Category Archives:Crime and Justice

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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Juvenile Crimes Help: My Child Has Been Arrested

One of a parents’ worst nightmares is to find out that their son or daughter has been arrested or detained by the police.  Juveniles make mistakes and most have never been exposed to legal consequences.  Preserving your child’s record, so that their college goals and future employment are not affected negatively, should be the first priority.

If your child is arrested, the police can:

  • Make a record of the arrest and let your child go home.
  • Send your child to an agency that will shelter, care for, or counsel your child.
  • Make your child come back to the police station. This is called being “cited back.”
  • Give you and your child a Notice to Appear. Read the notice and do what it says.
  • Put your child in juvenile hall (this is called “detention”). Your child can make at least two phone calls within 1 hour of being arrested. One call must be to a parent, guardian, relative, or boss. The other call must be to a lawyer.

If the police want to talk to your child about what happened, the police must tell your child about his or her legal rights (called “Miranda rights”), which are: your child has the right to remain silent; anything your child says will be used against him or her in court; your child has the right to a lawyer. You have rights, too.  The police must also tell you as soon as your child is locked up. They have to tell you where your child is and what rights he or she has.

The juvenile justice system is different from the adult justice system.  Juvenile delinquency proceedings involve children under the age of 18 (minor) alleged to have committed a delinquent act which would be considered a crime if committed by an adult.  In Orange County Juvenile Court, the focus is on treatment and rehabilitation for the juvenile while the adult justice system focuses on punishment.

However, depending upon the charge, a juvenile can be prosecuted as an adult and be subject to the same penalties as an adult.  If the minor is over the age of 14 and the alleged delinquent act is a serious offense, such as murder or sex crime, the minor could be tried as an adult in adult criminal court.

The authority of juvenile court is contained within the California Welfare and Institutions Code. The law says the court has to protect the public and minors who are subject to juvenile proceedings. To ensure this, juvenile court judges have to consider the following:

  • How to keep the public safe and protected,
  • How to help the victim, and
  • What orders would be in the best-interest of the minor and victims.

The judge decides if the court will intervene in the minor’s future.  If it does, the judge has to consider the appropriate course of action for the minor, and how to make the minor take responsibility for his or her actions.  The court will then decide how to care for, treat, and guide the minor.  This can include punishment so that the minor learns to obey the law.

If your child is arrested for a crime, it is extremely important that you retain an attorney familiar with the Orange County Juvenile Court. Being familiar with the Judges, District Attorneys, Court Clerks and Probation Department, will help facilitate the best possible outcome for your child.

Legal updates by the Orange and Riverside County Law Firm of Don Ho, LLP.

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