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What Is Forensic Evidence and Its Use in Criminal Trials

What Is Forensic Evidence and Its Use in Criminal Trials

Since the Industrial Revolution, society has advanced from a state in which most were unaware of why food spoiled, for instance, to a state in which refrigerators speak to their owners. Similarly, criminal prosecution has advanced from law enforcement questioning everyone in the vicinity of a crime to using science to figure out what happened and who is potentially responsible. In order for a person to be found guilty of a crime, some sort of evidence needs to be shown or found that can prove their guilt. There are different kinds of evidence, and forensic evidence is one of the most important varieties. Scientific-based evidence is referred to as forensic evidence. In this guide, we’ll answer key questions on this subject, like what forensic evidence is and what forensics’ role is in criminal law.

What is Forensic Evidence?

So, what is forensics, and what do we mean from a legal, official perspective when we talk about forensic evidence? In simple terms, forensic evidence is any kind of evidence that is obtained via scientific methods, like blood tests, DNA tests, ballistics analysis, and so on. It’s the kind of evidence often shown in popular crime shows on TV, and it can be crucial in coming to a fair and justified decision in a legal case. Although television crime dramas, present the discovery of forensic evidence as a fait accompli to a conviction, in real life, such is not always the case. Forensic evidence can be challenged, and challenged successfully, and retaining the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney can be crucial to having forensic evidence dismissed from a criminal matter.

what is forensics

Where Does Forensic Originate?

We’ve looked at what is forensic evidence, but what does forensic mean? Well, the word “forensic” actually comes from a Latin word, “forensis”, which refers to something that is “in open court” or “in public”. This ties into the idea of forensic testing involving public examinations and discussions regarding a legal case or criminal situation. In ancient times, forensic experts were individuals who possessed specialized knowledge and skills that could be applied in legal proceedings to help solve crimes and disputes. Over time, the field of forensics has evolved and expanded to encompass a wide range of scientific and technical disciplines that are used to investigate and analyze evidence related to criminal investigations, civil disputes, and other legal matters. Today, forensic science plays a critical role in the criminal justice system and has become an integral part of many criminal investigations around the world.

Common Types of Forensic Evidence

So, now we know what forensic means, let’s take a look at some typical examples of the sorts of evidence that forensic testing can provide. It’s important to note that forensic science is capable of finding a wide range of different types of evidence from crime scenes to help in the investigation and prosecution of criminals. The California Bureau of Forensic Services (BFS) operates ten regional laboratories for assisting law enforcement agencies that do not have access to in-house crime laboratories. As part of this system, the BFS collects evidence in the following areas: :

  • Controlled Substances and Clandestine Drugs – Possession, usage, and sale of certain drugs and substances can be serious crimes. Forensic experts can make use of various forms of forensic analysis and scientific tests to check for traces of different substances either in a person’s body or on an object.
  • Physical Evidence – Forensic examiners are able to use scientific testing to search for and locate a range of different types of physical evidence, which can include bodily fluids like blood, urine, and semen, as well as ballistics, shoe prints, tire tracks, trace evidence of fire debris and gunshot residue, and much more.
  • Digital Evidence – As well as physical evidence, forensic scientists can also aid law enforcement in the discovery of digital evidence. This can include things like hidden files on computers and hard drives, recovery of damaged or broken computers and other devices, scanning of mobile telephones, and so on.
  • BPA – BPA stands for bloodstain pattern analysis, and this can be another effective form of forensic testing – just as important as DNA analysis or checking for fingerprints. It involves examining bloodstains at a crime scene in order to determine the likely actions that caused those stains to appear.
  • Fingerprint – Every human has their own unique fingerprint – even twins have been proven to have separate fingerprints, despite sharing the same DNA – and we leave fingerprint marks behind on the things we touch or hold. Forensic professionals can find fingerprints that might otherwise be invisible through procedures like dusting and fuming.
  • DNADNA evidence is one of the most common forms of forensic evidence and can be one of the most damning pieces of evidence against a defendant. DNA is essentially the unique genetic code that every human carries in their bodily cells, and it can be found in hair, saliva, blood, and more.


  • forensic testing

How Can Forensic Evidence Help?

In many legal cases, situations can involve the word of one person or group against the word of another, and it can be difficult for any judge or jury to make a fair decision on which side to believe based purely on their words. This is where evidence comes in. Forensic evidence can support the argument of the defense or prosecution, and judges and juries will be much more likely to decide in favor of those who can provide compelling scientific evidence for their claims.

Challenging Forensic Evidence in a Criminal Matter

When forensic evidence is introduced, as with all allegations in the American system of justice, it is the proponent – the prosecution, in a criminal matter – that typically bears the burden to show the evidence is reliable. Establishing the reliability of forensic evidence requires demonstrating the validity and acceptance of the underlying scientific theory by the relevant scientific community. Secondly, there must be proof the technique applying the theory was also valid. Finally, the proponent must show the technique was properly applied in the specific case. Other reliability factors include the existence of literature supporting or rejecting the theory and technique, the potential rate of error of the technique, confirmation of the technique by others, and the experience and skill level of the person who applied the technique. All of these factors can provide an avenue to challenge the introduction of such evidence, and it will typically fall on the criminal defense attorney to introduce flaws in the technique in an effort to get the evidence disqualified from introduction at trial.

Speak to a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you, or a loved one, have been arrested on suspicion of committing a crime, and the possibility exists that forensic evidence may be used against you, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Manshoory Law Group, as soon as possible. The attorneys at our office have years of experience in criminal law, and we will do our best to ensure that any faulty bit of evidence is properly excluded from the prosecution’s case, giving you, or your loved one, the best possible chance at defending the charges asserted against you. Attorneys are available 24/7 to take your call. Contact us today for an initial consultation.


