Southern California has recently entered a period of extreme heat, with the temperature reaching the 90s and higher. The area is not only susceptible to wildfires, but also fires in domestic areas. According to the OC Register, a recent fire in Buena Park has heavily damaged a home and the cause could potentially be either an accident or perhaps even intentional arson.
Details Surrounding the House Fire
According to Salvador Hernandez of the OC Register, a home in Buena Park became engulfed in flames on Mother’s Day. The fire is believed to have started in the garage and spread quickly up into the attic, damaging three cars parked in the driveway and parts of the house. Luckily there were no injuries reported but the family of five is now temporarily displaced. The fire department is currently investigating the source of the fire.
Fire photo by Chris Topdesoto
Arson in Irvin
A few weeks prior, a grass fire in Irvine led to the arrest of a 20-year-old man for arson. According to Jeremiah Dobruck of the Daily Pilot, John Howe put in the call to 911 to report a fire in Irvine’s Turtle Rock neighborhood. When the fire department arrived on scene they found that the fire was highly suspicious because it had started from a piece of a wood with dry leaves placed on top. Police arrested Howe under the suspicion that he had started the fire but it grew larger than he had anticipated. The young man is currently under arrest on suspicion of arson.
California Arson Laws
According to leginfo.ca.gov, Penal Code Section 451 states that an individual is guilty of arson “when he or she willfully and maliciously sets fire to or burns…any structure, forest land, or property.” Section 451 goes on to state “arson of a structure or forest land is a felony punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for two, four, or six years.
The house fire in Buena Park could very well be entirely accidental. In Howe’s case, however, he will likely face a felony charge and prison sentence for his involvement in starting the grass fire in Irvine. If you currently face or have been sentenced to similar charges, a felony expungement under Penal Code Section 1203.4 may remove your arson criminal charge, helping you to find better employment and housing opportunities.
There are many things that can drive a person to commit a robbery. With the state of the current economy, economic hardships could motivate someone to take desperate steps for their survival. Two recent bank robberies in the Orange County cities of Anaheim and Ladera Ranch have shown that certain individuals are willing to go to any measure, including threat of violence, for a big score.
According to Alyssa Duranty of the OC Register, Ian Jade Stone of Anaheim was arrested by detectives in San Luis Obispo under suspicion of armed robbery of a U.S. Bank in Anaheim Hills. Stone is said to have claimed he had a bomb strapped to him while he committed the robbery. In a separate incident, an unidentified man entered a U.S. Bank in Ladera Ranch and passed a note to a teller warning that he had a weapon and was willing to use it. He was given cash and left without harming anyone inside the bank. The suspect, who remains unapprehended, is described as a 35-year-old Latino man standing 5 feet 4 inches and weighing around 160 pounds.
California Law Concerning Robbery
According to the Official California Legislative Information website, robbery under Penal Code Section 211 is defined as “the felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another…accomplished by means of force or fear.” In both instances previously mentioned, the suspects claimed to have possession of a weapon and threatened to use it if the bankers did not comply. Penal Code Section 213 states that robbery in the first degree is punishable of between three and nine years in state prison. Furthermore, robbery in the second-degree is punishable by a sentence of between two and five years in prison.
Expunging Criminal Records in Orange County
California Penal Code Section 1203.4 states that in a case where the convicted has completed their probation or has for any reason been granted relief by the court, can petition to have their case reopened and expunged. If someone is disqualified from having their record expunged they may, under Penal Code Section 17 (b), reduce their felony conviction to a misdemeanor. An individual considering to petition for a felony expungement or reduction should consider hiring an attorney to ensure their odds of success at clearing their Orange County criminal record.
Guns photo by Matt Scott
California offers many remedies to Orange County residents seeking to expunge or seal their arrest, juvenile or misdemeanor records. For those who were convicted of a felony, and did not serve prison time, you may be eligible to have your conviction reduced to a misdemeanor and expunged. For those who served time in California state prison, you may apply for a Certificate of Rehabilitation. We recommend a specialized expungement attorney to expunge your criminal record.
Any licensed attorney in California or Florida can represent you in court, but choosing a specialized expungement attorney increases your chances of successfully having your record expunged. Many expungement attorneys claim that they can have your record expunged, but usually charge a much higher price; charging close to $1600 for an expungement that can be performed for around $600. Even then, your chances of a successful expungement are much lower than if you choose a specialized expungement attorney. An expungement lawyer that has performed thousands of criminal record record expungements are far more likely to succeed with your case than an attorney who has done it a few times.
Definition of Interest of Justice
- There are three ways a defendant (who was given probation for his conviction) can get a dismissal under section 1203.4.
- The first is by fulfilling the conditions of probation for the entire period of probation.
- The second is by being discharged prior to the termination of the period of probation.
- The third is by the court’s discretion in the interests of justice.