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Posts Tagged ‘Criminal Law’

Should California Decriminalize the Use and Possession of Marijuana?

Monday, July 19th, 2010

This coming November California voters will be presented with a Proposition that will decriminalize and tax the use and possession of marijuana if enacted.  Proponents, of what is otherwise known as Proposition 19, argue the fact the initiative will generate millions of dollars in tax revenues in support of the measure.  Opponents argue quite forcefully and logically: why would any one support a measure that essentially supports people getting high?

This writer certainly shares the measure’s opponents concerns about recreational drug use and abuse, and opposes same, but as a practicing criminal defense attorney, I also know that there is a terrible disparity in society’s enforcement of its drug laws along racial and ethnic lines.  And, our society has spent billions of dollars, has ruined perhaps an many as millions of lives, and has the highest incarceration rate in the world, because of our so called war on drugs.

Our scheme of drug laws in archaic, doesn’t work, and is to expensive to enforce in our current economic times.  Along with its predecessors, Proposition 215, the 1996 initiative allowing for the medicinal use of marijuana, and Proposition 36, the 2000 initiative allowing an opportunity for first and second time drug possession offenders to be placed in treatment, rather than incarcerated, Proposition 19 appears to be another step in the right direction.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for a drug crime in Santa Clara County, contact the San Jose drug lawyers at the Law Offices of Bernard P. Bray.

It Must Be the Economy!

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

As I recently commented, statistics for domestic violence in Santa Clara County for 2009 were staggering.  I was initially taken back by the increase in domestic violence related deaths, and opined that perhaps one reason for the jump was the downturn in the economy. 

Statistics also show that the general jump cuts across all socio-economic lines.  Even in high end Los Gatos – Monte Sereno there was a year over year, 2008 to 2009, increase in domestic violence related case arrests of 32 percent. 

Unquestionably, the economic stress associated with the recession has pushed some families to the economic brink, and the consequences can be sometimes awful.  But any arrest, let alone one for domestic violence, can ruin a life, and even an entire family.  

Domestic violence is a serious social problem with awful consequences for everyone.  Attorney Bernard P. Bray has many years of experience successfully dealing with domestic violence issues, and assisting clients and their families in minimizing the impact of an arrest for a domestic violence related offense.    Should you have questions regarding domestic violence, or should you or a loved one need effective representation because of a domestic violence related arrest please call San Jose Criminal Defense Lawyer Bernard P. Bray at (408) 292-9700.

Why Blood Alcohol Concentrations of .15% Matter?

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Pursuant to California Vehicle Code section 23578, persons convicted of driving under the influence in California can expect enhanced penalties in sentencing when they admit to having driven with a blood alcohol concentration of .15% or higher.

The reason for this enhancement is justified by statistics.  Most drivers who have consumed alcohol have low blood alcohol concentrations, and few of these drivers are involved in fatal crashes.  On the hand, while only a relatively few number of drivers have blood alcohol concentrations higher than .15%, a much higher proportion of those drivers have fatal crashes.

If you have questions regarding California DUI law, or should you or a loved have had the misfortune of a DUI arrest, protect yourself to the fullest extent possible, call San Jose DUI Lawyer Bernard P. Bray.

DUI Checkpoints, A Potential Gold Mine For Cash Strapped Local Governments?

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

DUI checkpoints are a direct method of clearing our roads of drunken drivers, but they are also providing a much needed unintended source of cash for local governments.  Pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 14602.6 Police Officers may on the spot seize cars driven by unlicensed motorists, and subject them to a 30 day impoundment.  Interestingly, more cars were seized from unlicensed California drivers in 2009 at DUI checkpoints, than suspected drunken drivers that were arrested.

An Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California Berkeley recently reported that California DUI check points generated an estimated $40 million in towing costs and administrative fees from seizing cars from unlicensed drivers in 2009, money that was shared by local governments and towing firms.

The law provides that responsibility for paying storage, towing and administrative charges is the responsibility of all registered owners of the cars that are seized as the result of having been driven by unlicensed drivers.  The administrative charges assessed by local governments significantly run up the bill.  And, all Cities, Counties, and the State, are all entitled to access these fees pursuant to California Vehicle Code section 22850.5.

Currently sobriety checkpoints that the California Highway Patrol operates do not result in administrative fees being accessed on seized vehicles that are driven by unlicensed drivers, but it appears only to be a matter of time before the State of California gets on board, and edges in on the extra income generating scheme.

If you have questions regarding California DUI sobriety check points, or should you or a loved have had the misfortune of a DUI arrest, protect yourself to the fullest extent possible, call San Jose DUI Lawyer Bernard P. Bray.

The Oldest Profession Alive and Well in San Jose?

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

As anyone who has ever perused a copy of the San Jose Metro, or who has ever visited extremely popular SFREDBOOK.COM already knows, the world’s oldest profession is apparently very alive and well in San Jose and Santa Clara County.

Prostitution is an agreement between consenting people to provide sexual activity in exchange for money. The crime requires activity toward accomplishing the agreement. The activity can be any step taken toward a sexual act. Whether sex actually occurs or not, is not essential to establish the crime.

All communities in the south bay area of San Francisco take prostitution crimes very seriously. And, prostitution charges are vigorously prosecuted in Santa Clara County. The San Jose Police Department, Sunnyvale Police Department, and many other Police Departments in Santa Clara County even have specialized units of experienced police officers focused solely on eradicating prostitution.

Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean immigrants, in particular, are oftentimes the target of prostitution investigations in Santa Clara County, and as immigrants, they face potentially serous immigration consequences upon conviction for prostitution.

San Jose Criminal Defense Lawyer Bernard P. Bray has given special attention to  prostitution cases for over 20 years. Attorney Bernard P. Bray has been successful in asserting defenses based on many theories, including double jeopardy and outrageous police misconduct in attacking prostitution charges on technical grounds, and has an excellent track record with prostitution cases in front of juries.

Prostitution allegations should not be taken lightly. When faced with a prostitution case call San Jose Criminal Attorney Bernard P. Bray at: (408) 292-9700. Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean interpreters are available on request.

Call Now: (408) 292-9700

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