Two teenage girls in Northern California were arrested this week after allegedly drugging one of the girls’ parents in order to use the internet past curfew. According to reports, two unnamed girls in Rocklin, which is 20 miles southwest of Sacramento, purchased milkshakes from a nearby fast food restaurant on December 28th, then crushed several prescription sleeping pills into each drink. Of the two girls, one is 16 years old while the other is just 15. The girls gave the drug-laced milkshakes to the 16-year-olds parents, who fell asleep about an hour later. Both the mother and father woke up in the middle of the night and reportedly felt extremely groggy and had hangover-like symptoms, though neither had consumed any alcoholic beverages that evening. The following morning both parents were still said to have been feeling “really odd,” so they went to a nearby police station and purchased $5 drug screening kits. The tests, which are usually used by parents to test their children for drug use, showed traces of drugs. It was at that point that the parents contacted local police and eventually brought their daughter into the police station. Investigators later that the girls had schemed to put the 16-year-old’s parents to sleep in order to have access to the internet after the 10 p.m. curfew. Both girls were booked into the Placer County Juvenile Hall on December 31st on suspicion of conspiracy and willfully mingling a pharmaceutical into food. It is still unclear whether or not prosecutors will formally charge the girls with a crime. Investigators involved in the case also did not know what websites the two girls had accessed on the night in question. As a spokesman for the Rocklin police said, “Kids are crazy these days.” While not all kids may be certifiably crazy, many kids find themselves in real legal trouble all the time. Minors committing crimes are very often dealt with in very different ways from their adult counterparts. Many crimes committed by juveniles are handled through the juvenile court system, which differs in several important ways from the criminal justice system that adults may be familiar with. First, the juvenile court system aims more to correct criminal behavior in children instead of simply punishing it. Several laws in the state of California, however, make juvenile punishments for criminal activity just as harsh as those for adults. Depending on the severity of the crime and the age of the child, their case may be handed over to the adult criminal justice system anyway. Whatever the age of your child, if they have committed a crime, they need an experienced attorney to handle their case right away.
Tagged as: juvenile crime, juvenile law
Local law enforcement agencies in the San Diego County area have released a statement asking for the public’s help in two recent thefts from local elementary schools. According to reports, thieves broke into Cardiff Elementary School in Cardiff by the Sea on Sunday morning. A similar burglary occurred at Ada Harris Elementary School in Encinitas on Monday morning. In both cases, the unidentified thieves made off with roughly $12,000-worth of iPads. Police responded to burglar alarms at both schools and say that the thieves, whoever they were, broke several classroom windows and broke a lock off of a cabinet to get to the iPads. It is estimated that the thieves took roughly two dozen iPads during the heist. Stealing technological devices is not always the smartest idea these days since many iPads, iPhones and smartphones come equipped with GPS tracking devices and can often be accessed remotely from computers that connect to the devices. In some cases, people have had their expensive gadgets stolen, only to use the available technology to help local police track down the thieves within days of the theft. No word has been released as to whether or not the iPads stolen from the two elementary schools had been equipped with such technology or if law enforcement agents were using these programs to locate the stolen items. In most cases, these programs only work if the device is turned on and in use. However these thieves are eventually identified and apprehended, they face an uphill battle in fighting what will likely turn out to be grand theft criminal charges. Theft crimes in California are often divided into several categories, and the consequences someone must pay tend to hinge on the value of the items stolen and any prior criminal history a defendant may have. Thefts where the value of the items stolen totals less than $400 and there are no weapons or violence involved may be labeled simple theft. Often, these are misdemeanors and can include thefts such as shoplifting. Theft crimes where the value of the items stolen is more than $400 is typically labeled Grand Theft and can be considered a felony criminal offense, which can land you in jail. The term “theft,” however, also tends to encompass a number of crimes besides shoplifting and Grand Theft; often, robbery, burglary, fraud, identity theft and even embezzlement. If you find yourself in the unenviable position of facing accusations of theft, find yourself an experienced attorney to consult with before you say a word to police.
