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  • Gun Seizures: How Long Can Law Enforcement Hold Firearms?

    Reassuming Your Rights Gun violence is one of the most highly publicized crime categories in California and for a good reason. Public outcry tends to influence policy, and so there are some situations in which the government can temporarily assume control (i.e. seize) of firearms. Typically, the purpose of the seizure is to give the firearm owner time to “cool off” to mitigate the risk of violence ...
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  • Can I Get a Suspended Sentence for a Felony?

    Alternatives to Imprisonment Being convicted of a felony can change your life. A felony in California is punishable by up to three years in a county jail, up to life in prison, or the death penalty. That’s nothing to bat an eye at considering the many non-violent crimes that can be charged as felonies. Since misdemeanors are only punishable by up to a year in jail, felonies are far more serious by ...
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  • Employment Bans and Criminal Convictions

    Banned For Good When you are convicted of a crime in California, you end up with more than just a criminal record. You gain a stigmatization that will make it difficult to find a job, too. Needless to say, few employers will give an applicant with a criminal record a chance. And in certain fields, an applicant with a criminal conviction may be banned from employment indefinitely. Whether or not ...
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  • How Long Are Convictions Discoverable on Background Checks?

    Background Check Basics Today, almost anyone with a credit card and Internet access can run a background check on someone. It’s not surprising that most employers, landlords, and lenders run background checks on applicants. If you have a criminal conviction on your record, this poses a problem . Unfortunately, being denied access to a job, housing, or a loan is just one of the residual ...
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  • Understanding the California DMV Point System

    Tracking Unsafe Drivers To keep tabs on dangerous drivers, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) operates the Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS). Under the NOTS, the DMV assigns points to traffic code violations that involve or affect safely operating a vehicle. These points are added to motorists’ driving records and can prompt action from the DMV. How the Point System Works ...
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  • DUI Convictions and Rideshare Driver Eligibility

    DUIs and Missed Opportunities The consequences of a California DUI conviction are far reaching. Missing out on certain employment opportunities is just one of them. Driving for rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft is an easy way to make some extra money, but a DUI conviction can jeopardize your ability to drive for one of these companies for several years to come. Currently, California ...
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  • Defining Injury in Domestic Violence Cases

    Injuries Matter In domestic violence cases, the victim’s injuries or lack thereof play a significant role in how a defendant is charged and sentenced. Because not all domestic violence victims sustain injuries, California law distinguishes between two types of domestic violence charges: spousal battery, which does not require the victim be physically injured, and corporal injury on a spouse , ...
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  • Understanding California’s New Law on Date Rape Drugs

    Increased Punishments In the midst of ongoing changes in the California Department of Justice and Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations, many penalties for non-violent crimes have been reduced. Penalties for offenses involving certain date rape drugs, however, have increased. Possession of date rape drugs coupled with the intent to commit a sexual assault may be charged as a felony under a ...
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  • Evidence and Your DMV Administrative Hearing

    An Administrative Review A California driver who has received notice from the DMV regarding action taken against his or her driving privileges (e.g. a suspension) may request an administrative hearing to challenge the action. Administrative hearings differ from court hearings in several ways. They are less formal, heard in front of a hearing officer rather than a judge in a courtroom, and are ...
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  • On the Hunt for a Job? What to Know About Your Juvenile Record

    Moving on From Past Mistakes When on the hunt for a job , mistakes made in your youth shouldn’t hold you back. Fortunately, there are protections in place to prohibit most California employers from considering your juvenile criminal history when making a decision on whether or not to hire you. Let’s look at the specific protections are you entitled to. As of January 1, 2017, California employers ...
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  • What Is a Habitual Traffic Offender?

    The Penalties for Points Think driving is a right? Think again. In California, driving is a privilege. And if you take advantage of that privilege, it can be suspended or revoked. If you continue to drive and accumulate more points on your driving record while your privilege is suspended or revoked, you can be designated as a habitual traffic offender. This is more than just a title. Habitual ...
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  • What Happens if a DV Witness Refuses to Testify?

    When the Key Witness Won’t Speak In domestic violence cases, the victim plays an influential role. Often, it is the victim who notifies law enforcement and provides necessary information regarding the offense. If the police decide to file a report, this commences the domestic violence case process. During this first stage in domestic violence cases, the information the victim provides is ...
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  • Can I Expunge an Out of State Criminal Conviction in California?

    A Conviction Can Follow You Wherever You Go The law holds people accountable no matter where they are. You are just as susceptible to criminal charges when vacationing or traveling as you are in your home state. Many Californians learn this the hard way and are convicted of crimes when traveling to nearby states such as Arizona and Nevada. When facing criminal charges outside of their home state, ...
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  • DUIs and Drugs: What Substances Can Land You in Jail

    Drugged Driving Under California law, it is illegal to drive under the influence of any drug, under Vehicle Code 23152 (f) . With the advent of medical and now recreational marijuana, authorities have stressed this section of California DUI law in an attempt to dissuade drugged driving. But it’s more than just driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana that can result in a DUI charge. ...
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  • How to Remove the DV From Domestic Violence Charges

    Is it Possible to Avoid a DV Conviction? False accusations of domestic violence are not uncommon. Unfortunately, once the police have been notified, there is little, if anything, the defendant or the alleged victim can do to stop the case. So what happens when there isn’t enough evidence to convict someone of domestic violence, it’s not clear the violence was not in self-defense , or when the ...
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