Congratulations to the Fall 2017 Scholarship Winner


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Congratulations to the Fall 2017 Scholarship Winner

Congratulations to the Fall 2017 Scholarship Winner

All of the lawyers and staff members at Miller & Associates are dedicated to helping our local and nationwide communities build strong foundations that can enable us to take part in a brighter future. Our students are our future, and helping them helps all of us.

In the past, we started a scholarship that gives us the ability to help students forge that strong foundation. The submission period for that scholarship, Fall 2017, just came to a close. We were truly humbled by the number of scholarship applications we received– 157 total– as well as the exceptionally high quality of every essay. All of the essays were outstanding, and carefully reading and reviewing to choose just one winner was difficult!

We’re pleased to announce we’ve chosen a winner.

Congratulations to Genoveva Dimitrova of Marietta, Georgia!

Congratulations to the Fall 2017 Scholarship Winner

Genoveva is currently a student with plans to become an actor.

The topic that Ms. Dimitrova chose was one of the several available in  the submission period. It was:

  • What challenge(s) have you faced in order to get to where you are today, and how have these challenges shaped who you are, and how will you apply what you have learned from these challenges towards your career goals?

Genoveva took a difficult topic and navigated it with ease, crafting a very personal essay that encourages readers to look at the issues and dangers facing young people. Here’s her winning essay:

Miller And Associates Educational Essay

There’s always that one event in everyone’s lives that changed them forever. They became different afterwards, whether the change is almost immediate or if the change creeps up years later. For me, it happened when I was five years old. I didn’t know what was happening at the time or the impact that it would have on my future. It took until I was nineteen years old for the change to show its ugly head, well ugly in my case. These changes, whether they were good or bad, have shaped our personality, habits, emotions and connections/interactions with other people. They have shaped how we view the world. They have shaped out lives.

When I was five years old, I was molested by a family member, who was only a few years older then me at the time. I had no idea what the world was like and it was changed before I could even find out. I didn’t know the repercussions that would take place as a result of a seven-year old’s curiosity gone wild. Never the less, it molded me and planted habits in me that I didn’t understand until I was much older. I didn’t really understand the connection between love and sex; I’m not entirely sure I do now but that’s a topic for my therapist. As I grew older, I realized that I was always more comfortable in a sexual situation then I would be if I was on a date and had to make conversation. My first year into college, everything that I repressed when I was only a child came out and I began to have flashback of the incidents. As a result, it was hard to be with anyone for a lot period of time.

That is why I chose to be an actor. I can’t rewrite the past. I can’t change what happened to me. But what I can do is help prevent at least one other person from the experience that I went through. That’s where the arts come in. The arts, whether it’s theatre, music, movies or art, is the best place for bringing issues that are usually hard to talk about to the surface. Theatre allows problems to be shoved in people’s faces where it’s hard to ignore them. It presents a mirror to society so they can see all the beauty as well as all the faults. However, it’s the moments after the play that are the most important. Whether people thought the play was bad or good, they leave the theatre discussing the ideas that were posed in the form of entertainment. These ideas tend to creep back into their head for hours, days and maybe even weeks after. They’re at work getting snacks from the vending machine and something reminds them of the play they recently saw. They might even talk to their co-workers about it or maybe they just ponder the ideas for a few moments. That’s all that is needed, a seed. Once that seed is planted, it will eventually grow on it’s own, slowly but surely.

Something horrible happened to me but I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. I found my reason and it was presented to me through my passion. I won’t lie and say that I completely understand the exact circumstances that lead to a seven-year old boy to be compelled to do those things to a five-year old girl. However, I have learned contributing factors that encourage those kinds of actions. For example, our society is very explicit now-a-days. Kids are starting to see men and women more sexualized at a way earlier age. Naturally they have reactions to such explicit material but they are not young enough to fully understand these feelings or the consequences that occur if they decide to pursue them. According to statistics. Sexual abuse or exploration that happens between children is the least talked about; it occurs to about 20% of children and that’s just the ones that report it. I want to use my experience and my career to give a voice to those that lost theirs when they were too young to defend themselves.