Tagged as: theft
Local law enforcement agents have released statements to the public that they will be actively seeking to arrest people who are driving under the influence of alcohol this New Year’s. While people all around the world like to ring in the New Year with parties that include a fair amount of alcohol consumption, drinking and driving is still very much a danger to other people on the road as well as a real crime that can land you in jail. According to statistical information released by the Los Angeles Police Department, nearly 15,000 people were arrested last year on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. Nearly 2,500 crashes last year were alcohol-related and 17 people died as a result of drinking and driving. Those numbers do not even include arrests or incidents handled by the California Highway Patrol, which also does a fair amount of work in handling drivers impaired by alcohol. Officials with the Los Angeles Police Department have stated that they will have several sobriety checkpoints running on New Year’s Eve and in the early hours of New Year’s Day as well as extra officers on patrol in an effort to catch anyone suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol that night. Additionally, officers will also be combing local bars and restaurants on watch for bartenders who are over-serving alcoholic beverages as well as people leaving public places who are in no condition to be driving home. Outside of efforts by local law enforcement agencies, local buses and train services will be free from 9 o’clock on December 31st through 2 o’clock the next morning. Popular towing service AAA will also be offering free car towing between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. that same night. The tow must be to your own home and is free within a seven-mile radius. While it is undoubtedly safer to have extra law enforcement agents patrolling the streets in an effort to keep drunk drivers off the road, some of the tactics mentioned above can appear to conflict with the spirit of “innocent until proven guilty” that is said to be the foundation of our legal system. Local police are working on the assumption that people will be breaking the law on New Year’s Eve, and perhaps rightly so. That said they still have very strict rules that they have to follow in terms of how they set up sobriety checkpoints and how and when they can stop a person who they suspect may be breaking the law. If you are arrested on suspicion of DUI, you need an experienced attorney to help you with your case right away. An experienced criminal defense attorney can tell you whether or not you were unlawfully stopped by police, which can make a huge difference in winning your criminal case.
Tagged as: driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI)
An Orange County, California church volunteer has been arrested by local police on suspicion of sexually abusing several children. Christopher Bryan McKenzie, who is 48 years old, was arrested originally in cases involving the ongoing abuse of two young boys. Once pastors at Rock Harbor church announced McKenzie’s arrest to the congregation, two other families stepped forward and made similar allegations against him. According to statements from investigators, McKenzie is said to have sexually abused one boy from the late 1990s until 2005, then another from 2005 until sometime in 2007. Neither boy has ties to Rock Harbor, according to authorities.
Of the two families from the church who claim McKenzie behaved inappropriately with their children, McKenzie is thought to have had sexual contact with one of the children on at least three different occasions and used the other child to distribute obscene materials. The ages and genders of the alleged victims from Rock Harbor have not been released.
In all, McKenzie has been charged with 10 felony counts of lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14, four felony counts of using a minor to distribute obscene materials and two felony counts of distributing pornography to a child under the age of 18. McKenzie is also facing sentencing enhancements for substantial sexual conduct with a child under the age of 14, as well as committing lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14 against more than one victim. If convicted on all counts, McKenzie is facing up to 45 years in a California State Prison. He is currently in police custody with bail set at $1 million.
Tagged as: lewd acts upon a child, los angeles sex crime defense attorney, sex crimes
Another day, another scandal for actress Lindsay Lohan. As reported in several news outlets, the troubled actress was charged with lying to Santa Monica Police about a traffic accident on the very same day when she was arrested in New York City for allegedly punching a woman in a night club. Lohan was reportedly involved in an accident on Pacific Coast Highway in June in which a Porsche collided with a dump truck. At the time, Lohan told police that she was not driving when the accident occurred, though police involved with the case say they have found evidence that the troubled starlet lied about her involvement. She is being charged in Los Angeles with obstructing an investigation, giving false information to an officer and reckless driving. These charges in particular may land the actress in jail again as she was said to have been on probation at the time of the accident for a 2011 shoplifting conviction. Lohan had already endured multiple stints in jail for violating her probation in that case. As for her nightclub incident in New York City, things appear to be a bit murkier. Lohan is accused to punching a professional palm reader in the face at Club Avenue in the city’s fashionable meatpacking district. Lohan was uninjured in the incident, while no actual injuries were revealed by the alleged victim. According to reports from police, Lohan was sitting inside a black Sport Utility Vehicle when they arrived and she was later arrested around 4 o’clock that morning. She was booked into a local jail on suspicion of third-degree assault, which is a misdemeanor in New York.
