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Van Nuys California Criminal Law Blog

How marijuana affects your ability to drive

Now that marijuana is legal for recreational use in the Golden State, you may assume you are safe to drive after you smoke. However, driving under the influence of cannabis can be dangerous and result in criminal charges. 

You should always avoid operating a vehicle while you are high on marijuana. Here are some of the ways that THC may affect your ability to drive.

Drug paraphernalia charges in California

In California, people may be charged with possessing drug paraphernalia even if they are not also charged with drug crimes. It is illegal to possess the tools that are used to smoke or inject drugs, and law enforcement officers may file charges if people have the prohibited instruments.

Under federal law, people are prohibited from selling, mailing in interstate commerce, importing or exporting drug paraphernalia. Under the state law, it is possible for people to be charged with crimes for possessing drug paraphernalia. These charges are less serious than the charges that people might face if they are caught with illegal drugs, however.

2 common misconceptions about Miranda rights

If you are facing a criminal charge in California and the law enforcement officer who arrested you failed to read you your Miranda rights, you may have begun celebrating, thinking this means you will not receive a conviction relating to your charge. Regrettably, however, real-life court proceedings do not always happen the way they do on TV, and many people do not fully understand what Miranda rights mean and how they work.

So, before you automatically believe the things you see on your favorite court shows, know that the following are two common misconceptions about Miranda rights:

Former NFL QB in California jail for second time this year

According to the Orange County Sheriff's Department, former NFL standout Todd Marinovich was taken into custody on March 23. This incident was not the former quarterback's first brush with law enforcement.

According to news sources, the cause for the arrest of Marinovich isn't available. His release is scheduled for May 3. This incident is at least Marinovich's second arrest since the start of the year; the former NFL star was also taken into custody on March 19 and released the same day. Media reports do not reflect the reason for that arrest either.

Police find 300 pounds of cocaine in California backyard

Police in California have reported that cocaine with a street value of approximately $8.4 million was recovered during the search of a residence on March 23. A representative from the Orange County Sheriff's Department said that the drugs were found in an underground bunker located in the home's backyard. The search was part of an ongoing investigation involving a dozen law enforcement agencies including the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Buena Park, Newport Beach, Tustin, Huntington Beach, Fullerton and Santa Ana police departments.

Police say that they obtained a search warrant to search the property after discovering a large amount of narcotics during a search of a vehicle on California State Route 60. The car had been pulled over as part of the multi-agency investigation according to reports. The vehicle's two occupants, a 24-year-old man and a 38-year-old man, were taken into custody at the scene, but initial reports do not indicate what kind of charges they are facing or whether or not more arrests are anticipated as the case develops.

2-month drug-related investigation results in 30 arrests

California authorities have reported that 30 people were taken into custody and about one pound of heroin, 10 guns, three vehicles and $80,000 in cash were seized following a two-month investigation. Authorities in Ventura County had reportedly been investigating drug trafficking organizations since February 2012, as there have been more than 1,819 reported overdoses.

The investigation was launched in January in Ventura County after deputies discovered that there was an alleged drug delivery service that was actively delivering heroin to customers multiple times every day. A 45-year-old Los Angeles resident was accused of being the head of the service and a dispatcher, meaning he was allegedly responsible for dispatching the drivers when a drug delivery was needed. Three drivers were also identified as a 34-year-old man, a 21-year-old man and a 27-year-old man.

2 men arrested for gun and drug offenses

According to officers with the Santa Cruz Police Department, two California men were arrested for weapons and drug offenses. The incident happened on March 11 at 10:06 p.m.

Officers report that they were dispatched after a call that reported shots had been fired. They first reported to a location on Myrtle Street and received surveillance video of the suspect vehicle. The police then found the vehicle that matched the vehicle's license plate in the 2200 block of Mission Street and initiated a stop.

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.

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