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The incident began around 8:00 in the morning when calls were placed to the police station regarding a stray pit bull trying to attack a leashed dog whose owner was taking the pet for a walk. The dog turned out to be an Argentine Dogo. The dog reportedly lunged at one of the police officers. Law enforcement claims the dog bumped the officer in the chest and tried to bite the officer's face. The officer responded with force, shooting the dog in its head.

The injured dog fled to the backyard of a nearby residence. Police approached the residence to talk to the occupants about the injured animal. Law enforcement claims that during the investigation related to the dog, police uncovered evidence of marijuana at the house.

Two people reportedly were in the house during the contact with police. One of the occupants reportedly admitted responsibility for drugs that were found in the house. Police seized an undisclosed amount of processed marijuana and marijuana plants. The man who police say claimed responsibility for the drugs was arrested on several drug charges.

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Tagged in: drug charges marijuana

A 21-year-old Soquel area man was arrested Friday on a DUI charge that allegedly occurred in November. The 21-year-old had previously appeared in court in February related to the November 18 allegations. The man was undergoing physical therapy for injuries and was previously released with conditions. Law enforcement claims the 21-year-old violated his conditional release and arrested the man Friday.

Authorities claim the 21-year-old was found to have a bag of marijuana and an empty beer can in his room. The judge reportedly had ordered the 21-year-old to abstain from alcohol and drugs as part of his conditions of release at the February court appearance. Prosecutors argued Friday for bail to be set at $100,000 in the felony DUI case. The judge set bail Friday at $75,000. The 21-year-old reportedly posted bond Friday evening and was released from custody.

The current allegations arose related to an incident that allegedly occurred November 18, 2010. Police claim the 21-year-old lost control of his 1991 Toyota pickup truck and crashed into a tree. After the accident, the 21-year-old was charged with DUI. Prosecutors claim the man has a prior accident on his record where two people were killed.

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In 2009, a Watsonville man entered a guilty plea to felony gun charges. The 37-year-old man is a Mexican immigrant married to a U.S. citizen. After entering the plea, the man learned that the conviction may lead to deportation. He attempted to withdraw his plea and was denied.

Last year the United States Supreme Court issued its ruling in a separate case mandating that a criminal defense attorney has a duty to inform defendants of possible ramifications that a criminal conviction may have on the defendant's immigration status. On March 11, 2011, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the Watsonville man's guilty pleas based upon the U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

The 37-year-old man's case has been remanded to the U.S. District Court in San Jose. The man has served nearly the entire balance of a two year prison sentence related to the original plea agreement. He reportedly was scheduled to be released from the sentence on May 10. Now the matter returns to the District Court for determination of whether the case will be retried.

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The 29-year-old homeowner looked outside and saw the stranded motorist lingering in the neighborhood in the early morning hours. The homeowner decided to confront the 20-year-old who the homeowner believed had committed the California burglary.

The homeowner reportedly grabbed an implement that police say may have been an ax before he ventured outside to confront the man he suspected was the burglar. When the homeowner approached the 20-year-old along the street sometime after 3:15 a.m., the 20-year-old reportedly fled. The homeowner allegedly chased after the 20-year-old for roughly a quarter mile. The homeowner is accused of attacking the 20-year-old.

After the incident, the homeowner returned home and called police around 4:30 a.m. Law enforcement arrived in the area and found the 20-year-old dead from trauma to his head. Police questioned the homeowner and later arrested him on suspicion of murder.

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Tagged in: burglary/robbery

Michael Lohan was arrested earlier this week for suspicion of domestic violence related charges. Police reportedly responded to a call regarding a domestic dispute. Lohan was not at the residence when police arrived. The father of Lindsay Lohan reportedly was found walking near the West Hollywood Sheriff's station sometime after police originally responded to the residence.

Lohan denies the allegations that he engaged in domestic violence. He reportedly says that his girlfriend attacked him. He says that he is the victim in the matter and he intends to press charges. He says he was charged merely because she beat him to the police station.

