What to Do if Pulled Over for a DUI in San Diego

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What to Do in San Diego if Pulled Over on Suspicion of DUI

If you get pulled over for a DUI in San Diego, know that you’re technically eligible for one of two charges. You may get charged with 23152(b), if your blood alcohol level is 0.08% or higher. However, even if that’s not the case, you could get charged with 23152(a), which would simply be for the crime of driving under the influence. Technically, you could have a blood alcohol level of 0.01% and still get this charge, if you were all over the road or otherwise driving poorly.

Once you’re pulled over, you’re considered “detained” by law enforcement. However, you aren’t legally required to answer any of their questions—not that they’ll tell you this. That being said, you do have to hand over your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance.

You’re also allowed to decline field sobriety tests. Just be sure to do so courteously and on the grounds that you believe they are two subjective to risk taking. Point out, too, that you are not required to take them under California law.

Regarding the two types of chemical tests, you absolutely must take one if you are under 21 or on probation for a DUI. Otherwise, the same rules as field sobriety tests apply.

If they can’t develop probable cause to arrest you for drinking and driving, they can’t do it. If they arrest you without probable cause, you’ll most likely get the charges thrown out.

Should the police arrest you, though, you have to submit to their chemical tests. Again, without probable cause, the results won’t mean much. Plus, if you refuse, your license will be suspended and the police can now forcefully draw blood. You’ll be looking at increased fines too.

Unless you’re free to go after getting pulled over, contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible. Too many people make the mistake of thinking their DUI charge is an open and shut case.

Source:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2011/10/31/what-should-you-do-if-you-get-pulled-over-for-drunk-driving-in-california/

Two Die after Fiery Car Crash

Posted by & filed under Auto Accidents.

Two Die after Fiery Car Crash

San Diego and the surrounding cities are no strangers to car accidents—they happen every day. However, they are particularly tragic when they result in fatalities. A recent accident in Escondido could hardly have ended any other way, though, considering the fiery aftermath that occurred just second after the crash. It leaves two families in an unthinkable situation and, possibly, in need of attorneys.

The only good news is that the accident involved just a single car. A 1999 Toyota Corolla was being driven by a 24-year-old person who has yet to be identified. There was one other passenger in the vehicle at the time of the crash.

It was just after 3:00 a.m. when the crash occurred. The driver was heading east on Bear Valley Parkway toward Canyon Road. At the moment, we don’t know what caused the car to veer so sharply off the road and eventually into a light post. However, authorities have said they believe speed may have been a factor. Alcohol and drugs have also not been ruled out as potentially playing a role.

Almost immediately after striking the light post, the Corolla caught fire. The blaze was extinguished by the police and firefighters who arrive on the scene, but by then the driver was already dead. Angel Ramirez, a 23-year-old man from Escondido, was identified as the passenger. He was pronounced dead a little after 9:30 a.m. at Palomar Medical Center due to severe traumatic injuries.

As the accident is still under investigation, authorities are asking anyone with information to come forward. The families of the deceased should probably also consider speaking with attorneys. Depending on how the investigation goes, wrongful death lawsuits may be deemed appropriate. Of course, if someone else is found responsible for forcing the car off the road, bringing in qualified legal representation will be essential.

Source:

http://fox5sandiego.com/2014/10/12/1-dead-after-fiery-crash-in-north-county/

Teen Mom Wins $225k Case Against the City of San Diego

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Teen Mom Wins $225k Case Against the City of San Diego

A former teen mom who had her child taken away from her by the city when she was 16 has now won a decision in court that will award her $225,000. The offense occurred in 2008, when San Diego police officers deemed Johnneisha Kemper to be “unfit” to raise her child and took the little girl away.

According to court records, the incident that drew the attention of the police involved an argument between Kemper and her mother. This argument eventually resulted in Kemper being locked out of her mother’s home, while her newborn daughter remained inside.

Eventually, Kemper called the police to seek help resolving the dispute between her and her mother so she could retrieve her child. Unfortunately for Kemper, when police arrived and assessed the situation, they ended up taking the woman’s daughter away with them.

The lawsuit has now been settled on the grounds that the officers were in the wrong for taking the child because Kemper’s daughter, Nyhanna, was never in any real danger. This decision means $225,000 for Kemper, but little else.

