“If there is one characteristic that defines me, it is my belief in human dignity, my belief that my client's life is just as important now as it was on the day they were born.” - Michael Guisti

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Orange County Criminal Defense Blog

Death in OC Jail: Who’s to Blame?

By Michael Guisti on July 26, 2017

Tina Wu, sister of Danny Pham, with her attorney Michael Guisti, talks with the media in Santa Ana, California, on Monday, July 24, 2017. Danny Pham, who was serving a 180-day sentence for car theft, was killed in his jail cell on July 3. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Tina Wu, sister of Danny Pham, with her attorney Michael Guisti, talks with the media in Santa Ana, California, on Monday, July 24, 2017. Danny Pham, who was serving a 180-day sentence for car theft, was killed in his jail cell on July 3.
(Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Danny Pham was a skinny, 27-year-old cosmetology student who grew up in Westminster, California.

Described as “just a sweet kid,” Danny had a good family, direction, goals. Then he messed up. He took a car that wasn’t his and went “joyriding” one night. He was caught, pled guilty, and surrendered to serve six months in the Orange County Jail in Santa Ana.

Danny Pham is dead.

On July 3rd, just a few days before his release date, Danny was found dead on the floor of his cell. It’s been nearly a month since Danny died and authorities have yet to release his cause of death. Pham’s family wants answers and has retained noted Orange County defense attorney Michael L. Guisti to get them. Read the rest »

Posted in: In the News

Petty Theft: How Penalties Can Increase

By Michael Guisti on July 7, 2017

handcuffsAs you may know, California differentiates theft into two categories: petty and grand. Petty theft is usually theft of property under $950 (with specific exceptions to this rule) and grand usually refers to theft over $950.

Petty theft may sound small, but the consequences are not. In fact, there are different scenarios when the penalties are increased. Let’s take a look at different California codes and how they punish petty theft violations. Read the rest »

Posted in: Theft Crimes

Recognize the Signs of Domestic Violence

By Michael Guisti on June 27, 2017

Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of sex, gender identity, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. In addition, anyone can be an abuser, no matter their cultural or economic background.

Victims of abuse may not always be forthcoming about what they are going through, so being able to recognize abuse can be helpful to you and your loved ones. Read the rest »

Posted in: Domestic Violence

5 Ways That You Can Be a Victim of Wire Fraud

By Michael Guisti on June 21, 2017

creditWith the growth of new technology, criminals have found new ways to take advantage of us. It seems like every month there is another scheme your friend and coworkers are warning you about. From emails to Facebook posts, we have never been more susceptible to wire fraud.

So how can you help prevent wire fraud? Well, the first step is understanding how fraud can occur. Once you understand these criminal techniques, you can identify (and prevent) fraud. Read the rest »

Posted in: White Collar Crimes

Watch Out, Guardians! Come May 27th, You’re Being Falsely Imprisoned at California Adventure!

By Michael Guisti on April 26, 2017


guardians2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy was a smash hit. Appealing to space-action-comedy lovers (apparently, that’s a lot of us), the Marvel-based movie with characters Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Groot, and Rocket won over audiences to the tune of $700 million worldwide…and a sequel.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is due for release on May 5, and just a few weeks later, Disney is unveiling its tie-in, brand-new ride at California Adventure park in Anaheim. Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout may be interactive fun and games for Disney park-hoppers, but it’s also a stellar example of false imprisonment.

Read the rest »

Posted in: Criminal Defense

Mother of Slain Man Files Wrongful Death Suit

By Michael Guisti on March 14, 2017

Just 48 hours after her son was shot to death by Huntington Beach Police, Angela Hernandez was standing in the very spot he died. By her side was Orange County attorney Michael L. Guisti, who announced that wrongful death charges would be brought again the Huntington Beach Police Department.

Read the rest »

Posted in: Criminal Defense

Michelle Suzanne Hadley’s Timeline – How the Story Finally Unfolded

By Michael Guisti on January 19, 2017

A story with all the twists and turns of a feature film or an episode of “Dateline,” and as diabolical and convoluted as the plot of Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl” came to an end on January 9th, 2017—or at least it did for Michelle Suzanne Hadley of Ontario, California, whose life has been a surreal nightmare for the last eight months. Here is her bizarre story in a chronological timeline:

Read the rest »

Posted in: Firm News

Michael Guisti Comments on Charges Being Dropped in Michelle Hadley Craigslist Case

By Michael Guisti on January 10, 2017

OC Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Guisti answers questions following the press conference announcement of files being charged against Angela Diaz. Ms. Diaz was charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, perjury, forgery, grand theft, falsely reporting crimes to APD, and framing her husband’s ex-fiancée, causing the victim, Guisti’s client Michelle Hadley, to serve jail time after being arrested and charged.

The announcement was made at the OCDA’s Office in Santa Ana on Monday January 9, 2017 at 11am. For more information, read the full story of the Michelle Hadley Craigslist Case on our site and stay tuned to our Facebook account for the latest news and updates.

Customers and Employees Be Aware of Petty Theft During the Holidays

By Michael Guisti on December 7, 2016

gavel-justiceWith the holiday season almost upon us, the concerns begin to rise of an increase in petty theft crimes. Petty theft is outlined in the California Penal Code Statues 484 and 488 as the stealing of property valued at $950 or less. Shoplifting shares the common characteristics of a petty theft crime, except it has to involve the entering of a business that is currently open during normal hours with the intent to steal. Shoplifting is further defined by California Penal Code 459.5.

The holidays are supposed to be a time for sharing, giving, and joy amongst family and friends. People spend hours in stores, shopping for gifts, purchasing merchandise, and enjoying themselves. However, with the holiday season comes a prime time for petty thieves and shoplifters to take advantage. It is important for both shoppers and store employees to be very aware of the higher likelihood that someone will attempt to commit petty theft or shoplifting.

Read the rest »

Posted in: Criminal Defense

Is the Banning of Gun Sales to Medical Marijuana Card Holders Justified or Just Unfair?

By Michael Guisti on December 2, 2016

marijuanaThe issue of legalizing marijuana has been a contentious topic for some time now. People have debated over the effects that marijuana has on users and because of this, the idea of legalizing it in any form has become a hot-button issue. Only in recent years have we seen some states alter their laws regarding the legalizing of this illegal drug for either medical use, recreational use, or both.

Under current federal law, marijuana is still illegal. Therefore, firearm dealers are allowed to deny a person the purchase of a firearm, even if they have a legally attained medical marijuana card. This legal issue gathered more steam after the ruling in the case Wilson v. Lynch where a woman was not allowed to buy a gun because she possess a medical marijuana card. In the ruling, an Open Letter was sent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) that basically said that any person who is addicted to or uses marijuana is not allowed to possess firearms or ammunition, even if the state they live in legally allows for marijuana use in medical situations.

Read the rest »

Posted in: Criminal Defense

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