On the evening of Saturday October 25, 23-year-old Herbert Granados Calderon of Santa Ana was driving southbound and allegedly ran a red light, resulting in a tragic accident. As Calderon went through the red light at Central Avenue and Bristol Street, he broadsided a Honda which caused the Honda to collide with a pickup truck. One person was left dead and five were injured, according to a news article at KTLA 5. traffic-lights-1227798-m

18-year-old Robert Rubio, a passenger in the Honda, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Two other passengers in the Honda as well as Calderon and three of his passengers were injured. Passengers of Calderon’s vehicle sustained only minor injuries.

It was found by police that Calderon was driving with a suspended license; he was also arrested on charges of DUI and vehicular manslaughter. Calderon’s license had been suspended previously for DUI, according to a Santa Ana Police Department news release.

This is one example of why anyone whose driver’s license has been suspended should adhere to the law and avoid driving. As Michigan driver’s license reinstatement attorneys, we understand it is hard to resist getting behind the wheel, even if it’s just long enough to run to the corner gas station. Having your driving privilege taken away is one of the toughest things you can endure. However, had this young man not been driving on a suspended license, he would have been drinking somewhere else and not been on the road. Now, many lives have been affected, and one family has lost an 18-year-old son.

Calderon will now likely face time in prison and other penalties, something he never expected when he headed out that evening to drive with a suspended license. No one expects to get caught when driving on a suspended license, but you never know who may crash into you or what else may happen that could get you caught, such as getting pulled over for a brake or tail light that isn’t working. Don’t risk it!

If your license has been suspended, work with an experienced and capable Michigan driver’s license restoration lawyer who is skilled and knowledgeable in the complex reinstatement process.

Halloween was once upon a time a safe holiday; today, the dangers lurk around every corner. Whether you’re a parent whose children will be out and about this Halloween Friday, or a motorist who wants to avoid a potentially tragic accident, we have a few safety tips that we thought you may find useful.

Our unofficial firm mascot, Waldo, wishes everyone a happy and safe Halloween!

For Children and Parents

For children who are going door-to-door trick or treating, wear a bright or reflective costume. A dark costume with no reflective tape is hard or even impossible for motorists to see, which puts you at risk of getting hit by a car.

Unless parents are with the children, they should never go to the door of someone they don’t know. Unfortunately, we have dangerous people in our world today, including child predators. Stick to the homes of those neighbors you know and trust, and never go inside someone’s home.

Avoid eating candy or treats until you get home and can take a good look at it. Better yet, parents should take a close look at treats before children eat them.

Stick to roads that are well-lit, and walk on the sidewalk if there is one to avoid being struck by a car. If there is no sidewalk, stay far to the side of the road and walk facing traffic.

Before crossing the street, take off your mask so that you have clear vision. Then look left, right, and left again before crossing.

Be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you get a strange feeling that someone is following you or feel threatened, call police or parents from the nearest gas station, restaurant, or other place where people are present.

Avoid taking shortcuts through a parking lot, alley way, or other dark or isolated area off the beaten path.

For parents not going with older children, set a curfew. You can prevent much worry by telling your older children to be home at a certain time, whether they are trick-or-treating or going to a Halloween party at a friend’s house or the church.

Halloween Safety Tips for Motorists

Drive slowly, and with extreme caution. Children may dart from between cars parked along the side of the road, or run out in front of you suddenly. Be alert!

Expect the unexpected. On Halloween night, you never know where a “ghoul” or bicycle is going to come from, and you cannot predict the direction a young child or even a teenager may take. Drive defensively.

Be particularly careful and aware of children walking on the sides of roadways if no sidewalks are available in the area.

Look in every direction several times when pulling in or backing out of a driveway or alley.

Whatever you do, don’t drink and drive. Alcohol and driving are never a good mix, and the situation becomes even more serious when children, bicycles, and pedestrians are present. Not only could you be arrested for DUI, you could be arrested for DUI causing great bodily injury if you hit someone and left them injured.

Halloween should be a fun time for children as well as adults who enjoy dressing up and going out to a party. Make sure your ghosts and goblins stay safe Friday and take extra precautions, and it will be a fun holiday for everyone involved.

In August of this year, Michael Horton, a former teacher’s aide, was found guilty of first-degree sodomy in a Madison County court. Horton’s attorney asked for a pre-sentencing investigation immediately, as Horton and his family sat in disbelief, looking shocked at the jury’s verdict. Horton allegedly sexually abused a child who was in his care in 2008, and was arrested in 2009. shutterstock_1360528

Although it took the jury two days to come to a decision, that decision was not easily made. According to a news article at WHNT News 19, the jurors told Judge Dennis O’Dell on Friday morning that they could not reach a verdict, that they were “stuck.” The case had been handed over to the jury on Wednesday afternoon. Judge O’Dell told the jurors to continue deliberating, and to do their best and “be fair.”

