Home invasions can be terrifying, and the instinct to protect yourself and your family is a natural response. However, the legality of using lethal force to defend against an intruder with a deadly weapon can be complex. You need a criminal defense lawyer who can investigate your case's circumstances and protect your rights.
Some topics you must consider include the legal issues surrounding self-defense, the Castle Doctrine, and Stand-Your-Ground laws in the context of shooting someone who breaks into your home.
If you shoot someone who breaks into your home, several legal issues may arise, and navigating these complexities can be challenging. A thorough understanding of the laws and regulations in your state is crucial to determine the legality of your actions.
Whether such force was necessary, whether the physical force you used was proportional, and whether forceful and unlawful entry took place will all play a role in your self-defense claim.
Some of the key legal issues that may come into play include:
Given the intricate legal issues that can emerge when you shoot someone who breaks into your home, it is vital to consult a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney if you find yourself in this situation.
Regarding criminal law, self-defense is a fundamental concept that allows individuals to use force – even lethal force – for protection from potential danger. This legal justification serves as an affirmative defense that can potentially exonerate someone who has acted if their actions meet certain criteria. Generally speaking, self-defense is seen as lawful when a person:
If these factors apply to you, you might have acted in self-defense. Because this area of the law can be murky, enlist the help of our legal team.
The answer to this question depends on the particular circumstances of each incident. In some cases, deadly force may be justified if you genuinely believe it's needed to protect yourself or others from harm. However, other scenarios could involve excessive power - particularly if there was no pressing risk or you had another option, such as retreating instead of reacting with violence.
There are several factors that courts typically consider when evaluating whether self-defense can be used as a legal defense:
To claim self-defense, you must be facing an immediate or impending threat of harm. This means the threat must be happening or about to happen, not a past or future danger. The threat of harm must be immediate and not a future or speculative danger. The person using force in self-defense must show that they did not have time to retreat or seek help from law enforcement.
The person using force must have a reasonable belief that the force was necessary to prevent harm. The individual must genuinely believe using force is necessary to avoid serious bodily injury, death, or another unlawful act, such as a home invasion. This means that an average person in the same situation would also believe using force was necessary.
People using force must genuinely believe it is necessary to protect themselves or others from harm. This is a subjective standard, meaning it is based on the individual's perception of the situation.
The force used in self-defense should be proportionate to the perceived threat. For example, a person may not be justified in using deadly force to protect themselves against a minor assault that does not pose a severe injury or death risk.
In some states, you may be required to retreat or attempt to escape the situation before using force. This requirement can vary depending on the state and the specific circumstances of the incident.
Self-defense may not be valid if you were the initial aggressor in the conflict or provoked the other person into using excessive force. Generally, someone who instigates a conflict or provokes an attack cannot claim self-defense.
In certain circumstances, we all have the right to protect ourselves, others, and our personal property. However, these rights can vary depending on where you live, and it's important to understand what they are.
Generally speaking, if you reasonably believe that someone else is in imminent danger of being harmed or your property is likely to be stolen or damaged unlawfully, then using force may be justified.
The Castle Doctrine takes this further when protecting yourself within your home. Here, individuals generally don't have a duty to retreat from an intruder and can even use deadly force for self-protection - but keep in mind that this varies depending on state laws.
Therefore, although we all share certain rights when defending ourselves inside and outside the home, understanding exactly how far those rights stretch is vital!
Under the Castle Doctrine, individuals typically do not have a duty to retreat when faced with a threat within their home. This means that they are not required to attempt to escape or withdraw from the situation before using force to defend themselves. The Castle Doctrine's purpose is to recognize the unique importance of the home as a place of safety and refuge, allowing individuals greater protection when faced with a threat inside their dwelling.
In most cases, using deadly force to protect property is not considered permissible self-defense. However, there may be certain exceptions when an intruder poses a direct and immediate threat to the safety of those inside the residence or if someone's life is in danger.
It's important to note that each state has its own laws on this issue, so it's essential for anyone considering taking such action to contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who can provide guidance specific to their situation.
By working with a lawyer who understands this area of the law, you can figure out what your rights are and formulate a strong defense. You need to be able to justify your actions if you are facing criminal charges or if you are even being investigated.
Our attorneys would happily provide you with a consultation to see your rights in your situation.
Stand-Your-Ground law gives people more leeway regarding defending themselves outside of their homes without having any duty or obligation towards retreating from the situation first before employing any form of force – including deadly force - as long as they feel threatened by imminent harm.
While these laws have been helpful in some contexts, they have also caused controversy due to increasing instances of violence and aggressive behavior being linked back to them. Hence why it's important for anyone living within a Stand-Your-Ground jurisdiction should familiarize themselves with such legislation, so that they know exactly where they stand, legally speaking, should something unfortunate occur.
Suppose you find yourself in a situation where you have used force to defend yourself or your property. In that case, seeking legal advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney is crucial.
The team at Hurwitz Law Group can help you understand your rights and navigate the complex legal issues surrounding self-defense, the Castle Doctrine, and Stand-Your-Ground laws.
Contact us today for a case evaluation, and let us help you protect your rights and future.
California's drug laws encompass many offenses, from simple possession to manufacturing and trafficking. Suppose you are facing criminal charges that involve drugs in any capacity. In that case, it is important to understand your rights, what steps you should take next, and the possible consequences associated with these violations, a DUI conviction related to drugs may have serious repercussions - regardless of whether or not this was your first offense.
At Hurwitz Law Group, we provide comprehensive legal guidance for those charged with drug crimes in California. Our experienced attorneys can help explain state law regarding controlled substances and inform you about the differences between misdemeanors and felonies, plus potential punishments for each type of violation.
We strive to ensure that everyone understands their options when dealing with such sensitive matters so they can make informed decisions about how best to defend themselves going forward.
Understanding California drug laws and California health regulations is essential, especially for those facing charges related to drug possession, distribution, or manufacturing. Here are some key laws to know:
Under Health and Safety Code 11350 HS, possessing certain controlled substances without a valid prescription is illegal. This includes drugs such as heroin and cocaine and prescription drugs like oxycodone and hydrocodone.
Violating this law can result in a misdemeanor or a felony charge, depending on the circumstances and the defendant's criminal history.
Health and Safety Code 11357 HS regulates the possession of marijuana in California. While recreational marijuana is legal in California, there are still restrictions on possession amounts and where it can be consumed. Violating this law can result in fines or, in some cases, misdemeanor charges.
Health and Safety Code 11377 HS makes it illegal to possess certain controlled substances classified as Schedule III, IV, or V, such as methamphetamine, ketamine, or anabolic steroids, without a valid prescription. As with Health and Safety Code 11350 HS, violations of this law can be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the circumstances and the defendant's criminal history.
As someone with less legal experience, it's important to understand the complexities of health codes and regulations. To protect your rights and interests properly, consult a lawyer specialized in this field for guidance.
In California, certain drugs are legally accessible for medical or recreational use - such as medical marijuana (for those 21+) and prescriptions from licensed healthcare professionals. But even if these substances are permitted under the law, mishandling them can still lead to criminal charges – so be aware of what you’re using and how it could affect you if consumed incorrectly.
Don't hesitate to ask questions or concerns. Get educated on the subject matter to protect yourself accordingly!
While laws have changed recently, many drugs are illegal in California, including but not limited to the following:
Possession, distribution, or manufacturing of these drugs can result in criminal charges, with penalties varying depending on the specific drug and the defendant's criminal history.
In California, drug possession can be considered a misdemeanor in several situations, including:
Misdemeanor charges typically carry less severe penalties than felony charges, including shorter jail sentences, lower fines, and less severe long-term consequences.
