Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas

SANTA ANA, Calif. – The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) will continue to serve as the statewide traffic safety training agency through its acceptance of two grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a training and Vertical Prosecution Program. OCDA was given $672,500 for the Alcohol and Drug Impaired Driver Vertical Prosecution Program and $594,600 for the California Traffic Safety Resource Program Training Network. OCDA has been working in partnership with OTS on Traffic Safety and driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) prosecutions since 2011.

With the decriminalization of marijuana, California expects to see a rise in the number of drug-impaired driving cases that will be investigated and prosecuted by statewide law enforcement entities. In Orange County, the crime lab reported a 40 percent increase in drug impaired driving submissions from 2015 to 2016. In 2011, OCDA developed a multi-agency collaborative DUID prosecution, investigation and toxicology model which has served as the innovative foundation for the development of a statewide DUID program.

In October 2016, OCDA expanded their training role to the Southern California region, serving as the lead agency in prosecution and law enforcement training. This includes the delivery of live trainings, roundtables, training videos, and legal updates. In 2017, OCDA began to develop a statewide training program through its administration of the Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor (TSRP) and training program. As part of this process, OCDA has begun to align law enforcement and prosecution agencies throughout the state to create a massive statewide training, resource and education network. This new responsibility offers agencies throughout the state the opportunity to share expertise in the area of traffic safety as the OCDA works in partnership to proactively investigate and prosecute traffic related crimes, increasing public safety in all jurisdictions throughout California. A series of informative videos created through this partnership that bring public awareness to the dangers of drug-impaired driving may be found here.

As part of this grant opportunity, OCDA maintains eight vertical DUI-Drug prosecutors assigned throughout the county. These deputy district attorneys review, file and prosecute all drug-impaired driving cases. Collectively in the 2017 grant year, OCDA prosecutors reviewed 1,060 DUID cases and charged 925 of them. Many of those cases are still pending, but in the 2017 grant year, our vertical prosecutors obtained 522 convictions on DUID vertical prosecution cases. This year, the eight prosecutors assigned to the program are Deputy District Attorneys Mina Said and Alyssa Staudinger of Central Justice Center, David McMurrin and Dalia Wahab of West Justice Center, Lauren Boyd and Vincent Marinaccio of Harbor Justice Center, and Erin Henry and Stephen Ladsous of North Justice Center.

“I want to thank the Office of Traffic Safety for recognizing the outstanding work by OCDA prosecutors and our law enforcement partners, and for granting us the tools necessary to aggressively prosecute impaired drivers with specialized prosecutors,” stated District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “Sadly, a large majority of perpetrators and victims of DUID are young adults. Through education, we can prevent this crime.”

The Appellate and Training Unit is under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Keith Bogardus. Assistant Heads of Court Susan Price and Nichole Nicholson, and Deputy District Attorneys Hoon Chang and Kate Wagner, oversee and administer all OTS grant operations.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Safety Administration.


If you have been arrested for DUI drugs or alcohol and/or driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more, then contact The Law Office of Richard Wagner, A Professional Corporation to defend yourself against the severe and excessive penalties and punishments.



dui driver prison sentence

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A drunken driver was sentenced to three years in state prison for crashing into an Orange Police Department (OPD) officer who was standing behind his patrol vehicle on a residential street.

Circumstances of the Case

  • At approximately 3:00 a.m. on Dec. 10, 2016, three officers from OPD responded to a call for service on a residential street.
  • While at the scene, Officer Doe stood near the back of his patrol vehicle, which was parked alongside the curb, to gather paperwork.
  • Bertolino had a blood alcohol level of .13 percent and was under the influence of methamphetamine and THC while driving 40 mph in a 25 mph zone.
  • The defendant drifted towards the curb and crashed into Officer Doe and the back of his patrol vehicle.
  • The other officers at the scene ran to assist Officer Doe, who was pinned underneath Bertolino’s vehicle, and the defendant exited her vehicle.
  • Bertolino was detained by OPD officers until officers from the California Highway Patrol (CHP), who investigated this case, arrived on scene.
  • Officer Doe was transported to a local hospital and was hospitalized with major injuries.
  • Bertolino was evaluated at a local hospital and arrested the following morning by CHP.

