Category Archives:California criminal record

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Three Arrested in Yorba Linda Burglaries

Over 100 burglaries have taken place in Yorba Linda since October 2012, and police believe they finally have the thieves. Thieves broke into 35 homes last month alone, stealing mainly jewelry and electronics. Authorities say most of the burglaries happened during the say between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Due to the increased number of burglaries, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department had taken over law-enforcement duties in Yorba Linda, leading to an increase in patrols.  On Friday, authorities arrested Howard Arca, 36; Don Nguyen, 32; and Vu Doan, 21, in the East Lake Village area of Yorba Linda.

Neighborhood residents reported suspicious activity, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Residents said three men were knocking on doors in the neighborhood. If residents answered, the men asked for someone who did not live at the residence.

Sheriff’s deputies located the three men sitting in two cars in the area. Their stories were found to be inconsistent and after searching the cars, deputies found crowbars, gloves and screwdrivers. The three men are believed to be part of a larger burglary ring responsible for more than 100 area burglaries.

A criminal conviction is costly and disruptive of your life. It is important to make sure that if you are facing a criminal conviction, you receive competent representation. If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime contact an experienced an aggressive criminal defense attorney who will fight for your rights, contact Don Ho Law today.

Published by Don Ho Law. Don Ho is a criminal defense and employment law attorney in Riverside and Orange County, CA.

Fullerton DUI Arrests On the Rise

In Fullerton, there have been 121 DUI arrests from the start of the new year to Sunday, 586 arrests in 2012, and 831 arrests in 2011. 
Fullerton, CA Police patch
The increase in DUI arrests in 2013 is due to the Fullerton Police Department putting to use a $146,222 state grant for programs related to drunken-driving suppression, along with a $50,000 grant earmarked for sobriety checkpoints. The grants were awarded last year by the state Office of Traffic Safety. 
Since Oct. 1, the department has tapped into the larger grant to implement 35 saturation patrols – six-hour operations involving two officers patrolling the bar-heavy downtown area looking for suspected drunken drivers.The operation has netted an average of one DUI arrest per patrol, said Capt. George Crum. Fifty-five more saturation patrols are planned through Sept. 30.
Five undercover court-sting operations have also been budgeted through the grant. The second took place on Feb.19 at the North Justice Center, where police followed 35 drivers with suspended licenses from the courthouse to their vehicles. Most had alternate transportation, but police did cite six drivers who’d had their licenses suspended for DUI convictions but still got behind the wheel and drove away from the courthouse. Another driver was arrested on a DUI warrant. The first court sting netted seven citations and one arrest.
Through the $50,000 grant, the department has staged one sobriety checkpoint, has a second planned for March, and will hold three more by Sept. 30.
The City Council in August voted unanimously to accept the $146,222 grant but initially turned down the $50,000 grant. Then-Councilman Travis Kiger said checkpoints violate the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment – which guards against unreasonable searches – and are ineffective and merely a tool used by police unions to garner overtime pay.
Family members of people killed by drunken drivers, along with officials from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, criticized the council for turning down the checkpoint grant. The council then revisited the issue and approved the grant after being informed that the state Office of Traffic Safety would not award either grant unless the council accepted both.

According to the Office of Traffic Safety, California leads the nation in the number of sobriety checkpoints with more than 2,000 conducted annually. Almost 90 percent of California drivers support sobriety checkpoints, according to a 2012 survey conducted by the agency. Of the 14 motor-vehicle deaths in Fullerton since 2009, seven were alcohol related, Chief Dan Hughes has said.

If you or a loved one is arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, contact an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney to fight for your rights. Do not hesitate and contact Don Ho today!
Published by Don Ho Law. Don Ho is a criminal defense and employment law attorney in Orange County, California. 

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Boy Scouts of America 'Perversion Files' Published, Reveal Incidents of Misconduct in Orange County

What began as a newspaper investigation unearthed several hundred descriptions of abuse within the Boy Scouts of America.

