Articles Posted in Celebrity crime

Justin Bieber, the seemingly troubled and wayward teen pop idol, was arrested on January 23, 2014 by Miami Beach police on charges of DWI, resisting arrest and driving without a valid license. Bieber was charged with drag racing a $250,000 Lamborghini along a Miami roadway at approximately 60 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone. Each of these charges are misdemeanors under Florida law.

When Bieber was apprehended by Miami Beach police at approximately 4:00 AM on January 23rd, he purportedly failed field sobriety tests and became angered when the police attempted to search him. It has been reported that Bieber exclaimed: “I ain’t got no f***ing weapons…Why do you have to search me? What the f*** is this about?”

In Florida, as in most states in the United States, a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher is the standard for legal intoxication. Reports are that Bieber’s BAC was considerably lower than the level for legal intoxication at approximately 0.02%. However, under Florida law, if the driver is under the age of 21, the standard for intoxication is 0.02%. Thus, Bieber may have been legally intoxicated at the time he was operating the Lamborghini. Additionally, the seemingly troubled pop singer allegedly admitted to police that he had also used marijuana and prescription medications that evening before driving, probably not the smartest thing the “Biebs” ever did in his rather rocky recent past.

Bieber was also charged with the misdemeanor of resisting arrest as he failed to keep his hands on the vehicle while the arresting officer was conducting a patdown for weapons. The arrest report notes that Bieber had bloodshot eyes, flushed face (maybe from embarrassment?) and an odor of alcohol on his breath.

One of the few intelligent moves Bieber made (or at least his management team) was to retain Roy Black as his criminal defense lawyer, who is known as the attorney who was able to obtain an acquittal for Kennedy nephew William Kennedy Smith on Florida rape charges in 1991.

In addition to facing the music for the misdemeanor charges of DUI, resisting arrest and driving without a valid driver’s license, the man whose followers are known as “Beliebers” has another significant problem which must be addressed, and probably by a different hired gun. Bieber is a citizen of Canada, and is in the United States on an O-1 work visa, which is granted to foreigners with “extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics.” With Bieber’s recent past of alleged egg throwing, drag racing, urinating in public and spitting, and a question mark as which of the above categories he fits into—(is what the Biebs puts out “extraordinary art”?), he certainly has done absolutely nothing in the recent past to convince any administrative judge in the Department of Homeland Security that it is in the interests of the United States to grant Bieber continued residence in this country. If I were advising Bieber, my advice would be simple: get into rehab for whatever is troubling you, and fast.

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Troubled actress Lindsay Lohan was arrested again in Manhattan in the early morning hours of November 29 after an altercation with a Florida psychic in the “Avenue” nightclub in Chelsea. Allegedly, Lohan became incensed when Max George of the band The Wanted began lavishing his attention on Tiffany Mitchell, the 28 year old psychic, instead of Lohan, and Lohan punched Mitchell in the face. When Ms. Lohan subsequently attempted to exit out of the back of the bar in a black Escalade at 4:00 AM, Mitchell identified Ms. Lohan and she was arrested on third degree assault charges.

“Lilo” has additional legal issues beyond the 3rd degree assault charges, however. Back in February of 2011, she was arrested for the theft of a $2,500 necklace in Kamohe & Co., a Venice Beach, CA. jewelry store, and pled guilty to theft charges later in 2011 with a sentence of 120 days in jail, which was reduced to community service, which she never performed. When the sentencing judge learned that Lohan failed to perform her community service, he sent her to jail for thirty days, but due to overcrowding in the California prisons, she was released within hours of her incarceration.

Then on June 8th of this year, Lohan apparently crashed her Porsche into an 18 wheeler in Santa Monica, California, but claimed that it was her assistant who was operating the vehicle. Ironically, on the same day as her dustup with Ms. Mitchell in Avenue, Lohan was charged with Santa Monica police with three misdemeanors stemming for the June 8th accident; lying to a police officer; obstructing governmental administration; and reckless driving. As a result, Lohan now faces violation of probation charges in California based on the four misdemeanors she has been charged with (three in California and one in New York). Considering how fortunate she has been in the past in avoiding jail time for her legal transgressions, it is certainly possible that Lohan’s luck has finally run out.

Lohan is due back in New York Criminal Court on January 7th to face the third degree misdemeanor assault charges. Under the New York Penal Law, third degree assault is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by 1 to 3 years in jail and a $1,000 fine. Her attorney seems quite confident that she will be exonerated and stated: “Once again, Lindsay Lohan is a victim of someone trying to capture their 15 minutes of fame.” Time will tell in latest installment of the Lohan legal saga.

