Monday, 31 October 2011

Stockton Man Faces Charges of Sexual Abuse

According to the Stockton Police Department, officers are likely to file charges of sexual abuse of a child against a man who was found outside a Stockton public school last week. The man has already been arrested on suspicion of possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest.

The 28-year-old man was reportedly in the parking lot of the Washington Elementary School, when he was approached by school district police officers after officials received calls complaining about his presence. When officers arrived at the scene, they found that the man had a knife and drug paraphernalia in his possession. The man resisted arrest, but was taken into custody.

After his arrest, allegations that he sexually abused a child at the school came up. The Stockton Police Department’s Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Unit is investigating the incident. There is no information about the circumstances surrounding these allegations of abuse. The man is currently lodged in San Joaquin County Jail, on an $856,000 bond.

Most cases of sexual abuse that Los Angeles child sexual abuse attorneys come across involve persons who are known to the child. These persons may include schoolteachers, school employees, coaches, priests, scout leaders and other persons who are in a position of authority and trust. In other cases, the perpetrator may be a stranger who gains access to the child in the home, school, playground or other place.

Filing a criminal complaint of sexual abuse can help punish the perpetrator of the abuse. However, it does nothing to ensure that the school, daycare, church, or other organization involved takes measures to prevent such abuses from occurring again. Filing a sexual abuse lawsuit can help hold these organizations and persons responsible for their actions. It can also trigger better compliance with child safety laws.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

New Bill Prevents California Authorities from Banning Male Circumcision

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a new bill that would prevent local authorities in California from banning the practice of male circumcision and making it a punishable offense. With this bill, male circumcision will remain legal in California, and will not be defined as a crime.

The bill gives a final blow to advocacy groups across California that had called for a statewide ban on the practice of male circumcision. These groups had launched efforts in San Francisco and Santa Monica, aimed at banning the practice of male circumcision for any male aged below eighteen in California.

In Santa Monica, supporters failed to get the measure placed on the ballot. In San Francisco, however, the ban gathered enough support to be placed in the ballot in November. Advocacy groups gathered more than 12,000 signatures, in an initiative to get the measure included on the ballot.

The measure would have made male child circumcision an issue not only to be dealt with by doctors and parents, but also Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers. It would have made it a misdemeanor for anyone to circumcise a boy below eighteen years of age. This offense would have been punishable by a $1000 fine and jail time of up to one year. The measure would not have considered any religious beliefs, banning child circumcisions outright. Circumcision is an important religious practice of Muslims and Jews, although most circumcisions performed in the U.S. are not religious in nature. However, in July, a judge struck the measure from the ballot, saying that the ban would constitute an infringement on religious freedom.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Governor Vetoes Bicycling Safety Bill

Governor Jerry Brown's veto of an important bicycle safety bill has come as a complete shock to cycling groups and Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyers. Last week, the governor vetoed a bill that would have required motorists to keep a minimum distance of 3 feet between their vehicles and bicycles.

There had been plenty of hope for the signing of this bill, and those hopes were heightened with the kind of support the bill quickly attracted. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong have been vocal supporters of the bill.

The bill requires drivers to keep a “safe distance,” defined as a minimum of 3 feet, from bicycles, in order to prevent the danger to bicyclists when motorists drive too close to them. Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyers see this situation all too often.

Governor Brown, however, decided to veto the bill, citing safety concerns. According to the Governor, drivers would have been required to drop speeds in order to maintain a minimum of 3 feet distance between their car and a bicycle, and this could increase their risk of being involved in a traffic accident. The Governor seems to have depended on inputs from the California Highway Patrol and the California Department of Transportation in his decision to veto the bill.

The California Highway Patrol had made clear its opposition to the 3-foot bicycle safety bill. This is in spite of the fact that such laws are already in place in several other states. At least twenty states have some version of the 3-foot law, and have seen great success in reducing the number of bicycle accidents and deaths. However, the California Highway Patrol reportedly advised the Governor that if the bill became law, it would cause a number of rear-end collisions, triggered by drivers who slam their brakes when they see a bicycle.

Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyers
would have liked to see more protections for bicyclists and a safer environment for them, but it looks like that will not happen this year.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

IRS Tax Violation Crackdown on People with Dual Citizenship

The Internal Revenue Service has required American citizens living abroad to file income tax returns since the 1970s. However, many people who live in Canada and have both Canadian and U.S. citizenship have apparently been unaware of this rule. Now, the Internal Revenue Service is going after these people, in many cases taking them unawares.

The Internal Revenue Service has announced a major and growing effort to collect unpaid taxes from Americans living abroad. Many of these efforts are targeted at Americans living north of the border. For years, Canadians with dual citizenship have been able to travel freely to the United States, work, and study here. Now, they are also being asked to pay taxes here.

Not surprisingly, these demands by the Internal Revenue Service have not been welcomed. According to many Canadians with dual citizenship, they should not have to pay taxes, because they do not live here and are not availing themselves of the same services as domiciled Americans. They pay taxes in Canada, and many of them are simply unaware that they are required, as American passport-holders, to file income tax returns in the United States.

Many California tax attorneys would not blame them for not being aware of this rule, considering that the United States is virtually the only country in the world that requires all citizens living abroad to file income tax returns. Even Canadian politicians are weighing in on the debate, holding that Canadians with dual citizenship should not be hounded for tax returns like criminals. According to them, these are simply people who were not aware of the rule requiring them to report income, and deserve be treated differently.

There is no indication that the administration will react differently. The Obama administration has passed the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which requires all persons with American passports to file tax returns going back to at least 2003.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Why Motorcycling Is Not for Everyone

Most motorcyclists that Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers come across are well aware that their risk of being injured or dying in a motorcycle accident is too great to ignore. Motorcycling is not the right activity for people who do not have respect for safety rules.

According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, a person who wants to begin riding a motorcycle should be someone who:

• Can ride a bicycle, because of the basic balance and coordination this activity requires
• Does not seek out dangerous thrills - if you are the kind of person who is prone to aggressive driving in a car, then a motorcycle may not be for you. Road rage, tailgating, and ignoring traffic lights are not safe practices in motorcycling.
• Can drive a stick shift car, because most motorcycles have manual transmissions
• Has good vision
• Has an appreciation for the basics of mechanics – since it helps if you are able to make minor adjustments to your motorcycle when you need to, to ensure a safe ride.
• Has an appreciation for safety - if you are prone to accidents in and outside the house, you may not be safe on a motorcycle.
• Can focus - a motorcyclist needs to be attentive, and filter out all distractions while riding
• Has strong and fine-tuned response abilities
• Is willing to spend some time to complete a motorcycle rider education program before riding
Motorcycling is not for everyone. If you find that your personality traits do not match some of those on this list, Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers suggest you may want to reevaluate how safe you may be on a motorcycle.