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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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San Jose CA hit and run lawyerNobody plans for a car accident to happen, so when it does, it can be overwhelming and confusing, especially if you are not sure what to do when you get into an accident. The one thing you should never do if you are in an accident is leave the scene of the accident without exchanging information with the other driver. If you do, you could be charged with a hit-and-run offense, which can carry some pretty serious consequences. Hit-and-run charges are no joke and should be handled by a skilled lawyer who has experience defending against these charges.

Felony and Misdemeanor Hit-and-Run Charges

There are two different types of hit-and-run charges in California: felony and misdemeanor charges. You can be charged with a misdemeanor hit-and-run if all of the following were present:

  • You left the scene of an accident;
  • You did not leave any information to the other party or parties involved; and
  • Another person’s property was damaged in the accident.

A hit-and-run charge does not usually become a felony until another party is injured or killed in the accident and you leave the scene without leaving any identifying information. Even if there is no damage to anyone’s property or no bodily injury, you can still be charged with leaving the scene of an accident, though the offense will most likely result in a fine.

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San Jose, CA gun chrage lawyerFor the past couple of years, gun laws have been a much-favored topic of discussion among politicians, scholars and the general public. Some people think that gun laws should be strengthened, and others think the current gun laws violate the Second Amendment, which gives us the right to bear arms. California, a historically Democratic state, has passed several new gun laws that will go into effect in 2019. 

AB 2103: Firearm Training for Concealed Carry

This gun law puts new training requirements for those who want to obtain a concealed carry license. Currently, the laws say that the training course must not exceed 16 hours and must cover firearm safety and permissible use of a firearm. Under the new law, the training must be at least 8 hours, but no more than 16 hours long. The course must also include firearm handling and shooting techniques. Applicants will also be required to demonstrate the shooting proficiency and ability to safely handle a gun.

AB 1968: Mental Health and Firearm Ownership

This law puts a lifetime ban on gun ownership for people who have been involuntarily admitted to a mental institution more than once within a one-year period because they were deemed to be a threat to themselves or others. This law goes into effect at the end of 2019 and will also allow those who do not qualify for this reason to appeal the decision every five years.

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CA labor lawyerSexual harassment has been a long-standing problem in the workforce. While federal and state employment laws are in place to protect victims against discriminatory actions, the #MeToo movement has helped to call attention to the ongoing problem. In Santa Clara County and throughout the country, Google is the most recent target of employee protests over the issue.

Golden Parachute for Accused Executive Spurs Backlash

On November 1, 2018, Google employees across the nation walked off their jobs in anger over how sexual misconduct claims are being handled by the company. In Mountain View alone, roughly 2,000 men and women took part in the walkout, which resulted from what they claim is an attempt to silence and downplay abuses of power.

The walkout centered around revelations that the tech giant had provided a ‘golden parachute’ for a top-level executive accused of engaging in sexual misconduct. The executive, who is credited as being the father of the Android system, was forced to resign due to the allegations, but employees were outraged when reports surfaced that he had been provided with a $90 million severance package. The executive is one of three executives that protestors claim the company is protecting against repercussions due to similar claims. They demand greater accountability and that more actions be taken to defend workers against these types of abusers.

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CA injury lawyerSan Jose encourages bicycles as a cost-effective, environmentally friendly form of transportation, which can help keep traffic congestion under control. While the city is showing its support by budgeting funds for on and off-street bike networks and pathways, there is still the need for public awareness in the community regarding the rights of bicyclists. A recent fatal mass transit accident  involving a commuter bus highlights this need while serving as a warning regarding the potential dangers all cyclists face in interactions with other road users.

Failure to Yield Results in Bicyclist Fatality

A Morgan Hill bicyclist was fatally injured in late October 2018 by a commuter bus carrying passengers on Bunker Hill Lane, near the Great American amusement park. It was reported that the cyclist was struck and killed when the bus driver made a turn but failed to yield the right of way, which by law he was legally obligated to do.

Owned by El Paseo Limousine, the bus runs a free commuter line, shuttling employees for various businesses through the Altamont Corridor. The accident occurred during the evening rush hour, just before 5:30 p.m. Officials say the driver remained at the scene and was cooperative with the officers in the investigation. Other than not following the yield requirement, he is not suspected of violating any other traffic laws or being under the influence.

