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Orange County Criminal Defense Blog

When Your Car’s Black Box Becomes Evidence

By Michael Guisti on April 28, 2021

Black boxes are often mentioned after plane crashes, but most people do not realize that many other vehicles have these devices. Most modern trucking companies use black boxes to record a trucker’s actions in the event of a crash, and a recent accident involving a Tesla Model S has brought to light the importance of black-box data in improving vehicle safety.

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Posted in: Criminal Defense

How California Defines Rape and Sexual Assault

By Michael Guisti on April 14, 2021

The terms “rape” and “sexual assault” are often used interchangeably in the media, but there are clear legal differences between them. The legal definitions may seem similar, but they can make a world of difference when it comes to launching a defense in a criminal trial. A felony rape conviction can result in imprisonment in a California state prison, thousands of dollars in fines, and additional punishments, while sexual assault is a misdemeanor and a conviction can lead to a lighter sentence.

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Posted in: Sex Crimes

Honest Mistakes That Can Lead to Identity Theft Charges

By Michael Guisti on March 31, 2021

Since the massive expansion of the internet and social media over the past two decades, the news media has constantly warned people of the dangers of identity theft. Even though these types of white-collar crimes occurred long before the internet, it has made perpetrating this crime easier. While most people assume that identity theft is orchestrated by hooded hackers in their basements, the reality is that everyday people can commit this crime, and often by mistake.

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Posted in: White Collar Crimes

Understand California’s Mayhem Laws

By Michael Guisti on March 18, 2021

California courts can issue harsh punishments for violent crimes, often requiring defendants to serve long prison sentences for assault and battery, especially if the incident involved a firearm or weapon. While the majority of these cases involve physical fights or violent robberies, California also has unique laws against disfiguring a victim. A mayhem charge allows courts to punish defendants with extensive penalties for disabling or disfiguring victims.

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Posted in: Assault

When Online Messages Violate the Law

By Michael Guisti on March 4, 2021

It is almost impossible to go somewhere on the internet without encountering a massive argument. Users often use their anonymity to justify virtually screaming at each other on a variety of topics, ranging from their political views to their opinions on movies. In most cases, the arguments are harmless, but when these messages turn into online harassment or criminal threats, then it becomes a matter for the courts.

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Posted in: Criminal Defense

A Tale in Criminal Justice: STOP! (Kidnapping) In The Name Of Love. Wayne’s Story.

By Michael Guisti on February 18, 2021

Cal Pen Code § 207. Kidnapping defined:

(a) Every person who forcibly, or by any other means of instilling fear, steals or takes, or holds, detains, or arrests any person in this state, and carries the person into another country, state, or county, or into another part of the same county, is guilty of kidnapping.

One day I was sitting in my office on a late, sunny afternoon when I received a call from a young Vietnamese man. For the sake of this story, I will call him Wayne. Wayne told me that he needed help because the sheriffs were looking for him.

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Posted in: Firm News

Can a DUI Affect My Job?

By Michael Guisti on February 9, 2021

The repercussions of a DUI often set in slowly for a defendant. At first, you may be focused on just keeping your license, avoiding jail time, and paying court fees, but there are further consequences you may have to deal with. While you may try to keep your arrest a secret for fear of hurting your reputation, your employer may eventually learn about your DUI. Even worse, if you are convicted, it could impact your career and ability to find future employment down the line.

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Posted in: DUI

How Do Officers Test for Drugs on the Road?

By Michael Guisti on January 26, 2021

Being accused of using drugs can be a damaging experience. You may be afraid of the criminal implications of these accusations, how they will affect your job, and the impact on your relationships. When you are asked to take a drug test by the police after being pulled over, you may be even more worried by the prospect of a false positive. In fact, if the tests are not handled properly, they could seriously impact your case. That’s why you call a lawyer no matter what.

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Posted in: Drug Crimes

The Statute of Limitations on Shoplifting Charges

By Michael Guisti on December 29, 2020

Being accused of shoplifting is a frightening experience, even if you have not been charged with a crime yet. You may walk around with the fear that one day the police will show up at your home or work and slap handcuffs on your wrists. You may wait weeks, months, or even years before being charged with a theft crime, but it is never too late to start working on your defense. In some cases, you may even be surprised to discover that you have passed the statute of limitations for a shoplifting charge.

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Posted in: Theft Crimes

How California Courts Handle Child Endangerment in Reckless Driving Cases

By Michael Guisti on December 17, 2020

California has strict laws regarding the safety of children, taking any situation where a child is harmed – or potentially harmed – extremely seriously. While a criminal court can level hefty charges against anyone who harms or abuses a child, juries also convict parents and guardians who put children at risk of suffering an injury. Referred to as child endangerment, these cases involve exposing a child to drugs, poorly supervising them at a pool or beach, and even reckless driving.

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Posted in: Criminal Defense

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