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Crimes Commonly Charged

List of Crimes

Violent Crimes, as defined under the California Penal Code:

1. Assault Crimes Generally:

Assault is defined as: the threat or attempt of force or battery on another that causes the victim to have a reasonable apprehension of imminent harm. In criminal law, assault is defined as an attempt to commit battery, requiring the specific intent to cause physical injury. If you are currently being investigated for or have been charged with the crime of assault it would be in your best interest to hire a qualified attorney immediately. An assault charge is extremely serious and can result in the immediate loss of your freedom.

Assault is considered a violent crime in California. Being accused of assault can result in either a misdemeanor or a felony charge. Either charge will result in jail time, fines, and restitution to the victim, counseling, parole and a mark on your criminal record for life. It can also result in the loss of your rights to own a firearm, loss of employment, lifetime revocation of your driver’s license and a damaged reputation

2. Battery Generally:

Are you being charged with battery? Battery is the use of force against another, resulting in unwanted harmful or offensive contact. Battery is considered a misdemeanor in California. A battery conviction can result in severe penalties and your freedom being taken away. Retaining the services of a knowledgeable attorney will be to your benefit if you have been charged with the crime of battery. A knowledgeable attorney will challenge the charges against you and will look to provide you with winning results for your case. It is very important to hire an attorney right away to protect your future.

At McNamara and McNamara we provide clients in need of a criminal defense lawyer for a battery charge. We will provide you with personal care for your case and are dedicated to defending the charges against you. Our lawyers offer hard-hitting defense for your violent crimes case and will use their vast knowledge of criminal law in California to unravel the charges against you.

A battery conviction is very serious. If you are in need of a lawyer it is important that you contact our office today. We will review the facts of your case with you and can answer any questions that you may have regarding the charges you’re facing. We want to make sure that you understand the facts surrounding your case and will make every effort to achieve the outcome that you want and deserve.

3. Kidnaping Generally:

Kidnaping is used to describe the crime of forcibly abducting a person and holding him/her against his/her will. Common types of kidnaping are: aggravated kidnaping, child kidnaping, kidnaping for ransom, parental kidnaping and simple kidnaping. If you are charged with kidnaping in the state of California you will be facing serious charges. These charges will require an experienced criminal defense attorney with the qualifications and knowledge to effectively protect your rights.

If convicted of kidnaping in California you may face severe penalties and punishments depending on the charge. Simple kidnaping will result in a 3, 5 or 8 year prison sentence and if the child is under 14, up to eleven years behind bars. If convicted of aggravated kidnaping which is an elevated charge, you can receive 20 years for just one count, and up to life imprisonment. An aggravated kidnaping charge involves abducting an individual with the intent to:

  • Hold them for a ransom or reward
  • Use them as a human shield or hostage
  • Facilitate the commission of a felony or the flight after the attempt or commission of a felony
  • Inflict bodily injury on them or violate or abuse them sexually
  • Terrorize them or a third person
  • Interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function


A robbery accusation is very serious in the state of California. Robbery is the illegal taking of property from someone else’s personal possession by using violence or intimidation. Robbery is categorized as either aggravated robbery, armed robbery, or simple robbery. Robbery is divided by first degree robbery or second degree robbery. First degree robbery is any robbery that takes place in an inhabited dwelling, vessel or trailer and/or used against the operator of a vehicle; it also refers to an ATM robbery or a carjacking. Second degree robbery refers to all other types of robbery. A robbery charge is typically a felony offense and carries various penalties which may include:

2 – 10 year state prison sentence
Severe fines
Restitution to the victim
“Strike” on criminal record
Lifetime driver’s license revocation

In addition, if you are convicted of robbery in the state of California, you will lose your rights to purchase or have in your possession any type of firearm. A robbery conviction could also affect your future employment opportunities, right to vote and overall reputation within your community.

