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Jodi Arias’ defense attorneys filed a motion for a mistrial after a witness and longtime childhood friend of Arias, Patricia Womack, told defense attorneys that she was withdrawing her offer to testify because she was being threatened. Ms. Arias’ Criminal Defense Attorneys Kirk Nurmi and Co-counsel Jennifer Willmott also filed a motion to withdraw, which may be explained by the fact that there is a conflict between them and their client. Defense attorneys are arguing to save Arias’ life after a jury found her guilty on May 8, 2013 of first degree murder of her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander. However, Arias gave an interview to KSAX-TV right after her conviction stating “she preferred death over life in prison.” Judge Sherry Stephens denied both motions at the hearing on Monday May 18, 2013.
Thirty year old Alexander was found dead in his Mesa Arizona home in 2008, with a gun shot in the head, stabbed nearly 30 times and his throat slit. Arias, 32, said she killed Alexander, her secret lover, in self-defense. During the four month trial, Arias’ defense team argued that Travis Alexander was a sexual deviant and womanizer who forced Arias to act in self-defense in his death. After more than 15 hours of deliberation, the jury reached a verdict indicating that it rejected the self-defense claim and the defense psychologist Richard Samuels’ diagnosis that Arias suffered from PTSD and acute stress disorder.
The jury that convicted Arias declared that she was eligible for the death penalty. Arias is expected to testify at her sentencing hearing this week. Her testimony could depend on whether the jury will decide to impose the death penalty or life in prison for the death of Alexander. Alexander’s family testified in open court about the emotional devastation the murder has caused them. Darryl Brewer, an ex-boyfriend of Arias, is expected to testify on her behalf at the sentencing hearing and may be her only witness if family or other friends do not decide to testify.
Judge Sherry Stephens instructed jurors they could consider a number of mitigating facts when deciding what sentence to impose such as Arias’ character, background, lack of a prior criminal record, abusive childhood and that she is a talented artist. Under Arizona law, if the jury cannot reach a unanimous decision on sentencing, they will be dismissed and a new jury would be selected to hear arguments and determine the sentence. If the second jury panel is unable to reach a decision, then it would be up to the Judge to impose the sentence.
The jury began its third day of deliberations on whether to sentence the defendant to death. There is a possibility that prosecutors may retry the penalty phase of the case if the jury is deadlocked. The district attorney’s office of Maricopa County, Arizona will have to weigh whether the time and resources of finding a new jury, setting new court dates, and trying to reach a death sentence, which could take months, are a good option if the jury can’t reach a unanimous decision.
Fighting Arizona Murder Charges
In Arizona, a murder conviction could mean long prison sentences including life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty, fines and having to pay restitution to the victim’s family. If you are facing Arizona charges of murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree, manslaughter, aggravated assault or other related offenses, the assistance of an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney is necessary to help you fight these serious charges. The attorney will be able to raise strong defenses on your behalf such as self-defense, defense of others, accident, not guilty by reason of insanity, diminished capacity, negligence and other defenses to try and get your charges reduced to a lesser crime, get you a plea bargain or get the case dismissed.
Government authorities have apprehended and charged 19 year old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the suspects in the Boston marathon bombings, which took place on Monday April 15, 2013. The suspect was taken to an area hospital where he is recovering from gunshot wounds to his head, neck, legs and hand. The other suspect, 26 year old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and the older brother of suspect Dzhorkhar Tasrnaev, was killed in a gun battle between police on Thursday April 18, 2013, in Watertown after police found a car stolen earlier in the evening by the suspects during a carjacking. The man whose car had been carjacked told police that the suspects forced him to withdraw money from an ATM. He was later able to escape when the suspects stopped for gas.
Authorities were able to identify the suspects through security cameras with video and still images, which showed the two brothers carrying and placing two backpacks near the finish line of the Boston Marathon race containing pressure cooker bombs that exploded through the crowd, killing three people and wounding more than 200, many of whom lost limbs and some whom are still being treated at area hospitals. Authorities have decided to use the “public safety exception instead of giving Dzhokhar his Miranda rights in order to question and obtain information from him as to the motives and whether others were involved. According to government officials, although the suspect is unable to speak as the result of a wound to his throat, he communicated to investigators that he and his brother acted alone and that they learned how to make bombs on the Internet. A 10 page complaint has been filed charging Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with two federal charges – conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property with an explosive device and could face the death penalty.
A lawyer for the widow of deceased suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, says she knew nothing about her husband’s involvement in the bombings until she learned about it on television like everyone else. FBI investigators visited the lawyer at her parent’s home in Rhode Island on Sunday, April 21, 2013. Investigators are looking into possible motives and whether the brothers had ties to Islamic terror cells. Of particular interest to investigators is a sixth month period that Tamerlan Tsarnaev spent in a predominately Muslim province of Dagestan and Chechnya to determine if he may have been radicalized by militants in the area.