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San Jose CA reckless driving charges lawyerSome people may think that a reckless driving charge is no big deal, but in reality, a reckless driving charge can seriously impact your life. Not only can you face criminal charges for reckless driving, but you can also face license suspension, fines and an increase in your insurance rates. Even though reckless driving is still a traffic offense, it has much more serious consequences than a simple speeding ticket or other traffic violation.

What is Reckless Driving?

California VEH 23103 is the portion of the vehicle code that deals with reckless driving. According to the vehicle code, reckless driving occurs when a person is driving a vehicle “in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” You can be charged with reckless driving in a variety of situations. These can including:

  • Excessive speeding;
  • Weaving;
  • DUI;
  • Street racing; and
  • Hit-and-run accidents.

Sentencing for Reckless Driving

In California, a basic reckless driving charge is a misdemeanor and can result in a minimum of five days and a maximum of 90 days in prison and a fine between $145 and $1,000. If the reckless driving incident resulted in death or bodily injury or you have a prior reckless driving charge on your record, those penalties will most likely increase. 

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CA injury lawyerThe reckless driving behaviors of motorists, such as distracted driving, speeding, and driving under the influence, are a leading cause of car accidents and injuries in San Jose and throughout the country. However, there are often other, contributing factors involved, which can put drivers at risk. In San Jose, crumbling roads are not only an eyesore and hard on your vehicle, but they can also increase your risks of a crash.

San Jose Named Among 10 Worst Cities for Road Conditions

While city managers seek funding for making infrastructure improvements, residents are left to drive on roads that are often potholed, covered in gravel, and in general need for repair. Unfortunately, the situation is direr than you may think. According to a November 2018 CheatSheet report, San Jose has been named among the 10 worst cities in the nation in terms of having bad roads.

The report lists San Jose as third in the country, falling behind Los Angeles and San Francisco, in terms of having the largest percentage of crumbling roads and highways in America. Traffic and road surveys indicate that roughly six out of every 10 roadways in the area are in dire need of maintenance and repair. This has the following impacts on drivers:

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San Jose personal injury attorney settlement police shootingRonald Wood, who filed an excessive force lawsuit after he was shot by a City of San Jose police officer in 2015, will receive a $500,000 settlement from the city. Wood, 53, was shot multiple times after police say he tried to grab a shotgun in a patrol vehicle. Jachimowicz Law Group contended that at the time of the shooting, Officer Daniel Morales should have already known the weapon was not loaded and was not in Wood’s control when he fired at Wood.

“This set of circumstances was unfortunate for both our client and the officer involved,” Jachimowicz Law Group Attorney Josh Jachimowicz said. “The resolution of this litigation is fair and takes into account the degree of the city’s liability as well as the impact of Mr. Woods’ future medical needs.”

Facts of the Case

Police responded to a call on September 24, 2015 in Monterey Oaks to check in on Wood, who reportedly said he was going to commit suicide. Morales located Wood sitting on a curb and spoke to him through his passenger window, and Wood eventually reached through and into a duffel bag in the vehicle’s front seat. Morales exited the vehicle and pepper sprayed and tased Wood. Moments later, Wood moved to the driver’s side and reportedly told Morales he intended to pull the shotgun from the center console.

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San Jose criminal defense attorneyIt is normal to feel a little bit nervous before your appearance in court because of criminal charges. It is important to properly prepare yourself for trial because judges will not take kindly to a defendant who is not acting properly or who comes unprepared. Preparing for a criminal trial is not difficult, but it does require some prior planning. Here are a few ways you can get ready for your criminal trial:

1. Prepare Your Evidence

One of the most crucial pieces of your defense is the evidence that you bring to the trial that supports your claim of innocence. Evidence can be in two forms: witness testimony and exhibits. Witnesses can be people who keep records relevant to the case, experts who are qualified to give an opinion about a certain part of the case or any other person who has relevant information about the case. Exhibits are items that support your side of the case. These things can include documents or other objects used to prove your point or disprove the other side’s point, records or photographs. Your attorney will be able to help you prepare the evidence. 

