Articles Posted in Punishment

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Social media has become an integral part of our lives and our culture. While it has its benefits—it’s fun to stay connected to family and friends—there’s also a downside. Facts get distorted, ugly rumors spread quickly and some unfortunate person’s life can get turned inside out in a matter of hours.losangeles-domestic-violence-charges

So what happens when you get charged with domestic violence? How do you respond if your accuser takes the story public? Your answer may depend on the truth of the charges against you and what impact the social media statements will have on your personal and professional life.

NOTE: Before you respond in any way, speak with a qualified Los Angeles domestic violence defense attorney as soon as possible. Even seemingly minor mistakes with respect to how you handle the situation online can have profound implications for your ability to fight the charges.

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“Come on, it’ll be okay. You haven’t had that much to drink. And anyway, I’ve seen you drive after you’ve had six or seven beers—you’ll do just fine.”los-angeles-DUI-risk-300x134

Ever had a conversation like that with a friend when you’ve been out socializing for the night? Chances are that you’ll yield to your friend’s persuasions and get behind the wheel, ignoring the small voice of reason inside your head that’s warning you’re about to do something stupid.

So if we know something is a bad idea, why do we do it anyway? Why don’t we choose to hang out with somebody who would give us better advice and encourage us to engage in less risky behavior? It’s a complicated answer that relates to the way our brain works and how we interact with those around us.

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Both California and U.S. laws offer victims of domestic violence some basic legal protections, including the ability to obtain restraining orders. These laws are not perfect, nor are they always effective, but in general they work and they have the approval of society behind them. Police will arrest domestic violence offenders and the state will prosecute them under criminal statutes. If convicted, the abusers face imprisonment and/or fines. domestic-violence-los-angeles-around-the-world-300x187

According to the World Bank, three-quarters of the world’s countries have laws against domestic violence, but enforcement of them can be spotty since abuse is at often culturally (if not legally) sanctioned. At least 45 countries, most in the Middle East and sub-Sahara Africa, have no laws forbidding domestic violence, according to the World Atlas. The countries include Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, the Ivory Coast, Haiti, Latvia, Kenya, Pakistan and Yemen.

•    In Kuwait, 35 percent of women have reported spousal abuse. In a Kuwait Times online article, an attorney from that country says that when it comes to domestic violence, the criminal intent is what matters in the eyes of the law. “If the violator (father, husband or other) hits his wife or child by hand lightly, this is not considered a crime as it’s his right do to so according to Islamic sharia. But if he burns the child or attacks his wife with a knife, it would be clear that the criminal intent was to cause harm. But if he hits his wife while they are fighting, he may claim that he only tried to threaten her and didn’t intend to cause serious harm. The verdict in these cases usually is ‘exchanging blows’ and each of the parties pays a KD 50 fine, as each of them claims self-defense,” the lawyer said.

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For some people, the thought of autonomous vehicles opens up a range of partying possibilities. They imagine hanging out all night with friends, drinking whatever they’d like, and then getting into their own cars, which will drive them safely home. They won’t have to worry about getting pulled over for a DUI because the vehicle won’t swerve, run stop lights or travel erratically. The artificial intelligence that’s controlling their vehicle won’t be affected by its owner’s alcohol consumption. self-driving-car-los-angeles-DUI

While that scenario could become a reality at some point, it’s not likely that it will occur any time in the immediate future. For one thing, self-driving vehicles have a long way to go before they become feasible and/or widely accepted everywhere in the U.S. Plus, under most current scenarios, at least one human occupant has to sit behind the wheel of the vehicle and that human occupant (not the computer) is ultimately responsible for its operation. To accept that responsibility, that person will have to remain sober.

Autonomous Vehicles Today

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domestic-violence-los-angeles-300x300Last night, after a long and heated argument with your spouse, you hit him/ her. You had heard about people who use violence against a spouse, but you deplored it. You never thought you would do it yourself. Now you feel guilty about what you’ve done, frightened that you might do it again and fearful about what the future might bring for you and for your family.

What can you do to prevent this violence from recurring? How can you turn the situation around? There are community resources throughout the Los Angeles area that can teach you how to deal with anger and frustration in more constructive ways. You can also seek out services that will help you get at the root of the problems that are causing the stress in your life and your relationship.

