A Look At California Trespassing Laws Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyDomestic ViolenceStalking
February 25, 2021

A Look At California Trespassing Laws

California law applicable to trespassing is contained in California Penal Code § 602 PC. Trespassing involves the unlawful entry onto the property of another without permission or any legal right. Remaining on the…
A Summary Of Five Post-Conviction Options Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyExpungementRecord Clearing
February 23, 2021

A Summary Of Five Post-Conviction Options

For over forty years, the Dolan Law Offices have provided post-conviction services including expungements to help the residents of the Coachella Valley clear their criminal records to restore their future…
FAQ: Can Domestic Violence Charges Be Dropped? Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyDomestic ViolenceSelf-Defense
February 18, 2021

FAQ: Can Domestic Violence Charges Be Dropped?

One frequently asked question is whether domestic violence charges in California may be dropped against an accused. Domestic violence has a myriad of serious consequences for perpetrators and victims alike.…
SB 1437 And California’s Felony Murder Law Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyviolent crimes
February 16, 2021

SB 1437 And California’s Felony Murder Law

California SB 1437 became law on September 30, 2018. This California Senate bill changed California law applicable to the crime of felony murder. This new law went into effect on January 1,…
About Voluntary Manslaughter Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyReduction of Chargesviolent crimes
February 11, 2021

About Voluntary Manslaughter

Murder or homicide involves malice, which may be express or implied under California law. Express malice is the deliberate intent to take the life of another human being. In contrast,…
When Can Someone Use Deadly Force In Self-Defense? Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneySelf-Defense
February 9, 2021

When Can Someone Use Deadly Force In Self-Defense?

In one of the most infamous self-defense cases in the history of American jurisprudence, George Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in…
Does A Defendant Have To Accept Alternative Sentencing? Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyDiversionMental Health Diversionpretrial diversion
February 4, 2021

Does A Defendant Have To Accept Alternative Sentencing?

Probation is a form of alternative sentencing. In California, felony sentencing guidelines provide judges with the option to impose either a prison term or probation. If the defendant receives probation,…
Can A Probation Order Be Modified? Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyProbation
February 2, 2021

Can A Probation Order Be Modified?

California courts may issue probation to defendants convicted of misdemeanor or felony charges. Misdemeanor probation, also known as summary or informal probation, allows offenders to serve most, if not all, of…
When Is Post-Conviction Relief Is Discretionary Under California Law? Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyProposition 36Proposition 47
January 28, 2021

When Is Post-Conviction Relief Is Discretionary Under California Law?

While some types of post-conviction relief are mandatory – meaning that a California court must provide relief if a motion is filed requesting such relief - other post-conviction relief is…
When Is Post-Conviction Relief Is Mandatory Under California Law? Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyProposition 36Proposition 47
January 26, 2021

When Is Post-Conviction Relief Is Mandatory Under California Law?

Criminal convictions, regardless of the crime, generally remain on a person’s criminal record until it is actively removed. There is no defined passage of time that will cause the removal…
About DUI Education - AB 762 Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyDUI Defensepretrial diversion
January 21, 2021

About DUI Education – AB 762

Based on an offender’s blood alcohol content and whether he or she is a first-time offender, California requires certain alcohol awareness programs to be completed by those convicted of violating…
How Does A DUI Affect A Driver’s License? Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyDUI Defense
January 19, 2021

How Does A DUI Affect A Driver’s License?

Anyone with a California driver’s license arrested for violating California Vehicle Code § 23152(a) VC (driving while under the influence of alcohol), and/or California Vehicle Code § 23152(b) VC (driving with…
About Motions To Suppress Evidence Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyReduction of Charges
January 14, 2021

About Motions To Suppress Evidence

In support of a defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights, California law, specifically in California Penal Code § 1538.5, empowers those who have been the subject of searches and seizures to move…
Remedies for Police Misconduct Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyPolice Misconduct
January 12, 2021

Remedies for Police Misconduct

Federal law and California law both provide remedies for those who are the victims of police misconduct. Any lawsuit filed against a governmental entity may seek damages for any act…
What Constitutes Police Misconduct? Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyPolice Misconduct
January 7, 2021

What Constitutes Police Misconduct?

