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Criminal Defense From A Former Prosecutor

January 2019 Archives

Incarceration alternatives appropriate for some violent offenders

Mass incarceration in California and nationwide has placed millions of people behind bars. Criminal justice activists, however, have started to reverse the trend of locking people up. In 2008, mass incarceration reached its height with 1,000 people held in corrections per 100,000 adults. Now the rate has fallen to 830 inmates per 100,000. The decriminalization of minor offenses and expansion of alternatives to jail for people convicted of low-level offenses have contributed to this drop in incarceration rates.

Woman live-streamed home intrusion with stolen phone

Deputies with the San Mateo County Sheriff's Department could not explain the motivations of a California woman who they arrested after she allegedly entered a home in Woodside and stole a phone. The man living at the residence said that she took his phone and then used it to live-stream her comments as she wondered around his property.

New ruling seen as win for individual privacy

A California district court judge has ruled that U.S. cops can't force people to unlock their cellphones using their fingers or faces. The case in question involved an individual who was trying to extort another by threatening to play an embarrassing video on Facebook. Authorities were planning to raid a property and wanted permission to unlock any devices that used facial recognition or similar technology.

Issues with the misdemeanor system

According to arrest data gathered from the FBI, around 80 percent of all arrests can be classified as misdemeanors, aka small crimes that carry a maximum sentence of one year. In fact, it is estimated that approximately 13 million misdemeanor cases find their way into a prosecutor's lap every year. That's why many Californians may be interested to know that the misdemeanor system carries an inequality that favors the well-off over the poor.

California man accused of stealing thousands of library materials

A Fair Oaks man is facing felony shoplifting and grand theft charges after thousands of library books and DVDs were discovered in his home. The 46-year-old man allegedly took most of the materials from the Sacramento Public Library, which was determined from the attached labels. A search warrant for the man's home was granted after the library contacted sheriff's deputies to report a man spotted on surveillance cameras placing several books in his backpack while only checking one of them out.

How state law defines auto theft

In the state of California, auto theft could be considered to be either a misdemeanor or a felony charge. The severity of the charge depends on the facts in the case, and it could also hinge on the defendant's criminal record. Furthermore, the type of charge a person faces may depend on whether he or she intended to keep the vehicle permanently or merely took it on a joyride.

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