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Serving time in jail or prison will not excuse you from your financial obligations. However, often weeks, months or even years can pass from the time you are arrested to the time your case is closed. So what happens to your funds during this time?

If a judge determines you’re not a flight risk and you’re in a position financially to make bail, then you should have time to sort out your finances. If you are denied or unable to make bail, your credit and finances may suffer unless you make the appropriate arrangements.

What Happens to Your Money While in Prison?

manage funds jailGenerally, nothing happens to your bank account if you are sent to prison; however there are some exceptions. If the government believes that you financially benefitted from your criminal activity, such as selling drugs or insider trading, they may freeze or even take your assets.

All banks are different, but most banks will put a hold on your account restricting any access to your funds if there is no banking activity for a certain amount of time. By updating your banking address to your jail or prison address and making small deposits periodically, you can avoid bank holds due to account dormancy.

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Brittany MaynardIt is a heart-breaking story. A 29-year-old woman learns that she has terminal brain cancer. Her doctors tell her that she has six months to live at most. Seeing a future filled with seizures and unbearable migraines, she decides that the best option is to decide that she will die on her own terms. The problem? Her home state of California does not give her the option of seeking the help of others in ending her life.

This was the story of Brittany Maynard, a California woman who moved to Oregon to take advantage of that state’s legal option of physician-assisted suicide. She ended her life by drinking a fatal cocktail containing a lethal dose of prescribed medications.1 Following her diagnosis, Maynard also used her final days to become a vocal advocate for the cause of legalizing physician-assisted suicide throughout the United States.

Four states (Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Montana) currently give terminally ill patients the option of having a physician assist them in the ending of their lives. Since Maynard’s public battle began, 13 more states – including California – have begun weighing the merits of legalizing physician-assisted suicide.

California’s Proposed Law

In March, California’s legislature began holding hearings on Senate Bill 128, which has been named the End of Life Option Act. The bill, which was recently endorsed by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)2, would allow terminally ill patients to receive help from a doctor to commit suicide if they meet the following conditions:

  • The patient must receive a prognosis of six months or less to live from two physicians;
  • The patient must submit a written request and make two oral requests to a physician at least 15 days apart; and
  • The patient must have the mental competency to make decisions about his or her own health care.3

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Last year, California adopted a new approach to sexual assault cases that happen on state-funded college campuses. The new law became known nationwide for introducing an “affirmative consent” standard in all disciplinary hearings related to sexual misconduct.

Six months after the law went into effect; two California legislators want high school health education courses to spread the word about the affirmative consent standard. Senate President Kevin de Leon and Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson announced the introduction of SB695, a bill designed to require school districts where health education is a graduation requirement to make sexual violence prevention a part of the curriculum. Part of that would be to educate young men and women on the affirmative consent law.1

What is Affirmative Consent?

Essentially, the affirmative consent law puts the burden of proof on the accused in a university sexual assault disciplinary hearing to prove that their partner gave them permission to engage in sex for the entire duration of the activity.

Affirmative Consent Education

This means that if you are a college student in California, you need to seek a clear “yes” – verbally, or in the form of a nod or smile – from your partner before and during engaging in sexual activity. If either person is intoxicated or unconscious, consent cannot be given.2 The standard is no longer “no means no,” where consent can be implied unless the other person says no. It is now “yes means yes,” where consent cannot be implied at any time.

The shift in the burden of proof makes it tougher for a student to defend his or her conduct because the new law forces schools to apply a “preponderance of evidence” standard in disciplinary hearings. This means that the accused could be disciplined if the tribunal determines that there is enough evidence to show that the accused more likely than not committed the act.3 This is a lower standard than the “beyond reasonable doubt” standard of criminal trials, which requires that the tribunal find that no reasonable person could doubt that the accused committed the act.

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White collar crime attorneyRarely does the state of Utah find itself leading the nation. In fact, the state was the last in the country to stop executing death row inmates by firing squad (the last occurred in 2010), and is considering bringing that form of capital punishment back.1

Yes, the state of Utah has tired of not leading the nation in something, and it has decided to change that. Recently, the state became the first in the United States to enact a public criminal registry for white collar criminals, which have generally been treated, at least in the public’s view, with kid gloves.2 Utah has decided that white-collar criminals deserve the same kind of public infamy normally reserved for people convicted of sex crimes, such as rape, child molestation, and child pornography.

