While the relevant (to this discussion) changes made to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) took effect on January 1, 2018, many CA residents don't yet know about the way the state imposed new restrictions on an employer’s ability to make pre-hiring and personnel decisions based on a person's criminal history. ...Which is a shame as the change in the law came about as an effort to give ex-offenders a second chance at becoming upstanding citizens who contribute successfully to their communities.
Writing on this subject, Forbes magazine stated: "A 2011 study found that employment was the most significant influence on whether a formerly incarcerated person re-offended. 'Two years after release nearly twice as many employed people with records had avoided another brush with the law than their unemployed counterparts.' A three-year study found that a year of employment reduced the recidivism rate by 34%, as compared to the Department of Correction’s average recidivism rate."
Previous to this change in the law, only state and local agencies were prohibited from asking an applicant about their criminal record until the person was found to be otherwise qualified for the position. Now however, all employers (in California, and with five or more employees,) are prohibited from (1) asking about the applicant's criminal history on the initial job application, (2) asking about or considering the applications criminal history until after the applicant has received a conditional job offer, or (3) considering or sharing information about the applicants criminal history where: the applicant was arrested, but never charged, (subject to some exceptions under the Labor Code), the applicant earned a dismissal of their case through participation in a diversion program, or the conviction was expunged, dismissed or sealed.
Your next question is probably "so what if I'm conditionally offered a job, and then I disclose my conviction?" In that case, the employer is prohibited from denying you the job based solely on the conviction(s) without performing an assessment of the facts, particular to the applicant. As part of the assessment, the employer should consider the nature and gravity of the offense, the time that has passed since the arrest and the completion of the sentence, and the nature of the job sought. In order to deny he applicant the job, the employer needs to show that the conviction is linked to the applicants proposed job duties, and the applicant must be informed of the employer's intent to deny the applicant the position, if there is to be one, in writing.
As part of the written disclosure, the employer needs to give the applicant notice of the convictions which form the basis for the denial, provide the applicant a copy of the conviction history paperwork (if it is available,) and inform the applicant that they have 5 business days to provide a response. To be relevant, the applicant's response should address statements regarding the accuracy of the conviction report, evidence mitigating the offense, or evidenced of the persons rehabilitation. The employer must wait for the 5-day period to expire before making a final decision to deny employment.
In order to mitigate the consequences of any arrest or conviction, speak with a qualified attorney.
We’ve seen it used a million times on TV, but in the real world successfully asserting an insanity defenseis rare and difficult.
When the court looks to whether a person in “insane” for the purposes of a criminal matter, it uses what we call the M’Naghten rule. In order to be insane, the defendant must no—at the time of the offense—have been able to either understand the nature and quality of his or her act or must not have been able to distinguish between right and wrong. For example, a person could be held to be insane, and would have a defense to animal abuse charges, if they heard imaginary voices, telling them that the world was going to end shortly unless the defendant sacrifices a goat to the God Anived, so the defendant does, indeed sacrifice the goat. However, if a defendant who suffers from depression or anxiety, and only felt relief when she was hitting her boyfriend would not be able to successfully use the defense, even though the anxiety or depression caused her not to care about the possible consequences of hurting the young man.
Because insanity is a legal defense, it is the defendant, not the government, that bears the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidencethis aspect of a case. At trial, the two issues (first, whether the defendant did the act for which they are being accused, and then second, if they were insane when they committee the act) are heard separately.The issue of guilt is heard first, with this portion of the case being just like what you see on TV: the various witnesses to the crime testify about the evidence. Then, if the jury finds the defendant guilty, the jury decides the issue of sanity. During this portion of the case, usually the only witnesses are qualified medical professionals.
However, a lot of people do not realize that a defendant whois held to be insanedoes not get a free pass; they are ordered to be committed to a state hospital for treatment, not only to try to rehabilitate the defendant, but also to protect society.A defendant can be held in that mental facility until one of three things happen: (1) doctors believe that the defendant has regained sanity, (2) the maximum term of imprisonment for that crime has expired, or (3) the doctors feel that the defendant would be successfully in addressing the underlying issue via outpatient treatment program.
Found in Penal Code § 25
Recent statistics claim that only 1% of all defendants assert the defense.
In the 90s, the legislature amended the law to prevent the court from finding a criminal defendant insane based solely on the basis of a seizure disorder, a personality or adjustment disorder, or addiction to/abuse of an intoxicating substance.
More likely than not.
Of course, a defendant can enter a plea of “guilty by reason of insanity,” in which they admit they did the bad thing they are accused of, but claim the defendant should not be held accountable due to the defense of insanity.
People v. Superior Court (Williams) (1991) 233 Cal.App.3d 477, 485.
That said, a defendant may be further confined, if the person still has a diagnosed mental disease or disorder and is a substantial danger of physical harm to others.
Law enforcement is legally allowed to pull you over if they see that you are violating even the most insignificant of laws, even if that minor law violation is merely a pretext for investigating a hunchthat the driver has done something else more sinister. Because of this, it is not uncommon for a DUI driver to have originally been stopped for something trivial like having a taillight out, having something hanging from the rearview mirror, or, as relevant to this blog post, a license plate violation.
California law requires that you have both a front and rear license plate on your car, and that that license plate be “securely fastened to the vehicle . . .as to prevent the plates from swinging,” “mounted in a position so as to be clearly visible, and so that the characters are upright and display from left to right,and shall be maintained in a condition so as to be clearly legible.” Further, the license plate can only be covered by (1) a security cover—as long as that security cover does not obstruct any portion of the license plate numbering, or the registration stickers—or (2) a car cover on a parked car, used to protect the vehicle from the weather.
Now, speaking of those registration stickers… they need to be attached to the license plate properly, in the correct location: with the “month” sticker on the left, and the “year” sticker on the right. Should you accidently put the stickers on the wrong side of the plate, (I’ll be honest: I’ve done it!) you’ll need to take extra care in remedying the problem as they stickers have been designed to be especially difficult to remove so that thieves cannot steal a person’s valid registration sticker and put it on their own, non-registered vehicle. Should you try to just peel the incorrect sticker off, don’t be surprised if the sticker rips apart, making itself perfectly unusable. Should this happen to you, the easiest thing to do it to just order new stickers from the DMV.
Lastly, starting this year, when a car dealer sells a car, the dealer will be required to give you temporary license plates, and it is required that you keep both of those license plates on the vehicle until the permanent plates arrive. These temporary license plates must include a plate number, what the DMV calls a “report of sale number,” the Vehicle Identification Number, Year, Model and Make of the vehicle, and an expiration date that is 90 days after the date of sale. As of the time of writing this post, it is expected that each of these valid temporary license plates will include security features, helping to thwart theft of the plates.
In today’s world, when we’re all so busy with the things that “really” matter in life, it’s easy to become complacent about the little things that are wrong with our cars, but ignoring these little things is practically inviting a bored police officer to run your plate or pull you over, all in the name of simply “doing his or her job.”
So don’t be funny and put your license plate on upside down.
Cal. Vehicle Code 5201.
As the result of the passage of Assembly Bill 516.
If you lose one or both of the temporary plates, you’ll need to go back to the dealerfor replacements.
Devina strives to make information relevant to the lives of her clients easily accessible.