Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Do You Need An Attorney For Your Child's School Expulsion Hearing?

Yes!

Parents are going up against people who do this for a living. The District is not looking out for your child, the school district is looking out for the school district. An expulsion is serious for your child, and can leave a permanent mark on their record. Certain conduct requires expulsion, and other conduct requires an expulsion recommendation, but an attorney might be able to get the expulsion suspended for your child. Certain protocols must be followed by the School. Don’t fight for your child alone, hire an attorney to fight for your child.

Certain conduct requires Mandatory Expulsion (Education code 48900(a)-(q), 48900.2- .4, 48900.7) upon a factual finding of the student’s acts:

a) A student who commits one of the following shall be suspended and recommended for expulsion:
  1. Possessing, selling, or furnishing a firearm; 
  2. Brandishing a knife at another person (blade must be longer than 3 ½ inches); 
  3. Unlawfully selling a controlled substance; 
  4. Committing or attempting to commit a sexual assault, or sexual battery; and 
  5. Possession of an explosive (destruction device) 
a) Unless the expulsion is inappropriate due to the particular circumstances, the principal shall recommend expulsion for:
  1. Causing serious physical injury to another person, except in self-defense; 
  2. Possession of any knife or other dangerous object of no reasonable use to the pupil; 
  3. Unlawful possession of a controlled substance, except first offense of possession of not more than 1 ounce of marijuana (other than concentrated cannabis); 
  4. Robbery or extortion; 
  5. Assault of battery upon a school employee. 
b) Upon recommendation for expulsion, the governing board may order expulsion only if there is a finding of one or both of the following:
  1. Other means of correction are not feasible or have repeatedly failed to bring about appropriate conduct 
  2. Due to the nature of the act, the presence of the student causes a continuing danger to the physical safety of the student or others. 
a) The Principal, Superintendent, and Governing Board have full discretion in determining whether a student is expelled for certain acts upon a finding of one or both of the following:
  1. Other means of correction are not feasible or have repeatedly failed to bring about appropriate conduct. 
  2. Due to the nature of the act, the presence of the student causes a continuing danger to the physical safety of the student or others. 
Make sure the school is following the correct procedures, and that your child is being represented.  

Call attorney Katie Walsh, Orange County California juvenile law attorney, if your child is facing expulsion issues at (714) 619-9355.
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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Can You Be Arrested For A Tweet?

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase
Yes, if it is a criminal threat you sure can be arrested. Recently, a 14 year old Dutch girl was arrested for sending a twitter message directed at American Airlines.

The tweet sounded like a terrorist threat against American Airlines. The tweet directed at American Airlines said "Hello. My name's Ibrahim and I'm from Afghanistan. I'm part of Al Qaida and on June 1st I'm going to do something really big bye."

The girl's Twitter account identifies her as Sarah, with the Twitter handle @QueenDemetraix. Her account has been suspended but her earlier tweets have generated lots of Internet discussion. American Airlines responded Sunday, saying "Sarah, we take these threats very seriously. Your IP address and details will be forwarded to security and the FBI."

She followed the original message with one saying she was "kidding" and "I'm so sorry I'm scared now."

The crime of Criminal Threats can be a misdemeanor, or a felony crime. In order to be convicted of this offense, the prosecutor must prove the following four facts:
  1. You willfully threatened to kill or seriously injure another person;
  2. you intended your verbal, written or electronically communicated statement to be received as a threat;
  3. the threat on its face and under the circumstances was so "unequivocal, unconditional, immediate and specific" that it conveyed an immediate possibility of execution;
  4. and that the threatened individual reasonably feared for his/her safety or for the safety of his/her immediate family. 
There are many potential defenses for the crime of Criminal Threats: the threat was too vague and ambiguous, the victim was not in any fear, any fear the victim may have had was unreasonable, there was no “sustained” fear on behalf of the victim, the threat is protected by free speech, or the threat was not immediate. The prosecutor must prove every element in order for a person to be convicted of this crime. Apologizing after the fact does diminish the criminal threat.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime contact the Orange County California   Law Office of Katie Walsh at 714 619-9355 or Katie@katiewalshlaw.com
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