Horton’s defense lawyers said that the “story” was made up by the alleged victim’s family, and that their client is innocent. It took the case years to finally get to court, as various issues kept coming up. At one time, the victim would not cooperate, then changed course a few days later.

Horton is now appealing his conviction after being sentenced to 15 years in prison. He formerly worked as a teacher’s aide at Huntsville City Schools.

For Michigan criminal appeals attorneys, one thing is clear in this case – the evidence against Horton was not overwhelming or compelling enough for all 12 jurors to reach the same conclusion without much debate. In matters involving children and allegations of sexual abuse, it is often difficult to know whether the allegations are true, or the child is telling a story concocted by other family members. These types of situations are particularly delicate, and often put innocent people’s freedom and reputations in jeopardy.

Appealing a conviction is not an easy process, and winning is even more difficult. While appeals courts do overturn convictions, it is rare. If you are considering an appeal, your top priority should be finding a Michigan criminal appeals lawyer who is experienced and highly knowledgeable in the appeals process.

Recently, a Lawton man was arrested after being pulled over by police for multiple traffic violations while he was driving a John Deere riding lawn mower. The 36-year-old man was pulling a trailer behind the lawn mower as he drove north on CR 657 near 60th Avenue in Antwerp Township, according to news articles at Fox 17. The incident occurred at approximately 9 p.m. deere-john-1-810098-m

Police pulled the man over because there were no lights or reflective material on the homemade trailer. The man had attached flashlights to the front of the lawn mower as headlights. Upon pulling the lawn mower over, police suspected the man was intoxicated. He was arrested for drunk driving, his third DUI offense.

While this incident is a bit humorous, it could have ended tragically if someone did not see the mower and trailer and crashed into the back of it. At one point, officers noticed an oncoming car and shined their flashlights on the back of the trailer so the oncoming motorist could see it and avoid a collision.

Being charged with a third DUI is no laughing matter, regardless of the type of vehicle or equipment an individual is operating at the time. A third DUI is a felony in the state of Michigan. If convicted, the unnamed man could face severe penalties including up to five years in prison, probation for up to one year, fines of up to $5,000, community service, driver’s license suspension for up to five years, vehicle forfeiture, and more.

Other than getting the charges dismissed, those facing DUI charges basically have two options: Go to court and fight the charge after pleading not guilty, or pleading guilty or no contest. For first-time offenders, a plea bargain may be an attractive option. When a defendant pleads guilty or no contest, he/she accepts the sanctions of the court. Ultimately, it is important to work with an experienced Michigan DUI defense lawyer who can help the defendant understand the options and determine the best course of legal action. A defense attorney’s top priority is to prevent a conviction and help the defendant avoid jail time and other damaging repercussions.

Regardless of whether it is your first DUI or third, it is critical to obtain the legal guidance and support of a capable and aggressive criminal defense attorney.

Recently, a Huntington Beach area homeless man was arrested after it was suspected he was selling heroin from the Simi Valley Library, according to a news article at the LA Times. Bradley Bates was arrested on suspicion of narcotics for sale after he allegedly posed as a library patron, selling heroin to his customers both in the parking lot, and inside the library. old-books-2-985125-m

In a news release, Simi Valley Police said that a narcotics related felony warrant had been issued for Bates’ arrest previously. Upon being taken into custody by authorities, it was discovered that Bates had more than $1,500 on his person in addition to 6 grams of heroin. Police allegedly witnessed Bates dealing heroin to customers inside the library while he was posing as a patron.

Detectives were investigating complaints of drug sales occurring inside the library when they caught Bates in the act.

In Michigan, heroin possession with intent to deliver is a very serious criminal offense. Those who are found to be in possession of less than 50 grams and who are convicted of selling or distributing the drug will face penalties that include up to 20 years in prison along with fines of as much as $25,000. Larger amounts result in criminal penalties that are even harsher.

Individuals who are under investigation for selling or distributing narcotic drugs must consult with a highly capable Michigan drug crime attorney as soon as possible. It is important that you do not wait until you have been arrested; early action is key in building a solid, effective defense. While preventing a conviction or having charges dismissed is a first priority, there are other legal options which may also be explored in order to obtain the best possible results. A conviction will not only result in harsh penalties, but a permanent criminal record and damage to your career, reputation, and relationships. Those suspected of engaging in criminal activity involving drugs are vigorously prosecuted; you must secure quality legal counsel.

