Posted on | May 7, 2013 | No Comments
If you are caught passing counterfeit money, even if you did not print or coin it yourself, you can be charged with violating federal and state laws. This blog addresses the laws established by the state of California that criminalize the counterfeiting of any type of financial instrument, including money. If you have been charged with counterfeiting, or are under investigation for this crime, the Law Office of Lance Dacre can help. Call us at 707-534-1854 or contact us by e-mail.
The State Laws Governing Counterfeiting of Financial Instruments in California
Because paper money and negotiable coins are minted under the authority of the federal government, the counterfeiting of currency is governed by federal law. California law does, however, specifically address the possession or distribution of counterfeit gold or silver, if minted by the state or by a private entity or person into a collectable coin or an investment. Under Section 480 (a) of the California Penal Code, it is a violation of the criminal law to:
- own or make dies or plates for minting gold or silver coins
- to manufacture or produce counterfeit bars, coins, nuggets or gold/silver bullion
California law also makes it illegal to engage in other activities that affect the amount or value of money in a transaction. This can include forging a signature on a check, changing information on a negotiable instrument (a check, money order, bond or other investment security), or even fabricating a lottery ticket.
Counterfeiting in California requires intent. Accordingly, if you can show that you did not have knowledge of the counterfeit nature of coins or other financial instruments, you can raise that as a defense.
Contact the Law Office of Lance Dacre
The Law Office of Lance Dacre, with offices in American Canyon, has aggressively protected the rights of criminal defendants for more than 12 years. We take a direct approach with our clients, giving you an honest assessment of the serious nature of the charges against you, as well as your likelihood of acquittal or a reduction of the charges. We provide a free initial consultation to every new client. To set up an appointment, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 707-534-1854.
Posted on | April 16, 2013 | No Comments
Gang Crimes and Gang-Related Offenses in California
In California, if you are charged with a crime and the prosecution can show that the crime was either gang-related, or committed by members of a gang, the penalties you face can be enhanced or increased. This blog post looks at what prosecutors must show to bring a charge of engaging in a gang activity under Section 186.22 of the California Penal Code, as well as the potential consequences of being convicted of such a crime. If you have been charged with gang or gang-related crimes, the Law Office of Lance Dacre can help.
What the State Must Show to Charge You for Gang-Related Crimes
Under the law, in order to charge you with gang activity, the prosecutor’s office must show that you:
- were a member of a gang
- knew that those you were with were involved in illegal gang activity, and
- that you intentionally assisted, supported or endorsed the illegal acts carried out by the gang
The Penalties under Section 186.22
The statute differentiates between conviction on a misdemeanor charge or a felony charge, with incarceration of up to one year in the county jail for a misdemeanor, and 16 months or more in prison for a felony. You will only face enhanced sentencing if you have been convicted of a felony that was carried out by a gang. The additional penalties include:
- Two to four additional years for a general felony
- Up to five additional years for a serious felony conviction, which includes murder, extortion and assault with a deadly weapon, among others
Contact Our Office
With offices in American Canyon, the Law Office of Lance Dacre brings more than 12 years of criminal defense experience to people charged with gang and gang-related crimes. We take a no-nonsense approach, always telling you what you need to hear, even if it’s not what you want to hear. Because we want you to make intelligent and informed decisions, we will keep you apprised of all developments in your case, as well as your options moving forward. To set up a free initial consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 707-534-1854.
Posted on | April 2, 2013 | No Comments
With recent reports that more people die from prescription drug overdoses than illegal drug use, police and prosecutors in California, as elsewhere, have taken a much more serious approach to investigating and prosecuting individuals possessing or selling popular drugs without a valid prescription. If you have been charged with violating prescription drug laws, or are under investigation for possession or sale of illegally obtained prescription pharmaceuticals, the Law Office of Lance Dacre can help.
The Regulation of Prescription Drugs in California
Under California law, prescription drugs are regulated as controlled substances, just as illegal drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, are regulated. The same laws that apply to illegal drugs govern prescription drugs. Accordingly, you can face charges involving:
- Possession of a drug without the necessary prescription
- Possession with the intent to sell a prescription drug
- Sale, trafficking or distribution of a prescription drug without the proper license
In addition, there are specific crimes involving fraud in obtaining prescription drugs. California law criminalizes any attempts or actions involving forged prescriptions, bogus prescription labels, or misrepresentation of information to obtain prescription drugs. This includes posing as a pharmacist or pharmacy worker to obtain drugs, as well as prescriptions written by doctors without medical justification, or for injuries or illnesses outside the scope of their practice.
