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Genetic genealogy used to identify murder suspect

Police in California say that they used a technique known as genetic genealogy to link a 52-year-old Visalia man to a string of sexual assaults that took place in Tulare County between 1999 and 2002 and the rape and murder of a 22-year-old female college student in 1996. The man has been charged with eight felony accounts in connection with the sexual assaults and is being held without bail.

In a press briefing, the Visalia police chief praised detectives who continued to work on the case even after they retired. He told reporters that the man's DNA linked him to the crimes just before the 10-year statute of limitations was due to expire. However, he declined to reveal how detectives were able to obtain a sample of the man's DNA for comparison testing. Genetic genealogy is a process that uses genetic profiling to identify biological relatives of individuals who left traces of their DNA at crime scenes. The process was famously used to apprehend a man alleged to have committed more than a dozen murders in California between 1974 and 1986.

When is assault “aggravated?”

If you become involved in an altercation in Fullerton, there is a possibility that you could end up facing assault charges (unless your actions were solely in response to another’s aggression). Yet as is the case with many criminal charges, the application of assault charges to your case is rarely simple. You will, however, want to understand the details of California’s assault and battery laws to ensure that you are only charged with those offenses that your alleged actions may have warranted. 

This is especially true in cases of assault, where law enforcement officers have the option of labeling the assault as “aggravated.” What exactly causes an alleged assault charge to be aggravated? The answer can be found in Section 245 of California’s Penal Code

Do California courts consider diminished capacity?

When answering to criminal charges, an insanity defense may be met with a great deal of skepticism simply because the definition of insanity may seem so subjective. Plus, there is the issue of whether one struggles with chronic insanity issues, or whether the circumstances of the moment caused them to lose control of their reasoning. 

At the same time, there is little doubt that we all have experienced situations where our emotions got the best of us. Oftentimes, you may find yourself so caught up in the passion of a particular instance that your actions are then dictated by your emotions as opposed to your logic. The question is whether or not this meets the standard of diminished capacity. 

Governor Newsom Signs Criminal Justice Reform Bill

On October 2, National Wrongful Conviction Awareness Day, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 701 which is co-sponsored by CACJ and Exonerated Nation. When a wrongfully convicted individual is exonerated and released from prison, the bill requires the State of California to cover the cost of the exonoree's housing for up to 4 years. California becomes the first state in the country with this requirement. 

What are my rights when being arrested?

Being arrested is an intimidating experience, no matter the circumstances. While you expect the police to uphold the law during every arrest, this is not always the case. That's why it's important for people to understand their rights during arrest, as well as steps to address violations should they occur. 

Even if you believe there are no grounds for arrest, it's best to comply with police orders. You're not obligated to speak to the police without a lawyer present and can request free legal help if you're unable to pay. You're also entitled to one phone call during your arrest. Police are permitted to listen to the contents of your call unless you're speaking with your lawyer about the incident. 

The law recognizes certain justifications for murder

Not every homicide is murder. In fact, not every homicide is even considered a criminal act. A homicide is the death of one human being at the hands of another, but there are circumstances under California law when taking someone’s life is legally justified.

If you found yourself facing a charge of first-degree or second-degree murder, your defense would have to fall under one of the legally recognized justifications (or another defense such as mistaken identity or accidental harm).

How does crystal meth affect your health?

Using illicit drugs like crystal meth often results in serious legal issues, including jail time, mandatory drug rehabilitation, and fines. It also takes a toll on your physical and mental well-being, and these effects may be permanent depending on how long you abuse the drug. WebMD explains some of the health effects of crystal meth use, many of which can be severe. 

As a stimulant, methamphetamine induces a flood of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a feel-good chemical that causes a person to feel confident and full of energy, which explains why so many become hooked. As a person's tolerance of the drug increases, more and more is necessary to replicate this feeling. At some point, the person will need to use the substance just to retain a feeling of normalcy. 

How does kleptomania affect a person?

While kleptomania is a rare mental disorder, it can wreak havoc on those afflicted. It can also incur serious legal repercussions when a person is unable to curb their compulsive desire to steal. It's characterized by an urgent need to steal items that have little or no value. People with kleptomania often steal items they could otherwise afford to purchase, making the disorder even more inscrutable to others. 

Kleptomania most often occurs in public places. It also occurs without any prior planning, making it different from stealing for personal gain. People will often experience an intense urge to steal an item suddenly. Once an item is stolen it's usually hidden away to prevent others from discovering it. Some people with kleptomania even return items from where they were originally stolen out of a feeling of guilt.

False allegations of theft

When it comes to criminal charges involving theft, there are many different factors that may need to be considered. However, some cases involve allegations that are completely false. There are a variety of reasons why someone may be falsely accused of theft. For example, they may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, and someone whose property went missing may believe that the individual was responsible for the stolen property even though they had nothing to do with the crime. Or, someone may intentionally accuse another person of stealing something from them in an attempt to get revenge.

When someone is accused of theft, their life as they know it may change forever, even if they are innocent. Their reputation may be destroyed and they may lose their job or have a hard time finding work in the future because of their record. Friends and family members may judge them or decide to cut ties, and they may suffer from negative emotions such as depression and anger. If you have been falsely accused of stealing property, it is imperative to defend yourself immediately. Even if the property in question is not very valuable, these charges could wreck your life and prevent you from pursuing various opportunities in the future.

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