Santa Rosa Residential Burglary Alert And What We Can Do

On Thursday, November 19, 2015 at about 7:20 a.m. the Santa Rosa Police Department received a report of an attempted armed robbery on Rhianna St. in Santa Rosa. Officers learned that three men approached the house. At least two were armed with handguns, confronted the 26-year-old male resident in the front yard and demanded to enter the house. The resident fought the suspects off and tried to retreat into his garage. He struggled to close the garage door while the men attempted to pull it open. Eventually the would-be robbers gave up and fled in a vehicle.

The victim was uninjured. The exact motive for the attempted robbery is not known but police believe that the home was possibly targeted because the suspects thought there was a medicinal marijuana grow at the residence despite the fact no such grow currently exists.

santa rosa criminal lawyer

Armed Robbery Charges in California

When a robbery is committed using a weapon or simply with the pretense of a weapon, it will often be charged as an armed robbery. Although guns come to mind first, a weapon can be almost anything that might cause bodily harm to another. Knives, baseball bats and other similar items are often used in armed robberies.

All California courts treat armed robbery as a very serious crime. Hence, there are very serious consequences for those convicted of this offense. An armed robbery conviction will put a felony offense on your record, damage your reputation, and you will end up with a felony state prison sentence.

santa rosa criminal lawyer

How Does California Law Define Robbery?

According to California Law, Robbery occurs anytime someone uses force or instills fear during the process of taking property from another. While similar to larceny, robbery requires that the incident happen while in the direct presence of the victim. This is considered a very serious, violent crime resulting in enhanced sentences or long prison terms.

Robbery without the use of a weapon can be tried either as a first-degree or a second-degree offense. A first-degree robbery conviction may lead to spending up to nine years in state prison. A second-degree robbery conviction may lead to a five-year sentence. These rules are not hard and fast because of recent changes in the law so consult an attorney of your choice for the circumstances and facts that apply to your case.

Since robbery requires some use of force or intimidation, the use of a weapon is one of the most obvious ways this occurs. When this happens, the offense is termed armed robbery. The penalties for armed robbery are more serious than those of a simple robbery that is committed without using a weapon.

santa rosa criminal lawyer

What are the Penalties for Armed Robbery?

California has a law known as “10-20-Life” that applies to convictions when a gun is used during the commission of a violent crime. “Use a Gun and You’re Done” law, adds extra prison time to the sentence of anyone who is convicted of using a gun while committing a robbery.

Under this statute convicted felons who used a firearm or other weapon to cause intimidation and instill fear during a crime may face up to ten years in a California state prison in addition to the sentence for their crime. For example, someone who commits first-degree robbery may face 19 years in state prison without even firing the gun. If the gun is fired, the enhanced penalties are increased to 20 years in prison. When someone is seriously injured or killed during the commission of a crime, the enhanced sentence can stretch from 25 years to life in prison.

santa rosa criminal lawyer

Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC can Help!

If you have been charged with armed robbery, it is vitally important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Prosecutors are known to ask the Court for more serious charges if any type of force is used during a robbery, theft or while shoplifting. Normally these types of charges would be labeled as misdemeanors, but can be elevated to felonies if they are labeled as armed robbery.

At Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC we are familiar with a wide variety of legal defenses in this type of case and can often help clients get the charges against them reduced. In other cases, the charges may be dismissed entirely.

santa rosa criminal lawyer

Call (707) 571-8600 in Santa Rosa and (415) 492-4507 to schedule a consultation or go online to complete the consultation form to speak with attorneys Justin Milligan or Michael A. Fiumara, armed robbery attorney experts, and discuss the details of your case today.

Personal Injury Helpful Tips

Unfortunately, a personal injury caused by someone else’s negligence could strike at any minute leaving you and your family to deal with the aftermath.

Faced with expensive medical bills, lost income and the battle to recover both physically and emotionally, the impacts are often devastating.

The most frustrating part for many is the feeling that so much is suddenly outside of their control.

Santa Rosa Personal Injury law

If you reside in the North Bay, Santa Rosa, San Rafael, Petaluma, Novato, Rohnert Park, Windsor and have suffered an injury, here’s some useful information:

Do I Have a Personal Injury Claim?

If you’ve been hurt through no fault of your own, you may have a case. Personal injury lawsuits attempt to recover financial damages from the negligent party to compensate the victim for their injuries.

Although money can never completely make up for the pain and suffering that a severe injury causes to the victim and their family, adequate compensation can relieve the financial distress that usually results from an unexpected tragedy. In other words, let the best Personal Injury Attorney help you stop worrying about paying the bills so that you can focus your energy on what’s really important, your recovery and future well-being.

