Wednesday, December 11, 2019

There’s Gold in Them Thar Hills!

It was an expression used frequently in Northern California in the late 1840’s and 1850’s.  By the time it ended, California had gone from a thinly populated ex-Mexican territory, to having one of its first two U.S. Senators John C. Fremont becoming the first Republican Party candidate for President of the United States in 1856.

The effects of the Gold Rush were substantial.  Outside of California, the first to arrive were from Oregon, Hawaii, and Latin America.  Of the approximately 300,000 people who came to California during the Gold Rush, about half arrived by sea and half came overland.  The forty-niners often faced substantial hardships on the trip, but they felt it was worth it!

Today, the 49rs are mostly confined to the gridiron, but the effect that those original 49rs had on Northern California was forever impactful.  I am proud to be a part of this ever-growing valley.  My name is William (Bill) Chestnut.  For decades, I have been a criminal defense attorney out of San Jose.  To you and your family I wish a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

You’rrre Outta There!

Three strikes and you’re out on the baseball diamond AND in the California court system.  In 1994, California passed a sentencing law colloquially called the “Three Strikes and You’re Out” law.  At the time it was originally enacted, the law established a mandatory sentence of 25 years to life in prison for any defendant convicted of a third felony, or third “strike,” regardless of the nature of the felony.

Finally, in 2012 Californians voted in support of Proposition 36.  It revised the law so that mandatory life sentences would only be imposed for “violent” or “serious” felonies.  For example, if a defendant is convicted of selling or distributing cocaine, heroin, meth-making materials, or PCP to a person under the age of 18, and has two prior strikes, he or she will be subject to the Three Strikes sentencing law.

It may be more lenient than it used to be, but The Big Bear State has a very low tolerance for convicted drug dealers.  San Jose criminal defense attorney William Chestnut knows that the legalization of small amounts of marijuana does NOT clear the way for other drugs!  Call on Bill for vigorous California drug defense at (480) 298-6990.   

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Eastridge Center - 12/8 - Santa Cares

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Children within every spectrum of special needs and their families are invited to a private photo session, to experience the time-honored tradition of a visit with Santa Claus during dedicated hours. Please reserve your complimentary ticket on Eventbrite - ONE TICKET per group/family, please.  

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Theft or Larceny…a Rose by any Other Name.

They are different words, but they mean the same thing in the State of California.  If you, or a loved one, has been detained on a charge of theft, you have been accused of a crime against property.  Note that Grand Theft can lead to imprisonment of up to three years, or in the alternative, a person can spend up to one year in the county jail.

Theft takes on several forms such as –

1.  Personal property
2.  Money…good ole’ greenbacks
3.  Real property…perhaps land or buildings
4.  The determined value of labor or services

If someone is convicted of theft in California, they could face up to 364 days in county jail and up to a $1000 fine.  Even petty theft (value less than $950.00) can carry a sere penalty.  The time is NOW to contact San Jose criminal defense attorney William Chestnut.  Bill will use his 40+ years of defending Californians against a charge of theft.  Call him today at (480) 298-6990.  

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Did You or Someone you Care about Violate Penal Code Section 273.5?

California Penal Code Section 273.5 is the most commonly charged domestic violence related charge that deals with corporal injury to an individual who is or who once was an intimate partner of the accused.  Remember this…some women and men who are accused of domestic violence are actually victims of domestic violence!

Here are some things to know about the elements of 273.5 –

1.  Did the act lead to a traumatic condition?
2.  Was it an intentional act?
3.  How is an “intimate partner” defined?
4.  Was the defendant falsely accused? 

There is the rub.  Even in this “me too” world, thousands of people are being falsely accused of domestic violence.  Were you one of them?  Please call domestic violence defense attorney William Chestnut right away.  He practices out of San Jose CA and serves all of the surrounding area.  Just give Bill a call at (480) 298-6990. 

Annual Veterans Day Parade | San Jose

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Honor all those who have served and those who are continuing to serve their country at the 99th Annual Veterans Day Parade starting at noon in downtown San Jose on November 11, 2019.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Welfare Fraud Defined and Defended.

Welfare fraud is the act of illegally using state welfare systems by knowingly withholding or giving information to obtain more funds than would otherwise be allocated fairly and equitably.    Interviews with welfare recipients where the interviewer has succeeded in gaining the trust of a defrauder have shown that many, if not most, fail to report incomes.

A survey of the general population has found that more than 80% are prepared to cheat on welfare if the risk of audit is only about 15%.  In the majority of cases, welfare fraud involves modest sums of money and is committed by people who struggle with poverty and who are acting out of desperation. 

