Murder Charge Added For Santa Paula Man
Murder Charge Added For Santa Paula Man
A homeless Santa Paula man will face murder charges when he returns to court next week. Police and prosecutors accuse him of pouring a flammable liquid on another homeless man and setting him on fire.

The incident took place on May 13 at Veterans Park in Santa Paula. The victim suffered burns over half of his body. Responders took the man to the UCLA Medical Center for treatment. He died there from his injuries about 10 days after the incident.

Prosecutors initially charged the suspect with assault with a deadly weapon, causing great bodily harm during the commission of a felony. He also faced charges of felony aggravated mayhem with a special deadly weapon allegation. Prosecutors upgraded those charges to first-degree murder after the victim’s death. He also faces arson charges. Authorities are holding him at the Ventura County Jail on a bail of $1M. If convicted, the suspect faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The suspect has a long history of contact with local policing agencies, including more than 70 arrests. His arrest record includes mostly minor offenses, including drug possession, weapons possession and battery.

Santa Paula murder lawyer


Murder is the most serious charge you can face. The prosecutor may also add special allegations, which further increase your risk of receiving the death penalty. A first degree murder conviction can result in lifetime incarceration without the possibility of parole. Your life is literally at stake. If you’re facing murder charges in Ventura County, you need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense, and will fight aggressively for your rights. His first priority will be to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. When that’s not a possibility, he will fight aggressively to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County murder case.

Photo Credit: MiloszB, via Flickr.com

Drug Possession Charge for Santa Paula Shop Owner
Drug Possession Charge for Santa Paula Shop Owner
Prosecutors in Ventura County charged the owner of an auto shop with drug possession over 1 kilogram and transporting a controlled substance. The shop owner, and a close business associate, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

According to Ventura County Sheriff’s detectives, the man was using the shop as cover for a cocaine and heroin trafficking operation. Detectives began investigating the business after receiving a tip. In addition to selling cocaine and heroin, detectives say that the owner also sold methamphetamine.

Raids conducted on the shop and other related locations yielded nearly 3 poulds of cotaine and more than 1.5 pounds of methamphetamine. Prosecutors asked Ventura County Superior Court Judge Dino Inumerable to increase the men’s bail to $500,000. Police also arrested two other defendants associated with the operation. The shop owner was released on bail, however the rest of the defendants remain jailed on $500,000 bonds.

Santa Paula Drug Possession Attorney


Proposition 47 relaxed drug sentencing in some drug possession cases, but prosecutors aggressively pursue drug trafficking charges. If you’re accused of drug trafficking or a related crime, you need the assistance of an experienced drug possession attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of courtroom experience in criminal defense cases. He takes cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California.

An experienced criminal defense attorney is your best asset when you’re facing criminal charges. You want an attorney who will fight aggressively for your rights and freedom throughout the judicial process. Don’t settle for an inexperienced attorney when your life and your freedom are at stake.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County drug possession case.

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Attempted Murder Suspect Jailed in Santa Paula
Attempted Murder Suspect Jailed in Santa Paula
Santa Paula police arrested a local man on charges of murder, assault with a deadly weapon and inflicting corporal injury to a cohabitant. Police responded to Las Piedras Park to investigate a report of an injured woman there. When they arrived, they discovered an 18-year-old woman with non-life threatening injuries.

The woman told police that the suspect became angry with her and struck her repeatedly. During the attack, she said he also attempted to choke her while the couple was sitting in a car. The victim told police that she believed that the suspect was going to kill her. Police located the suspect and arrested him in connection with the assault.

They booked him into the Ventura County Jail and held him on a bail of $505,000. He made bail later that week, and will return to court in April on the charges.

Santa Paula murder lawyer


If you’re facing charges of attempted murder or murder in Santa Paula, or other charges in connection with an assault, your first step should be to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more that 30 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney in Santa Paula and throughout Southern California.

