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If you get into a car in South Africa, you might be taking your life into your own hands. According to a 2015 report by the World Health Organization (as reported in Forbes), South Africa has the most dangerous roads in the world, with 25.1 accident fatalities per 100,000 people. Furthermore, if someone dies in a vehicle accident in South Africa, there’s a 58 percent chance it was caused by someone driving under the influence.global-DUI-defense-225x300

These statistics are quite ironic considering South Africa has some of the steepest penalties for DUI offenses of anywhere else in the world. A DUI conviction can cost up to $10,000 in fines or 10 years of jail time, according to LifeSafer, and as recently as April, authorities were considering implementing a mandatory two-year prison sentence without bail for any DUI conviction. One possible reason for this dichotomy may be that the laws aren’t consistently enforced. According to a report by Voice of America, only 6 percent of DUI arrests in South Africa result in a conviction, thanks to a combination of backlogs, inefficient processing, bribery and corruption.

South Africa’s driving woes illustrate that America isn’t the only nation where DUI is an issue—although the WHO places the United States at Number 3 on its list of worst nations for DUI fatalities, only two behind South Africa a 31 percent fatality rate. The UK falls in the middle at 16 percent, while the country with the lowest DUI fatality rate (again, ironically), is China—the world’s most populous nation.

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Domestic violence is a serious matter here in California. The laws are strict, tolerance is low to nonexistent, and the overwhelming response is such that being accused of it can dramatically alter your life, even if you’re not guilty. If you got into a mild altercation with your spouse that somehow got construed to be domestic violence, your private disagreement could be instantly ranked alongside major felonies like assault or murder.DV-defense-los-angeles-options

Suffice it to say that when you’re accused of this crime, choosing the right defense strategy may be critical to your future, which is why you need a seasoned criminal defense attorney to help you map out a plan of action while representing your interests in court. Let’s take a look at some of the most common and effective defenses against charges of domestic violence, and under what circumstances it’s appropriate to use them.

False Accusation

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contrite-after-domestic-violence-arrest-300x233You hit your significant other. Now you’re facing possible jail time and a restraining order. But while those are serious consequences, the worst, for you, is that you’ve lost the love and respect of someone you really cared about. Is there any way to get that back? To restore normalcy to your life and relationship?

Protect Your Freedom AND Engage in Sober Reflection

It’s one thing to vigorously defend yourself against legal charges related to the domestic violence event. You deserve fairness, and the consequences of a criminal conviction can profoundly affect your financial future, your job prospects and even your freedom. And even though you did (by your own admission) commit a violent act, you need to protect yourself against overly aggressive prosecutors. You’re looking for fairness and a chance to reboot and start again.

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wet-reckless-Los-Angeles-DUIPolice have charged you with a DUI, and now you’ve got a lot of questions and concerns.

• Exactly what do the charges against you mean?

• What legal issues are you facing?

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Domestic violence affects people of every age, race and income level. But cases of domestic violence (DV) usually make the news only when prominent individuals such as actors, sports stars and reality TV celebrities become involved. These cases often open up important discussions… that are subsequently treated with only cartoonish analysis along the lines of “he’s bad; she’s good” or “she’s wrong; he’s right.” This is tragic, not only because domestic violence isn’t a simple crime but also because trivializing these cases prevents us collectively from reflecting and learning important lessons about ourselves, our habits and strategies that could prevent future violence. To that end, we’re going to summarize some major recent DV cases in the news and dive deeper—using them as a jumping off point to provide meaningful insight for defendants (and others).johnny-depp-DV

Ezekiel Elliot (Accusations Against an NFL Star)

When a former girlfriend accused the Dallas Cowboy’s running back Ezekiel Elliot of domestic violence, the NFL investigated the charges and ordered his suspension for six games. But Elliot refused to take the suspension without a fight; he contended that the league had not given him a fair hearing.

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When you have the right app, your cell phone can be a handy tool in helping you avoid a DUI charge.9-4-17-DUI-los-angeles-apps-300x169

• Planning a night out with friends? There are apps that will help you estimate your blood alcohol content and provide a rough estimate of your BAC based on how many drinks you’ve had.

• Are you sure that you’ve consumed too much to get behind the wheel? Download a few apps that can help you snag a ride home so you don’t have to drive.

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Los Angeles County saw an alarming increase in the number of hit-and-run crashes in 2015, the last year for which statistics are available. According to a report from the NBC4 I-Team, the California Highway Patrol reported that the county experienced more than 28,000 such crashes in 2015. The report also revealed that 50 percent of all crashes in Los Angeles County are hit-and-run. (Compare that to the national figures; the American Automobile Association says that 11 percent of all crashes nationwide are hit-and-run.)hit-and-run-los-angeles-DUI

But California is not alone in the increasing number of hit-and-runs. New York, Florida and North Carolina are among the states also reporting big jumps in the number of crashes where drivers flee the scene.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that hit-and-run drivers kill nearly 1,500 people annually:

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Have you heard the one about the driver who was arrested for DUI because he had a caffeine high? Or about the state legislator who successfully argued that cough syrup and a breath spray caused a false positive DUI breathalyzer reading?auto-brewery-dui-300x169

While law enforcement officers and courts generally accept breathalyzer tests as proof that someone was driving under the influence, those tests can sometimes give false positive readings. As absurd as these stories sound, to the people wrongfully arrested for DUIs, these incidents are no laughing matter.

Betrayed by their bodies

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As someone recently accused of domestic violence charges, you’re no doubt acutely aware of the challenges faced by victims. Whether you stand falsely accused of hitting a spouse or partner, or whether you took an action against someone you love that you profoundly regret, it’s important to empathize. After all, finding a resolution to your family crisis—and your criminal case—requires understanding the situation first.falsely-accused-DV-300x221

Unfortunately, those accused of domestic violence—as well as those victimized by violent acts—often look only to the courts to sort things out. Sometimes, sadly, punitive intervention is necessary. But wouldn’t it be better if everyone involved could have their needs met and society provided more (and better) resources to families in trouble?

After all, the end goals we’re all seeking are the same:

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Breaking the cycle of domestic violence has been difficult. Studies have shown that even the most widely-used program for domestic abuse intervention, the Duluth Model, has not been successful in reducing the rate of recidivism for violent offenders.Mindfulness-to-combat-domestic-violence-300x129

But there is one approach that might be more successful. Although they are not designed specifically to reduce incidences of domestic violence, programs that teach people mindfulness and meditation have shown some promise in reducing incidences of violence in several settings.

Stop and think

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