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Seriousness of College/High School Hazing Crimes
According to a survey conducted by Alfred University, approximately 80% of all college athletes have been hazed survey. Most hazing on high school, college and pro levels is not reported. However, since 1980, the media has brought to the public’s attention through police reports or the courts more hazing among athletes being abused. Several athletes have suffered serious injuries and death.
Northern Illinois University Fraternity Members Face hazing Charges After Student Dies
A more recent incident involving hazing occurred last year when members of a Northern Illinois University fraternity turned themselves in after the death of a freshman, David Bogenberger, 19. According to the coroner, Bogenberger was found dead on November 2, 2012, as a result of cardiac arrhythmia, with alcohol intoxication and a blood –alcohol content five times that of the legal driving limit, after a night of drinking. The night before Bogenberger’s death, he had participated in a non-sanctioned event called “parents’ night,” which involved fraternity pledges moving from room to room, answering questions from other fraternity members and being provided with alcohol. A spokesperson for the University said the fraternity and 31 members have been accused of violating the school code of conduct and zero tolerance for hazing. The fraternity could be asked to forfeit its standing as a student organization and the students could face expulsion and other penalties.
Illinois Hazing Laws
Under Illinois law, hazing is illegal. According to Lt. Jason Leverton of the Dekalb, Illinois police department, 22 arrest warrants were issued for members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. Five of the fraternity members were charged with felony hazing and 17 more face misdemeanor charges. The 17 students facing misdemeanor charges could spend up to one year in jail and receive $10,000 in fines if convicted. The other 5 members charged with felony hazing could spend from one to three years in jail and face $25,000 fines if convicted. There are 44 other states that have laws banning hazing. The hazing death of Florida A & M drum major Robert Champion in 2011 has also brought the seriousness of college and sports hazing to the forefront.
Participating in a hazing event can have serious consequences, especially if someone dies as a result of the hazing. Persons who have been charged with felony or misdemeanor hazing require the assistance of a good Illinois criminal defense attorney to help them fight the charges. While hazing is sometimes hard to prove and juries have a hard time understanding it, such charges should be taken seriously, as they can ruin a student athlete’s life jeopardizing scholarship and other funding and their chance to play college or professional sports.
Although data shows that violent crimes are declining in America, this is really nothing new–the real story is that the rate of decline has slowed. In many regions, the numbers of violent events are lower, but by a smaller margin than previous years — and the ultimate violent crime is skyrocketing in some locales. Get the real facts below.
If you know you are a suspect or have been charged with a violent criminal offense, you do need a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Learn about Imhoff & Associates here and more about related DUI/DWI information.
Murder is a horrible, heinous crime. All agree to that. Prior to this week, 28 states had laws on their books that mandated to sentencing juvenile offenders to life in prison without parole.
The issue is that the justice system views juvenile offenders as too young and tender to appreciate the consequences of these crimes. In other words they cannot fully understand and comprehend their actions and the resulting circumstances that they have made because of their actions. Justice Elena Kagan, who wrote the opinion for the Supreme Court, stated “Children are different” then adult offenders when it comes to crime and punishment. The cases before the court concerned two 14-year-old boys one from Alabama and one from Arkansas.
On Mondy, June 25th, in the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision (Kagan, Bader-Ginsburg, Breyer, Kennedy & Sotomayor for the Majority and CJ Roberts, Alito, Scalia & Thomas for the Dissent), the court struck down the mandatory life sentence scheme for juvenile offenders. The Majority’s opinion shows that mandatory life sentences for juveniles are cruel and unusual punishment even if it occurred to over 2,000 US citizens (which doesn’t seem unusual) nor does it forbid life terms for youths convicted of homicide. This opinion will not release any one person from prison, or automatically grant anyone a new parole hearing. However, it does create a need to resentence a lot of juvenile offenders.
