2017

Blog Posts in 2017

  • Maximum Jail Sentences for Misdemeanors

    What Is the Maximum Sentence? California recognizes three categories of criminal offenses : infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. Infractions are the least serious and aren’t considered true criminal convictions. Many infractions are simple traffic citations and are punishable by nothing more than a fine. Misdemeanors are more serious than infractions and considered criminal convictions. ...
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  • How a California Conviction Can Affect Your Medical License

    Conduct On and Off the Job Medical professionals in California are held to high standards. Not only do licensed medical professional need to be at their best on the job, but they also need to be mindful of their conduct off the job as well. Medical professionals have to abide by a code of ethics whether they are treating a patient or not. In our society, we often look to physicians and other ...
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  • Criminal Traffic Violations

    Infractions vs. Criminal Convictions Not all traffic tickets are created equal. Traffic citations (i.e. tickets) can vary in seriousness from simple “fix-it” tickets for non-moving violations to criminal traffic violations for offenses such as driving under the influence or reckless driving. And, as you might assume, the consequences for traffic citations can vary quite a bit as well. For some ...
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  • Reckless Driving and Your Commercial License

    Commercial drivers in California are held to higher standards than non-commercial drivers are, both on and off-duty. A commercial driver’s entire career can be on the line if he or she does not drive safely at all times. Unfortunately, they face an increased risk of committing traffic offenses due to the sheer amount of time these drivers put in behind the wheel and the challenges they face on the ...
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  • Witness Testimony and DMV Administrative Hearings

    Defending Yourself at the DMV If you are facing DUI charges, you will be involved in two separate proceedings: the criminal court process and the DMV administrative process. The DMV is only concerned with your driving privileges. As a DUI defendant, you have a right to request an administrative hearing from the DMV. At this hearing, you will have the chance to challenge the DMV’s decision to ...
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  • DMV Proceedings and Your Rights

    Your Legal Rights According to both the state and federal constitution, you have a right to due process of the law . That right applies to both criminal and civil court and administrative systems, such as the California Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV must provide a hearing before taking action against your driving privilege, just as you have a right to a hearing before you are convicted in ...
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  • Low-Income Housing and Criminal Backgrounds in California

    The Far-Reaching Consequences of a Criminal Conviction Among the many consequences of a criminal conviction in California, difficulty finding rental housing is perhaps one of the most disruptive. Your options for rental housing in California can be limited by your criminal background, and this is even truer when it comes to low-income (i.e. public) housing. If you are one of the hundreds of ...
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  • Is My Criminal Record Publically Available?

    Is Your Private Business Public? In the interest of public safety and transparency in the court system, many court records, including records of criminal convictions , are part of the public record . To make matter worse, private companies compile public records from courts all over the U.S. and sell the information online. Almost anyone can run a background check through one of these companies ...
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  • Common Reasons for California License Suspensions

    It Takes Less Than You Think to Lose your License in California Driving in California is a privilege, not a right. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) oversees the driving privileges of California residents and can issue, suspend or revoke licenses. The DMV can suspend your driving privileges for many reasons, not all of which are related to driving. If your driving privileges are ...
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  • New Testing for Drugs During DUI Stops

    Changing Times Call for A New Method Public opinion on the safety of marijuana has grown in recent years, which has prompted the legalization of recreational use . Though many agree marijuana is a relatively safe substance to use, law enforcement argues recreational use is not safe when driving. Accordingly, the legalization of marijuana is cause for concern for California law enforcement, which ...
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  • What Your Criminal Record Will Show After a Dismissal

    The Before and After of Record Cleaning Cleaning your criminal record can significantly improve your chances of getting a job, housing, or a loan. But doing so is an investment in your time and money, and there are no guarantees your petition will be granted. Many people want to know exactly how a dismissed conviction will appear on their record before and after the dismissal process. This is ...
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  • Interfering With Domestic Violence Reporting

    Obstructing the Aid Response We rely on law enforcement and EMTs to help us in our time of need. Access to emergency aid is a right, but sometimes this right is violated. In domestic violence cases, in particular, it is not uncommon for the alleged abuser to attempt to prevent the alleged victim from obtaining help. An alleged abuser might commit such an offense in the heat of an argument , but, ...
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  • How to Get a Stay of Your License Suspension

    Putting Your License Suspension on Hold If you’ve received notice that the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will suspend your driver license , you might be wondering what, if anything, you can do to keep your license. You might have a specified period of time before your suspension goes into effect. Take advantage of this time, and speak with an attorney. You might be able to save ...
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  • Gun Seizures: How Long Can Law Enforcement Hold Firearms?

    Reassuming Your Rights Gun violence is one of the most highly publicized crime categories in California and for a good reason. Public outcry tends to influence policy, and so there are some situations in which the government can temporarily assume control (i.e. seize) of firearms. Typically, the purpose of the seizure is to give the firearm owner time to “cool off” to mitigate the risk of violence ...
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  • Can I Get a Suspended Sentence for a Felony?

    Alternatives to Imprisonment Being convicted of a felony can change your life. A felony in California is punishable by up to three years in a county jail, up to life in prison, or the death penalty. That’s nothing to bat an eye at considering the many non-violent crimes that can be charged as felonies. Since misdemeanors are only punishable by up to a year in jail, felonies are far more serious by ...
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