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santa clara county criminal defense lawyerMany people are under the impression that shoplifting is a minor crime that young teens engage in as a dare from friends. Still, the legal reality is that in California, shoplifting is looked at as a serious crime. In fact, a conviction can result in jail time for the accused, depending on the circumstances of the allegations and if they have a prior criminal history. The following is a brief overview of the crime. For more detailed information if you have been arrested, contact Fuller Law Firm for legal assistance.

Shoplifting Statistics

Data provided by the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) reveal just how prevalent shoplifting actually is:

  • There are approximately 27 million people in the United States who shoplift. This comes out to 1 out of every 11 people. Approximately 75 percent of these shoplifters are adults.


San Jose criminal defense lawyerOne of the most stressful experiences a person can have is looking in the rearview mirror and realizing those blue flashing lights and that siren is meant for them. Any interaction with the police can be intimidating, even if you have done nothing wrong. If you find yourself in this position, there are important things you should remember in order to help prevent the event from escalating.

Just Breathe

It is entirely normal to become nervous when you are pulled over, even if you have done nothing wrong. But if you are acting nervous, the officer may suspect that you have indeed done something wrong and request to search your vehicle. This type of situation can quickly turn into criminal charges or even worse.

Your Rights

Regardless of why the officer pulled you over, you do have constitutional rights that protect you. You do have to identify yourself when asked by the officer, however, you do not have to agree to a search of your vehicle. If they continue to ask questions or they arrest you, make sure to tell the officer you want to speak with an attorney. At this point, the officer is not allowed to ask any more questions.


San Jose drug crimes defense lawyerBeing convicted of any crime can have serious ramifications, but being convicted of a federal crime carries a heavy burden. One of the most inequitable areas of federal convictions revolves around federal marijuana-related offenses, especially given the changes the state of California has made regarding marijuana.

There is good news, however, for those with federal convictions in the form of a new initiative signed by President Biden in October 2022. This initiative will provide clemency for certain offenders to have their records expunged of their crimes and receive a presidential pardon.

The Federal Marijuana Pardon

As part of the Biden administration’s commitment to addressing the disproportionate impact that enforcement of cannabis laws has had on communities of color, the president introduced a three-step plan for pardoning federal convictions:


San Jose criminal defense lawyerJanuary 1st is not only the date many people choose to set resolutions, but it is also the date the state of California chooses as the effective date for many of the new laws that state lawmakers passed over the past several months. This year is no different. Included in the dozens of new state statutes are some key criminal laws that California citizens should be aware of. The following is a brief overview of those laws.

Alternatives to Incarceration

Under AB 2167, when an individual has been convicted of a crime, the courts are now required to consider other alternatives other than jail or prison as punishment. Lawmakers included wording in the statute that specifies their intent that the disposition of every criminal case in the state concludes with the least restrictive sentence possible. The goal is to reduce the number of people incarcerated in order to achieve better results when it comes to recidivism rates, reducing racial disparities, and better economic outcomes for those involved.

Some of the sentencing options that may be available are:


san jose criminal defense lawyerAlthough the media is often filled with stories about incidents where law enforcement overstepped their legal authority, there are laws in place to protect citizens when those misuse of powers occurs, especially if the citizen is charged with a crime as a result. One of the most important protections we have is the Fourth Amendment. This amendment protects from “unreasonable” searches by police. Read on to find out how this critical law can make a difference in your criminal case.

Obtaining a Warrant

The Fourth Amendment grants the right to citizens “to be secure in their persons, house, papers, and effects.” It protects against unreasonable search and seizures by police, meaning that an officer must have a warrant in order to perform a search. A warrant is a legal document issued by a judge that gives police the right to search, however, police are required to show probable cause why they think the search is necessary for obtaining evidence of a crime.

The police must also be very specific as to what areas they need to search – the warrant does not give police blanket permission to search anywhere – and what evidence they are looking for.

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