Success Stories: Learning Under the Influence Can Lead to Expulsion

As much as a parent wants to believe their son or daughter won’t experiment with illegal drugs, there is no way to predict if (or when) some students will make a choice to rebel or give in to peer pressure.High-School

One of our recent cases from the Irvine Unified School District shows this to be true. Our client, a high school senior, was within a few weeks of walking on the stage at graduation to receive a diploma and move on from high school. Perhaps too certain that the end of high school was in sight, our client celebrated a bit too early, and was caught on campus under the influence of a controlled substance, jeopardizing his future plans before he even left high school for the last time.

Under the Influence on Campus

Under California’s Education Code Section 48900(c), it is unlawful for any student to possess, use, sell, or otherwise furnish, or be under the influence of, any controlled substance, alcoholic beverage, or intoxicant of any kind. The school suspended our client for five days and submitted a recommendation for expulsion to the District, which would prevent the student from receiving a high school diploma.

Intervention at the Right Time

We were retained and quickly pursued a course of action with the goal of allowing our client to receive a diploma at graduation. Our attorney went to work and was able to secure a negotiated resolution with the Irvine Unified School District that allowed for the expulsion recommendation to be suspended (or “stayed”). As a result, our client was able to collect his high school diploma at graduation. 

The Irvine School District decided not to pursue the case any further, and the student’s academic record will not include an expulsion. This is crucially important because by avoiding an expulsion, our client can enter the next phase of adulthood with a clean record. Had the student been expelled, it could have resulted in the denial of entry into the university of his choice or could result in his being passed over for a job. Instead of having doors of opportunity closed to him, our client will be able to walk through those doors and pursue his education or career without being held back by a mistake he made in high school.

Contact the Education Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich

Students make mistakes, but we believe that should not affect the rest of their lives. If your child is facing a school disciplinary hearing, you need an attorney to help fight for their chance to continue their education. At Wallin & Klarich, we have more than 35 years of experience in helping our student clients their academic record and keep the doors of opportunity open to them once they reach adulthood. Our attorneys are always available to answer your questions and will use all of our legal skills and knowledge to help you receive the best possible outcome in your case.

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance, and Victorville, there is an experienced and skilled Wallin & Klarich education defense attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.

Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free, no-obligation phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

Veterans Treatment Courts: An Option for Service Members

The U.S. Armed Forces are a source of pride for this country. It is an all volunteer force that attracts the best and brightest from all over the United States, and time after time, these men and women are deployed into the harshest environments to do the most dangerous work on behalf of this country. It is a very different life than most people experience, and even with the best training and discipline, putting one’s life on the line on a daily basis can take an extraordinary toll on a soldier’s physical and mental health.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often trivialized as being nothing more than a person who is unable to let go of their past, but for those who suffer from PTSD, it is the past that will not let go of them. Imagine what it must be like to be a service member adjusting to civilian life. How do you explain to your friends and family what you have seen and heard? How do you explain what you have done, knowing that they will never understand because they did not live through what you did? 

This disconnect often leaves veterans feeling isolated, alone, and apart from the society in which they now live, and, consequently, unable to live by its laws. Recognizing this difficulty facing veterans, a group of judges, prosecutors, public defenders, and veterans groups collaborated to form Veterans Treatment Courts (VTCs), a new kind of criminal justice system designed to specifically address lawbreaking by veterans, and to ensure they receive the treatment for the underlying causes of their behavior to ensure a more successful return to civilian life.

What Is the Veterans Treatment Court?

VTCs are special courts that manage cases of criminal violations committed by current and former service members. Instead of a normal criminal trial in front of a judge and jury where prison or jail may be the ultimate outcome, the VTC works as a team to address the violation, and work to rehabilitate the defendant without the need for incarceration. The defendant goes through a rehabilitation program that includes mental health counseling, counseling for substance abuse, drug and alcohol testing, and regular attendance at court for evaluation.

A judge who specializes in veterans’ cases oversees the process. This is important because it means the judge will have a better understanding of the underlying issues that are driving the defendant’s behavior, such as PTSD or drug addiction. A veterans treatment court judge also understands the work of the Veterans Health Administration, Veterans Benefits Administration, State Department of Veterans Affairs, and veterans service organizations.