The relationship between the two reportedly has had some struggles as the two have been in an on-again-off-again relationship. If convicted of the current misdemeanor battery charge, Lohan could face up to a year in county jail.

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California law allows for law enforcement to set up DUI checkpoints, if the operation satisfies certain constitutional safeguards. Santa Cruz drunk driving attorneys know the California Supreme Court provided guidance on the specific criteria for law enforcement to follow in setting up a checkpoint in a case called Ingersoll vs. Palmer.

On Monday, USA Today ran a story regarding smartphone applications that alert users of the applications to a variety of law enforcement operations, including DUI checkpoints. Four federal lawmakers raised their objection to the sale of the smartphone applications.

Four U.S. Senators sent a letter Tuesday to Apple, Google and Blackberry asking the companies to stop selling wireless telephone applications that allow users to identify the locations of sobriety checkpoints. One of the applications that the federal senators targeted is an application the "contains a database of DUI checkpoints updated in real time," according to the senator's letter. The senators also cited an application they say has more than 10 million users, which "allows users to alert each other to DUI checkpoints in real time."

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Experienced Santa Cruz marijuana cultivation attorneys know that state law allows certain individuals to grow marijuana for medical purposes. It is not uncommon for law enforcement to come to different conclusions in different cases. However, the conclusion law enforcement reaches remains merely an accusation if charges do arise.

The two raids this week in Arcata resulted in only one of the cases leading to charges. On March 14, police served a search warrant at a home and claim they discovered nearly 700 marijuana plants and over two pounds of processed marijuana. Police say they also seized marijuana cultivation equipment in the March 14 raid.

A 36-year-old Arcata man reportedly was placed under arrest and will face charges of possession of marijuana for sale, operating a house for the manufacture of drugs, cultivation of marijuana, transportation of marijuana, possession of concentrated cannabis and possession of psilocybin mushrooms.

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Police in Los Angeles closed down a portion of a freeway after law enforcement executed a search warrant at a warehouse over the weekend. Police raided a warehouse in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday night. The warrant reportedly was related to suspicions regarding a single suspect.

When police arrived at the warehouse to serve the warrant, they say they found over 3,000 marijuana plants in the building. Law enforcement says that as many as 20 people were detained during execution of the search warrant. Police say that no arrests have been made. However, police say that potential California drug charges are pending.

Police continue to process the information and evidence seized during the search. Police claim that they gathered evidence including traces of chemicals used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. The freeway was closed while police and hazardous materials teams investigated the area.

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Allegations of domestic violence have followed actor Mel Gibson for some time now. Prosecutors have had the matter under consideration since last year. Sources indicate that Gibson and prosecutors have reached a plea agreement in the matter, which reportedly will be resolved in court this afternoon.

No felony domestic violence charges have been filed in the matter. Sources indicated earlier this week that prosecutors and Gibson reached an agreement for Gibson to plead no contest to misdemeanor assault charges in the matter. A no contest plea has the same legal effect as a guilty plea in a California criminal court. Prosecutors are expected to file the charge today, with a hearing later in the day to enter the no contest plea.

The allegations originally arose last year. Gibson's former girlfriend -- the mother of a daughter with Gibson--raised accusations that the actor hit her in their Malibu home. The ex-girlfriend also claimed that Gibson threatened her with a gun.

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In the cases that have already been dropped, individuals were charged with a variety of California crimes. The dropped charges range from grand theft to felony California drug charges.

Four videos have been released that appear to contradict details that officers wrote in police reports in a number of criminal cases. Officers reportedly also testified in court inconsistently with what appears in the videos. Two of the videos show plainclothes officers making illegal entries into rooms at a San Francisco residential hotel. A third video depicts plainclothes officers kicking in a hotel door. The hotel room reportedly was occupied by a disabled man.

A fourth video, released Monday, apparently obtained from security video recorded at the Henry Hotel shows a man wearing a black coat entering the hotel. Police reported they had seen the man enter the hotel wearing a white and tan jacket. Police seized a white and tan jacket in the hotel room. Police had claimed they discovered crack cocaine and marijuana in the light colored jacket. Later, police arrested the man.