How Long Does the Prosecutor Have to File Criminal Charges?

How Long Does the Prosecutor Have to File Criminal Charges?

Merely being suspected of committing a crime, regardless of whether a defendant is charged, is an extremely nerve-racking experience. Initially, dealing with law enforcement, which is structured to be an intimidating situation, can tend to make even the toughest cringe in fear. In some cases, once this procedure is over, there may be a waiting period while the prosecutor reviews the evidence to determine whether to file charges. Retaining the services of an attorney experienced in criminal defense can be crucial not only to ensure that the accused has an effective defense but also to ensure that the prosecutor does not violate the applicable statute of limitation.

A Texas man, arrested on a narcotics charge in 2012, was matched with DNA evidence linking him to multiple homicides nationwide and covering the years from 1970-2005. In the end, the man, who confessed to the Texas Rangers of committing nearly 90 murders, could very well be this country’s most prolific serial killer. A discussion of the statutes of limitation, generally, as well as the different time limits in California’s criminal code, will follow below.

What is the Process for a Prosecutor to Charge You With a Crime

You might worry or wonder about what happens next if you’re accused or suspected of a crime. Specifically, a lot of suspects wonder how long does it take to press charges on someone and how long does the DA have to file charges? In this guide, we’ll answer the key questions you need to know, including how long does the district attorney have to file charges? We’ll look through the various stages of the process for filing charges and see how and why a prosecutor might decide not to press or proceed with criminal charges.

Arrest and Police Report

Of course, the first stage in most criminal situations is an arrest. Not all crimes will involve an arrest – for example, getting a parking ticket doesn’t usually lead to any kind of arrest report – but many serious crimes will involve the arrest of a suspect by the police.

After arresting a suspect, law enforcement will move on to filing a police report. This report describes the cause of the arrest and the details surrounding it, like any witnesses, the nature of the crime, the location, and so on.

The police report is one of the main resources that the prosecutor will use to determine whether to file charges, not pursue any charges, or refer the case to a Grand Jury and ask for their guidance on the next steps.

how long does the da have to file charges

Deciding to Prosecute

In the US justice system, simply being arrested does not automatically mean you’ll have charges filed against you. It’s all up to the prosecutor, or DA, and they have to take several factors into account, including:

  • Use of Resources – There are limited resources available to handle cases, and it’s simply not feasible to file charges against everyone. The prosecutor has to decide which cases are a good use of the resources they have.
  • Policies – Each prosecutor usually has a set of policies regarding which crimes they tend to file charges for and which ones they’re more lenient towards.
  • Beliefs – The prosecutor’s own beliefs and subjective opinions on the concepts of justice and order can also come into account. They might have very strongly-held beliefs about specific kinds of crime, for example.

So, how long does it take to press charges on someone? In general, if a prosecutor decides to go ahead with criminal charges, they’ll make the decision within just a few days, well within the statute of limitations.

Grand Jury Indictment

We’ve looked at how long it takes to press charges on someone, but in some cases, the DA might decide not to press charges right away and instead go to a Grand Jury. The Grand Jury then decides if charges should be filed, based on the evidence presented by the prosecutor.

Preliminary Hearing

In some cases, a judge can organize a preliminary hearing in which they listen to evidence from the prosecutor and make the final call about whether or not there is sufficient evidence to proceed to a full trial. How long does the DA have to file charges for a preliminary hearing? Again, it’s usually just a matter of days.

Criminal Charges

If you’re facing criminal charges of any kind, you might have many other questions to ask, as well as wanting to know how long the district attorney has to file charges. A criminal defense attorney can help, and it’s recommended to contact a trusted attorney as soon as possible to get the best level of protection and support.

how long does the district attorney have to file charges

Statutes of Limitation

Although criminal cases follow a typical routine, there is a specific time period within which charges can be filed against an individual. This time period is set forth in a statute of limitation. Generally, statutes of limitations are laws that set the maximum time after an event within which legal proceedings may be initiated. In a criminal matter, when the statute of limitations has expired, the courts no longer have jurisdiction.

The purpose of statutes of limitations is to protect defendants. As time passes, defendants may lose evidence or not be able to support his/her defense. Additionally, as alluded to above, litigation of a long-dormant criminal charge may result in more cruelty than justice.

California’s Statutes of Limitations

Statutes of Limitations in California criminal matters tend to follow the severity of the penalty for the crime, specifically, the general limits on filing criminal charges are:

  • Felonies punishable by imprisonment for eight years or more – six years after commissioning of the crime;
  • Other felonies– three years; and
  • Misdemeanors – one year.

Crimes that are wobblers, meaning they can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, are subject to the time period in the statute of limitation for the crime the prosecution chooses. Thus, a wobbler charged as a misdemeanor is subject to the one-year statute of limitation, while one set as a felony would be either three or six years, as appropriate.

There are two exceptions to the above time periods. First, crimes punishable by death or life in prison (regardless of the possibility of parole), or the embezzlement of public funds, may be brought at any time. Thus, as an example, there is no statute of limitation for homicide. Second, with regard to certain crimes of a sexual nature (i.e., rape, sodomy, etc.), charges may be brought within one year of the establishment of the identity of a suspect by DNA testing, regardless of the date the crime was actually committed. Thus, in these instances, the statute of limitations begins after DNA testing has been completed and a suspect identified, and not when the crime occurred.

Speak to a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a crime, or suspect that you may be charged with a crime, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Manshoory Law Group, as soon as possible. The attorneys understand the situation you are facing and can help you navigate the criminal system. We will work to ensure your rights are not infringed, or, if so, to have the charges against you dismissed. Attorneys are available 24/7 to take your call. Contact our Los Angeles criminal defense firm today for an initial consultation.

Can You Legally Buy a Gun for Someone Else in California?

Can You Legally Buy a Gun for Someone Else in California?

