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Brian Neal Gurwitz
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Brian Gurwitz’s Answers

109 total


  • Should I plead guilty for battery misdemeanor (242PC) in California?

    I have to appear to court in a month, I'm accused of battery. Should I plead Guilty? I don't clearly remember what happened, I was in a bar and I was drunk, but I wasn't accused for being drunk. How can I know who is accusing me? I have the card o...

    Brian’s Answer

    Mr. Dane's advice was correct. I'd also add that most court systems will give your attorney the police reports at the first court appearance. He or she can also advance the case to an earlier date and get them sooner. You could also get them at your first appearance if you represent yourself, but I think that would be a bad idea based on the facts you've presented.

    Good luck -

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  • Consequences for shoplifting in ca

    in 14. i was accused of shoplifting 431 dollars worth of jewelry. the employees said it was considered grand theft and the police were called in. they said i was not allowed to return to the store and that i would be mailed a fine in 4-6 weeks and...

    Brian’s Answer

    Yes, you could be arrested but it isn't likely at this point based on the facts presented. Could you end up in juvenile hall? Technically yes, but again it isn't likely. It is important that you speak with a local criminal defense attorney who is familiar with local juvenile court practice. That attorney can also potentially help you stay in school if the school considers it grounds for expulsion. You don't mention whether your parents know about this. Letting them know and asking for their help might be the best thing for you to do.

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  • I'm charged with 23152(a) vc, I was passed out in my car drivers seat. I don't remember ever driving and they say I hit a car.

    I was passed out in the drivers seat, they said somebody saw me passed out with my door open and one leg out and called. They later said that I had backed into a car and which I refused to beleive. I don't remember ever starting my car and it wa...

    Brian’s Answer

    I recommend that you immediately consult with a criminal defense attorney. Your situation is complicated and the correct answer depends on many facts that aren't included in your question. You need to be certain that you don't jeopardize your rights in either a criminal case or with respect to the alleged collision.

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  • Can the judge make you wave your speedy trial time

    in the court room we were told we had to wave time because our attorney was not ready because she wanted to go on vacation so the judge told us we had to now that is violating are speedy trial rights but now they have dismiss the charges do t...

    Brian’s Answer

    The answer to your question depends on whether your attorney is private (retained) or appointed (a public defender). If the attorney was a public defender, I don't think a vacation would justify continuing your case when you didn't want to do so. If it was a privately-retained attorney, then you probably would have been required to waive time if you wanted to keep that lawyer. The idea is that you hired that lawyer and had the right to fire him/her if you really wanted a speedy trial.

    The fact that the case was dismissed PROBABLY eliminates the issue as something you could raise on appeal, but it really depends on many other facts. You may want to seek a second opinion to determine your options at this point.

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  • A sign was posted stating no right turn on red $400.00 fine. Sign was hard to see, eveyone was running it. Sign has since gone!

    My ticket, including traffic school came to roughly $500. I called the courthouse and the lady who answered said "You are one of hundreds and hundreds at that light. It's a big deal." Since that time, all the signs posted saying "No Turn on Red" h...

    Brian’s Answer

    Yes it can be fought. But the results will not be guaranteed. Fighting it will cost you. SInce camera tickets don't add any points to your record, I'm curious why you would sign up for traffic school since it would only increase the amount you have to pay.

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  • How do I postpone my DMV hearing?

    I was just cited for a possible second DUI. For my own valid reasons, I refused to blow at the scene. Luckily, I have a family friend that practices DUI law. He said my DUI case is extremely weak and I have a great chance of either beating it i...

    Brian’s Answer

    If you're represented by private counsel, you should ask that attorney to seek a continuance with the DMV. You should beware, though, that even "beating" the charge in court does not guarantee you that the DMV hearing officer will reach the same result.

    Good luck,

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  • What are my rights to obtain the best public defender for welfare fraud in California?

    Each time I have gone to court thus far, I have a different public defender, and the lawyer on the prosecution's side doesn't show, so I wait around for the DA. The PD doesn't think I stand a chance, even though I had my children every weekend, h...

    Brian’s Answer

    One of the main negatives about having a public defender is that they frequently change. The attorney who represents you one day might not be on your case the following week. Public defender clients have no right to insist that one attorney be assigned to them (let alone a particular one with a good reputation). The only thing you have the right to expect is "competent" representation under the state and federal constitutions. This is not a particularly high standard.

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  • I was arrested for trespassing but it was dismissed back in 2000? Can i still have my record sealed and destroyed?

    I was given a citation and was released. When I went back for the hearing the court dismissed it. There was no hearing. I didn't think it would be on my record because I did not trespass at Magic Mountain. It's absurd. I just found out that it...

    Brian’s Answer

    1) The way to seal arrest records is through a petition for factual innocence. When no charges were filed, there is a three-year time period within which you had to file it. Arrests can show up on your record regardless of whether charges were filed.

    2) You say the court "dismissed" it. It is unclear to me whether you were ever charged with anything. If you were cited, but the court dismissed the case for some reason, then you were charged. If you were never charged, there would be no case to dismiss.

    3) While I'm not an employment lawyer, I do know that the law prevents future employers in certain situations from asking about prior arrests that never resulted in a conviction. If you were never convicted of anything, you might want to seek the advice of an attorney who is experienced in employment law.

    4) To become an attorney, you are required to pass a moral character application. An attorney who specializes in representing clients before the State Bar court would be able to answer this question better, but I would be shocked if a 10+ year old trespass arrest (or conviction) would have any impact on your application. I know of attorneys who had much more serious convictions on their records who became attorneys with no difficulty.

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  • Can I get a license in CA if I got a dui in WA. I had my license suspened for 1 yr & ankle braclet for 1 month. I didn't renew

    I got a dui in WA and had an ankle braclet on and did 1 yr license suspended. I moved to CA and started working... taking the bus. I just bought a car and didn't get my license renewed in WA. I recently drove and got pulled over driving w/o a lice...

    Brian’s Answer

    You might want to post this question in the Washington area rather than California. Licensing laws are different in California, and few California lawyers will be able to answer your question unless they've practiced in that state.

    Good luck,

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  • Do you have to be convicted of a felony for the police to take a DNA sample or is simply being charged enough?

    I was the passenger in a car with two others, the driver and one other person in the back seat behind the driver. We were pulled over, the driver being on parole, with no driver's license in possession and the title not being in his/her name gave...

    Brian’s Answer

    Beginning this year, everyone arrested for a felony offense (regardless of whether they are later charged with a crime) must submit DNA samples to the California database. In some circumstances (e.g., no charges are filed), the arrestee can petition the court to have the sample removed.

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