Category Archives:Orange County Criminal Defense

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Disturbing the Peace - PC 415

California Penal Code Section 415 is helping keep the peace all over the city. According to PC 415, any individual under the following cases will be imprisoned to the county jail for 90 days, he will be liable to pay a fine of $4,000.00, or both:

·        If an individual unlawfully fights in the public place or he challenges some other person to fight him in the public place.

·        If an individual maliciously or willingly disturbs someone else by loud or unreasonable noise.

·        If an individual uses offensive words which can provoke violence in the public place.

PC 415 is a broadly-written law that can cover any behavior that can disturb the peace.  If you see people at a bar fighting, if you are having an argument with your neighbor because of loud music which is disturbing them then you can be charged under the provisions of the law.

Defenses to PC 415
The good news is a PC 415 charge is often hard for prosecutors to prove which makes it easier for the defense attorneys to defend your case. Before you go to court facing these charges, it is recommended to discuss your case with a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights.

The defense attorney can argue several factors, including:

·         His client did not have any criminal intent

·         His behavior was protected constitutionally

·         He has been falsely accused.

PC 415  is also called a “wobblet.” It means that it is on offense which allows the prosecutors to charge it as a misdemeanor or an infraction. The big brother of the “wobblet” is the “wobbler,” which is a crime that will be charged as a felony or misdemeanor.

If you have been charged with disturbing the peace, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight your charges on you behalf. A conviction can be costly for your reputation and you may have to pay hefty fines. Contact Don Ho, an established criminal defense attorney, to fight for your rights!

Published by Don Ho LawDon Ho is a criminal defense attorney in Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties.

Rescued Hiker Charged with Possession

One of two hikers rescued from Trabuco Canyon in the Cleveland National Forest has recently been arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine.

Nicolas Cendoya, 19, and his friend, 18-year-old Kyndall Jack, went missing while hiking on Easter
Sunday on what was supposed to be an easy hike, the pair were found separately sever days later. Cendoya was rescued first and Jack was rescued the next day. Each hiker told reported having suffering hallucinations and lucid dreams.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office said methamphetamine was found on or around March 31st in Cendoya’s parked car in the Cleveland National Forest. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department was searching his car looking for any information that might help them locate the two missing hikers and while they were looking in the car they found 497 mg, or a small useable amount, of methamphetamine, reports the ABC News. Investigators did not ask the hikers to submit to toxicology testing after their rescue.

Cendoya was charged with one felony count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine. If convicted, he could face up to three years behind bards. Jack is not charged at this time, according to the district attorney’s office.

Orange County officials said earlier they would not seek reimbursement for the more than $160,000 spent rescuing the hikers, but a request for an investigation to determine if the hikers set in motion a series of events in which they should be held legally and financially responsible has been made.

A criminal conviction can be costly, and serve as a permanent scar on your record. If you or a loved one has been charged with possession or sale of narcotics, it is important to find an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney to fight your charges, 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, California.

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Bus Driver Helps Arrest Riverside Robbery Suspect

A Riverside bus driver, Bob Owens, is credited with helping police catch a violent robbery suspect who boarded his bus in Corona when he recognized Erick Cunningham’s, 45, face from posters. 

Police said that on April 16, Cunningham, used a hammer or mallet to bludgeon a 52-year-old owner of a Riverside tobacco shop and then grabbed cash from the register. The victim was hospitalized in serious condition. 

On Thursday morning, Cunningham boarded Owen’s bus in Corona and took a window seat at the front of the bus, according to the Riverside Transit Agency.

Owens calmly waited, taking care not to appear nervous, for his opportunity to alert law enforcement that Cunningham was on his bus. 

Owens waited until he could quietly ask another bus driver to alert police during a stop. Minutes later, Owens made a stop on his route at the Galleria at Tyler, and officers were waiting.

Cunningham was being held on $1 million bail. He is expected to appear in court Monday to face felony charges.

If you are facing a criminal charge, you will need an aggressive and comprehensive defense by an experienced criminal attorney. Attorney Don Ho is deeply rooted in the Southern California legal community and has established relationships with several deputy district attorneys and judges in Riverside and Orange Counties. Contact Don Ho Law today for help fighting your charges and/or reducing your sentence.

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

Orange County DUI Checkpoint - Santa Ana April 5, 2013

A DUI checkpoint will occur at the following location:

City:  Santa Ana, CA
Date:  Friday, April 5, 2013
Time:  8:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
Location:  Area of 300 N. Main St. (between 17th Street & 1st Street)
Agency:  Santa Ana Police Department
A DUI conviction is costly and disruptive to 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.

DUI Checkpoints Planned for St. Patrick's Day Weekend

This St. Patrick’s day and weekend, police and CHP will be boosting their presence on several Orange County roads and freeways, in an attempt to curb what has been a rise in the numbers of incidents of drunk driving and fatalities.