Firearm laws vary from state to state, and the purchase of a gun can be more difficult in certain areas than in others. When it comes to buying a gun from someone or buying a firearm as a gift, things can get confusing. Can you legally buy a gun for someone else? Is it legal to buy a gun from someone?

For those of you in California, we have the answers. Whether it’s to transfer a firearm, purchase a firearm, or buy a gun for someone else, here’s what you need to know regarding both federal law and state law. Read on to find out if buying a gun for someone is legal in California.

Is it Legal to Buy a Gun From Someone?

Federal law states that you can buy a firearm as a gift, so long as you, the buyer, are registered as such. Even if you’re technically buying the gun for someone else, you will be treated as the “actual buyer” in the transaction. Furthermore, you’ll also need to make sure that the gun will be treated as a bona fide gift.

A “gift” in the legal sense is something that you give to someone without any form of compensation, whether that be money or something else of monetary value. The recipient of the said gift must also not be legally prohibited to own a firearm.

It’s also worth noting that background checks are not required by federal law when it comes to private gun sales, but firearms dealers will need to do so.

can you legally buy a gun for someone else

California Gun Purchasing Laws

Of course, federal law can be overridden by state law, and California has some rules regarding guns and gun laws. For example, open carrying is generally considered prohibited in California. When it comes to purchasing guns, you’ll have to do so through a dealer, even if the sale is private. All sales must be recorded by the state.

Can You Buy a Gun as a Gift for a Friend or Family Member in California?

Can you buy a gun as a gift? Can I buy a gun for someone else? The answer, simply put, is yes, but the method of doing so isn’t the same as in other states. Whether it’s for yourself or as a gift, you’ll need to transfer the firearm via a local retailer or dealer. This is a requirement, and you will need to do this for dealer sales and private sales. The same sort of requirement is followed in states such as New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Colorado, among others.

So if you’re wondering, “Can I buy a gun for someone else?” in California, you can – just through a licensed retailer or dealer.

buying a gun for someone

Out-of-State Guns Must Come Into California Through a Dealer

California has laws pertaining to bringing firearms into the state. Can you legally buy a gun for someone else? Yes, but that doesn’t mean you can bring them to California as you, please. Residents of California must ship their firearms to a licensed dealer, after which the dealer will perform a background check.

It can take around 10 days before you can get your firearm back, but you can be exempt from this requirement in a few ways. If you are listed in a firearms registry and own the guns you plan on bringing, then you’re good. If you have a California license for a handgun, then you’re in the clear, too.

Penalties for Bringing Guns Into California Illegally

Most of the time, the penalty for bringing guns to California illegally is a misdemeanor. This means up to six months in county jail and/or a $1000 fine. However, if you were convicted of the same crime or are not legally allowed to own a gun, then you’ll be charged with a felony instead.

Contact Manshoory Law Group for Legal Help

If you have questions such as “Is it legal to buy a gun from someone?” or “Can you legally buy a gun for someone else?” then don’t worry. At Manshoory Law, we can provide legal assistance. If you’re not sure why are California gun laws the way they are, we’ve got you covered. Contact us if you’re looking for a reliable criminal defense attorney.


What is Marital Rape: California Laws and Penalties

What is Marital Rape: California Laws and Penalties

In the past, the state of California made a distinction in regard to rape within marriage and outside of marriage, with the terms “marital rape” or “spousal rape” applied in situations where a person was raped by their spouse. Marital rape statistics suggest that this occurs in 10-14% of marriages in the US, with 1/3 of women stating that they have felt pressured or coerced into forced sexual intercourse with their partners.

However, the situation regarding marital rape in California has since changed. In 2021, the state’s legislature enacted a new bill, known as Assembly Bill 1171, which repealed the spousal rape law in California. This means that, since the law was repealed, rape in marriage is subject to the same penalties as rape outside of marriage.

What Is Marital Rape or Spousal Rape?

Prior to the repealing of California’s spousal rape law, the definition of spousal or marital rape referred to any situation in which sexual intercourse or activity takes place without a spouse’s consent. The former statute, Penal Code 262, or PC 262, solidified this definition as part of California’s marital rape laws.

Specifically, PC 262 listed various examples in which the term marital rape could apply. For example, a situation in which a spouse has sex with their partner when the partner is sleeping or unconscious after drinking heavily, or if a spouse uses threats of domestic violence or harm to force their partner into sexual activities.

spousal rape

A Brief History of Spousal Rape Laws

In order to better understand why PC 262 was repealed, it’s important to understand the history of marital rape laws, both in California and elsewhere. For many years, up to the 20th century, it was generally believed that wives were regarded as the “property” of their husbands. This effectively created a culture in which husbands could do as they wished with their wives.

This extended to sexual acts, as well. It was generally understood that upon marriage, a wife forgave her right to consent or refuse sexual intercourse, and was expected to comply with her husband’s sexual demands. Because of this, husbands were granted “spousal rape exemptions” by every state, effectively protecting them against accusations of rape by their wives.

However, as times went by and attitudes evolved, the general consensus began to shift. In the latter stages of the 20th century, specifically in the 1970s, states started to repeal these exemptions. By 1993, all 50 states repealed the exemptions, but several states still treated marital rape as a different kind of crime to rape outside of marriage.

Why Was California Penal Code 262 PC Repealed?

Penal Code 262 was in place for a long time, but the law came under pressure in recent years as feminists and advocates for equal rights argued that spousal rape should not be considered any less serious than other forms of rape. They demanded that the marital rape laws be changed in order to reflect that viewpoint.

In California, for example, according to PC 261, it was possible for spousal rape defendants to use a plea bargain to reduce their sentence to probation, rather than time in prison. Judges in these cases were also able to keep defendants off the sex offender register, which is not the case for regular rape defendants.