Managing anger to stop the violence

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In most cases, only a few passing motorists, pedestrians or nearby residents catch a glimpse of the grisly details when a driver who is DUI in Los Angeles causes a fatal crash. But when Richard Anthony Sepolio’s truck plunged over the guardrails on the Interstate 5 bridge between San Diego and Coronado Island, dozens of people may have witnessed the horrific results. bridge-fall-los-angeles-dui

Around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 15th, Sepolio’s GMC pickup went off the bridge and landed below in Chicano Park, where a crowd was gathered for the La Raza Run motorcycle festival. The truck crushed a vendor booth, killing two couples: Cruz Elias Contreras, 52, and Annamarie Contreras, 50, of Chandler, Arizona, and Andre Christopher Banks, 49, and Francine Denise Jimenez, 46, both from Hacienda Heights near Los Angeles. Nine other people, including Sepolio, suffered injuries.

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Having a friend on the force may occasionally help someone avoid charges for a Los Angeles DUI. But that’s not the case when the aftermath of the drinking and driving includes two deaths.elner_DUI

In Cook County, Illinois, a jury found 47-year-old Lisa Elner guilty of charges stemming from a January 2013 crash. Elner and two friends, Michelle Miranda, 37, and Sandra Frankum, 36, had been out celebrating Frankum’s birthday at a local bar. According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, prosecutors said that Elner was under the influence of both alcohol and cocaine when she grabbed her keys and said she was okay to drive because she had her “cop card.” She was referring to the business card of her husband, a Chicago police officer.

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Usually police officers have a fairly easy time identifying the person to arrest for an accident involving a DUI in Los Angeles. But what if they arrive on the scene of the crash several minutes after it occurred? All they can do then is take the word of the driver (and any passengers) about who was behind the wheel.Shelby County Tennessee-DUI

In Shelby County, Tennessee, police arrested 24-year-old Elisabeth Blackwood on September 28th for leaving the scene of an accident and failing to yield the right of way. The crash resulted in the death of a motorcyclist and the hospitalization of his wife.

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For most parents, the chilling prospect of losing a child in a car crash would be enough to persuade them from DUI in Los Angeles when their son or daughter is riding with them. But that didn’t deter one father in Cortland, New York, from getting behind the wheel when he had too much to drink. His six-year-old daughter paid for his bad decision with her life—and now the man will have plenty of time to think about his deadly mistake.DUI-los-angeles-child

Daniel Haynes III, 30, could spend up to 21 years in state prison in New York under a plea deal he accepted in August.  On the evening of April 24, 2015, Haynes was driving from one house to another on West State Road with his three daughters in the back seat. None of them—Alexia, age 6; Asia, age 8; or Arianna, age 10—were wearing seatbelts.

Witnessed said that Haynes had drunk a few beers before getting into the car, and once behind the wheel he began driving recklessly. One report said that his daughters were begging him to slow down. But Haynes, jetting along at 100 miles per hour, blew through a stop sign, lost control of his vehicle and slammed into a utility pole. After the crash he tried to drive away, apparently unaware of his daughters’ injuries. (Emergency responders took the two younger girls to the hospital; they had non-life-threatening injuries.)

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The only surefire way to avoid a conviction on DUI in Los Angeles is not to get behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking or using drugs. But if you’ve made an error in judgment, and the police arrest you on a DUI charge, your best option is to work with an attorney well versed in these laws who can help ensure that your rights are protected during the judicial process. What we don’t recommend is getting your ticket fixed by a clerk of the court.jose-lopez-los-angeles-DUI-defense

In California, Jose Lopez Jr., a clerk in the Orange County Superior Court, is facing federal charges for allegedly running a network that fixed the tickets of more than 1,000 people charged with various traffic offenses, including DUI. According to a story in the Orange County Register, Lopez had 11 “recruiters” who would go to car and truck clubs and post notices on Craigslist to let drivers know that traffic tickets could be tweaked in their favor in the Superior Court.

Lopez charged drivers up to $8,000 to put in the fix. He would change computer records so it would appear that a defendant convicted of a traffic violation had paid the required fines, had spent the mandated time in jail or had performed court-ordered community service. For a driver convicted of DUI, Lopez would edit the court record to show that he/she had pleaded guilty to reckless driving, which is a lesser charge.
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