The City of Irvine has a municipal code section, 4-14-803, that used to bar registered sex offenders from entering a city park without prior city permission if the victim of the offense was a minor. In 2012, a man entered the park without prior permission and was thereafter prosecuted for a misdemeanor. He argued that the local ordinance was unconstitutional because the state scheme for regulating city employees was so comprehensive as to intend to regulate the issue completely. How did this argument fair? Click on the following link to find out.
Our clients often present facts that we think could make new law by stretching common concepts to a new limit. The following case summary of a reported decision was one of these cases, inviting a judge to allow religious custom as an exception to dissuading a witness. Did the judge allow such a new twist on the law? Click on the following link to find out.
In drug cases, DUI cases and sex cases (or any other case where DNA evidence is at issue), the prosecution may attempt to introduce a laboratory report to show the identity of the suspect or the level of alcohol or type of substance. When is such a report considered testimonial and when is it just an observation? If testimonial, does defendant always have a right to cross-examine the laboratory worker? Click on the following link to find out.
Many sex offenders resist registering as ordered by a judge. It is embarrassing and involves going to local police or sheriff’s station. Many sex offenders complaint that the police then hold the person for several hours while they “process” the registration. Many sex offenders are skeptical of this claim and hate so vulnerable. However, there are serious consequences for disregarding this obligation to register. Click on the following link to read more about this.
The following case summary spotlights the competing government interest in solving a crime and ensuring safety of inmaters in jail. The jailer asked a suspect if he had any contraband on him and the suspect answers, but in doing so admits gang membership. A further set of questions by another jailer, purportedly for inmate safety, reveals the identity of the gang. Is this a Miranda violation if later used for a sentence enhancement? Click on the following link to read answers.
While ambition should be embraced and encouraged, there are limits. In the following case, a cab driver who called himself “Moneyworld123” seemed to be the embodiment of the American Dream. However, he went too far. He sold copies of Adobe’s software without Adobe’s permission and without paying them a royalty. Why was this copyright infringement and what was his defense? Click on the following link to read more about this entrepreneur who went too far.
Many drug and theft cases begin with a seemingly ordinary traffic stop, as well as of course DUI cases. However, such a traffic stop must be examined closely, as it often is based on nothing more than a hunch, which is not enough to legally stop a vehicle. Read more about this fundamental concept that far too many of our clients gloss over.
In many embezzlement and theft cases, the prosecutor often remarks sarcastically in setting restitution that “well, your client just got an interest free loan” because the amount that must be paid in restitution is only the amount taken. No interest is charged and payments often are made over a year. In the following financial elder abuse case, the restitution award included interest, as the sum owed was over $130,000. Is this legal? Click on the following link to find out.
The more one learns about the laws addressing sex offenders, the more one realizes that the words regulation, monitoring and punishment seem to be used interchangeably. Indeed, what one may consider punishment is characterized as a regulatory act by courts and lawmakers. This seems especially true when the sex offender committed a particularly heinous act. However, in the following case, one California sex offender law was ruled unconstitutional. To read about this, click on the following link.
It is almost always a shock to our clients in a misdemeanor case for domestic violence that the conviction, although not a felony, has the lifetime consequence of barring our client from ever owning a firearm. We have received dozens of phone calls from folks who were represented by the public defender when they entered such a misdemeanor plea and now, realizing the consequences of the plea, wish to undo it somehow. To read more about this issue, click on the following link to read a short article on the topic.