San Bernardino Criminal Defense Blog

San Bernardino Criminal Defense Blog

  • Prop 57 Detailed

    || 1-Apr-2017

    Facts About Proposition 57 “The Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act” There are three main PSRA provisions – two relating to adults and one to juveniles:  Adults: 1. Parole Eligibility Changes 2. Credit Awards Changes  Juveniles 3. Direct Filing Eliminated Direct Results:  Offenders who commit multiple crimes against multiple victims will be eligible for release at the same ...
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  • Prop 57 Explained

    || 1-Apr-2017

    What You Need To Know About Proposition 57 And Its Potential For Criminal Justice Reform Photo by tarasov via Shutterstock By now, you've probably seen your fair share of advertisements advocating both for and against Proposition 57. On one side, Governor Jerry Brown, the California Democratic Party, the ACLU and a litany of civil liberties and prison advocacy groups argue that Prop. 57 would ...
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  • Veteran's Court in California Courts

    || 1-Apr-2017

    California Veterans Court - Serving the Unique Needs of Vets Veterans have bravely served the people of United States of America. Many of them have experienced the dreadfulness of combat so that we can all remain free. Unfortunately, the horrors of war often walk hand-in-hand with drug addiction, hopelessness, and mental disability. The California State court system recognizes this unhappy ...
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  • 17 New Laws That Take Effect This Year

    || 1-Apr-2017

    Here is a sampling of other new laws that Californians woke up to in January: Assault weapons: The new gun-control regulations broaden the definition of illegal assault weapons, require background checks for the first time for ammunition purchases and limit the lending of guns to family members. California bars purchasing, semi-automatic, centerfire rifles or semi-automatic pistols that lack a ...
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  • Mental Health Court

    || 25-Jan-2016

    California's Mental Health Courts Passed in 1994, California's "three strikes" law is the nation's harshest sentencing law. Designed to imprison for life anyone who commits three violent crimes, the law has inadvertently resulted in the incarceration of a lot relatively harmless people, for a long time and at great public expense. Crimes that have earned people life ...
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  • Veterans' Courts in CA

    || 25-Jan-2016

    Veterans Courts A veterans court, also known as a veterans treatment court, is a problem-solving court intended to serve veterans who are involved with the justice system and whose court cases are affected by issues such as addiction, mental illness, and/or co-occurring disorders. These courts promote sobriety, recovery, and stability through a coordinated response involving cooperation and ...
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  • Proposition 47

    || 1-Dec-2014

    There are three types of crimes: felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions. A felony is the most serious type of crime. Existing law classifies some felonies as “violent” or “serious,” or both. Examples of felonies currently defined as both violent and serious include murder, robbery, and rape. Felonies that are not classified as violent or serious include grand theft (not ...
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  • Why do sentences differ?

    || 1-Dec-2014

    There is a misconception that local courts have "hanging judges." This term applies in circumstances where judges will sentence individuals differently even though they are charged with similar crimes. There is almost always a reasonable explanation for sentence disparity, explained as follows: Achieving perfect balance in sentencing is unrealistic; each case has a unique set of ...
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  • Why do attitudes towards the police differ from county to county.

    || 1-Dec-2014

    According to Asymmetry in the Impact of Encounters with Police, there are several factors of individuals in poorer neighborhoods that can be attributed to the negative attitudes: (1) illegal drugs use is often done in public view, thereby creating the need for aggressive policing (2) police are more prone to abuse of power in poor and minority neighborhoods (Skogan 2007, 103), and (3) people ...
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  • Criminal Case: The Verdict and Appeal

    || 18-Dec-2013

    Once the jury has deliberated and they all area able to agree on a decision, they will return and present their decision to the court. They may find the defendant not guilty and this is referred to as an acquittal. When this occurs, the defendant will be released from custody and due to the double jeopardy law, they cannot be charged for the crime again. When they are found not guilty this is ...
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  • The Trial Process

    || 11-Dec-2013

    For a case that has yet to be resolved, it can be taken all the way to court. At this point the defendant has a right to decide how they want the trial to take place. They can either be heard by the court or by a jury of their peers. Many individuals select to have the jury of their peers since they are hoping they can sway their opinion. Both attorneys are involved in the process of selecting the ...
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  • The Process of a Criminal Case: PreTrial

    || 4-Dec-2013

    Following the arraignment in a criminal case, the process can vary depending on the charges and the plea that was made by the defendant. When the defendant pleads not guilty in a misdemeanor case, the discovery period will take place. This is when the defense and prosecution exchange information that relates to the case. Next, both sides can file pretrial motions if they choice and they also have ...
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  • Criminal Charges: Arraignment

    || 27-Nov-2013

    Following an arrest, the case will need to be started. This is done through the police writing up a report of what took place. This will offer a summary of the events and it can be useful in the remainder of the case. Typically, the person being charged will not have access to the report, but their legal representation will. Next, the prosecutor will need to review the situation and decide what ...
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  • Understanding the Arrest Process

