3 Ways to Get a Criminal Sentence Modified in California

Posted by Neil Shouse | Mar 15, 2019 | 0 Comments

There are three ways in which a person can try to modify a criminal sentence in California. These are when the person: files a motion for resentencing, appeals his sentence, and brings a writ of habeas corpus petition. There are also two ways in which a court can modify a sentence on its own accord. These are when the court: recalls a sentence within 120 days after it is imposed, and recalls a sentence because of the health of a prisoner.

How do errors on a police report affect a DUI case?

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

Mistakes within a police report can have a significant impact on a DUI case – for the betterment of a person accused, or charged with, DUI. Mistakes could lead to charges getting reduced or even dismissed. Errors on a police report could show any of the following: no basis or probable cause for an initial stop (that led to the DUI), police made inconsistent, misguided, or even false observations while conducting a field sobriety test, and/or that a suspect was responsive and did not appear intoxicated. All of these can help a defendant that is charged with driving under the influence in California.

5 crimes that will get you “life without parole” in California

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

5 crimes that will get you “life without parole” in California are: first-degree murder, per Penal Code 187; felony-murder, per Senate Bill 1437; rape, per Penal Code 261, if the defendant had a prior conviction of rape; sexual penetration, per Penal Code 289, if the defendant tortured the victim while committing the crime; and, lewd or lascivious acts, per Penal Code 288, if the defendant committed the crime during the commission of a burglary.

How to clear a bench warrant in California without going to jail?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Mar 08, 2019 | 0 Comments

A bench warrant (“BW”) is a warrant to arrest and detain a person who has either failed to appear in court or failed to obey a court order. 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. Please note that if a party is trying to clear a BW, it is critical for the person to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney for help. 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.

Can I get a person in jail to testify for me in a Nevada criminal trial?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Mar 04, 2019 | 0 Comments

Under NRS 174.325, an inmate incarcerated in Nevada State Prison or a county or city jail in Nevada can be called to testify at a criminal trial if all of the following three conditions are true: 1) The criminal trial is in a district court, such as the Eighth Judicial District Court in Las Vegas, or the Second Judicial District Court in Reno; 2) The defendant or prosecution makes a motion with the court to produce the inmate as a witness, and this motion includes an affidavit explaining what the inmate is expected to say, and why it is material; and 3) The judge in the criminal case decides that the inmate's testimony is "necessary."

Is driving on Xanax illegal in California?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Mar 01, 2019 | 0 Comments

Xanax is a drug that can be legally prescribed in California. If a person has a legal prescription for Xanax, it is lawful for him to drive after taking the drug, if taken as a medication. However, it is illegal under California Vehicle Code 23152(f) for a motorist to drive under the influence of drugs (DUID). A driver is guilty of DUID if he can no longer drive like a sober person under similar circumstances due to the taking of any drug (including Xanax). This is no matter if the drug is illegal, prescription or over-the-counter. DUID is a wobbler offense in California, meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of a case. If charged as a misdemeanor, penalties for the crime can include: jail time, a substantial fine, and/or a driver’s license suspension. If charged as a felony, penalties for the offense can include: up to three years in jail, and/or a substantial fine.

AB 2845 prohibits some California employers from asking potential employees about convictions

Posted by Neil Shouse | Feb 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

Assembly Bill 2845 was signed into law by Gov. Brown in September 2018. The bill prohibits employers with five or more employees to do such things as: ask potential employees or applicants about their conviction history; inquire into or consider an applicant’s conviction history until after an employment offer has been made; and, consider an applicant’s arrest (that is not followed by a conviction) while conducting a background check. Please note that some exemptions to these rules do apply. For example, AB 2845 does not apply to employment applications with a criminal justice agency. The bill in question also makes it easier for persons to apply for a pardon with the Governor’s office.

