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The Amer Law Firm Blog

Carson, California Moves to Make Bullying Children and Young Adults a Crime

By Al Amer on May 14, 2014 - Comments off

The city council in Carson, California recently voted to move forward with a citywide anti-bullying ordinance.  The ordinance, if passed, would make it a misdemeanor crime to bully or harass anyone from kindergarten through the age of 25 years in a way that might cause physical and mental harm to the person being bullied.

The goal of the bill is to make Carson a “bully-free city,” according to Mayor Jim Dear, who is also a public school teacher.  The bill would protect those under age 26 not only while they are in school, but also in other places within the city, like parks, sidewalks, and shops.

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Posted in: Juvenile Crimes

 

Understanding California’s DUI Sobriety Checkpoint Laws

By Al Amer on May 12, 2014 - Comments off

What are California's Sobriety Checkpoint Laws?As part of its ongoing efforts to curb drunk driving in California, the California Highway Patrol and other law enforcement officers regularly conduct sobriety checkpoints. These checkpoints are stationary stops along California roads, at which officers stop drivers to talk to them, check driver’s licenses, and look for evidence that points to driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, as well as potential evidence of other offenses.

Not every state holds sobriety checkpoints; in several states, they are prohibited by the state Constitution. California courts, however, have consistently held checkpoints to be allowed under the state and federal constitutions if they meet certain requirements.

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Posted in: DUI Defense

 

“Marijuana DUI” Bill Fails in California Legislature

By Al Amer on May 8, 2014 - Comments off

California’s state legislature recently voted down a bill that would have imposed a charge for driving under the influence (DUI) on anyone found to be driving with trace amounts of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in their bloodstreams.  The bill was voted down in the Assembly Public Safety Committee, 4-2.

The bill, AB 2500, imposed a “zero tolerance” rule that would have made a DUI charge possible if blood tests found any amount of THC in the driver’s blood.  The bill was amended to set the limit at two nanograms per milliliter of blood, which is still lower than the five nanograms per milliliter limit advocated by several prosecutors and legislators.  The bill also sought to set a specific limit for other drugs, like cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and morphine.  Nevertheless, the amended bill failed as well.

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Posted in: DUI Defense

 

California Senate Refuses to Mandate “Kill Switches” in Cell Phone Thefts

By Al Amer on May 6, 2014 - Comments off

Los Angeles Criminal DefenseHalf of all robberies in San Francisco in 2012 involved the theft of a cell phone or other mobile device, according to a recent article in the Press-Democrat.  According to the Los Angeles Police Department, thefts of cell phones have risen 30 percent in the past two years.

Nevertheless, the California legislature recently refused to consider a bill mandating a “kill switch” on stolen mobile devices.  The bill, Senate Bill 962, was voted down 19-17 recently.

The “kill switch” technology allows the owner of a cell phone, tablet, or other device to “lock” it remotely, preventing anyone else from accessing or using the device.  These kill switch options are already available on many mobile devices, and some companies offer the option to consumers who wish to purchase it.

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Posted in: Theft Crime

 

I’ve Been Charged With a DUI and I Have One (or More) DUI Convictions. What Will Happen?

By Al Amer on April 18, 2014 - Comments off

In California, a person who is charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or other drugs may face more serious penalties if he or she already has a DUI conviction on the record.

Generally speaking, California courts “look back” 10 years for prior convictions.  In most cases, a DUI conviction that has occurred within the past ten years will affect the penalties you face if you are convicted of another DUI.  This “look back” includes convictions for DUI in other states, as well as convictions for certain related offenses.

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Posted in: DUI Defense

 

California Supreme Court Rules in Two Juvenile Justice Cases

By Al Amer on April 16, 2014 - Comments off

LA Juvenile JusticeThe California Supreme Court recently handed down its decisions in two juvenile justice cases that the experienced California criminal defense attorneys at The Amer Law Firm have watched closely.

On April 3, the state’s highest court held that a juvenile who wishes to take a “no contest” plea must have the consent of his or her defense lawyer in order to do so.  The case focused on a 13-year-old defendant who was facing charges of felony assault and misdemeanor vandalism in juvenile hall.  The young defendant had wanted to take a “no contest” plea offered by the prosecuting attorney, but his defense attorney refused to consent to the deal.

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Posted in: Juvenile Crimes

 

5 Unusual Easter Treats from Around the World

By Al Amer on April 14, 2014 - Comments off

easter casseroleIt’s Easter time once again. That means children and adults of all ages will be indulging in delicious chocolate, eggs, and sumptuous meals in the spirit of the holiday. And while everyone has their own traditions and favorite foods, you may be shocked by just how much Easter treats can change from country to country during this worldwide holiday.

So, here at The Amer Law Firm, we’ve decided to expand our boundaries and take a look at five Easter treats you may have never heard of before. Who knows, you may want to make these part of your holiday tradition from now on!

Russia and Poland’s Butter Lambs – In various European countries, chocolate bunnies are not the holiday tradition of choice. Instead, butter carved into the shape of a lamb is served with the Easter meal. These can actually be rather ornate sculptures that allowed their creators to show off their skills before everyone digs in. Read the rest »

Posted in: General

 

Preparing for a DUI License Suspension Hearing: A To-Do List

By Al Amer on April 14, 2014 - Comments off

If you have been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), your driver’s license has likely been suspended or revoked by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This license suspension or revocation is an administrative one, which means it takes place on arrest, not on conviction. It also means that you have the right to a hearing before the DMV.

You may have an experienced California DUI defense attorney represent you at the hearing. To ensure you meet the deadline to request a hearing and help your attorney prepare the best possible defense, you may find this to-do list helpful:

  • First, contact an experienced attorney.  You should take this step as soon as possible after your arrest in order to protect your legal rights both before the DMV and in court. Read the rest »

Posted in: DUI 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.

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Posted in: Criminal Defense

 

I Was Arrested for DUI, Am I Eligible for a Restricted Driver’s License?

By Al Amer on April 7, 2014 - Comments off

Los Angeles DUI ArrestIf you are arrested in California on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), you may not have done anything wrong.  An arrest is not proof of drunk driving.  However, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) automatically suspends or revokes the driver’s licenses of people arrested on suspicion of DUI.

Drivers whose licenses are suspended or revoked as a result of a DUI stop or arrest are entitled to a hearing with the DMV to seek a restricted driver’s license.  You must request this hearing within ten days of your arrest date, and you may have an experienced California DUI defense lawyer represent you and protect your rights at this hearing.

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Posted in: DUI Defense

 

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