The most exposure that the average California resident gets to the criminal justice system is through watching television shows like "CSI" or "Law and Order." While these shows can be entertaining, and on certain points, accurate, the real work of many of the people involved in the nuts-and-bolts process of the criminal justice system takes place "behind the scenes," such as interpreting the law through criminal appeals.
For instance, a case is currently working its way through the appellate process in California that could impact thousands of people. The issue? - Whether or not carrying a gun in a backpack is considered "concealed carry."
When the case was originally heard in the trial level court, the judge dismissed the charges, stating that carrying a gun in a backpack is not the type of "concealed carry" that the law was intended to prohibit. The case originated when a male suspect was arrested while allegedly carrying a gun in his backpack. The charges that were filed against him included allegations regarding the firearm.
However, an intermediate appellate level court reinstated the charges against the suspect on appeal, holding that even though the gun was in the man's backpack instead of, say, in his waistband, the gun was still "readily accessible." But, this isn't the end of this case - the suspect's criminal defense attorney has filed to appeal this decision with the California Supreme Court. A decision on whether or not the high court will hear the case is expected within the next few months.