As a woman, we always have to be on guard. We have to be aware of our surroundings if we are leaving the store late at night. We have to be aware of our surroundings when we are going to work. We have to be aware at all times. Ask any woman and each one will have a story involving a situation where she was forced to do something she didn’t want to or she was made to feel like an object instead of a person. I got out of rehearsal last week at around 9:30pm and I ran out of detergent earlier in the week so I decided to stop by Target on the way home. It takes me about a 15-minute walk to get home and a 7-minute longboard ride. I live in downtown Chicago so it’s pretty well lit and there’s usually people still out at that time of the night. While I was at Target, I noticed a man following me through several different aisle of the store. He was making direct eye contact that still gives me the creeps when I think about it. He had only one item in his cart and didn’t look like he was very interested in getting anything else. He followed me all the way to the check out counters.  After I checked out, I decided to be safe and wait for him to leave first before I left home. However, after he paid for his drink, he came and stood next to me. I ended up getting a Lyft home and a Target employ walked me to my car. I might have over-reacted and maybe it wasn’t what it seemed like but I couldn’t take that chance. I hate that I didn’t feel safe enough to walk home. This is a very small example of a very big problem and this is a best case scenario.

I have become stronger and more resilient as a result of of the challenges that I have had to face. They have made me into the person that I am now and I wouldn’t change it even if I could. These challenges, as rough as they have been, have gave me a purpose and I can use that purpose to make a difference in the world, no matter how small. I can use my stories to prevents others of having to go through what I did. The only way that I know how to do that is through theatre and I intend to use it to my best ability to spread my messages.


For more information on the next Miller and Associates scholarship period which will be for Spring 2018, please see our law firm’s scholarship page for updates within the next week. Congratulations again, Genoviva! May all your dreams come true.

New Marijuana Taxes in California for 2018

California Marijuana Licenses Cannabis Licenses

New Marijuana Taxes in California for 2018

As Orange County Marijuana Licensing Attorneys, we get asked about the New Marijuana Taxes in California for 2018 on marijuana products for those purchasing.  As the LA Times noted in a recent story, unfortunately, those are going to be high (no pun intended).

When do the new Marijuana Taxes start?

Beginning January 1, 2018, all harvested cannabis is subject to a cultivation tax and both cannabis and cannabis products are subject to a cannabis excise tax.

If you are running, or starting, a cannabis business, it is important you are aware of the new tax rates, how these taxes apply to your business activities, and your registration requirements.

Cultivation: What are the cultivation tax rates and who pays the tax in CA?

The current cultivation tax rates under the New Marijuana Taxes in California for 2018 are:

• $9.25 per dry-weight ounce of cannabis flowers, and
• $2.75 per dry-weight ounce of cannabis leaves.

Additional categories and rates may be specified at a later date in regulations and will be posted on the state’s website.

The cultivation tax applies to all harvested cannabis that enters the commercial market. Cultivators are responsible for paying the cultivation tax to the distributor or to the manufacturer if the first transfer or sale of unprocessed cannabis is to a manufacturer. Manufacturers who collect the cultivation tax are required to pay the tax to the distributor. The distributor reports and pays the cultivation tax to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA).

What is the cannabis excise tax rate and who pays the tax?

The cannabis excise tax is imposed upon purchasers of all cannabis and cannabis products at a rate of 15 percent of the average market price when purchased at retail. Retailers are responsible for collecting the cannabis excise tax from purchasers at the time of the retail sale and for paying the tax to the distributor. The distributor reports and pays the cannabis excise tax to the CDTFA.

How is the “average market price” determined?

