Olympian Justin Reiter sues the International Olympic Committee to Reinstate Snowboard Racing

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Olympian Justin Reiter has sued the International Olympic Committee to have Snowboard Racing reinstated as an Olympic sport after the IOC dropped snowboard racing from the 2018 and 2022 Olympic games. Mr. Reiter is being represented by Filippo Marchino of The X-Law Group and Rocco Taminelli. See the Denver Post article below for more details.

http://www.denverpost.com/outdoors/ci_28819373/olympian-sues-ioc-reinstate-snowboarding-racing

Two Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs Charged with Beating Handcuffed Jail Inmate

On Friday, February 7, 2014, federal prosecutors charged two deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department with violating the civil rights of an inmate who was being held at the Men’s Central Jail.  The Deputies are alleged to have assaulted a handcuffed inmate, and then submitted a false report in order to cover it up.  The Los Angeles Times has an article about the case here:

http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-deputies-indicted-20140208,0,1977563.story#axzz2skbQXYo2

If you or someone you know is facing misdemeanor or felony charges, call the criminal defense attorneys at The X-Law Group at 213-599-3380.  The X-Law Group offers free consultations and affordable payment plans, and handles cases throughout Southern California.

Santa Ana Detective Allegedly Has Affair with Fiancee of Attempted Murder Suspect he was Investigating

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office has decided to plea bargain with an attempted murder suspect because a veteran Santa Ana detective allegedly had an affair with the fiancee of the attempted murder suspect he was investigating.  The Los Angeles Times reported the story on August 24, 2012, which is found here: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-detective-affair-20120824,0,5491284.story.  The suspect will now be sentenced to 19 years instead of the life sentence the prosecutors were originally seeking.

Possession of Alcohol by Minors – California Bus. and Prof. Code Section 25662

If you are under the age of 21 and are found to be in possession of alcohol, you could face misdemeanor charges under California Business and Professions Code section 25662. Business and Professions Code section 25662 states that it is a misdemeanor for any person under the age of 21 to possess alcohol in a public place, a place open to the public, or on any street or highway.

Although the offense is punishable only by a fine or community service, a criminal conviction can have consequences beyond the courtroom. For example, because Business and Professions Code section 25662 is a misdemeanor, any conviction for public possession of alcohol by a minor will show up on the person’s criminal history printout. Additionally, any minor found in violation of this law will have their driver’s license suspended for one year by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), or if the minor does not yet have a license the DMV may delay the minor’s ability to obtain one.

The law provides certain exceptions which state that a person is not guilty of underage possession of alcohol under Business and Professions Code section 25662 if he/she did so in pursuance of his/her employment or was making a delivery of an alcoholic beverage in pursuance of the order of his or her parent, responsible adult relative or legal guardian.

If you or someone you know has been charged with underage possession of alcohol, the knowledgeable attorneys at The X-Law Group, P.C. can represent you in court and at any DMV hearing regarding your driver’s license. If you have any questions or would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact The X-law Group, P.C. at 1-888-55-xlawx. You may also visit our website at http://www.thexlawgroup.com. We look forward to helping you.

Court of Appeals Upholds Murder Convictions over Bruton/Aranda Rule Objections

On January 20, 2012, the Court of Appeals upheld the murder convictions of Javier Fuentes and Maria Alaniz, for the murder of then 18-year-old Walter Lopez in October 2006. The two were also convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in August 2006, and Javier Fuentes was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon on two other men in June or July of the same year.

During the appeal, the defense provided an argument that the LA Superior Court Judge Susan Speer wrongfully allowed the testimony of Billy Lazaro against the defendant Javier Fuentes. The testimony included information that Lazaro witnessed Fuentes telling Lopez “we’re gonna get you” and that Lopez told Lazaro on multiple occasions that Lopez was going to be a victim of a 187.

The defendant’s lawyers claimed that the defense was wrongfully allowed because it violated the Bruton/Aranda Rule. The Bruton/Aranda Rule bars using the out-of-court statements of a non-testifying defendant to incriminate another defendant at a joint trial before a single jury. Justice Patti Kitching explained that the evidence did not violate the rule because they were the statements of Javier Fuentes. Furthermore, the testimony did not violate the rule in respect to Alaniz because the testimony did not incriminate Alaniz. In addition, the justice said that Alaniz’s Confrontation Clause rights were not violated because the statements were not made to police and could not be held testimonial.  Accordingly, the Court of Appeals affirmed the murder convictions of Javier Fuentes and Maria Alaniz.

Los Angeles Appeals Court Throws out Red Light Camera Conviction

The use of red light cameras in California to issue tickets to motorists based on photo evidence has been dealt another setback. On January 23, 2012, the Second Appellate District of the California Court of Appeals, which is based in Los Angeles, decided the case of People v. Borzakian, and threw out a red light camera ticket that was issued by the Beverly Hills police department.  In its opinion, the court discussed at length another red light camera ticket case (People v. Khaled) in which an Orange County appeals court recently threw out a red light camera ticket conviction on hearsay and foundational grounds.

The court noted that the maintenance logs should have been excluded from evidence because the officer who testified on behalf of the Beverly Hills Police Department could not lay the necessary foundation.  This was because the City of Beverly Hills had contracted the responsibility of maintaining the cameras to a company called Redflex, but nobody from Redflex appeared at trial to testify as to the maintenance logs.

The court further held that once the maintenance logs were excluded, the photographs had to be excluded as well.  Once the maintenance logs and the photographs were excluded, there was a total lack of evidence to support the conviction.  Thus, the court held, the conviction must be set aside.

Federal officials begin major crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries

On October 7, 2011, the Obama Administration announced its intent to target medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the United States.  As a result, federal prosecutors have now threatened to shut down and criminally prosecute medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the State of California if those dispensaries fail to cease selling marijuana within 45 days.

California state laws currently allow medical marijuana dispensaries to operate if those dispensaries strictly comply with state medical marijuana laws.   Federal law, on the other hand, provides stiff punishment for the possession or sale of marijuana, regardless of whether the marijuana being sold or possessed comes from a dispensary in compliance with state medical marijuana laws.  Therefore, medical marijuana dispensaries are still breaking federal drug laws even when they are fully compliant with state medical marijuana laws.

The Obama administration previously directed its federal prosecutors not to prosecute medical marijuana dispensaries if those dispensaries were compliant with state medical marijuana laws. The Obama administration has now completely reversed course and will begin prosecuting all dispensaries, regardless of whether those dispensaries are in compliance with state medical marijuana laws or not.

This means that all medical marijuana dispensaries in California will face prosecution under federal drug laws if they continue to operate after the 45 day deadline.  Given the severity of federal drug laws, it is imperative that people operating medical marijuana dispensaries understand the potential consequences of this new policy.

If you or someone you know is facing drug charges and would like to speak to an attorney about the case, please do not hesitate to call The X-Law Group, P.C. The attorneys at The X-Law Group, P.C. handle criminal defense matters in all of Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. We offer free consultations and affordable payment plans. Give us a call at 213-223-2232 and visit our website at http://www.thexlawgroup.com/. We look forward to helping you.