September

Blog Posts in September, 2016

  • Self-Defense in Domestic Violence Cases

    In Defense of Self-Defense We all have the right to defend ourselves against violence. No one would question you if you fought against an assailant in the streets. No one would hold you accountable for fighting with a burglar who attacked you in your own home. There is one scenario where the lines seem to blur between justified and uncalled for violence: domestic violence. When violence is ...
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  • Can I Get a Felony Reduced?

    A Lesser Offense Most crimes in California are charged as either misdemeanors or felonies . Between the two, misdemeanors are the less serious of crimes. Misdemeanors are punishable by up to 364 days in a county jail. Felonies are the most serious crimes and are punishable by a prison or death sentence. Felonies can also take away your voting rights , your gun rights , your right to serve on a ...
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  • Criminal Convictions and Your Voting Rights

    Protecting Your Rights It is hard to ignore the widespread media coverage of the presidential election. Likewise, you probably can’t get very far in California without seeing state election propaganda. The right to vote is an important one, and our democracy depends on our citizens being able to exercise that right. We all deserve the right to vote, but many of us have that right taken away. For ...
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  • Resentencing Under Prop 47

    A Second Chance It is no secret California’s prisons have struggled with overcrowding. Reform has helped reduce overcrowding , but the prison system is still over capacity. One of the contributing forces behind the reduction in the prison population comes from proposition 47 , recently passed in 2014. Proposition 47, also called prop 47, effectively reclassifies certain non-violent, non-serious ...
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  • What to Know About Being Pulled Over

    A Serious Stop Interacting with a police officer can be nerve-wracking even if it is only for a traffic stop. Being pulled over seems easy enough to handle, but police officers can be intimidating even when you haven’t done anything wrong. Unfortunately, looking nerve-wracked and intimidated doesn’t always go over well, and not all police encounters are conducted fairly. Under the right, or wrong, ...
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  • Diminished Capacity and Domestic Violence

    Special Circumstances for Criminal Behavior During the criminal prosecution process, the district attorney typically has to prove certain elements in the case in order to convict the defendant. In some crimes, the district attorney must prove the defendant had criminal intent to reach a conviction. Criminal intent means the person had the intent to commit the crime and they were culpable for it. ...
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  • What Does a Drug Recognition Expert Do?

    Recognizing Influence Some people don’t realize that California’s DUI laws apply to driving under the influence of both drugs and/or alcohol . In fact, it is illegal to drive under the influence of any controlled substance. A DUI for driving under the influence of drugs is also called a drug DUI or drugged driving. Although the act of driving under the influence and the charge of DUI are the same, ...
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  • DUI Penalties: Do They Vary Based on the Substance?

    Pick Your Poison California DUI laws are broadly reaching. They penalize driving under the influence of any controlled substance . The substance can be alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription drugs, and even over the counter drugs in some cases. In general, all first-time DUI offenders face the same standard California DUI penalties : Up to 6 months in a county jail Summary probation for at least 3 ...
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  • Building a Defense to a Reckless Driving Charge

    The Risks of Driving in California Californians spend a lot of time on the road. Many commute to work or school, and all this time on the road poses a problem. Because California has such strict driving laws, you are at a higher risk of breaking those laws when on the road. There are many California driving crimes, but one of the most common is reckless driving. Reckless driving is a serious ...
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  • Can a DUI Blood Draw Be Forced?

    Implied Consent California’s implied consent law states drivers on California’s roads have given consent to submit to a blood alcohol concentration test, also called a chemical test, if they are arrested for a DUI . You have already given your consent by driving on California’s roads the same way you consent to driving according to traffic laws. Many people are unaware of this law and resist when ...
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  • Restraining Orders: Do They Lead to Criminal Charges?

    A Variety of Protections From the Court Restraining orders are frequently misunderstood legal orders. When people hear the term restraining order, they might think of a no-contact order, meaning the order restrains someone from contacting or coming near another person. These are typically issued in cases of domestic violence or harassment to protect the person being abused, stalked, or harassed. ...
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