Personal injuries can be a result of the actions, the inaction or the negligence of one or more individuals or organizations—private entities or even a public entity.

The most common causes include traffic accidents, medical malpractice, wrongful death and workplace accidents, but anytime you’re injured due to no fault of your own, it can fall under the legal definition of personal injury.

When your claim is presented in a court of law, you must prove that the other party was both liable and negligent to recover. The defendant or offending party does not have the burden, you do as the plaintiff. This means that they were legally required to exercise a certain level of care, but they failed to do so and as a result of that failure you were injured or damaged in some way.

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?

You can rely on the skills and knowledge of an experienced lawyer to know the relevant laws and case studies inside and out.

At Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC our experienced team of attorneys will carefully examine your claim from a variety of different viewpoints to identify all of the possible angles in order to maximize your compensation package while ensuring that no detail, no matter how small, is overlooked.

Of course, the insurance company may tell you something different. They are trained to give you the impression that they are acting in good faith and protecting your interests, but really they are trying to minimize their financial exposure. They are trying to shift the burden to you, making you at fault. Don’t fall for that nor should you agree to a taped interview from the opposing insurance carrier.

Here’s a little secret: Even your insurance company doesn’t work to protect your interests when it comes to a payout. Their ultimate responsibility is to pay you as little as possible and avoid an expensive lawsuit.

Santa Rosa Personal Injury law

If an insurance company or a large business is involved in your personal injury claim, here are a few reasons that consulting with an experienced lawyer is critical:

You’re Outmatched – Organizations of this size have an entire team of experts, forensic accountants, attorneys and other professionals who share a common goal: to pay as little as possible to injury victims like yourself. Never attempt to take on an insurance carrier without having your own attorney by your side—YOU won’t be alone then.

You’re Too Close to the Issue – Personal injury is, very personal, and you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t feel emotional about the entire situation. Although the adjuster at the insurance company or business entity won’t pay more than they have to there is no reason why the final number doesn’t have to be so low that you are unable to pay your bills and living expenses. In addition to having many years of experience in ALL PERSONAL INJURY matters, we do not allow the insurance carrier to gain the upper hand at the bargaining table when they try to low ball you. WE aggressively negotiate with them directly to even the playing field for you!

You Can’t Afford to Wait – The insurance company has all the time in the world, but you don’t. Knowing that your bills are piling up, they may give you a low-ball offer on the chance that you’ll take it out of desperation. An experienced attorney who has handled hundreds of cases just like yours will be able to advise you on the fairness of any offer as well as what you can gain by filing a lawsuit.

You Don’t Know Their Tactics – Big business knows that you aren’t a legal expert, and they take full advantage of it. Don’t expect them to tell you about your legal rights or the applicable statute of limitations. They certainly won’t preserve any useful evidence that is unfavorable to them, so we need to write letters to preserve evidence for later testing.

Most of all, an experienced legal professional will provide you with peace of mind and the time to heal and get back on your feet. Once you have expert knowledge and attorneys with years of plaintiff’s personal injury experience on your side you’ll feel like you’ve started to take control of the situation, and your life, once again.

If you’ve been losing sleep worrying about negotiating with the insurance company and meeting your financial obligations, a single consultation with the best accident attorneys will be better than any sleeping pill! Once your energy is refocused on your recovery and your family’s needs, you’ll literally feel like a heavy weight has been lifted from your shoulders!

Personal Injury Claim form with pen and glasses

If you or someone you care about is injured due to someone else’s negligence, take these steps to protect your interests:

Do not wait to seek medical care. Delays can raise several questions including whether you were really hurt, the date of the injury or the actual source of the damage. Keep records of every doctor you see and how you feel on a daily basis.

Record the names of witnesses and other pertinent facts. If you’re able, create a file with all relevant information. Write down your own account of the accident as soon as you can just in case your memory of the event fades with time. Keep track of every medical visit and related expense and keep a log of your lost time from work. We make every effort to get you paid on wage loss.

Call Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC as soon as possible at 707-571-8600 OR 415-492-4507—Two very convenient locations to serve the entire North Bay.

Santa Rosa Personal Injury LawSanta Rosa Personal Injury Law

Remember….never sign any legal documents or speak to anyone without speaking with us first. We will advise you of your rights and your responsibilities in your personal injury case and help you obtain the MAXIMUM COMPESNATION possible.