Facing Terrorist Charges
After 911, federal and Massachusetts laws and penalties have become stricter regarding acts of terrorism in the United States. Law enforcement agencies have been working together to stop terrorism plots and activities and prosecutors are vigorously prosecuting those accused of committing terrorist acts.
If convicted of a crime of terrorism such as using weapons of mass destruction, you could face life in prison without parole or the death sentence when victims are massacred such as in the case of the Boston Marathon bombings. Even if you did not commit a terrorist act, you could still be charged with related charges of aiding a known terrorist or hindering a prosecution resulting in jail time and/or other penalties or fines. If you believe that you are the target of an investigation relating to a terrorist act or you have been charged with terrorism or related offenses, these are serious charges that require the representation of an experienced and skilled criminal defense attorney
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.
Storage Wars Star Charged With Drug Charges
Forty year old Mark Balelo, A & E’s Storage Wars star, was found dead of an apparent suicide a few days after his arrest for a drug-related offense on Saturday February 11, 2013. Balelo was arrested at his place of business for possessing a controlled substance, and was due in court on February 19th. After his release from jail, and apparently feeling distraught, he called his fiancée and told her he was afraid of hurting himself. She met him at his office on Sunday evening February 12, 2013, and left after a few hours later because he seemed better. An employee found his body on Monday, February 13th. Balelo apparently died from carbon monoxide poisoning after leaving his car running in the garage of his auction house located in Simi Valley. An autopsy has been scheduled.
Balelo became known as “Rico Suave” on the Storage Wars because he dressed in flashy attire at auctions he attended. He also made headlines in 2011 when he assisted Nicolas Cage with the retrieval of a rare 1938 comic book valued at $1 million regarding Superman’s debut that was stolen from Cage’s home.
Facing Drug Charges in Los Angeles
Drug crimes are one of the most prosecuted offenses in Los Angeles. Drug crimes are prosecuted on both the state and federal level. Los Angeles drug crimes may include possession, sale, distribution, trafficking or manufacturing. Controlled substances include a variety of illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, ecstasy (X), Methamphetamine or crystal meth as well as prescription drug painkillers including Oxycontin, Vicodin, Hydrocodone or ADD drugs including Aderall, Ritalin, Concerta.
Marijuana possession, distribution, cultivation and transportation that does not fall under the California medical marijuana laws is illegal. Possession of under an ounce of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor or an infraction and more than an ounce is considered a felony under California Health and Safety Code Section 11357.
You could face a minimum 90 day to one year jail sentence for a misdemeanor drug crime and between three and five years or more prison time for a felony drug crime in Los Angeles. However, a majority of people arrested for simple misdemeanor drug offenses and some felony drug possession offenses may be eligible for alternative sentencing under California Prop 36 or drug diversion and may be able to avoid jail time or get their case dismissed.
Los Angeles Drug Attorney
If you or a loved one are facing drug charges in Los Angeles or the surrounding area, you should hire a good criminal defense drug attorney to help you fight the charges. At Imhoff & Associates-Criminal Attorneys, we have years of experience defending hundreds of clients facing a variety of drug charges. We will thoroughly investigate all the evidence the prosecution has against you to make sure that your constitutional rights were not violated when the police searched you, your home, business or car resulting in the seizure of drugs and drug charges being filed against you. Your criminal defense drug attorney will vigorously defend you to get your charges reduced to a lesser crime, get you alternative sentencing under Prop 36 or drug diversion or get your case dropped if available with your case details.
Pro-Christian Activist Lawyer Arrested for Juvenile Sexual Criminal Activity
Lisa Biron, a New Hampshire lawyer, who was arrested by the FBI in November 2012 and charged with transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, possession of child pornography and five counts of sexual exploitation of children, has been found guilty by a jury on January 10, 2013. She faces a 25 year sentence.
What lead to her arrest was a tip that Manchester police received from a man who reported he saw pornography on Lisa Biron’s computer. After obtaining a search warrant for her home, police found pornographic materials on her computer, which included pedophilia. Prosecutors allege that Biron took a teenage girl from Manchester to Ontario, Canada, on May 25 and forced her to engage in sexual acts with men, while Biron made a video recording. It turned out later that the girl was Ms. Biron’s 14 year old daughter. Biron also videotaped herself having sex with her daughter.
Two witnesses also claimed they had seen Biron in possession of illegal drugs including cocaine, ecstasy, and marijuana, as well as being involved in similar incidents with other juveniles who have been subjected to having sex.
Ms. Biron is part of an anti-gay Christian lawyers’ movement and pro-Christian activist. She is also on the board of directors at Mount Zion Christian School in Manchester.
Child Pornography and Related Penalties and Sentences
Under Section 649-B:3, computer child pornography is prohibited in New Hampshire.
