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Pleasanton Criminal Defense Law Blog

CA criminal cases being purposefully steered to federal courts

Many California individuals involved with the criminal justice system find out quickly that outcomes can differ starkly based on whether they are facing a state or federal offense.

We succinctly note on our defense website at the Bay Area Law Office of John W. Noonan that “there is a world of difference between federal and state criminal charges.” The latter challenge is unquestionably daunting in every instance, but is often far surpassed by the harsh consequences attached to a federal conviction.

Spotlight on juvenile crime and college entry

One focal point of our long-established criminal defense practice at the Bay Area Law Office of John W. Noonan stresses the diligent representation of young people accused of crimes.

It is often the case that unformed judgment and simple lack of maturity connected to life inexperience lead to careless actions that can have serious consequences for juveniles. Minors often do not appreciate the stark downsides that can attend behaviors frowned upon by law enforcers.

An alarming criminal law taint that must be spotlighted and cured

Some – unfortunately, not all – criminal suspects in California and elsewhere know that they do not have to answer police queries when they are undergoing an in-custody interrogation. Individuals who are facing the formidable resources and power of government agents have an important right to consult with a criminal defense attorney.

It is a hallmark of American criminal law – a time-honored and bedrock expectation – that attorney/client communications between defense counsel and criminal suspects are confidential.

4th Amendment dog-sniff case underscores law’s complexity

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that constitutional protections kick in for an individual when a police dog sniffs under his or her porch door.

What that specifically means is that criminal evidence discovered from that sniff is pursuant to a search, which must be reasonable. The Constitution’s Fourth Amendment mandates that police must have probable cause to be at the scene and conduct the search. In most instances, police action must be preceded by the issuance of a warrant.

DUI checkpoint ruled unlawful by appellate court

We didn’t intend to immediately follow up one blog entry with another featuring the same subject matter. Because a case currently spotlighted in the news seems to logically connect a few dots, though, we discuss its essential details in today’s post.

That just-concluded court matter focused upon sobriety checkpoints, which comprised the central subject of our August 23 post at the Alameda County Law Office of John Noonan. The main takeaway of that blog effort was that DUI roadblocks – which operate in many states, including California – are constitutionally sanctioned by the U.S. Supreme Court, yet subject to some explicit guidelines and limitations.

Seminal California law on money bail first in nation

It wasn’t close to being unanimous, but California legislation signed into law last week by Gov. Jerry Brown easily garnered enough support in both the state’s Senate and General Assembly to ensure its passage.

The new law, formally termed the California Money Bail Reform Act and more commonly denoted as Senate Bill 10, has long been on the radar of criminal law reformers. The governor’s signature was the final act required to bring about its implementation. SB 10 is slated to take legal effect next year on October 1.

Electronic bracelets: criminal law darling, yet subject to criticism

Some people asked to evaluate the nature and efficacy of electronic monitoring bracelets used to track the movements of criminal suspects and defendants can speak only in superlatives.

In short, they love the devices and see only a universal upside related to them. Ankle bracelets help to keep detention facility populations down by letting people on probation or awaiting trial live unconfined. They keep community populations safer because of the tracking ability afforded by sophisticated and mobile tech applications. They save the general public money (a bracelet is cheaper than a jail cell and related incarceration upkeep costs). And they benefit wearers, too, by impinging far more lightly on their freedoms than is the case with a behind-bars reality.

Slippery slope in criminal law: Take a plea or go to trial?

Imagine a California criminal suspect who is innocent of the charges he or she is facing, yet hesitates to go to trial. Many people similarly waver, owing to fears that a jury might see things negatively in their case and deliver a verdict marked by a draconian sentence.

Now imagine a scenario where issues surrounding innocence are less clear, but a defendant thinks that a jury verdict could yield an outcome superior to a plea bargain deal.

Legislative movement on felony murder law in California

Reference to terms such as “intent” or “deliberation” often attaches to the crime of murder. A favored expression under traditional common law is “malice aforethought.”

There are many other descriptors as well. They all coalesce around the assumption that murder must link closely with an individual’s purposeful action to cause the death of another human being.

Recent Case Results

  • Drunk Driving Offenses

    John was able to get client a reduction of charge of a DUI because of being a nurse it could mean her license.

    He secured a Drunk in Public , and she would attend a 3 month program. Additionally, the dmv hearing was also set aside.

    Both being a win for the client.

    Read More
  • Domestic Violence

    A client was arrested for a Felony Domestic Violence, could have devastated her potential for future employment. John was able to get the case dismissed. Client was thrilled.

    Read More
  • Juvenile Charges

    A juvenile was arrested for 2nd Degree Robbery. After 6 months the case was dismissed.

    A juvenile was arrested for Sexual Battery. After 6 months and 80 hours of Community service, the case was dismissed.

    Read More
  • Drunk Driving Offenses

    A client with a 1st DUI arrest. Fearing she would go to jail; lose her license for a year and lose her job. Got a wet reckless and minimal fines.

    Read More
  • Drug Charges

    A client with 4 Felony charges on a Transportation Charge, a Attempt to Sell, Possession of Marijuana, (50 pounds), Conspiracy Charge all where reduced to 1 Misdemeanor. No Jail.

    Client was charged with 6 Felony drug possessions. Facing jail time. The results: Client got a deferred entry of judgment and then dismissed.

    Client charged with several felony counts of possession of Marijuana with intent to sell. Client was involved in a medical marijuana grow. Case was reduced and later dismissed.

    Read More
  • Sex Crimes

    A client with alleged 2 Felony Sex charges and he faced jail and sex registration. The case was entirely dismissed.

    Client charged with prostitution; facing jail time and sex offender registration. Result: NO JAIL TIME AND NO SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION Deferred Entry of Judgment.

    Read More
  • Domestic Violence

    Client charged with domestic violence, with great bodily injury. Case reduced to a misdemeanor with time served.

    Read More
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