Fisher Law Office

San Luis Obispo Criminal Law Blog

Are you the subject of a civil restraining order?

When couples begin to fight, it often does not take long for things to get out of hand. You may find yourself saying hurtful things or even making idle threats. There may be shouting, finger pointing, maybe even shoving.

If your partner feels threatened or simply wants to get even with you for something you said or did, he or she may use the power of a civil restraining order. Reserved for the protection of those who are at risk of harm from an abusive relative, partner or former partner, a restraining order gets the law involved in your situation, but it may create long-term problems for you.

Marijuana may be legal in California, but driving high is not

California has joined the growing number of states that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. If you are like many people here in the state, you decided to take advantage of this new law for a variety of reasons. After all, the medicinal uses of this drug are well known. Even though you don't need to use it for medical reasons, you wonder whether it could improve your health anyway, or perhaps you just like the way it makes you feel and enjoy it.

Regardless of your reasons, you no longer have to worry about state authorities arresting you for recreational marijuana use. However, you should know that it is still illegal to drive while high.

Are you facing charges for doctor shopping?

A life of addiction is often a life of secrets. For those with dependency to prescription medications, an addiction can be difficult to feed, especially since new laws are making it more difficult to obtain opioids and other powerful drugs.

Like many, your dependence on addictive painkillers may have started innocently enough following an injury, surgical procedure or illness during which a doctor prescribed a narcotic for the pain. At some point in your recovery, you no longer needed such a powerful painkiller, but the drug may have already taken its hold on you. When your California doctor refused to refill your prescription, you may have taken steps that led you to legal trouble.

Facing a public intoxication charge?

When most people think of alcohol or drug-related offenses, they tend to think of driving under the influence or drug possession -- among a few other crimes. A lot of people do not think about public intoxication. What is it? What does it take to for prosecuting attorneys to achieve a conviction on such a charge in California?

If you are out in public and acting in a way that others might find offensive or out of character, to the point that you visibly seem drunk or otherwise impaired, police may arrest you for public intoxication. The primary purpose of this charge is to keep people from hurting themselves or others in a public setting. In California, this constitutes a misdemeanor offense with penalties that include fines and possibly jail time.

Are you sure your balance is good enough?

When a police officer initiates a traffic stop, you may not know why he or she is stopping you, but you do suspect that you could encounter a problem because you had a couple of drinks before heading home. Sure enough, when the officer approaches your vehicle, questions about your activities this evening begin.

Whether you answer any of the officer's questions could be a topic for another time. Right now, you may find it more important to understand if you should participate in field sobriety tests or not. California law does not require you to do so, and you probably shouldn't.

Penalty enhancements for aggravated DUI

If a DUI arrest marred your recent holiday festivities, you may be wondering what to expect in the future. As the legal process unfolds, you are right to have concerns. A straightforward DUI, even a first offense, carries stiff penalties in California, not the least of which is a permanent mark on your record if a court convicts you. You may be especially worried if police charged you with aggravated DUI.

Numerous circumstances can result in the addition of an aggravating factor to your charges, and the result if you are convicted is the probability of facing harsher penalties for the offense. While each state has its own list of aggravating factors that lead to enhanced sentences, some are common to many. You would be wise to seek legal counsel from an attorney who is well familiar with the laws in California, if that is where your arrest took place.

If police stop you for DUI, do you have to answer questions?

Many people become nervous when approached by California police officers. Though these individuals have a duty to keep civilians safe, they can often cause anxiety due to people feeling like they might have done something wrong. You may even wonder whether you have to talk to police officers at all.

In many cases, you do not have to speak with officers because of your right to remain silent. However, if an officer stops your vehicle and suspects that you are driving under the influence, you will still need to provide the officer with your name if requested. Beyond that, you may choose whether you answer any questions an officer poses to you.

False abuse charges can cause problems

As the holidays approach, so may the tensions with your soon-to-be ex. Holidays are stressful times, and it is common for couples, especially those who are separating, to argue more frequently. If your fights tend to be loud and passionate to begin with, your spouse may have be able to jeopardize your chances of a positive divorce.

It is true that some people are willing to take advantage of the safeguards in place that protect victims of domestic abuse. They do this by making false claims. Accusations that you were violent or abusive to your spouse can wreak havoc on your life.

Understanding roadside breath testing machines

You probably already know that your blood alcohol concentration here in California cannot legally exceed .08. You also know that police officers may ask you to submit to a breath test on the side of the road during a DUI traffic stop.

What you may not know is that there is a significant margin of error of up to 15 percent for roadside breath testing machines. That may not seem like a large number, but if you are one of the 23 percent of drivers arrested for DUI based on a false positive, it could make all the difference.

Mistakes on the part of authorities could affect DUI defense

It is common knowledge that no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. Of course, some mistakes you make may be more serious than others are, and if you consume alcohol before driving, this error may be one that affects your life in substantial ways.

Fortunately, if a police officer stops your vehicle and suspects that you are under the influence, you do not have to immediately picture yourself sitting behind bars due to a DUI conviction. You, like everyone else in California, have the right to prepare and present a criminal defense against any allegations that police bring against you.

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San Luis Obispo, CA 93401-4028

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San Luis Obispo Criminal Law Blog | Fisher Law Office