Indecent exposure sounds like a minor crime, but it is actually a very serious offense that can result in your being labeled a sex offender. If you have been accused of indecent exposure, it is critical you contact a top Vista criminal attorney as soon as possible to start building a defense against these charges.
While this crime is only a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in prison and $1,000 in fines, it is considered a sex crime worth of lifetime registration on the sex offender list. That means that you will be punished for that one mistake for the rest of your life. Take it from a Vista criminal lawyer, you absolutely do not want to be convicted of indecent exposure. Additionally, a second conviction for indecent exposure is a felony an may result in a state prison sentence.
For the prosecution to convict you of indecent exposure, they must prove that you willingly exposed yourself in public with the specific intent to bring attention to your genitals. Additionally, they must be able to show that the exposure was for the purpose of sexual arousal, making a sexual insult at another person or to offend someone.
That last parts are often critical in the defense against this crime as many people arrested for streaking or public urination are charged with indecent exposure when the intent was either a bit of light-hearted fun or simply to relieve oneself. In many cases, your intent will be at the crux of the issue. A Vista criminal attorney like Peter M. Liss can work to uncover witnesses, psychologists and more to show that you were not acting in a sexual or intentionally offensive manner, even if you were exposed to the public.
In many cases, this crime is charged in conjunction with lewd conduct. For example, people caught having sex at nude beaches are commonly prosecuted for both indecent exposure and lewd conduct. This makes it even more important to contact a Vista sex crimes lawyer who can help you fight any and all charges related to your arrest.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free initial consultation with a top Vista defense lawyer, please call (760) 643-4050.
Lewd conduct in public occurs when a person solicits or participates in some type of sexual conduct in a public place or an area open to public view. While the crime sounds pretty straight forward, there are actually a lot of specific aspects of the incident that must occur in order for the prosecution to secure a conviction. If you have been accused of lewd conduct in public, a criminal lawyer in Vista, CA can help you fight these accusations.
While lewd conduct in public does not result in your being labeled a sex offender, it is often charged with indecent exposure, which can land you on the sex offender registry. Even if you are only charged with lewd conduct in public though, you can still receive a sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of $1,000, so it is critical you take such accusations seriously and speak with a Vista criminal lawyer as soon as possible.
There are many different defenses for a lewd conduct in public charge available to a criminal defense attorney in Vista. If you were arrested as part of an undercover sting operation, your lawyer may be able to show it was entrapment.
In order for someone to be convicted of lewd conduct in public, the prosecution must prove that you willfully solicited or engaged in the touching of your own or another person’s genitals, buttocks, or breasts in order to sexually arouse or provide sexual gratification to yourself or someone else or in order to annoy or cause offense to others, and the act must have occurred somewhere within public view of another person who was offended. Additionally, you must have known or should reasonably should have known that someone present might be offended by the conduct.
There are a lot of aspects to this crime that must be true in order for the prosecution to prove you guilty. If you did not realize someone could see you, you did not commit a lewd act in public. If you touched yourself or someone else sexually, but never actually touched genitals, buttocks or breasts, this charge does not apply. A good Vista criminal attorney will work to show that all of these criteria were not meant so a prosecution cannot be made.
If you have been accused of lewd conduct in public or any similar crime, please call Vista defense lawyer Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Practically everyone does something they later regret in life when they are still a minor. That’s because kids, tweens and teens don’t have the necessary life experience to make the right choices when confronted with difficult decisions. This is why the juvenile court system is designed to reform more than it is to punish and this is also why records pertaining to crimes committed by juveniles can be sealed when the minor turns 18. If you or your child need help sealing a juvenile criminal record, a Vista criminal lawyer like Peter M. Liss can help.
If you or your child was convicted of a crime as a minor, that criminal record will be available publicly until you have your record sealed. Many people mistakenly believe that your record will automatically be sealed as soon as you turn 18, but you need to actually act to have the records expunged. A San Diego juvenile lawyer can help you file the proper paperwork to ensure your record is sealed.
Having your juvenile record expunged completely clears your record so when you apply for a job or housing and are asked if you have ever been convicted of a crime, you can truthfully answer “no.” The crime will not show up on background checks and will prevent your juvenile criminal history from being used against you. These sealed records can only be opened in rare specific situations and eventually, they will even be physically destroyed so there will be literally no record of your criminal background.
The sealing of records also includes arrest reports. Even if a child was not made a ward of the court or was diverted from prosecution, the records of those events may be sealed.
