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Facing a criminal charge can change your life, but legal representation can minimize or completely alleviate the damage that it has already done.

So when you need award-winning, nationally-renown, and compassionate representation, call our criminal defense lawyers in San Diego.

We’ve tried 100s of cases and are ready to offer you the emotional support and advocacy that you deserve.

When fighting for your future, you shouldn't compromise.

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Our Criminal Defense Team

  • I did my fair share of research trying to find an attorney to handle a very serious criminal matter of mine. Of all the offices I visited, this firm was by far the most informative of them all. From the beginning, they were on top of communication and very proactive with my case the entire way. They live up to their reputation of being some of the top trial attorneys in San Diego. Attorney Kerry Armstrong handled my case. He is very dedicated to his profession and serving his clients. In the time that I spent with him, I can tell that he really cared about getting me the best outcome possible.

    - Charlie M.
  • Mr. Armstrong is a one of a kind exceptional criminal defense attorney He is always patient, positive, honest and upfront with you on his opinion of your case. Always committed and diligent in his work ethics. He is highly respected in and out of the courtroom, went above and beyond for my husband on his case and has a great sense of humor that puts you at ease. Would recommend him to anyone in need of a top criminal defense attorney.

    - Melissa S.
  • Vanessa is very knowledgeable in what she does. Her professionalism and passion made this extremely tough time for me remarkably smooth. She was always able to give me all the information I needed and made very clear of the possible outcomes. Communication with her was open at all times and if she was busy, she would make sure to get back to you as soon as she could. I had 4 misdemeanors charged against me with 60 days custody over my head. With a couple of months of negotiating, I get a call with great news. 60-day custody was dropped and 3 of 4 misdemeanors were dropped. The outcome was truly more than I can ask for.

    - Jonathon
  • I was facing LIFE in prison and the prospect of never seeing my family again for a crime I did not commit. Dan Greene took my case and fought for me every step of the way. Against all odds, a corrupt system, a ruthless prosecution and a hanging judge, my lawyer defended me and proved to the world that I had been falsely accused. I owe this man my life. Dan wasn't my first lawyer, but he is definitely my last. I would recommend Dan Greene to everyone. If you are in trouble, you MUST call Dan!

    - Steven P.

Recent Blog Posts

What is Statutory Rape?

| Read Time: 2 minutes

In California, it is illegal to have sexual intercourse with an individual under 18 years of age who is not your spouse. This crime, which is called statutory rape, is discussed in further detail below. Misdemeanor and Felony Statutory Rape In California, statutory rape can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. When determining whether to pursue misdemeanor or felony charges, one factor that prosecutors examine is the age difference between the suspect and the alleged victim. If the suspect and alleged victim are within three years of age, then the crime will typically be charged as a misdemeanor.   However, if there is more than a three-year age difference between the suspect and the alleged victim, then the crime may be charged as a felony. Penalties for Statutory Rape in California Misdemeanor statutory rape is punishable by a maximum of 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. For incidents involving minors 16 years of age and older and suspects under the age of 21,  the resulting felony statutory rape charge can result in up to three years in jail. And for incidents involving minors under 16 years of age and suspects over the age of 21, the potential penalties include up to four years in prison and $10,000 in fines. What if it’s Consensual? Ordinarily, people think of rape as a non-consensual act of force. Statutory rape, however, isn’t always done against the will of the victim. Rather, statutory rape can occur even when both individuals consent to the act. The deciding factor in statutory rape cases is that one or both of the participants are under the age of 18. Therefore, it is a criminal act in California at any time two unmarried persons under the age of 18 have sexual intercourse. Sex Offender Registration In addition, anyone convicted of either misdemeanor or felony statutory rape may be required to register as a sex offender for life. When making this determination, the judge must consider whether the offender committed the crime due to sexual compulsion or gratification. If the judge determines that registration as a sex offender is necessary, then the offender could potentially face the following negative consequences: Difficulty finding long-term employment Difficult maintaining long-term employment The stigma of being a registered sex offender Difficulty sustaining relationships Isolation from friends and family Examples of California Statutory Rape A victim is under 18 years old when the crime was committed A 30-year-old teacher develops a relationship “sexually” with a 16-year-oldstudent A minor, under the age of 18 can also be charged with statutory rape butwould eventually be tried in the juvenile court system of California Speak to an Attorney at The Law Office of Kerry Armstrong, APLC Due to the potential consequences involved, it is important that anyone charged with statutory rape in San Diego seek the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, our experienced sex crime defense attorneys provide all of our clients with expert legal guidance in order to achieve the most favorable results possible. The talent and experience of our attorneys ensure that our clients’ cases are handled expertly and with the utmost care. If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges of any kind in San Diego, please contact us immediately for a free consultation.

