Bail is a payment made to the court allowing a defendant to be released from custody, and is fully returned once that defendant appears for all court appearances. Courts will also accept property with a value of twice the set bail amount. Instead of paying the full bail amount directly to the court, you have… Read More
DUI’s or other criminal convictions may prevent your travel to Canada
Generally speaking citizens and permanent residents of the US (Green Card holders) do not require a special permit or visa to travel or enter Canada as tourists. However, a criminal conviction may prevent your entry into Canadian territory since individuals are required to present proof of their legal status in the United States at… Read More
Grand Juries – Role, Duties in Criminal Justice System
Grand juries differ from trial juries in that they meet in secret proceedings and they don’t decide whether an individual is guilty of a crime, but instead they meet to decide whether an individual should be indicted (charge) for an alleged crime. Grand juries listen to preliminary evidence. The individuals who serve on a grand… Read More
What is Hearsay?
Hearsay is a statement or some conduct that is similar to a statement or assertion that is made out of the court and is offered into evidence as truth. For example, when a police officer wants to obtain an arrest warrant he may offer the judge issuing the warrant a statement made by a confidential… Read More
What is a Hate Crime?
One commits a hate crime when he or she commits a crime against an individual or individuals who belong to specific social groups that legislators believe deserve and need special protection (e.g., sexual orientation, religious beliefs, ethnic groups, etc.). Although hate crime laws vary state by state, a hate crime occurs, in general, when an… Read More
What is an Arrest Warrant? Police may search for Drugs or Guns.
A search warrant is a document, or an ORDER signed by a judge, which gives police officers authorization to search for specific items or material at a specified time and location. Therefore, when a judge authorizes a police officer to search a dwelling on a date and time and for specific objects or materials a… Read More
Talking To The Police: After You are Arrested, Part 2
A detention or an arrest occurs when a police officer deprives a person (suspect) of freedom. This can occur whether the person is is out on the scene of a crime, or in jail. After an arrest police will commonly question the suspect. However, the suspect has two rights granted by the U.S. Constitution: 1…. Read More
Talking To The Police: Not in Custody, Part 1
If you have not been placed under arrest should you answer questions from a police officer? Generally speaking, a police officer may stop you on the street to ask you a question. For example, if the officer believes you were involved in a crime he may ask for your identification card, but only if he… Read More
The BART shooting case was never a murder case
As tragic as the shooting death of Oscar Grant was, the case against Officer Mehserle was always an accidental shooting case, not a murder case. Every day in the United States innocent people are accidently killed by guns. Usually it is children who are killed while playing with the gun of an adult relative. In… Read More
San Francisco Criminal Cases Dismissed with a Civil Compromise
California Penal Code Sections 1377 and 1378 allow for some criminal cases to be dismissed when the victim is reimbursed for damages. This underutilized defense to criminal cases is called a Civil Compromise. When the case involves property damage and no violence occured and the vicitim is cooperative, the defense can make a motion to… Read More