1. Getting Out Of Probation & On With Your Life

    Serving out a probation sentence can have a serious impact on your ability to live your life. It can restrict activities such as travel and give a bad impression to potential employers, loan officers, and even potential romantic interests. If you can’t wait for your probation sentence to expire, you may want to consider the possibility of seeking an early termination. San Diego criminal defense …Read More

  2. What Is Sufficient To Establish Reasonable Suspicion?

    Any criminal lawyer knows that before a law enforcement officer, who lacks probable cause to arrest, can detain someone and thereby curtail his or her freedom of movement, he must first have reasonable suspicion to believe that criminal activity is afoot. Reasonable suspicion must be based on "specific and articulable facts" that leads the officer to believe that (1) a crime has been, is being, or…Read More

  3. What’s a Motion to Suppress Evidence?

    A motion to suppress evidence is a formal request to determine the legality of the search and seizure of the evidence. This particular motion finds its legal authority in the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which provides, "[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warran…Read More

  4. 5 Key Benefits of Expungement

    Obtaining an expungement can provide a number of benefits to the recipient. Quickly learn about the key 5 benefits, as well as the eligibility requirements, from San Diego defense attorney Paul Hefley. 1. Employment: It's estimated that approximately 80% of employers conduct criminal background searches. It's easy to see then that having a criminal conviction on your record can have devastating ef…Read More

  5. Avoiding Harsh Sentencing With A Romero Motion

    In 1994, California’s voters passed Proposition 184, which created the state’s "Three Strikes" sentencing system. The "Three Strikes Law" significantly increased the penalties for second and third serious or violent felony convictions. If a defendant has a prior strike and commits a second serious or violent felony, she can have her sentence doubled. And if a defendant has two prior strikes an…Read More

  6. The Limitations of “Implied Consent” in DUI Cases

    On February 26, 2016, the Court of Appeal of California, Sixth Appellate District, released its opinion in the case of People v. Arredondo. The chief question in the case was under what circumstances may authorities seize a blood sample from an unconscious person suspected of drunk driving without offending the Fourth Amendment's guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures. Facts Shortly …Read More

  7. What’s a “Pitchess” Motion?

    A Pitchess motion is a pre-trial discovery tool that is regularly used by San Diego criminal defense attorneys when a defendant believes he was a victim of police misconduct. Examples of police misconduct include: use of excessive force, dishonesty in police reports, coerced confessions, etc. Pitchess motions are very common in resisting arrest cases. If, for example, a defendant states that he ac…Read More

  8. DUI Convictions and the “Watson” Advisement

    In 1981, the California Supreme Court decided the case of People v. Watson. Therein, the Court held that a drunk driver who causes a fatal accident can be found guilty of second degree murder. The Court's decision has since been codified in Vehicle Code section 23593 advisal. Upon being convicted of a DUI offense in San Diego County, the court will read aloud the following statement to the defenda…Read More

  9. How Does a Felony Case Proceed Through the Criminal Court System?

    California crimes are classified as infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. A felony is the most serious of the three and is punishable by more than one year in prison. Being charged with a felony can be a confusing time in one's life. As a dedicated defense attorney, my hope is that this brief overview of how a felony case moves through the San Diego County criminal justice system will reduce so…Read More

  10. Police-Citizen Encounters Explained

    The Fourth Amendment protects us from unreasonable search and seizures by government actors (e.g., police). To be exact, the Fourth Amendment states: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particul…Read More