Published on:

Dez Bryant VideoRumors have recently surfaced regarding the existence of video footage allegedly depicting NFL star Dez Bryant committing an act of domestic violence. According to sports gossip blog Terez Owens, the video shows the Dallas Cowboys receiver committing an act that is “five times worse than the Ray Rice video.”

The video is surveillance footage from a Walmart store that reportedly shows Bryant beating a woman, according to the site. Cowboys COO Stephen Jones has denied knowledge of such a video despite media reports that the team is aware of its existence. However, if the media is to be believed, it seems the video does exist. ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter said he is aware of the video, and that he first heard of it in September.

Why Hasn’t the Video Been Released to the Public?

If we learned anything from the Ray Rice incident, it’s that these types of videos may be held in secrecy for quite some time. After surveillance footage of Ray Rice striking his fiancée in an elevator was released to the public last year, it was later discovered that the video evidence had been withheld by investigators for months.

However, the Bryant video has allegedly not gone public for another reason: extortion. According to the Chicago Sun Times, the video’s current owners are looking to cash in on it by threatening to sell it publicly unless Bryant and his agents pay them. If this is true, they could be charged with extortion.

Continue reading →

Published on:

hit and run Los AngelesLos Angeles is launching a system targeted to stop a growing epidemic of hit and run incidents and arrest those who commit hit and run. The new system will publish information on social media to alert the public to vehicles involved in hit and run incidents. The make, model, color and license plate number of a vehicle suspected to be involved in a hit and run will be shared on Facebook, Twitter and Nixle, a website where government agencies share information to other agencies and subscribers.

Los Angeles City Hall is also offering “standing rewards” for information leading to the arrest and conviction of hit and run drivers. The rewards are graded as follows depending on the circumstances of the case:

  • $1,000 for property damage
  • $5,000 if somebody was hurt
  • $25,000 for serious injury, and
  • $50,000 for a hit & run fatality1

Continue reading →

Published on:

digital drivers licenseLaws regarding driver’s licenses have been around in the U.S. for more than 125 years, starting in 1910 when New York established laws for motor vehicle chauffeurs. In 1888, German automaker Karl Benz was issued the first driver’s license in the world before he drove his Motorwagen (the Model 3) 200 miles in the world’s first long distance automobile trip.1

Currently, there are about 210 million licensed drivers in the United States,2 and more than 24 million of them are licensed in California.3 A new bill proposes to allow these millions of Californians to carry their driver’s licenses and IDs on their smartphones.

Assembly Bill 221, introduced by Democratic Assemblyman Matt Dababneh, would allow the Department of Motor Vehicles to create a mobile phone app that would enable California drivers to access a digital driver’s license or identification card. The bill also requires that the digital license or ID is “accepted as a valid government-issued identification.”4

Are Mobile App Driver’s Licenses Safe?

According to Dababneh, digital driver’s licenses would be safer than the current licenses we carry in our purse or wallet. He said that the app will have built-in safeguards.

Continue reading →

Published on:

You have been arrested for a drug offense because the cops found drugs on you and claimed they were yours. Do you have a way to avoid jail time and a criminal record? You may if the police violated your constitutional rights.

Cops often make mistakes in the way they do their job. They may search your vehicle without legal cause. They may stop your vehicle when they have no legal right to do so. They may illegally search the contents of your cellphone. So what can you do when this happens?

How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You

Cops Violate RightsIf you believe law enforcement officials violated your constitutional rights, the first thing you need to do is contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to review your case in detail. You will need to prepare a complete summary of the facts of your case, which should include the name, address and contact information of all witnesses who may provide favorable evidence to help you.

Your criminal defense lawyer will review all statements and compare them to the police report. If you and your attorney agree the police may have violated your constitutional rights, your defense lawyer will file a motion to suppress the evidence against you. A hearing will then take place where the judge will decide if the evidence recovered from you must be suppressed. If this happens, it is likely your case will be dismissed.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Criminal GenesIs human behavior genetic or a result of the environment a person is raised in? The nature versus nurture debate has continued for over a century. According to the results of a recent study pioneered by Sheilagh Hodgins of the University of Montreal, in some people it is both genetics and environment.

The study, published last December in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, found that three common genetic variants can react with each other and the social environment to produce antisocial behavior, or behavior that is better than average.

The results of the study showed that people who have these genetic variants are very sensitive to their environment. When they grow up in a caring, supportive family, their behavior will be better than average. But if they grow up in a chaotic, abusive family or have been subjected to sexual abuse, they are at much higher risk for criminal behavior.

The study was conducted in Sweden using 1,337 high school students between ages 17 and 18. The teens were given anonymous questionnaires, which asked about levels of delinquency, sexual abuse, and family relationships. DNA samples were obtained from the teens’ saliva.

Continue reading →

Published on:

If you are wrongfully accused of assault with a deadly weapon in Riverside under Penal Code section 245(a), you’re probably wondering how to make these charges go away. The first thing you need to do is speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.

