Drivers found guilty of a DUI in Los Angeles often avoid jail time if it’s their first offense. But some motorists in California and other states also get off lightly even when it’s their second or third offense or when they’ve caused someone’s death.
Drake Bell, former star of the Drake and Josh show on Nickelodeon, served only one day of a mandatory four-day jail term for his second DUI offense. Police officers in Glendale, California, stopped the 30-year-old actor last December after they saw his vehicle swerving and then abruptly speeding up. Bell failed a field sobriety test but refused to take a chemical test.
Bell’s previous DUI conviction stems from a May 2010 incident in San Diego. Since this was his second DUI offense, Bell could have faced up to one year in county jail under California Vehicle Code 23512. But the judge accepted a plea deal, sentencing Bell to 96 hours in jail. Bell apparently served a reduced sentence because of his good behavior, but he will still have to complete an alcohol treatment program and remain on probation for four years.
In Kentucky, a judge granted “shock probation” to a motorist who killed his passenger while driving under the influence. Mark Highbaugh pleaded guilty to manslaughter and DUI in March and Judge Susan Gibson sent him to prison for eight years. But after Highbaugh served several months in prison, the judge reduced his sentence to five years of probation, 200 hours of community service and a $1,000 felony fine. News reports refer to the reduction of the sentence as “shock probation,” meaning the judge hopes that the shock of actually being in prison will encourage someone convicted of a crime to change his/her ways.
If you need to develop a sound, systematic defense to a Los Angeles DUI charge, call experienced Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer, Michael Kraut, of the Kraut Law Group.