What does DWAI stand for in Colorado?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Jun 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

DWAI stands for the Colorado crime of "driving while ability impaired" (42-4-1301 (1)(g)). In Colorado, people commit DWAI if they are operating a motor vehicle while they are impaired by drugs or alcohol in "the slightest degree."

Is it a crime to break into an unlocked car in California?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Jun 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

It is not considered “breaking and entering” under the burglary laws of California for a person to enter an unlocked car. However, if a person enters a car through an unlocked door without the owner’s consent, that person could be charged with tampering with a vehicle. California Vehicle Code section 10852 states that no person shall, without the owner’s consent: willfully injure or tamper with any vehicle, or the contents thereof, or break or remove any part of a vehicle. Tampering is defined as conduct interfering with the ownership of the vehicle. Thus, Vehicle Code 10852 makes it a crime to enter someone else’s vehicle, even if the car door is unlocked.

When is Robbery First vs. Second Degree in California?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Jun 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

Robbery is divided into first-degree robbery and second-degree robbery in California (Penal Code 212.5). First degree robbery is committed when the victim is: the driver or passenger of certain fare earning vehicles; robbed while located in a residence, inhabited vessel, trailer coach, or building; using or just used an ATM machine. Second degree robbery is any other kind of robbery that is not listed as first degree. The required elements of robbery are: the felonious taking of personal property, in the possession of another, from his or her person or immediate presence, against his or her will, by means of force or fear.

Can a person in California serve misdemeanor probation in another county?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Jun 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

A person in California can typically serve misdemeanor probation in another county so long as it does not violate any probate condition. In this situation, though, it is often best for the party serving probation to get the permission of the court; and, if applicable, transfer the case to the other county. Misdemeanor probation, sometimes referred to as “summary” or “informal” probation, is an alternative to jail. It allows low-risk offenders to serve most or all of their sentence under court supervision instead of behind bars. Summary probation typically lasts for between one and three years in California (though it can last up to five). During that time, the defendant must comply with certain conditions, such as: attending counseling, paying restitution, or performing community labor. If a defendant fails to comply with these conditions, the judge has the right to revoke probation and send the offender to jail.

What happens when a bench warrant is recalled or quashed?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Jun 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

If a bench warrant gets recalled, or cleared, in California, it means that the person named in the warrant is no longer wanted by law enforcement personnel. The warrant is deemed null and void and it gets cleared from the judicial system. Note that a bench warrant (“BW”) issued in California does not expire. It remains in effect until either: the subject of the warrant dies, or the warrant gets cleared. In California, a person can clear a BW by either: appearing in court before the judge, or possibly having the party’s attorney appear in court on his behalf. If a bench warrant does not get cleared, a person risks getting arrested and a judge may: release the party with a warning, or order the party into jail.

What’s the maximum sentence for child molestation in California?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Jun 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

The maximum sentence for child molestation in California ranges from probation to life in prison, depending on a number of factors: The age of the child, if under 14 years of age, if 14 or 15 years old. Whether there is an accusation that force, violence, duress, or threats were used, The number or pattern of lewd acts committed. California Penal Code section 288 states that: A person is guilty of this felony when they willfully and lewdly commit any lewd or lascivious act upon the body of a child under the age of 14 years, with the intent of arousing or appealing to the sexual desires of that person and shall be imprisoned in state prison. The lewd or lascivious act referred to in PC288 is the touching of a child for a sexual purpose or gratification. The touching may be done by the accused, the child, or another person.

How long is felony probation in California?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Jun 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

Felony probation in California may be for as long as the maximum time for which the person could have been sentenced to prison. (Penal Code section 1203.1) The exception is a case where the maximum possible prison sentence is five years or less. Then the probation period can be up to, but no longer than, five years. If a person is placed on felony probation in California instead of being sentenced to state prison, the judge may also: impose county jail time, impose a fine, impose restitution, impose other appropriate terms and conditions. Please note that the judge DOES NOT have to order any of those things. After a person is placed on felony probation the court has the authority to change or modify any of the terms and conditions during the probation period.

Is a spring assisted knife legal in California?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Jun 06, 2019 | 0 Comments

A spring assisted knife is illegal in California under Penal Code 21510 PC, which is the California statute governing switchblade knives. According to this code section, it is illegal for a person to do any of the following with a switchblade knife: possess the knife in the passenger's or driver's area of any motor vehicle in any public place or place open to the public, carry the switchblade upon one’s person, or sell, offer or expose for sale, or loan, transfer, or give the knife to anyone else. According to Penal Code 17235, a: ““switchblade knife” means a knife having the appearance of a pocketknife and includes a spring-blade knife, snap-blade knife, gravity knife, or any other similar type knife, the blade or blades of which are two or more inches in length and which can be released automatically by a flick of a button.” (emphasis added). Given this definition, a “spring assisted knife” is a type of switchblade under California law.

What’s the difference between first- and second-degree burglary in California?

Posted by Neil Shouse | May 30, 2019 | 0 Comments

California burglary law (under Penal Code 459) is divided into “first-degree burglary” and “second-degree burglary.” First-degree burglary is burglary of a residence. Second-degree burglary is the burglary of any other type of structure (including stores and businesses). First-degree (or residential) burglary is always a felony. The potential consequences include a state prison sentence of: two years, four years, or six years. Second-degree (or commercial) burglary is what is known as a wobbler in California law. This means that it may be charged as either: a felony, with a potential county jail sentence of 16 months, two years or three years, or a misdemeanor, with a potential county jail sentence of up to one year.

“Estes Robbery” – how shoplifting in California can become a serious felony and a strike

Posted by Neil Shouse | May 29, 2019 | 0 Comments

Under California criminal law, an Estes Robbery is when a person: commits the crime of shoplifting, illegal under PC 459.5, and in the course of the crime, uses force or fear to get away from a store employee or a security guard. The term “Estes Robbery” is used because a California court ruled, in People v. Estes, that Curtis Estes committed robbery, under PC 211, when he: stole a coat from a department store, and then swung a knife at a security guard that tried to stop him. An Estes Robbery is charged as a felony. The crime is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for; two years, three years, or five years. In addition, a conviction of the offense is considered a “Strike” under California’s Three Strikes Law. Basic shoplifting is defined as a person entering an open business, with the intent to steal merchandise worth $950 or less. The crime is typically charged as a misdemeanor and is punishable by: imprisonment in the county jail for up to six months, and/or a fine of up to one $1,000.

Is it double jeopardy to charge someone in state and federal court?

Posted by Neil Shouse | May 24, 2019 | 0 Comments

It is not double jeopardy to charge a person in state and federal court, provided that he did some act that violated both state and federal laws. The Double Jeopardy Clause, as guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, says that a person cannot be prosecuted twice for the same offense. But jeopardy only attaches, or applies, to prosecutions of the same criminal acts by the same sovereign, or governments. States are considered "separate sovereigns" from the federal government in the United States. And, according to the dual sovereignty doctrine, more than one sovereign (e.g., a state government and a federal government) may prosecute a person without violating double jeopardy, if he breaks the laws of each sovereignty.

Is betting illegal in Colorado?

Posted by Neil Shouse | May 21, 2019 | 0 Comments

Yes, but there are five exceptions: 1) social gambling; 2) the Colorado Lottery; 3) in Colorado's casinos; 4) horse and greyhound racing through the Colorado Division of Racing; and 5) licensed bingo, raffles, or charitable games.

What is "child annoyance" in California?

Posted by Neil Shouse | May 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

Per Penal Code 647.6 PC, child annoyance is a type of criminal conduct in California. This conduct occurs when: a person engages in an act directed at a child (under the age of 18), the act is motivated by sexual interest in the child, and a normal person would have been disturbed, irritated, or injured by the act. Annoying a child is an offense in California that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Fortunately for persons accused of the crime, legal defenses do exist to challenge child annoyance accusations. For example, a defendant can try to show that a child or an accuser was lying.

What is "pretrial services" in Denver Colorado?

Posted by Neil Shouse | May 16, 2019 | 0 Comments

Denver's Pretrial Services program helps criminal court judges to determine whether a particular defendant is safe to be released on bond pending the trial and on what conditions. And if the defendant does get released, Pretrial Services may supervise the defendant's whereabouts and sobriety during this "pretrial" period.

Does gender affect BAC?

Posted by Neil Shouse | May 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

Gender does affect BAC, or blood alcohol concentration. Women will reach a higher BAC than men if the two genders consume alcohol at a similar rate. There are three main reasons why a female will reach a higher BAC than a male. These are: women have lower water content in their bodies than men, females tend to have more body fat than males, and the enzyme that absorbs alcohol in the body is less widespread in women than it is in men. Other factors that may affect a party’s blood alcohol concentration include: age, food, rate of consumption, weight, and stress.

Top 5 causes of eyewitness misidentification

Posted by Neil Shouse | May 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

The top 5 causes of eyewitness misidentification are: limitations in human memory, witness stress and anxiety, suggestive or misleading police procedures, cross-race biases, and the fact that witnesses tend to focus more on weapons than a perpetrator’s identity.

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