Her daughter is now six years old, but hasn’t been living with Kemper since she was taken away by police. Instead, adoptive parents have been raising her all this time. Unfortunately, according to the attorney representing Kemper, there’s nothing to be done about that. As far as that goes, attorney Shawn Mcmillan said in a recent interview that “it’s over.” Not long after the incident, Kemper had her parental rights terminated. It wasn’t long before her daughter was a adopted and Kemper lost visitation rights too.

This mother did the right thing by contacting an attorney. It’s a mistake to think that any police officer or even family court is automatically justified in their actions. A qualified lawyer can ensure you’re not being naïve. As Johnneisha Kemper’s case proves, that naiveté can really cost you.

Source:

http://thegrio.com/2014/10/13/san-diego-225k-teen-mom-civil-lawsuit/

Skateboarder Dies at Local Park

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Skateboarder Dies at Local Park

Skateboarding is an important part of the cultural fabric in San Diego. The city and its surrounding areas feature dozens of skate parks, where thousands gather throughout the year to put in time on their favorite hobby. Unfortunately, this sport can be dangerous too. It’s recommended that you always wear proper safety equipment when skating or even death becomes a risk.

Sadly, a legend of the San Diego skating scene passed away last week, on Tuesday, October 7, while practicing his craft. Marc “Shockus” Delellis was at the Rob Field Skate Park in Ocean Beach the day before when he was in some kind of accident.

Details regarding the accident haven’t been forthcoming. It hasn’t been reported if another skater was involved or if Delellis had been wearing safety gear or not. All we can say is that his death is being blamed on a crash that left him on the ground and unconscious. He was taken to nearby UC San Diego Medical Center where The Medical Examiner’s Office reports he was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. The next day, he was dead.

Aside from his many personal accolades in his chosen sport, the 39-year-old Delellis was also the global marketing director for a San Clemente-based company called C1rca that specialized in making shoes for skateboarders. Delellis has also been mentioned by many other notable skaters as the man who mentored them in the sport. He was even eulogized in Thrasher magazine, which has a global readership.

Like we said, facts are still hazy at this time. However, if his death was caused by someone else’s negligence, Delellis’ family should be seeking legal representation. It’s also possible that something was wrong with the skate park he was at when the accident occurred—they have mandatory regulations they must follow. Unless the accident was completely the fault of Delellis, his loved ones should call an attorney today.

Sources:

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/oct/08/skater-killed-skateboard-robb-field-skate-park/

http://www.10news.com/news/skateboarder-marc-shockus-delellis-dies-after-accident-at-ocean-beach-skate-park

SD Gas and Electric Truck Collides with Taxi

Posted by & filed under Motor Vehicle Accidents.

SD Gas and Electric Truck Collides with Taxi

It has not been a good month for vehicles utilized by San Diego Gas and Electric. On the evening of October 1st, a driver ran a red light in Oceanside and crashed into one of their trucks. All three people involved in the accident had to be taken to the hospital for injuries.

Then, just over a week later, a local cab ran into the back of a San Diego Gas and Electric utility truck. According to an eyewitness, the cab driver was driving too fast at around 3:00 p.m. when he ran his vehicle into the utility truck while going through the intersection of Fairmount and Home avenues. Other information indicates the driver only ran into the utility truck after taking a sharp turn into the right lane.

The cabbie, who was declared dead at the scene, has since been identified by police as Abebe Ainekulu. Reports have stated he is survived by a wife and two children. He was a deacon at the local Saint Gabriel Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Ainekulu was also an independent contractor who owned his own taxi.

When responders arrived at the scene, they found the cab severely damaged with the driver pinned inside. Fortunately, there were no other injured parties.

Mark White, who was driving the utility truck was, fortunately, left uninjured. Immediately after the accident, he left his vehicle to help Ainekulu. With the steering wheel pinning the man in his vehicle, White called 911 and held the man’s hand.

Both parties involved in this accident should contact attorneys as soon as possible. Ainekulu’s family could need representation in case he is found accountable for damages done to the truck. Though White has been reported as leaving the accident injury-free, if that were to change, he would want an attorney seeking damages on his behalf.