Understanding Assault with a Deadly Weapon Charges (PC 245)

Assault with a deadly weapon is a “wobbler” offense, meaning the prosecutor can charge it as a felony or misdemeanor. Under Penal Code section 245(a), the punishment for a felony conviction can be a state prison sentence of up to four years and a fine up to $10,000. A felony conviction can also be a “strike” under California Three Strikes Law. A misdemeanor conviction can carry the same fine and a one year county jail term. If there was a gun involved, then the misdemeanor conviction has a minimum six months in jail.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Since it passed in November, Proposition 47 has changed a lot more than just the sentences for some low-level, non-violent offenders. It also has changed how law enforcement officers view some crimes and how long some criminal offenders stay in prison, according to a recent report by the LA Times.

Prop 47 reduces some crimes from felonies and wobblers to misdemeanors, which significantly reduces the maximum penalties for these crimes. Prop 47 has already decreased prison and jail populations across the state.

Prop 47 Reduces Some Felony Crimes to Misdemeanor Offenses

Prop 47 ArrestsWhile the resentencing of felony and wobbler crimes to misdemeanor offenses has significantly reduced the number of offenders behind bars, the law has also reduced the number of people being arrested for narcotics, possession, and simple theft crimes. According to the LA Times, drug-related arrests by the LA County Sheriff’s Office have decreased by 30% since Prop 47 passed, and bookings have gone down about 23%.1

At least part of the reason for this decrease in arrests is that police officers are focusing on more serious crimes and putting less focus on arresting low-level offenders. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has instructed officers to continue to pursue drug offenders as they have in the past even though simple possession of a drug for personal use has in most circumstances become a misdemeanor offense. Now, police officers simply are issuing a citation to appear in court instead of arresting drug offenders and taking them to jail.

Continue reading →

Published on:

In the past, we have shared stories involving criminals who have posted pictures or made comments related to their crimes on various social media platforms. These instances are obviously not smart, and they have led to these criminals being caught and taken into custody. This is the kind of criminal behavior that drives a criminal defense attorney crazy.

Now that pretty much everyone has at least one social media account, and many people use multiple forms of social media, it has become a standard practice for law enforcement officials, prosecutors and attorneys to check social media profiles of accused criminals.

Burglary Arrests Up Thanks to Facebook

Social Media ThreatsWhile waiting around for accused burglars to admit to crimes on social media is an easy way to catch criminals, it may also never happen. That’s why police in Austin, Texas have decided to take a more proactive approach to solving crimes through social media. Law enforcement officials have sett up a Facebook page in an attempt to reach out to the public and get tips.

The Facebook profile is currently being operated by a burglary task force within the police department. The page often shares pictures of items stolen during recent burglaries and shares images and descriptions of potential suspects. Operators make sure to include telephone numbers in each post, ensuring that potential tipsters don’t have to reveal their identities on the social network, a key when asking the public to come forward with information. The public is being asked to contact the police by commenting on the page or sending a private message if they have any information regarding the crime..

Continue reading →

Published on:

“Sexting” and Child Pornography

sexting and child pornography“Sexting” is a term that refers to the sending of lewd or sexually explicit text messages to another person. “Sexts” that include sexually explicit images of a minor are a form of child pornography. In order for you to be convicted of possession of child pornography, the prosecution must prove that you knowingly possessed any material that involved a person under the age of 18 engaging in sexual conduct or simulating sexual conduct.

In California, there is no age exception for possession of child pornography. This means that you can be charged with possession of child pornography if either you or the other person is a minor, so long as you possessed the pornographic material and you knew that the material involved a minor under the age of 18.

Sentence and Punishment for Possession of Child Pornography

According to California Penal Code section 311.11, possession of child pornography is a felony. If you are convicted of possession of child pornography under California Penal Code section 311, you face imprisonment in state prison for up to three years or county jail for up to one year. You may also be required to pay a fine of up to $2,500. If this is your second offense, you can be required to serve up to six years in state prison.

Continue reading →

Published on:

What do you think would happen to you or your case if you show up late to a court hearing? You may reasonably expect to be sanctioned by the judge and be required to pay a fine, or you may expect to have your case be rescheduled for review at a later date.

On the other hand, what if the judge is late to your court hearing? Should he or she receive a penalty for being late as well? If so, who should be responsible to sanction the judge for not showing up on time? What punishment would the judge face?

San Diego Judge Fines Himself $25.00 for Delay

judge fines himselfRecently, a judge in a San Diego court arrived 10 minutes late to a telephone conference. For his delay, the judge opted to order himself to pay a $25 fine. Have I ever seen any other judge impose a fine on him or herself for not being on time to a court hearing? The answer is simple: no.

I have heard of attorneys that have been imposed fines for showing up late, yet I have never encountered a situation where the judge chooses to fine himself in order to set an example for others to follow. In this case, the judge decided to hold himself accountable for his inability to show up on time. This is a noble thing to do, but it leaves me questioning whether the fine is equal to those who fail to appear on time in the judge’s court.

Continue reading →

About Wallin & Klarich

Wallin & Klarich was established in 1981. Over the past 32 years, our law firm has helped tens of thousands of families in their time of legal need. Regardless of whether our clients faced criminal or DUI charges, the loss of their driving privilege, or wanted to clean up their criminal record, we have been there to help them.