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Niranjan Fred Thiagarajah
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Niranjan Thiagarajah’s Answers

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  • I was made to take breatherlyzer test but was too scared because they had 5 copso they asked if I would take a blood test I said

    Yes , and just handcuffed but I didn't get my rights read to me , was it necessary to bring all those cops ? I mean I was not aggresive I was cooperative never talked back I'm a 5'2 female. And also how can I fight this I've never been arrested t...

    Niranjan’s Answer

    if your crime occurred in Orange County, then it's no surprise that there were multiple officers. Orange County is a very conservative & aggressive area in terms of law-enforcement. As my colleague mentioned, you only get your rights read to you if you're arrested and they still want to question you. That means, the police can question you before you are arrested, without reading your rights to you. And that means, the police can arrest you, without reading your rights to you, if they choose not to question you after your arrest. You should contact an Orange County criminal defense attorney ASAP, especially since you only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to schedule a DMV hearing to preserve your privilege to drive. There are many Orange County defense attorneys on this site, including myself, that offer free consultations. Contact one of us immediately.

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  • My son was ticketed in school for assault & battery. The victim's parents say they are going to sue us. Is that legal?

    This was my son's 1st offense in school. He's never been in trouble before this. The victim suffered facial fractures. The victim has taunted my son since the 8th grade & my son got fed up with it. They also gave my husband a ticket for assault & ...

    Niranjan’s Answer

    A criminal attorney usually will not help you in your civil suit (and shouldn't help you unless they have civil litigation experience). If your insurance does not cover this situation, then you may need to retain separate civil counsel for a civil lawsuit, especially if the amount of money involved is significant and if your family has substantial financial assets. It's also important to make sure your criminal attorney is aware of the potential civil lawsuit, so he/she can use that information in deciding how best to resolve your son's case.

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  • How does my lawyer get my file from the public defenders office

    i dismissed my pd and hired a lawyer

    Niranjan’s Answer

    As a former Deputy District Attorney from Santa Clara County, I can tell you that once you hire competent counsel, the new attorney will contact the PD's office and get the file. Sometimes, the PD will not release the file until after your new attorney either makes a court appearance or files a substitution of attorney form with the court. This is to ensure that the person requesting the file really is your new attorney. If you need referrals to a good defense attorney in Santa Clara County, please contact my office. I don't practice there anymore, but I know several excellent attorneys in the area.

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  • Not happy with my lawyer, do I stick it out with him are is it time to bail?

    I hired the lawyer almost 4 months ago and the only thing that he has done is appeared at court twice and once he had a stand in come in for him. I have tried to be patient since he is busy with other cases and trials, but he won't even request c...

    Niranjan’s Answer

    i agree with the above attorneys regarding communicating with your attorney and having trust in your attorney before going to trial. I do want to point out that having a "stand-in" for a criminal court appearance is not uncommon, especially when the court appearance itself does not involve substantive legal issues. Although, it is good practice for an attorney to inform his/her client ahead of time when a "stand-in" makes an appearance and the reasons for that "stand-in" to make the appearance. Also, it is the attorney's job to determine what discovery should be obtained. The client's input may be valuable in making that determination, but ultimately, the attorney is the one that decides what to discovery to request. Finally, your attorney should never be too busy to prepare for trial in advance. If the attorney is that busy, he/she has no business taking your case in the first place. All attorneys have a duty to zealously advocate on behalf of our clients, and this includes thorough and timely trial preparation. If you are dissatisfied with your current attorney, you can find other competent attorneys on this website, many of whom offer a free consultation.

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  • Can traffic violations be dropped while in custody?

    Son has been in custody and is needing answers about how to deal with fix-it tickets, no insurance, lights, etc. Even an insurance company wanting to collect for an accident that he said was an incorrect turn on the other party's behalf. Yet, h...

    Niranjan’s Answer

    If your son pleads no contest to vandalism, then the only thing an attorney can help with on that case would be sentencing (assuming that there's time to hire an attorney before sentencing) or a restitution hearing. An attorney may be able to help your son with his traffic matters even after you son pleads no contest to the vandalism. It might be possible to have the traffic matters dismissed while your son is in custody or at the very least, have any fines on those cases run concurrent to his custody time so that he doesn't owe any money on this traffic cases.