  • When the sale to the retailer is an arm’s length transaction, meaning the consideration received reflects the fair market value between two parties under no requirement to participate in the transaction, the average market price is the wholesale cost of the cannabis or cannabis products sold or transferred to the retailer, plus a mark-up predetermined by the CDTFA (see heading below).
  • The wholesale cost is the amount paid by the retailer for the cannabis or cannabis products, including transportation charges and adding back in any discounts or trade allowances. In an arm’s length transaction, the excise tax is not based on the retailer’s gross receipts.
  • When the sale or transaction is not at arm’s length, the average market price is the cannabis retailer’s gross receipts from the retail sale of the cannabis or cannabis products.

What is the mark-up rate on marijuana wholesale cost?

The current mark-up rate as set by the CDTFA is 60 percent for all cannabis and cannabis products. CDTFA is required to determine the mark-up rate every six months. The rate will be posted on the State of California’s tax licensing website.

How does the distributor report and pay cultivation and cannabis excise taxes to the CDTFA?

  • Distributors must register with the CDTFA for a cannabis tax permit to report and pay the cultivation tax and cannabis excise tax to the CDTFA.
  • A microbusiness licensee is licensed to act as a distributor, among other things, and must comply with all the same requirements as a distributor.

How does marijuana sales tax apply?

  • Sales and use tax applies to retail sales of cannabis and cannabis products, but does not apply to sales of medicinal cannabis and cannabis products where a purchaser provides his/her Medical Marijuana Identification Card issued by the California Department of Public Health and a valid government identification card.
  • Gross receipts from the sale of cannabis and cannabis products for purposes of sales and use tax include the excise tax.
  • Cannabis retailers, cultivators, manufacturers, and distributors making sales must register with the CDTFA for a seller’s permit to report and pay any sales and use tax due to the CDTFA. If you already have a seller’s permit that was issued by the Board of Equalization (BOE), it is not necessary to re-register for a seller’s permit with the CDTFA.
  • It is important that you timely obtain a valid resale certificate that is accepted in good faith from the purchaser if you make sales for resale.
  • Current sales and use tax rates can be found on the state of California’s cannabis website.

When may I register my cannabis business?

Beginning November 20, 2017, you can register for all the proper tax permits for your cannabis business on the state’s official taxation website. From the CDTFA homepage, click the Register link, and follow the prompt. When registering your business activity, make sure to select box number 3, Cannabis business activities.

Where can I get more information about registering a marijuana dispensary or other cannabis business?

The information provided here about New Marijuana Taxes in California for 2018 is general. The tax law can be complicated and there are very specific requirements for the cannabis industry. The State has a Tax Guide for Cannabis Businesses with helpful information on a variety of topics including: registration, invoicing requirements, tax exemptions, record keeping, calculation of the tax due with examples, and other important resources.

Get more information on New Marijuana Taxes in California for 2018

Our Cannabis Business Licensing Lawyers are available to help you if you  have questions.  But the State of California also has some resources to help you, and your new business.  Contact us.

If you have additional questions, you may also call the California Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (TTY:711) Monday through Friday8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Pacific time), except state holidays.

For additional information about the proposed regulations, or to subscribe to email alerts to hear about updates as they become available, please visit the State of California’s licensing website –

For information on all three licensing authorities, please visit the state’s cannabis web portal –

OC District Attorney funding for DUI Drug cases

Drug DUI Cases

OC District Attorney funding for DUI Drug cases

A press release from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) from yesterday (11/16/2017) indicates that the office received money from two grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a DUI Training and Vertical Prosecution Program. The OC District Attorney funding for DUI Drug cases is to fight drug DUI cases all over Orange County.

The OC DA’s office was given $672,500 for the Alcohol and Drug Impaired Driver Vertical Prosecution Program and $594,600 for the California Traffic Safety Resource Program Training Network.

OCDA has been working with OTS Traffic Safety grants and funding to fight driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) cases specifically since 2011.

With the decriminalization of marijuana, California expects to see a rise in the number of drug-impaired driving cases that will be investigated and prosecuted by law enforcement.

