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Redding California Criminal Law Blog

What should I know about pleading the fifth?

The U.S. Constitution spells out important rights that prevent people from incriminating themselves while being charged with a crime. One of those rights is commonly discussed in today’s news stories, and is known as “pleading the fifth.” Understanding how this right works is imperative if you should be arrested by a California police officer and face criminal charges.

As FindLaw explains, “pleading the fifth” refers to the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. This amendment states that a person cannot be compelled to be a witness against himself. The U.S. Supreme Court specified in the 1966 Miranda decision that a person being arrested must be notified by police that he or she may remain silent and choose not to answer questions.

Are you eligible to attend a California traffic school?

Accruing points on your California driver’s license can, in some cases, lead to more serious issues, and if you generate enough points by committing certain traffic offenses, it can place your license, and potentially, your career, in jeopardy. In addition to paying more for auto insurance, having too many points on your license can threaten any transportation-related professional licenses you may have, which in turn can have a serious impact on your ability to earn a living. In some situations, however, you may be able to reduce the points you have on your record by attending a California traffic school.

Per the Judicial Branch of California, whether you will be able to knock points off your driving record by attending traffic school depends on whether you are eligible to attend in the first place. Typically, you may attend traffic school if you have a current, valid driver’s license, if you received your ticket because of a moving violation, and if you received your ticket in a regular, passenger vehicle, as opposed to a commercial one.

Gender stereotypes in domestic violence cases

The prevailing societal attitude toward domestic violence is that abuse occurs on a strictly male-on-female basis. However, research reported by FindLaw suggests that the incidence of women committing domestic violence against men is nearly equal to the incidence of men committing violence against a female domestic partner. At the law offices of John M. Kucera, Attorney at Law, we affirm that if you are facing a charge of domestic violence, you have the right to a legal defense, regardless of your gender.

The pressure on police to arrest someone when responding to a domestic violence call may lead to law enforcement making an arrest on the basis of a gender stereotype rather than assessing the evidence objectively. The fear of being doubly victimized due to an erroneous arrest on a domestic violence charge prevents many male victims of domestic violence from reporting the abuse that they endure to the authorities.

Consequences of a boating DUI in California

Being out on a boat usually means having a fun with friends or family. Unlike operating a car in many cases, driving a boat is usually for excitement and the beauty of the surrounding area. It may not be hard under these conditions to over indulge in alcohol as you get away from your busy life and enjoy the lakes or coastline.

Enjoying alcoholic drinks while out on the water is not against the law. However, if your blood alcohol level reaches .08 percent or higher and you are operating a boat or even jet skis, you can be arrested.

How do I get a restraining order removed?

One of the ways you could potentially get rid of a restraining order in California is simply to way for it to expire. Consider the duration of the order and the likelihood that the person who filed it will try to renew it, as well as any other pertinent factors. You could also decide to file a request to change or end the order.

Above all, it is important to respect the order while it is in place. Any and all actions you might make in violation of the court's decree would likely count against you in future proceedings. There are some common mistakes associated with this point — you might violate the protection order by attempting to serve papers to the other party, for example. 

How do I talk to a teen about safe driving?

California highways are dangerous, and there is no need to make them any more so by unsafe driving practices. Hopefully, your child's drivers' education curriculum has underlined this idea, but there is always room for reinforcement of such an important idea.

Whether you are reacting to a recent encounter with a law enforcement professional or you are attempting to prevent such issues, there are a few things you might be able to do to get through to your teen about safer driving. One thing you might want to keep in mind: in general, kids see driving as an adult privilege. Therefore, treating them like adults when discussing driving fits better with their perspective — and is more likely to get the results you want.

Can a police officer demand to see ID?

California police rarely have the power to arrest you for not producing official identification. However, the situations in which they could detain you are common enough that you might benefit from knowing your rights.

First and foremost, know that you could face penalties if you fail to show your driver's license or identify yourself during a traffic stop. This discussion is focused more on the potential consequences of withholding identification information in other situations.

Your rights for defending yourself in California

No matter where you live, it’s a good idea to be prepared in case of robbery or assault.

There are a number of ways you may be able to avoid being in dangerous situations. However, it’s also important to be aware of California laws surrounding self-defense in case a threatening circumstance arises.

How to get out of jail as soon as possible

California citizens have constitutional rights as well as state privileges that protect them from unreasonable arrest. How an arrested individual gets out of jail varies widely from one situation to another, and it is sometimes impractical or extremely difficult to arrange an immediate release. 

While it is more widely known for the clause on cruel and unusual punishment, the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is one of the most relevant documents to this discussion. Its section on bail states that the amount set to acquire the release of an accused individual must not be excessive. This rule, along with some state laws, could determine how difficult it is to get out of jail.

What you should know about ignition interlock devices

If you have been convicted of a DUI in California, you may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. In Tulare, Alameda, Sacramento or Los Angeles counties, this is mandatory; however, those convicted in other counties are at the mercy of the judge presiding of the case. Interlock devices enable you to continue driving to work and school even with a DUI conviction.

Interlock devices are installed directly into the ignition system of the car with a dashboard monitor that may or may not have a camera. In order to start your car, you must exhale into a tube connected to the device, which will analyze your blood alcohol content level. If your BAC measures at or above a preset level, the vehicle will not start, and will lockup for a certain amount of time before you can attempt to start it again. Once the car is started, you may be prompted to breathe into the tube periodically to keep the vehicle going.

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