Archive for the ‘ DUI ’ Category

YES, CYCLING UNDER THE INFLUENCE IS A CRIME

Posted on: May 20, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Code 21200.5 and California Penal Code 647(f)

Orange County DUI defense lawyerIt’s almost summer again in southern California, but if recreation and celebration are part of your schedule this summer, plan ahead so that your fun doesn’t include a DUI charge – or something worse. In California, when you arrange for alternative transportation to avoid a DUI charge, a bicycle is not a good option, because you can be prosecuted in this state for “CUI” or cycling under the influence under California Vehicle Code 21200.5. If you’re charged with CUI in Orange County, put your case immediately in the hands of an experienced Orange County DUI defense lawyer.

No jail time will be required if you are convicted of CUI, but you may be fined up to $250. CUI is a misdemeanor in California, so a conviction establishes a criminal record. California does not allow anyone under 21 to drink alcohol in any circumstance, so if you’re under 21 and you’re convicted of CUI, you can also lose your driving privilege for a year. If the police officer on the scene reasonably believes that you are a risk to the safety of yourself and the general public, or if you interfere with or obstruct the movements of others, you may be charged with “drunk in public” under California Penal Code 647(f). Drunk in public is a misdemeanor punishable upon conviction by up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

If you injure someone while you are intoxicated on a bicycle, you could also end up on the wrong end of a personal injury lawsuit in civil court, and if you’re found guilty of CUI or drunk in public, it’s probable that you’ll lose the lawsuit too. If you anticipate doing any drinking this summer, keep the bicycle at home. You’ll have to find another way to get around. If you are charged with DUI, CUI, or drunk in public anywhere in southern California, contact an experienced Orange County DUI defense lawyer for the legal help you need as quickly as possible.

DUI, INJURY OR DEATH, AND YOU

Posted on: May 15, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Code 23513, California Penal Codes 191.5 and 187(a)

Orange County DUI defense attorneyIn a worst-case scenario, if you are driving in California while you are intoxicated, you cause an accident, and someone is killed or injured, you’ll be probably charged with a felony DUI under California Vehicle Code 23513, “DUI with Injury.” If you’re convicted of DUI with injury, you could be sentenced to as much as five years in a California prison depending on your prior DUI and “wet reckless” convictions, if any. If you’re accused of DUI with Injury in Orange County, fight the charge with the help of an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney.

While DUI with Injury is almost always the charge when an intoxicated driver in California causes an accident with injuries, if you cause an accident that results in one or more fatalities, you could be prosecuted for DUI vehicular manslaughter under California Penal Code 191.5 or even for DUI second-degree murder (known as a “Watson” murder) under California Penal Code 187(a).

Most DUI charges in California are misdemeanors, and even a first-offense misdemeanor DUI can land you in jail for up to a year. But when you’re intoxicated behind the wheel, anything can happen, and you have little or no control. Any time that you drive under the influence, it’s a drive that could end with a DUI second-degree murder charge. If you are planning to drink, take a taxi, a limo, a bus, a ride service, or have a designated driver. Get a room or stay over at a friend’s if you have to. The few dollars you save by refusing a taxi or getting a room for the night are nothing compared to the cost of a DUI with Injury. If you’re charged with DUI in Orange County – whether it’s a first-offense misdemeanor or a DUI vehicular manslaughter – or anything “in-between” – get the legal representation you need by consulting an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney immediately.

THE PLEA BARGAIN-VS.-TRIAL CHOICE

Posted on: May 11, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County DUI defense attorneyIf you’re charged with DUI in Orange County under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), exercise your right to remain silent, and immediately retain the services of an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney. Your attorney will fully explain the charges against you and your defense options. You’ll have to make one major decision: Do you go to a trial and try to persuade the jurors to acquit you, or do you take a plea bargain or plea “deal” from the prosecuting attorney? It’s your decision alone, but you’ll need to decide carefully and consider the advice of your DUI attorney.

