Stopped for DUI, But Let Go? Think Again – The Police May Have Your DNA to Re-Arrest You.

If one is stopped for DUI, it is quite common for the police to request that the driver submit to a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test.  This subject blows into a tube and the breath alcohol content (BAC) is measured.  The police officer then decides whether to arrest the person, based on the result.  What if one is let go?  Does that mean everything’s fine?  Click on the attached article to read that this may not be so –

Is an Underage DUI Similar to a Juvenile Offense in How the Courts Treat it?

Most attorneys will tell a client that a juvenile offense is eligible for sealing and destroying under Welfare and Institutions Code § 781 and 781.5.  In contrast, an adult record does not enjoy such a forgiving approach and sealing an adult record is virtually impossible.  What about DUI as a juvenile?  Does an underage DUI benefit from the same willingness to forgive and forget?  Click on the following link to read a summary of a recent federal court decision that addressed this quandary:

What is Animal Cruelty under Penal Code § 597?

When most of us think of animal cruelty, we imagine the gang member being prosecuted for letting his pit bulls fight.  We think of someone who leaves his or her dog in a car during a hot summer day.  Or we think of a person who commits an act of violence against a family pet.  Yet what really qualifies as animal cruelty?  Click on the link here to read a summary of a San Diego area case that clarifies this crime –

How Reliable Does a Police Sniff Dog Need to Be for a Court to Trust it?

We have all heard of the police sniff dog who jumps into a suspected drug dealer’s car and goes straight for the beef jerky, eagerly eating it up while the embarrassed police handler looks as official as he can.  Or the police dog signals for drugs and nothing is found.  What exactly are the limits or criteria for a police dog’s signal to be sufficient for police to dismantle a car or tear up a house to search for drugs?  Click on the attached link to read a summary of a case that answered this question:

Conviction Overturned For Felon In Possession Of Firearm – Constructive Possession Not Proven.

It is a sad fact that one of the first things a felon wants once he is released from prison is a firearm. Usually, he wants it for protection. He (or she) usually returns to the same means streets that he came from before going to prison and the area is rough. A firearm gives him a sense of safety. However, as a convicted felon, he is barred from having this. Therefore, we see this offense frequently with our clients. What then really qualifies as possession of a firearm? Click on the link here to read a case summary about this –

Warrantless Search of Fed-Ex Package Ruled Unconstitutional and Case Dismissed

A search that is conducted without a warrant is presumed unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment. However, the government can rebut this presumption under many exceptions to the warrant requirement, i.e. there is consent to the search, there is an emergency and waiting for a warrant would mean the destruction or loss of evidence, etc. Read the following summary of a search without a warrant that was ruled unconstitutional because police were a little too eager –

Every Question About an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) That You Had, But Were Afraid to Ask – Here Are Answers

The ignition interlock device, IID, is a small breath machine that causes large problems to many.  Many clients want to know how to avoid it if the DMV or the judge requires its installation.  Other clients have more practical questions such as how to arrange to have it installed and removed.  Click on the following link to read many of the most common questions about the device and the answers to these questions –

Warning- Your Cell Phone May Incriminate You of More Serious Crimes in a Simple Traffic Stop

It amazes me what people text and e-mail to one another – and then police see, using it as evidence of a crime.  When one is pulled over in a traffic stop, an arrest can follow.  The arrest may be for DUI, but during an inventory search of one’s property, police may look at one’s phone.  The following article describes how bad went to worse when a young man had a little too much information (and photographs) on his Blackberry Curve –

If Visiting One in Jail, Be Careful What You Bring With You!

It amazes us that in this day and age of security cameras everywhere, technology tracking people’s location by cell phone and Internet browsing history being recorded that people forget what they have in their own pockets.  The following case summary is about a well-meaning friend who tried to visit his friend in jail, but forgot what he had in his pockets.  It is a cautionary tale that is a good reminder that security is more important than privacy in certain contexts –

Appeals Court Overturns Alhambra Conviction for Possession of Ecstasy

Sometimes, prosecutors gloss over important details.  The following article describes a recently published opinion wherein a District Attorney in the Alhambra Superior Court did not quite “cross all his t’s and dot his i’s,” but in a broader way reminds all criminal defense attorneys the importance of proper proof.  It is somewhat common knowledge that heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine are illegal controlled substances, but click on the following link to read how Ecstasy cannot be simplistically assumed to be in the same group –