At the sentencing hearing, Officer Doe and his wife made powerful impact statements to the court pursuant to Marsy’s Law. Officer Doe spent five years in the United States Marine Corps, stating in part, “When I decided to leave the Marine Corps to become a police officer, my mindset never changed. I knew the dangers related to my job. I knew that not every day was guaranteed.” His tibia and fibula were broken and he lost nine pints of blood at the scene. In the ambulance after the crash, Officer Doe stated, “Two tours in Afghanistan and now I am going to lose my leg.” His leg was saved, but he is in constant pain with limited mobility. In addition to broken bones, the victim suffered from a brain hemorrhage and received skin grafts, including an artery from a cow.

Officer Doe spoke about what he hopes defendants can learn after hurting people in the commission of crimes, and stated, “I was hoping the incident would have taught you a similar lesson. But your behavior during the incident, arrest, and later on, as you were out on bail showed me with most certainty you did not.”

The victim’s wife spoke about the toll this incident has taken on their family and stated in part to the defendant, “The very thing that my children and I prayed every night to help protect us from, YOU made it a horrific reality … he is so unbelievably strong willed and he’s a survivor. The surgeons said the tourniquet saved his life.” She spoke about how her husband loved to hunt, fish, run, and play soccer with his kids prior to the crime, all activities he may never be able to do again. She then concluded, “The time you serve is ultimately irrelevant to [my husband], our children and myself because on that night you already sentenced US to a life that is forever changed.”

Prosecutor: Senior Deputy District Attorney Jess Rodriguez, Special Prosecutions Unit, Case # 16CF3123

MLB Pitcher Danny Duffy DUI Arrest


danny duffy dui attorney Richard Wagner

Kansas City Royals pitcher Danny Duffy was the latest celebrity arrested for being under the suspicion of DUI  -according to an Overland Park police spokesperson.

WHB reporter Kevin Kietzman said police were called after Duffy fell asleep in his car in a Burger King drive-through. The pitcher reportedly tried to get someone to drive his car for him in order to avoid an arrest.

Royals GM Dayton Moore’s statement:

We are obviously disappointed in the news we have received regarding Danny Duffy’s DUI arrest on Sunday night. We obviously do not condone anyone driving while under the influence, but this is now a legal matter and we will allow the process to unfold and cannot comment any further.

For help if you have been arrested for DUI in California, call 714-721-4423 or contact DUI Attorney Richard Wagner at The Law Office of Richard Wagner, A Professional Corporation for your free consultation.

Off-duty trooper charged in DUI crash; Cherry Hill woman hurt


DUI Attorney

CECILTON, Md. – Maryland State Police say an off-duty trooper has been charged with driving while impaired after he rear-ended a car while driving a state police vehicle.

A 49-year-old Cherry Hill woman and her 10-year-old passenger, who were in the car struck by the trooper, were injured, authorities said.

State police said the crash happened late Sunday in Cecil County, just west of the Delaware border. Authorities said Trooper First Class Tanner Nickerson was driving a state police vehicle when he ran into the back of a Mercedes.

Witnesses told troopers the police vehicle’s emergency lights were activated.

Officials say the Cherry Hill woman and child were treated at a hospital for minor injuries. Nickerson was not hurt.

Nickerson was charged with driving under the influence, driving while impaired, failure to control speed to avoid a collision, reckless driving and negligent driving.

Nickerson, a six-year veteran of the state police, was suspended with pay.