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An alleged dispute between man and wife evolved into serious charges earlier this week. A 36-year-old Manteca man reportedly hopped into the family minivan after he had an argument with his wife. She then jumped onto the hood of the van in an effort to stop him from leaving. Witnesses claim the man drove at excessive speeds for 35 miles Saturday, just after 12:30 a.m., with his wife on the hood of the vehicle.

Police reportedly arrested the man later Saturday morning at his home on charges of attempted murder, kidnapping and domestic violence.

Law enforcement claims at least two people called 911 to report a minivan racing down a Northern California freeway in the middle of the night. The witnesses say the van was travelling at speeds up to 100 miles per hour during the 35 mile drive from Manteca to Pleasanton. All during the event, the 25-year-old woman reportedly was sprawled across the hood of the minivan as it raced down the freeway, hanging on to the windshield wiper blades.

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The United States Supreme Court ruled on Monday that statements made during an ongoing emergency may be introduced as evidence in a criminal trial even if the person that made the statements has died before the trial. Santa Cruz criminal defense attorneys know that the Sixth Amendment guarantees a criminal defendant the right to confront the witnesses against the defendant at trial. The right to confrontation includes the right to cross examine the witness.

Monday's Supreme Court ruling says the statements introduced at trial of an alleged murder victim through the testimony of police officers did not violate the defendant's right to confrontation. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote a scathing dissent. Justice Scalia says Monday's ruling distorts the high court's "Confrontation Clause jurisprudence and leaves it in a shambles." Justice Scalia goes on to say majority opinion demeans the Supreme Court.

The case arose out of an incident that happened in Detroit in 2001. Police responded to a report of a shooting. Several police officers responded and found a man who had been shot lying near his car in a gas station parking lot. Each officer asked the man several questions. The man reportedly told police the identity of the man who allegedly shot him. The man died later that morning at the hospital.

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An 18-year-old Fallbrook man entered a plea agreement that may expose him in the future to California's three strikes law. The 18-year-old agreed to plead guilty to three separate counts of California burglary charges. Each separate conviction qualifies as a strike under the California three strikes law.

Prosecutors reportedly dropped other charges pending against the teen in exchange for the three strikes plea agreement. The teen agreed to a three and a half year prison sentence under the current plea agreement. Actual sentencing in the matter is scheduled for April 6.

Prosecutors will have the ability to seek a sentence of 25 years to life if the teen is charged with any offenses in the future that qualify under the California three strikes law.

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Actress Lindsay Lohan appeared before Judge Keith Schwartz in Del Aire Court this morning to face a felony charge of grand theft. Prosecutors allege Lohan stole a $2,500 necklace from a Venice jewelry store. Lohan entered a not guilty plea to the California theft charge in February.

At the Wednesday morning court appearance Judge Schwartz told Lohan that if she accepts a plea agreement from prosecutors she will face jail time. "If you plead in front of me, if this case resolves in front of me, you are going to jail. Period. It may be an issue as to amount of time," Judge Schwartz told Lohan.

Law enforcement claims they have video of Lohan wearing a necklace at the Venice, California jewelry store, obtained from store surveillance cameras. The Los Angeles Times reports that police also obtained paparazzi photos taken days after the alleged incident showing Lohan wearing the necklace in public. Law enforcement claims they have statements from witnesses who allegedly were present in the store.

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FBI agents and police officers testified at a congressional hearing Thursday regarding increasing difficulties that law enforcement is experiencing in attempting to gather evidence against people they suspect of committing offenses. Law enforcement claims that new forms of communication inhibit their ability to conduct wiretaps.

California criminal defense attorneys know that evidence cannot be used to convict an individual if law enforcement gathers evidence in an unconstitutional manner. The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Members of law enforcement, however, told congressional leaders yesterday that many new forms of communication provide law enforcement with increased difficulty in placing wiretaps even where the wiretap is authorized under a warrant.

Speaking before a House Judiciary subcommittee, FBI general counsel Valerie Caproni said it is "exponentially more difficult" to place a court-authorized wiretap on some forms of new technology. She says people can communicate via anonymous avatars and through wireless technology that evades wiretaps.

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Prosecutors alleged the man placed a pair of gloves and some wire in his waistband at a Home Depot store in Lake Elsinore in 2009. A witness testified that the man pulled his sweatshirt over his waist line and then left the store with the items still in his waistband.

The defendant exercised his right to testify in his own defense at trial. The 44-year-old told the jury he intended to steal the items, but changed his mind before leaving the store. The defendant told the jury that he turned around inside the store.

The jury deliberated for only fifteen minutes before rendering its guilty verdict to felony level petty theft. The jury was not aware that prosecutors are seeking the 25 years to life sentence under the three strikes law. Jurors are not allowed to consider the potential sentencing that could be imposed in they render a guilty verdict.

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In 1999, the man again faced a California DUI charge. A jury convicted the man of the charge at trial. The Santa Clara County judge in the case sentenced the man in 1999 to 25 years to life under California's three strikes law. The judge relied on the two prior DUI convictions as the first two strikes. The California Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction and the California Supreme Court denied review.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed the lower courts concluding that the judge made additional findings of fact regarding the prior convictions in violation of the South Bay man's due process rights. The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a number of decisions spanning more than a decade regarding a defendant's right to a jury.

At the 1999 sentencing, the prosecutor submitted documents to the court while arguing that the 1993 convictions should serve as two strikes. At issue was the conviction for inflicting bodily injury. The federal appeals court determined the trial judge found facts beyond the scope of the mere fact that the man had a previous conviction.

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An 18-year-old man from South San Francisco has been arrested and faces felony DUI charges related to an alleged fatal car accident on Saturday morning. The car accident reportedly occurred around 3:20 a.m. on highway 101 in Brisbane.

The 18-year-old reportedly had gone to a bowling alley and a private party with friends on Friday night. The group of teens reportedly had all been drinking before they got into a Toyota registered to the 18-year-old's mother. While traveling toward South San Francisco on Highway 101, the group of teens reportedly was talking about the music playing on the radio.

Traffic was snarled on 101 from an accident that had occurred earlier in the wee morning hours. The 18-year-old driver is believed to have looked up at the last second as the Toyota approached the traffic snarl. The 18-year-old reportedly attempted to avoid the traffic and swerved across two lanes. The Toyota allegedly slammed into the rear of another car on the highway.

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The police conducted a traffic stop. The officer identified the driver as a 54-year-old San Carlos man who was reportedly driving on a suspended license for a prior California DUI conviction. Also in the vehicle were the driver's 43-year-old wife and four children ranging in age from two to eight. Law enforcement says the wife had a restraining order against the man.

San Mateo County prosecutors say that police found 14 empty beer cans and an empty bottle of rum scattered throughout the family van. Police asked the two adults to step out of the vehicle. Law enforcement says both adults had difficulty standing when they got out of the vehicle.

The driver reportedly had a blood alcohol level of .25 and the wife reportedly measured .24 BAC. Prosecutors say the family spent part of the day at Half Moon Bay. The parents reportedly drank while at the beach. One of the children reportedly told police that after the family left the beach, the driver pulled over on two occasions to drink more beer.

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Tagged in: child endangerment

A 49-year-old Daly City woman was arrested over the weekend after an alleged incident at a Pacifica bar. The woman faces a felony DUI charge after she allegedly crashed into the establishment around 2:30 a.m. The tavern was closed at the time of the alleged incident; however several people were reportedly standing outside the bar just after closing time.

Police say the woman had been drinking at the bar earlier in the night. Police claim that the woman went from table to table just before the bar closed and consumed the left over drinks that had been left behind by other patrons.

Law enforcement claims that after the woman left the establishment, she got in her truck and attempted to back out of her parking spot. Police say the woman ran into a group of people outside the bar, causing injuries. One person reportedly became pinned between the pickup truck and the establishment in the alleged incident. Several people, including the 49-year-old woman reportedly were taken to the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

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