“The Right Personal Injury Attorney Makes All the Difference…” has rightfully been our motto as far back as when we opened the doors in 1992. Please feel free to call us. The consultation is free and everything is private and confidential.

Please feel free to CLICK HERE to view all of our videos relating to Personal Injury to find out more information.

Swimming Pool Drowning and A Wrongful Death Claim

A dip in the swimming pool is a welcome relief for many Californians whether it is summer or winter!

Tourists and residents alike in California enjoy participating in water sports and all kinds of recreational activities using swimming pools at their hotel of choice and PUBLIC swimming pools alike.

Due to the large amount of water activities Californians enjoy, it is not uncommon for parents to enroll their children in swimming classes and/or send their children to schools or private entities for swimming lessons.

santa rosa swimming pool accident lawyer

While pools for the most part bring delight to old and young alike, from time to time, a tragedy occurs resulting in a wrongful death by drowning.  In the US, the National Safety Council reports that 600 children and adults drown annually in swimming pools.

Lawyers who handle wrongful death claims related to drownings determine at the outset of the claim if the case meets the standard of premises liability and negligence.   In a nutshell, premises liability places liability on a property owner for dangerous or hazardous conditions that the owner should have known about or should have been able to foresee and inspect.

Cases involving premises liability are:

Privately owned swimming pools (examples are – swim schools or private schools with pools)

Residential swimming pools

Pools on government property (examples  – public school swimming pools or community park swimming pools)

Commercial pools for guests, tenants or members (examples are – hotels, motels, gyms, apartment complexes, or water amusement parks)

Renters/Tenants (example are– a renter who rents a property with a swimming pool)

santa rosa swimming pool accident lawyer

Some of the dangerous or hazardous conditions that may have contributed to the drowning death may include the following:

Maintenance Issues: 

Was the pool only partially filled?  When a pool is not filled with enough water, a person may strike their head on the bottom of the pool, rendering them unconscious thus contributing to the drowning.   Was the pool murky?  Murky waters can prevent the drowning victim from being seen or unable to judge the depth.   Was debris in the pool?  Debris in the pool may have contributed to the drowning victim from being seen and rescued in a timely manner.  Was the pool floor slippery?  A slippery side and bottom of a pool, can contribute to the drowning victim from being unable to get out of the pool or could have contributed to the slipping causing the head to hit the concrete or cement.   If electrocution played a role in the death or drowning, electrical maintenance and installation will be investigated.  If the drowning occurred at night questions such as, ‘Were lights on at the time of the drowning and were the light bulbs regularly changed/checked.  Was the light sufficient?   Did signage exist prohibiting swimming at certain hours?

Fencing Issues: 

Was it reasonable or prudent for a pool owner to install a locked gate and or install fences around the pool? Did adequate security exist for the location? Was the gate open or the lock broken are other questions that could be decisive in your case.

Lack of Supervision:

In a private residence, this issue may arise due to the drowning of a guest.  In public pools, a lifeguard (and/or the company) who hired the lifeguard may be held responsible or liable if there was negligent supervision.  Commercial pools may be held liable or responsible for the drowning death for failure to provide a lifeguard.

Another issue that we thoroughly investigate revolves around the negligence on the part of the pool owner.

Did the drowning occur due to the failure of the owner to upkeep the pool and or upkeep the maintenance or was the maintenance department or company responsible/ liable?  For instance, allowing an accumulation of leaves on the water surface or debris to accumulate or collect could be enough for your civil lawsuit.

santa rosa swimming pool accident lawyer

WE also examine whether the pool instructors or any of the employees of the maintenance company or hosts may be negligent in some way?

Did any debris cause the drowning victim or decedent to trip or slip into the pool resulting in the drowning death?

Maintenance surrounding the installation of equipment and in relation to local, city or county ordinances will also be evaluated.  If the death occurred at night, negligence associated with lighting and related to signage permitting swimming at night would be thoroughly investigated.  If alcohol was served and/or the owner or guest was intoxicated at the time of the drowning that would play a role in determining negligence.

At Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC we specialize in swimming pool accidents and swimming pool drownings.  We understand that the relatives of the deceased may by experiencing pain and anger over the drowning of their loved one.  We would be more than happy to talk with you and help you achieve the answers you need for closure and a just compensation.  There is no fee to talk to us.   Our office works on a State Bar approved contingency fee arrangement which means that you don’t pay unless we win your case.

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Our law firm is committed to seeking justice for those who have lost a family member in a swimming pool accident resulting in death.   We want you to feel comfortable with the process of hiring a highly qualified and very experienced wrongful death lawyer who will achieve the results that you deserve.