Additionally, the VTC uses the military culture the veteran defendant is accustomed to as a way to help him or her return to civilian life. Recognizing that many veterans who turn to crime are also unaware of the federal benefits available to them, volunteer veteran mentors work to help the veteran defendants and guide them through the process of accessing those services, including health care and job placement. These mentors also help instill the sense of community that has been missing from the defendants’ lives.

Eligibility for VTC Is Not Automatic

VTCs are not able to hear all cases. To be eligible, you must have served as an active member or reservist in any of the branches of the United States military – Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, or National Guard. Additionally, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You plead guilty in a criminal case for which you are eligible for probation;
  • Your crime was not gang-related nor a sexual crime;
  • You suffer from PTSD, traumatic brain injury (TBI), military sexual trauma (MST), drug or alcohol abuse, or other diagnosed mental illness; and
  • You were honorably discharged from military service (though the court will consider other types of discharge, such as for being disabled as a result of service).

If you meet these requirements, and you agree to participate in a program for the next 15-18 months, you may be eligible for this program.

How Do I Apply to Have My Case Heard by a VTC?

Currently, California has 33 Veterans Courts in 29 counties, including Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura. Each court has its own processes that must be followed to have your case admitted to the program. An experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney can help guide you through the process.

Once you have applied, the court may order that you be evaluated by a mental health professional, and have preliminary assessments of your case made by a probation officer, Veterans Court staff, and other specialists. The judge may even request a meeting with you and your defense attorney. 

An important aspect of this process is that you must have pled guilty to the offense. However, if you change your mind, or evidence is available that could exonerate you, you do have the option of withdrawing from the program within fourteen days by withdrawing your guilty plea and proceeding through the regular court process.

What Happens At the End of the Program?

Once you complete the program assigned to you by the VTC, the judge will review your case and determine whether you were successful. He or she will evaluate you on the following criteria:

  • Whether you participated in and/or completed court-ordered education, treatment, and rehabilitation programs;
  • Your progress in formal education and development of your career potential;
  • Your efforts to show leadership and take personal responsibility for your wrongdoing; and
  • Your level of contribution to the community through service.

If you are not complying with the programs requirements, the court can take any of several different actions, from adding additional requirements to your program to fines to expulsion from the VTC. If you are disqualified, your case will go back into the criminal court system and proceed as a regular criminal case.

If you complete the program, you may be able to avoid jail or prison completely. However, if your crime was a violent felony, you might only see a reduction in the jail or prison time you will serve.

Upon successful completion, the court may dismiss and expunge your case, or in the case of a felony, may reduce the conviction to a misdemeanor. In addition, you will not be required to disclose the case on applications for employment or under oath, unless you apply to become a law enforcement officer.

Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich For More Information

At Wallin & Klarich, we appreciate and thank you for your service to our country. That is why we stand ready with more than 37 years of experience in helping veterans like you with their defense against all manner of criminal charges. We work hard to bring about the best possible outcome to your case, whether it is through a Veterans Treatment Court, or through a criminal court. Let us help you today.

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance, and Victorville, there is an experienced and skilled Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.

Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free, no-obligation phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

How California Teachers Can Protect Themselves Against False Abuse Allegations

Other than a child’s immediate family, no other group of people will spend more high_school_studentstime or have more influence over a child’s development than their teachers. Teaching is truly a noble profession and why, for over 30 years, Wallin & Klarich has been proud to work closely with the California Teachers Association (CTA). Founded in 1863 and boasting over 300,000 members, the CTA is one of the largest teachers’ associations in America. During the course of our association with CTA, Wallin & Klarich has helped countless teachers falsely accused of misconduct involving students.

Unfortunately, many of these teachers were guilty of nothing more than trying to go the extra mile to help a troubled student. While we certainly do not want to do anything to discourage a teacher from helping a student through a difficult time, there are things you can do to not only help your students but also protect your reputation – and your career.

Here are a few bits of advice gleaned from our experience (as always, be sure you follow your own school district’s policies in these situations):

1. Never be alone in a private area with a student! If a student approaches you in, say, your classroom, and you’re alone, immediately step into a public area, such as a hallway, school front office, or another teacher’s occupied classroom. If this is not possible, politely tell the student you’re in the middle of something you need to finish and can you please meet them in a few minutes and then choose a public place to meet.

