August

Blog Posts in August, 2015

  • How do They Test for Drug Impairment at a DUI Stop?

    DUI checkpoint stops, also called sobriety checkpoints, are points on a road where police officers stop cars arbitrarily to check for driving under the influence. When you are driving under the influence of alcohol, there are numerous sign an officer can look for that would indicate you had been drinking. However, if you were under the impairment of a recreational or prescription drug, it may be ...
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  • Could my Criminal Case go to Trial?

    If you are facing a criminal charge, you may be wondering what will happen to your case as it is handled by the criminal justice system . If you are being criminally prosecuted, you will first be arraigned by the court. At the arraignment, the charges against you will be reviewed and you will be notified of your rights. One of your rights is the right to a speedy trial , under the Sixth Amendment. ...
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  • Can I Get in Trouble if My Passenger is Drinking Alcohol?

    When it comes to drinking and driving, California takes things seriously. Even if you aren't caught drinking and driving, there are a number of other unlawful activities involving alcohol and driving that can result in citations or criminal charges. Under California Vehicle Code 23223, no driver or passenger can have an open container of alcohol in their possession. This includes containers with ...
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  • Can I go to Jail for Writing Bad Checks?

    Managing your finances in an age where we have multiple bank accounts, checks, debit and credit cards can be complex. If you have multiple accounts or multiple cardholders on your accounts, you may not have good tabs on what is going on with your finances. We've all made mistakes and bounced checks, often through no fault of our own. Most of the time, simply covering the bounced check amount along ...
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  • Can I Drink and Drive on Private Property?

    California DUI law clearly states it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is the intent of California DUI laws to prevent anyone from posing a risk to themselves or others while driving under the influence. Driving on private property, regardless of who else could possibly be there and whether or not other cars may be found on the property, you ...
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  • If I'm Arrested, Does That Mean I'm Convicted?

    Since most people will not experience getting arrested in their lives, many don't know what getting arrested means, what their rights are during and after an arrest and what they can do once arrested. This is understandable. If you've never been arrested or even known someone that has been arrested, you might think an arrest is the end of the world. In actuality, an arrest is just one step in a ...
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  • Can I Get a DUI for Riding a Bike Impaired?

    California law states that it is illegal for anyone to drive a vehicle on public roads while impaired by any substance. However, vehicle is not the most straightforward term. Many Californians bike rather than drive because of convenience, affordability and the ability bikes provide to bypass notoriously bad traffic. Many Californians also may drink and bike as alternative to drinking and driving. ...
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  • Can I be Fired for Getting a DUI?

    Many things can happen when you get a DUI. One of the most important things that will happen to you after a DUI conviction is the DUI will show up on your criminal record as either a misdemeanor or a felony charge . While a DUI can only be used against you for sentencing purposes on subsequent offenses for ten years, a DUI may always be visible on your criminal record unless you get it dismissed. ...
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  • Can a Lawyer Help Me Get Out of Jail Time?

    California has a large number of jails and prisons spanning the state, holding well over 100,000 inmates at any given time. California prisons are over populated and so more and more people are being sentenced to jail time instead of prison time. Non-violent, minor offenders often face only jail time. These are mainly misdemeanor crimes however some felonies also come with jail time, instead of ...
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  • What Happens if I get a DUI With My Kids in the Car?

    Getting a DUI at any time or any place can put you in a world of hurt. Driving under the influence kills hundreds of Californians yearly and for this reason, California state law does all it can to protect its citizens from drunk driving. One way the law accomplishes this is by giving harsher punishments to those who hurt others as a result of their DUI or those who put vulnerable people at risk ...
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  • What are the Penalties for Shoplifting?

    Theft, particular property theft, is one of the most common crimes in California. Shoplifting is a kind of theft charge and comes with the some of the same consequences any theft would. However, shoplifting is in a slightly different category because the theft is from a merchant on a merchant's property. Generally, theft charges in California are categorized by what is stolen, from where and what ...
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  • What is the Look Back Period for DUI Convictions?

    As you probably know, your criminal record can be taken into consideration when you are being sentenced for a crime. If you have had prior offenses within a certain period of time, you can be punished more severely than if it was your first offense. California courts ensure that crime recidivists, who are also called repeat offenders, are punished harshly to prevent them from committing the same ...
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  • What is a Drug Court?

    There are many different court systems in California that deal with different types of cases. Sometimes they work together and sometimes they defer cases to another court system that can more appropriately deal with the case. Drug courts , a type of collaborative court, are one such kind of system. Most drug offenders will first encounter the California criminal justice system . This will begin ...
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  • What is Used as Evidence in a DUI Case?

    DUI cases are relatively simple in what is considered as evidence and what facts of the case are examined. In California, it is illegal to drive on a public road with a blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, of .08% or over. To prove you broke this law, the prosecution much prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you were driving at the time you were under the influence and had a BAC of .08% or ...
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  • What Should I Look for in a Trial Attorney?

    Trial is something most people won't have to go through in their lifetime. Many criminal cases in California criminal justice system will be prosecuted and concluded prior to going to trial. A criminal trial is a lot of work; it can involve witnesses, testimonies and questioning. You will most likely need a strong trial attorney to help you prepare. Criminal cases that go to trial usually involve ...
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  • What are My Options for Fighting a DUI?

    If you are facing DUI charges, you might be thinking you have no options and you might as well plead guilty and be done with it. Maybe you knew you were over the legal BAC limit of .08% and can see no reason to fight an inevitable conviction. California prosecutes DUI cases aggressively and has set in place many programs and laws designed to harshly punish offenders. While facing DUI charges may ...
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  • How Can I Get a Charge Expunged From My Criminal Record?

    Those with a criminal record often regret their crimes for long into the future because while the punishment of the crime may have been minimal, lasting only a few years, living with a criminal record the rest of their life can be hard. You will have to disclose criminal convictions often, when applying for jobs or volunteer opportunities, when applying for housing or when applying for public ...
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  • How Should I Plead to a DUI?

    At your first court appearance for your DUI , called the DUI arraignment, you will be asked how you plan to plead. There are three options for a DUI: guilty, not guilty and nolo contendere, also called no contest. You may come to the arraignment already knowing how you will plead or you may need guidance. You have a right to an attorney and can be appointed a public defender if you cannot afford ...
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  • How Do I Get a Copy of My Criminal Record?

    Having a criminal record can be a discouraging thing. It can limit your job prospects and prevent you from being eligible for some housing or public assistance. Furthermore, you may have to provide details of your conviction(s) every time you apply for a job, volunteer position or housing. Failing to accurately disclose any requested information about your conviction or arrest can result in ...
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  • What Will Happen if I Don't Go to My DUI Hearing?

    Once you are arrested for a DUI, your life will change dramatically. If you've never been charged with a crime before, this may be your first experience being a defendant in court. You will have to appear in court for a DUI a minimum of one time, several times if your case goes to trial. Your first court appearance after a DUI arrest will be your arraignment hearing. You may be arraigned ...
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  • What is a Diversion Program?

    Non-violent drug charges are unique. The California court system sees drug offenders as both criminals and people in need of rehabilitation from their addiction or dependency on a substance. Unfortunately, many non-violent drug offenders cycle in and out of the criminal justice system, unable to find gainful employment and obtain quality and effective drug treatment. High rates of recidivism for ...
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