Many people took offense at these exceptions and disliked the way that spousal rape was seemingly treated as a lesser crime. They argued that rape in all of its forms is a highly serious offense, and wife or husband rape should not be seen as any less grave than stranger rape. Many rape survivors and victims of sexual abuse also supported this argument.

Most Common Type of Marital Rape

There are various types of rape in marriage. Examples include force-only rape, in which one spouse uses power and control to force the victim into sexual intercourse, but does not proceed to make use of stronger levels of physical violence.

Battering rape is another variety, in which actual physical violence and sexual violence are used. This may involve a wife being beaten by her husband either prior to or during a rape, and this kind of rape is categorized by a spouse using a significant level of force to overpower and harm their victim. It is a severe form of sexual assault.

Finally, there is also obsessive or sadistic rape, which involves a spouse torturing their partner and committing repeated acts of sexual perversion, typically connected to their own sexual obsessions or perversions. This may involve painful sexual acts that the spouse is forced to commit. Marital rape statistics show that the most common variety reported to law enforcement is battering rape.

How Do Prosecutors Prove Marital Rape?

Prosecuting a marital rape case can be difficult. Often, spousal rape victims may suffer high levels of trauma associated with their situation of intimate partner violence, and they may feel under pressure about whether or not to testify due to things like children, other family members, and their relationship with their spouse.

Juries sometimes also have doubts about whether or not a case of rape actually occurred, but prosecutors can use various tools to help in their cases. They may try to find other witnesses to provide testimony aside from the victim, as well as build evidence to show domestic violence and unbalanced power dynamics in a relationship.

Marital Rape Statute of Limitations in California

The spousal rape statute of limitations in California is now the same as the statute of limitations for regular rape: indefinite. In other words, there is no spousal rape statute of limitations, and victims can take action against their abusers even several years after a rape has occurred. This is true for all crimes committed after Jan 1 of 2017. Rape statutes in other states can vary.

marital rape laws

What Are the Penalties for Marital Rape?

Rape is charged as a felony in the state of California, rather than a misdemeanor or infraction. A convicted rapist can be sentenced to a prison term of up to eight years. Convicted rapists can also be registered as sex offenders for the rest of their lives.

What To Do if You Are Charged with Marital Rape

If you have been charged with marital rape, the best course of action is to get a lawyer as soon as possible. A legal professional will be able to argue your side of the story and potentially build up evidence to help you defend against a false accusation or reduce the possible sentence that you may receive.

What Are the Best Defenses For Rape Charges?

A criminal defense attorney can help those who have been accused of marital rape, and they may make use of various common defenses, including:

  • Consent – A defendant may try to show that their spouse consented to any sexual act or that they believed consent had been given.
  • False Claim – The defendant may also argue that the claim is entirely false and that no rape occurred.
  • Partially False – The defendant’s lawyer may also argue that the claim is not as severe as it seems and that other sexual acts took place, but not actual intercourse.

Contact a Marital Rape Lawyer Today

If you’re involved in a marital rape or non-marital rape case, it’s important to have proper legal representation and counsel to help you get the best possible result. A Los Angeles rape defense lawyer can help. Contact us today to discuss the details of your case and find out how we can help.

Veterans Court in California: What is it and How it works

Veterans Court in California: What is it and How it works

Due to the difficult circumstances and situations in which they often find themselves during their service, many veterans return to civilian life as changed people. They can feel isolated, alone, overwhelmed by their experiences, and even traumatized by their memories. This may lead to them becoming involved in criminal affairs or legal trouble.

In fact, statistics show that veterans who struggle with mental health issues or addictions upon their return home have a higher likelihood to get into legal trouble. The Veterans Court in California aims to provide some kind of solution to this problem, giving veterans another way out, rather than forcing them through the traditional path of the criminal justice system.

What Is Veterans Court in California?

In simple terms, Veterans Court in California is a special program that is available to certain former members of the military who find themselves facing criminal charges. The aim of the Veterans Court program is to give veterans a way to avoid jail time and a criminal record by providing the veterans with certain treatments and services, like court-ordered rehab and counseling.

veterans court program

Provided that the veteran in question meets the Veterans Court requirements, they can be accepted into the program and essentially placed on probation. They will then be required to complete four phases of the program. If they successfully complete the program, the veteran can withdraw their plea and the case can be dismissed by a judge.

In other words, the Veterans Court program represents a good opportunity for any veteran who might find themselves facing a prison sentence. Instead of having to go behind bars, the person can get their whole case dismissed, as well as get some help with rehabilitation, with the help of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, as long as they meet the Veterans Court eligibility requirements.

How Does Veterans Treatment Court Operate?

The Veterans Court treatment program is quite complex, but structured. Participants are supported by their own team of specialists, including veteran mentors, a judge, a probation officer, and counselors. These professionals help and support the patient during the four phases of their treatment:

  1. The first phase is usually regarded as the hardest. It involves a full evaluation of the veteran and a customized plan tailored to their needs, which lasts around four months. It involves weekly court meetings, progress reports, random drug testing, and more.
  2. The second phase is a lot like the first, but a little lighter in terms of the number of meetings and reports. It lasts around three months.
  3. Phase three of the program involves fewer tests and meetings, running for a total of five months.
  4. Finally, the last phase is designed to help the veteran return to regular life. It still involves some meetings and treatments, but usually concludes with job training offers, education, and other services.

Am I Eligible for Veterans Court in California?

Veterans Court eligibility is something that any veteran will need to be clear on before taking part in the program. You have to meet certain Veterans Court requirements, and the requirements for Veterans Treatment Courts can actually vary from court to court.