Maybe it started on a very small scale, then it accelerated until the State of California arrested you or a loved one for welfare fraud.  If that is the case, immediately call on the vigorous defense of Criminal Defense attorney William Chestnut.  Bill will go to court in San Jose and the surrounding area to defend you against a charge of welfare fraud.  Just call (408) 298-6990. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Bay Area Halloween Events Guide 2019

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Make your plans for Halloween and get out and enjoy the holiday hauntings!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Your Collar May be White, but Your Intentions May be Darker.

White collar crime in California may seem rather innocuous, but it is serious and will be dealt with as such.  Early intervention by an experienced white collar defense attorney is vital to a successful defense of white collar crimes.  If I get involved before formal charges are filed, I can often locate favorable witnesses and evidence that may convince the prosecutor not to bring charges at all.

Just to clarify, here are some of the white collar crimes that occur in the San Jose area –

1.  Bribery
2.  Credit card fraud
3.  Embezzlement
4.  Forgery
5.  Identity theft
6.  Computer fraud

There are many others that may get you or a loved one many years in jail and be housed with hardened criminals.  Fight back!  If you, or someone you care about is accused of a white collar crime in California call me…San Jose area criminal attorney William Chestnut.  I will bring my 40+ years  experience to bear in your defense.  My number is (408) 298-6990.

Monday, September 30, 2019

2019 Oktoberfest events around the Bay Area

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"It’s Oktoberfest season and biergarten pop-ups and polka parties are popping up across the Bay Area. Here’s just a sampling of the 2019 festivities in cities across the bay."


Monday, September 16, 2019

More is More.

It seems like a simple statement, but in California if you are found in possession of certain dangerous drugs, you may face criminal charges.  However, if you are found in possession of larger quantities of those drugs, packaged drugs to sell, or other signs that the drugs are intended for distribution, you could face higher penalties, including felony drug charges.

The penalties for possession with intent to sell depend on a number of factors, including how much you have in your possession, type of substance, and whether any other criminal activity may have been taking place.  Possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell is not limited to illegal narcotics, it can also include pharmaceutical drugs.

Drugs whether they be prescribed or illegal throughout the Big Bear State must never be trafficked!  That is a given.  Maybe you or a loved one have been arrested for the possession of an amount of drugs that have been deemed intended for distribution.  If so, fight back with the steady hand of San Jose criminal attorney William Chestnut.  Call Bill at (408) 298-6990.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Gavin Newsom Please Hear my Plea!

If you did not know, Gavin Newsom has taken over for Jerry Brown as the governor of California.  In case you were not aware, if you have been convicted of a felony in the Big Bear State AND since your conviction you have had no further criminal charges or convictions, you may be eligible for a pardon from the governor of our state.

Here are a few steps in applying for that pardon –

1.  A Certificate of Rehabilitation is an order that can be issued by a Superior Court judge.
2.  You may obtain an application packet for a Certificate of Rehabilitation.
3.  Perfectly complete that application.

That last part will be much easier if you retain the services of San Jose criminal defense attorney William Chestnut.  Bill has been helping the convicted felons of California properly prepare and submit a Certificate of Rehabilitation to several different governors over his four plus decades of service.  Call William Chestnut and see if you qualify at (408) 298-6990.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Visit the Children's Discovery Museum this Labor Day weekend!

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The Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose inspires creativity, curiosity, and lifelong learning. 


Monday, August 12, 2019

Obtaining a Real Estate License with a Criminal Record.

Pretty much everyone knows that the San Jose area is a hot bed for real estate right now.  Unfortunately, The California Business and Professions Code grants the Department of Real Estate the right to deny a license based on anyone’s previous criminal record.  This includes misdemeanors AND felonies anywhere in the US!

Count on the DRE to investigate each case individually to determine if a conviction warrants denial.  In addition to the conviction, aggravating factors will also be considered in their decision.  Here is some advice…come clean!  One of the basic requirements to apply for a license is honesty.

I want to help you get started or continue working in real estate sales.  My name is William Chestnut, a criminal defense attorney out of San Jose serving the entire area.  I have helped many people retain their real estate license in the past.  Why not give me a call and see how we may work together?  The phone number is (408) 298-6990.

Back to School Bash Wine Stroll to benefit SVEF, Sept 10th

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The kids are back in school, it's time to unwind! Join us on Tuesday, September 10th from 6-9pm for a wine stroll around The Row benefitting the Silicon Valley Education Foundation.  


