Sigal Law Group Blog

Crime Alerts Rise Significantly in 11 L.A. Neighborhoods

Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) data analyzed by the Los Angeles Times’ Crime L.A. database shows that weekly crime reports are up significantly in 11 neighborhoods across the city. The Times reports that six neighborhoods experienced a marked increase in violent crime, while a further five recorded increases in property crime. Of those with violent crime increases, Vermont Square reported the largest number of incidents with 19, up from an average of 12.8 violent crimes per week. In Boyle Heights, violent crime more than doubled the weekly average of 8.0, with 18 reports. The most unusual change occurred in Gramercy...

Sigal Law Group Blog

CA Prison Realignment May Help Reduce Repeat Offense Rate

The highly criticized realignment plan for California’s overcrowded state prisons, set in motion by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2011, may be helping to keep low-level criminals from becoming repeat offenders. In addition to reducing the population of state prisons in California, by either shifting prisoners to county lock-ups or granting early release to some offenders, the realignment program aims to increase supervision and support for low-level offenders upon release—support that is being provided by county officials, rather than state parole officers. Thousands of low-level felons have been released into the supervision of the county under the realignment law. Only those...

Sigal Law Group Blog

Nearly 100 Los Angeles Misdemeanor Offenses Dropped to Infractions

The Los Angeles city attorney’s office has revised its filing guidelines, and as part of the process, 91 violations that were classified as misdemeanors are now considered infractions. On July 25, commanding officers of the LAPD received an internal memo detailing the changes from the city attorney. The list of former criminal charges includes violations such as camping on the beach, driving without a license, and using fake identification to buy alcohol. As misdemeanors, the crimes were punishable by jail time and entered into criminal records. Now with the reclassification to infractions, violators will be ticketed and may be fined,...

Sigal Law Group Blog

California Drug Arrests Down Nearly 50 Percent

Over the last five years, misdemeanor drug arrests in California have fallen by almost 50 percent, due in large part to legislation passed in 2010 that redefined charges for minor marijuana possession. Figures from the 2012 California Crime Report showcased a drastic reduction in drug-related arrests. Around 133,000 Californians were arrested for misdemeanor drug crimes in 2007—but by 2012, that number had dropped to about 72,000. The legislation largely responsible for the reduction, Senate Bill 1449, was signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in October 2010. The bill reclassified adult possession of marijuana in amounts of up to 28.5...