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” 

Judge Allows Law Clerk to Rule on Cases

This is a sad story. Judge that was investigated for allowing her law clerk to wear her robe and rule on traffic cases was found to be suffering from Alzheimer's. Check out the article on the ABA Journal site. One question that hasn't been answered is whether the law clerk (an attorney) could face any … Continue reading Judge Allows Law Clerk to Rule on Cases

LinkedIn-Published Article On New Standard for Expert Witness Use Of Hearsay

The ability for expert witnesses in trial to discuss hearsay (which is generally presumed to be inadmissible unless an exception applies) can make a huge difference in how a jury receives that testimony. While courts will usually instruct the jury not to consider hearsay relied upon and discussed by the expert for the "truth of … Continue reading LinkedIn-Published Article On New Standard for Expert Witness Use Of Hearsay