The Placer Group
The Placer Group

Who Is PlacerGroup, What Is CrimeTime?

Our Mission
To develop, sell and support the best legal software ever created.

The Past
The CrimeTime project was born in 1992 on a long ride from Auburn, California to Pelican State Prison on California’s northern border. Dan Koukol and Leonard Tauman, two Placer County Public Defenders, pondered the absence of a computerized criminal sentencing program. Dan, a computer guru and sentencing expert, claimed that he could domesticate California sentencing. Len, sensing a fool’s errand, goaded him forward.

In 1996, Miriam Liskin, a respected and widely-known application developer and author of more than 17 computer software books, joined the team. Later that year, California CrimeTime was released. CrimeTime quickly developed a broad subscriber base of county agencies and private attorneys. The California Judges Education and Research Group (CALJER) selected CrimeTime (along with West’s Law Desk) as one of two applications to teach Judges efficient and constructive use of computers. We trained the CALJER judges who, in turn, trained their colleagues.

California CrimeTime evolved from a sentencing calculation tool to a feature-rich criminal law utility. We added "what-if" features, allowing practitioners to consider various possible dispositions. Elements and collateral consequences were added in 1998. This led to CrimeFinder, which allows a user to identify related crimes carrying chosen collateral consequences and sentences. Statutory and case law support for each calculation, analysis of various sentencing issues, abstracts, and more sophisticated reports were developed and integrated over time. To accommodate large computer networks, we created a unique deployment tool that allowed network administrators to install CrimeTime on many workstations simultaneously without having to visit the target workstation. The California State Bar Association approved CrimeTime training for accreditation. Today, 51 of California’s 58 counties, including all the large counties, are CrimeTime subscribers.

In 1998, we began to develop the "Federal Guidelines" version of CrimeTime. We used everything we learned during the development and roll out of California CrimeTime, and we released Federal CrimeTime in June, 2002, incorporating all the tools now available on California CrimeTime. The result is comprehensive and impressive.

Near the end of 2002, we developed and began to market Federal and California versions of PocketLaw™, an application designed for the Pocket PC. PocketLaw features all the crime data used in our other applications, and can do just about everything but multiple count calculations and reports.

In 2006, with CrimeTime well established statewide, Dan Koukol started a private practice and quickly became known as one of the most respected defense lawyers in Placer County.

The Present
In 2011, CrimeTime introduced a simple crime lookup tool for the iPhone and iPad devices. Without any marketing whatsoever, the application became a must-have for easy reference within the majority of California justice departments. An android version was released shortly after. Both the android and iOS versions of the app are being rewritten as we speak to give the app a fresh look.

The (Near) Future
In terms of new products, there is no end in sight. We have developed a case management module that integrates our existing applications, and those to come, with a powerful system that uses bar codes to identify files, call up cases, and request a variety of actions. For a given client, information will only be entered once; the system remembers and applies it to any other documents or tasks that require the same information. The user will be able to create letters, motions and forms from our templates, and then print, fax or e-mail them with just a click. Behind the scenes, our system keeps track of each task for billing purposes.

We are working on specialized tools for California and Federal probation departments that will streamline the preparation of Pre sentence Investigation Reports (probation reports). Look for expanded functionality in our mobile products as we further integrate those applications with our desktop tools, as well as expand their usage into the every day needs of people in the field.

There is more to come. Our small, uniquely skilled and highly motivated staff has one goal in mind: To develop, sell and support the best legal software ever created. If we can conceive it, we can achieve it.

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