July

Blog Posts in July, 2015

  • Can I Refuse to Take a BAC Test?

    You may have heard that you cannot be required to take a BAC, or blood alcohol concentration, test for a DUI. This is good advice in some circumstances and bad advice in others. Unfortunately, not understanding this part of California DUI law can result in harsher sentences and loss of your license for a year. The basic answer is that, when lawfully arrested, you are required to consent to either ...
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  • How Long Will a Marijuana Possession Charge By on My Record?

    Marijuana laws in California have gone through a lot of changes in the last several years. As of 2011, marijuana possession of less than one ounce, about 28.5 grams, for personal use in California has been reduced from a misdemeanor to an infraction. Infractions aren't considered criminal charges and usually come with just a fine, whereas misdemeanors come with jail time, fines and a probation ...
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  • What Happens at a DUI Arraignment?

    Being arrested for a DUI starts a series of processes. You will have to deal with consequences handed down from the California Department of Motor Vehicles as well as the criminal justice system . Your first appearance in the criminal justice court after being arrested for a DUI will be your DUI arraignment hearing . An arraignment is a preliminary hearing in a criminal case where your case will ...
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  • What is a Dismissal of Charges?

    Having a criminal record can affect you negatively and follow you around your whole life. Job prospects, public assistance, financial aid and housing opportunities all may be limited. The stigma alone of having a criminal record can limit opportunities of all kinds. Fortunately, there are ways you can clean up your criminal record , which may make it easier to get a job, financial assistance and ...
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  • Were You Pulled Over with Probable Cause?

    Federal law prevents any law enforcement officer from pulling you over while driving without having a good reason to. This good reason is called probable cause and it is necessary for a pull over to be valid. Probable cause is part of the Fourth Amendment, which allows citizens the right to freedom from "unreasonable searches and seizures" . The Fourth Amendment ensures you privacy and security ...
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  • What Does No Contest or Nolo Contendere Mean?

    When you think of criminal convictions, you may think someone can be either guilty or innocent. If you've been at a court hearing or have faced criminal charges yourself, you may be aware that there is a third plea you can enter for those who are not guilty but who cannot, or do not want to, prove their innocence. This is the no contest plea, also called nolo contendere . Nolo contendere is Latin ...
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  • How Long Will a DUI be on My Record?

    Different states hold criminal charges on your record for different periods of time. In California, a DUI will remain up for consideration on your criminal record for ten years. This is called the ten-year "look back" period. In the case of a DUI, all DUI convictions as well as wet reckless convictions will be considered prior offenses. Subsequent DUI or wet reckless offenses within that period ...
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  • Prostitution and Solicitation

    Prostitution is an established industry in California and in other areas across the nation. It is a particularly large industry in California specifically. California tops all other states for prostitution arrests. For this reason, prostitution and related activities are heavily prosecuted in California. Unfortunately, you do not need to even have committed an act of prostitution to be convicted ...
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  • When is a DUI a Felony?

    You may be familiar with the different kinds of charges you can face for violating a law. Criminal acts will either be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. Many crimes may be always charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony however some are more flexible. In California, many crimes can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. These crimes are called wobblers because they can fall on either ...
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  • Are all Marijuana Possession Charges the Same?

    Californians, for the most part, are very open minded about marijuana use. California marijuana laws have been undergoing changes. In recent years, simple possession of marijuana for personal use is no longer charged as a misdemeanor, as it was prior to 2011. If the quantity of marijuana is less than 28.5 grams, about one once, it is punishable by an infraction along with a potential fine of up to ...
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  • When is a DUI a Misdemeanor?

    A DUI is a common charge in California. Many people get DUIs and go on to live a relatively normal life afterwards. A DUI is a criminal charge and, like many crimes, can be handled a few different ways in the criminal court system. In California, DUIs can be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies. These kinds of criminal convictions, which can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, ...
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  • What is the Difference Between a Breathalyzer and Blood BAC Test?

    When pulled over for a DUI, the officer on the scene will want to measure your blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, in order to gather evidence sufficient to convict you of the crime. They may do so if they have reason to believe you have been driving while impaired, either by giving you a field sobriety test or noting signs that you are impaired, like red eyes or evidence of alcohol in your car. ...
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  • What is Grand Theft Auto?

    Car theft rates in California are some of the highest in the country . Certain counties within California have higher rates of car theft than others but, overall, California is a risky place for any car owner. Unfortunately, having a car in California is also necessary for many people; public transportation is limited in some areas and commuting to work is common in urban areas. It is no wonder ...
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  • What Should an Arresting Officer Tell You?

    Being arrested is not on most people's bucket-list. Being arrested is scary, threatening and frustrating. You might not be explained what is going on. You may feel like you were not given a specific reason why you were being detained and feel like you were unfairly detained without probable cause. Because being arrested usually occurs very infrequently in most people's lives, if at all, it is hard ...
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  • What is Home Detention?

    As part of many criminal convictions, you may be ordered to serve jail or prison time. You can get jail or prison time for anything from driving while impaired to homicide. Your sentence can be for anywhere from one day to life in a correctional facility. Many feel the jail and prison system in the US is out of control. While putting criminals into custody has been around since the beginning of ...
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  • How Reliable are Breathalyzers?

    If you are pulled over on suspicion of a DUI, the officer who pulls you over will ask you some questions, look for signs that you have been drinking and may give you a series of tests. To gather evidence you have been driving under the influence, you may be given a field sobriety test and/or given a breathalyzer test. Contrary to what some may think, you have the right to politely decline taking a ...
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  • What is the Difference Between Grand Theft and Petty Theft?

    Theft is one of the oldest criminal acts in the world. For as long as human history, we have been taking things from other people that don't belong to us. Needless to say, it is a common criminal charge in California, especially in high-density areas. Theft is also a very broad criminal category . It covers a wide range of acts, including grand theft auto, identify theft and fraud, just to name a ...
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  • Are There Alternatives to the Breathalyzer Test?

    California DUI laws are centered are blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, readings. Taking a Breathalyzer test is a quick and easy way to measure your BAC. When you are pulled over for a DUI, you may be asked to take a breathalyzer test. Breathalyzer tests estimate the alcohol concentration, also called alcohol content, in your blood by measuring how much alcohol is in your breath. You may feel ...
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  • Cultivation of Recreational Marijuana

    California has long been one of the most open-minded states in regards to marijuana. Legalizing the authorized use of medicinal marijuana has gone a long way to decriminalize possession of marijuana in small quantities. Possession of less than 28.5 grams for personal use now only results in an infraction with a fine of up to $100, while it used to be criminally prosecuted and came with jail time ...
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  • Driving Under the Influence of Prescription Drugs

    California DUI laws are applicable in both instances where the "influence" of driving under the influence was as a result of alcohol and when it is a result of illicit drug use. Illicit drugs include not just illegal recreationally used drugs, or street drugs, but also misused prescription drugs, even if it is your prescription. Any substance , alcohol or otherwise, that can impair someone's ...
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  • Marijuana Possession: Infraction or Misdemeanor?

    Marijuana possession is a common charge in California and other states where thriving medical industries increase the availability and ease of access for all users. Marijuana is quickly becoming decriminalized in several states, California included, however there are still many laws surrounding its use. Today, simple possession of marijuana has been reduced to the level of an infraction in ...
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  • Penalties for Not Maintaining a Contractor's License

    Contractors are held to high standards in California, higher than many other business operators. In California, construction represents a large industry that has a lot of influence on the state economy. California still has a lot of development potential, which can boost the economy if done right. The construction industry has a big part in this and can make or break economic success. Construction ...
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