As a local attorney, on the Central Coast, Paul Greco has seen fraud and deceptive dealings from unscrupulous businesses preying upon people. California has legal protections to protect consumers in our local area. Paul Greco Law will provide a quick run-down of your legal rights under the California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CRLA). The CLRA law can be found in Civil Code Section 1750 and the following thereafter. This law section prohibits any of the following from occurring in Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo or Santa Barbara County:
Passing off goods or services as those of another.
Misrepresenting the source, sponsorship, approval, or certification of goods or services.
Misrepresenting the affiliation, connection, or association with, or certification by, another.
Using deceptive as to the origin of goods or services.
Representing that goods or services have characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, or quantities which they do not have.
Representing that goods are original or new if they have deteriorated unreasonably or are altered, reconditioned, reclaimed, used, or secondhand.
Representing that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality, or grade, or that goods are of a particular style or model, if they are of another.
Representing that a part, replacement, or repair service is needed when it is not.
If you have been a victim of any of these deceptive practices you may wish to contact an attorney such as Paul Greco immediately. He travels up and down the Central Coast representing people in Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Superior Courts. Hiring an attorney, as soon as practical can be the major difference between a full recovery and not getting one at all. Do let the fear of having to pay for an attorney or costs be an issue prior to contacting Paul Greco. Under the CLRA a victim, is entitled to have their attorney’s fees and costs paid by the deceptive business, not you. Once retained, Paul Greco Law can begin the immediate process of recovering any amount that you have lost and begin aggressively protecting your legal rights under the law with the CRLA.
Often times an initial phone call into Paul Greco Law concerns the issue of an upcoming court date relating to a misdemeanor citation or letter to appear. An attorney in criminal law knows that these issues intersect there are questions of what happened whether it be an infraction, misdemeanor or felony arrest. Paul Greco Law will explain each one of these issues below to help you make an educated decision on how the court system approaches your bail and release.
The first question that an attorney likes to answer is how has law enforcement and the court attempted to secure your appearance into the court system. Put more broadly, when you are arrested and/or a police officer has probable cause to believe you somehow broke a law, they must find a way to compel you to go to court. Depending on how what law or laws the officer believes you violated and the seriousness of each, the penal code provides different tools to bring you into court. Each one of these range from the lowest of the low infractions to a misdemeanor to the most serious level a felony. Paul Greco Law further breaks these overlapping areas down into four separate parts each with their requirements: (1) citation, (2) release on own recognizance (O.R.), (3) out of custody via a posted bail bond, or (4) held in custody with a fixed amount bail set.
In dealing with traffic infractions and lower level misdemeanors, an attorney frequently encounters the first tool used by the court to compel your appearance a citation. In minor cases such as a speeding ticket or driving on a suspended license law enforcement will issue you a ticket more formally known as a citation to appear in Court. Penal Code Section 853.6 or under the authority of Vehicle Code 40500. If an officer decides to not cite and release an individual arrested for a misdemeanor they must provide a written reason. See Penal Code section 853.6(i). Typical reasons, can include a DUI related arrest, an arrest for domestic violence incident, or the person arrested is so intoxicated they cannot care for themselves or may be a danger to others. An attorney from Paul Greco Law can immediately begin checking into the probable cause statement of an officer who has made an arrest and declined to release someone in court.
An attorney from Paul Greco Law will need a copy of the citation as it provides critical information to you important to your case. The citation will contain the code sections that the officer believes you violated which will be central to an attorney beginning to defend your case.
Likewise, the citation contains the date for you to appear in court, the name and location of the courthouse, the citation number, and the officer who issued the citation. All of this information, including the citation number will be critical for Paul Greco Law tracking your citation in the court system. A citation will be filed with the Court directly usually traffic citations or in some cases or to the District Attorney Office to consider filing charges. With your signature on the citation (ticket) you are not admitting guilt in any way shape or form. You must sign the promise to appear and provide sufficient identification, your refusal to do so will mandate that you be booked into jail and brought before a judge. Your signature is a promise, you are just making a promise that either your or an attorney from Paul Greco Law will appear on the scheduled date and time in court to begin defending your case. Release on a citation also does not involve a booking process at the local jail.
Letter from the District Attorney to appear in Court
Sometimes, we will get a call at Paul Greco Law from a client who is seeking an attorney since they have received a letter or notice to appear in court from the District Attorney’s Office. These letters are sent out every day from various district attorney offices in the area including Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo County. If you receive this letter, you should not ignore it. You may wish to consider retaining an attorney immediately. Usually, if an individual was not arrested with booking or cited into court, law enforcement may still send the case to a district attorney’s office for consideration of filing charges. When you receive a letter to appear from the District Attorney, they have filed criminal charges against you. Retaining Paul Greco Law to argue for you to remain out of jail without having to post bail.
What if I live out of town or can’t make the court date?
An attorney often is asked what happens if I can’t make the court date that the officer gave me? Under Penal Code section 977, Paul Greco as a licensed attorney can make the appearance for you! One critical advantage of retaining a private attorney, like Paul Greco is that from the beginning or the case through the end he can make each and every court appearance in your place. There are only a few small exceptions to this rule for violations involving domestic violence under penal code sections 243(e), 273.5(a), and restraining order violations under penal code 273.6. When you retain a private criminal defense attorney you gain the flexibility of scheduling your life around the court and not the other way around.