With this in mind, we encourage you to look at what our past clients testimonials, results check out what our peers have to say about our firm. CLICK HERE

Please also take a look at our Google reviews HERE

Prostitution Laws In Sonoma County, Marin County & The Entire North Bay

prostitution laws

Under California law prostitution is a violation of California Penal Code section 647(b).

The act of prostitution involves two or more parties, the person(s) soliciting the prostitute and the prostitute. As such, the law criminalizes both the act of solicitation and the act of prostitution. Additionally it is a criminal offense under California law to loiter with the intent of committing an act of prostitution.

To prove that the defendant is guilty of the crime of soliciting a prostitute the People must prove that:

1. The defendant requested that another person engage in an act of prostitution;

2. The defendant intended to engage in an act of prostitution with the other person;

AND

3. The other person received the communication containing the request.

To prove that the defendant is guilty of the crime of loitering with the intent to commit prostitution the People must prove that:

1. The defendant delayed or lingered in a public place;

2. When the defendant did so, he or she did not have a lawful purpose for being there;

AND

3. When the defendant did so, he or she intended to commit prostitution.

To prove that the defendant is guilty of the crime of engaging in prostitution the People must prove that:

1. The defendant agreed to engage in an act of prostitution with someone else;

2. The defendant intended to engage in an act of prostitution with that person;

AND

3. In addition to agreeing, the defendant did something to further the commission of an act of prostitution.

The legal definition of prostitution under California law encompasses a wide range of conduct. The act of prostitution is sexual intercourse or a lewd act involving touching the genitals, buttocks, or female breast of either the prostitute or customer with some part of the other person’s body for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification of either person. This lewd act committed in exchange for money or something else of value.

Defenses to prostitution can involve challenging the intent of the person soliciting. In this case, the defendant must have displayed a clear intent to summon a prostitute to negotiate an exchange of a lewd act for something of value.

Prostitution Laws

In this type of situation, a person alleged to have been soliciting a prostitute must have intended that the communication reach its target. For the person engaging an act of prostitution, intent may also be challenged by the Defense. The Defendant may present evidence that refutes that he or she demonstrated the intent to induce, entice, or solicit prostitution or to procure someone else to commit prostitution.

If a person who may normally engage in prostitution, but is not doing so at the time, and is solicited for services and declines, this cannot be viewed as the requisite intent for to support a conviction for prostitution as the Defendant must knowingly be acting with the intent to engage in the conduct of prostitution at that particular time. Mere status of reputation is not sufficient to convict. However, an alleged prostitute may be convicted of loitering with intent to engage in prostitution if one is aimlessly waiting in an area with the intent of receiving a solicitation.

Prostitution, solicitation and loitering with the intent to engage in prostitution are misdemeanors, punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Further, these California law contains provisions that enhance the penalties for repeat offenders. If convicted for a second prostitution or solicitation offense, the Defendant may be sentenced to a minimum of forty-five (45) days in a county jail. A third prostitution or solicitation conviction offense, the judge must order a minimum of ninety (90) days in a county jail.

Given the high risk involved with a child prostitution charge, it is important to seek experienced counsel if you are the subject of an investigation or are detained by law enforcement.

Regardless of whether or not the case proceeds to trial, the seriousness of a California prostitution charge requires the assistance of a skilled and committed California criminal lawyer who knows every legal argument when defending clients.

If you have been arrested for the crime of prostitution in the North Bay of California, contact Santa Rosa Prostitution Laws Attorney Michael A. Fiumara for a FREE case evaluation at 707-571-8600 OR 415-492-4507. 

“The Right Attorney Makes All The Difference” 

prostitution laws

 

 

Gun Safety In The North Bay

This law firm has been representing defendants for almost a quarter century.  At many times young children, teenagers and especially adults are charged with gun crimes which have very harsh penalties, jail and prison associated with their use and misuse.  When guns are used in the commission of a crime, there is added enhancements, strikes, and other dire consequences which this article is not primarily focused upon.

santa rosa gun crimes lawyer

 

Here the focus is on responsible gun ownership and teaching children to respect guns and to follow safety precautions.