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CA injury lawyerWinter in San Jose can bring a mix of temperatures and weather conditions. Rainy days and colder evening temps mean there is a chance ice can form overnight and create slushy, slippery conditions for sidewalks, walkways, and parking lots. Any type of moisture accumulation increases your risks for slip and fall accidents, which can leave you suffering serious and potentially ongoing injuries. Take the steps now to protect yourself for the coming winter months ahead.

Winter Slips and Falls Injuries

We have all been there. You may be walking to work or out running errands over the cold weather season and you suddenly slip on a wet, slick patch. These occur both indoors and out, on neighborhood sidewalks as well as in stores and office buildings. Even if you do not actually fall, the abrupt movements associated with a slip or trip can leave you with serious injuries.

According to the National Floor Safety Institute, slips and falls account for more than one million hospital emergency room visits each year. Among the common injuries suffered include:

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CA injury lawyerIn the aftermath of an accident resulting in serious personal injuries, you may be entitled to seek compensation for the damages you suffered through a claim against the at-fault party's insurer. In cases involving car, bike, or pedestrian accidents or in slips, falls, and other types of premises liability cases, seeking an insurance settlement may be a viable option as opposed to having to take your case to court. However, insurance companies are a business and as such, one of their primary concerns is protecting their profits. The following tips may help in getting the most out of your claim.

Questionable Insurance Company Practices

The insurance industry earns billions of dollars in profits each year. In addition to making money through premiums paid by customers, they protect their profits by carefully monitoring the amounts they pay out in claims.

Insurance regulators frequently receive complaints against insurance companies from consumers who feel they were taken advantage of or otherwise treated unfairly. Nearly two-thirds of these complaints center around accident liability and auto insurance policies. Among the most common problems encountered include:

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San Jose CA domestic violence charges restraining orderWhen it comes to crimes such as sexual misconduct or domestic abuse, the laws are often protective of the victim, because of the serious nature of the crimes. This means that the accused are often harshly punished -- even if they did not actually commit the crime. There are many avenues a person can take if they would like to press charges relating to domestic violence, but one of the most common things you can expect to get out of a domestic violence accusation is a domestic violence restraining order. These orders can be highly restrictive on the person accused of domestic violence.

What is Domestic Violence?

The state of California defines domestic violence as abuse or threats of abuse that occur between two people who are or have been in an intimate relationship. Abuse is a broad term, but California law includes:

  • Physically hurting someone;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Making someone reasonably believe they will be hurt;
  • Harassment;
  • Stalking; or
  • Disturbing someone’s peace.
  • For the situation to be considered domestic violence, you must be in an “intimate relationship” with the other person involved. This can include relationships such as:
  • Married or domestic partners;
  • Dating or previously dated;
  • Living together or used to live together; or
  • Two people with a child in common.

What a Domestic Violence Restraining Order Can and Cannot Do

Because a restraining order is a court order, there are certain things that it can require or prohibit you from doing. A domestic violence restraining order can:

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CA labor lawyerThe loss of a job may come as an unexpected blow or it may follow months of whispered rumblings and rumors in the employee break room. In either scenario, the end result could mean not only the loss of income, but also changes in your retirement plans and the loss of important medical benefits. In these situations, a strong termination agreement can help to protect your current and future financial security. Amidst a recent layoff initiated by a local company, the following highlights some of the most important issues in these agreements, which workers need to be aware of.

San Jose Based Firm Lays Off Workers After Acquisition

San Jose based Broadcom Inc. recently caught employees off guard when they sent a mass letter informing them of layoffs that were set to be effective immediately. According to media reports, internal documents related to the cut indicate that the global tech giant planned to cut more than 40 percent of the employees that were inherited when it acquired CA Technologies, an enterprise software manufacturer. The cuts are expected to impact roughly 2,000 of the company’s more than 4,800 workers.

Broadcom, which has more than 11,000 workers worldwide, recently moved its headquarters to San Jose from Singapore. Prior to the move, the company had been embroiled in controversy when President Donald Trump cited national security concerns in attempting to block it from acquiring mobile phone chipmaker Qualcomm Inc.