California Human Trafficking Laws and Penalties

| Read Time: 4 minutes

There is a public hysteria around human trafficking. In fact, according to The New Republic, concerns around human trafficking resemble a moral panic more than a rational response to a grave threat. Yes, there is human trafficking, but many experts claim the public’s response is out of proportion to the threat. However, California takes accusations of human trafficking very seriously. Our state has even passed a revised law that increased penalties for a conviction. If you’ve been caught up in a California human trafficking crackdown, we are here for you. We have represented countless criminal defendants quite successfully, and we are prepared to provide a vigorous defense on your behalf. California Penal Code § 236.1 covers the definition and penalties of human trafficking and the different types of crimes conducted. The perpetrator of human trafficking is someone who deprives and violates another person, the victim, to obtain services from that victim for personal gain. The method of gaining that service is done through fraudulent and deceitful promises, to get that person into a position of compliance. Obtaining that service can also be done through violence, threats of violence and physical injury, to where the victim is compliant to the perpetrator’s wishes, to avoid being injured or worse. California Human Trafficking Law California Penal Code § 236.1 makes it a crime to do any of the following: Violate or deprive someone of personal liberty with the intent to force them to labor or perform services. (236.1(a) PC) Violate or deprive a person of liberty with the intent to violate one of several sex-based laws, such as pimping, pandering, or employing a minor in pornography. (236.1(b) PC) Induce, persuade, or cause a minor to engage in commercial sex. This also includes attempting to induce, persuade, or cause a minor to engage in commercial sex (236.1(c) PC)  Here are some common examples: Kidnapping a person and forcing them to perform work in one’s home. Abducting a child and forcing him/her to participate in pornographic videos. Persuading a 15-year-old to work for someone as a prostitute. Penalties for Committing Human Trafficking in California Under California Penal Code § 236.1(a), the punishment for those who deprive or violate the personal liberty of another, to obtain forced labor services is punished by state imprisonment for 5, 8, or 12 years, and a fine of not more than $500,000. Under California Penal Code § 236.1(b), those who deprive another person with the intent to rape, abduct, and seduce children (§ 266), are imprisoned in state prison for 8, 14, to 20 years and a fine of $500,000 or less. Under California Penal Code § 236.1(c), those who cause, induce, or persuade a minor person to engage in commercial sex acts, may receive a sentence of 5, 8, 12 years imprisonment and a fine of $500,000. Based on circumstances of the crime, the penalty can be higher, up to life imprisonment along with the $500,000 fine. If you are convicted of human trafficking, California law sets the following penalties based on the offense you were convicted of: If you are convicted of 236.1(a), then you can be sent to prison for 5, 8, or 12 years. You can also be fined up to $500,000. If convicted of 236.1(b), then you can be imprisoned for 8, 14, or 20 years and fined up to $500,000. If convicted of 236.1(c), then you can be imprisoned for 5, 8, or 12 years and fined up to $500,000. If you used fraud, deceit, fear, duress, threats, violence, or other coercion, you may face 15 years to life in prison and a fine up to $500,000. These are very steep penalties and show how serious California has become at stamping out human trafficking. Persuading a minor to engage in commercial sex work, in particular, can land a person in jail for life. Forced Labor Trafficked people are sometimes put in menial labor situations for a “set” period to pay off the fees (with interest) for transporting them to the United States illegally. Men may be put in undercover illegal warehouse jobs, while women are put in household cleaning and cooking positions. Women may also be subjected by threats or force to offer sexual services to a certain clientele. Sex Trafficking of Juveniles Sex trafficking of juveniles is a global-wide crime where children can be bribed by offers of caring for a child, offering them the love they never had at home, and other persuasive tactics. Children who run away from abusive home situations are targets for these predators, as well as those who are caught alone while away from their parents on outings. While grooming of such children may lead to them thinking they will find a better life, there is always the inherent threat of punishment if children do not comply with their “managers.” Involvement of the FBI The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were already at work to bring down sex trafficking crimes in Atlanta in the weeks before the recent Super Bowl, making 33 arrests ahead of the game. Since then, during and after the Super Bowl, a total of 169 arrests have now been made in Atlanta, according to a post on 11Alive.com. Many large events of this nature are targets for selling services, as well as searching for new victims, both boys and girls. In San Diego County, as of June 2018, there were between 8,000 to nearly 12,000 survivors of human trafficking, according to an article posted at The Coast News Group Online. Of these survivors, nearly 80 percent are United States citizens, while 11.4 percent are from Mexico. Speak to an Experienced Defense Attorney If you have been falsely accused of human or sex trafficking, or of obtaining services to have sex with minors, call us at once for a consultation. 619-234-2300

