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AB 3234 (Penal Code section 1001) Offers New Options for Individuals Facing Misdemeanors

2021 has brought some slow—albeit steady—progress toward true criminal justice reform. Among the new laws that took effect in January were California’s Assembly Bill 3234, which offers good news for some individuals facing misdemeanor cases: it gives courts the option to give misdemeanor defendants diversion for a period of up to two years. Diversion is

Probation Periods Shorten as AB 1950 Goes into Effect

California’s Assembly Bill 1950 went into effect on January 1, 2021, shortening the probation periods for many offenses statewide. And AB 1950, which amends sections 1203a and 1203.1 of the Penal Code, might come as a pleasant surprise to some California probationers. Previously, the probation term for most felony offenses was up to five years,

Los Angeles District Attorney Implements Comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform

Freshly sworn-in George Gascón has taken the reins at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office after getting elected earlier this year. This week, the career law enforcement officer and prosecutor got to work. His first order of business? Sending his office a series of directives to implement sweeping criminal justice reform throughout Los Angeles

SB 145’s Effect on Statutory Rape and Sex Offender Laws

Few laws in recent memory appear to have caused as much controversy as California’s Senate Bill 145 (SB 145) has, beginning in September 2020. On Twitter we saw SB 145 referred to as “the bill that allows a 24 year old to have sex with a 14 year old and escape a felony conviction and

Six Questions to Ask About Your Sentence Before Pleading Guilty

As a criminal defense firm, it is not uncommon to have someone reach out saying they pled guilty in their case and want a new attorney because they realized after the fact they would suffer additional consequences that their original lawyer did not explain to them. (Of course, if you have already been convicted and

Can Law Enforcement Lie to You?

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. I wish I could shout this from the rooftops. Law enforcement can lie to you. Law enforcement WILL lie to you. We have all heard some version of this myth at one point or another. My personal favorite is that undercover cops are required to be honest about the

Please Stop Taking Lie Detector Tests

Turn on just about any crime show—or a personal favorite, Meet the Parents—and at some point, you’ll find someone hooked up to a polygraph examination (more commonly known as a lie detector test). In real life, it almost always starts the same way: someone is contacted by law enforcement, and informed that he (or she)

Bail Is Back to Normal, But Everything Else Is Not

Remember our blog post a couple of weeks ago about California’s emergency bail order making the default bail amount $0 for most misdemeanors and low-level felonies? Well, standard bail amounts are officially back to normal. The Judicial Council of California—the group in charge of making statewide rules for our court system—rescinded its emergency bail order

San Diego Law Enforcement Promises End to Carotid Restraint — Why We Still Need to Pay Attention

In the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody, the Black Lives Matter movement has gained increasing influence and has taken great strides towards police and criminal justice reform. One such way local governments and communities have responded to the protests in recent weeks is by banning certain techniques used to subdue suspects. While

What’s the Best Thing to Say to Police When Arrested for Domestic Violence?

Yes, it’s a trick question. If you’re one of our clients, you have probably heard each of our attorneys tell you at one point or another: the best statement is no statement. (Our partner Stefano Molea can give you a quick refresher here.) But why? Especially in domestic violence cases, you often end up with

When Law Enforcement Can and Can’t Search Your Home

So you’re sitting on the couch binge-watching Tiger King and the police show up asking to take a look around. Now what? Below are a few of the most common instances in which you’ll need to let them in:   Search warrants. The most obvious time you’ll need to let them through the door is

Top 3 Misconceptions About the Coronavirus and San Diego Criminal Defense

The past two months have been an adjustment for us all.  Speaking the truth and providing accurate information is an obligation that extends far beyond politics.  We feel it is imperative to set the record straight regarding the top 3 misconceptions about the coronavirus and how best to handle your criminal case in San Diego.