Specifically, CHP officers are focusing on speeding and aggressive driving on Santiago Canyon Road through Sunday with extra patrols funded by a federal grant. Other DUI enforcement will include saturation patrols around the county.

The stepped-up enforcement is part of the Avoid the 38 DUI task force’s crackdown on drunken drivers and its Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, according to a statement released by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The Sheriff’s Department is one of 38 law-enforcement agencies expected to increase patrols during the weekend.

As of Saturday night there are several Orange County DUI Checkpoints, one checkpoint location is currently Beach Blvd. and Slater in Huntington Beach and in Irvine at Jamboree Road and Barranca Parkway from 7:00PM – 3:00AM.

In Riverside County, checkpoints include Corona on South Lincoln Ave. & West 6th Street.

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. Don’t hesitate and contact Don Ho today!

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

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Drunk Driver Leads Police in a Pursuit through Orange County

A drunken man led Orange County Sheriffs from Stanton to Anaheim in a pursuit that began in a fast-food restaurant drive through lane and ended when a deputy opened fire on the suspect. The pursuit ended on Ball Road and Gilbert Street in Anaheim early Saturday morning.

Orange County Sheriff’s deputies chased a drunken man Saturday morning after he passed out in a fast-food restaurant drive-through lane and rammed a patrol car trying to escape, authorities said.

Deputies arrived at a McDonald’s, 11097 Beach Blvd., at 3:07 a.m., and found the man, Lt. Joe Balicki said.

When authorities attempted to talk to the driver, he woke up and became uncooperative, authorities said. The man then hit an occupied patrol car, escaping the drive-through lane.

Authorities said the man drove north on Beach Boulevard, turning east on Ball Road. Deputies managed to stop his vehicle near Ball Road and Gilbert Street in Anaheim.

During the pursuit on Ball Road, an officer fired one or more shots at the driver just before Dale Street, Sheriff’s Capt. Steve Doan said.

Authorities did not confirm whether the man was shot, but Orange County District Attorney officials are investigating at the scene, as it is protocol for all officer- involved shootings, Doan said. No deputies were injured, but the driver was taken to a hospital. He is expected to survive. Upon being released from the hospital, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department arrested him on felony DUI and assault with a deadly weapon charges for ramming the patrol car.


If you are facing a criminal charge in Riverside or Orange County, contact an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney to assist you in fighting and/or reducing your charges. Do not hesitate and contact Don Ho, today!

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

Backyard Bones, Santa Ana Man Charged with Murder

A Santa Ana resident, Larry Thomas Dominguez, 65, was charged with fraudulently collecting more than $100,000 of his deceased father’s Social Security benefits, after bones believed to be those of his father were found in the backyard of his former home. The bones were found when a family in the neighborhood had bought the home and begun renovations. 

Dominguez was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon on a felony count of theft by embezzlement, with sentencing enhancements for aggravated white-collar crime over $100,000. Dominguez lived in the home with his father and mother since the late 1960s. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office allege that Dominguez collected more than $1,100 a month between his father’s death in May 2005 and January of this year. If convicted, he faces a maximum of four years in prison.

Construction Workman.

Authorities began investigating Dominguez on Sunday after a human skeleton was discovered during a renovation project at a home he used to own. Though an autopsy did not immediately identify the remains, they were believed to be those of Dominguez’s father, Wallace Benjamin Dominguez.

There is no death certificate for Wallace Dominguez and authorities do not know how he died. Investigators were able to pinpoint May 2005 as his date of death but did not elaborate as to how. Larry Dominguez’s mother also lived at the home, but investigators have a death certificate for her.

Larry Dominguez was originally arrested on suspicion of homicide, but prosecutors filed the embezzlement charges as authorities continue to investigate the manner of death.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, contact an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney to fight for your rights. Don’t hesitate and contact Don Ho today!

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

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O.C. Judge Reprimanded for Rape Comments


A Southern California judge is being publicly reprimanded for saying a rape victim “didn’t put up a fight” during her assault and that if someone does not want sexual intercourse, the body “will not permit that to happen.”

The California Commission on Judicial Performance voted 10-0 to impose a public admonishment Thursday, saying Superior Court Judge Derek Johnson’s comments were inappropriate and a breach of judicial ethics.

“In the commission’s view, the judge’s remarks reflected outdated, biased and insensitive views about sexual assault victims who do not ‘put up a fight.’ Such comments cannot help but diminish public confidence and trust in the impartiality of the judiciary,” wrote Lawrence J. Simi, the commission’s chairman.

Johnson made the comments in the case of a man who threatened to mutilate the face and genitals of his ex-girlfriend, beat her with a metal baton and made other violent threats before committing rape, forced oral copulation, and other crimes. Though the woman reported the criminal threats the next day, she did not report the rape until 17 days later.

