Blog
10.0John William Thornton REVIEWS
CALL US FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
Call Us831-426-5800 Call Us831-566-4357
303 Potrero Street, Suite 30, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Recent blog posts

Charges of driving under the influence against a California state assemblyman have been dismissed by the judge in Contra County. The state lawmaker was accused of driving drunk after leaving a Bar Area bar around 2:00 in the morning in the Bay Area.

The state assemblyman, from Covina, California took his DUI charges before a jury. The relatively lengthy DUI jury trial resulted in a not guilty verdict against the lawmaker on a charge of driving under the influence. However, the jury deadlocked 6 to 6 on a count charging the assemblyman with driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or greater.

Prosecutors apparently decided to pursue the charge based upon the DUI test result. Authorities say that the assemblyman tested 0.08 percent BAC, a measurement that is right at the California legal limit. The assemblyman reportedly said that he had consumed a glass of wine around 9:00 during the evening the night before his arrest. He reportedly said that he had a second glass of wine just before the bar closed.

...
Tagged in: DUI Trial

Chris Brown was scheduled to appear in a California court for a probation review. The singer was convicted of felony assault in 2009. Prosecutors had accused the musician of a domestic assault involving Rihanna, which continues to receive a great deal of public attention due to the celebrity status of the two singers.

Brown received probation for five years on the felony assault conviction. More than a year ago, Brown appeared for a probation review hearing and the judge modified a restraining order that had been in place in the case. The judge changed the five-year protective order from prohibiting him from being within 50 yards of Rihanna to allowing some contact, so long as Brown does not annoy or harass Rihanna. Brown's criminal defense attorney had asked the court to loosen the restrictions on the protective order.

But the protective order does not appear to be an issue that prosecutors are now seeking to have reviewed under Brown's terms of probation. Brown has reportedly received praise from the judge in previous court appearances for his progress in completing the terms of his probation, although a judge denied a defense request in February 2011 to change Brown's probation from supervised to unsupervised.

...

The Humboldt County Drug Task force says that a 32-year-old Fieldbrook, California man has been arrested on several marijuana-related drug charges. Officials say that agents intercepted $5,000 in cash that purportedly was being mailed to a Fieldbrook residence. Media accounts do not indicate how the mail was intercepted or what led authorities to look into the piece of mail.

Agents from the drug task force apparently went to the Fieldbrook residence that reportedly was listed on the mailed parcel. Authorities say that the agents intended to inquire about the sum of cash. The drug task force issued a statement that says agents contacted a 32-year-old man at the Fieldbrook home.

While law enforcement was questioning the man at the residence, agents claim that they could smell marijuana emanating from inside. The man at the home reportedly was detained and the site was locked down until law enforcement could obtain a search warrant, according to the Times-Standard.

...

Police still have not determined, or publicly announced, what may have led to the tragic accident. Authorities say that the pickup truck, for some unknown reason, drove onto a sidewalk, and struck the two women. The truck then became wedged between a pole and a concrete retaining wall. The accident occurred outside the Marriott Hotel in Walnut Creek around 6:15 Saturday evening.

The Contra Costa Times reports that authorities have not yet determined whether speed, alcohol or drugs may have been a factor in causing the tragic accident. It is also unclear from publicly released information whether some other factor, such as perhaps a medical emergency preceded the sidewalk crash.

A 52-year-old Santa Barbara, California, woman was killed in the sidewalk accident. Her daughter-in-law was critically injured and was taken to a Walnut Creek hospital.

...

Two mixed martial arts competitors associated with the Ultimate Fighting Championship are facing California criminal charges. Officials have charged Jason "Mayhem" Miller with misdemeanor vandalism upon allegations that he caused damage to a Mission Viejo, California church during an incident last month. Meanwhile UFC featherweight contender Chad Mendes is accused of battery after an alleged incident at a bar in Hanford, California in late July.

Miller was originally arrested August 13, after police claim the MMA fighter was found naked in a Mission Viejo church. Police claim that the UFC competitor had damaged at least $400 worth of property inside the church, including a picture frame and a propane tank.

Authorities say that the MMA fighter had been spray painting inside the church. Orange County prosecutors announced that Miller was officially charged Wednesday with vandalism. He is scheduled to appear in court in Newport Beach, California November 21 on the misdemeanor charge.

...
Tagged in: Battery Vandalism

California officials say that an 82-year-old woman will be facing seven counts of burglary and one count of attempted burglary after a police detective says that he recognized the woman's hair in a security video. Law enforcement says that the woman has a so-called M.O. that has led to many arrests for California theft crimes. The woman reportedly told authorities after her arrest last week that this is a case of mistaken identity.

Like the current allegations, in 2009 a Torrance Police detective had claimed to have recognized the woman in a security video, based upon a bulletin issued several years earlier from Beverly Hills. After that incident, the woman was given a three year prison term, and was released on parole after serving nine months.

The newest charges are being brought in Los Angeles County. Authorities say that the woman targeted doctor's offices. Police began receiving reports from doctor's offices claiming that cash was missing from the office. That is when detectives looked to find security videos, and one detective says that he recognized the woman's hair on the footage. Authorities say that the alleged thefts fit the woman's M.O.

...
Tagged in: Burglary theft crime

Many people buy in to the stereotype that people who are arrested for DUI are alcoholics, party hounds or just plain "losers." In reality, people of all backgrounds and from walks of life get accused of drinking and driving. Drunk-driving arrests often lead to convictions, of course, but frequently enough they are based on spurious field sobriety tests, miscalibrated breath testing machines, the effects of legal prescription drugs or other mistakes.

Society may wish to believe that successful, responsible people are never charged with DUI, but they do. Last Saturday, for example, the man chosen by the Vatican to become the next archbishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco was arrested in San Diego on suspicion of drunk driving.

The 56-year-old bishop from Oakland was driving his elderly mother home after a dinner with friends when he encountered a police sobriety checkpoint. Officers at the checkpoint claim the bishop appeared to be intoxicated and they arrested him.

...

Now only just weeks after his retirement, he was involved in a traffic incident that has led to charges of drinking and driving and leaving the scene of a car accident.

According to an eyewitness report, Crocker was waiting a red light in the left lane of a roadway. However, when the light turned green, Crocker attempted to make a right turn, despite the fact that a semi-truck was in that lane. The two vehicles collided. The witness then followed Crocker's vehicle as he continued driving away from the scene of the crash, and then the witness finally called police.

When police arrived on the scene they asked Crocker to submit to a breathalyzer test. He complied, and according to police reports was very cooperative. However, both of the breath tests revealed a blood-alcohol content of more than twice the legal limit for alcohol.

...
Tagged in: celebrities DUI

A 56-year-old man, who authorities describe as a transient, was arrested on suspicion of burglary after an alleged incident at the home of rapper and actor LL Cool J. Authorities say that the man broke into LL Cool J's home, where the musician/actor discovered the alleged intruder. A "knock-down, drag out" fight followed and LL cool J reportedly broke the alleged intruder's nose and jaw, according to UPI.

Police say that LL Cool J acted in self-defense and will not face any charges related to the fight. However, the other man is accused of first-degree burglary, and UPI reports that the man may also face a battery charge. Prosecutors have also brought the charges against the man under California's three strikes law, which could expose the man to a life sentence, with a mandatory minimum of 25-years.

Authorities say that the man broke into LL Cool J's home late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. The actor/rapper says that he heard a noise, and went downstairs to investigate. LL Cool J says that as he looked for the source of the noise, a man approached him and a fight broke out between the two men. Police reportedly arrived around 1:00 Wednesday morning at the Studio City home, and law enforcement says that LL Cool J had detained the alleged intruder.

...

Deputies responded to the Mill Valley residence, but did not find the runaway girl. She reportedly returned home sometime after her father contacted authorities. Nonetheless, a 19-year-old and a 15-year-old were each arrested for alleged marijuana offenses after law enforcement went to looking for the alleged runaway Tiburon teen.

Authorities claim that five people were found in a car parked in the driveway of the Mill Valley residence. The people inside the parked car ranged from 15 to 25-years-old. Deputies say that the female teenager that they were looking for was not among the group inside the parked car. However, deputies assert that they smelled marijuana coming from the parked car and chose to search the car.

The deputies seized a number of items in the search. Officials say that more than an ounce of suspected pot was located in the car, along with a variety of paper and plastic sandwich bags, and a digital scale. Law enforcement concluded that the items must be drug related and arrested the 19-year-old Mill Valley man, and a 15-year-old Marin City boy.

...

Among the items police say the 35-year-old stole, are thousands of dollars worth of Tiffany jewelry, a soda-maker, a blender, numerous Apple products and the driver's license of the late Steve Jobs. Authorities claim that the alleged burglar found the driver's license in a wallet that also contained a single one dollar bill.

It was an Apple product that authorities say led to the arrest of the man. Law enforcement says that the man used a stolen Apple product to log on to his iTunes account. Investigators from Apple say that they traced the Internet use to an IP address. Authorities reportedly narrowed in on the Alameda, California, man through the Internet trace.

Authorities say that the alleged theft crime was merely a crime of opportunity. Police do not think the man knew that the resdidence was that of the late Steve Jobs.

...

Authorities claim that several 911 calls came in around 4:30 Monday morning reporting a loud noise that was consistent with some type of crash. Authorities responded to the neighborhood, and law enforcement says that they found the two cars wrecked at the residence.

Santa Clara deputies say that a Toyota and BMW were found crashed into the home, with the Toyota on top of the BMW. The Toyota reportedly had partially breached the living room of the residence.

Officials believe that the two young men had been racing in the street and failed to make a curve near the home. One of the cars is believed to have struck a boulder, sending the cars through the garage door of the home, and at least one of the vehicles partially into the interior of the residence.

...
Tagged in: Felony DUI

Law enforcement says that troopers responded to the scene of a reported car accident shortly after 11:15 Tuesday night. Troopers claim that they found Travis naked when troopers arrived at the car accident scene. Authorities say the country music star was combative during the the investigation and after his DUI arrest.

The musician apparently suffered some personal injuries in the accident. An Associated Press report carried by the San Jose Mercury News says that Travis had a black eye and visible dried blood on his face in the mug shot released by the Sheriff's Office.

Travis was arrested on suspicion of DUI after the encounter with police. However, troopers say that the musician remained combative and authorities are planning to pursue felony charges under Texas law for retaliation or obstruction charges. Law enforcement claims that Travis made threats to shoot and kill the troopers involved in the investigation while he was being transported to the county jail. Law enforcement reportedly obtained a blood sample from Travis, test results remain pending.

...
Tagged in: DUI

Deputies believe that the young teen took the used butts with the plan to smoke the stubs. The boy's mother and 18-year-old brother then got involved in a dispute that deputies say grew into an altercation. Authorities accuse the mother and daughter of using weapons against their neighbors.

The daughter accused of assault with a deadly weapon is a 21-year-old Linda, California woman who authorities accuse of using a baseball bat to strike the 18-year-old older brother of the teen believed to have taken the butts. The 18-year-old was struck in the head with the baseball bat-he was also allegedly stabbed in the left arm by the 35-year-old mother accused of assault with a deadly weapon.

Deputies further accuse the 35-year-old with stabbing the 43-year-old female neighbor several times in the dispute.

...

Acting on a tip, police say that they launched an investigation into potential marijuana grow houses in a Southern California neighborhood. Tuesday, detectives served search warrants at two homes, which are located just over two miles from each other. Law enforcement claims that the 7:00 a.m. search revealed $5 million worth of marijuana plants growing inside the Hacienda Heights, California, homes.

In addition to roughly 1,400 total marijuana plants in various stages of growth, law enforcement claims that the each of the homes contained elaborate marijuana growing systems. Authorities served a separate search warrant at the residence of a San Gabriel, California, man who authorities accuse of running the marijuana grow houses.

A Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department sergeant has summarily announced that the drug crime investigation indicated that the San Gabriel man "was the person responsible for operating and financing the marijuana grow houses."

...

The California Highway Patrol has arrested a passenger who was riding in a car involved in a car accident. The Geyserville, California, man reportedly was riding in the car when it crashed on Highway 101 Friday evening. Police accuse the passenger in the vehicle of driving under the influence and a form California domestic violence charges.

Law enforcement says that a 19-year-old Geyserville woman was driving a Mazda Protégé on North bound Highway 101 shortly before 10:00 p.m. when the car left the pavement. Emergency responders arrived at the car accident scene to find the Mazda disabled about 100 feet down an embankment. The woman says that she lost control of the vehicle after her 28-year-old boyfriend had become agitated while riding in the car.

The CHP says that the woman accuses her boyfriend of speaking in a threatening manner and punching the interior of the car while she was cruising at around 65 to 70 miles per hour along the highway. The woman claims that her boyfriend grabbed the emergency brake, causing the car to crash.

...

Prosecutors had claimed that the defendant climbed onto a second floor balcony outside an apartment. Two bicycles were reportedly stored on the balcony. However, a dog inside the building began barking and the resident of the apartment came out to confront the man who was allegedly on the balcony. Prosecutors claimed that the man fled the balcony without taking anything.

Police later arrested a man and claim that he was the one on the balcony. The trial court judge ruled that the second floor balcony was a part of the residence. The case went before a jury, and the panel returned a guilty verdict.

On appeal, a California Court of Appeal in Los Angeles held that the balcony was not an enclosed area of the apartment and threw out the burglary conviction. Prosecutors brought the case to the California Supreme Court, and the high court reinstated the burglary conviction.

...
Tagged in: burglary/robbery

A 23-year-old Norwalk, California man in a Ford Explorer is believed to have run into the rear of the Lexus. The Lexus spun out of control, and reportedly struck three construction workers who had been working on the 405. The Ford flipped over onto its roof.

Two construction workers were fatally injured in the freeway accident. The third construction worker was able to walk around after the accident, and was eventually transported to an area hospital for treatment.

Both drivers involved in the freeway accident reportedly suffered scrapes and cuts from the crash. Each was transported to the hospital for treatment. Authorities say that both drivers were under the influence at the time of the 3:35 a.m. crash Sunday. After receiving medical attention, each driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI at the hospital.

...
Tagged in: DUI manslaughter

Prosecutors are seeking second-degree murder charges against a 28-year-old Santa Rosa, California woman after she was allegedly involved in a fatal car accident in Sonoma County Saturday afternoon. Deputies claim that the woman was involved in some form of domestic dispute with her ex-boyfriend before the fatal crash. Authorities say that the ex-boyfriend had left on his motorcycle during an argument and the woman hopped in her Acura to chase after him.

Witnesses claim the Acura and motorcycle were speeding at 50 to 80 miles per hour on Hall Road, west of Santa Rosa. Authorities claim that the woman lost control of her Acura and struck a Lexus while chasing her ex-boyfriend. The Lexus then slammed into a Triumph sports car. The Triumph flipped over, trapping the driver inside. The sports car erupted into flames, killing the driver.

Originally, Sonoma County deputies arrested the woman on vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving charges. But prosecutors upped the ante this week, and filed second-degree murder charges against the woman, based upon the theory of implied malice. This blog has previously discussed implied malice in the context of so-called "Watson-murder" cases after an alleged fatal DUI car accident.

...

CHP troopers say that Lynch was pulled over after allegedly having two near collisions with other cars along I-880 in Emeryville, California. Authorities claim that the star running back showed signs of intoxication during the traffic stop, which occurred around 3:20 Saturday morning. Authorities claim Lynch tested above the legal limit of 0.08 percent blood alcohol concentration, although authorities have not revealed the test results to the media.

The two-time Pro Bowler reportedly was cooperative during the DUI investigation. Authorities brought Lynch to Santa Rita Jail. He was later released, and he is scheduled to appear in court on the DUI charges August 14. Lynch had been in Oakland for a scholarship event involving his Fam 1st Family Foundation.

Lynch previously had his driver's license revoked in New York after he allegedly was involved in a pedestrian accident outside a bar at 3:30 a.m. in 2008.

...
Tagged in: DUI
Back to Top