This Thursday, thousands of pages of secret “perversion files” kept by the Boy Scouts of America were made public. These files named 19 Orange County members banned from scouting over allegations of child sexual abuse. Previosly, 28 Orange County cases have been made public. Together, they total 47 Orange County cases.

The Scout files were released Thursday by order of the Oregon Supreme Court. They had been used in a court case there, brought and won by a plaintiff who alleged an assistant scoutmaster molested him in the 1980s.

The Scouts began keeping files on those suspected of abuse shortly after the group’s establishment in 1910, in a struggle to keep pedophiles out of its ranks. The Scouts said Thursday that the files, consisting of handwritten letters, memos from local leaders, police reports, and newspaper clippings, helped them track offenders and keep children safe.

Though there are numerous documented cases within the files, it is not clear whether the Scout leaders took allegations of abuse to the police in cases that occurred within Orange County. Deron Smith, spokesman for the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America, has said the Scouts now require all leaders and volunteers to report any instance of abuse to police.

The files hold specific instances of convicted child molesters and sexual offenders serving as Scoutmasters and working directly with children. The files feature cases that span two and one-half decades, from 1959 to 1985. They indicate that a convicted child molester once served as a local Scoutmaster, a registered sex offender worked with a Santa Ana Scout pack and a man later hospitalized as a “sexual psychopath” helped lead a Scout troop in Orange.

One Orange County scout leader, Kenneth Morgan Harper, was listed on the Megan’s Law website as a registered sex offender. Harper was sent to prison for child molestation more than 20 years after the Scouts removed him from a Buena Park troop for having a police record of “sexual perversion”.

Also the files indicate that any effort to keep the sexual deviants out of the Scouts were disorganized and lacked guidance. Within the files there exists at least on memo from a Scouting executive pleading for better guidance on how to handle abuse allegations.

This was the second big release of files detailing allegations of abuse within the Scouts. A set released in the early 1990s as part of another court case detailed nearly 1,900 cases from 1971 through 1991.

Former Boy Scouts still struggle to cope with the abuse they suffered at the hands of Scout leaders, and those who are willing to tell the stories of their abuse have come to feel abandoned by an organization considered a pillar of American society. If you have been a victim of sexual abuse, or have been accused of committing sexual abuse, it is important to have representation from qualified attorneys. The attorney at Don Ho Law, is deeply rooted in the Southern California legal community and has established relationships with several district attorneys and judges in Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties, which can make all the different in the success of your case.

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Wife of Oceanside Police Chief, Brinda McCoy Sentenced to 15-years in State Prison

Brinda Sue McCoy, the wife of Oceanside police chief and Cypress Mayor Frank McCoy, was sentenced to 15 years in state prison Friday for shooting at officers outside her Cypress home. McCoy dialed 911 in 2010 and initiated a 90-minute stand off during which she fired two shots at police. The stand off ended with McCoy crawling to her front door and being subsequently shot with beanbag ammunition by police officers. At her trial McCoy blamed her behavior on her own suicidal thoughts, driven by alcohol and prescription pills. She testified that at one point, she hoped if she called the police they would shoot and kill her. 

McCoy, 49, was convicted in June of five felony counts of assault with a semi-automatic firearm on a peace officer, and one felony count of discharging a fire arm with gross negligence. Following her conviction, Superior Court Judge Francisco Briseno allowed McCoy to be free on bail, but imposed rigid limitations upon her. A few days later, officers found her bleeding in the backyard of her Cypress home after an effort to commit suicide. Briseno ordered her to be taken back into custody on a no-bail warrant. 

When McCoy was sentenced the convictions carried a maximum 29 year prison sentence, but prosecutor Rebecca Olivieri agreed to modify the sentencing enhancements to reduce the jail time. The modifications are partially due to McCoy’s mental health and the fact that she had no prior criminal convictions. The modification allowed Judge Briseno to enforce the lesser term. Though McCoy and the prosecutor reached an agreement, the agreement has several conditions. Most notably, McCoy has agreed to give up her right to an appeal or a new trial. 

