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Law Office of Ronald G. Brower Blog


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over This Christmas

Christmas Eve is around the corner, a time for celebration and jubilation. It’s not a secret that Christmas is a time of heavy imbibing for adults across America. Scores of parties, friends, family and booze; what could go wrong? If you’ve ever been convicted of a DUI in the state of California, you know exactly “what could go wrong!” Heavy fines, temporary loss of license, and potential jail time. Those unfortunate enough to make the same error more than once know that the penalties only get more severe.

Driving under the influence is a serious crime, the punishment can have serious impacts on one’s life. Such penalties are in place for good reason, deterring people from getting behind the wheel with alcohol in their system saves lives. And not just the life of the driver, when someone is driving under the influence—no one is safe. Fatal car wrecks linked to alcohol often steal the lives of innocent bystanders.

Local police departments know that many people will take the risk and drive drunk in the coming days, which means they will double their efforts to enforce drunk and drugged driving laws. DUI checkpoints will be set up all across the State of California, so if you are planning to spike the eggnog, then it’s best to have a designated driver. If you don’t have a “DD,” call a cab or friend to pick you up. The risk does not outweigh the reward of making it home without a DUI on your record.


Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

Together with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD), Newport Beach Police officers started a campaign to stop drunk driving in Southern California. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over runs through January 1, it is designed to educate Californians about the dangers of driving under the influence and steps up enforcement in the way of checkpoints, OC Weekly reports. The campaign was created in partnership with the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The Newport Beach Police Department will conduct a DUI checkpoint on Friday, Dec. 22. Other cities throughout the county will have their own checkpoints in the coming days as well. If you are going to drink, take it from us, you will be glad you didn’t decide to get behind the wheel.


DUI Help

If you or a loved finds encounters law enforcement this Christmas due to DUI, sound legal advice is in order. Attorney Ronald Brower has been achieving successful outcomes in DUI cases for decades. Please contact us following the holiday, we can help. The Law Office of Ronald G. Brower would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Moving Forward With Cannabis Legalization

cannabis legalization
Ready, or not, cannabis legalization goes into effect at the start of the New Year, which means big changes in a multibillion-dollar industry. California is no stranger to the spotlight when it comes to the drug, being the first state to pass medical marijuana legislation in 1996. While the state lagged behind others in the recreational use department, how well this transition goes will set the example for others states in the future.

It is important for people in the Golden State to remember that even though the contentious substance is legal statewide, the drug is still banned on the federal level. For the most part, individuals shouldn’t have too much to worry about, whereas companies planning to wheel-and-deal in the product need to makes sure they have all their bases covered. With less than a month to go, it appears that there are still more questions, than answers, regarding what legalization will look like.


Moving Out of The Black Market

On January 1st, recreational use of marijuana will be legal for adults over the age of 21. Companies planning to dispense the product must comply with both state and municipal rules to avoid fines and legal headaches. However, it seems that various cities have yet to agree with the state concerning regulatory compliance, permits, and taxes. As it stands right now, each city has created their own standards, The Sacramento Bee reports. The overall goal is to get companies in the industry to move out of the shadowy black market that has long typified the weed business.

The process of moving into the light is not without complications. The fact that the drug remains illegal on the federal level presents problems. Banks are hesitant to work with companies moving an illicit product. What’s more, the current federal government does not appear to be keen on helping states, who are passing legal cannabis laws, make the necessary transition.

If rules are too strict in California, companies will choose to keep things business as usual; if they are not firm enough, it could have a devastating impact on the public perception of an already tenuous industry. At this point, it’s anybody’s guess as to how smooth the transition will go come the new year, but there is certainly cause for concern.


Southern California Criminal Attorney

If you’ve been charged with a crime are in need for representation, Ronald Brower has the experience and expertise to help you achieve the best possible outcome. Please contact us today.