 

  1. Here is a way to talk to children about firearms especially since most children are naturally curious about things that they don’t quite understand or anything that may appear to be “forbidden.” Parents and particularly gun owners are encouraged to talk to their children about gun safety including the following rules:

 

  • STOP!  Please advise your children or any other child that you are the caregiver for that when they find or see a firearm they need to STOP what they are doing.
  • DON’T TOUCH!  Please caution your child or any other child to never touch a firearm that he/she finds or sees—Many gun owners will tell you that you should mind your business and they have the right to teach their children the proper gun protocol and rules and if that’s the case then you have done your job.
  • LEAVE THE AREA!  Please caution your child or any other child that they should leave the area where they discover or find a gun immediately; even if the child is trying to stop someone else from using the firearm they should leave first and get out of harm’s way.
  • TELL OR ALERT A RESPONSIBLE ADULT!  The child that you advise should immediately tell a responsible adult about the firearm that he/she has seen or discovered.  (There is also another view that the child should tell or alert the authorities but sometimes the authorities are heavy handed and overreaching and the next minute a child can be expelled from school, arrested on the spot, detained or worse for merely finding a gun or weapon and/or touching it!  This office is not comfortable advising anybody to contact law enforcement under these circumstances.)

 

  1. We advise parents to supervise the use of imitation firearms. In the case of imitation firearms, they should be marked accordingly with an orange band so that law enforcement does not mistakenly believe they are real for obvious reasons, i.e., theAndy Lopez case.  Imitation firearms including non-powder and ball-bearing guns should only be used under the direct supervision of a responsible adult and should always be stored and carried in a carrying case or later in a secured safe.  Imitation firearms can cause serious bodily injury and even death.  Children should be educated about the dangers and consequences of the misuse of these firearms.  Modification to imitation firearms, such as the removal of the orange tip from the firearm, are strongly discouraged as such modifications can often make the imitation firearm appear so real that law enforcement may act accordingly and shoot to kill. Again, i.e., Andy Lopez, a real case scenario in Santa Rosa, California.

 

  1. Please try to be a good role model for children— Always, actions speak louder than words and children learn most by observing the adults in their lives who they respect. Parents and gun owners need to set an excellent example by practicing what they preach and practicing safe gun handling and storage around their children- the same goes for hunters.

 

  1. Please educate yourself. It is recommended that you take the time to educate yourself about guns and gun safety and to assist you in this endeavor there are a few great resources that are available.

santa rosa gun crimes lawyer

-One of the tips for gun owners is: http://oag.ca.gov/firearms/tips.

-Another great source: A Dozen Things Parents Can Do To Stop School Violence.  Please go to www.ncpc.org/resources/files/pdf/school-safety/12parents.pdf

-Finally, there is another website, www.ncpc.org involving keeping firearms in your home safe and away from children. 

-Please also see: Gun safety tips for parents,http://kidshealth.org/parent/firstaid_safe/home/gun_safety.html.

Arrested For Shoplifting In Sonoma County? What Are The Next Steps?

Shoplifting is one of the most commonly charged offenses in California, with a huge range of possible penalties.

The simple act of walking into a store and taking some goods without paying can be classified as an infraction, a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on a lot of circumstances.

santa rosa shoplifting lawyer

Before the prosecutor will decide what charges, if any, to file against a suspect, attorneys from the District Attorney’s Office will take a number of facts into consideration –

-What was the value of the item(s) taken?

-Was the property damaged in any way?

-Did the suspect use any force or the threat of force to take the property?

-What kind of criminal history does the suspect have?

-Did the suspect enter the store with the intent to commit theft or did the suspect decide to commit theft once he or she was already inside the premises?  

-Can it be proven that the theft was actually intentional or is there a chance that an innocent shopper simply forgot to pay for something?

The answers to these questions will guide the prosecutors in deciding what types of criminal charges to file against a person suspected of shoplifting and whether to allow a diversion or dismissal later.

The Value of the Item Taken

Typically, if the value of the property taken is low, nothing is damaged, the store receives the property back, and the suspect has no significant criminal history, the District Attorney or Prosecutor might be inclined to reduce the charge to a simple infraction, similar to a speeding ticket.  Depending on the county, the defendant might be required to take some classes, provide a DNA sample or make a financial contribution to a program that benefits victims of crimes before the case will be reduced from a misdemeanor to an infraction.  An infraction will include some fines, but no probation and no jail time.

If the value of the item taken is significant but less than $950, the suspect will probably be charged with misdemeanor petty theft.  If, however, the suspect has some history of theft, if force was involved in the crime, or if it appears that the suspect entered the store with the plan to commit a theft, he or she could be looking at more serious charges, even a felony or two.