After being released from police custody later that morning, Lohan was also seen forcing her long-time friend and personal assistant Gavin Doyle out of her vehicle, in spite of the fact that Doyle claims he was the one to bail her out of jail. Doyle later tweeted that he hoped Lohan gets the help she “so desperately” needs.
The troubled former “Mean Girls” star has had several other run-ins with law enforcement in the New York area recently. In September the actress claimed she was choked by a political aid in a hotel room. In October local law enforcement agents responded to a domestic disturbance call at the home of Dina Lohan, Lindsay’s mother, in Mineola, which is just outside of New York City. It was reportedly a heated argument between mother and daughter in which no injuries were reported. In both cases, no charges were filed and no arrests were made.
Tagged as: assault
A Los Angeles man who was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list was apprehended by local authorities in Mexico last Friday, according to reports. Joe Luis Saenz, who was originally from the Los Angeles area, was apprehended by Mexican Federal Police on Friday in the city of Guadalajara in western Mexico. Saenz got onto the FBI’s infamous Most Wanted List by allegedly committing several violent crimes including multiple murders, rape and kidnapping in both 1998 and 2008. Saenz was sought by American law enforcement authorities after allegedly shooting two members of a rival Los Angeles gang in 1998. Less than two weeks later, Saenz is said to have kidnapped, raped and murdered his ex-girlfriend. Saenz has also been accused of committing a fourth murder, also committed in the Los Angeles area, in 2008. Law enforcement officials had had such little luck in tracking Saenz down and apprehending him that they had been offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and capture. Mexican authorities expect to begin the extradition process this week.
Saenz, along with a now-deceased accomplice, is said to have lured two members of a rival gang into a trap by promising a drug deal. Saenz is then said to have shot both men several times in the Aliso Village area of Boyle Heights. Saenz, who was on parole at the time of the murders, then fled the scene and went into hiding. He is said to have gone to Sigreta Hernandez, his ex-girlfriend and the mother of his two-year-old daughter. Saenz is then said to have kidnapped Hernandez and taken her back to his grandmother’s home in an unincorporated area of East Los Angeles where he allegedly raped her. Hernandez’s half-naked body was found by Saenz’s grandmother with a gunshot wound at the temple. Saenz’s accomplice in the earlier two murders was arrested after an anonymous tip and unexpectedly gave a detailed confession of the crimes. Saenz was then charged with three counts of murder, as well as kidnapping and rape. A warrant was issued for his arrest, but investigators in the case were unable to find any clues as to his whereabouts until a decade later when he was captured on video surveillance footage shooting a known drug smuggler in the head at a home in Whittier after a drug run had been stopped by a Missouri State Trooper. After the 2008 murder, Saenz was thought to have fled to Mexico, where he allegedly worked as an enforcer for a drug cartel and crossed the border into the United States several times using various aliases and fraudulent traveling documents.
The 37-year-old Saenz was added to the FBI’s Most Wanted list in 2009.
