Free Consultation: (714) 451-6834Tap to Call This Lawyer
Michael J. Ocampo

Michael J. Ocampo

Principal Attorney, Michael J. Ocampo, Attorney at Law
  • Criminal Law, Domestic Violence, DUI & DWI
  • California
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&ASocial Media

Michael is a former prosecutor who has come to learn that the noble ideals of the criminal justice system are striven for more often than they are achieved.

He focuses his practice exclusively on criminal law so that he can help those accused of a crime — often ordinary, everyday people — ensure that their rights are honored and that they receive a fair opportunity to be heard.

Michael served as a deputy district attorney at the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office where he gained experience in jury trials, bench trials in juvenile court, arguing motions in criminal cases, and negotiating plea agreements. Before that, he completed the Volunteer Prosecutor Attorney Program at the Long Beach City Prosecutor’s Office.

Michael received his Law Degree from Whittier Law School where he excelled in interscholastic trial advocacy competitions and served as President of the School’s Trial Advocacy Honors Board. During law school, Michael also worked as a law clerk for the District Attorney’s Offices of Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino Counties.

Michael is admitted to the State Bar of California.

Whittier Law School
J.D. (2011)
Whittier Law School Logo
California State University - Fullerton
B.A. (2007)
Placeholder image for education.
Professional Experience
Principal Attorney
Michael J. Ocampo, Attorney at Law
- Current
Associate Attorney
Law Offices of Susan F. Lindenberg, APC
Deputy District Attorney
Tulare County District Attorney's Office
Volunteer Deputy City Prosecutor
Long Beach City Prosecutor's Office
Volunteer Attorney
Los Angeles County Bar Association's Domestic Violence Project
Volunteer Attorney
Public Law Center
Articles & Publications
MCLE Article: 11 Most Commonly Asked Questions About Expungement
The Practitioner, published by the California Lawyers Association
The Tiered Sex Offender Act
Orange County Lawyer Magazine, published by the Orange County Bar Association, Vol. 16, No. 4
Speaking Engagements
Wiping the Slate Clean - Expungements, Sealing Arrest Records, and Certificates of Rehabilitation, WHW Employment Readiness Workshop, Irvine, CA
WHW - Empowering Employment Success
Professional Associations
Orange County Criminal Defense Bar Association
Placeholder image for professional associations.
Orange County Bar Association
Placeholder image for professional associations.
State Bar of California  # 283154
Placeholder image for professional associations.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Placeholder image for jurisdictions.
  • Free Consultation
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    With Michael J. Ocampo, Attorney at Law, there is no hourly billing — just a single, reasonable fee to cover your legal defense. A flat fee helps you stick to your budget, keeps attorney’s fees from getting out of hand, and incentivizes completing the work — instead of the time it takes to do it. Being accused of a crime is stressful enough. Avoid the burden of hourly billing so that both you and your criminal defense attorney can focus exclusively on your case.
Practice Areas
Criminal Law
Criminal Appeals, Drug Crimes, Expungement, Fraud, Gun Crimes, Internet Crimes, Sex Crimes, Theft, Violent Crimes
Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence Criminal Defense, Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
Legal Answers
Q. Ca expunged misdmeanor in 2010. Original conviction In 2008. New employer running LiveScan. Can they use against me?
A: No.

In general, employers are legally prohibited from asking an applicant if he has an expunged conviction on his record.

However, for some jobs, an applicant must disclose his conviction, even if it was expunged. For instance, persons applying to the military and to work within the criminal justice system must disclose their expunged convictions. So, too, must those seeking a state license in order to work, such as a nurse, a pharmaceutical technician, or an architect. Labor Code 432.7(e), Penal Code 1203.4(a)(1).

If an employer discovers an applicant's expunged conviction, the employer is legally prohibited from discriminating against the applicant because of it. Labor Code 432.7(a)(1). Although an employer is not supposed to screen out applicants who have expunged convictions, enforcement of this rule can be challenging.