What constitutes police misconduct under federal and California law? Police misconduct may take many forms. Citizens may suffer from police brutality consisting of violence or force that results from discrimination,…
Consequences Of A "Wet" Plea Bargain Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyDUI DefenseFelonymisdemeanorReduction of ChargesSentencing
December 11, 2020

Consequences Of A “Wet” Plea Bargain

California motorists stopped and eventually found to be driving while under the influence of alcohol face many serious consequences. Drivers in California who drive under the influence of alcohol or…
Abuse That Rises To The Level Of Domestic Violence Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyDomestic ViolenceSelf-Defense
December 9, 2020

Abuse That Rises To The Level Of Domestic Violence

In California, Family Code § 6203 FC is the statute that defines abuse for purposes of domestic violence. This statute is contained in the code section entitled “Prevention of Domestic…
About DUI Education - SB 1176 Criminal law attorneyDiversionDUI DefenseRecovery
December 7, 2020

About DUI Education – SB 1176

Individuals charged with DUI in California who are ultimately convicted must attend DUI School. This post-conviction requirement is a program of alcohol education ordered by California courts and/or the California…
What Is A Tahl Waiver? Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyReduction of ChargesSentencingWobblers
December 3, 2020

What Is A Tahl Waiver?

When accused of criminal charges, every American has important constitutional rights that must be protected. However, circumstances may dictate that a criminal defendant waives some or all these valuable rights.…
About DUI Education - AB 541 Criminal law attorneyDiversionDUI DefenseRecovery
December 1, 2020

About DUI Education – AB 541

California has many court-ordered DUI programs, which are designed to help DUI offenders receive assistance for their substance abuse and learn more about the dangers of driving while intoxicated. AB…
Overview Of The Expungement Process Criminal law attorneyExpungementRecord ClearingReduction of Charges
November 27, 2020

Overview Of The Expungement Process

The attorneys at the Dolan Law Offices are experienced criminal defense lawyers who specialize in helping Californians expunge their criminal records and move forward with their lives positively and productively.…
What Is The Difference Between Expungement And Sealing Records? Criminal law attorneyExpungementRecord ClearingSealing Arrest Records
November 25, 2020

What Is The Difference Between Expungement And Sealing Records?

Many people equate expunging a criminal record with sealing a criminal record. Often, clients ask about these processes and believe that both are necessary to achieve their needs and goals.…
Probable Cause And DUIs Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyDUI Defense
November 23, 2020

Probable Cause And DUIs

The United States Constitution requires that law enforcement officers have a requisite level of justification before initiating a traffic stop or arresting anyone. In drunk driving cases, there are two…
How Does California Define Resisting Arrest? Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyDomestic ViolencePolice Misconduct
November 19, 2020

How Does California Define Resisting Arrest?

California Penal Code § 148 PC defines the crime of resisting arrest. This statute also applies to obstructing a police officer from carrying out any of his or her duties…
The Benefits Of Early Attorney Intervention Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyDomestic ViolenceDrug-related chargesDUI DefenseFelonyJuvenile crimesmisdemeanorReduction of ChargesWobblers
November 17, 2020

The Benefits Of Early Attorney Intervention

Any criminal charge, especially those in the context of domestic violence, has serious consequences. A good criminal defense attorney retained as soon as possible after a criminal charge is filed,…
How Is Attempted Murder Defined In California? Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneySelf-Defenseviolent crimes
November 13, 2020

How Is Attempted Murder Defined In California?

California Penal Code § 187(a) PC defines homicide or murder as “the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought.” Attempting to commit a crime is…
What Is Harmful And Offensive Touching For Purposes Of Domestic Battery? Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyDomestic ViolenceWobblers
November 11, 2020

What Is Harmful And Offensive Touching For Purposes Of Domestic Battery?

The most common offense related to allegations of domestic violence, especially when charged as a misdemeanor, is a domestic battery under California Penal Code § 243(e)(1). Battery involves the willful…
How Are DUIs Prosecuted? Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyDUI DefenseWobblers
November 9, 2020

How Are DUIs Prosecuted?

A charge of “Driving Under the Influence” means a California motorist was driving with alcohol or other substances in his or her system. Once a motorist is arrested for drunk driving…
Willful Acts And Domestic Violence Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyDomestic Violence
November 5, 2020

Willful Acts And Domestic Violence

Domestic violence” is abuse or violence committed against an adult or a minor who is a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or person with whom the offender has had…
DUI And Diversion Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyDUI Defense
November 3, 2020

DUI And Diversion

Not every motorist who drives while intoxicated is careless and selfish for placing the safety of others in serious peril. Some drivers may have an addiction to alcohol or drugs…
About Prop 36 Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyDiversionDrug-related chargespretrial diversionProposition 36
October 30, 2020

About Prop 36

The Twentieth Anniversary of the passing of Proposition 36 is upcoming. Approximately twenty years ago, almost sixty-one percent of California voters approved Prop 36, otherwise known as the “Substance Abuse…
When Is A Hit-And-Run A Felony? Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyviolent crimesWobblers
October 28, 2020

When Is A Hit-And-Run A Felony?

