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Gayle Anne-Marie Gutekunst

Gayle Gutekunst’s Answers

1,987 total


  • My son has just been released from jail and got informal probation for burglary and vandalism...can he smoke weed for anxiety?

    He believes he can because of the charges...but I am worried he has 3 yrs informal probation? That's a long time for a first timer...so I just worry hes going to screw it up?

    Gayle’s Answer

    If he has a valid medical use for marijuana, he should see a physician who specializes in this area of practice. If, after an examination and review of his medical history, the doctor believes that medical marijuana would benefit him, the doctor can issue him what is properly called a "recommendation." CA has determined that only a limited number of conditions are helped by medical marijuana, so your son's medical need would have to fit within one of those conditions.

    With that recommendation comes a card with a registration number issued by the State via the physician. If arrested or detained and m.j. is found in your son's possession, he presents the card to the arresting/detaining officer who can run a verification of the number on an internet site. Many small county peace officers don't do this, and put the person through a useless criminal process because they refuse to comply with the CA law. If that happens, you just have to go through it.

    I doubt there are doctors in Ceres, or Merced or Stockton who do this because these areas of CA are so oddly hostile to marijuana use (preferring instead, I suppose, to have their officials cause injuries to strangers while driving drunk coming home from the Christmas party, but that's a rant for another day . . . . ) He can look on the NORML website, or Americans For Safe Access website and locate physicians who will accept him as a patient.

    So, the answer is that it is legal for him to smoke it if he has a physician's recommendation. Until he has that recommendation, it is not legal for him and would be a violation of a probation order to "obey all laws." Moreover, he can not get into a licensed dispensary without showing his recommendation and/or card, and having the dispensary personnel call the physician to verify that your son is a patient.

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  • As a first time offender do you think I'll do jail time for code 11370.1 (a)

    I was not unDer the influence. Never been in trouble before.

    Gayle’s Answer

    That isn't good. Sorry. You are being charged with having been in possession of a street drug while armed. If you're in Kern County, that is going to be an upward battle. All CA counties, but especially the more conservative ones like Kern, take a very dim view of weapons. You will need an aggressive attorney to try to litigate this and maybe, if the evidence against you can establish your guilt, bargain away the gun.

    I'm not saying you are guilty - please understand that. You may have search and seizure issues or other legal strategies which could result in your acquittal.

    But we can't predict what will happen to you. It is to your benefit that you have no prior criminal history.

    Best ask these questions of your attorney (either retained or appointed). Make sure you keep asking questions and listening to the answers. Then ask more questions if you need to. A conviction for this offense will affect you for the rest of your life, so approach this with seriousness and an eye toward where you want to be in your life in 10 years.

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  • How do I get the most out of a public defender since I am unemployed with no family to help me pay for an attorney.

    I was charged with a felony sales of a controlled substance and I am not a drug dealer of any kind. The police came up to me in my car parked and asked me to get out of my car for no reason, asked for my lisence and stuff which I provided then ask...

    Gayle’s Answer

    I was a public defender for 14 of the 35 years I've been in practice. It was the very best training I could have gotten, and I am proud of the time I spent there.

    I speculate that your attorney will review your police reports for search and seizure issues under the 4th Amendment, since the police conduct here is a little sketchy as you describe it. I'm sure there's more, which may or may not benefit you. That's why you have to let your attorney do his/her job. PDs are usually very familiar with 4th Amendment issues and litigate them fairly frequently.

    If you have questions, ask your PD. Since you're out of custody, make an appointment. Please don't drop in. Treat your PD as what s/he is - a busy attorney. Once you get your attorney's answers, if you don't understand them, ask for clarification and listen. Have a conversation. There are no "stupid" questions; neither you nor I were born knowing this stuff. In the meantime, if you are not already doing something to address your drug use, start now. 4 or 5 NAs/week would be a nice start (they take attendance and you can show it to your PD and the judge).

    Remember, once you have an attorney assigned to you the police should not be contacting you about this incident. If they ask you (usually it would be to "snitch") refer all questions to your attorney. Good luck.