Sources:

http://fox5sandiego.com/2014/10/09/1-dead-in-sdge-truck-taxi-crash/

http://www.10news.com/news/sdge-truck-collides-with-car-in-oceanside-3-hurt

Scuba Diver Dies in Mission Bay under Mysterious Circumstances

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Scuba Diver Dies in Mission Bay under Mysterious Circumstances

Given its proximity to the Pacific Ocean and a number of inland waterways, San Diego makes the perfect home for those who love scuba diving. Though countless people enjoy it as a hobby here, there are even a number who scuba dive as part of their jobs. In either case, while scuba diving can be a lot of fun, it can also represent a number of deadly risks. Unfortunately, a local man succumbed to one of them recently in Mission Bay.

Officer Dino Delimitros of the San Diego Police reported that the distress call for a diver in danger went out at 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday, October 1st. This was in response to finding a scuba diver just below the surface who seemed to be struggling from internal issues. Though it’s unclear how long he had been in danger, the diver was under water for between four to six minutes before a nearby skipper noticed he was having problems.

Lifeguards entered the water and immediately relieved him of his weight belt when they reached him. However, due to the man’s weight and equipment, the rescuers were hindered in their attempts to get him in their boat.

Once they did, the lifeguards immediately began giving him CPR until he arrived at UC San Diego Medical Center. However, by 8:05 p.m., just an hour after the emergency call went out, the man was dead.

Since then, the diver has been identified as Jeffrey Logandro, 38, of Carlsbad. Reports say he had been diving for lobsters that day with other friends. An investigation, including an autopsy, is still pending, so we’re still not sure what left him in such a state of distress. It may have had to do with his equipment, though, as Logandro apparently began sinking shortly after 7 p.m. for reasons that aren’t yet known.

If it was his equipment, his family may have a wrongful death suit to follow against the manufacturer or anyone who had adjusted it. They should speak to an attorney as soon as possible.

Sources:

http://timesofsandiego.com/crime/2014/10/01/struggling-diver-dies-rescue-mission-bay/

http://timesofsandiego.com/crime/2014/10/02/lobster-diving-drowning-victim-idd-carlsbad-man/

Medical Marijuana Patients Sue San Diego Officers

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Medical Marijuana Patients Sue San Diego Officers

Medical marijuana has been legal in California since 1996, but it wouldn’t be accurate to say that things have been smooth sailing since then. In fact, federal agents often make arrests on those who are technically following their state’s laws. This contentious situation is only made worse by the fact that the arrests interfere with doctors’ prescriptions.

One case in 2012, however, also helps to show the shades of gray that exist even within California’s own laws.

According to law enforcement, they raised the home of Dennis and Deborah Little back in October of 2012 because the couple owned some 29 marijuana plants that were good for hundreds of pounds worth of the drug. The Littles were then charged with unlawful cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale and eventually tried back in March of this year.

The cultivation charge was dismissed by the judge and a jury later acquitted them of their possession charge.

Both Dennis, 65, and Deborah, 61, are legally authorized to take marijuana as medication for their respective diseases. Dennis has severe depression and neuropathy, while Deborah has HIV.

Their lawsuit names both San Diego County Sheriff William Gore and San Diego Police Chief Shelly Zimmerman. Others who belong to the San Diego County Integrated Narcotics Task Force were named too. The Littles’ lawsuit alleges that their home was searched despite a lack of evidence. Excessive force and violations of due process are also mentioned amongst other accusations in their lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages.

If you have a prescription for medical marijuana in California, you should also be sure to have the name and number for a good attorney too. Just because a licensed doctor gave you a prescription doesn’t mean you won’t run afoul of law enforcement eventually. As this case shows, even local police can make the wrong call where your right to marijuana is concerned.

Source:

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Medical-Marijuana-Patients-File-Lawsuit-Against-San-Diego-Officers-276969001.html

Lawsuit against Ex-Cop Is Settled for $5.9 Million

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Lawsuit against Ex-Cop Is Settled for $5.9 Million

A woman who is known to the public only as “Jane Doe” will be awarded $5.9 million because of the misconduct she suffered at the hands of former San Diego police officer, Anthony Arevalos. Despite her victory, Jane Doe’s attorneys told reporters she prefers to remain anonymous.

The charges stemmed from an incident that unraveled on the night of March 8, 2011. It began when Arevalos pulled over the woman for a routine traffic stop. He then suggested the two of them visit a local convenience store.

According to court documents, the two made an agreement: they would enter its restroom together, wherein she would give him her underwear in return for not being charged with a DUI.

