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wheaton defense lawyerThis summer, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill that amended the state’s Domestic Violence Prevention Act to include reproductive coercion as justification for a protective order. The measure defines reproductive coercion as using force to control the reproductive autonomy of another person.  

Reproductive Coercion

When defining reproductive coercion, the new law describes “force” as applying unreasonable pressure, deliberate interference of access to contraception or reproductive health information, or using coercive tactics to control pregnancy outcomes. 

Examples of reproductive coercion could include a boyfriend tampering with his girlfriend’s birth control pills, intentionally impregnating her without her consent, or pressuring her to have an abortion despite her protests. 

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california defense lawyerGov. Gavin Newsom signed a measure expanding California’s emergency services so that victims of domestic violence can now contact local domestic violence centers via text and chat. Newsom signed Assembly Bill 689, dubbed the Comprehensive Statewide Domestic Violence Program, without comment last month alongside a host of other bills. 

Assembly Bill 689 Background

Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris, a Democrat from Laguna Beach who filed the bill in February, said “these additional tools and technologies will give survivors more ways to get help when they desperately need it.” She explained the technical services were needed because cases of domestic violence have increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to the bill’s summary, the pandemic has resulted in increased levels of isolation, job loss, and stress, all of which are often factors in domestic violence cases. Additionally, the pandemic has also forced police stations to close their reception areas out of fear of spreading disease, which further limits safe spaces for domestic violence victims. Therefore, victims turn to shelters and this increase in demand has caused a financial strain on those same shelters. 

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CA defense lawyerIf you go into a store in the state of California, steal something, and get arrested, you could be charged with either shoplifting or burglary. What you are charged with, though, depends on what elements of the crime the investigating officer can prove. In California, the crime could be either a misdemeanor or felony. So, when does shoplifting become a burglary? And, when does a burglary become a felony?

Shoplifting vs Burglary

According to the California Penal Code, there are two elements to the crime of shoplifting. The first is that you must enter a commercial business during normal hours of operation with the intent to steal something. In other words, you had to plan to steal something before you entered the store. The other element is that the value of the property you take cannot cost more than $950.

If you deviate from that definition, such as steal property valued at more than $950 or enter the store before it opens or after it closes, you could be charged with burglary. However, under state law, you cannot be charged with both shoplifting and burglary for the same theft.

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CA defense lawyerIn 2020, there were nearly 1.4 million reports of identity theft across the country. That is a 113 percent increase from the year before. If state and federal authorities were not already prioritizing investigating identity theft crimes, they most likely are now. California was actually ranked the most dangerous place for fraud and identity theft.

The Federal Trade Commission, which is tasked with leading the charge against identity theft, defines it as a type of fraud in which you use or attempt to use a person’s identifying information without permission. Like most states, California law regarding identity theft mirrors that definition. While there are many similarities between the two, state law has some specifics. So, what is identity theft in California?

Identity Theft

Identity theft laws are concerned with the misuse of personal information, so the first important question to ask is: what is considered personal information? Well, it is a wide range of things. It could be a person’s social security number, maiden name, bank account or credit card information, passwords, or simply the person’s name.

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CA defense lawyerEarlier this month, the San Jose Police Department announced they shut down a fencing operation involving the theft of high-end bicycles and construction equipment from the city’s downtown area. A “fencing operation” is a type of theft ring in which a central figure buys and sells stolen goods.

According to the SJPD’s press release, the suspect allegedly bought goods from a network of thieves for a fraction of the items’ actual value. Police executed a search warrant in May at the suspect’s house and found a cache of expensive bikes, crates of tools, stolen retail goods, and $20,000 in cash. They estimate the value of the stolen goods to be $100,000.

Given the transactional nature of the crime and the high dollar amount, what kind of crime is that exactly? At the end of it all, the suspect was arrested for receiving stolen property. In the state of California, that is considered a property crime, and it is called larceny.

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CA defense lawyerLast month, the Santa Clara County District Attorney filed two separate cases in which a Bay-area woman allegedly embezzled more than $300,000 from her employer.

In one case, a San Jose woman allegedly used a company credit card to spend more than $300,000 on personal expenses over a two-year period. In the other case, a Dublin woman allegedly used a false name to gain employment at a construction company and then funneled some $480,000 to herself with company checks.

In both cases, the women allegedly used the money to pay for phone bills, rent, vacations, and more. It is a reminder that state, county, and local authorities are still investigating embezzlement and other fraud cases.

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San Jose personal injury attorney Road Rage

A horrific shooting on the Costa Mesa highway has led to the announcement by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) that they may soon begin collecting road rage data that occurs on California roads. The shooting resulted in the killing of a six-year-old boy and, since the shooting, other drivers have reported multiple incidents involving the same couple who have been arrested for the boy’s murder. According to a CHP spokesperson, there are currently no vehicle code designations for road rage incidents for statistical purposes. Road rage incidents are not tracked because police say there is not a specific California law that makes road rage a crime.

