Dropping Domestic Violence Charges…Can It Be Done?

dropped chargesIf you are finding it hard to drop domestic violence charges in California, you need to be aware of a few things. It is not always an easy task to have domestic violence charges dismissed. The domestic violence prosecutors in California would like members of the public to believe that all those that file domestic violence charges against others are victims, but this not always the case.

You will find numerous instances where an individual presses domestic violence charges even when violence has not taken place. If a person is angry, hurt, or desperate, he or she can make decisions that are out character that result in negative repercussions for the people they love the most.

According to domestic-violence-law.com, more than 20 individuals per day try getting the domestic charges against the defendant dismissed shortly after filing only to discover the district attorney’s office is not willing to do so. This is why dropping domestic violence charges is difficult. The laws reflect the assumption that domestic violence victims often try to protect the aggressor even after they suffer serious injuries at their hands.

California is a notorious state for vigilance against persons accused of domestic violence along with those that accuse others of domestic violence and later try to drop the charges.

While it might be hard for a person that has been charged with committing domestic violence acts to have those charges dismissed, it is possible in some instances. If you are able to save either yourself or a loved one from unwarranted criminal charges, you will have some peace of mind and can move on with life.

What Are the Steps to Be Taken If You Want to Drop Domestic Violence Charges?

The alleged victim and defendant in a domestic violence dispute in California generally does not have the ability to “drop the charges”. The reason for this is that California treats such incidences as crimes against the state and victim.

This means that if the victim claims not to have any grievance against the defendant and doesn’t wish to press charges, he or she is within their rights, but the state can and probably will press charges on behalf of the people of California.

Whether or not the state will continue pressing charges may depend on the type and amount of evidence available for use against the defendant. If no other evidence is available and the defendant has no prior domestic criminal record, there is a chance that the domestic violence case will be dismissed, but is a rare occurrence.

In spite of the fact that the defendant or victim can do little to have the domestic violence charges dismissed after an incident where abuse is evident, victims that support their alleged attackers openly can provide additional benefits to the case of the defendant in some instances.

For example, a prosecutor that has minimal evidence and an uncooperative victim might feel pressured to reduce the defendant’s charges to a lesser offense or simply present a more favorable plea agreement.

Drug Trafficking Charges In California

Drug trafficking refers to dealing drugs in notoriously high amounts. California legal statutes have no distinction between drug dealing and trafficking. The judges, prosecutors and the police always signal that any crime whether dealing drugs or trafficking will result in harsh consequences. Drug trafficking is much more than simple exchanging of drugs for money. Besides dealing drugs in large quantities, it also involves additional criminal accusations such as selling drugs across borders, manufacturing drugs and also money laundering.

The law enforcement is always on the lookout for a drug operation that involves transportation of drugs into Californian borders from other states or countries with involvement large quantities of drugs and organized dealer networks. Here, the law enforcement agencies will work hand in hand to make drug seizures and arrests. HIDTA (Los Angeles High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area), refers to 4 counties which include Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino which have been designated so by the state, local and federal authorities.

Drug agents focus on gangs that move drugs through the state on corridors, pipelines or highways. Additionally, they focus on meth labs and drugs that are carried through the state through drug mules, who are unwilling in some cases.

Importation And Transportation

In the event that significant quantities of drugs are involved, importing drugs from other countries or crossing the state borders is considered to be a serious drug crime. The federal charges for the crime carry minimum sentences of at least ten years while larger quantities may require a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Transporting drugs from one place to the other in the state of California is considered to be a crime. Regardless of whether you’re transporting drugs from one house to the other, the crime has a possible sentence of 5 years in prison. Anyone accused of carrying drugs across more than 2 counties in the state, faces a maximum prison sentence of 9 years.

Selling Drugs In Large Quantities

Selling any amount of narcotics such as hydrocodone or oxycodone, or hard drugs such as cocaine or heroin is punishable in the Californian law to a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison. Selling drugs like ketamine or GBH or methamphetamine is punishable by a maximum sentence of 4 years. There is a harsher sentence involved with trafficking of large quantities of powdered cocaine, crack or heroin. The Healthy and Safety code, the maximum sentence can be increased with 3 years for the distribution of more than a kilo of these drugs.

As the weight of the drugs being trafficked increases, the maximum sentence increases too. Eventually, the maximum sentence can reach 25 years for distribution of more than 80 kilograms of any of the hard drugs. The sentence can also increase if the sale of large amounts of meth and PCP. The increments start at an additional 3 years for selling a kilo and will also increase up to 15 years for selling more than 20 kilos.

