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Law Office of David P. Shapiro
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Helping good people in bad situations. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, feel free to call for a free consultation.
Helping good people in bad situations. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, feel free to call for a free consultation.

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Allegations of sexual assault continue to mount in a variety of places, from the President of the United States, to celebrities, sports figures and others.  In this article, the focus is on the United States House of Representatives.  The gist of the allegation is that a congressional staff member working for Representative Gregory Meeks (D-NY) was fired because she complained that she was sexually assaulted by a campaign contributor of the Congressman.  The case also brings up the question of the use of taxpayer money to pay out financial settlements to attempt to resolve issues involving sexual abuse, discrimination, and various work-related violations by members of the United States Congress.
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A defensive end for the Tennessee State football team was caught on video punching the team’s strength and conditioning coach on the sidelines during a game last month.  The video shows the coach being knocked to the ground after being punched at least twice, and having some difficulty standing up.  While the video is relatively clear on the player, Latrelle Lee, punching the coach, little has been said about what led to the incident.  Interestingly, Lee, who was a senior, was playing in the final game of his college career.  He was promptly thrown off the team and then expelled from the school.  He has since been charged with felony aggravated assault.  As in many other states, aggravated assault in Tennessee includes an intentional assault that causes serious bodily injury.  Lee was arrested then released several hours later after posting a $7,500 bond.  He is facing a Class C felony charge, with a sentencing range between 3 and 15 years in prison.
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There’s nothing particularly newsworthy about someone being arrested for waving a gun at another person, particularly in these times.  However, such alleged conduct becomes a big story when the defendant is a sports figure or celebrity.  And when the defendant happens to be the first major league baseball player to kneel during the playing of the national anthem, it is big league news indeed.  In any event, the trial in this case will not take place until at least sometime in 2018.  In the meantime, the news stories have tended to focus not on the alleged incident, but on Maxwell’s political views.  The major issue we are hearing about is whether, prior to this incident, the Oakland A’s catcher was denied service by a “pro-Trump waiter” at a restaurant in Alabama.  That issue has been written about far more than the pending criminal case against Maxwell.
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Oh my, Rick Perry!  When he accepted the nomination as Energy Secretary, Perry reportedly believed his job would be to sell fossil fuel policy to the world, effectively becoming the American ambassador for the U.S. oil and gas industry.  He later learned that the job had nothing to do with that, and consisted, at least theoretically, of being the steward of a huge national security complex, something he knew nothing about.  Supporters say he has educated himself since that time, but recent events may cut against that a bit.  Last week, Perry, recounting a supposed conversation with a woman in Africa, and laced with biblical tones, suggested that the use of fossil fuels would reduce the incidence of rape.  We’d explain his logic, but the statement is simply illogical.  In related news, on his trip to Africa, Perry, to his dismay, “heard a lady say that there are people dying [there].”  Too bad he didn’t watch the news at any point over the last 5 or 10 years.  He could have saved himself a long plane ride.
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Tips on what to look for when hiring a criminal attorney.
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In this video, San Diego Criminal Defense attorney David P. Shapiro answers online questions about theft charges.  He provides information about hiring an attorney before speaking to anyone from law enforcement.  He also discusses a number of different theft charges, including petty theft, grand theft, shoplifting, forgery, and others.  Theft charges vary a great deal in terms of their classification and potential penalties.  The differences between, and the severity of, the various charges are often determined by prosecutorial discretion and by what may appear to be minor factual differences. Finding the right lawyer is essential if you want to obtain the best possible result, whether it be a dismissal, a not guilty verdict or a reduction in the charges filed against you.
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President Trump apparently doesn’t miss an opportunity to misstate the facts, and he does so in a manner that has ramifications, in this case the relations between the U.S. and the U.K.  In a Tweet on Friday, he said that the U.K reported a crime rise of 13% “amid Radical Islamic terror.”  Seldom right, and wrong again, Don, as the 13% increase was not for the U.K. – it was only for England and Wales.  More importantly, the increase in crime wasn’t fueled by terror of any kind.  The terrorist attacks represented only .01% (that’s a tenth of a percent) of the total crime statistics.  The significant increases in crime, that is, the crimes that pushed the numbers higher, were shoplifting, up by 11%, and vehicle theft (up by 17%). The homicide rate actually declined by 2% during the same period. After reviewing Trump’s Tweet, it was attacked by several Members of Parliament, one of whom called it “inflammatory and ignorant” and another who referred to Trump as an “imbecile.”
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What you can expect from a free criminal case evaluation at the Law Office of David P. Shapiro
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The fast food chain Sonic is the latest to experience a serious breach in its financial system.  The company said that credit cards and debit cards were compromised by a “malware attack” at some of the company’s locations.  What’s most interesting about the situation, we think, is how little information Sonic has provided to the public.  It has issued a couple of statements, and nowhere is there a mention of (a) how many customers were affected, (b) how much money is involved, or (c) the company correcting the situation.  In fact, in one release the company indicated that it was still trying to understand what happened, which we interpret to mean they don’t know how the problem even occurred.  Other sources have indicated that the breach may affect millions of customers.  Sonic operates over 3,500 locations throughout the U.S.
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Embezzlement can be a pretty serious crime, although in some cases it’s a misdemeanor.  In California, subject to some exceptions, the value of the property or the amount of money taken will determine how it is classified. The difference between theft and embezzlement is that simple theft (larceny) involves the wrongful taking of another person’s property or money.  In the case of embezzlement, you come into possession of the money/property lawfully, but then you misappropriate it.  In either event, embezzlement is a non-violent theft offense, and it is generally treated as such under U.S. laws.  For example, a cashier at a Pennsylvania investment company who was convicted of embezzling $13 million from her employer has just been sentenced by a federal judge in Pittsburgh to 8 years in prison.  In Vietnam, the situation is a bit different.  The former CEO of a state petrochemical company was convicted in Hanoi of embezzling around $10 million from his company and from a bank partly owned by the company.  He’s been sentenced to death!
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