Friday, August 2, 2019

BACK TO SCHOOL BLAST! Aug 10th, 2019

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"This event is designed for youth in foster care and those youth experiencing housing instability in Santa Clara County. Resources planned include school supply distribution, housing support, health screenings, educational options, employment assistance and legal service agencies."


Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Robbery vs. Burglary.

We have certainly heard both terms, but how do they differ?  There is a significant difference between robbery and burglary.  Robbery in contrast to theft is the taking of property during one-on-one interaction using force, coercion, or intimidation.  Burglary applies when someone enters a home or building with the intention of committing a crime.

Theft, burglary, and robbery are each governed by their own provisions under the California Penal Code and have their own sets of possible penalties. 

Theft itself has three categories –

1.  Theft…the simple taking of property
2.  Petty theft…less than $50 of merchandise was stolen and there are no priors
3.  Grand theft…it could be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances

Theft and its related charges come in different varieties with various penalties attached to them if you are convicted in a California Criminal Court.  San Jose criminal attorney William Chestnut wants to help you make sure that does not happen.  He has defended theft, burglary, and robbery in this state for decades.  Call him at (408) 298-6990.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Why Does Summertime Bring out the Worst in Some People?

Maybe it’s the heat, maybe it’s too much time on some people’s hands, whatever it is there is evidence that violent crime is on the rise in the Summer.  Remember this…always, always contact a lawyer if you are suspected of or have been arrested on the suspicion of having committed a violent crime in California!

It may be a charge of assault with or without a weapon.  Perhaps the charge is rape which has received heightened awareness these days.  There are weapons charges of different types carrying a variety of penalties.  Then there is always theft and robbery and all of the different machinations that those two charges entail.

For well over 40 years William Chestnut, a San Jose Criminal Defense Attorney has defended those accused of a violent crime throughout California.  He has handled just about every type of criminal case during that time.  Call Bill immediately if you or a loved one has been accused of a violent crime at (408) 298-6990.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Fentanyl and Cocaine…A Deadly Combination.

So many California residents have died in recent years because of the introduction of fentanyl.  Combined with cocaine it has become a national crisis.  In 2017, for example, cocaine-fentanyl mixtures killed more people than heroin and fentanyl together.  This deadly cocaine-fentanyl continues and shows no signs of letting up soon.

Fentanyl (an opiate) is not a natural, adulterant for cocaine which is considered a stimulant.  Fentanyl usage in addition to the cocaine supply is occurring here in the San Jose, at the level of local dealers, street dealers and even users.  Make no mistake about it…The Golden Bear State has a fentanyl problem.

That DOES NOT mean that you are automatically guilty if you have been arrested on a charge of possessing or distributing cocaine or fentanyl!  I am here to make sure that you are aggressively represented in California Criminal Court.  My name is William Chestnut a California criminal lawyer.  At the toughest times, call me Bill Chestnut at (408) 298-6990.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Things are Heating up Inside and Out.

When it gets warmer outside in the San Jose area things often heat up indoors and tempers flair causing an accusation of domestic violence.  You can be sure that the state of California has turned up its own brand of heat on domestic violence.  Many of these tough new policies often result in overcharging for a crime.

There are various types of domestic violence such as –

1.  Excessive force. This is a charge in most domestic violence cases.
2.  Assault which is any act of physical violence against a family member.
3.  Kidnapping.  Under NO circumstances should you detain a minor child.
4.  Think twice before making any threats that could be construed as terrorism.

We hope that you have headed off any possible accusation of domestic violence at the pass.  However, if you or a loved one has been arrested on a domestic violence charge in Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, Alameda County immediately call on the expertise of San Jose criminal attorney William Chestnut.  That phone number is (408) 298-6990.   

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

What Makes a Good Criminal Lawyer?

It is a question that may determine the future freedom of you or a loved one.  There is a big difference between the actions of a personal injury, a civil, a divorce, a bankruptcy and a criminal attorney.  It would seem logical that when you look for the best criminal lawyer you are looking for someone practices that branch of the law…and ONLY that!

Here are some things to look for –

1.  Investigation…thoroughness is always the key.
2.  Negotiation…one who knows everything about his client and applies it in negotiations.
3.  They challenge everything that they can.
4.  Winning records…in the end that is all that matters!

San Jose criminal attorney William Chestnut checks all of the boxes.  When he tackles your case, he does so with the idea that you will both come out of this as winners.  The most important thing is that you can get your life back.  If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a criminal offense in California call Bill immediately at (408) 298-6990.      

