About Criminal Law in Los Angeles

As with most countries, criminal law may vary from one state to another in the US. Most people think about laws especially criminal ones only when they are charged with an offense. A general idea about the law in Los Angeles can be helpful in such cases if you want to hire a criminal attorney.

DUI Criminal Laws

The first five important things a person must remember if stopped for drunk driving are:

  • Remember that field sobriety tests are not required to law
  • Politely ask for permission to answer questions in the presence of a criminal attorney
  • Handheld breath tests are required by law only if you are under 21
  • Allow the law enforcement official to take an “evidentiary” breath test
  • Challenge your license suspension with the help of a DUI attorney within 10 days of charging the offense.

In LA, one cannot drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, or drive with 0.8 percent or more alcohol in the blood. If a person is caught drink driving, both the offenses will be charged. Also remember that there must be legally sufficient evidence to arrest a person. Once a person is arrested, he/she has the right to know about the constitutional rights. Also the license will be confiscated by the police immediately. The DUI penalty is also influenced by a number of factors such as prior conviction within 10 years, speeding, driving under influence with a child in the car, and a blood alcohol reading over .15%.

Criminal Law for Drug Crimes

When it comes to underage drinking, drug possession, and use of medical marijuana in LA, the officials have been always changing the laws and sentences to prevent illegal possession and use of drugs. If the arrest is the result of a serious drug addiction problem, treatment programs are arranged to address the issue. The reasons for an arrest may include:

  • Drug sales
  • Drug possession
  • Drug manufacturing
  • Drug paraphernalia
  • Conspiracy
  • Drug trafficking

The government is allowed to seize any property if there is enough evidence to prove that it was acquired with proceeds from illegal drug activity. Even the bank accounts of the convicted person will be frozen.

Criminal Law for Theft Offenses

Theft crimes can be either misdemeanors or serious felony charges. The convict may get a jail sentence depending on the seriousness of the crime. Theft crimes include:

  • Petty theft
  • Shoplifting
  • Robbery
  • Carjacking
  • Credit card theft
  • Identity theft
  • Burglary
  • Grand theft
  • Grand theft auto
  • Embezzlement

Theft is considered as stealing another person’s property. A petty theft is charged if the value of the stolen property is $950 or less, while the property value needs to be greater than $950 to charge a grand theft. Although petty theft is a misdemeanor, prior theft related charges may make it a felony.

Criminal Law for Domestic Violence

Domestic violence refers to controlling your partner with physical and verbal abuse. It includes:

  • Name calling
  • Physical attacks such as hitting and shoving
  • Sexual abuse
  • Stalking

Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence including men, women, and children. If a person feels unsafe in his/her home, they can contact the police. They can help you evacuate your home. A person who has been charged with an offense must be aware of the criminal law to avoid jail sentence even if he/she is innocent.

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