Blog Posts in October, 2016

  • How Employers See Your Criminal Record After an Expungement

    Cleaning your criminal record can change your life. It can prevent certain people and organizations from accessing information about your criminal past. This can reduce or eliminate any discrimination you might face when applying for jobs, for housing, public assistance, or loans. Unfortunately, a dismissal of a conviction won’t erase your record nor does it destroy it. Because of this, certain ...
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  • Cleaning Your Record After an Acquittal

    Not every defendant prosecuted under the California criminal justice system will be convicted. In fact, the number of those who are acquitted is significant. Though an acquittal means the prosecutor failed to prove the defendant was guilty, the defendant will still walk away with a criminal record from the case regardless. This is unfortunate because people are wrongfully charged with crimes every ...
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  • Ignition Interlock Devices and Drug DUIs

    Many Californians are ordered to install an ignition interlock device in their car when they are convicted of a DUI. Ignition interlock devices, or IIDs, require the driver to blow a clean breath sample into a device that is connected to the ignition. The car will not start if the breath sample has any detectable amount of alcohol in it. But you can get a DUI even if you weren’t drinking alcohol. ...
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  • Self-Defense vs. True Assault

    All of us carry within us the natural right to defend ourselves against harm. That right transcends whatever rights we enjoy as citizens. Because this right is so vital, it is important to understand the difference between protecting yourself from harm and attempting to harm someone else. Though the right to self-defense is inherent, the line between self-defense and assault is very thin in some ...
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  • Out of State DUIs: Can My License Be Confiscated?

    Drivers in any state face a BAC threshold of .08% for DUIs . This means no matter what state you are driving in, you can get a DUI if your BAC is .08% or above. Each state, however, punishes DUI offenders according to its own laws. California has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country. Unfortunately, they are far-reaching as well. If you get a DUI in California, regardless of your home ...
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  • What Is Factual Innocence?

    People are wrongfully arrested and charged with crimes they didn’t commit in California every day. Law enforcement does its best, but sometimes being in the wrong place at the wrong time can result in a false criminal accusation. Those who are truly innocent may be released before charges are even filed. Still others who are officially charged with a crime later have their cases dismissed because ...
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  • Speeding and DUI Penalties

    Many people are surprised to learn you can get a DUI even if you were following all traffic laws, but those that do violate traffic laws may face harsher DUI sentencing. For example, you may receive an increased sentence if you were speeding while you were driving under the influence. Speeding while driving under the influence can result in what is called a sentencing enhancement. This means the ...
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  • How Long Does the District Attorney Have to File Charges?

    The Waiting Game The criminal justice system in California is organized into different stages. The first stage starts with an arrest followed by the police submitting a report to the office of the district attorney. Once the district attorney’s office is in receipt of a report or complaint, he or she can either choose to file charges or to not. The DA has a lot of discretion when deciding to file ...
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  • Court Monitoring of Ignition Interlock Devices

    Under Close Watch Ignition interlock devices are a unique aspect of DUI sentencing in California. Mandatory with first-time convictions in four counties (Alameda, Los Angeles, Tulare, and Sacramento), these devices must be installed in your car at a cost to you. Once installed, they require a clean (i.e. alcohol-free) breath sample before the car can be started. If there is a registrable amount of ...
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