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San Jose California Criminal Defense Blog

When domestic violence accusations lead to battery charges

Being accused of violence against a partner or spouse can be life-shattering. It can have major impacts on one’s reputation and family life. It could also expose a person to significant criminal charges.

Various charges could arise in connection to such allegations here in California. One type of charge individuals accused of such violence sometimes face is battery.

What is the difference between assault and battery?

It is common to hear assault and battery used in the same sentence: both words make a person cringe. Shock factor aside, these two charges have completely different meanings and penalties. The crimes are similar to an extent, but equally distinct. It is time to unpackage the phrase "assault and battery."

California assault law

California DUIs and your driving record

Among the things getting a DUI conviction here in California impacts is your record. This doesn’t just include your criminal record. It also includes your driving record.

When a person is convicted of DUI in the state, the DUI is put on his or her driving record. How long does the DUI stay on this record? Generally, it remains for 10 years after the DUI offense, after which it is removed. This has been the case since 2007, when a state law went into effect that raised the reporting period from 7 years to 10 years. As a note, the rules are different for drivers with a CDL.

Fraud: Know the rules so you can stay in the game

Dilated pupils, trembling hands, excessive sweating, rapid heartbeat: these evolutionary traits are telling you that something is wrong. If accused of fraud, your body is right to sense danger.

Upon the first signs of peril, a body under stress tends to choose one of two options: fight-or-flight. In the case of fraudulent charges, you need to fight. But unlike our ancestors of the past, this battle will take place in the courtroom.

California drunk driving laws re preliminary alcohol screening

Getting pulled over by a California police officer definitely would rank high on most lists of "things that can ruin someone's day." In fact, such situations have been known to escalate into situations that can threaten a person's career, marriage or life, in general. This is particularly true when a traffic stop results in drunk driving charges.  

The more a person understands about state laws regarding such matters, in particular how an individual incident might relate to one's personal rights (or a possible violation thereof), the likelier it is that he or she may be able to avoid conviction if an arrest is made. For instance, many people do not understand the difference between a preliminary alcohol screening device and a Breathalyzer test. However, understanding the difference may impact the outcome of a particular situation.  

How Accurate Are Breathalyzers?

When a person is pulled over by police and an officer suspects they are driving under the influence of alcohol, the officer conducts a breathalyzer test. The driver blows into a device which then gives a reading estimating blood-alcohol content by measuring the alcohol in the individual's breath. This evidence is then used in the drunk driving charges against an individual if they are over the legal limit.

There are many issues that cause defense attorneys to question the accuracy of a breathalyzer test. Officer error in properly calibrating the breathalyzer is one of them. But what if the device itself is flawed?

How to know if you qualify for an expungement

Being convicted of a crime may seem like the end of your life. You are likely worried it will prevent you from getting a good job or finding a nice place to live. In California, those convicted of a misdemeanor or certain felonies could be eligible for record expungement.

What is expungement?

An expungement vacates your previous conviction and dismisses your case. The court essentially reopens the case and allows you to plead not guilty. The offense is not completely erased from your criminal record, but the record reflects the case was dismissed.

Drunk driving charges don't always lead to conviction

Getting pulled over on the way home from a night out with friends in California can be a nerve-racking experience. A police officer may mention excessive driving speed, a non-functioning tail light or some other vehicle infraction before writing a ticket. If the officer asks the driver to step out of the vehicle, it is likely that he or she suspects drunk driving.

Under such circumstances, a driver accused of DUI may also wonder whether he or she will be able to avoid conviction. There are often several defense strategies available to fight such charges in court. A police officer must have reasonable cause to make a traffic stop and probable cause to make an arrest. A defendant may argue that the officer in question did not satisfy these requirements.

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