Articles Posted in Court

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Everyone has heard the Miranda advisement “You have the right to remain silent. Everything you say can and will be used against you…” As an Orange County criminal defense lawyer, I would like everyone to hear that everything you post on Facebook or other social media will be used against you. In just the last few months I’ve seen the following:

-Two gang members and a friend post a video of a fight they got in with a rival gang member.

-A woman posts a picture of herself holding a meth pipe and blowing a ring of smoke.

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It is common for children to be placed in therapy when sexual abuse is either suspected or alleged. In fact, police departments, social workers and child abuse investigators will frequently refer cases to child therapists that they believe will assist with disclosure or treatment of sexual abuse.

It is critical that criminal defense attorneys, representing clients in molestation or sexual abuse cases, get any and all therapy records and examine the records for impeaching or exonerating evidence.

Therapists are mandated reporters under California law. If a therapist has made an official report saying that a child claimed abuse, that information will be discoverable and should simply be listed in a police report. Attorneys should issue a subpoena duces tecum or “SDT” to the therapist for all records regarding the child, including emails, notes, billing statements, photocopies of books and photographs of toys that were used as part of the therapy.

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The Single Most Important Lesson From Making a Murderer: How YOU Can Protect Yourself

The world is abuzz with talk of Netflix’s new docuseries “Making a Murderer”, which chronicles the investigation and murder trial of Manitowic County resident Steven Avery and his nephew, Brenden Dassey. Even Anonymous, the international hacktivist organization has gotten involved, threatening to release confidential emails between investigators and former District Attorney Ken Kratz. The series reviews the evidence and viewers are left believing that two men were wrongfully convicted and sentenced to terms of life imprisonment for crimes they did not commit. The conviction of one of these men, Brendan Dassey, would have been impossible had he done one simple thing- exercised his right to remain silent.

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IV DripA West Virginia woman was recently sentenced to 6 years in prison for placing fecal matter in her son’s IV drip.

Having been born with Hirschsprung’s disease, the 9 year old boy was being treated at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio. Hirschsprung’s disease affects the bowels and requires many surgeries, and in this case the use of a colostomy bag.

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A 14 year old girl was arrested in South Carolina for sexual abuse involving a 3 year old.

According to the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Department , the girl was arrested after posting a video allegedly showing sexual abuse of the 3 year old. Multiple calls to the police department alerted authorities to the Facebook post which led to her arrest.

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Massage handThe owner and operator of a massage parlor in San Clemente has been charged with sexual battery in a case that involved at least six alleged victims spanning from June to October, 2014. He was released on $100,000 bail and has a hearing scheduled for January 12 in Harbor Justice Center.

The man, who is a licensed massage therapist, is accused of touching one of his employees and five clients for the purposes of sexual arousal, gratification, and abuse. At his arraignment, he was ordered by the judge to stop working as a massage therapist and not to enter any massage parlor during business hours.

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Californians have just enacted the biggest change to the criminal justice system in a generation. Voters have approved Proposition 47, which will reduce most drug and many theft crimes from felonies to mere misdemeanors. This will reduce or eliminate thousands of jail sentences across the state.

Anyone who is currently serving a prison sentence that qualifies under this reclassification is eligible to petition for a new, lighter sentence, even if currently incarcerated under Californias “three strikes” law. Someone serving a 25-to-life sentence may, for example, be allowed to leave prison now with credit for time that has been served.

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A Florida cop was arrested Monday for the alleged incident, that all started at a gas station. The deputy was speaking with a woman and learned that she reportedly did not have a valid driver’s license, was in possession of marijuana, and had prescription medication that did not belong to her. She was also on probation.

The woman allegedly offered money to the officer in exchange for him not arresting her, but he refused the bribe. Instead, he followed her back to her home, where the woman let him inside the home and offered oral sex. The officer was reported to say that he had never done anything like that before, but let it happen. When he left, he told her not to tell anybody what happened.

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Siri_iPhoneIn a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court, the justices unanimously ruled that police will now require a warrant to search a person’s cell phone.

Up until now, courts have routinely allowed the data contained on cell phones as evidence in a criminal proceeding on the basis that it prevents the destruction of evidence and for the safety of police officers in the field.

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In 2011, Laguna Hills became the 7th city in the county to pass a law banning sex offenders from city parks and private parks run by homeowners associations. This went a step further than the existing Orange County ban on sex offenders from parks, beaches, and harbors. The DA was optimistic that such a move would increase public safety, especially for children. They were also confident that the ban was constitutional.

The citywide ban instituted by Laguna Hills contained additional provisions, requiring the posting of signs at parks referencing the new law and establishing criteria for waivers. These provisions were meant to help defend the new ordinances in court. The ban of sex offenders from private, homeowners association-owned parks required the associations to specifically request that the law be enforced in their own parks. No associations had made such a request since the ban was instituted.

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