Monthly Archives: September 2008


I was arrested for possession of drugs. What are my options?

California law provides several options for possession of drug offenses, but the outcome depends on several factors. First-time offenders may be eligible for a drug diversion program that will allow you to attend counseling and ultimately get the charges wiped from your record. That option may not be available if you have a prior record […]

What is bail? How does it work?

With the exception of certain murder cases, almost every criminal defendant is entitled to having a “reasonable” bail set. So what is “reasonable”? What can an attorney do to try to lower the bail amount? How does bail work exactly? Bail is a “surety” designed to guarantee a defendant will return to court and face […]

What are the Miranda rights?

In 1966, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling in a case that dramatically changed criminal procedure. Whenever a person is “in custody” and being subjected to interrogation, law enforcement is required to inform them of certain rights. Those rights that must be explained to a suspect are: The right to remain silent; that […]

What is the “Three Strikes” law?

In 1994, California voters passed legislation enacting the “Three Strikes” law. If you are convicted of any felony after having two previous “serious” or “violent” felonies, you face a mandatory sentence of 25 to life in state prison. If you have one previous “strike” conviction, any sentence you get on a new felony will be […]

“One for the road?”

I have previously talked about how the blood alcohol level measured by the government may not be accurate. Because the blood alcohol level relied upon by the prosecution only measures your alcohol level at the time of the test, what else can affect your reading and may be a valid defense? Just like alcohol is […]