The Best Criminal Defense for You Serving the Central Coast, California

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When you or a loved one is under investigation or charged with a crime, you need an experienced lawyer in the San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria and Santa Barbara area. You want a lawyer who knows how to use the local justice system to defend your freedom. With over 13 years of experience as an attorney and as a former top prosecutor, Paul Greco brings unrivaled expertise and excellence to your defense.


PRACTICE AREAS 



False Advertising

By John Mercurio 22 Jun, 2017

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.

By John Mercurio 22 Jun, 2017
This is part two of a series where Attorney Paul Greco continues his analysis from his previous post regarding consumer rights in in Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo or Santa Barbara County.  Consumers in this area are frequently solicited with local advertising that is designed to bring them into the business with what appears to be a great deal.  Unfortunately, as attorneys hear time and time again, what appeared to be a good deal was in fact a fraudulent business practice.  Paul Greco Law will lay out additional your legal rights under the California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CRLA).  The CLRA can be found in Civil Code Section 1750 and thereafter.   This law section prohibits any of the following from occurring
  • Advertising goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised.
  • Advertising goods or services with intent not to supply reasonably expectable demand without a disclosure a limitation of quantity.
  • Making false or misleading statements of fact concerning reasons for, existence of, or amounts of price reductions.
  • Misrepresenting the authority of a salesperson, representative, or agent to negotiate the final terms of a transaction with a consumer.
  • Disparaging the goods, services, or business of another by false or misleading information.
  • Representing that a transaction confers or involves rights, remedies, or obligations which it does not have or involve, or which are prohibited by law.
  • Inserting an unconscionable provision in the contract.

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.  
By John Mercurio 04 Apr, 2017

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.


By John Mercurio 22 Mar, 2017
It happened. You find yourself unexpectedly either behind bars in a local jail or being cited into a local court in either Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Lompoc or San Luis Obispo. Attorney Paul Greco has traveled up and down the Central Coast visiting various courthouses and has some immediate tips to help you.

 First, begin taking detailed notes about your arrest immediately or as soon as practical. Do not share these notes with anyone except your attorney. You might want to consider purchasing an inexpensive notebook at a local discount store. These notes will help you keep a clear recollection as to the events and what happened during your arrest. The court process does not usually move quickly and your memory may start to fade as you begin to piece your life back together. Think of it this way. Law enforcement will write a detailed police report about their version of events and investigation. They may or may not have had body cameras and video equipment recording your arrest. Your notes will be your own personal version of a police report in which to provide to the attorney you hire. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a traffic ticket, misdemeanor or even a felony arrest, the sooner you start writing, the better.

Second, try to get a hold of friends and family. In the trying process of the criminal justice system, you are going to need a support network to help you cope with the trauma of the judicial system. They can help you with bail, child care or transportation issues if your license becomes suspended because of the DUI arrest. You can accomplish a lot more working with a team of caring individuals then trying to fight your arrest alone. An arrest and prosecution can affect many different aspects of your life including employment. The sooner you bring committed and supportive people onto your team to address the arrest the better off you are going to be.

 Third, do not talk about the specifics regarding your arrest or case with anyone until you hire an experienced attorney. This may seem difficult based on the fact that your life has been turned upside down with an arrest. Still, each person you talk to regarding your arrest another than your attorney could be used as a witness against you. Likewise, do not post details of the situation onto social media such as facebook, twitter, instagram etc. These platforms are designed to communicate information far and wide in the local community. Information harmful to your defense could be immediately spread well beyond your control.

Finally, begin the process of finding an experienced local attorney as soon as you can. A local attorney can begin assembling the information your have taken down and start putting a plan together. Moving quickly to find an attorney can be critical to the outcome of the case as well. For instance, with a DUI arrest, you have only 10 days to contact the DMV to request and Administrative Per Se (APS) hearing. If you do not, then you will waive your right to fight your license suspension after being arrested for driving under the influence. Likewise, a local attorney can assist you in trying to locate witnesses to assist in your defense right after your arrest. Critical physical evidence may disappear if it’s not immediately preserved by the defense. Often, with proper investigation by a local attorney, you may be able to convince law enforcement or the district attorney to decline to prosecute your arrest entirely.

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