2. If a student needs to speak with you about a sensitive matter, do so in a place where you can be seen by others but not easily heard. If possible, try to have such conversations in the presence of another teacher or adult whom the student also trusts and is comfortable with.

3. Do not give your students your home/mobile telephone number or personal email address. If you need to call a student on the telephone, insist that a parent or guardian be on the call as well. If you need to send an email to a student, ensure that the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) are CC’d on the message and, again, only use your school email account to send such emails.

4. Do not friend/follow/like your students on social media. You should always strive to maintain a professional “teacher/student” relationship with your students. If you have a legitimate reason for associating with your students on social media, e.g., investigating allegations of cyberbullying, act with the knowledge of your superiors or in association with another teacher and document your reasons for doing what you’re doing. Do not delete or alter any messages or correspondence you send or receive! Assume whatever you send/say/do will be seen by others who will second-guess your words, actions, and judgment!

5. Do not drive a student home from school or a school-related activity unless absolutely necessary and if you must do so, ensure that there is another unrelated adult in the car with you at all times. Also only give the student a ride once you’ve exhausted all other options and only if you’ve notified their parent(s)/guardian(s).

6. Make sure you keep accurate records and receipts for school monies received and spent.

7. Keep a professional perspective, demeanor, and style with your students; even if you’re close in age to them. You cannot talk to them like a parent or one of their buddies.

8. Do not have a relationship with any student outside of school or school-related activities. We know this can be hard; especially in the case of a student with challenges at home or in school, but you must try to maintain a level of professional separation. It might help to try to find a fellow student willing to befriend a pupil in such a difficult situation.

9. Keep detailed contemporaneous notes of things that occur in class, and of meetings with students – especially things that could possibly be considered objectionable or sensitive. You don’t want an “innocent” question about human reproduction, and your “innocent” response being misrepresented days or weeks after the fact once it’s made its way around your school’s rumor mill! If you get into the habit of keeping a daily journal, you will have contemporaneous evidence to back up your version of the events.

10. Do NOT fail to report any suspected child abuse or child molestation ASAP. As a California teacher, you are a mandatory reporter, which means you must report all suspected acts of child abuse and/or child molestation to law enforcement without delay [PC 11166].

Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich

If you are a California School Teacher and are facing criminal charges, you do not have to fight the charges alone. Wallin & Klarich attorneys have more than 37 years of experience defending and use our skills and legal knowledge to help our clients. We work hard to build the best possible defense to these charges. Let us help you today.

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance, and Victorville, there is an experienced and skilled Wallin & Klarich sex crimes defense attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.

Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free, no-obligation phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

 

 

 

 

 

Beware: Bullying Can Lead To School Expulsion

High school is a place where we hope our children will learn not only the basic education needed to move onto college or into a career but also that they will learn life lessons that will help them relate to others in the community. That learning process, however, is not perfect, and at times, our children will make mistakes. 

Sometimes, those mistakes can be severe, and lead to discipline from their school. Recently, one of our clients, a high school athlete with a promising career, was facing expulsion from the Burbank Unified School District. The student had been accused of bullying and sexual harassment of another student, and the school and the district were both pressing for expulsion.

Bullying and Sexual Harassment Are Serious Offenses

Under California’s Education Code Section 48900(r), bullying is defined as encompassing several kinds of acts, whether physical, verbal, written, or electronic, that have the effect of placing another student in fear of harm to themselves or their property, that has a detrimental effect on the other student’s physical or mental health, interfere with their academic studies, or deny them the opportunity to participate in school activities. Bullying can be punished by expulsion.

Similarly, a student can be expelled for engaging in sexual harassment of another student, teacher, or administrator of a school. Under Education Code Section 48900.2, sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that has the effect of creating a negative impact upon the student’s academic performance or to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment.

Finding a Workable Solution

Our client had a hearing before the Administrative Hearing Panel, at which we successfully cross-examined the witnesses presented by the school. We effectively persuaded the panel that based upon the evidence presented, the student did not present a continuing danger to the physical safety of the pupil or others. Furthermore, we showed the panel that there were other means of correction that were feasible in this case. This is important because expulsion is intended to be the last resort, and we believe school districts should not jump to the most extreme punishment available before giving a student a chance to correct his or her behavior.

