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Stockton Legal Blog

Does the Constitution really give you the right to a lawyer?

When watching movies or television crime shows, you usually hear the police officer tell a suspect in handcuffs that he or she has certain rights. One of those rights is to an attorney. The government doesn't make this offer out of a generous spirit.

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees you the right to have an attorney when it comes to criminal proceedings. Of course, nothing is quite that simple when it comes to the law.

Different types of white collar crimes

When facing criminal charges, one of the most important first steps you can take is to understand the allegations brought against you. You may have found yourself accused of a crime that falls into a larger category, but understanding the specific charge could make a difference in how you approach your defense.

For instance, authorities may have accused you of a white collar crime. However, this umbrella term can encompass several types of criminal activity. Therefore, it would likely be in your best interests to understand the different types of charges.

What is the Miranda warning?

While watching your favorite crime drama, you may have heard police officers read alleged criminals their Miranda rights. These are, in short, that they have the right to remain silent, that one can use anything they say against them in court, and that they have the right to legal counsel of their choosing. The point of this is to help people from incriminating themselves.

In California and elsewhere, it is not a requirement that police officers read alleged criminals their Miranda rights in every situation. In fact, there are many times that a person of interest in a criminal case has to invoke the Miranda warning on his or her own.

Prescription drug dangers include possible legal problems

Living in California today is undoubtedly much different than it might have been for the average person in the late 1800s. Times have changed. Such change has often included advancements in medical science, technology and other areas, which have brought increased levels of convenience, communication and life expectancy to the masses. For instance, you would likely have died from various infections or diseases long ago, which you have a good chance of surviving nowadays because of available treatments.

Many medical treatments include prescription drugs. Just as there are negative consequences to other types of man-made progress, such as air pollution related to motor vehicles, there are potential downsides to using prescription drugs as well. Because such drugs are often strong-acting and made with powerful chemicals, they may pose addiction problems for those prone to such conditions. Many California residents have also faced serious legal issues associated with prescription drugs. If you encounter problems, you'll want to know where to turn for support.

What happens if I am falsely accused of domestic violence?

Few accusations can devastate a life like a charge of domestic violence. Perhaps this is why some people make such claims when they want to inflict as much suffering as possible on a spouse or domestic partner. Domestic violence laws in each state are different, but generally, the charges involve using intentional force against someone with whom you have or had an intimate relationship, such as a spouse, live-in partner or the parent of your child.

When tempers flare and emotions are raw, your partner may feel that leveling the serious allegation of domestic violence against you will help him or her gain the advantage. A conviction for domestic violence can have far-reaching effects, and obtaining a legal advocate at the earliest moment following an accusation is a wise move.

Issues that may lead to identity theft charges in California

If you're facing identity theft charges in a California court, chances are, a series of events led to your arrest. The law typically categorizes this type of offense as a white-collar crime. If you learn that you are the subject of an official investigation, it doesn't necessarily mean you will face charges, or if you do, that the court will hand down a conviction.  

In any event, it's always in your best interest to understand exactly what prosecutors are accusing you of if you wind up facing arrest on suspicion of stolen identity. Do you know your rights? Do you know how to access support to help you try to avoid conviction? The answers to these questions may greatly impact the ultimate outcome of your situation.  

Heroin addiction could leave you facing legal trouble

Most people who face a drug addiction or similar problem did not plan on ending up in such a situation. Various factors could contribute to a person experimenting with drugs, and those factors could range from peer pressure to looking for stress relief. Unfortunately, many drugs are highly addictive, and though you may have thought you could try a substance once or twice and not face serious repercussions, you quickly realized that this was not the case.

When a person begins using drugs, brain chemistry begins to change. As a result, individuals may need more of a substance to get high or suffer behavioral changes that causes them to act in reckless or dangerous ways. In particular, heroin use can have serious effects on the body and mind, and you could also end up in a serious legal situation if you are found in possession or dealing this substance.

This is the crime juveniles commit most

As a parent of teenagers in California, no one has to tell you how challenging parenthood can be. The world has changed a lot over the last two centuries, and kids today encounter peer pressure on a whole different level, sometimes including temptations or dares to commit crimes. Not every teenager gets into trouble with the law; however, if your son or daughter did, he or she would definitely not be the first and likely won't be the last.

Many have done studies to determine if there are precursors that flag a particular teenager as more prone toward criminal behavior than another. There appears to be one type of crime that teenagers commit more than others, and that's theft. If police call you because they have arrested your child, your life may never be the same. However, it doesn't necessarily mean your child will go to jail or that life has to be ruined. The type of support you obtain can make all the difference.

Accusations of prescription drug fraud may damage your career

When many people think of drug crimes, the first thoughts that come to mind may relate to buying marijuana, cocaine trafficking, possession offenses or similar violations. However, many various activities could potentially fall into the category of drug crimes. In some cases, officials may suspect individuals of illegal drug-related activity, and it could potentially come as a considerable surprise. As a doctor, you may have found yourself feeling this surprise after facing accusations of prescription drug fraud.

Now that you face charges, you may have many questions about the suspected fraudulent activity. You may wonder how you could handle your case and what impacts these allegations could have on your professional career. Unfortunately, this type of situation can have severe effects, and you should take accusations of drug fraud seriously.

Have authorities accused you of gang-related activity?

As you and many other California residents know, convictions for crimes can come with serious consequences. Depending on the specific circumstances of that alleged criminal activity, the charges and sentencing could vary in severity. Certain factors could potentially lead to your facing enhanced charges, and you may wonder whether the situation warranted those enhancements.

Particularly, if authorities suspect that you have gang connections, allegations brought against you could become more serious. Of course, you may have no affiliation with a gang or gang members, and the enhanced charges may seem out of place. However, it is up to the prosecution to prove your supposed gang ties, and if they cannot, you may have the ability to avoid conviction for such accusations.

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