illegal drugs
There are many possible defenses to HS 11364 charges.  Even though the law sounds pretty simple on its face, each element of the offense can be tricky for prosecutors to prove, depending on the circumstances.  

The most obvious and common defense to any possession charge is police misconduct (i.e. an improper search).  If the police violate a defendant's privacy without probable cause, consent or a valid warrant, then anything that they discover may be suppressed in court.  

Prosecutors also need to prove that the item in question is actually contraband.  Many common, household items that are used to ingest drugs also have valid, innocent uses.  Of course, a straw can used to snort meth or cocaine, but it also be used to drink a soda.  It's not illegal to possess a straw unless the totality of the circumstances establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to use the innocuous object for some illegal purpose.  Even drug users can legally use straws to drink soda, so context is always important. 

Even if the item is clearly drug paraphernalia, prosecutors must prove that the defendant knew what it was and that he knew he was in possession of it.  If a crack pipe is found under the seat of a car, it may be difficult or impossible to prove that the driver was aware of it.  

HS 11364 is a misdemeanor.  A conviction can carry up to 364 days in county jail.  Luckily, a qualified, local criminal defense attorney can usually negotiate some alternative to actual custody, depending on the defendant's criminal history and the specifics of the offense.  

Orange County courts offer a variety of "diversion" or "deferred entry of judgement" (DEJ) programs.  In addition to the old PC 1000 and Prop. 36 options, the OC District Attorney's Office is pretty flexible with tailoring DEJ programs for individual defendants.  Under any diversion deal, a defendant is ordered to complete various terms and to remain law-abiding for some agreed-upon period of time.  Once the defendant completes his end of the deal, the case is dismissed like it never happened.  

Terms of DEJ can include providing a DNA sample for the state's database, attending some form of drug counseling or treatment, performing community service or labor, taking mandatory classes at Santa Ana Community College, paying a fine or making a "donation" to a victims' charity, or some combination of these things.  The period of time that the defendant must wait and remain law-abiding before earning the dismissal can also range from 3 months to 18 months.  These terms are negotiable.  

In some cases, the DA may insist that the defendant plead "guilty" before entering the DEJ program.  The plea is held in the court file, but it is not entered into the record and the defendant is not sentenced.  Instead, sentencing is postponed until some future date.  If the defendant complies with all terms of DEJ, then the case is dismissed at the time of sentencing.  

In California, a defendant is not considered to be "convicted" of a crime until he is sentenced.  Since defendants who successfully complete DEJ are never sentenced, they are not considered to be "convicted" of any crime under California law.  Note: entering a "guilty" plea may have immigration consequences, even if a defendant is never actually "convicted" in the eyes of the California court.  If you are not a US citizen, make sure that your attorney is aware of that fact before he or she starts the process of hammering out the terms of a DEJ deal.  

If you or a loved one has been arrested or cited for possession of drug paraphernalia, call our office for a free attorney consultation.  (714) 449-3335.  Ask for John.  

Thanks for reading.  

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

New CA Law Will Allow Many Offenders to Avoid a Criminal Record

California recently passed a new law that will make many low-level offenders eligible for pre-trial diversion programs.  Defendants who complete one of these programs will be eligible to have their cases dismissed and the records of their arrests completely sealed from public view.  This is going to be a game-changer for the way that most petty crimes are prosecuted.  

I've previously written on this blog about why diversion might not be the best option for everyone (in some cases, it may actually delay the dismissal of charges, but that's a long story).  Today, I want to discuss some of the possible benefits of participating in a pretrial diversion program.  I'll also get into the criteria for eligibility and a broad overview of the process.  

PC 1000 and the History of Diversion

Until this year, most diversion programs were governed by section 1000 of the California Penal Code (AKA, "PC 1000").  That law created a process by which some drug offenders could work to earn an eventual dismissal of their charges.  The program was limited to defendants accused of drug possession for personal use.  Participants in the PC 1000 program were required to undergo drug treatment and to remain law-abiding for 18 months.  Upon successful completion, their cases would be thrown out and the records of their arrests sealed for most purposes.  

At the time of its adoption, PC 1000 was revolutionary.  It marked a major shift in the criminal justice system away from punishing drug users and toward a model that treated addicts as people who were sick and needed help.  

PC 1000 was intended to catch defendants in the early stages of their addictions.  It sought to intervene with treatment before drug problems spun out of control.  To that end, it was fairly restrictive with its criteria for eligibility.  To qualify for the program, defendants had to show that they had no felonies or drug-related convictions in the 5 previous years and that there was no evidence that they had committed any crime other than one for which PC 1000 was specifically authorized.  

The early drug diversion programs performed miracles for some participants, but the rules of eligibility were so restrictive that many people who needed help the most were excluded.  In response, the state legislature and local county courts experimented various new programs in the years that followed.  These "community courts" or "collaborative courts" focused specifically on other underserved segments of the population, including veterans, homeless people, and individuals suffering from untreated mental health issues.  By "diverting" those people into treatment and social services, courts found that they were able to reduce recidivism and break the cycles that contributed to crime in the first place.  

Big Changes for Diversion: PC 1001.95

PC 1000 and the various community court programs that followed were hugely successful in preventing and reducing crime.  In recognition of that success, the legislature recently voted to dramatically expand the availability of diversion to other, non drug-related offenses.

Since PC 1001.95 took effect on January 1, 2021, judges in California have been vested with the authority to grant diversion in a huge array of cases.  Under the new law, diversion may be available for virtually any misdemeanor, with a handful of exceptions (certain Vehicle Code violations including DUI, anything that requires registration as a sex offender, domestic violence and stalking). 

Previously, the decision to grant diversion was entirely up to the prosecutor.  A judge could deny diversion if he or she felt that it didn't serve the interests of justice, but a judge could not offer it over the prosecutor's objection.  PC 1001.95 turns that on its head.  

PC 1001.95 gives judges discretion to grant diversion, even over the prosecutor's objection.  It also allows them to craft terms of diversion to fit each specific defendant.  Defendants may be ordered to complete classes or counseling to address the underlying issues that contributed their offenses.  That might include anger management therapy, parenting classes, substance abuse counseling, lectures about the harms caused by shoplifting, etc.  Defendants must also pay restitution for any damage caused by or reasonably related to their crimes. 

Judges also have discretion to determine the total length of each defendant's diversionary time periods (during which defendants must remain law-abiding in order to earn a dismissal).  The law allows for periods up to 24 months, but it does not specifically require the court to set terms at that length.  Theoretically, a judge could agree to dismiss charges after 1 month (or 2, or 6, or any amount of time up to 24 months).  The length of diversion is going to be a major factor to consider before accepting any deal.  

Upon completion, the case will be dismissed and the record of the arrest completely sealed for most purposes.  The only time that a defendant would ever have to disclose the arrest would be in response to a direct question in an application to become a peace officer.  

There are still a lot of wrinkles to work out, and we all have questions about how the new procedures will work in practice.  Local judges have been meeting for the past few weeks to discuss the details.  Attorneys are waiting to hear whether or not the court will require a formally noticed, written motion before defendants may be granted diversion, or if judges will hear "pitches" in chambers conferences.  If they do require a written motion, will the court publish specific forms that we're expected to use?  Or are we supposed to draft our own briefs?  What will the time frame be for the prosecutor to object and to file their own written "Response"?  Will defendants have an opportunity to file a written "Answer" to the prosecutor's Response brief?  Will cases be assigned to a specific department to hear these pretrial motions?  Check back for news as it becomes available.  

If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime in Orange County or surrounding areas, call us for a free attorney consultation.  (714) 449-3335.  Ask for John.  

Thanks for reading.  

Orange County Criminal Defense Law

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

NOW is the Time to Clear up Old Warrants

If you have an old warrant that's been following you around or a criminal case that you've been neglecting, NOW is the time to speak with a local attorney.  The COVID crisis has caused havoc in Southern California courts, and that chaos can be good news for criminal defendants.  

Bail Reductions / OR Releases

The Coronavirus has been spreading completely out of control inside the local jails.  The sheriffs in Orange County and Los Angeles have been forced to reduce their inmate populations.  This means that many low-level and non-violent defendants are being granted "O.R." releases rather than being held in pretrial detention. 

People who would have previously been required to post thousands of dollars in bail are now simply being released on their promise to return.  

Alternative Sentences

Since the jails are under so much pressure to reduce their crowded conditions, many people who show up to begin their sentences are being immediately released from custody.  Depending on the county and individual circumstances, some defendants are being redirected to "secure electronic confinement" (house arrest) or a work release program (picking up trash, etc.), but many are simply being released for "time served".  

In California, defendants may request to satisfy their fines by serving jail time instead.  Usually, I don't recommend this.  Paying some money is almost always preferable to sitting in a jail cell if you have the choice.  Under the current conditions, though, I have been advising my clients of this option.  Realistically, these defendants will be immediately released from custody and thousands of dollars in fines will be deemed "satisfied". It's one thing to consider.

Backlogged Courts

Cases have been piling up since last March.  Judges and prosecutors are facing the crunch.  They are becoming desperate to resolve criminal matters as the courts get more and more hopelessly backlogged.  The DA simply doesn't have the time, resources or manpower to dig in their heels and fight over every little issue, the way they used to.  Consequently, we're getting better dispositions for our clients than ever.  

"977" Felony Appearances

PC 977 allows attorneys to appear in court without their clients present in most misdemeanor cases.  This is a major convenience for many people.  "977" authority means that defendants don't have to miss a day of work for a routine DUI hearing and they don't have to worry about their kids' transportation while the lawyers haggle over the terms of a shoplifting deal.  977 authority is especially valuable when a defendant lives out of the area.  The cost of traveling back and forth to court can be prohibitive.  Hiring a local attorney to handle the matter is often a cost-saver in the long run.  

Thanks to the pandemic, courts have temporarily extended 977 authority to felony matters.  As part of their ongoing effort to reduce crowding inside the courthouses, judges now allow attorneys to appear for most felony hearings without their clients being personally present.  This special rule will not last forever, but it will be a huge convenience for anyone who takes advantage of the opportunity now.  

New Opportunities for Diversion

Since 1/1/21, judges in California have been given the authority to offer "diversion" in most misdemeanor cases, even over the DA's objection.  

When diversion is granted, the defendant is given an opportunity to complete various terms before he is convicted of anything.  The terms might include AA meetings, anger management counseling, a class about the harms of shoplifting, etc.  If the defendant returns to court with proof that he has done whatever the court ordered, then the case is dismissed entirely.  If the defendant fails to complete the terms, then the case simply reverts to the traditional criminal justice system.  

Since courts are under such pressure to resolve cases and to clear up their backlogs, some judges have been offering generous diversion deals.  

If you or a loved one has an outstanding warrant or a criminal case that's been neglected, call us for a free attorney consultation.  (714) 449-3335.  Ask for John.  

We can also perform a free warrant check to see if you have any open matters

Thanks for reading. 

Fullerton Criminal Defense Attorney

Friday, January 15, 2021

Two New California Laws Upend the Justice System

Two new laws took effect in California on January 1, 2021.  Together, they are going to drastically change the way that most misdemeanors are prosecuted.  

1-Year Cap on Misdemeanor Probation

The first of these new laws, AB-1950, amends section 1203 of California Penal Code to cap the length of probation for most misdemeanors at 1 year.  

Previously, the standard term of probation for most misdemeanors was 3 years.  This is "summary" probation (also called "informal" probation, or "court" probation), so the defendant does not have a probation officer.  Instead, a judge simply orders a defendant to remain law-abiding for the 3 year period following a misdemeanor conviction.  If the defendant is arrested for any new crime during that time, he or she must answer for the probation violation in addition to any penalties for the new offense.  

Proponents of the new law argued that long terms of probation resulted in over-incarceration and made it difficult for people to find work after a conviction for some petty offense.  They also argued that long probationary sentences disproportionately affected minority communities and actually contributed to high recidivism rates.  

Capping the length of probation at one year will also make more people eligible to expunge their records sooner after convictions.  In California, an expungement has the effect of dismissing a conviction after the fact.  To apply, a defendant must show that he successfully complied with all terms of probation and that he is not currently on probation.  Previously, that meant the applicant had to wait 3 years from the date of his conviction before he was eligible for relief.  Under the new rules, defendants will only have to wait 1 year before they can petition to have a case dismissed. 

Judges Have New Powers to Grant Diversion

Starting January 1, 2021, PC 1001.95 grants judges in California new powers to offer "diversion" to defendants in misdemeanor cases, even over the prosecutor's objection.

"Diversion" works like this: rather than running a defendant through the meat grinder of the criminal justice system, the court will order him to complete various terms before he is convicted (in contrast to probation, which runs after the defendant is convicted).  The terms may include things like AA meetings or anger management counseling, etc.  If a defendant successfully completes the terms and remains law-abiding for some period of time, all charges are dismissed and the arrest is deemed to have never occurred.  

Traditionally, the decision to grant diversion was entirely up to the prosecutor.  A judge could refuse to allow it, but he or she could not offer diversion over the DA's objection.  Judges weren't typically involved in dictating the terms of diversion, either.  This new law gives judges sweeping new authority to craft their own diversion deals and to tailor programs for individual defendants.  

PC 1001.95 allows for diversionary periods up to 2 years long.  During this time, the defendant must remain law-abiding in order to earn an eventual dismissal of charges.  If the defendant fails to comply with diversion or is arrested on new charges, diversion will be terminated and the case will be sent back to the traditional justice system.  

All Together Now

Think about what both of these new laws mean, taken together.  If a defendant decides to participate in diversion, a judge could have broad authority to set and enforce various terms for up to 2 years.  The "light at the end of the tunnel" is an eventual dismissal.  

But if the defendant says, "forget that", and simply decides to go through the old-fashion justice system, he will be off probation and eligible for an expungement after only 1 year.  The effect is essentially the same, but a defendant's period of supervision is only half as long. 

There are some other, technical distinctions, and there may be some situations where diversion is preferable over probation.  I will have to analyze each matter on a case-by-case basis going forward, though.  Diversion is not as generous as it seems, and it might not be the best fit for every client.  

If you or a loved one has questions about probation, diversion, or any other criminal matter in Orange County, call us for a free attorney consultation.  (714) 449-3335.  Ask for John.  

Thanks for reading. 

Fullerton Criminal Defense Attorney

Monday, December 28, 2020

Manufacturing Concentrated Cannabis in California

Section 11379.6 of the California Health & Safety Code prohibits the manufacture of specified drugs, "by chemical extraction".  This includes production of butane hash oil (AKA, "honey oil", or "BHO").  Violation of HS 11379.6 is a felony and is potentially punishable by 7 years in jail and a fine of $50,000.  After the court's mandatory "costs" and "assessments" are included, that fine reach about $200,000-300,000.  It should go without saying that police and prosecutors treat this law very seriously.  

There are a lot of misconceptions around HS 11379.6 and today I wanted to spend some time addressing a few of the big misunderstandings that get folks into trouble.  I didn't make up these rules, I'm just a lawyer who knows what the rules are.  

The first confusing thing about this code section is it's title - "Manufacture of a Dangerous Drug".  HS 11379.6 falls within Article 5 of the California Health & Safety Code.  That Article is mostly dedicated to "dangerous" drugs, like PCP and methamphetamine.  Rules about marijuana are listed in Article 2 of the code, so any mention of cannabis among the "dangerous" drugs in Article 5 immediately seems out of place.  The legislature chose to include concentrated cannabis here because the process of extraction is dangerous, not because the substance itself is particularly harmful.  Using solvents and butane without adequate ventilation and safety precautions can cause explosions.  

Ironically, California's decision to legalize marijuana in 2016 led to more confusion and a big uptick in arrests under HS 11379.6.  Since 2016, adults in California have been allowed to legally cultivate small amounts of cannabis for personal use.  They can also buy concentrated cannabis from licensed retailers.  They cannot, however, use volatile chemicals (like butane) to produce it without the proper state-issued licenses.  Many of my clients are sincerely surprised to learn that using butane to produce hash oil is still illegal. 

Some of my clients are also surprised to learn that producing BHO is illegal even if it's only for personal use.  The DA does not need to prove that a defendant sold the BHO or intended to sell it -- intent to distribute is not an element of the offense (selling unlicensed BHO is a separate crime).  Making a tiny bit of BHO in your apartment for your own personal use is a felony and can land you in jail for up to 7 years.  Of course, most small-scale, first-time offenders won't be sentenced to anything close to that.  Be advised, though, that any use of butane to produce concentrated cannabis can lead to serious charges, even if it is only done on a small scale for personal consumption.  Any felony conviction can have major immigration consequences and will result in the loss of your right to possess firearms for life.  

There are many possible defenses to HS 11379.6, including illegal searches, improper police procedures and sloppy lab testing.  If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged for manufacturing concentrated cannabis, call our office for a free attorney consultation.  (714) 449-3335.  Ask for John.  We have extensive experience defending against these types of charges and we can help ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the process.  

Thanks for reading.  

Orange County Drug Lawyer

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

What is "Elder Abuse" in California?

Section 368 of the California Penal Code covers a wide variety of crimes against elders and dependent adults.  Violations of PC 368 are collectively referred to as "elder abuse", and may be punishable by up to 4 years in prison.  

If a victim of elder abuse is seriously injured, a conviction can carry an additional 5-year "enhancement" (on top of the 4-year maximum sentence).  If an elderly victim dies as a result of abuse or neglect, the sentencing enhancement goes up to 7 years.  It goes without saying that courts and prosecutors take allegations of elder abuse very seriously.  

The penalties for elder abuse may be severe, but these cases are rarely "cut-and-dry".  Complicated family relationships can lead to false allegations, and terms like "undue influence" are open to a lot of interpretation.  These types of cases are often very defendable with the right attorney on your side.  

Who is Considered an "Elder" or "Dependent Adult"?

Any person who is 65 or older is considered an "elder" under California law.  Penalties for elder abuse go up if the victim is over 70.  

Laws against elder abuse also protect "dependent adults".  A "dependent adult" is defined as any person between the age of 18-64 who suffers from some mental or physical disability which restricts his or her ability to carry out normal activities or to protect his or her own rights.  

What is Considered "Abuse"?

PC 368 includes a huge range of things that can be considered "elder abuse", including:

  • Causing or permitting an elder to suffer unjustifiable physical or mental suffering
  • Causing or permitting an elder to be injured
  • Causing or permitting an elder to be placed into a situation where his or her health is endangered
  • Committing any act of theft, embezzlement, forgery, fraud or identity theft against an elder 
  • Committing false imprisonment of an elder
Notice that this list includes a lot of obvious examples of abuse, but some of the acts that can be charged as "elder abuse" are less intuitive.  Many of my clients are surprised to learn, for example, that they can be prosecuted for allowing an elderly family member to be placed into a situation that endangers his or her safety.  

If your elderly father likes to walk the dog but one day he falls and breaks his hip, you can be prosecuted for "permitting" your father to be injured.  If you care for an elderly family member who allows his house to become cluttered or stops practicing basic hygiene, social workers may get involved and report you to the District Attorney for allowing the situation to become unsafe.  

Financial Abuse

Allegations of financial abuse get even more complicated.  Of course, it's illegal to steal money from anyone.  Cases of financial abuse involving elders are difficult, though, because the elderly "victims" often give away money to friends or family members willingly.  When other family members get jealous or suspicious, police reports get filed and the criminal cases can spin out of control quickly. 

Penalties for financial abuse of an elder are severe, too.  A first-time conviction can carry up to 4 years in prison and a fine of $10,000, plus mandatory fees and "penalty assessments".  Once those fines and fees are added up, the total penalty can be more than $60,000 (plus, of course, restitution for the value of any property that was taken).   

Who is Considered a "Caretaker"?

A caretaker is legally defined as, "a person who has the care, custody or control of, or who stands in a position of trust with, an elder or a dependent adult".  

Notice a few things about this definition: it says "a" person, not "the" person who has the care of an elder.  That means the label can be applied to anyone who is responsible for an elderly person's care.  A "caretaker" does not necessarily have to be a licensed nurse or the victim's closest living relative.  Any person who is responsible for the care of an elderly person can be criminally prosecuted if the victim is abused, neglected or placed into a dangerous situation.  

