Articles Tagged with los angeles DUI defense

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DUI-with-minor-216x300A DUI conviction in California comes with some stiff penalties, even for first-time offenders. However, if you have a minor in the car at the time of your alleged DUI, you could face enhanced penalties, including mandatory jail time. The specific law detailing these penalties is California Vehicle Section Code 23572 VC, sometimes called the “DUI with a Minor Passenger Penalty Enhancement.” The ramifications can be confusing at times, so let’s unravel them by answering some of the most commonly asked questions about this law and how it may affect your sentence if you’re convicted of a DUI.

What is California Vehicle Section Code 23572 VC?

This section of the vehicle code prescribes specific additional sentencing by the courts “if any person is convicted of a violation of Section 23152 [DUI] and a minor under 14 years of age was a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the offense.” If convicted of a DUI where the law applies, it requires the courts to enforce mandatory jail time in addition to whatever sentence the judge gives for the DUI itself. The upshot is that if you had a child under age 14 in the car at the time of your DUI arrest and you are convicted, you will spend time in jail, even if it’s your first DUI offense.

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DUI-prevention-tech-of-the-future-300x180Imagine that you’ve spent some time at a bar or at a party with friends. You’ve had a couple of drinks, but you don’t feel particularly tipsy—so when you leave, you get into your car thinking you’re safe to drive home. Your car, however, doesn’t seem to cooperate. Either it refuses to start, or when it starts, you can’t put it into gear. The car sends you a message, either audibly or by text, that your blood alcohol content is too high, and offers to call a taxi for you.

If you think this scenario sounds like a sci-fi movie set decades into the future, think again. The technology already exists to generate this level of DUI prevention, and within a few years we may even see cars equipped with this tech entering the mainstream. In fact, over the next ten years we may see emerging technology radically reshape the ways in which DUI is prevented and/or enforced. Let’s explore a few examples.

Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS)

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los-angeles-DUI-stories-300x200“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn’t.” –Mark Twain

One of the most common tactics utilizes to try and dissuade people from DUI is to describe what could happen if someone gets behind the wheel while intoxicated. In reality, we can learn just as much (if not more) from things that actually did happen during DUI incidents. Quite often the events are completely unpredictable and frequently disastrous.

We believe these true-life stories hold lessons for us all, so let’s take a look at a recent compendium of rather crazy stories of DUI that have happened in recent memory to see what we can learn from them.

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dumb-los-angeles-DUI-300x300Let’s start by acknowledging the obvious: No one begins with the express intention, “I’m going to get arrested for DUI tonight.” Although sadly, some people don’t care one way or the other, the average person doesn’t set out with an intent to drive under the influence. Usually, a DUI arrest happens as a result of bad judgment, bad choices, unforeseen circumstances or a combination of these things.

Unfortunately, once you’ve been arrested, you can’t hit the “rewind” button on the bad choices that led to that moment. Additionally, if your arrest ends in a conviction, the consequences may be long-lasting and permanent. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” as the saying goes—so let’s discuss a few of the ill-advised ways people set themselves up for DUI and how to avoid them.

1. Hanging Out with the Wrong People

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If you’ve been charged with any crime—whether the charge is Los Angeles DUI, domestic abuse or something else—neither the prosecutor nor your defense attorney will rely solely on physical evidence to prove your guilt or innocence. Much of the evidence presented comes in the form of verbal testimony from witnesses—people who saw what happened, people who can attest to your whereabouts, experts called to weigh in on certain matters, etc. The problem is this: Verbal testimony is based mostly on memory, and memory can be a fleeting thing.rashomon-defense-los-angeles-DUI

And the result is that, many times, when different witnesses offer conflicting testimony, it doesn’t necessarily mean one of them is intentionally lying. Sometimes it’s simply that those people remember the events differently. The jury then has the unhappy task of figuring out the truth, by listening to these alternative versions.

The Science of Memory and the “Rashomon Effect”

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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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How do officers working for Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) determine whether they should stop someone for a DUI? LAPD-DRE-training-overview

All LAPD officers receive substantial training that helps them understand what to look for when patrolling L.A.’s freeways and surface streets for dangerous drivers—and drivers who might be under the influence. Police officers are human, however, so they can forget what they learned (or just ignore proper procedure) and make errors during the arrest process itself.

LAPD officers’ DUI training has changed considerably over the decades, according to the department’s website. Back in the 1970s, police departments in most jurisdictions, including Los Angeles, had no standards-based roadside sobriety tests to help them determine and document whether or not a person was driving while under the influence of alcohol. So different states (and different officers) developed their own versions of the sobriety tests.

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Would closer monitoring of drivers convicted of repeated Los Angeles DUIs make the roads any safer? It probably couldn’t hurt. The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration says that “Drivers with prior DWI convictions are also overrepresented in fatal crashes and have a greater relative risk of fatal crash involvement…Intoxicated drivers with prior DWI convictions had 4.1 times the risk of being in a fatal crash as intoxicated drivers without prior DWIs. Another study showed that fatal crash risk increases with the number of prior DWI arrests.”Tulare County DUI

California’s Tulare County is going to monitor drivers with multiple DUI convictions more closely in an attempt to avoid DUI and drug-related crashes, according to an online article in the Porterville Recorder. In 2015, DUI-related crashes in the County killed 20 people and injured 298.

The California Office of Traffic Safety has given the County $168,301 as part of its Intensive Probation Supervision for High-Risk Felony and DUI Probation program. With these funds, the county is launching a DUI Probation Supervision Program to “quickly and aggressively” respond to felony DUI offenders. Probation officers will monitor their assignees by:

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When drivers suspect they’ve had a few drinks too many, one of the best things they can do is park their vehicles and get them off the road. But when they’re at risk for a DUI in Los Angeles–or any other jurisdiction, for that matter—they should be careful to determine whether or not their parking spot is a good one.Amtrak Auto Train Number 52-DUI-accident

Hung Tran, 54, didn’t do a very good job in selecting the place to park his vehicle. He left it on the train tracks near Hanahan, South Carolina around the time that the Amtrak Auto Train Number 52 was heading to that same spot. Tran did manage to get out of his vehicle before the train hit, but the impact caused a large crash (heard by nearby neighbors) and delayed travel along the tracks for three hours. Fortunately, no one on the train suffered injuries.

When police gave Tran a breathalyzer exam, they measured his blood alcohol content at .15 percent—almost twice the legal limit. He now faces DUI charges.

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Drivers pulled over for a Los Angeles DUI try many different ways to avoid getting a DUI charge on their records. Some plead with the arresting officers asking for a break; others may hire experienced attorneys who will look for flaws in the government’s case. Some people will even lie about their identities to the arresting officers, although that ruse does not work well over the long term.sister-dui-los-angeles

Shannon Whack, age 31, said she had been attending a party on March 17th at her (now-ex) boyfriend’s home when he became abusive. Grabbing her two young kids, she got into her car at 2:30 in the morning and left, despite the fact that she allegedly had been drinking much of the evening.

Police officers in Graham, North Carolina, caught up with Whack and determined that she had been DUI, according to the Times News of Burlington, North Carolina. They took her to jail, but Whack probably knew that admitting her real identity would get her in even more trouble, because she reportedly had been driving on a suspended license (not for a DUI, however). Her workaround was to give the booking officers her sister’s name and birth date.

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