In almost every California DUI case, the prosecutor will offer the defendant a plea bargain. A plea bargain is an agreement to plead guilty or no contest to a lesser charge and to accept the penalty for that lesser charge. If you accept the plea bargain, you’ll be convicted for the lesser charge, and no trial will take place. If you reject the plea bargain, you’ll face a trial. If your case goes to trial and you win, your driver’s license will be returned and you’ll suffer no penalties. However, if you are found guilty of DUI by a jury, the sentence you receive will inevitably be harsher than the punishment you would have received by taking the plea bargain.

Don’t make the plea bargain-vs.-trial choice too quickly. First, consider fully the consequences of either choice for your family, your work, and your driving privilege. Be certain that your lawyer is told everything so that he or she can provide you with the best possible legal advice, and be certain to call your attorney as quickly as possible after any DUI arrest. After a DUI arrest in Orange County or elsewhere in southern California, arrange at once to speak with an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney.

A TAXI COSTS SO MUCH LESS

Posted on: May 1, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County DUI lawyerIf you are convicted of DUI in California, you’ll pay fines, fees, penalties, and assessments. You’ll pay tuition for DUI school and your insurance rates will go up. You may have to pay to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle. Your driver’s license will be suspended and you’ll have to pay a fee when the suspension period is over. In other words, if you are convicted of DUI in California, you’ll be in a financial position that very few Californians can actually afford. If you’re charged with DUI in Orange County, contact an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer immediately. Yes, you’ll pay an attorney’s fee, but a seasoned DUI attorney may be able to save you from some of the costlier expenses that come with a DUI conviction.

For a first DUI conviction in California, the minimum fine is $390, and $1,000 is the maximum. You’ll also pay “penalties” and “assessments,” which may cost more than the fine itself. A first conviction usually means three months of DUI school. Tuitions vary but you’re probably looking at around $600. A DUI conviction also means a suspension of your license, and when the suspension is over, you’ll pay a fee of $125 to have your license reinstated. If you are ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle, you’ll pay a small monthly charge and an installation cost of around $100.

Your insurance premiums will go up, and of course, if driving is part of your work, a DUI conviction could put your job at risk. There’s simply no reason to drive under the influence – a taxi costs much less than a conviction or an accident. Nevertheless, if you’re charged with DUI in southern California, you may be able to reduce some of the expenses with the help and services of an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer. If you’re charged with DUI now or in the future under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), make the call promptly.

VIDEO: NOT JUST FOR PROSECUTORS

Posted on: April 29, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County DUI lawyerMany California police agencies now use mobile audio and video recording devices. If you are arrested for DUI, these recordings can show prosecutors, judges, and jurors what really happened when you were pulled over. Audio and video evidence frequently helps DUI defendants prove that they are not guilty. In Orange County, if you are arrested for DUI under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), arrange at once to speak with an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer. One of your lawyer’s first moves will be to obtain any pertinent recording that is in the possession of law enforcement.

Many police officers in California now record stops for DUI, discussions with suspects, and field sobriety tests. Some officers will take video of your driving behavior prior to pulling you over. The recordings can protect the innocent police officer when there’s a false accusation of abuse or brutality, but the real value of audio and video recordings is the evidence they provides to defendants. It’s no longer the word of a DUI suspect against the word of a respected officer. If the police had no reason to stop you, the video can prove it. If you were not slurring your words, the audio can prove it. If you performed well on a field sobriety test, again, the video can prove it. California drivers should know that you are never obligated to take a field sobriety test unless you are 21 or over or on probation for a previous DUI.

Historically, when it’s your word against an arresting officer, juries and judges have generally given the officer the benefit of the doubt. Video and audio recordings eliminate that bias. In some DUI cases, scrutiny of the recording can lead to an acquittal or even a dismissal prior to trial. If you are accused of DUI in southern California, contact immediately an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer who knows how to use audio and video evidence effectively in your defense.

