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Jan 17 11

VIB Law Offices Successfully Assisted Man with Self Surrender

by California Legal Defenders

Alejandro Gonzalez , a man accused of New Year’s Day shooting in Monterey, approached San Jose attorney Cameron Bowman last week to arrange the process of turning himself over to authorities.

Defense Attorney Cameron Bowman said that Gonzalez “felt fear for turning himself” and “he was planning to turn himself in but he was spooked by someone getting killed.” Bowman said his offices contacted San Jose police who in turn notified Monterey police. Accompanied by his family, Gonzalez turned himself in over to the police department. He is back in court on Jan.27 to continue arraignment.

On Jan.13, at the request of defense attorney Cameron Bowman, a Salinas judge ruled that no images of Gonzalez can be published. Bowman stated that the images shown of his client in jail –issued clothing may be prejudicial and that there could be an identification issue in the case. Bowman said he wasn’t convinced that there was even evidence showing Gonzalez was present at the Mucky Duck despite reported by the police and the club’s owner.

If you or someone you know need the help of an extremely qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney, don’t hesitate to contact Valencia, Ippolito and Bowman at 877-7NO-JAIL or visit viblaw.com for more information. Let us fight for you.

 

Sources:

http://www.thecalifornian.com/article/20110114/NEWS01/101140329/Fear-delayed-suspect-in-Mucky-Duck-shooting

http://www.thecalifornian.com/article/20110114/NEWS01/101140330/Judge-No-images-allowed-of-suspect-in-Mucky-Duck-shooting

Jan 11 11

San Jose Sub Teacher Accused of Sexual Assault won’t be Charged

by California Legal Defenders

This past week, Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office reported that it had declined to file charges against 64 year old sub teacher, Jayanthum Kapasi . According to the DA’s office, “there was insufficient evidence to determine exactly what happened in this case.”

Kapasi who is married and has two grown children, both with doctorates, started substitute teaching last year.  The case began October 6, 2010 when several students at McKinley Elementary school came forward to school officials with complaints that Kapasi – who was on a two day assignment – had touched them inappropriately over their clothes.

Despite a police news release announcing the arrest, prosecutors initially declined to charge the case, ordering police to investigate further, to look for complaints from other schools where he had subbed. They did not find any complaints of overtly sexual behavior

Kapasi told the Mercury News on Thursday that he never did anything wrong. He said he felt hurt and confused about the arrest and was left certain only that he will never enter a children’s classroom again.

“If I went back, if I got an assignment, there will always be a shadow hanging over me. I don’t want that,” said Kapasi, who is a grandfather.

Kapasi’ s attorney Cameron Bowman stated that “this was a product of this zero tolerance of any kind of touching environment in schools these days, that any kind of touching is somehow sexual touching and this was blown up into this huge thing that fed on itself.” Bowman said San Jose police did not do a thorough investigation and “jumped the gun.”

According to the Mercury News, Kapasi was contacted by the school districts in which he was told that “he is not welcome to teach anymore.”

If you or a loved one is being investigated or charged with sexual assault or any other sex crimes, please do not hesitate to contact Valencia, Ippolito& Bowman. Our experienced attorneys have handled hundreds of cases involving sex crimes throughout Santa Clara County and can vigorously defend your case.

Dec 15 10

Change of San Jose Police Department’s Policy Regarding Impounding Vehicle of Unlicensed Drivers

by California Legal Defenders

As early as next week San Jose police department is expected to change its policy regarding 30-day impounding of vehicles, when an unlicensed driver is stopped for a minor traffic violation. Officers will instead look for alternatives to towing, such as allowing someone else to take the vehicle, when the stops don’t involve drunken driving or other dangerous driving allegations.

The new policy also gives officers the option of allowing the driver to park the vehicle and have a licensed driver pick it up for them. If the car is towed, a licensed driver can pick it up immediately by paying fees and fines rather than wait 30 days.

One of the reasons for change of the policy was complaints from immigrant advocates that “30-day vehicle holds unfairly target illegal immigrants. “

If you have been charged with DUI or Driving on a Suspended License , please contact Valencia, Ippolito & Bowman for a free consultation at 877-7NO-JAIL.

Dec 6 10

Operation Second Chance 2010

by California Legal Defenders

One may consider the “Operation Second Chance “an early Christmas gift from Santa Clara County. Starting December1, through December 31, 2010, anyone with a nonviolent misdemeanor warrant or traffic warrant can walk into any law enforcement agency in Santa Clara County and receive a citation with a new court date and avoid being booked into county jail.