Tagged as: arrest warrant, gang allegations, kidnapping, Murder, violent crimes defense
Computer software developer John McAfee is being charged with murder according to local reports in Belize. McAfee, who created the anti-virus program that bears his name, is accused of murdering another American ex-patriot by the name of Gregory Faull. According to local law enforcement agents, Faull was found in a pool of his own blood last Saturday at his home in San Pedro Town on the island of Ambergris Caye off the coast of Belize. Faull, who had worked as a builder from Florida died of a gunshot wound to the head. A computer and a phone were said to have been missing from his home. According to reports, Faull had recently filed a complaint with the local mayor’s office about McAfee claiming the ex-software mogul was exhibiting “roguish” behavior and shooting off guns. The two men reportedly got into a heated argument Saturday before the violence started. Police investigating the case, however, have not released statement as to what they believe the official motive for the crime was. McAfee is said to have fled the scene of the crime and is still being sought by local police on suspicion of murder.
McAfee issued a statement to Wired magazine saying that he fears for his life and has gone into hiding rather than turn himself in to police. The 67-year-old claims local police poisoned his four dogs and had some sort of vendetta against him, though for what, exactly, he did not say. Local police were said to have raided McAfee’s home last April looking for firearms and illegal drugs. By McAfee’s account officers did, indeed, find guns in his home, which he claims were legal. McAfee says he was detained for several hours then released with no criminal charges being filed against him. In spite of the rough treatment McAfee felt he had been subjected to by local police, he still donated weapons and other equipment to local police and even attended a public ceremony with the mayor and police officials just before Faull’s murder.
McAfee has been living in Belize for several years after selling his stake in his software development company in the 1990s for as much as $100 million. The company was sold to Intel in 2010 for $7 billion. There has been speculation in recent years that he had, perhaps, been using illegal drugs. Statements from neighbors claim McAfee was “standoffish” and had been drifting further and further away from friends and family members of late. McAfee told the New York Times in 2009 that he had lost most of his fortune in the financial crisis that afflicted so many others in 2007 and 2008.
Tagged as: firearms crimes, high profile defense, los angeles violent crime defense attorney, Murder, violent crimes defense
Former reality show “The Amazing Race” contestant Vanessa Macias was arrested for drinking and driving last week. According to reports, Macias was driving through San Antonio, Texas around two o’clock in the morning on October 26th. Officials in San Antonio claim that they pulled Macias over initially because she was driving “erratically” and had failed to signal a turn. Officers also claim that upon approaching her vehicle, they smelled the all-too-familiar odor of alcohol. No word has been released as to whether or not Macias was given field sobriety tests, or what kind of chemical testing she underwent. However, Macias admitted to officers that she had had several alcoholic beverages earlier in the evening while at a Jason Aldean concert and later went to a strip club with a friend. Macias’ blood alcohol level at the time of her arrest was not released. She was booked into a local jail on suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI), then released after posting $1,000 bond.
Macias competed in “The Amazing Race” as part of the Dating Divorcees team who finished fourth in the show’s finale last season.
Dealing with drinking and driving charges is not only inconvenient, but difficult and potentially threatening to your independence as well. If you have been arrested for an alcohol-related driving offense, you need the guidance of an experienced DUI defense attorney right away. In the state of California, DUI and DWI charges mean that your driver’s license is most likely going to be suspended. From the time of your arrest, you have just 10 days to schedule a hearing with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to ensure that your driving privileges remain intact. Otherwise, your license will be suspended. If chemical testing determines that you have, indeed, been consuming alcohol before getting in your car and driving, your license will automatically be suspended by the DMV for at least 4 months. Your license can be suspended for up to one year by the DMV if this is not your first DUI/DWI offense. Losing your license may be avoided, however, with an aggressive and experienced attorney by your side. Defenses such as faulty testing equipment or even unlawful police stops have won many DUI cases. Field sobriety tests conducted by officers at the scene of an arrest are also subject to scrutiny and their results are often unusable in court. Anyone familiar with DUI cases and physical field sobriety tests can tell you that these tests are highly subjective. A person with a severe cold, extreme fatigue or other physical ailment may have trouble with balance, or may not be clear-headed enough to perform these tests to the satisfaction of the officer conducting them. Being physically unwell is, unlike drinking and driving, not illegal.
