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What Happens at a California Arraignment?

By Al Amer on August 27, 2014 - Comments off

After a person is arrested on suspicion of a crime in California, he or she will appear in front of a judge. This appearance is called the “arraignment.” You have the right to have an experienced California criminal defense attorney represent you at the arraignment.

During the arraignment, the judge will explain what charges you face, what your constitutional rights are, and that you may have the court appoint an attorney for you if you can’t afford one. By choosing your own attorney, however, you get the chance to find someone you feel comfortable working with. You also have the chance to have your lawyer attend your arraignment with you and deal with the judge on your behalf. Read the rest »

Posted in: Criminal Defense


How Do DUI Breath Testing Machines Work?

By Al Amer on August 25, 2014 - Comments off

DUIEven if you’ve never been stopped on suspicion of drunk driving in California, you probably know that a “Breathalyzer” or other breath-testing machine is often used during a DUI stop to estimate how much alcohol is in a driver’s bloodstream.

What you may not know, however, is how these machines work – or that, if the machine is not calibrated and operated correctly, a false test result can put you at risk of a conviction even if you were not breaking any laws. Read the rest »

Posted in: DUI Defense


Study Finds California’s Efforts to Cut Prison Population, Violent Crime Rates Are Succeeding

By Al Amer on August 22, 2014 - Comments off

Los Angeles Criminal DefenseAfter a 2009 court ruling in which California was ordered to reduce its prison population significantly within three years, the state has taken extraordinary steps to reduce the number of people in its prisons.  During the same period, the violent crime rate also fell by 21 percent – more than the national average decrease, according to a recent report by the Sentencing Project.

The study found that between 2006 and 2012, violent crime nationwide decreased by 19 percent and the number of people imprisoned in state prison systems fell by 1 percent.  California, however, topped both these numbers, reducing its violent crime rates by 21 percent and its imprisonment rates by 23 percent. Read the rest »

Posted in: Criminal Defense


Four Things NOT to Do If You Are Arrested for Drunk Driving

By Al Amer on July 8, 2014 - Comments off

Being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) can throw your life into chaos.  The system is confusing, especially for those who are facing it for the first time.  The arrest alone can result in the suspension of your driver’s license, even if you are not convicted in court.

The first thing you SHOULD do if you are arrested for DUI is to contact an experienced California DUI defense lawyer who will defend your legal rights and fight for the best possible outcome in your case. Alternatively, here are four things you SHOULD NOT do in the event of a DUI:

  • Don’t talk to the police about any details if you want to assert your constitutional rights, minimize any potential negative consequences and maintain any defenses you might have.
  • When you are arrested, you have the right to remain silent.  You do not have to talk to the police except to give them your name, and you should not do so.  Instead, tell them only that you want an attorney.  An attorney can help you ensure that you don’t accidentally say something that is later used against you in court. Read the rest »

Posted in: DUI Defense


California Sex Offender Management Board Recommends Deleting Low-Level Offenders From Registry

By Al Amer on June 19, 2014 - Comments off

The board responsible for overseeing the sex offender registry in California recently recommended that a number of registered offenders be removed from the list.  The board says that the list is currently too long and unwieldy, and that its sheer size makes it more difficult for police officers and members of the public to determine who is likely to reoffend and who is not.

As all experienced Long Beach criminal defense attorneys warn their clients, California requires anyone convicted of a sex offense to register for life, regardless of the type of offense or the circumstances under which it occurred. Read the rest »


Understanding California Minor in Possession Penalties

By Al Amer on June 17, 2014 - Comments off

LA Criminal DefenseIn California, like in other states, the minimum legal drinking age is 21 years.  People under age 21 who are drinking, possessing alcohol, or trying to purchase alcohol may find themselves facing a criminal charge and a harsh driver’s license suspension.

Like other alcohol-related convictions, a minor in possession conviction comes with strict penalties.  The potential penalties include:

  • Up to $250 in fines for a first offense and up to $500 in fines for a second offense,
  • Up to 32 hours of community service for a first offense and up to 48 hours of community service for a second offense.  When possible, community service is often served in an alcohol or drug treatment program or at a county coroner’s office.
  • Surrender and one year suspension of driver’s license Read the rest »

Posted in: DUI Defense


Why You Should Seek the Help of a DUI Defense Attorney Instead of Pleading Guilty

By Al Amer on June 9, 2014 - Comments off

When you’re facing a drunk driving charge in California, you may be confused, overwhelmed, frustrated, and burdened with the loss of your driving privileges and the costs of the case even before a decision is reached.  A guilty or “no contest” plea may sound like a quick way to end the problem, but it is never a good idea to plead until you have spoken to an experienced California DUI defense attorney who is fighting on your behalf.  Here’s why:

  • The prosecutor is not advising you in your best interests.  The prosecutor may already have urged you to take a plea.  Maybe he or she argued that there was no way you would win in court or that you would get a lesser penalty if you plead guilty.  It is in the prosecution’s best interests to end a case quickly, and for the prosecution, a plea deal is a quick end.  However, what is in the prosecutor’s best interests is rarely in your best interests.  Even if the case seems “black and white,” work with an attorney who can give you the advice you need – not the advice the prosecutor wants you to hear. Read the rest »

Posted in: DUI Defense


Measure to Treat Most Nonviolent Crimes as Misdemeanors May Appear on California Ballot

By Al Amer on June 4, 2014 - Comments off

A measure that would allow California to treat most nonviolent crimes as misdemeanors rather than felonies may appear on the November ballot if support continues at its current pace, according to a recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Supporters of the measure say they have collected over 800,000 signatures supporting the placement of the measure on this November’s ballot – well over the 555,236 they need. They have been submitting the signed petitions to county registrars throughout the state. Read the rest »

Posted in: Criminal Defense


Mistakes in Testing Lead to Six False Positives in California Crime Lab

By Al Amer on June 2, 2014 - Comments off

A northern California crime lab recently reported that six positive tests for methamphetamine were actually false positives, according to a recent article from Central Coast News. Although the false positives occurred in the lab in Santa Clara County, experienced criminal defense attorneys in Long Beach and Los Angeles are following the news, knowing that a false positive is possible in any crime lab.

The mistakes occurred when a crime lab technician used the wrong chemical to carry out testing on blood samples of people suspected of controlled substance use. The six false positives were included in over 2,500 blood samples taken from people who had been arrested. Read the rest »

Posted in: Criminal Defense


The Best Burger Joints in LA

By Al Amer on May 16, 2014 - Comments off

Hamburger Spots in Los AngelesCelebrate National Burger Month this May by grabbing some patties, buns, toppings, and condiments at the market and throwing a backyard burger party. Or you can grab some friends and head to one of California’s iconic fast food burger spots, such as In n’ Out, Tommy’s, or Fat Burger. However, if you want the best of the best in burgers, there are some joints in Los Angeles you should check out to get the professional chefs’ take on the American classic. You’ll have a guaranteed good burger if you hit up any of the following locations.

Comme Ça

Many burger joints try to make their own burgers exceptional by adding special sauces or unconventional toppings. The burger at this French brasserie does not depend on any gimmicks or loud displays. It consists of a high-quality patty of aged beef with cheddar and a simple slaw on top, all packed between two slices of delicious brioche. These few, carefully selected ingredients make this seemingly modest burger one of the best you can find in the city. Unfortunately, the fries which accompany this burger aren’t anything to rave about. Read the rest »

Posted in: General


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