In California, any individual who fails to comply with California Vehicle Code § 20002 VC after an accident occurs may be charged with a criminal offense. California drivers are required…
What Are Additional "Conditions of Probation" For A DUI? Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyDUI DefenseProbationSentencing
October 26, 2020

What Are Additional “Conditions of Probation” For A DUI?

Many DUI offenders are granted probation, which allows defendants to avoid incarceration. California imposes certain conditions whenever a defendant is sentenced to DUI probation. Some of these restrictions are dependent on…
What Is The Effect Of Realignment On Theft Offenses? Criminal law attorneyProposition 47Reduction of ChargesSentencingTheftTheftWobblers
October 22, 2020

What Is The Effect Of Realignment On Theft Offenses?

Proposition 47 created new misdemeanors and reclassified several felony theft offenses as misdemeanors. Proposition 47 also reclassified drug possession offenses under Health and Safety Code sections 11350, 11357(a) , and…
What Is The Effect Of Realignment? Criminal law attorneyProposition 47Reduction of Charges
October 20, 2020

What Is The Overall Effect Of Realignment?

Realignment is the result of a federal three-judge panel ordering the state in 2009 to reduce the prison population from close to 190 percent to 137.5 percent of design capacity.…
Factors That Affect A DUI Sentence Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyDUI Defense
October 16, 2020

Factors That Affect A DUI Sentence

Drivers in California who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs may be charged under California Vehicle Code § 23152(a) VC (driving while under the influence of alcohol), violating California…
What is a Post-Conviction Petition? Collateral SanctionsCriminal law attorneyExpungementRecord ClearingReduction of ChargesSealing Arrest Records
October 14, 2020

What is a Post-Conviction Petition?

Those individuals convicted of a crime in California have significant options in the form of a petition for post-conviction relief. Among other valuable forms of relief, a post-conviction petition may…
Distinguishing Child Abuse And Child Endangerment Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyDomestic ViolenceSex offense charges
October 12, 2020

Distinguishing Child Abuse And Child Endangerment

People often use the terms “child endangerment” and “child abuse” interchangeably. However, they mean and describe different situations. California criminalizes both types of conduct in separate statutes, California Penal Code…
Can Three-Strikes Defendants Get Parole? AssaultCriminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyGang-related crimesSentencingviolent crimesWobblers
October 8, 2020

Can Three-Strikes Defendants Get Parole?

Under California’s “three strikes” law in California Penal Code § 667, defendants may receive a prison sentence of 25 years to life if convicted of three violent or serious felonies.…
How California Punishes Misdemeanors Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyDomestic Violencemisdemeanor
October 6, 2020

How California Punishes Misdemeanors

California considers misdemeanors to be crimes for which the maximum sentence is no more than one year in county jail. A misdemeanor is more serious than an infraction but less serious than a felony. Examples…
Drug Possession And Diversion – PC 1000California Penal Code § 1000controlled substanceCriminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyDiversionDrug-related chargespretrial diversion
October 2, 2020

Drug Possession And Diversion

In California, Penal Code § 1000 permits certain nonviolent misdemeanor drug offenses to be diverted from the official records of the California criminal justice system. If a defendant fails a…
When Is An Ignition Interlock Device Mandatory? Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyDUI Defense
September 30, 2020

When Is An Ignition Interlock Device Mandatory?

An ignition interlock device is an apparatus like a breathalyzer, only smaller, installed on the steering column of a DUI defendant’s car. On January 1st, 2019, a new law went into effect in…
Self-Defense And The Duty To Retreat Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyFelonySelf-Defenseviolent crimesWobblers
September 28, 2020

Self-Defense And The Duty To Retreat

Like every jurisdiction in the United States, California law allows individuals to use force in self-defense. Of course, this privileged use of force is limited. Self-defense serves as a legal defense…
Is It A Crime For A Person To Be Under The Influence Of A Controlled Substance Or Narcotic? controlled substanceCriminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyDrug-related charges
September 24, 2020

Is It A Crime For A Person To Be Under The Influence Of A Controlled Substance Or Narcotic?

Preventing addiction to controlled substances is of utmost concern to California legislators. California Health and Safety Code § 11554 HS states in its entirety: The rehabilitation of persons addicted to…
What Will An Expungement Not Do? Criminal law attorneyExpungement
September 22, 2020

What Will An Expungement Not Do?

California Penal Code § 1203.4 PC allows individuals formerly convicted of crimes to reverse or expunge the negative consequences of their convictions. An expungement begins with a petition brought by a defendant at…
What Is California’s Per Se DUI Rule? Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyDUI Defense
September 18, 2020

What Is California’s Per Se DUI Rule?