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CA injury lawyerThe federal government recently awarded the California Highway Patrol a grant meant to support increased law enforcement and education efforts aimed at reducing the number of pedestrian and bicycle accidents in the state. Considering the fact that Santa Clara County ranks highest for the overall number of bicycle collisions, it stands to reason that a portion of that money will likely end up being used to benefit local programs currently in place.

Increased Enforcement and Education Efforts Focus on Pedestrian and Bike Safety

A program developed by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) was selected to receive more than $1 million in federal grant funds to support efforts at preventing pedestrian and bicycle accidents on roads throughout the state. The program is currently funded through both state and national agencies, such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Office of Traffic Safety. The additional money will be used in counties throughout California to help address the issues behind the more than 26,000 pedestrian and cyclists injuries that occur each year.

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San Jose CA criminal defense attorneyThe goal of the juvenile justice system is slightly different than that of the adult justice system. It is widely accepted in the legal world that juveniles have more of a capacity for change than older individuals, which is why the juvenile justice system is heavily focused on education, rehabilitation and prevention. California recently passed a law that will prevent juveniles of a certain age from being transferred to adult court for any charges.

New Law Keeps More Minors in Juvenile Court

The new law, Senate Bill 1391, states that all minors who are under the age of 16 must be tried in juvenile court - not adult court. This applies to all charges, even murder charges. This law was passed by California Governor Jerry Brown in September 2018 and will go into effect in 2019. The goal of this law is to help rehabilitate juveniles who are charged with crimes rather than just punish them.

Current Law Allows Juveniles to be Transferred to Adult Court

As the law stands right now, cases involving juveniles who are 14 or 15 years-old can be moved to adult court upon request of the District Attorney and approval by a judge. This new bill prohibits this practice and requires that all cases are heard in juvenile court. Proponents of the new law state that this greatly helps not only the juveniles but society, as well. It is known that teenagers’ cognitive capabilities are not fully developed, leading them to have a reduced ability to determine right and wrong or to realize the long-term consequences of their actions.

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CA workers rights lawyerIn any job, there are hazards you may encounter in fulfilling certain tasks that could put you at risk for accidents and injuries. Some job fields and occupations are inherently more dangerous than others, and it is important for employees in these situations to be aware of their rights. Employment laws in California require that certain safety standards be met and provide a clear path for workers to voice their concerns or complaints.

Your Rights on the Job

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the national agency responsible for ensuring job standards and protecting workers. They require employers to provide a workplace free of certain hazardous substances while regulating safety practices.

OSHA conducts routine inspections, provides educational workshops, and may cite employers for failing to adhere to the proper standards. They also require employers to post public notices informing workers of their rights, which include:

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San Jose CA DUI defense attorneyAlcohol has long been used for its intoxicating effects. In ancient times, alcohol was even consumed in religious and spiritual practices. Now, it is used recreationally as a beverage that allows you to relax and have a good time. 

Those of legal drinking age have a responsibility to refrain from driving while inebriated. In California, the legal limit for driving is a BAC of less than .08. Anything more than that and you can face legal consequences in the form of a DUI. However, alcohol often affects one’s body at levels under BAC .08. If you drink alcohol, you should familiarize yourself with these different stages.

Effects of Different BAC Levels

  • .02: At this point, it is not really apparent that you have consumed alcohol. You will have a slight loss of judgment, but for the most part you will just be relaxed and euphoric. You may also feel slightly warm. You will experience a decline in your ability to multi-task and your visual capabilities will be lessened.
  • .05: At this level, you will have similar symptoms as the previous level, but they will be exaggerated and more apparent. You may feel much more relaxed and have impaired judgment and lower alertness. If you are driving with this BAC, you will have less coordination, difficulty steering and reduced response time.
  • .08: This BAC level is over the legal limit for driving a motor vehicle. At this level, your speech may become slurred, your balance, vision and reaction time will be impaired, and it will be harder for you to detect danger. You may also find that your self-control will be impaired, especially when it comes to maintaining your speed, and you will also experience a reduction in information processing.
  • .10: At this point, you are clearly intoxicated. Your reaction time and control are poor, as well as your coordination. Your ability to stay in your lane and brake correctly are impaired. 
  • .15: This level of intoxication begins the messy and unfun stage of being drunk. You will have far less muscle control than normal and you may even throw up. Your ability to drive will be severely impaired and you will experience a significant difficulty in paying attention to the road.