In Orange County, the crime lab reported a 40 percent increase in drug-impaired driving submissions from 2015 to 2016.

In 2011, OCDA developed a new system to prosecute DUI drug cases.  That involved a multi-agency collaborative DUID prosecution, investigation and toxicology model which has served as the innovative foundation for the development of a statewide DUID program.

In October 2016, OCDA expanded their training role to the Southern California region, serving as the lead agency in prosecution and law enforcement training.

This includes the delivery of live training, roundtables, training videos, and legal updates.

In 2017, OCDA began to develop a California statewide training program through its administration of the Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor (TSRP) and training program.

As part of this process, OCDA has begun to align law enforcement and prosecution agencies throughout the state to create a massive statewide training, resource, and education network. This new responsibility offers agencies throughout the state the opportunity to share expertise in the area of traffic safety as the OCDA works in partnership to proactively investigate and prosecute traffic-related crimes, increasing public safety in all jurisdictions throughout California.

As part of this grant opportunity, OCDA maintains eight vertical DUI-Drug prosecutors assigned throughout the county.

These deputy district attorneys review, file and prosecute all drug-impaired driving cases. Collectively in the 2017 grant year, OCDA prosecutors reviewed 1,060 DUID cases and charged 925 of them. Many of those cases are still pending, but in the 2017 grant year, our vertical prosecutors obtained 522 convictions on DUID vertical prosecution cases.

This year, the eight prosecutors assigned to the program are Deputy District Attorneys Mina Said and Alyssa Staudinger of Central Justice Center, David McMurrin and Dalia Wahab of West Justice Center, Lauren Boyd and Vincent Marinaccio of Harbor Justice Center, and Erin Henry and Stephen Ladsous of North Justice Center.

The Orange County District Attorney’s office realizes that the unique nature of driving under the influence of drug cases, which are rapidly rising in number, requires unique education, training, and handling, hence the specific, specially trained drug DUI prosecutors.  Drug DUI cases also benefit from someone specially educated in Drug DUI handling, like our Orange County DUI Attorney.

Contact our firm for a consultation regarding a drug DUI case today.

Contact our law firm today


Advantages of Breathalyzer and How It Works

Advantages of Breathalyzer and How It Works

Advantages of Breathalyzer and How It Works

“Do not drink and drive” is a common quote that is hardly followed by the people. In spite of some progress in last few years, drunk driving claims nearly 10,000 lives and costs almost $194 billion each year in the USA. Seeing this scenario, it becomes highly required to install an alcohol detection system in the car that can help avoid DUI – Driving under influence.

But if you are unaware of this device, you must read ahead to learn more about alcohol detection systems so that you can enjoy the driving safely:

Alcohol has been a responsible factor of approximately one-third of fatal crash, accidents, and deaths. Drunk driving is dangerous for a driver, the passenger and well as the pedestrians. But, the future is near when the car itself will not let you drive if you are drunk or have consumed alcohol more than the legal limits.

Technology has potential solutions to prevent or take control of certain situations. Alcohol detection system is a part of this advanced technology. You are unable to drive once the system detects intoxicated driver with BAC – Blood Alcohol Concentration at or above 0.08% through the provided breathalyzer. This is the possible best solution, for now, to minimize or eliminate drunk driving and the loss it causes.

According to a trustworthy survey conducted in the beginning of 2017, the ignition interlock systems have prevented over 1.77 million drunk driving attempts across the USA. So when the festive season is nearest, you would want to make sure to not to be pulled over by police enforcement and spend holidays in jail. That is indeed an awful thing because nobody wants their license being canceled or paying a hefty amount of fines.

What possible options can you have to avoid all these situations and drive safely and happily? The answer is to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. This little thing can be greatly helpful as any amount of alcohol affects your driving skills and vision. So get it installed in your car, but how?

