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Difference Between Rape and Sexual Assault

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | May 06, 2024 | 0 Comments

In California, the terms “rape” and “sexual assault” are often used interchangeably in everyday conversation, but legally, these terms carry different definitions, legal standards, penalties, and defense strategies. Generally, you commit the felony crime of Penal Code 261 rape if you have non-consensual...

Determinate vs. Indeterminate Sentencing

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | May 03, 2024 | 0 Comments

If you're convicted of a crime in California, state law is usually quite specific regarding its sentencing guidelines. The judge pronounces a sentence according to the guidelines, which is the time you typically serve. However, there are other times, mainly with severe offenses, when sentencing...

What is an Arbuckle Waiver?

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Apr 16, 2024 | 0 Comments

If you have been charged with a crime in California and have entered a plea agreement, California law says you have the legal right to be sentenced by the same judge who accepted your plea bargain. This legal concept has come to be known as "Arbuckle rights," originating from the 1978 case...

What Are Exigent Circumstances?

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Apr 15, 2024 | 0 Comments

The Constitution's Fourth Amendment protects individuals against "unreasonable searches and seizures" by requiring law enforcement and investigators to obtain a valid warrant first—and then they must show probable cause to obtain the warrant. However, over time, case law has provided many...

Implied Consent Law in DUI Cases

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Apr 10, 2024 | 0 Comments

In the state of California, when you drive a vehicle, you are doing so under the understanding that if an officer arrests you on suspicion of DUI, you are giving your consent to submit to blood or breath tests to verify your blood alcohol content (BAC). This principle is known as "implied consent...

What Is the Difference Between Extortion and Blackmail?

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Apr 08, 2024 | 0 Comments

The terms “extortion” and “blackmail” are often used interchangeably. In California, they are treated as the same offense defined by Penal Code 518 PC and punished similarly. However, there are some nuanced differences between these two types of acts, even though the penalties for extortion and...

Defending Against Perjury Charges

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Apr 05, 2024 | 0 Comments

In the State of California, making statements under oath is taken very seriously—typically because, in many cases, the integrity of justice being served depends on the truthfulness of the statement.  Therefore, perjury is a serious felony in California as defined by Penal Code 118 PC. If you intentionally...

Can a Plea Deal be Nullified?

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Apr 04, 2024 | 0 Comments

Suppose you're facing criminal charges in California, and the evidence against you is reasonably compelling. In that case, your attorney may attempt to negotiate a plea deal—or, in some cases, the prosecution may offer such a deal. In a plea agreement, you agree to plead guilty to certain charges...

California Consumer Protection Laws

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Apr 02, 2024 | 0 Comments

California has long been at the forefront of consumer protection, enacting strict laws to safeguard its residents from unfair, deceptive, and fraudulent business practices. California's Consumers Legal Remedies Act is a set of laws that protects consumers from false advertising, fraud, and other...

When Can I Use a Firearm in Self-Defense?

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Apr 01, 2024 | 0 Comments

In California, you have the right to defend yourself against an attacker without retreating, and your right to self-defense will be protected, provided that the amount of force you use is proportionate to the perceived threat (not necessarily the actual threat).  This includes using a firearm in self-defense...

What Is Qualified Immunity?

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Apr 01, 2024 | 0 Comments

If someone violates your rights under the law or otherwise causes loss, you can sue them in court. However, when the perpetrator is a police officer or other law enforcement official acting in their duties, the government protects them from lawsuits unless a constitutional right has been clearly violated...

Proving Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Mar 25, 2024 | 0 Comments

In California, the criminal charge of “possession with intent to distribute” a controlled substance is a more serious offense than simple possession. Specifically, it's a felony as opposed to a misdemeanor. This crime is often called “drug possession with intent to sell” and is codified under California...

Do You Need a Lawyer During Police Interrogations?

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Mar 25, 2024 | 0 Comments

Let's review whether you need a criminal defense attorney during a police interrogation, even if you are innocent. If you are falsely accused of committing a crime you didn't commit, then you are not alone. Sometimes, it might seem harmless to cooperate with the police, especially when you think...

Zero Bail Policy in Los Angeles County

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Mar 22, 2024 | 0 Comments

In the fall of 2023, Los Angeles County implemented a significant change in its pretrial justice system by introducing what has come to be known as the "Zero Bail" policy.  This policy is a radical departure from the traditional cash bail system and fundamentally changes how the city's criminal justice...

Arson Registration Requirement - Penal Code 457.1 PC

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Mar 12, 2024 | 0 Comments

Most people in California are at least vaguely familiar with the requirement to register as a sex offender if you are convicted of certain sex crimes. However, these crimes aren't the only offenses requiring inclusion on a registry.  Once you have been convicted of arson or attempted arson, if you...

Can You Legally Drive with a Foreign License?

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Mar 11, 2024 | 0 Comments

California has become an increasingly international community, with individuals from other countries commonly finding themselves behind the wheel. Suppose you are a foreigner operating a motor vehicle. In that case, you're generally permitted to do so if you have a current license from your count...

Public Urination in California

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Mar 08, 2024 | 0 Comments

Some people are surprised that California has no specific state law prohibiting public urination. However, that does not mean you can't be charged with a crime for doing so.  Urinating in a public place can result in criminal charges under various state or local laws, depending on the circumstan...

Residential vs. Commercial Burglary

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Feb 28, 2024 | 0 Comments

While burglary is a serious offense regardless of the context, the State of California defines residential and commercial burglary with different criteria—and they are also punished differently. In simplest terms, residential burglary is considered first-degree burglary, while all other forms...

Cyber Harassment Law - Penal Code 653.2 PC

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Feb 27, 2024 | 0 Comments

The arrival of the digital age has also, unfortunately, come with new ways to harass, bully, and threaten others. For this reason, California legislators have passed new laws to address these issues. To that end, Penal Code 653.2 PC criminalizes the act of electronic cyber harassment, also known as cyberbullying...

Aggravated Assault Laws in California

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Feb 26, 2024 | 0 Comments

In the State of California, it is a crime to commit assault against someone else in any form—that is, to attempt to harm someone else physically. However, certain aggravating factors can make an assault charge more severe under California law, accompanied by the potential for more severe penalties...

California's Stand Your Ground Law

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Feb 16, 2024 | 0 Comments

Suppose you acted in self-defense against an attacker in California but are now facing possible criminal charges. You may cite California's "Stand Your Ground" law as a viable defense in that case. Like many states, California gives people the legal right to defend themselves against imminent t...

The Duress Defense in California

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Feb 13, 2024 | 0 Comments

Under California law, if you are charged with a crime that you committed because someone was threatening you with immediate harm or death otherwise, you may be able to claim duress as a valid defense. However, the crucial question is what constitutes duress. The duress defense, also called coercion...

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