Any theft of goods valued at more than $950 will probably be charged as felony grand theft.  Also, some theft of various agricultural products valued at more than $250 can also be charged as felony grand theft.

santa rosa shoplifting lawyer

Defendant’s Criminal History

Usually, if someone has had a shoplifting conviction reduced to an infraction in the past, the Prosecutor will not offer such a favorable plea or deal again.  The suspect will probably be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony this time.

A suspect with a prior conviction for petty theft can also be charged with a felony if he or she is convicted of petty theft a second time (petty theft with a prior).  Suspects don’t always realize that stealing a candy bar can send them to state prison if they’ve been convicted of stealing candy bars in the past. However, this scenario is changing because of several recent changes in the law due to passage of realignment and several recent ballot propositions.  The only way a current theft of valuables exceeding $950 becomes a felony is if defendant has been convicted of an offense enumerated in Penal Code section 667(e)(2)(C)(iv) or for an offense registerable per Penal Code 290(c).  (See Penal Code 490.2.)]

It is  Not Always Apparent that the Suspect Entered the Store with the Intent to Commit Theft

In California, commercial burglary is defined as entering a building (other than a home) with the intent to commit theft.  This means that you are guilty of burglary the minute you step into the store if it can be proven that you were even thinking of stealing something.  It is obviously difficult to prove a defendant’s mental state, but the prosecutor will attempt to do so with circumstantial evidence (Did the suspect bring any money with her?  Did she go straight for the thing she stole, then head straight for the door?  Was the suspect using a stolen credit card?  Did the suspect bring an empty shopping bag into the store no longer carries the weight it once did since most people now bring shopping bags into stores to avoid paying for bags!

Prosecutors will review the store’s video surveillance tapes to determine if the suspect looked around suspiciously as soon as they entered the store to try to determine an early intent to steal right from the onset. Defense Counsel will need to put this interpretation into the right context.

If it looks like the suspect came onto the premises or the store with the plan to steal, you can be charged with felony commercial burglary.

Did the Suspect Use Force or the Threat of Force?

In California, robbery is defined as theft + force (or the threat of force).  If a Loss Prevention Officer (commonly called an “LP”) blocks your escape path and you push or shove him or her  hat can transform a simple infraction into a serious felony.

santa rosa shoplifting lawyer

The Civil Demand Letter

If you have recently been arrested for shoplifting, you will probably receive a letter in the mail from the store where you were cited or arrested for stealing from the store’s attorney.  The letter will inform you that you owe the store a sum of money, usually several hundred dollars or more!   The letter may contain other threatening language and will appear very intimidating.   The store is given a statutory right of civil remedy pursuant to Penal Code section 490.5. What we can do is ensure the amount they seek in compensation, usually for the time to investigate and capture the suspect, is accurate and fair.  Our Law Firm has repeatedly and successfully reduced these extortionary amounts to a fraction of what the store or business originally demanded.

A civil demand letter is basically a threat to sue.  The store is claiming that they suffered some loss and that you were responsible for whatever loss they are claiming.  If you refuse to pay and deny that you caused the store any loss, the store will have to decide whether or not it intends to sue you.  Again, in order for the store to prevail in any civil suit, they will have to prove to the court that you caused them to suffer some actual, financial loss.  The store will not waste value time and money to pursue a theft suspect if the amount is small. The companies that handle these types of cases handle hundreds if not thousands to make them economical.  WE can discuss this with you since each case is different.

The civil demand has no effect on the CRIMINAL case against you.  The District Attorney will pursue the criminal theft charges regardless of whether or not you pay the store’s civil demand.  Paying money to the store will not help your criminal case, and refusing to pay the civil demand will not hurt your criminal case — they are completely independent of each other.

Since shoplifting can carry such a huge range of possible penalties, you should immediately talk to a local attorney if you are arrested.  Because shoplifting charges can damage your integrity and diminish your job prospects you should consult with an experienced attorney who has been practicing in this area for 25 years.  Our firm has recently had a lot of success defending against shoplifting charges.  Call for a free consultation at 707-571-8600 OR 415-492-4507 to see what we can do for you.

santa rosa shoplifting lawyer

At Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC we have defeated numerous shoplifting charges in the past and have gotten great results for our clients over the years.  We will do our best to add your case to that growing list as well.

Santa Rosa Police Department Announces Results of Court Sting Operation—undercover court-sting!

AVOID this happening to you…so hire Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC if you are charged with any CA Vehicle Code Violation or you could be facing this…

On October 19th, 2015 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., officers from the Santa Rosa Police Department conducted an undercover ‘Court Sting’ operation at the Sonoma County Courthouse, targeting suspected drivers whose licenses where suspended/revoked or who were unlicensed drivers.

