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Home Criminal Law
Criminal Law- DUI - Domestic Violence - Fraud - Forgery - Attorney
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Criminal Law
DMV Matters
Domestic Violence
Narcotics and Drugs
Forgery/Fraud
Expungement
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Criminal Law

Criminal LawCriminal Attorneys at the Law Offices of Bita Hamidi have experience in handling criminal cases in Southern California . If you or someone you know has been charged in Southern California with a criminal offense whether a misdemeanor or felony, we can help.

Please note that being convicted of a crime may affect your immigration status if you are not a United States Citizen making it even more important to hire an experienced attorney to represent you.


California DUI Defense

DUI charges are the most common criminal charges filed against individuals in the State of California (not including simple traffic tickets, which are technically "criminal" violations). Even for a first offense, the penalties can be serious-including license suspension, fines of almost $2,000, mandatory attendance at State or DMV Approved alcohol programs, and potential jail time. In addition, a DUI conviction stays on your DMV record for at least 7 years, and may result in higher insurance premiums. Furthermore, you may become ineligible for credit, and even lose your employment. If you have prior convictions, stopped for speeding, or had an accident while driving under the influence, the penalties may be far worse.


 

DMV Matters

If you are arrested in California for drunk driving or DUI, you must act quickly. While your arraignment in the criminal court may not be held immediately, under a law enacted by the legislature and signed into law by the Governor as a stronger deterrent to drunk driving, (and known as the ADMIN PER SE Immediate Driver License Suspension program, you must act to save your license with the DMV by requesting both a hearing, AND a stay on your license suspension.

THE DMV REQUIRES THAT YOU ACT WITHIN ONLY TEN DAYS (not business days) from the date of your arrest to protect your driving privileges.

Call the Law Offices of Bita Hamidi today to have our firm set a hearing, which we will attend, and fight for your license in front of a DMV hearing officer for you, and begin to help you protect your driving privileges.

 


Domestic Violence

In recent years, California laws regarding domestic violence have undergone several changes. The offices of the District Attorney or City Attorney are now aggressively prosecuting all reported incidents of violence in the home, and prosecuting such crimes even in cases where the victim refuses to press charges or recants initial claims of abuse. Prosecutors often rely on the psychological phenomenon known as ãbattered woman's syndromeä, when explaining why they will not drop or reduce charges when the alleged victim requests that they do so, or when he or she refuses to testify. In some cases, prosecutors will file charges against alleged abusers in the absence of victims or witnesses.

The penalties for domestic violence can range from probation and anger management, or batterer's treatment counseling programs for first-time offenders, to felony charges and incarceration in more severe cases, or where the reported injuries were more severe.

Related Offenses include:

  • Child Abuse
  • Elder Abuse
  • Husband Abuse
  • Spousal Abuse
  • Willful infliction of bodily injury upon a cohabitant
  • Vandalism, or destroying utility line (i.e., ripping a phone from the wall)

If you or a love one has been arrested for domestic violence, get professional representation from an experienced attorney immediately to protect your rights.


Narcotics and Drugs

Most drug offenses refer to the possession, use, sale or furnishing of any drug or intoxicating substance or drug paraphernalia, that is prohibited by law. Many drug offenses in the State of California are felonies. It is still a misdemeanor to possess less than an ounce of marijuana ÷ 11357 (b) of the Health & Safety Code. However, possession for even the smallest amount of cocaine is a felony. And currently, there are more than 100 different types of anabolic steroids that have been developed, and each requires a prescription to be used legally in the United States . Some of the more common California violations are found at: Penal Code section 647(f) public intoxication of drugs or alcohol; the Health & Safety Code sections for possession and sale of drugs, 11350, 11351, 11352, 11357, 11358, 11359, 11360 and section 11550 under the influence of a controlled substance; and Business & Professions Code sections, 4060 prescription drugs and 25658 sale or furnishing of alcohol to a minor.


Forgery/Fraud

Forgery is defined under the law as the act of altering, copying, or the imitation of something without authority or right, with the intent to deceive or defraud by passing the copy or thing altered or imitated as that which is original or genuine; or the selling, buying, or possession of an altered, copied, or imitated thing with the intent to deceive or defraud.

Fraud (whether credit card fraud, internet fraud, bankruptcy fraud, etc.,), has as its basic element a misrepresentation of some kind. In the simplest terms, fraud occurs when someone knowingly lies to obtain benefit or advantage or to cause some benefit that is due to be denied. If there is no lie, there may be abuse but it is not fraud.

We can help prepare criminal defenses specific to the crime in cases alleging fraud or forgery. If your case is in Southern California ( Los Angeles, Orange County , San Diego , Ventura , San Bernardino or Riverside Counties ), contact us for assistance.


Expungement

An expungement, or sealing, of a criminal record is a short legal process that can clear criminal convictions from a person's record. It is allowed under California Penal Code section 1203.4 once probation has ended. An expungement takes place when a legal action is filed with the court in which the conviction occurred and a request is made to have the criminal conviction reversed, set aside or dismissed. This process applies to most misdemeanor and minor felony cases. There are alternative ways to set aside a conviction for serious felonies. Please note that not all convictions can be expunged.

If you are now on probation, the law requires that probation end before you can do an expungement. Typically, we do this by filing a separate motion to terminate probation (allowed under California Penal Code section 1203.3, which then allows you to proceed with an expungement after a hearing on the motion to terminate probation.

The purpose of an expungement is to clear a history of criminal charges (adult and juvenile), that might adversely affect your chances of employment or education. Getting your record expunged can affect many factors in your life and it is advised that you seek the advice of a law firm such as ours, since our attorneys have experience in such matters.

How does an expungement work? Technically, an expungement is a motion to withdraw a plea retroactively . This means that a judge re-opens your case, and for good cause as allowed under the law, allows you to withdraw your plea of guilty or no contest, and then dismisses your case nunc pro tunc (which is a latin legal phrase basically meaning ãretroactivelyä). Because your case is now a dismissed case, and not a conviction on your record, you can truthfully state, when applying for a job and on other applications, that you were never convicted of the crime formerly on your record.

Please note that this doesn't apply to everything ö certain federal and California state government applications ask you, under penalty of perjury if you have ever had a case expunged or cleared from your record, and you have a duty to answer this truthfully, or face charges of perjury.

MISDEMEANORS: Most expungements for misdemeanors take between 2 to 4 weeks to complete from the time the application is filed. This does not include the time needed to research all records and process the application. The more prepared you are as to the information needed (dates, charges, court location, etc.) the quicker the application can be processed. If it is necessary to search the court records for information, it may take additional time.

FELONY EXPUNGEMENTS AND FELONY REDUCTIONS TO MISDEMEANORS: Felonies, under California law, cannot be directly expunged, although they can be through a different strategy. Clearing a felony conviction generally takes 4 to 6 weeks to complete from the time the application is filed. This is called a Certificate of Rehabilitation. Some felonies can be reduced to misdemeanors, this process also takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks. Again, this is based upon receipt of all of the pertinent information by our office. A court search of records for information will take significantly longer.

SEALING OF JUVENILE RECORDS: The average time required to have the records of a juvenile sealed, depending upon information received and court location, is 2 to 6 weeks.


If you have questions, or want one of our experienced attorneys to immediately begin working on expunging your record, please contact our firm.