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Criminal Defense Archives

What changes would Senate Bill 10 make to the CA bail system?

If you are arrested in California, even though you may not be guilty, you could find yourself facing high fees for bail. According to the Los Angeles Times, under the current bail system, you could spend three days or more in jail if you cannot afford to pay the 10 percent fee to a bond company or post the entire amount upfront. Many legislators believe this is not fair, and Senate Bill 10 has been introduced in an attempt to correct the imbalance in the system.

Study: Even insured, opioid-addicted youth not getting medication

There are effective pharmaceutical treatments for opioid addiction, but even those with insurance aren't receiving it, says a new study in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. The lack of full, appropriate treatment of addiction could be an important finding about the opioid crisis.

What is an Alfred plea?

If you are in court for a criminal offense in California, you may be offered the chance to make an Alfred plea. If you do not know what this is, you cannot make the plea in good faith. According to Discovery Communication, Inc., an Alfred plea is when you maintain that you are innocent but admit there is a compelling case against you. It is similar to a no contest plea. Except, in this case, you are disputing the evidence against you whereas with a no contest plea you are accepting the evidence.  The similarity for both plea options is that the judge in the case will enter a guilty verdict on your behalf.

In criminal cases, integrity of evidence is major

There are many types of evidence of possible use in court cases. Regardless of the forum, civil or criminal, one thing remains common. There has to be confidence in the integrity of that evidence. It has to be relevant, accurate and reliable. Otherwise, the outcome of a case is questionable.

What's the future of privacy rights in the digital age? – Part 2

There was a time when levels of social interconnection were restricted. Technology didn't support long-distance connections. That has changed a lot in just a few thousand years. Today, as we noted in our last post, we in California not only can connect instantly with someone on the other side of the globe, but a record of the contact may be stored on some computer chip in some seemingly innocuous device like the Amazon Echo unit.

What's the future of privacy rights in the digital age? – Part 1

The question posed above is one that can't be answered just yet. Only time will tell as courts weigh in on the subject, and considering that devices dependant on personal digital information are coming out as fast as California's Silicon Valley engineers can dream them up, it seems safe to say courts' decisions will lag behind the advancements.

'Reasonable' federal marijuana policy could mean more raids

It is only one man's opinion, but when comes from the head of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department it seems reasonable to listen to what he has to say. If the prediction of Sheriff Jim McDonnell is right, our region can expect to see more people arrested on drug charges related to marijuana possession and use in the coming months.

Police data scraping could involve more than cellphones

We live in a time when our lives are our own, but our histories are captured digitally. As we noted in a post last month, greater computing power than sent man to the moon now sits in each laptop, tablet and cellphone. Not only can that power be figuratively addictive, medical research suggests the physical process of technological interactivity has a way of triggering the pleasure centers of the brain. So use of technology may be literally addicting.

When it comes to cellphone data, it's smart not to share.

While it may sound dramatic when people declare they can't survive without their cellphone, scientific studies have discovered the reasons humans feel the need to remain in constant contact with their cellular devices. Using this small but powerful computer, we are able to stream movies, interact with others and surf the internet. We can access easily-absorbed information in an instant. Our ability to send and receive texts quickly develops an internal reward system, as our brain is flooded with feel-good chemicals that enter the system whenever we receive correspondence from others. The cellphone is essentially a pleasure center that can be accessed with the right password and data plan.

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