Category: Uncategorized


Governor Brown Signs Important Legislation for Non-citizens Currently Facing, or Previously Convicted of Drug Charges

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Starting on January 1, 2016, any non-citizen convicted of a drug crime who successfully completed “DEJ”  (deferred entry of judgment) will be able to request the court to reopen the case and dismiss it.   This is excellent news for any non-citizen who wishes to legalize in the United States who qualifies under this new law.   … Read more

A YES Vote on Proposition 47 Means A Step in the Right Direction Reforming Our Criminal Justice System and Strengthening Our Communities

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On November 4, I encourage all of my clients and readers in California to go to the polls and vote YES on Proposition 47.  Proposition 47 reduces punishments for certain non-violent crimes and applies the resulting massive savings (due to reduced jail/prison sentences) to critical programs for our communities:  school drop-out prevention , mental health  … Read more

Don’t Be Fooled by “Informal” Probation – The Potentially Severe Consequences of Violating “Informal” Probation in California

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Probation Generally – Freedom with Strings Attached Probation is an alternative to a jail sentence.   Instead of sentencing a person to time in jail, a judge may grant probation.  This means that the person is released into the community on the condition he follow certain criteria set by the judge.   Simply put, probation is freedom  … Read more

Thousands of Federal Prisoners Potentially Eligible for Clemency

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The Justice Department recently announced a landmark initiative which will give thousands of Federal Prisoners the chance to seek clemency for non-violent drug convictions.  This is incredible for news for those who have been convicted of a drug crime in federal court and who are serving a lengthy sentence for a non-violent crime.  This means  … Read more

Listening to and Understanding Your Miranda Rights

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Everybody has heard the following dozens and dozens of times on TV and in movies:  You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for  … Read more

To Plea Bargain or Go to Trial?

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One of the most difficult choices a criminal defense attorney is forced to make is to advise his client to “take a deal” versus taking his client’s case to trial.   Less than 10% of cases actually go to trial which means that the vast majority of cases end with the defendant pleading guilty to  … Read more

The Prosecutor – The Most Powerful Person in the Courtroom

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Most people have the misconception that the judge is the most powerful person in the courtroom.   While this is true in some respects (especially during trial and sentencing), many are surprised that the individual who has the most power is the prosecutor.  Why?  The prosecutor, and only the prosecutor, has the power to reduce your  … Read more

Jury Trial or Bench Trial?

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Going to trial is rare;  less than 1 out of 10 cases actually go to trial.  Most cases are resolved before trial either by way of a pea bargain or dismissal.  In those cases where a trial is necessary, the defendant often has the choice to have his case heard by either a judge (a  … Read more