Drug possession can be considered a felony under certain circumstances, such as:
Felony charges typically carry more severe penalties than misdemeanor charges, including lengthier prison sentences, higher fines, and more significant long-term consequences.
The specific amount of drugs that can lead to a felony charge varies depending on the type of drug and the circumstances surrounding the case. Factors such as the drug's weight or quantity, the defendant's criminal history, and evidence of intent to sell or distribute can all influence whether a possession charge is classified as a felony.
In California, possession of a controlled substance refers to having control over illegal drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, or other substances listed in the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act.
Possession can be actual, meaning the drugs are physically on the person, or constructive, meaning the drugs are in a location that the person controls, such as their home or vehicle.
Controlled substances in California are classified into five schedules based on their potential for abuse, medical use, and safety:
California's historic Proposition 47, passed in 2014, reclassifies non-violent drug and property offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. This means those convicted of drug possession can receive reduced sentences, while individuals with felony convictions could have them retroactively lowered to the less serious charge.
As a result, this enormously impacts their lives and future prospects – leading to greater opportunities.
The amount of jail time for drug possession varies based on numerous factors: the type of substance involved; how much was held at the time; any prior criminal history, and whether it is classified as a misdemeanor or felony offense. Those found guilty of misdemeanor charges face up to one year in county jail, whereas felonies may lead to several years imprisonment within state prison walls.
Penalties for possessing controlled substances other than marijuana in California can vary depending on the type of drug, the quantity, and the defendant's criminal history. Generally, these penalties can include:
Penalties for possessing marijuana in California depend on the amount and the defendant's age. Generally, these penalties can include:
Possessing concentrated cannabis, also known as hashish or marijuana concentrates, carries different penalties in California. These penalties can include the following:
If you or a loved one has been charged with drug possession, don't panic - several strategies are available that could potentially lead to the charges being dropped or reduced.
To ensure the best possible outcome for your case, make sure to enlist the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney who will evaluate your specific circumstances and determine which course of action will be most effective in fighting for your rights.
Here are some steps worth exploring:
At Hurwitz Law Group, our skilled California DUI lawyers understand how daunting these charges can be. We are here to offer support every step along the way, so together we can fight towards finding success against pressing matters like drug possession cases!
We often see the terms escorting and prostitution used incorrectly interchangeably. Not everyone understands that they have differences. In this article, we will examine the difference between escorting and prostitution.
And if you are facing sex crime convictions, it's critical to understand these nuances as your future and freedom may be at stake. Our criminal defense lawyer can discuss these differences further in a free case evaluation. Reach us now at (323) 747-7484.
An escort is someone hired to provide a client with companionship or other non-sexual services. Escorts are hired through an agency or directly by clients seeking someone to go with them to social events, parties, or dinners. Often, escorts are paid for their time and companionship only and are not expected to engage in sexual acts with their clients.
California law requires escorts to be licensed before offering their escort services. Escorts without a license can face legal consequences, including fines and imprisonment.
Solicitation, prostitution, and human trafficking are banned in California, but escorting is legal. Escorts who engage in sexual conduct with customers for payment are breaking the law.
California escorts should learn and follow the laws and regulations that govern their profession.
Someone may question whether it is prohibited to engage in sexual intercourse with an escort during their free time. Many may argue that it is not unlawful if the act occurs during the escort's personal time while they are not working.
It becomes criminal if police officers can establish probable cause to suspect that the escort was engaged to do the sexual act at a different time. If this is revealed, police may pursue the escort and the customer. But, a qualified sex crimes attorney may be better able to explain such matters individually.
A prostitute is a person who engages in sexual activities in exchange for money or other forms of compensation. Prostitution is often considered a form of sex work, and individuals who work as prostitutes are sometimes referred to as sex workers.
Prostitution is often associated with social and legal issues, including:
Many say that making prostitution a crime makes it harder to deal with these problems. And can leave sex workers open to violence and exploitation. Prostitution is complex and controversial and remains a subject of ongoing debate and discussion in many parts of the world.
Prostitution is illegal in California, as it is in most other states. The state's laws prohibit persons from providing services for sexual gratification. California imposes heavy penalties on criminals who profit from sexual acts.
Section 647(b) of the California Penal Code forbids enticing another to engage in sexual activity for hire. A person convicted of a prostitution charge faces up to six months in prison. Also, they could be fined $1,000.
Solicitation occurs similarly to prostitution. Both sexual offenses are punished severely. Solicitation is the act of offering and intending to perform lewd sexual acts in exchange for payment.
The legislation defines lewd conduct as touching another individual's genitalia, buttocks, or breast. Lewd conduct applies to sexual encounters as well. The solicited individual need not be a prostitute to commit the crime.
In California, prostitution and solicitation are misdemeanors. A first or second offense may result in a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. If convicted for the third time, one could face imprisonment for 90 days to six months and fines of up to $1,000. If the prostitute was under 18, she faced fines of up to $10,000 and between two days and one year in jail.
A prostitution conviction also results in the following:
Also, you may be asked to register as a sexual offender. If you are facing such charges, you need the counsel and defense of an experienced Los Angeles Sex Crimes Attorney.
There are several defenses that you can use to help fight against prostitution charges. Depending on your circumstances, some of these defenses might be stronger than others. But, it is best to discuss your specific situation with a lawyer.
One who is familiar with defending prostitution charges to help you develop a strong and customized defense strategy for your case. A few of these defenses include:
A person may be falsely accused of prostitution due to mistaken identity, malicious intent, or other reasons. A skilled defense attorney can help investigate the circumstances surrounding the accusation and present evidence that shows the accused is innocent.
Entrapment happens when a law enforcement officer induces someone to commit a crime they would not have otherwise committed. In prostitution cases, this could mean that a police officer coerced or encouraged the accused to engage in prostitution. If entrapment can be proven, the charges may be dismissed.
Prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused engaged in prostitution. In the absence of solid or direct evidence, or if the evidence is deemed insufficient or circumstantial, the charges could be dismissed.
See also: Los Angeles Sex Crimes Attorney.
Bill 233, a historic harm reduction bill for sex workers, was passed in 2019 in California. In two ways, the new law intends to promote the health and safety of sex workers:
Escort and prostitution charges can be serious offenses with significant legal and social consequences, including fines, imprisonment, and damage to your reputation. Enlisting the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer can assist you in navigating the complex justice system and provide a strong defense to protect your rights.
Overall, seeking the aid of a criminal defense lawyer for charges related to escorting or prostitution can offer you the highest possibility of attaining a favorable outcome in your case.
Remove the fear and anxiety of unfair sex crime accusations. We have the skill and experience to defend you against all sex crime charges, including those involving prostitution. We'll explain the process so you know exactly what to expect. Plus, we'll go case-by-case to shield you against harsh penalties.
Call us at (323) 747-7484 or submit an online form for a free consultation.
At Hurwitz Law Group, we recognize that incarceration can significantly affect a person emotionally and financially. That's why we strive to help you keep your finances in order while you're away from home. From joint bank accounts to prison accounts, our team is here to assist you through the details and ensure your family remains cared for during this difficult time.
We'll also discuss how best to manage property or assets throughout imprisonment so that everything will be set up for success as soon as possible when it comes time for release. Allowing us to advise on these matters gives individuals facing jail time more peace of mind, knowing their financial obligations are handled responsibly by professionals with their best interests at heart.
If you or someone close has been incarcerated and needs support managing their finances, contact Hurwitz Law Group today for a free consultation – give yourself some much-needed relief during this trying period!