Mr. Helfend handles each case personally. When you work with the Law Offices of Robert M. Helfend, a very experienced attorney will handle your case. Courtroom defense experience matters, especially in violent felony cases.

He does not judge his clients based upon the charges against them. He provides exceptional representation and defense counsel to his clients, and works hard to get the charges against them reduced or dropped. This is important when the state accuses you of a violent felony, since the state’s Three Strikes Law will affect you. Don’t attempt to defend yourself and don’t settle for an inexperienced criminal defense attorney.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County murder case.

Photo Credit: Tom, via Flickr.com

Santa Paula couple busted for drug possession
Santa Paula couple busted for drug possession
Santa Paula police arrested a couple and charged them with drug possession earlier this month. After observing a suspicious vehicle, police conducted a traffic stop involving Jeremie Prado,26, and a companion.

According to police, they conducted a traffic stop on Prado because he was on probation. The officer noted a large quantity of what appeared to be drugs in Prado’s possession at the time of the stop. The woman was also in possession of drugs. The officer confiscated more than 9 grams of methamphetamine from Prado, and an additional quantity of the drug from his companion.

Police arrested Prado and charged him with possession of a controlled substance for sale, which is a felony. They charged his companion with a misdemeanor count of drug possession. Prado’s next court date is February 16.

Santa Paula Drug possession Attorney


Following a drug crimes arrest, you need the assistance of an experienced drug possession attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense in Ventura County and throughout Southern California for more than 30 years, and knows what it takes to get charges against you reduced or dropped.

Probation or parole violations can return you to prison immediately upon arrest, so having aggressive representation is your best defense. The majority of individuals who end up in county jails or California’s state prisons are serving sentences for drug-related convictions. In most cases, however, incarceration doesn’t address the underlying issues of drug addition and employability.

An aggressive defense attorney will fight to get you the help you need while satisfying the court’s desire for justice. Don’t go to court without an experienced defense attorney, and don’t attempt to defend yourself against drug charges.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County drug possession case.

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Theft Charge for Oxnard Couple
Theft Charge for Oxnard Couple
An off-duty Ventura County Sheriff’s deputy was instrumental in the arrest of an Oxnard couple suspected of auto theft, as well as firearms and drug charges. The deputy was returning home following his shift when he spotted a car that had been reported stolen earlier in the day.

The deputy followed the vehicle, which was later abandoned by the pair in Santa Paula. He contacted the Santa Paula Police Department and informed them that the stolen car had been abandoned in Santa Paula, but that a grey SUV, which was following the stolen car, was potentially involved in the theft.

The SPPD located the suspect SUV and conducted a traffic stop. Two Oxnard residents, Ryan Hotchkiss and Rosa Flores, were arrested. A search of the vehicle turned up cocaine, Ecstasy and a gun that had been reported stolen in Arizona. The off-duty deputy positively identified Flores as the driver of the stolen vehicle. She was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle. Hotchkiss was charged with various drug and firearms offenses.

Santa Paula theft lawyer


Robert Helfend is an experienced Santa Paula theft lawyer who will assist you with any grand theft, drug possession or firearms-related offenses. Mr. Helfend has provided exceptional criminal defense services in Santa Paula and throughout Southern California for more than 30 years. He knows what it takes to deliver effective courtroom defense.

He has established a reputation for fighting aggressively for his clients, and will work to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. Don’t risk your freedom on an inexperienced attorney, or one who is not interested in fighting aggressively on your behalf.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura theft case.
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Securities fraud sentencing stalled for dairy farm scheme
Securities fraud sentencing stalled for dairy farm scheme
Sharon Palmer, the Santa Paula woman who was convicted of securities fraud in 2015 has yet to be sentenced for the crime. James Stewart and Larry Otting were convicted of grand theft, and a special enhancement of aggravated white-collar crime for their role in the financing scheme for a farm that sold unpasteurized milk.

