As the reader of this blog may know, under Federal sentencing, there are sentencing enhancements that are quite different (and heavier) than in state court. The Armed Career Criminal Act epitomizes this tough approach. Under it, certain violent felonies are reserved for very harsh punishment. Is evading a police officer a “violent felony” under this federal law? To find out, as it may surprise you, click on the following link.
There are significant privacy issues with social media postings that companies like Facebook seek to protect for their users at all costs. The following gang-related murder case, however, relied heaving upon Facebook postings to show motive and, allegedly, even identity of the shooter. However, Facebook refused to produce documentation and the State sought a court order compelling Facebook to produce the materials. How did the judge rule? Click on the following link to find out.
Lawmakers in Sacramento understand that some people have multiple unpaid traffic tickets that cause suspension of their driving privileges by the DMV. Ironically, the hold on the driver’s license often means the person cannot work, as the job may require that the employee hold a valid California driver’s license. The tickets then remain unpaid and the worker unemployed. The solution is reducing the ticket amounts. To read about this limited program, click on the following link.
With the guarantee of payments by insurance companies for auto repairs, auto repair shops using stolen automobiles for parts (chop shops) will always be attractive to gangs and other people. What is the punishment for such a crime? What must the prosecutor prove to establish this type of case? What are some of the more common defenses? Click on the following link to read answers to these questions.
Being arrested for DUI when one is not even legal to drink seems like it would result in very harsh penalties. It does, but not a mandatory jail term. No fines that are exorbitantly higher than an adult convicted of a first-time DUI. What exactly are the consequences? Is a lower blood alcohol content required for a conviction? Click on the following link to find out.
Many crimes are fundamentally one type of crime, i.e. theft or causing another person’s death, but there are levels. Embezzlement is more serious than petty theft. First degree murder is more serious than involuntary manslaughter. When elements of a crime are disputed, does a judge have an affirmative duty to give the jury the option of finding guilt of a lesser-included offense? The following summary of a recent appellate court decision addresses this interesting issue. To read this summary, click on the following link.
If a statute states that the sheriff “shall” notify a probationer of his duty to re-register with local law enforcement and the probationer does not do so, is it a probation violation. Does the language “shall” create an affirmative duty to the sheriff? If the sheriff violates this duty, does this exonerate the probationer? What if the probationer has knowledge anyways of his duty to re-register? This issue is addressed in the following appellate case summary. To read it, click on the following link.
Evidence gained in any investigation is inadmissible if it is the product of an illegal detention. So when does a simple traffic stop become a detention. Is it three minutes? Ten minutes? What factors does a judge consider in making such a determination? Does it matter what the defendant does once stopped? For answers to these questions, click on the following link.
The are many folks who call our office and ask why the court system has not automatically reclassified their felony conviction as a misdemeanor. Often times, the caller does not even have an eligible conviction. More fundamentally, even if the caller’s conviction is eligible, it is important to understand that the applicant has the burden of proof for resentencing under Proposition 47. What does this mean? Click on the following link to find out.