In general, individuals maintain their rights to property while incarcerated. However, there are certain situations in which their rights may be limited or altered. Understanding the nuances of property rights during incarceration is crucial for both the incarcerated individual and their loved ones who may be tasked with managing their assets.
When an individual is incarcerated, their financial assets may be affected in various ways. Your ability to pay rent and credit card bills may be impacted while you are in prison, so it is important to understand the various options.
In many cases, the money in an incarcerated individual's bank account will remain untouched, allowing them to continue earning interest and maintaining access to their funds. However, they may face difficulties managing their accounts due to limited access to communication and banking services while in jail. A seasoned attorney can assist you in navigating this process and avoid potential obstacles as much as possible.
If the incarcerated person's assets are believed to be tied to criminal activity, the government may freeze their accounts under asset forfeiture laws. In these cases, the individual may access their funds once they can prove that the assets were not acquired illegally.
This may take some time and can be complicated even if you want to pay manually. Work with an attorney with experience in this area who can help you.
Banks may also freeze accounts if they become aware that an account holder has been incarcerated. This is often done to protect the bank from potential liability if the account holder is later found to have engaged in illegal activities that could lead to asset forfeiture.
To regain access to their accounts, the incarcerated person may need to work with their legal counsel to provide documentation proving their assets are legitimate.
Managing finances while locked up can be tricky, but several options are available to help individuals maintain control of their assets. Here's how you can handle your money behind bars:
One potential route is to temporarily hand over ownership of possessions and resources to someone they trust – like a family member or loyal friend. While knowing that the property is in reliable hands could offer peace of mind, it may also come with tax issues and legal complications if not handled properly.
Another great option is granting power of attorney to an individual who has demonstrated reliability, giving them the right call shots when managing financial matters on behalf of the incarcerated person - such as paying bills, handling investments, and other financial matters.
A more formal option is to create a trust and appoint a financial professional, such as an attorney or financial advisor, as the trustee. This arrangement can provide additional protection and oversight for the incarcerated individual's assets.
The trust assets shall be managed by the trustee in compliance with the provisions specified in the trust agreement and act in the best interest of the beneficiaries, which may include the incarcerated individual and their family members.
Managing a home while incarcerated can be particularly challenging. Here are some options for addressing this situation:
If the incarcerated individual owns a home, they may rent it out during incarceration. This income stream can help cover mortgage payments, property taxes, and maintenance expenses. It's important to employ the help of a trusted individual or property management company to oversee the rental property and handle any issues that may arise.
Suppose the incarcerated person decides not to rent out their home. In that case, they will need to make arrangements for its maintenance and upkeep and ongoing expenses such as mortgage payments, insurance, and property taxes.
A trusted family member or friend may be willing to assume responsibility for these tasks, or the individual may choose to hire a property management company. Regardless of the arrangement, it's important to have a plan to ensure the property is well-maintained and financially secure during incarceration.
While in jail, incarcerated individuals typically have limited access to their finances. Despite these restrictions, there are still some avenues through which they can receive funds and maintain a modest amount of financial autonomy. One such method is through an inmate trust account.
So how do you deposit cash? Most facilities accept online transactions, money orders, and cashier's checks; though each establishment might have its own set of procedures, so make sure you double-check first.
Depending on the correctional institute, some processing fees may apply when depositing money into an inmate trust account. Additionally, inmates should understand all restrictions associated with their accounts. There could be limits on total amounts received and daily spending caps, plus certain services (e.g., phone call purchases) might incur additional fees too!
In rare cases, some institutions even deduct portions of deposits for outstanding debts like restitution payments or court-ordered fines. Both family members and incarcerated individuals must take note of these details concerning inmate trust accounts – not doing so could lead to issues down the line if not followed correctly!
If you or a loved one are facing incarceration and have concerns about managing your property and finances, it's crucial to seek the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. At Hurwitz Law Group, our skilled attorneys can help you go through the complexities of the legal system and provide advice on protecting your assets during this challenging time.
Contact us today for an initial consultation and let us help you secure the best possible outcome for your case.
Bail bonds permit defendants to be released from jail while awaiting trial. Many folks don't know how bail bonds work. This post will discuss California bail bonds, including what they are, how they work, and the legal requirements involved. We'll also cover California bail bond types and their costs.
Whether you are currently facing criminal charges or only seeking to understand the criminal justice system better, this topic will provide a comprehensive overview of bail bonds in California.
Also, have you or someone you know been arrested? If so, let us help you get out of jail fast! At The Hurwitz Law Group, we have assisted people in bailing their relatives and friends forever. If you have any inquiries about the bail bond process, please call us at (323) 747-1121, and we will answer all your questions.
Typically, the bail amount is determined at the first court appearance, also called the arraignment stage. A judge may either release a defendant on their own recognizance (OR) with a vow to return to court later or deny their OR and impose bail.
The arrested individual is typically released without bail if the allegation is minor, such as driving under the influence with no injuries or significant property damage.
If your offense is listed on the jail's bail schedule, you must post bail or pay the required amount. An arresting officer may request a higher bond than the bail schedule suggests.
The bail amount in California can range from $10,000 to $100,000, depending on the circumstances. Because many people do not have this bail money readily available, many offenders prefer to post bail through a bail bond agent rather than depositing their money.
In California, a defendant can be released on several types of bail while awaiting trial. The kind of bail granted depends on the nature of the offense, the defendant's criminal history, and other factors.
In California, cash bail is the most common form of bail. Post a cash bond involves the defendant or someone on their behalf must pay the court the total amount of bail in cash. If the defendant appears in court as needed, the bail is returned after the proceeding.
A property bond is a form of bail in which the defendant or a representative utilizes their property as collateral for the bail amount. If the defendant fails to appear in court, the court may seize their property to cover the bail amount.
A bail bond is a contract between the court, the defendant, and the bail bond agent. The defendant or a representative pays a non-refundable fee to the bail bond agent. The agent then posts the total amount with the court. The bail bond agent is responsible for settling the entire amount if the defendant does not appear in court.
The requirements for posting parole are relatively straightforward. The cosigner must be a legitimate resident of the United States who is at least eighteen years old. In addition to this requirement, you must bring three additional items when posting bail.
Additionally, you must be able to provide the following details:
In California, there are several payment methods available to pay bail:
You may propose a lower bail amount or argue against the prosecution's attempt to increase your bail.
A decision regarding whether to reduce your bail amount will be founded on the following:
In the case of severe offenses such as murder, kidnapping, robbery, and sexual assault, the court must find unusual circumstances, such as the discovery of new evidence or a modification in the facts of your case, to justify changing your bail.
You should be released as soon as your bond has been posted and your paperwork has been processed. Depending on the facility, its personnel, and your specific circumstances, this can take anywhere from 30 minutes to four hours. In peculiar cases, it may take up to 12 hours. If you are detained for more than 12 hours after posting bond, you should contact an experienced defense attorney who can assist you in protecting your rights.
If you fail to make bail payments on time, your bondsman may file a civil lawsuit against you to regain the money you owe. In addition, they will revoke your surety if your case is still pending.
Unless another bail bond company assumes responsibility for your bail, you will be arrested and held in detention until your court date.
Once you post cash bail, you risk forfeiting the entire sum to the court. The same applies to a bond, except the bail bond company is liable for the whole amount.
If you offer collateral for the bail bond, the surety may sell it to recoup the money owed to the court. Without collateral, the bonding firm may hire a bounty hunter to find the defendant.