Stewart formed Rawesome Foods as a members-only cooperative, and sold raw milk produced at Palmer’s Health Family Farms. Palmer wanted to exercise an option to purchase the farm property, which she leased. Palmer, Stewart and Otting conspired to use Otting’s line-of-credit to secure funds for Palmer’s down payment on the farm. In exchange for the use of Otting’s line of credit, Palmer promised Otting the use of 10 of the farm’s 51 acres.

The trio then attracted other investors to repay Otting’s loan. Under the plan, Palmer would make the mortgage and tax payments. The investors were given unsigned deeds of trust, which proved worthless. Investors were instructed to wire the money directly to Otting, or to Healthy Family Farms in an effort to disguise the source of the funds. Palmer, Stewart and Otting knew that the bank that issued the mortgage would have denied the loan had it known that third party investments were involved in the purchase.

This is not the first time that Palmer has run into legal trouble. In 2011, she was accused of purchasing thousands of dollars worth of meat, poultry and eggs, and selling it at local farmers’ markets while claiming that the products originated from her farm, and that the animals had not been feed commercial feed products. In addition, Stewart was accused of illegally importing unpasteurized milk from Pennsylvania and selling it to consumers.

Santa Paula Securities Fraud Lawyer


If you’ve been arrested for securities fraud in Santa Paula, or anywhere in Southern California, you need the assistance of an experienced securities fraud lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense exclusively in Southern California for more than 30 years, and has established a reputation as an aggressive defender of his clients’ rights.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County securities fraud case.

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SP man convicted of sex crimes
SP man convicted of sex crimes
A Santa Paula man with a history of sex crimes against children was again convicted of several felony charges, including three counts of lewd acts upon a child. The victim was under the age of 14. Alfonso Gonzalez, of Santa Paula, was convicted in Ventura County Superior Court last week for incidents that occurred in 2012 and 2013. Gonzalez was arrested for the crimes in 2013.

The relationship between Gonzalez and the victim was not disclosed, but the victim, who was about 10 when the crimes occurred, referred to Gonzalez as “Papa.” In addition to the felony convictions, Gonzalez was found guilty on 15 special allegations and was found to be a habitual sex offender. He faces up to 50 years in prison on the convictions. Gonzalez is currently lodged in the Ventura County Jail, awaiting sentencing on November 17.

Santa Paula sex crimes attorney


If you’re facing sexual assault charges in Santa Paula, sex crimes attorney Robert Helfend is ready to take your case. Sex crimes convictions are very serious, especially when they involve child victims. You could be facing a long sentence, designation as a habitual offender (if you have prior sex assault convictions), and lifetime sex offender registration.

In addition to incarceration and potential restitution, lifetime sex offender registration means that status will follow you wherever you go. Moving out of the area, or moving out of state will simply transfer the sex offender registration requirement to your new state. You cannot restart your life and you cannot put a sex crimes conviction behind you, regardless of the circumstances of your case.

If you’re facing sex crimes charges, do not attempt to defend yourself and do not rely on a public defender to stand up for your rights in court. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County sex crimes case.

Photo Credit: Dennis Jarvis, via Flickr.com

Ventura Identity Theft Suspect Arrested
Ventura Identity Theft Suspect Arrested
A Ventura County man was arrested and charged with identity theft after a number of Ventura County residents reported mail thefts. Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Jacob DeGrande of Ventura, after identifying him as a suspect in the mail thefts.

According to police, DeGrande stole mail from residences in Fillmore, Ojai, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Santa Paula and Thousand Oaks. Among his preferred targets were checks, which he would forge and cash at local stores in Ojai, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks and Ventura.

Detectives used video surveillance from the stores to identify DeGrande. Following the identification, deputies spotted DeGrande in a hotel parking lot in Ojai and arrested him. Upon his arrest, deputies also found check printing equipment, stolen mail, blank checks and check printing paper in DeGrande’s possession.

