Skip to main content
Samuel Eugene Spital

Samuel Spital’s Answers

47 total

  • 16 year old was caught with a 4 inch knife on school ground's and was arrested

    he is being charged with a felony weapon's possession what can i expect ?

    Samuel’s Answer

    I am sorry to hear and I know you are equally disturbed to learn of the arrest of your 16 year old son or a friend that brought a 4 inch knife to school. Being charged with felony possession of a weapon is a serious matter.

    Penal Code section 626.10(a) governs the possession of a knife with a blade longer than 2 ½ inches on school grounds. The range of punishment is zero to 3 years in a juvenile facility. This particular crime is commonly known as a “wobbler,” however, which means it can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor.

    The juvenile justice system deals with most crimes committed by minors. It was established because minors should be treated differently than adults when it comes to criminal behavior. The goal is to provide guidance and the focus is on rehabilitation and not punishment. Unfortunately with the rise in crimes, many states including California have imposed harsher penalties on juvenile offenders. In addition, more cases are being transferred and there has been an increase in the number of juveniles now tried in adult court.

    Even when a case remains in and is heard by the juvenile court, it is well advised to obtain legal representation by a lawyer with experience in the juvenile justice system. While a Deputy Public Defender is available and routinely assigned to juvenile cases, selecting and paying for a private attorney affords many advantages such as the ability to confer during the day and evening on an as-needed or desired basis.

    Although commitment to a juvenile facility is a sanction for the crime in question, it depends on all of the facts and circumstances, the severity of the current offense and criminal history of the individual being charged in this case. Because there are diversion programs, community service, fines and other sanctions available, the goal of many lawyers handling these cases is to enable juvenile offenders to become law-abiding and productive members in society and, therefore, to seek the minimal punishment while still holding them accountable for their behavior. Because this crime is a wobbler as stated above, it may also be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor. In summary, these and many other reasons serve as a basis to recommend knowledgeable and experienced private counsel.

    See question 
  • My boyfriend went to his other baby momma house where he was residing at to pick up his own belongings how is that code 459 pc?

    shes mad cuz he moving in wit me now and she also wanted him to pay her $1500 in order to take his stuff and thats when it all started because he said hell no!!! mind that she has a restraining order on him but still had him there the whole durati...

    Samuel’s Answer

    You have inquired how your boyfriend could be charged with PC 459 when he went to the home of the mother of his (other) child and had also frequented the home over a period of three (3) years even though there was a restraining order. You also indicated your boyfriend is in jail, however, you did not indicate the date he was arrested, whether there has been an arraignment and if he has a Deputy Public Defender assigned to his case.

    First, you should meet with or have a teleconference with a private criminal defense lawyer to obtain the legal assistance you desire for your boyfriend.

    Second, there are situations in which law enforcement arrests someone for a crime and the DA files that and/or other charges.

    As to Penal Code section 459, a burglary can be charged in a situation in which the DA believes the suspect entered a home with the intent to commit a theft &/or any felony. Since you feel this is over the top and inapplicable, that is even more of a reason to retain experienced burglary defense counsel. Then, the lawyer can obtain the investigative file, meet with your boyfriend, confer with the prosecution and develop his proactive plan of action.

    Again, you should confer with legal counsel as the online forums are not meant to be legal advice nor should you reply upon them as such.

    See question 
  • Legal Terminology for case Status and Embarrassment due to Arrest Record

    I was arrested for Domestic violence in Jan 2011 but was never produced before the DA . I was released from the Vista detention center and sent to the ICE office in San Diego Downtown and released the same day. I never got to see the charges or th...

    Samuel’s Answer

    You indicated you were "arrested for Domestic violence in Jan 2011." You also stated you have not seen the charges and have also not checked the status of your criminal case, if any.

    Even though you acknowledge an arrest and you want to respond to the question "have you ever been arrested?," you stated you do not want to report this because you believe there was insufficient evidence for the DA to file charges and further that you plan to seek a ruling from the court for factual innocence.

    My recommendation is for you to first go to the Superior Court Clerk's Office and review the files to determine whether a case was or was not filed. That way you can be certain as to the status of your case.

    If there was a misdemeanor arrest, the prosecutor has up to one year to file charges. Since that time has already elapsed and if no misdemeanor charges were ever filed, the only action at this point would be a felony Domestic Violence or felony Spousal Abuse charge if the DA is so inclined.

    Penal Code section 851.8 is the statute that applies to have an arrest sealed. The procedure is not simple and you would be well-advised to retain a criminal attorney to handle the matter on your behalf. There is also a time deadline of two years from the date of the arrest to file such an action (although there is a limited basis to claim "good cause" for filing a late Petition).

