Criminal Defense

The Criminal Law Section of the San Diego County Bar Association has literally hundreds of members who specialize in criminal defense. If you have been charged with a crime in the San Diego area, you already know that your reputation, finances and possibly even your freedom may be at stake. You also understand that few decisions are more important than finding the right lawyer. But let's say you've done your homework, interviewed several candidates and have made a choice of representation. What traits should you be looking for in your lawyer to demonstrate as your case progresses? Here are a few suggestions.

The extended chase sequence in the 1971 William Freidkin film The French Connection is considered by many to be the best ever made. In the role of real-life NYPD detective Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle, Gene Hackman chases a would-be assassin through a maze of New York streets, commandeering and smashing vehicles as he goes. Attempted murder aside, the perpetrator clearly was guilty of attempting to flee from a pursuing police officer. Now here's a much less dramatic scenario that can happen to even the most law-abiding citizen. You're driving home, tired after a long day at work and you are singing along to one of your favorite classic rock songs (it's okay - we all do it). You probably have the volume up just a little too loud. That's why until you parked you didn't realize there was a police cruiser trying to pull you over for the last two miles because you have a broken taillight. Now, however, he's annoyed. Despite your attempt to explain, he's planning to charge you with evading a peace officer.

As any informed parent knows, the Internet holds many dangers for children. The sexual predator who once would have prowled schoolyards is now far more likely to spend his (or, albeit far less often, her) time online, posing as a teen or preteen while trolling for victims. In one common scheme known as sexual extortion (or sextortion”), the perpetrator asks for the victim to send sexually revealing photographs of him or herself. Thinking they are chatting with the young man or attractive girl whose image accompanies their profile (or, in the case of some especially devious perpetrators, their own real-life boyfriend or girlfriend), the victim agrees. Only then does the perpetrator reveal his true identity and threaten to publish the photos on the Internet unless the victim either provides additional photos or consents to meeting the perpetrator in person for sex. Fearing parental disapproval and damage to their reputations, many comply and suffer in silence. Despite its remote and relatively high tech nature, sextortion is a form of sexual violence, with children as young as 13 or 14 its most frequent victims.