Criminal street gangs frequently have gang subsets, i.e. the Nortenos, Crips and the Bloods each have subsets that are affiliated with the larger gang. If someone is charged with committing a crime for the benefit of a criminal street gang, must the prosecutor prove predicate acts and that the activity was in furtherance of both the larger gang and the smaller subset? To read about a recent case that addressed this issue, click on the following case summary.
Are you being singled out for prosecution because of your profession, sexual preference, race or gender? Did you see other people, who were not arrested, that were doing the same exact thing, but were members of another profession, gender, race or sexual preference? You may want to seek dismissal based on discriminatory prosecution through a Murgia motion. While this is an exceptionally tough motion to win, they are granted with the proper factual support. To read about this motion, click on the following link.
Our office is often called about cases involving public intoxication or driving while under the influence of drugs. We are usually asked how long the human body takes to “flush out” the drug, as the asker usually is aware that the amount of time varies by the type of drug. In other words, within what time would a hair follicle or urine test be meaningful if negative for the presence of certain substance? Click on the following link to find out.
If you face a felony or a misdemeanor case in Orange County, you most likely are told by the prosecutor that you must provide a DNA sample. Why is this so? After all, why are they so insistent upon this? Is this constitutional? To read all about this requirement and how it arose in Orange County, click on the following link.
If one needs an expert witness appointed in a case, with his or her fees paid for by the State of California, how does one request this? What should the party, usually defendant, say in such a motion for appointment of, for example, a gun shot residue expert, or a fingerprint expert? To read about what the judge needs to read under Evidence Code § 730, click on the following link.
Can defendant find out who an informant is on their case? The answer depends upon whether the person is a witness to a material fact and may give testimony that could exonerate defendant in the case or a witness to only probable cause for the arrest. The distinction between the two roles is often blurred. However, what does defendant next need to do to have the judge order disclosure of the informant’s identity? To read about this issue, click on the following link.
What is the “automobile exception” to the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment for searching a car? Can the police search anywhere in the car? What do the police have to establish before conducting such a thorough search? What are the more important cases that have addressed this issue? To read about this common issue, click on the following link.