Sadly, this was not the only act of misconduct on Arevalos record. Later that same year, the former police officer was convicted of multiple felony counts that included asking for bribes while in a police uniform, assault, and sexual battery. In total, 13 victims came forward to charge Arevalos with various crimes that lasted between 2009 and 2011. Most took place in the Gaslamp Quarter area of San Diego.

In total, Arevalos will face eight years and eight months behind bars. The city will pay the $5.9 million Jane Doe is owed, though over half of that will go to cover her attorney fees.

Aside from all the money this is costing, the police department has also faced years of scrutiny due to misconduct like this kind. One of many ways they are responding is by outfitting 150 of their officers with body cameras. By 2016, they hope to have this done for all of their patrol officers.

While this is a truly sad case, it’s also an important reminder that you have rights and those meant to protect them aren’t always doing so. If you believe your rights have been violated, contact an attorney as soon as possible.

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Anthony-Arevalos-Jane-Doe-Settlement-Details-SDPD-Sex-Crimes-277069491.html

Chamber of Commerce Exec Died in Traffic Accident

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Chamber of Commerce Exec Died in Traffic Accident

Though San Diego has a number of accolades to its name, unfortunately, it also has a less laudable reputation as well for being one of the worst cities in the country—and the worst in the state—for pedestrian safety. Sadly, another recent accident has helped fortify the city’s status. Sadder still, the accident resulted in the pedestrian’s death.

The incident happened this past Tuesday. Authorities have identified the victim as 45-year-old Melissa Ratcliff. If her name is familiar to you, it may be because she was the vice president of marketing for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Ratcliff had just exited her car when the accident occurred. She had parked it on Girard Avenue in La Jolla, not far from Kline Street. According to police, it was just before noon when she got out of her vehicle and a 91-year-old woman lost control of her own. The resulting accident pinned Ratcliff between her own vehicle and the one that struck her.

Although an ambulance was able to transport her to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, she was pronounced dead not long after her arrival. The exact cause of death was not made public.

Aside from her current position in San Diego, Ratcliff had enjoyed a storied career in Washington, D.C. where she had once served as the deputy communications director for Al Gore while he was Vice President. She had also been the press secretary for Carol Browner when she was chief of the Environmental Protection Agency. Later, Ratcliff became the national Democratic Party’s head of communications.

She is survived by her three children in La Jolla. Although we lack all the details regarding the accident, it’s safe to say her family should think about contacting an attorney. While the police will handle their own investigation, an attorney is essential to understanding what the family’s rights are in the wake of such a tragedy.

Source:

http://www.kpbs.org/news/2014/oct/08/san-diego-chamber-exec-killed-traffic-accident/

Bizarre Scene Follows Motorcycle Accident and Leaves Three under Arrest

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Bizarre Scene Follows Motorcycle Accident and Leaves Three under Arrest

It’s no secret that riding a motorcycle is far more dangerous than getting around in an automobile, even if those driving the latter are often to blame for accidents involving both. Nonetheless, San Diego is a very attractive city for motorcyclists as it offers no lack of roadways, plenty of sunshine, and beautiful scenery.

Unfortunately, a 25-year-old man from San Diego found out about the dangers other vehicles pose to those on motorcycles. He was in Dulzura driving a 2010 Ducati eastbound on State Road 94 this past Tuesday. Behind him were six of his fellow riders.

As they got closer to Barrett Lake Road, a 24-year-old man from Santee in a GMC truck tried taking a left-hand turn in front of them. In doing so, he struck Zamani, throwing him over the hood of his truck and onto the highway’s shoulder. Zamani succumbed to his injuries before emergency responders could get to him.

The scene quickly turned bizarre, however, when police say four of the men who had been riding with Zamani began interfering with their duties. Jon Regenhardt, Jason Thompson, Tim Parker, and Antonio Tapia were all arrested shortly thereafter. Regenhardt was cited for interfering while the three other friends were ticketed for reckless driving. All four of them were released at the scene.

According to the men, they were simply trying to come to terms with the death of a close friend and the sheriff’s department was in the wrong for citing them. Although the U.S. Border Patrol had helped deputies with arresting the four men, they have since declined to provide a comment.

Details regarding the charges were not immediately available, so it’s hard to know what actions the four men took that were perceived as interference. But if the men plan on fighting the citations, they would do well to not speak about the events to anyone until they’ve found legal representation. Obviously, the family of Zamani should seek an attorney out as well.

Source:

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Friends-Arrested-After-Motorcyclist-Killed-in-Fiery-Crash-278330361.html