Criminal Defense

Recent Posts in Criminal Defense Category

  • An Officer’s Word: Can I Subpoena the Arresting Officer?

    Getting the Information You Need When facing criminal charges, you should obtain all relevant information about your case, including documents and other pieces of evidence and testimony. Having as much information as you can help you build a strategic defense. Without knowing what you are up against—and what advantages you have—it’s hard to properly prepare to fight your charges. In some cases, ...
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  • Domestic Violence by Default: When Your Child’s Parent Is Involved

    Who Is the Victim? People typically think of domestic violence as a crime between two intimate partners such as spouses, girlfriends, or boyfriends. In reality, California domestic violence laws are more comprehensive. Under California law, an act of violence or abuse can be considered domestic violence if it is perpetrated against any of the following: A current or former spouse A current or ...
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  • Have a Class C License? What to Do After a DUI Arrest

    Commercial Risks Class C commercial drivers’ licenses permit you to drive a wide range of heavy load, two and three axle vehicles as well as those carrying hazardous materials. Vital to our economy, these drivers help support many industries such as logistics, construction, and energy. If you have a class C commercial license, your very career depends on your ability to keep your license valid. If ...
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  • Sobriety Checkpoints and Marijuana Use: A New Situation

    New Technologies for New Law Enforcement Problems California is one of the many states that use sobriety checkpoints to crack down on DUIs. Typically, motorists who are stopped are asked a few questions and may be asked to submit to a field sobriety test or a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test. These tests can easily catch drunk drivers, but what about drugged drivers? With the recent ...
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  • Internal Injuries and Corporal Injury Charges

    Investigating Injuries Corporal injury to a spouse is one of the more serious California domestic violence charges. It differs from domestic battery in that the alleged victim must have suffered a traumatic condition for the defendant to be guilty. Loosely defined, a traumatic condition is an injury. Legally defined, a traumatic condition is: “A condition of the body, such as a wound, or internal ...
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  • A Look at the Use of Warrants During DUI Stops

    Your Rights and Protections Both State and Federal Constitutions protect you from unreasonable search and seizure . Legally defined, unreasonable search and seizure is a search without a warrant or probable cause. But in California DUI stops, it is not uncommon for this right to be violated or sidestepped. Many people wonder whether an officer needs a warrant issued by a judge to search a car ...
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  • Serious Juvenile Offenses and Record Sealing

    Moving on From Your Early Mistakes Making a mistake in your youth shouldn’t reflect on your character as an adult. But a juvenile record can follow you into adulthood. Courts, law enforcement, employers, landlords, and other agencies may have access to your juvenile records. While some records of juvenile offenses are automatically sealed, many others are not. And, contrary to popular belief, all ...
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  • Aggravated Domestic Battery: The Important Elements

    Complicating Factors Domestic battery is one of California’s domestic violence offenses. Battery is a misdemeanor charge . Although misdemeanors are less serious than felonies , there are certain things that can increase the seriousness of a battery charge. In light of such aggravating circumstances, the offense can be charged as aggravated battery. But aggravated battery is not a domestic ...
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  • Challenging Your Accuser’s Exaggerated Claims

    When Things Get Out of Hand In domestic violence cases, the prosecution process often begins with the alleged victim calling law enforcement. The word of the victim will be taken seriously, and, in most cases, the alleged abuser will be arrested. False accusations are not uncommon in California domestic violence cases. Unfortunately, those that do make false accusations are often emotionally ...
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  • Wobbler Domestic Violence Cases: The Factors Considered

    Two Possibilities Certain domestic violence offenses are considered wobbler crimes. In California, wobbler crimes are those that can be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies. In wobbler crime cases, the prosecuting attorney can decide to file charges as a misdemeanor or a felony. How the prosecutor decides to charge an offense is determined on a case-by-case basis, so it’s important to learn ...
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  • Do I Need an Attorney for a Traffic Ticket?

    An Attorney for a Ticket? Traffic tickets in California can come with steep fines and penalty assessments. When coupled with long-term effects on your insurance rates, a simple traffic ticket can be a very costly mistake you’ll pay for over years. Needless to say, getting a ticket is stressful, and you might want to learn about your rights. One of your most important rights regarding traffic ...
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  • Should I Always Accept a Plea Bargain?

    An Agreement Between the Defendant and the Prosecution A plea bargain is an agreement between the defendant and the prosecution where the defendant agrees to plead guilty to certain charges in exchange for dropping or reducing certain charges or a lesser sentence. Plea bargains can be favorable to both the defendant and the court because the court avoids the resources involved in a trial and the ...
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  • Can I Appeal a Trial Verdict?

