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Law Office of Ronald G. Brower Blog

 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

California Supreme Court Upholds Sex Offender Law


On Wednesday, April 22, the California Supreme Court voted 4-3 to uphold a ruling requiring lifetime registration as a sex offender for certain sex offense convictions.

The court’s ruling reinstates a California law from 1947 that requires persons convicted of engaging in non-forcible oral sex with a minor to register as a sex offender for life.

This particular issue has come before the California Supreme Court on multiple occasions within the past decade. In 2006, the court voted 6-1 to overturn the old law.

However, as recently as January 29, 2015, with different justices on the bench, the court decided to reinstate the 1947 act, reversing its 2006 decision.

When the issue came before the court this past Wednesday, the justices decided by a narrow margin not to have a rehearing on its January decision, leaving the 1947 law in place.

Sex offender registration carries serious and extensive consequences. Housing and employment options are curtailed. Strict reporting requirements must be satisfied. Families can be disrupted. Depending on the offense, one's status as a sex offender may appear in a public database.

If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges involving a sex offense, contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can provide knowledgeable and zealous representation in this area of the law.

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Police Arrest Suspect In Recent Palms Shootings

Police arrested James Pickens (37) of Inglewood as a suspect connected to the recent shootings in the Palms section of Los Angeles that killed one person and injured four others.

Mr. Pickens was arrested on April 17 on suspicion of murder and attempted murder. He is currently being held on $1 million bail.

Gunfire was first reported around 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 16, when two persons were shot at Woodbine Park, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. One of the victims was pronounced dead at the scene; the other victim was taken to the hospital.

Shortly afterwards, another person was shot and wounded at the intersection of Motor and Vinton avenues. Two other people were also shot at the intersection of Overland Avenue and National Boulevard and both were taken to a hospital.

Los Angeles Police indicated they would present the case to the district attorney on Tuesday. The district attorney will review the matter and decide whether there is probable cause to charge Mr. Pickens with the relevant crimes.

Ronald G. Brower is an experienced and leading criminal defense attorney. Attorney Brower represents clients being investigated for or charged with a range of crimes, including homicide offenses. If you are facing criminal charges, contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower.

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Robert Durst Facing Multiple Charges in Different States


Robert Durst, the infamous millionaire arrested in March on a California murder warrant, plead not guilty yesterday to two state gun charges in Louisiana.

Durst, the high-profile subject of a recent HBO series, is facing various charges in multiple courts in different states.

In Los Angeles, Durst faces potential charges stemming from the murder of author Susan Berman, Durst’s purported friend, who was found dead her home in 2000. In Louisiana, Durst is facing state gun charges, but as of yesterday he may be facing a possible federal criminal complaint as well.

A complaint and FBI affidavit filed in federal court in New Orleans states there is probable cause to support a federal firearms charge. Because Durst was convicted of a 2004 federal firearm charge, his later possession of a firearm violated federal law prohibiting felons from possessing firearms.

Durst’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin, succinctly expressed the difficulties of facing multiple charges in multiple states, stating: "I feel like we’re being tag-teamed and I feel like we’ve got to be in California where the main case is so we can try the case."

The next hearing in New Orleans is scheduled for May 7.

Criminal cases are complex, no matter if in state court or federal court. Given the serious consequences involved, sound legal counsel and zealous representation are a must.

Attorney Ronald Brower is an experienced and leading criminal defense attorney in Southern California. If you or someone you know is being investigated or has been arrested and is facing criminal charges, contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower today.

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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Homeless Man Found Not Guilty of Voluntary Manslaughter

A jury in a Los Angeles courthouse in Alhambra recently found Jeremy Harris, a 36-year-old homeless man, not guilty of voluntary manslaughter.

Mr. Harris was accused of punching Gabriel Ortega Jr., 57, during a dispute in a McDonald’s restaurant on June 18, 2014. Mr. Ortega refused medical treatment and over time his condition deteriorated, ultimately leading to a coma and eventually his death.

Mr. Harris’s attorney argued that the case involved a misidentification of his client, whom he protested was innocent.

Even though witnesses believed it was Mr. Harris that they saw perpetrate this offense, and later identified him as the suspect, the defense argued they were honestly mistaken.

As part of its case, the defense presented expert testimony on the problems of eyewitness identification. A psychology professor at Claremont Graduate University explained that multiple factors can contribute to misidentification.

Eyewitness identifications are popularly believed to be irrefutable evidence. Often, however, eyewitness identifications are problematic and unreliable. In fact, misidentification is one of the leading causes of wrongful convictions.

Many factors contribute to mistaken eyewitness identification, including the stress of the witness at the time of the incident, the presence of a weapon during the incident, the duration of time between the incident and the later identification for law enforcement, as well as suggestive police identification procedures.

Studies show that the accuracy of eyewitness identifications also diminishes when the eyewitness and the suspect are of a different race.

Eyewitness identifications are just one component amongst many in a criminal case. 

To defend against a criminal prosecution, you need an experienced attorney to evaluate all aspects of your case and to provide you with sound guidance and zealous advocacy.

If you or someone you know or love is facing criminal charges, contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower to speak with a respected and experienced Orange County defense attorney.

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