The program “Operation Second Chance 2010” is directed towards all misdemeanor warrants, no matter the bail amount, including those warrants stamped “No Cite and Release,” “No Walk-Over,” and “No Bail,” according to the sheriff’s office. Even though Felony warrants and any warrant involving violence do not qualify for the program, the law enforcement is still urging people with these types of warrants to turn themselves in “so they can have their day in court.”

During the past five years, more than 1,700 people have taken advantage of the program and were issued citations with a new court date released “on the spot.” The number of the people who took advantage of the program in 2009 was 327.

If you have a warrant and need assistance, please contact the law offices of Valencia, Ippolito and Bowman at 877-7NO-JAIL . Our experienced attorneys can help you through the process.

Nov 22 10

Certification of Rehabilitation in California

by California Legal Defenders

Having a felony conviction not only creates major obstacles in obtaining employment and owning , possessing, or having access to any type of firearms ( California Penal Code section 12021), but also deprives an individual from exercising certain civil or political rights. But the good news is in California, a person who has been convicted of a felony, does not have to carry the burden of conviction forever.
A Certificate of Rehabilitation is “a court order stating that an individual with prior felony conviction or misdemeanor sex crimes in California is now has been rehabilitated.” Once a certificate of rehabilitation is granted, it serves as an automatic application for Governor’s pardon. Furthermore, a certificate of rehabilitation may relieve sex offender registration requirement under California Penal Code 290. The law which governs the process of obtaining certification of rehabilitation is stated in California Penal Code 4852.01 to 4852.21
In order to be eligible for a certificate of rehabilitation, an individual must be either convicted of a felony, or a misdemeanor sex crime under California Penal Code Section 290. The conviction or incarceration must have been in California and the individual must have lived in California for the minimum of five years (Under California Penal Code Section 4852.01(a) if the release from custody or placement on parole is prior to May 13, 1943 proof of residency is three years immediately prior to filing your petition for a certificate of rehabilitation). The individual must show that he or she has been released on either probation or Parole and has not been incarcerated since the release. Furthermore, an individual must present proof of satisfactory period of rehabilitation.
The satisfactory period of rehabilitation starts from the date that an individual is released from custody or was placed on probation or parole. This period includes five years that the individual resided in California plus an additional four years if the conviction was for murder ( Penal Code Section 187), aggravated kidnapping ( Penal Code 209), or acts involving explosives or destructive devices causes death, mayhem or great bodily injury ( Penal Code 12310).
If a person is eligible for a certification of rehabilitation, he or she may file a petition with the superior court in the area that an individual resides. Upon receipt of the petition, the court sets a hearing date in which the judge will consider all evidence for or against granting the petition. If the petition is granted, the court will forward the certificate to the California governor’s office which becomes an application for pardon.
The process to obtain a certification of rehabilitation is lengthy and complex. If you are looking to obtain a California Certificate of Rehabilitation or have further questions, please contact us at the law offices of Valencia, Ippolito and Bowman. Our highly experienced attorneys can assist you through the process and increase the chance of having your petition granted successfully.
Sources:

Nov 15 10

New California Marijuana Possession Law Reduces Punishment

by California Legal Defenders

On October 1, 2010, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed SB 1449. The law which goes into effect on January 1, 2011 reduces possession of up to one ounce of marijuana (28.5 grams), from misdemeanor to an infraction. The $100 fine remains the same. However, possession of less than an ounce of Marijuana on the grounds of K-12 during school hours remains as a misdemeanor and therefore subject to tougher penalties.

Even though SB1449 does not go as far as legalizing possession of “up to an ounce of marijuana by a person 21 and older,” (proposition 19) which was rejected by the California voters, it significantly reduces current penalties.

SB 1449 was introduced as “an amendment to the Section 11357 of the Health and Safety Code and Section 23222 of the Vehicle Code.” Under the current law “every person who possesses not more than an ounce of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis, is guilty of a misdemeanor.” The penalty for the stated offense is a fine of not more than $100. The Same penalty is “imposed for the crime of possessing not more than an ounce of marijuana while driving.”

It is important to note that under SB1449, an individual who is charged with possession of up to an ounce of marijuana is not entitled to jury trial or a court appointed attorney. Furthermore, the infraction will not go on individual’s criminal record.

It is unclear how conviction of marijuana infraction affects the federal provision of student financial aid. Currently,  federal law states that “ a student who is convicted of any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance while receiving federal student financial aid is no longer eligible for federal aid for certain period of time. “

Moreover, the jury is still out about whether a plea to this newly created infraction  will affect federal grants, school loans, and job applications. People need to be careful about pleading guilty to this new infraction until the potential collateral damages are assessed. If you or your loved one is being investigated for, or charged with a drug crime, please do not hesitate to contact Valencia, Ippolito& Bowman. Our experienced attorneys have handled hundreds of cases involving drug crimes throughout Santa Clara County and can vigorously defend your case. 