If the defendant is arrested, bounty hunters are paid a portion of the bond. They have the authority to seize the individual and restore them to the authorities of the jurisdiction from which the defendant fled. There is a deadline for the defendant's return. Otherwise, the surety must pay the entire bail amount.
But, if the defendant appears within 180 days of the forfeiture date and provides a legitimate cause, the court may revoke its judgment and release the surety.
They include the following:
Failing to appear has severe financial and criminal penalties.
It can also justify the court denying or increasing your bail in later court hearings when the current case is settled, and you are arrested again.
If you cosign someone's bail, you become what's known as the "cosigner." As a cosigner, you take on specific responsibilities and obligations, including:
It's important to remember that when you cosign someone's bail, you are taking on significant financial and legal responsibilities. Considering cosigning someone's bail, it's essential to consider the risks and potential consequences before deciding. It's also good to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney to understand your obligations and options.
When a defendant is released on bail, they have specific responsibilities that they must fulfill. Here are some of the primary responsibilities that a defendant has:
Suppose the defendant fulfills all their responsibilities while out on bail, their bail will be returned at the end of the trial, regardless of the outcome. However, if the defendant fails to fulfill their responsibilities, their bail may be forfeited, and they may face additional legal consequences.
Bailing someone out of jail can benefit the defendant and their loved ones. Here are a few of the main advantages of bailing someone out of prison:
Your freedom is at stake. Act now before you lose time with your family and friends. Contact our firm at (323) 747-7484 for a free consultation and professional advice about your case. Hurwitz Law Group will help you fight the charges, set up a plan for your defense, guide you through the entire process, reduce your bail cost, and prevent errors in your case.
With many years of legal experience, our California criminal defense lawyer will give you the personal care that only comes from working with a skilled and dedicated team.
Getting a DUI arrest in California is a serious situation that can affect you for many years. This is particularly true if you have prior DUI cases or if you received a DUI conviction on a recent charge.
Being aware of the initial five actions to be taken right after a DUI arrest in California is crucial for every person facing DUI charges, whether the charge is a first-offense DUI, a second-offense DUI, or after even more DUI arrests.
The chances of having a good outcome in your case may be jeopardized by taking the wrong steps. Turn to a trusted law firm where the attorneys know the laws related to driving under the influence. An experienced, top-rated DUI attorney has extensive knowledge of the courts and will protect your rights and help you traverse the legal system in California.
DUI stands for driving under the influence. The California Vehicle Code, § 23152(a) VC, states, "it is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle." The California Vehicle Code section § 23152(b) indicates that it is "unlawful for a person who has 0.08% or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle."
Anyone who violates those sections regarding blood alcohol content or those that indicate that it is unlawful for anyone to drive a commercial vehicle or a vehicle for hire with a 0.04% or more, by weight, of alcohol in his blood may face serious DUI penalties.
The charges you are likely to face in California are serious and can result in stiff penalties. The penalties you will likely face include suspension of your driver's license, paying fines, and jail time.
Various factors, such as prior DUI convictions or whether this is your first offense, can influence the repercussions of a DUI conviction. Do not think the penalties will be minimal for you just because you are a first-time DUI defendant.
Possible repercussions for a first DUI conviction may include fines, up to three years of informal DUI probation, and penalty assessments. These assessments total approximately $2,000 and likely include the successful completion of an alcohol program at a cost of several hundred dollars.
Anybody under 21 years of age driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is subject to a zero-tolerance law.
Someone who is convicted under the same circumstances for the first time may also be ordered to complete community labor or community service work. A first conviction in some California counties also results in having an ignition interlock device placed on your car for four months.
Aggravating factors present may bring stiffer penalties when someone is convicted of DUI. Excessive speeding, causing injuries or fatalities, or having a child in the vehicle are examples of those factors.
It is crucial to understand that criminal charges are separate from the DMV process that aims to suspend your driver's license upon a DUI conviction.
Knowing the first steps to take after getting arrested for a DUI in California can potentially have a considerable impact on the outcome of your DUI case. Taking these important first steps can help your DUI attorneys protect your rights with the criminal court and the California DMV.
Getting in touch with a experienced DUI attorney is the primary step following a DUI arrest. Do not assume that the court goes easy on you if a police officer arrested you on a first DUI offense. A misdemeanor DUI still carries serious consequences.
The repercussions are more severe if you are arrested for a DUI felony offense or for aggravating factors such as reckless driving that causes an accident with injuries or fatalities.
The top-rated, award-winning Hurwitz Law Group offers legal representation to persons arrested for DUI.
Reviewing the arrest report and evidence is another of the first five steps you should take following an arrested for a DUI in California. It is within your rights to acquire a copy of the police report concerning your arrest for driving under the influence.
The report contains evidence such as the police officer's narrative, statements you made, and blood alcohol content (BAC). Consider these items and other evidence against you, including field sobriety tests. Compare the officer's report and evidence to the facts of your DUI arrest.
Let your attorney know about any discrepancies. The presence of discrepancies may invalidate the police report.
You are within your legal rights to request a hearing before the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Failing to request a hearing within ten days after your arrest for DUI will result in an automatic license suspension. Your administrative hearing before the DMV allows you to contest the DMV suspension.
Your attorney can help you prepare for the hearing and present your evidence, so hiring an experienced attorney is an important step after your arrest.
In the event of a successful hearing, your license will not face suspension. You will have a license suspension if you lose your case. You may still be eligible for a restricted license.
It is required that DUI defendants appear on the scheduled court date. Your attorney appears with you, and you plead guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendere, a no-contest plea at your arraignment.
When you enter a plea of not guilty, the court sets future court dates for a pre-trial and trial, which you attend with your attorney.
When you enter a plea of not guilty, the court sets future court dates for a pre-trial and trial, which you attend with your attorney. The prosecution may have little to no factual evidence against you, even though you were arrested for DUI and had your driver's license confiscated. Your attorney may challenge whether the officer made a lawful arrest, ask for dismissal of the charges or go to trial.
A plea bargain reduces the original charge or charges to a lesser offense. The prosecution and defense may drop one charge if you plead guilty to another charge.
Many people, especially those charged with a first-time DUI, are released from jail within several hours after their DUI arrest. Do not let release from the county jail without having to spend the night give you a false sense of security. You still face serious charges, even if the charges are for a DUI misdemeanor offense.
The arrest for driving under the influence automatically triggers the process at the DMV, during which the DMV hearing officer can suspend your license. Failure to request a hearing for Administrative Per Se can lead to automatic license suspension.
Having a proficient DUI lawyer on your side is important, whether this is your first offense, a second offense, or other DUI convictions. The DUI attorneys at Hurwitz Law Group assist you in you understanding the charges against you and how the evidence, such as your blood alcohol concentration, can be used in the case against you. Your lawyer gathers evidence, conducts legal research, files motions, and tries to negotiate a plea bargain to avoid a court trial.
Your situation calls for an attorney who knows the laws for the criminal case and the DMV hearing that may result in suspending your driving privileges. Throughout your case, your lawyer will be present to advocate for your rights and liberty.
Contacting an experienced, top-rated California DUI lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest is an important step. Hurwitz Law Group DUI lawyers are compassionate and openly communicate with clients. We are highly skilled practitioners with a reputation for being trustworthy and honest.
Contact us at (323) 968-6519 to arrange an initial consultation at no cost and obtain the legal assistance you need or contact us online today.
Get answers to the inquiries you may have regarding DUI in California.
You can apply for expungement of a DUI misdemeanor in California and some felony convictions if you complete certain requirements and conditions and have not served state prison time. To be eligible, it is necessary to fulfill all requirements of your sentence and wait for a year following the date of your conviction.
