Criminal Defense

Recent Posts in Criminal Defense Category

  • How Judges Determine Bail

    Setting Bail Bail is money paid to the court to secure a defendant’s appearance at future court proceedings. When the judge sets the bail amount, the defendant can pay it directly or with the help of a bail bond company. Once bail is paid—called posting bail —the defendant is released from custody and free to go. On the condition of the bond, the defendant must then appear in court or he or she ...
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  • Dram Shop Laws: Finding the Liability

    Whose Fault Is It? DUI cases are handled in criminal courts. But sometimes DUI cases involve claims in the civil court as well, specifically personal injury claims. If someone harmed someone else while driving impaired, he or she could potentially be held liable in a civil suit. This means he or she would have to compensate the person harmed for damages. DUI cases involving accidents and property ...
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  • Why Are Sobriety Checkpoints Legal?

    Sobriety Checkpoint Laws Many states have ruled that sobriety checkpoints are unconstitutional and illegal. The State of California, however, does allow law enforcement to conduct sobriety checkpoints. In fact, California operates thousands of checkpoints every year. But what makes them legal in California but not other states? And how does law enforcement get away with violating our ...
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  • Want to Defend Yourself? Read This First

    Looking for Representation While every criminal case is different, there are some universals. For example, it’s generally a bad idea to represent yourself in a criminal action. It’s easy enough for criminal defense attorneys to simply say it’s unwise to do. But explaining why it is a bad idea will help you make an informed decision about hiring an attorney. With that in mind, let’s take a look at ...
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  • Criminal Intent: What It Means and Why It Matters

    Why the Mind Matters We’ve all heard of criminal intent . But what does it mean, and why does it matter? In many cases, you must have intent to commit a crime to be found guilty of it. People who attempt to commit a crime can be charged with it even if they were not successful as long as they had intent. Likewise, someone who accidentally harmed someone is not guilty unless he or she intended to ...
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  • Gubernatorial Pardons in California: Past and Present

    A Look at Your Options Cleaning your record can help you move on with your life after a criminal conviction. In California, those with misdemeanor offenses can petition to have their conviction dismissed . But if you have a felony conviction and were sentenced to prison or otherwise put under the authority of the California Department of Corrections, you are ineligible for a dismissal. You could, ...
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  • The True Costs of a Domestic Violence Conviction

    It All Adds Up A domestic violence conviction will cost you. Not only will you face court-imposed penalties as part of your sentence or a condition of your probation, you will have to deal with the aftermath of a stigmatized conviction for many years to come. To better understand the true costs of a California domestic violence conviction, let’s first take a look at the financial consequences of ...
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  • Marijuana DUIs: Timelines and Tests

    How Many Tests Does it Take? It is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana in California. Those that do can face DUI charges and all the potential penalties of a California DUI . But marijuana DUI cases differ from alcohol DUI cases in some respects. The legal elements the prosecuting attorney must prove require a slightly different type of evidence and are held to a different legal ...
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  • Defining Relationships: Building a DV Defense

    Defining the Nature of the Relationship Under California law, certain crimes can be charged as domestic violence crimes if the victim had an intimate or familial relationship with the defendant. Because domestic violence convictions have serious consequences, it’s important to understand just what constitutes a domestic violence victim. Let’s first take a look at California domestic violence law. ...
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  • What Is Dissuading a Witness?

    Stopping Justice Crimes against public justice are taken very seriously. California criminal courts and law enforcement agencies rely on certain rights and liberties to serve their purpose effectively. One of these is obtaining testimony from witnesses of crimes. Witness testimony can play a significant role in a criminal prosecution. When taken lawfully, it can be used as evidence in criminal ...
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  • It Was an Accident: Unintended Injuries and DV Charges

    Injury Without Intent When it comes to domestic violence charges in California, the penalties the court will impose will increase if the alleged victim suffered an injury. In fact, a single injury sustained can turn misdemeanor domestic violence charges into felony domestic violence charges. Many domestic violence incidents end up in violence with one or both parties to the fight getting injured. ...
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  • What Is a Sentence Commutation?

    A Chance for Relief Being sentenced to prison for a crime is a life-changing event. While California is undergoing legal reform, many crimes still carry with them inappropriately long sentences. Whether a long sentence helps inmates reform their ways is debatable. Fortunately, there are some things inmates can do to ask for relief. Defendants sentenced to periods of incarceration in California can ...
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  • What Is a Driver’s License Checkpoint?

    An Arbitrary Stop Unlike some states, California permits law enforcement to conduct driver checkpoints on state highways. The checkpoints are used to identify drivers who are under the influence but can also be used to identify drivers who do not have valid licenses . You must have a valid driver’s license to drive on California roads, so, if you don’t, think twice before you go through any ...
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  • Field Sobriety Tests: Does Everyone Fail?

    A Standard Set of Tests California law enforcement uses standardized field sobriety tests during roadside DUI stops. The tests, which are little understood, do not garner much public support. Many claim they are invasive and are designed to fail. Many factors can influence their reliability, and it’s important to keep that in mind if you are facing DUI charges. Now, let us take a look at how these ...
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  • Will My Driving Record Affect My DUI DMV Case?

    A Bad Track Record California courts take DUI cases seriously. The court imposes mandatory minimum penalties and rarely exercises leniency when it comes to sentencing defendants. And if there are any aggravating factors, those penalties increase even more. One such factor that can influence the outcome of a DUI case is the defendant’s driving record. The extent to which a driving record will ...
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  • 5 Things You Should Never Do At a DMV Hearing

    Don’t Sabotage Your Chances You should be at your best at your DMV DUI hearing. A lot is at stake, and you only have a limited amount of time to prove your license should not be suspended. To give you a better chance of prevailing, here are five things you absolutely shouldn’t do at your DMV DUI hearing. Confuse Your Criminal Court Proceedings With Your DMV Proceedings This is a mistake defendants ...
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  • How to Subpoena for Evidence in Your DUI Case

    A subpoena is an order used to obtain evidence for a court case. You, as the defendant, have a right to present evidence to the court in your defense. You can use a subpoena to get this evidence. The prosecuting attorney also has the right to gather and submit evidence. If you take your DUI case to trial , you and the prosecutor will both collect and submit evidence through the process of ...
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  • Not Guilty of a DUI? Think Twice Before You Get Behind the Wheel

    Navigating Your DMV Case The California Department of Motor Vehicles suspends the license of anyone arrested for a DUI. The suspension is automatic under the Admin Per Se law. The suspension starts 30 days after the date of the arrest. This process is separate from the criminal court process. Even if you are found not guilty of a DUI by the criminal court, the DMV may still suspend your license. ...
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  • Labor and Employment-Based Jail Alternatives

    Finding a Way Out When people are facing criminal charges, one of their first thoughts is “will I go to jail?” Understandably, the answer to this question can have a huge impact on your life. Jail can affect your ability to work, take care of your family, and maintain your ties to your community. With so much at stake, it’s easy to fear a potential jail sentence. You need to speak with a criminal ...
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  • What Is Offensive Touching?

    When Touching Crosses the Line Battery is a common California criminal charge. One of the reasons it is so common is the statutory language covering battery law casts a wide net. The law is not written to cover just acts of violence such as punching someone and giving them a black eye. In fact, California battery law prohibits any type of harmful or offensive touching of another person. Offensive ...
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  • 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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