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CRIMINAL LAW BLOG

Warrantless Blood Draw from DUI Suspect

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Jun 20, 2024 | 0 Comments

Let's review the court of appeals ruling that there were no exigent circumstances to justify a warrantless blood draw from a DUI suspect after a significant post-collision delay. California implied consent laws require all drivers to voluntarily provide a breath or blood test as part of a police...

Trial Defendant's Argument in a Watson Murder Trial

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Jun 15, 2024 | 0 Comments

Prosecutors regularly charge implied-malice Watson murder charges in driving death cases where there is evidence of highly reckless conduct involving speed, alcohol/controlled substances, or both. Notable recent local cases with implied malice murder charges include the tragic deaths of...

Driving in California with a Foreign License

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Jun 14, 2024 | 0 Comments

If you're a visitor from another country, you'll be delighted to know you can use your foreign driver's license to drive in California. The state warmly recognizes out-of-state and foreign driver licenses for nonresident individuals, enhancing your travel experience with added convenience. Vehicle...

Understanding Qualified Immunity

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Jun 07, 2024 | 0 Comments

Qualified immunity has protected police officers and government officials from being held accountable for violating someone's constitutional rights for decades. The doctrine of qualified immunity allows state and local officials to avoid personal consequences connected to their professional...

How Is Intent to Distribute Drugs Proven?

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Jun 06, 2024 | 0 Comments

Under the law, the illegal possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell or distribute it is a severe offense. There are two parts to this crime, including the unlawful possession of the drugs and the intent to distribute them. Both elements must be met to commit the offense of "possession...

Difference Between "Acquitted" and "Not Guilty"

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Jun 05, 2024 | 0 Comments

The term "not guilty" means a criminal defendant is not legally accountable for the crime. An "acquittal" is a finding by the jury or judge that the defendant is not guilty after a trial (jury or bench trial). Notably, however, neither necessarily means you are innocent of the crime. Let's examine the...

What is a Criminal Case “Dismissed Without Prejudice?”

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Jun 01, 2024 | 0 Comments

A criminal case “dismissed without prejudice” is a legal term, meaning it’s currently dismissed but could still be refiled later, known as a temporary dismissal. In other words, the district attorney can refile their criminal charge, often after fixing any issues with the initial filing. In contrast, a criminal...

Vehicle Code 22651 VC - Towing and Impound Laws

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | May 25, 2024 | 0 Comments

California Vehicle Code 22651 VC is the law authorizing motor vehicles to be towed and impounded if the driver is arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), parks illegally, or has at least five unpaid parking tickets. The "illegal parking" includes private property, a handicapped space, a bus zone...

Legal Self-Defense Weapons in California

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | May 18, 2024 | 0 Comments

California law recognizes the right to self-defense and allows the use of certain weapons for this purpose. It has “Stand Your Ground” and “Castle Doctrine” laws. Stand your ground refers to a situation in which somebody threatens you. You are not obligated to retreat to defend yourself; you have...

Making a False Police Report - Penal Code 148.5 PC

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | May 13, 2024 | 0 Comments

California Penal Code 148.5 PC prohibits making a false police report of a crime. However, false reporting is only a crime if you know it is false. This misdemeanor crime is punishable by up to 6 months in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Truthfulness is the cornerstone of the justice system. Any...

Can You Get a DUI for Driving on Legal Drugs?

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | May 11, 2024 | 0 Comments

Most people who are arrested for driving under the influence in California are impaired by alcohol. However, you could also be arrested and convicted of a DUI based on being under the influence of drugs, including legal prescription medication. Prescription medication DUIs are based on impairment...

Disorderly Conduct - Penal Code 647

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | May 04, 2024 | 0 Comments

California Penal Code 647 PC covers several types of crimes called “disorderly conduct,” which means behaviors deemed disruptive, offensive, or inappropriate in public spaces. The disorderly conduct law covers a broader range of behavior that is considered a public nuisance or annoyance, such...

What Is a PC 1275 Bail Hold?

