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Visalia Criminal Defense Law Blog

Is bullying against the law?

Your child has been accused of bullying at school. When you were a child, that just meant after-school detention and a note from the teacher. It was frowned upon, but it wasn't a serious issue in the grand scheme of things.

You need to know that bullying is being addressed far more seriously today. In fact, California passed legal statues, including the "Safe Place to Learn Act," specifically to combat bullying. This gives students more rights and makes certain actions illegal.

Why do I see so many police cars on the road right now?

It's logical that when traffic increases, so do traffic accidents. Other factors like inclement weather conditions and rush hour traffic can also affect the collision rate. But perhaps the single greatest contributor to highway accidents is drunk driving.

Statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate that in one five-year period, approximately 36 people died every day here in America in collisions involving a drunken driver. The winter holidays, a time when alcohol consumption goes through the roof, are peak times for drunk driving collisions, with the daily average jumping to 45 over Christmas. The rate then further skyrockets to 54 fatalities per day during the New Year's holidays.

A Visalia teen is found guilty for running over a father of 2

A Visalia teen, who'd allegedly struck and killed a 35-year-old Visalia man with her car this past Memorial Day weekend, has been found guilty of second degree murder for his death. The 18-year-old is now awaiting sentencing. She's facing anywhere between 25 years and a lifetime in jail.

The married decedent was a father to two young girls. Each of them testified at the defendant's trial. While on the stand, they all described how the man had was standing outside of his Prospect Avenue home shortly before the incident. They testified that he'd just finished breaking up an argument between the defendant, her boyfriend and a third man before he was struck by her car. They testified having seen the motorist put her car in reverse and then roll over the man after initially striking him as well. It's then that the man became trapped underneath the defendant's vehicle. The motorist then speedily took off all the while dragging the man down Prospect Avenue.

What do you know about veteran's courts?

As a veteran, it's possible that you could find yourself in trouble with the law at some point (just the same as anyone else).

If you are dealing with any type of substance addiction or mental illness, you may be able to have your case moved to a veteran's court. In short, this type of court is in place to address the specific challenges that many veterans face.

New legislation is signed to benefit juvenile offenders

An ongoing discussion in the Visalia, California, (Tulare and Kings counties, Central California) area is how crimes committed by minors should be handled. Attorneys handling criminal defense cases that involve minors often address the contention that crimes committed by minors should be handled. Recently, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that will ease punishment and fines for juvenile offenders.

He did so with the encouragement of a coalition of criminal justice groups, which assembled former youth offenders and celebrities in support of the legislation, which is comprised of nine bills. As a set, the bills are intended to ease punishment for people who committed crimes when they were minors. The legislation will increase parole opportunities as well, let courts seal some juvenile records, and limit the fees charged by counties to families who have children in juvenile detention facilities.

What are some of the most common juvenile crimes?

As a parent, you do whatever you can to protect your child. You want him or her to make all the right decisions, as you know that going down the wrong path can lead to trouble in the future.

No matter how hard you try, you could soon find your child in trouble with the law. There are many juvenile crimes that are more common than parents often believe. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • Possession or consumption of alcohol
  • Possession of drugs
  • Curfew violations
  • Truancy
  • Purchase of cigarettes

Are chemical drug tests accurate?

The police pull you over, claim to find illegal drugs in your car, and use a field test to examine them right there on the side of the road. The chemical -- cobalt thiocyanate -- starts out pink and then turns blue. That means, the police tell you, that the substance was cocaine. You're arrested immediately.

How accurate is that test? Is your fate really determined by a chemical that changed colors on the side of the road?

Underage DUI: a serious crime

Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious crime. This is even more the case if you are doing so as a driver who has yet to reach the age of 21.

There is a unique set of standards for anyone who is arrested for underage DUI. If you find yourself in this position, you need to learn more about your legal rights, potential consequences and defense strategies.

Things to do if you are pulled over for suspicion of DUI

Even if you have never had a sip of alcohol in your life, there is always a chance that you could be pulled over by law enforcement for suspicion of driving under the influence.

This is a big deal, as you are sure to be scared about what's to come. Despite your feelings, there are a few things you can do if you are pulled over.

  • Stay in your car. Don't get out of your vehicle to speak with the officer. Instead, pull your car to the side of the road and stay put until directed otherwise.
  • Be polite. As tempted as you may be to fight back, there is no point in doing so. Being polite will work in your favor.
  • Follow directions. While you want to follow directions, this doesn't mean you have to incriminate yourself. You have the right to remain silent if you so desire.
  • Stick to the facts. You don't have to explain what type of drinks you consumed or if you think you are drunk.
  • Remain calm. This is easier said than done, but it's important to stay cool and calm after being pulled over for suspicion of DUI.

A minor in possession: Things you need to know

Minor in possession laws are in place to protect minors against the possession of alcohol and drugs. With these laws, it doesn't matter if the person was actually using the substance. Instead, they are all about the actual possession.

Minor in possession laws are in place to do the following:

  • Educate minors about the risks of drinking alcohol and using drugs
  • Help minors receive treatment, if needed
  • Get minors involved in community service

Contact The Law Offices of Derek P. Wisehart

Law Offices of Derek P. Wisehart
2330 W. Main St.
Visalia, CA 93291

Toll Free: 800-742-6392
Phone: 559-429-5630
Fax: 559-636-9476
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