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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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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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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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New Interlock Requirements to Take Effect January 2019 in DUI Cases – The Good News and Bad News

As of September 28, 2016, Governor Brown approved a new regime governing restricted licenses in DUI cases. Currently, for a first time DUI, there is a mandatory “hard” suspension period of 30 days, after which the driver can apply for a restricted license if they: (1) Show proof of SR-22 insurance; (2) Pay an administrative…

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