Bail and Can It Be Reduced?

Bail is an issue that dominates the initial contact with any client forced to post bail or who cannot afford to post it.  It is supposed to be equated to an amount that guarantees the defendant’s future appearance in court and, if granted at all, is allowed after considering public safety if defendant is released.  Can it be reduced?  The answer is certainly yes, but the real answer is can it be reduced to zero or to an amount that the client can afford?  Click on the attached article to read more about bail –

What Is the Difference Between a Misdemeanor and a Felony?

Only a criminal defense attorney can appreciate this: after the plea is entered, after months of negotiating, maybe a motion or two, extensive discussion of the facts and maybe a meeting with the DA’s supervisor, the client asks if his or her plea was to a felony or a misdemeanor.  It always amazes me to get this question because there are huge differences between the two levels of offenses.  Click on the following link to read what is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony –

Sentencing Alternatives for Military Veterans under Penal Code § 1170.9.

Our legislature has recognized the unique challenges faced by military personnel in reintegrating into civilian life after leaving the military. Sometimes, their service to our country came at a cost of permanent disabilities that can make traditional sentencing ineffective or less effective.  Under Penal Code § 1170.9, certain veterans accused of certain crimes are qualified for special sentencing programs.  To read more about this, click on the following link –

What is the “Mouth Alcohol” Defense to DUI?

In some states, there is no requirement that the police officer observe a person suspected of DUI for fifteen minutes before administering a breath test, despite the guidelines set out by the manufacturers of such devices recommending this to ensure an accurate blood alcohol content (BAC) measurement.  Why do manufacturers require this and why does California law for DMV hearings require this?  Imagine if one took a breath test just seconds after swishing one’s mouth with vodka.  For more discussion of this issue, click on the following article –

What is a “Rising BAC” Defense to DUI?

One of the trickier defenses available under certain facts is the “rising BAC” defense.  It is tricky because one has to agree in large part with the police report and then use an expert who a jury may trust or find confused.  It happens when one is arrested for DUI and the BAC is over the legal limit or at the legal limit, but the theory is that when the client was driving 15 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour earlier, his blood alcohol content (BAC) was below the legal limit because it increased or rose after the traffic stop, usually due to the client drinking just before driving and then being stopped soon thereafter.  Click on the following article to read more about this defense –

Fifth Amendment Rights Violated When DA Points to Silence as Evidence of Guilt.

Anyone who has watched a police show or a movie involving law enforcement most likely has heard the admonition to a suspect, “You have the right to remain silent.  Anything you say can be used against you . . .”  The implication is that if someone says nothing, that cannot be used against someone.  Is this correct?  As the following case summary explaints, the answer is not always clear.  Click on the following link to read about remaining silent and the potential consequences