Encinitas Criminal Defense Attorney


The nearly 60,000 residents of Encinitas enjoy beaches on one side of the city, San Diego on the other, and a drive north lets residents benefit from all Los Angeles has to offer. The mild Mediterranean climate lets people be active and outside all year long, enjoying surfing, festivals, and a thriving flower industry.

Like any city, Encinitas has its fair share of crime. From home break-ins to DUIs to drug charges, thousands of people are charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses each year.

Every one of these individuals has the constitutional right to an attorney, to defend themselves, and to a speedy trial. If you’ve been charged with a crime, contact Encinitas criminal defense attorney Jessica McElfresh.

Burglary Charges in California

It doesn’t have to be a long-planned break in to be a burglary. Men don’t have to invade someone’s home or business in black ski masks to be considered a crime. A burglary under California law is anytime someone enters a person’s residence or business with the intent to commit a felony. You might assume that felony is theft, but any felony is applicable.

Unfortunately, burglary often arises from disputes over possessions. Families may argue over inheritances, friends disagree about gifts, and ex-fiancés might quarrel over the engagement ring. If someone enters another person’s home and tries to take what they think is theirs. That someone could be charged with burglary.

Residential burglary is punishable by up to 6 years in prison. Commercial burglary can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, punishable by up to 1 or 3 years in jail, respectively.

Robbery Charges in California

People often link robbery and burglary together, but in California, they’re too separate crimes. A robbery is when someone takes another person’s personal property in that person’s presence and against their will. This could include physical violence or threats.

Robbery isn’t just someone pointing a gun at a bank teller and saying “hand over the money.” It can also be drugging someone in order to take their property while they’re knocked out. It can be threatening violence toward someone or their family.

First-degree robbery is punishable by up to 9 years in prison while second-degree robbery can come with a sentence of up to 5 years in prison.

Assault Charges in California

If someone attempts to hurt someone else and has the ability to follow through with their threats of violence, that person is guilty of assault. Many people think of assault when two people get into a fight, but assault is someone threatening to hurt someone else. Battery is what people actually think of when individuals get into fights or someone is injured by another person.

Allegations of assault can occur when people get into arguments that escalate beyond what they intended. It isn’t rare for people to make threats in anger that they don’t mean. But if someone has the physical capability of carrying out that threat, no matter what they truly mean to do, they could be charged with assault.

Assault is generally a misdemeanor. A conviction can bring with it up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. However, if someone is charged with assaulting a police officer, firefighter or another public official, it could mean 1 year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Violation of Restraining Orders

Domestic abuse is common across the U.S. and victims often seek restraining orders in order to protect themselves. However, restraining orders work best when the alleged abuser follows them. In many cases, the abuser violates the terms of these court orders and contact the victims. This may be by following the victim, going to their home, work, or school or calling them.

Violating a restraining order is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a fine up to $1,000. If the violation involves violence or the threat of it, prosecutors may charge the offender with a felony, which means up to 3 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Contact an Encinitas Criminal Defense Attorney

Jessica McElfresh is an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney who understands how important it is for every defendant to have an attorney. She gets to know every one of her clients and the nuances of their cases. By finding out the facts, good and bad, she’s better equipped to expose the holes in the prosecutor’s case and offer up a strong defense in court. If she’s unable to prove your innocence, she’ll do her best to minimize the consequences of a conviction.

Contact McElfresh Law at (858) 756-7107 today to learn more.