5. Manslaughter Generally:

Manslaughter is defined as the crime of killing another human being without premeditation and without prior planning. Manslaughter can be voluntary or involuntary. It is considered voluntary manslaughter when an intentional killing of another human being takes place. It is determined to be involuntary murder when the death of another is unintentional. Vehicular manslaughter is a form of involuntary manslaughter that is an unintentional killing which takes place while a person is driving recklessly or is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A manslaughter charge is taken very seriously in California and can have very harsh consequences. The penalties that may result due to a manslaughter conviction include:

County jail or state prison sentence
Harsh fines
Revocation of your driver’s license
“Strike” on your criminal record for life

Obtaining the legal services of a qualified California criminal defense attorney can help your manslaughter case drastically. A lawyer will look to maintain your freedom under California law and will protect your constitutional rights when defending your case. Whether you have been accused of involuntary or voluntary manslaughter, we know how to defend your rights and protect your future.

6. Terrorist Threats Charges Generally: California Penal Code section 422

Verbal or written threats to inflict bodily harm or physical damage to property.

Have you been accused of making terrorist threats? A terrorist threat is a threat to commit any crime of violence with the purpose of (1) terrorizing another, (2) Causing the evacuation of a building, public or assembly, or facility of public transportation, (3) causing serious public inconvenience, or (4) recklessly disregarding the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience. In today’s society, a conviction of terrorist threats can have very severe consequences. Those severe consequences can include long term incarceration in a state prison, heavy fines, restitution, parole and a criminal conviction on your record for life.

You are in need of an experienced criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with making terrorist threats. Terrorist threats are a severe violation of California law. We here at McNamara & McNamara have exceptional skill and can use aggressive tactics when it comes to defending the rights of our clients. We are lawyers that are committed to providing you with the most effective defense for your case and the best outcome possible.

7. Domestic Violence Charges

Domestic Violence Charges:

Abusing your spouse, intimate partner, grandparents or child physically or emotionally can result in charges of domestic violence being filed. The definition of domestic violence is the use of physical force, usually accompanied by fury, vehemence, or outrage; especially physical force unlawfully exercised, with the intent to harm a spouse, loved one or cohabitant both mentally and physically. Domestic violence is a very serious crime in California, and the damage caused to another individual both physically and mentally can have emotionally devastating repercussions.

If you are currently being investigated for, or have been accused of or formally charged with domestic violence it would be in your best interest to retain the services of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. It is important because a criminal defense attorney will strengthen your case by using his or her experience, skill, education and superior knowledge of California criminal law when defending your case before a judge in the California courts.

Domestic violence can include sexual abuse, intimidation, threats or deprivation of daily human activities and rights. If you are convicted of domestic violence you will face jail time, restitution, fines, probation, counseling and a mark on your criminal record for life. You can also lose your rights to employment within government agencies and elsewhere, carry a handgun and many other rights that the most citizens are able to benefit from.


Criminal Law:

Medicinal Marijuana: California's Compassionate Use Act Proposition 215

In 1996, California Voters approved an initiative providing a legal defense under state law for certain individuals who cultivate and possess medicinal marijuana. Constantly monitoring and applying the latest developments in the law, we successfully represent those who cultivate medicinal marijuana, those who transport it, as well users of medicinal marijuana.

The use, possession, transportation, and cultivation of medicinal marijuana is an area of state and federal law which is constantly evolving.

California Health and Safety Code 11357 (possession of marijuana/canabis) generally provides that anyone possessing less than 28.5 grams of marijuana can only be fined, and may not be arrested so long as that person has proper identification. A citation to appear in court, similar to a traffic ticket, must be issued. Possession of a greater amount of marijuana can result in an immediate arrest and a sentence of up to six months in the county jail.

Cultivation, harvesting, or processing marijuana, a felony, is a violation of California's Health and Safety Code 11358 can result in a state prison sentence up to three years. Possession for sale of marijuana, also a felony, a violation of California's Health and Safety Code 11359 (possession for sale of marijuana), can result in the same three year state prison sentence.

