Blog

A Breathalyzer Test for Marijuana?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Nov 20, 2018 | 0 Comments

According to an article on Newsweek.com, a California based company recently made a breathalyzer test for marijuana. While currently not in use by law enforcement, the new device has the potential to be used by police to detect if a driver is driving under the influence on marijuana. Currently, California police officers use a mouth swab test in the field to determine whether a motorist is driving under the influence of drugs (DUID). DUID can be charged as either a California misdemeanor or a felony depending on the specific facts of a case. The penalties for the offense can include: jail time, fines, and/or a license suspension.

5 benefits to getting a pardon in Nevada

Posted by Neil Shouse | Nov 14, 2018 | 0 Comments

Five benefits of getting past criminal conviction(s) pardoned in Nevada include: 1) More job opportunities; 2) Potential restoration of gun rights; 3) Potential restoration of civil rights; 4) Pardoned offenses are immune from impeachment; and 5) Reduced risk of deportation.

SB 923 Creates Statewide Standards in CA for Eyewitness Identifications

Posted by Neil Shouse | Nov 13, 2018 | 0 Comments

Senate Bill 923 was signed into law by Gov. Brown in September 2018. The bill establishes several new standards that must be used in eyewitness identification procedures, as used in California criminal investigations. For example, under SB 923, immediately after viewing a lineup of suspects, an eyewitness has to provide a statement that voices his level of confidence in the identification of a wrongdoer. The main goal behind Senate Bill 923 is to prevent mistaken eyewitness identifications in California that lead to innocent people being convicted. SB 923 marks a change in California law. Prior to the bill, there were no statewide standards governing eyewitness identifications.

AB 2327 requires CA police agencies to review officer history before hiring

Posted by Neil Shouse | Nov 08, 2018 | 0 Comments

Assembly Bill 2327 was signed into law by Gov. Brown in September 2018. According to the bill, any state agency hiring a law enforcement officer must now review that officer’s history of public complaints, and any investigations conducted therein, prior to employment. AB 2327 marks a change in California law. Prior to the bill, an agency hiring an officer was under no obligation to review that person’s personnel file, which includes documentation on public complaints and investigations.

Can a Prosecutor Access a Person’s Juvenile Records after he/she Completes Informal Probation?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Nov 06, 2018 | 0 Comments

Assembly Bill 2952 was signed into law by Gov. Brown in September 2018. According to the bill, prosecutors can access juvenile records that get sealed after a minor successfully completes informal probation. This is provided, though, that the prosecutor: Gains the approval of the court to access such records; and, Only accesses the records to provide exculpatory evidence to a defendant in a criminal case. AB 2952 marks a change in California law. Prior to the bill, a person’s juvenile records were sealed upon successful completion of informal probation. And, a court could only authorize access to the records in very limited situations.

Can a Minor be Sent to Adult Court for Adjudication of a Criminal Case?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Nov 02, 2018 | 0 Comments

Senate Bill 1391 was signed into law by Gov. Brown in September 2018. According to the bill, a district attorney can make a motion to transfer a minor from juvenile court to an adult court of criminal jurisdiction as long as the minor is 16 years of age or older. The bill prohibits the prosecution of minors in adult court for offenses committed while under the age of 16, unless the minor was not apprehended until after turning 18 years of age. SB 1391 marks a change in California law. Prior to the bill, minors 14 years of age and older could be sent to adult court for adjudication of certain serious offenses via a transfer hearing.

Senate Bill 1393 gives judges discretion to dismiss 5-year prison enhancements

Posted by Neil Shouse | Oct 30, 2018 | 0 Comments

California law tacks on a five-year penalty enhancement (i.e., an additional five years in jail) for persons convicted of a serious felony, IF, they have a prior conviction for a serious felony. But, pursuant to Senate Bill 1393, California law now also states that a judge may strike a prior serious felony conviction to avoid the five-year enhancement, if the act furthers justice. SB 1393 was signed into law by Gov. Brown in September 2018. Prior to this signing, a judge was prohibited from dismissing the five-year penalty enhancement.

Does California’s Juvenile Court Have Jurisdiction Over Children of all Ages?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Oct 25, 2018 | 0 Comments

Senate Bill 439 was signed into law by Gov. Brown in September 2018. The bill prevents California’s juvenile court system from assuming jurisdiction over minor children under the age of 12. The bill does not apply to children that commit: Murder, Rape, Sodomy, Oral copulation, or, Sexual penetration. Juvenile court still has jurisdiction in these cases, even when an offender is under 12, provided that the crimes were committed by the use of force, violence, menace, or threat of bodily injury. Under California law, prior to SB 439, the juvenile court had jurisdiction over all children under the age of 18. There was not a minimum age of a child where the court could not hear a case.

AB 2138 limits the time for CA state licensing board discipline for most crimes to 7 years

Posted by Neil Shouse | Oct 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

Assembly Bill 2138 was signed into law by Gov. Brown in September 2018. According to the bill, a licensing board cannot take away, or deny, a license on the basis of a criminal conviction if the following is true: The conviction is seven years or older; and, The conviction is not substantially related to the job details the applicant will perform. Please note, however, that these rules do not apply if a conviction is for a serious felony. Licensing boards may take away a license, or deny one, for these offenses. Under California law, prior to AB 2138, licensing boards could take away or deny a license if the applicant, or license holder, was convicted of a crime. Very limited exceptions applied.

How to make a motion to recuse a judge in Nevada

Posted by Neil Shouse | Oct 21, 2018 | 0 Comments

Parties to a civil or criminal case in Nevada state court may be able to recuse (remove) the judge from their case due to actual or implied bias. The party would need to file an affidavit listing reasons for the recusal and appear at a judicial hearing, whether other judges would decide on the recusal.

What firearms training course is required to get a CCW in California?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Oct 19, 2018 | 0 Comments

California law states that a person may not carry a concealed firearm in public unless he has a valid Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) license. Assembly Bill 2103 was signed into law by Gov. Brown in September 2018. It imposes two requirements that a person must meet before he can receive a CCW license. These requirements are: Applicants for CCW permits must receive a minimum of eight hours of training on firearm safety, handling, and technique; and, Applicants must perform live-fire shooting exercises while demonstrating they can safely handle and shoot the firearm they are applying for to be licensed to carry. Under California law, prior to AB 2103, a person could obtain a CCW license even if he never owned a gun and did not receive firearm safety training.

How to modify a criminal sentence in Nevada

Posted by Neil Shouse | Oct 17, 2018 | 0 Comments

Depending on the circumstances of a criminal case in Nevada, there are three main ways to try to persuade a judge to modify the defendant's sentence: 1) A motion to modify the sentence; 2) An appeal of the sentence; or 3) A writ of habeas corpus.

Can Law Enforcement Personnel Collect a DNA Sample from a Minor?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Oct 15, 2018 | 0 Comments

California Assembly Bill 1584 states that if law enforcement personnel wish to collect a DNA sample from a minor, they must first get the permission of both the minor and his/her parent(s). Gov. Brown recently signed AB 1584 into law in September 2018; and, it imposes several other rules on the collection of a minor’s DNA. For example, if a DNA sample is collected from a minor under the new law, and the sample has not implicated the minor as a suspect for a crime, then AB 1584 states that: The sample must be destroyed within two years from the date of collection; and/or, The sample must be destroyed upon the minor’s request. AB 1584 also prohibits a minor’s DNA sample, collected via consent, from being analyzed or compared to profiles related to crimes other than the one for which it was taken. If authorities violate Assembly Bill 1584, they can be penalized with a $5,000 fine.

10 types of workers NOT entitled to overtime pay in Nevada

Posted by Neil Shouse | Oct 14, 2018 | 0 Comments

1) Taxi, limo, or delivery drivers; 2) Farm workers; 3) Professional, administrative, or executive employees; 4) Employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement which provides for overtime; 5) Railroad or airline employees; 6) Certain motor carrier employees, including drivers, loaders, and mechanics; 7) Automobile salespeople and mechanics; 8) Employees of businesses with a gross sales volume of less than a quarter million dollars annually; 9) Domestic servants who live where they work and agree in writing to forgo overtime pay; and 10) Employees in a retail or service business if their regular rate is more than 1.5 times the minimum wage, and more than half their compensation comes from commission.

Are Short-Barreled Rifles or Sawed-Off Shotguns Illegal in California? (Penal Code 33215)

Posted by Neil Shouse | Oct 11, 2018 | 0 Comments

Under California Penal Code 33215, it is illegal if a person does any of the following acts with a short-barreled rifle or a short-barreled shotgun: Manufactures them, Imports them into the State, Keeps them for sale, Offers them for sale, Gives or lends them, and/or Possesses them. If a person performs any of these acts with the firearms in question, he can get charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the specific facts of a case. The penalties for either charge can include imprisonment for one to three years and/or substantial fines.

What is a Zip Gun and is it Illegal in California?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Oct 08, 2018 | 0 Comments

A zip gun is essentially a cheap makeshift gun. Persons make them using supplies from around their home or found at a local hardware store. Zip guns are sometimes favored by an offender because they’re relatively untraceable and can be thrown out after a single shot. The term “zip” is used because a rubber band is often used to help fire these weapons. Under California Penal Code 33600, it is illegal if a person does any of the following with zip guns: Manufactures them, Imports them into the State, Keeps them for sale, Offers them for sale, Gives or lends them, and/or Possesses them. If a person performs any of these acts with a zip gun, he can get charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the specific facts of a case. The penalties for either charge can include imprisonment for one to three years and/or substantial fines.

Are Camouflaging Firearm Containers Illegal in California?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Oct 02, 2018 | 0 Comments

A camouflaging firearm container is an object that holds a gun, but nonetheless, does not look like it contains a firearm. This element of concealment is the reason for the use of the term, “camouflaging.” The container in question is also designed so that the firearm inside it can be fired without removing it from the container. Under California Penal Code 24310, the following acts are illegal in California when it comes to camouflaging firearm containers: Manufacture, Import into the State of California, Keep for sale, Offer for sale, Give, Lend, and/or Possess If a person performs any of these acts with a camouflaging firearm container, he can get charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the specific facts of a case. The penalties for either charge can include imprisonment for one to three years and/or substantial fines.

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