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Your Rights When Being Pulled Over By a Police Officer

California Criminal Defense Attorney

Almost everyone has been pulled over by a police officer at least once in their lives. Did you know that you have certain rights before and during the stop that may protect you if you get arrested and charged with a crime? Here’s what you need to know.

Fleeing & Eluding

When a police officer flashes their lights at you and attempts to pull you over, you have the right to take your vehicle to a safe location before you stop, especially if you are alone. You also have the right to identify the car as a law enforcement vehicle and the officer as a law enforcement officer. The police may charge you with fleeing & eluding if you continue to drive your car after being signaled to stop; however, you can defend yourself by maintaining that you were seeking a safe, public, and well-lit location so the officer and the police vehicle could be more easily identified.

What to Say When Stopped

After you’ve been stopped, the police officer will usually ask you for your identification and may ask several other questions as well. Apart from providing your identification, you have the right to decline to answer questions that could potentially incriminate you. If, for example, the officer asks if you have been drinking, you may simply say, “I have no comment on that.” You are well within your rights, but remember to remain polite and keep your hands in plain view of the officer at all times.

Your DUI Rights

If the officer who stops you suspects you of driving under the influence, he or she may ask you to perform field sobriety tests. You have the right to decline these without penalty. You also have the right to decline a BAC test, however, this means you will immediately surrender your license. You may decline a breathalyzer on the scene and request to submit a blood test at the hospital or the police department instead, and you also have the right to request that two identical samples of blood be taken — one for law enforcement and the other for you to have tested using an independent lab.

Attorney Jennifer Mouzis is experienced in helping clients assert their rights under the California law and defending them against unjust charges. Contact Attorney Mouzis today to learn more about your rights or to discuss your case in detail by calling (916) 822-8702.

By : admin | March 30, 2016 | Criminal Defense

Attorney Mouzis Featured in Sacramento News & Review

In the March issue of the Sacramento News & Review, criminal defense attorney Jennifer Mouzis was referenced for her defense and acquittal of Daniel Thomas Bush, a.k.a. rapper Poppy Chulo.

Jennifer Mouzis got the rapper acquitted of attempted murder charges. Mouzis says authorities weren’t able to connect Bush to the crime beyond a disputed witness voice identification. But they tried to sway the jury with the music of Poppy Chulo, who has also recorded with Mozzy.

The tactic usually works. “The jury just sucks up that stuff like you wouldn’t believe,” Mouzis said. That’s because juries are afraid of gangs and anything that’s remotely connected to them, Mouzis says—even if it’s homemade music videos uploaded to YouTube.

It was a Lavish D video that played a crucial role in convicting those responsible for the 2010 gang shooting that killed an innocent bystander at a Holiday Inn Express in Elk Grove. Authorities used the video to identify several of the suspects, who appeared as extras in the video, “Project Nigga.” Mouzis represented one of the defendants in the case, a minor at the time, and got him acquitted.

The thing that helped her case most of all?

“My client was not in the video,” she said.

By : admin | March 23, 2016 | Criminal Defense

Man sentenced in dugout slaying of 13-year-old Jessica Funk-Haslam

criminal conviction after trial

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By : admin | March 18, 2016 | Criminal Defense

Man loses bid for new trial in 2012 death of Sacramento girl, 13

no appeal granted after conviction

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By : admin | March 7, 2016 | Criminal Defense

Understanding Misdemeanor Probation in California

Misdemeanor probation, also called summary probation, can be imposed when the defendant is convicted of a misdemeanor crime but does not pose so much of a risk to society that jail time would be a fitting punishment. Misdemeanor probation can be difficult to understand, so it’s important to discuss the terms of your probation with an attorney to ensure that you comply.

Misdemeanor Probation Defined

In California, if you receive misdemeanor probation, it means that a judge has agreed not to impose a jail sentence as long as you comply with the terms set forth in the probation. If you fail to meet the conditions of your probation at any time during your probation, the judge may choose to revoke your probation and you may end up being sentenced to jail time.

Probation Conditions

While the conditions of a misdemeanor probation vary from case to case, the most common conditions include but are not limited to:

  • Mandatory counseling and/or therapy
  • Mandatory drug and alcohol testing
  • Completion of a certain number of hours of community service
  • Pay restitution to the victim of the crime and/or fines to the state
  • Install an ignition interlock device (in cases of DUI)
  • Wear a SCRAM bracelet (in cases of DUI, usually with multiple DUI’s)
  • Seek steady employment
  • Check in with probation officer regularly
  • Agree to not commit any new crimes during the probation period
  • May be subject to a restraining order in the event that the initial offense was domestic violence related
  • Notify your probation officer right away if you change phone numbers or move

Failure to meet any one of these conditions could be detrimental and cause your probation to be revoked entirely. It’s critical that you adhere to the individual conditions of your probation in order to satisfactorily complete the requirements set forth by the court and avoid jail time.

When to Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor, probation may be a good alternative to jail time if you are unable to get the charges against you dismissed. A criminal defense attorney can assist you in petitioning the court for the lightest sentencing possible. If you believe that you may have violated your probation, your attorney can also help defend you against having your probation revoked entirely.

Contact the Law Office of Jennifer Mouzis today to discuss your legal options and to learn more about how misdemeanor probation can affect you. Call now at (916) 822-8702.

By : admin | March 1, 2016 | Criminal Defense