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Joseph Briscoe Dane
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Joseph Dane’s Answers

10,198 total


  • My friend was arrested under a felony warrant (11350 (a) ), will his case most likely be reduced to misdemeanor due to prop 47?

    My friend caught a possession of a controlled substance case last year while already on formal probation for a prior possession of a controlled substance case. He bailed out but when he went to court they said a case was never filed. Early this ye...

    Joseph’s Answer

    Yes, it should be reduced to a misdemeanor. He faces up to a year in jail.

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  • Caught stealing at KHOLS no police were involved they sent a civil demand of $325 do I pay what happens if I don't

    I stole about 120$ worth of merchandise they took me and my friend to a room and had us give them the stuff back we did no police were involved they took our picture had us sign paper work took our drivers license information and told us we wernt ...

    Joseph’s Answer

    This is perhaps one of the most common questions on Avvo.

    It's not a civil "fine" - it's a civil demand letter. California law allows a merchant to demand up to $500 following a theft incident. These letters are typically sent by the store or a law firm acting on their behalf. They are all bark and no bite. If you ignore the letter, they have to make a choice - let it go or file a small claims case against you. I have never heard of anyone actually being sued if they ignore the letter. Why don't they do anything? Because lawyers cannot get involved in small claims cases and it isn't worth the store's time to pursue a small claims case over such a minor amount. There is one law firm in Florida that does nothing but these kind of civil demand letters on behalf of stores. They were quoted in a Wall Street Journal article as sending out over one and a half million letters a year, but they filed less than 10 lawsuits. Not ten percent. Not ten thousand. Ten. The odds are overwhelming that they won't do anything. If you choose to pay their demand, it just means they won't sue you, but it will have no impact on any criminal prosecution. Paying it won't stop criminal charges from being filed and not paying it won't make a criminal case worse or cause charges to be filed if they weren't going to be in the first place.

    Good luck.

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  • Is it legal to use deadly force on someone who breaks into your home in California?

    Deadly force on burglars in California?

    Joseph’s Answer

    You are unlikely to get an answer to this question and here's why... There is no blanket rule on the use of deadly force. Every situation is unique.

    Yes, you can use deadly force to protect yourself from being killed, but the use of force must be necessary or it is an unlawful killing.

    Nobody here can (or should) give you an absolute yes/no answer to your question.

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  • Threats

    If boyfriend physically abuses then says if you go to the police I'll kill you, would that be a felony or misdemeanor?

    Joseph’s Answer

    Felony dissuading a witness under Oenal Code 136.1.

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  • I believe a business entered into a transaction with intent to defraud. At what point can this be reported as a crime?

    I contacted a business to purchase some equipment. They provided me with an invoice, which I paid. As soon as the check cleared, they stopped returning calls and emails, and the equipment was never delivered. Online research turns up many other pe...

    Joseph’s Answer

    Although you may have well-founded concerns about their intent, proving it may be difficult. You can file a police report, but don't be surprised if they view this as an entirely civil matter. You know where the owner lives - presumably you could serve them with your lawsuit at that address.

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  • Los Angeles, CA - Sealing arrest record. Case dismissed in 07/2012, never saw the judge

    I was arguing with my roommate in July 2012 in Los Angeles, CA. The neighbor called the police and I was arrested, charged with domestic violence. I was later released without seeing the judge (case dismissed). i believe I am never convicted. I wo...

    Joseph’s Answer

    It is not game over.

    Penal Code section 851.8 does contain a two year time frame in which you must ordinarily file, but there is a provision under which you can file after that upon a showing of "good cause" and as long as there is not prejudice to the prosecution.

    If you are serious about potentially pursuing this, don't delay much longer. Seek an in-person consultation with an attorney that practices in the court where your case would have been filed. Be sure to discuss the pros and cons of even filing.

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  • Is it illegal for a minor to date an 18 year old if they were dating before he turned 18 ?

    My friend is dating a guy and he's 17 at the moment and she's 15 is it illegal for them to date even If they were dating before he turns 18?

    Joseph’s Answer

    Any sexual activity with a person under 18, even if both are under 18, is illegal. There is no exception for sexual relationships hat began before one of the parties was 18. It's still illegal.

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  • Can I get in trouble for seeing a aftermath of a crime but did not call the police for help.

    Can passer-by get in trouble seeing aftermath of crime on the streets but did not see who committed crime and passerby did not call the police. Like a hit and run. the passers-by saw someone laying on street but did not see who hit him and the pa...

    Joseph’s Answer

    IF you had no part in the original incident, then there is no legal obligation to assist. California does not have a Good Samaritan law that requires aiding.

    However - if you were part of the collision, that's a different story. Hen you were absolutely required to assist and summon aid.

    And - if you are identified as a witness and contacted, do NOT lie to them.

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  • How to fix a false convection n on a live scan

    Was convect of drink in public while just have removed but my live scan also says convect of under the inf of drug never have had a drug charge it cause me a lot of heartache and lost in a custody case too Have had cps constiibily say since I hav...

    Joseph’s Answer

    If you order a copy of your own record by doing a live scan, when hey send you you records, there is also a form to correct errors. You can send in documentation regarding what the conviction was actually for and it should be corrected. This is something you can do yourself or you can hire an attorney to avoid some of the headache of dealing with this.

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