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Every year, millions of Californians break the law.

Placing bets on March Madness brackets and office Super Bowl pools violates state laws prohibiting gambling on sports. However, a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling could pave the way for legalized sports gambling in California and other states.

Supreme Court Ruling Paves Way for Legal Sports Betting

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When Donald Trump became president, his administration made it a priority to crack down on illegal immigration and detain undocumented immigrants currently in the country. In his first eight months in office, arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have increased by 40 percent, according to reports.

Under the Trump Administration, ICE agents have identified courthouses as safe places to arrest undocumented immigrants. In an effort to stop this practice and encourage undocumented immigrants to appear in court, California recently passed a law that protects undocumented immigrants when appearing in court.

Senate Bill 785 Approved by Governor Jerry Brown

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During various festivals in countries like China, Brazil and India, it is common to look up and see hundreds of glowing paper lanterns floating up into the night sky. These lanterns are like tiny hot air balloons that use a candle or fuel cell to heat the air inside the lantern, causing it to rise and float away.

However, you need to do know that attempting to recreate these light festivals in California is illegal. If you wish to participate in a light festival involving sky lanterns in California, you should first attempt to verify that the company putting on the event has the permits necessary to legally conduct it.

Why Sky Lanterns are Illegal in California

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For many, Stephon Clark was the last straw.

In March, police who were responding to a 911 call regarding a person breaking car windows fired 20 rounds at Clark because they believed he was holding a gun. According to reports, eight bullets hit Clark in the back and neck. As the facts would later show, the object Clark was not a gun – it was his cellphone.

Clark’s death is the latest high-profile incident in which police have killed unarmed persons – many of whom were young, black men – through the use of what the officers believed was “reasonable” use of deadly force.

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While President Donald Trump’s Administration has taken a hardline stance against illegal immigration, the state of California has passed laws that make it difficult for federal immigration agents to find and arrest undocumented immigrants within the state.

One such law is the California Values Act (Senate Bill 54), which took effect this year. This “sanctuary state” law limits how local law enforcement agencies can cooperate with federal immigration officials.

However, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department has found a loophole in the law in an effort to provide assistance to ICE.

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Companies like Ring make doorbells that allow video and audio to be recorded when motion is detected near your front door. It is now easier than ever to install security cameras in different rooms of your house to keep an eye on your pets or property while you are away. This technology may help you catch a thief, but could it also result in you facing criminal charges?

California is a two-way consent state, meaning both parties need to agree to a video or audio recording. So, do these cameras violate wiretapping laws because the other party is unaware he or she is being recorded?

Ring Doorbell Cameras and the Expectation of Privacy

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The recent school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida has sent shockwaves throughout the country and sparked a national debate about gun control. California already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, but lawmakers are proposing 10 new gun laws in the wake of this school shooting.

Expanding the Definition of Assault Rifles in California

One important proposed gun law is Assembly Bill 1135, which would expand the definition of “assault weapon” in California. High-powered semi-automatic rifles without fixed magazines would be considered assault rifles under these proposed laws, but most .22 rifles would be excluded.

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Under California Penal Code Section 273.5, the crime of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse is defined as using physical force on a current or former spouse or significant other, mother or father of your child or cohabitant that results in that person suffering a traumatic condition.

If you are convicted of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse under PC 273.5, you face up to four years in prison and up to $6,000 in fines.

In most cases when a person is accused of this crime, the alleged victim is their spouse, child, parent, boyfriend or girlfriend. The alleged victims of this crime often do not wish for the accused to be prosecuted. However, once a person is arrested for this crime, it is up to the prosecuting attorney whether to file or dismiss criminal charges.

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Federal immigration authorities recently issued a directive stating that they plan to enter federal, state and local courthouses to make arrests. In response, the California State Senate approved a bill that would keep ICE agents out of courthouses if it becomes law.

Senate Bill 183 would prohibit federal immigration agents from entering state buildings to make arrests without a valid federal warrant. This means ICE agents would not be able to detain, question or conduct surveillance on anyone in buildings such as courthouses, public schools, community colleges and other state-run buildings.

Why Stop ICE from Enforcing Immigration Laws?

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While visiting his parents on break from the University of Pennsylvania, 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein, who identified as gay, was reportedly stabbed more than 20 times and left to die in a park in Lake Forest. Samuel Woodward has been charged with Bernstein’s murder, which authorities believe may have been motivated by Bernstein’s sexual orientation, and has plead not guilty.

In response to this crime, California lawmakers have introduced a bill that would create sentence enhancements for murder when the crime is motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation or gender.

Proposed Sentence Enhancements for Murder Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender (Senate Bill 971)

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.