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San Luis Obispo Criminal Law Blog

Mistakes on the part of authorities could affect DUI defense

It is common knowledge that no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. Of course, some mistakes you make may be more serious than others are, and if you consume alcohol before driving, this error may be one that affects your life in substantial ways.

Fortunately, if a police officer stops your vehicle and suspects that you are under the influence, you do not have to immediately picture yourself sitting behind bars due to a DUI conviction. You, like everyone else in California, have the right to prepare and present a criminal defense against any allegations that police bring against you.

Are you a California college student who drinks?

When you first moved into your dorm or apartment at a California college campus, you were likely filled with excitement, nervousness and a sense of freedom, especially if it was the first time you'd ever been away from home. Since then, you've hopefully found your niche and have developed good study habits and a sense of normalcy and routine in your daily schedule. You've also hopefully connected with a group of friends who are like-minded in their goals.

College life isn't all academics; in fact, the social scene is a main component that graduates often remember when they move on in life and think back on their college days. Drinking alcohol is often part of the social atmosphere in college. Unfortunately, alcohol-related incidents are often among the negative, not happy, memories for those whose situations get out of hand. If you drink, you'll want to be aware of some important issues, including where to seek support if a problem arises.

Church accused of covering up sex crimes

Some victims of childhood sexual abuse have been critical of churches and organizations they say helped hide it and allow the behavior to continue. One woman says that she told church leaders in both California and a nearby state about sex crimes committed by her father, a church employee. She cited their failure to report the abuse to police in a recent civil lawsuit.

The woman alleges that her father sexually abused her as a child. She says she reported this to church authorities multiple times, and although he was kicked out of the church once for one year, he was apparently never reported to police. She says he was allowed back into the church after an appearance in church court.

Criminal defense researchers look into impact of Proposition 47

The ways in which crimes are punished and the length of sentences is often considered to have an impact on reoffense rates. In 2014, California voters chose to reduce penalties for several different convictions formerly categorized as felonies. This change to the criminal defense system in California was controversial and contested, so these follow-up studies to the passage of Proposition 47 are of high interest to many in the state.

In 2014, Proposition 47 transitioned what were once felonies into misdemeanors. This lowered sentences for many of them from prison terms to minimum jail sentences. Among the criminal sentences impacted were drug possession, theft, shoplifting, identity theft, receiving stolen property, writing bad checks and check forgery. 

Man accused of selling drugs without a license faces drug charges

As many states work to fight drug addiction, police are taking action on those who illegally sell prescription drugs without a license. In California, the owner of an herbal medicine store has been charged with selling and holding prescription drugs without a license. The man is accused of these drug charges in San Francisco's Chinatown.

According to police, the investigation began when a 73-year-old man was hospitalized after ingesting Anti Rheuma capsules from an unlicensed seller in Oakland. These capsules, intended to treat inflammation and arthritis, are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. An investigation began to find the source of these medications, ending in the Chinatown business.

Tests that can land you in a California jail cell if you fail

If you are a rather clumsy person, the type that trips over your own feet while walking down a sidewalk, then one of the things you no doubt hope to never do is take a field sobriety walk-and-turn test. This is one of three common tests that California police officers may request you to take if they pull you over while driving and suspect that you might be intoxicated.  

The problem is that there are numerous variables that can come into play to cause you to fail such tests, even if you are stone-cold sober. If you stumble, trip or fall, you can wind up in handcuffs and on your way to jail for suspected DUI. That's why it's important to learn as much as you can about field sobriety tests ahead of time, as well as where to seek support if things don't go your way. 

PGA president charged with drunk driving in California

An accident has led to one man being charged with a misdemeanor DUI charge. The individual veered off of a road in California and struck a sign, leading authorities to investigate. It was later found that the man charged with drunk driving was the president of the Professional Golfers Association

The man was driving on Highway 111 late at night when his vehicle left the road and struck a sign. Although the man was not injured, police responding to the scene stated that the man appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. Since the nature of his injuries were not known, he was initially taken to a hospital and then later booked in the local jail. The man will face a late summer court date. 

California considering alternative sentencing for juvenile crimes

A larger national push toward community programs versus detention and confinement for youth could have some judges ordering alternatives for young offenders. The state of California has two large funding sources for juvenile justice purposes and some of those funds are earmarked for community-based services for youth. Individuals charged with juvenile crimes may not necessarily face detention, but it will depend on the circumstance and the location. 

Also, being charged with a crime is not the same as being guilty. A criminal charge is an allegation until it is proved with evidence presented in court. Some juveniles may find themselves a part of the juvenile justice system nevertheless, and experts say that detaining juveniles is not necessarily the most cost-effective or therapeutic route for youthful offenders and that individuals are better served with alternative, community-based programs. 

3 men arrested on drug charges in California

A police investigation led to the arrests of three men recently. The men were allegedly members of a white supremacist gang. They were from various locations, but the arrests were made in California. The alleged crimes led to weapons and drug charges for the men.

Authorities say that they were monitoring crimes in the California location and following the activities of the alleged gang members. Two traffic stops led to arrests and the seizure of large sums of cash and drugs. A quarter pound of meth, heroin, $12,000 cash, batons, a money counter and a Taser were all seized during the first stop. A 53-year-old man remains in custody after that traffic stop.

Sex crimes: California psychologist facing rape charge

Some female military members have accused a clinical psychologist of raping them while they were in counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Ironically, they sought therapy because they said they were the victims of sex crimes. The 41-year-old man has been charged with three counts of felony sexual assault for allegedly raping these patients between 2014 and 2015 at a California air base. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The psychologist apparently used a technique referred to as exposure therapy, which entailed asking the women to have intercourse with him, moving the sessions to his private residence. One of the women said she was seeking treatment after being raped while on duty in Afghanistan. She said the psychologist allegedly told her by having sex with him she would have a positive and loving experience. 

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San Luis Obispo, CA 93401-4028

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San Luis Obispo Criminal Law Blog | Fisher Law Office