The hearing panel agreed and decided that the student would not be expelled from the Burbank Unified School District.

Contact the Education Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich

School disciplinary actions can have consequences that are almost as devastating as a criminal sentence. A suspension or expulsion on your child’s record can close doors to opportunities they seek later in life. If your child is facing a school disciplinary hearing, you need an attorney to help fight for their chance to continue their education. At Wallin & Klarich, we have more than 35 years of experience in helping our student clients maintain their right to stay in school. Our attorneys are always available to answer your questions and will use all of our legal skills and knowledge to help you receive the best possible outcome in your case.

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance, and Victorville, there is an experienced and skilled Wallin & Klarich education defense attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.

Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free, no-obligation phone consultation. We will get through this together.

Fighting for Students’ Rights: Matthew B. Wallin

At Wallin & Klarich, we work hard to maintain our stellar reputation as a top domestic violence restraining order careercriminal defense firm. However, helping our clients get a fair shake from the criminal justice system isn’t all we do. We also do our part to ensure students in our community are getting a chance to grow and continue their education through our community outreach and scholarship programs. Most importantly, we defend students having to face unfair disciplinary hearings that could lead to their expulsion. 

For 10 years, partner Matthew B. Wallin has expanded our deep commitment to students and their right to quality education. Mr. Wallin believes that students represent the best hope for a bright future in our community, and proves that with every education defense case he tackles. He brings a wealth of experience to the disciplinary process for students and works with clients facing expulsions at the high school and university level. 

Whether the case involves a hearing before an administrative hearing panel, a high school district board or a Title IX hearing for alleged violations of the student sexual harassment policy at a university in Orange County or Los Angeles, Mr. Wallin is dedicated to ensuring his student clients receive the best possible resolution to their cases, and that they can continue their education without the challenges of having a disciplinary action on their academic record.

“My job is to advocate for my client and his or her family,” said Mr. Wallin. “My duty is to help ensure that a school’s disciplinary process is fair to the student. I am there to help the family navigate and understand the seriousness of the proceedings. In addition, my representation includes preparing the most effective defense and mitigation on behalf of my client.”

This year, Mr. Wallin has achieved major success with huge decisions for his clients helping ensure that the students he represents are not deprived of their education.

Why Education Defense Is Important

Students may only be suspended or expelled for certain acts enumerated in the California Education Code (EC) 48900 and 48915. A small number of these offenses, known as “zero tolerance” offenses, require mandatory expulsion by the school district [Education Code (EC) 48915(c)]. However, for most offenses, school officials have significant discretion over whether to expel a student. 

While California law provides some protections and due process rights for students facing discipline, suspensions and expulsions are grave threats to those students’ futures. Many school officials are simply unaware of students’ legal protections or just outright ignore them. Frequently, a school’s disciplinary process fails to conform to fundamental concepts of fairness and due process, and the result can be disastrous for that student’s education goals.

For example, a high school student who has a suspension or expulsion on his or her record may lose the opportunity to attend the university of his or her choice. Similarly, a university student who is denied the rest of his or her education for a violation of university policy could lose out on a degree, and therefore might not be able to get the job he or she needs to start a productive career.

That is why Matthew Wallin is so dedicated to fighting for fairness in the education discipline arena. He knows that many school districts and university boards fail to protect the rights of the accused, and without the help of an experienced education defense attorney, students, and their families lose out on tremendous opportunities later in the student’s life.

Contact the Education Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich

If you are a student facing academic discipline, or your child is a student who could be expelled, you should not hesitate to contact Matthew Wallin and the education defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich. In our more than 35 years of experience, our attorneys have successfully defended student clients and their academic records, keeping the doors of opportunity open to them once they move on from school. Our attorneys are always available to answer your questions and will use all of our legal skills and knowledge to help you receive the best possible outcome in your case.

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance, and Victorville, there is an experienced and skilled Wallin & Klarich education defense attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.

Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free, no-obligation phone consultation. We will get through this together.