The penalties for violating prescription drug laws can be comparable to those for illegal drugs. If charged as a misdemeanor, you could face up to a year in the county jail, but a felony conviction could carry a multi-year sentence in state prison.
Located in American Canyon, the Law Office of Lance Dacre offers more than 12 years of criminal defense experience to people charged with drug crimes, including possession or sale of prescription drugs. We take a no-nonsense approach, always telling you what you need to hear, even if it’s not what you want to hear. Because we want you to make intelligent and informed decisions, we will keep you apprised of all developments in your case, as well as your options moving forward. To set up a free initial consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 707-534-1854.
Posted on | March 19, 2013 | No Comments
What Is a Bench Warrant, and What Happens If You Violate It?
Most people have heard the term “warrant,” often associated with an arrest or search warrant. However, if you have been served with a “bench warrant,” what does it mean? What are your rights and responsibilities? What happens if you ignore it? This blog provides an overview of what a bench warrant is and how it works. If you have been served one, the Law Office of Lance Dacre can help.
What is a Bench Warrant?
In the American legal system, the judge is often referred to as “the bench.” If you have a bench trial, it means that the judge handles all matters—that there is no jury. According, a “bench warrant” is one that comes from the bench, i.e., is issued by the judge. (Contrast an arrest or search warrant, which may be signed by a judge, but is typically prepared by law enforcement officers).
When Will a Judge Issue a Bench Warrant?
A bench warrant is not based on suspicion of illegal activity. Instead, it normally arises when someone fails to follow a court order. This may be something as simple as failing to appear in traffic court after receiving a citation for a moving violation, if the ticket specifically requires that you appear. It can also result from failure to pay a fine, or to perform any other action ordered by a judge, from the payment of child support to violation of a restraining or protective order.
Technically, failing to abide by a court order, including failing to appear in court or pay a fine, is considered contempt of court. If you have been in contempt of court, the judge has the authority to issue a bench warrant.
What Happens if You Ignore a Bench Warrant?
A bench warrant only expires when the judge discharges it. Under the warrant, you can be arrested at any time. While law enforcement officers will typically not come to your home to enforce a bench warrant, if you are stopped for any reason, and the warrant is discovered, you can be arrested and incarcerated.
Contact the Law Office of Lance Dacre
At the Law Office of Lance Dacre, in American Canyon, California, we provide more than 12 years of practice experience to people charged with misdemeanors or felonies. We take a no-nonsense approach, always telling you what you need to hear, even if it’s not what you want to hear. Because we want you to make intelligent and informed decisions, we will keep you apprised of all developments in your case, as well as your options moving forward. To set up a free initial consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 707-534-1854.
Posted on | March 4, 2013 | No Comments
If you have been charged with a crime, or have been involved in a civil matter, and the judge or jury rendered a decision with which you disagree, there are circumstances under which you can appeal that decision to a higher court. However, you are not automatically entitled to an appeal. There are specific rules and procedures for seeking a review of an unfavorable trial court result. The Law Office of Lance Dacre can help you.
When Can You Appeal a Lower Court Ruling?
In the American legal system, the judge customarily makes decisions of law, and the jury determines the facts. If however, you have a bench trial, the judge will handle both duties.
As a general principle, you may only appeal a decision when you can demonstrate that there were errors of law. Factual findings can never be subject to appeal.
Errors of law can include a wide range of mistakes, including:
- Wrongfully admitting or excluding certain evidence—The laws of evidence must be applied to determine whether evidence is relevant, or whether it should be excluded as hearsay or for other reasons. This may include oral testimony or physical evidence.
- Improperly instructing the jury regarding the law—Once the jury determines the facts, they must apply the law to the facts. The attorneys for both sides typically prepare instructions of law, but the judge must approve them. If it can be shown that the instructions were wrong or misleading.
You can also seek to appeal a decision where the weight of the evidence does not support a verdict, or where the judge has directed a verdict, and the weight of the evidence does not support the judge’s action.
Contact the Law Office of Lance Dacre
We offer more than 12 years of practice experience to people in American Canyon and the surrounding communities. We take a no-nonsense approach, always telling you what you need to hear, even if it’s not what you want to hear. Because we want you to make intelligent and informed decisions, we will keep you apprised of all developments in your case, as well as your options moving forward. To set up a free initial consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 707-534-1854.
Posted on | December 31, 2012 | No Comments
A Napa woman was recently arrested for attacking her partner because he had returned home drunk. Evidently, an argument between 23-year-old Viviana Castro and her partner escalated into violence in the early hours of a September morning. Police arrested Viviana on suspicion of domestic violence. She was jailed at the Napa County Department of Corrections.
When loved ones do not have a way to work out their problems and disagreements continue to pile up, verbal conflicts can turn violent. If the police are called, someone is going to be arrested. While the majority of domestic violence cases involve a male assaulting a female, women are not immune from domestic violence charges, as in the case of Viviana Castro and her partner.
Nearly 1 in 4 Women Experienced Domestic Violence
Nearly 1 in 4 women have suffered domestic violence. Seven million children live in families where there has been serious partner violence. On average, nearly 500 women are sexually assaulted in the U.S.
Aggressive Prosecution of Domestic Violence Case
California law enforcement officials treat domestic violence cases differently than a typical criminal case. Designated prosecutors and Domestic Violence Units handle these types of cases. The goal is to swiftly, and aggressively prosecute domestic violence crimes.
In Northern California, you can be charged with domestic violence even if you have not laid a hand on the alleged victim. Domestic violence abuse includes:
- Harassing phone calls
- Physical assault
- Verbal abuse
- Sexual abuse
Contact an Experienced DUI Defense Attorney in Northern California
The Law Office of Lance Dacre, in American Canyon, CA, understands the complexities of a domestic violence case and the potential impact even a DV accusation can have on a person’s life. We are experienced in defending clients at every stage of a domestic violence case. Schedule a free, private consultation with DUI defense attorney Lance Dacre by calling 707-534-1854 or emailing us for a prompt response.
Posted on | December 7, 2012 | No Comments
A summer-long law enforcement effort to root out marijuana cultivation in California’s heartland has resulted in 175 local and federal arrests, 400,000 seized marijuana plants across hundreds of thousands of California acres, 100 confiscated guns, and thousands of dollars in cash.
These plants are not about medical marijuana, “ said U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner. “They are large amounts cultivated for commercial purposes and sold to people outside of California.”
According to one of the Sheriffs involved in the investigation and arrest efforts, nearly ever grower arrested is connected in some way to the Mexican drug cartel.
5 Million Marijuana Plants Confiscated in 2010
Authorities have spent more than a decade focused on illicit cultivation in the Sierra Nevada, with more than 5 million marijuana plans sized on California public land in 2010. This past year, however, fewer than 2.5 million plans were found and destroyed.
Many marijuana growers have used the state’s medical marijuana laws to openly grow marijuana. They obtain many permits to cultivate significant amounts of marijuana.
Once authorities uncover a marijuana growing operation, they follow a process similar to this: federal authorities send letters to the property owners. They are given 14 days to eradicate the plants before their land may be subject to search and seizure. Many of these cultivation areas, called “grows,” are booby trapped and protected by armed guards. It does not pay to be hiking and come across one of these farms, especially during harvesting time.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney to Defend You Against Drug Charges
The Law Office of Lance Dacre, in American Canyon, CA, has extensive experience defending clients accused of possession, distribution, possession for sale, and other types of drug charges. Schedule a free, private consultation with DUI defense attorney Lance Dacre. Call 707-534-1854 or email us for a prompt response.
Posted on | November 19, 2012 | No Comments
A routine traffic stop of John Ray Davis led to his arrest on drug and child endangerment charges.
Apparently, after Davis was pulled over, the police came across 4.4 grams methamphetamine and some marijuana. Davis, 43, is now charged with two felonies involving possession of a controlled substance and a misdemeanor. The misdemeanor is related to the fact that there was a child in the car at the time of the police stop.
Generally, charges will be enhanced as a result of endangering or involving a child in illegal drug use. This is called conduct enhancement. It remains to be seen whether the police had a valid reason to stop the car and whether the search and seizure of the drugs were conducted according to the law.
California’s Four Types of Drug Charges
California has four main categories of drug charges:
- Possession. This includes possession of illegal drugs such as cocaine or crack as well as possession of prescription drugs without a valid prescription. The possession of a controlled substance can be charged as a felony.
- Drug Possession for Sale. This charge differs from simple possession in that the police must prove that you possessed the illegal drugs with the intent to sell them.
- Drug Trafficking. Trafficking charges involve issues of transporting, importing, distributing, or selling controlled substances that are illegal in California.
- Drug Manufacturing. This charge includes growing or harvesting marijuana, manufacturing illegal drugs, or even having the chemicals in your possession to manufacture illegal drugs. If drugs such as methamphetamines are manufactured in the presence of a child who is 16 years of age or younger, the prison sentence will be increased two years. If the child has been harmed, the punishment is enhanced with an additional five years in prison.
Contact an Experienced Drug Defense Attorney in Northern California
The Law Office of Lance Dacre, in American Canyon, CA, has extensive experienced defending clients accused of possession, distribution, possession for sale, and other types of drug charges. Schedule a free, private consultation with DUI defense attorney Lance Dacre by calling 707-534-1854 or emailing us for a prompt response.
Posted on | October 29, 2012 | No Comments
A man on the Napa Valley Crime Stoppers list since August has been found and arrested on charges of domestic violence and for exhibiting a lethal weapon. The man in question, Armando Antonio Calderon, was arrested in early September. He is just 19 years old.
Napa Valley Crime Stoppers offer cash rewards for anonymous tips that lead to arrests of wanted fugitives. They are a nonprofit group and have a no-questions-asked policy in exchange for leads.
False Allegations of Domestic Violence
It is not uncommon for one person to make up a false allegation of abuse. This may be more likely to happen when a couple is going through a turbulent time, including a divorce or custody matter. The domestic violence charge can prevent the accused person from having access to his or her children, and may ultimately impact the custody outcome. It’s not fair, but it happens regularly.
Acting in Self Defense Is Not Domestic Violence
Sometimes, the person who is arrested in a domestic violence dispute has actually been acting in self-defense. However, the police who arrive at the scene are not going to take the time to find out who started the fight. They are just looking to stop the fight. They may mistakenly arrest the person who looks bigger or who does not look injured, even though that person was simply defending himself or herself.
California’s “No-Drop” Charges Policy
Most cities in California have a “no drop” policy on domestic violence. This means that if you are arrested, the prosecutor will go through with charging you, even if the alleged victim decides she or he wishes to drop charges. There are good reasons for a “no drop” policy. For example, victims may be terrified of being abused again after testifying.
Domestic violence abuse includes everything from harassing phone calls, to following a person (stalking), to physically or sexually attacking another individual. If you are facing a domestic violence charge, you could lose everything, literally – your job, your family, and your freedom. Before you try to defend yourself on your own, talk with an attorney who can help the prosecution hear your side of the story. You have a right to a strong defense. Exercise your rights.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Northern California
The Law Office of Lance Dacre, in American Canyon, CA, is skilled in representing clients accused of domestic violence charges. We will fight for your rights at every stage of a domestic violence case. Schedule a free, private consultation with criminal defense defense attorney Lance Dacre by calling 707-534-1854 or emailing us for a prompt response.
Posted on | October 11, 2012 | No Comments
A Napa drug raid in which law enforcement officials seized 120 marijuana plants, some methamphetamine, and loaded guns resulted in the arrest of six individuals this past August.
Evidently, agents from the Napa Special Investigation Bureau observed an outdoor marijuana garden. They then obtained a search warrant for the home in question. Just what tactics agents used to find the garden may be in question.
There are regularly issues around how law enforcement officials “find” pot farms and if the tactics they use are in accordance with the law. These are issues of “search and seizure.” When police use unlawful techniques to find illegal drugs, then the charges may potentially be dismissed.
California Dope Industry
In another recent case this past September, in a remote area of Marin County, a marijuana plantation was found hidden throughout thick stands of Manzanita across a quarter-mile area. There was also an extensive irrigation system in which pipes delivered water to the plants from natural springs.
The land was actually owned by the Marin Municipal Water District. The person tending the garden was a Mexican immigrant who was undocumented. He was turned over to Homeland Security, but no other suspects have yet been found.
The California pot industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. It supports drug markets throughout the nation and across the world, say federal drug enforcement agents. Some pot plantations have more than 20,000 plants growing.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney to Defend You Against Drug Charges
The Law Office of Lance Dacre, in American Canyon, CA, has extensive experience defending clients accused of possession, distribution, possession for sale, and other types of drug charges. Schedule a free, private consultation with DUI defense attorney Lance Dacre by calling 707-534-1854 or emailing us for a prompt response.keep looking »