What Is Needed for a Successful Petition under SB 1437?

If someone is serving a prison sentence for murder under the old felony murder rule, but as an aider and abettor (not the principal), one may be able to seek resentencing when the killing was accidental, unintentional and unforeseen. Such resentencing would allow for a shorter sentence, possibly even allowing the person’s immediate release from prison, depending upon how much time has already been served. To read more about such resentencing, please click on the following link.


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Stores Now Have Their Own Shoplifting Prevention Classes?

What should one do if a store like Walmart or Target stops a person for shoplifting and then offers to stop litigation against the person if he or she takes a shoplifting prevention course? Our advice is not to take the course because neither Walmart nor Target can prosecute someone anyways. Only a City Attorney, City Prosecutor or District Attorney can do so, so why pay for something the store really cannot promise? However, for peace of mind, it may be worth the $500 or so and may, in states outside California, it may have more benefits. To read more about such classes, click on the following link.


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Sealing an Arrest Record and/or Court File

You may have been told that sealing an arrest record or a court record is very difficult if the record is not for a juvenile case. You also may have been told that sealing an arrest record or court file as an adult is almost impossible – one needs a judge to find that the person was factually innocent. This was correct advice until about two years ago when then-Governor Jerry Brown signed the CARE (Consumer Arrest Equity Act) that was codified at Penal Code section 851.91 and 851.92. What is this new law all about? When does it apply? To read answers, please click on the following link.


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What Is a Motion to Vacate a Judgment?

Recently, California law was amended to add Penal Code sections 1203.43 and 1473.7, which each address the often-faulty immigration advice that noncitizens may have relied upon in accepting a plea bargain. Indeed, there was a great deal of bad advice offered, mostly in good faith, but incorrect nonetheless. What can a person now facing deportation or denial of entry back to the United States do? The answer is that this person may be qualified to have the judgement vacated. To read more about this option, please click on the following link.


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Judge Says Military Diversion Should Be Granted More Often

As a former member of our military (seven years active duty U.S.M.C. and four years at the U.S. Naval Academy), I understand how the transition back to being a civilian can be a bumpy road. While I did not suffer from any service-related mental disorders, I can only imagine how much more difficult it would be if one had such a disorder or disorders, which could lead to criminal conduct. Therefore, the following case summary is written with agreement that military diversion should be granted more freely. To read this summary, please click on the following link.


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What Is an Administrative Appeal to a DMV Ruling in a DUI?

You may have lost at your admin per se hearing for a DUI at the DMV and read, toward the end of the ruling, buried within the boilerplate, that one may request an administrative review of the DMV ruling. What is this? What is the format of such an administrative appeal? Does filing such an administrative appeal stop the suspension of one’s license? To read more about such an appeal, please click on the following link.


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Criminal Consequences for Unpaid Child or Spousal Support?

It may come as quite a surprise to some that if one does not pay court-ordered child support, that person can be sentenced to state prison for a year and a day. Naturally, most people would question how that helps the guilty spouse earn the money to pay the arrearage and how being in custody would help the real victim in the case, the ex-spouse or the children. Nonetheless, the judge does have such power. A failure to pay child support can also support a contempt charge as a criminal case. To read more about the tough laws on this issue, please click on the following link.


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Why One Should Not Represent Oneself If Charged with a Crime

Nowadays, one can open the newspaper or read on the Internet an infinite amount of legal advice and criticism of attorneys. Almost daily, I receive phone calls from people who tell me their attorney was incompetent or stupid. It is consequently no surprise that many people genuinely believe they can do a better job than an attorney if they just get fifteen minutes of advice. This is a big mistake. Even someone like myself who has 21 years of experience as a licensed attorney should not represent himself if charged with a crime. To read why, please click on the following link.


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8 Crimes That Lead to Suspension of One’s Driver’s License

If an average person were asked what crimes may lead to suspension of one’s driver’s license, that person may answer with DUI and perhaps a minor in possession of alcohol. However, there are six more crimes that may lead to suspension of one’s driver’s license. What are these? Vandalism is perhaps the most commonly unknown crimes, but then there are five more. To find out what these are, please click on the following link.


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What’s a Murphy Conservatorship If Someone Declares a Doubt?

When a defense attorney declares a doubt as to the ability of a defendant to understand the nature of the charges and participate meaningfully in his or her defense, proceedings are suspended until defendant is found competent to proceed. What if defendant is never returned to competency? What if defendant is in custody for the maximum time allowed as punishment for the crime? The case is then dismissed under Penal Code § 1382(a)(3), but is defendant then released from custody? Often, a Murphy conservatorship is ordered to supervise the defendant. What is a Murphy conservatorship? To read about this, please click on the following link.


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