Some of our clients are particularly sensitive about the probation condition that subjects them and their property to warrantless searches. They do not like police inspecting their vehicles for seemingly no reason or knocking on their front door and being able to walk in unannounced to look around. Their privacy is extremely important, some might skeptically comment because they plan on continuing illegal activity. Perhaps it is the only way they know to survive. Are search probation conditions legal? Click on the following link to read more about his sensitive issue.
The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution contains a prohibition against punishment that is cruel and unusual. Most people would agree that a death sentence for a parking ticket would violate this provision, but would thirty years for a juvenile who commits two forcible sex crimes against an eight year old boy and a nine year old boy with a Star Wars toy sabre? The conduct shocks the conscience, but is a thirty years sentence for a sixteen year old cruel and unsual punishment and thus illegal? To read how an appellate court decided the issue, click on the following link.
The Megan’s Law website shows the names, addresses and sometimes even more about convicted sex offenders. Granted, there are certain sexually violent predators (SVP’s), but they are not allowed to leave state control until they are deemed safe. However, if one is not a sexually violent predator, does the public need to know where one lives and one’s name? Our office says no, simply because in our experience in dealing with countless registered sex offenders over the years, the public is safe by virtue of the rigorous reporting requirements a registered sex offender must meet. For more information about Megan’s Law, click on the following link.
There is always a great deal of confusion over how a juvenile adjudication affects one as an adult. It is not a conviction, after all – it is an adjudication. The records are supposed to be confidential, too. Most minor juvenile adjudications can be sealed and destroyed as well. However, when one suffers a strike offense as a juvenile, its shadow extends into one’s life as a adult, including having an affect on AB109 eligiblity to serve time in county jail for certain felonies. To read more about this issue, click on the following link.
Occasionally, a client of ours will report that he or she was arrested for events that took place over two or more counties. This could be a theft offense, a sex offense, even a DUI or domestic violence. Which county will prosecute? Where the crime first took place? Where it last took place? To read answers to these questions, click on the following link.
Our office receives at least one phone call per week about having a record sealed or destroyed, usually due to employment concerns. If the case involves a juvenile offense, this is rather easy to do in most cases. If the case involves an adult matter, it is far more difficult and it is even barred if more than two years has passed since the arrest. For more information about a Petition for Factual Innocence and the difficulty of having one granted, click on the following link.
One of the confounding things in the law is how counterintuitive certain rulings can be. The following case summary is such an example. Police made a traffic stop for expired license plate tags. The officer, over the driver’s objection, then had his trained sniff dog walk around the car. The dog was trained to detect marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and ecstasy. It sat down as trained at the car’s door and the officer searched the car, finding ingredients to produce meth, but they were not yet chemically combined. Would the search be ruled improper and then evidence thrown out? Click on the following link to find out.
When a new client comes to us, it is very common for there to be focused discussion on what the ticket or citation says are the charges, or what the charges stated on the booking sheet were. Our response is always to say that more, or even less charges, can be brought, depending upon what the district attorney decides after reading the police report and thinking about the legal issues. Our clients are often disappointed in this, but this is the reality. For more information about this situation, click on the following link.
The answer to this question is no, simply put. However, the call is not monitored as it takes place unless there is a good reason to suspect that the conversation may affect the safety of others (i.e. trial witnesses). Instead, its privacy is safeguarded until there are grounds for the prosecution to play it back for evidence of another crime taking place. To read more about this issue, click on the following link.
Terrorist threats, also known in the California Penal Code as criminal threats, is a serious offense. However, the offense can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. Regardless of how it is charged, the punishment can cause the conviction to be seen as an aggravated felony for removal purposes. To read more about this offense and considerations a defendant (and defense counsel) should make, click on the following link.