The Supreme Court followed the reasoning of Mary Barthelme whose work was instrumental in establishing the USA’s first Juvenile Court system in 1899 in Cook County, Illinois (Chicago) and other early advocates for juvenile justice. These proponents of juvenile justice come at crime and punishment for children from the angle of rehabilitation and not punishment. Punishment is still meted out for juvenile offenders; however, the focus is on making the child offender into a productive citizen and not to simply remove them from civilized society. The basic premise is that these offenders are immature and less deserving of the country’s harshest punishment.
The Supreme Court has been moving in this direction since 2005 when they struck down the death penalty for juvenile offenders. Then, two years ago the Supreme Court invalidated laws that sentenced children to life without parole for crimes that were less serious than murder.
In a justice system that deals in mandatory life sentences, the “whys” of a crime’s occurrence are not dealt with by the court, only the “hows” of the crimes are presented to the trial judge or jury. Justice Kagan in a footnote stated that life sentences can still be handed down to the most heinous of the juvenile offenders, however those sentences cannot be mandatory. The justice system must make accommodations for the juvenile offenders to present mitigation for the circumstances surrounding their crimes. That means that they can explain why these crimes occurred and not merely dispute how these crimes occurred. Judges need to consider factors such as juveniles are less culpable, less responsible for their actions and they’re immature compared to adults. Judges also need to consider the context of their homes and the environment in which they grew up.
This reasoning is in agreement with the very first proponents’ view of juvenile offenders and their crimes. Children now have a better chance of receiving a sentence that is rehabilitative in scope and not merely punishment.
For more information on the criminal defense attorneys at Imhoff & Associates, visit http://www.CriminalAttorney.com. The criminal law firm attorneys practice in Juvenile Law as well as all other areas of criminal law. Interested parties may also contact a criminal lawyer at the firm by calling 1-888-726-0574.
Imhoff & Associates Secures Release of Wrongfully Convicted Client Luis Galicia and Dismissal of Child Molestation Case
San Diego (California) – Defense Attorney Shannon Dorvall of the Imhoff & Associates Law Firm, one of the largest multi-jurisdictional criminal defense firms, escorted her client Luis Galicia into the arms of his loving family upon his release after successfully getting her client’s case dismissed by the First District Court of Appeals on November 23, 2011. Luis served four years after a trial court convicted him for sexual molestation of his sister. At the original trial, the state’s doctor testified that she believed that his sister had been forcibly raped, despite the testimony of the doctor for the defense, who stated he disagreed with the state’s evidence. Even though his sister recanted her testimony and said that the charges were not true, the trial jury convicted Luis Galicia, and the sentence handed down was two 15 to life sentences.
The family hired the Imhoff firm to file an appeal on Luis’ behalf. While awaiting the Judge’s response in the appeal case, the family took his sister to two doctors who examined her and disagreed with the state’s doctor, both stating that his sister’s hymen was intact and that she had never had sex. The Imhoff firm also filed a Writ of Habeas Corpus on Luis Galicia’s behalf with the First District Court of Appeals, who agreed to order a hearing, and the Imhoff firm was also successful in obtaining the cooperation of the San Diego District Attorney’s Office to review the new medical evidence. The District Attorney agreed to have the Children’s Hospital also review the trial photos and examine the girl, and they agreed also that she had never had sex. The District Attorney testified at the hearing that the trial evidence was nonsense. The Judge ordered the case dismissed and the release of Mr. Galicia.
The Imhoff firm believes that no family should have to endure the ordeal that the Galicia family has gone through. Unfortunately, innocent people can be accused of all sorts of crimes they have not committed. If a person is arrested or charged with a sex crime, these are serious charges and can ruin a person’s reputation and life as well as destroy their family’s lives. Imhoff & Associates believes in justice and that all persons are innocent until proved otherwise. That is why the Imhoff legal defense team vigorously defends their clients by specializing in the most innovative legal services defense strategies and treats their clients with the utmost dignity and respect. The firm’s outstanding and skilled defense attorneys work diligently and creatively to offer the highest level of service to our clients and uphold the principles and standards upon which this firm was founded by providing service to clients with members of the firm available 24/7.
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Under California Penal Code Sections 470 through 483.5, forgery is the act of knowingly and intentionally creating false documents and using them as genuine documents. Forgery involves signing someone else’s name or using a non-existent name, forging another person’s handwriting, altering, falsifying or counterfeiting documents or writing a bad check. Documents that are usually forged are checks and financial documents, wills, court judgments, medical records, driver’s licenses and lottery tickets. Forgery can be either a misdemeanor or felony in California depending on the amount that was stolen and prior convictions. Counterfeiting (other than money) is a felony and carries a two to four year California state prison sentence.
The crime of counterfeiting money including gold and silver coins and bill and passing them as genuine or making or owning counterfeiting equipment is treated as a separate federal felony offense under Title 18, Section 471 of the U.S. Code. The Secret Service or the FBI would be in charge of investigating the crime.
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor forgery, you face a one year county jail sentence and a fine up to $1,000. For a felony forgery conviction, you face a California state prison sentence of 16 months to three years. For prior felony convictions and either one or two prior strikes, your sentence will be much stiffer under the California Three Strikes Law. You may also face fines up to $10,000 for a felony forgery conviction and have to pay restitution to the victims as well as participate in a community service or labor program. Counterfeiting (other than money) is a California felony and carries a two to four year California state prison sentence. If you are arrested for writing bad checks, you may be eligible to participate in the California bad check diversion program and be required to make restitution to the victim in lieu of charges being filed against you.
Counterfeiting money under Title 18, Section 471 of the U.S. code is a felony and is punishable by a fine or imprisonment up to 15 years, or both. Forging, altering, or trafficking in U.S. government checks or bonds or other obligations is a crime under Title 18, Section 510 of the U.S. Code. You may face fines or imprisonment of up to 10 years or both.
Michelle Patton 34 and Timothy Briggs 31 were arrested on Thursday June 9, 2011, by Auburn Police. Ms. Patton was charged with suspicion of forgery, identity theft, being under the influence of narcotics and possession of narcotics paraphernalia. Briggs was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence and possession of a controlled substance. At the time of the arrest, Auburn police and the California state parole officers were conducting a parole search regarding Ms. Patton at an Auburn residence on Easy Way. California state parole offers entered the residence and detained both Ms. Patton and her friend Mr. Brigs. Parole officers and Auburn police found narcotics paraphernalia, items of identification that did not belong to Ms. Patton and forged money orders. One of the detectives recognized the forged money orders from an earlier case that had been investigated this year. The detective also noticed that Ms. Patton was showing symptoms of being under the influence of methamphetamine. Patton and Briggs are being held at the Placer County Jail.
If you are arrested for forgery or counterfeiting in California, you should hire a criminal defense attorney to defend you. The attorney can argue defenses such as lack of intent and that the alleged counterfeit or forged documents would not defraud anyone out of their rights even if they were accepted as genuine documents to get the case dismissed. The attorney may also be able to get your charges reduced to a lesser crime, or you may also be able to participate in the California bad check writing program in lieu of charges being filed against you or obtain community service or probation.
A panel consisting of 435 law enforcement and reform experts released their recommendations on March 16, 2011, after reviewing 11 problem areas of crime ranging from gangs, guns, enforcement of environment laws, school truancy, mortgage fraud, consumer protection, civil rights and victims’ rights at the request of California State Attorney General Kamala Harris. The panel has made recommendations to Attorney General Harris that she take a more active role in the rehabilitation of parolees to keep them from returning to prison. The panel believes that reducing recidivism, which was part of Attorney General Harris’ campaign promises last year, should be one of the primary functions of the California State Attorney General. The Attorney General has not indicated whether or not she will be acting upon the recommendations.
According to statistics, seven out of 10 parolees commit repeat offenses and return to prison within three years. While California spends almost double the national average on inmate incarceration costs and close to a third more than the national average on the supervision of parolees, equating to a dime out of every dollar in the state’s general fund, the expenditures are not substantially reducing recidivism. The panel concluded that it would be more cost effective for the State of California to concentrate its efforts on providing education and training for ex-convicts and by helping them find housing and jobs, which would produce much better long term results. Right now, California does not have unified rehabilitation programs among its agencies for parolees. To address this issue, the panel recommended that Attorney General Harris follow the model that several other states have by convening a state level “re-entry council”, whose function would be to coordinate services among various state agencies.
The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Cost Cutting Models
While the panel’s recommendations are a good start, budget cuts in California are making it more difficult to fund current programs. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) cost containing rehabilitation model is now using strategies such as shortening the length of in prison substance abuse treatment, using more volunteers, using long term offenders as counselors and literacy tutors and finding alternative ways to deliver educational programs. They are also using a risk assessment tool, COMPAS, to review a convict’s criminal history and other characteristics, including age, to determine their re-offend probability in order to assign them to the best program to mitigate repeat offenses. The CDCR’s policies of using the latest science and other proven techniques has helped reduce recidivism by reducing prison overcrowding and increasing the chances that offenders will be succeed after their return to society and is also saving California taxpayers money.
Other CDCR Successful Programs
The CDCR was instrumental in spearheading legislation which provided the following programs:
· Increase in inmate educational and vocational participation.
· COMPAS offender risk assessment tool.
· Prison to prison employment program which helps offenders find employment by matching prison jobs to community jobs, providing documentation necessary to secure employment prior to their release from prison such as a social security card or birth certificate, providing resumes, assisting with license applications and trade union memberships, and arranging for partnerships with the 49 Local Workforce Investment Boards (LWIB) in the State to work with CDCR parolees to help them find employment.
· Addition of 2,000 in prison substance abuse slots.
· Addition of over 300 parolee mental health slots.
· At least 2,000 re-entry beds.
In order to further improve results, the California legislature will also need to get involved by enacting new laws supporting more rehabilitation programs such as those recommended by the panel so that Governor Brown can sign them into law.
If you are facing a parole hearing, you should consult with a California criminal defense attorney who understands how the Board of Parole Hearings work and can present a written and verbal presentation on your behalf to convince the Board that you are rehabilitated and ready to return to society as a productive member of the community. The attorney can also refer you to community programs that will help you find housing and employment.
The misuse of taking or prescribing a controlled substance through misrepresentation, fraud, deceit, forgery or burglary is a crime of prescription drug fraud under California Health and Safety Code Sections 11172 through 11175, 11153 through 11157 or 11368. Often persons with drug addictions may be involved in prescription drug fraud by either purchasing or obtaining a controlled substance such as Vicodin, Oxycontin, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percodan, Ritalin and Xanax in an illegal manner in order to make money or for their own use. For instance, stealing your doctor’s prescription pad and forging your doctor’s signature in order to authorize a prescription, adjusting your doctor’s prescription by changing the quantity or dosage of the prescription, using a computer to create a false prescription or doctor shopping by using multiple doctors and pharmacies to obtain prescriptions of the same drug without each doctor’s and/or pharmacy’s knowledge are all examples of crimes of prescription drug fraud. Doctors who commit prescription drug fraud by writing prescriptions for medical purposes that are not considered legitimate or treating an addict outside professional treatment may lose their licenses, have to pay large fines and face jail time if they are convicted of prescription drug fraud.
Penalties and Fines
Prescription drug fraud may be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony offense in California, and the penalties may include state prison or county jail time, probation, fines, community service, drug counseling or rehabilitation. Doctors that are convicted of prescription drug fraud under Health and Safety Code Sections 11153 and 11154 face losing their licenses, prison time in state prison up to three years or county jail up to one year and fines not exceeding $20,000. Persons convicted under Section 11173 of doctor shopping face jail time in the county jail up to one year or up to three years in a California state prison.
According to an amended accusation filed on December 21, 2010, by the Medical Board of California, Yuba City physician Jeffrey Lawrence Phillips of North Valley Neurological Associates, 1215 Plumas St., allegedly prescribed Abien, Restoril and Naxanx for himself by using another doctor’s name. Dr. Phillips had been convicted in a Sacramento County Superior Court and sentenced to five years probation, including jail time, for Medicare and Medi-cal fraud in August 2008. At that time, he agreed to pay approximately $83,000 in restitution. During 2006 and 2008 while working for nursing homes, Phillips submitted false claims for payment and signed patients’ progress reports for patients who had died or had been discharged according to the Board’s documents. A hearing is scheduled on March 1, 2011 regarding his medical license. Dr. Phillips also provides medical marijuana evaluations under the name North Valley Wellness Center which shares the same address as the North Valley Neurological Associates. Dr. Phillips refused to talk about the allegations when asked on January 6, 2011.
In September 2009, Dr. Phillips told a Board investigator that his neighbor, physician Richard Joseph Brouette, occasionally prescribed medications for him. Dr. Brouette told investigators that he only prescribed a refill for Ambien one time, and that Phillips only became a patient in July 2010. During the time period March 2005 and January of 2010, Phillips allegedly improperly obtained 1,340 tablets of Ambien. At an evaluation in October, Phillips made false statements to a psychiatrist stating that he never used another physician’s name to authorize prescription medicine refills without that physician’s knowledge.
Parents, teachers and law enforcement officers in Santa Monica, CA are concerned about the 35 drug arrests made so far during January 2011 at Santa Monica High. The number is 17 more than the all of 2010. The majority of the arrests have been for illegal prescription drug use. Officials reported that the arrests involved students of different ages, races and ethnic backgrounds, and officials have no explanation for the increase in illegal prescription drug use. The school is focusing on educating parents to keep their medications away from their children and how to recognize the signs of drug abuse. A parent whose 14 year old daughter was arrested for taking Ecstasy suggested that the school bring in drug sniffing dogs to find the students who are selling and using drugs, but school board member Oscar de la Torre is against this practice.
If you have been arrested of a prescription drug fraud offense, you should hire a California criminal defense attorney to defend you. The attorney may be able to get your charges reduced, especially if there was entrapment involved, get the case dismissed or have your sentence reduced to rehabilitation, probation or community service.
If you possess codeine without a valid prescription, or intend to sell or transport or move codeine, you are committing a codeine drug offense crime Under California Health and Safety Code Sections 11350, 11351 and 11352. It is also illegal to possess other controlled substances such as cocaine, opiates and opiate derivatives, heroin, peyote, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (“GHB”) under California Health and Safety Code Section 11350. You face jail time and fines up to $20,000 if you are convicted of any codeine related drug offenses. If eligible, you may be able to participate in the California drug diversion program if you are charged with possession of codeine under Health and Safety Code Section 11350 or Health and Safety Code Section 11550, instead of serving time in a state prison. After successfully completing the program, you would qualify to have your drug charges dismissed.
It is also illegal and considered a misdemeanor crime if convicted for driving under the influence of codeine under Vehicle Code Section 23152a. Illegal immigrants, who are convicted of any California codeine offense, are subject to removal and deportation under U.S. Code 1227.
Penalties and Fines for Possession of Codeine Under Sections 11350 and 11550
If you are found guilty of violating California’s personal possession of codeine law under Code Section 11350, which includes possessing codeine without a valid prescription, possessing someone else’s codeine, or having codeine prescriptions which obtained from multiple California doctors without their knowledge above each prescription or possess more than the prescribed amount, you could receive 16 months to three years in the California state prison and a maximum fine of up to $20,000.
Under Section 11550 of the Health and Safety Code, if you are convicted of a misdemeanor for being under the influence of codeine or codeine mixed with another medication including Tylenol or cough syrup, you face possible jail time as well.
You may be eligible to participate in the California drug diversion program instead if you are convicted under Sections 11350 or 11550.
Penalties and Fines for Intending to Sell or Transport Codeine under Sections 11351 and 11352
If prosecutors prove you possessed or purchased codeine with the intent to sell it instead of your own personal use, this is considered a more serious crime under Section 11351, you face two to four years jail time in a California state prison and fines up to $20,000. Under Section 11352, transporting, selling or moving codeine is the most serious codeine crime. If convicted, you face three to five years jail time in a California state prison and fines up to $20,000. You are not eligible for the drug diversion program for convictions under Sections 11351 or 11352.
A Hanford police investigation, with the help of an undercover law enforcement agent disguised as a high school student, resulted in the arrests of 10 high school students ages 6 to 18 on Wednesday January 12, 2011. Charges against students range from for possession of a controlled substance for sale, conspiracy, accessory to a crime and, for some, membership in a street gang. Nine students were arrested on the Hanford West High School Campus, and one student was arrested at Hanford High campus. Police Chief Carlos Mestas of the Hanford Police Department said the use of the undercover police officer, who registered in November as a 16 year old high school student and starting attending classes at the high school, helped solve a big obstacle for police, which is getting juveniles to talk to adults about who is dealing drugs. The investigation resulted from complaints by parents and school officials in October 2010 of high school students selling drugs to other students. The undercover officer bought drugs 13 times from 10 people on and off campus, including drugs such as marijuana, Ecstasy, Vicodin, methamphetamine, codeine and other prescription drugs. According to Chief Mestas, prescription drug use by juveniles is a growing problem. He urged parents to check their prescription drug bottles for pilfering. He believes that their recent police bust is a good deterrent for students to stop selling and using drugs on campus.
If you have been charged with a California codeine drug related offense, you should contact a California criminal defense attorney immediately to defend you. The attorney may be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed by raising defenses such as mistaken identity because the codeine belonged to another person, illegal search and seizure by police or other illegal police conduct at the time of the arrest. The attorney may be able to get your into a drug diversion program under Proposition 36 or other alternative California sentencing programs or you get you probation.
Under California Penal Code Sections 470 through 483.5, any person who intends to default someone by creating a new document and signing their name which may include falsifying any record, publishing or passing it off as a true and genuine check, bond, bank bill, cashier’s check, traveler’s check, money order, note, raft, or controller’s warrant for payment of money or accepting goods is guilty of the crime of forgery in California.
California Penal Code Section 477 defines counterfeiting as making an imitation of something that is not authorized including gold or silver coins, gold dust, gold or silver bullion or bars, lumps, pieces, or nuggets, and selling, passing, giving someone payment for the counterfeit item with the intention of defrauding another person and knowing the item is counterfeit, is guilty of counterfeiting in California.
Penalties and Fines
Forgery in California is punishable by imprisonment in county jail or state prison for up to one year. If the forgery involves the willful and knowingly use of a telephone or telegraph the fine is up to $10,000.
Counterfeiting in California is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for two to four years. This includes crimes of making or knowingly having in your possession a die, plate or any other machine that is used in counterfeiting gold or silver bars, coins, pieces, nuggets or counterfeiting bank notes or bills. All such apparatus must be destroyed. Counterfeiting, forging or altering a ticket, coupon, check or passing or publishing the item in circulation is subject to a fine up to $1,000.
Los Angeles Police Department and investigators from private industries led to the seizure by LAPD of $4.06 million in counterfeit goods ranging from music CD’s and DVD’s of brand new released movies as well as purses, jerseys, sunglasses and other knock off goods. The raids started last month and ended Monday December 20, 2010. The merchandise was seized from downtown vendors and flea markets along Santee Alley, which is a favorite spot for counterfeiters to sell their goods. Authorities stated that criminal gangs were involved in the piracy activity. This was the latest in arrests by LAPD’s antipiracy team which has seized $93.8 million in illegal goods since the start of the team in 2004. Investigators estimate that counterfeit goods cost local businesses $5.2 billion in lost revenues annually and $4.4 billion in lost wages annually.
Committing forgery or fraud in California is serious. You should hire a California criminal defense attorney to represent you. The attorney will review the evidence and interview police and witnesses to see if there is enough evidence in which to convict you. The attorney will assist with getting your chargers reduced or dismissed for insufficient evidence or illegal search and seizure.
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