Being ticketed as a minor in possession of alcohol may seem like a parking ticket and underestimated for its consequences. This is because the ticket can be prosecuted in two very different ways, one that involves usually just writing an essay about the dangers of alcohol, and another way, that involves a conviction for a misdemeanor and a one year suspension of one’s driving privileges. To read more about this offense and its varying treatment, click here.
About two years ago, California law changed to broaden the types of convictions eligible for expungement. Any offense punished by a sentence imposed in state prison remains ineliglbe, as do most sex offenses. However, non-traffic infractions were added as convictions eligible for expungement. Why is this worth pursuing, if one has such a conviction? Click on the following link to find out.
Judges, court reporters and court clerks sometimes do make a mistake. Does such a mistake, if beneficial to a defendant, equate to a windfall? The answer can be yes, in certain circumstances. What if the judge forgets to order defendant to pay a $2,450 fine at time of sentencing in a DUI? Is defendant relieved of having to make such a payment? Click on the following link to find out.
We often have clients who have a recommendation for the use of marijuana, or “medical marijuana license,” who are arrested for having more than their maximum allowed amount of marijuana. Police then arrest them for sales of marijuana. Is the medical marijuana certificate a defense? While it may seem like a rather simple question, it is not. To read about a case that explored this situation, click on the following link.
Whenever there is a person on probation who is accused of violating probation, the person usually is arrested and jailed without bail, although a judge does have discretion to set bail. If bail is denied, the accused is often eager to have a probation violation hearing as soon as possible. However, there is no 48 hours time limit applicable to such a hearing, like there is to an arraignment. But how long must one wait? Click on the following link to read about this.
It is quite common for our office to receive phone calls from people who face deportation for a conviction that took place five, ten or even fifteen years earlier. The caller will tell us he or she never had any idea that deportation was a consequence of the conviction. The U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that such a penalty must be explicitly discussed and when the plea is taken, the defendant must be admonished of this issue. To read more about this issue, click on the following link.
In a DMV hearing relating to a DUI, one may feel as if the hearing is the proverbial “kangaroo court.” After all, the DMV Hearing officers are not attorneys or even required to attend, much less graduate, from law school. The rules of evidence are swept aside. When there are mildly technical legal defenses, such as a rising BAC defense, the DMV often ignores the arguments entirely. To read about how a rising BAC was treated in such a hearing, click on the following link.
Juveniles are recognized by our laws as capable of growing and being rehabilitated more easily than adults. Scientific studies have found a biological explanation for this in that the human brain literally is not fully developed at age 18, but continues development well beyond age 18. This fact can lead to better judgment. Thus, is is constitutional for a judge to sentence a juvenile to life in prison? Is it cruel and unusual punishment? Click on the following link to read more about this issue.
It is tough to challenge the affidavit that supports the issuance of a search warrant. This is especially so when the warrant is for suspected drug activity because the affidavit may be based upon confidential informants whose identity and safety is at risk if revealed. In the following case involving a search of a Cerritos house, the homeowner successfully challenged the warrant and won. To read more about this, click on the following link.
Business and Professions Code § 2052 states that no one without a properly issued license to practice medicine may do so. In “medical marijuana” clinics, it is not uncommon for one to obtain a recommendation for the use of marijuana to ease a wide spectrum of pain. In this regard, there certainly has been a perception that shady doctors and even their staff are abusing their position to enhance the income of a particular clinic because they may be located nearby or even have an ownership interest in the clinic. To read more about this common issue and the unlicensed practice of medicine, click here.