Last week, Murrieta Mayor Alan Long stepped down from his position after he was arrested the week prior on suspicion of drunken driving following an accident that resulted in four teenagers sustaining injuries, according to a news report at Reuters. Long, who is 44 years old, also resigned from his position as a city council member, although he announced he will seek a seat for the next term in the November 4 election. refreshing-mojito-1287429-m

The accident occurred when Long’s vehicle struck the back of a car stopped at an intersection, according to police. Four cheerleaders age 14 to 17 were inside the vehicle that was rear-ended; all four were injured.

Police said that Long’s blood alcohol level was .07 when he took a breath test, which is under the state’s legal limit of .08, however he failed field sobriety tests and “seemed” by police to be impaired. Long said that he resigned to avoid “even one hint of impropriety” during the legal process, however he fully expects to be exonerated of wrongdoing in regards to the drunken driving arrest. He did apologize for the accident that left the cheerleaders injured.

Long is scheduled to appear in court on the charges on December 11. He was arrested on suspicion of causing injury while driving under the influence.

The above incident is a perfect example of how even being accused of DUI can impact a person’s career. While Long’s blood alcohol content was below the legal limit, he did not pass the field sobriety test. To Michigan DUI defense attorneys, this is really no surprise. Whether an individual passes a field sobriety test is totally up to the opinion of the police officer who administers the test. Truthfully, it is difficult for many sober individuals to pass these tests, which include standing on one foot, walking toe-to-heel in a straight line, and more.

It is very unfortunate that four teenage girls were injured, however the accident certainly may have been due to factors other than drunken driving, considering Long’s breath test result.

Not only may someone’s career and reputation be negatively impacted by a DUI arrest, the criminal penalties for a conviction are also serious and may include jail time, fines, driver’s license suspension, community service, and more. If you have been arrested or charged with driving under the influence, contact a capable and experienced Michigan DUI lawyer immediately to ensure your legal rights are protected, and the best possible outcome achieved.

Recently, a Village of Tall Trees woman was arrested after it was determined her driver’s license had been suspended three times. According to an article at the Village News, 37-year-old Stacey Lynn Walker was arrested on Friday evening after someone notified the sheriff’s office regarding a suspicious vehicle. cruising-1430324-m

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office responded to the report, and after driving in the vicinity of County Road 462 and NE Second Drive, located the vehicle. A deputy noticed that the driver of the vehicle and a passenger were not wearing seatbelts. After pulling the vehicle over, the deputy found that Walker’s driver’s license had been suspended three times. She was taken to the Sumter County Detention Center.

While it is not known why Walker’s license had been suspended three times, driving on a suspended license is serious. In the state of Michigan, someone’s driver’s license may be suspended due to non-payment of child support, outstanding traffic tickets, a drug conviction, DUI, or for other reasons.

A suspension generally has a defined “from” and “through” date. For example, if someone’s license is suspended for 30 days, once that 30 days has come to pass he or she simply pays a reinstatement fee to the Michigan Secretary of State’s office and has his or her driving privilege restored. However, this is not typically the case when someone’s license has been suspended due to driving under the influence. In these situations, having a suspended license reinstated can be much more complicated. In fact, individuals whose driver’s licenses are suspended or revoked because of DUI or OWI charges will need the legal guidance and support of an experienced Michigan driver’s license reinstatement attorney, as it may be necessary to request a hearing with the DLAD.

It is never a good idea to drive on a suspended license. There may be reasons why you cannot get your license restored, such as lack of money, but driving on a suspended license will result in your license being suspended for an even longer period of time if you get caught, along with other repercussions. In Michigan, an individual’s driver’s license may also be suspended indefinitely, which means there is no “from” and “through” date. Until action is taken, the license will remain suspended.

Regardless of your situation, speak with a highly qualified Michigan driver’s license restoration lawyer to learn more about how you can get back on the road legally.

In September, Columbus Jones requested that the Ohio Supreme Court allow him to file an appeal in connection with his 2011 murder conviction for allegedly firing a gun at a fraternity house which resulted in the death of one man and injury of others who were present. The court denied the motion due to the fact that months have passed since Jones’ conviction was affirmed by the 7th District Court of Appeals. just-printed-1408010-m

Jones was sentenced to 92 years to life in prison following his conviction. In February of 2011, a commotion broke out on a dance floor that ended with the death of Jamail Johnson and several others being injured after more than 20 shots from two different guns were fired toward a fraternity house. Eyewitness testimony and other evidence resulting in Jones being convicted, however he maintains that he was not the shooter, and the evidence is not credible.

