2016

Blog Posts in 2016

  • Criminal Convictions and Military Eligibility

    Barriers to Service Serving in the armed forces requires strong moral character both as a prerequisite for enlistment and while in service. Consequently, the recruiting process for the armed forces involves assessing the applicant for enlistment standards that demonstrate moral fitness. Each specific defense unit maintains moral standards that must be met to accept a recruit. Screening for ...
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  • Can I Turn Around at a Sobriety Checkpoint?

    Avoiding Police Interactions DUI checkpoints are traffic stops where a police officer can stop cars without probable cause. California conducts 2,500 checkpoints annually . If you live in California, chances are good you’ve been inconvenienced in some way by a sobriety checkpoint. DUI checkpoints are not just a concern for those who drive under the influence. They slow traffic and are a hassle to ...
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  • How Long Do Criminal Trials Take?

    Criminal Cases: From Start to Finish The criminal prosecution process can be bewildering to someone who has never faced criminal charges. From the arrest to the trial and sentencing, the defendant has to wait and be patient. Facing criminal charges can make you feel like your life is on hold, and this makes the confusion and sluggish process all the worse. You have the right to a speedy trial , ...
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  • DUIs and Student Financial Aid Eligibility

    Do DUIs Affect Aid? Being convicted of a crime can affect you in many areas of your life. Long after you have served your sentence, you can face discrimination and disqualification from opportunities in your life down the road. One very important opportunity is student financial aid. Certain criminal convictions can affect a student’s financial aid eligibility . But not all types of aid will be ...
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  • Is Sealing Your Record the Same as Expungement?

    Sealing the Past Cleaning your criminal record can be fraught with exceptions, exclusions, and requirements that may make it seem like no matter what you do, someone somewhere will be able to view your conviction history. This is true in many cases; sometimes cleaning your record alters what is on your record but does not completely erase your criminal history. In a few select cases, however, ...
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  • How a Conviction Can Affect Your Federal Assistance

    The Consequences of Crime A criminal conviction can affect many areas of your life. It can rob you of your freedom, it can cost you money and time, it can take away some of your rights and privileges, it can affect your status in society and your relationships with people, and it can cause you to miss out on countless opportunities. Those opportunities will be missed long after you’ve served your ...
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  • DUI With Property Damage

    Causing Damage With a DUI Getting a DUI will result in the loss of your license, a large fine, jail time, DUI school, and potentially community service and an ignition interlock device. This is a lot to deal with for what is often just a simple mistake. As if the penalties for a DUI aren’t harsh enough, you could face an even harsher sentence if you make other mistakes while driving under the ...
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  • DUIs and Deportation

    Does a DUI Trigger Deportation? Many Californians are not full U.S. citizens. Those without full U.S. citizenship status can be deported if convicted of certain criminal offenses in California or elsewhere. Crimes that typically trigger deportation under the Immigration and Nationality Act include: Crimes of moral turpitude Controlled substance offenses/drug addiction Aggravated felonies Firearm ...
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  • How Can I Get a Charge Reduced?

    The Difference Between Misdemeanors and Felonies California has two main classes of criminal offenses: misdemeanors and felonies . Infractions are also technically criminal offenses, but, in practice, are handled like traffic tickets. It goes without saying; felony crimes are the most serious. They typically carry a death or prison sentence, while misdemeanor crimes are punishable by only up to ...
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  • The Science of DUI Defense

    On the Defensive Facing DUI charges can be daunting. But before you think all the odds are stacked against you, know that there are DUI defenses that have been used successfully. In fact, DUI defense almost comes down to a science. Because most DUI cases hinge on the results of the BAC test, you can use science to challenge the evidence against you. BAC Science BAC or blood alcohol concentration ...
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  • Defense of Others and Domestic Violence

    The Right to Defend Others Self-defense can be used as a valid legal defense to many violent crimes, such as assault or battery. We all have a right to self-defense when we need to protect ourselves. We also have the right to defend others from harm. In fact, under California law you can use the self-defense defense to a criminal charge if you were defending someone else. A few specific parameters ...
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  • Can I Lose My Professional License for a DUI?

    The Residual Effects of a DUI Most people know that your license will be suspended if you get a DUI conviction in California. What some people don’t realize, however, is that you could lose other licenses as well. A DUI is not just a criminal conviction; it’s a mark on your record as a credible, responsible person. Consequently, getting a DUI can affect your professional life. If you have to ...
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  • Crossing the Line: When Is an Argument Domestic Violence?

    When Have You Crossed the Line? Arguments are common in relationships. Unfortunately, sometimes arguments can escalate to the point of domestic violence if someone is harmed. Even when no one is harmed, a neighbor or concerned third-party may call the police if it sounds as if the nature of argument is violent. Since California law enforcement officers are under a strict duty to ensure domestic ...
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  • Can I Resolve My Case Before Trial?

    Reducing the Risk Criminal trials are high risk. No matter how good a case you think you have, there is still a chance a jury will convict you. Not surprisingly, many defendants try to resolve their cases before trial. Many are successful, but these defendants often have legal representation. If you are facing an upcoming trial for criminal charges , you should speak with a California criminal ...
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  • Destruction of Property and Domestic Violence

    Domestic violence is a complex crime that includes many different kinds of offenses. Though the typical example of domestic violence is a partner physically harming their partner, domestic violence comes in many other forms. Some people are surprised to learn that destruction of property can be considered domestic violence under certain circumstances. Destructive acts that aren’t directed toward ...
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