California’s Per Se DUI rule is significant because it makes it a crime for an individual to have a certain blood alcohol content (BAC) in his or her body regardless…
Federal And State Law Contain Lifetime Firearms Bans For Domestic Violence Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyDomestic Violence
September 16, 2020

Federal And State Law Contain Lifetime Firearms Bans For Domestic Violence

Convictions in California for crimes related to domestic violence carry extreme and severe consequences for rights related to possessing firearms and even maintaining citizenship for immigrants. A domestic violence conviction…
What Is The Legal Definition Of A Criminal Threat? Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyDomestic ViolenceSelf-Defenseviolent crimesWobblers
September 14, 2020

What Is The Legal Definition Of A Criminal Threat?

California Penal Code § 422 PC defines a “criminal threat” for purposes of California criminal law. § 422 makes it a crime to threaten another person with immediate harm with the…
In California, individuals presently serving in the military, as well as veterans, who suffer from PTSD, trauma, or other mental health problems may be eligible for military diversion instead of jail time when accused of a misdemeanor crime. How is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) defined for purposes of a military pre-trial diversion program in California? Military diversion is one of three forms of pretrial diversion authorized by California law. Defendants do not have to plead guilty or no contest to obtain diversion. Instead, the court will postpone the criminal prosecution of the charges while the defendant participates in an education and treatment program. The military diversion program is usually only available to first-time offenders. Defendants with any prior convictions for the same offense are typically referred to Veteran’s Court, which provides greater structure and supervision than military diversion. Common misdemeanor offenses include possession of drugs, DUI, and misdemeanor assault and battery. PC § 1001.80 applies to cases alleging the commission of a misdemeanor offense if both of the following apply to the defendant: (1) The defendant was, or currently is, a member of the United States military. (2) The defendant may be suffering from sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or mental health problems resulting from his or her military service. Note that the disorder must have resulted from the defendant’s military service. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition experienced by some individuals who have experienced trauma such as combat or sexual assault. While some people recover from these types of experiences, others develop PTSD. Some may only experience “acute stress disorder,” that lasts two to three weeks. Symptoms of PTSD that last for more than a month and that seriously affect the ability to function should be addressed as soon as possible. Symptoms of PTSD typically begin within 3 months of a traumatic incident but may arise even years later. To be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress order, an adult must have all the following symptoms for at least one month: 1. At least one “re-experiencing” symptom (flashbacks, nightmares, and frightening thoughts) 2. At least one “avoidance” symptom (staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the traumatic event, and avoiding thoughts or feelings related to the traumatic experience. 3. At least two “arousal and reactivity” symptoms (being easily startled, feeling tense, having difficulty sleeping, and having angry outbursts) 4. At least two cognition and mood symptoms (trouble remembering important elements of the traumatic event, negative thoughts about self or the world, distorted feelings, such as guilt or blame, and loss of interest in activities. Upon successful completion of the treatment and education program, the court will dismiss the charges against the defendant. If the defendant fails to complete the program, the criminal proceedings will resume. California also offers a similar mental health diversion program that allows participants to get their charges dismissed and criminal records sealed. In the last decade, the State of California has moved toward reducing its jail and prison populations through pre-trial diversion programs. One program helps individuals who commit crimes that are low-level misdemeanor drug crimes avoid jail time. Mental health diversion and military diversion programs are also available. Instead of only focusing on punishment, these programs focus on helping individuals receive treatment for substance abuse, mental health problems, and military-related disorders. California pretrial diversion programs allow eligible defendants to avoid jail time by completing treatment and education courses. If you are experiencing mental health issues that have caused you to be charged with a crime, the resolution of your matter through the California PC 1001.36 diversion program may be available as an option. John Patrick Dolan is a California State Bar Certified Specialist in Criminal Law, the highest achievement awarded by the State Bar of California to attorneys in the field of criminal law. Call today at (760) 775-3739 or find out more online here. Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyDiversionpretrial diversion
September 10, 2020

How Is PTSD Defined For Military Diversion?

In California, individuals presently serving in the military, as well as veterans, who suffer from PTSD, trauma, or other mental health problems may be eligible for military diversion instead of…
Forms Of Post-Conviction Relief For Immigrants Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal law attorneyRecord ClearingReduction of Charges
September 8, 2020

Forms Of Post-Conviction Relief For Immigrants

For individuals living or working in California who are not U.S. citizens, a conviction under California criminal law may cause deportation or other generally undesired immigration consequences. However, after a conviction, all…