    The first step in getting an arrest sealed requires contacting the law enforcement agency that arrested you. The agency may deny the request or in the more likely event simply not respond within 60 days. The form to Petition the law enforcement agency can be accessed at: In San Diego, the form to use to Petition the Superior Court is : CRM-221. If your Petition is granted, all of the records relating to your arrest will be sealed for 3 years and then they will be destroyed. (See P.C. section 851.8 (b) and (f)).

    We urge you retain legal counsel to assist you to better evaluate all of the facts and provide legal advice rather than rely upon an online question-answer format that provides only general information.

    See question 
  • How many criminal defense attorneys work with administrative license defense lawyers during the course of their clients' cases?

    Specifically, state licensing agency defense lawyers.

    Samuel’s Answer

    You would like to know how many criminal defense lawyers work with attorneys who specifically handle administrative law cases during their handling of the criminal case.

    First, the attorney who handles any practice area should be sufficiently familiar with the legal and factual issues as well as ancillary points such as unintended consequences that have a substantial bearing on the direction his/her case may take. Far too often, a lawyer may be unwilling to associate with experts, whether in the field of law or the licensed specialty as this can increase the costs to a client who might be looking for the attorney who can be retained for the least amount of money.

    For example, if an attorney is defending a pharmacist for a drug crime, he/she would be well advised to consult or associate with an administrative law attorney as well as a forensic pharmacist to properly advance his clients rights and defend the criminal case. The same principle applies whether the criminal defense client is a doctor, nurse, psychologist, real estate or insurance agent, general contractor &/or an individual with any one of the approximate 40 different professional licenses issued in California. The same applies to a client going to school or college at the present time or in the future with the goal to obtain a professional license since the arrest and/or conviction can be used by the State Agency or Board to block the issuance of a license.

    Second, there are some lawyers who handle both criminal and administrative law cases. You would be well advised, however, to review the attorney profiles on to decide who is the most qualified to provide legal representation. The benefit of AVVO is that past and current clients often provide reviews, and other attorneys may write endorsements that can be helpful to you and other prospective clients in selecting legal counsel.

    See question 
  • My husband was sentenced w/ Felony DUI w/ GBI. He rcvd 6 yrs serving 85% & a fine not yet determined. How can he appeal this?

    Can he appeal this, if so where can I get help.

    Samuel’s Answer

    It appears from your question that your husband was convicted of Felony DUI with Great Bodily Injury (GBI), and received a six year state prison sentence, but you desire to appeal this. It is not clear when he was sentenced, nor whether the conviction took place after a trial or your husband pled to the within crime. In addition, we do not know whether your husband was represented by the Public Defender or private counsel.

    Because there are time deadlines to file an appeal (60 days from the date of sentence), you should immediately contact the lawyer who handled the underlying case and determine whether a Notice of Appeal was filed. If it was not filed and the time period to do so has not passed, you can request that this document be prepared and filed on behalf of your husband.

    It is best to interview a criminal appeal attorney rather than relying upon the internet in a question and answer forum so that you can obtain legal advice. There can be various situations that exist that serve as grounds for an appeal, and the attorney that is retained will no doubt want to meet and talk with your husband besides getting the transcripts from the underlying case. A Writ of Habeas Corpus is another remedy that can be explored. Do not delay in retaining experienced legal counsel.

    See question 
  • Can I sue for lost wages in small claims court?

    I applied for a state (CA) certification in massage therapy. The organization made errors in processing my application, and did not provide adequate service. Due to the error(s) and significant delays my previous certification expired as I was w...

    Samuel’s Answer

    The State of California issues licenses and permits to a huge variety of professionals. There are inherent delays in the process. You are unhappy because, as you state, you lost wages for one week due to the delay of the California Massage Therapy Council is issuing your certification.

    The CAMTC is a non-profit agency established pursuant to sections 4600 et seq of the Business and Professions Code to provide certification in California to massage therapists who are otherwise eligible. It is not much different in processing applications than the approximate four dozen other Boards, Bureaus and Departments in California that review the education and credentials as well as conduct a criminal record check of applicants for licensure.

    While it is no excuse, I have heard of situations in which individuals have waited as much as six months or more only to then have their application denied. Then, the process takes even longer if one appeals and seeks a hearing as provided by law. Of course, there is no guarantee the application will be granted, and an applicant in the end might only receive a probationary or restrictive license. This is an area of Administrative Law in which experienced attorneys often assist their clients in reducing the delays in the system as well as marginalize the grounds for denial, if any.

