Mass Phone Searches Following Inauguration-Day Rioting Arrests

BuzzFeed has reported that DC prosecutors have sought and obtained warrants to search over 100 phones of those arrested and charged with rioting. They also report that many were legal observers and journalist, which triggers interesting questions regarding the First Amendment and the protection and freedom of the press. The government's ability to search our … Continue reading Mass Phone Searches Following Inauguration-Day Rioting Arrests

California’s Bail System and a Move for Change

Bail is collateral intended to motivate a potential defendant to participate in the criminal proceedings. When most people get arrested in San Diego County, they are booked into jail and bail is set based on a bail schedule. For instance, the standard bail for a DUI (VC 23152) arrest is $2,500, for an assault with … Continue reading California’s Bail System and a Move for Change

Legal Implications of Customs and Border Protection Officers Making Arrests for Suspected Violations of State Law

Each day, thousands of people request entry into the United States via the San Ysidro port of entry. At the border, individuals have significantly reduced constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures; in fact, many detentions and searches are not deemed unreasonable because of the great national security interests. Of course, the main purview of … Continue reading Legal Implications of Customs and Border Protection Officers Making Arrests for Suspected Violations of State Law

Can Using an Insult Subject You to Criminal Charges?

A prosecutor in the UK thought so, when charges were filed against a woman for leaving a voicemail calling the alleged victim a “pu**y.” Apparently, the defendant had been trying to collect on a debt when the “criminal act” was committed. The court ultimately dismissed the case and expressed its displeasure with the prosecution’s efforts. … Continue reading Can Using an Insult Subject You to Criminal Charges?

Lawyer Mocks Jailhouse Informant Witness, Gets Reprimanded

We've all heard of the serious jailhouse informant issues plaguing the fair administration of justice, most notably, the Orange County case that is drawing attention from The U.S. Department of Justice. There, the constitutional abuses have been described as "systemic." Generally speaking, a jail house informant that receives a benefit for testifying against a defendant … Continue reading Lawyer Mocks Jailhouse Informant Witness, Gets Reprimanded

San Diego Court Rules Warrant Ordering Defendant to Provide iPhone Pass Code Violated Fifth Amendment

In a follow up to my earlier post indicating this was an issue of first impression in California, a San Diego Superior Court Judge ruled that the compelled disclosure of the defendant’s pass code violated the Fifth Amendment. Since the court determined, partly relying on U.S. Supreme Court precedent, that providing a pass code is … Continue reading San Diego Court Rules Warrant Ordering Defendant to Provide iPhone Pass Code Violated Fifth Amendment

The Importance of Contract Law in Plea Agreements 

For many attorneys that practice in criminal law, contract law is a distant and haunting memory. While certainly pragmatic, for those of us that wished to be in court everyday, contract law represented the antithesis of becoming trial attorneys. But when it comes to plea agreements, knowing the fundamental principles of contracts is necessary to … Continue reading The Importance of Contract Law in Plea Agreements 

Weird News: California Driver Arrested and Charged for a Caffeine DUI?

In Solano County, California, a man faced DUI (driving under the influence) charges where his blood test only showed the presence of caffeine. According to the officer, the man was initially pulled over for weaving all over the road and almost causing several collisions. Based on the man's agitated state and dilated pupils, he was arrested … Continue reading Weird News: California Driver Arrested and Charged for a Caffeine DUI?

San Diego’s SMART Program Rolls Out to Address the “Revolving Door Syndrome” of Chronic Misdemeanor Offenders

For those who meet the criteria, the SMART program can provide a diversion away from the typical criminal process or allow entry into the program as an alternative sentence. The goal is to provide intervention and close supervision for potential defendants that would otherwise be processed through the system without adressing the underlying issues causing … Continue reading San Diego’s SMART Program Rolls Out to Address the “Revolving Door Syndrome” of Chronic Misdemeanor Offenders