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Orange County Criminal Defense Blog

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

Michael Guisti Defending Nurse Charged with Murder in OC

By Michael Guisti on October 31, 2019

Michael L. Guisti has accepted yet another case that is making headlines across two states. His client, Kristie Jane Koepplin of Peoria, Arizona, is a registered nurse who is being blamed for the death of a San Clemente man. Read the rest »

Posted in: In the News

How Can You Protect Yourself from Fraud? When Should You Retain a Lawyer?

By Michael Guisti on June 10, 2019

adult-blur-camera-598917The headlines surrounding actor Jussie Smollett shed light on the difficulties surrounding an accusation of fraud. Smollett’s case triggered a firestorm of reactions from celebrities and the public, initially due to outrage over the assault, quickly followed by shock and more outrage when accusations that the assault had been orchestrated by Smollett himself surfaced. What actually occurred remains uncertain, but the actor has already experienced life-changing consequences, and his reputation may be permanently destroyed. Read the rest »

Posted in: In the News

Should Taser Laws Change? Chula Vista Death Launches Investigation

By Michael Guisti on March 25, 2019

accident-barrier-caution-923681The Chula Vista Police Department is investigating the recent death of 29-year-old Jason Watts. Back in October 2018, Watts died after being subjected to a Taser in a confrontation outside of a 7-11, NBC San Diego reports. Unfortunately, this is just one of several cases being investigated in California.

Police departments present the weapon as a non-lethal alternative to guns and other firearms for subduing potential criminals. But, with 49 related deaths being reported in just the last year alone, is it as “safe” as they claim? Read the rest »

Posted in: In the News

New Jersey Breathalyzer Gaff Prompts Question: Can Tests Be Inaccurate?

By Michael Guisti on February 19, 2019

test-337369_1920We’ve all seen one in action, whether in a dramatized commercial discouraging drunk driving or in real life. Breathalyzer tests are widely used by police officers to detect alcohol in an individual’s breath. The concept is simple: you put the device into your mouth and blow, and a number displays that either lets you go on your merry way or puts you in the backseat of a cop car. Read the rest »

Posted in: DUI

Well-Known Forensics Science Lab Possibly Mixes DNA Samples

By Michael Guisti on January 22, 2019

pharmaceutical glass bottles production lineYikes. Last October, Forensic Magazine reported the latest development in a string of DNA contamination cases by Utah-based forensics lab, Sorenson Forensic. Labs like Sorenson help police forces compare DNA obtained in a crime scene (or evidence kit) against a state database of DNA samples from convicted offenders and arrestees (depending on the state you reside in). This is called the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). A “hit” in CODIS could result in the linking of perpetrators and multiple crimes. Read the rest »

Posted in: In the News

Former Garden Grove Woman Avoids Seven-Year Sentence

By Michael Guisti on April 9, 2018

crime-handcuffs_412951If you’ve made a mistake and committed a crime, all is not lost. Humans make mistakes, and our California legal system has provisions that give a person a second chance. There may still be consequences, but they will probably be less severe if you have an experienced legal advocate on your side.

Take the case of a woman who formerly served as president of Garden Grove Little League. Read the rest »

Posted in: Theft Crimes

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