Traffic Stop Ruled Improper When Officer Lacked Reasonable Suspicion to Make the Stop

Many drug and theft cases begin with a seemingly ordinary traffic stop, as well as of course DUI cases.  However, such a traffic stop must be examined closely, as it often is based on nothing more than a hunch, which is not enough to legally stop a vehicle.  Read more about this fundamental concept that far too many of our clients gloss over.


Restitution in Financial Elder Abuse Case Includes Interest

In many embezzlement and theft cases, the prosecutor often remarks sarcastically in setting restitution that “well, your client just got an interest free loan” because the amount that must be paid in restitution is only the amount taken.  No interest is charged and payments often are made over a year.  In the following financial elder abuse case, the restitution award included interest, as the sum owed was over $130,000.  Is this legal?  Click on the following link to find out.

Court Decides California Sex Offender Law is Unconstitutional

The more one learns about the laws addressing sex offenders, the more one realizes that the words regulation, monitoring and punishment seem to be used interchangeably.  Indeed, what one may consider punishment is characterized as a regulatory act by courts and lawmakers.  This seems especially true when the sex offender committed a particularly heinous act.  However, in the following case, one California sex offender law was ruled unconstitutional.  To read about this, click on the following link.

Can a Lifetime Ban on Owning a Firearm Apply After a Misdemeanor Conviction For Domestic Violence?

It is almost always a shock to our clients in a misdemeanor case for domestic violence that the conviction, although not a felony, has the lifetime consequence of barring our client from ever owning a firearm.  We have received dozens of phone calls from folks who were represented by the public defender when they entered such a misdemeanor plea and now, realizing the consequences of the plea, wish to undo it somehow.  To read more about this issue, click on the following link to read a short article on the topic.


Is it Illegal for Police to Use an Informant in a Drug Case with a Criminal History Involving Drugs?

Whenever our office defends someone in a drug case involving a confidential informant (sometimes we never know if this is the case), our client is eager to know who the informant is.  The client may be just curious, or there may be a suspicion that someone they know well as working for the police all along.  There may be a desire to avenge the breach of trust or confidence.  What if the information has a lengthy criminal history?  Does that disquality the informant?  Should it?  Click on the following link to read a case that addressed this thorny issue.

Is a ‘No Association’ Probation Condition Proper?

Are you or a loved one on probation or parole with a condition not to associate with others who you know or the loved one knows or has reason to know is, for example, a known drug user, known gang member, known to buy or sell counterfeit item, etc.?  Is such a condition tought to understand or follow?  What exactly does it mean that one “has reason to know?”  How can that be enforced?  Click on the following link to read about a recent case where such conditions were successfully challenged.

What Can I Do About My Criminal Record on the Internet?

Whether one if convicted or just arrested, the Internet may contain information about someone and a particular crime, presented in such a way that is embarrassing and may damage one’s reputation.  If one is self-employed, potential clients doing due diligence research on someone may find such information and decide against doing business with someone.  What can one do about this?  Click on the following link to read answers.

Are Breathalyzer Tests Meaningless? CA State Supreme Court Says No.

No one can deny that breath tests are far less reliable than a blood test for measuring the amount of alcohol in one’s blood, and thus, the likely effect of alcohol one’s brain and the consequential impairment.  Breath tests can be affected by the size of one’s lungs, GERD, breathing patterns, to name a few.  Does this mean that breath tests are rendered irrelevant?  No, but why not?  Click on the following article to read why.

Can Bail Bondsmen Solicit Business by Visiting Someone in Custody Without That Person’s Request?

As one imagine, someone in jail would be an eager customer for a bail bondsman.  The person is jail may be desperate to be released to get to work, return home to care for young children or dependent adults, or simply scared of being in custody.  California Code of Regulations § 2079.1 reflects this unequal bargaining power and the vulnerability of someone in custody to unfair terms of bail.  However, this does not stop the practice of uninvited bail bondsmen visiting jails, as the following article further discusses.


What is a Certificate of Rehabilitation? How to Apply?

In today’s ultra competitive job market, having a felony conviction on one’s criminal history can make getting hired nearly impossible. Likewise, having to register as a sex offender for life can stigmatize someone in eyes of his or her neighbors.  How does someone apply for a pardon?  How does one apply for a certificate of rehabilitation?  Click on the following link to find out.