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In her latest skirmish with the authorities, Lindsay Lohan was arrested this past week by the NYPD and charged with leaving the scene of a personal injury accident pursuant to Section 600 of the New York State Vehicle & Traffic Law. Jose Rodriguez, a Jersey City resident and restaurant worker, alleges that Lohan clipped him with her Porsche while driving outside a New York City club at the Dream Hotel. Rodriguez informed police that after Lohan struck him with her car, she drove off without stopping and reporting the accident to police.

There is footage of the accident, which is of poor quality, that appears to show some contact between Lohan and a pedestrian, who then chases after Lohan’s Porsche as it drives away. Mr. Rodriguez claims that he suffered a knee injury due to the accident.

Under this section of the Vehicle & Traffic Law, if a person operates a motor vehicle “knowing or having reason to know” that personal injury has been caused to another person, they are required, before “leaving the place where the said personal injury occurred”, to “stop, exhibit his or her license and insurance identification card for such vehicle, and give his or her name, residence, insurance information to the injured party, if practical, and also to a police officer.”

The District Attorney is likely to offer Lohan a plea deal to a violation. The reason for this is that leaving the scene charges can be difficult to prove—did Lohan really know, or “have reason to know”, that she struck Mr. Rodriguez with her car? It is not easy to prove that someone had “reason to know” in a scenario in which there may have been glancing contact between the car and Mr. Rodriguez. Recently, in a much more serious case in the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, postal worker Ian Clement was found not guilty of leaving the scene of a fatal accident involving Marilyn Dershowitz, who either fell under or was struck by Clement’s truck and died at the scene. Clement claimed that he never knew that he had been in the fatal accident with Ms. Dershowitz and left the scene without reporting the accident. Even with evidence that bystanders were honking their horns and screaming at Clement to stop, he drove away from the scene. On September 20, 2012, the jury found Mr. Clement not guilty of the charge.

Ms. Lohan was released on her own recognizance and issued a desk appearance ticket. If Lohan is found guilty of the charge against her, which is a Class B misdemeanor, she is facing fines of between $250 and $500.00 and potential jail time, which is very unlikely to be imposed due the apparent limited injuries suffered by Mr. Rodriguez.

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Lenny Dykstra, the former star centerfielder for the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, has been charged in Los Angeles with embezzling more than $400,000 worth of personal property from a bankruptcy estate. Dykstra pled not guilty in a Los Angeles federal Court on June 13, 2011.

Federal prosecutors charged that Dykstra sold or destroyed the property from a mansion worth $18.5 million without the permission of the bankruptcy trustee. Amazingly, Dykstra, who was apparently a very successful investor following his baseball career, required the services of a public defender due to his financial inability to retain a private attorney.

Dykstra is in Los Angeles County Jail after being hit with a total of 25 misdemeanor and felony counts, including grand theft auto, attempted grand theft auto, and identity theft. Dykstra is looking at a maximum jail term of 80 years in prison if convicted on all counts against him. A trial date has been set for May 9, 2012.

The bad news for the 48-year-old Dykstra seems to be getting worse, as he is also facing drug possession charges in a separate state case, following the discovery by police of cocaine and synthetic hGH in his home in May. He was arraigned on those charges this week.

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On April 28, 2011, Atlanta Braves pitcher Derek Lowe, 37, was charged with DWI, reckless driving, and unsafe lane change in Atlanta, after he apparently engaged in a race with another driver on an Atlanta street. Lowe was pulled over by the Georgia State Patrol, and the officer allegedly smelled a strong odor of alcohol, and Lowe apparently failed Field Sobriety tests.

According to the Los Angeles Times, several sources, Lowe refused to take a chemical test, was booked and taken to an Atlanta jail. He was released on bail of $2,944.

If Lowe was convicted in New York on these same offenses, he would be facing fines of up to $900.00 on the misdemeanor charge, a suspension of his driver’s license for six months, along with the requirement to obtain alcohol abuse assessment, attend the drinking Driver program (“DDP”), attend a Victim Impact Panel, install an ignition interlock device in his vehicle for up to one year, and pay $750 in fines to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. For the misdemeanor reckless driving charge, he would be facing fines, and 5 points on his driver’s license. For the unsafe lane change traffic infraction, Lowe would be assessed 3 points on his driver’s license.

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In a case we have followed since its inception last May, former New York Giant linebacker Lawrence Taylor pled guilty on January 13, 2011 to 2 misdemeanor charges in the Rockland County Court. Taylor was charged with statutory rape and third degree criminal sexual act after being accused of paying $300.00 for sex with a sixteen year old girl in a Montebello, New York Holiday Inn on May 6, 2010. Taylor was indicted by a grand jury on two felony sexual misconduct charges which carried mandatory 10 years probation.

