It is understandable that probation officers want cases that are closed quickly and not dragged out by a lengthy court process. A thorough attorney will diligently investigate the facts and the related legal issues, but it does take time. It is much easier for a probation officer if a suspect simply confesses or admits conduct. The temptation to elicit such an admission or confession caused one probation officer to promise a shorter sentence as an incentive if the suspect waived his right to an attorney? Can a probation officer even sentence someone? Is such a promise illegal? Click on the following link to find out.
Proposition 215 is a widely misunderstood law in California. It was certainly originated as a defense for individuals in possession of a medical recommendation for use of marijuana. Can it be used by someone trying to sell marijuana, if the quantity is within certain limits (i.e. not 25 kilos)? Click on the following link to find out in a case where the operator of a medical marijuana clinic tried this.
You arrested the wrong guy! It was racial profiling! We have all heard stories or perhaps experienced it first hand. What is the standard on an arrest that is based upon a third party witness? Click on the following article to read a case summary wherein the court ruled the arrest was improper based upon insufficient resemblance to a suspect.
The Sixth Amendment provides that accused has the right to face his accuser, meaning he or she can ask that person questions (cross-examination) to reveal biases, improper assumptions or simply lies. Does this include the right to ask questions of a lab report author about the process of their analysis? What if the author is doing his first ever report? Click on the following link to read answers.
There are certain cases that, when committed by a juvenile, seem more appropriate for adjudication by an adult court, i.e. rape, murder, mayhem, attempted murder. After all, the defendant may have acted with sophistication and rehabilitation, the goal of a juvenile court, may not be a fitting goal. So can a juvenile court automatically just transfer such cases? Click on the following link to find out.
Is a BB gun a weapon capable of killing another person? Most people would chuckle at such a question, as they would if they considered such a gun a deadly weapon. Therefore, how can someone be convicted of assault with a deadly weapon if the weapon is a BB gun? Click on the following link to read answers to this question.
Whenever there is a wiretap used to obtain information leading to a warrant, defendant generally has a right to know if the wiretap was obtained legally and followed within its scope as well. However, some police informants’ identies are confidential to protect their safety and to preserve ongoing police investigations. This makes sense, but how is it applied? Click on the following link to read a case where these issues were put to the test.
Double jeopardy is a principal that bars someone from being at risk of losing one’s life or liberty more than once for the same charge. However, there are certainly exceptions to this, i.e. when a federal court brings charges that largely mimic those in a state court. Are there exeptions for some of the most socially unacceptable crimes, such as gang offense? Click on the following link to find out.
Indecent exposure is a crime wherein one attempts to shock or excite another person. Therefore, if the suspect attempts to offend or excite more than one person, it seems logical that the crime should be charged as more severe, possibly with multiple counts, one for each victim, right?. As with many things in the law, the answer is counterintuitive, or so it initially seems. Click on the following link to read answers to this issue.
Arson is often viewed as burning down an empty house or business for insurance proceeds. It can also be a malicious act of revenge meant to get “even” after someone feels disrespected, often in the context of a romantic relationship or in the employment context. What must the prosecutor prove to convict someone of arson? What are the defenses? Is it a wobbler? Is it a strike? What is the punishment? Click on the following link to read answers to these questions.