California Courts Fighting to Keep the Old Felony Murder Rule

In recent years, Californians, through the Governor’s office and the state legislature, have pushed for a number of criminal justice reforms. However, a few courts in southern California aren’t ready to give up on an old rule that has an estimated 800 inmates stuck in prison on murder charges for killings they did not actually commit.

It is called the felony murder rule, and the basic principle had been that if you committed a felony crime, and in the course of the crime, your accomplice killed someone, you could be charged with murder, even though your accomplice was the person responsible for the victim’s death. 

In 2018, a new law changed California’s felony murder rule. The new law restricted the felony murder rule to only the person or persons who actually did the killing, who aided the killing with the intent to kill, or who acted with reckless disregard to human life during the course of the felony.

Orange County Judge Rules Law Unconstitutional

Once the law passed, hundreds of inmates across the state convicted under the old rule applied to the courts for a second look at their cases. Some inmates have been granted a release from their convictions. However, in Orange County, one judge started a trend, and several other courts have begun to follow.

The Orange County judge ruled that because voters passed two previous ballot measures, Proposition 7 in 1978 and Proposition 115 in 1990, the legislature’s laws must be bound by the will of the voters. Proposition 7 expanded the death penalty to include more crimes and extended first-degree murder to felony murder cases. Proposition 115 stated the legislature would need to have a two-thirds majority to change the felony murder law. Because the new law, known as SB1437, passed by a simple majority, the judge ruled the law was unconstitutional.

Several judges in other southern California counties like San Bernardino have used the same argument in denying petitions for resentencing under the new law. However, it is not a universally accepted ruling, as judges in Los Angeles county have been following the new law.

The People’s Representatives Have the Right to Make Laws

Wallin & Klarich believes we have a system in this state in which we elect persons to make the laws for us, as well as to allow voters to directly vote on proposed laws. This is a case where the laws passed by the Legislature are being limited by votes cast more than 30 years ago when our society’s view on crime and punishment were far more severe than they have been in recent years. In the last decade, California’s voters have approved ballot measures reducing several non-violent and property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, and have even legalized the recreational use of marijuana. SB1437 was a bill with bipartisan support in the legislature, where assembly members and senators must consider the will of the people they represent in their districts and decided that they would approve this law. The courts cannot deny that their role is to interpret the law not only in by examining its text, but also the intent of the Legislature in recognizing that voters’ views on criminal justice have changed since 1978 and 1990

The people and their duly elected representatives have spoken. The courts must allow these petitions to go through if they are properly presented to the court and meet the requirements under SB1437.

Contact Criminal Defense Attorney Wallin & Klarich

If you or a loved one has been accused of murder, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich as soon as possible. We are committed to providing you with the personal attention you deserve and expect to help you overcome this difficult situation.

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance, and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.

Call our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (714) 386-7128 for a free phone consultation. We’ll get through this together.

Success Stories: The Truck Driver

Have you ever got into trouble with the law while doing your job?

Meet our client, a commercial truck driver from Canada. He had a spotless driving record, and frequently makes deliveries all across the United States. Some of his deliveries involve the transportation of hazardous materials, which, under the California Vehicle Code, have very stringent requirements.

Recently, our client was transporting hazardous materials from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. In the State of California, Hazardous Material is defined as a substance or material which is capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property when transported in a vehicle [California Vehicle Code (CVC) 353 and Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Section 171.8].

Being from Canada, he was not familiar with California law regarding the transportation of hazardous materials. He stopped at a weigh station for a normal inspection, where the unlocked compartment was discovered. He was then cited for hazardous materials in an unlocked compartment

Misdemeanor Charges for California Vehicle Code Section 32001(c)(5)

California’s Vehicle Code requires that hazardous cargo be in a locked compartment so that no unauthorized person can gain access to the materials. Upon citation, our client was not facing a mere traffic ticket. He was facing a misdemeanor conviction, a fine of approximately $4,000.00 and possible jail time.

When our client called us for help, we quickly got to work on researching the law, and all possible options as alternatives to jail time. We were able to use our experience and skill to convince the prosecutor that our client’s error was unintentional and that he had a driving record that was otherwise clean. The prosecutor agreed to reduce the charge to an infraction, and our client agreed to pay a fine of $110.00.