WHY YOU MAY NEED A CALIFORNIA DUI LAWYER

Posted on: April 22, 2015 by in DUI
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California DUI lawyerIn Orange County, if you are charged with driving under the influence – even if you are “guilty as sin” – you’ll still need to have an experienced Orange County-based California DUI lawyer advocating on your behalf. Your rights need to be protected, and a good DUI attorney can argue for reduced charges and a reduced sentence. Of course, if you believe that you’re innocent of the charge, you also need to contact a good Orange County DUI attorney as quickly as possible. You should choose an experienced DUI lawyer who routinely represents clients in Orange County DUI cases. It’s also important to choose an attorney that you personally like and trust, since your freedom and future will – to a great extent – be in that attorney’s hands. Don’t be tempted to depression after your arrest, decide all is lost, and plead guilty. Don’t try to act as your own attorney. Why?

  • Maybe you weren’t actually intoxicated when you were pulled over and arrested.
  • If you took a breathalyzer exam, maybe the breathalyzer wasn’t calibrated properly.
  • Maybe you suffer from a medical condition that skewed the breathalyzer result.
  • Maybe the police did not have a legal reason – reasonable cause – to stop you.

And those are only a few of the possibilities. You should understand that if you plead guilty to a DUI charge in Orange County, you’ll pay court costs, substantial fines, your license will be suspended for six months, and you’ll pay higher auto insurance premiums too. While convictions are frequent in California DUI cases, so are reduced charges and acquittals. In the long run, an experienced, Orange County-based California DUI lawyer can save you money, time, and a great deal of aggravation. If you are charged now or in the future with DUI in Orange County under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), make the call without delay.

TWO RINGS TO JUMP THROUGH (AND IT’S NO CIRCUS)

Posted on: April 15, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County DUI lawyerIf you are arrested on suspicion of DUI under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), your driving privilege will be at risk. Some California drivers don’t realize that when you are arrested for DUI in our state, you face two separate proceedings regarding your driver’s license: a criminal DUI proceeding, and an action by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You’ll need legal help to deal with both hurdles, so you’ll need to contact an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer immediately.

You have ten days following a DUI arrest to ask for a hearing with the DMV or your license will be automatically suspended. Completely apart from your criminal DUI case, the DMV tries to determine if you were driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level at or above 0.08 percent or if you refused to take to a chemical DUI test subsequent to being arrested. Should the DMV decide that you were over the legal BAC limit or that you refused a DUI test, your driver’s license will be suspended for four months. If your DUI lawyer is successful on your behalf at your DMV hearing, you’ll keep your license, at least until your DUI court case.

Two issues are considered in your criminal DUI case. The first is, were you driving with a BAC level of 0.08 percent or higher? The second is, were you driving “under the influence” of alcohol or drugs or a combination of both? Your license will be suspended for at least six months if you are convicted of DUI in criminal court. In other words, you and your attorney must prevail at both the DMV hearing and the criminal DUI proceeding or your license will be suspended.

If you do not prevail and your license is indeed suspended – let’s say the evidence against you is overwhelming – your may still be able with your attorney’s help to obtain a restricted license for work, school, legal obligations, and medical appointments. Losing your license is not the only – or worst – penalty you can face for DUI, but it’s the only one you face twice for one offense. If you’re accused of DUI in Orange County now or in the future, immediately contact an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer at once.

A PASSAGE INTO ADULTHOOD THAT NEEDS SOME ADULTS

Posted on: April 3, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County DUI lawyerSouthern California’s young people get excited in the spring because it’s time to start organizing graduation parties and anticipating prom night. Graduation is a symbol of adulthood, but graduation night will nevertheless need plenty of real adult supervision. If you’re the parent of a teenager in Orange County, you can help keep graduation night safe. If your teenager is arrested for DUI under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), get legal help at once and speak to an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer.

Parents can take several proactive steps to help make sure graduation night is safe and fun for all. The most imperative thing you must do is to make certain that any party your teenager attends, at your home or elsewhere, is alcohol-free. Hosts in California can be held liable if a teen drives away intoxicated and the result is property damages and/or personal injuries. If you have a dozen or more teens at your home, ask other parents to help, and be willing to help other parents if the party’s at their home.

