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Benefits of Mental Health Diversion under New Law PC 1001.36

Penal Code sections 1001.35-1001.36 were added to the California Penal Code June 27, 2018 to create a new statutory scheme that provides the Court the discretion to place qualified criminal defendants into “Pretrial Mental Health Diversion”. On June 21, 2018, Penal Code section 1001.35 through 1001.36 became effective after enactment of Assembly Bill 1810 by…

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Negative Immigration Consequences of Ineffective Lawyering or Wrongful Conviction – Hope after the Passage of PC 1473.7

Our country is a nation of immigrants and is the best country in the world for that reason. Yet, immigrants convicted of criminal offenses can face draconian consequences, even for offenses that may be considered minor by the general public or even by those in the legal community who do not fully grasp the labyrinthine…

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Statutes as the “Black Letter” Law in California

Almost all states, as well as the Federal Government, have codified their criminal laws into statutes that one can refer to in text form. The Courts interpret the statutes and determine the intent of the Legislature, and, when the statutes are challenged as unconstitutional, rule as to their validity. When the Courts interpret a statute,…

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Allegations in Baltimore PD Corruption Trial More Common than Public May Think

The recent news coming from a Baltimore Police corruption trial has unearthed appalling accusations that Baltimore Officers were fabricating search warrant affidavits to illegally search homes, possessed BB guns with the intent to plant them in case of unlawful police shootings, profiled various types of peoples and vehicles, and illegally tracked citizens with GPS devices,…

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Appearance without client’s presence – Felony v. Misdemeanors

Generally, a criminal defendant must be personally present in felony cases. Cal. Penal Code § 977(b). However, this general rule does not apply in most misdemeanor cases, and the defense attorney may appear on their client’s behalf. See Cal. Penal Code § 977(a) . A defendant who chooses not to personally appear pursuant to Section…

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Demystifying California Gun Laws – Concealed and Loaded Firearms

California gun laws are notoriously complex and difficult to distinguish, even for attorneys who handle firearms-related cases on a regular basis. One key area of confusion that comes up is the distinction between loaded firearms and concealed firearms. Below, we discuss relevant codes regarding these distinctions. Cal. Penal Code § 25400  – Concealed Weapons in…

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Forced Blood Draws, DUIs, and Suppression of Blood Evidence under the Fourth Amendment

        DUI  Blood Draws Justified on grounds of Exigent Circumstances under the Schmerber and  McNeely decisions.    In Schmerber v. California (1966) 384 U.S. 757, the US Supreme Court determined that a warrantless compulsory seizure of blood for the purpose of a blood-alcohol test did not offend the Fourth Amendment if the procedure:  (1) is…

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Proposition 64: Reaping the legal benefits of the new age of cannabis in California

California Voter’s approved recreational marijuana for statewide use last November 2016 with Proposition 64. What many may not know is that the passage of the Proposition is that the law was changed not just to allow future use and possession/ cultivation of cannabis, but also corrected past draconian and unproductive punishments and criminal records created…

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Limits on DUI Checkpoints and the Fourth Amendment

Holiday season means DUI checkpoints increase across the State of California. DUI checkpoints are legal and police may use them in an effort to protect public safety, if they follow certain guidelines in setting up and operating the checkpoint. Vehicle Checkpoints and the Ingersoll Test   The primary purpose of a sobriety checkpoint is to…

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