Long Beach Defense Attorney Discusses The “Spontaneous Declaration” Exception to Hearsay in Child Sexual Abuse Cases

Hearsay is not allowed to be used in Court except in certain circumstances, one is the spontaneous declaration exception.  A statement purporting to describe an event perceived by the declarant and made spontaneously while the declarant was under the stress of excitement caused by the event may be admissible hearsay under the “spontaneous declaration” exception to the hearsay rule. According to one Long Beach Defense Attorney, spontaneous declarations of children who are incompetent to testify in criminal court concerning sexual molestation are admissible as well in California.  This is true  in child dependency cases as well.  The rationale behind this exception is that the statement is likely to be trustworthy because the declarant has had no time or opportunity to contrive a false statement. Under this exception, for the statements to be inherently trustworthy, the time lapse between the event and the statements should have been minimal, and the declarant’s reflective power must have been sufficiently in abeyance that the statement is completely spontaneous.  In one case where the Court ruled on the issue (In Re. Damon H.), the two year, nine-month-old declarant told his mother within ten minutes of returning home from an encounter with the minor offender that “Damon put his  weenie in my butt.” The court held that, despite this ten-minute lapse, the requirements for spontaneity were still met because the declarant remained in an extremely excited state (crying) for the entire time. Moreover, the spontaneity requirements were not defeated by the fact that the declarant’s statement was in response to a simple inquiry. Similarly, a two-day time lapse did not defeat the admissibility of statements of a two-and-a-half-year-old when she had been with the perpetrator for that entire period and his departure provoked an immediate outpouring of previously withheld utterances. People v Trimble (1992) 5 CA4th 1225, 1234−1235,  In addition, the Damon H. court held that despite the declarant’s testimonial incompetence, which was the subject of a stipulation, the child’s statement could nevertheless be admitted as a spontaneous declaration.  In other words, the declarant need not have been competent to testify at the time that the out-of-court statement was made. A crucial factor in permitting hearsay under the spontaneous declaration exception is that the declarant should not have had time to reflect and invent a story.  Matthew Ruff  is a Long Beach Defense Attorney that handles child molestation cases in Southern California.

How Will a DUI Affect Me If I Am in the Military?

Unlike some other states, a DUI in california is considered a misdemeanor and does not necessarily require jail time. With that being said, the offense does require a probationary sentence in most cases and this is where trouble stems in terms of those in the military. Many branches of the armed services will not allow a soldier to be deployed if the person is on probation so check with your commander first before pleading guilty to any DUI charge if you are a member of the armed services active duty.

Arrested on a Cruise Ship Out of Long Beach? An Attorney Can Help.

Thousands of tourists travel in and out of the cruise terminal in Long Beach to places far away.  These tourists do not expect that they may be arrested on the ship or be detained upon arriving back in port due to an outstanding warrant, but if it happens Long Beach Attorney Matthew Ruff can help.  For well over 15 years he has been helping good people who have been charged with acts of indiscretion such as drug possession, alcohol charges, sexual assault, failure to appear on a minor criminal charge, you name it and he has fought it.  If you or a loved one were arrested or detained by the authorities in the port of Los Angeles, San Pedro or the Carnival Cruise Terminal in Long Beach and have a Court date set in the L.A. Superior Courthouse in Long Beach CA on Ocean, the attorney can sometimes appear for you or be there with you to clear your good name and keep the offense from tarnishing your reputation. 

Long Beach Criminal Attorney  Matthew Ruff is available toll-free at  1-877-212-2090 .

Long Beach Attorney Gets Marijuana DUI Case Dismissed

The laws in California allow for law enforcement to charge a driver with DUI even if the blood or urine test shows only marijuana in the system.  With that being said, just because you are charged with DUI involving pot does not mean you are guilty and certainly you should not plead guilty without first speaking with a competent lawyer experienced with DUID offenses.  Recently, attorney Matthew Ruff, a DUI Lawyer for Marijuana got a 23152 charge dropped where his client had both active and inactive THC in his system, was evaluated by a DRE and was driving 90 in a 55 mph zone after freshly smoking a joint. 

Marijuana DUI cases are indeed a specialty, you must understand the science and be able to convince the district attorney you are willing to take the case to trial unless they dismiss.  A good lawyer that knows the ins and outs of pot cases should be able to get good results if they handle the case properly.  Contact a Marijuana DUI Attorney immediately to get a review and consultation.  Defenses such as insufficiency of impairment, improper collection of urine samples, illegal arrest are available to get the charges dismissed.

When is a DUI Refusal Not a Refusal?

California drunk driving law makes it illegal to fail to submit or refusal to complete a breath or blood test upon the request of a peace officer for an arrest due to DUI. Although the law is fairly straightforward there are instances where a refusal is not actually legally deemed a refusal. For example, if the officer is negligent in properly admonishing the driver of the consequences of the refusal then the law forgives the arrestee and a sanction of a drivers license suspension may not be carried out. For more information on the law as it relates to refusals in Long Beach CA contact dui attorney Matthew Ruff for a case analysis and review.

Long Beach DUI Lawyer Gives Discourse on Zero Tolerance Laws

Long Beach DUI Lawyer

There are essentially two ways a person can be in violation of the law by driving with a .01% or more of alcohol in his or her blood.  The first is the underage DUI law that says it is unlawful for a person under 21 years of age to drive with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.01 percent or more, as measured by a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test or other chemical test. Vehicle Code §23136(a). A violation of this particular law may be found if the person consumed an alcoholic beverage and was driving with the requisite blood-alcohol level. Veh C §23136(b).  See for example the CA case of Foster v Snyder (1999) 76 CA4th 264, 271 (statute does not have intent requirement). This offense, sometimes referred to as “the zero tolerance law,” is punishable as an infraction.  FYI, An infraction is a class of crime that does not carry jail time. This statute does not bar prosecution under Veh C §23152 (misdemeanor) or §23153 (felony), or any other provision of the criminal law. This law is the criminal section of the offense, it also carries certain DMV consequences which are not discussed here.

Another variation of the zero tolerance laws is that of the driving while on probation sections.  It is unlawful for a person who is on probation for a violation of Vehicle Code 23152 or §23153 to drive a vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.01 percent or more, as measured by a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test or other chemical test. According to one Long Beach DUI Lawyer, Matthew Ruff, the offense is codified in Vehicle Code §23154(a). This offense is also punishable as an infraction.

The Right to Bail, Does it Favor the Rich?

In california, as is the case in most states, the law allows for the right to reasonable bail for people charged with a crime. But what is reasonable? Shouldn’t the law take into account the financial position of the accused and use that to offset bail for the poor vs. the rich. Let us take the NY rape case against the IMF leader, he gets out by post a million dollars and is free, but what about the accused that is not as wealthy? Is that person a greater danger to the public than the rich counterpart? Should society feel any more protected in a case where a wealthy citizen posts a large bail bond and enriches a bondsman, when the poor person must languish in jail due to no resources. It’s time for a second look at the bail system in this country. The criminal justice system seems to treat the rich differently and this violates the equal protection clause of the constitution in my view. Your thoughts please.