Timothy Lance Lai, 29, the tutor that has been at the center of a cheating scandal that rocked Corona Del Mar High School in Orange County since last summer was finally arrested as he was trying to re-enter the country at LAX. Officers arrested Lai on October 6 and charged him with four felony counts of computer access and fraud and one count of second-degree commercial burglary.
The Background Story of Cheating at a Top-performing Orange County High School
A student told officers that Lai entered a classroom to install a keylogger device on a teacher’s computer in April 2012 after the student had failed to successfully install the device. In June 2013, a teacher at Corona del Mar High School discovered that someone had changed grades and notified the school’s administration. Officers received information from a student that a tutor was involved but did not reveal the name of the tutor. Officers investigated but without further information, the investigation went cold.
In December 2013, a student came forward and reported that Lai asked the student to install a keylogger device. The student participated in a recorded telephone conversation between the student and Lai. Lai identified himself, described his involvement and named specific students involved. A total of 12 students are known to be involved in the cheating scandal. Continue reading
Charlie Sheen has a “bad boy” image that leaves him vulnerable to accusations of misconduct. The star of Anger Management is being sued by a dental technician who claims that he punched her and grabbed her bra. Sheen maintains that the allegations are false. The case illustrates the risk that celebrities will be unfairly targeted in litigation that is designed to extort settlements.
Sheen was given nitrous oxide in a dentist’s office while undergoing treatment for an abscess in his mouth. The dental technician who was assisting him told police that Sheen ripped off his mask and made death threats before he grabbed her “breast area” and pulled on her bra strap in an apparent attempt to remove her bra. She also claims that Sheen struck her, although news accounts differ as to whether she alleges that he hit her in the face or in the chest. Continue reading
An Anaheim man was recently arrested and accused of robbing his girlfriends’ 82-year-old mother in her home. According to the police statement, the accused took “several jewelry items and coins” in addition to ransacking the home. While robbery is not a new notion, the thought that someone would A) rob their girlfriends mother, and B) rob an elderly person is not so taboo anymore. These crimes are occurring at increasing rates, which should be alarming to the public. However, just because someone is accused and arrested does not always mean that they are guilty, or that they will be going to jail. Continue reading
There are three forms of assault that can be punishable in a court of a law: common assault, criminal assault, or aggravated assault. Common assault is almost any behavior that can be judged as offensive or threatening, which is done with the volition to harm someone else but fails in physical harm. For instance, if you try to hit someone with a punch, a kick, or an object and miss, you have committed a common attack against them. Even though no physical harm was done, the failure to commit a criminal attack may still be prosecuted as a common one. Criminal assault is associated with battery and is harmful, physical contact, which has resulted in another person’s injury. For instance, punching, kicking, or using an object whether by striking or throwing are forms of battery as long as the victim has been physically harmed. Aggravated assault is where the offender uses a foreign object as a weapon and injures his or her victim severely, which goes beyond the normalcy of a common criminal strike. Continue reading
A statute of limitation is the time allowed for prosecutors to lay a charge against someone who is accused of committing a criminal offense. The period normally runs from the point at which the alleged offense has been disclosed or discovered. This period varies depending on the category of offense as well as the jurisdiction involved. California’s statutes of limitation for criminal charges are not exactly the same as other states and also differ from those of the federal government.
Statutes of limitation allocated for white collar offenses are particularly complex, partly because of the heterogeneous nature of the offense itself. Some of the more heinous offenses, including murder (which is not one of these offenses) and embezzlement of public funds (which is one of these offenses) do not have any statute of limitations at all. This means that whenever an individual is alleged to have committed an offense there is no time limit on them for being prosecuted.
Most white collar crimes have a statute of limitations between 1 and 10 years. Generally, the less severe the alleged offense means the shorter the time period allowed for prosecutors to act. Continue reading
If you or someone you know has been charged with anything related to domestic violence, there is a high probability that those charges are either corporal injury on an intimate partner or a spousal battery. A spousal battery is also called a domestic battery. A corporal injury and a spousal battery are the most common domestic abuse charges. Despite having a few similarities, the crimes of a corporal injury and a spousal battery have a few distinguished differences that greatly affect the ways in which defendants are prosecuted and defended.
What is a Corporal Injury on an Intimate Partner?
Penal Code 273.5 PC governs a corporal injury to an intimate partner (CIIP). The crime may also be referred to as a spousal abuse, domestic abuse, domestic violence, and a willful or intentional infliction of CIIP. Continue reading
A mistake in judgment that you made years ago can have far-reaching effects, including your ability to get the job that you want, obtain some professional licenses, or rent a home. Even though California criminal records are a matter of public record, an individual would need to know where to look for these files and take the time to look through thousands of court records in each county to find your records.
However, electronic indexing has made it much easier for individuals and companies to obtain copies of your records. Companies index court records into large databases that are easy to search by name, address, date of birth or any other relevant information that can be found in a court record. Potential employers and landlords then pay these research companies for a background report to determine if you have any outstanding warrants or past felonies or misdemeanors.
Fortunately, having your record expunged is often possible. An expungement allows an individual or their attorney to petition the court to reopen his or her case so that they may enter a plea of “not guilty” and have the case dismissed. A MacGregor & Collins, LLP expungement attorney will make the process easier because they are familiar with the process and know exactly what information and forms will be required to expunge your record in California.
The benefits of obtaining an expungement include preventing potential employers from discriminating against you for a job and allowing you to apply for professional licenses or rental agreements without the fear of your past mistakes coming back to haunt you. Continue reading
Facing a DUI charge is a serious matter that leaves most individuals wishing they had used different judgment before getting behind the wheel. Despite the initial fear that follows an arrest, having a drunk driving charge does not have to be the end of the world. An experienced attorney can help you resolve a drunk driving charge so that you can get on with your life. Once you pay the penalty for driving while intoxicated, that should be the end of the story and no one should hold that against you.
Unfortunately for some, their drunk driving charge does not stop affecting them after their case has been resolved. For those with little to no knowledge about the subject, legitimate concerns keep them from applying for certain jobs or pursuing certain opportunities. Their drunk driving offense becomes a horrible fear that restricts their upward mobility. Finding out whether an offense can be found during a background check becomes a matter of supreme importance. Continue reading
While the majority of the population will never know what it is like to be arrested for driving under the influence, there are a number of others who will receive a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th conviction for this offense. For many repeat offenders, alcoholism or other personal problems inhibit their ability to stay sober behind the wheel, and it can have devastating results on their personal life, their employment, and the general safety of themselves and those around them.
When referring to 3rd offenses specifically, defendants often ask me whether they will serve jail time. Many hope that the answer is no and that they could instead be sentenced to house arrest. While it seems like a longshot that a 3rd DUI offender can be sentenced to home confinement, with help from a DUI attorney, some defendants have been successful in doing so. Continue reading
Before we start to discuss the penalties for violating probation terms, we should first know what probation is, what types of probation exist under California law, and what terms and conditions of probation you are required to comply with. Probation is a penalty imposed on a convicted offender that uses various means of court supervision instead of confinement. Probation is a better alternative to prison or jail time, but those who fail to stay in compliance face serious penalties. What penalties you will face depend upon a number of different factors, but are largely affected by whether your probation is formal or informal. Continue reading