San Diego is the second-largest city in California, with more than 1.37 million residents. The city also hosts approximately 28.8 million visitors annually and generates more than $1 billion annually through tourism.

Inevitably, residents and visitors of San Diego find themselves in trouble with the law. The last thing you want to bring home with you is a criminal conviction. 

The best way to avoid a felony conviction and minimize the impact of a criminal charge is by hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend your rights.

An attorney at The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, can review the details of your case and determine whether a legal defense applies to your case. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with a member of our team.

Cases We Handle

Our team at The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, represents individuals facing various criminal charges. We have experience navigating accusations for the following offenses:

If you are facing any criminal charges in San Diego, California, contact a criminal defense lawyer at The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, right away to review your case.

Sex Crimes

California sex crimes that do not qualify as rape or child sexual abuse often fall under the umbrella of sexual battery.

Sexual battery is defined as touching an intimate part of another person against their will for sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse. Misdemeanor sexual battery is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. 

Aggravated sexual battery occurs when the victim was:

  • Coerced to touch themselves or someone else while being unlawfully restrained or institutionalized,
  • Unaware of the nature of the act because the offender fraudulently made them believe the touching served a professional purpose,
  • Unlawfully restrained, or
  • Committed for medical treatment and seriously disabled or mentally incapacitated. 

Aggravated sexual battery is punishable by up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

DUI

California prohibits drivers from operating their vehicles under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The state enhances the penalties for each subsequent DUI conviction.

A first DUI conviction in California is punishable by up to 6 months in jail, five years of probation, a four-month license suspension, and a fine of up to $1,000 (not including penalty assessments that can double the fine).

second DUI conviction within ten years of the first is punishable by up to one year in county jail, five years of probation, a one-year license suspension, and a fine of up to $2,000.

Several different legal defenses can apply to DUI charges and negate an element of the offense, such as:

  • The machine used to test your blood or breath sample was not properly maintained;
  • The breath or blood tests were improperly administered;
  • Law enforcement lacked reasonable suspicion to conduct the initial traffic stop; or
  • Another person was operating the vehicle.

A San Diego DUI defense attorney can craft a strategy that bolsters the weaknesses in the case against you and protects your rights.

Violent Crimes

Violent offenses include crimes like aggravated battery, kidnapping, or arson. California law outlines two different kinds of kidnapping, simple and aggravated.

Simple kidnapping (Penal Code section 207) occurs when someone moves another person without that person’s consent by use of force or fear. Aggravated kidnapping occurs when someone moves another person without their consent by use of force, fear, or fraud, and:

  • The victim is held for ransom;
  • The victim is a child under 14 years old;
  • The kidnapping occurs during a carjacking; or
  • The victim suffers bodily harm or death.

Moving the victim is a required element of kidnapping. The movement must be substantial, not a slight or trivial distance.

Kidnapping is a felony that is punishable by three, five, or eight years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Aggravated kidnapping where the alleged victim was under fourteen is considered a felony and is punishable by five, eight, or eleven years in prison. The penalties for aggravated kidnapping can increase if other circumstances exist.

Theft Crimes

California defines burglary as entering a dwelling, building, or vehicle with intent to commit theft or a felony inside. 

When someone enters a commercial establishment intending to steal during business hours and the value of the property does not exceed $950, the offense is considered shoplifting.

Any other entry into a commercial establishment with intent to steal is considered burglary. For example, if someone breaks into a grocery store when it is closed to steal money from the cash register, they commit burglary.

Burglary of an inhabited dwelling house, floating home, trailer coach, vessel, or inhabited portion of any other building is considered burglary in the first degree.

A place is inhabited if it is currently being used for dwelling purposes. The location does not have to be occupied at the time of the burglary. Burglary in the first degree is punishable by a prison sentence of two, four, or six years.

The burglary of any other location is considered burglary in the second degree. Burglary in the second degree carries the potential for up to one year in county jail.

White Collar Crimes

In California, white collar crime is not a separate criminal offense. Instead, committing a white collar crime is used as a sentencing enhancement. California Penal Code section 186.11 allows California prosecutors to add an “aggravated white collar crime enhancement” if they prove the following factors:

  • The defendant committed two or more related felonies which have a material element of fraud or embezzlement;
  • The felonies are based on a pattern or series of acts by the defendant; and
  • The defendant’s actions have resulted in the loss of more than $100,000.

A white collar crime enhancement can increase the incarceration period and fine amount imposed upon conviction.

One offense eligible for a white collar crime enhancement is embezzlement. California defines embezzlement as the fraudulent taking of property for personal use placed in the defendant’s trust by another party, intending to permanently deprive the true owner. California charges embezzlement under either petty theft or grand theft, depending on the property value taken.

What Sets Our Criminal Lawyers in San Diego, CA, Apart from Others

Our founding attorney, Kerry L. Armstrong, understands the implications a criminal conviction can have on your life, and he thrives on ensuring he gets the best possible result for his clients.

Mr. Armstrong has earned the respect of other attorneys in the area, earning the distinction of 2012 Trial Attorney of the Year awarded by the San Diego Criminal Defense Bar Association.

Additionally, Mr. Armstrong is a California State Bar certified specialist in criminal law, making him one of only twenty-three criminal defense attorneys in San Diego County with a criminal law legal specialization certificate. He has also been named a California Super Lawyer from 2014 through 2023.

Our senior associate attorney, Daniel F. Greene, earned recognition as the 2019 Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Criminal Defense Bar Association of San Diego. He has also been named a California Super Lawyer from 2015 through 2023.

We know what it takes to help our clients secure favorable outcomes in criminal cases.

How Can a San Diego Criminal Lawyer Help My Case? Contact Our Team to Find Out

Some people represent themselves against criminal charges to save money on legal fees. However, those legal fees can pay off when a skilled criminal defense lawyer negotiates with the prosecutor to reduce or dismiss your charges.

An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you by: 

  • Preparing a legal strategy for your defense,
  • Preparing potential witnesses to testify on your behalf,
  • Gathering crucial evidence to help discredit the prosecution’s evidence and support your arguments,
  • Drafting pleadings and other important court filings,
  • Arguing motions to suppress evidence, and 
  • Preparing your case for trial when necessary. 

If you are facing criminal charges, contact a San Diego criminal defense lawyer at The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC.

Where You Can Find Our San Diego, CA Office