Jan 18, 2021
| Read Time: 3 minutes
Arresting a person for public urination might give the impression that the police have nothing better to do. Peeing in public is a public nuisance in California. Police arrest people for public urination to maintain residents’ and business owners’ quality of life. On most occasions, a person charged under public urination in California laws faces misdemeanor penalties. However, a conviction for a misdemeanor charge of public urination potentially carries significant consequences. Therefore, you need to speak with a California Bar-certified San Diego criminal defense attorney before you try to represent yourself in court on these charges. California law recognizes certain defenses to public urination that could help you avoid significant problems for yourself down the road. Public Urination Laws in California No one particular state law in California criminalizes urinating in public. However, many cities and towns have ordinances or bylaws that prohibit public urination. Additionally, the police could use public decency laws already on California’s books to arrest and prosecute a person for public urination. California’s public decency laws include public nuisance, public intoxication, and indecent exposure. Public Nuisance Offense A person charged because of public urination may face a violation of a city ordinance or state law as a public nuisance. Under California’s Penal Code, committing a public nuisance is a misdemeanor. The maximum penalty for being a public nuisance is six months in jail, a fine of not more than $500, and probation. Violation of a city or county ordinance for public urination carries the same penalty, except that the maximum fine is often $1,000. Drunk and Disorderly Urinating in public is often an indication that the person is intoxicated. Under California’s Penal Code, a person is guilty of disorderly conduct as a result of public intoxication when: Under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both, and the person cannot safely care for themselves while in a public place. Drunk and disorderly is a misdemeanor punishable by six months in jail and a fine of $1,000. However, California’s disorderly conduct statute allows the police to place the person in protective custody. After that, the individual might go to a detoxification facility for 72 hours. Indecent Exposure Indecent exposure is a sex crime in California. Anyone who exposes their genitalia in public when people are around who might be offended or annoyed could be found guilty of indecent exposure. The maximum penalty for indecent exposure is a six-month jail sentence, a $1,000 fine, and probation. However, a conviction for indecent exposure under California law requires the person to register as a sex offender for 10 years. Urination on Public Transportation Public urination while using public transportation is a crime. The maximum penalty for this offense is incarceration for three months and a $400 fine. Public Urination Defenses Prosecutors may decide to reduce the charges to an infraction rather than a criminal charge. An infraction does not allow for jail time or probation. Instead, the court could impose a fine ranging from $100 to $500, with community service. Additional defenses include: Medical problems, Age, Mental disability, and Mistaken identity. Other defenses may apply to your case. That is why you need to contact a seasoned California criminal defense lawyer to discuss your options. Do Not Allow One Mistake to Ruin Your Life Contact the tough, aggressive, and experienced California criminal defense lawyers with the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, by calling 619-234-2300 today. With nearly four decades of collective experience fighting to protect the rights of people accused of crimes in California, the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, can help you avoid the potentially disastrous consequences of a conviction for public urination.
Jan 15, 2021
| Read Time: 4 minutes
California continues to crack down on prostitution, with high-profile arrests making the newspaper regularly. If you’ve been picked up, we understand you might be feeling embarrassed and concerned about your future. In some situations, a person wasn’t even soliciting prostitution when they got caught up in a police sting. At the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, we offer compassionate legal representation to those arrested for prostitution or solicitation. We can help figure out how to beat a solicitation charge in California which is why it is important to contact our firm. We credit our strong grasp of the law for our excellent results, and we have managed to get many charges dismissed or dropped and assisted in figuring out how to fight solicitation charges. Contact us today. One of our San Diego criminal defense attorneys will be pleased to meet with you. California’s Prostitution and Solicitation Laws In 2019, in California, prostitution is not legal. The following information explains why prostitution is not legal in California. You can find California’s law at California Penal Code 647 (b). This law criminalizes the offer or acceptance of money or other valuable consideration for sexual or lewd conduct. One important facet of this law is that the sex act (or lewd conduct) does not have to actually take place for Penal Code 647 b to apply. California’s soliciting and prostitution law criminalize three things: Engaging in prostitution Soliciting prostitution Agreeing to engage in an act of prostitution CALIFORNIA PROSTITUTION LAWS FOR: Penalties for Soliciting and Prostitution in California Solicitation and prostitution are misdemeanors, not felonies. The exact punishment a defendant faces depends on several factors, such as where the violation occurred and whether this is the defendant’s first offense: First offense: up to 6 months and jail and up to a $1,000 fine Second offense: mandatory 45 days in jail Third offense: mandatory 90 days in jail A defendant can face additional penalties if arrested while using a car and within 1,000 feet of a residence. In addition to the penalties above, defendants can have