Monday, May 13, 2019

Filing a Petition for Expungement.

Being charged with a crime in California is by no means a pleasant experience.  Not only are you facing potential fines, jail time, appearances in court, but damage to your reputation as well!  Because you are a resident of The Big Bear State you have an advantage.  Individuals with criminal records could “clean the slate” through expungement.

Now, this does not mean that your record is clean.  Instead, your guilty plea or conviction will be withdrawn and replaced with a permanent plea of not guilty.  What happens next?  The case is then dismissed as if the conviction never happened in the first place!  As you may have guessed, not every conviction qualifies for expungement.

To find out more about filing a petition for expungement contact San Jose criminal lawyer William Chestnut.  Attorney Chestnut has been dealing with this tricky nuance of California law for many years.  He will help you navigate these waters.  Give Bill a call today to discuss expungement at (408) 298-6990.    

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Pot is Legal in California…or is it?

First the facts, recreational use of marijuana became legal in California on January 1, 2018. The legalization is the result of voter passage of Proposition 64 in November 2016.  If you are an adult age 21 and older you may now possess up to one (1) ounce of dried marijuana or eight (8) grams of concentrated cannabis.

Now the gray areas –

1.  It is still a crime for individuals to sell marijuana in The Big Bear State.
2.  You need a state AND local license to distribute it.
3.  Marijuana is still illegal on a national basis.
4.  You can never distribute it to a minor.
5.  And…don’t even think about driving while you are high.

Having a lawyer just a phone call away who has dealt with California drug cases for decades is always important.  For all drug-related charges San Jose criminal defense attorney William Chestnut has been aggressively defending Californians since the 1970’s.  You can count on Bill!  Just give him a call at (408) 298-6990.    

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Who is William Chestnut?

Go ahead, Google him.  You will find this review written about him by The Law Firm Overview…Attorney William Chestnut is an aggressive trial attorney, but is also someone you can trust and easily talk to. Prior to founding the practice, William Chestnut was a probation officer, and encountered a number of people who he believed had been mistreated by the system.

By the way, Bill is bi-lingual.  Just visit his website at williamchestnutlegal.com and read for yourself.  As you would expect, Attorney Chestnut is committed to strict confidentiality.  What is said in his office stays in his office.  He has the time AND the desire to conduct a complete investigation of your case.

It all adds up to one thing, San Jose criminal defense attorney William Chestnut is committed to the accused of Santa Clara County and the surrounding area.  Since California is such a diverse state, Bill covers a diverse area of criminal law.  Check out his website at williamchestnutlaw.com, then give him a call at (408) 298-6990.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Youuu're Out…or Are You?

In baseball, if the umpire calls strike three…you’re out.  What about in the State of California?  It’s the famous “three strikes” law which was introduced in the mid-'90s amid a violent crime spree, where a defendant convicted of a felony who had two or more prior felonies would automatically receive 25 years to life.

Then, in 2012 came Proposition 36 which –

1.  Revised the law to ease the punishment when the crime was not violent
2.  Re-sentencing when there appears to be no risk to public safety
3.  It now depends on what the first two crimes were about

You don’t have to know all of the nuances of the “three strikes” law because San Jose criminal defense attorney William Chestnut does.  Bill was practicing in California when the law was first enacted in 1994 and when it was revised in 2012.  He will vigorously defend your rights if you are a three-time offender.  Call the law office of William Chestnut at (408) 298-6990.

Monday, March 18, 2019

What Color is your Collar?

That sounds rather cryptic doesn’t it?  The subject is fraud and most Americans think of it as a “white collar crime” done at the corporate level by people wearing business suits.  According to Wikipedia fraud is defined as the deliberate deception to secure unlawful gain.  It can also be the act of depriving a victim of their legal rights.

Fraud comes in so many forms such as –

1.  Welfare fraud…a growing entity in an aging population
2.  Worker’s compensation fraud…be careful when you mess with “Big Brother”
3.  Swindle…depriving someone of money or possessions
4.  Computer fraud…so many innocent people have been involved

San Jose California criminal attorney William Chestnut has handled fraud cases of virtually every type in the four plus decades he has defended the accused in The Big Bear State.  Fraud is a very complicated issue…do not take it likely!  If you or a loved one has been accused of fraud in California call on the experience of Bill Chestnut at (408) 298-6990.

Monday, March 4, 2019

When Good Kids Go Wrong.