Bail Amounts Change in Response to COVID-19 Emergency

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, lowering the jail populations throughout the state became a priority to prevent the coronavirus from spreading through detention facilities like wildfire. One way California sought to lower these numbers was by instituting an “Emergency Bail Schedule” to decrease the number of people being held in custody while awaiting

CARES Act Affects Federal Inmates

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, criminal justice advocates and officials have scrambled to implement safeguards for some of the most vulnerable among us: our incarcerated population. Being confined in close quarters to countless other people with little ventilation makes inmates uniquely vulnerable to catching—and spreading—the coronavirus. In an effort to limit the pandemic’s

The Law Office of David P. Shapiro Assists Clients Through Covid-19 Closures and Quarantines

The Law Office of David P. Shapiro Assists Clients Through Covid-19 Closures and Quarantines

The coronavirus continues to affect people, businesses, and everyday life throughout the world. The Law Office of David P. Shapiro recognizes this can be a stressful and uncertain time for many people, particularly those facing criminal charges. Global pandemic or not, David P. Shapiro and his team are committed to providing the same stellar service

Stefano Molea Is Listed As A Top Lawyer In San Diego

Stefano Molea Is Listed As A Top Lawyer In San Diego

Stefano Molea, one of the partners at the Law Office of David P. Shapiro, was recently added to San Diego Magazine’s Top Lawyers Directory of 2019. The directory recognizes lawyers who have reached a high level of professionalism and ethics. The lawyers listed in San Diego Magazine’s Directory were determined by Martindale-Hubbell, a lawyer review

San Diego Assault and Battery Lawyer Answers Legal Questions

   Transcription of content (from - We're with David Shapiro. David is a criminal lawyer in San Diego, California and has agreed to answer some online questions specifically related to assault and battery. David with that said, first question that was posted, this question was posted by Miles. I guess straight forward question,

Is jail time mandatory for a second DUI in San Diego

   Full video transcription (from - We're with David Shapiro. David is a DUI attorney in San Diego, California, and he's agreed to answer some online questions. The first question we're on, this question was specifically related to a second DUI. That's going to basically require a mandatory jail time. Sorry about that.

Why a Criminal Defense Lawyer is Best Suited to Defend Against a Domestic Violence Protective Order in Family Court

By: Puja Sachdev, a Certified Family Law Specialist, skilled litigator, and a trained private mediator for family law matters in San Diego County. A Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO) issued in family court is much easier to get than a Criminal Protective Order (CPO) issued in criminal court. The burden of proof is lower, and

New DUI and Police Transparency Laws in California

DUI Ignition Interlock Devices Several years ago California began a pilot program applicable in only 4 counties (of which San Diego was not one) mandating that an ignition interlock device (IID) be installed in a vehicle whenever the driver was convicted of a DUI. An IID requires that the driver pass a breathalyzer test each time the vehicle

The Importance of Having an Experienced Investigator on Your Criminal Defense Team

When you are accused of a crime and your future, freedom, and reputation are at stake, don’t you want the best defense available?  The best criminal defense teams have an experienced investigator in their corner.A good investigator “hits the ground running” to gather information on behalf of the client and conduct the defense’s own investigation.  This

Law Office of David P. Shapiro Begins 2019 by Providing Even Greater Value to Its Clients

When you retain the services of a criminal defense law firm, it’s important to know that the firm is going to do everything within its power to provide you with the best defense and the best service possible. Starting this month, we are pleased to announce a few additions to our office suite which we

Entry into Canada with a Criminal Record

Motion to Seal and Destroy Arrest Record (Penal Code 851.91): Thanks to a new law that took effect January 1, 2018, those that have been arrested but not charged, or those whose case has been dismissed, will have an easier time sealing and destroying their arrest records. Most arrests or charges qualify (even child abuse,

How to “Clean up” Your Criminal Record

Motion to Seal and Destroy Arrest Record (Penal Code 851.91): Thanks to a new law that took effect January 1, 2018, those that have been arrested but not charged, or those whose case has been dismissed, will have an easier time sealing and destroying their arrest records. Most arrests or charges qualify (even child abuse,

David P. Shapiro and Stefano L. Molea Selected as 2019 San Diego Rising Stars

Super Lawyers, the lawyer rating service, has selected our Firm’s David P. Shapiro and Stefano L. Molea as San Diego “Rising Stars” for 2019. Using independent research (including verdicts and settlements, experience, pro bono activity, and educational background), peer nominations and peer evaluations, Super Lawyers confers the Rising Star honor on just 2.5% of eligible candidates. The selection process is

#bailmeout Fundraiser

Our Firm believes in giving back and helping the people of our San Diego community. As a criminal defense law firm, this usually means assisting those charged with a crime by helping them regain control of their future. This month we are proud to help in a broader sense by launching a fundraiser to support Second Chance.