Your goal as a parent on graduation night is to keep everyone safe by preventing any intoxicated driving. Don’t hesitate to check backpacks, oversized purses, and any packages that could carry alcohol; in any group of a dozen or so teens, one or two will predictably try to pull something. Call the parents if you think one of the teens is high on alcohol or drugs. They may not like you calling their parents, but teens like jail, the hospital, and the morgue even less. Your kids are precious. Do everything you can to keep them safe on prom night this year. If you need a DUI lawyer for your teen – or even for yourself – in Orange County on graduation night or any other night, contact an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer without delay.

YOU CAN’T COVER UP A DUI

Posted on: March 27, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County DUI defense attorneyDUI could not be more serious. If you’re charged with DUI in Orange County, contact an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney immediately. Sometimes drunk drivers, in their efforts to avoid arrest and conviction, come up with some of the most desperate stunts and antics. They never work. If you’re stopped for suspicion of DUI, cooperate while politely exercising your right to remain silent, and call a good DUI attorney immediately. That’s what one 20-year-old driver should have done in February.

Bryan Byers, of Sparta, New Jersey, was charged with DWI after colliding with a guard rail and a stop sign. But that’s only where this story begins. The resourceful Byers, rather than notifying the police or calling an attorney, called a friend. Alexander Zambenedetti soon arrived with some 5-gallon buckets of water. They dumped the water on the roadway to create black ice.

For southern Californians who haven’t experienced it, “black ice” is a thin coating of glazed ice on a roadway. It’s virtually transparent, allowing black asphalt and macadam roadways to be seen through it – hence the term “black ice.” Black ice makes it almost impossible for drivers to maintain traction, and it causes thousands of minor accidents – as well as a few serious ones – every year, mostly in the northeast states and the Midwest. Byers and Zambenedetti conspired to tell police that black ice was the cause of Byers’ crash. Police arrived before the two could complete their scheme, and officers saw skid marks under the ice that the suspects had created.

Both men were arrested for DWI, which is called DUI in California. If you are charged with DUI in Orange County under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), don’t get any creative ideas. You could face additional charges if you tamper with evidence or attempt to cover up evidence. Instead, get the help you really need, and contact an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney as quickly as possible.

DO DRUNK PEOPLE SPEAK ANOTHER LANGUAGE?

Posted on: March 25, 2015 by in DUI
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California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

Orange County DUI defense attorneyAt Queens College and Columbia University, computer researchers have created a program that claims to identify drunk people based on their speech patterns. The scientists believe that someday, their computer program could be installed in cars to prevent intoxicated drivers from cruising down the highway. During two years of research, the investigators compiled speech pattern data from 162 participants in various stages of intoxication. The scientists believe they have precisely identified the speech patterns most frequently linked to intoxication: slurring, stammering, and stuttering.

While the details are new, the story is an old one. Over the years, DUI defense attorneys have seen an assortment of “scientific” devices – all claiming to identify or measure intoxication – come and go. Let an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney handle your case if you’re charged with DUI in Orange County under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b). A number of defendants arrested for DUI on the basis of breathalyzer results, for instance, have had charges dropped or won acquittals because it’s difficult to establish a uniform system of measurement for something like alcohol that affects everyone differently. To work properly, devices like breathalyzers must be precisely calibrated and routinely maintained. Still, some scientists have the highest hopes for this particular software, even though currently it only identifies a driver’s intoxication level with about 75 percent accuracy.

In the never-ending battle to outsmart would-be drunk drivers, speech pattern recognition software is one of the many tools currently in development. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hopes to develop alcohol detection sensors that could eventually be installed in every vehicle in the United States. Technology is on the march, but if you’re charged with DUI in Orange County or anywhere else in southern California, you need legal help today. Get the help you need by arranging immediately to speak with an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney.