Law Office of Lance Dacre

For a free confidential consultation with an experienced American canyon criminal defense lawyer, please call attorney Lance Dacre at (707) 534-1854.

What is Robbery in California?

Posted on | August 5, 2017 | Comments Off

What is Robbery in CaliforniaThough robbery is similar to theft (it involves the wrongful taking of someone else’s property), there are a number of specific elements that differentiate it and make it a far more serious offense. Here are some of the key differences between theft and robbery.

Theft Defined

The traditional definition of theft, also called larceny, includes the following elements:

  • The wrongful taking (i.e., without permission) and carrying away of
  • The property of another person
  • With the intent to permanently deprive the owner of its use or possession

Larceny or theft does not require that the victim be present. In fact, more often than not, it’s done without the owner’s knowledge.

Theft can typically be a misdemeanor or a felony, usually based on the amount taken and the defendant’s prior criminal record.

Robbery Defined

While robbery also includes the taking of someone else’s property without permission or consent, it adds the requirement that the taking be conducted with or by the use of force or intimidation. It may involve the use of a firearm, knife or other weapon, or it may only involve threats of physical violence. However, because robbery requires the use of force or intimidation, it requires that the victim be present at the time of the theft.

Because of the imminent threat of physical violence that accompanies a robbery, it is almost always charged as a felony.

Contact the Law Office of Lance Dacre

With offices in American Canyon, the Law Office of Lance Dacre brings more than 12 years of criminal defense experience to people charged with a crime, including actions involving medical marijuana. 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.

The Different Types of Theft Crimes in California

Posted on | July 5, 2017 | No Comments

The Different Types of Theft Crimes in CaliforniaUnder California law, there are a number of theft-type crimes with which you can be charged, most of which are considered “crimes of moral turpitude.” Conviction of one of these offenses could jeopardize your ability to work in your chosen field, and may disqualify you for certain types of licenses. You can also run into problems with immigration or naturalization processes. Here are the most common types of theft offenses under California law.

  • Grand theft—Grand theft is defined as the taking of property with a value of more than $950, without permission and with intent to permanently deprive. Grand theft can be a felony or a misdemeanor.
  • Petty theft—The intentional taking of property with a value of $950 or less is typically a misdemeanor, although a repeat offense can be charged as a felony.
  • Grand theft auto—California makes no distinction simply because the theft involves a motor vehicle. It’s still petty theft if the value is $950 or less and grand theft if it’s more.
  • Grand theft of a firearm—The theft of any gun is considered a grand theft, but will only be charged as a misdemeanor if the value is $950 or less.
  • Shoplifting—Taking or attempting to take merchandise from a commercial establishment during business hours is shoplifting, and will be charged as a misdemeanor, provided the value of the merchandise is $950 or less.
  • Burglary—Entering a structure (business or residential) with the intent to commit a theft or felony inside is burglary and is charged as a felony.
  • Robbery—The use of violence, force or threats to take property makes a theft crime a robbery, a felony in California.
  • Embezzlement—Taking property that is not yours, but that is entrusted to you by the owner is a felony.

Contact the Law Office of Lance Dacre

With offices in American Canyon, the Law Office of Lance Dacre brings more than 12 years of criminal defense experience to people charged with a crime, including actions involving medical marijuana. 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.

Assault and Battery in California

Posted on | June 2, 2017 | No Comments

Assault-and-Battery-in-CaliforniaIf you are like most people, you have the mistaken perception that “assault and battery” is a single crime, similar to “drinking and driving.” In fact, the crimes of assault and battery are two distinct violations in California, as in most other states.

Assault

Under California law, an assault is essentially an attempt to cause injury—often referred to as an attempted battery. There’s no requirement of any touching or contact between the parties. In fact, a threatening gesture may constitute an assault, provided the perpetrator had the “present ability” and the intent to cause injury. The concept of “transferred intent” may apply, such that an attempt to cause injury to one person that is perceived by a third party as an attempt to injure them may still be assault, even if the intended party was not aware of the assault. Simple assault is typically a misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of six months and a fine of up to $1,000.

Battery

Battery requires that the defendant actually make contact with another person. As with assault, the doctrine of transferred intent may apply—an intent to injure one person that causes injury to another will still be battery, even if the intended victim is uninjured. Battery may be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the nature of the violence.

Contact the Law Office of Lance Dacre

With offices in American Canyon, the Law Office of Lance Dacre brings more than 12 years of criminal defense experience to people charged with a crime, including actions involving medical marijuana. 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.

The Difference between Larceny and Robbery

Posted on | May 2, 2017 | No Comments

The Difference between Larceny and RobberyIf you’ve been arrested for or are under investigation for the theft of property, you may have heard the terms “larceny” and “robbery” bandied about, perhaps even used interchangeably. Under the law, though, they are not the same thing, though there are elements that are similar to both offenses.

What is Larceny?

Larceny is a more general term for certain theft crimes, and can include auto theft, as well as shoplifting. The typical elements of larceny are:

  • The taking and carrying away of someone else’s property (including money) or services
  • With the intent to permanently deprive the owner of possession, use or ownership of the goods or money

There’s no requirement that the owner of the goods be present when you take them, but it’s still larceny if they are. Because larceny can apply to services, it can occur when a person obtains services (such as utilities, etc.) and doesn’t pay for them.

What is Robbery?

Similar to larceny, robbery is a taking without permission, and involves an intent to permanently deprive. The key element that differentiates robbery from larceny is that robbery includes the additional requirement that there be a use of force or intimidation. The use of a weapon—gun, knife or blunt object—will suffice, but a threat of physical force is sufficient to turn larceny into robbery. Because robbery requires the use of force or intimidation, the victim must be present at the time of the crime.

Contact the Law Office of Lance Dacre

With offices in American Canyon, the Law Office of Lance Dacre brings more than 12 years of criminal defense experience to people charged with a crime, including actions involving medical marijuana. 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.

Is Drunk Driving a Misdemeanor or a Felony in California?

Posted on | April 3, 2017 | No Comments

If you or someone you love has been stopped and arrested for drinking and driving, one of your first concerns will be about the severity and nature of the charge. How is drunk driving prosecuted in California? Is it a traffic offense, a misdemeanor or a felony?

In short answer, a DUI in California may be a misdemeanor or a felony, but it will never be treated as a mere traffic violation. Like most states, California has strengthened its DUI laws over the last 20 years. The specific type of charge will depend on a couple of factors—whether you’ve had prior DUI convictions, and whether there was injury or death in an accident caused by your drunk driving. Here’s an overview.

As a general rule, for your first three offenses, you will be charged with a misdemeanor. A lesser type of crime than a felony, a misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail. However, you can expect incarceration for the first offense. The penalties for misdemeanor DUI include:

  • First offense — a minimum license suspension of four months, anywhere from three days to six months in jail and three months of mandatory driving classes
  • Second offense — a two year suspension of driving privileges, four days to one year in jail and up to 30 months of driving classes
  • Third offense — a three year license suspension, six months to a year in jail and two and a half years of driving classes

There are also substantial fines associated with a misdemeanor DUI. The penalties shown above only apply if no one was hurt as a result of your drunk driving. If you caused injury or death, or if you have been convicted of drinking and driving on three prior occasions in the last 10 years, you can be charged with felony DUI, which can result in the suspension of your license for four years, imprisonment for up to three years, fines of nearly $20,000, DUI classes for 30 months and the requirement that you have an ignition interlock installed on your car.

Contact the Law Office of Lance Dacre

With offices in American Canyon, the Law Office of Lance Dacre brings more than 12 years of criminal defense experience to people charged with a crime, including actions involving medical marijuana. 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.

Understanding California’s New Recreational Marijuana Law

Posted on | March 15, 2017 | No Comments

A man holding a marijuana cigarette

Proposition 64, making recreational use of marijuana legal in California, was approved in November, garnering nearly 60% of the popular vote. There’s still a lot of confusion about what the new law permits. Here are some guidelines.
First, you must be at 21 years of age to engage in recreational marijuana use. Anyone under that age can be charged with a minors in possession offense, similar to alcohol-related charges. You cannot possess more than one ounce, or 28.5 grams. Possession of larger quantities is not considered recreational.

You are allowed to cultivate your own marijuana and may have up to six plants for your own personal use. However, you won’t be able to purchase cannabis in any type of shop or dispensary, at least not yet. The state of California has not established any guidelines or regulations yet with respect to how the sale and taxation of recreational marijuana will be regulated. Medical marijuana will still be available at state-approved dispensaries, but you must have a medical marijuana card to make any purchases at those facilities.

The new law only allows you to smoke pot in a private place. The law does not specifically outlaw driving after smoking marijuana, but you can be charged with a DUI if it can be established that your use has impaired your driving.

Contact the Law Office of Lance Dacre

With offices in American Canyon, the Law Office of Lance Dacre brings more than 12 years of criminal defense experience to people charged with a crime, including actions involving medical marijuana. 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.

What Constitutes a Burglary?

Posted on | February 15, 2017 | Comments Off

What Constitutes a Burglary in California?

What Constitutes a BurglaryIn California, as in other states, a “theft crime” is relatively generic and can mean any of a number of offenses, some misdemeanors and some felonies. There’s a broad spectrum of crimes that qualify as theft offenses, from shoplifting to grand theft, from petty theft to embezzlement. In this blog, we look at the elements of the crime of burglary.

Burglary Defined

Under the California Penal Code, a person commits the crime of burglary by entering the premises of another person with the intent to commit a crime. The entry may be a residence or commercial property and the entry must be without permission, either express or implied. Any type of crime will suffice and it’s not necessary that the wrongdoer actually complete the crime.

Theft is the most common crime tied to a burglary, but assault, arson and other crimes would suffice. If it can be shown that the person did not intend to commit any other crime, the person may be charged with trespass. It’s also important to understand that the intruder need not enter through a locked or closed door or window, and that a person can commit a burglary simply by reaching through a door or window and attempting a crime.

Burglary in California can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, typically based on the nature of the crime, as well as the defendant’s prior record.

Contact the Law Office of Lance Dacre

With offices in American Canyon, the Law Office of Lance Dacre brings more than 12 years of criminal defense experience to people charged with a crime, including actions involving medical marijuana. 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.

California Prohibits Holding Cell Phone While Driving

Posted on | January 6, 2017 | No Comments

Cell Phone While Driving

Effective Sunday, January 1, 2017, it is against the law for motorists in California to hold a cell phone while on the road. The law is far-reaching, banning the holding of a cell phone for any purpose, from talking to texting to checking a map. Drivers may use cell phones when behind the wheel only if the phones are mounted on the dashboard of the car and are set up for hands-free operation. Motorists may also use factory installed phone systems.

The law is not the first limitation on the use of cell phones by drivers in California—the first such law was on the books 10 years ago. Prior laws, however, dealt specifically with talking, texting or using the internet while driving—the new statute seeks to prevent any use of a phone that may distract a driver from the road—playing music, taking pictures or using social media.

California officials say the increase in motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted drivers was the major incentive behind the new law. A study conducted before the 2006 law likened talking on a cell phone while driving to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Contact the Law Office of Lance Dacre

With offices in American Canyon, the Law Office of Lance Dacre brings more than 12 years of criminal defense experience to people charged with a crime, including actions involving medical marijuana. 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.

California Addresses All Aspects of “Driving Under the Influence”

Posted on | December 15, 2016 | No Comments

Driving-Under-Influence

When most people think of a DUI, they associate it only with drinking and driving. But California officials are out to educate the public and to enforce a broader interpretation of the law. A new campaign, recently launched by the California Office of Traffic Safety, focuses on what is known as DUI-D—driving while under the influence of drugs.

Officials say it’s not just the availability of medical marijuana that motivated the OTS to take action. Studies show that, over the past decade, the use of prescription and over-the-counter medications, especially those that can impair driving ability, has skyrocketed. Representative pharmaceutical products include painkillers, allergy medication, anti-anxiety drugs, sleep aids and muscle relaxers. And officials stress that, whether you have a prescription or not, it’s still against the law to drive if you are impaired by medication.

Now that the Adult Use of Marijuana Act has legalized the use of weed for personal use for persons 21 and older, officials say their concerns have escalated. They point to the increasingly larger doses of THC in marijuana, which slows down reaction times and causes drivers to be less cognizant of their surroundings.

Official provide these recommendations if you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications:

  • Read the label—if it recommends that you don’t drive, don’t get behind the wheel
  • Don’t combine alcohol and any drug, including marijuana
  • If you aren’t certain if you are feeling any effects from medication, don’t drive

Contact the Law Office of Lance Dacre

With offices in American Canyon, the Law Office of Lance Dacre brings more than 12 years of criminal defense experience to people charged with a crime, including actions involving medical marijuana. 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.

Drunk Driver Who Killed Boy Seeks to Withdraw Plea

Posted on | August 30, 2016 | No Comments

New-Maryland-Law-Seeks-to-Reduce-Number-of-Drunk-Driving-AccidentsA former high school basketball coach, sentenced to 12 years in prison after entering a no-contest plea in a manslaughter prosecution, has filed a request with the court to withdraw the plea, citing new evidence. Loren LeBeau, who coached at Central High in Los Angeles, entered the plea and was sentenced in 2013. He has been serving time for three years.

According to LeBeau’s attorney, a video introduced by the attorney for the family of the 7-year-old boy contains evidence that would make it impossible to convict him of vehicular manslaughter. LeBeau admitted that he had been drinking before the accident, which occurred shortly after 9 p.m., on July 25, 2012. Witnesses say that the victim, Donovan Maldonado, was legally in a crosswalk on Shepherd Avenue, walking with his father and younger sister, when LeBeau hit him and dragged him more than 250 yards.

LeBeau’s counsel alleges that a video introduced at the civil trial, settled for $1.15 million, makes it clear that no driver, drunk or not, could have seen the boy. Because LeBeau could not have been charged with manslaughter, he claims, LeBeau could not plead guilty to manslaughter. LeBeau’s attorney says the videotape was not available to defense counsel at the time LeBeau entered his plea. Lawyers for the Maldonado family say, however, that the video is not new evidence and that LeBeau’s attorneys had the evidence before he entered his plea.

Contact the Law Office of Lance Dacre

With offices in American Canyon, the Law Office of Lance Dacre brings more than 12 years of criminal defense experience to people charged with a crime, including actions involving medical marijuana. 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.

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