First of all, you have to find a federal and state certified company that provides services for interlock ignition device in vehicles. The procedure goes as below that can guide you step by step:


A skilled technician installs the alcohol detection device in your vehicle at first and then the client gets the training for how to use it. The installation time of ignition interlock takes 2 to 3 hours.

– Guidance

Once the installation work is finished, the driver gets instructed by a staff member about how to operate it. That way, you feel comfortable and confident to do it by yourself. Practice can make it more easy to use.

– While driving

The IID – Interlock Ignition Device advice you whenever a breath sample is needed even when you are driving on the road and ignition, has been on for a while. It is called a rolling re-test which is important to ensure no alcohol is consumed after the engine has been running for a while.

You get 3 minutes to provide a breath sample and if you fail 3 times in 3 minutes, the system asks you to pull over the vehicle. It does not shut the engine off; Find a safe place to stop the car, turn off the engine and try again to provide a sample.

– Calibration

The device can be calibrated at the service center every 2 months or say 60 days. A text or call you receive as a reminder before a week of the service day. Also, the device displays the date by which the calibration should get done. It is crucial to have Interlock Ignition device as it is a life savior. So get the breathalyzer installed and drive safe, drive happy!

Orange County DUI Checkpoints November 17, 2017

Orange County DUI CheckpointsOrange County DUI Checkpoints November 27, 2017

Orange County law enforcement has a number of DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols that are planned for this weekend, including in Remember that you should avoid the long waits and traffic tie-ups from DUI checkpoints, but also can avoid being arrested for DUI in Orange County at a DUI checkpoint by doing any one of the following:
Unfortunately, the statistics show that DUI checkpoints are a bad idea, and do not work to keep drunk drivers off the road, especially when compared to the much much more effective saturation patrols. Even the police admit as much.  Consider the following comment from a police officer from social media:
Cop here! DUI checkpoints are not about catching drunk drivers.  DUI checkpoints are a dog and pony show… their sole purpose is to be public events, that is why they must be announced ahead of time by law.  It’s long been known in the law enforcement community that the best way to “fight” drunk driving is by saturation patrols, or, cars that do nothing but hunt/respond to drunk drivers.  Feel free to make this as public as possible.”

The following are the DUI Checkpoints in Orange County announced for this weekend

Huntington Beach DUI Checkpoint

One of the Orange County DUI Checkpoints tonight is the Huntington Beach DUI Checkpoint, scheduled from 7 pm on Friday, November 17th, 2017, somewhere in the City of Huntington Beach.

Laguna Niguel DUI Saturation Patrols

A Saturation Patrol is used, like an Orange County DUI Checkpoint, to apprehend and identify those people that are driving under the influence.  Laguna Niguel has a series of Saturation Patrols in Laguna Niguel for Friday, November 17th, 2017, throughout the city of Laguna Niguel.   More Laguna Niguel DUI Information.
According to California DUI caselaw, DUI checkpoints are legal in California, although they have to meet certain strict criteria, including advance publicity, which is how we find out about DUI checkpoints in Orange County.
Those are the Orange County DUI Checkpoints November 17, 2017. If you need the help of a DUI attorney Orange County who is experienced in handling DUI checkpoints cases, we can help you, or your loved one.  Consult with us today.

Can a DUI keep you from a job?

One of the questions that our Orange County DUI Attorney gets asked most often is, “can a DUI keep you from a job?” That is, can a DUI conviction actually prohibit you from being hired for employment?  Usually, the answer is complicated, as it depends on what type of job and how relevant the DUI is.  However, there is some good news as of September 2017, for DUI convictions.
During September of 2017, the California state legislature passed a bill making it unlawful in most cases to ask about a job applicant’s criminal history.  The measure now sits with Governor Jerry Brown, who is expected to sign it later this month.
The new law would stop businesses with five or more employees from inquiring into a job applicant’s criminal history in writing, verbally, or otherwise until after extending a conditional offer of employment.
If a criminal background check then yields any result that concerns the employer, it must consider whether prior offenses have a direct, actual relationship to the employment position that is being offered.

Businesses that subsequently decide not to move forward with an applicant after a criminal history check must provide him or her with its decision in writing.  Persons rejected for a job would then have the right to file an appeal with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which would investigate further. Having the decision in writing makes it easier to win a labor or employment case where there was a decision that was made in bad faith or against the law.

When the new law goes into effect on January 1, 2018, California will become the tenth state to ban criminal history inquiries for private employers.


(City and state data compiled by The National Employment Law Program.)


These are known as “ban the box” state laws (referring to the “have you ever been convicted of a crime?” checkbox on job applications) and have enjoyed bipartisan support at the state and local level. Last spring, a bipartisan group of Congressional lawmakers went as a far as to propose a nationwide ban.

In just 2016, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin have all enacted policies applying to either private or public employers. In total, 26 states and over 150 cities and counties have laws and ordinances limiting employers’ access to criminal history—meaning that over 211 million people (or two-thirds of the U.S population) now live in ban-the-box jurisdictions.

Can an expungement of my DUI help?

An expungement of your DUI may still help you.  But since a DUI leaves not only a criminal record but a driving record, certain driving related jobs might be difficult to obtain.  An expungement will also not help you with certain federal or state employment opportunities, or with any specialized licenses.

Contact us for Questions

Contact our law firm today

Our team of Orange County DUI Lawyers will continue to monitor

the status of the California bill and similar measures nationwide. We can help fight your DUI case to meet your long-term goals, wherever possible, to protect your career ambitions in the future, and not let a DUI derail your plans. Contact us anytime.


How to get an Orange County cannabis cultivation license.

Orange County Cannabis Lawyer

How to get an Orange County cannabis cultivation license.

As an Orange County cannabis licensing attorney, we often get asked what is needed to get a State of California cannabis cultivation license.

The State of California anticipates that they will begin issuing state cannabis cultivation licenses in California as of January 1, 2018.

While they are completing the final regulations, there are some steps you can work on now to prepare for your licensing application.

Whether you plan to commercially grow medicinal and/or adult-use (recreational) cannabis in California, here’s a checklist of documents you may need to complete your application.

  • Although not required, a permit from your city or county (or other jurisdiction) will streamline the application process.
  • Right to occupy property: Your lease agreement, property title, or deed n Business formation documents filed by the California Secretary of State’s office n California State Water Resources Control Board permits and verification of your water source, including: well logs, Notice of Applicability, or a Waste Discharge Requirement (WDR) waiver.
  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s 1602 permit or a waiver
  • California Department of Toxic Substance’s hazardous materials record search via their EnviroStor data management system
  • California Department of Fee and Tax Administration’s seller’s permit
  • Labor agreement if you’ll have more than 20 employees
  • Surety bond valued at $5,000
  • California Department of Justice fingerprinting via its Live Scan service

City and County Jurisdictions for Cannabis Licenses

Each city and county has different protocols. Depending on where you want to commercially grow cannabis in California, you might need to contact one or more of the following agencies, in the city where you want to operate, to get the necessary local permits:

  • Building Department
  • Environmental Health Department
  • Office of the County Agricultural Commissioner
  • Office of the Sheriff or Police Chief
  • Planning Department
  • Public Works Department Resources

Cannabis License Resources for California

• CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing, a division of the California Department of Food and Agriculture 1-833-CALGROW (225-4769)

• California Cannabis Portal

• California Department of Fee and Tax Administration 800-400-5448

• California Department of Fish and Wildlife

• California Department of Justice Live Scan Fingerprinting Locations

• California Department of Toxic Substances Control EnviroStor 877-786-9427

• California Secretary of State 916-657-5448

• Labor Agreements Contact any major union to help you with your labor peace agreement.

• State and Regional Water Control Boards 916-319-9427

Contact us if you would like us to prepare and file the cannabis license for you.  For more information, please visit the following sites, which usually have updated information: