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Can a court use circumstantial evidence, along with blood and breath tests, to conclude that a driver was above the legal limit for alcohol intoxication?

That's the question the California Supreme Court answered earlier this month, and it answered in the affirmative after Ashley Coffey challenged her driver's license suspension following a DUI arrest.

If you're facing minor drug charges in California, your outcome may be fairly predictable. The pattern typically goes something like this: get busted, plead guilty and undergo drug treatment. If successful, your charges will be dropped.

Except if you're a noncitizen. Pleading guilty to a drug charge could trigger your deportation. Even if the state wipes away your minor drug conviction, federal immigration law does not forget it. A proposed California law is seeking to change that, however, offering relief to noncitizens charged with minor drug crimes.

An 18-year sentence for revenge porn? It's more likely than you think. Last week, the San Diego Superior Court sentenced 28-year-old Kevin Bollaert to 18 years in prison for operating a revenge porn website.

Well, sort of. Bollaert was also convicted of identity theft and extortion because he put photos on his website, then asked for between $250 and $350 from the women in the photos in exchange for taking the photos down.

It's hard to tell who to trust when accused criminals turn on each other. Is the jailhouse informant singing a false song in order to get a lighter sentence? Isn't it curious how the accomplice claims the other guy took the lead in everything?

By the very nature of it, informants are usually self-interested, leading to serious credibility issues. For this reason, California requires corroboration for the testimony of an accomplice and an in-custody informant. And, in a case of first impression, those two may corroborate each other, according to a recent decision by the state's appellate court.

A nonprofit representing California sex workers is currently suing to overturn the state's laws against prostitution and solicitation. The organization, Erotic Service Provider Legal, Education and Research Project (ESPLER, a very unsexy acronym), argues that the state's prohibitions on sex work violates the Fourteenth Amendment.

So, is California about to go the way of Amsterdam or certain counties in Nevada and decriminalize the world's oldest profession? It's doubtful, but ESPLER thinks it's possible.

Blanket prohibitions on where registered sex offenders can live are unconstitutional, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled yesterday. The case was brought by registered sex offenders in San Diego who objected to mandatory residency restrictions in the penal code.

Sex offenders can't, for example, live within 2,000 feet of a public or private school or a park where children regularly gather. These requirements, the court said, have done more harm than good to registered sex offenders and bear "no rational relationship to advancing the state's goal of protecting children from sexual predators."

Those of us in the criminal defense community were outraged yesterday at the news that San Francisco Deputy Public Defender Jami Tillotson was arrested for preventing police from questioning or photographing her client at the San Francisco Hall of Justice.

"If you continue with this, I'll arrest you for resisting arrest," Police Sgt. Brian Stansbury paradoxically told Tillotson, who was, in fact, arrested. (After her arrest, Stansbury took photos of her client anyway, so take that!)

How can you be pre-emptively arrested for resisting arrest?

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Maryland law that allowed police to collect and store DNA from arrestees. This put a wrench in a California case called People v. Buza, centering on the validity of California's own DNA collection law.

The First District Court of Appeal decided Buza in the defendant's favor in 2011. On a petition for review, the state supreme court sent it back for reconsideration in light of King. Last week, the court of appeal reached the same conclusion: California's DNA collection law violates the state constitution.

Seasoned prosecutors and defense attorneys know that, despite what many courts have held over the years, jurors don't follow jury instructions. They just don't. And they especially don't pay attention to the admonishment that they can't take into account a defendant's failure to testify.

Yeah, right. Though Sarah Koenig may have been shocked to learn that on a previous episode of the "Serial" podcast, the rest of us know that taking the Fifth raises jurors' suspicions. (If he didn't do it, why won't he tell us his side of the story?) The California Supreme Court on Monday ruled on whether it's automatically misconduct for jurors to come to that conclusion.

Debt collectors have been accused of using shady tactics in order to collect, but a class action lawsuit filed in San Francisco this week really takes the cake. Kevin Breazeale claims that he and others received letters "threatening them with criminal prosecution unless they paid alleged debts arising from dishonored checks. The letters all bore the seal and letterhead of a county district attorney."

As it turns out, the letters didn't come from a district attorney, but from a private debt collection firm called CorrectiveSolutions. And guess what? The district attorney allowed the company to use his seal and letterhead.