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The following video has caused an uproar because many people believe it shows a police officer planting narcotics in a suspect's car. The police have defended the officer saying he did nothing wrong. Watch the video, read the article and decide for yourself.

Link - Yahoo article

Drug Sniffing Dogs 

The United States Supreme Court is considering whether or not to take up the case of the police's right to search people based on drug sniffing dogs. The argument is that the dog's sniff counts as an unconstitutional search under the 4th Amendment.

Link - Yahoo article

Holiday Season 

With the holiday season here, be careful driving home from Holiday Parties. Law enforcement will be out in full force between now and the beginning of the New Year. Make sure to have a designated driver or number to a local cab.

Wrong Man Certificate 

I'm contacted a lot by people who have had their identity stolen and as a result have active tickets and warrants in the court system in their name. Here is a link to a website that offers good advice on what to do if you have been the victim of criminal identity theft. Also, in Los Angeles you can get what is called a "Wrong Man's Certificate."

Link - Privacy Rights Clearinghouse

The largest medical marijuana advocacy group is suing the Obama administration in federal court claiming the 10th Amendment prevents the federal government from interfering with California's public health care laws. This lawsuit is in response to the October 7th press conference whereby the DOJ announced they would attack California's medical marijuana laws.

Link - Opposing View article

California is allowing local communities to decide how they want to treat non violent prisoners recently released from prison. Santa Clara is taking a unique approach to cut down on the revolving door that is usually associated with individuals released from prison. Santa Clara is sending a team to meet released prisoners to help them find a job, place to live, and even provide free medication. Read more:

Link - Mercury News article

Governor Brown signed into law today a measure that makes it illegal for prisoners to have cell phones. I would think it would be near impossible for a prisoner to smuggle a cell phone into jail, but apparently not. My favorite part of this article is how it casually mentions that Charles Manson was caught with a flip phone.

Link - LA Times article

DUI (Vehicle Code Section 23152) 

In Los Angeles, DUIs are prosecuted under Section 23152 of the Vehicle Code. Section 23152 and DUIs in general involve two counts. The first count is called the (a) count and covers driving under the influence. The second count called the (b) count covers driving with a BAC of .08 or higher. Therefore, under rare circumstances a person can be charged with a DUI under the (a) count even if their BAC was under a .08.

All criminal laws are based on statutes. The most common statutes are listed under the Vehicle Code (DUI and driving offenses), the Penal Code (most criminal violations), and the Health & Safety Code (drug crimes).

‎The California State Assembly passed a bill that would require police officers to obtain a warrant before searching an individual's cell phone. This is a victory for all those who believe in the 4th Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Link - NBC Article

Under Proposition 36, California law allows defendants charged with non violent drug possession to complete a drug rehab program instead of receiving jail time. If you are charged with drug possession you should discuss Proposition 36 with your attorney.

Link - Proposition 36 Organization

The Los Angeles City Council voted to eliminate their red light camera ticket program. This is good news for motorists in the City of Los Angeles!  But, this is just the first step. Other areas in Los Angeles County are still standing by their red light camera ticket programs.  Hopefully other cities in Los Angeles County will follow suit and end their red light camera ticket programs as well.  Stay tuned for more information.

Link - LA Weekly Article

"Diversion" refers to the process by which the court and prosecutor give a defendant the opportunity to earn a dismissal of all charges. Earning a dismissal usually requires the completion of community service or some court approved program.  The scary part of diversion is defendants are generally required to enter a guilty plea before they enter into diversion with the court.  Whereby, if the defendant fails to complete all the diversion requirements, there is a guilty plea on record and the judge will have the authority to sentence the defendant to jail time.  An experienced criminal defense attorney can explain diversion in more depth and let you know whether you qualify.

Traffic school can only be completed for traffic tickets that count as moving violations. Furthermore, traffic school can only be completed once every eighteen months. Here is a list of traffic violations that count as moving violations and how many points they will put on your DMV record:

Link - DMV moving violations

The Double Jeopardy Clause of the 5th Amendment prevents district attorneys in criminal cases from prosecuting a defendant more than once for a single crime. This is good news for Roger Clemens and his attorneys. If the judge in the Roger Clemens rules that Double Jeopardy applies, the case will be dismissed.

Link - Houston Press article

(Legal Definition) Reasonable Doubt: Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is proof that leaves you with an abiding conviction that the charge is true. The evidence need not eliminate all possible doubt because everything in life is open to some possible or imaginary doubt.

Link - Calcrim Jury Instructions

The term "wobbler" refers to a crime that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. Because the possible punishment for a felony is so much more severe than the punishment for a misdemeanor, it is imperative to hire an experienced attorney if you are charged with a wobbler.

4th of July

Be careful this upcoming weekend if you are celebrating the 4th and driving. The police will be out in full force. Most DUI's happen around big holiday weekends. This may be a good time to become acquainted with your local taxi service.

Los Angeles County has been part of a pilot program that requires anyone convicted of a DUI to have an IID device installed in their car. IID stands for ignition interlock device. An IID is essentially a breathalyzer that prevents a car from being started until the device is blown in and registers a .00 BAC. It is a new conditions that makes a DUI conviction even that much more financially draining since the IID costs money to be installed and has to be maintained each month.  The IID is imposed by the Los Angeles Superior Court judge, but is really a requirement under the California DMV. An experienced Los Angeles lawyer can advise you regarding an IID if you have been arrested for a DUI.

Link - DMV IID Information

The "penalty assessment" added to all Los Angeles court fines and fees usually multiplies the cost of the ticket by four or five times as much. This is why a $25 talking on the phone while driving ticket in Los Angeles comes out to close to $200! It appears it's only going to get worse:

Link - Daily Breeze article

Here's an interesting article about a local lawmaker's effort to regulate DUI checkpoints:

Link - Press Democrat article

If a friend or loved one of yours has been arrested by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, you can use the following link to find information about where they are being held:

Link - Inmate Information

Every defense attorney's favorite statute is Penal Code Section 1385. This law gives the judge and prosecutor the ability to dismiss a case in the interests of justice.

Link - Penal Code Section 1385

‎(Legal Definition) 977 authority: Section 977 of the Penal Code is the law that allows an attorney to appear in court on the clients' behalf under certain circumstances during criminal cases.

If you are having difficulty finding a job or passing a background check because of a previous criminal conviction, an expungement of your record may be the solution. If you have completed all of your probationary conditions, depending on your offense, you may be eligible for an expungement. If this applies to you, you should talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney about expungement today!

A lot of clients call me because they have found out from a police officer that they have an old traffic ticket (infraction) they forgot to handle. A failure to appear on a traffic ticket can also result in the DMV putting a hold on your driver's license.  An experienced criminal lawyer can advise you on how to handle an old ticket and a failure to appear charge. You can check the status of your license and whether you have any outstanding traffic tickets at the Los Angeles Superior Court Website:

Link - Traffic Ticket Search

A DUI arrest in Los Angeles triggers two different and independent proceedings. The first DUI proceeding is the court case filed by the district attorney. The second DUI proceeding is the DMV administrative hearing. This link provides information about the DMV DUI administrative hearing:

Link - DMV Hearing

If you or somebody you know has been arrested for a crime, I can help. Contact my office at (424) 242-9403 for a free consultation. I can also be reached 24/7 by e-mail at