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Van Nuys California Criminal Law Blog

Second man gets probation in $1 million cocaine bust

The second of two men who were charged in a California cocaine bust in 2017 and pleaded guilty has been sentenced to probation. In February, the first man to be sentenced received a sentence of mandatory supervision for five years. On March 12, his co-defendant received the same sentence from a judge.

On September 28, 2017, the two men, both age 30 at the time, were stopped by U.S. Border Patrol on Interstate 15 near Temecula. Agents suspected that the Chevy Malibu in which the men were traveling might be loaded with contraband, so they deployed a K9 agent to search the vehicle. The dog detected drugs, and then the agents found 32 bundles of cocaine that weighed in at 76 pounds. The estimated street value for the cocaine was nearly $1 million.

The importance of hiring an attorney who gives you credibility

There are many reasons to hire an attorney rather than representing yourself or going with a public defender. With regard to public defenders, they juggle a high volume of cases and may not have the time to give your case the attention it deserves. They might also not be as knowledgeable as you would like about your specific charge. As for representing yourself, the average defendant lacks legal skills and the knowledge of deadlines. Even if you have legal savvy, you might be too close to the case to determine fruitful approaches.

On the other hand, hiring just any random attorney does not necessarily mean you have gained a huge advantage. You have to hire the right type of attorney, one who knows the laws surrounding your case and who can lend credibility to your defense.

LAPD arrests man for theft of Frances McDormand’s Oscar

After the Super Bowl, the broadcast of the Oscars from Los Angeles is the biggest night in television, year after year. Many believe that the highlight of this year's broadcast was Frances McDormand’s impassioned acceptance speech.

The acclaimed star of “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” was given the prized Academy Award early in the evening and then reportedly had it taken that night at the Governors Ball. Los Angeles police later arrested a man on suspicion of grand theft, accusing him of stealing McDormand’s Oscar.

LAPD officers sentenced to 25 years for sexual assaults

There is good reason for people to fear being arrested on drug charges in Van Nuys. California's penalties for drug crime convictions are harsh.

Those harsh penalties were used in threats made by two Los Angeles police officers against women who the men sexually assaulted. The officers threatened to arrest the women on drug charges, knowing that their victims would fear possible prison time if they were charged with possession, manufacture or distribution of illegal drugs.

Why you should consider a bench trial instead of a jury trial

When facing charges for a criminal offense in the Van Nuys area, you might not realize the importance of the decisions you have to make. One decision involves having a jury trial or a bench trial. Though the law entitles you to a fair trial by a jury of your peers, it might be in your best interest to say no and ask for a bench trial. 

There are some clear distinctions between jury and bench trials. It is important for you to understand what they are, especially if you are facing drug, DUI or theft criminal charges. Here is a brief overview of the benefits of bench trials. 

3 things to know about marijuana use and driving in California

As of January 2018, recreational use of marijuana is now legal in California. Before you start consuming the drug regularly, you need to be aware of the laws that are still in place regarding its use or you can find yourself facing criminal charges.

Marijuana affects your cognition and physical abilities just as any other drug, so follow these new California regulations to ensure compliance with the law.

Do suspected drunk drivers have to do blood tests in California?

In California, and any other state, the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution deems any search and seizure to be illegal unless there's probable cause for it to occur. When you're issued your driver's license in California, however, one of the documents you sign is a consent form to have your blood, urine or breath tested by police. This implied consent law is only enforceable if you're already been placed under arrest though.

Even then, in recent Supreme Court rulings, the panel has continued to err on the side of upholding protections afforded to citizens under the Fourth Amendment. Therefore, while a police officer can advise a motorist of the penalties he or she faces by not submitting to requested testing, in the absence of a warrant, any forced submission may be seen as unconstitutional.

The difference between petty and grand theft in California

The terms larceny and theft are used interchangeably to refer to a crime in which an individual takes possession of a piece of property that's not their own. It's a criminal offense that can happen with or without the victim's knowledge of it. Under the theft umbrella, an individual can blatantly steal a tangible item, take possession of a piece of real estate or money or allow services to be completed without paying for them.

It's even possible for an individual to initially voluntarily loan or rent a piece of property to someone, only to accuse an individual of theft after not returning it on time as agreed.

A Van Nuys man is arrested for murdering wife in front of his son

A 39-year-old Van Nuys man was arrested on Monday, Aug. 28 on suspicion of having stabbed his 31-year-old wife to death in front of his 12-year-old son. The man is alleged to have fatally wounded the woman that previous Sunday. He is believed to have fled the couple's home at 4900 Woodman Avenue after someone in the home called 911 to report that she had been assaulted with a deadly weapon.

When officers with the Los Angeles Police Department arrived at the scene of the incident, they found the woman incapacitated. She had apparently been stabbed multiple times. Although she was able to be stabilized enough to be transported to the hospital, she succumbed to her injuries soon after arriving there.

A Whittier man reportedly impersonates a pharmacist twice

A 58-year-old Whittier man was arraigned on charges of identity theft and related offenses at the Los Angeles Superior Courthouse in Van Nuys on Aug. 7. He stands accused of having engaged in unlawfully impersonating a licensed pharmacist not just once, but twice during the last decade. That individual claims he knew nothing of the alleged theft.

According to a statement released by the California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), the one-time pharmacist tech began using the credentials of a licensed pharmacist back in 2001. In the years since, he's worked at various pharmacies across Los Angeles. Each time he was hired on, he would produce a fake ID, Social Security card, and pharmacist license in the name of the pharmacist whose identity he had stolen.

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