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Burglary Prevention Tips From the San Jose Police Department

According to the FBI there is a burglary every 15 seconds. In San Jose alone there are roughly 4,000 burglaries every year, which equates to more than 10 per day. With permission from the San Jose Police Department, we have condensed the tips from their burglary prevention resource page into an easy-to-read overview as well as an infographic that will help you keep your home from becoming a target.According to the San Jose PD, Burglars are looking for easy targets. They need homes that they can get in and out of quickly and that allow them to do so undetected.Jump...

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FOSTA – A Quagmire of Denial of Freedom of Speech

In an almost unanimous passage, the Senate Bill titled, “Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act,” has provided law enforcement with power which will undermine the rights of individuals to speak out. While it may sound very politically and socially correct, Craigslist has already removed its Personal Ad section, and so have other social media sights. In a nut shell the law will hold web sites responsible for what an individual may post. Therefore, if someone posted that they are willing to trade sexual favors for profit, the web site can be held accountable.This meant that Senate Bill 230, passed over 20...

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Flaws in Forensic Evidence

The office of the Santa Clara District Attorney’s “Conviction Integrity Unit” is going through the arduous effort of scanning previously sentenced individuals for details where microscopic hairs have been utilized in a guilty verdict. These tiny pieces have been used to convict persons from everything including rapes, child molestations, kidnappings, and murders. What has prompted this investigation is the recent overturning of the kidnap and sexual assault by Glen Payne, now freed, who served fifteen years for the crime.The case involved a two-year old child. The girl was found missing from her home in May 1987, and later located covered...

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Five Surprising Ways You Can Get Charged With a DUI

When most people hear the term “driving under the influence,” they assume that the driver was illegally operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol.In fact, DUI laws apply to more than just motor vehicles and alcohol; criminal charges can be brought against individuals who operate a variety of vehicles under the influence of any substance that impairs their ability to operate it safely.From bicycles to horses, operators are often surprised to be charged with DUI while under the influence of alcohol, prescription medications, marijuana and other substances. Those charged with DUI are subject to fines, loss of their driver’s...

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What is Drinking Culture?

In many ways, drinking alcohol in college has become a rite of passage: from TV, movies, and music, college drinking is portrayed as being as inseparable from undergraduate academia as grades and all-night study sessions.To put into perspective the pervasive use of alcohol in college, a recent national survey found that within the past month, almost 60% of college students had consumed alcohol with almost 2 out of 3 students engaging in binge drinking.Unfortunately, college drinking can have serious consequences. Criminal charges such as DUI or sexual assault are common, as are the negative effects on the student’s education, health,...

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Catch a Fire – Arson and Resistance to Gentrification in Oakland (CA Penal Code 451 & 452)

On July 7, 2017, a fire tore through the Alta-Waverly building, a seven-story, mixed-use building under construction in downtown Oakland. The heat from the fire was so intense, it was picked up on local weather radar and there was significant concern that an industrial crane, which was being used during the construction, might collapse onto adjacent buildings. I could feel it on my drive to the Summit Defense Law office in Downtown Oakland.  The fire destroyed the structure at 2302 Valdez Street, at the corner of 23rd Street, threatening homes and other businesses in the residential-commercial area northwest of Lake...

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Santa Clara County’s Collateral Consequences Policy and Avoiding Dual Prosecution (CA Penal Code 242)

Last month’s issue of The National Review featured an article by Pete Hutchison, lambasting Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeffrey Rosen’s “Collateral Consequences” memo and practice[1]. Hutchison seems to attribute all of the woes of most victims to Rosen’s directive to his office to consider the collateral immigration consequences for cases prosecuted by his office involving non-citizen defendants. Hutchinson’s diatribe is misinformed, misdirected and startlingly off-target. Which shouldn’t surprise most readers who have any idea of the roots of The National Review or its general opinion on all issues political, social or judicial.The National Review is a conservative, quasi-monthly magazine...

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San Mateo Embezzlement – Privatizing Criminal Prosecution to Circumvent the Constitution (CA Penal Code 503)

First District Court of Appeals Judge Martin J. Jenkins.In a decision that rocks the foundation of the U.S Constitution and will likely have far reaching consequences, the First District Court of Appeals ruled that a private law firm’s investigation and cooperation with the District Attorney does not make the materials used in that investigation subject of mandatory disclosure rules and the principles set forth in Brady v. Maryland.BACKGROUNDThe Seminal case of Brady v. Maryland dictates that the prosecution must disclose any and all exculpatory materials derived in the course of a criminal investigation.  This includes; evidence which proves defendant’s innocence,...

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Criminal Prosecution as Smoke Screen (CA Penal Code 192(b))

Criminal Prosecution as Smoke ScreenOn December 2, 2016, a fire broke out in a converted warehouse in Oakland during a music and art show hosted by the managers of an art collective based inside the building. Of the more than 50 people attending the event, 36 were unable to escape the flames and perished in the fire. It was an unprecedented and tragic loss of life that understandably destroyed families and tore a once tight-knit community apart. Six months later, the Alameda County District Attorney has announced that criminal charges have been filed against the man who ran the art...

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Voisine v. U.S.: Closing the Loophole (18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9))

Voisine v. U.S.: Closing the LoopholeThe United States Supreme court, in its decision in Voisine et al. v. United States, clarifies and narrows the application of a section of federal law that was codified more than twenty years ago. In its decision, the Court unequivocally states that the primary aim of the majority decision was to “close [a] dangerous loophole” left open by 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9) when it was ratified by the Lautenberg Amendment in 1996.Specific to the issue examined by the Court, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9) makes it illegal for anyone “who has been convicted in any court...

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