Articles Tagged with lawyer

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A California woman, Denise Huskins, described the “hell that we have survived” to her abductor, who was sentenced to 40 years in prison. The police originally dismissed this case as a hoax because it was so elaborate and downright bizarre.

Huskins was held for two days, after being kidnapped and sexually assaulted by the abductor, which she describes as physical and psychological torture. The disbarred lawyer, Matthew Muller, reportedly snatched her from her home in San Francisco two years ago.

“I still have nightmares every night,” she said, fighting back tears. “Sleep is not rest for me; it is a trigger.” Her boyfriend was bound and drugged during the kidnapping. He said “he can not and will not ever be the same.” U.S. District Judge Troy Nunley called the abduction a “heinous, atrocious, horrible crime” as he sentenced 39 year-old Muller. Muller faced up to life in prison, but prosecutors agreed to 40 years in exchange for his guilty plea. Muller’s lawyer wanted a 30 year sentence arguing that Muller had manic depression and could be rehabilitated with proper treatment.

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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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Kerry Kennedy, daughter of late senator Robert F. Kennedy, was acquitted of charges of driving while intoxicated (similar to California’s DUI charges) earlier this morning in a New York courtroom. Jurors spent just over an hour deliberating the facts before delivering their verdict.

Kennedy was found collapsed over the steering wheel of her vehicle after swerving and sideswiping a tractor-trailer on a New York interstate highway back in July, 2012.

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What to do when Social Services has been called—

You and your husband were arguing the other night. Neighbors called the police. The police told you that they had to arrest one of you and he chose you. You’ve bailed out of jail, you’ve contacted an experienced Orange County domestic violence or criminal defense attorney,  you are prepared for court and then you come home and there it is out of left field- a business card left on your door from the Department of Child and Family Services with a note that you must call a social worker. You call as instructed and are told that “your social worker” needs to investigate “your case.”

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In an earlier post, I detailed an example of a lawyer who got herself into some trouble in an incident involving alcohol, police, and a whole bunch of negative publicity. That fiasco was the result of a series of poor decisions regarding her personal life that unfortunately affected her professional career. But certainly any attorney—or even a judge, for that matter—would never allow a lapse of professional conduct in the courtroom to jeopardize his or her career, right?

Prosecutors, district attorneys, and judges like to be viewed as “tough on crime.” In the case of judges, that’s how many of them get elected to their positions. Although many are objective, fair, and just in their rulings, there are some who secretly challenge the “innocent until proven guilty” paradigm of criminal proceedings. An unfortunate few officials have convinced themselves that anyone who stands before their bench must somehow be guilty; the question is, “how guilty?

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Imagine you’re in court, charged with a crime, telling a judge the facts surrounding your case that show your innocence. Now imagine a police officer taking the stand and contradicting everything you’ve just said. Who is the judge going to believe? Who would a jury believe? Overwhelmingly, in a battle of credibility, a cop is going to win most of the time.

Cops are sworn to serve and protect their communities, right? They dress sharp, they’re well-groomed, wear a shiny badge and appear completely trustworthy. On the witness stand, they are relaxed, confident, and nearly anyone is going to believe what they say.

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Let’s face it: If you don’t want to get pulled over by a police officer, you shouldn’t give him the finger as you’re driving by. But in case you do, he’s no longer allowed to pull you over and arrest you for that reason alone.

John Swartz was pulled over and arrested in May, 2006 when he allegedly flipped off a police officer who was using a radar gun to check the speed of passing vehicles. The officer claimed that he “thought there may have been a problem in the car” and “wanted to assure the safety of the passengers.” Swartz was later charged with the misdemeanor crime of disorderly conduct, which was later dismissed.

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In 2011, Elizabeth Escalona, a 23-year old mother of five, allegedly attacked 2-year old daughter Jocelyn due to potty training problems. She kicked her in stomach, beat her with a milk jug, and glued her hands to an apartment wall with super glue, according to information brought at trial.

Jocelyn suffered brain bleeding, a fractured rib, bruises, and bite marks, according to doctor’s testimony. Some skin had been torn off her hands as a result of the glue. Glue residue was found on her hands, along with paint chips from the apartment wall. The girl was left in a coma for several days following her injuries. Jocelyn and her four siblings are now living in the protective care of their grandmother.

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In 2009, singer Chris Brown pled guilty in California to felony assault charges against Rihanna, a singer who was his girlfriend at that time. As part of his criminal sentencing, he was ordered to serve probation for a term of five years in his home state of Virginia and complete six months of community service. According to his log, he has accumulated over 1400 hours of service, ranging from picking up trash to washing police cars and fire trucks.

Chris Brown

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The Orange County register reports that a Laguna Niguel resident was arrested for drinking and having sex with her son’s underage friends since 2005. The woman, a 45-year old mother of three, is reportedly a “hockey mom” who allegedly met some of her son’s teammates during a sleepover at her home.

When interviewed by sheriff’s detectives, the woman first denied the allegations, but finally admitted to having sex with the older boy. She insists that she thought the older of the two boys was 18, like her son. He turned out to be 16. The woman’s Orange County criminal defense attorney insisted that she was going through a tumultuous divorce at the time, but that she wasn’t pursuing the boy. He also stated that the woman rebuffed the advances of the younger 13-year old.

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