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Experienced and Dedicated Glendale Attorneys Answer Frequently Asked Questions about Los Angeles Personal Injury, Criminal Law and Cannabis Regulation in California

If you are encountering a personal injury claim or arrest for the first time, or if you are exploring the idea of getting into the cannabis business in California, you likely have a lot of questions on your mind about the process involved. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions in these areas. If you have other questions or require immediate assistance after an arrest or car accident in Los Angeles County, call McReynolds Vardanyan at 818-855-2115 for a free consultation about your needs.

Personal Injury FAQs

Q. What do I do if I’ve been hurt on the job?

A. Most likely you will file a California workers’ compensation claim to receive benefits including medical care and have a portion of your wages paid while you are disabled. Notify your employer or supervisor right away to get the claim process started. There should be a poster in the break room or elsewhere on the premises letting you know your rights and how to proceed getting a claim underway.

You may also have a civil negligence claim against any third party who is liable for your injuries. Examples include being injured in a car accident while on duty, injured on another’s property while working off-site, or injured by a defective piece of machinery. It’s worthwhile to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney to find out if you have a third party liability claim. Your consultation should be free.

Finally, you may have a lawsuit against your employer in limited circumstances if the accident was caused by the employer’s willful or intentional act. For instance, if you were injured because your boss disabled safety equipment to speed up production, forced you to work in a dangerous situation without the proper gear, or intentionally violated workplace safety rules, they may be liable to you for the full amount of your legal damages.

Q. The neighbor’s dog attacked my child and bit her, even though it’s never bitten anybody before. Are they still liable even though they did not know their dog might bite?

A. Yes. Although some states follow a “one free bite” rule, California does not. Rather, California imposes strict liability on dog owners when their animal bites or attacks someone. This applies to any bite that occurred on public property, or even on private property if the victim was lawfully on the property at the time. It doesn’t matter whether the owners had any knowledge or belief that their dog may be dangerous. They may, however, try to say that your daughter provoked the dog into attacking. You should talk to an attorney about how to proceed with a claim. Your neighbor’s homeowner’s policy should cover them in this situation.

Criminal Defense & DUI FAQs

Q. Can the police search my car if I get pulled over?

A. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects against unreasonable search and seizure, and in general this means police must have a warrant or probable cause before they may conduct a search. However, there are times when police can conduct a warrantless search of you and your vehicle. For instance, if you are arrested, police can conduct a search of you and areas within your reach if they believe they may find evidence related to the charged offense. Also, if your car is impounded, the police can conduct an “inventory” search and seize items that may be used as evidence. While you are stopped, police can also search you and areas within your reach for weapons, for their own safety. Additionally, police can seize evidence of a crime that is in “plain view” inside your car when they pull you over.

Lastly, police can search your car without probable cause if you give them consent to search. Often, police may ask if they can search your car, and they may make it sound like you don’t have a choice, but you do. If police ask for your permission to conduct a search, you have the right to refuse. If they tell you they are going to search for one of the above reasons and don’t need your permission, you should not interfere, but share the details of the search with your attorney. If the search was illegal, your criminal defense lawyer may be able to get the evidence suppressed and even get the charges against you dropped.

Q. Can I lawfully refuse to take a breath test?

A. By driving on California roads, you have given your implied consent to submit to a chemical test of your blood or breath (or in some cases, urine) when ordered by the police. The only time you are required to submit to a test is if the police have placed you under arrest. If you refuse the test, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for one year if it’s your first offense. You will also be subject to enhanced penalties on top of any sentence if you are convicted of DUI, including an additional 48 hours in the county jail for a first offense.

Don’t confuse a chemical test with a handheld preliminary alcohol screen. This device is subjective and nonscientific like other field sobriety tests, and the results are not admissible in court. Police use this device to help them build up probable cause to arrest you. You can refuse to submit to a preliminary alcohol screen or other field sobriety tests without fear of adverse consequences. The only time you are required to take a preliminary alcohol screen is if you are under 21 or are on probation for a previous DUI conviction.

Cannabis Business FAQs

Q. If my city or county licenses my cannabis business, do I still need a state license?

A. Yes. A state license is required along with any other licenses required by your city or county. Not all cities and counties will require a license above and beyond the applicable state license to operate in their jurisdiction. If your city/county does require a license, obtain this license before applying for your state license so that you can show compliance with local laws on your state license application. Call our office for advice and assistance securing the appropriate licenses to get your cannabis business up and running as soon as possible.

Q. How much does a cannabis license cost?

A. The application fee for a state license for a retailer or microbusiness is $1,000. Application fees for a cultivation license vary widely depending upon the type of growing space and can range from $135 to $8,655. Similarly, licenses for manufacturing businesses can range from $500 to $75,000 depending on the type of license and annual gross revenue of the premises.

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