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Redding California Criminal Law Blog

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.

Factors that can impact Breathalyzer accuracy

If you are currently facing a California drinking and driving charge, but you suspect that a falsely elevated breath test result is behind your arrest, you may have concerns about the possible penalties you may face, if convicted. While breath tests are often the primary source of evidence used against suspected DUI offenders, they are not always completely accurate, and inaccurate results can lead to imprisonment, considerable fines and other potential penalties. At the Law Offices of John M. Kucera, we understand the important of Breathalyzer accuracy, and we have assisted many clients who believed their breath test results were inaccurate get to the bottom of things.

According to AlcoholAlert.com, breath test devices are not always correct, with smaller models often more likely to produce false results than larger ones. Additionally, numerous outside factors can offset Breathalyzer test results, which are essentially indirect estimations in the first place. So, what types of outside factors can impact breath test accuracy?

Cleaning your California criminal record

If you are a California resident who has a criminal record, you may find that it affects your life negatively in a variety of ways. Depending on its contents, your criminal record can potentially impact your ability to find housing, secure employment or even vote, among related repercussions. In other words, your California criminal record has the potential to haunt you for life, but it does not necessarily have to do so. John M. Kucera recognizes just how much having a criminal record can impact your day-to-day life, and he has helped many people in similar situations take necessary steps to alleviate the hardship their records cause them.

Per the Judicial Branch of California, depending on certain circumstances, you may be able to have your criminal record sealed. You may, too, depending on the specifics surrounding your criminal history, be eligible for a dismissal. If authorities placed you under arrest, but a formal court case was never filed against you, or if charges were filed against you and then dismissed, you may be able to have your records sealed from public record. You may also be able to do so if a jury acquitted you following a trial, or if you successfully complete certain diversion programs within a given period.

You have the right to remain silent: Miranda rights and DUIs

It’s a weekend evening, and you and your friends have been bar-hopping, having some drinks. You have had more than a few, and are feeling more than a little tipsy. Rather than call a cab or catch a ride with a designated driver, you decide to get behind the wheel and drive. But on your way home, you see the familiar red-and-blue flash of police lights: You are being pulled over for driving under the influence.

If you are arrested for a DUI, you have several rights that can protect you from incriminating yourself to law enforcement. These are called the Miranda rights, and anyone who is detained by police officers entitled to them under the law. Most people have heard of Miranda rights, but few really understand how they relate to DUI arrests.

Your second DUI isn’t the same as your first

Everyone makes mistakes. Unfortunately for some Californians, these mistakes may involve the police. A previous DUI conviction, however, can make a second drunk driving charge seem less like a mistake and more like a concerning pattern to the state government.

Regardless of whether you agree with California’s policy, drivers need to know that the penalties for a second, third or fourth conviction are more serious than a first-time offense. Most states believe that if a driver doesn’t learn their lesson the first time around, harsher punishments might get their attention.

California boating laws you might not know about

Being on the lakes is a great way to spend a summer afternoon. Many people in California enjoy spending time on the lakes, boating or water-skiing.

However, there are still rules and regulations you should follow when out on the lake this summer. Lakes still have their own laws, just like roads.

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John M. Kucera Attorney at Law

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Redding, CA 96001

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