“I. No person shall knowingly:
(a) Compile, enter into, or transmit by means of computer;
(b) Make, print, publish, or reproduce by other computerized means;
(c) Cause or allow to be entered into or transmitted by means of computer; or
(d) Buy, sell, receive, exchange, or disseminate by means of computer, any notice, statement, or advertisement, or any minor’s name, telephone number, place of residence, physical characteristics, or other descriptive or identifying information,
for purposes of facilitating, encouraging, offering, or soliciting sexual conduct of or with any child, or the visual depiction of such conduct.”
Any person who violates this section can be charged with a Class B felony.
Under Section 649-A:3 possession of child sexual abuse images is illegal.
“ I. No person shall knowingly:
(a) Buy, procure, possess, or control any visual representation of a child engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or
(b) Bring or cause to be brought into this state any visual representation of a child engaging in sexually explicit conduct.”
Any person who violates this section can be charged with a Class A felony offense.
Prosecutors in New Hampshire take child pornography and sex crimes involving minors quite serious. The laws are strict. If you are convicted for child pornography or other sexual offenses involving minors in New Hampshire, you are subject to prison time, fines and having to register as a sex offender. It may be difficult for you to find a job or housing once you have served your sentence.
Hiring a New Hampshire Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are charged with a child sex abuse, child pornography or other sex crimes in New Hampshire, it is extremely important to hire a New Hampshire criminal defense attorney immediately to represent you. Your criminal defense attorney will carefully review all the evidence against you, hire expert witnesses to testify at trial and mount a vigorous defense on your behalf. Your attorney will negotiate with the prosecutor to try to get your charges reduced to a lesser crime so you don’t have to register as a sex offender, get you alternative sentencing or get the case closed for lack of sufficient evidence or because false allegations were brought against you if case details allow.
Florida felony possession of weapon on school grounds.
Two juveniles have been arrested in Clearwater, Florida in connection with bringing a concealed weapon on Clearwater High School grounds. One juvenile, aged 15 was arrested on a felony charge of carrying a concealed weapon on school grounds after a student reported to a school resource officer that they saw the juvenile carrying a gun with him in class. The officer removed the suspect from class and confiscated an unloaded .380 firearm and also found ammunition. A second arrest was also made on Tuesday, September 18, 2012, at the Clearwater High School campus. Another juvenile male, 14, was charged with felony possession of a firearm on school grounds. According to Clearwater Police, the second minor had possession of the gun prior to giving it to the first minor, although it is unclear why the gun was brought to the school in the first place.
Under Florida Statute 790.115(2) possession of a weapon on school grounds is illegal and considered a third degree felony. Section 790.115(2) provides that, “a person shall not possess any firearm, electric weapon or device, destructive device, or other weapon as defined in s. 790.001(13), including a razor blade or box cutter, except as authorized in support of school-sanctioned activities, at a school-sponsored event or on the property of any school, school bus, or school bus stop.” Possession of a pocket knife is not a crime according to a recent ruling by the 4th District Court of Appeal in the R.H. v. State case.
If you are under the age of 18, and you are facing felony possession of a weapons charge on school grounds, you will be charged as a juvenile, and your case will be sent to juvenile court. You could face a maximum of five years in prison. Penalties are enhanced if you are a habitual offender, and you could face 10 years in prison.
Hire a Florida Criminal Defense Attorney
Being charged with a third degree felony in Florida is serious. It is recommended that you seek legal advice immediately. At Imhoff & Associates-Criminal Attorneys, we have years of experience representing juvenile (under age / minor) defendants charged with misdemeanor and felony crimes. We understand the serious impact a felony conviction can have on someone’s life. We are committed to vigorously defending our clients by building strong defenses on your behalf. Your Imhoff Florida criminal defense attorney will investigate the evidence against you, talk to witnesses, hire experts and negotiate with the prosecutor to get your charges reduced to a lesser crime or get the case closed.
In California, you could be charged with a misdemeanor DUI under Vehicle Code Section 23152 or a DUI felony under Vehicle Code Section 23153 if you are driving under the influence and cause an accident and injure another person. For more serious crimes involving the death of another person while driving a vehicle under the influence, you should be charged with vehicular manslaughter under Vehicle Code Sections 191.5 and 192. California has very complex DUI penalties and takes DUI crimes quite seriously. Penalties are enhanced for prior driving convictions, when a minor child under 14 years of age is in the car at the time of the violation, when speeding occurs, when your BAC is over .08% or you refuse to take the chemical test.
