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New California Criminal Laws: Part One

Let’s get to it. We’ve already covered the big new bail law, which won’t go into effect until October 1. Here are three new laws effective January 1, 2019. Drunk driving will catch you an ignition-interlock device on your car. This is Senate Bill 1046. It amends the Vehicle Code to require most anyone who’s convicted of Read More

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The Pros and Cons of Bail Reform

We’ll see how California’s new bail law plays out in practice. On one hand, it promises to treat rich and poor alike when it comes to keeping someone in jail until any trial. It says everyone will get out within twelve hours on a misdemeanor charge, with some exceptions. And if you’re accused of a Read More

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California to End Money Bail

On August 28, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 10 into law. It becomes effective October 1, 2019, and as you may have heard, it changes everything. It completely repeals the chapter of the Penal Code that provided for cash bail and replaces it with an entirely new one. Here’s the gist of it. If you’re arrested for Read More

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New California Criminal Laws: Part Deux

To conclude the series, here’s the fab five we promised last week. Kids age 15 or younger must talk to a lawyer before the police interrogate them. This is Senate Bill 395. It amended the Welfare and Institutions Code to require that kids consult a lawyer before they waive their Miranda rights. They can do the Read More

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New California Criminal Laws in 2018

We’ve already touched on four of them: Recreational pot. A ban-the-box law for employers. An overhauled sex-offender registry beginning in 2021. New rules for picking juries in civil and criminal cases. Here are five more this week, with five more to come next week. Lawyers can advise clients on cannabis. This is Assembly Bill 1159. It amended the Read More

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The Right of Refusal in California DUI Cases

If you’re arrested for driving under the influence, and you’re asked to submit to a breath or blood test, remember that you still have a third choice. You can refuse to submit to such testing and face the consequences. What are those? You may lose your license for one-to-three years depending on your driving history; You’ll have to Read More

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If At First You Don’t Succeed

Here’s that DUI case we alluded to last week. It’s based on a driver’s challenge to his license suspension after his arrest. His post-arrest blood test showed a blood-alcohol concentration (or BAC) of 0.23 percent. He challenged this finding at the DMV’s administrative hearing and lost. He then petitioned the superior court to overturn that finding and lost Read More

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Orange County Crime Lab Announces Error that Affects Blood-Alcohol-Test Results in 2,200 Cases

In the real world, crime labs make mistakes, even in Orange County. Earlier this month came word that the Orange County Crime Lab had produced inaccurate blood-alcohol-test results in 2,200 driving-under-the-influence (DUI) cases that were filed this year. In recent days, the District Attorney’s office has issued letters to people whose cases may have been affected, including 900 people whose cases Read More

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