Child Killed Over Hand Gesture

The tragic incident occurred last month in the HOV lane of the 55 Freeway in Orange County at about 8 a.m. According to police, the boy’s mother was driving her son to kindergarten when another driver veered into her lane and then cut her vehicle off. As the driver sped away, she gave the mother a peace sign. A few miles later, as the mother exited the HOV lane, she drove by the driver and raised her middle finger at the driver and her male passenger.

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Palo Alto personal injury attorney car accidentAccording to studies and data collected by insurance companies, the majority of drivers – even safe ones – will be involved in three to four vehicle accidents over their driving lifetime. Even a minor accident can be traumatic but knowing what to do in the event of a crash will help ensure you are able to collect whatever damages you may be entitled to from the at-fault driver. The following steps are recommended by the Palo Alto car accident attorneys at Fuller Law Firm. For more detailed information regarding your particular situation, contact our firm directly.

Do Not Leave the Scene of the Crash

California law requires all drivers who are involved in any type of accident to identify themselves to the others involved. Even if it appears no one has been injured or there is no property damage, you still need to stay at the scene. Not only could leaving the scene result in criminal charges, but it could also imply guilt of liability. Instead, pull your vehicle over in a safe area and out of traffic – if possible – and call 911 to report the crash.

Do Not Apologize or Admit Fault

It is human nature to automatically apologize for things even if we are not at fault. A car accident can be a confusing time, with emotions running high, especially if there are injuries involved. Do not apologize for the crash or admit it was your fault. You may think the crash was your fault, but further investigation could reveal the other driver’s liability.

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Santa Clara criminal defense Lawyer for COVID 19 fraud charges

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, the federal government took steps to financially assist the millions of Americans who faced financial difficulties the pandemic caused. Programs were set up that provided help to both businesses and employees through the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, and Unemployment Insurance programs. There were also relief funds established for health care providers. Unfortunately, while these programs have been critical to many people’s survival, they have also been the target of fraud.

According to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), there have already been more than 500 people charged with attempted fraud, with the total amount of funds allegedly stolen exceeding $500 million. Attorney General Merrick Garland recently announced that the DOJ is ramping up its efforts nationwide to “detect and disrupt COVID-19 related fraud.”

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Santa Clara County personal injury motorcycle accident attorney

The weather here in the San Jose area means that motorcycle enthusiasts get to enjoy riding for most of the year. For those riders that prefer the warmer weather, May’s arrival is the sign that it is time to get your bike out of storage and on the roads. Unfortunately, as enjoyable as riding a motorcycle is, it can also be one of the most dangerous, resulting in about 500 motorcycle accident deaths in California every year. Another 12,000 are injured. In order to remind everyone on the roads to watch out for motorcycles, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) has announced it is recognizing May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

May is designated as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month across the country as a way to encourage motorists’ awareness, and to educate the public on safety. The goal of the campaign is to reduce the number of motorcycle crashes and save lives.

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Santa Clara County criminal defense lawyerOne of the most anxiety-inducing experiences a driver can have is seeing the blue lights flashing behind them, signaling them to pull over. Even a person who is innocent of any wrongdoing can become very nervous and worried that they are in trouble. Unfortunately, for some drivers, being pulled over by a police officer does lead to criminal charges. One of the most common types of cases we handle at our Santa Clara County criminal defense law firm is drug crime cases that resulted from a traffic stop.

Probable Cause

It is important to keep in mind, however, that in order for a police officer to stop and question a driver, they must have probable cause to do so. In the United States, law enforcement is not allowed to just randomly pull vehicles over without a legitimate reason to do so. Something the driver did, or the vehicle needs to have repaired, alerted the officer that there is some kind of violation or crime being committed.

Some of the most common reasons that police officers cite as the reason they stopped a driver who they ultimately charged with a drug offense include:

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Santa Clara County personal injury attorney car accident

While any accident injury can have an impact on a victim’s quality of life, brain injuries are especially troubling. Even a minor brain injury can result in long-term effects. This is referred to as Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS) in which the victim suffers symptoms for months following the injury. A recent study has found that women, in particular, may be more susceptible to PCS.  

What Is a Concussion?

A concussion occurs when there is any kind of impact or sudden movement to the head that causes the brain to move or shake inside the skull, causing damage to brain tissue. The most common causes of concussions include car accidents, slip, and fall injuries, and sporting accidents.

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Santa Clara County criminal defense attorney

If you or a loved one is ever stopped for a traffic violation and suspected of drug possession or any other criminal offense, you will have several opportunities to make it either easier or harder for the police and prosecutors to arrest and convict you of such crimes. Here are some tips to protect yourself against common police tactics related to vehicle searches, which are purposely employed to intimidate, mislead, or lure you into self-incrimination. 

If Police Ask to Search Your Car, You Can Refuse 

If you are stopped on a traffic violation, that does not give the police an automatic right to search your car. Say you have been pulled over for speeding. After approaching your car window and scanning the interior of your car, the officer suspects you might have been consuming alcohol or marijuana while driving. But the officer sees nothing in plain sight that confirms his or her suspicion. 

