Can a Visual Estimation of Speed Suffice for a Traffic Stop?

Can a police officer pull someone over just by allegedly looking at the car and deciding it is speeding? Doesn’t the cop have to pace the vehicle or use radar?  While officers are indeed training on visual estimation of speed techniques, there are limits, especially if the vantage point of the officer is poor, the road is dark, the road curves, there is other traffic, etc.  If a judge allows such a stop, isn’t it opening a Pandora’s box of improper, illegal stops?  To read the answer to the question in the article title, click on the following link.

Restitution Proper in Sex Offense Case for Mental Suffering

In some sex offense cases, even Penal Code § 288 cases, the conduct is consensual, but due to the victim’s age being below 18, the victim cannot legally.  Thus, parents often report the crime, rather than the victim herself.  For such a person to then claim mental suffering, it might be looked upon with skepticism.  The court, however, could award restitution for mental suffering as long as there is a “rational and factual basis.”  The following case was not such a consensual case at all and the trial court awarded $1M for mental suffering.  How did it hold up on appeal?  Click the following link to find out.

What Is Insurance Fraud? The Punishment? Defenses?

We all complain about how much our insurance costs.  When some people are given a chance to receive insurance proceeds unlawfully, such people readily collect them, often rationalizing the receipt as only fair.  However, it is illegal and a criminal offense. What is the punishment for such conduct?  What are the defenses?  Click on the following link to read more about such a charge.

What Is Molestation of Child Under 18 (PC § 647.6)?

Penal Code § 647.6 covers a broad range of conduct that annoys or bothers a person under age eighteen.  It can cover serious conduct, such as arranging to meet a person under eighteen for sexual purposes, if a more serious felony charge of violating Penal Code § 288.4 is not filed.  A section 647.6 allegation would be a “fall back” charge.  What is the punishment for a first time offense?  Must one register as a sex offender for life, if convicted?  Can it be a misdemeanor?  Click on the following link to find out answers to these questions.

What Is Vehicular Homicide (California PC 192(c))?

If you or someone you know is being charged with vehicular homicide, you may want to know what the punishment is.  You may want to know the difference between vehicular homicide and vehicular manslaughter.  What are the defenses?  Can the sentence be probation?  What if alcohol is involved? To read answers to these questions, please click on the following link.

What Is Possession of Marijuana for Sales (H & S 11359)?

Do you know someone facing charges of possession of marijuana for purposes of sales (Health and Safety Code § 11359)?  It is you?  What weight of marijuana distinguishes personal use from marijuana for sale?  What are the defenses?  What is the punishment?  To read answers to these questions, click on the following link.

What Is Possession of Meth for Sales (H & S 11378)?

Do you know someone arrested for possession of methamphetamine for sales?  Is it you?  What must the prosecutor show to get a conviction?  What quantity of meth is enough to show more than just for personal use?  What other evidence suggests the possession was for sales?  What is the statutory punishment?  To read answers to these questions, click on the following link.

What Is Possession of a Controlled Substance for Sale?

If you or a loved one faces charges of violating Health and Safety Code § 11351, possession of a controlled substance for purpose of sales, you may have many questions.  What is the punishment?  What are the defenses?  Is it a felony?  Is diversion available?  What is the difference between a quantity for personal use versus for sales?  What are some facts that suggest sales was the purpose?  To read answers to these questions, click on the following link.

Prop 47 Relief Does Not Guarantee a Shorter Sentence

A common perception, rarely undermined, is that relief under Prop 47 always results in a shorter sentence.  This is a misperception that persists, yet the following case summary illustrates how and why this is not so.  After all, Prop 47 allows for resentencing.  When there is an aggregate sentence based on multiple convictions due to multiple charges, beware.  Click on the following link to read how one unlucky person learned this the hard way so you do not have to.

May One Have One’s DNA Record Destroyed if Prop 47 Relief Granted?

It is common for the court to order a person convicted of a felony to provide a DNA sample, at least in cases classified as serious or violent felonies.  On other felony cases, especially those eligible for Prop 47 relief, it is not always required by judges.  When it is and one later has the felony reduced to a misdemeanor under Prop 47, does the petitioner have the right to have his or her DNA sample and record destroyed?  Click on the following link to find out.