    One can certainly understand your frustration and disappointment and, therefore, desire to file an action in Small Claims Court to recover your lost wages. Whether you can collect will be up to the discretion of the Judge. However, it is possible the Judge might deem the CAMTC a quasi governmental body within the meaning of Government Code section 8655 that gives immunity from any claim that is related to the exercise of discretion in the performance of their duties and functions to bar recovery.

    It is unclear in your case what research CAMTC deemed necessary and whether the delay to verify your eligibility was inappropriate. Since you indicated you had a previous certification and it expired while you were waiting for a new certification, there remain many questions for a lawyer to opine on this matter, including a thorough review of the facts and circumstances. Another consideration for you is to weigh the costs vs. benefits in deciding whether to bring a claim for damages.

    See question 
  • What type of attorney do i need for a juvenile police brutality case??????

    my son was assaulted by sdpd over curfew and was sent to the er they almost broke his nose and there was witnesses to the assault they used excessive force and he is only 16 years old

    Samuel’s Answer

    You want to know the type of lawyer to contact regarding "excessive force" used by a SDPD officer in which your 16 year old son's nose was broken.

    It is not clear why the police were involved and whether any arrest was made. However, an officer can only use reasonable force to subdue and/or arrest a suspect while performing his duties and to protect himself and others in the vicinity. This is a judgment call, but anything beyond a minimum force may be characterized as police brutality.

    Ordinarily, personal injury attorneys handles such cases, but it is true that civil rights lawyers do as well. An important element to keep in mind is that a government "claim" must be timely filed in order to bring a lawsuit.

    You and your son should not delay in contacting a lawyer to discuss all of the facts and circumstances.

    See question 
  • 3 Adults who suffered childhood sexual abuse want to bring a civil suit against a girl who was 12-13 at the time of abuse

    All 3 adults then 8 year old children want to proceed with a civil suit suing for emotional and psychological damages. The suit would also include the perpetrator's mother since the girl in question was a minor but 4-5 years older. Her little brot...

    Samuel’s Answer

    I understand there are three individuals who at a very young age suffered childhood sexual abuse and want to bring a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator and at least one other person. What a horrific experience growing up. My heart goes out to each of you, and it is excellent that appropriate psychological care and treatment is being obtained.

    As indicated by at least one of the attorneys that answered your question, there is a Statute of Limitations that applies to filing a lawsuit for childhood sexual abuse. The applicable statute is Code of Civil Procedure Section 340.1. As provided by section 340.1(a), an action for childhood sexual abuse in California must be filed by age 26 or within three years of the date of discovery or one should have reasonably discovered the psychological injury. The facts need to be fully evaluated and there may be other legal provisions that apply; therefore, you should contact a personal injury or civil litigation attorney to further discuss the situation without delay.

    I wish each of you the very best.

    See question 
  • I am trying to find if I have any hope in pursuing new legal help with my husbands ongoing work comp claim/injury from 2001

    He is currently looking at another possible spinal surgery after already having an unsuccessful laminectomy/disecktomy (put him in ICU & doctor lost license to practice since then), a multi-level fusion, 2 weeks later another hospitalization/surge...

    Samuel’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    The best way to obtain an answer to your question is for your husband to obtain a one-on-one personal consultation with a seasoned workers' compensation lawyer. Your husband should bring copies of his file and all of the pertinent communications and legal documents for the attorney to review.

    You also mentioned a possible third party claim and that too will require further analysis, particularly due to the statute of limitations that bars old claims. In addition, you are concerned there may be legal and medical malpractice, and these issues should be evaluated by an experienced lawyer that focuses on such cases.

    Most attorneys will provide a free consultation and that is what I recommend. You are also welcome to call my office (619.583.0350), and I would be happy to discuss this further.

    SAM SPITAL, Civil, Administrative Law and Criminal Defense Lawyer

    See question 
  • This is my second dui in san diego california and they give me 18 month program and now i have to move to florida to work there

    so how is that work can i do the school online ??? or i can do it in florida and if i move i can aplay for license in florida ??

    Samuel’s Answer

    You have asked about being convicted of a second DUI and the process of completing the 18 month DUI Program if you move to Florida. The attorneys that have previously answered your question on AVVO all have good suggestions for you. However, I would add that you should contact your previous lawyer or the Public Defender's Office for guidance on an issue, interpretation or modification of any of the terms and conditions of probation.

    As part of our interview or teleconference with a prospective client, among other things, we ask about their past, current and possible future employment, as well as short and long term goals. This way we can help explain and/or anticipate the impact of a sentence and/or the unintended consequences.

    Good luck.

    SAM SPITAL, Lawyer

    See question