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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.

Proven defense representation in a California drug-crimes case

Some California law firms advertise themselves to the public as “full-service” entities that advocate for clients across virtually every conceivable legal area.

Candidly, very few – if any – firms can follow through on that claim. And for those that do, isn’t it reasonable to question whether their acumen isn’t unduly stretched by overreach?

What are defenses to sexual assault?

A sexual assault conviction in California can result in serious and life-altering consequences, including jail time, hefty fines and a damaged reputation. Unfortunately, when it comes to sexual assault accusations, it is more often than not the victim's word against the defendant's. Most jurors show bias in the victim's favor, making it difficult for defendants to move beyond the case and forward with their lives in a positive manner. That said, if you were recently charged with sexual assault, you are not without defense options. FindLaw explores those options more in depth.

Your first defense option against sexual assault is a claim of actual innocence. From claiming you could not have committed the crime because you were in a different location at the time the incident took place to asserting that the plaintiff misidentified the offender, there are several defenses you may use to prove your innocence. Bear in mind that the prosecution has the burden of proving you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If you can create reasonable doubt, the jury has not choice but to let you off the hook.

What are the consequences of tax evasion?

Owing back taxes is not a criminal offense, though unpaid taxes can result in significant fees and penalties. However, if you attempt to avoid payment or assessment of your taxes by using illegal means, you may face criminal penalties for tax evasion, which is a white-collar crime. If you are guilty of tax evasion in California, you face several consequences including but not limited to tax liens, damage to your credit and possibly jail time.

Simply failing to forget to file and pay your taxes is not a criminal offense. FindLaw outlines what actions do constitute criminal behavior. Some such actions include failing to declare all of your income, deliberately overstating your deductions or expenses or attempting to avoid the IRS's scrutiny by failing to file a tax return when you have taxable income to report.

What are the consequences for a DUI in California?

Californian drivers may not know it, but the state is one of the harshest when it comes to dealing with incidents involving driving while under the influence (DUI). The penalties are steep and can impact drivers of all sorts, regardless of whether or not it's your first offense.

FindLaw breaks things down further, giving an in-depth look at exactly how California handles DUI cases. The first thing to look at are the penalties that a first-time offender can face. In many states, your first-time offense conviction will be met with punishment, but may receive some lenience if no other charges are involved on the basis that you don't have a history. In California, however, a first-time offense can result in:

  • 48 hours in jail
  • Almost $2,000 in fines
  • Months of license suspension
  • Finishing a 3-month alcohol education program
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Herbert Weston & Tanya Weston, Criminal Lawyers
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