Law Office of David P. Shapiro Acknowledged as the 218th Fastest-Growing Law Firm in the U.S.

Earlier this month our Firm was named one of the fastest growing law firms in the country! We ranked 218th overall with a 39% growth rate. The award was presented by the Law Firm 500, an annual legal conference held each year on issues related to law firm operations. This year’s conference was held in Lake Las

David P. Shapiro Honored as One of San Diego’s Top Business Leaders

David Shapiro has been named by the San Diego Business Journal as one of the City’s Top Business Leaders. Shapiro, the Founder and Managing Partner of the Law Office of David P. Shapiro, was chosen as one of an elite group of honorees selected from hundreds of members of the San Diego business community. He is

Addiction, Crime and Recovery

The relationship between alcohol and drug abuse, on the one hand, and crime, on the other, is nothing short of astounding. According to these statistics from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, you could safely conclude that substance abuse is a factor in well over 50% of arrests and incarceration in the United States. As

Immigration Status and Courtroom Testimony

Immigration officers are trolling courthouses across the country in search of undocumented immigrants, and this is having a profound effect on the justice system. In addition to courthouse arrests, the issue is affecting ongoing criminal trials. Last year, for example, in a domestic violence case in San Francisco, the mother of a domestic violence victim

California Law Helps Non-Citizens Avoid Collateral Immigration Consequences in Low Level Drug Cases

In an article published this month in the San Diego Criminal Defense Blog, Stefano L. Molea, a San Diego criminal defense lawyer and partner at the Law Office of David P. Shapiro, provides useful information regarding the consequences of low-level drug crimes for immigrants in California. The article focuses on AB 208 which was signed into law late last

Media Looks to the Law Office of David P. Shapiro for Input on Kellen Winslow Case

When a criminal case gains notoriety, particularly those in San Diego, the media regularly looks to San Diego criminal defense attorney David P. Shapiro for analysis. An example is the case of former NFL star Kellen Winslow Jr., who was charged with rape, burglary and other serious crimes. You can listen to some of David’s

New California Law Allows Pretrial Diversion  Based On Mental Health Conditions

Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law (AB 1810) in late June which is anticipated to have a huge impact on the California criminal justice system. It is a significant piece of legislation which permits a court to grant pretrial diversion to a defendant charged with a crime based upon the defendant’s mental health

40 Under 40 Finalist Award

40 Under 40 Finalist Award

David P. Shapiro is honored to have been selected as a finalist for the 2018 San Diego Next Top Business Leaders Under 40. The San Diego Business Journal will honor young professionals — leaders, change makers and innovators — who are making waves, creating impact and leaving a positive mark on the San Diego community.

Stopped For a DUI? Know Your Legal Rights and Obligations in California

During the summer holidays, you can expect to see more and more DUI checkpoints and “saturation” patrols in the San Diego area. While every case is different, if you are stopped you will likely be asked for a breath sample, and/or to participate in field sobriety tests (FSTs). It is important to know your rights

David P. Shapiro Named Finalist for the 2018 San Diego Next Top Business Leaders Under 40

Earlier this month San Diego criminal defense attorney David P. Shapiro was named by the San Diego Business Journal as a finalist for this year’s Next Top Business Leaders Under 40. The honor is bestowed on professionals who are making a positive mark on the San Diego community. It is intended to recognize the next generation of

Uber, Lyft Drivers Face Lower BAC Limit for DUI

Effective July 1, 2018, Uber, Lyft and other ride-share drivers will be subject to a lower legal limit for their blood alcohol content when charged with a DUI. Currently, they are subject to a legal limit of 0.08, the same as other drivers of passenger vehicles. Drivers of trucks and other commercial vehicles are already

Have Your Arrest Record Sealed

Arrested but never convicted? Have your California arrest record sealed. It’s one thing to be charged with a crime and to be acquitted or for the case to be dismissed. But what about your arrest record? This could affect your employment and educational opportunities by remaining a blemish on your record. Under the CARE Act

Partner Stefano L. Molea – Excellence in Criminal Defense

When Stefano L. Molea arrived in the United States from Italy at the age of 10, he lacked many of the advantages of children his age. Coming from a working class, blue-collar family, and arriving in a place where he did not have friends or even speak the English language, he learned early on the

Facing Criminal Charges in San Diego?