Can a person get bail pending extradition from Colorado to another state?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Feb 27, 2019 | 0 Comments

In the majority of circumstances under CRS 16-19-103, a defendant who faces extradition in Colorado to another state (the "demanding state") can be released on bail pending the final determination and processing of the demanding state's request. However, judges will not grant bail in Colorado in the following four circumstances: 1) the penalty for the crime the defendant is accused of is punishable by death or life in prison; 2) the defendant allegedly escaped from jail, prisons, or police custody in the demanding state; 3) the defendant allegedly violated the terms of his/her sentence, parole, probation, or bail; or 4) the defendant executed a written waiver of extradition.

Is it illegal to grow peyote in California?

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

California Health and Safety Code 11363 HSC is the California statute that makes it a crime for a person to grow, or cultivate, peyote. This statute also makes it a crime for a person to: plant, harvest, dry, or process peyote. A violation of HSC 11363 is a type of wobbler offense in California. This means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If charged as a misdemeanor, the crime is punishable by: imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year; and/or, a maximum fine of $1,000. If charged as a felony, the offense is punishable by: imprisonment in the California state prison for up to three years; and/or, a maximum fine of $10,000. Legal defenses are available to those accused under PC 11363. One such defense is “mistake of fact.”

Are cameras in bathrooms illegal in California?

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

It is a crime in California for a person to view the inside of a bathroom via a camera. California Penal Code 647(j) PC is California’s criminal “invasion of privacy” law. This law states that it is illegal for a person to view the inside of a room or area in which a person has a “reasonable expectation of privacy” in. According to PC 647(j), a person has a reasonable expectation in the following: bathrooms, bedrooms, changing rooms, fitting rooms, dressing rooms, and tanning booths. California’s invasion of privacy law is one of the State’s two “Peeping Tom” laws. The other is California Penal Code 647(i) PC. This law makes it a crime for a person to: peek in the door or window of an inhabited structure, while loitering (or, lingering) on private property. Violations of either of California’s Peeping Tom laws are charged as misdemeanors. The crimes are punishable by: imprisonment in the county jail for up to six months; and/or, a maximum fine of $1,000.

Can I be extradited to Colorado for a parole violation?

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

Yes. Extradition into Colorado is the legal process of bringing back a "fugitive from justice" to Colorado -- the state in which he or she allegedly committed a crime. A person may also be extradited if he or she: violates bail, violates the conditions of probation, or violates the condi...

Is devocalization of dogs and cats legal in California?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Feb 15, 2019 | 0 Comments

Devocalization is the procedure where a dog’s or cat’s vocal cords are cut to eliminate their ability to bark or meow. Under California law, this procedure is generally legal. However, 24 CFR 960.707 makes it unlawful to require people to remove their pets’ vocal chords as a condition of living in public housing. Further, Section 1942.7(a)(3) of the California Civil Code prohibits landlords from requiring the devocalization of an animal as a condition of renting real property. This latter prohibition also applies to the declawing of animals. But, like devocalization, the declawing of a cat or dog is otherwise permissible under California law.

Are schools liable for injuries during field trips?

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

Education Code 35330(d) is the California statute that provides school districts with field trip immunity. This immunity generally means that school districts are not liable for any injuries that persons suffer when on a field trip. “Persons” include: students, teachers, and chaperones. Please note, however, that despite this immunity, an injured party on a field trip could still try to sue a school for negligence. California law defines "negligence" as the failure to use reasonable care to prevent harm to oneself or to others. Depending on the facts of the case, a field trip taker could try to obtain compensation for injuries incurred by showing that the school was negligent in the course of the field trip.

How to drop domestic violence charges in California?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Feb 09, 2019 | 0 Comments

California domestic violence laws make it a crime to harm, or threaten to harm, an intimate partner. If a domestic violence (“DV”) charge gets filed under these laws, a defendant can attempt one, or all, of the following to try and get it dropped: gain the support of the prosecutor, request a copy of the police report, prepare a true account of details, and contact an experienced domestic violence attorney. Please note that it is often difficult to drop DV charges in California. This is mainly because it is up to the prosecutor as to whether or not charges get dropped. And, many of the State’s prosecuting agencies have adopted a “no drop” policy when it comes to DV charges.

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