Category Archives for Post Conviction

Sentence Hearings

Sentence Hearings

A sentence hearing is known as an opportunity to reduce punishments and penalties after being convicted of a crime. One of two things must happen in order to go into a sentence hearing. 1. the defendant enters a guilty plea or a a no contest plea to one criminal charge. or 2. is convicted by at least one charge by the jury or judge. The judge has to impose a sentence or a judgement. However before he/she does both parties (the defense and prosecutor) have the right to be heard to argue what they believe is the proper penalty (which is the sentence hearing). Depending on the crimes committed sentence hearings have deadlines. For misdemeanors the sentence hearing must be had after 6 hour but before 5 days (after the guilty plea/no contest plea/verdict). The deadline can be extended if the defendant waives the time frame. However the time frame itself could be extended if there were special circumstances. That could include motionsentence hearing for a new trial, defendant was insane, or waiting for a probation recommendation. For misdemeanor cases sentence hearings may sometimes can happen immediately after the verdict/guilty plea/no contest plea. For felonies, the sentence hearings must be made within 20 days of the verdict/pleas. And for the same reasons as misdemeanors, could be extended up to 30 days.

If the sentence hearing is not done immediately after the verdict/plea the judge can keep the defendant in jail. Order the defendant who is not in custody go to jail. or requires the defendant to be on bail to make sure he/she comes for the sentence hearing. In sentence hearings, the rules are different when compared to jury trials. In comparison the sentence hearings are more informal. The judge will allow the attorneys of both parties to argue and listen to the judge’s reasons for making a judgement. If the parties feel differently the judge must be willing to consider objections and options.

If you or someone you know wants to have an appropriate penalty, talk to an attorney that can lend a hand. Its important to know that you always have a fighting chance.

Appealing a Case

Appealing a Case

Appealing a Case. If you want to know what appealing a case means then you have to understand that its not as simple as it seems. It does not mean that all cases can be appealed. What appealing does, is prove that your case was mishandled in court. This means that you were unfairly convicted and sentenced. That the judge or jury had something against you. That the evidence was unfair/illegalappealing a case. Or that you were just outright innocent. When you appeal a case you aren’t trying to prove anything except that a legal error was made. So then if there was a legal error you would try to appeal so the ruling could be overturned. What happens in appealing a case is that it sends the case to a higher court for a review. This means that its not a new trial or a retrial of the case. What happens here is that the new court will review the legal process and the decision made by the lower court. This means that no new evidence can be introduced. If the appellate court find an error made by the trial court, they then decide whether the result may have changed due to the error. This means that just because the trial court made an error that you would be automatically free. The error must have made a difference in the decision.  Some examples of a legal error includes . The judge allowing evidence that should have been omitted. That the judge/prosecutor/etc.. acted unfairly/unethically. Or the jury used facts or opinions outside the evidence to decide the verdict. However the appellate court does not second guess a judge or jury’s determination of evidence.

If you or a loved one are looking to appeal a case, speak to an attorney that can represent you. Its important that you get all the help you can get.

Pharmacist Discipline

Pharmacist Discipline

Pharmacist Discipline. The Board of Pharmacypharmacist under California Department of Consumer affairs regulates pharmacist, and its interns and technicians. And so its the Board that has the discretion to discipline those with licenses of certain crimes. They can do this by probation, suspension, or revoke their license itself. This is because the board has to ensure public protection. Criminal convictions that can lead to discipline are crimes that are substantially related to the profession.

Substantially Related

Problem is that substantially related is a very vague term. Serious crimes such as rape, forgery, or DUI are likely to get discipline. However that does not mean misdemeanors are off the hook. Crimes such as petty theft is a crime that can lead to discipline as well. However a judge does not have to agree with the board in some cases. Domestic violence although can be related to pharmacy, a judge can disagree. However a judge will have to know the specifics of the case.  The Board can put you on probation for a minimum of three years with a license suspension.  It Depends on the seriousness of the crime (in their guidelines), it can be a Category II or Category III violation. However committing a crime is not the end all be all for your license. Rehabilitation is an option that you can take. You have to show evidence of  1. remorse or restitution. 2. you went to counseling or group therapy. 3. you did community service. 4. Letters of reference from your employers. 5. And that you were obeying the law since the conviction. The Board has no choice and has to look at all of them. That means even if you lost your license, eventually you can get reinstated.

Fighting the Board

If you got an accusation that says the board will discipline you, as a pharmacist, you have options. You or an attorney can negotiate to lessen the disciplinary action. Or you can get a hearing in front of a judge to show evidence and do cross examinations. However you have only 15 days to do so.

Medical License Suspension

Medical License and Suspension

Medical License and Suspension can happen when you commit a crime that goes against the board. The medical board of California handles medical professionals and physicians. They also basically make the rules that all doctors and medical practitioners have to follow. Breaking those rules will trigger board discipline.In order to trigger it, you had to have commit a crime that is “substantially related” to the functions a physician does. Although the description itself seems very vague, it covers a lot more than what it says. You can be seeing board discipline if you do medical practice violations. Murder, Rape, or doing crimes that require sex offender registration. Drugs, perjury, battery and theft are also under that category. Those are only just a few ways to trigger board discipline.medical license suspension

Board Discipline

There are few ways the board can act against you. If you were were found guilty for committing a small crime, you may see a warning. However the more serious the crimes get, so do the punishments. The board can choose to put you on probation, suspend your license, or even license revocation. If they do choose to put you on probation, they can make you do it under certain conditions. Examples would be doing drug tests and seeing a psychiatrist. Perhaps the most interesting part of a board discipline is that they can still punish you if you had off the job misconduct. A good example of this would be having multiple drinking offenses. The court does not recognize professional practice and personal life as two different things. If you misbehaved on or off the job in such a way, the board can punish your professional career.

If your medical license was revoked or suspended. Consult with an attorney. Your medical license is an important part of life that should not just be handed over without a fight.