Very soon, those convicted of white collar crimes in Utah will find their faces, names and addresses in full view of the public, searchable on a website the state is creating.

What are White Collar Crimes?

“White collar” refers to nonviolent, financially motivated crimes against property that are often committed by business professionals and governmental officials. The term, coined in the 1930s, referred to the type of clothing the persons who commit these crimes generally wear (suits), and the social status that non-criminals in their professions enjoy. Instead of using a gun to steal, white-collar criminals often use advanced degrees such as MBAs and JDs.

White collar crimes include:

  • Fraud
  • Embezzlement
  • Copyright/Trademark Piracy
  • Identity Theft
  • Forgery
  • Insider Trading

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We have all seen crime dramas on television. The cops interrogate a suspected criminal for hours until the suspect finally breaks down and confesses to the crime, whether they are guilty or not. You may have watched these shows and wondered if you would ever crack under the pressure and confess to a crime you didn’t commit. A recent study suggests that under the right circumstances, most of us would.

police tacticsA study published recently in Psychological Science Magazine found evidence that false memories of committing a crime can be generated in less than three hours with little more than a few bits of misinformation and some encouragement. What’s more interesting is that not only did the majority of the study participants quickly believe they had committed a crime, they even added details of the “experience.”1

For the study, lead researcher, and forensic psychology lecturer Julia Shaw, of the University of Bedfordshire, and University of British Columbia forensic psychologist Stephen Porter collected facts from the participants who had never been arrested regarding a true experience from their past. Researchers also got information from the parents of the participants regarding their teen years, best friends, and hometown. Over the course of three 45-minute interviews, researchers persuaded 70 percent of the participants that they committed a crime by combining their knowledge of the participant with information fabricated for the study.

Researchers were not interrogating the participants; they simply used known and true information to build a web of false information. The participants were so convinced that they had committed a criminal act that one participant even filled in the details of the crime, including what it was about, the weapon that was used during the assault, and what she was doing when the police came to her house.

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Twitter Criminal ThreatsThe NCAA men’s basketball tournament didn’t get the nickname “March Madness” just from its tendency to produce shocking results. The nickname also comes from the craziness of the sport’s fans that live and die with every shot, rebound, or bad call against their team.

Such is the case with Ashley Judd. The famed movie actress is one of the most well-known and vocal fans of the University of Kentucky basketball team. During the recent championship game of the Southeastern Conference tournament – which determines which team from the SEC will get an automatic ticket to the NCAA tournament – Judd’s UK Wildcats were in a heated battle with the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. She took to Twitter to vent her frustration at what she thought was dirty play by Arkansas. She ended her tweet with “You can kiss my team’s free throw making ass!”

What followed was more than just the typical trash talk between fans. Judd soon found her timeline filled with every curse word in the book, and she was the target of threats of violence, rape, sexual assault, and sodomy.1

Instead of retreating, Judd – herself a survivor of rape, sexual assault, and incest – decided that it was time to fight back. She is now spearheading an effort to press criminal charges against the persons who sent the threatening messages, including penning a column on about the need to change the way women are treated online.2

Criminalizing Social Media Threats

In the age of social media, a celebrity using his or her public goodwill to fight back against Internet “trolls” is nothing new. Recently, Curt Schilling, a former professional baseball player and two-time World Series champion, took it upon himself to expose the identities of two men who sent sexually explicit messages (including some that mentioned rape) directed at his 17-year-old daughter. Schilling’s response got one man fired from his job, and the other expelled from his university.3

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Elder Abuse CaliforniaAs of 2011, there were more than 100,000 residents in California nursing homes, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. If a recent study is to be believed, nearly half of these residents have experienced elder abuse.1

In fact, the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) reports that a study conducted in 2000 in which 2,000 nursing home residents were interviewed revealed 44 percent of those residents say they had been abused and almost all reported either being neglected or seeing a resident neglected.2 Only one in 24 incidents of elder abuse are reported, according to the Gerontological Society of America

California Elder Abuse Laws (California Penal Code Section 368(c))

Under PC 368(c), anybody who causes or allows an elderly person to suffer unjustified physical and mental pain is guilty of elder abuse. The law says that caregivers or custodians of elderly people must follow normal standards of care when caring for and treating the elderly. Those who willfully fail to do so, or those who act in a criminally negligent way when doing so may be charged with elder abuse.

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Bruce Jenner and Kim KardashianBefore Bruce Jenner was famous for living in front of the camera on “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” he was an Olympic champion, taking home the gold medal in the 1976 decathlon at the Summer Games in Montreal. Winning the decathlon gave Jenner the unofficial title of greatest athlete in the world, and secured his place as one of the best competitors the United States has ever produced.

Nearly 40 years later, Jenner could potentially become a champion in a different respect. Recently, news reports have surfaced that the 65-year-old father of six is beginning the process of living his life as a woman.1 Though he has yet to speak out on his transition, many sources close to Jenner and his family have reported that he identifies himself as a transgender person. With that change comes the opportunity to become a leader in the fight for transgender rights, a social group against whom discrimination is still legal in many states and countries around the world.

Transgender Defined

According to the Gender Equity Resource Center at the University of California, Berkeley, the term “transgender” is an umbrella term that refers to any person whose gender identity, gender expression, or behavior does not conform to the biological gender of their birth. Transgender covers the spectrum from persons who have had surgery to be physically transformed to the other sex to persons whose identity is expressed through their clothing, grooming, or behavior. Transgender also applies to persons who identify as neither male nor female.2

What are the Rights of Transgender Persons in California?

California is among a handful of states that have specific protections against discrimination on the basis of a person’s transgender status. California Government Code sections 12940-12951 and 12955-12956.2 – the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) – prohibit discrimination against anyone based on his or her gender, gender identity, or gender expression. The law makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against transgender employees, and for landlords to discriminate against transgender buyers or tenants.3 Services provided by the state government cannot be denied to transgender persons, nor can their participation in state funded activities be limited on the basis of their gender identity.

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You may reason that, since your children have drunk alcohol with friends, they would be a lot safer if they did their drinking at home. But cities have created social host ordinances prohibiting adults from providing alcohol to minors, even in their own home.

Minors Consume AlcoholJeff Lake, father of 18-year-old Olivia Lake, was arrested recently for throwing a Playboy-themed party in Poway, Calif. to celebrate Olivia’s 18th birthday. There were reportedly “up to 200 teens” in attendance when the police arrived at the party. Many of the teens were allegedly drinking and, in keeping with the Playboy Mansion theme, scantily clad.1

Lake was charged with violating a Poway social host ordinance. If he is convicted, he could face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.2

Many California municipalities have enacted social host ordinances to discourage underage drinking. Studies have found that although law enforcement has cracked down on liquor sales to minors, many underage drinkers obtain liquor at home or at a friend’s house.

California Social Host Ordinances

Social host ordinances in California generally hold the adult in charge of the premises responsible if underage persons are allowed to drink on the premises and the adult:

  • Knows or should have known the drinking is taking place, and
  • Fails to take reasonable action to stop it

Social host ordinances do not generally allow the police to enter your property without a search warrant. However, if police discover that underage drinking is taking place on your property, they can give you a citation or arrest you.

Penalties vary based on each city’s ordinance. If you are cited for a first offense infraction in Laguna Beach, you will have to attend a parent education class. In Poway, where Jeff Lake was arrested, you could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

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PredPol PolicePolice departments in California are utilizing new cloud-based software that helps law enforcement agencies predict where criminal activity will occur. The software analyzes historical crime data then creates printable maps marked-up with red boxes indicating 10 to 20 locations where crimes are most likely to happen during a police officer’s shift. The software identifies these 500-by-500-feet hotspots by analyzing the time, place, and type of crimes that have occurred in the past.1

While the software is relatively new, this type of “predictive policing” is gaining traction, and departments are paying from $10,000 to $150,000 annually for the chance to use the new technology. The system, called “Predpol,” is currently being used by about 60 police departments in major cities across the country, including in Los Angeles. PredPol’s use is expected to jump through 2015.2

How PredPol Works

PredPol runs historical data points, (place, time, and type of crime) through a criminal behavior pattern algorithm that helps law enforcement officials give officers a customized map specific to their shift and duty area. During roll call at the beginning of each shift, police officers are given the map and told to focus on those areas between calls. PredPol officials say officers who patrol the hotspots for up to 15 percent of their daily shift will prevent more crime than if they solely relied upon their instinct and knowledge.

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About Wallin & Klarich

Wallin & Klarich was established in 1981. Over the past 32 years, our law firm has helped tens of thousands of families in their time of legal need. Regardless of whether our clients faced criminal or DUI charges, the loss of their driving privilege, or wanted to clean up their criminal record, we have been there to help them.