Drug Conspiracy

A drug conspiracy refers to an agreement (whether spoken or written) to participate with other individuals in the distribution, sale or transportation of illicit drugs. Additionally, any action taken by the conspirator to further the crime, qualifies as conspiracy. Federal laws have a different opinion such that the agreement to commit these actions is enough, regardless of whether or not any other action was taken to act on the conspiracy. The enhanced penalties for drugs in large quantities apply to drug conspiracy. A conspiracy conviction can be obtained if there is proof of any involvement but the penalties are applicable to conspirators with substantial involvement in the direction, planning, financing and execution of the drug crime.

Important Things You Need To Know About Bankruptcy Laws

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What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy allows businesses, individuals and married couples to be excused from being required to repay all of their debt or some of it when they cannot keep up with all of the financial obligations that they have. Bankruptcy has been in existence since ancient times. Federal laws govern the procedures and rules for filing bankruptcy in the United States. In this specific area of law, states are prohibited from doing any legislating.

What types of bankruptcy are there?

In general, there are two major kinds of bankruptcy. A debtor is required in a liquidation bankruptcy to surrender all of their property. Then the property is sold and the money raised from the sales are then distributed to the debtor’s creditors. All of a debtor’s debts are discharged permanently in exchange. In a reorganization bankruptcy, a debtor is allowed to keep his or her property. The debtor, however, is required to agreement and also follow an installment plan that involves repaying creditor part of the money that they owe them.

Image result for bankruptcyWhat is involved in filing a bankruptcy?

To file for bankruptcy you must submit a fee and petition to the bankruptcy court. For a majority of personal bankruptcies the fee is around $300. The petition contains sworn statements from the debtor that details the amount of money the person owes, along with their expenses and income and complete listing of all of the assets they own. Once a bankruptcy is filed, a court hearing will be held and the information contained in the petition will be reviewed.

You don’t have to retain representation, but hiring a great bankruptcy lawyer is one of the easiest ways to streamline the filing process.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

The most common type of bankruptcy by far is the Chapter 7 bankruptcy. They are liquidation bankruptcies where the debtor is required to turn all of their non-exempt property over to a supervising officer called a bankruptcy trustee. Exempt property refers to property that falls in certain categories of assets that a debtor is allowed to keep, like tools for work, certain amounts of household items or clothing, and in some cases, the family home and vehicles.

The Chapter 7 trustee then takes the non-exempt property of the debtor’s (if they have any) and sells it. The proceeds are then paid to the debtor’s creditors. That might result in the creditors getting a small fraction of what is owed to them. The rest of the debtor’s obligations and loans are forgiven and cannot be collected ever in the future. Under federal law, if a creditor tries to collect a debt that have already been discharged can face serious penalties.

What is a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Given that debt is wiped out completely by a liquidation bankruptcy, it can be very beneficial to anybody who is unable to afford to pay all of their bills. But what about individuals who do have non-exempt property that they don’t want to have to give up? In these situations, they might want to consider a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which is called a reorganization bankruptcy. They enable a debtor to retain his or her property in exchange for agreeing to make monthly payment for three to five years on their debt.

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There are a number of different benefits that are provided by a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in addition to enabling a debtor to keep his or her property. For instance, there are certain types of secured debt, like auto loans, that may be restructured through the principal being reduce to the collateral’s market value, and then payments being lowered through extending the period of repayment to 60 months. There can be modifications made to other obligations also, such as tax liabilities, student loans and mortgages. Credit are not given a choice in these matters.

Can anyone file for bankruptcy?

No bankruptcy isn’t available to everybody. Anyone who has had their debts discharged with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy within the last eight year is unable to re-file. The waiting period for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is six years. Another problem is having too much disposable income. A “means test” has been established by Congress for this purposes. If a debtor makes enough money to be able to repay his or her debtors, the person will not be allowed to file a liquidation bankruptcy. However, a reorganization might still be an option.

What The IRS Form 1040 Does And Why You Should Know

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If you are a United States taxpayer, you are going to have to become familiar with the IRS form 1040 to file your annual tax return. The form is divided into easy to follow sections where you will report various deductions and income to help determine the amount of taxes you will need to pay or the amount of the refund you will receive. Depending on your specific type of income, you may need to fill out additional forms and schedules.

Reporting Income

The first page of the Form 1040 allows individuals to calculate their Adjusted Gross Income or AGI. The first section includes an area to fill out for salary and wages, interest, tips, dividends, local tax refunds, business income, alimony, IRA and pension distributions, capitol gains, Social Security benefits, farm income, and unemployment income.