The Best Possible Outcome

With our help, our client did not have to go through the burden of a trial, spending time in jail or paying several thousand dollars in fines. In addition, the misdemeanor charge was dismissed against him. If he would have been found guilty of this misdemeanor charge he would have likely lost his job. He would have found it difficult to continue working internationally, as a misdemeanor conviction would likely have caused problems for him when trying to cross the US-Canada border. He also kept the points off his record, meaning his insurance rates will not increase.

When we informed our client of the outcome if his case he was an extremely happy man. We are certain that he will refer us people he knows who are facing criminal charges in the future.

Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich As Soon As Possible

Sometimes, our clients break the law without knowing they have done so. Still, the consequences for doing so can be severe, and that is why you should seek the help of an experienced defense attorney if you find yourself charged with a crime. At Wallin & Klarich, we have over 35 years of experience working with clients in all types of cases, including traffic violations that can lead to the loss of a commercial driver’s license. Let us help you too, and we will work to ensure you receive the best possible outcome in your case.

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance, and Victorville, there is an experienced and skilled Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.

Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free, no-obligation phone consultation. We will get through this together.

Success Stories: Grand Theft at a House Party [PC 487]

If there is any constant in this world, it is that young adults will make mistakes. The variable is whether those mistakes represent a lifetime of bad behavior or a lesson from which they will learn and grow.

Recently, our law firm was retained to represent an 18-year-old young man who made a terrible mistake. While at a friend’s house for a party, our client snuck into the bedroom of his friend’s mother. He found $3,300 in cash and took it. He then left the party. When the mother returned home, she discovered the theft and called upon her son to question all of his friends at the party. Our client, feeling remorse for what he had done, admitted that he took the money. The victim called the police, and our client was arrested on suspicion of grand theft under California Penal Code 487(a). To secure his release, his family had to post bond in the amount of $50,000.

SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES FOR THEFT

As a felony, our client faced a maximum sentence of three years in county jail. He contacted our firm, and we went to work. Our first step was to contact the victim and see that she received her money back. The victim informed us that she did not want to see our client prosecuted.

Our attorney worked with her to draft a letter to the district attorney in which she stated she had received her money back, and that she had no desire to press the case further. Owing to our attorney’s help in convincing the victim to write this letter, the district attorney opted to file the case as a misdemeanor instead of a felony.

A GRAND RESULT

Our client’s behavior was out of character. Not wanting this to be the start of a pattern of lawlessness, our attorney convinced the client that it was best for him to show the court that he had no intention of repeating this incident by undergoing psychological counseling to address this seemingly random theft. At the pretrial stage, our attorney aggressively argued that his lack of criminal history, willing participation in counseling, community service, and his progress in community college all pointed to the signs of a young adult who had a momentary lack of judgment, and who was working hard to correct his mistake.

A theft conviction would have impacted his ability to transfer to a four-year college and further his education. Ultimately, the district attorney agreed and made an offer leading to the full dismissal of our client’s case. To obtain the dismissal, our client only needed to provide a DNA sample and complete a 6-hour theft awareness course.

Through our law firm’s hard work and skillful representation, the client avoided a criminal conviction. He did not have to serve any additional jail time or perform any community service. He will be able to pursue higher education and eventual employment without the concern that a momentary lapse in judgment will prevent him from achieving his potential.

Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich

Young adults make mistakes, but that does not make them irredeemable. That is why the attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have spent more than 35 years fighting to help our clients minimize the impact of those mistakes so that they can continue on with their lives and continue on a path that makes them productive members of our society. Our attorneys are always available to answer your questions and will use all of our legal skills and knowledge to help you receive the best possible outcome in your case.

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance, and Victorville, there is an experienced and skilled Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.

Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free, no-obligation phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

Winner of the Fall 2019 Wallin & Klarich Scholarship Announced

Southern California Law Firm Awards Education Scholarship To Student Who Faced Hardships Studying Criminal Justice

[TUSTIN, CA]: Wallin & Klarich is proud to announce the winner of the Wallin & Klarich Scholarship for the 2019 Fall Semester is Kendyl Geathers.

