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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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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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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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San Jose criminal defense attorneys, convicted felon, felony criminal charges, incarceration, right to bear armsBeing convicted of a felony (i.e. a crime for which you can be sentenced to serve a year or more in prison) can carry consequences that reach far beyond the prison sentence that one will likely be sentenced to serve. Moreover, those facing felony criminal charges in California are often curious about how their rights and privileges will be impacted after rejoining society if they are ultimately convicted. 

The Right to Vote

In California, convicted felons lose their right to vote until they complete their term of incarceration and parole. This means that a felon may not vote while serving time nor while out on parole. Additional helpful information about California’s voter eligibility requirements can be found on the California Secretary of State’s website.

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