Johnson, a former prosecutor in the Orange County district attorney’s sex crimes unit, said during the man’s 2008 sentencing: “I’m not a gynecologist, but I can tell you something: If someone doesn’t want to have sexual intercourse, the body shuts down. The body will not permit that to happen unless a lot of damage is inflicted, and we heard nothing about that in this case.” Johnson said he believed the prosecutor’s request of a 16-year sentence was not authorized by law. Johnson sentenced the rapist to six years instead, saying that’s what the case was “worth.”
In an apology, Johnson explained that he was frustrated with a prosecutor during an argument in 2008 over sentencing and was trying to make a distinction between the case before him and more aggravated cases cited by the prosecutor, according to the decision.

The commission found that Johnson’s view that a victim must resist to be a real victim of sexual assault was his opinion, not the law. Since 1980, California law doesn’t require rape victims to prove they resisted or were prevented from resisting because of threats.

A public admonishment is the lowest form of public discipline issued by the state commission, which oversees the conduct of judicial officers.

Johnson remains on the bench, and will continue to for the last two years of his term.

Published by Don HoLaw.  Don Ho is an attorney in Orange County, California, focusing on criminal and employment law.

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Felony Charge Filed Against Suspect in 'Desperate Bandit' Bank Robberies

A felony charge was filed today against a 47-year-old man who may be the ‘Desperate Bandit,’ blamed for nine bank robberies in Riverside, Orange, and San Bernardino counties. Indio police arrested Michael Patrick Downing, 47, of Chino Hills after a bank robbery in that city Friday.

“A FirstBank branch at 82900 Avenue 42 was robbed after a man approached the teller with a note demanding money”, Indio police said in a written statement. According to investigators, after the man exited the bank, he drove from the parking lot in a white colored Toyota Corolla with an undisclosed amount of money. Indio police radioed the car’s description and an officer later observed a vehicle matching that description on westbound 1-10, about a mile west of the bank.

A patrol car followed the vehicle another four miles until back-up units arrived and then pulled the car over. The driver, Downing, was arrested.

Investigators found a two-liter plastic bottle filled with clear liquid and suspicious wiring during a search of Downing’s car. The Riverside Sheriff’s Department sent out its Hazardous Device Team to determine whether the device was a bomb. After inspection the device was determined to be inert.

FBI officials suspected Downing might be connected to the nine other ‘Desperate Bandit’ robberies that occurred over the past year in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties because of the nature of the crime and Downing’s physical description.

In Orange County, the desperate bandit has been blamed for bank robberies in Tustin, La Habra, Anaheim Hills, Fullerton and Placentia.

The robber was given the nickname by the FBI after describing himself as desperate in one of the notes passed to a bank teller.

Investigators allege that Downing admitted he committed several other bank robberies in Southern California and say they are “99.99 percent” certain that Downing is the “Desperate Bandit” bank robber.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, call Don Ho Law at 714-748-7715 to speak with an attorney who can help you fight the charges.

Published by Don Ho Law.  Don Ho is an attorney in Orange County, California, focusing on criminal and employment law.

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Overbearing Parents: Irvine Couple Accused of Planting Drugs on Volunteer at Son's School

Two California parents have been arrested in a strange alleged conspiracy to plant drugs in the car of the PTA president of their child’s school.
Kent Wycliffe Easter and Jill Bjorkholm Easter, both 38-year-old attorneys, were arrestedTuesday on felony charges of false imprisonment, conspiracy to falsely report a crime and conspiracy to procure the false arrest of the elementary-school parent volunteer. The couple hatched a plan to frame Kelli Peters — a well-known Plaza Vista School volunteer who would go on to become the school’s PTA president — for what the Easters alleged was her mistreatment of their young son at school. The Easters are accused of putting Vicodin, Percocet, marijuana, and a used marijuana pipe behind the front seat of her car to frame her.
On February 16, 2011, the police received a tip from a concerned parent, saying he had seen a woman driving erratically and parking at Plaza Vista School. Drawing suspicion, the citizen also knew her license plate, name, and witnessed her hiding drugs behind the seat. Police pulled Peters from the school and found the drugs. When she denied knowledge of the drugs, police traced the call to a Newport beach hotel and finding a surveillance tape of the business center where the call originated. The tape showed Kent Easter.
It was not the first time the Easters had been in a dispute with Peters. In 2010, Kent Easter filed a civil suit on his son’s behalf against a volunteer organization associated with Plaza Vista Elementary School in Irvine. The complaint states that Jill Easter arrived at the then-first grade child’s school to pick him up after a tennis lesson and found that he had been locked outside for nearly 20 minutes. Ironically, it sought damages for claimed false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress but was later dismissed. Jill Easter also filed a restraining order against Peters, alleging that Peters was “harassing and stalking” her and her son, and had “threatened to kill me.”
The Easters, who are currently free on $20,000 bail each, are scheduled to be arraigned next month in Orange County Superior Court. The couple will likely loose custody, go to jail, and be stripped of their licenses.

If you are charged with a felony, contact an experienced attorney at the Orange County Criminal Law firm of Don Ho, LLP to assist you in fighting your charges and reducing your sentence.

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