    When Courts Get It Wrong Sometimes courts make mistakes. When those mistakes happen, wrongfully convicted criminal defendants might have a right to appeal a trial verdict. As long as the defendant has grounds, he or she may file an appeal. The ground is the legally justified for the appeal. If you believe your trial verdict was a mistake, you might be able to appeal it. But a trial verdict appeal ...
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  • The Trick to Postponing Your License Suspension After a DUI Arrest

    Get a Stay to Stay on the Road Once you’re arrested for a DUI, the countdown to your license suspension begins. The arresting officer will give you a notice of your suspension, which states your suspension will go into effect in 30 days. Inaction is the quickest route to losing your license. If you do nothing, the DMV will automatically suspend your license in 30 days, leaving you with no options. ...
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  • Do I Have to Be Present at My DMV Hearing?

    Appearing at Your Hearing If you are facing proceedings with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, you probably want to know what to expect. Many people have never been to an administrative hearing of any kind. Without knowing what to expect, it’s hard to prepare, which can hurt your chance of winning your case. The first thing to understand is that DMV proceedings differ from criminal ...
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  • Have Priors? Here’s What That Means for Your Current Charges

    When the Deck is Stacked Against You When you are being prosecuted for a crime, many factors can influence your case. The facts and circumstances of your offense can influence how the prosecuting attorney files the charge. And many additional factors can influence how the judge sentences you. Among the most important of these numerous factors that can affect a criminal case is the defendant’s ...
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  • What Type of Attorney Can Help With a Traffic Ticket?

    Specialists vs. Generalists Licensed attorneys can provide legal advice on a wide range of legal topics. They are trained to interpret and apply the law. Although laws vary from issue to issue, attorneys have the general skills needed to practice law. At the same time, people who seek the help of an attorney typically want someone who is good at what they do. They don’t want to hire a criminal ...
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  • How Many Driving Points Will I Get for a DUI?

    The Points Add Up Among the many consequences of a DUI conviction, you will become involved with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, which oversees your driving privileges. The DMV will handle your Administrative Per Se license suspension, which is an automatic license suspension that takes effect 30 days after a DUI arrest . This suspension is separate from the suspension the court will ...
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  • Domestic Violence Convictions and Your Career

    The Effect of a Criminal Conviction on Your Career A domestic violence conviction isn’t like any other criminal conviction. Domestic violence carries a stigma with it that is hard to shake. Even more so than assault, domestic violence offenses are seen as particularly immoral given the nature of the relationship between the defendant and the victim. Men and women face the same stigma, no matter ...
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  • Defenses to an Evading an Officer Charge

    Willful Evasion When it comes to law enforcement, police officers have immense power and authority. Because of their unique status in society, crimes that obstruct their duties or harm them in some way are punished severely. Evading an officer is one such criminal offense that isn’t taken lightly. It’s also one that can involve misunderstandings or lack of intent, which is why it’s so important to ...
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  • Record Cleaning: When Knowledge Is Power

    Record cleaning is a growing service industry. The number of Americans with criminal records is rising. Some studies claim up to 1/3 of all working-age adults has a criminal record. Given this figure, it seems unfair for an employer to make a hiring decision based off of a criminal record. But the vast majority of employers use criminal background checks to screen employees and applicants and, as ...
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  • The Burden of Proof in DMV Hearings

    DMV administrative hearings are much like criminal court hearings . They take place before a hearing officer—rather than a judge—and involve the presentation of evidence and argument to establish facts . Those facts, when coupled with a review of the law, often result in a decision being made as to what will happen to the defendant. But establishing fact from fiction isn’t a science. One way to ...
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  • Who Oversees a DMV Hearing?

    Legal Proceedings DMV hearings are administrative proceedings separate from the criminal court. Generally speaking, a hearing is a brief proceeding used to establish certain facts or issues relevant to the case. Typically, a hearing involves both the presentation of evidence and arguments. On these points, DMV hearings are similar to court hearings. But DMV hearings are heard before an ...
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  • How Do I Find Out if My License Is Suspended?

    Driving on a suspended license is a serious offense in California that can result in fines and even jail time. But believe it or not, many people are caught driving on a suspended license and argue they didn’t know about the suspension. To make sure you aren’t caught unaware, you should learn about how license suspensions are handled in California and how to figure out if your license is ...
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  • What Are 40509.5 Holds?

    The Initial Hold Counties across California can issue steep fines for even minor traffic violations. And when you can’t pay those fines—or go to court to contest them—you put your license at risk. 40509.5 is the legal code section that permits the traffic court to tell the DMV to put a hold on your license for failure to pay a fine or appear in traffic court. These holds are common, and many ...
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