Are You Facing California DUI Charges?

If you have been charged with a DUI, you need the immediate help of a skilled San Jose, CA DUI defense attorney. At the Jachimowicz Law Group, we can provide you with aggressive representation and fight to get you the best outcome possible. Contact our office at 408-246-5500 to set up a free consultation.

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CA accident lawyerThanksgiving provides time off during the week and a break from day to day responsibilities. There are likely to be numerous celebrations with family and friends, at which alcohol may figure prominently. Unfortunately, the chances of overindulging are high and despite efforts of law enforcement and traffic safety officials, too many people make the poor choice to get behind the wheel. As a result, drunk driving car accidents and injuries are common Thanksgiving week. The following offers tips to help keep yourself and those you love safe.

‘Blackout Wednesday’

Anytime there is a holiday, there tends to be a corresponding increase in the number of drunk drivers. According to Alcohol.org, people tend to increase their alcohol consumption rate by as much as 33 percent between the months of November through January. Thanksgiving is often seen as the unofficial kick off for the season.

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San Jose CA felony DUI defense attorneyTypically, a DUI will be classified as a misdemeanor offense when you are charged for your first, second or third DUI. However, there are circumstances that will lead to felony DUI charges usually if there is an “aggravating factor” present. It is important to understand how the specific circumstances alleged by police and prosecutors will affect your legal situation and the kind of penalties you might be facing.

DUI Causing Great Bodily Injury or Death to Another

One of the more common ways that a DUI will be classified as felony charge is by causing bodily injury or death to another person while you are driving. California Vehicle Code Section 23153 states that you do not have to have a certain BAC to be convicted of this felony charge. In order to be charged with this felony, you must have a measurable amount of alcohol in your system while driving and have committed a crime or an act of negligence that caused great bodily injury or death to another person.

Three or More DUI Convictions Within the Past 10 Years

The first three times you are charged with a DUI will more than likely be charged as misdemeanors. In California, there are what are known as “priorable offenses” a priorable offense is one that gets gradually more strict with each conviction. DUI is a priorable offense, so if you get more than three offenses within 10 years, your fourth offense will become a felony.

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Posted on in Catastrophic Injuries

CA injury lawyerAs fires continue to rage throughout California, our thoughts are with the victims and the thousands of people who have been forced to relocate as a result. As fire officials throughout the state work to get the blaze under control, there is another common fire hazard we want to warn you about. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, families in our area will spend the day gathering with loved ones, hosting elaborate feasts. The emphasis on cooking means an increase in kitchen fires, which can end up resulting in serious burn injuries. The following highlights how common this problem is and the steps you need to take to protect yourself and your guests.

Kitchen Fires a Hazard Over Thanksgiving

While people throughout our area hear frequent warnings about forest fires and the devastation they bring, there is another common threat this time of year which often goes unnoticed. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, Thanksgiving is one of the most dangerous days of the year for residential fires, impacting close to 2,000 families each year and resulting in $19 million in damages. The most common culprit in what can be a potentially life-threatening situation includes fires that begin in the kitchen.

Cooking a turkey and all the accompanying side dishes often takes up a large portion of the day. In addition to your stove and oven, there may be numerous other electrical or gas appliances operating at the same time. It is important to carefully oversee all of these preparations. Avoid having too many people in your kitchen and keep children in another room, out of harm’s way. Even a relatively minor accident involving flames, a hot pan, or kitchen grease can end up doing permanent damage.

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CA injury lawyerThere are numerous dangerous behaviors which most drivers try to avoid. Speeding, disregarding traffic signs and signals, and driving distracted or under the influence are all actions which are known to increase car accident risks. However, many people are unaware of the dangers involved with driving while excessively tired and fatigued. A national campaign aims at raising awareness of the problem and the potential risks.

National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week

Many of us maintain busy schedules, with work, school, family, or social obligations which keep us from getting a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, few are aware of how this can impact driving ability. As part of a yearly campaign, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) aims at shedding light on this serious problem. Held annually the first full week in November, Drowsy Driving Awareness Week coordinates efforts between law enforcement and public safety officials, to make highways and roads safer across the U.S.

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