In appealing his conviction to the Ohio Supreme Court, Jones wrote that he was not properly notified by his legal counsel of the process. Jones allegedly was not aware that as the months went by, his time period in which to appeal ran out. He claims the lapse was brought to his attention by an inmate clerk working in a prison legal library.

Ultimately, Jones’ motion for a delayed appeal for his conviction in connection with the murder of the Youngstown State University student was denied.

While it is rare, there are occasions on which innocent people are found guilty of violent or heinous crimes including murder. In our country, those charged with any crime, regardless of its severity, are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. However, because those in the criminal justice system are human, mistakes can be made. A juror may be biased, a judge may not properly instruct a jury, or a prosecutor may introduce evidence that should not have been allowed. Regardless, when someone is convicted of a crime, it is possible to appeal the conviction or sentence. You ultimately have another chance to right the wrong that was done to you.

If you have been wrongly convicted of a crime or feel your sentence was unjust, contact a capable and experienced Michigan criminal appeals attorney who will review your case and determine if you may have solid grounds for appeal.

On Saturday, October 18, Scott County Sheriff’s Department deputies went to the Benton, Missouri residence of a couple for a follow-up investigation on a domestic disturbance, according to a news article at the Southeast Missourian. What they found at the home of Russell and Connie Turner were drugs and drug paraphernalia, which resulted in both of the Turners’ arrest for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. krankenhaus-1303353-m

Connie Turner, 40, signed a consent-to-search form presented by the deputies; Russell Turner, who is 50, was asked to give consent to search the residence and did so. In the search of the home, deputies discovered drug paraphernalia. Methamphetamine residue was also detected when a field test was performed on the items. Connie Turner admitted to using meth, although her husband denied it. A urine test that Russell Turner later submitted to indicated the presence of methamphetamine in his system. Both of the Turners were taken to the Scott County Jail, where each was given a $750 cash only bond.

In Missouri, the maximum sentence for a conviction of possession of methamphetamine is 7 years in prison and fines of up to $5,000. Even possession of illegal drugs is serious, and may leave those accused facing harsh criminal penalties.

With every criminal case, the penalties for those convicted will depend on certain factors including the defendant’s criminal history. In Michigan, possession of meth will leave the accused facing fines of up to $15,000 and a maximum of 10 years in prison if found guilty. In drug cases, the amount of drug involved is often a factor in determining the punishment. It is important to note than when a significant amount of a substance such as meth, cocaine, or heroin is found by investigators, prosecutors may attempt to charge you with possession with intent to distribute, a more serious charge.

Regardless of your situation, the most important step you can take is to contact a skilled Michigan drug crime attorney. No matter what the circumstances of your case are, you are innocent until proven guilty. Your lawyer will work to protect your legal rights and freedom, and obtain positive results.

Recently, a 10-year-old boy lost his life in a crash in which the driver of one of the vehicles involved was believed to be under the influence. A multi-vehicle crash occurred in Anaheim after a pickup truck plowed into the back of a Toyota Camry that was stopped at a red light. The impact of the crash caused the Camry to strike a third vehicle. crash-car-748825-m

10-year-old Rafael Ramirez lost his life in the crash, while four of his family members were reportedly in critical condition. The crash, which happened on Saturday evening just before midnight, left five people injured and one dead all total, including the driver of the third vehicle. Gary S. Hunt, driver of the pickup truck that crashed into the back of the Camry, was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Hunt was apparently not injured in the crash, as he was transported away in a police cruiser after officers placed him in handcuffs.

Michigan DUI defense attorneys know that many people operate their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs; fortunately, most are not involved in accidents that take the lives of innocent young children.

Driving under the influence is a serious offense, however we are all human and we make mistakes. There are some situations in which an innocent individual may be charged with DUI, because of a malfunction of equipment used in breath tests, or even a police officer’s opinion on whether the accused passed the field sobriety test. Certain medications may cause a breath test to register above the legal limit of .08 when in fact, the driver has not consumed alcohol.

Regardless of your situation, if you have been arrested or charged with driving under the influence it is critical you take action right away to protect your freedom and legal rights. The criminal penalties for DUI in Michigan are severe, and may include jail time, fines, community service, license suspension, and more. Contact an aggressive Michigan DUI lawyer immediately so that work can begin on your case.