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Pleasanton Criminal Defense Law Blog

Winds of change: nationwide criminal law reforms, Part 2

We underscored in our immediately preceding blog post at the Bay Area Law Office of John W. Noonan that America’s long-tenured War on Crime is under siege. We noted in our December 12 entry the irony linked with newly emerging systemic reforms being materially driven by some prosecutors across the country.

It is those individuals in California and nationally, after all, who customarily take tough stances and promote harsh sentencing outcomes for criminal defendants. It is largely the work of government attorneys that has led to the country’s overburdened penal system and its insanely high maintenance costs.

Tailwind-driven change: eye on prosecutorial reform

Reform is a key byword of criminal law these days. A recent in-depth media report on charging, plea negotiations and sentencing cites strong evidence that material prosecutorial adjustments from a long-time norm are occurring across the country.

And from coast to coast. The political publication Slate cites newly emerging “reform-minded prosecutors” from New York to San Francisco. Many district attorneys in major municipalities spanning the United States are bucking long-held and dominant realities that spawn harsh charging edicts and uncompromising government demands for notably stringent post-conviction outcomes.

One state’s move spotlights key criminal law consideration

What voters do in a given state often has local-only implications. In other instances, though, it sends a message that has broad relevance nationally and spotlights a matter that is important everywhere.

The Florida electorate recently spoke in a collective manner that is understandably garnering national attention and resonating with legions of Americans.

Is there traction for this criminal sentencing reform legislation?

Will it fly?

That is certainly the question most relevant to considerations surrounding the so-called First Step Act, which is a Senate bill focused on federal criminal sentencing reform that actively seeks President Trump’s embrace.

Anything notable re on-the-road CA law enforcers this time of year?

If you’re anything but a novice driver in the Bay Area or virtually anywhere else on California roadways, you can supply a quick answer to the above-posed blog headline query.

And that is this: They’re out in force and notably present.

Yes, it’s scary when DNA evidence proves faulty

Here’s a nightmare of almost unimaginable scope that we sketch for readers of our California criminal defense blog. We suspect that it will readily induce empathy from anyone who dwells on its details for even a moment or so.

To wit: A prosecutor insists that DNA evidence targets you as the wrongdoer in a horrific crime. You know that the accusation is false. Nonetheless, the state is dangling that evidence – universally perceived as taint-free and even infallible – in your face. Virtually no party will favor your version of truth over what technicians with advanced degrees have produced via lab-driven research.

SF receives grant infusion focused on criminal justice reforms

We don’t need to cough up $80 million-plus to build a new jail in San Francisco, say a widely growing band of criminal law reformers.

What the group – which encompasses judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys and increasing numbers of California police/probationary officers and other individuals – stresses as an urgently needed alternative to more jail cells is this: behind-bars alternatives to many offenders that will keep them out of jail in the first place.

No, they’re not the same: a look at theft, burglary and robbery

“I was robbed.”

Although such an assertion made to law enforcers might be squarely on the mark, the wording might also need some tidying up to be precisely accurate under California law.

Will current presidential administration move on sentencing reform?

Criminal law charging and sentencing particulars in the federal realm merit pronounced emphasis in any defense firm’s blog posts, and we unquestionably give them due regard at the Bay Area Law Office of John W. Noonan.

We defend diverse clients against a wide universe of federal charges, noting some common ground that routinely attaches to all of them.

Gov. Brown endorses several juvenile-linked criminal law reforms

California’s long-entrenched reputation as a threshold state for authoring change and novel governmental approaches is well established. In many respects, California leads vanguard reform efforts that other states consider and often follow.

Not always, though. One criminal justice commentator notes that, when it comes to systemic reforms aimed at enhancing fairness and just outcomes, “California is catching up with other states.”

Recent Case Results

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

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