    || 20-Nov-2013

    The beginning of a criminal case starts at the arrest. The details of this event will be important and will be scrutinized if the case moves further along in the process. If the case eventually goes to trial than each aspect of the arrest will likely be looked over. In order for an officer to make an arrest, probably cause must exist. This means that there is a reason for the citizen being taken ...
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  • California Driver's License for Undocumented Residents

    || 25-Oct-2013

    California on Thursday joined the growing list of states that allow immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally to obtain driver's licenses -- a measure supported not only by Latino activists but by police chiefs and insurance authorities. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill in front of a cheering crowd of immigrants and their supporters, predicting other parts of the country will follow ...
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  • The Death Penalty in California is Dead

    || 23-Jul-2013

    Having a death penalty satisfies the primal human urge for revenge. Unfortunately, nobody is ever executed in California. Thus, the primal urge is never satisfied. The death row inmate lives a privilaged life compared to all of the other inmates, a huge irony in itself. The cost of keeping 700+ inmated on death row for 30 years is costing California tens of billions of dollars annually. We are ...
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  • Riverside County District Attorney Race 2014

    || 9-May-2013

    2014 promises to be an interesting year if you practice criminal law law in Riverside County. DDA Michael Hestrin has announced his intent to run against incumbant Paul Zellerbach in 2014. Zellerbach, a former Riverside County Deputy District Attorney and judge, has been in office less than four years after unseating Rod Pacheco Hestrin is unhappy with Zellerbach's leadership and thinks ...
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  • Three Struikes Reform

    || 21-Jan-2013

    Three Strikes Reform Proposition 36 passed in November, and thousands of inmates serving life sentences under the old three strikes law are eligible to have their sentences modified so that they can be released. A petition must be filed in the superior court of the County where the conviction occurred. Then, there is a process toward getting the original sentence modified. It's exciting stuff ...
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  • Medical Marijuana Card, Does your child (over the age of 18) have one?

    || 11-Oct-2012

    As a parent, an aunt, and a friend to many youngsters, I see that smoking marijuana has been become an accepted practice. I am told that it is better and cheaper than drinking beer. We all know how easy it is to get a medical marijuana card; and lets just say that you are the parent that does not agree with pop culture and the acceptance of smoking "bud" what do you do if your adult ...
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  • Does unemployment cause people to choose crime?

    || 11-Oct-2012

    With unemployment at an all time high, with the crash of the market, housing prices at there lowest, people have become desperate to stay afloat. Is it true that some people choose crime rather than legitimate work because of an expectation that they can make more money from crime and/or because they find it more rewarding in other ways? ( Katz, 1989; Bourgois, 1995). If employed, does a lack of ...
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  • California's New Sentencing Guidelines- "Realignment"

    || 19-Jan-2012

    REALIGNMENT December 3, 2011 (Replaces previous editions) by Garrick Byers, Statute Decoder * What's New in This Edition? Legislative Findings and Declarations Highlighted New Rules of Court 4.450 and 4.451 For Petitions to Revoke PostRelease Community Supervision. Additional Discussion of Split Sentences The Lists of County Jail Felonies and State Prison Felonies Updated Certificate of ...
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  • CHP Launches Distracted Driving campaign for New Year's weekend

    || 30-Dec-2011

    As part of a crackdown on distracted drivers, the California Highway Patrol is not just looking for people illegally talking or texting on their cellphones. Officials also will be on the lookout for those who are eating while driving. And if you're reading magazines or applying makeup, they'll also be looking for you. From 6 a.m. Friday until 6 a.m. Saturday, the CHP is having a ...
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  • State to Discount Old Unpaid Traffic Tickets California Superior Courts in all 58 counties are offering a 50 percent off discount on some old unpaid traffic tickets. It’s a limited-time “Amnesty Program” for certain outstanding court debt. More than 6 million cases statewide could qualify. “This is a win-win,” according to Ronald G. Overholt, Interim Administrative ...
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  • California Governor Allows Warrantless Searching of Cell Phones

    || 26-Oct-2011

    Here's another reason to password-protect your mobile phone : Governor Brown just recently vetoed a bill that requires a court-ordered warrant in order to search mobile phones upon arrest. This means that if you get arrested in the state of California, the arresting officer can search your smartphone — which gives him access to emails, call logs, texts, location data, banking apps, and ...
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  • Hacking someone's Facebook account can lead to Identity Theft charges!

    || 11-Oct-2011

    Hacking someone's Facebook is an Internet Crime. In the recent case of People of the State of California v. Rolando S., the California Court of Appeal for the Fifth Appellate District held that for purposes of California Penal Code Section 530.5, an individual who unlawfully accesses a victim’s account on a social media website and alters the victim’s profile and posts obscene ...
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