With a population of fewer than 97,000 people, Vista is a small California town full of families. Homes fill the hilly countryside, and residents enjoy a warm, temperate climate. It’s a relatively young city, with the largest population group between the ages of 25 and 44, with a median age of 31 years. It’s only 7 miles inland from the Pacific, which means it’s easy to head to the beach any day of the year.
Vista residents enjoy a relatively low crime rate, but like anywhere, crime happens and people are charged with the offenses. Assault, domestic violence, burglaries, thefts, and other crimes occur and the San Diego police work hard to prevent them or catch those who are guilty.
Everyone charged with an offense has the right to an attorney and to offer a defense in court. Vista criminal defense attorney Jessica McElfresh firmly believes in this constitutional right, which is why she’s focused on defending residents in the San Diego region. With years of experienced under her belt, Jessica knows the law and how to build you a strong defense.
Assault and Battery Charges in California
Under California law, assault is the threat of or attempt at violence toward another person with the ability for the offender to follow through with that violence. Battery is the actual use of force or violence on another person. Both of these crimes can result from physical fights or from arguments that got out of hand.
Assault is a misdemeanor in California unless there was a weapon such as a knife or gun involved. Assault with a deadly weapon is either a misdemeanor or a felony, which would carry harsher penalties. Battery is often a misdemeanor. However, if the battery resulted in a serious injury, such as a broken bone or head trauma, the offender could be charged with a felony, which could result in up to a 4-year jail sentence.
Burglary and Robbery Charges in California
Burglaries and robberies aren’t always a committed by a group of individuals with black masks who’ve planned the crime for months. Charges for these offenses can arise from friends or families in a dispute over property. The charges might come about due to a misunderstanding.
Many people think burglary and robbery are very similar situations, but they boil down to completely different crimes. Burglary is the crime of entering someone’s home or business with the intent to commit a felony. This felony doesn’t have to be theft. Robbery is the taking of another person’s property in their presence with the use of force or fear.
Whatever the scenario, a conviction of either offense comes with serious consequences. Both of these offenses are generally felonies under California law. If you are convicted of burglary or robbery, you will have a permanent criminal record, sentenced to jail or prison, made to pay fines, and potentially lose any professional license or visa you hold.
Petty & Grand Theft Charges in California
Stealing can range from a simple mistake at the grocery store to a long, fraudulent plan to take someone else’s possessions. Petty theft occurs when someone steals less than $950 worth of property and is a misdemeanor. If the incident involves an item less than $50, it’ll be an infraction, which doesn’t lead to a criminal record. Grand theft is when someone steals more than $950 worth of property and is a felony. Whether it was an accident or a lapse in judgment, a skilled criminal defense attorney can help you defend against petty, grand, or theft by fraud charges.
Grand Theft Auto Charges in California
Grand theft auto is a specific type of grand theft. It occurs when someone deprives another person of their car without that person’s permission and intends to deprive the owner of the car permanently. You don’t have to break a car window. This crime can occur through fraud or other means. If you take another person’s car, move it at least a small distance, and keep it for at least a small period of time, you can be charged and convicted of grand theft auto.
Grand theft auto can be a misdemeanor or felony depending on the situation. If the car is worth a great deal, this may cause additional years to be added to a prison sentence.
Contact a Vista Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’ve been charged with one of these offenses or another crime, contact San Diego criminal defense attorney Jessica McElfresh right away. Jessica has built her practice on defending individuals charged with California crimes, from basic cases to complex situations. She’s no stranger to a challenge and is willing to tenaciously advocate for your rights, including to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, police misconduct, and other issues that violate your constitutional rights.