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Hayward Criminal Defense Law Blog

Doctor charged with murder in opioid overdose deaths

As the opioid crisis continues to ravage parts of California and the rest of the nation, attention focuses not just on users and black market dealers, but also on pharmaceutical companies and medical professionals who, critics say, created the problem by flooding the market with highly addictive opioid-derived painkillers. Some professionals have faced criminal charges.

One process for your license, one for your freedom

One aspect of California DUI and DWI charges that confuses many people is the division between the criminal and administrative processes involved. It's important to understand the division because both move quickly, and both can lead to lasting consequences.

When you are arrested on suspicion of DUI, the arresting officer confiscates your driver's license, completes a form suspending or revoking your license, writes a report and forwards all these items to the Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV then undertakes an administrative review to determine whether to uphold the revocation or suspension. If the DMV upholds the revocation or suspension of your license, you can request a hearing to contest the decision, but you have only 10 days in which to request the hearing.

It may be time for criminal justice reform in domestic violence

In recent years, lawmakers have talked a lot about criminal justice reform. They point out that decades into the so-called war on drugs and other tough-on-crime policies, our prisons are overcrowded and millions of lives are being wasted. As parents spend long sentences in prison for nonviolent crimes, their children grow up in broken, often impoverished homes, which makes it harder for them to grow up with happy, productive lives. It's time, the reformers say, for smarter policies that are more focused on crime prevention, and that give people convicted of crimes a chance to turn their lives around.

But there are certain types of crimes where it appears there is no political appetite for reform. Among these are crimes of domestic violence. Policies for dealing with domestic violence still largely revolve around punishment. It's not clear that this approach is having its intended effect.

The many faces of mortgage fraud

The purchase of a home is a complicated process involving numerous agents and entities. It is also an expensive venture, and the exchange of hundreds of thousands of dollars is common. For some, these matters may lead them to commit fraud. In the real estate world, the potential for fraud occurs at every stage and with every player.

If you are facing accusations of mortgage fraud, you have good reason to be concerned. Widespread mortgage fraud has been responsible for several national financial crises, so California and federal laws are harsh when it comes to dealing with those convicted of this white-collar crime. You would be wise to learn as much as you can about the offense and the potential consequences if a court convicts you.

Drug charges after five years of Proposition 47

In 2014, California voters approved sweeping changes to the state's sentencing laws for certain felony crimes when they voted in favor of Proposition 47, also known as The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act. Five years later, the law remains controversial, with proponents saying it has improved the lives of communities and opponents saying it has increased crime. It is beyond the scope of this blog post to say which side of that debate has a better argument, but there is no question that Proposition 47 has made a positive difference in the lives of people accused of drug crimes.

Proposition 47 reclassified certain felony drug crimes as misdemeanors. It also allowed convicted people currently serving time on these drug crimes to petition courts for resentencing, and allowed people who had completed their sentences under the old felony charges to apply to have their records changed from felony convictions to misdemeanors. People with one or more prior convictions are ineligible, and there are other restrictions and limitations.

Supreme Court ruling gives police wide discretion in BAC tests

Like many other states, California has an implied consent law which provides that drivers have consented in advance to submitting to a BAC test should they be pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. Police can give a driver a chemical breath test at the scene and the results can be used as evidence against the driver.

However, in some cases police may need a more sophisticated breath test or may want a blood-based test. For these BAC tests, police generally have to take the driver to a police station or medical facility. This raises issues under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits unreasonable search and seizure.

People accused of domestic violence have the right to a defense

It's hard to talk about domestic violence. Victims often don't want to talk about it, but they deserve to be heard. The people accused of committing domestic violence may not want to talk about it, but they deserve a defense.

By definition, domestic violence occurs within a private relationship, and often with no other witnesses present. That makes it hard for the law to deal with it.

CHP arrests more than 1,000 over long weekend

After decades of safety education, tougher laws and police crackdowns, California drivers are more aware of the dangers of drunk driving. Statistics show that fatal traffic accidents are less common than they used to be, and researchers agree that one reason is that people are less likely to drive drunk than they used to be. However, DUI arrests continue to be among the most common sources of criminal charges in California courts.

The California Highway Patrol recently announced it had arrested more than 1,000 people over the Memorial Day weekend last month. By some calculations, the CHP arrested about 14 people per hour over the 78-hour weekend. The CHP also announced that 34 people lost their lives in drunk-driving-related accidents over the weekend.

Are you facing false allegations of domestic violence?

If you are a passionate person, you may find that certain situations overwhelm you with emotions, sometimes good and sometimes bad. This is not always a negative thing because that passion motivates you to accomplish your goals, to stand up for your beliefs and to defend yourself when you are right.

Unfortunately, if you allow your passions to take over when you and your spouse disagree, others may easily misunderstand your words and actions. In fact, as natural as it is for spouses to have heated arguments from time to time, if the relationship between you and your partner is already strained, you may find yourself facing accusations of domestic violence.

Getting a license back after a DUI arrest

California imposes many penalties on people who are tried and convicted of drunk driving, including fines and possible jail time. Some of the penalties begin immediately after arrest, before the person has had a trial, and these can wreak havoc on a person's life.

As soon as a person is arrested on suspicion of DUI, a police officer submits a notice of suspension of revocation to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Often, the officer also confiscates the driver's license at that time. The driver has 10 days to request a hearing from the DMV in order to protest the suspension or revocation order.

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