Articles Posted in Criminal Defense

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In 2010, California began what is being called the “justice reform era.” That is when new legislation, voter-approved initiatives, and court mandates began to make sweeping changes to the state’s justice system.

So, is California starting to see the effects of these laws? Recently, a non-profit group Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice released a study of the justice reform era to find out what impact these laws have had.breaking_handcuffs_2-300x197

Justice Reform Era Stats

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Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, businesses in California will be able to apply for a license to sell marijuana. Recently, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control, Department of Food and Agriculture, and Department of Public Health released a nearly 300-page rulebook of regulations that new and established marijuana businesses will have to follow if they are issued a license to sell marijuana.

Here are the 10 most important rules and regulations businesses selling marijuana must follow in California:Marijuana_Plant-300x225

10. Delivery by Vehicle Only

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California is strict when it comes to gun laws. For instance, using a gun in any way during the commission of a felony crime carries mandatory prison time.

However, this will change when a new law recently passed in California takes effect on January 1, 2018. The law will remove the mandatory prison time for using a gun during a crime.guns_weapons_firearms_pointing-278x300

California Ends Mandatory Sentence for Using Firearm During Crime (SB 620)

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California’s bail system could soon see significant changes after a year-long study recently concluded with a recommendation that monetary bail be replaced with a risk-based assessment system and supervision programs.

In October 2016, California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye established the “Pretrial Detention Reform Workgroup.” The group recently reported the findings of its study, which include the fact that California’s money bail system is “unsafe and unfair.”

Does this mean bail reform is on its way?

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Something about the story did not add up. That was the conclusion police came to after interviewing Richard Dabate shortly after his wife, Connie, was found dead in the couple’s basement.fitibt_promo-300x242

Dabate claimed an unidentified man broke into the home, tied him to a chair, then shot and killed his wife after she returned home from the gym. He claimed he came home from work to get his laptop to find an intruder upstairs. He could not remember whether he set the alarm on the house, and claimed the intruder killed Connie and tried to use a torch on him. Dabate stated he wrestled with the intruder and burned him with the torch, causing him to flee.

However, police found no evidence of a struggle, no forced entry and nothing had been taken from the home. K-9 units found no scent of the mysterious attacker. Then, a piece of technology ultimately led investigators to determine that Dabate was lying.

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The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects you from incriminating yourself. However, the Fifth Amendment does not apply to physical evidence, such as your fingerprint. So, what happens when police ask you to use your fingerprint to unlock an iPad? Do you have to provide your fingerprint to police?cellphone_smartphone_text_sext-300x169

According to a recent court case, police have a right to ask you for your fingerprint. Why is providing your passcode to unlock your phone protected by the Fifth Amendment while your fingerprint is not?

Touch ID and Your Right to Your Fingerprint

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It is safe to say that most people have an expectationInternet_Social-Media_Computer_Cellphone.jpg of privacy when it comes to sending messages and information on Facebook. Although posts on your wall and comments may be readily available for the public to see, you probably expect the private messages you send to remain private.

So, when you’re the alleged victim of a crime, you probably have the same expectation of privacy. However, this expectation of privacy was recently called into question in a California criminal case.

Defense Lawyers Ask Facebook for Access to Alleged Victim’s Social Media Account

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Earlier this year, under President Trump’s aggressive immigration policies, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents began keeping a watchful eye on people coming in and out of courthouses, seizing an opportunity to detain immigrants for possible deportation. ICE argued that courthouses made for a safe area to detain suspected illegal immigrants because the security measures at courts help remove the possibility of an armed confrontation.

https://www.southerncaliforniadefenseblog.com/files/2017/09/ICE.Immigration.Arrest.Deportation-300x188.jpgIn March, California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye wrote to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly asking their departments to cease the “stalking [of] undocumented immigrants in our courthouses to make arrests.”

In her letter, she made the argument that the threat of deportation prevents witnesses and victims of crimes from coming forward, which makes the communities in which they live less safe.

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The California Department of Justice recently released its annual report on crimes. For the year 2016, several notable trends were spotted. Here is a look at some of the important statistics in the report.California-300x145

Violent Crime Increased for the Second Year In a Row

In 2016, violent crimes, including homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, increased by 4.1 percent compared to 2015. There were 8,113 more violent crimes committed in 2016 than the previous year. This is the second year in a row in which violent crimes have increased.

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After you are arrested, the court will typically assign bail. Bail is a monetary payment made by the defendant in order to be released from custody while the case is pending. The money is held by the court as a way to ensure the defendant will show up to his or her court dates. The money will eventually be returned to you if you do not miss any of your court dates, but the process may take more than a year.Money_Jail_Handcuffs-300x145

This system has been in place in California for many years. However, there is growing sentiment that the California bail system unfairly punishes poor people. Now, California lawmakers have turned to Kentucky as a possible example of how to reform the bail system.

Is California’s Bail System Unfair?

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.