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Stanford Swimmer Appeals Conviction

sexual assault
It seems like everyone is discussing sexual assault these days, especially those on college campuses, in Hollywood, and at the White House. It’s fair to say that at no other time in modern history has the conversation been so fierce or have so many women found the courage to speak out against their assailants. This kind of spotlight has the potential of being a watershed moment in American history; a time we will look back on and remember when women around the country said enough is enough and men realized that their positions of power in society would no longer protect them from recourse.

What is happening in Washington and Hollywood is of the utmost importance, but we must remember that the topic at hand is a societal issue involving young and old alike. Sexual misconduct, assault, and rape happen every day on college campuses; these are environments where many victims are unwilling to come forward and assailants often face no punishment for their actions. What’s more, even when young women do muster up the strength seek justice, perpetrators either receive a slap on the wrist or escape discipline completely.

Who could forget the former Stanford swimmer, Brock Turner, caught in the act of sexually assaulting a fellow female student; who, after being found guilty of multiple offenses, was handed a six-month jail sentence and some probation time.


Sexual Assault Conviction Appeal

The above case brought the passing of legislation like AB 2888, which attached a mandatory minimum sentence for similar incidents in the future; and AB 701, which widens the scope of the state's definition of rape. Naturally, millions of people around the country and beyond were disturbed by Turner’s punishment. Such individuals got even angrier when they learned that he only served 3-months of his sentence before being released for good behavior.

The case is inciting people’s outrage even more upon learning that not only would Turner do little jail time, but his attorney also filed an appeal last week, SF Gate reports. Turner’s attorney alleges prosecutorial misconduct and deprivation of due process and have decided to resort the age-old tactic of victim blaming — calling into question the amount of alcohol Emily Doe consumed on the night of the assault.

“How often are we manipulated into prioritizing the abuser over the abused?” said Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens (Los Angeles County), author of AB 701. “How often are we being suckered into a side of a debate that we shouldn’t even be having?” 

Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen initially called for a six-year sentence for Turner, according to the article. Rosen doesn't appear all that concerned about the appeal.

“Brock Turner received a fair trial and was justly convicted,” Rosen said in a statement. “His conviction will be upheld. Nothing can ever roll back Emily Doe’s legacy of raising the world’s awareness about sexual assault.”


Orange County Criminal Attorney

If you are in need of legal representation, please contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower. He has over 30 years of experience practicing law in Southern California and is committed to helping you achieve the best possible outcome.

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Friday, December 1, 2017

Wrongfully Convicted Man Pardoned

A Simi Valley mother and son were killed in 1978, leading to the arrest and eventual conviction of Craig Richard Coley in 1980. This month Governor Jerry Brown pardoned Mr. Coley after DNA testing revealed that the now 70-year old inmate was wrongly convicted, KTLA reports. Coley was serving a life sentence (without the possibility of parole) for allegedly strangling his former girlfriend Rhonda Wicht and smothering her 4-year-old son to death.

Ever since being convicted, Coley has been fighting to prove his innocence. His efforts didn’t look like they would result in a favorable outcome when the conviction was upheld during an appeal. Then, in 2015, Coley petitioned for a new investigation by the Board of Parole, according to the article. Somewhere along the way a former detective, captain, and an officer became convinced of Coley’s innocence.


DNA Saves The Day

Coley’s case was reopened in October 2016 at the behest of Simi Valley Police Chief David Livingstone, The Los Angeles Times reports. A reëxamination of a piece of evidence that was used to convict him was conducted, revealing others’ DNA, but not Mr. Coley.

Those who advocated for the pardon believe that the original detective who worked on the case “mishandled the investigation or framed” Mr. Coley, according to the article. Michael Schwartz, a prosecutor with the Ventura County district attorney’s office, said the agency has:

“...not determined at this point that a detective engaged in misconduct, but our office and the Simi Valley Police Department are continuing to investigate all aspects of the case to determine what happened and who is responsible.”

The murder of Rhonda Wicht and her four-year-old son Donald was the first double homicide in Simi Valley.


Orange County Criminal Attorney

Please contact Ronald G. Brower if you or a loved one has been charged with a crime. With over thirty years of experience, attorney Brower can provide you the best defense.

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