Identity Theft Lawyer


Identity theft can come in many forms, but regardless of how it occurs, it’s a serious crime. Identity theft is a violation of both federal and state laws, and it can be charged as a felony or as a misdemeanor. Because of the range of charges, potential consequences and prosecution venues, if you’re charged, you need the help of an experienced identity theft lawyer like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of criminal defense experience in both federal and state courts, and takes cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California. He offers superior defense counsel and will work aggressively to get the charges against you reduced or dropped altogether.

Mr. Helfend handles all cases personally, so your defense will get the attention it needs and deserves. Don’t risk your freedom on inexperience, or by working with a lawyer who is not devoted to your case.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County identity theft case.

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Santa Paula Murder Suspect Returned from Mexico
Santa Paula Murder Suspect Returned from Mexico
A former Santa Paula resident was extradited from Mexico to face charges in a 1993 Ventura murder . Prosecutors allege that Mexican national Everardo Meza Alamillo killed Adriana Castanon Meza and Armando Cauich, his former wife and her boyfriend in October 1993. He was indicted by a grand jury in August 1994, but fled to Mexico to avoid arrest.

Work with an experienced murder attorney


Murder is the most serious criminal charge you can face in California. Your life is literally on the line. A homicide conviction in California can result in the death penalty, or in lifetime incarceration with or without parole. You need an experienced murder attorney who will defend you aggressively in court.

A homicide defense is exceptionally difficult and requires the assistance of an attorney who will do what it takes to help you avoid conviction. No one wants to see a person “get away with murder” but it is a shocking crime and people are often anxious for a quick resolution.

This desire to make an arrest in a homicide case often leads to investigative mistakes, and it can entice the police and prosecutors to overlook conflicting testimony of witnesses, evidence that favors the defendant and the forensic facts of the case. Sometimes, prosecutors are in such a hurry to get a conviction – any conviction – that the cannot or will not admit that a person has been incorrectly accused.

You need a murder attorney who understands the peril you are in. You need an attorney who will examine the evidence and fight aggressively when the evidence doesn’t support the prosecutor’s accusations. Sometimes, the only way to avoid a homicide conviction is through the unswerving actions of a dedicated criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of criminal defense experience in Ventura County and throughout Southern California. When your life is on the line, nothing is more valuable than the experience of your murder attorney.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Santa Paula homicide case.

Photo Credit: Todd Mecklem, via Flickr.com

Embezzlement Charge for SPHS Band Treasurer
Embezzlement Charge for SPHS Band Treasurer
A former Santa Paula High School Band Booster Club treasurer was convicted of grand theft by embezzlement for allegedly embezzling between $15,000 and $22,000 from the organization.

Michael Suniga, who was a graduate of Santa Paula High School, remained active in the band’s booster club, and served as the organization’s treasurer. Other booster club members became concerned that the club’s funds were being stolen. A forensic audit of the club’s finances in 2014 showed that a significant amount of money was missing.

The band had intended to use the funds to defray travel costs related to an international competition. They were able to raise the funds through additional emergency fundraising. Suniga pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement and was sentenced to 330 days in jail and agreed to pay back at least $17,000 to the organization.

Experienced Ventura County embezzlement attorney


If you’ve been arrested for embezzlement, fraud, grand theft or other work related crimes, you could face a lengthy prison sentence in addition to making restitution. Following your release, finding gainful employment will be a near-impossibility. There is no question that you need the assistance of an experienced, skilled criminal defense attorney like Ventura criminal defense attorney Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend has provided expert felony defense in Ventura County and throughout Southern California for more than 30 years. He specialized exclusively in criminal defense cases and he handles each case personally. He will work aggressively to get the charges against you dropped or reduced. When that’s not a possibility, he will work toward the best possible outcome for your case.

Don’t rely on an inexperienced embezzlement attorney to defend your rights and freedoms. Choose an attorney with the skill to defend you effectively in court.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County embezzlement case.

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