As a result of a plea of guilty to sexual misconduct under Section 130.20 and third degree patronizing a prostitute under 230.04 of the New York Penal Law, which are both misdemeanors, Taylor will pay a fine of $1,400.00; be on probation for six years; and most significantly, he will be required to register as a sex offender in New York and Florida under Megan’s Law, part of the NYS Correction Law.

Sentencing is on March 22, 2011, when it will be determined what level sexual offender Mr. Taylor is designated.

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Lawrence Taylor, the Hall of Fame ex-linebacker for the New York Giants, may decide to go to trial on the statutory rape charges he is facing. On October 28, 2010, Taylor’s attorney indicated that Taylor refuses to accept a deal in which he would please guilty to the felony charges of third degree rape and third degree criminal sexual act. A guilty plea to the two felonies would require a sentence of 10 years of probation, and Taylor would be placed on the state sex offender registry. Third degree rape is a Class E Felony and has a minimum jail term of 1 year and maximum of 4 years.

The charges stem from a May 6 arrest in which Mr. Taylor is accused of paying $300.00 to an underage girl for sexual intercourse at a Montebello, New York Holiday Inn. Taylor was also charged with the misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child and patronizing a prostitute. Both of these are Class A misdemeanors which could result in a jail term of between 1-3 years. Apparently, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has an interest in the case to go after a Bronx man who is believed to be part of a sex trafficking ring.

Taylor could be sentenced to as much as six months in the county jail if he pled guilty to the felony charges. If he was convicted at trial, the jail term could be served in state prison.

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Vincent Neil, the lead singer for heavy metal band Motley Crue, was arrested in Las Vegas on June 27, 2010 on a drunk driving charge. The arrest took place near the Las Vegas Strip after Mr. Neil had left the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel and began driving in his Lamborghini. He spent the night in jail and was released on June 28th are posting bail. This is the second DWI arrest for the singer. Previously, he was arrested on vehicular manslaughter charges. The circumstances of Neil’s arrest were not released by the local police or prosecutor’s office.

In New York, if Mr. Neil were charged with a second DWI within 10 years, he would be facing felony charges, with the possibility of jail time, a certainty of being sentenced to 5 years probation, the requirement to install an ignition interlock system, a minimum of a one year license revocation, and substantial fines, surcharges and Court costs.

Mr. Neil is due back in Las Vegas Justice Court on September 27, 2010. This is another significant distinction with New York Courts, in which there would be no possibility of a almost three month adjournment of the DWI case. In New York Courts, under the doctrine of “suspension pending prosecution”, those charged with DWI are required to appear at an immediate arraignment and turn in their driver’s licenses “pending” the prosecution of their cases.

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Hall of Fame Linebacker Lawrence Taylor was indicted on June 23, 2010 in connection with third degree rape and prostitution charges. On May 6, 2010, Mr. Taylor was arrested by police at the Montebello, New York Holiday Inn based upon charges that he paid a sixteen year old girl three hundred dollars to have sexual relations with him.

The case was originally heard in the Ramapo Town Court, but is now transferred to the Rockland County Court, as local courts such as town courts only have jurisdiction over misdemeanors or violations, not felonies.

Taylor, who has denied all charges, has also been charged with endangering the welfare of a minor and sexual abuse. He is due to return to Court on July 13, 2010.

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Lawrence Taylor, the 51 year old Hall of Fame linebacker for the New York Giants was charged with third degree rape in Ramapo, New York on May 7, 2010. Taylor allegedly had sexual relations with a 16 year old girl at the Montebello, New York Holiday Inn on May 6, 2010. Taylor has alleged through his attorney that he did not have consensual or any sexual relations with the girl.

Taylor is charged with third degree rape under section 130.25 of the New York State Penal Law, which states that a person is guilty of rape in the third degree if he engages in sexual intercourse with another person who is incapable of consent in that they are less than 17 years old. This charge is a Class E felony, which is punishable by a jail term of not more than 4 years. He is also charged with patronizing a prostitute, but under the section which makes it a misdemeanor, rather than a felony, since a felony charge would only result if the girl was under 14 years of age.

Since the news of Mr. Taylor’s arrest, a federal criminal complaint has been filed against Rasheed Davis, the alleged pimp who procured the 16 year old girl, on a sex trafficking charge due to the alleged transport of a minor across state lines for sexual purposes. There have also been claims made by Taylor’s wife that he did not have sexual relations with the girl, and that he was “set up.”

We will monitor developments in this case.

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