It is important to recognize that if there have been convictions of crimes involving moral turpitude after termination of juvenile probation, sealing is not allowed. Additionally, violent crimes and many sex offenses are not eligible for sealing. If a minor has been ordered to register as a sex offender, sealing will cause elimination of the registration requirement assuming the minor has a crime eligible to be sealed.
If you are interested in getting your or your child’s juvenile criminal record sealed, please call Vista criminal attorney Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case and how expungement may help.
Possession of stolen property is one of those crimes that most people recognize, but don’t really understand. That’s because the law dictates that the person receiving, acquiring or in control of stolen property must know that the item or items were stolen. This is an important distinction that your Vista criminal lawyer can use while helping you fight the charges.
The problem with saying that a person must know that something is stolen is that it is difficult to prove someone knew something was stolen. Sure, if you see someone pull something off the back of a truck when no one is looking and then they sell it or give it to you, it would be hard to argue that you had no reason to believe the item was stolen, but that is a rare situation.
If you buy an iPod off of Craigslist with a scratched off serial number, you might not immediately recognize that it was stolen -especially if the person who sells it to you provides a reasonable explanation for why the serial number has been removed. A skilled Vista criminal attorney can help you prove that you had no reason to believe the item was stolen, but you need to call a lawyer in Vista as soon as you are arrested and refuse to speak to police without an attorney present or you may say something that will hurt your case later on.
Receiving, acquiring or being in control of stolen property can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony and if there is sufficient evidence to prove that you knew the item was stolen, your Vista defense attorney may be able to negotiate a plea bargain in order to minimize the sentence you will receive.
If you have been accused of being in possession of stolen property, please call Vista criminal defense lawyer Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free initial consultation.
One of the ways California works to keep illegal drugs off the streets is to not only illegalize the substances themselves, but also to make it illegal to own items used in correlation with such substances. Unfortunately, these laws are quite complex because few items are used exclusively for the purpose of taking controlled substances. This means that anything from a pipe to a syringe to a spoon can be considered paraphernalia in a particular context. That is why anyone accused of possession of paraphernalia should immediately contact a Vista criminal defense attorney before answering any questions for the police.
Anyone who has ever entered a smoke shop in California knows that these stores all have signs warning that you cannot use language related to the use of marijuana or you may be asked to leave the store. If you call a tobacco water pipe a “bong,” for example, you may get in trouble. That is because while a majority of people buying items from these stores are buying them for use with marijuana, the stores cannot legally sell drug paraphernalia. Rules relating to marijuana products have become less strict over the last decade thanks to the prevalence of legal medicinal marijuana, but without a medical marijuana card, you cannot legally buy a bong in California.
Similarly, you can be arrested and charged for possessing something as innocent as a spoon or a belt if police believe it was used to help someone shoot heroin. Obviously, you can’t just be charged for owning a spoon or belt, so these cases can get rather complex, which is why you should always fight such accusations with the help of a Vista defense lawyer.
If you are convicted of possession of drug paraphernalia, you may be sentenced to up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines. Fortunately, these cases can be difficult for the prosecution to prove when you have a skilled criminal attorney from Vista on your side. That is because the prosecution must be able to show that you were in control of the paraphernalia, that you knew about it being in your possession, and that you knew it was intended to be used in conjunction with drugs.
This means that if you gave someone a ride and they left a syringe in your car without your knowledge, you cannot be convicted of this crime. Similarly, if someone gave you a pipe and you thought it was for use with tobacco, you cannot be convicted of possession of paraphernalia. Even if you own a shop that sells “rose tubes,” which are often used for smoking crack, you cannot be convicted unless the prosecution can show that you knew you were selling the item to persons who intended to use them for that purpose.
If you have any questions about drug paraphernalia laws, please call Vista criminal defense lawyer at (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Different types of trials require different evidence. For example, a murder trial may include a weapon and DNA evidence. A DUI trial, on the other hand, requires quite unique evidence. This evidence is what your Vista DUI lawyer will need to fight to help you prove your innocence, so it is important to understand what specific forms of evidence will be used in a DUI case in San Diego.
The police officer’s testimony in a DUI trial can make or break your case. That’s because the officer will describe why he or she pulled you over, what made him or her believe you were drunk and a description of your behavior and the statements you made before and after your arrest.
While the courts trust the memory of a police officer far more than a civilian, they also accept that the police are human and do make mistakes, which is why a dashboard cam or conflicting officer testimonies can work to your advantage with the help of your Vista DUI lawyer.