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  • What exactly is a cop-out form?

    My son is in jail and has pending traffic tickets. I was told by one of the clerks that he should fill out this "in-house" form, only available in jail, and send it to the proper agency that gave him the citation. To be reviewed by a judge. Then...

    Niranjan’s Answer

    If a defendant is in custody for a significant period of time, then judges sometimes dismiss pending traffic tickets or run the fines concurrent to the custody time so that the defendant doesn't owe any money on the tickets.

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  • Family members charged with 211-14 counts

    My Family members were charged with 14 counts of armed robbery. Bail is set at $1.4 million dollars. What is the minimum and what is the maximum sentence they could get? They are mother and son. :-( Thank you-

    Niranjan’s Answer

    Unfortunately, sentence determination is a very complex scheme and depends on a variety of factors, including prior record and crime enhancements. Assuming no record, no enhancements, and nothing else special about this case, and assuming each defendant is being charged with 14 counts of PC 211, then the next question to ask is whether the robbery is first degree or second degree. The general rule is that a defendant's sentence is the maximum for the count with the most exposure plus 1/3 the midterm of each additional count. First degree robbery is a 3-4-6 crime, so under the previous formula, the maximum punishment for 14 counts of first degree robbery would be 6 + (13 x 1/3 x 4) = 23 years, 4 months. Second degree robbery is a 2-3-5 crime, so under the previous formula, the maximum punishment for 14 counts of second degree robbery would be 5 + (13 x 1/3 x 3) = 18 years.

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  • First offense, 2 charges for possession of sales with intent to sell and trafficing.

    I was on my way to the Fiji islands from the SFO airport to visit my husband as i always do every year and I had about 100 ecstacy pills on me. I am a drug user and I needed something to last me 3 months before I came back. My question is, do I ne...

    Niranjan’s Answer

    You are facing very serious charges and there is a very high probability that you will be spending time in jail (possibly prison), regardless of whether you're facing state or federal charges. You definitely want an experienced attorney assisting you in this matter. If you're facing state charges, programs like PC 1000 (diversion) or Prop 36 are not available for the charges of possession for sale. These are felony charges and that many pills may warrant prison time. If you don't know a good attorney in your area, you may contact my office for referrals. However, you absolutely need solid representation.

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  • I hit a parked car and was booked with a DUI. How do i get a restricted license for work? For how long is my license suspended

    My license is now suspended. I need a restricted license to go to work, I teach at several colleges all over southern california. Do I need a lawyer?

    Niranjan’s Answer

    You should retain an attorney for a few reasons. First, a DUI with accident is treated more seriously than a "normal" DUI and you want to make sure you are not over-penalized for this incident. Second, if you want to preserve your license without any suspensions, you will need to request, and prevail at, a DMV hearing. Only an experienced criminal defense attorney has a chance at helping you beat the DMV hearing. Most lay people don't even know how DMV hearings work or what the issues are or what the possible defenses could be. And an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you obtain a restricted license. There are several experienced defense attorneys on this site, including myself, that you can get a free consultation from to explore your case in detail.

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  • If I pleaded no contest to a Petty Theft case in CA, can I have my record sealed and destroyed according to Penal Code § 851.8.?

    The petty theft case took place in Los Angeles, CA. and was closed in April 2009 and expunged in June 2009. I don't think I received credit for jail time, but had to pay a fine and was placed on summary probation for three years. I ended up doing ...

    Niranjan’s Answer

    Although I agree with the above attorneys, I want to point out that your plea of no contest simply won't hurt your chances, it will destroy them completely. Penal Code section 851.8 specifically does not allow sealing of arrest records where there has been a plea of any kind. 851.8 only applies if there was an arrest with no charges filed, or charges were filed and dismissed without a conviction, or charges were filed and the defendant was acquitted after trial. Your plea of no contest constitutes a conviction.

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