TOP CRIME STORIES

California Police Officer Accused of Faking DUI Reports

In Sacramento, California a police officer — Brandon Mullock — is being investigated regarding his conduct, and last Friday at least 79 individuals were informed that the DUI they received from him will be thrown out due to officer error. It is believed that Officer Mullock falsified at least one piece of evidence which has, ultimately, compromised his credibility.

Sacramento Court District Attorney Jan Scully opened an investigation into Officer Brandon Mullock’s conduct after a deputy district attorney was reviewing dashcam footage for a trial and noticed inconsistencies in what Officer Mullock stated and what appeared in the video. According to Jan Scully’s office, there have been “wild inaccuracies” in Officer Mullock’s field interviews and gathering of evidence.

In California, being charged with a DUI is a serious crime and should be avoided at all costs. And, when an officer of the law tampers with evidence, thus turning the odds against you, it makes the predicament even worse.


Jersey Shore’s ‘Snooki’ Charged w/ Disorderly Conduct and Creating Public Nuisance

On Wednesday, September 8, 2010, “Snooki” from MTV’s hit show Jersey Shore, plead guilty to disturbing beachgoers during an incident in July on a New Jersey beach. Snooki, who was under the influence of alcohol, stumbled about beach, used profanity and disturbed other beachgoers. A judge sentenced Snooki to perform two days of community service and pay fines exceeding $500. Snooki originally faced charges of disorderly conduct, being a public nuisance and criminally annoying others, which carried a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail and $3,200 in fines.

Had Snooki been convicted in California, she may have been charged with Disturbing the Peace, which punishes: (1) unlawful fighting, (2) unreasonable noise and (3) fighting words. Snooki’s conduct would likely constitute “unreasonable noise,” charged under Penal Code Section 415(2).

California Penal Code 415 punishes the crime commonly referred to as “Disturbing the Peace”. Disturbing the Peace may be charged in cases involving fighting, excessive noise and other public disturbances. Disturbing the Peace may be charged as a misdemeanor or infraction. A charge of Disturbing the Peace is often part of a plea deal – a Defendant agrees to plead guilty to Disturbing the Peace in exchange for the dismissal of a more serious criminal charged. Disturbing the Peace carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $400 fine.

To be convicted of “unlawful fighting”, the prosecutor must prove that a person willfully and unlawfully fought or challenged another to a fight, and that the fight or challenge occurred in public. “Willfully” means that the person fought deliberately or on purpose. If a person fights in self-defense or defense of another, that person may have a self-defense defense if (1) the person reasonably believed that they or another were about to suffer bodily harm, (2) the person reasonably believed that force was the only way to protect against the harm, and (3) the person used no more force than reasonably necessary.

To be convicted of “unreasonable noise”, the prosecutor must prove that a person willfully and maliciously caused loud and unreasonable noise that disturbed another person. To maliciously cause loud and unreasonable noise means that the person intentionally does the act with the unlawful intent to annoy or injury another person. “Unreasonable noise” is often charged as an infraction rather than a misdemeanor.

To be convicted of “fighting words”, the prosecutor must prove that a person used offensive words that were inherently likely to provoke an immediate violent reaction, and that those words were spoken in a public place and directed at one or more persons.


Garret Weinrieb
Weinrieb Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you or someone you care about is facing criminal investigation or criminal charges of any type, please contact the criminal defense attorneys at Valerio|Weinrieb. We can be reached twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week at (818) 933-6555, through our toll-free number at (877) 7NO-CUFFS (877-766-3833), or through the confidential and secure email form on the firm’s website at www.VWattorneys.com.

 

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