So many families in the San Jose area are torn asunder when a juvenile is arrested for a crime.  The whole group is adversely affected when someone from the family who is under 18 is held in custody.  Perhaps I can make it a bit more comforting by giving you a brief synopsis of how juvenile courts differ from adult courts in California.

Some of the differences are –

1.  A minor in a juvenile case is not entitled to a jury trial.
2.  There are FOUR hearings in the process.
3.  Minors must be brought to court within 48 hours of their arrest.
4.  On occasion, teens who are accused of serious crimes MAY be tried in adult court.
5.  Juvenile probation differs considerably from adult probation.

DO NOT let fear of the unknown grip you or your family.  If a loved one has been accused of a juvenile crime in the State of California call me.  I am San Jose criminal defense attorney William Chestnut.  I have been defending underage kids for decades and I know all of the nuances of juvenile court.  Just give me a call at (408) 298-6990. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Sticks and Stones.

The old adage says that sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.  However, as it pertains to a criminal trial, what the jury perceives may make all the difference in the verdict that they render.  All human beings have preferences for one thing or prejudices against another.

Both conscious and unconscious biases influence juries in criminal trials.  We know that a trial should be decided on the facts, how people see one another and how they interpret the facts can differ dramatically based on their individual biases.  Jurors who have seen the exact same evidence often disagree about the appropriate verdict.

Knowing that is one of areas of expertise that San Jose Criminal Defense Attorney William Chestnut brings to the table.  Having practiced in the Big Bear State for more than four decades he knows a great deal about the perceived biases of California jurors.  Call Bill today for vigorous criminal defense at (408) 298-6990.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Reasons to Hire a Smaller Law Firm.

Are you tired of tuning in to Judge Judy or the local news and seeing attorney ads?  I think everybody (except maybe “the stars”) are tired of them.  Would you hire a huge law firm that may pass you off to an associate that has months of experience in the legal profession?  Many people around San Jose have done that much to their chagrin.

I am William Chestnut and here is what I pledge to you –

1.  I listen carefully
2.  Always keep what you say confidential
3.  I will take your calls and return your emails
4.  A thorough investigation of your case will be done by ME

Just one more thing, I will fight like a bulldog to defend your side and win your case.  I take each and every client very personally.  That is what you get with William Chestnut.  I am a criminal defense attorney serving the area around Santa Clara County and I was born in San Jose California.  Let’s meet for a free consultation.  Give me a call anytime at (408) 298-6990.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Cabin Fever Turned Ugly.

This time of year, many of us spend more and more time indoors even in the San Jose area.  When that happens familiarity can breed contempt.  Things can quickly escalate, and a verbal row turns into some perceived criminal act.  It is the ultimate he said/she said, and you had better have a sympathetic ear if you are arrested for domestic violence.

These days, California police have a low tolerance for such matters.  Excessive force, assault, battery, even kidnapping can result from such uproars.  There are often three sides to the story.  Your side, the other side, and the truth!  Until it happens to you it seems like a non-reality that could never occur in your household.

If you have been charged with domestic violence or assault, in the San Jose area you need a defense attorney who will listen to YOUR side of the story and make sure your rights are protected.  San Jose criminal defense lawyer William Chestnut has been protecting the rights of the accused for well over 40 years.  Call Bill 24/7 for a vigorous defense at (408) 298-6990.

5 awesome SF Bay Area things to do indoors on a rainy day

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Rain doesn't have to mean confined to your home with nothing to do!  Check out the list of great options for rainy days and get out and enjoy your day!


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

New California Criminal Laws in 2019.

As Jerry Brown wraps up his 2nd tenure he is putting his signature on some new state laws.  Some will have an impact on those who get arrested, on our youth, and those charged with marijuana offenses BEFORE marijuana was legalized.  Perhaps the most widely reviewed is the law that eliminates cash bail in California slated to take effect in October 2019.

California will become the first state to completely abolish cash bail, replacing the existing money bail system for one that evaluates a suspect for the likelihood of not appearing in court or be a risk to public safety. The goal is to create greater equality in who is held in jail awaiting trial, because it would not favor those who can afford to post bail. The appellate court has ruled that the state’s cash bail system is unconstitutional.

This is a watershed change in how suspects are treated in The Big Bear State.  It is just one of several new laws that will take effect in 2019.  A big new change has an impact on accomplices in murder cases.  Don’t try to learn all of them.  Attorney Bill Chestnut already knows them.  If you are accused of a crime in San Jose or the surrounding area, call Bill at (408) 298-6990.