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October 2019 Archives

Study finds community service harms poor defendants

Court-ordered community service in California and other states is supposed to be a helpful alternative for defendants who cannot pay fines and fees. However, according to a new study, the practice unfairly impacts low-income people of color and increases the burden of court debt.

Genetic genealogy used to identify murder suspect

Police in California say that they used a technique known as genetic genealogy to link a 52-year-old Visalia man to a string of sexual assaults that took place in Tulare County between 1999 and 2002 and the rape and murder of a 22-year-old female college student in 1996. The man has been charged with eight felony accounts in connection with the sexual assaults and is being held without bail.

When is assault “aggravated?”

If you become involved in an altercation in Fullerton, there is a possibility that you could end up facing assault charges (unless your actions were solely in response to another’s aggression). Yet as is the case with many criminal charges, the application of assault charges to your case is rarely simple. You will, however, want to understand the details of California’s assault and battery laws to ensure that you are only charged with those offenses that your alleged actions may have warranted. 

Do California courts consider diminished capacity?

When answering to criminal charges, an insanity defense may be met with a great deal of skepticism simply because the definition of insanity may seem so subjective. Plus, there is the issue of whether one struggles with chronic insanity issues, or whether the circumstances of the moment caused them to lose control of their reasoning. 

Governor Newsom Signs Criminal Justice Reform Bill

On October 2, National Wrongful Conviction Awareness Day, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 701 which is co-sponsored by CACJ and Exonerated Nation. When a wrongfully convicted individual is exonerated and released from prison, the bill requires the State of California to cover the cost of the exonoree's housing for up to 4 years. California becomes the first state in the country with this requirement. 

What are my rights when being arrested?

Being arrested is an intimidating experience, no matter the circumstances. While you expect the police to uphold the law during every arrest, this is not always the case. That's why it's important for people to understand their rights during arrest, as well as steps to address violations should they occur. 

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