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San Jose boating under the influence attorneyWith California’s year-round mild weather, it is no surprise that nearly four million people enjoy recreational boating in the state each year. Unfortunately, dangerous boating accidents can occur, and nearly 25 percent of all motorboat-related fatalities involve alcohol in some way. California has laws governing alcohol use and consumption while you are aboard boats, much like the laws governing motor vehicles. Charges of boating under the influence (BUI) are similar to DUI charges, and an arrest can affect your driver’s license privileges, which is why it is important to respond to BUI charges as soon as possible.

Harbors & Navigation Code 655

California law states that no person shall operate a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This means that not only are you prohibited from using motor boats while under the influence of alcohol and drugs, but you are also prohibited from using:

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Santa Clara County restraining order defense attorneyOften, an order of protection, or restraining order, is issued as a result of a domestic violence allegation. In California, domestic violence is defined as abuse or threats of abuse when the abuser and the abused are in an intimate relationship, or are closely related by blood or marriage. If you have been served with a restraining order, it is important that you fully understand the things that the order can and cannot do and how it will affect you.

Who Can Ask For a Restraining Order?

In California, a person can ask for a domestic violence restraining order if they and their alleged abuser are:

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DUI conviction, DUI charges, first-offense DUI, Santa Clara County DUI defense attorney, DUI penaltiesCalifornia has relatively strict punishments for those caught driving under the influence (DUI). In the state of California, anyone who is suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol will automatically have his or her license suspended, a process called admin per se suspension, which is conducted by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). In addition to automatic license suspension, California poses serious penalties on those who are convicted of DUI. The penalties get more strict with the increasing number of convictions. If you have been charged with a DUI, it is important for you to understand the penalties that a DUI charge carries.

Basic Penalties

In the state of California, all DUI convictions carry certain base penalties. These base penalties include:

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underage DUI, San Jose DUI lawyer, adult DUI, drinking and driving, underage drinking consequencesThe number of underage adults who drink and then drive has fallen in recent years, but the issue still remains prevalent. In 2016, 15 percent of drivers aged 16-20 who were involved in fatal accidents were reported to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

In California, the laws for underage drivers who choose to drink before they get behind the wheel are strict. Knowing these laws and what punishments they carry can play an important role in your defense if you are charged with an underage DUI.

The Laws

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San Jose domestic violence defense attorney, types of domestic violence, domestic violence restraining order, domestic violence crime, restraining order defenseMore than 12 million people — both men and women — are affected by domestic violence each year. In the state of California, domestic violence is defined as abuse or threats of abuse to children, people in an intimate relationship, people who are closely related by blood or marriage, or people who live together. 

Types of Domestic Violence 

Domestic violence can manifest in several different forms, all of which are detrimental to a person's physical and/or mental health. Consider the following examples of domestic violence:

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Posted on in DUI

San Jose DUI defense attorneys, DUI charges, DUI, California drunk driving laws, DUI chargesWhen most people think of going on vacation in the spring they imagine getting away from the grind of work or exams and enjoying time with friends or simply relaxing. However, what starts off as a fun vacation may quickly turn into a nightmare if you are pulled over for driving under the influence.

The Risks of Binge Drinking and Driving

Eighty percent of drunk driving incidents in the United States are related to binge drinking, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. When a person is under the influence of alcohol, and especially if he or she has been binge drinking, the person may experience negative effects such as decreased concentration, blurred vision, and a reduced coordination and reaction time, which can cause accidents.

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San Jose DUI defense attorney field sobriety testsWhen a police officer pulls someone over on suspicion of drunk driving, they will be looking for evidence of the driver’s impairment. In many cases, they may ask a driver to get out of their car and perform a series of field sobriety tests, and based on their observations during these tests, they may decide whether to arrest the driver for DUI. If you have been pulled over, it is important to understand your rights and possible defenses against field sobriety tests.

Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has defined three Standardized Field Sobriety Tests that it recommends officers use:

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San Jose drunk driving defense lawyer St. Patrick's DayWhether someone is of Irish heritage or not, St. Patrick’s Day provides a great opportunity to get together with friends and enjoy a night out on the town. However, the large number of people who consume alcohol during this holiday has resulted in a spike in drunk driving accidents and deaths. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that between 2011 and 2015, there were 252 fatalities in car accidents involving drunk driving on St. Patrick’s Day. Due to the increased level of danger from drunk driving, police will be conducting DUI checkpoints in hopes of making arrests for driving under the influence before drivers cause dangerous accidents. 

Avoiding a DUI Arrest

People who are planning to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day should follow these tips to avoid being arrested for drunk driving:

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California sexual assault defense attorneyIn recent months, the news has been filled with stories of sexual assault, sexual abuse, and sexual harassment, and people have become emboldened to step forward and discuss the crimes that have been committed against them. The #MeToo movement has resulted in serious consequences for many people, including several well-known public figures. Under this increased level of scrutiny, some people may be facing accusations of sexual impropriety, and it is important to understand how California’s state laws define sexual assault and the possible consequences that can result from a conviction.

California Sex Crime Laws

In California, sexual offenses primarily fall into one of the following categories:

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San Jose domestic violence restraining order defense attorneyThe state of California takes domestic violence very seriously, and state laws allow someone who has been abused or is under the threat of harm to receive a restraining order to protect their safety. While it is important to protect the victims of abuse, false accusations against alleged abusers can result in a great deal of emotional distress, financial hardship, and damage to personal relationships. If you have been served with a domestic violence restraining order, you should understand your rights and the steps you can take to defend against the charges.

Restraining Orders in California

A person can seek a restraining order against a spouse, ex-spouse, domestic partner, close family member, or parent of their child who has abused or threatened to abuse them. When granted by a judge, restraining orders can require someone to stay away from the alleged victims and their children and relatives, move out of their house, pay child support and/or partner support, or follow certain other orders.

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San Jose prescription drugs DUI attorney, DUI charges, drunk driving, prescription drug DUI, impaired drivingWhile most people are aware of the dangers of drunk driving, they may not realize that charges of driving under the influence (DUI) can result from the use of prescription drugs. This issue has grown in prevalence in recent years, with California’s Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) reporting that 38 percent of the drivers who died in car accidents in 2014 tested positive for legal or illegal drugs. As a result, police officers are becoming more vigilant toward possible impairment, and drivers should be aware of their rights when facing potential DUI charges related to prescription drugs.

Prescription Drug DUI

Studies performed by the National Institute of Health have shown that the use of drugs that can potentially lead to impaired driving has increased in the past 15 years throughout the United States. These drugs include both over-the-counter and prescription medications such as anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs, muscle relaxants, sleep aids, stimulants, and allergy medications.

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DUI arrest, San Jose marijuana DUI attorney, DUI charges, legal marijuana, recreational marijuana As of the beginning of 2018, the sale and use of marijuana for recreational purposes is legal in the state of California. While many people are celebrating this change in the law and the freedoms it provides, they should be aware that marijuana is now treated much the same as alcohol, and driving while intoxicated by the drug can lead to a DUI arrest.

California’s Marijuana DUI Laws

California law states that it is unlawful to drive a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is also illegal to have an open container of alcohol or marijuana in a vehicle while driving.

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San Jose drug charges attorney, marijuana legalization, drug charges, marijuana DUI, recreational marijuanaAs of January 1, 2018, the sale of marijuana for recreational use will be legal in the state of California. While this represents a major change in state laws, there are still situations in which the possession or use of marijuana can lead to criminal charges. Users of recreational marijuana should be aware of how the law affects them and how they can avoid marijuana-related drug charges.

Marijuana Possession and Sale

Under California law, a person over the age of 21 can possess up to 28.5 grams (about one ounce) of marijuana, or up to eight grams of concentrated cannabis. It is also legal to grow up to six marijuana plants in one’s home, as long as they are kept in a locked area. Starting January 1, 2018, licensed businesses will be able to sell marijuana, as long as it is allowed in the county or city where they are located.

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San Jose domestic violence defense lawyerMore than 10 million people, including both women and men, are victims of domestic violence every year in the United States. In California, 33 percent of women and 27 percent of men will experience physical violence, sexual violence, or stalking from an intimate partner during their lifetimes.