Tagged as: dui drunk driving defense vc 23152
Linda Hogan was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) earlier this month while driving in Malibu. Hogan, who is the ex-wife of famed professional wrestler and actor Hulk Hogan and whose real name is Linda Bollea, was reportedly stopped by local police just after 1:30 in the morning on October 4th. Law enforcement agents involved with the arrest first spotted Hogan speeding and decided to pull her over. Chemical testing revealed that Bollea had a blood alcohol content of 0.084%, which is just above the legal limit of 0.08%. Bollea was booked into a nearby jail where she remained in custody until she posted $5,000 bail several hours later and was released. Bollea was also reportedly driving on a suspended license at the time of her arrest. A representative for Bollea claims she had been at an event earlier in the evening where she had had a single glass of champagne and that the effects of the alcohol had been exacerbated by prescription antibiotics she had been taking that day. No word has been released as to when Bollea is expected to appear in court.
One important factor in each DUI arrestis whether or not the initial police stop that led to the DUI arrest was lawful. Anyone familiar with DUI law can tell you that law enforcement officials need a good reason to stop you while driving your car. In cases such as Bollea’s, officers may pull you over because you were speeding. In other cases, officers may claim you were driving dangerously, perhaps weaving in and out of traffic. If officers see you break a law, such as ignore a stop sign or traffic light, they may also pull you over. Many DUI arrests start with something as small as a broken tail light, failing to signal a turn, or driving with expired vehicle tags. The basic point here is that if you were pulled over without a good reason, your entire DUI case may be reduced or even dismissed due to an unlawful police stop. This is actually one of the best ways to defend yourself against criminal DUI charges. If you have been arrested for and charged with drinking and driving, be sure to discuss the events leading up to your arrest with an experienced DUI defense attorney. He or she should carefully examine your arrest record and can help you determine whether you were legally and properly stopped by local police in the first place.
Tagged as: dui drunk driving defense vc 23152
Local law enforcement agents have made what they say is a break-through in a very strange case involving a Canadian storage facility that held millions of gallons of maple syrup. Readers may recall the news that one of the world’s largest maple syrup reserves had allegedly been robbed of nearly $30 million-worth of the sweet pancake topper. Employees conducting a routine inventory of the St. Louis-De-Blandford facility, which is in the province of Quebec, noticed that several 45-gallon barrels used to store the syrup had been inexplicably emptied. At the time, the full extent of the loss was not fully known as employees were still checking their inventory in order to determine how much maple syrup was gone. The facility was a strategic global reserve for the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers and is said to have housed more than 10 million gallons of maple syrup. Local law enforcement began investigating the case and was initially perplexed as to how so much of the sweet liquid could have gone missing without anyone noticing. Investigators approached an exporter in Quebec and asked to search his facility in relation to the theft. Authorities then seized 600 barrels of syrup and claim it is their first major break in the case. The exporter, whose name is Etienne St-Pierre, told reporters that his stock, which was awaiting normal shipment, was sold to him by his normal group of suppliers. The confiscated maple syrup was then transported back to the St. Louis-Blandford facility by heavily armed guard. St-Pierre has not been charged with a crime and Canadian authorities have not released the names of any suspects in the case.
If transporting maple syrup by armed guard sounds sort of like overkill, one must consider the fact that maple syrup manufacturing is actually big business in Canada. The province of Quebec is, all by itself, the world’s largest producer of maple syrup and puts out roughly 80% of the liquid sold every year all over the globe. As much as 75% of the maple syrup sold in the United States is imported from Canada. For comparison, the amount of maple syrup stored at the facility in St. Louis-Blandford equaled nearly half the amount of syrup produced by the United States annually. The St. Louis-Blandford storage facility is largely used to store maple syrup simply as a back up to normal production-in case there are any shortages as a result of a disappointing syrup production season. Authorities involved with the case did not say whether there was more maple syrup to track down.
Tagged as: los angeles theft defense attorney, theft
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