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Do some people make false accusations of domestic violence?

Domestic violence is a serious problem for many families in California and elsewhere. However, you and others should realize that not everyone who is accused of abusing a partner or children is guilty of the act. There are many ways an innocent person can be reported to authorities for domestic violence.

Verywell Mind explains that false accusations of abuse routinely occur for many reasons. What are the motives for making a false claim of domestic violence, you may wonder? The following are common reasons someone may make such a claim:

  • During divorce proceedings, one spouse believes he or she can get full custody of the children by accusing the other spouse of harming them.
  • A partner may mistakenly interpret a touch or shout during an argument as abuse.
  • One spouse may be angry at the other one and try to get revenge on him or her by making a false claim of domestic violence.

Are roadside breath tests a reliable source of evidence?

If you have ever been pulled over on suspicion of drinking and driving in California, you may have been asked to submit to a roadside breath test. These machines are designed to measure your blood alcohol content level without having to take a blood sample. Law enforcement officers in California and across the country use breath test devices to determine whether a driver is intoxicated, without having to take them into the station for a blood test. Yet, these breath test devices may not always yield accurate results and in some cases, these erroneous readings could lead to the wrongful arrest of an innocent person. 

When using a breath test device, you must exhale a breath sample into the mouthpiece. It then measures the amount of ethanol alcohol found in your breath and converts that over to a BAC level. According to research conducted by the State University of New York at Potsdam, there are several factors that can alter these readings, however, and cause inflated results. Some of these factors include the following:

Understanding asset forfeiture

At Herbert Weston & Tanya Weston Criminal Lawyers in California, our mission is to aggressively defend the rights of people accused of having committed a crime. We consequently know that in some such situations the state government swoops in and seizes your assets. Often they do this even if the prosecutor fails to convict you of the alleged crime.

As reported in the New York Times, this practice of asset forfeiture goes by the name “policing for profit.” The government then sells your assets and keeps the profits therefrom. Now, however, the U.S. Supreme Court has called a halt to this practice that some have termed legalized theft. In Timbs v. Indiana, the Court held that the Eighth Amendment prohibits states from imposing excessive civil fines relating to alleged criminal activity.

Protect your rights while under investigation

When you are under investigation, it may seem like your rights are being violated. At Herbert Weston and Tanya Weston, Criminal Lawyers, one of our primary roles is to make sure that does not happen to our clients. 

Unfortunately, state officials might not be your source of risk when it comes to your charges. The person who has the most power to compromise your rights during a criminal investigation is you. You would probably not do this intentionally, of course, but the fact remains that you are likely to face police and investigators who will attempt to make you give up your civil rights without even realizing it.

What does it mean if a CPO is issued against me?

If you have been accused of committing domestic violence, you may have a restraining order filed against you. Some types of restraining orders are issued by civil courts. However, a criminal protective order (CPO) can be issued by a criminal court after a domestic violence arrest or in connection with a domestic violence charge.

This type of restraining order is initiated by the District Attorney’s Office, not the alleged victim of abuse. A CPO is issued to protect the alleged abuse victim during the criminal case.

What separates manslaughter from murder?

The word manslaughter sounds to the ears of many California residents as a particularly horrific act, which is why it may be surprising to learn that manslaughter is actually quite different from an act of murder. In fact, manslaughter is considered a lesser form of killing than murder. This distinction is important because a person may face more severe criminal penalties depending on the form of homicide charged.

FindLaw distinguishes murder from manslaughter by intention. A person who plans and orchestrates the killing of a human being is considered guilty of murder. The perpetrator may have been devising the act for a long time or decided to do it within the space of a few minutes. Some people engage in killing in the heat of the moment without any premeditation, but it is still considered murder.

Important information about California's new murder law

As of Jan. 1 of this year, a new California law went into effect that changes the legal landscape for violent crimes. Senate Bill 1437 scaled back the existing felony murder rule. This legislation made important changes to the state's criminal law that affect both existing prisoners and future prosecutions.  

The old felony murder rule allowed someone who committed a felony to be convicted of first-degree murder if a victim died during the act, regardless of whether the accused caused or intended the death. A real life example described in the Los Angeles Times is that of Bobby Garcia, who faced first-degree murder for a death that occurred during a robbery in which Garcia was involved. Garcia said he did not commit the murder, nor did he know it took place until told later at the police station. However, he accepted a plea deal of 25 years to avoid possible life imprisonment.

Authorities provide no rationale for California DUI charges

A 24-year-old man from Visalia, California, sustained major injuries requiring hospitalization in a collision between his pickup and another vehicle at a highway intersection in the community of Tulare on Sunday evening that resulted in the deaths of two occupants of the other car. Once doctors medically clear him, authorities intend to arrest him on charges related to DUI. However, no one involved in law enforcement has given any reason as to why authorities believe that the pickup driver may have been under the influence, so the rationale behind the impending DUI arrest remains unclear at this time.

Law enforcement officers reportedly analyzed the accident scene and collected evidence for several hours following the collision, which required roadblocks diverting traffic from the area during that timeframe. Based on that analysis, authorities claim that the pickup driver ran a stop sign at an intersection with Highway 137 while traveling north on Road 60. The resulting crash with the other vehicle reportedly killed the two women inside, a 67-year-old passenger and a 75-year-old driver. 

What are the consequences for Medicaid fraud in California?

Medicaid is a growing concern in California, forcing the state to take aggressive measures to fight and put a stop to it. If you are guilty of committing Medicaid fraud in the Golden State, you may wonder what your future holds for you. Without a proper defense and adequate legal representation, you face jail time, hefty fines and a tarnished reputation.

You can find California's Medicaid fraud laws at on the State of California Department of Justice website. If your crime involves making false declarations of eligibility—a crime that involves receiving or encouraging another to accept Medicaid benefits for which he or she is not truly eligible—the state may charge you with a misdemeanor or felony. Both may result in a term behind bars.

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Herbert Weston & Tanya Weston, Criminal Lawyers
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Vista, California 92083

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