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Visalia Criminal Law Blog

Mortgage fraud charges must be handled carefully

When a person is working to obtain a mortgage, they must ensure that they're being fully factual. The broker they're working with must also act in an ethical manner. It is possible to face criminal charges for fraud if misstatements are made intentionally on the mortgage application or any documents related to the home loan.

The best way to prevent being charged with mortgage fraud is to always be completely honest when you're filling out any paperwork for the loan. This includes the application, but it also includes the appraisals. It is illegal to hire someone to write an appraisal for a property that isn't accurate.

Evaluate your options for a defense against a misdemeanor

Some people mistakenly believe that they aren't facing time in jail when they have a misdemeanor charge. The fact is that many misdemeanors do come with time behind bars, so you should factor this into your defense strategy when you're trying to decide what to do about the charges. We're here to help you learn about your options for these cases, and we will stand beside you to help protect your interests throughout the case.

There are many things you need to consider when you're facing a misdemeanor charge. One of these is how your future will be affected by the outcome of the case. Even though the consequences might not be as great as they would be if you were facing a felony, there will still be a mark on your criminal history if you're convicted. This might impact your career or housing options. In some cases, it might even change what volunteer opportunities you have.

Reasonable suspicion can lead to a traffic stop and a DUI arrest

Drivers have to ensure they're always following the laws. Failure to do this can result in being pulled over by a police officer. One thing that some individuals might not realize is that you don't have to actually break a law to be pulled over. Officers can initiate a traffic stop if they have reasonable suspicion that you're committing a crime.

One of the possible crimes that's commonly thought of when considering reasonable suspicion is drunk driving. Cops are almost always vigilantly watching for signs of impairment in drivers. If they spot signs that a driver might be impaired, they can pull the vehicle over.

California has harsh DUI laws

Each year, approximately 11,000 people are killed in drunk driving accidents across the United States. This calculates to around 29 deaths per day. In 2017, 1,120 of those deaths took place in California alone.

In an effort to save lives, American law enforcement agencies arrest over 1 million people for driving under the influence every year. The punishments for causing fatal DUI crashes vary in each state, but California law is quite harsh on offenders. For example, drivers who are convicted of misdemeanor DUI vehicular manslaughter can be sentenced to up to a year in jail, fined up to $1,000 and have their driving privileges suspended. Drivers convicted of felony DUI vehicular manslaughter can be sentenced to between 16 months and four years in prison and assessed up to $10,000 in fines. In addition, they can face another three to six years in prison if any other people were seriously hurt in the crash.

Two killed in fatal crash off 91 freeway in California

A 29-year-old man from California is believed to have been drunk the night he crashed into an SUV on the 91 freeway in late February. Two people died as a result of the crash.

The car accident occurred in the early morning hours. The man allegedly lost control of his vehicle, veering onto the right shoulder of the road. He crashed into a 2019 Volkswagen Atlas SUV that was stopped on the side of the road. The SUV had four people inside. Officers from the California Highway Patrol responded to the crash. First responders transported two individuals in the SUV to UC Irvine Medical Center. The two backseat passengers, a 70-year-old man and a 94-year-old woman, were pronounced dead at the hospital an hour after the crash occurred.

Three people accused of GameStop armed robbery

GameStop and other companies that sell attractive, popular consumer goods like video games in Texas may be particularly likely to be robbed. Three people are facing charges after they allegedly stole $4,500 in Nintendo Switch gaming consoles and accessories from one local GameStop. Police say that the Feb. 1 incident was a dramatic armed robbery in which the three people involved used zip ties to restrain store employees while taking the merchandise away, brandishing a gun at the time.

Police said that the armed robbery was reported through an evening 911 call that came in just as GameStop was closing for the night. Eventually, three California residents were arrested and face charges related to the thefts. A 27-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of robbery, while a 31-year-old woman was accused of possession of stolen property and another man was arrested with outstanding felony warrants in an unrelated criminal case. Police did not say why they believed these three individuals to be responsible for the GameStop robbery.

Anti-DUI devices could be added to cars by 2024

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, someone is killed in an alcohol-related crash every 50 minutes around the country. Further, in some areas of California, such as San Diego County, DUI cases are actually increasing.

To decisively deal with the issue, some traffic safety advocates are pushing for anti-drunk driving technology to be included in new vehicles by 2024. One such device, called the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, has been developed by the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety. It uses breath-based and touch-based sensors to determine if a driver has a blood alcohol content level at or above .08. If he or she does, the vehicle will start but won't be able to move.

Traffic stop uncovers new drug smuggling method

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California announced on Jan. 23 that a routine traffic stop in Pixley in early January led to the discovery of more than 300 pounds of methamphetamine and the dismantling of a major narcotics trafficking ring. A 20-year-old man and a 24-year-old man are being held in connection with the seized drugs. They have been charged with conspiracy to distribute narcotics and could be sentenced to life imprisonment if convicted. Bail for both men has been set at $3 million.

The traffic stop took a more serious turn when a Tulare County Sheriff's Office deputy peered through the car's rear window and noticed white powder. The deputy then called for backup, and the ensuing investigation led to a search of the vehicle and two buildings in rural Tulare County. These searches allegedly yielded about 100 pounds of methamphetamine, 200 pounds of liquid methamphetamine and approximately 300 fentanyl pills.

K-9 unit discovers drugs during traffic stop

A 38-year-old California man was taken into custody on narcotics charges on the night of Jan. 19 after methamphetamine and cocaine were allegedly found in his vehicle during a routine traffic stop in Santa Barbara County. Police say the seized drugs would be worth about $2,300 if sold on the street. The man has been charged with possessing drugs with the intent to distribute, reckless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol. He is being held at the Santa Barbara County Jail, and his bail has been set at $250,000.

The man's BMW sedan was stopped by police at approximately 9:30 p.m. near the intersection of Knudson Way and South Western Avenue in Santa Maria. Officers say that they observed the vehicle exceed the posted speed limit on Donovan Road and ignore a red light at the intersection of Cook Street and South Blosser Road. The man was taken into custody at the scene after officers determined that he was impaired by alcohol and a records check revealed that he had an outstanding warrant.

California man pleads not guilty to 33 fraud and theft charges

During a preliminary hearing in a Van Nuys courtroom, a 37-year-old man entered not guilty pleas for all 33 charges against him for fraud and theft. He had already decided against a plea deal that limited his sentence in state prison to no more than seven years.

Seven witnesses so far entered testimony against him at the hearing, and more have been scheduled to speak in court in the near future before a judge will make the decision about whether or not he will stand trial. Testimony from a Lyft driver and dental office manager styled the man as a persuasive con artist who convinced them to cash his checks due to problems at his bank.

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