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Fresno Criminal Law Blog

Robbery: a serious criminal offense worth fighting in court

Dealing with a robbery charge is not a walk in the park emotionally or legally. It is a serious offense that can naturally leave you feeling unsettled about your future and confused about how to defend yourself in the court system.

Fortunately, just because you face a robbery charge in California does not mean you are automatically guilty of this crime. As with any other criminal offense, the law presumes your innocence until and unless a prosecutor can prove your guilt in a court of law.  

The breath test: We're not talking Tic Tacs here

Do you use mouthwash? Have you ever taken cough syrup then driven your car? Does it sound ridiculous to you that the same question should pose those two things as though there might be potential negative consequences? If so, you may be among many in California who would be surprised to learn that all of the above can adversely affect the results of Breathalyzer tests.

Drinking and driving is a very serious and controversial issue throughout the nation. Many lives are lost when intoxicated people choose to get behind the wheel. However, on the other side of the issue, authorities falsely accuse many people of drunk driving, which devastates their private and professional lives; in fact, the courts sometimes wrongly convicted drivers and send them to jail. That too, is a tremendously serious problem.

I've been accused of a drug-related offense: What now?

Getting taken into custody for a drug-related crime in California can understandably be one of the scariest experiences you could face in life. After all, a drug conviction can have several repercussions leading to prison time and fines. In addition, a conviction can make it challenging for you to claim jobs in the future.

You could face many types of drug-related charges, depending on your particular situation, with a couple of the most serious ones involving dealing and trafficking/distributing illegal substances. Fortunately, a drug-related offense charge against you does not mean you are automatically guilty. Anyone facing criminal charges is always presumed innocent until and unless proved guilty in a court of law.

I'm facing charges for assault, now what?

Violent crimes are not taken lightly in court. If you are suddenly facing charges for committing a violent crime -- such as assault -- in the state of California, you could face numerous penalties that could have a drastic impact on both your personal and professional life.

This week's column will focus on what assault is, and what you can do if you are facing charges of assault or any other type of violent crime.

Gang affiliation means aggressive prosecution

Gangs are notorious for using violence to protect and promote their illegal activities, including drug crimes and weapons trafficking. Belonging to a gang as a youth may provide a sense of family and purpose, and not being in a gang can leave you dangerously unprotected.

How do juvenile and adult trials differ?

In many cases in which an individual considered a juvenile has been accused of delinquent acts, the decisions regarding how his or her legal proceedings will move forward fall to the parents of the individual. Therefore, as a parent, you will likely want to better understand how your child's case may differ from that of an adult legal trial. Additionally, you may want assistance when it comes to defending your child against accusations.

Major risk factors that contribute to gang involvement

What leads people in California or other states to become members in organized gangs? Some say living in poverty or residing in certain areas has something to do with it. While that may be true to a point, there appear to be many other risk factors involved that contribute to gang participation.

Using the 'involuntary intoxication' defense against criminal charges

There are many unique or little-used defenses against criminal charges, and one of those is the "involuntary intoxication" defense. This has been successfully used in the past, but only in very extenuating circumstances.

The Washington Post points out that the smoking cessation pill Chantix has twice been used as a defense of this type, because the effects of the drug made the person taking it act as though they were extremely intoxicated.

Because people reacted to the medication through no fault of their own, it was difficult for the legal system to hold them completely responsible for their criminal actions.

FAQs About Gun Rights In California

Owning a deadly weapon often comes with legal challenges. California has specific laws about the types of weapons that are legal and illegal, who can buy firearms and who can't, where you can carry a gun and where you can't, and much more. It can get quite confusing.

Here are a few frequently asked questions and answers about gun possession in our state:

What is 'Three Strikes' law in California?

In baseball, it's "three strikes and you're out." In California, the concept is similar. Three felony offenses and you're out of luck. Goodbye career, goodbye family, goodbye hopes and dreams for the future. You'll be facing a very long time - possibly a lifetime - behind bars.

But here's the good news: Depending on the facts of your case, a highly skilled attorney may be able to help you avoid the drastic consequences associated with a third felony charge.

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