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  • Nv filled warrant 08/14 I went to .ca jail 1/15_08/15 I just released. Why no hold from nv?

    I checked all holds while in custody in .ca. said none, I was released. To find out there's a year long warrant in nv for me for 1 felony. What does that mean?

    Gayle’s Answer

    Mr. Finnecy is right; get a Nevada attorney to check this out for you.

    I suggest you copy and re-post this question in the area for Nevada criminal practitioners. When AVVO asks you for your location, put a town in Nevada.

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  • Does the Parole Board add special conditions before or after the parolee is released?

    My fiancee is due to be released In December. He has already signed parole papers but I have heard that parole can add special conditions such as alcohol classes, and no contact with me since we were involved in a DV case. I am wondering if they w...

    Gayle’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Contact with you could definitely be an issue, especially if he was imprisoned because of a DV-related crime. Is there a criminal protective order against him because of that DV case? If that's so, you're going to have to go back to court and get it undone. And that's just the first step. The parole agents don't automatically honor the court's finding with regard to CPOs.

    There is an administrative process in place to challenge conditions of parole. He must exhaust his administrative remedies before he can go before a court for a judge examine the parole agent's decision.

    The agent's imposed special conditions are parolee-specific, so no one on this site can predict what the BPT will or won't do; I'm sure you understand that. So sit tight and don't communicate anything - either by phone or in writing - which will give an agent a reason to suspect that your finance has social problems, such as drug addiction or alcohol abuse. Because, as you know, this communication is monitored.

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  • Can a witness for the prosecution sit with the D.A. for an entire criminal jury trial? (Witness was a police officer)

    My friend an ex-felon was charged with receiving stolen property and carrying a dirk or dagger. The cop said it was concealed in his pocket, that she confronted him about it when he was on the ground and then cuffed him. Her body cam showed her ac...

    Gayle’s Answer

    In response to your comment to Mr. Finnecy's answer, the repercussions are that she should lose a lot of credibility with the jury. It is up to defense counsel to illuminate the inconsistencies, point out to the jury the materiality of those inconsistencies, and urge the jury to question either (a) her memory or (b) her honesty because of those inconsistencies.

    It is rare for a peace officer to be prosecuted for the crime of perjury. There are former DAs on this panel who understand the internal charging practices of a DA's office. But I think that if a DA has a police officer witness who is very dishonest, the DA will notify the police commander, and the matter will be handled at the police agency internally.

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  • Can they ?

    When a defendant is getting sentenced in court are they allow to hug family members ?

    Gayle’s Answer

    Get there early and ask the bailiff. S/He may tell you to pound sand. The other attorneys have told you to expect that. But sometimes they will let a parent hug the defendant as long as the defendant is cuffed. It can't hurt to ask. Sometimes if you sit near the bailiff's desk (provided the courtroom footprint is set up that way) and you are completely well-behaved (no snide remarks to DA or victim families, etc), the bailiff will allow a quick hug if the case is called at the end of the calendar and other people in the gallery can't see it.

    But it's a long shot.

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  • My husband got a dui he reveived an extension to sign up for a meetings his extension date was August 3rd now their is a warrant

    If he goes to the court house will they grant him another extension he didn't sign up for it due to financial hardship

    Gayle’s Answer

    I don't know what the policies are in your husband's counties. But in many counties fees for mandatory classes are based on ability to pay. When he goes to court (with his lawyer) he should ask the court directly if there are sliding scale meetings he can attend. This might make the judge shuffle around and confront the DA , etc about these. Your husband should not have to pay the same fees that Linsday Lohan paid.

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  • Should I file with the EEOC about pre employment criminal background discrimination?

    I applied for a position at a car dealership and went through their interview process and got hired. I went in and got a drug test which passed, then gave info so they can do a background check on me. Now about a year ago in Sep 2014 I got arreste...

    Gayle’s Answer

    If you a sure that you did not get this job because of the petty theft incident, rely on California Labor Code section 432.7(c) which provides for damages if an employer discriminates as you have described.

    (Google California Labor Code sec 432.7)

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