Police officers staked out offenders who had been told by a judge not to drive and/or who had been told of their license suspension. This is done by going to each courtroom on the second floor of the California Superior Courthouse and checking the Court calendar to determine which defendants had pending 12500 VC, 14601 and other pending California Vehicle Code (VC) violations. Thirteen offenders were followed by officers from courtrooms to their vehicles to ensure that they were not driving.

THAT IS WHY WE TELL ALL THOSE DEFENDANTS WHO ARE CHARGED WITH THESE OFFENSES/ CHARGES TO CALL OUR OFFICE SO THAT WE MAY MAKE THE APPEARANCE FOR YOU!  IT SAVES YOU A LOT OF $$$ MONEY $$$!  While some offenders complied with the law and had alternate means of transportation, six individuals proceeded to get behind the wheel and drove away from the courthouse.

santa rosa criminal lawyer

Those who chose to drive were stopped by waiting officers. Among those stopped for driving while suspended or unlicensed then cited back into court were:

Roberto Nunez Munoz, a 30 year old Santa Rosa resident, for driving without a license.
Ian Alexander Myers, a 31 year old Rio Nido resident, for driving on a suspended license.
Fernando Garcia Cova, a 26 year old Sonoma resident, for driving on a suspended license.
Francisco Anaya Ortega, a 30 year old Rohnert Park resident, for driving on a suspended license.
Sonia Abarca Cruz, a 30 year old Santa Rosa resident, for driving without a license.
Noe Lopez Perez, a 34 year old Santa Rosa resident, for driving without a license.

According to the SRPD Community Press Release–Those arrested today could face additional jail time, long driver license suspensions, along with other financial hits including attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of job or job prospects. In addition, having your vehicle impounded and maybe even sold is not what many of the poorest people in this county can afford—Says Attorney Michael A. Fiumara.

The official police position is that  the Court Sting stakeout operations, along with regularly scheduled high visibility DUI enforcement, serve as a proven deterrent with the goal of keeping impaired drivers from the road and heightening awareness among the public of the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. HOWEVER, OUR LAW FIRM BELIEVES THAT THERE ARE BETTER WAYS TO ACCOMPLISH THIS PURPORTED GOAL since here none of the 6 individuals were “impaired” or drunk.  They were merely caught without a valid California driver’s license which is probably more attributable to poverty and other reason than driving while drunk.

santa rosa criminal defense attorney

SO call us next time you are charged with any California Vehicle Code violations at 707 571-8600 or in our Marin Office, 415 492-4507.  Save yourself time and money.

****This special DUI Court Sting operation which yielded the abovementioned arrests was funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Sonoma County Sheriff – Press Release – October 2015

Since 1992, Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC experienced team of experienced and dedicated attorneys has been defending suspects accused of shop lifting and all theft related crimes with excellent results including acquittals.  Please schedule your free confidential appointment today for a case evaluation and learn what we can do for you in the event you or a loved one are charged with any of these types of crimes.

Call Us Today At 707-571-8600 OR 415-492-4507

“The Right Attorney Makes All The Difference”

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Two Females Arrested for Theft in Sonoma

On October 7, 2015, the Sonoma Police Department was called to the Sonoma Market regarding a theft investigation. According to store management, they discovered a large amount of wine and liquor was missing from the inventory on the shelves. Store security personnel then reviewed security video from the previous several days. On October 5, 2015, the video revealed that 3 females entered the store, went directly to the alcohol aisle, placed numerous bottles of alcohol in their personal bags/purses, and then left the store without paying for them. Store security provided the investigating deputy with photographs of the suspects. The alcohol was valued at nearly $900. Refer to Sonoma PD CR#15-0001374.

On October 8, 2015, store security noticed 2 of the 3 female suspects from the previous theft enter the store and called the Sonoma Police Department. The female suspects were accompanied by 2 males.

Store security observed one of the females remove alcohol from the shelf, place it into her personal bag and leave the store. Security confronted her outside the store and she fled on foot, only to be apprehended by a responding deputy. The other female and the two males were detained outside the store near their car.

The female detained outside the store was positively identified by store security as wanted in connection with the previous theft, which was confirmed by the store’s surveillance video. Ironically, she was in possession of the same personal bag/purse used in the previous theft.

The female suspect that fled and was later apprehended was identified as Marie Ann Cannon, age 39, from Antioch, CA. She was cited for theft.