A misdemeanor DUI charge in California must be commenced within one year and three years, from the date the offense occurred, for a felony DUI. Commencing the DUI means that the misdemeanor offense is filed, the felony indictment is filed, or the defendant is arraigned on felony DUI charges.
Initial DUI offenders do not have a mandatory jail sentence when placed on informal probation. You must still complete a DUI treatment program and comply with other penalties.
The DMV's administrative suspension of your driver's license is distinct from the criminal case. If failed to request an administrative hearing within ten days, your license is suspended 30 days after your arrest date.
The duration of the license suspension in your criminal case depends on factors such as previous DUI convictions and factors such as if you caused a motor vehicle crash with an injury or fatality.
The California sex offender statutes are the laws that govern who must register as a sex offender in the State of California, where California sex offenders must register, and the crimes that require a person to act as a sex offender.
The State of California lists the California Sex Offender Registry Act at Penal Code 290, specifically stating in Part 1, Title 9, Chapter 5.5, Sex Offenders [290 - 294], 290(a) that Sections 290 to 290.024, inclusive, shall be known and may be cited as the Sex Offender Registration Act.
Individuals who were convicted of a sex offense in California used to have to register as a sex offender for life. That requirement changed in 2021. The sex offender registry now classifies sex offenders by tiers.
California law considers any person who commits certain sex crimes as a sex offender. The types of crimes resulting from being a sex offender include rape, indecent exposure, sex crimes involving minors, and attempted sex crimes.
People convicted of misdemeanor sex offenses are still required to register as a sex offender. They may be listed at a lower tier level than those who commit felony sex acts, but that does not exempt them from being entered on the sex offender registry.
A person who commits a non-sexual offense must register on the sex offender registry if the crime was a sexually motivated offense.
The California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, explains that Megan's Law provides members of the public with "certain information on registered sex offenders in accordance with Penal Code section 290.46." California enacted Megan's Law so that people in local communities can better protect themselves and their children.
Megan's Law requires the California Department of Justice to notify the public with certain information on some registered sex offenders. Megan's Law Website provides information on registered sex offenders with information extracted from the California Sex and Arson Registry (CSAR). In this place, the state keeps information on sex offenders.
The website for Megan's Law provides information pursuant to Penal Code Section 290.46. The site information on sex offenders includes the offender's name, photo, and the offense or offenses that subjected each sex offender to the registration requirement. It also lists the offender's identifying information, the year they were convicted, and their year of release.
The street address of an offender may or may not appear, depending on the most recent sex crime and if their criminal history includes prior sex offenses.
Tier One sex offenders are low-risk offenders. They must still register on the Sex Offender Registry for ten years.
Examples of Tier One sex offenses include indecent exposure, misdemeanor sexual battery, arranging to meet a minor for any lewd purpose, misdemeanor child pornography, or oral copulation with a minor who is over 14 years old.
Mid-level sex offenses qualify as tier-two sex offenses. California sex offender laws require anyone committing Tier Two sex offenses to register as a sex offender for 20 years. Anyone convicted of a tier two offense in a California juvenile court must register for ten years.
Some crimes that result in being listed on the sex offender registry as a tier two offender include committing lewd acts with a minor, rape when the victim is over 18 but incapable of giving consent, and oral copulation with a minor under the age of 14. It also includes incest, non-forced sodomy, and several situations where there are acts of penetration with a foreign object.
Tier Three sex offenses are the most serious sex offenses. People who are tier three sex offenders include offenders who score high on the risk assessment instrument. Crimes that are considered tier three sex crimes include rape by force, murder that is committed during the commission of a rape, oral copulation by force, and sex trafficking.
It also includes felony child pornography, sex offenses against children ten years of age or younger, the sex trafficking of children, and habitual sex offenders.
People who are tier three offenders must register for life.
The California Penal Code 290.46 lists the categories and the specific information required to be posted on the public sex offender registration database. All sex offenders required to register with their local law enforcement agency may have their information posted, but not all information is always available to the general public.
Penal Code 290.46 requires that information on sex offenders be displayed according to specific categories. Offenders in the home address category have their full home addresses listed on the public database.
Persons in the zip code category have their zip code, city, and county listed but not their full street address. Offenders listed on the public database in the zip code category may be moved to the category that lists their street address if convicted of another sex crime.
Sex offenders not listed in the public database must register by Law with their local law enforcement agency.
California sex offender laws require that every sex offender registers with their local law enforcement agency within five days of their release from incarceration or releases from a mental institution, jail, or other facilities. The local law enforcement agencies then forward the offender's information to the California Department of Justice. The State Department of Justice updates its information daily.
Any person listed on the sex offender registry is required to report a change of address within five business days. The offender reports the address change to their local law enforcement agency.
Offenders who do not have a permanent home address are required to update their information every 30 days. California law mandates that convicted sex offenders update their information, whether transient or moving to a new permanent address.
Judges sometimes determine that individuals who are convicted of certain sex offenses or repeated sex crimes are to be deemed sexually violent predators. Anyone who is listed as a sexually violent predator is required to register every 30 days with their local law enforcement department.
Any person listed on the California Sex Offender Registry who is employed or changes their employment must notify local law enforcement officials within five days.
A person who has a conviction that mandates that they register on the sex offender list who enrolls in an institution of higher learning is required to report that enrollment. They must report their enrollment to local law enforcement officials and the college or university where they enroll.
California Penal Code 290 requires that any registered sex offender with a name change must report that name change within five business days. It does not matter if the name change occurs because of a marriage, a divorce, or another reason. Registration requirements mandate the reporting of the name change within five working days.
Failing to register or failing to renew registration is a serious matter. It is an actual violation itself under the new sex offender law. The courts will likely be highly skeptical of anyone claiming they "forgot" to register or renew their sex offender information.
There are potentially serious penalties for failure to register or renew information on the registry. The prosecutor must prove four elements for a conviction for failing to register with the local law enforcement agency.
Those four elements include:
The penalties for the violation depend on the original sex offense. Suppose the defendant was originally convicted of a misdemeanor sex offense. In that case, the punishment for failing to register includes the possibility of informal probation, up to a $1,000 fine, or up to one year in the county jail.
For any defendant convicted of a felony sex offense, the punishment for a felony failure to register includes the following:
The new law in 2021 changed the fact that a lifetime sex offender registration requirement bound sex offenders. Today, the offender does not always have that lifetime registration requirement, depending on certain conditions.
The eligibility for a certificate of rehabilitation offers certain potential benefits for offenders convicted of some sexual offenses. People who are granted a certificate of rehabilitation will likely have improved employment prospects and fewer obstacles or complications when trying to obtain a professional license. Some people convicted of sexual offenses who obtain the certificate may see an end to their requirement to register under Megan's Law.
Certificates of rehabilitation are available to those individuals who apply within seven to 10 years after the offender's release from parole, probation, or custody. They must also have resided in California for the previous five years.
Some other conditions for eligibility include that the person was convicted of a felony and sentenced to a California state prison or other state agency or institution or was convicted of a felony, sentenced to probation, and the conviction was expunged. People convicted of a misdemeanor sex offense listed in Penal Code 290 and who have had their conviction expunged may also be eligible for the certificate of rehabilitation.
Another requirement is that the person cannot have any subsequent charges and cannot be on probation for another offense.
Some people may apply for expungement of their conviction after they complete their sentence, complete their probation, and not face new charges. The expungement most often removes the conviction from the person's criminal record.
