Procedure for Identifying & Questioning Witnesses to a Crime

Whenever there are known witnesses to a crime, it is crucial that the witnesses are questioned in a proper manner and, if a report is made of the interview, that the report is properly disclosed.  No party wants a judge to exclude a witness because of a procedural error in the handling of such a statement.  Likewise, no one wants to be accused of sandbagging the other side, or conducting a trial by ambush.  To read more about this issue, please click on the following link to article that addresses this important area.

What Is Felony Hit & Run (Vehicle Code § 20001)? Punishment?

What is required for the prosecution to prove felony hit and run?  What are the defenses?  What is the punishment if convicted of this?  Are there immigration consequences of such a conviction, i.e. is it considered a crime of moral turpitude?  For answers to each of these questions, please click on the following link to read a short article with answers.

What Is Misdemeanor Hit & Run (Vehicle Code § 20002)?

How does misdemeanor hit and run differ from felony hit and run?  What is the punishment for misdemeanor hit and run?  What are the defenses?  What are the common issues that help resolve a case favorably for defendant, or, conversely, hinder a plea bargain on lenient terms?  What is a motion for civil compromise and can it help in this type of case?  Click on the following link to find out.

Are Young Black People a Protected Class in Jury Selection?

Both the U.S. and the California constitutions prohibit exclusion of prospective jurors based on a group bias.  This is most often violated in the context of excluding a certain race from being a juror in a case.  When a defendant claims this law has been violated, it is the prosecution’s burden to explain the racial exclusion.  In this context, can the defense claim that young African Americans are a protected class in jury selection?  To read an answer to this question, click on the following link.

If My Case Is a DA Reject, Do I Get My Bail Money Back?

Our office is always asked a series of questions about what to do and what happens if a criminal case is rejected for filing.  The most common one is whether bail money paid is returned to the client.  Our answer is almost always, “most likely not, but look over your bail bond contract and talk to the bail bondsman.”  Why is this so?  Click on the following link to find out.

Ten Motions That May Be Made at a Preliminary Hearing

We occasionally hear clients or family members of client complaint about a prior attorney by saying, “He didn’t even make any motions at the preliminary hearing,” as if it was malpractice to not do so.  Depending on the case facts and the allegations, this criticism might be fitting.  It also may be hollow criticism.  Nonetheless, what are some common motions to make at a preliminary hearing?  Click on the following link to find out.

When Can a Victim’s Hearsay Statement Be Admissible?

Many of our clients tell us, “Don’t worry.  They can’t convict me.  All the evidence is hearsay.”  We always follow up this remark with a few questions about the alleged comments and what were the conditions of the statement(s).  The client usually gets nervous with our questions.  So when is hearsay admissible?  Click on the following link to find out.