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San Luis Obispo Criminal Law Blog

A criminal defense for feeding California homeless?

Nine individuals have been arrested on misdemeanor charges after handing out food and supplies to homeless individuals in a local park. The California city created an ordinance against handing out food and supplies to homeless individuals after an outbreak of Hepatitis A. After the release of the ordinance, a community group was formed to support feeding the homeless, and now some members of this group may be contemplating their criminal defense

The city of El Cajon has dealt with some issues related to homeless individuals sleeping in a park. While most people's reactions include feelings of empathy and generosity toward these people, the city has also had to contend with diseases related to the housing issue. The ordinance against food sharing in public spaces was a result of an attempt to stop the outbreak. Unfortunately, it also limited the ability for the homeless to access food support from aid groups. 

Inappropriate use of medical marijuana could lead to trouble

Medical marijuana is legal in California, which means that people with certain medical conditions could legally obtain and use this drug. This is only an option for people with specific types of medical conditions, and even if you qualify, you would be wise to understand the laws and regulations regarding appropriate use.

The inappropriate use of medical marijuana could lead to criminal charges, even if you have a valid prescription. It may be helpful to understand how to avoid this possibility, or if you are already facing charges, how to fight them. Regardless of the details of your individual situation, you have the right to defend yourself against any criminal charge, including drug charges.

Clearing old drug charges can be easier with California bill

Recently relaxed pot laws have created an environment in which old convictions can have less of an impact for previous offenders. In California, Proposition 64 made anyone convicted of past marijuana crimes able to petition the court to have the charges reduced or dismissed. In the era of legalization, old drug charges should not affect a person's ability to work or find housing. 

A new bill proposed would take Proposition 64 even further, by making the court system expunge or downgrade the charges automatically without the person needing to petition the court. Currently, the person must take the initiative to move forward and clear the record, sometimes with the help of a lawyer. A state solution to clear all the charges at once may take an initial investment of funds but could actually reduce the cost of clearing the charges person by person. 

Fees for juvenile crimes won't lead to jail in California

Minors who rack up court costs for their transgressions will no longer be sent to jail for the unpaid fines, according to a new law in the state. In the past, California teens convicted of juvenile crimes faced penalties that included court costs and other fines. When the fines were left unpaid, some children faced going to jail for failing to make the payments. Luckily, a new 2018 law will prevent this outcome. 

Proponents of the new new law note that the fines can trap a juvenile in a cycle of debt before he or she even has a chance to build a financial foundation. Many individuals charged with juvenile crimes do not have the means to pay for fees, and their families don't either. Administrative fees for the offenders can include detention costs, court fees, probation fees, drug testing and electronic monitoring. Governments attempt to get these fees, which can be thousands of dollars, from offenders by extending probation terms.

California police officer falls victim to drunk driving crash

A Christmas Eve shift turned deadly for one officer on the state roads recently. The California Highway Patrol officer was parked by the side of the road while monitoring traffic using a radar gun. The person who crashed into the officer's vehicle is in critical condition but will face drunk driving charges once he is released into police custody. Unfortunately, this tragic event did not need to occur, and the accused man is facing serious felony charges. 

The accident was reported to be fiery and violent, crushing the patrol SUV into the size of a compact car. The police vehicle contained two individuals, and only one person has been reported as dead. Police officers stated that the individual who allegedly caused the crash was supposedly driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, although, at this point, the reason for the crash is only suspected.

Don't let a police checkpoint block your right to a defense

As a California motorist, it's easy to take certain things at surface value while traveling, including various legal situations that may place your freedom at risk. Rather than research ahead of time and obtain clear understanding of traffic laws, as well as what rights you have, you may be one of many who fall into the habit of presuming that if police officers are making a stop and conducting investigations, they are doing so lawfully because they are the police and know what's legal and what isn't.

The problem here is that you must also take into account that police are just as capable of human error or unlawful behavior as you or anyone. This is why it's crucial to do your own homework and not just take things for granted and assume that if a police officer is doing it, it must be okay. For instance, there are many things that can happen at a police sobriety checkpoint that could violate your rights. By researching this ahead of time, you may avert a problem later.

Criminal defense could show subjective sobriety testing

The marijuana industry is reaching new frontiers. In California, medical marijuana has been legal for some time, and soon, recreational marijuana will be legalized. It is still illegal in the state to drive while impaired by the drug, however. Unfortunately, no uniform test yet exists for gauging a user's impairment. 

The unique properties of marijuana make it more difficult to test because the substance can stay in the body of the user for days or even weeks. Traditional blood tests can't reliably show how impaired a person is by the drug or how recently it has been used. With increased access to marijuana coming soon to the state, some entrepreneurs are developing solutions to the drug testing problem. At least two solutions are in the works, a Breathalyzer device similar to current devices used for alcohol, and a physical sobriety testing app. 

Man hit with drug charges after car accident in San Luis Obispo

A relatively minor car crash has led to one local man's arrest. When police responded to the scene of an accident in San Luis Obispo, they found an individual who admitted to having a warrant in a neighboring county. The man, allegedly a former felon, was later arrested on drug charges after officers reportedly found guns, drugs and paraphernalia in his car.  

The incident occurred on Nov. 30, 2017 on Highway 101. Officers responded to reports of a vehicle collision without injuries. When they contacted the man they believed to be at fault, he admitted to being the subject of a warrant, which prompted the officers to research his history. Officers say they found information about the outstanding warrant and a suspended license, and they arrested the man. 

Man accused of hit-and-run may be thinking about criminal defense

A tragic accident that left one family grieving may result in penalties for the man accused of the crime. An alleged perpetrator is likely considering options for criminal defense in the face of hit-and-run and other charges. The California accident led to the man's arrest. More details are given in a recent news article covering the event. 

Tragically, a 3-year-old child is now deceased as the result of a hit-and-run accident. The family mourns the loss of the child just before Christmas, leading to high tension and emotions surrounding the case. A memorial has been established for the child at the site of the accident, and the mother asks why her baby was the one to be hit. 

California man charged with drunk driving after fatal accident

Four members of one family were killed as the result of a tragic accident. The collision in California was allegedly caused by one man, who was later apprehended and charged with drunk driving. The man faces other serious charges in relation to the events, but he will be given the opportunity to defend himself in court in order to give his account of the events and avoid any erroneous penalties. 

At the time of the accident, the four family members were riding together in one vehicle. The accused man's car was going in the same direction when it apparently struck the family's vehicle. Authorities concluded that the collision apparently caused the family vehicle to cross into opposing traffic and crash into three other cars. In addition to the four dead, at least six other people were injured. 

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1322 Morro Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401-4028

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San Luis Obispo Criminal Law Blog | Fisher Law Office