California's Health and Safety Code 11360 prohibits the transportation, sale, importation, giving away, or furnishing of marijuana. A violation of this section can result in a prison sentence as lengthy as four years. If the amount of marijuana involved is less than 28.5 grams, the crime is a misdemeanor, with a fine only. As with simple possession of less than 28.5 grams of marijuana, a person charged with transportation of less than 28.5 grams marijuana may not be arrested so long as they possess proper identification.

California Compassionate Use Act of 1996, Proposition 215 provides immunity for certain individuals charged with many of the marijuana crimes described above. With proper representation, those who lawfully possess a physician’s recommendation for medicinal marijuana, those who lawfully operate a medicinal marijuana collective, as well as those who cultivate and transport medicinal marijuana, can avoid prosecution and conviction.

Despite the protections afforded through the California Compassionate Use and California’s recognition that there are scientifically proven medicinal benefits to the use of marijuana, the possession, sale, distribution, and transportation of marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

In order to provide the best representation in the constantly evolving area regarding the legality of medical marijuana, McNamara & Mcnamara makes great efforts to monitor and track medical marijuana’s latest developments, such as the California Attorney’s General’s recent medical marijuana opinion in August, 2008 and the most recent California Supreme Court case addressing medical marijuana, People v. Mentch (2008).

Recently, the United States Attorney General, representing the view of the new presidential administration under Barak Obama, outlined a shift in enforcement of federal drug laws, indicating they would end the Bush administration’s policy of raiding distributors of medical marijuana. Despite this new policy, however, the use, cultivation, possession, sale, or transportation of medicinal marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

Possession of Drugs

California leads the nation for arrests of individuals possessing a controlled substance. A controlled substance is defined as illegal drugs that are classified by the government as being dangerous. According to the California Department of Corrections, of 160,000 prisoners, 20,000 are in jail or prison due to a drug offense. Drug possession typically goes hand in hand with drug sales. Drugs typically found in possession and/or sold on the street are: cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, PCP, heroin, LSD and ecstasy.

Oftentimes, if drugs are found in your possession you may be charged by law enforcement with drug sales (possession with intent to sell) as well, even if the drugs were for your own personal use. The differences in the charges that can be brought against you for drug crimes are extreme. You could be looking at a virtual slap on the wrist or a lifetime of narcotics registration and State prison time. Penalties for a drug charge are based on the type and amount of drug in your possession, intent to sell, or distribute, your past criminal arrests and the circumstances surrounding your case.

In the unfortunate circumstance that you have become entangled with the law due to a drug possession charge, you should hire a professional and qualified attorney. A lawyer can make all the difference in your drug possession case. A lawyer will attempt to have the charges against you lowered or dismissed altogether. McNamara & McNamara has that experienced which is required to fight for your constitutional rights and will do everything possible to keep you out of jail.


Forgery Charges:

If you have been charged with or arrested for the crime of forgery it is important that you remain silent and contact an experienced attorney immediately. Forgery is the illegal act of signing a document without the rightful owner’s approval or consent. This also includes altering a valid document or creating a fake document. A document can be any type of legal paper, although the most common items forged are checks. Forgery is a form of identity theft and is considered a white collar crime in the state of California.

Being charged with forgery is either a misdemeanor or felony offense depending on the circumstances. A conviction is punishable in California by jail time, fines and probation. A forgery conviction will also result in a permanent mark on your criminal record. Forgery is a theft crime and often goes hand in hand with the crime of fraud and counterfeiting money; therefore law enforcement will make every attempt to deter you from becoming further entangled with the law.

Sometimes individuals are wrongly accused and are convicted for crimes they did not commit. McNamara & McNamara has the education and experience needed to protect you and your future rights. Don’t try to represent yourself – often times this will result in harsher consequences.

Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud is a white collar crime in California. It is a type of theft or fraud involving another individual’s credit card, which is oftentimes stolen. The stolen card is used to purchase items without the knowledge or approval of the rightful owner. It deprives businesses of billions of dollars per year. The law in California looks to protect victims of credit card fraud, whether it is an individual, a corporation or a business. California laws are specific and if convicted you can expect to receive very severe penalties.