These victims often struggle to put their lives back together after escaping from an abusive situation, and the state has been working to put measures in place to provide them with confidentiality and financial security. 

Protecting Victims’ Confidentiality

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San Jose DUI attorney, DUI accidents, DUI arrests, holiday DUI, drunk drivingThis past Thanksgiving weekend was an especially deadly time on roads in the Bay Area and throughout California. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) reported that there were 76 fatalities in vehicle collisions throughout the state, and 1,057 people were arrested for DUI, which was a 17 percent increase from the previous year.

As the holiday season begins in earnest, drivers should be aware that the rate of drunk driving accidents increases significantly during the weeks surrounding the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Between two and three times more fatalities from alcohol-related crashes occur during this season than during other times of the year. As a result, law enforcement will be increasing their efforts to stop drunk driving and increase safety on the road during the holidays.

Avoiding a DUI Arrest

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sexual assault, San Jose sexual harassment defense lawyer,  Harvey Weinstein, sexual harassment, workplace harassmentThe news has been filled with discussion of sexual assault and sexual harassment in recent months, due to a number of accusations against high-profile public figures. The allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein have been especially influential, leading to scrutiny of sexual assault laws and charges of workplace harassment.

This increased interest has been dubbed the “Weinstein effect,” and it has not only led to the possibility of more people being accused of sexual assault, but it has also resulted in lawmakers making changes to sex crime laws.

A Possible End to Secret Settlements

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DUI arrest, drunk driving, San Jose DUI defense attorney, DUI defense, Uber and LyftWhen someone drinks alcohol, one of the first things that is affected is their judgment. This impairment to a person’s ability to make responsible decisions is why otherwise-sensible people may get behind the wheel after drinking, and thus endanger people on the road—actions that can potentially lead to a DUI arrest or a car accident.

In the ongoing campaign against drunk driving, safety advocates have encouraged drivers to use alternate methods of transportation after they have been drinking. In recent years, ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft have become available, and these companies have claimed to have reduced the rates of drunk driving. But have they actually made an impact on public safety?

Differing Studies

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drunk driving fatalities, California drunk driving laws, San Jose drunk driving defense attorney, DUI prevention training, California barsDriving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or DUI, is a serious offense in California, and the state has a number of laws which aim to improve roadway safety and punish drivers who put others in danger. However, the prevalence of drunk driving continues to be a concern, with more than one-third of all car accident fatalities in the state involving drunk drivers. As a result, California is looking to implement additional laws in hopes of reducing drunk driving deaths.

Drunk Driving Prevention Training

Many advocates believe that drunk driving fatalities can be prevented if people intervene before someone who is impaired gets behind the wheel. Bartenders and servers of alcoholic beverages are particularly in a position to identify when people are too inebriated to drive and help ensure that they do not drive while drunk.

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campus sexual assault, San Jose criminal defense lawyer, sexual violence,  sexual harassment, sexual assault crimeOn September 7, 2017, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that the Department of Education would roll back guidelines which the Obama administration had put in place to fight sexual assault and harassment on school campuses. In response, the California Legislature has passed SB-169, which would codify these regulations into state law. The bill is currently awaiting signature by Governor Jerry Brown.

Taking Action Against Campus Sexual Assault

In 2011, the Obama administration put Title IX regulations into place to address the sexual harassment and sexual violence that occurs on school campuses across the country. These regulations required schools to adopt procedures to address complaints of sexual assault and take immediate action when any sexual violence is reported to address the effects of this violence and prevent it from recurring.

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San Jose sexual assault defense lawyerSexual violence is an ongoing concern in the United States, and even though the rate of sexual assault has decreased by more than 50 percent since 1993, over 300,000 people are victimized each year, with another person being sexually assaulted every 98 seconds. 

Sexual violence is incredibly damaging to victims; 94 percent of women who are raped experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and 70 percent of sexual assault victims experience moderate to severe distress, which is a higher percentage than for any other violent crime.

Due to these ongoing concerns, as well as some high profile sexual assault cases in the news, the state of California recently made some changes to its sexual assault laws.

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