It is unusual to modify charges following a conviction. Prosecutor Olivieri explained that she considered factors such as McCoy’s 20-year nursing career, raising a family that includes a son who is a police officer, a daughter who is a police dispatcher, and another daughter in the military. 

A felony is a serious crime and has long lasting effects even after imprisonment. Those convicted of a felony can pay fine or serve jail time. After the imprisonment term has been completed, in many parts of the United States, a convicted felon can face long term legal consequences such as: exclusion from obtaining certain licenses; purchasing fire arms; ineligibility for government assistance programs such as welfare; and sometimes deportation. Additionally, most job applications and rental applications ask if the applicant has ever been convicted of a felony or faced felony charges. 
The goal of the attorneys at Don Ho, LLP, is to provide aggressive and comprehensive defense to those accused of a crime throughout the State of California. The Orange County Law Firm of  Don Ho, LLP, offers a free initial consultation where our criminal defense attorneys will explain the charges you are being accused of and what the District Attorney’s office needs to do to prove their case, as well as explain your rights and provide a fair and unbiased evaluation of your case.  
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Sealing Juvenile Records in California

Grafitti (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Are prospective employers, state licensing agencies, lenders, landlords, and school officials discriminating against you based on your indiscretion as a youth?

If you have a juvenile criminal record, now is the time to have it sealed.  Despite common misperception, juvenile records are not automatically sealed once you turn 18.  In fact, these records will remain accessible until you obtain a judicial order to seal and destroy them.

We can help you seal your California juvenile criminal record so that you may proudly present yourself as the most qualified candidate. 

What’s in a California Arrest Record?
Your California juvenile record includes every report and court record having to do with any criminal activity you were involved in as a minor (that is, while you were under 18). This includes: arrest reports, judge’s findings and rulings, exhibits, and probation reports.

Cleaning up your Criminal Record – Sealing Juvenile Records

When the court grants your petition to “seal” these records, it closes your file so that these documents essentially cease to exist. They are no longer public records.

The whole point of the process is to alleviate further stigmatization of a former juvenile offender. So, after you seal your juvenile records, you can answer “no” if you are ever asked:

  1. if you were ever arrested,
  2. if you have a criminal record, or
  3. even if you have a sealed record.
Under California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 781, you have the legal right to seal your juvenile records. This right is available in most juvenile cases, with certain exceptions. In order to seal your juvenile record, your juvenile law attorney must petition the court and your probation officer to have your record sealed.
How to Qualify to Have Your Juvenile Records Sealed
Typically, your attorney is entitled to petition the juvenile court to seal your records once you turn 18 years old. However, some courts require a period of “good behavior” between the end of juvenile probation and the filing of a petition. You must also pay in full all previous fines or restitution owed to the court as an adult or juvenile, including any traffic fines.
You must not have been convicted as an adult of any felony or misdemeanor crimes involving “moral turpitude.” Crimes of moral turpitudeare those that demonstrate a depravity of moral character in violation of the accepted moral standards of the community. Such crimes include theft, fraud, sex, or drugs.
Your attorney must be able to demonstrate to the court:
  1. That you have been rehabilitated;
  2. That your case started and ended in juvenile court; AND
  3. That you do not have an ongoing civil suit regarding the underlying actions of your juvenile record.
If you were convicted for offenses such as murder, attempted murder, voluntary manslaughter, arson, robbery, certain sex offenses, kidnapping, certain types of assault, or any other violent felony, you may not qualify to have your criminal record sealed.
Having a juvenile record may affect your life even once you have completed your juvenile probation. It may make it more difficult for you to get a job or to go to the college of your choice.  Sealing your juvenile records can help you move on with your life.

If you have a juvenile record and wish to seal them so that you can be free to pursue certain opportunities, contact the Orange County defense firm of Don Ho, LLP who can help you restore your record to a time prior to any juvenile adjudication.

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