Credit card fraud penalties may include a jail or prison sentence, fines, probation, parole, counseling, community service and a mark on your criminal record for life. If you are being investigated, charged with or have been arrested for credit card fraud, it is important to contact a lawyer immediately who has the knowledge and experience in handling credit card fraud cases in the state of California.

Other Theft Related charges

Larceny, Embezzlement, Identity Theft, and Shoplifting or Petty theft.

A theft crime is the unlawful taking and removing of another’s personal property with the intent of depriving him or her of it. It is also referred to as stealing and can consist of the following charges: larceny, burglary, embezzlement, identity theft and shoplifting. There are two types of theft: petty theft and grand theft. Petty theft is the lesser of the two and often results in a misdemeanor charge. Grand theft is the more severe of the two and can result in a felony charge. If convicted, you will be looking at a minimum of 6 months in jail, fines and probation. McNamara & Mcnamara will defend all types of theft crimes charges.

Crimes involving sexual acts or commonly referred to as Sex Crimes:

Sex Crimes or charges often include but are not limited to, the following: Rape, Child Sexual Abuse, Child Pornography, Statutory Rape, Marital Rape, Sex with animals, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Incest, Indecent Exposure and Sexual Harassment.

Sex crimes are severely punished in California. A sex crime is a crime against an individual that is unwanted and sexual in nature. Some examples of sex crimes are: rape, child sexual abuse, child pornography, statutory rape, marital rape, sex with animals, human trafficking, prostitution, incest, indecent exposure and sexual harassment. If you are being investigated for a sex crime, you need to protect your rights immediately. You will need a lawyer with experience in defending sex crimes cases will be in your best interest. Individuals convicted of sex crimes in California may face the following penalties and consequences, such as:

* Prison sentence
* High fines
* Victim restitution
* Probation
* Parole
* Counseling
* Lifetime registration as a sex offender
* Driver’s license revocation
* Conviction on criminal record for life
* Sex offender social stigma

Also, if you are convicted of a sex crime and sent to jail, as a sex offender you are often severely looked down upon by other inmates in jail. Once you are out of jail, you will be watched constantly by law enforcement and must register as a sex offender with the national registry. In addition, your reputation and character will be severely tarnished. We will investigate and challenge every aspect of the sex crimes allegations and will look to have your name cleared. Your freedom is important to us.

SEX REGISTRATION: Can be very consequential California Penal Code section 290 Registration has many lifelong requirments, such as:

Mandatory sex offender registration is a part of almost any Los Angeles sex crime conviction. Under California Penal Code Section 290 “Sex Offender Registration Act” individuals who have been convicted of particular sex crime offenses will be required to register with local law enforcement within 5 business days of coming into the particular area where he or she will reside. The offender will have to register at other intervals as well, and Section 290 lists all of these in detail. The act also applies to out of state residents who are going to reside or work in California for more than 14 days.

According to Penal Code Section 290:

A person who is discharged or released on parole from a county or state correctional institution must register with local law enforcement within 5 business days of his or her release.

A sex offender must re-register within 5 business days of his or her birthday, every year.

A sex offender must re-register within 5 days of changing residence or changing his or her name.

A defendant may face mandatory sex offender registration under California Penal Code 290 for any of a number of offenses, and this includes statutory rape, indecent exposure, sodomy of a minor, sex with a minor, oral copulation with a minor, child molestation, lewd conduct, lewd conduct with a minor, child pornography, and similar offenses. A sex crimes attorney at our firm can review your particular situation and help determine whether sex offender registration may be a part of the potential penalties that you will face if convicted.

Prevention is crucial in any sex crime case. This comes by dedication of McNamara & McNamara providing you with the aggressive representation they need in order to avoid sex offender registration in the first place.

However, if you have already been convicted and have been accused of a failure to register or re-register, we can still help. By consulting McNamara & McNamara, we can help you understand your legal rights and options in order to benefit the outcome of your legal matter.


