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Orange County Criminal Defense Blog

Lying About COVID-19 Only Makes Matters Worse

By Michael Guisti on October 15, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the desperation in several individuals. The scarcity of supplies led to fights in grocery stores, the recession has driven everyday citizens to shoplift, and there have been reports of unemployment fraud across the country. One of the most damaging crimes that have come out of this healthcare crisis is individuals lying about COVID-19, often to avoid being arrested by the police. However, this can easily lead to far more serious charges.

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Posted in: Criminal Defense

Receiving Stolen Property at Swap Meets

By Michael Guisti on October 1, 2020

Swap meets are extremely popular across Orange County and some people even make a decent living traveling across the Southwest to various meets to sell handmade goods. While many swap meets host a lively community of artists and craftsmen, it is not uncommon to see unpackaged goods at these events. Some may be perfectly legitimate third-party retailers and dealers selling wholesale products, but there is the real possibility that they are peddling stolen goods.

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Posted in: Theft Crimes

Protesting vs Disturbing the Peace

By Michael Guisti on September 17, 2020

The recent protests across the United States following the death of George Floyd have led to numerous discussions about the extent of local, state, and federal jurisdiction. Oftentimes, law enforcement will arrest and charge protestors for disturbing the peace and even going as far as saying that the suspects were inciting riots. However, there are several key differences between disturbing the peace and peacefully protesting that an attorney can take into account when advocating for a defendant’s rights in the state of California.

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Posted in: Criminal Defense

Responding to a Domestic Violence Restraining Order

By Michael Guisti on July 29, 2020

The interpersonal relations of spouses, sexual partners, and families can become heavily charged with emotion and stress during economic and civil unrest. In some cases, this culminates in domestic abuse and violence—but there are always two sides to each story. Domestic violence restraining orders are not always distributed fairly, and they may be unjustly enforced if a defendant does not have a strong legal defense or is unaware of the requirements of the order.

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Posted in: Domestic Violence

Are Other Officers Liable for Not Stopping Police Brutality?

By Michael Guisti on July 8, 2020

The recent protests throughout the United States, including those here in Orange County, denouncing the actions of Minneapolis police officers have driven many politicians to push for serious police reform on a local, state, and even federal level. While these various proposals and reforms have focused on reevaluating how officers respond to 911 calls, changes to police budgets, new procedures, and more oversight into police misconduct, there is still the matter of how officers should conduct themselves when police brutality does occur. Misconduct and brutality do not occur in a vacuum, and many officers are taught these behaviors and practices throughout their training and careers.

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Posted in: Criminal Defense

Exceptions and Defenses Against the Three Strikes Law

By Michael Guisti on June 9, 2020

For over two decades, California’s criminal justice system has used the Three Strikes Law to extend the sentencing of defendants. Despite multiple debates and arguments against habitual offense laws, this law is commonplace in criminal trials and can easily impact your future if an Orange County court convicts you of a serious or violent felony.

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Posted in: Three Strikes Law

California’s Executive Order on State Prisons and Parole During COVID-19

By Michael Guisti on May 15, 2020

As the effects of COVID-19 has begun to impact not only the health and safety of California residents, but also our economy and social systems, our state Governor Gavin Newsom has enacted new regulations for prisoners and parole. Prisons are a breeding ground for outbreaks, as many inmates have limited health care options, are packed into close quarters, and live in unsanitary conditions. To respond to such events, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) utilizes infectious disease response plans to limit the spread to at-risk groups and contain any infections among inmates, but the governor has also expanded their authority to modify sentencing for inmates in state prisons.

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Posted in: Criminal Defense

The Difference Between Manslaughter Charges

By Michael Guisti on April 2, 2020

A charge of manslaughter is a serious offense in California, which can conclude with a strict sentencing of multiple years in a California state prison and significant fines. Many may conflate this charge with murder, but they are actually two separate offenses, but both carry very severe sentences. California penal codes highlight a variety of different manslaughter charges and understanding their differences is vital to building a solid defense case.

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Posted in: Criminal Defense

Claiming Self-Defense in an Assault Case

By Michael Guisti on March 19, 2020

Let’s say that someone attempted to mug you on your way home or attacked you at a party and you chose to fight back to defend yourself. However, after this incident, the other individual claims that you accosted them and are charging you with assault. At this point, you and your criminal defense attorney may consider it a case of self-defense. But what does that mean legally? How do California courts assess self-defense?

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Posted in: Assault

Misdemeanor Hit and Run Explained by Michael Guisti

By Michael Guisti on February 4, 2020

California Vehicle Code Section 20002 tells you what to do if you have an accident. If you don’t follow the instructions clearly, then you have committed a hit and run. In the 20 years that I have been practicing there are certain cases that come to me in a steady flow. Hit and run cases come to us on a regular basis, and I have personally worked on hit and run cases where clients didn’t fully understand what constitutes a hit and run, like the War Story at the end of this article.

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Posted in: Criminal Defense

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