their driver’s license suspended for 30 days. Those convicted of prostitution or solicitation can be required to register as sex offenders, though many are not. Speak about this possibility with your attorney. CALIFORNIA PROSTITUTION LAWS FOR: Engaging in Prostitution A person can be arrested for engaging in prostitution for intentionally engaging in sexual intercourse or a lewd act in exchange for compensation, including money. In short, this means the defendant willingly engaged in the sexual act or did it on purpose. It does not mean that he or she knew that the law was being broken at that moment. Remember that the lewd act embraces more than sexual intercourse. It can also include touching genitals, buttocks, or female breasts with the intent to become sexually aroused or gratified. So accepting money to let someone rub your breasts actually counts as engaging in prostitution under Penal Code 647(b). CALIFORNIA PROSTITUTION LAWS FOR: Soliciting Prostitution A person can be arrested and convicted of solicitation if he asks another person to engage in an act of prostitution and intended to engage in the act. Intent matters here. The defendant must have actually intended to go through with the offer, even if he or she did not, in fact, follow through. The prosecutor can prove intent by showing that the defendant offered money or other consideration or took some other step that manifested intent. Solicitation can also occur even where the person being propositioned is not a prostitute or is a police officer undercover. The person propositioned does not have to have any intent to follow through, even if they accept the offer. CALIFORNIA PROSTITUTION LAWS FOR: Agreeing to Engage in Prostitution Simply agreeing to have sex for money also is illegal, even if no one goes through with the transaction. In other words, a transaction does not have to be completed for the police to nab someone for agreeing to engage in prostitution. A defendant is guilty if: They agreed to engage in prostitution with someone else They intended to actually engage in the act They further the commission of the prostitution by taking some other act beyond the agreement The last element is often in dispute. Simply saying “yes” is not enough. Some other act is required. For example: Withdrawing money from an ATM machine Telling the other person to undress Taking your clothes off Driving to a location to meet the person for sex or other lewd behavior Defenses to California Solicitation and Prostitution Charges With decades of experience, our firm understands the many defenses we can raise to a prostitution or solicitation charge. For example, if you are under 18, you cannot be found guilty of prostitution. Instead, a California law defines anyone under 18 as a “commercially sexually exploited child.” In other cases, you might raise the following defenses: Insufficient evidence Entrapment Lack of Intent Let’s take a closer look at these. Insufficient Evidence The state must prove each case beyond a reasonable doubt. Often, however, there is doubt about whether you broke the law because the prosecutor does not have sufficient evidence about what people said and did. For example, a defendant might be accused of propositioning a police officer, but there was no recorded statement even though the officer should have been wired. In this situation, we can’t be sure that the defendant propositioned sex for money or other compensation. Entrapment This is a hard defense to prove. To raise entrapment, a defendant needs to show that the police officer’s conduct would have induced a normal, law-abiding citizen to commit a crime. In other words, a defendant must show more than that the police created the opportunity to commit a crime. Some examples of entrapment include: Repeatedly soliciting someone, even after they say “no.” Badgering a person or intimidating them into agreeing to sex Offering an extraordinarily large sum of money Promising that the conduct is not illegal and won’t be uncovered by...
Dec 22, 2020
| Read Time: 2 minutes
Kerry L. Armstrong, of The Law Offices of Kerry Armstrong, APLC, received a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Rating in December 2020. The AV Preeminent Peer Rating is reserved for attorneys who demonstrate the highest ethical decision-making skills and professional aptness. According to Martindale-Hubbell, only 10% of lawyers earn this elite distinction. Attorneys in the United States and Canada peer-review their colleagues via Martindale-Hubbell. Practicing attorneys submit reference requests to other lawyers and judges, and that rating becomes part of Martindale-Hubbell’s national database. Attorneys rate their peers in five areas: legal knowledge, analytical capabilities, judgment, communication ability, and legal experience. Lawyers and consumers across the country use the rating system to refer clients or find experts on specific legal issues. To earn an AV Preeminent Peer Rating, a lawyer’s peers must consistently rate him or her highly across all review areas. The distinction is widely respected across the legal field because the ratings are submitted by other members of the state bar and judiciary. Armstrong is among 62 attorneys to earn the distinction this December. The Law Offices of Kerry Armstrong, APLC, is a criminal defense law firm based in San Diego, California. Kerry L. Armstrong, along with his associates, has been to trial more than 100 times and received not guilty verdicts for clients charged with sex crimes, assault and battery, domestic violence, and theft. Armstrong has collected many other awards and honors for his work as a criminal defense attorney. To name a few, Armstrong was: Named Attorney of the Year by “The Recorder” in 2012, Listed as a Top Attorney by “Los Angeles Magazine” in 2014, and Mentioned on the California Super Lawyers list from 2014 to 2019. Armstrong approaches his legal work with compassion; he is committed to going the extra mile to ensure the best resolution for his clients. Armstrong is not afraid to take on challenging cases because he believes that anyone charged with a crime has the right to share their side of the story.