Statewide Traffic Tickets / Infractions Amnesty Program

If you are buried in traffic fines debt, you may qualify for The Statewide Traffic Tickets/Infraction Amnesty Program which will become effective tomorrow October 1st through March 31, 2017.

Under a bill passed by the Legislature, drivers will receive discounts of 50% to 80% on tickets that should have been paid before Jan. 1, 2013.

According to the Judicial Counsel, installment payment plans also will be offered. Californians who lost their driver’s licenses because they could not afford to pay the fines will be eligible to have them reinstated.

Those with parking tickets or convictions for reckless driving or driving under the influence and drivers ticketed in more recent years will not be eligible for the assistance.

There may be a court fee and a DMV fee to participate in this amnesty program.

For more information, please see the following link:  http://www.courts.ca.gov/partners/941.htm

If you have any questions, please give us a call.  (805) 330-1529

 

Haven’t Paid That Traffic Ticket ?

“Well over 4 million Californians have had their licenses revoked because they failed to pay traffic fines or appear in court, DMV records show.”

http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/transportation/article18635310.html

Check out our latest blog on proposition 47

What Changes to Criminal Law And Procedure Did Proposition 47 Bring About?

California voters approved Proposition 47.  The changes enacted by this measure are effective as of November 5, 2014 (Cal Const. Art. 2, Sec. 10.)  Numerous drug and theft-related crimes that were previously felonies or “wobblers” are now misdemeanors, unless committed by “Prop 47 Ineligible” criminals – namely, 290(c) registrants, and those with a prior for the very serious crimes listed in Penal Code §667(e)(2)(c)(iv) – such as homicide offenses and crimes punishable by death or by life in prison.

In addition to these reductions, Prop 47 also enacted new Penal Code §1170.18, which sets forth procedures for those previously convicted and sentenced for a felony that is now a misdemeanor under this proposition to petition for resentencing under the misdemeanor  provisions.  Unless a court determines that the person poses an “unreasonable risk” of committing one of the crimes listed in Penal Code §667(e)(2)(c)(iv), the petitioner will get resentenced, and his/her conviction will be deemed a misdemeanor for all purposes, except possessing firearms.

Except as to “Prop 47 Ineligible” individuals, the following are now misdemeanors:

Theft Related Crimes:

PC §459.5 – The new misdemeanor crime of “shoplifting” is entering a commercial establishment, during business hours, with the intent to steal, where the value does not exceed $950.  “Shoplifting” as defined may not be charged as theft or burglary.

PC §473(b) – Forgery of checks and related instruments of not more than $950.

PC §476a – Non Sufficient Fund (NSF) checks totaling not more than $950 (unless 3 or more specified priors).

PC §490.2 – Grand theft (any form) not more than $950.

PC §496(a) – Receiving/Concealing stolen property not more than $950.

PC §666 – “Wobbler” “petty theft with a prior” applies only to “Prop 47 Ineligible” defendants with specified priors, and certain elder abusers.  For all other defendants, petty thefts are misdemeanors, regardless of the number of priors.

Except as to “Prop 47 Ineligible” individuals, the following are now misdemeanors:

Drug Related Crimes:

H&S §11350 – Simple possession of heroin, cocaine, and other listed controlled substances.

H&S § 11357(a) – Simple possession of concentrated cannabis.

H&S §11377 – Simple possession of methamphetamine, ecstasy, GHB, and other listed controlled substances.

 

If you have any questions or would like to petition the court for resentencing, please call us at (805) 330-1529.

Prosecutor Misconduct During Trial

Does Your Criminal Case Get Dismissed When The Prosecution Deliberately Withholds Exculpatory Evidence ?

What happens when your defense team learns during trial that the Prosecutor deliberately withheld exculpatory evidence that they have a legal duty to disclose?  Under current law, the judge might grant a brief continuance to allow the defense to look into the evidence, can hold the prosecutor in contempt, and can also mention the lapse to the jury.

AB 885, which was cleared by both houses, would have changed the current law to require the judge to tell the jurors the evidence was intentionally withheld and that they can consider the non-disclosure as a possible sign that the prosecution was unable to prove its case.  This bill was introduced by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Fransisco stating “We need this bill to stop the few prosecutors whose zeal for convictions lead them to cut corners of Justice.”

This Bill was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown stating “Prosecutorial misconduct should never be tolerated” But he said AB 855 “would be a sharp departure from the current practice… Under current law, judges have a array of remedies at their disposal if a discovery violation comes to light during trial.”

Breaking News In Criminal Law

Breaking news in Criminal Law

The Governor signs AB 2492, a bill that eliminates the 90 day mandatory minimum sentence on H&S 11550’s.
This bill goes into effect on January 1, 2015. The bill does provide that if a person has suffered two prior 11550 convictions in the previous 7 years, the person faces a 180 day minimum, unless that person enters and completes a drug rehab program.

Drunk Driving Checkpoints

There will be heightened law enforcement presence during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.  This means that police are looking for people driving under the influence (DUI/”drunk driving”), not wearing seat-belts, driving erratically, people driving while texting and driving on a suspended license.  If you are stopped for any of these offenses, the penalties can be costly.

If you approach a checkpoint, you have the right to turn away, but be aware that police officers are generally placed in the surrounding area to observe people, hoping to catch drunk drivers.  Those officers may then stop you, mainly to determine why you left the checkpoint area.   Keep this in mind as you are celebrating during this holiday weekend.

Check out this article in the Ventura County Star