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Criminal Defense From A Former Prosecutor

May 2019 Archives

Study measures racial attitudes toward police bias

In California and across the country, black and white Americans have distinctly different views of and experiences with the police and the criminal justice system. These differences were made clear in a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center. Notably, both black and white respondents agreed that black people are treated unfairly in the American justice system. While 87% of black participants said that blacks were treated less fairly overall, 61% of whites said the same. Roughly similar numbers said the same thing about unfair treatment by the police.

What to know about the Fourth Amendment

When the government wants to conduct an investigation against an individual, it is limited by the Fourth Amendment. This is true whether an investigation takes place in California or any other state. An individual also has a right against unreasonable searches or seizures when a private person or entity is working with a government entity. The amendment applies in both state and federal cases as per a Supreme Court ruling in the case of Wolf v. Colorado.

Arraignment postponed in DUI case against actor Michael Madsen

The attorney representing actor Michael Madsen appeared in court but did not enter a plea for his client. Police in Malibu arrested the 61-year-old actor for allegedly driving under the influence after he hit a pole with his vehicle. Because of his previous DUI arrest in 2012, the California penal code could send him to jail for up to 364 days if the court convicts him on two misdemeanor DUI charges.

California women apprehended in undercover sting operation

Two California women are facing a raft of charges including identity theft, burglary, and drug possession after being apprehended during a sting operation conducted by Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office deputies. The women were taken into custody on May 3 when they met undercover deputies in a Cupertino restaurant to allegedly sell an iPad that had been purchased with a stolen credit card.

Individuals taken into custody on drug charges

Authorities say that three men were taken into custody on drug distribution and money laundering charges. They were charged in a Los Angeles court but were originally taken into custody in Germany in April. The charges stem form their purported roles in running Wall Street Market (WSM), which sold narcotics and other counterfeit items. WSM also sold malicious computer hacking software and stolen data. Authorities say that another man faces similar charges for acting as a moderator on the site.

When breath tests lead to false positives

Breathalyzer tests are not perfect, and California residents might like to know about situations when a breath test can provide faulty results. In some cases, those on the keto diet may test above the legal limit for alcohol even when within an accepted range. False positives may also happen when one has medical conditions like acid reflux or diabetes.

How much does a California DUI raise your auto insurance rates?

As a resident of California facing a driving under the influence charge, you may feel uneasy about the penalties you may face if you ultimately receive a conviction. A DUI conviction can take a serious toll on numerous areas of your life, and, unfortunately, the effects of a DUI typically continue for some time even after you get your driver’s license back.

Could participating in drug court help you avoid jail?

When law enforcement officers arrest and charge you with a crime involving drugs, the penalties you could potentially face will vary broadly based on factors including the severity of your drug crime and whether you have offended similarly before. In some instances, you may be able to avoid having to spend any time in jail, should a judge or jury convict you of your drug crime, by instead enrolling in a state drug court. According to the National Institute of Justice, drug courts, per a recent 10-year study, have the capacity to substantially benefit not only drug addicts but also the communities in which they reside.

What a disorderly conduct charge means

Most people in California have at least heard of the term "disorderly conduct." It's a common charge police use when someone is considered a public nuisance but not in a way that presents a serious danger to other individuals. Some law enforcement officials default to this charge when someone is exhibiting unruly conduct. This may be the case if an individual is intoxicated or disturbing the peace.

Incorrect warrants can send people back to jail

Some people in California who have had warrants dismissed or who have already served a sentence may find that warrant reappearing years later. These so-called "ghost warrants" are often for minor issues, such as traffic violations or unpaid fees, and disproportionately affect poor people. While sometimes this happens because prosecutors will not let minor cases go, it is often a case of clerical error.

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