This Book Tells You What You Need to Know Click here to see a summary of the book and learn how to obtain a copy If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime, what should you do? The ultimate goal is to get your life back on track, and to regain

Survival Guide for Those Accused of a Sex Crime in San Diego

Being charged with a sex crime will throw your life into chaos. The purpose of this book is not to excuse sexual assault and similar behavior. On the other hand, you may be entirely innocent, or the charge against you may be exaggerated. And as we know from the “Weinstein Effect,” merely being accused of

California Remains Defiant in Face of New Federal “Get Tough” Stance on Marijuana

On New Year’s Day, recreational marijuana became legal in California. Just 4 days later, the Trump administration sought to throw a wrench in the new law when Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent out a memo to the Justice Department which stated that “marijuana activity is a serious crime.” Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and

New Partner Joins the Law Office of David P. Shapiro

Stefano Molea Brings Experience, Quality Representation to Our Criminal Law Practice Our law firm has successfully provided outstanding legal representation to those charged with crimes since it was founded by Managing Partner David P. Shapiro in 2007. With success comes growth, and that growth in turn gives us the opportunity to serve more and more

Understanding and Defending Domestic Violence Charges

David Shapiro Discusses Domestic Violence in California The reports on the level of domestic violence during the holiday season are mixed, although high expectations, money pressures, and the increase in alcohol consumption tends to raise stress levels, which may precipitate incidents leading to domestic violence charges. In this video, San Diego criminal defense attorney David P.

Media Flocks to David Shapiro for Comments on Harvey Weinstein and other Sexual Misconduct Cases

From Harvey Weinstein to a host of celebrities, sexual assault and other sexual misconduct has been big news lately. Whether the issue is an allegation against a movie producer or just an average citizen, David Shapiro’s experience has often led the media to his office for comments about cases in the news. Recent interviews include Voice

How to Choose the Right Criminal Defense Attorney

Finding the Right Attorney When You Are Charged with a Crime In this online video, San Diego criminal defense lawyer David P. Shapiro discusses what to look for in an attorney when you or a loved one are facing criminal charges. Experience is obviously an issue, but David emphasizes the importance of also looking at the

The Opiate Crisis – California Fights Back

We’ve been deluged lately by news reports about the “opioid” crisis. They’re talking primarily about prescription opiates – Fentanyl, Vicodin, Oxycontin, Percocet, and others. Why all the shouting? Well, to begin with, the link between crime and drug use is extraordinary. In San Diego, for example, SANDAG tells us that around 75% of all those

2017 Criminal Case Law Developments in California

The courts have been active thus far this year dealing with numerous issues in the area of criminal law. Some of the more newsworthy cases are: Conflicting decisions on warrantless search of probationer’s cell phone. Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and California Fourth District Court of Appeal differ on constitutional interpretation. If you are

Over a Decade of Helping Good People Get Through Bad Situations

Candid Video on Arrests, Jail and More David Shapiro has been helping people charged with crimes for over 10 years. In this candid video, David speaks about his own experience as a defendant in the criminal justice system. This is one of the reasons that David understands the fear, uncertainty, and stress that clients go

August in Criminal Law History

August 17, 1998– Bill Clinton became the first sitting President to testify before a grand jury in which the focus of the investigation was the President himself. August 4, 1964 – Three young civil rights workers were found murdered and buried in an earthen dam outside Philadelphia, Mississippi. They were participating in the Mississippi Summer Project

Felony Drug Possession

Defenses to Drug Possession Charges In this online video, San Diego criminal defense attorney David P. Shapiro discusses felony drug possession charges. These usually involve allegations of a large amount of drugs in your car, in your house, or under your personal control. Mr. Shapiro points out that the mere fact that you have been

Get Your Old Marijuana Conviction Dismissed or Reduced

When the voters of California passed Proposition 64 in November of last year, they did more than legalize the possession of marijuana for personal use. Prop 64 also reduced some marijuana offenses from felonies to misdemeanors or wobblers, and others from misdemeanors to infractions. And it allows the court to reduce some marijuana-related felony convictions

Recent Developments in California Law

Reduced penalties for shoplifting under Prop 47. Misdemeanor designation also applies to entering premises to commit non-larcenous act such as cashing stolen check. Men arrested for Facebook posts sue police. Two men who posted rap lyrics on Facebook and were arrested for gang activities have sued the San Diego Police Department in federal court for deprivation of their First

Why Hire an Attorney for a DUI?

