Archive for the ‘Criminal Law’ Category

I’m only 20 years old and recently got a BUI. I blew a 0.21 even if I have not had any drink in hours. I was stopped because someone stood up in the boat while idling. What are the laws about this?

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First, do not speak to the Coast Guard or arresting officer or anyone else regarding this matter until you have spoken to a BUI/DUI lawyer. Consequences for BUI are generally much tougher than DUI because driving on water is deemed more unsafe than on land. Read the rest of this entry »

I’m on parole and my girlfriend is pregnant. She was already having complications with the pregnancy, but she said that I beat her up that’s why she lost the baby. Am I going to jail for murder?

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It depends on whether you actually did beat up your girlfriend, and if so, the circumstances surrounding that incident. Pursuant to California Penal Code section 12022.9(a), a 5-year sentencing enhancement is imposed on a defendant who knows or reasonably should know that a woman is pregnant, and yet commits a felony during which he or she personally inflicts injury upon that pregnant woman that results in the termination of her pregnancy. Read the rest of this entry »

My son went to school and said his stepfather jumped on him. My son has ADD and ODD. The ACS worker did not want to follow through with this because she knew my son was not telling the truth. The doctor, however, told the police that my son suffered from life-threatening injuries, even though my son was released with no injuries and no medications. Now my husband was arrested and an ACS case was opened. How do I sue the doctor?

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Under the Child Abuse and Neglect provisions of the California Penal Code, doctors have a statutory obligation to report to authorities a reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect that they discovered within their scope of employment or professional capacity. (Penal Code § 11165.7.) If a doctor does come across a case of reasonable suspicion of child abuse and does not report it, that doctor may liable for the resulting injuries in a negligence cause of action. Read the rest of this entry »

My mentally ill daughter purchased a rifle at Walmart and committed suicide, leaving my three grandchildren. Do we have a case?

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It depends on what you’re seeking. If you’re seeking a criminal case against Walmart, it depends on your state’s specific gun laws. Some states have really lax gun laws, while other states have more stringent requirements that mandate certain types of background checks. As you may have heard in the news, the federal government is having trouble passing a law that would require mental health and strict background checks in order to purchase guns. Read the rest of this entry »

I told the police 4-5 times that I don’t consent to them searching my house. Then they told me that if I didn’t let them, they would arrest me and everyone that was inside and take all of us to jail until they got a warrant to search. Are the police allowed to make such threats? Can they arrest me if I don’t give them consent to search my residence?

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It depends. Under the Fourth Amendment, the home is sacred and generally, the police cannot enter without at least a warrant, consent, or some sort of exigent circumstance. While the police can ask you for consent, they cannot threaten or coerce you to give it. The United States Supreme Court has held that any consent given to the police or other government official to search must be voluntary, that is, free of duress or coercion. Read the rest of this entry »

The police department has my bike in their pound. They can’t release it to me because the title isn’t under my name and the owner of the bike won’t answer my calls so he could come with me to the station. What can I do?

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Unfortunately, if you are not the owner of the bike and the bike is not under your name, then there is not much you can do. One question that remains obvious is the circumstances under which you claim ownership of the bike. How is it that you claim to own the bike when there is another owner and your name is not on the title? Read the rest of this entry »

If the stepson who does not have ownership of the residence enters into a bedroom belonging to the estranged step father, then rummages through the latter’s personal belongings and finds illegal substances, would these substances be considered “fruits of a poisonous tree”?

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Unfortunately, the answer is no. The “fruit of a poisonous tree” doctrine that you reference comes from well-settled United States Supreme Court case law regarding the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures of their “persons, houses, papers and effects.” Read the rest of this entry »

If you have a bill of sale to goods you bought but are not aware that they were stolen, will you be safe from any charges?

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Under California Penal Code section 496, the provision which makes receiving stolen property a crime, you must have knowledge that the goods were stolen. Mere possession of stolen goods is not enough. Read the rest of this entry »

I was charged with contacting my son, who was allegedly a protected person in a restraining order. When the DA learned that my son was not a protected person, all of the charges were dismissed. My wife is now threatening to have the case reopened, saying that the DA made some sort of error. Can she do that? Can they reopen the case?

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The answer depends on whether there actually was an error committed by the District Attorney. Was your son actually protected by the restraining order but there was a clerical error? Based on the facts your provided, that is the only seemingly plausible error that might subject you to liability. However, it is not up to your wife whether the DA will reopen the case, it is simply up to the DA. Read the rest of this entry »