Sources:

http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/faq003.htm

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov

Nov 8 10

A Simple Guide to Sealing and Destroying An Arrest Record in California

by California Legal Defenders

Many people do not realize that having a “criminal record” doesn’t always mean that you have been convicted of a crime. Merely being arrested (even if charges were never filed) can have an adverse effect on an individual’s ability to obtain employment. This is especially true in today’s tough economy. We have had clients apply for their dream job only to have an old arrest from years ago pop up on their “background check”. Even though you may have never been charged with any crime, the previous arrest record can show up on your “rap sheet” and have serious social and employment consequences.

Fortunately in California, pursuant to Penal Code 851.8 , there is a process by which an individual can seal and destroy his or her arrest records. Once your arrest records have been sealed and destroyed, all the records including police reports, fingerprints, and booking photos are deleted. Thereafter, you can legally and confidently say “no” if an employer asks you whether you have been arrested on a job application.

The process to seal and destroy your arrest records can be very complicated and usually involves a hearing before a judge. It is crucial to have an experienced criminal defense attorney that can assist you throughout the process .Our criminal defense attorneys at Valencia, Ippolito and Bowman are available to discuss your case and answer your questions regarding sealing and destroying your arrest records in California.

Below, you will find a simple guide that can answer some of your questions regarding sealing and destroying your arrest records in California. If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
1) What Are The Eligibility Criteria:
? If you have been arrested but there were no charges filed by the prosecutor’s office.
? if you have been arrested and charges were filed but no conviction occurred ( case dismissed or you were acquitted through a California jury trial)
2) Where To Submit Your Petition:
? If you have been arrested and no charges were filed, you should submit your petition to the arresting law enforcement agency. If granted, the police will seal your records for three years. After three years, they will destroy your records. If you do not hear back from them within 60 days after you have submitted your petition, it has been denied.
? If your case was dismissed, or you were acquitted by the jury, or if your petition to the arresting law enforcement agency was denied, you may submit your petition to the superior court that would have had jurisdiction over your case.
3) How Much Time Do You Have To Submit Your Petition :
? Generally you can petition to seal and destroy your records in California up to two years after the date you were arrested or the date that charges were filed against you. But if you can show good cause, the judge has discretion to hear your case beyond these deadlines.
4) How Does The Judge Determine Whether To Grant Or Deny Your Petition :
The judge has discretion to whether to grant or deny your petition to seal and destroy your California arrest records. The judge upon finding that you were “factually innocent” meaning “there was no reasonable cause to arrest in the first place,” can grant your petition and order your arrest records to be sealed and destroyed.
5) Where To Contact If You Have More Questions Or Need More Information
If you have more questions regarding sealing and destroying arrest records, or to discuss your case with one of our highly experienced criminal defense attorneys, please contact us at Valencia, Ippolito and Bowman. We can help you to delete your arrest records like it never happened in the first place.

Sources:
http://calcourtforms.com/forms/ca/sd.sdsc/crm220.pdf
http://www.expungecriminalrecordcalifornia.com/seal-arrest-records/
People v. Bleitch (2009) 178 Cal.App.4th 292

Nov 2 10

RECENT RESULT: False Rape Charge Dismissed

by California Legal Defenders

One can imagine how devastating it can be to be falsely accused of rape and lose your job and liberty. It is crucial that an individual charged with rape or any other type of sex crime, is represented by an attorney with a solid track record in defending those types of felonies.

At Valencia, Ippolito and Bowman, our attorneys have an extensive knowledge of dealing with sex crimes and we are able to provide our clients with the best possible defense.

Recently, our client, who was a supervisor for a fast food chain restaurant, was falsely accused and charged with Penal Code section 261 (Rape). The complaining witness in this case was one of his store employees. After carefully reviewing the facts surrounding the case, our attorney Riccardo Ippolito, investigated the allegations made by the employee. It turned out that there were numerous irreparable holes in the employee’s story. Mr. Ippolito’s many years of experience gave him the ability to successfully prove the inconsistencies in the employee’s statements.

As an example, the complaining witness testified that she did not have her cell phone with her during the “attack”. However, our investigation uncovered a photograph of her with the cell phone during the incident. Also, her cell phone records in fact showed that she was making constant phone calls before, during and after her time with our client. She had in fact sent hundreds of friendly text messages to our client after the so called “rape”. All the evidence showed that a consensual sexual encounter had taken place.

The truth turned out to be that the allegations made by the complaining witness, were as a result of pressure from her boyfriend, who was furious about her relationship with our client. Faced with the truth, the DA’s office dismissed the case before trial.

