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What Is a Preliminary Hearing?

In every felony case, there is a question of whether defendant will proceed with a preliminary hearing.  This hearing normally takes place after two or three court appearances.  What is a preliminary hearing?  Why does a judge hold one?  What beneft can it have for defendant?  What disadvantages are there to proceeding with such a hearing?  Click on the following article to read answers to these questions -

Judge May Prohibit Medical Marijuana Use As Term of Probation.

It comes as a shock to many of our clients that a judge can require someone on probation to turn in their “medical marijuana” card or recommendation.  If the marijuana is for treating a medical condition, is this legal?  After all, isn’t the judge going to cause the person pain and suffering?  Is this sadism?  It this legal?  Click on the article link that follows here to read a summary of a case that answered these questions –

Did the Prosecution Violate Your Sixth Amendment Right to a Speedy Trial?

In our experience, more and more we see cases lagging along or not being filed against someone until months or even years have passed. There can be many factors causing this, but the more important issue for our client is whether the delay has created a possibility of having the dismissed due to prosecutorial delay.  In misdemeanor cases, the chances are stronger than in a felony case, in general.  For more information on this issue, click on the following link to read an article about this isse -

Police Use of GPS on Drug Dealer’s Car Without a Warrant Held Improper; Evidence From it Thrown Out.

What exactly is a search?  If an officer watches someone walking down a public street, is that a search?  If the officer takes a photograph of someone in public, is that a seizure of evidence of the person’s whereabouts?  What if the police place a GPS tracking device on a suspected drug dealer’s car, without his knowledge, and monitor his travels on public roads?  Is that a lawful search and seizure?  Click on the following link to find out answers to these questions –

Drug Diversion Programs – Prop 36 Versus PC 1000.

Who is eligible for a drug diversion program?  Granted, most folks who are arrested for possession of drugs, if they are for their own use, need treatment more than jail.  However, not everyone qualifies.  Moreover, what is the difference between Prop 36 and PC 1000?  Click on the short article that follows to read answers to these questions -

Plea Bargaining by the Judge is Illegal – It is not an Indicated Sentence.

It is not uncommon for judges to want to resolve cases.  It clears up their calendar and prevents expensive trials that really are a waste of everyone’s time, especially those of jurors.  Therefore, sometimes a judge will try to help the case along.  Click on the link that follows to read an article about a case wherein the judge went too far –


Conviction Reversed for District Attorney Withholding Evidence.

The Due Process claim of our Constitution has been interpreted to mean an accused is entitled to all documents that the prosecution has concerning the case, except for certain very narrow exceptions.  The job of a district attorney, moreover, is not to gain convictions.  It is to see that there is a proper resolution of the case according to law. Sometimes, however, prosecutors lose sight of this duty and withhold documents to gain a conviction.  Click on the attached article to read about a district attorney who did just this -


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