A conviction for some sexual offenses is likely to preclude a person from expungement. Examples include if they were convicted of statutory rape with a child under 16 when charged with a felony, continual sexual abuse of a minor, or conviction for certain sex offenses with children where the offender is at least ten years older than the victim.
Getting an expungement does not relieve offenders from having to register under the law.
Obtaining a governor's pardon is usually a last resort because it is considered the most difficult option for removal from the registry. The pardon is usually not granted unless the person applying has not committed a new crime and it has been at least ten years since release from probation, parole, or release from prison.
Obtaining a governor's pardon is rare, and it is rare for it to be granted for an offense of a sexual nature.
Senate Bill SB-145 is an act that amended certain aspects of the penal code related to sex offenders. It eliminated the lifetime registration requirement for many sex offenders and implemented a tier-based system for the mandated minimum registration period.
Tier one offenders are lower-risk offenders who must register for ten years. Tier Two offenders have a mandated 20-year registration requirement, while tier three offenders still have the lifetime registration requirement.
Judges now have the discretion not to require some offenders to enter their information under sex offender registry law if the victim is at least 14 years of age and the offender is older than the victim by less than ten years.
The legal statutes covering sex crimes in California include both misdemeanors and felonies. Some statutes may be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony offense. One statute is Penal Code 243.4 PC: Sexual Battery.
Misdemeanor sexual battery includes unwanted sexual touching. Felony sexual battery includes touching another person against their will, the victim is institutionalized for medical care and is incapacitated or disabled, and the touching leads to sexual arousal or sexual abuse, or sexual gratification.
Penal Code 261.5 involves having intercourse with someone under 18 when the victim is not the offender's spouse. It is still unlawful even if the minor consents or initiates sexual activity.
California Penal Code 261 governs rape law in California. A perpetrator who uses force, threats to have non-consensual sexual intercourse with someone else, or uses fraud commits rape. A person may also face rape charges if they use menacing coercion, fear of harm, or retaliation.
It is illegal for anyone to commit lewd or lascivious acts with a child 14 years old or younger under 288 PC, while 311 PC covers child pornography offenses.
The statutes also include laws that cover indecent exposure, prostitution solicitation, and lewd content in public.
Sex crime penalties are severe, especially for people wrongly accused of crimes requiring them to register as sex offenders.
Our experienced sex crimes attorneys at Hurwitz Law Group will advocate on your behalf and aggressively pursue the most favorable outcome for the circumstances of your case.
Call (323) 916-9019 or contact us online for your free initial consultation today.
Felony charges are serious no matter which state you reside in or which state you are in when you are charged with a felony. There are many questions that a person who has pending felony charges may want to ask.
Questions about traveling out of the state and traveling if the felony charges occur in one state, but you reside in another state are some common situations for felony defendants who have charges pending against their face.
The legal implications of leaving the state with a pending felony charge against you depend on several factors. If you are a person who traveled from your home state across state lines for a championship game or traveled to another state while on vacation, committed a crime there, and then returned to your home state immediately afterward, you may not know right away that you have pending felony charges.
If you reside in a state and are arrested, you need to know the legal implications if you leave the state. Do not leave the state once you are charged with a crime without express permission from the court that has jurisdiction over your case. Your bail conditions also factor in questions about leaving the state.
Once you know about the felony charge, you must comply with all court orders. Although courts usually allow criminal defendants to travel if they have certain misdemeanors pending, the situation is different for anyone charged with a crime that is a felony offense. This is true even if you commit one crime that is a misdemeanor and another crime that is a felony.
There are serious potential consequences for people crossing state lines to avoid appearing in court on pending felony charge or charges. The consequences will likely vary according to the state where you are charged with a crime and the specific felony crime.
A judge with the court that has jurisdiction can order a bench warrant for your arrest or can issue an order for your extradition to face the felony charges.
Felonies are serious crimes that can result in a defendant spending many years or even a lifetime in prison upon conviction. Felony convictions can seriously affect your future employment and other future aspects.
If you are under investigation but unaware of it, you may not know immediately that the court indicted you on felony charges. This is especially true for out-of-state defendants who returned to their home state after allegedly committing a felony.
Courts often place travel restrictions on a defendant charged with a felony, even if they have a misdemeanor offense which would usually not affect their ability to travel.
Criminal defense attorneys with experience representing defendants charged with felonies know to explain the nature of the felony charges and the rules governing leaving the state with pending felony charges.
Although there may be travel restrictions placed on a defendant with any pending felony, there are some common types of felony offenses for which the court orders the person not to travel to other states. Courts may order the arrest of anyone who leaves the state violating a court order.
Drug crimes are serious crimes often punishable by law with penalties such as paying hefty fines and spending up to several decades in prison. Drug trafficking is one of the most serious offenses.
Some similar crimes that are often a part of crimes involving drugs include money laundering, drug possession, manufacturing or cultivating drugs, and distribution of drugs. If you face prosecution for felony drug crimes, the court will unlikely let you leave the state.
Theft is not always a petty offense prosecuted as a misdemeanor charge. The states vary in their laws regarding felony theft.
One example is that according to the Ohio Revised Codes, felony theft is “If the value of the property or services stolen is one thousand dollars or more and is less than seven thousand five hundred dollars.”
California, on the other hand, defines felony grand theft in California Penal Code 487(a) as “When the money, labor, or real or personal property taken is of a value exceeding nine hundred fifty dollars ($950).” Several conditions meet the definition of felony theft in California, such as shoplifting an item that has a $1,000 price tag, stealing valuables worth more than $950 during a home invasion or burglary, and stealing an automobile or a firearm.
A felony theft conviction can affect employment prospects, housing opportunities, and other opportunities when an employer, landlord, or business checks your criminal record.
Felony cases involving sex crimes are serious offenses that may result in the alleged offender being unable to leave the state, even if they live with family in another state. A person who is arrested by the police or other law enforcement officers for some sex crimes may lead the court to order the defendant to remain in the state pending the trial's outcome, regardless of whether they post bail money to get out of jail.
Some felony sex crimes often include child pornography, forcible rape, committing sexual acts with a minor, and sexual assault.
Any crime that includes an element of violence may be considered a violent crime that carries significant penalties. A judge often orders defendants to remain in the state where the alleged violent crime occurred until after the conclusion of the trial.
Some examples of felony violent crimes include murder, rape, mayhem, and armed robbery.
An individual guilty of a violent sex crime may spend many years in prison. Most states will not take it lightly if someone facing felony sex offenses leaves the state to avoid prosecution.
Judges usually can consider pre-trial release once you appear in court after you pay your bail money. Whether the judge does that is based on several circumstances. The court will likely consider whether you reside in the state but are considered a flight risk if you have a prior felony criminal record and the severity of the current felony charges.
If you cannot post bail or your bail is denied, you will likely await your trial at least until your next court date.
Your immigration status may carry considerable weight when you are charged with a felony offense. The prosecutor may fight your release from custody, or your ability to travel if you are not a legal American citizen or an immigrant considered a flight risk.
A local attorney can help someone facing issues with their immigration status understand the charges against them.
It is important to understand what you can and cannot do if you are facing pending criminal charges. Although you are usually free to travel if you have pending misdemeanor charges, there may be some restrictions. Do you have a prior criminal record? Are you charged with a felony committed at the same time as the misdemeanor charge?
If you are facing felony charges, you are likely unable to travel outside the state. Courts may not rule in your favor to travel even if you live in another state.
Are you on parole? Regardless of whether you can travel while facing the misdemeanor, it would help if you still abide by your parole conditions. California parole conditions require that parolees obtain permission from their parole officer before traveling more than 50 miles from their home. Parolees must get permission and a travel pass to travel outside the state.
