Fisher Law Office

Criminal Defense Archives

Determining the severity of a charge in California

A person who breaks the law may be charged with an infraction, a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on what was involved. An example of an infraction would be a parking or speeding ticket or being found in possession of small amounts of drugs. The penalty is generally nothing more than a fine. However, if the issue is not addressed in a timely manner, increased penalties are possible.

Probation leads to incarceration for many juveniles

California parents may be shocked to learn that some alternative ways to rehabilitate troubled youth may actually lead to juvenile hall. For example, some courts have put kids on probation in an effort to keep them out of juvenile hall. However, the conditions that juveniles must adhere to are often so strict that they end up being incarcerated.

Depositions in criminal cases

A deposition is a discovery tool that lawyers use to gain more information about a case. It is basically an interview that occurs outside a courtroom, where the lawyers will have an opportunity to ask questions of a potential witness. Depositions are generally recorded using audio or audiovisual equipment, and there is usually a court reporter present as well. They typically take place in an attorney's office.

The use of the insanity defense

Mental health issues are a known problem among those who have been convicted of violent crimes in California and around the country. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 61 percent of all U.S. inmates who reside in state prisons for violent offenses have established mental health issues. Nonetheless, criminal defense attorneys say that employing the not guilty by reason of insanity plea may not have made a difference for many of these individuals.

Defenses to assault in California

If an individual is charged with assault, there are several defenses that he or she may use to dispute that charge. For instance, it may be possible to claim that an assault was actually an act of self-defense. To prove self-defense, a defendant must show that he or she did not provoke the attack and that there was no chance of retreating from the situation.

Public intoxication in California

As is the case with the criminal laws of many other states, the California Penal Code criminalizes public intoxication. People who are charged with public intoxication thus may face having a criminal record in the event they are convicted as charged.

14 accused of national drug trafficking ring

Indictments were handed down on March 5 to 14 individuals who were allegedly involved in funneling drugs from California to various parts of the country. When the report was released, 12 of those individuals were already in custody. The other two individuals, both of whom were from Pennsylvania, were not being held in custody.

Mother charged with child endangerment after arrest

On Feb. 15, a 27-year-old California woman was taken into custody after she was found wandering around half-naked and disoriented on a Lancaster street. Authorities said they later discovered she left her toddler home alone.

4 arrested for commercial burglary

Law enforcement officials with the Paso Robles Police Department announced the arrest of four people, three of whom are adults and one of whom is a juvenile, in connection with a commercial burglary. The burglary reportedly occurred on Feb. 2 around 11:55 p.m. in the 700 block of 24th Street at the Campo Ceramics store located there.

Understanding public intoxication in California

California criminal law treats public intoxication as a misdemeanor. People can be charged with the crime if an officer believes they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and it is considered a type of disorderly conduct.

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