April

Blog Posts in April, 2015

  • Threats to Harm are Never Funny

    California citizens have a right to have freedom from violence. This right is safe guarded by laws that cover many different kinds of harm, threats to harm included. Even if you never actually hurt someone, you can still be charged with criminal threat if you make a threat to cause serious bodily harm or death to someone, whether or not you actually intended or planned on carrying out that threat. ...
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  • DUI Sentencing Enhancements

    Getting a DUI is hard enough; the fines, penalties and conditions of your sentencing are designed to severely deter recidivism. However, other facts about the crime could increase the severity of your sentencing even more. Things that aggravate your sentencing are called sentencing enhancements . While enhancements sounds like a good thing, for a DUI, they result in harsher penalties. California ...
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  • Domestic Violence Restraining Orders and Firearm Ownership

    Along with all the limitations that come along with a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, like staying out of a certain proximity to the protected person or limiting contact with them, you can also be ordered to relinquish ownership of all firearms and ammunition for the duration of the order. Even if your firearms were never involved in this instance of violence, they must be sold to a licensed ...
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  • Family Pets and Domestic Violence

    Domestic violence affects all members of a household. Family pets are now mainstream members in many family households. Family pets are also at risk when domestic violence occurs. People sometimes let their anger out on the family pet and while this may deflect anger away from the other family members, it can be psychologically hard for some people to watch. A Domestic Violence Restraining Order ...
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  • Contempt of Court

    The court system has a powerful role in our society. The system expects respect and obeisance by all citizens. Not obeying or showing disrespect for the court system is called contempt of court . Contempt of court is a criminal charge that can come complete with fees, jail time and community service. Even if you are disobeying a civil restraining order, you can be charged with a criminal offense. ...
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  • What You Need to Know When Facing Rape Charges in California

    Rape is a sex crime in California, generally characterized by sexual intercourse that one party did not consent to. We may traditionally think of rape as when a man physically forces a woman to have sex with him. In reality, there are other scenarios that are covered under PC 261, California's rape statute . Coercion or psychological means of having nonconsensual sex count too. Having sex with ...
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  • Applying for a Certificate of Rehabilitation

    After you've committed a crime and have paid your debt to society, you may be eligible to apply for a Certificate of Rehabilitation . A Certificate of Rehabilitation does not mean your crime is erased from the record or even sealed. A Certificate of Rehabilitation can't erase the fact that you were convicted of a crime but it can be powerful documentation that can improve your chances of living a ...
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  • Drinking and Driving While Underage

    Drinking and driving is a serious offense in California. While the legal age of drinking in California is 21, underage drinking is still relatively common. Underage drinkers who drive tend to cause more accidents so California courts have strict regulations on underage drinking and a zero tolerance policy for underage DUIs. In California, you can be charged with an underage DUI if you are under ...
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  • What You Should Know About DVROs

    If you've been served with a temporary Domestic Violence Restraining Order, you might not know where to start. The order itself can be packed with crucial information you need to heed. You also will have to appear in court if you want to disagree with or dispute the order in any way. With one piece of paper, you've taken on a lot of responsibility. It can be intimidating; these orders can be in ...
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  • Battery: It Takes Less Than You Think

    Hurting someone is a crime. Under California state law, assault and battery are serious charges that can result from hurting, or attempting to hurt, another person. While you do not have to have actual physical contact with someone to assault them, making physical contact can land you with a conviction of battery. California PC 242 dictates that battery involves the "willful and unlawful use of ...
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  • Date Rape Charges and Your Reputation

    Rape, including date rape , is a serious charge. With a minimum 3-8 year prison sentence, it will disrupt your life for years to come. On top of your court sentence: which can include prison time, fees, community service or educational classes, you will also have to register as a sex offender in the State of California for life. If this wasn't enough, having to disclose rape as a criminal ...
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  • Verbal Abuse in the Home

    Despite best efforts, we all find ourselves in disputes that bring out the worst in us. Even if you are not a physically violent person, you may find yourself saying things you don't mean in a tone that does not reflect your best intentions. The evolving world of psychology now states that verbal abuse can cause the victim the same psychological consequences as physical abuse. The court system ...
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  • What You Should Know About Date Rape

    Date rape is a unique account of rape . It occurs between two people who were spending time together but, allegedly, one person did not consent to sex. As with other rape charges under California PC 261, date rape involves sexual intercourse between a person and a non-consenting party. Keep in mind that any penetration at all means the act was rape, as long as one party did not consent. The ...
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  • Civil vs. Criminal Restraining Orders

    Restraining orders broadly restrain a person from doing something to another person. They can be between two friends, two spouses or two strangers. The actions the restrained is prevented from doing can range from being in proximity to the protected person to emptying a savings account when spouses separate. There are two types of restraining orders: civil and criminal. Civil Restraining Orders ...
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  • DUIs and Car Accidents

    Causing an accident is one of the risks that come with drinking and driving. This might infrequently happen but when it does, you could face some serious consequences. Under California Vehicle Code section 23153 , the prosecution does not have to prove you violated any specific traffic law if you are involved in an accident when drinking and driving. In other words, if you cause an accident while ...
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  • Facing Battery Charges: What You Need to Know

    There are many ways you can harm someone. Battery is a criminal charge that covers an unlawful, but capable, attempt to injure another person. In other words, battery is an intentional action mean to hurt someone. You have to have had committed that action but it does not need to have been effective. If you are being accused of battery, there are some important things you need to know. While it is ...
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  • Online Harassment: Be Careful What You Post

    Just like how violence can happen online, harassment can to. This is probably one of he better known evils of the internet. It is sometimes just easier to say what you want to say or do what you want to do online. While this can be good in some circumstances, if you have been accused of online harassment, you probably regret crossing the line. As internet usage has gone up, the space to harass has ...
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  • DUIs and SR-22 Filing

    One of the requirements of a DUI sentencing is filing a SR-22 form with an insurance agency. This is basically a statement of financial responsibility of the driver. This is meant to ensure that if you are a dangerous driver, as having a DUI would suggest, that you are financial responsible for what harm or damage you may cause while driving. It is basically a special kind of liability insurance ...
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  • What to do if You are Arrested for a Domestic Violence Call

    Domestic violence is serious so California law enforcement officers take any domestic violence call will take the upmost precaution. While California is one of the states that do not make an automatic arrest when responding to a domestic violence call, there are certain conditions of the conflict that can be cause for arrest. If the alleged victim as a restraining or protective order against the ...
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  • What to do When Your License is Confiscated for Driving Under the Influence

    Being pulled over for drunk driving can be extremely stressful. A lot can happen during a DUI arrest. The best thing to do is be educated and informed about California DUI laws before you are arrested but learning about them after the fact can still help you understand your case better and help you identify potential defenses. If you were arrested for driving under the influence , the officer who ...
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  • Field Sobriety and Breathalyzer Tests

    When an officer suspects you may be driving under the influence and pulls you over, you may be asked to take a field sobriety test or an "FST". This test is meant to assess your coordination, balance and concentration under the assumption that they will be compromised if you had been drinking. The standardized elements of the FST are walking and turning, standing on one leg and the Horizontal Gaze ...
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  • Alcohol Education Classes

    As part of your DUI sentencing, you could be ordered to take alcohol education classes geared towards DUI offenders. The length of the classes depends on whether or you a first time offender or you are a multiple offender. First time DUI offenders will have to take a minimum three months of classes, totaling 30 hours. First time offenders could face more classes depending on how high their BAC ...
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