Violating travel restrictions when you have pending felony charges is a serious matter. If you do not appear for any criminal proceedings because you left the state, the court may issue a bench warrant for your arrest.
The judge will likely take further action against any defendant violating travel restrictions. You are likely to be deported back to the state where you face the charges and ordered held for trial. Sex offenders who fail to register and flee the state and people who commit other certain crimes may face a new charge if they violate travel restrictions.
You need an experienced, compassionate criminal defense attorney to guide you through understanding the charges against you. Your criminal defense attorney will prepare a solid defense strategy.
Contact Hurwitz Law Group today at (323) 747-7484 or online to schedule your free initial consultation.
People often have questions regarding felony charges and their ability to travel when facing a felony charge.
Many acts of violence are considered felony acts. Examples of acts of violence that are usually felonies include murder, rape, attempted murder, or attempted rape. Other examples include certain sex and certain drug crimes, such as drug trafficking.
Any crime that depicts an element of violence that is considered dangerous to society may be an act that is regarded as a felony charge.
You must remain in the state where you have the pending felony charge until the court allows you to leave the state. Some courts require that the accused remain in the state until the conclusion of the trial and the person is found innocent, at which time they may leave the state.
A person found guilty will have their punishment imposed after the trial and serve their sentence where they committed the felony, not the state where they reside.
The complainant may drop felony charges under certain circumstances. If the prosecutor does not have enough evidence to prove the person guilty at trial, they may drop the felony charges. If evidence taken at the scene proves that someone else other than the defendant committed the crime or if someone else confesses to the crime, the state may drop the felony charges.
Judges look at several factors when setting bail for a defendant. Courts may charge a higher bail amount for a defendant who lives out of state.
The court still refunds bail for people who live far away as long as they appear at their scheduled hearings. The court keeps the bail money and issues a bench warrant for someone who fails to appear even if they reside in the same state.
One example is if a person faces a driving under the influence charge in one state but the person lives in another state. If the person fails to appear on the drunk driving charge and does not hire an attorney to represent them in court, the court forfeits the bail and may issue a bench warrant for that individual's arrest.
Yes, you may be held in jail for an out-of-state arrest on serious charges if a bench warrant was issued because you failed to appear or if you face serious charges.
The general rule is that a DUI typically isn't charged as a felony in California, especially on a first-time offense. There are certain exceptions to that rule, though. A first-time DUI is considered to be less severe than repeat offenses.
The state treats a first-time DUI as a misdemeanor but can also be charged as a felony. It's often within the discretion of the police officer or the prosecutor on whether a DUI might be charged as a misdemeanor, felony, or both. Under the circumstances, it's okay if you get both. It's something that we routinely deal with.
California defines DUI as suffering impairment by a substance when it compromises somebody's ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. That substance might be alcohol, or it might also be prescription or illicit drugs.
There are a variety of ways to fight felony DUI charges in California. We caution you, though. Don't try to do this on your own. They all require the expertise of a quality DUI lawyer. You're risking your job, driver's license, and freedom if you try to handle a DUI yourself. Legal representation by a knowledgeable and experienced DUI lawyer is strongly recommended.
In California, VC 23152(b) makes it illegal for a person to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or more. VC 23152(a) even makes it illegal to operate a vehicle if your BAC is under .08. It's a misdemeanor and punishable by a year in jail and a fine of $1,000, but it could turn into a felony.
Is a DUI a felony in California? The answer to that question is yes. A DUI might be charged as a felony. A prosecutor can file felony charges under the following factual circumstances:
California uses a ten-year look-back period for prior DUI convictions. If you're arrested for a fourth DUI during that look-back period, you could face felony charges. Penalties might include 16 months to four years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000. DUI school for 30 months and a four-year driver's license revocation. You can drive with an ignition interlock device. You'll also be labeled as a habitual traffic offender for three years.
VC 23550.5 makes it a felony to be convicted of a DUI offense when you're already subject to a single prior felony conviction for the same offense. You need not have three or more prior convictions. A single prior felony conviction is sufficient. It's punishable by a year and a day in the county or state prison.
Injury is a common scenario for elevating a DUI from a misdemeanor to a felony. It's detailed by VC 23153. A trip to the hospital for neck and back pain is enough to charge a driver with felony DUI-causing injury.
Much depends on the police officer. He might charge the individual with both felony and misdemeanor DUI. Under such circumstances, the felony DUI might be voluntarily dismissed in return for a plea on the misdemeanor charge. It's your decision. In either case, you could also face a civil personal injury case.
Proof beyond a reasonable doubt doesn't apply to such a case. In a civil case, the burden of proof would be by a preponderance of the evidence. With that, something is more likely true than not true. It's a lower burden of proof.
An increasing number of prosecutors in California charge drunk drivers with second-degree murder in case of a DUI death, especially if they have a prior DUI conviction on their record.
An offender can also be charged with gross vehicular manslaughter. Should an individual be charged under PC 191.5(a), a conviction can be probational or carry four, six, or ten years in prison.
Being a difficult charge to prove, prosecutors might rely on a lesser offense. That doesn't escape civil liability for wrongful death, though, especially since it carries a lower burden of proof. Since the criminal courts don't have the jurisdiction to award damages, the case is heard in a civil courtroom with a different judge and jury.
A felony child endangerment charge may be filed in California if a person is accused of driving under the influence with a child in a vehicle under 14 years old.
A blood alcohol level of .15 could prompt felony enhancement of the charge by the prosecutor. The charge might also be enhanced if the driver refused breath, blood, or urine testing. A felony endangerment charge is punishable by six years in state prison.
The penalties for felony DUI vary, depending on what a person is charged with. Repeat offenses don't require felony status. They range as follows:
A DUI causing injury can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Much depends on the nature and extent of the injuries suffered by the victim. Penalties range from 364 days in jail, a fine of $1,000 for a misdemeanor, and four years in state prison with a fine of $5,000.
Multiple DUI convictions are punishable by the following penalties:
There is a wide range of legal defenses to drunk driving in California. Here are a few examples:
Under California Law, a DUI investigation begins with a suspicion of impaired driving by a police officer. That ordinarily involves traffic violations by the driver of the vehicle. The officer makes a traffic stop and observes the driver's demeanor and physical appearance while listening closely to his manner and speech pattern. Based on his observations of the driver, the officer might want him to undergo specific field sobriety tests.
Many drivers don't realize it's perfectly legal to refuse such tests without consequences. If they refuse, though, it's down to the station for a breathalyzer test or a hospital for a blood test. It's not mandatory but be prepared for it.
Some people are even arrested for DUI after passing these tests. That's why having an experienced and trusted DUI lawyer review the facts of your case is of the utmost importance.
Contact the Hurwitz Law Group at (323)-916-9019 to arrange a free consultation and case review. We promise to listen to you carefully and advise you on the best approach to your case. We focus on results and satisfied clients so that we will exhaust all possibilities.
Contact us at Hurwitz Law Group immediately after being arrested for DUI in Los Angeles County or surrounding counties.
Are you facing a drug possession charge and want to know how to get the drug possession charge dropped? Are you worried about the impact of having a drug possession case on your professional and personal life?
Having drug possession charges on your record has a lasting impact. It can prevent you from getting your dream job, getting into the school you want to attend, or being approved for renting a home or an apartment.
You must contact a criminal defense attorney many people trust as their drug possession lawyer. Contacting a drug crime attorney can get the drug possession charge dismissed is crucial if you want to have your lawyer fight for you and protect your rights.
