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San Diego Criminal Defense Law Blog

The 'Loophole' That Really Isn't: What Happens When No Charges Have Been Filed in Time for Your Court Date?

The Constitution guarantees due process and the right to a speedy trial. As part of that guarantee, the law establishes time limits for the prosecution of most criminal offenses called "statute of limitations". Simply put, if the charges are not filed within the time limit allowed by law, you cannot be prosecuted. Yet the "wheels of justice" sometimes move slowly- so what happens when no actual criminal charges have been filed against you by the time your court date arrives?

How Do I Clean Up My Criminal Record in California?

Anyone who has been convicted of a crime realizes that the punishment for the mistake that brought you into the criminal justice system continues to punish you long after you have served your sentence, completed your probation, served your custody, paid your fines and done your programs. It continues when you can't get the job you want or the vocational or professional license you have dreamed about or get denied for consideration for many other opportunities because of this conviction.

Do not despair, you can still achieve your dreams, get that job you always wanted, get the vocational license or credential you have worked so hard for and make your future bright again. You need to know what is available to help you clean up your record and remove this obstacle to your personal growth, professional achievement, and happiness.

The Equifax Breach and Credit Card Fraud

Last year in December we wrote about how credit card fraud and identity theft cases tend to increase around the holidays, and that we often see more of these cases in Vista courts. As we head into the final months of 2017, the story will likely be the same.

But right now there's a whole other story.

Some 143 million Americans - out of the total U.S. population of roughly 323 million - now face the possible theft of extremely sensitive data, including names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, and credit card numbers.

Military Diversion Includes DUI Cases NOW

Military diversion includes DUI offenses now that the legislature has passed and the Governor signed legislation stating that misdemeanor DUI cases, VC 23152 violations, are included as divertable offenses per Penal Code 1001.80.  Appellate Courts in California were split on whether or not DUI cases were included because of an old statute prohibiting diversion in DUI cases.  The California Supreme Court was to decide in October, but since the legislature has clarified the diversion statute, the matter is resolved.

War on Drugs: Will We Attack the Opioids or the People?

"[W]hy are some drugs legal and other drugs illegal today? It's not based on any scientific assessment of the relative risks of these drugs - but it has everything to do with who is associated with these drugs."

- Drug Policy Alliance

Did America's "War on Drugs" work?

Strictly looking at the current epidemic of deaths from opioid abuse, the answer is a solid no. But that's no surprise. The War on Drugs as we know it today began during the Nixon administration in 1971. "America's Public Enemy No. 1 in the United States is drug abuse," President Nixon said. Nixon responded to the threat by expanding government power to act against this supposed enemy, much like President Trump has promised in his rhetoric on declaring a national emergency to combat the opioid crisis.

Make no mistake: One single death from opioid overdose is a problem.

DUI and DMV Suspensions

DUI and DMV Suspensions depend on the facts of the case and the disposition of the criminal case.  Initially when arrested for DUI by law enforcement, an individual is assigned a Court date to face the criminal charge of Driving Under the Influence of alcohol and/or drugs and given a notice on a pink sheet of an alcohol administrative DMV suspension case separate from the criminal case.

Marijuana DUI Cases in Vista Courts

Marijuana DUI cases in Vista Courts are on the rise as they are statewide.  With the passage of California laws legalizing recreational and medical marijuana, it will become an increasing issue on our highways.  Just because it is now legal, doesn't mean that it is legal to drive with it in your system if it impairs your ability to drive with the same care and caution as a sober person under similar circumstances.   The same goes for any drug, prescription or not, with or without alcohol involved.

Are Drug DUI Cases treated different than Alcohol?

Drug DUI cases are treated a little different than alcohol cases.  If you are arrested for a "Drug DUI" and there is no alcohol, the law enforcement officer should not take your California licenase at the time of arrest nor should they issue a pink sheet suspension notice and 30 day temporary license pending a suspension.  That proceedure is limited to alcohol violations, however, if there is a conviction for a Drug DUI, then there is a suspension the same as there would be for an alcohol DUI.

Are Hit and Run cases serious?

Hit and run cases are serious.  They are misdemeanors if there is property damage only and a felony if there is any injury to another person.  Police officers often suspect hit and run drivers were DUI drivers that fled the scene to avoid being arrested for DUI and they try to locate them as soon as possible while alcohol or drugs may still be in their system.

Do DUI sentences in Vista Courts have Jail time?

DUI sentences in Vista Courts may have jail time depending on the facts of the case and the individuals prior record.  Most individuals arrested for drunk driving are initially taken to jail, make bail and have a first appearance or arraignment at a later date.  Misdemeanor DUI cases are usually set a month or so out an felony DUI cases are ususally set in about a week out if you make bail and are out of custody.