Sigal Law Group Blog

Arrest Warrants vs Bench Warrants

If you have an open warrant, it means that you may be arrested by a law enforcement officer for a specific legal violation. While it may be tempting to try to dodge arrest by hiding or running away, this can have very serious consequences. Often, voluntarily turning yourself in or appearing before a judge to answer to the charges behind your warrant can have a much more favorable outcome. By working with an experienced criminal lawyer, you can have a thorough understanding of the type of warrant issued for you, the charges against you, and the wisest course of action...

Sigal Law Group Blog

New Law May Lead to Early Release for Thousands of CA Prisoners

In November, Californians voted overwhelmingly to approve California Proposition 57, which was proposed by Governor Jerry Brown as part of an effort to reduce prison populations in our state. Now, there is a hotly debated public review underway to discuss policy changes that could lead to the early release of roughly 9,500 inmates over the next four years. A Los Angeles CBS affiliate reported last week that it may soon be possible for state prisoners to participate in self-help programs in order to receive credits that can be used for early release. This new endeavor may help to lower prison populations in...

Sigal Law Group Blog

Theft Charges in California

While it is true that “stealing is stealing,” it is also true that there are different types of theft as defined by California criminal laws and that each theft charge may carry a different sentence depending on the severity of the crime. As a criminal defense attorney serving clients from Los Angeles and surrounding areas for more than a decade, I realize that the average citizen does not share my intimate knowledge of California theft laws. To help my current and prospective clients better understand these charges, I have created this basic guide to the different types of theft recognized...

Sigal Law Group Blog

The Facts on Parole and Probation

When working with clients new to the criminal justice system or when speaking with family members of incarcerated clients or clients facing conviction, I am frequently asked about parole and probation. It is also common for current or prospective clients to seek my support after violating parole or probation. If you or someone you love is in a situation where learning about parole and probation in California may be beneficial, I hope the answers to the following frequently asked questions are helpful. Of course, I will be happy to discuss this and other topics as they relate specifically to your...

Sigal Law Group Blog

Self-Defense in California

If you have been charged with assault or another violent crime in California, there is a possibility that you may be acquitted of this charge if you are able to prove that you were acting in defense of yourself, your home, or another person. However, it is important to realize that there are specific circumstances under which self-defense is considered to be a reasonable response to a threat. Here are the basics of self-defense in California criminal courts. First, California is not one of the states that has a standard “stand your ground” law, which is a statute that removes...

Sigal Law Group Blog

Can I Clear My Record?

As experienced criminal defense attorneys serving the Los Angeles area, one question we hear very frequently is whether it is possible to remove a crime from a client’s record.  While most people may believe that the process of expungement means that all records of a crime or charges are completely erased, this is not technically true. However, under California Penal Code 1203.4 it is possible release a person of “all penalties and disabilities” resulting from a conviction, essentially clearing that conviction from their record. Why Seek Expungement? One of the main reasons our clients seek expungement of criminal offenses is...

Sigal Law Group Blog

NHTSA Looks to Use Ignition Interlock Devices Nationwide to Stop Drunk Driving

Ignition interlock devices (IIDs) have been in place in Los Angeles County and three other California counties since 2010, and a bill was signed into law in September mandating that IIDs will be used statewide by 2019. These devices are installed in the vehicles of previous DUI offenders, and prevent the ignition from starting if results on an attached breathalyzer are above legal limits for driving. Now, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants to push to have these devices installed in every vehicle in the country—effectively ending drunk driving. In a press release published on December 14, the...

Sigal Law Group Blog

Overview of Criminal Offenses

If you have been charged with or expect to be charged with a criminal offense, speaking with an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you better understand the charges against you and the potential outcomes associated with those charges. Even before you meet with an attorney, though, it may help you to understand the different levels of criminal offenses in California. These levels include infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies, in ascending order of severity. An infraction is the least serious level of criminal offense, and in most cases is punishable by a maximum fine of $250. The majority of infractions filed...

Sigal Law Group Blog

California DUI Laws Will Get Stricter in 2019

Drunk driving-related accidents and deaths in California were on the decline in recent years, hitting an all-time low in 2011. That year, MADD reports that only 774 deaths were attributed to drunk drivers in this state. Unfortunately, this decline has now been reversed, and rates of drunk driving have begun to increase steadily. With the signing of a new law in late September, Governor Jerry Brown has mandated much tougher penalties for drunk drivers which will begin in 2019. The new piece of legislation, known as SB 1046, was introduced by Senator Jerry Hill of San Mateo and will expand...

Sigal Law Group Blog

Should I Submit to a Field Sobriety Test?

When an officer of the law pulls a vehicle over for any reason, he or she may ask the driver of that vehicle to take a field sobriety test (FST) and/or a chemical test to determine whether the driver has exceeded the legal limit for alcohol consumption while operating a motor vehicle. In many states, submission to a field sobriety test or chemical test is not technically mandatory and it is common for citizens and even attorneys to recommend against submitting to these tests. In California, however, things are different. Every person who applies for and receives a California driver’s...