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Criminal Law Legal Topics

Don’t Let Immigration Status Sabotage Your Client’s Sentence

489194765The following is a guest blog post by Norton Tooby, who has a national law practice in Oakland, California, providing expert consultation and representation on immigration consequences of criminal convictions, post-conviction relief, and criminal defense of noncitizens.

The Supreme Court has focused attention on the need to advise clients accurately on the specific immigration consequences of a guilty plea. Padilla v Kentucky (2010) 130 SCt 1473. But it’s also essential that defense counsel accurately advise clients about the sentencing consequences of his or her immigration status. Counsel must also do whatever is possible to prevent a defendant’s immigration status from destroying his or her opportunities for the alternatives to incarceration used in most criminal cases that result in sentences.

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Criminal Law Legal Topics

Sentencing Batterers

Sentencing across states in domestic violence cases sometimes seems almost random, or at least flawed. Famous cases of apparent sentencing favoritism, as with boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr’s lenient sentence in Las Vegas, can hurt the integrity of the system. But California has a domestic violence sentencing scheme that is not arbitrary; instead, it is aimed at fairness, with clear direction for judges.

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Criminal Law Legal Topics

What Does a DUI Bust Really Mean?

We see celebrity DUI cases play out in the media, often with seemingly light or no criminal penalties. Actress Lindsey Lohan’s DUI case comes to mind, although she managed to violate her light probation sentence and thus ramp up the criminal penalties for her DUI. This made me wonder what are the potential criminal penalties for a DUI in California and what is the likelihood of such charges being brought?

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Criminal Law

Chelsea’s Law Goes Into Effect: Coming Down Hard on the Worst Child Molesters

As it says in his press release, Governor Schwarzenegger signed Chelsea’s Law, effective immediately, “to better protect California children from violent sexual predators.”