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Van Nuys California Criminal Law Blog

Los Angeles football player accused of DUI

A California professional athlete is facing DUI charges after being arrested in Ventura County on Sept. 16. Aaron Neary, a practice squad center with the Los Angeles Rams, was detained after he collided with mailboxes, a bus stop sign and trash cans in Simi Valley at around 6:27 p.m. The accident happened near the intersection of Royal Avenue and Sinaloa Road. Simi Valley police claimed that they received multiple calls complaining about Neary's driving, reporting that someone was operating a vehicle erratically and hitting fixed objects without stopping.

Police claimed that callers voiced suspicions that the driver was potentially operating a vehicle while drunk. After the calls, authorities pulled him over on El Monte Drive. They gave him a breath test, and Neary was arrested on DUI charges after reportedly showing a blood alcohol concentration of .17. The legal limit in California is .08. Neary is now facing allegations of suspicion of DUI, DUI with a BAC level of over .08 and hit-and-run causing property damage. Following the incident, Rams coach Sean McVay spoke to reporters, saying that the team was aware of the incident.

California rapper facing drug charges

The California native and chart-topping rapper Tyrone William Griffin Jr., who is more widely known by his stage name Ty Dolla $ign, was taken into custody on drug possession charges on the afternoon of Sept. 5 during a routine traffic stop in Georgia according to media reports. Atlanta police pulled Griffin's vehicle over just hours before the rapper was scheduled to appear on stage in Lakewood. He has been charged with marijuana and cocaine possession and is being held on a $6,000 bond at the Fulton County Jail according to media outlets.

Police say that they decided to search the vehicle that Griffin and six other people were traveling in after noticing the odor of marijuana emanating from its interior, according to an Atlanta Police Department report. Griffin's attorney later asserted that his client was only traveling with five individuals and questioned several other aspects of the police account of events.

Understanding California theft laws

If you ever face criminal charges for theft, it is important to understand the different laws about stealing in the state of California. According to our state's penal code, theft, or larceny, is the act of intentionally and unlawfully taking property. Crimes that fall under the umbrella of larceny include:

  • Robbery
  • Receiving stolen property
  • Identity theft
  • Embezzlement
  • Forgery
  • Credit card theft
  • Failure to return leased or rented property
  • Defrauding someone of property

California also categorizes theft crimes by the value of the property involved. Knowing the specific classifications of theft will help you understand your case. Here are some helpful details about the different levels of California theft laws:

Understanding your arrest and Miranda rights

Most people know that when police make an arrest, they must read the person her or his Miranda rights. Miranda rights begin with the phrase that is often heard on TV shows when an arrest is made, telling the suspect that he or she "has the right to remain silent."

If police arrest you for a suspected crime but do not read your Miranda rights, you may be under the impression that authorities will dismiss your case due to this technicality. However, this is a misconception. It is important to understand the particulars surrounding Miranda rights and your arrest so you do not mistakenly underestimate the seriousness of your case.

How to avoid a DUI arrest during a traffic stop

It can be overwhelming when a police officer pulls you over. If you are not ready, you may do or say something that may affect whether you get arrested or face charges for drunk driving. While it may seem scary, it is possible to get out of a traffic stop without criminal consequences. 

The key to avoiding DUI charges from a police stop is acting appropriately from beginning to end. Here are some pointers to help you handle a DUI stop correctly: 

Understanding embezzlement crimes in California

Embezzlement is a crime of theft, which in the state of California can take the form of either a misdemeanor or a felony. There are various penalties for this crime, depending on the severity and the specific circumstances of the case.

People who are facing embezzlement charges need to understand the basics of this offense and its possible consequences.

3 things you need to know about civil demand letters

When you walk into a store and loss prevention officers greet you, you may wonder exactly what authority these people actually have. No law enforcement agency authorizes them, and they likely receive the same low wage as the rest of the employees in a retail environment. Still, you do not want to find out what power they have and find yourself in a bad situation. 

If a security guard detains you and accuses you of shoplifting, though, there are a few things you should know. You may have to deal with law enforcement officers who are called to the scene, but alternately, you might receive a civil demand letter. Such a letter typically demands a sum of money paid to the store with the threat of further action if you do not pay it.

Cleaning your criminal record in California

Having a criminal record can impact numerous aspects of your life, potentially affecting everything from where you can live to who will hire you. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your conviction and criminal history, you may be able to take certain steps to minimize the hardship your criminal record causes you.

Sealing your records, for example, essentially shields them from public record, meaning members of the public will not be able to reference them. Dismissing your record, meanwhile, involves reopening your case and having it dismissed, which, by most accounts, makes it appear as if your crime never occurred.

Recreational marijuana and DUIs

You may assume you are completely free to smoke marijuana whenever you want in California, but that is not the case. Despite the fact that it is now recreationally legal, there are restrictions that are important to keep in mind, especially when it comes to driving. 

Drug driving is just as serious of a crime as drunk driving. Do not think you will be safe if you get behind the wheel after getting high. Here is how marijuana legalization in California is affecting DUI arrests:

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.

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