5 Ways Your DUI Can Get Really Serious


California DUI Sentence Enhancements

 1. Excessive Speed

If you are convicted of violating California Vehicle Code Sections 23152 or 23153 while driving 30 or more miles per hour above the speed limit on a freeway, or 20 or more miles per hour over the speed limit on any other street in violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23103 (reckless driving), you must be punished by an additional consecutive term of 60 days in the county jail.  If the court grants probation or suspends the execution of sentence, the court must require, as a condition of probation or suspension, that you serve 60 days in the county jail, in addition and consecutive to any other sentence prescribed by the Vehicle Code.

Man Sentenced To Life In Prison Without Parole For Stabbing-Murder of 17-Year Old Girl In Yorba Linda


SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was sentenced today to life in state prison without the possibility of parole for stabbing and murdering a 17-year-old girl in Yorba Linda.


Found guilty by a jury on June 1, 2017, of one felony count of:  Murder

Special Circumstance Found True: Lying in wait


Life in state prison without the possibility of parole

Circumstances of the Case

  • In the early morning hours of Feb. 4, 2014, Shin asked 17-year-old Aubreyanna Sade Parks to meet him in an upscale residential neighborhood in Yorba Linda.
  • When Parks arrived to the home where the defendant was waiting, Shin stabbed the victim 39 times in the back, face, and neck and severed her finger.
  • Shin left the victim’s body on a greenbelt outside of a nearby home.
  • Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) located the defendant at Corona Regional Medical Center, where he was seeking treatment for a deep cut to his left palm.

At his sentencing today, the victim’s mother and several members of a local human trafficking advocacy group were present in court. Mantonette M., delivered an emotional impact statement to the court pursuant to Marsy’s Law. She stated in part, “I miss her laughter, I miss her telling me jokes… but today is not about me, it’s about bringing justice for Aubreyanna… my beautiful jewel.”

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department investigated this case.

Prosecutor: Senior Deputy District Attorney Troy Pino, Homicide Unit.  Case #14NF0220

Valencia Man Sentenced for Burbank Domestic Violence Stabbing


A Valencia man was sentenced today to 12 years and six months in state prison for stabbing his ex-girlfriend’s mother and her roommate at a Burbank home, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Carolina Lugo said Cameron Reed Hansen, 31, was found guilty on March 8 of two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter and one count of injuring a girlfriend.

The jury also found that Hansen was armed with a knife and caused great bodily injury.

On March 3, 2015, the defendant went to his ex-girlfriend’s home a day after they broke up and began attacking and biting her, according to court testimony. When her mother and her roommate came to the victim’s aid, Hansen stabbed both women multiple times, the prosecutor said.

The three victims survived the attack.

Case GA095834 was investigated by the Burbank Police Department.

Massage Therapist Pleads to Killing Patient in Illegal Cosmetic Procedure


A massage therapist accused of performing an illegal buttocks enhancement on a woman who later died pleaded no contest today to one count of involuntary manslaughter, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Lee Cernok said Sandra Yaneth Pérez-González, 48, was immediately sentenced to three years in jail.

Hamilet Suarez, 36, died after undergoing the cosmetic work at a Long Beach beauty salon on Feb. 12, 2014, the prosecutor said. Pérez-González, who is not a licensed doctor, performed the procedure.

The defendant advertised various cosmetic procedures such as buttocks and lip enhancements and “vampire facelifts.” She had previously performed a similar procedure on the victim’s family member, the prosecutor added.

Case NA105844 was investigated by the Long Beach Police Department.

U.S. Border Patrol Agent Pleads Guilty to Drug Smuggling


SAN DIEGO – U.S. Border Patrol Agent Noe Lopez pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges in federal court June 22, 2017, admitting that he attempted to smuggle methamphetamine and cocaine while on duty in exchange for cash.

In a hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew G. Schopler, Lopez pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted distribution of methamphetamine and cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841 (a) (1) and 846. Sentencing is scheduled for September 8, 2017 at 9 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Dana M. Sabraw.