In general, these criteria need to be met:

  • The individual needs to have served in the armed forces
  • (Army, Navy, etc.) They must have pleaded guilty in a criminal case
  • They must be suffering from some kind of injury or health problem, like traumatic brain injury, PTSD, MST, or something else
  • They must agree to participate in the program

The program exists to assist veteran people in need of help, but it does have some limitations. Those involved in sex or gang-related crimes may not qualify, for example. A criminal defense lawyer can help you find out more about eligibility.

Who Is Eligible for Military Diversion?

It’s important to note that the Veterans Court Diversion Program, or Military Diversion, is not the same as a regular Veterans Court. The Veterans Court Diversion Program is for veterans charged with a misdemeanor who has not been previously convicted of anything similar and have not had any diversion in the past.

veterans treatment court

How Do I Apply for Veterans Court in California?

If you want to apply for Veterans Court DUI or some other criminal charge, the process will vary depending on your local jurisdiction. The best thing to do is contact an attorney and find out about your eligibility. Your attorney will then be able to request the court to allow you onto the program.

Typically, the court will order some kind of mental health assessment or evaluation, and the judge will meet the applicant and their defense team to learn more about them before deciding whether to admit them to the program or not.

The process is usually quite quick and easy in some cases. For example, if a Veterans Court DUI claimant has a history of drinking problems, the case should be clear to see. But other cases can be more difficult to evaluate and take longer.

Does My Jurisdiction Offer a Veterans Court in California?

There are over 20 courts in California that authorize Veterans’ Treatment Programs, with more than 100 locations up and down the state. Contact our professionals today to find out if your jurisdiction provides this veterans service.


What Would Be Considered A Violent Crime In California?

What Would Be Considered A Violent Crime In California?

While any arrest would make most people worry, when the crime at issue is a violent crime, even the toughest may shudder. Unlike so-called minor or non-violent crimes, those crimes deemed to be violent typically carry with them substantial penalties, and, in most cases, substantial prison time which may include life in prison or capital punishment.

Being accused of any crime, let alone a violent crime should necessitate the retention of an experienced criminal defense attorney, especially one with experience in violent crimes, to ensure that the defendant can establish as aggressive and effective defense as possible.

But, just what is a violent crime? Unfortunately, violent crime definition is not as cut and dry as one would expect. Like the phrase assault weapon, a violent crime may mean different things to different legislatures in different States, as this article illustrates.

violent crime definition

What Are The Different Types Of Violent Crimes In California?

Pursuant to California law, the following is the list of violent crimes in this state:

  • Murder or attempted murder, or voluntary or involuntary manslaughter;
  • Mayhem, or deliberately causing a permanent disfigurement of another;
  • Rape (including spousal rape), sodomy, oral copulation, or sexual penetration;
  • A lewd or lascivious act;
  • An act in which the defendant inflicts great bodily injury on another;
  • Domestic violence;
  • Robbery;
  • Arson;
  • Kidnapping or false imprisonment;
  • Assault with the intent to commit a specified felony, or assault with a deadly weapon;
  • Battery or battery on a peace officer
  • Continuous sexual abuse of a child;
  • Stalking;
  • Carjacking;
  • Extortion;
  • Criminal threats; and
  • First degree burglary;

violent crime

What Are The Penalties For Violent Crimes?

Violent crimes are treated with extreme seriousness by the California criminal justice system, and any individual convicted of this kind of crime should expect to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Since most violent crimes are felonies, it can be expected that any prison term will be greater than one year in a California State prison. Moreover, fines, probation, and other court-mandated actions may also be assessed against the convicted individual.

Additionally, although an individual convicted of a violent crime can be expected to spend substantial time in prison, there is an even greater and more devastating consequence that will await the individual upon release from prison. Repercussions of a conviction can extend beyond the penalties themselves. By way of example, convicted individuals may face limited opportunities in both the job and housing markets. Most professional licenses will be revoked, and the ability to obtain such a license after release will be severely curtailed. Most property owners will be hesitant to rent to individuals with a violent crime on his/her criminal record. Additionally, the ability to obtain credit will also be drastically reduced. Finally, in many cases, even if the convicted individual had financial stability prior to conviction, the sheer cost of the trial will most likely deplete this stability, in addition to any fines that are assessed.

It should also be noted that California has a “Three Strikes Law.” According to this law, the conviction of a violent crime may result in an automatic 25-year sentence, with the possibility of extension to a life sentence, if the convicted individual has had prior convictions for other violent crimes.

Do you need a Criminal Defense Attorney for Violent Crimes in California?

If someone you love has been arrested on suspicion of committing a violent crime, it is essential that you contact the criminal defense attorneys at Manshoory Law Group, APC as soon as possible. The attorneys at our office have years of experience in criminal defense and can give you or your loved one truly effective counsel. The attorneys there are available 24/7 to take your call. Contact our lawyers today for an initial consultation.


Can You Go to Jail for False Accusations?

Can You Go to Jail for False Accusations?

Making a false statement against another individual can land you in hot water. But can you go to jail for false accusations? In this article, we look at what is considered a false statement and the penalty for a false accusation.

What is a False Accusation?

False allegations are claims of wrongdoing that are factually unsupported or untrue. These are also known as false reports or false claims.

can you go to jail for false accusations

What are Some Reasons Why People Get Falsely Accused?

Before we discuss the penalty for making false accusations, it is essential to look at why people are falsely accused, as only some of these come with a criminal charge. Below are a few reasons why people are sometimes wrongly accused:

  • Misrecollection – Where an accuser incorrectly recalls the details of a crime
  • Mistaken identity – Where an accuser mistakenly identifies the incorrect person as having committed a crime.
  • Misleading forensic evidence – Where experts exaggerate statistical claims, for instance, DNA or hair analysis or evidence is tampered with, compromised, or misread.
  • Malicious false accusations – Where an accuser intentionally provides police officers with an incorrect statement about an individual committing an offense
  • Official misconduct – When law enforcement officials or prosecutors commit an act of misconduct or abuse of power when charging an individual for a crime or by asking leading questions that coerce a detainee into having false recollections of an event

Giving a False Report to a Police Officer

A person can be charged with a crime for intentionally giving the police false information in connection with a traffic stop while the officer is performing his/her duties. Possible violations include any of the following:

  • providing a false answer
  • presenting false insurance documents
  • offering a false vehicle registration
  • or giving the officer a borrowed or fake driver’s license

A conviction for giving false information would be a misdemeanor with up to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. However, if the false information was offered in an effort to evade arrest, additional felony charges could be possible.