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Santa Clara County personal injury attorney car accident

Drunk driving is a serious and pervasive issue in the United States. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that as many as 28 people are killed in drunk driving accidents per day. That is approximately one death every 53 minutes. Thousands more are seriously or permanently injured by a drunk driver. Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft claim to have made an impact, but have they really? Or are they simply contributing to more accidents? The following explores both sides and provides important information for car crash victims.

Studies on Rideshares and DUIs Have Mixed Results

While numerous studies on the potential benefits (or lack of benefits) of rideshare programs have been done, they continue to come up with mixed results. Some indicate that rideshare programs have not had a significant impact on the number of drunk driving accidents. These studies posture that it is only those who might have otherwise taken a taxi or bus who are using the popular non-driving option—not those who would have otherwise driven intoxicated. Others have determined that drunk driving accidents—especially at night—have declined since the inception of rideshare programs.

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Palo Alto criminal defense attorney drug possession for sale

While California is known for having more relaxed drug laws than many other states, there are still numerous criminal charges that can be brought against those accused of possessing or selling drugs in California. Being found in possession of illegal drugs like cocaine, LSD, methamphetamine, or heroin can lead to heavy penalties and jail time.

If a large quantity of drugs were allegedly found in your property or otherwise in your possession, you may be charged with “possession for sale of a controlled substance.” If you are charged with this crime, it means that law enforcement and prosecutors believe that you intend to sell the drugs allegedly in your possession. The penalties associated with possession for sale are much harsher than those that apply to simple possession charges. If you have been charged with possession for sale, it is critical that you speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney right away.

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Gilroy personal injury attorney motorcycle accident

Motorcycles are the epitome of American freedom, but they can also place riders at risk for catastrophic injuries. This danger is why there is an entire month dedicated to motorcycle safety, and why there are commercials and public service announcements that warn other drivers to “look twice.” Unfortunately, far too many drivers still fail to “see” two-wheeled vehicles. Learn more about the most common motorcycle crash injuries and what compensation you might be eligible for as a motorcycle accident victim with help from the following information.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by a sudden jolt or blow to the head. Either can occur even if the motorcycle rider is wearing a helmet. Yes, a helmet does reduce the risk, but it does not eliminate it completely. Symptoms of this type of injury can include persistent headaches, confusion, memory loss, difficulty sleeping, loss of consciousness, nausea or vomiting, slurred speech, agitation, dilation of one or both pupils, or clear fluids draining from the ears or mouth. Complications may include seizures, coma, permanent or temporary disability, and death.

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Alameda County personal injury attorney premises liability

Injuries can happen anywhere. Sometimes, they are simply accidents with no real traceable cause. However, a defective staircase, cracked sidewalk, falling object, wet or sticky floor, lack of security, or improper restraint of an animal is, most often, a case of premises liability

What you do in the days, weeks, and even months after such an incident can determine whether or not you receive fair compensation for any injuries you may have sustained. The following steps will guide you, regardless of whether the incident occurred at another person’s home, a government-owned property, public place, or business.

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Santa Clara County criminal defense attorney

When you are accused of a crime, it can seem like you have no control over your situation. The criminal justice system and the process can be confusing, and it can sometimes feel like a waiting game when you are in the middle of criminal proceedings. While you might have limited control over your situation when you are accused of a crime, there are certain rights that you do have. The United States Constitution guarantees specific rights to each and every U.S. citizen if they are ever accused of a crime. These rights were granted to citizens to ensure that each person has the same chance of a fair trial. It is important to understand your rights if you are facing any type of criminal charge in California. 

The Presumption of Innocence

When you are accused of a crime, you are presumed to be innocent. In California, the burden is on the state to prove that you are guilty of the crime for which you have been charged. This is where the widely known phrase “innocent until proven guilty” comes from. Going along with your right to presumed innocence, the prosecution must prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, which was put into place to try to prevent people from being incriminated on insufficient evidence.

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Santa Clara County personal injury attorney car accident

Being involved in any type of car accident is a traumatic ordeal, but when you are hit by an uninsured motorist, the situation becomes even more concerning. In addition to substantial property damage, automobile collisions can also cause severe physical damage including traumatic brain injuries (TBI), head and neck injuries, whiplash, broken bones, internal organ damage, skin burns, and more. These injuries often require expensive medical treatment including surgery and long-term physical therapy. 

When a motorist is involved in a car accident and the responsible party does not have auto insurance, the damaged individual may assume that there is no way to recover compensation for his or her losses. Fortunately, there are several avenues that may help you collect compensation for damages caused in an uninsured motorist car accident.

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Fremont criminal defense attorney domestic abuse

Abuse is something that no one should have to experience. It can leave lasting damage, physically, mentally, and emotionally. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, approximately 24 people per minute are victims of physical violence, rape, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States. That equates to more than 12 million men and women over a year’s time. The term “domestic abuse” sounds physical, but it actually encompasses a number of different actions or behaviors. In other words, if you have engaged in any of the following forms of abuse, you could face criminal charges related to domestic abuse.

Different Forms of Abuse

There are various forms of abuse that can lead to criminal charges, even if no physical altercations occurred. Before understanding which actions can lead to charges, one should know the different types of abuse, aside from physical abuse, to identify toxic behavior:

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