Notice also that the definition of "caretaker" includes anyone who "stands in a position of trust" with the elderly person or the dependent adult victim.  That's a very loose definition, and it may be subject to a lot of argument.  

Restraining Orders

If a defendant is convicted of elder abuse, the court will issue a "criminal protective order".  Depending on the circumstances, the CPO may order that person to stay a certain distance away from, or to have no contact with the elderly victim.  CPOs usually remain in effect for the duration of probation  In some unusual cases, though, a CPO may remain in effect for up to 10 years.  

As their name implies, Criminal Protective Orders are issued by the criminal court as part of the criminal case.  Victims of elder abuse may also seek the protection of an Elder Abuse Restraining Order in civil court, regardless of whether or not any criminal charges have been filed.  An EARO can remain in effect for up to 5 years, but may be renewed if necessary.  

Anyone who is the subject of a Criminal Protective Order or an Elder Abuse Restraining Order will be prohibited from owning or possessing firearms and ammunition while the order is in effect.  If they have weapons registered in their name, they will be ordered to turn them over to police, or else sell them to a licensed firearms dealer within 48 hours.  The California Department of Justice has regional teams that are specifically responsible for enforcing these orders.  If they determine that a prohibited person is unlawfully in possession of firearms, they will conduct compliance checks and serve search warrants if necessary.  

Allegations of elder abuse are serious.  If you or a loved one has been arrested or accused of elder abuse, call us for a free attorney consultation.  (714) 449-3335.  Ask for John.  Our office has extensive experience defending against these charges and we can help.  

Thanks for reading.  

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Catalina Island: Land of the Golf Cart DUI

It's been a long, lonely summer, but crowds are finally returning to Catalina Island.  With the influx of visitors, Avalon has seen a surge in golf cart-related accidents and DUI arrests over the past few weeks.

Under California law, it is illegal to operate any motorized vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, or with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) greater than 0.08%.  The rule also extends to drugs other than alcohol, and even to drugs that are legal or proscribed by a doctor.  That includes marijuana, Xanax, Adderall, pain medication, and anything else that inhibits a driver's ability to operate a vehicle safely.  

Drug-related DUI charges can be complicated because, unlike alcohol, there is no legal threshold that clearly defines how much Xanax, marijuana, or Adderall is "too much" to drive.  Those drugs might affect individual users differently, and some amount of them might actually a user safer behind the wheel, if the user is taking those drugs under a doctor's prescription.  

"Motorized vehicle" is not limited to gas-powered cars and trucks.  Golf carts have motors, so they're included.  That means -- and many visitors to Catalina are surprised to learn -- that you can be arrested for DUI in a golf cart.  You can even be arrested for DUI in a golf cart if you haven't been drinking, but you've been taking legal drugs.  

If you've ever driven a golf cart, you know that they do one thing well -- tip over.  Golf cart roll-over accidents are surprisingly common on the island, with its steep hills and hairpin turns.  Occasionally, these minor accidents result in major injuries.  If a driver is found to be under the influence and he contributes to a collision resulting in an injury, the DUI can be charged as a felony. 

All the other normal traffic laws also apply on Catalina Island, including laws against leaving the scene of a collision without exchanging information ("hit & run").  Any time a driver is involved in a collision that results in property damage or injury, he is required to immediately exchange insurance information with the owner of the property if that person can be ascertained.  If the driver cannot reasonably find the owner of the damaged property, he must report the incident to police.  Laws against leaving the scene of a collision even apply if public property is damaged (e.g. a retaining wall, a traffic sign, etc.).  With so many recent golf cart-related collisions in and around Avalon, the local sheriff's department has reported an uptick in hit & run incidents.  

Our office has extensive experience defending against DUI and Hit & Run cases on Catalina Island.  There are many possible defenses to these charges, but only a qualified attorney can determine the best strategy to fight your particular case.  

If you or a loved one has been cited or arrested on Catalina Island, call our office for a free, confidential attorney consultation.  (714) 449-3335.  Ask for John.  

Thanks for reading.