“It’s an audacious thing for an on-duty Border Patrol agent to transport what he believes to be methamphetamine and cocaine in his official vehicle, on behalf of drug traffickers,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Alana W. Robinson. “While there are a relatively small number of them, corrupt Border Patrol agents are a national security threat, and for that reason they are a very high prosecutorial priority.”

“The U.S. Border Patrol stresses honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission; Honor First is our Motto,” said Chief Patrol Agent Richard A. Barlow of San Diego Sector Border Patrol. “Mr. Lopez’ action is a stain on the agents and employees of the Border Patrol who perform their duties with honor and distinction, working diligently day-to-day to keep our country safe. We do not tolerate corruption within our ranks, and are grateful to the hard work of the Border Corruption Task Force and other agencies that rooted out Mr. Lopez’ atrocious behavior.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric S. Birnbaum said, “The vast majority of public servants who work at the local, state, and federal levels of government are honest and dedicated folks who strive every day to do the right thing for their constituents, their communities, and their country. In the U.S. and abroad, the FBI is doing everything we can to help ensure that the good name of the vast majority of public servants is not besmirched by a corrupt few. This type of corruption at our San Diego borders strikes at the heart of government and erodes public confidence, therefore, the investigation of public corruption is one of FBI’s top criminal priorities.”

According to the plea agreement, in November 2016, Lopez and a confidential source whom Lopez believed to be a drug trafficker agreed to a plan whereby Lopez would retrieve backpacks containing what Lopez believed to be controlled substances from the north side of the United States/Mexico border fence while on duty with the Border Patrol.
Lopez admitted that he agreed to transport the backpacks in his Border Patrol vehicle and deliver them to the source in exchange for thousands of dollars.

On November 30, 2016, Lopez purchased three backpacks that would be used to transport the controlled substances and gave the backpacks to the source. They agreed that on December 6, 2016, Lopez would retrieve a backpack containing six pounds of methamphetamine while on duty with the Border Patrol and deliver the backpack to the source. Lopez told the source where to place the backpack containing methamphetamine on the north side of the United States/Mexico border.

According to Lopez’s admissions in his plea agreement, on December 6, 2016, undercover DEA agents placed a backpack (one of the three backpacks purchased by Lopez) containing six pounds of a substance resembling methamphetamine near the prearranged location. Lopez drove to the location in his Border Patrol vehicle and retrieved the backpack. He returned to the Border Patrol Station and placed the backpack in his personal vehicle. At the conclusion of his Border Patrol work shift, Lopez met the source at a parking lot in Chula Vista, where Lopez gave the source the backpack containing what Lopez believed to be six pounds of methamphetamine.

On December 7, 2016, the source paid Lopez $3,000 for retrieving and delivering the purported methamphetamine.

This scenario was repeated on December 8, 2016, except the backpack purportedly contained seven kilograms of cocaine. On December 9, 2016, the source paid Lopez $7,000 for retrieving and delivering the purported cocaine.

DEFENDANT                                                 Case Number 17cr0086

Noe Lopez Age: 37 Chula Vista, CA


Attempted Distribution of Methamphetamine and Cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. 841 (a) (1) and 846. Maximum penalty: Life in prison and $10 million fine.


Federal Bureau of Investigation
U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency
U.S. Border Patrol

USAO – California, Southern

Los Angeles Police Officer Sentenced For 2014 Assault


A Los Angeles police officer was sentenced for using unlawful force during an arrest three years ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Richard Garcia, 36, pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor count of assault by an officer. He was immediately sentenced to two years of formal probation.

Deputy District Attorney Oscar Plascencia of the Justice System Integrity Division prosecuted the case.

On Oct. 16, 2014, LAPD officers approached the victim in South Los Angeles during a robbery investigation. The victim ran away but later surrendered after a foot pursuit.

During the arrest, Garcia struck him while he lay prone on the ground.

Case BA435794 was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department.