Solicitation charges in California

Solicitation – Under California Penal Code §647(b), Solicitation (or Solicitation for Prostitution) is the act of directing or asking someone to exchange money for sexual activity.

In California and most of the United States, the crimes of Prostitution, Solicitation, Pandering, and Loitering are illegal acts. Of course this is not the state of Nevada where licensed prostitution houses are legal in some counties.

Solicitation, Prostitution, Pandering, and Loitering are serious offenses that carry life-changing consequences.

Prostitution law makes it a crime to offer, agree to or engage in sexual activity for money.

In more recent times in California, the “John”, as well as the prostitute, is aggressively prosecuted. First time offenses are usually charged as misdemeanors while subsequent offenses can be charged as felonies.

Call Girl or Escort

Prostitution – Under California Penal Code §653.20(a), Prostitution is the act of exchanging money for sexual activity.

She may be advertised as a Call Girl, a Personal Escort, or a Masseuse, but exchanging money for sexual activities is always charged as prostitution. Participation in either such activities could result in a criminal charges and eventually a conviction.

Prostitution Penalties

Your life can radically change with a prostitution, solicitation, pandering, or loitering offense. The penalties and consequences for these types of sexual offenses can be serious and include the following:

Fines & Fees
Court-Enforced Counseling
AIDS Testing
Community Service
Cal Trans (physical labor)
Public humiliation
Loss of employment (for those with licenses or security clearances)

Other Penalty Considerations

For final sentencing other factors are considered, such as your criminal history, prior convictions, and current criminal status, including probation or parole.

Other related charges

  • Pandering – Under California Penal Code §266(i), Pandering is best known as the crime committed by a “pimp”. Pandering includes the following:
  • Recruiting prostitutes for hire;
  • Soliciting customers for a prostitute

Loitering – Under California Penal Code §653.22, Loitering is the act of lingering on public property without a lawful purpose. When loitering is for the purpose of Soliciting Prostitution, it constitutes a more serious crime, punishable by California law.

Vehicle Forfeiture Program – Under the LA Municipal Code (§4820), this is a new program in Los Angeles County, where law enforcement will seize and impound your vehicle upon learning about a Prostitution, Solicitation, Pandering, or Loitering charge.

DUI or Driving Under the Influence

In California driving with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of 0.08% or higher is illegal. If you are stopped by a police officer you can be arrested for DUI (driving under the influence). First, the officer will need to determine whether or not you are under the influence by performing one or more of several field sobriety tests.

The tests can range from a walk and turn test to a more extensive test such as a blood, breath or urine test. Refusal to perform any of these tests when asked by the officer will most likely result in your immediate arrest and being booked in a county jail for DUI.

A DUI charge and conviction can have dramatic affects on your future. An attorney experienced in defending people charged with driving under the influence will be able to help keep you out of jail.

Consequences for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs:

*First offense: The Court may order you to serve between 48 hours to 6 months in jail. It will impose a fine of $390 to $1,000 and order you to complete a 3 or 9 month alcohol/drug treatment program. The DMV will also impose a 6 or 10 month driver's license suspension depending on treatment program length. Recent change in the laws under this area include the requirements of an interlock device being installed on any vehicles registered in your name.

*Second offense: The Court may order you to serve between 96-hours to 1 year, a $390 to $1,000 fine, and completion of an 18 or 30 month alcohol/drug treatment program. The DMV will also impose a 2-year driver's license suspension. Recent change in the laws under this area include the requirements of an interlock device being installed on any vehicles registered in your name.

*Third offense: The Court will order you to serve a minimum of 120 days in jail.

*Fourth offense: Can be charged as a felony and carries a possible sentence of 3 years in state prison.

Department of Motor vehicles Administrative Proceedings

In addition to any of the penalties the Court’s may impose for a driving under the influence conviction, the Department of Motor Vehicles will take administrative action against an individual’s driver’s license. These actions can include restrictions, suspensions, and revocations.


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