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Criminal Defense

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


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


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 »


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


Can a California Police Officer Search My Car Without a Warrant?

By Al Amer on April 9, 2014 - Comments off

LA Traffic Stop SearchIn California, many arrests take place during a traffic stop.  When a driver is arrested during a traffic stop, a search of the vehicle often takes place, and it is often performed by the same officers who make the arrest.  Since the officers clearly do not leave the scene to obtain a warrant, many people who are arrested in such circumstances wonder if it is legal for the police to search their vehicles during a traffic stop or immediately after an arrest.

The answer is “sometimes.”  In some circumstances, police in California may search a vehicle without a warrant or without the consent of the vehicle’s owner or driver.

Read the rest »

Posted in: Criminal Defense


I Have a Restraining Order Filed Against Me. What Should I Do?

By Al Amer on April 3, 2014 - Comments off

The state of California uses restraining orders in a large number of domestic violence cases.  A restraining order that requires you to avoid certain people or places restricts your movement, requiring you to find ways to work around it until the issue can be resolved.  Working with an experienced California criminal defense attorney can help you protect your legal rights in the face of a restraining order.

The existence of a restraining order against you does not prove you did anything wrong. However, it does make it difficult to do certain things.  For instance, if the restraining order was filed by someone who lives in your home, like a spouse or partner, you may not be able to return home until the problem is addressed.  If it is filed by a coworker, it may affect your ability to go to work.  If it prevents you from contacting the other parent of your children, your ability to set up visitation or custody arrangements can be affected.

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Posted in: Criminal Defense


How Might an Arrest Affect My Job Search?

By Al Amer on March 19, 2014 - Comments off

California Criminal DefenseIf you’ve been arrested or detained by police on suspicion of committing a crime, or if you have a criminal conviction, you may wonder how these events will affect your job search.

California has very specific rules regarding whether, when, and how a potential employer may look up information about your past encounters with the criminal justice system and use them to make hiring decisions.

If you need more information about your specific situation, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced California criminal defense and expungements attorney today.

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Posted in: Criminal Defense


What Happens In a California Felony Case After Arraignment?

By Al Amer on March 10, 2014 - Comments off

After “arraignment,” which is when a person accused of a crime is told what the charges are and the bail amount is set, a California felony case goes through several steps.  If you are accused of a felony in California, you may choose your own criminal defense lawyer to fight on your behalf.

If the case is not settled or dismissed after arraignment, the next step is usually a preliminary hearing.  At the preliminary hearing, the judge does not decide whether the defendant is innocent or guilty.  Instead, the judge decides whether there is enough evidence to go to trial.

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Posted in: Criminal Defense


What Should I Know If I’m Arrested in California?

By Al Amer on March 6, 2014 - Comments off

California Criminal DefensePeople who are arrested in California have certain legal rights.  Although contacting an experienced California criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after an arrest can help you protect your rights during investigation and trial, knowing your rights related to arrest can help you protect yourself even before you speak to an attorney.

An “arrest” means that you have been taken into police custody and are not free to leave the scene.  You are not required to answer any police questions during an arrest, except to give your name and address and to show identification if an officer asks for it.

Read the rest »

Posted in: Criminal Defense


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