Redwood City Criminal Law Blog

Have you been accused of stalking?

Moving on from a failed relationship can be a trying time for anyone. If you are like others here in Redwood City, you may hold out hope that things can work out and get back to the way they were.

In your efforts to repair your relationship, the other party may not feel the same way. He or she may see your efforts as intrusive and unwanted. Perhaps you had no idea until police showed up at your door accusing you of stalking the other person. Now you wonder how that happened and need to know what stalking entails.

Michael Avenatti indicted on 36 counts by California grand jury

Celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti has been indicted on several charges, including fraud, perjury, tax evasion and embezzlement. The 36-count indictment was issued by a federal grand jury in California on April 11. Avenatti, who became a regular sight on cable news shows when he filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump on behalf of the adult film star Stormy Daniels, faces up to 335 years in prison if convicted on all counts. He also faces extortion charges in New York that could add up to 47 years to his custodial sentence.

Avenatti is accused of using a complex labyrinth of shell companies to steal money from his clients. The money was allegedly used to fund Avenatti's lavish lifestyle and keep his struggling boutique coffee company afloat. One of the alleged victims is a paraplegic with mental health issues who was awarded $4 million in damages after suing Los Angeles County. On April 10, federal agents arrived at Santa Barbara Airport with a warrant to seize Avenatti's private jet.

Murder suspect arrested after $3 crime

The suspect in a 2012 California murder has been arrested in Utah after years of searching for him. Unlike other cold-case arrests that have been linked to advanced scientific technologies like genetic genealogy and other DNA techniques, this case involved relatively straightforward police work. The man had been on the Alameda County Sheriff's Office "most wanted" list until he was found in Utah, where he was living under an assumed name.

Since being arrested by police in Utah, the man has been awaiting extradition to California, where he will face murder charges. He is accused of killing a 29-year-old man whose body was discovered in the suspect's home in May 2012. After living on the run from police for almost nine years, the man was arrested after he made a $3 purchase with a stolen credit card, according to local media in Utah. The victim of the credit card theft reported the case to police, noting that he believed his card had been stolen by one of the men hired to help him with a recent move. When examining the documentation provided by the movers, one police officer identified an ID that appeared to be fake. Police later discovered that the man was actually wanted in California for murder.

Man awarded $13.1 million after being framed for murder

A California man has been awarded $13.1 million by the San Francisco's Board of Supervisors for being framed for murder by the two detectives who initially investigated the incident that led to his arrest. The payment settles a civil lawsuit the man filed against the city and four police officers after being cleared of the charges that resulted in his five-year incarceration. While the board unanimously approved the settlement payment, they have not commented on the matter.

In 2018, a federal jury determined that two homicide detectives made up evidence that was used to convict the man in 2010. The jury further determined that the detectives coerced a key eyewitness. Additionally, they withheld vital information that might have exonerated the man during his first trial. The settlement is a lower amount than the $14.5 million the jury originally awarded the man and his lawyers.

Governor orders DNA testing in 35-year-old murder case

A 61-year-old man who has spent decades in prison after being sentenced to death for the murder of four people in 1983 was thrown a lifeline on Feb. 22 when California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered DNA testing of evidence that he claims will prove his innocence. The case garnered national attention in 2000 when the CBS show "48 Hours" ran a story suggesting that key evidence had been overlooked or destroyed by law enforcement.

The additional testing may be the man's last hope. Additional tests ordered earlier by former Gov. Jerry Brown provided more evidence of his guilt according to prosecutors. The man and his attorney claim that police planted evidence because they were under pressure to close the case quickly. The killer or killers used a hatchet and knife to brutally kill two adults and two children in their Chino Hills home.

SEC files insider trading charges against Apple attorney

The Securities and Exchange Commission has a mission to protect investors in California and around the country. On Feb. 13, the SEC took a step toward that goal by filing federal charges against a former high-ranking attorney with Apple Inc. The suit alleges the defendant used his inside knowledge to profit illegally.

According to the lawsuit, the attorney used his position with Apple to sell off stock in the company shortly before a negative earnings announcement. The attorney, who was the corporate secretary, profited by at least $382,000 through the avoidance of losses that he would have otherwise incurred, according to court filings. The complaint alleges that the attorney liquidated more than $10 million in Apple stock shortly before the July 21, 2015 earnings report. That report saw the per-share price of Apple drop by 4 percent.

Defending yourself when charged with assault and battery

When facing charges of assault or battery in California, you may be unsure of where to turn or what you can do to protect your long-term interests. A strong criminal defense strategy is important for your future, and you can start with this process by learning more about the law and the charges against you. This can help you understand how to fight back. 

Charges involving assault and battery are serious, and there are a range of penalties you could face if convicted. You would be wise to take seriously even the allegation of a violent crime and work diligently to protect your interests and your constitutional rights. Your future and your personal freedoms are worth fighting for.

Parole recommendation for Manson family murderer

According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, former Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten has been recommended for parole. However, there is a 150-day waiting period that includes a period of review for board staff. Furthermore, her parole must still be approved by the governor. The parole board also recommended her release in 2016 and 2018, but the decision was reversed by the governor at the time.

Van Houten is serving a life sentence for the 1969 murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. Although she was not present at the murder of actress Sharon Tate and her house guests the night before, she was also convicted of conspiracy to murder them. Originally, she was sentenced to the death penalty, but the death penalty was subsequently overturned. With the death of her first lawyer, her conviction was overturned as well. Another trial ended in a hung jury before she was sentenced to life in prison in 1978.

New law could help hundreds obtain their release

Individuals who are serving time for murder convictions in California may be eligible for release after a change to state law. The change went into effect on Jan. 1, and it says that only killers can be convicted of murder. Previously, those who were indirectly related to such a crime could be charged as if he or she actually killed the victim.

The first person who was ordered released because of the new law had spent the last 15 years in prison. While robbing a drug dealer, his partner stabbed the dealer to death. The accomplice in the incident was convicted of murder and sentenced to at least 25 years in prison. It is believed that up to 800 other people could be impacted by the new statute.

California man goes to prison for drugs

A Riverside County Superior Court judge sentenced a 31-year-old Temecula man to two years in state prison on January 3 after being accused of drug dealing by area police. A second individual, a 49-year-old Temecula man, was also sentenced to three years of felony probation after pleading guilty to in September to a related drug possession offense.

According to information released by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, local law enforcement began conducting covert surveillance operations at the 31-year-old Temecula man's home after receiving a narcotics tip in April 2018. The narcotics tip purportedly contained information alleging that illegal drugs were being sold at the residence located on Kaffirboom Court. Investigators then claim that they witnessed the 49-year-old Temecula man arrive at the home with some other individuals on May 4, 2018, and enter the residence.

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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