James Ruben Varner entered into a plea for violating Penal Code § 496d(a), receiving stolen property. This is a felony. However, Varner argued that with Prop 47 creating section Penal Code § 490.2, his offense was eligible as a violation of 490.2 and thus, eligible under Prop 47 for reduction from a felony to a misdemeanor. Was this a good argument? Why or why not? Click on the following link to fine out.
The answer is yes, which is quite a surprise to many of our clients who think resentencing under Proposition 47 automatically reduces their sentence with reclassification of the offense from a felony to a misdemeanor. The real question is why this is so. To read more about this fact that more Prop 47 candidates should understand, click on the following link.
Jon F. Holm stole a television and some golf balls from a private country club after he was expelled from membership. The television and the golf balls were valued at $662.23, well under the $950 limit applicable for misdemeanor shoplifting under Penal Code § 459.5, if the country club qualified as a commercial establishment. Did it? Click on the following link to find out.
So your attorney told you your case would be a good candidate for an office hearing? Or your case is scheduled for an office hearing? What exactly happens at an office hearing? Is there a verdict rendered? Will you go to jail after it? How long does it take? Is there a judge at the hearing? For answers to all of these questions, click on the following link.
Whether it be due to an arrest for DUI or having expired registration, or that the police officer thought the car may contain or even be evidence of a crime, one can have their vehicle ordered towed to an impound lot. The immediate need is to have the vehicle out, not only because the tow lot fees are astronomical, but because we all need our cars for work, etc. How does one go about navigating the maze of getting the car out of impound? Click on the following link to find out.
We have all seen the signs on the back of buses, on taxicabs and on billboards. There are ads on the radio and on television from attorneys promising that if the client does not receive a settlement or verdict in their favor, they pay nothing to the attorney. Can a criminal defense attorney adopt a similar approach or make a similar promise? If no, why not? Click on the following link to find out answers to this issue.
In many criminal cases wherein diversion is available, there are usually exceptions to such programs. For example, diversion is not applicable to cases involving domestic violence, DUI or to those who must register as a sex offender under Penal Code § 290. In military diversion, may a qualified veteran receive diversion in a DUI case? The answer is yes. To read about the case that said this was so, click on the following link.
The feeling that someone is “stalking” another person can mean many things, depending upon the context. What does it mean from a California criminal liability perspective? What must the prosecutor prove? What is the punishment? Is it a felony? Is it a strike? What are the defenses? To find out answers to these questions, click on the following link.
Entrusting an attorney with the defense of oneself or a loved one is a huge decision. It must be made carefully and intelligently. What should one consider? What should one expect and what should one ask the attorney? To read answers to these questions in handling such important decisions, click on the following link.
Our office receives calls quite often from people, most in domestic violence cases, who ask what criminal liability they face for making a false 911 call. The answer depends upon the facts of the call and the police response, if any. Is it a felony or a misdemeanor? To read answers to these questions, click on the following link.