Additionally, factors of the officer’s testimony can be brought into question by your attorney. For example, the officer may claim that you smelled like alcohol, but the reality is that he or she is usually only smelling the kind of alcohol your were drinking, not pure alcohol. This means that if you spilled wine on your shirt or were drinking a particularly pungent variety of gin, the officer easily could have smelled it, even if you were entirely sober by the time you drove. The police may also point out that you had blood shot eyes, something which can easily be explained away by exposure to cigarette smoke (a common occurrence at parties), a medical condition or fatigue.
Chemical Test Results
Chemical test results are the cornerstone of the prosecution’s DUI case. They include blood, breath and urine tests administered by professionals to evaluate whether or not you drank more than the legal limit or if you were under the influence of drugs. We already discussed how your Vista DUI lawyer can fight these test results in this article.
Field Test Results
The last common form of evidence in a DUI trial are your results in the field sobriety tests. While these tests are not mandatory and most DUI lawyers in Vista will urge you not to take them, many people are not aware of this until it is too late.
The field sobriety test results can be attacked by your Vista DUI attorney based on the fact the officer subjectively determines whether the person passes the tests. Additionally, unless a person is well coordinated or athletic, many sober individuals would not pass the field sobriety tests.
If you have been accused of drunk driving, remember, there is help. To speak with Vista drunk driving defense lawyer Peter M. Liss, please call (760) 643-4050.
We have previously discussed how the field sobriety tests are largely inaccurate, but as it turns out, one of the three standardized tests used by California police officers is so wildly inaccurate that one scientific study labelled the test a “deliberate fraud.” That is why it is so important to only work with a Vista criminal lawyer who is not only experienced, but who also keeps up on the newest news in DUI defense news.
The study’s results were released in the Journal of Forensic Science Society with the revealing title, “The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test: fraudulent science in the American courts.” If the headline wasn’t a big enough giveaway as to the study’s findings, here is a small excerpt of their research:
Bypassing the usual scientific review process and touted through the good offices of the federal agency responsible for traffic safety, it was rushed into use as a law enforcement procedure, and was soon adopted and protected from scientific criticism by courts throughout the United States. In fact, research findings, training manuals and other relevant documents were often held as secrets by the state. Still, the protective certification of its practitioners and the immunity afforded by judicial notice failed to silence all the critics of this deeply flawed procedure.
Despite the critiques of DUI lawyers in Vista and around the country, many courts and police officers consider the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test (the one that requires you follow the officer’s pen or finger with your eyes) to be the most important test of the three standardized field sobriety tests. According the study though, it is not only fundamentally flawed, but 95% of police officers administer the test incorrectly. The paper goes on to explain “his summary critique demonstrates that it is scientifically meretricious and that the United States Department of Transportation indulged in deliberate fraud in order to mislead the law enforcement and legal communities into believing the test was scientifically meritorious and overvaluing its worth in the context of criminal evidence.” Keep in mind, this is not something written by a Vista DUI defense attorney, but a group of scientists.
The researchers continue to argue that the continued use of the test is not due to its scientific validity, but to the fact that it has been used for so long that people assume it must be scientifically valid. In the study’s words, “The state’s argument for the field sobriety tests does not rest on proof of merit, but upon qui tacet consentit reasoning that those tests have been so widely accepted they must have been subjected to some kind of review prior to adoption in the many jurisdictions where they are used, that somewhere along the way someone would have spotted the flaws and shortcomings.”
While so many people assume that anyone charged with drunk driving must be guilty if the evidence is against them, Vista DUI lawyer Peter M. Liss knows this simply isn’t true. In fact, it is precisely because the evidence is so unreliable despite what the prosecution would have you believe that you need to work with a skilled DUI defense attorney in Vista.
If you are ready to schedule a free initial consultation with Peter M. Liss to discuss how he can help you fight your drunk driving charges, please call (760) 643-4050.
While the medical use of marijuana is legal in California, it is still subject to a number of laws and the use of medicinal marijuana is still a crime under federal law. If you or a loved one has been charged with marijuana use, sale or another related charge in California despite having a medicinal marijuana license, please call a Vista criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
There are a number of different reasons a person who uses or sells marijuana for medicinal purposes may be charged with a crime related to the drug. For one thing, many police officers are not adequately trained about the Compassionate Care Act and what it means for those using marijuana for treatment of a medical condition. For another, some people who use the drug medicinally might not have a current prescription card or may not have it on them when they were stopped by the police.