If you or a loved one is being investigated for, or has been charged with a sex crime, please contact us. Our experienced attorneys have successfully handled hundreds of misdemeanor and felony cases throughout the Santa Clara County. Let us at Valencia, Ippolito and Bowman fight for you.

Oct 14 10

San Jose sex-assault case: VIB Law Firm gets client released; DA wants further investigation

by California Legal Defenders

The VIB Law Firm (your California Legal Defenders) vigorously defends all our cases. Recently one of our clients was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting some of his students at the McKinley Elementary School in San Jose. He was released from jail after the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office decided to file no charges at this time. Investigators are trying to determine whether this is a case of child molestation or a misunderstanding.

The district attorney’s office informed the San Jose Police Department on Tuesday that the case against Jayanthum Kapasi, 64, needed additional investigation.

Rudy Herrera, assistant superintendent of the Franklin-McKinley School District, said the district is also investigating the students’ allegations. Everything that is alleged to have taken place occurred in the classroom with the entire class present, Herrera said.

Although district officials have not been able to confirm or disprove the allegations, Herrera said: “From my perspective, I did not see any evidence on the surface of something that could be considered a sexual assault.”

VIB Law Attorney, Cameron Bowman, who is representing Kapasi, said his client — who is married and has a son — was shocked at the allegations and ready to “do whatever it takes to show the allegations are false.”

“It’s our belief when this is fully and fairly investigated the evidence will show that Mr. Kapasi might be eccentric or a disciplinarian,” Bowman said. “But he has never acted inappropriately with any of the children.”

Bowman added: “It’s fair to say that we are happy that the DA’s office is taking a second look at this case. We want to help them in that second look.”

San Jose police will be following up on certain aspects of the case at the request of the district attorney’s office, according to Officer Jose Garcia, a police spokesman.

Neither prosecutors nor police would specify exactly what type of behavior led to Kapasi’s arrest. Nor would they say exactly what more was needed to make a definitive decision.

Sources told the Mercury News that the case was sparked Friday when three female fourth-grade students came forward to say that the teacher had inappropriately touched them, over their clothes.

Further investigation showed that other students may have been touched as well. Some of the touching described by the students was allegedly on or near the students’ buttocks.

But others alleged touching on their shoulders or backs or other parts of their bodies that would not necessarily be criminal.

The teacher — who has no criminal record — denied to investigators all inappropriate touching, sources said.

May 3 10

Arizona’s New Immigration Law

by California Legal Defenders

We at the VIB law firm believe there are serious questions about the Constitutionality of Arizona’s new immigration law.

As an American citizen you’re protected by the Fourth Amendment that prevents a police officer from demanding to see your identification without good reason to believe you have done something illegal. And looking or sounding a certain way does not constitute a good reason.

SB 1070 changes this by creating a new reason for law enforcement to stop persons.  It states that an officer may stop someone based solely on a “Reasonable Suspicion of being an Illegal Immigrant”.  In our opinion this is where the problem with this law lies.

Currently an officer might stop you for DUI based on the driver weaving, driving too fast, etc. But what does an “illegal immigrant” look like such that they should be stopped and questioned? Before you answer, remember that it is Unconstitutional to use race to answer this question (it’s a protected class). So what basis will an officer use to stop a citizen of this Republic and ask the question “show me your papers”?

When the Governor was asked what was “reasonable suspicion” she said “I don’t know”. Supporters of the law have admitted they have no idea what criteria officers will be using to stop random people. In our opinion that’s because there isn’t an answer that ultimately doesn’t involve the person being a certain color, having a certain accent or dressing a certain way.

In our opinion the new law ultimately leads to racial profiling. The concerns about racial profiling come directly from this “reasonable suspicion” clause.  Do the law makers of Arizona honestly believe that if an officer pulls over someone who is white that they will be asked to prove their right to be in the US? On the other hand, someone who is stopped and fits a police officer’s idea of what an illegal immigrant looks/speaks/acts like will be required to provide documentation in that same situation.

Put another way, we think it likely that a group of white college kids piled into a van will be treated much differently by police than a group of Hispanic adults piled into that same van under this new law.

Remember that the law also provides that if unable to provide  documentation of citizenship, they will be arrested… even if they are really a citizen but just cannot prove it on the spot. Thus the concern is that people’s civil liberties will be violated, as people of different skin colors are denied equal protection under the law.

This does not mean that the law WILL (or will always) be enforced in such a way, but simply that it makes it possible—easier—for such abuses to occur. There are many people who want comprehensive immigration reform. But it is never acceptable to sacrifice civil liberties to do so. There are far better ways to address the problem of illegal immigration without violating people’s rights. In our opinion, this is an easy and unjust answer to America’s need for immigration reform that infringes on our Constitutional rights.