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I Went to Court. No Case Was Filed Against Me. Celebrate?

It is not uncommon for our office or a client to go to court and be told, “nothing was filed yet.”  What does this mean?  Does it mean the case may be filed later?  Does it mean it is less likely now that the case will be filed?  How long does the prosecutor have to file the case anyways?  Is there a normal time by which they file a case or decide to drop it?  Click on the following link to read answers to these common questions.

May the Police Point Their Guns at You Based Upon an Anonymous Tip?

It can be quite uncomfortable to have the police point their guns at you, especially if you have been erroneously identified as a suspect in a crime.  The police may yell orders at you to lay face down on the ground while you try to explain you did nothing or they have the wrong person.  Is there a civil rights violation in all of this?  Worse yet, what if the police contact is based on an anonymous tip, i.e. a vengeful ex-wife or a spiteful ex girlfriend?  Read answers to these questions by clicking on the following link.

Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity? What Is Required?

If someone is obsessive-compulsive, or takes Ritalin, or smokes a lot of marijuana, can not guilty by reason of insanity be a defense?  What if the person was intoxicated by alcohol or drugs when the offense was committed?  Is that not guilty by reason of insanity?  What is required to assert such a defense?  To read about this often considered defense, click on the following link .

Certificate of Rehabilitation in California for Michigan Sex Crime?

Can someone seek a certificate of rehabilitation under California law for a sex crime that was adjudicated outside California?  The question would certainly seem to encourage all sex offenders in the county to flock to California if the standard here was lower than in the other states.  Such a ruling also could undercut the authority of the other states.  However, in Riverside County, the judge granted a Michigan sex offender’s certificate of rehabilitation and the DA appealed.  How did the appellate court rule?  Click on the following link to find out.

Murder Conviction Overturned When DA Hides Sniff Dog Problem

As defense attorneys, we occasionally see a prosecutor playing dirty.  Luckily, this is not very often, but each time it is noticed, we wonder how many times the prosecutor did so and it went unnoticed.  In the following case, the prosecutor did not reveal problems with a particular sniff dog.  The defense attorney coincidentally found out about this and the murder conviction of his client was overturned.  To read more about this case, please click on the following link.

Voluntary Manslaughter and Heat of Passion Circumstances

The heat of passion defense to murder is often claimed, as it is fairly rare that someone murders another person without some reason.  If one cannot claim this defense successfully, the jury can even consider such an attempt adversely.  In the following case summary, this defense was alleged over a murder ironically at a birthday party.  How did the appellate court rule?  Click on the following link to find out.

Insurance Broker’s Financial Elder Abuse Conviction Reversed

Financial elder abuse is often alleged as simply a way of complaining about an inheritance that is less than expected (or that has already been spent).  Nevertheless, it also does take place.  In the following summary of a reported appellate court decision, the insurance broker successfully defended himself.  What were the facts that were relevant?  What is the law on this issue?  Click on the following link to find out.

Is Evading a Police Officer a Violent Felony under Federal Law?

As the reader of this blog may know, under Federal sentencing, there are sentencing enhancements that are quite different (and heavier) than in state court.  The Armed Career Criminal Act epitomizes this tough approach.  Under it, certain violent felonies are reserved for very harsh punishment.  Is evading a police officer a “violent felony” under this federal law?  To find out, as it may surprise you, click on the following link.

Cyber Gang – Banging, a Murder, the SCA and Facebook Posts

There are significant privacy issues with social media postings that companies like Facebook seek to protect for their users at all costs.  The following gang-related murder case, however, relied heaving upon Facebook postings to show motive and, allegedly, even identity of the shooter.  However, Facebook refused to produce documentation and the State sought a court order compelling Facebook to produce the materials.  How did the judge rule?  Click on the following link to find out.

New Traffic Ticket Amnesty Program (Vehicle Code § 42008.8)

Lawmakers in Sacramento understand that some people have multiple unpaid traffic tickets that cause suspension of their driving privileges by the DMV.  Ironically, the hold on the driver’s license often means the person cannot work, as the job may require that the employee hold a valid California driver’s license.  The tickets then remain unpaid and the worker unemployed.  The solution is reducing the ticket amounts.  To read about this limited program, click on the following link.

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