Free & Confidential Consultation / Call Us At 415-906-3423

San Francisco Criminal Defense Blog

The legal consequences of getting into a bar fight in California

Television shows and movies may make it appear as if bar fights come with no consequences (unless you are the one who loses), yet that is not reflective of reality. Bar fights in California bring penalties upon you whether or not you were the one to start the brawl.

If you are involved in a bar fight, you will face charges. The best thing you can do to avoid or minimize the following legal ramifications is hire a criminal defense attorney.

How criminal charges can affect your California medical license

Criminal charges can be difficult to face for anyone. California physicians face the additional threat of complications for their medical licenses. Even seemingly minor charges can cause serious problems, so if you find yourself facing criminal prosecution, you should not underestimate your situation.

California physicians must report relevant felony and misdemeanor convictions to the state's Medical Board. In this context, the words "relevant" and "conviction" may include far more than many people might expect. Always consult an attorney rather than deciding you do not need to report a particular conviction, as failure to report when required can result in increased penalties.

Quick guide to California marijuana laws

If you live in California, you might be confused or have misconceptions about the laws surrounding possession and use of marijuana. Failing to understand the specifics of California marijuana laws could result in a criminal charge or another penalty. Due to significant updates in the laws in recent years along with continued limitations, here is what you need to know to clear up confusion:

Can I lose my property if I am charged with a drug crime?

Asset forfeiture, also sometimes called civil forfeiture, is one of the many potential penalties that can result from getting charged with a drug crime. This means that your assets can be taken away if law enforcement officers claim that they were somehow involved in your drug crime.

What is forfeiture?

One of the major problems with fighting a forfeiture proceeding is that, unlike the actual drug charges, it is a civil case. It is also, technically, a case against your property, not against you. One important consequence is that, while criminal defendants are constitutionally entitled to a public defender, their property is not. Further, the burden of proof in a forfeiture case is far lower than in a criminal case, which means prosecutors will have to work less to prove their claims that your property was involved in drug crimes. Generally, forfeiture can happen even if you are not actually convicted of the drug crime that gave rise to the whole matter; recent changes in California law do require a conviction for forfeiture of an asset worth less than $40,000, a vehicle or real estate.

California strengthens penalty for possession of date rape drugs

The New Year means a new set of laws take effect in California. One of the most significant developments in criminal law includes a new law that will create a felony charge for possession of date-rape drugs with the intent to commit sexual assault. The increased penalty comes just a year after California voters approved a ballot measure, Proposition 47, to reduce several drug crimes from a felony to a misdemeanor charge.

Before the passage of Proposition 47, possession of date-rape drugs could be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Instead of sticking with the ballot measure ruling to make possession a misdemeanor as part of the larger drug law reform, California lawmakers re-upped the penalty for possession of date rape drugs.

What circumstances contribute to aggravated DUI?

Driving under the influence carries charges that have significant consequences. However, some events involving DUI may lead to more severe consequences than a singular charge called "aggravated DUI." An aggravating circumstance is any attendant factor that increases the criminality of the act.

What can cause a DUI charge to go from "normal" to "aggravated?" By exploring the circumstances, you can best understand the elements necessary to consider in a criminal defense case.

Criminal conviction can threaten California real estate license

Under California law, the government may deny a real estate license application or begin disciplinary proceedings against the holder of a real estate license when the license applicant or holder is convicted of a crime that is substantially related to the job of being a real estate broker. Therefore, for someone who works in the industry or who is hoping to break into the market as a licensed California broker, criminal charges can have professional and personal ramifications far beyond just the potential conviction itself.

Get legal advice about protecting your real estate license

It is imperative to retain a criminal defense lawyer as early as possible when a California real estate professional faces criminal investigation or charges, whether federal or state. Careful, thoughtful and knowledgeable legal representation is necessary to understand how to navigate through the process of investigation and negotiation with the prosecution.

Deferred judgment will keep your record clean

Being charged with a crime is frightening. Will it go on your record, and affect employment and background searches? Will one mistake cost you for the rest of your life, even if it seemed harmless or minor in the spur of the moment?

What is deferred judgment?

One common way to keep your record clean is called deferred judgment (also known as deferred adjudication). Deferred judgment is a form of plea agreement where the accused pleads guilty and undergoes treatment or therapy in lieu of jail time. After a probationary period the charges are dropped and no conviction goes on your record. The arrest will still appear on your record, but an attorney may be able to seal your record from future background checks, depending on the crime.

Mandatory minimum sentences for drug charges: Why they don't work

Mandatory minimum sentencing is a misguided strategy intended to reduce drug-related crimes. As a federal sentencing scheme, it emerged in the late 1980s in response to a bipartisan crackdown on drugs.

Advocates contend that laws of this kind deter potential criminal activity and simplify anti-drug objectives. They also maintain that minimum sentences help keep high-level drug dealers off the streets. Yet, the reality is much more complicated.

Start By Meeting With A Lawyer Tell Us About Your Charges

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Contact Information

Law Offices of Hanlon & Rief
1663 Mission St.
Suite 200
San Francisco, California 94103

Phone: 415-906-3423
Fax: 415-865-0376
Map & Directions

Payment Plans Available
  • Visa Card
  • Master Cards
  • American Express
  • Discover