A common way to get charged with drug possession is when a law enforcement officer pulls you over for a traffic violation and discovers that you own an illegal drug or a controlled substance.
Another scenario is when someone calls the police on you, and the responding police officer finds drugs on your person. You get arrested, read your rights, and booked into the local jail. You have an arraignment, and bail is set for you.
When you get a drug possession charge, it may be classified as a misdemeanor possession charge or a felony drug charge. Whether you are charged with misdemeanor or felony drug charges, you need an experienced defense attorney.
The drug defense attorney can answer your questions about how to get drug possession charges dropped from your record. The penalty for drug crimes can be serious, depending on the nature of the drug charge.
Drug crimes are violations of the law that are related to drugs. It can include illegal possession, drug possession for sale, manufacturing an illegal drug or controlled substance, or drug trafficking charges.
A drug crime in California is likely to consist of more statutes and violations than many people are likely to realize until they get arrested for charges related to possessing illegal drugs.
Did you know that you may be charged with a drug crime in some cases, even if you are found with drugs for which you have a valid prescription? Law enforcement officers often include possession of drug paraphernalia charges when they charge someone violating drug laws.
California has different drug laws for each type of drug crime. The state has a variety of established regulations for drug possession charges.
Possession of marijuana is one of the most common drug charges. You can legally possess up to one ounce, 28.5 grams of marijuana in California if you are 21 or older, or up to eight ounces of marijuana concentrate for adult use, have a valid physician's recommendation, or have a county-issued medical marijuana identification card.
Several restrictions still make possession illegal. You cannot possess more marijuana than allowed by law or keep or use marijuana on federal lands such as national parks.
Marijuana possession that violates the current law may be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on several factors. You need an attorney with experience getting drug possession charges dropped when you face marijuana possession charges.
Law enforcement officers often include possession of drug paraphernalia charges when they charge someone violating drug laws. Drug paraphernalia is anything used to grow, produce, or manufacture a controlled substance. It includes anything used to prepare, process, package, store, conceal, or consume controlled substances.
Common items that a uniformed police officer or undercover police officer may consider drug paraphernalia include:
The Health and Safety Code governs possession of a controlled substance in California – HSC, CHAPTER 10. Control of Users of Controlled Substances [11550 - 11594], Article 1. A controlled substance is any highly controlled drug because of its high likelihood of causing drug addiction or abuse.
The law lists controlled substances by schedules, classifying them from Schedule I to Schedule V drugs, from the most addictive to the least addictive or dangerous drugs. Possession of a controlled substance may include charges related to marijuana, prescription drugs, dangerous drugs, inhalants, peyote, or narcotic drugs.
Drug possession charges can apply to either actual possession or constructive possession. Actual possession refers to the drug actually being on your person.
Constructive possession is commonly seen when multiple individuals are involved, such as when a police officer pulls over a car, several people are in the car, or when law enforcement is called to a scene where there are multiple people. The drug is not under the person's control, such as in the trunk of a vehicle or somewhere in the home.
A possession-for-sale charge involves someone possessing an illegal substance and intending to sell it. A person charged with possession for sale has a large number of drugs, or many drugs, indicating that they were for sale.
You can still face possession charges for sale even if that was not your intent if the amount of drugs you have meets the threshold.
The illegal manufacture of a controlled substance is illegal and subject to potentially serious charges and penalties under the law. You can face felony charges if you illegally manufacture, produce, or process illegal drugs.
Some common drugs manufactured or produced include:
The prosecutor has the burden of proving that you knowingly possessed the products needed to manufacture the drugs and intended to manufacture the drugs.
Drug trafficking refers to importing, exporting, transporting, or selling a controlled substance. It is a serious drug charge that can result in a person spending time in prison, along with other consequences. It involves a much larger amount of drugs when compared to drug dealing charges.
The consequences often depend on the type of drug and the quantity of the drug that resulted in the charges.
The penalties that you may face for felony drug charges vary according to the specific drug charge and depend on factors such as the type of drug involved, the amount of the drug, previous convictions, and the drug crime laws. The penalties for drug-related charges typically include jail or prison time, probation, and paying fines.
Marijuana possession penalties, for example, are divided into categories, such as the amount of the drug possessed and whether it was for personal use, sale, production, or transport.
Charges related to the illegal manufacturing of drugs can result in spending time in jail, depending on the specific drug involved and any prior offenses.
Your criminal defense lawyer can offer a possible defense to your drug possession charge. You should contact an experienced attorney to help you provide a defense for the drug charge.
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects people from illegal search and seizure actions. Police or other law enforcement officers cannot enter your home without probable cause and a warrant. They cannot search you without your permission and probable cause.
Any evidence seized during an illegal search or seizure could be inadmissible against you in court.
Law enforcement officers are required to read you your Miranda rights at the time that they arrest you. They must read it in its entirety.
If they fail to do so, this qualifies as a Miranda rights violation. It could result in getting anything you say thrown out.
Entrapment is an affirmative defense to drug charges. The defendant has the burden of proof in an entrapment defense.
Entrapment happens when a police officer or undercover officer sets a person up to commit a crime that the person otherwise would not have committed, except for the officer inducing the person to commit it.
The U.S. Department of Justice explains that entrapment is a "complete defense to a criminal charge" because government agents are not permitted to "originate a criminal design, implant in an innocent person's mind the disposition to commit a criminal act, and then induce commission of the crime so that the government may prosecute" the person.
Your criminal defense attorney may be able to get the drug possession charges dropped if there was entrapment in your case.
The attorney at Hurwitz Law Group, representing you on your drug possession, drug trafficking, or other drug charges, can often get a plea agreement. A plea bargain means that the charges are lowered to a less serious offense, or some charges may be dropped.
Taking a plea bargain often results in more minor fines and less or no jail time. You may get sentenced to a drug treatment program rather than a prison sentence or jail time.
Police may arrest you because they find a substance that looks like an illegal drug. Something that "looks like" a drug is an insufficient evidence for a guilty verdict.
The substance must be tested in a crime lab for analysis. You can likely beat a manufacturing charge if the state fails to prove the substance is illegal.
A lack of possession is a common defense when you say the drugs belonged to someone else. The lack of possession defense often occurs when someone is charged with a drug distribution offense.
A typical example is if you are riding in a car as a passenger or borrow a car, get pulled over, and the police find drugs in the glove compartment, the trunk, or another area of the vehicle. Finding the drugs does not mean that they belong to you. The state must prove that the drugs belonged to you.
Did you get charged with possession because you put a couple of extra pills in your purse so that you did not miss the time that you needed to take your prescribed medication? Perhaps you have a medical marijuana prescription.
If you can prove you have a valid prescription for the drug or drugs in question, ask your attorney how to get drug possession charges dropped.
The state has the burden of proving the details of your drug case, including your knowledge and your intent. If the state cannot prove that you knew the drugs or intended to distribute them, it may result in dropped charges.
The answer is "yes," drug possession charges can be dropped. Still, you need an attorney who knows how to get the charges dropped, how to prove reasonable doubt, and how to show that you had a valid prescription and did not possess an illegal substance.
Contacting Hurwitz Law Group as soon as possible is essential because the sooner we start working on your case, the more time we have to prepare your defense.
At Hurwitz Law Group, we are a compassionate and sympathetic law firm but fight hard for our clients. We are a team of accomplished negotiators who use our talent to get the best possible results for every client.
We are a compassionate and sympathetic law firm, but we fight hard for our clients. We are a team of accomplished negotiators, and we use our talent to get the best possible results for every client.
Call us at (323) 747-7484 to schedule your free, confidential consultation.