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 Criminal Law Basics: The Misconceptions Surrounding “Pressing Charges” and the Process of Filing Criminal Charges

In a lot of TV shows, you see the detectives or officers responding to a call of a bar fight or domestic disturbance. When they arrive, the alleged victim says that they don’t want to “press charges” and the cop tells the suspect: “it’s your lucky day, Bob doesn’t want to pursue charges against you … Continue reading San Diego Criminal Law Basics: The Misconceptions Surrounding “Pressing Charges” and the Process of Filing Criminal Charges

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

Warrant Requiring a Defendant to Provide his iPhone Password Sparks Litigation That is Unprecedented in California

I am fortunate to be doing work on this case with my boss, Kerry Armstrong. Here is the issue: can a court require a defendant, via a search warrant, to provide his password so that law enforcement can access his iPhone? The Supreme Court has already discussed how smartphones fit within the Fourth Amendment in Riley … Continue reading Warrant Requiring a Defendant to Provide his iPhone Password Sparks Litigation That is Unprecedented in California

New Mexico Public Defender’s Office “Goes on Strike” 

The ABA Journal is profiling a story where the Lea County Public Defender is refusing to provide lawyers in some cases and is being fined as a result. The PD says that while he acknowledges his statutory duty to provide lawyers to represent those who qualify, he also is reminding the state that he has … Continue reading New Mexico Public Defender’s Office “Goes on Strike”