What Happens When Someone Accuses you of Something You Did Not Do?

If you are falsely accused of a crime, you will most likely have criminal charges brought against you. In this case, there are several things to do and ways to handle the situation:

  • Realize the severity of the situation – Gain an understanding of the severity of the allegations and take the charges seriously.
  • Hire an experienced criminal defense attorney – Do not attempt to remedy the situation alone. Instead, remain silent and hire legal counsel to guide you through the process, give you legal advice, and protect your rights.
  • Conduct a pre-file investigation – Before charges are filed, your attorney will gather evidence favorable to the accused and investigate the allegations further. Doing this is an effective strategy to convince the District Attorney (DA) to drop any charges should the investigation bring to light the charges brought are false.
  • Undermine the accuser’s credibility – By impeaching an accuser, your criminal defense attorney will ask the witness questions that undermine their reputation for truthfulness, casting doubt about whether what they claim they witnessed is, in fact, true.
  • File a civil suit or malicious prosecution claim – Here, the falsely accused brings a civil lawsuit against the individual who wrongfully accused them and seeks compensation for damages.
  • Private Polygraph – Taking a private polygraph to prove your innocence is another way to boost your defense and sway prosecutors into dropping the charges and prevent you from getting a criminal record.

can you get in trouble for false accusations

What Are the Penalties for Making False Accusations?

So, can you get in trouble for false accusations, and is making false accusations a crime? Yes. In California, making false accusations is a crime and is considered a misdemeanor. But can you go to jail for false accusations? Yes, making false allegations could land you a fine, up to six months in prison, or both.

Can You Press Charges Against Someone for Making False Accusations?

Can false accusations get you arrested? Yes. Further, you can press charges against an individual who wrongfully accused you by bringing a civil lawsuit against them. However, you must show that the defendant filed a frivolous claim against you, that they caused damages due to their false claim, and that they filed their lawsuit for another purpose, like harassment.

Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer in California

Because you can go to jail for false accusations and just as easily have false allegations filed against you, having a criminal defense attorney is necessary. Contact us if you have questions about false reports or find yourself being wrongfully accused – we are here to help.

What Are Your Miranda Rights?

What Are Your Miranda Rights?

If you’ve ever wondered, “What is the Miranda warning?” chances are you’ve heard it before without realizing it. That famous paragraph cops recite to criminals in movies or TV shows that begin with the line ‘You have the right to remain silent” is part of the Miranda Warning.

While used often in cinematic instances, this warning or reading of your rights is very real and is read to an individual by an arresting officer. So, what are Miranda Rights? Let’s take a look.

Who Is Ernesto Miranda?

So, why is it called Miranda Rights? The reading of this warning stems from a 1966 court case known as Miranda v. Arizona. The defendant, 24-year-old Ernesto Miranda, was accused of kidnapping, robbing, and raping an 18-year-old girl. Following his arrest, Miranda was subject to a two-hour interrogation, where he confessed to the crimes.

However, Miranda’s defense attorneys contended that law enforcement had not clearly informed the defendant of his right to have a lawyer present and against self-incrimination, which falls under the Sixth Amendment. Further, Miranda’s lawyers argued that because his rights had not been made clear to him and he was under the duress of detainment, the court should not deem his confession admissible.

In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Arizona Supreme Court decision that Miranda’s confession is admissible must be overturned, forever changing criminal proceedings in the US.

what is the miranda warning

Why is it Called Miranda Rights?

So, why is it called Miranda Rights? Since the Supreme Court ruling in 1966, it has become a constitutional requirement that police inform arrestees of their rights. Because this requirement stems from the Miranda court ruling, these rights earned the name “Miranda Rights.”

What are Your Miranda Rights?

Miranda extends the following rights to suspects in criminal investigations:

  • the right to remain silent;
  • anything said by the person in custody can and will be used against him/her in court;
  • the right to an attorney; and
  • the right to have an attorney appointed if the person cannot afford one.

The right to remain silent means the person under interrogation can decline to respond to police questions at any point. Thus, even if a person decides to answer some questions, he/she can later choose to invoke this right and refuse further to answer additional inquiries.

The warning about any statement being used against the individual in court should be taken at face value, with the knowledge that this information will be presented in the most negative way possible to increase the chances of a guilty verdict.

The right to an attorney means that once this right is asserted police must stop additional questioning until the attorney is present. Note that the person under interrogation needs to affirmatively assert this right, and not just suggest an attorney may be a good idea. Once this right is invoked, the person under questioning should refrain from talking until the attorney arrives.

While people commonly assume these rights only apply to adults, California law extends these same protections to minors who are wards of the state or juvenile offenders. If the police take one of these minors into temporary custody, they must be informed of their rights just like adults.

what are miranda rights

What Do the Cops Say When They Arrest You?

So, what is the Miranda Warning, and what do cops say when they arrest you? When you are read your rights or “Mirandized,” the arresting officer must clearly and directly inform you of the following:

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.”

A waiver then follows this paragraph:

“Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”

Following this, you may advise the officer whether you wish to have an attorney or waive your rights and speak with them without a lawyer present.

Additionally, if English is not your spoken language, police officers must translate these rights into a language you understand.

