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Providing legal counsel to San Jose and the Bay Area for over 30 years in the areas of criminal defense, personal injury, employment and disability law.
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California three strikes law, San Jose criminal defense lawyers, repeat felons, California felony offense, violent felonyIn 2014, the Northern California towns of Patterson and Westley were plagued by a serial robber who held up nine different businesses over the span of several months, reports the Patterson Irrigator. The robber was subsequently captured, put on trial in Stanislaus County, and was convicted. This conviction made him eligible for a life sentence under California’s Three Strikes law, as he had previously been convicted of two other robberies in 2003. 

CA’s Three Strikes Sentencing Law

California’s Three Strikes law was originally enacted in 1994 in order to significantly increase the prison sentences imposed on select repeat felons. The 1994 version of California’s Three Strikes law contained the following two key provisions:

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violent felony, San Jose violent crime defense attorney, criminal offense, California law, human traffickingWhether or not a crime is classified as a violent felony can be of vital importance in a number of different circumstances. For example, violent felony convictions can count as strikes under California’s three strike law, and under CA Proposition 57 the state parole board can now consider early release for certain prisoners who did not commit a violent crime. This all seems pretty straightforward until you pause to consider which felonies are seen as being “violent” in the eyes of the law.

Does the perpetrator have to inflict bodily harm during the commission of a felony in order to have committed a violent felony? Does simply waving a gun in the air while committing a felony make that felony a violent one? In other words, what constitutes a violent felony under California law? The answer lies in the CA Penal Code.

Violent Felonies Defined: California PC 667.5(c)

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California injury lawyer, California accident attorneyMedical professionals are needed in many personal injury cases including car crashes , slip and falls , and catastrophic accidents. While many accident victims are not concerned with this aspect of their case, medical experts are a crucial part of getting you the compensation you deserve under law.

What Medical Experts Are Used to Prove

Typically medical professionals are needed to prove three parts of your claim.

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California injury lawyer, California accident attorneyBurns present some of the most serious injuries and long-lasting complications. Once the skin is compromised by a burn injury, specialized medical care is often required. Burns can also be one of the most painful injuries that leaves behind permanent scarring.

Here are four key facts about burn injuries:

  1. Burn Injuries Are Categorized by Degrees

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San Jose sex crime lawyers, sexual assault,  indecent assault, sexual assault allegations,  criminal defense lawyerWhile comedian Bill Cosby faces lawsuits on both coasts in connection with various sexual assault allegations, it is his Pennsylvania criminal case which went to trial this week that is currently dominating the news.

The Washington Post reports that the 79-year-old entertainer is facing three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home back in 2004.

As each of Cosby’s three counts of aggravated indecent assault carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years under Pennsylvania law, the comedian could face substantial jail time if convicted. But what exactly is Cosby accused of? Because states in the U.S. use different terminology for equivalent criminal acts, some of us in California may be confused by the term “aggravated indecent assault” as our criminal code does not contain such an offense. Therefore, this article explains the crime that Cosby is accused of under Pennsylvania law and outlines some corresponding laws that we have in California.

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California injury lawyer, California accident attorneyBeing in a car accident where you are not at fault likely means that you have a claim against the at-fault driver (or his or her insurer) for your injuries and property damage. How do you know if you need an attorney to help you pursue this claim?

Typically, the type of your injuries is a good starting point in making this decision. A lawyer can greatly assist accident victims who:

  • Have high medical bills;
  • Require surgery;
  • Have had to take off time from work; or
  • Will not make a full recovery.

In these cases, the accident victim may be owed a significant amount of money in damages, including pain and suffering. Accident victims often undervalue the amount their claim is worth, and an attorney’s knowledge and experience can be useful in these calculations.

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Posted on in Personal Injury

California injury lawyer, California accident attorneyWhen it comes to dog bite injuries, many people first think of broken skin, cuts and bleeding. These are common injuries, but dog bites can cause other complications that are painful and require extensive treatment.

If you have been bitten by a dog, you should hold the owner responsible and speak to an attorney right away. Under California law, you should not have to suffer without compensation.

Injuries Dogs Can Inflict

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San Jose criminal defense attorneys, drug dealing charges, drug distribution law, controlled substance possession, drug dealing defenseGuns.com reports that a former Fresno deputy police chief was recently convicted of two drug dealing-related crimes—conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute heroin and marijuana. While the 53-year-old former deputy chief has not yet been sentenced, he is facing up to 25 years in prison and up to $1,250,000 in fines. Based on these harsh penalties, it is exceedingly obvious that the crimes of conspiracy to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute are serious violations in California.