Though facing adversity, Kendal was involved in various extracurricular activities and graduated third in her class at Fivay High School in Hudson, Florida. Kendyl will be attending Florida A&M University in the fall and plans to graduate with a degree in Criminal Justice. Kendyl wants to pursue a career in law enforcement and eventually work for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).

Each scholarship applicant was asked to include a personal essay describing the challenges they have faced and why they chose to major in their respective fields. The essays are reviewed by a board of Wallin & Klarich partners and judged on their ideas, development, organization, mechanics, and format.

To be eligible for the Wallin & Klarich Scholarship, students must be enrolled as a full-time freshman in a 4-year university or college, majoring in criminal justice, political science or sociology. Only applications received prior to July 31, 2019, were considered for the Fall 2019 Semester Award.

A statement from this year’s scholarship winner: 

“My name is Kendyl Geathers, and I am beyond grateful to be the recipient of the 2019 Wallin and Klarich Scholarship. I want to personally thank everyone at Wallin and Klarich for investing in my education, assisting in my future, and most importantly believing in me. I will be using the award money to pay off my tuition, so earning this scholarship took a weight off my shoulders. Receiving this scholarship was an honor and winning it was a wonderful feeling.”

The Wallin & Klarich Scholarship was established to help students who have overcome obstacles to be admitted into a 4-year college or university and now face the financial burden that is associated with receiving a Bachelor’s Degree. Wallin & Klarich has donated over $13,500 to help students with school-related costs to 5 recipients since the scholarship was started in 2015.

For more information about the Wallin & Klarich Scholarship, or how Wallin & Klarich, defends student’s rights, visit the Wallin & Klarich website www.wklaw.com/education, or by clicking here

Success Stories Military Veteran Gets a Fair Shake

Unfortunately, our client put his faith in someone whose idea to get some extra money involved fraud and auto theft. Feeling the pressure of dealing with his return to civilian life, our client was convinced to follow a simple but illegal plan: find an apparently abandoned vehicle on the side of the road, tow it to his own property, and then file for a lien sale with the Department of Motor Vehicles. He then could buy the vehicles for next to nothing, repair the cars, and sell them at a profit.

The problem was that the vehicles were not abandoned. When the owners returned back to where they left their cars, they called the police to report the cars stolen. It did not take long for the police to piece together what had happened. They found the vehicles at our client’s property and arrested him. He was then charged with two counts of felony vehicle theft, which could have led to nearly four years behind bars.

Working Through the Veteran’s Court

Some veterans have difficulty with mental health upon return from combat, and breaking the law is often a symptom of this struggle. To help those who have served our country, the Veteran’s Court system was established as an alternative justice system that recognizes these difficulties and helps veterans with compassion instead of retribution.

Soon after being charged, our client called our offices for help with his case. We immediately identified him as a good candidate for referral to the Veteran’s Court.  After presenting mitigating evidence and documentation of my client’s military service, the judge agreed to refer the case to the Veteran’s Court.

Our client was accepted into the program. Instead of jail time, his case was diverted (Diversion Programs), allowing him to complete an 18-month program. So long as he does so, and abides by the probationary terms, his felony conviction will be reduced to a misdemeanor and dismissed. However, if he violates the terms of the Veteran’s Court program, the judge may sentence him to additional custody time, up to a maximum of 3 years.

Avoiding Jail Time

Helping a client avoid incarceration means we have given our client a better chance at avoiding the harsh consequences of running afoul of the law. In this case, not only will our client be able to live free, but he will also receive treatment and counseling through the Department of Veteran’s Affairs to help him overcome the mental health issues related to his military service. If he successfully completes the program, then he will not have a felony conviction on his record and will have better opportunities to maintain gainful employment in the future.

Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich As Soon As Possible

At Wallin & Klarich, we are especially sensitive to the legal needs of our country’s veterans. Our attorneys have over 35 years of experience working with people accused of crimes, including veterans who have served in combat. We are committed to helping guide each client through their case, whether it be in a veteran’s court or superior court. Our attorneys are always available to answer your questions and will use all of our legal skills and knowledge to help you receive the best possible outcome in your case.

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance, and Victorville, there is an experienced and skilled Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.

Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free, no-obligation phone consultation. We will get through this together.