Criminal Defense

Recent Posts in Criminal Defense Category

  • 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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  • The Benefits of Probation Termination or Modification

    Lifting Restrictions Probation is a common penalty for criminal convictions. Many crimes can result in one to three years of probation, during which time the defendant is subject to certain restrictions and requirements. Violating the terms of your probation can result in a longer probation period or event jail time, which is easy to do given the terms of many probation sentences. This puts ...
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  • Understanding Your Right to Due Process

    An Important Right Your right to due process is protected under the U.S. Constitution. This is an important right to understand because it protects you on all levels of government, including the state government in California. This right ensures that without fair judicial proceedings, you cannot be convicted of a crime. The government, both at the state and federal levels, receives a lot of ...
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  • Stay Informed: Summer Sobriety Checkpoints

    Summertime Sobriety Checkpoints Sobriety checkpoints are ubiquitous in summer months across the State of California. Summer, with its holidays, festivals, and other events and activities, can result in more drunk drivers on the road. California operates around 2,500 sobriety checkpoints across the state year round, more than almost any other state. What this means for California drivers are more ...
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  • Know the Facts: Cleaning Your Record and Your Rights

    When You Are at a Disadvantage Being convicted of a crime is a life-altering event. Not only will you be punished by the criminal court, but you will also carry that conviction with you the rest of your life in the form of a criminal background. And, unfortunately, many people can access that information and potentially use it against you. When you have a criminal background, looking for a job can ...
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  • DUI Accidents: The Consequences of a Conviction

    A DUI With Complications Many factors can affect a DUI case in California. One of the more significant ones is whether you caused an accident, injured someone, or damaged property while driving under the influence. If you caused a minor accident and no one was injured, you will probably only face a DUI charge, but don’t expect to get a minimum sentence. When you cause an accident and injure ...
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  • Criminal Convictions and Your Rights as an Employee

    Know Your Rights Californians possess many rights when it comes to when and how a criminal conviction can be held against them for employment purposes. At this point, most non-governmental employers cannot inquire about a conviction that has been expunged or an arrest that did not end in a conviction, nor could they use such a discovery in their hiring decision. For current employees, however, the ...
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  • How to Fight Your Negligent Operator Status

    When Your Status Changes The California Department of Motor Vehicle’s Negligent Operator Treatment System keeps tabs on all Californian drivers. Acting as a centralized database of driving records, the system assigns points for driving code violations and accidents and takes action when a driver incurs too many points in a specified period. If you incur four driving points within 12 months, six ...
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  • Can I Expunge a Felony From My Record?

    Removing Evidence of Serious Offenses California recognizes two main types of criminal offenses: misdemeanors and felonies. Between the two, felonies are more serious, and misdemeanors are less serious. Not surprisingly, a felony conviction can hold you back in many ways and haunt you for the rest of your life. Because felonies are serious convictions and often come with a prison sentence, they ...
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  • What Factors Determining Sentence for Theft?

    Theft is a prevalent crime in California. How a defendant is sentenced for a theft conviction depends on many factors. There are two main theft crimes in California: grand theft and petty theft. Each is sentenced differently. Petty theft is typically charged as a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors are typically punishable by up to one year in a county jail, probation, and potentially a fine of up to $1,000 ...
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  • Defenses to Driving on a Suspended License Charge

    Driving Without the Right The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can suspend or revoke your license for many reasons , some of which are unrelated to driving. Many people need a car to get around California where public transportation is lacking, and this creates a problem. If you need a car to work and take care of your family, but your license is suspended, what are your options? If ...
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  • What Does “Accessory After the Fact” Mean?

    In California, you can be charged with a crime if you help—in any way—a felon avoid getting in trouble. Helping someone who has committed a felony avoid the authorities or prosecution is referred to as being an accessory after the fact. The legal definition of “ accessory after the fact ” is harboring, concealing, or aiding a person whom you know has committed a felony with the specific intent to ...
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  • Offensive Touching and Domestic Violence Charges

    The Domestic Violence Threshold Domestic violence is one of the lesser-understood types of California criminal charges, in part because so many different actions can be considered domestic violence and there doesn’t necessarily need to be hard proof of violence. A prosecuting attorney can file domestic violence charges off of very little evidence, even in cases where the victim was never harmed. ...
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  • Dealing With DUI Proceedings as a Freight Trucker

    When Your Career Is on the Line The future of freight is changing as the push to get self-driving trucks on the road continues. Eventually, freight truckers might face job insecurity because of this new technology, but until we reach that point, truckers are a vital part of our economy. Freight truckers supply the State of California and the country with valuable goods and products. Perhaps ...
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  • Lenient DV Sentences: What Public Outcry Means for Defendants

    How Public Opinion Can Affect Criminal Court Proceedings In recent years, there has been growing public outcry over California courts handing down lenient sentences for domestic violence crimes. From the protests that stemmed from the March 2016 sentencing of Brock Turner, the Stanford student who was thought to have “gotten off easy” for sexual assault to the recent proposed sentencing of a ...
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  • 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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