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

Misdemeanor vs. Felony: What’s the Difference?

Crimes are classified into one of two groups — felonies or misdemeanors. State legislators typically make the determination of which category a crime falls into, using factors that include how serious the crime is and what kind of impact it could have on victims as well as society. Felonies are a higher classification of crime and carry steeper potential punishments than misdemeanors. Infractions This category, also referred to as petty offenses or violations, is used for behaviors that break the law, but are usually not considered crimes. Infractions are punishable only by fines, and include things like traffic tickets. However,...

Sigal Law Group Blog

Crime Rates in California Rise Following Prison Realignment Program

According to a new study, some types of crime in California have gone up after the realignment program that allows early release for inmates went into effect. ABC Los Angeles reports that researchers with the Public Policy Institute of California looked at crime rates before and after the realignment, and found significant increases in auto theft and other types of property crimes. Violent crime, however, did not increase. The realignment program was instituted in 2011 by California Gov. Jerry Brown in an effort to reduce overcrowding in state prisons. The plan, known as AB 109, allows non-violent offenders to be...

Sigal Law Group Blog

Budget Cuts Lead to Sharp Increase in Early Releases for L.A. Inmates

Overcrowding and budget issues in Los Angeles County haveled to thousands of inmates serving time as little as 40 percent of their sentences. The Los Angeles Times investigated early releases at county jails through records from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, available under the California Public Records Act. According to the records, more than 23,000 inmates so far this year have been released before their time was served — including those convicted of violence and sex crimes. Prior statistics for early releases show a trend toward a sharp increase in these numbers for 2013. The county granted early release...

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

Jail Time: No Good for Juveniles

It has been estimated that on any given day more than 70,000 young people are held in juvenile detention facilities across the United States. This is the highest rate of any developed nation. According to a recent a study, jail time actually teaches our youth how to be better criminals, rather than teaching them to be productive members of society. When children and teens are sentenced to jail, they usually have a more difficult time reentering society than those who are given alternative punishments such as work-release programs and boot camp. According to Children’s Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman,...

Sigal Law Group Blog

Split Sentences More Common in Some Counties

An increasing number of county judges are using split sentences, thanks to California’s new felon imprisonment law, which now requires low-level offenders to serve time in county jail instead of state prison. According to the Los Angeles Times, a study by the Chief Probation Officers of California found that a greater number of judges are using split sentences. When an offender is given a split sentence, he or she is required to serve part of the time in county jail and spend the other part of the sentence in a community program. According to the new law, existing probation ineligibility...

Sigal Law Group Blog

Misdemeanors: Nothing to Play Around With

Misdemeanors are typically considered “minor” crimes; however they should be taken seriously. Being convicted of a misdemeanor can have serious consequences that can drastically affect a person’s life. For example, even a misdemeanor charge can carry a maximum punishment of up to a year in jail. Even though a misdemeanor may not carry the same consequences as a felony, they should be taken just as seriously. In this blog, we will discuss misdemeanor offenses in the state of California. Standard misdemeanors, which include petty theft and being drunk in public, are punishable by up to six months in county jail...

Sigal Law Group Blog

Support for End to California Death Penalty and Changes to Three-Strikes Laws Increase

Results from a Los Angeles Times poll show voters support ballot measures to repeal California’s death penalty and to ease the state’s three-strikes sentencing laws. According to the results, the gap between those who support Proposition 34 and those who oppose it has shrunk to only 3 percent. The poll shows that 42 percent of voters say they would vote for Prop 34 and 45 percent say they would vote against it. The vote could go either way as 12 percent say they are still undecided. Proposition 34 would apply retroactively to condemned inmates and would require those convicted of...

Sigal Law Group Blog

THE TWIN TOWERS CORRECTIONAL FACILITY

  •  
  •  
  •  

In this blog criminal defense attorney Vitaly B. Sigal writes about the Twin Towers Correctional Facility.