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Thursday, June 30, 2011

ESPN Personality Charged With Stalking, Assault And Domestic Violence

Pictured above: Jay Mariotti. Source: ESPN.

Jay Mariotti, a former ESPN personality, is being charged with felony stalking, corporal injury on a spouse or domestic partner and assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury. Additionally, he is being charged with two misdemeanor counts of not obeying court orders after Mariotti was ordered to stay away from his ex-girlfriend in April. That same day he confronted his ex-girlfriend and allegedly shouted at her, took her cell phone away and then pulled some of her hair out.

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ordered him to stand trial for all of these charges. Mariotti has pleaded not guilty to all charges. If he is convicted of these charges, he faces up to five years in prison. Mariotti remains on probation for a misdemeanor domestic violence case from August 2010.

A protective order is issued by the court to prevent someone from coming into contact with another person.  They are often issued in cases of domestic violence. Domestic violence is when a person assaults a family member, spouse or dating partner. If you are convicted of domestic violence, you face jail/prison time, fines, probation, and anger management classes or counseling. Additionally, your reputation is affected. Therefore, if you are charged with violating a restraining/protective order, domestic violence, or assault, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Man Driving Under the Influence Results in Hit-And-Run Murder

Pictured Above: Cara Alexandra Lee. Courtesy of the Lee Family.

On February 14, 2010, Gustavo Adrian Vega was under the influence of cocaine and alcohol while driving through Santa Ana, California. His car hit a parked car near a restaurant. After seeing Vega hit a car, several witnesses told him to pull over. Vega claims that he thought that the people telling him to pull over were gang members. Therefore, he sped through a red light to get away. While running the red light, Vega crashed into a car driven by Ha Nguyen that contained a passenger named Cara Alexandra Lee. Lee was killed at the scene of the crime. Nguyen was injured.

After the crash, Vega ran away from the scene of the crime, but was quickly apprehended. He was charged with second degree murder, one count of hit-and-run resulting in death, one count of possession of cocaine and a misdemeanor count of hit-and-run for hitting the parked car.  If Vega is convicted of all of these crimes, he faces a maximum sentence of 19 years to life in prison.

Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious crime that comes with serious penalties. If you are convicted of a DUI, you will have to go to jail, pay fines, attend alcohol classes and have your driver's license suspended. Common defenses to DUI charges include breathalyzer malfunctions, medical conditions and environmental factors.

Second Degree Murder is willful but is not deliberate or premeditated. In this case, the murder was considered willful since Vega already had a DUI on his record from 2006 and knew the consequences of his actions but still drove drunk.

If you are charged with Driving Under the Influence, Drug Possession or Second Degree Murder, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you and help you fight your charges.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Man Arrested For Selling Drugs to Minors And Charged With Child Endangerment

Photo: Shark Club. Source: Los Angeles Times.

Last Friday, a man was arrested for selling drugs to minors. Israel Soriano, 26, was at The Shark Club in Costa Mesa on Friday night for "teen night". The event was held at The Shark Club for 14-18 year old teenagers to attend. Club security saw Soriano acting strangely with another club-goer, so security took him outside and told him to empty his pockets. Inside his pockets there was a wad of cash and a bag of pills that were thought to be Ecstasy pills. Soriano was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance for sale, as well as child endangerment.

California Health & Safety Code Section 11352 makes it a felony to sell, furnish, administer, give away, transport or import an illegal narcotic. Common defenses to possession of a controlled substance for sale include entrapment and illegal searches and seizures. Punishments for drug crimes include prison time, probation, penalties & fines and drug classes.

California Penal Code Section 273a punishes child endangerment that occurs when an individual places a child in a dangerous situation. A child does not actually have to be hurt to be convicted of child endangerment. Punishments for child endangerment include prison or jail time, fines, a protective order, probation and counseling programs & classes.

If you are charged with a drug crime or child endangerment/abuse, please contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you.

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Gang Member Murders Woman and Attempts to Murder Woman's Boyfriend During Robbery

Pictured above: Christopher Dai-Ichi Yu. Source: Orange County District Attorney's Office.

Earlier this week, Christopher Dai-Ichu Yu was convicted of murder, criminal street-gang activity, street terrorism, and attempted murder. He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole for his crimes because of the special circumstance of murder during a robbery.

In March of 2010, Yu and his co-defendant Lynn Ai Quach arranged to meet Tuyet Thi Huynh in a parking lot to sell her drugs. Instead of selling her drugs, the men grabbed her purse, pulled it into the car and drove away. Huynh's arm was tangled in the purse and when the car sped off, Huynh was dragged beside the car for over a mile. Huynh's boyfriend, Truong Pham, watched the whole incident and went speeding after Yu's car. Yu opened fire and tried to shoot Pham. Police saw the speeding cars so they stopped and arrested the defendants. Huynh was pronounced dead at the hospital due to head trauma.

If a person murders someone during the commission of another felony, they can be charged with felony murder. A person convicted of felony murder faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. Additional sentence enhancements are added for committing a crime for the benefit of a street gang and using a gun.

Possible defenses to murder include self defense, accidental killing and the insanity defense. Therefore, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away if you are charged with murder.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Man Charged with 156 Felony Counts of White Collar Crime Including Fraud & Embezzlement

Pictured Above: James Harry Fluch. Source: Orange County Register.

James Harry Fluch, pictured above, is charged with 156 felony counts of computer access fraud with sentencing enhancements for property loss of more than $200,000 and a white-collar crime of more than $100,000 for embezzling over $822,000 from an Irvine firm where he worked as an accounting consultant. Fluch had been working for CheckPoint Communications, which was his friends company, for about 20 years. However, authorities say that from 2006 until 2011, Fluch embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars by transferring money from an escrow account to his personal bank account and then spending it on personal items.

Fluch was arrested earlier this month and taken into custody. His bail was set to $822,000, which had to come from a legitimate source. If convicted of all 156 felony counts, Fluch could be sentenced to over 100 years in prison.

White-collar crimes can be in the form of fraud, extortion, embezzlement, and theft. The California Penal Code defines embezzlement as the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been intrusted. Fluch was the accounting consultant, trusted to handle the accounting of the firm, however, he mishandled the money and therefore was charged with embezzlement.

A person who is convicted of a white-collar crime can be sentenced to prison or jail, be ordered to pay fines or restitution, be put on probation or house arrest and may even lose their professional licenses and reputation in the community. Therefore, if you are charged with a white-collar crime, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you.

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