There is a box n this form that includes a place to fill out any other income that may not fit into one of the categories. It is essential that you list all income that you receive throughout the year unless it is tax-exempt. The total amount of all this income is known as the total income.

Understanding The Deductions For AGI

The IRS will allow you to claim specific deduction from your total income to arrive at the adjusted gross income. There are several allowable adjustments which include any alimony payments that are made, student loan payments, IRA contributions, health saving plan contributions, as well as self-employment tax payments. The AGI is essential as there are many deduction limitations that will be affected by it.

Deductions and Exemptions

On the second page of the 1040 Form, one will come across the ability to reduce the AGI further with either standard deductions or a total amount of itemized deductions. Itemized deductions such as mortgage interest, excess medical expenses, and unreimbursed business expenses will fall into this category.

If the total amount of the itemized deductions does not exceed the amount of the standard deductions on the filing status, your taxable income is going to be lower than if you were to claim the standard deduction. Once you have chosen the best deduction, you will be able to reduce the taxable income by claiming an exemption for yourself and one for every one of your dependents. Once you have subtracted your exemptions, you are going to be left with the taxable income. This is simply the amount that will be subjected to an income tax.

You can use a program like TurboTax, which will help you recommend whether you should choose the standard or itemized deductions.

Calculating Taxes And Claiming Credits

The next step is to figure the amount of tax you will owe on your taxable income by referencing the tax tables that are included in the instructions. Once again, if you are using a program like TurboTax, this amount will be automatically calculated for you. You will need to compare the amount of the total tax withholding amount to the tax bill found at the bottom of the 1040 Form, which will allow you to know if you will expect a refund or need to make a payment. If you believe you are eligible for any of the additional tax credits that are listed on the 1040, you will need to reduce the amount of tax you owe through the credits before completing the form.

How To Defend A Domestic Violence Case With Or Without A Lawyer

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While a Domestic Violence charge may refer to assault, there are other such actions that can constitute domestic violence. These other actions include disorderly conduct, interfering with the report of a domestic violence situation, malicious mischief, harassment, theft, cyber stalking, intimidating a witness, tampering and more. However, typically, it’s for assault.

The definition of assault includes intentional striking, touching, cutting or shooting of someone else. The unlawful force that may be harmful or offensive whether or not there was an injury. If a person is offended by being touched or any other action, it may be constituted as assault.

Assault is also the intent to inflict an injury upon another person by force. An injury doesn’t necessarily have to happen, if there is an intent, there is reason to charge the person with assault whether or not they successfully assaulted the other party.

Assault is also an action that is done with unlawful force and done with the intention to put fear or apprehension to another person. If it creates fear or apprehension, it is considered to be an assault. If the person is in fear, it’s an assault whether or not the person intended it to be an assault.

Note, in the above definitions of assault, the language uses “unlawful” force. This means that you have the right to defend yourself if the other party is using unlawful force.

 

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Although you will be assigned a public defender, an experienced domestic violence attorney will do a better job at defending your rights. This is because public defenders often do not have enough time to dedicate to all of the people they are forced to represent.

Self-Defense

Over the past 10 years, attorneys seen a recurrent pattern in a lot of the cases. “Mutual Combat” where the parties both strike one another. Police typically arrest the person that they believe was the aggressor. According to domestic-violence-law.com, this person is often referred to as the primary aggressor. The person charged with the assault may have been simply defending themselves after being attacked. The police have to arrest someone and sometimes, one party will step forward and say “arrest me”. Obviously, law enforcement considers that an arrest must be made. This isn’t always true. Probable cause should be the reason for an arrest. Regardless, I’ve defended both types of cases before resulting in none other than Not Guilty verdicts and dismissal of the case pre-trial due to the fact that there was insufficient evidence.

Self-defense is the attempt to offer or use force on another who is attacking. If you believe you’re about to be injured, you may use lawful force to defend yourself. Keep in mind that this is only if you feel that you’re in danger or about to be attacked. Each situation is different and will have its own particulars and details. Every case should be evaluated individually. Just because a person says something doesn’t always make it so. Police need to remember to get all the details.

A person who is using or offer to use force may use such means and force that are reasonable to defend themselves. This is what any prudent person would do under similar or the same conditions. The police should take everything into consideration before arresting someone. They need the facts from both parties and the information on what was going on at the time and why. The more evidence that can be presented, the more likely the right person will be arrested. It’s not always easy to ascertain but with the right form of questioning, it’s usually a much better outcome.