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Danger of False Allegations in California (CA Penal Code §182(2))

Even though a guilty verdict has been returned in the killing of Travis Alexander (formerly of Riverside, CA), many of us wonder about Jodi Arias’s (formerly of Salinas, CA) claims of self-defense against Alexander.  Arias still maintains, for example, that Alexander was abusive toward her, causing, in the end, his own death at her hand – by multiple stab wounds, a gunshot to the head, and a slit throat.  So convincing was the defendant, however, that while awaiting verdict, Arias sold t-shirts online that read, “Survivor” in order to raise money for domestic violence awareness.CA Penal Code §273.5 (Corporeal Injury to...

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California Supreme Court Decides to Split Families When There is No Prosecution of Sexual Abuse (CA Welfare & Institutions Code §300)

In Los Angeles County, a man known to the public only as “J.J.,” was accused of molesting his 14-year-old daughter.  Even though the girl later recanted and her father never prosecuted, a juvenile court judge decided that sexual abuse had occurred in the home and took 5 children away from their father, according to CA Welfare & Institutions Code §300. Child abuse – especially sexual abuse – is a serious matter and children who are at risk within their own homes certainly ought to be removed and offered an alternative, safe place to grow up.  But what happens when the father in a family...

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3-MONTH DRUG INVESTIGATION LEADS TO 6 ARRESTS IN SAN RAFAEL (CA Penal Code §11350 HS – §11364 HS)

In two different locations, it took the Marin County Major Crimes Task Force and local San Rafael police officers to arrest 6 different suspects involved in running a suspected “drug house.”  The six persons arrested have been charged with everything from theft, possession of illegal drugs, and intent to distribute to suspicion of possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest, and probation violations and other violations of the Health & Safety Code.  The men named in this case include: Francisco Rodas, 35; Federico Hernandex, 30; Shuber Gaston Caamel Uex, 37; Roberto Casia Gonzales, 24; Edgar Alexander Aguilar, 23; and Jose Antonio...

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California State Court Unanimously Authorizes Local Governments Power to Ban Marijuana Dispensaries (SB 420 & Prop 215)

Beginning May 6th 2013, the California state court has unanimously ruled that cities and counties can select to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in their areas if they choose to.  This decision results from several other attempts in both Bakersfield and Riverside to use zoning regulations to fight the 17-year-old California law that allows the sale of marijuana for medical purposes (SB 420 & Prop 215).What counts as medical marijuana?  All portions of the plant and related products, such as buds, stalks, leaves, resin and fibers all count as marijuana according to SB420.  Remember, included in this category are any related...

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West Oakland Acorn Housing Project Subject of Joint Federal and Local Drug Busts

In a tiny part of West Oakland, near the Acorn housing project, drug-related violence has been increasing – according to local law enforcement officials.  So, during the month of April 2013, Oakland police have put members of the Acorn gang in their sights.  Within two weeks, more than 300 local officers and members of the FBI raided houses in the area, toting multiple search warrants, seizing firearms, and making arrests. What’s more than this is that Oakland police say that there are more arrests to come.  Police Chief Howard Jordan insists that these actions are necessary for the safety of...

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California Death Penalty Senate Bill Rejected SB779

Thankfully, reason has prevailed in the state of California and a bill backed by the California District Attorneys Association (SB779) and written by Senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine; San Diego County) that would have shortened death penalty appeals and reinstated the gas chamber as a means of capital punishment.  The bill was defeated at the Public Safety Committee stage with a 5-2 vote.  The authoring of this bill seems to be a reaction to the November 2012 ballot measure to repeal the death penalty in California altogether – which experienced a narrow defeat.SB779 would have seriously limited the number of appeals...

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Attempted Carjacking in Greenbrae (CA Penal Code §215(a))

As Tina Humphrey (52), a contractor from Mill Valley, went about running errands in the Bon Air Shopping Center, it’s a good guess that becoming the victim of a carjacking was the last thing on her mind.  But, when Jeffrey Boyce, a Coos County man, came up to her as she was getting into her pickup truck, all of that changed in a split second.  It seems that Boyce was attempting to steal a car in order to reach the Russian Consulate in San Francisco as he bent Humphrey’s ear about a number of conspiracy theories he wholeheartedly believed.  Humphrey...

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“Protected Person” California clause Leads to Elevated Aggravated Battery Charge in San Bruno (CA Penal Code, §243(b) & §243(c)(2))

Many of us remember the natural gas explosion that killed 8 people and ravaged 38 homes in San Bruno in September of 2010.  What many people may not know is that when a motorcyclist, 36-year-old Paul Lee, drove down to see the spectacle, he would be arrested on 3 felony counts: battery of an officer, assault on an officer, and evading the police (CA Penal Code §243(b) & §243(c)(2)).It seems that local law enforcement officials who asked them what they were doing at the site, and for some identification, stopped Lee and his girlfriend.  When Lee began to drive away,...

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San Francisco Extortion Ring Exposed (CA Penal Code §518)

We’ve all heard about scams involving psychics, like the ones that are seen on talk shows and television commercials.  Rarely, however, does a person encounter such a con artist in the everyday world.  For many Cantonese-speaking women in the San Francisco area, however, this all-too disturbingly became a living nightmare.  The case involves four Bay area con artists (Mudi Wu, Ying Liu Tam, Yong Hua Zeng, and Ah Bhung Liu) who tricked elderly women into giving them their valuables, including cash and jewelry, in exchange for “blessings” to prevent their sons from dying. The sting went something like this: one of the four...

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Marijuana Drug Busts on The Rise in Yosemite (CA Penal Code §11357)

 In a park that has over 3 million visitors each year, there are bound to be a few people who take community with nature, well, a little more seriously than others.  But Yosemite’s park rangers have been cracking down on those who bring illegal substances into the area, attempting to preserve the nature preserve’s “family friendly” atmosphere.  Most of the arrests, it seems, are for marijuana and hallucinogenic mushrooms - both of which are popular in the park among campers and visitors. A marijuana possession charge at Yosemite can cost you a misdemeanor citation (CA Penal Code §11357) and $275, a...

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