When are You Eligible to Apply for a Dismissal on Your Case (1203.4 petition)?

A criminal conviction can impact your life in many ways, from your career to your education to your personal life. If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony crime in the past, California state law offers a solution to help you get a fresh start: you may be able to have the case dismissed from your criminal record under section 1203.4 of the Penal Code. That said, you can only have your case dismissed Read More

What’s the Difference Between an Infraction, Misdemeanor, and Felony?

California Penal Code allows for three main categories of punishable offenses—infraction, misdemeanor, and felony—as well as a fourth category called a “wobbler” which can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. For those facing a conviction, the difference between an infraction, misdemeanor, and felony are significant. An infraction, the least serious offense, has less Read More

5 Key Safety Tips for Police Encounters

Mistrust between minority communities and the police force is not a new thing. From the Jim Crow era, to the unrest following the beating of Rodney King in 1992, to recent high-profile cases of police using seemingly unnecessary deadly force against minorities and the rise of Black Lives Matters—minorities have been given plenty of reason to fear their encounters with the police. And though police encounters Read More

Understanding California Criminal Record Expungement Eligibility

There are few things in life that can haunt you as long as a criminal record. One mistake can wreak havoc on your life for years to come. In California, residents who have been convicted of certain crimes may be able to move past their crime through a petition for dismissal -- this process is commonly referred to as an expungement. Not all convictions are eligible for expungement; but if you do have a charge that Read More

California Civil Contempt of Court: Here’s What You Need to Know

When a court makes a final ruling on a case, there is often a court order included that must be followed by the parties to the action. These orders are not just guidelines; they are specific requirements that must be met to avoid consequences and penalties. When the court order is not followed, it is termed as being in contempt of court. Direct contempt occurs in the presence of the court and typically includes Read More

Proposition 64 Beyond Recreation – Expungement and Resentencing for Cannabis Convicts

By a margin of about 56% to 44% California voters passed Proposition 64, making California the fifth state to legalize recreational cannabis. But the new law provides more than fun: anyone convicted of a marijuana offense under California law has the opportunity to get the new rules applied retroactively to their case. This can mean early release from prison for people currently serving a sentence. It can mean Read More

What to Do and What NOT to Do When a Restraining Order Is Filed Against You

Imagine your surprise when you find out someone filed a restraining order against you! Your first instinct might be to panic a little, because you aren’t sure if this goes on your record, and you don’t know what to do. If a restraining order is filed against you, there are specific things you want to make sure you do, and a few things you definitely need to avoid doing. Let’s review what actions to Read More

From Bad to Worse: 6 Aggravating Factors That Can Lead to Much Harsher DUI Penalties

If you drive with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, you are considered legally intoxicated under California state law and can be arrested for DUI. Given the number of people who are injured or killed in drunk driving accidents every year, tough laws have been enacted to deter impaired driving, but many people still assume that DUI is more of a ‘nuisance’ charge than anything else. Nothing could be further from the truth. Read More