Additionally, some people who legally grow marijuana for medicinal purposes sell or give away marijuana to persons without a medicinal marijuana card. Sometimes people are in possession of more marijuana than their prescription allots or use the substance in an area that is banned under state law. It is also illegal to operate a vehicle under the influence of medical marijuana and a Vista DUI lawyer would always urge you not to mention your prescription to a police officer during a traffic stop.
Because there are so many restrictions on dispensaries, those working at these shops and those who own and operate them may be charged with all number of crimes, including selling marijuana to someone without a prescription card, not maintaining the location as a non-profit, or possessing more than the legally allotted amount.
Aside from these local restrictions, the federal government has not recognized the legality of state-operated medical marijuana laws, so you may also be charged by federal agency under federal law whether or not you followed all of the state laws relating to medicinal marijuana. Because these cases operate on a federal level, you will need a Vista criminal attorney that is able to operate in the federal court system like Peter M. Liss.
Whatever the specifics of your medicinal marijuana arrest, Vista criminal lawyer can help you fight the charges. Please call (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.
This blog may talk a lot about Vista criminal lawyer Peter M. Liss’ excellent reputation around the county, but it’s one thing to say that he has defended a number of high-profile cases in the area and has been interviewed repeatedly by many top news organizations and another thing to provide proof. The articles below serve as testimony that Peter Liss truly is one of the most respected criminal attorneys in Vista.
DUI Hit and Run Accident Resulting in Severe Injury of a Marine
In this case, an intoxicated woman involved in an accident with a US Marine fled the scene before authorities arrived. The woman, who had a BAC of .37, was scared, confused and left the scene not because she was avoiding responsibly, but because she wanted to tell her husband, who is also a Marine, what happened before he left for work.
While the defendant faced up to nine years in prison, as her Vista DUI defense lawyer, Peter Liss helped her secure a plea bargain for half of that sentence. Additionally, the bargain allowed the defendant to serve on a firefighting crew while in prison.
Right now, Peter Liss is defending a very high profile case involving a man accused of hitting and killing a three year-old boy with his car. The driver was exiting a driveway and hit and killed the boy. Once the driver realized what happened, he immediately exited the car and began trying to help.
While police initially arrested the driver on suspicion of drunk driving, a preliminary alcohol screening (the only test performed in this case) showed the defendant had a BAC of .02%, far below the legal limit of .08%.
He is still being charged with vehicular manslaughter, driving without a valid license and providing officers with false identification. The charges could result in a two and a half year jail sentence. Ultimately, the case will come down to whether or not the prosecution can prove that the driver was operating his vehicle in a negligent manner, which his Vista criminal attorney, Peter Liss, says he was not doing.
While more coverage of the case will undoubtedly end up in the press as the trial progresses, it has already been covered by the Union Tribune, Fox and KUSI.
If you have been charged with a crime, you want the best Vista criminal lawyer available. Peter M. Liss not only has a sterling reputation, he also offers affordable rates and has an office directly across from the Vista courthouse. If you are ready to schedule a free initial consultation, please call (760) 643-4050.
While you may have heard of SR-22 insurance in the past, you probably never paid attention until you had legal problems. So what exactly is a SR-22 and will you need it in order to get back on the road? Vista DUI lawyer Peter M. Liss explains.
You cannot get a restricted license or any license returned unless you file an SR-22 with the DMV. If you call your insurance company after setting up a policy, the company will file it electronically for you.
While the name refers specifically to the form submitted to the DMV that shows you have insurance, SR-22 is often referred to in terms of insurance policies available for people who need the proof of insurance. Because the certificate is necessary for drivers who have had their license revoked, some people refer to policies that include SR-22 certificates as “high risk insurance.” Not all companies offer such a service and those that do often charge higher premiums to those who need it.
Though drunk driving is the most common reason people need SR-22, other reasons include getting into an accident while uninsured, losing your license after the DMV declared you a negligent operator for obtaining too many points on your record or being convicted of reckless driving. If you stop paying your premiums or cancel your insurance during the mandatory SR-22 period, the company will send the DMV a SR-26 and your license will be suspended again until you turn in another SR-22. If you aren’t sure how long you will need SR-22 insurance, your Vista DUI attorney can let you know based on the specifics of your case, but most people need the documents for three years.
You do not need a SR-22 if you are not planning on driving, but in order to get your license after such a suspension, you will need to obtain the document. In order to get a restricted license before your official suspension is over, you will need to obtain SR-22 documents. Your Vista DUI lawyer can advise you on how to get your license back in the most timely fashion after a criminal driving charge.
If you have any questions about SR-22 documents, insurance and your right to drive after a DUI, please contact Vista DUI attorney Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050.
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