Possession with Intent to Distribute

Under the California Health and Safety Code section 11351 it is a felony offense to possess certain controlled substances (for example heroin, cocaine, or LSD) with the intent to sell them. As you may have guessed, many possession with intent to distribute cases in California hinge on whether or not the defendant intended to sell the drugs that were found in his or her possession. In order to show that a defendant intended to sell his or her drugs, prosecutors present evidence in court demonstrating an indicia for sale (i.e. circumstantial evidence indicating that a sale was likely intended). Indicia of sale evidence in possession with intent to distribute cases often includes possession of large quantities of a controlled substance, scales, stockpiles of cash, paraphernalia commonly used for distribution (for example small plastic baggies), etc.

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California injury lawyer, California accident attorneyA future release of the operating system that runs on iPhones will feature a “Do Not Disturb While Driving” function. This feature will stop drivers from being able to access texts and many apps on smartphones.

The new feature is designed to reduce the number of motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving. The new function will be rolled out in Apple's iOS 11.

How Will the New Function Work?

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Posted on in Personal Injury

California accident lawyer, California pedestrian accidentWith the recent increase in pedestrian fatalities in the United States, it is important to understand what is expected of pedestrians and how pedestrians can avoid accidents with motor vehicles. Pedestrian fatalities occur in about 22 percent of all deadly traffic accidents in California.

Who Is a Pedestrian?

Pedestrians are those traveling on foot but also include many others. For example, rollerbladers and skateboarders are classified as pedestrians, but those on bicycles are not. Additionally, a person with a disability using a wheelchair or some other piece of equipment for transportation is a pedestrian.

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breastfeeding at work laws, San Jose nursing mothers rights lawyersIn California, breastfeeding is legal in all public locations, thanks to the California Civil Code, section 43.3. The code states that a mother is allowed to breastfeed her child in any place, except for the home of another, where the mother and her child are otherwise allowed to be present. In other words, if a mother and her child are in a public space where they are legally allowed to be, then the mother is within her legal rights to breastfeed her child.

But what about breastfeeding in the workplace? Do working women in California have the right to breastfeed while at work? In California, yes, the right to breastfeed at work is protected under California law.

The California Labor Code: Breastfeeding in the Workplace

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California accident attorney, California injury lawyerA recent study that looked at motorcycle accident fatalities nationwide has concluded that California has the second highest number of motorbike deaths in 2015. The only state with more motorcycle fatalities was Florida, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association study.

The study showed that across the nation, motorcycle fatalities had increased. More than 5,000 riders died in 2015, and increase from the 4,548 death in 2014. This means that 2015 was the third year in history that the death toll rose above 5,000.

The good news for Californians is that the overall motorcycle fatality rate was down 7 percent from the year before. Since there are so many riders in California, however, the total number of deaths was still the second highest in the nation, despite the decreased rate.

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California accident attorney, California injury lawyerMany people assume that a rear-end collision is an open and shut case. It is common knowledge that the car that hits the other car from behind is usually responsible for the accident.

In many situations, this may be true. However, there are always exceptions to the rule. Exceptions can be difficult to prove, so if you believe that you may not be at fault in a rear-end accident, you should speak to a lawyer who has a better understanding of traffic laws and determining fault.

Fault in a Typical Rear-End Accident

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San Jose employment law attorneys, employment regulationsMany California employers conduct a background check before hiring a new employee. However, there are both federal and state laws on the books that limit these checks and provide employees with certain applicable rights. For example, the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act applies to all background checks conducted on both existing and prospective employees and requires employers to notify individuals when information found by an outside investigative agency is used against them in an employment setting.

Additionally, California state law requires employers to notify both existing and prospective employees before an outside agency conducts a background check on them. There are also several other background check laws that California employers need to abide by, including a few new ones that are scheduled to take effect July 1, 2017.

California’s New Employment Regulations

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California accident attorney, California injury lawyerIf you are an accident victim, you should not have to pay for your medical treatment and lost wages. You should also be compensated for the pain and suffering you experience. However, some personal injury victims believe that because they were injured they are entitled to an unlimited amount of damages. This is not the case. California law imposes duties on accident victims, and failure to fulfill these duties could be used against you in court or by an insurance adjustor. This holds true for all victims whether you were injured in a car wreck, slip and fall, or any other accident where you believe another party to be at fault. Speaking to an attorney about what steps the law will require you to take is a good way to be sure that you are meeting your duties as an accident victim.

