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.
- Criminal Law
- Domestic Violence
- DUI & DWI
- 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.
- 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
- Whittier Law School
- J.D. (2011)
- California State University - Fullerton
- B.A. (2007)
- Orange County Criminal Defense Bar Association
- Orange County Bar Association
- State Bar of California # 283154
- 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
- Wiping the Slate Clean - Expungements, Sealing Arrest Records, and Certificates of Rehabilitation, WHW Employment Readiness Workshop, Irvine, CA
- WHW - Empowering Employment Success
- Criminal Defense Website
- Criminal Defense Blog
- VIDEO: If You Were Arrested and Then Released, Do You Still Need an Attorney?
9 July 2019
- VIDEO: How Expunging a Criminal Conviction Under Penal Code Section 1203.4 Can Benefit You
2 July 2019
- My Loved One Was Arrested and Taken to Jail – Should I Bail Him Out?
20 June 2019
- Criminal Defense Q&A: Police Caught Me with Heroin, But Didn’t Write Me a Citation – Can I Still Be Arrested?
23 May 2019
- Why Does the District Attorney Reject Cases?
14 May 2019
- Criminal Defense Q&A: I Punched a Guy Who Puked at a Party and Got in My Face – Will I Be Charged with a Crime?
28 February 2019
- Criminal Defense Q&A: I’m 18. What’ll Happen to Me If I Fight Someone at School Who’s Still a Minor?
21 February 2019
- Criminal Defense Q&A: I Was Arrested for DUI Because My Car Smelled Like Weed—But I Was Sober! What Can I Do?
19 February 2019
- Criminal Defense Q&A: I Finally Left My Abusive Husband – Can I Still Report Him to Police for Something He Did to Me More Than A Year Ago?
14 February 2019
- 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 https://ocampocriminaldefense.com
- 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 https://ocampocriminaldefense.com
- 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 https://ocampocriminaldefense.com
- Q. Can i get charged with trespassing if i accidentally walked to a gated community with no trespassing signs?
- A: Most likely not. To commit criminal trespass, you must: (1) intentionally enter onto someone else's property; (2) without the owner's consent; and (3) remain on the property until you are removed. Penal Code 602(m); CALCRIM 2931. Since you were not asked to leave, then, by law, you have not committed the crime of trespass. Even if the gated community were to submit the surveillance footage of you to the authorities, the prosecution would have difficulty even alleging the offense since you were not removed from the site. In the future though, when playing Pokemon Go, be sure to mind your surroundings as often as you consult the in-game map. Best of luck. Michael J. Ocampo, Attorney at Law https://ocampocriminaldefense.com
- Q. If I put an ad on Craigslist can I specify “no felonies” on the job description?
- A: It depends on how many employees you have. California's ban-the-box law, which took effect on January 1st, prohibits both private and government employers who have 5 employees or more from asking about, or inquiring into, an applicant's criminal history until after he or she has been extended a conditional offer. Essentially, this law requires employers to evaluate an applicant before considering the applicant's criminal history. Government Code 12952(a). If, after a conditional offer is extended, you discover a conviction in an applicant's criminal history, you are free to rescind the conditional offer. However, you must first make an assessment about whether the applicant's conviction will actually inhibit him from doing the job. Then, you must notify the applicant of his disqualification and allow him 5 business days to dispute the accuracy of your information regarding the conviction. Government Code 12952(c). But even if your company has fewer than 5 employees, it may be prudent to omit the "no felonies" language from your job post. Such a statement is indicative of discriminatory intent and may be cited as evidence against you by a jilted applicant. Best of luck. Michael J. Ocampo, Attorney at Law https://ocampocriminaldefense.com
- Q. Can a "no contest" plea deal, 13 years ago for felony child neglect, in Los angles county, California be expunged?
- A: You are eligible to expunge your conviction. Expungement is available to those who receive, and who are able to successfully complete, a sentence of probation. This is true regardless of whether your underlying conviction was for a misdemeanor or a felony. Penal Code 1203.4(a). If your underlying conviction was for felony child abuse in violation of Penal Code 273d, then you can take the additional step of asking the Court to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor before expunging it. Penal Code 17(b)(3). Most employers are prohibited by law from discriminating against applicants because of an expunged conviction. However, there will still be instances when you'll be required to disclose your conviction--such as when applying for a state license or seeking employment with a criminal justice agency. Labor Code 432.7, Penal Code 1203.4. Even if you must disclose your conviction, an expungement can help you present your circumstance favorably to a prospective employer or licensing agency. An expunged conviction communicates that you have completed your probation, that you were not sentenced to prison, and that you were able to rehabilitate to the satisfaction of a judge. A felony that was further reduced to a misdemeanor and then expunged signals that your misconduct was less severe than it initially seemed. Most people are unaware of the long-lasting effects of pleading guilty to a crime. But you do have options to help you firmly put this incident behind you. Best of luck. Michael J. Ocampo, Attorney at Law https://ocampocriminaldefense.com