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Apr 27, 2024 | 0 Comments

The term “PC 1275 hold” means a hold is placed on your bail because a police officer, prosecutor, or judge believes the money or collateral used for the bail was acquitted through criminal activity, such as drug sales. The name “PC 1275” comes from California Penal Code 1275 PC, the statute allowing...

What Are Mitigating Circumstances in Criminal Cases?

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Apr 20, 2024 | 0 Comments

Under California criminal law, mitigating circumstances help lessen a defendant's guilt and encourage the judge to be more lenient in sentencing. For example, perhaps a defendant has no prior criminal record or played a minor role in the crime. In other words, If you've been charged or convicted...

Penal Code 21810 PC - Possession of Brass Knuckles

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Apr 12, 2024 | 0 Comments

Brass knuckles are metal objects worn around a hand to increase a punch's power and destructive ability. They are shaped to fit around a clenched fist. The force from these punches can be perilous and even lethal. California Penal Code 21810 PC prohibits brass knuckles (BK) by making it a crime....

What Does Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt Mean?

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Apr 11, 2024 | 0 Comments

Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is the highest standard in the American criminal justice system. Requiring that a district attorney prove a defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt is a crucial concept in American law intended to ensure that only truly guilty people are convicted of committing ...

Penal Code 837 PC - Citizen’s Arrest

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Apr 06, 2024 | 0 Comments

Under California law, private citizens are authorized to arrest alleged perpetrators in specific circumstances defined under Penal Code 837 PC. Notably, if a private decides to make an arrest, they can act alone or ask another person to help them. Before a citizen decides to make an arrest, they...

What Are Miranda Rights Violations?

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Mar 23, 2024 | 0 Comments

Reading Miranda Rights can become crucial to criminal cases when someone is arrested for an alleged crime. For example, before police interrogate you after an arrest, they must explain these rights and ensure you understand them. Suppose they fail to read you your rights. In that case, it could...

What is the Legal Age of Consent in California?

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Mar 16, 2024 | 0 Comments

The legal age of consent in the state of California is 18 years old, which is when the law deems someone old enough to consent to have sex. This means it's a crime to engage in sexual activity with any person under 18. In other words, if you have sex with a minor, you could face serious criminal ...

Stop-and-Frisk Law on Searches by Police Officers

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Feb 17, 2024 | 0 Comments

In California, the stop-and-frisk law called a “Terry stop” has some main rules that law enforcement has to follow based on the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which says you have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.Law enforcement officers are legally...

Statute of Limitations in Criminal Cases

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Jan 13, 2024 | 0 Comments

The statute of limitations outlines the maximum time limits for prosecutors to file criminal charges in a case.  In California, the general rules to remember are one year for a misdemeanor crime and three years for a felony. However, if a felony is punishable by eight or more years in state prison...

Is Ecstasy Legal in California?

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Jan 12, 2024 | 0 Comments

MDMA, also known popularly as "ecstasy" or "molly," is a psychoactive drug primarily used for recreational purposes. It has become trendy at parties, commonly passed around during concerts and raves. With California recently legalizing marijuana for recreational use, there may be some confusion...

Public Nuisance Laws – Penal Code 372, 373a PC

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Dec 22, 2023 | 0 Comments

California Penal Code 372 PC is the statute that prohibits someone from creating or maintaining a public nuisance. Penal Code 373a PC is the statute that makes it a crime for someone to maintain, permit, or allow a public nuisance to exist on a property they own or lease and do so after they receive...

Destroying or Concealing Evidence - Penal Code 135 PC

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Dec 20, 2023 | 0 Comments

In the State of California, it is a criminal offense to willfully destroy or conceal evidence that you know to be relevant to a legal proceeding, such as a trial, inquiry, or investigation. This statute is embodied in California Penal Code 135 PC. Simply put, it's a crime to deliberately destroy or conceal...

Mislabeling Food - Health and Safety Code 114087 HS

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Nov 29, 2023 | 0 Comments

The State of California sets a high bar of honesty for restaurants and stores that sell food to consumers so that people can make informed choices about what they eat.  Violating the consumer's trust is considered a criminal offense. Under Health & Safety Code 114087 HS, it's against the law...

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