The Duty to Mitigate Damages

The law requires that accident victims take “reasonable” steps to mitigate damages. An accident victim cannot recover for losses that could have been avoided by taking ordinary care and “reasonable exertion.” [Valle de Oro Bank v. Gamboa (1994) 26 Cal.App.4th 1686, 1691.]

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San Jose criminal defense attorney, hate crime caseThe Federal Bureau of Investigation’s website defines a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity” and notes that approximately 5,500 hate crime incidents are reported by law enforcement agencies across the United States annually. Hundreds of these incidents occur in California each year. In fact, one highly publicized hate crime that occurred in Richmond, California and gained national attention last fall is once again in the news this week as the offenders involved were recently sentenced.

This case involved a 42-year-old Sikh man who was attacked one night while driving home. The Los Angeles Times reports that the victim was stopped at a red light when the occupants of a white Ford F-150 pulled up next to him, started throwing beer cans at his car, and then pursued him after the light turned green. Then, while stopped at a second red light, two men got out of the truck, reached through the victim’s window, grabbed him, and repeatedly punched him in the face while yelling profanities. Additionally, the attackers knocked off the victim’s turban, grabbed his long hair, and cut parts of it off with a knife. Cutting a Sikh man’s hair is culturally considered to be humiliating, so consequently the victim tried to stop the knife with his hand and cut his finger in the process. As a result, the victim’s pinky finger had to be amputated.

Based on this incident, two of the attackers were charged with, and plead no contest to, felony assault and committing a hate crime. Each attacker has since been sentenced to serve three years in prison.

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California accident attorney, California injury lawyerIf you rent a house or apartment and get injured due to a hazard in the premises, your landlord may be held responsible. The landlord will not always be liable, however, and there are many instances where liability is a close call. Because of the complexity of some slip and fall cases, it is recommended that a skilled personal injury attorney review your case.

What a Tenant or Visitor Must Prove

Because slip and fall cases are negligence cases, the accident victim that the landlord acted unreasonably as a property owner. It also must be proven that the landlord knew or should have known that the dangerous condition existed and failed to correct it.

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San Jose criminal defense attorneys, California marijuana lawsEver since California voters approved Proposition 64 (aka the Adult Use of Marijuana Act) in November 2016, there seems to be a good deal of confusion about our state’s current marijuana laws. For example, some people incorrectly claim that weed is now legal in California under all circumstances, and in all amounts. Yet others mistakenly believe that they can now smoke marijuana in area where smoking tobacco is permitted. However, this is not the case.

Anyone who has been charged with a marijuana-related crime in California, and who has a case specific question, should seek counsel from a local drug charges defense lawyer without delay.

CA’s Marijuana Laws Under Proposition 64

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California accident attorney, California injury lawyerMany injured people and their families have heard of awards for pain and suffering. In many cases, pain and suffering can be a sizable part of a settlement or award for a personal injury claim. Pain and suffering can be awarded in almost any accident, including car accidents, slip and falls, civil assault proceedings, and catastrophic injuries.

Some who are unfamiliar with the law assume that pain and suffering awards are arbitrarily set. People assume that this number is grabbed from the sky by a jury based on how they feel about the victim and the person who was at fault.

This is usually not the case. While pain and suffering seem like an abstract concept, there are ways that professionals who deal with personal injury cases assess what a pain and suffering award will likely be.

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San Jose criminal defense lawyers, California gang membersAccording to The Mercury News, three suspects were recently arrested in connection with a recent gang-related stabbing in San Mateo. On the night of the stabbing, police officers were dispatched to the 500 block of North Delaware Street after a 17-year-old was reportedly stabbed by six to eight male attackers. The three men who have been arrested in connection with incident were booked into the San Mateo County Jail on various charges and are suspected of being gang affiliated. Whether or not these suspects are in fact gang members, and whether or not the attack was carried out in furtherance of a gang, may end up being very important facts thanks to California’s gang laws.

California’s Gang Laws

In an effort to cut down on gang activity in California, legislators enacted California Penal Code §186.22 which makes it a crime to participate in a gang and provides for a gang sentencing enhancements for gang members and those who associate with them.

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