The other female was identified as Barbara Jackson, age 47, from Antioch, CA. She was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia and misuse of a disabled placard.

The investigation related to theft on October 5th will be submitted to the District Attorney’s Office for filing.

Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC  have been handling these types of cases for almost 25 years with great results! Please feel free to contact us at 707-571-8600 OR 415-492-4507. 

The two males were released without pending charges.

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Assault with A Deadly Weapon Charges in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Windsor, Rohnert Park, or anywhere in Sonoma County…

Santa Rosa Assault Attorney 

If you are accused of assault with a deadly weapon in Santa Rosa or anywhere else in Sonoma County, you face severe consequences.  In order to fight for your freedom, you will need the help of an experienced and skilled criminal defense attorney.

A skilled and knowledgeable ‘assault with a deadly weapon’s’ attorney will know how to defend you against these charges.  The attorneys at Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC have successfully defended our clients facing assault charges for nearly 25years since opening our practice in 1992.  Here is a partial list of how we defend our clients accused of assault with a deadly weapon.

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Sentences for Assault with a Deadly Weapon

In Santa Rosa, an assault with a deadly weapon sentence can be severe. If convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, also known as aggravated assault, you face up to four years in prison, a fine up to $10,000, or both.

This is why you will need to retain an experienced assault attorney if you are charged with this crime.

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Defenses to Assault with a Deadly Weapons Charge

One defense you may bring to charges of aggravated assault is that you did not act voluntarily. This means that evidence that shows your actions were done by accident or mistake may provide a successful defense to charges of assault with a deadly weapon.

Another defense available to you is called factual impossibility. A knowledgeable defense attorney can argue that it was factually impossible for you to commit the crime because you lacked the actual ability to cause injury to another person.

Self-defense or defense of another person is a defense only it was reasonable for you to believe that you or another person was in imminent danger of bodily injury and that immediate force was necessary to prevent the threat, and last, that you used only necessary force.

Your attorney can also argue that the victim consented to the assault. This defense arises most frequently in cases where consent is needed for medical surgery or when injuries occur during participation in physical sports.

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Call the Assault Attorneys at Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC Today for Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one is accused of assault with a deadly weapon in Santa Rosa, you will need a skilled attorney and very experienced attorney with a track record who understands the valid defenses to these charges. Our skilled lawyers have been successfully defending our clients accused of assault with a deadly weapon since 1992.  We can help you now.

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Call us today at 707-571-8600 OR 415-492-4507 for a free case evaluation.

Visit our dedicated webpage on Assault Charges here http://northbaylegaldefense.com/weapon-crimes

The Long-Term and Costly Effects Of Burn Injuries for Victims in the North Bay

Serious burns, such as third-degree burns, have an immediate aspect to them in terms of tissue damage, shock, fluid loss, and other characteristics that require not only emergency treatment but also longer-term medical care which is often times very expensive.

This follow-up treatment can require highly-specialized treatment facilities and medical personnel who specialize in burn injury treatment, such as reconstructive surgery. There are also rehabilitation considerations, including both physical and occupational. These treatments can take months or even years to undergo, and in some cases will need to be ongoing for the remainder of the fire or burn victim’s life.

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Beyond the physical recovery, there is also more intangible, yet still very real aspects to serious burn injury recovery. These include time lost from work (wage loss) or the need to retrain for a different line of work or occupation if the long-term effects preclude going back to one’s former job, and pain-and-suffering after-affects.  Much of the time long-term burn injury treatment will include vocational and mental health counseling to diminish the psychological impact the burn injury caused the victim.

It is one thing to work on healing the immediate physical effects of serious burns. But what you may not see right away are the long-term effects that these injuries can have, and their potential long-term financial and emotional ramifications.

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Santa Rosa Personal Injury Attorney 

At Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC we compassionately help our clients cope with the long-term after-effects of serious burn injuries by finding the best treatment specialists, and best vocational counselors to get the firm’s clients back on their feet as soon as possible.

We understand how to place a value on the compensation that will be required to get full compensation for the injured plaintiff not only for the long term recovery plan, but also to pay the immediate and mounting medical bills. As a result of the possible life-altering consequences, burn injuries often require considerable settlement amounts or damages awards to fully reimburse their victims.

Our top priority is to ensure that nothing is left out that is compensable.  WE Fight for you every step of the way.

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Call us today at 707-571-8600 OR 415-492-4507 for a free and confidential consultation on your burn injury case.

To learn more about our burn injury practice, we recommend that you see our webpage on the subject here http://www.fiumara.com/santa-rosa/burns-and-explosions