Are you facing a DUI? In this YouTube video, San Diego DUI and criminal defense attorney David P. Shapiro discusses why it’s essential to hire an attorney to defend against a DUI charge, even one where the police say you had a high blood alcohol content (BAC), maybe two or three times the legal limit.

Landmark Court Cases Decided in the Month of May 2017

Brown v. Board of Education (decided May 17, 1954 by the U.S. Supreme Court). Racial segregation in public schools declared unconstitutional. Pitchess v. Superior Court (decided May 23, 1974 by the California Supreme Court). Defendants in criminal cases may access a police officer’s personnel file to support allegations of excessive force or lying about circumstances surrounding the

Tuition Assistance for those affected by Autism

Autism Scholarship Announced In this short video, David speaks about the firm’s scholarship program. This year, he is offering tuition assistance for those affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder. ASD and autism refer to a group of disorders that can present difficulties in social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and other areas. The scholarship is intended to foster

Felony DUI Charged in Poway Car Crash

Felony DUI Charged in Poway Car Crash

A report last month in the San Diego Union Tribune described a car accident in Poway. The driver was suspected of being under the influence of alcohol. There was nothing particularly unusual about the crash. A man was driving a BMW on Pomerado Road in the early morning hours when his car struck the rear

California Pardons Focus on Drug Crimes

Last week California Governor Jerry Brown released a list of 72 individuals he has pardoned, including several involving crimes committed in the San Diego area. Those pardoned had been convicted of a wide variety of offenses, ranging from marijuana possession to animal cruelty to arson. A pardon is an act by the governor representing forgiveness

Probation and Sex Offenders

California Supreme Court Upholds and “Interprets” Chelsea’s Law Chelsea’s Law is a California statute that significantly increased penalties for sex offenders. The law, which became effective in 2010, covered, among other things, sentencing, parole, and internet postings. It was passed in response to the rape and murder that same year of Chelsea King, a San

April in Criminal Law History

A number of famous crimes were committed in the month of April, including: April 14, 1865 – President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. April 15, 1920 – Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti allegedly kill a paymaster and a guard at a factory in Massachusetts in order to steal a $16,000 payroll shipment.

Checkpoints Nab San Diego DUI Suspects

St. Patrick’s Day is generally known as a drinking holiday. And if the activities of the police are any indication, they believe that it translates into more drinking and driving than usual. Here’s a compilation of just a few of the activities around town on March 17, 2017: Gaslamp. The position of the DUI checkpoint

Underage Drinking Sting Nets Hundreds in California

The news is filled these days with statistics on crime. It is also filled with misstatements about whether crime is on the increase or on the decline in states and cities across the nation. Some folks appear to be sticking to their claim that violent crime us up everywhere, largely due to immigrants and not

Identity Theft on the Rise

Identity theft has been creating problems for individuals for decades. But it is not since the expansion of internet use that the problem has truly exploded. On an annual basis, around 15 million people are affected by identity theft each year. Around 1.5 million of those people are Californians. It is definitely a growth industry,

“Fact Gap” on Trump’s Crime and Immigration Claims

Data Says Sanctuary Counties are Safer You’ve heard of the gender gap and the generation gap. Well, we have a new one for you. We call it the “fact gap.” It is a phenomenon that arises when a politician spouts words that have no factual basis whatsoever. The sole purpose of these statements appears to

Drug Charges Explained

In this video, David Shapiro discusses a variety of drug charges. Topics include: Simple possession vs. possession with intent to sell; Diversion programs; Felony vs. misdemeanor drug charges; Plea bargains; Marijuana legalization; and Defenses, including entrapment.

Illegal Arrest Charged in Facebook Gang Case

Rapper and Student Sue San Diego PD In case you haven’t noticed, there are thousands of laws on the books in California, including those contained in the California Penal Code. Sometimes the lawmakers get it right, and sometimes the language they draft and codify into law invites problems. All of which brings us to PC

Ransomware – A New Internet Crime in California

In February 2016, a computer hacker was able to seize control of the computer system at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center. This prevented the hospital from accessing its own data. It wasn’t a prank. The hacker demanded ransom in the form of “bitcoins.” Bitcoin is a new currency created about 8 years ago.  They can be used

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