Do You Need to Respond to Police Questioning?

While you are required to identify yourself to officers, you have the constitutional right to remain silent. As a result, law enforcement officers cannot punish you for refusing to speak to the police.

why is it called miranda rights

When are Miranda Rights Not Required

Do cops have to read Miranda Rights all the time, or are there instances when Miranda Rights are not required? Firstly, why are Miranda Rights important? These warnings advise arrestees that they may have access to a lawyer in a criminal case. However, officers do not need to read your Miranda

Rights if they are arresting you without the intent to interrogate you, for instance, if you are being arrested for a DUI.

Arrest Without the Reading of Miranda Rights

If a detainee is arrested but not informed what their Miranda rights are, anything they say during questioning cannot be used as evidence in a trial. If you require a Criminal Defense Attorney and need help defending your rights, contact us for sound legal counsel.

Can You Go to Jail for Making Someone Kill Themself?

Can You Go to Jail for Making Someone Kill Themself?

Suicide remains a serious health risk for the American population. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, it’s the 12th leading cause of death in the US, with 45 979 Americans dying by suicide in 2020 and a further 1.2 million attempted suicides that same year.

While there is an underlying problem related to mental well-being, another cause for concern is where people assist in suicide. So, can you go to jail for making someone kill themself?

Is Suicide Illegal in California?

It’s not illegal for someone to kill themselves in California. The state has The End of Life Option Act which permits an individual to take their life using prescribed medications. However, recent cases in the media, particularly involving young people sending text messages, have prompted people to question: ‘if someone kills themselves because of you, can you go to jail?’

if someone kills themselves because of you can you go to jail

How Does the Law Define Causing Homicide?

Homicide is defined as the killing of one human being by another. However, many different categories fall under homicide, such as manslaughter, and first-degree or second-degree murder, depending on the circumstances of the death.

How Does the Law Define Assisted Suicide?

In the United States, the law defines assisted death as a practice by which a terminally ill person – said to be of sound mind but with a prognosis of six months or less – administers barbituates to end their life. However, this would differ from assisting in suicide or encouraging someone to kill themselves.

What Are the Types of Assisted Suicide?

  • Assisted suicide is where you intentionally help another person to kill themselves, usually by providing them with potent sedatives. Many people have opted to go to Switzerland, where assisted suicide is legal.
  • Euthanasia, on the other hand, is the act of helping someone end their life as a way to stop their pain. This can be administered by a medical professional via lethal injection.
  • Unlike assisted suicide and euthanasia, assisted dying would only apply to terminally ill people. This gives them some choice in the manner and timing of their death.

Is Telling Someone to Kill Themselves a Crime?

While assisted suicide might be legal in certain countries, it’s considered a felony offense in the state of California, where an individual makes a conscious decision to help another person in committing suicide.

What Is Punishment for Assisting Suicide?

If you have told someone to kill themself or assisted in suicide in any other way, then the state will first have to find proof that you are actually guilty of a crime. In addition, they would have to find evidence that indicates that a person actually attempted to commit suicide in the first place.

Further to this, the state would need to prove your actions were thought-out and that you actively encouraged or assisted in that suicide. If you are found guilty, you could face up to three years in prison or a fine of up to $10 000. In cases where the individual survives the suicide attempt, you can only be charged with attempting to assist in a suicide.

is it illegal to tell someone to kill themself

What Is the Differentiation Between Murder And Suicide?

Things could get even more difficult if you physically assisted in helping someone kill themself, as you could then face murder charges. The statute in California refers to when you are not actively involved in encouraging or assisting in a suicide – or suicide attempt. This could be as seemingly innocent as supplying them with prescription medication or explaining specific ways in which to take their own life.

However, if you have a more active role in the suicide – which is where you provide them with the means to commit suicide or have a hand in it yourself – then you could be at risk of charges related to murder.

Must I Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?

If you are accused of encouraging or helping someone kill themself, you would need to hire a criminal defense attorney with experience in this field. They will discuss the situation with you and develop some possible defense options. These could include:

The reality is that you can go to jail for making someone kill themself, as it is illegal. You will need to hire a criminal defense attorney if this is the case. Contact our lawyers today to find out more.

​​Understanding DNA Evidence in Criminal Cases

Understanding DNA Evidence in Criminal Cases

DNA evidence is a powerful tool that can be used in criminal cases to help determine the guilt or innocence of an accused individual. The problem is, that there are many factors that can influence the reliability of DNA evidence and, as a result, the outcome of a case. In this post, we’re going to discuss some of these factors, including what DNA is, how it works, and how it can be used to help determine whether or not someone is guilty.

What is DNA Evidence?

DNA evidence is the most powerful forensic tool available to law enforcement. It can be used to identify people, determine the source of biological material, and even provide information about the health of an individual.

Your DNA profile, just like your fingerprints, is unique and cannot be replicated by anyone else. This makes DNA evidence incredibly valuable when it comes to determining the identity of an individual and proving their involvement in a crime.

forensic analysis

When was DNA Evidence in Criminal Cases First Used?

Forensic DNA analysis and DNA profiling were first used in 1986 when the UK police requested suspect verification for two rape-murder cases. Dr. Alec J. Jeffreys of the University of Leicester found out, through forensic DNA evidence, that the suspect did not commit the crime. This was a game-changer in the DNA testing field, and it led to the development of using DNA evidence in criminal cases.

What Type of Evidence is DNA?

DNA is biological evidence, which is a type of physical evidence that can be used to help prove or disprove a person’s involvement in a crime. The following types of DNA evidence include:

  • Fingerprints
  • Bloodstains
  • Blood
  • Bodily fluids
  • Saliva
  • Blood
  • Urine
  • Skin cells

Gathering DNA Evidence

In order to collect DNA evidence, law enforcement must first obtain a sample of biological material from an individual. The sample is then analyzed to determine the presence of DNA. Once the DNA sample is collected, it is sent to a lab where it is analyzed and compared to DNA samples of known individuals.

