Category Archives: Criminal Procedure

What is summary (or informal) probation?

If you’re convicted of a misdemeanor in Orange County, you may be placed on a period of probation.  Typically, for misdemeanor probation, it is informal probation.  This is sometimes called “summary probation” or “bench probation”. How does informal probation differ from formal probation? Formal probation With formal probation, you typically have a probation officer you [...]

Can two people use the same defense attorney?

What if you and a friend (or husband/wife) got arrested together and charged with the same crime?  Can you use the same defense attorney to represent both of you?   The short answer is “maybe”. If there is no overlap (such as you blame him and he blames you), one attorney *may* be able to [...]

Arrested in Orange County – why am I getting letters from lawyers?

What you’re getting is commonly referred to as “jail mail.” Unfortunately, you got arrested and either got released with a court date coming up or you posted bail with a date to appear in the future.  Now, your mailbox is flooded with letters from lawyers and law firms. That “jail mail” comes from attorneys that [...]

Caught shoplifting – police weren’t called. Will I face charges? Fines?

I get lots of questions about shoplifting incidents.  Many times, the question is:  ”I was detained by store personnel for shoplifting, but the police weren’t called.  They made me sign some papers and let me go, telling me I would have to pay a fine.  What is going to happen?” Are the police going to [...]

Change to Three Strikes law – 25 to life? Maybe not.

What are the changes in the Three  Strikes law after the recent election? . Essentially, the change to the three strikes law requires that the new case is a serious or violent felony before a life sentence is imposed.  For example, under the old law, if a person had two strikes for two residential burglary [...]