Articles Tagged with Law & Information

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California will make sales of recreational marijuana legal on Jan. 1, 2018. So, when the law takes effect, what happens to people who have been convicted of marijuana-related crimes in the past? Thanks to a provision in California’s new marijuana laws, those convicted of nearly any marijuana offense may have the opportunity to get their conviction expunged.

New Marijuana Laws Allow Offenders to Expunge Criminal Record

According to the Drug Policy Alliance, nearly 500,000 people were arrested for marijuana crimes in California from 2006 to 2015. Those offenders now have the opportunity to clear their record or be released from custody under new California laws regarding marijuana.Possesion-of-MJ-300x200

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On Jan. 1, 2018, hundreds of new laws will go into effect in California, and they will impact every citizen in our state. Here’s a look at 10 important new California laws for 2018 that you need to know.

10. AB 1008: Ban-the-Box Criminal History on Applications

Companies with five or more employees are now prohibited from asking about a potential employee’s criminal history on job applications. Inquiring about or considering criminal history at any time DUI_Marijuana_Drugs-300x201before a conditional offer of employment has been made is now illegal under Government Code 12952.

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There’s an expression that “two wrongs don’t make a right.” However, U.S. lawmakers may not be following that old saying when it comes to “revenge hacking.”

Congressman Tom Graves (R-GA) and Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have co-sponsored the Active Cyber Defense Security Act (ACDC), which would essentially allow people or companies who have been hacked for data to “hack back” the hacker.

What are “Hack Back Laws?”

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In recent years, California has passed several laws that essentially give people who are convicted of low-level crimes a second chance.

It all started when California voters approved Prop. 47 in 2014, which reclassified several drug, theft, property and other non-violent crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. Other reforms soon followed, including changes to the Three Strikes law, realignment of the prison system, and expansion of parole opportunities under Prop. 57. Since these reforms took effect, California has reduced its prison population by nearly 20 percent.breaking_handcuffs_2-300x197

Recently, a group of lawmakers in Sacramento decided that California has reformed too many criminal justice laws. The result is the “Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act,” a proposed ballot initiative that would undo many of the criminal justice reforms approved over the past few years.

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Innocent people are convicted of crimes far too often. Ed Easley is one of those people.

In 1993, Easley was convicted of molesting a 7-year-old girl. He served eight years in prison, five more on probation, and was required to register as a sex offender for life. Years after his conviction, the alleged victim came forward and confessed to lying about Easley’s actions to protect a family member who actually committed the crime. However, the courts would not allow Easley the opportunity to legally prove his innocence.breaking_handcuffs_2-300x197

The Writ of Habeas Corpus

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California has been dealing with the issue of prison overcrowding for the past several years. During that time, the state has passed various laws to help reduce the prison population. With prison overcrowding still an issue, California Governor Jerry Brown recently passed two new laws that affect some of the oldest prison inmates and those who committed crimes at a young age.Prison_Inmates-300x145

The Elderly Parole Program (AB 1448)

One of the new laws passed in California helps inmates 60 years old or older seek release from custody. Assembly Bill 1448, introduced by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, establishes the Elderly Parole Program, which aims to reduce the expensive costs of housing elderly inmates with health issues.

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Recently, we’ve seen that sports can spark controversy. gavel_4-300x199NFL players have taken knees and locked arms during the national anthem to protest inequality and injustice, but the NFL isn’t the only form of football causing controversy.

A high school football coach who prayed at the 50-yard line after a game has sparked a debate over the separation of church and state. Are coaches allowed to pray on the field?

High School Football Coach Fired for Praying on the Field

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Capitol_building_California-300x145The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that could change the future of sports betting. The court recently decided to hear arguments regarding the legalization of sports gambling.

It all stems from a New Jersey ballot measure regarding sports betting that was approved by voters. As a result, the state began setting up sports books, but the MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL and NCAA sued New Jersey under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), a federal law that prohibits sports gambling outside of Nevada, Oregon, Montana and Delaware.

What Happens Next?

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Law enforcement agencies, including FBI and the local sheriff use various methods and strategies to spy on individuals whom they suspect are committing crimes. Most of the methods used to spy on these individuals is with the help of digital trails these people create every day.Jail-Bars-and-Cuffs-300x225

You might think that this is a violation of the privacy of an individual and that such a search cannot take place without a warrant from a judge. However, the thing to note is that there are plenty of legal ways for law enforcement to snoop on digital trails created by individuals. For example, they can obtain your personal emails from Google with the help of a subpoena. The person being spied on is not even notified. Similarly, they may also contact AT&T to obtain your text messages. Police can also use other methods to track you without a warrant. Some of these methods are listed below:

Access to your phone records

Police can get courts to sign off on a subpoena to access your phone records. In order to obtain a subpoena, law enforcement must show the data they are searching for is relevant to a criminal investigation. Once the court has issued the order, police can get phone records without a warrant. Going through a list of phone numbers is not considered an unreasonable search and seizure.

Tracking your location

A lot of cellphone carriers provide authorities with the location of a customer’s phone for a small fee. They track the exact location of a person’s phone using cell towers, or they can use the GPS feature available in most smartphones. In 2011 alone, major cell carriers responded to more than 1.3 million requests from law enforcement for cellphone locations.

IP addresses on computers

Email providers such as Yahoo and Google collect huge amounts of data that give the location of email users through their IP addresses. A warrant is not needed to access the IP address of an individual, but it is needed if police wish to actually access the emails of an individual.

Access to emails

Law enforcement will need a warrant to be able to access your recent emails. However, they can obtain access to older emails with only a subpoena. In the first half of 2012 alone, Google received 7,969 requests for email data. Other email providers also receive thousands of subpoenas for email information.

Access to email drafts

Accessing draft emails is easier for investigators than getting access to recently sent emails. Stored electronic data, including emails and texts, are protected under the law, but there is less protection for email drafts. Continue reading →

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.