Identifying DNA Evidence

The process of identifying DNA evidence is called DNA amplification. It’s accomplished by extracting the DNA from the biological sample and then amplifying it to make it easier to detect. In just a few hours, millions of copies of a specific sequence of DNA are made from the original sample, and then they are analyzed to determine if they match any of the DNA profiles in the suspect database.

dna class or individual evidence

Is DNA Class or Individual Evidence?

Class Evidence – When a piece of evidence is collected from a group of people, such as a family or a group of suspects, it is called class evidence. It helps to narrow down the pool of possible suspects, but it doesn’t prove that any one person committed the crime.

Individual Evidence – This is a type of evidence that can exactly pinpoint the identity of a suspect. Examples of individual evidence that can directly incriminate someone includes fingerprints, blood, semen, saliva, hair, skin cells, or bodily fluids.

Is DNA class or individual evidence? DNA is individual evidence because it can identify a suspect and prove that they committed a crime.

How is DNA Evidence Collected and Packaged?

When a crime is committed, the police will collect evidence from the scene of the crime. If the crime involved bodily fluids, then the police will also collect saliva, blood, urine, and other bodily fluids from the scene. They will then package the evidence in a sealed container to avoid any contamination.

The next step is to take the evidence to a laboratory. The lab will extract the DNA from the biological sample, amplify it, and then compare it to the DNA profiles of known individuals. The DNA profile of the individual whose DNA is being tested is compared to the DNA profile of the biological sample. If the DNA profile of the biological sample matches the DNA profile of the suspect, then the suspect is identified.

What are the Different Methods of DNA Testing?

Generally speaking, there are four types of DNA test analysis: Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), Short Tandem Repeats (STR), Y-Chromosome, and Mitochondrial DNA.

  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PRC) – PCR is a method that is used to amplify the DNA sample. This is done to increase the number of copies of DNA that are available for analysis. PCR is a highly reliable method for DNA analysis because it is accurate and reproducible.
  • Short Tandem Repeats (STR) – STR is commonly used in forensic laboratories, paternity tests, and missing persons cases. Extracted DNA is added to chemical agents and then heated, which causes the DNA to separate into two strands. The number of repeats in each strand is unique, which makes it possible to determine the identity of the person whose DNA was extracted.
  • Y-Chromosome – A Y-Chromosome DNA test is used to identify males. This is the only type of DNA test that can be used to determine the sex of a person. Y-chromosome is inherited from the father.
  • Mitochondrial DNA – Mitochondrial DNA is inherited from the mother. It is present in all human cells and is found in the mitochondria, the energy-producing parts of the cell.

dna evidence in criminal cases

What are the Limitations of DNA Evidence?

While DNA evidence is extremely reliable, there are some limitations to consider. In some cases, DNA evidence may not be conclusive. For example, if a suspect has been in a car accident and his DNA is on the steering wheel, then the DNA evidence may not be enough to identify him as the driver. This is particularly true if the car in question is being rented out or used by more than one person.

DNA evidence can also be unreliable if the biological sample is contaminated with other people’s DNA. This is especially true if the sample is taken from an area where many people are gathered, such as a crime scene.

Can DNA be Used to Prove Someone Guilty?

The criminal justice system has come a long way since the days when fingerprints were the only form of identification. Today, DNA evidence is considered the legal standard for proving someone’s guilt. It is used in almost every case where a suspect is accused of committing a crime.

DNA test results also help innocent victims of wrongful convictions and exonerate them. Not to mention that the use of DNA has led to the conviction of thousands of criminals and helped solve hundreds of cold cases.

How is DNA Used as Evidence for Crimes?

DNA evidence is used in criminal investigations to identify suspects, link suspects to crimes, and exonerate innocent suspects. DNA profiling is one of the most important tools in the criminal justice system and is used in almost every criminal investigation.

is dna class or individual evidence

What is DNA Profiling?

DNA profiling is the process of comparing DNA evidence with known DNA profiles. This allows law enforcement to identify the suspect and determine whether or not they committed the crime. When a DNA profile is obtained, it is compared to a DNA database of individuals who have been convicted of crimes.

DNA profiling is also used to match DNA samples from crime scenes. This is especially useful in cases where the victim has been killed and the perpetrator has left behind a sample of his or her DNA. If there are a group of suspects, then DNA profiling can be used to link them to the crime.

In order to use DNA evidence, investigators must obtain a DNA sample from the suspect. This can be done through a voluntary search of the suspect’s body, such as a blood sample or hair sample. If the suspect refuses to provide a DNA sample, then investigators will obtain a court order to force the suspect to give a DNA sample.

Is DNA a Reliable Source of Evidence?

Yes, DNA evidence is very reliable. In fact, it is often referred to as the “gold standard” of forensic science. It is considered the most reliable form of evidence because it is virtually impossible to fake or alters.

DNA evidence is also highly accurate. The accuracy of DNA evidence is based on the fact that DNA is a unique identifier. The DNA molecule contains a specific sequence of nucleotides that are inherited from the parents. Each individual has their own unique set of these nucleotides, and no two people have the same set. This means that DNA evidence can be used to, without a doubt, identify individuals who have been involved in a crime.

While the accuracy of DNA evidence is unquestionably accurate, it is not infallible. There are times when DNA cannot be used to prove someone’s guilt or innocence. For example, if it is contaminated with another person’s DNA, then the sample will not be able to accurately identify the suspect. This is very common when a person is being framed up for a crime, or when the crime scene has been tampered with.

“DNA planting” is a strong defense against a criminal charge, and is often used in murder trials. If you have been accused of a crime, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can review your case and advise you about your legal options.