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Law Office of Ronald G. Brower Blog

 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Criminal Charges Filed in Student's Death


Armando Abel Ramirez was arrested last Wednesday and charged yesterday with a felony count of dependent adult abuse related to the death of 19-year-old Hun Joon “Paul” Lee.

Ramirez, a 37-year-old San Bernardino resident, is accused of driving Lee to school on September 11, 2015 and neglected to confirm Lee actually exited the bus, leaving Lee in the bus for an entire day in which the temperature reached around 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

At about the time Ramirez returned to the bus later that afternoon for his second shift, Ramirez was reportedly notified that Lee was reported missing. Lee was found shortly thereafter on the bus, unresponsive. Ramirez called for assistance, but paramedics declared Lee dead at the scene.

Ramirez was a substitute driver on that particular day last September. Prosecutors contend that Ramirez believed Lee had exited the bus for school, but declined to confirm or check. It is reported that Lee was left alone in the bus for nearly 7 hours.

Ramirez’s arraignment is scheduled for April 25. If convicted of the crime charged, Ramirez could be sentenced for up to 9 years in prison.

Lee’s family have also filed a civil lawsuit against the school district and bus agency. 

Criminal charges are serious allegations that should not be taken lightly. If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, it is critical to speak with a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights.

Ronald G. Brower is a criminal defense attorney in Orange County, California. Attorney Brower has over three decades of experience representing individuals charged with a range of crimes and in high-profile matters.

Contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower online or by telephone at 714-997-4400.

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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Uber Driver Charged in Sexual Assault

Omar Mahmoud Mousa was arrested on March 7 for allegedly sexually assaulting a female Uber passenger. Mousa, a 52-year-old man from Anaheim, appeared in court this past Thursday when his bail was set for $100,000.

At this time, Mousa is in custody awaiting his arraignment scheduled for April 8. Mousa has been charged with one felony count of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation and sexual penetration by a foreign object. If convicted, Mr. Mousa could face over two decades of jail time.

The prosecution alleges that while Mousa was driving for Uber he picked up a couple of female passengers at an Anaheim hotel, drove them to a bar in Fullerton, and then picked them up later that night and drove them back to the hotel. Once at the hotel, it is alleged that Mousa escorted the women to the room and committed sexual assault.

Prosecutors assert that one of the victims had passed out and the other female eventually fought Mousa off after he reportedly raped her.

On Thursday, Uber issued a statement strongly condemning Mousa’s behavior, stating his access to Uber had been severed, and that the company was cooperating with law enforcement during their investigation.

Ronald G. Brower is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Orange County, California. Attorney Brower has represented and continues to represent individuals charged with a range of crimes, including rape and sexual assault, throughout Southern California.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, it is critical to speak with a defense attorney to protect your constitutional rights.

Contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower online or by telephone at 714-997-4400.

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Friday, March 11, 2016

Report Calculates Costs of California Wrongful Convictions


The price paid for wrongful convictions can be quantified in some ways, and in other ways it cannot. Years lost in prison due to a wrongful conviction can be measured and compensated in some ways, but there is nothing that can replace lost time.

According to a new report by the University of California at Berkeley School of Law and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, California has paid an estimated $282 million in taxpayer money due to wrongful convictions in our state.

Wrongful convictions can occur in many ways, regardless of whether the defendant was factually guilty or factually innocent. The most obvious wrongful conviction may be when an innocent person is found guilty of a crime. But a wrongful conviction can occur when a factually guilty individual is denied a fair trial or the conviction is secured as a result of procedural violations.

This particular report, “Criminal Injustice,” examined cases in which the person was convicted of a felony, which was later reversed by an appellate court, and the case was ultimately dismissed or the defendant was acquitted after a subsequent trial.

The report found 692 cases in California that fit this criterion between 1989 and 2013. As a consequence of those cases, the report found that there were over 1800 legal settlements for an estimated total of $135 million. Factoring in the cost of incarceration, trials, and appeals, the cost rises almost another $150 million.

Wrongful convictions may be caused by a number of factors, and some of the most common include police or prosecutorial misconduct, flawed forensic science, mistaken eyewitness identification, false confessions, and ineffective defense counsel. According to the report, prosecutorial misconduct was the error associated with the most costly wrongful convictions, resulting in a loss of $53 million for incarceration costs, legal fees, and settlements.

Our criminal justice system is not a perfect institution, as reports like this remind us. However, hopefully as a result of this report and others like it, our awareness about these kinds of issues will lead to changes and improvements.

Ronald G. Brower is a criminal defense attorney in Orange County California. He has represented individuals charged with a range of crimes over the course of his career.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

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Saturday, March 5, 2016

Simpson Case Takes Another Twist


Ever since his acquittal in 1995, O.J. Simpson has remained a subject of fascination and curiosity amongst the American public. This past week, the case took another turn when a knife allegedly found buried in 1998 on Simpson’s Brentwood property was publicly revealed for the first time.

Officials from the LAPD stated that they intend to conduct a forensic analysis of the weapon in hopes of discovering any clues or leads in their investigation. However, the police indicated that they had to approach the newly emerged evidence with some skepticism.

The story so far is that the knife was reportedly discovered by a construction worker at Simpson’s former property in 1998, and turned over shortly thereafter to an off-duty police officer who only recently gave the weapon to LAPD.

What happened to the knife in the intervening 17 or 18 years is unclear. Where was it located? Who handled it? Whose custody was it in? These any and other questions presently remain unclear and cast a shadow over the evidentiary value of the knife.

One of Simpson’s lawyers at the time, Beverly Hills attorney Carl Douglas, stated this week that the media frenzy surrounding this revelation was “utterly ridiculous.“

Even if the knife were to somehow inculpate Simpson in the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, prosecutors would face the formidable constitutional prohibition of double jeopardy. 

More details and developments are sure to emerge in the coming days and weeks.

Ronald G. Brower is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Orange County, California. Attorney Brower has represented individuals charged with a range of crimes, including murder.

If you or someone you know is being investigated or is charged with a crime, it is important to speak with a criminal defense lawyer to protect and preserve your rights.

Contact Law Office of Ronald G. Brower online or by telephone at 714-997-4400.

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