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San Diego Criminal Defense Law Blog

Marijuana DUI Cases are Expected to Increase in North County

Marijuana DUI cases are expected to increase in North County based on the legalization of recreational Marijuana for sale as of January 2018.  Law enforcement in Oceanside, Carlsbad, Vista and throughout north county is gearing up for the challenge of prosecuting the projected increase in Drug DUI cases as a result of this.  More officers are being trained as Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) to recognize impairment in drivers other than or in addition to alcohol.

DUI Plea Bargains in Vista Courts

DUI plea bargains in Vista Courts vary depending on a number of factors.  Plea bargains can involve possible lesser or different charges, striking allegations, lessening penalties, military diversion and in rare cases dismissal.  The strength of the case, the facts, blood alcohol or drug level, field sobreity tests, attitude with law enforcement, dangerousness of the driving, prior record and other information concerning the driver.  Driver information can be important especially where it would tend to support a better disposition, like military service, effect conviction will have on vocational licenses, immigration, achievements, future goals.

What is a DUI Checkpoint?

A DUI checkpoint is a mobile roadblock where law enforcement officers briefly stop traffic, briefly interview drivers and suspected DUI drivers are further detained for further sobriety testing in order to try to keep impaired drivers off the road and prevent crashes caused by DUI. The sobriety checkpoints have been ruled legal because the danger posed by DUI drivers outweighs the minimal intrusion of briefly stopping traffic without probable cause. There are still a number of regulations which must be followed to have a "legal sobriety checkpoint".  

What Are the DUI Tests and is a Warrant Required in Oceanside?

Field Sobriety Tests: No Warrant

Police officers test for impairment in driving under the influence cases with a number of different tests. These include physical field sobriety tests - testing for horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk a straight line, heel to toe, stand on one leg, touch your nose, finger count, counting backwards, alphabet, 30-second time estimate, and hand pat. Field sobriety tests often involve several of these observational tests. The "suspect" is judged on appearance, following instructions and test performance.

Trump Declares Public Health Emergency on Opioids: 'As Americans, We Cannot Allow This to Continue'

In August, we wrote about President Trump's promise to declare a national emergency to combat the opioid crisis. And we wondered whether we'd attack the opioids or the people, in the "war on drugs" sense: Will the government lock people away for drug use or will it go after the root causes of opioid addiction and deaths from overdose?

Ultimately, we concluded that the people would be hard to demonize, at risk of alienating Trump's political base, citing West Virginia's opioid crisis as an example.

This prediction is starting to bear out.

New Ban-the-Box Legislation Could Improve the Job Prospects of Hundreds of Thousands of Californians

"Studies show that when a person checks the box on an initial application, their likelihood of a callback drops..." - Beth Avery

70 million sounds like a big number, and it is.

That's the number of people who have been convicted of a crime in America, be it a misdemeanor or a felony, according to a report by NPR. And of those 70 million people, many of them (if not a substantial majority) presumably face the challenge of finding gainful post-conviction employment.

Ticking the box on a job application asking whether you've ever been convicted of a crime all but guarantees that you won't get the job - or, at least, guarantees slimmer chances.

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.

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