Being Falsely Accused of Inappropriate Touching During a Divorce

| Read Time: 3 minutes

Accused of Child Molestation While Going Through a Divorce Julius Beam (not his real name) and his wife, Jennifer, of 10 years were in the opening stages of getting a divorce and there was a lot of antagonism over the details of who would get what, including custody of the children. They had two daughters, Sarah and Lisa, ages eight and four, respectively and Jennifer was planning on taking custody of them. Jennifer and the children had already moved out. When Julius received the divorce papers and summons, he was horrified to find that Jennifer was falsely accusing him of sexually molesting the younger child, Lisa. This would mean that not only would he have no chance of custody for the children, but he might also be banned from ever seeing them again. He called a criminal defense lawyer for a consultation on what Julius could do next. Not only did he not want to lose the children, but he wanted to restore his good name. The next step was that the case should be moved into criminal court to defend against the accusation of sexual molestation. In criminal court, this could be charged as sexual assault of a minor. While divorce cases are generally handled in family court with little power to defend against certain accusations, the criminal court process would allow the attorney for Julius to incorporate more processes for the defense. A summons was delivered to Jennifer which she signed, thus agreeing to show up for the hearing. The First Steps Following Being Falsely Accused of Molestation The defense lawyer first checked for records of any abusive behavior which would have been reported to the police. There were none. The document included in the divorce papers stating that Julius had sexually molested his daughter was a signed document from Jennifer. In that document, she had stated that Lisa had told her what Julius had done. There were no other documents to substantiate her claim of Julius molesting Lisa. The Criminal Case In a preliminary hearing with the judge and a prosecutor for Jennifer’s side, the defense attorney requested names of doctors and all medical documents concerning Lisa be provided to Julius, his defense attorney, and the prosecutor, as part of discovery. Jennifer was to also provide any police reports substantiating her charge. Next, the defense attorney requested the judge appoint an independent child protection counselor to interview Lisa to hear what she had to say about her father, Julius. The interview would be recorded as per the judge’s orders. Jennifer had to comply with the order and she also was not allowed in the interview to influence any part of the proceedings. The Findings The judge received no paperwork from Jennifer concerning any doctor visits or police reports, nor was there any evidence that Lisa was taken to a health counselor for emotional treatment of sexual abuse. Furthermore, the results of the interview showed that Lisa provided no evidence that Julius had ever done anything wrong to her. During that interview, a doll was used to ask Lisa where on the doll’s body that her father had touched her as far as she could remember. Lisa did not indicate any part of the doll, other than to say that he hugged her a lot and gave her kisses at night when being put to bed. She also wanted to know when she could see her daddy again. Falsely Accused of Touching a Minor: The Charges The judge, under California Penal Code § 148.5, charged Jennifer with making a false and serious claim to benefit herself in the divorce proceedings. She was sentenced with a misdemeanor and a fine, for which the judge would determine later. The judge wrote a recommendation to the family court that they consider that the children be put in the custody of Julius and that Jennifer makes child support payments. If you have been falsely accused of sexual assault of your child as part of your divorce proceedings, call us at once for a consultation. 619-234-2300