For a first offense DUI with a BAC over .08%, your driver’s license may be suspended for four months at the time of your arrest or up to one year if you refuse to take a chemical test. If you are under 21 years of age with a BAC of .01% or more, your license will be suspended automatically for one year. For a second offense DUI conviction, you could receive a one year suspension of your license and a two year suspension if you receive to take a chemical test. You could face jail sentences from 96 hours to three years and fines up to $1,600, and also be required to complete a driving under the influence program, and have to pay for the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your vehicle, as well as being required to obtain SR22 (California Proof of Insurance Certificate) car insurance. A conviction of three or more DUI’s within 10 years and a BAC of .08% or more is considered a felony crime.
Actress Lindsay Lohan’s ex-lover, Samantha Ronson, was arrested for a DUI on Monday August 1, 2011, around 10:30 a.m. in Baker, California. Police officers stopped her for speeding because she was driving 19 miles over the posted speed limit of 70 miles per hour. Police suspected after she was pulled over that she was under the influence. She was given a balance test which revealed indications of intoxication. Police arrested Ronson after she refused a breathalyzer test. It has been reported that at the police station she tested over the legal limit. Ronson did admit she had been drinking alcohol earlier, and claimed that she had been drinking late the previous evening and that she was on her way home from Las Vegas. She was released on Monday. Lohan has also been in the news the past couple year’s over her drug, alcohol and shoplifting cases.
If you are arrested in California for DUI, you should hire a California criminal defense attorney immediately. The attorney can investigate the police report to make sure the police had cause to stop you, and determine whether they have sufficient evidence to charge you. The attorney can argue that the search and seizure was illegal and try and get the case dismissed. Also, if the police failed to properly give you your Miranda rights, the attorney may be able to argue that your constitutional rights were violated and get the charges dropped. Another defense that the attorney may assert is that you were speeding. A skilled California criminal defense attorney may be able to get you probation or get you into a drug and alcohol counseling and treatment program in lieu of jail time.
The crime of kidnapping in Massachusetts is a serious felony offense. Chapter 265, Section 26 of the Massachusetts Statutes provides that anyone who forcibly or secretly confines, kidnaps or imprisons another person against the person’s will within the Commonwealth or forcibly carries or sends such person outside of the Commonwealth with either the intent to secretly confine or imprison that person, faces imprisonment in the state prison of not more than 10 years or a fine of not more than $1,000 and imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 2 years. If a firearm, gun or assault weapon is involved in the crime, the punishment is confinement in state prison for not less than 10 years or in a house of correction for not more than 2 ½ years. The firearm provision does not apply to a parent of a child under 18 who takes custody of the child.
If the kidnapping crime is committed in connection with the intent to extort money, the punishment is life in prison or any term of years in the state prison, unless a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or assault weapon are used, then the punishment is life or for any term of years, but not less than 20 years in the state prison. When someone is armed with a dangerous weapon and inflicts serious bodily injury or sexually assaults the confined or kidnapped person, the punishment is imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 25 years. Bodily injury is defined under the statute as “permanent disfigurement, protracted loss or impairment of a bodily function, limb or organ or substantial risk of death”.
When the kidnap or confinement offense involves a child under 16 who is taken against his or her will within the Commonwealth or forcibly carried or sent out the Commonwealth either with the intent to secretly confine or imprison the child, the crime is punishment by not more than 15 years in state prison. This provision does not apply to a parent who takes custody of a child under 16 years of age.
Two Worcester men were accused of stealing a 2002 Toyota Sienna on July 12, 2010 from a Gulf gas station 185 Madison St. with two sleeping children in the back seat while the driver was in the gas station. Police were called and within minutes found the van parked at the corner of Lafayette and Scott with the two children in the vehicle unharmed. Witnesses gave police a description of the two men. Jaime Collazo, 36, was then arrested shortly thereafter hiding on a third floor porch and charged with two counts of Massachusetts kidnapping and trespassing. The other defendant, Christopher Colecchi, 28, was also accused of stealing another car after the incident and was pursued by the police on the I-290 in a high speed chase and then by foot after he crashed the vehicle. Colecchi was charged with two counts of Massachusetts kidnapping, operating a vehicle as to endanger, receiving a stolen motor vehicle, leaving the scene of property damage, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, and possession of Class B substance. Colecchi’s defense attorney says his client told him that whoever took the first vehicle got out as soon as they discovered the children were in the vehicle. Jaime Collazo, 36 was also arrested hiding on a third floor porch and charged with two counts of kidnapping and trespassing. Collazo’s defense attorney said the suspects had no intention to kidnap anyone, and that the van was stopped when the suspects noticed the children inside.
If you have been arrested for a kidnapping or related offense in Massachusetts, you should hire a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney immediately to defend you. These are serious charges, and you could face long prison sentences and other penalties, including fines. The attorney may be able to argue that there was insufficient evidence in your kidnapping case, or the alleged crime against you was one of mistaken identity or a misunderstanding or the alleged victim that was taken voluntarily consented to go with you to get the case dismissed or reduced to lesser charges.
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