But even if an employer discovers an applicant's expunged conviction, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

An expungement communicates that an applicant accepted responsibility for his misconduct, paid his debt to society, and refrained from criminal activity for several consecutive years. It's proof of the applicant's sincerity to reform. Often, the granting of an expungement is discretionary--a judge can choose not to. But by earning an expungement, an applicant has demonstrated that he has rehabilitated to the satisfaction of a judge.

Expunging your conviction will by no means guarantee that you get the job. But your chances of advancing to the interview are much better now than if you had not received the expungement. In essence, the expungement has put you back on a level playing field with all of the other applicants.

Should you be invited for a job interview, your expungement will allow you to discuss your conviction, as well as the strides you’ve made since, with confidence. In fact, a willingness to openly address your expunged conviction demonstrates courage, transparency, and forthrightness, character traits that most employers appreciate.

Best of luck.

Michael J. Ocampo, Attorney at Law
... Read More
Q. In criminal court, does the prosecutor's witness in a preliminary hearing, have to have first hand knowledge?
A: At the preliminary hearing, a police officer can testify to things that other people saw and heard.

Normally, a witness can only testify to things that he, himself, saw or heard. But when it comes to police officers during a preliminary hearing, there's an exception.

As long as: (1) the police officer has some personal knowledge of the case; and (2) the officer has at least 5 years' experience as a policeman, then the officer--at the preliminary hearing only--can testify to what someone else told him. (If the officer is a rookie, he can satisfy the experience requirement if he has completed a specific training course that instructs officers in the proper methods of investigating cases, reporting them, and testifying about them.) Penal Code 872(b).

So, why do police officers get an exception? Because in 1990 California voters passed Proposition 115 which, among other things, carved out this exception in an effort to streamline preliminary hearings. The proposition supported the notion that the testimony of sworn law enforcement officers is reliable. Curry v. Superior Court (2013) 217 Cal. App. 4th 580, 588.

It should be noted that this exception applies only to preliminary hearings. Should your matter proceed to trial, then the declarant--the person who actually perceived the events to which the officer testified to--would be required to testify himself.

Rather than dispute an attribution discrepancy in the preliminary transcript, it would be prudent to focus your energy on preparing for trial or resolving the case through an acceptable plea deal.

Best of luck.

Michael J. Ocampo, Attorney at Law
... Read More
Q. Is it still self defense if you've already committed a crime. Stole then maced manager for following me out parking lot
A: A perpetrator of a robbery does not have a right to self-defense. In general, self-defense is available only to those who are faced with imminent danger. CALCRIM 3470.

Shopkeepers, on the other hand, have the right to detain customers whom they believe are stealing. The purpose of this temporary detention is to determine whether the customer did, in fact, steal. This is known as the shopkeeper's privilege. Penal Code 490.5(f).

If a customer shoplifts and uses force during the commission of the theft, he can be charged with robbery, a felony that is punishable by up to 6 years in prison. Penal Code 211, 213(a)(1)(B).

That the perpetrator then maces the shopkeeper after he leaves the store does not affect the charge. The after-the-fact macing is viewed as part of the robbery, not as a separate crime. People v. Estes (1983) 147 Cal.App.3d 23, 26.

A shopkeeper is well within his rights to invoke self-defense when he reasonably believes that an assault from a customer is imminent. This is true regardless of whether the anticipated contact is slight or severe. CALCRIM 3470.

Going forward, it would be prudent to discuss this case only with your retained attorney or deputy public defender.

Best of luck.

Michael J. Ocampo, Attorney at Law
... Read More
View More Answers
Websites & Blogs
Criminal Defense Website
Criminal Defense Blog
Contact & Map
Michael J. Ocampo, Attorney at Law
1432 Edinger Avenue
Suite 240
Tustin, CA 92780
Telephone: (714) 451-6834
Fax: (714) 258-8282