Redwood City Criminal Law Blog

Police bust up $1 million national drug ring

On Nov. 28, four California men were arrested for allegedly running a sophisticated drug trafficking scheme out of San Jose. The defendants, who all range between the ages of 35 and 42, are facing various drugs and weapons charges.

According to authorities, the defendants were posing as the owners of a computer company and approaching shipping companies about transporting their products to locations in the eastern and southern parts of the U.S. In reality, police say, they were manufacturing marijuana and other illicit substances and shipping them to distribution areas on the other side of the country. The scheme allegedly yielded around $1 million in profits. Meanwhile, the defendants paid around $70,000 in shipping costs.

Graffiti and vandalism laws in California

California law makes intentional acts of vandalism and graffiti illegal. Furnishing materials associated with the creation of graffiti is also banned.

For example, it is a crime in California to give a minor etching cream or spray paint without first obtaining proof that the minor is a legal adult and confirming their identity. It's also against the law for minors to purchase these items. Openly carrying these items in public without valid authorization is banned for all individuals, regardless of age.

You may not want to represent yourself in your DUI case

Unfortunately, after leaving the bar and committing a minor traffic violation, an officer arrests you for allegedly driving under the influence. You hope to reduce trial costs and simplify the process by representing yourself in your suspected DUI conviction, but you may end up trading saved expenses for your freedom.

California courts inflict serious punishments on those found guilty of driving under the influence. A conviction with jail time, fines and expensive programming may leave you wishing you had obtained better defense.

California man faces life in prison for hate crime

A 21-year-old California man could be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole if he is convicted of killing a gay and Jewish University of Pennsylvania student. Prosecutors say that they are considering the homicide a hate crime because the man's phone contained large amounts of anti-Semitic and homophobic material. The man entered a plea of not guilty during a Nov. 9 hearing in Orange County Superior Court.

The victim was reported missing after visiting a Lake Forest park with the man in January. The man is alleged to have picked him up at his parents' home. An exhaustive search ensued, and the 19-year-old student's body was discovered a few days later buried in a shallow grave. Pathologists determined that he had been stabbed multiple times in the neck and face. Prosecutors say that they have DNA evidence linking the man to the crime as well as the evidence found on his phone.

Man faces murder charge for allegedly killing sailor on I-5

A 21-year-old man sits in San Diego County Central Jail for the alleged shooting death of one man on Interstate 5 and shooting another man about 10 minutes earlier on Boundary Street in Mount Hope. After these incidents, the California Highway Patrol located the suspect's vehicle on northbound I-5 and alerted the San Diego Police Department.

The girlfriend of the deceased man reported the crime after the suspect allegedly shot her boyfriend when he stopped to offer help to the suspect, whose vehicle was stopped on the freeway. The victim died shortly thereafter at UC San Diego Medical Center. Police have not identified the motive for the shooting.

A new start after a marijuana conviction in California

The movement to legalize marijuana is sweeping the nation nowadays, but there are still significant issues to deal with after legalization. One of the most important is what to do with previous criminal convictions for activities that are now legal. Luckily, California is taking steps to address this issue directly.

California lawmakers passed Assembly Bill 1793 earlier this month. This new bill will allow those with past marijuana convictions to obtain a completely clean slate.

Man linked to murder and series of burglaries

A 42-year-old man has been taken into custody in connection with a string of recent burglaries in the Malibu Canyon area of California. He is also suspected of fatally shooting a man in front of his 2 and 4-year-old daughters in Malibu Creek State Park in June. The man is being held on a number of parole violations while investigators build homicide and burglary charges against him according to a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department representative.

The man was apprehended by deputies searching Malibu and Calabasas for an individual carrying a rifle. The search was initiated after workers at a local community center reported a burglary and gave a brief description of the perpetrator. Deputies say that the man surrendered without firing a shot after a brief but tense standoff. The arrest comes a week after SWAT officers made an exhaustive neighborhood-wide search for a man seen burglarizing an office while carrying a rifle.

Felony murder law change in California

California inmates serving time for murder could soon get a second chance. A new bill limits the state's authority to convict defendants charged with felony murder. The bill also allows inmates incarcerated on felony murder convictions to apply for re-sentencing.

Felony murder is a type of homicide charge which allows a person to be convicted of being an accomplice to murder that he or she did not commit. The felony murder rule has traditionally allowed prosecutors to convict defendants for murder if they were involved with others in the commission of another serious felony such as robbery, even if they were not present when the murder was committed. Under this rule, it was possible for a person to be convicted for a murder charge even if they were driving a getaway car and a murder was committed outside their presence, even if they had no idea that any accomplices were armed or intended to commit any violent crimes.

Simi Valley police arrest Rams practice squad center for DUI

Football fans in California have only had one chance to see Aaron Neary during a regular season NFL game, but he remains on the practice squad for the Los Angeles Rams as a center. His recent arrest on suspicion of DUI might complicate his career plans, but the team's coach was glad that no one was hurt when Leary allegedly drove under the influence of alcohol.

Shortly before his traffic stop, multiple people alerted the Simi Valley Police Department to an erratic driver hitting objects on the side of the road. Police officers stopped the vehicle on El Monte Drive close to El Lado Drive. Neary, who lives in Simi Valley, reportedly cooperated with the officers and got out of the car. His breath test is said to have yielded a reading of .17 percent, well above the legal alcohol limit.

MS-13 gang members charged in California

The gang known as MS-13 used a remote California farm city as a base from which they engaged in criminal activity in places as far away as New York, according to prosecutors who filed charges against more than 20 alleged members. The charges came after a lengthy investigation into drug trafficking in Fresno County and were announced during an Aug. 31 press conference. The gang is said to have taken advantage of the scant resources available to law enforcement in the city of Mendota to conduct business without drawing unwanted attention.

Prosecutors believe that MS-13 members have been involved in at least a dozen murders in Fresno County murders since 2016. However, gathering evidence against a gang notorious for using extreme violence against informers has been difficult for police. Their task is especially difficult because many of those living in California's Central Valley are from El Salvador and nearly all of them are Hispanic.

Your Solution Starts With A Free Consultation

We do not recommend a watch-and-wait approach when you are facing a criminal charge. It is in your best interest to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to start your defense right away. Schedule your free initial consultation at our Redwood City, California office today by calling 866-410-0465. You can also reach us via email to learn more.

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Chuck Smith, Attorney at Law
777 Marshall Street
Redwood City, CA 94063

Toll Free: 866-410-0465
Fax: 650-568-2823
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