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Rethinking California’s Felony-Murder Rule

In California, as in most states, to be charged with homicide means that the prosecutor has evidence that the defendant “unlawfully killed another human being or fetus with malice aforethought.” Accordingly, this means that the defendant must have been directly...

New Voter Initiative to Reform California’s Criminal System

While there is a general understanding that criminals should be punished for violations of the law, a tug-of-war exists between how to classify crimes and the appropriate punishments. This conflict is one of the principal reasons a criminal defense attorney needs to...

Criminal Probation for Juveniles

When a person is convicted of a crime, a judge may order probation in lieu of prison in certain cases. This is not standard, as not all crimes provide a judge with this latitude, but for those that do allow this option, having a criminal defense attorney persuade the...

Using Prosecutorial Weaknesses to Challenge Sex Crimes Cases

Being accused of a crime is harrowing, and a defendant typically feels as if his/her world is crashing down around him/her. When the accused crime is of a sexual nature, it can be even worse, as the consequences of a conviction are more severe than for anyone...

Expectations of Privacy in Rental Vehicles

As the U.S. Supreme Court winds down its term, every June and October, a flurry of opinions are typically released. This June was no exception. One case in particular touched on an issue that has been addressed by the Court in previous matters – an individual’s...

Criminal Charges for Leaving Your Child in the Car

As summer is officially here, more stories of individuals leaving children in hot vehicles start to appear. Even more unfortunate are the horrific stories of children who perish as a result of heatstroke due to rising ambient temperatures while trapped in the vehicle....

California Supreme Court Upholds Arrestee DNA Sampling

The ability to identify individuals is an important priority for law enforcement. As time goes by, the amount of cold cases only increases, and the potential to associate a suspect with a crime can go a long way towards solving these cases. To assist law enforcement...

Can Police Search a Home’s Immediate Surroundings Without a Warrant?

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution generally prohibits searches and seizures by government authorities without first obtaining a warrant. However, over the course of this nation’s history, the Supreme Court has noted that this is not a blanket prohibition,...

The Unintended Consequences of Domestic Violence Laws

A sad reality is that anyone can be a victim of domestic violence. To protect these victims, domestic violence laws have been established. While such laws, as any law proscribing conduct which society has deemed to be detrimental, have gone a long way in punishing...

Accessing Social Media by a Defendant

Being accused of a crime is a very harrowing experience, one in which almost every defendant would do nearly anything to defend himself/herself against the charges. Given that the defendant’s liberty is at stake, courts typically give the defendant a fair amount of...

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