Articles Tagged with dui defense

Los-Angeles-Domestic-Violence-Defense-8-300x200Between the embarrassment, the stigma and the uncertainty, a DUI arrest can be a traumatic experience in and of itself. The following days and weeks may offer little relief as you face the prospect of jail time, fines and license suspension—not to mention possibly jeopardizing your job if you can’t get to work.

If you’re facing this kind of situation in the wake of a DUI arrest, however, the real question isn’t what will happen if you’re convicted, but what happens after your case is closed. Regardless of whether you’re convicted or how severe the penalties, the DUI arrest is a moment in your life, and at some point it will be behind you. The question is whether you will find yourself in this situation again, or whether you will let it be a teaching moment. As a point of inspiration and encouragement, we’ve hunted down a few real-life stories of people who allowed their DUI arrest to become a turning point in their lives.

Second Time’s a Charm

Los-Angeles-DUI-attorney-10-300x200Suppose you’re at a bar with some friends and you have a few drinks. You don’t feel exceptionally impaired, but you realize you’re probably not safe to drive home. You notice a scooter rental nearby and decide that might be a cheaper choice than springing for a cab or Uber. In fact, you grab one more drink with the money you saved. You’ve made a good choice, right? You’re being responsible.

Not so fast.

In late September, as USA Today reports, Los Angeles prosecutors secured their first DUI conviction of a man riding an electric scooter while under the influence—no doubt the first of many.

Los-Angeles-DUI-attorney-13-300x199Getting arrested for DUI can be highly disruptive and embarrassing in itself—but imagine if your shortcomings made national headlines. By definition, famous people rely on publicity to keep them…famous. However, occasionally they get media attention for less than flattering reasons. Even so, we can always learn something from their stories, so let’s take a look at a few high-profile DUI cases from the past few months.

Vince Vaughn

Around 12:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 10, Dodgeball actor Vince Vaughn, 48, was stopped at a sobriety checkpoint in Manhattan Beach outside Los Angeles, WTOP reports. He allegedly failed an on-site sobriety test but opted to take a blood test rather than submit to a breathalyzer. Vaughn was arrested on the scene on suspicion of DUI, as captured by police body cameras. An unnamed passenger in the vehicle was also arrested for public intoxication, and both were cited for delaying an investigation—which under California law is listed in the same section as resisting or obstructing arrest.

Los-Angeles-DUI-attorney-22-300x200You’re driving along a California highway, minding your own business, when you get pulled over by a police officer on suspicion of DUI. It can happen to anyone, even drivers who have had nothing to drink—but how you respond in this situation can make things far more difficult for you or, in some cases, much easier. To give you a better chance at the latter, we’ve compiled a list of “don’ts”—eight things you should only do if you are a glutton for punishment or hell-bent on making your DUI arrest more difficult than it needs to be.

1. Don’t be rude to the police.

In this situation, the ancient proverb applies: “A soft answer turns away wrath.”

Every 51 minutes, someone in the U.S. dies in an alcohol-related motor vehicle accident. Everyone—DUI defendants included!—agrees that we need to “do something” to dramatically reduce this number, but there’s no agreement on what that solution should be. Traditionally, our system has been heavy on the sticks, light on the carrots. We punish DUI drivers tremendously—by stripping them of driving privileges, fining them, sending them to jail, hiking their insurance rates, and beyond. How well is this “heavy on the punitive” system working? Well, take a look at the first sentence in this paragraph—one death every 51 minutes. If we want to do better—and we can—we need to look beyond the punitive and consider other ways to shore up our system, deter unwanted behavior, reward compliant behavior and solve the (challenging and often deeply psychologically rooted) issues that encourage unfortunate behavior behind the wheel.DUI-51-minutes-300x94

In a previous post, we looked at the current and future technologies that could address DUI deterrence. Now we’ll consider some of the other proposed solutions.

Lowering the BAC limit?

The properties damaged by DUIs in Los Angeles can include everything from vehicles to homes to businesses and retail establishments. Sometimes a DUI driver will take out a neighborhood landmark, destroying a bar or a restaurant that’s a favorite with locals. DUI-Fire-EdsChickenandCrabs

Residents and regular visitors to Dewey Beach, Delaware, are mourning the destruction of Ed’s Chicken and Crabs by a DUI driver. A 2013 Mini Cooper driven by Michelle Small, 36, of Wyoming, Delaware, slammed into the popular summer take out restaurant, hitting a propane gas tank and igniting a fire that soon engulfed the building.

A video camera on a nearby building recorded the entire incident, which occurred around 2 a.m. The video shows Small’s vehicle traveling southbound at a high rate of speed along Route 1 (the Coastal Highway). The car crosses over the median strip, goes about a half block the wrong way in the north lanes and then crashes into the restaurant.   Continue reading

Most people charged with DUI in Los Angeles never intended to break the laws against driving while intoxicated. But one drink too many can cloud their judgment, and they get behind the wheel not understanding that they really shouldn’t be driving.kevins-law-dui

Dr. Stephen Miller of Plymouth Township, Pennsylvania, may not have realized his condition when he got behind the wheel of the family vehicle one evening in June. But he should have been more attuned to the dangers of DUI than most people. Miller lost his five-year-old son Kevin in 2012 when a DUI driver stuck the child as the family was crossing a road. Instead of stopping to assist, the driver fled the scene.

After Miller learned that the driver could spend only a year in jail for his crime, he and his wife spent the next two years advocating for stronger penalties for those who flee the scene of fatal accidents. In 2014, the state legislature passed “Kevin’s Law,” raising the minimum penalty for that crime to three years. The Millers and their extended family were present to witness Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signing the bill in June 2014.

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Would someone arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles be less likely to offend again if he/she had to go to the morgue to see someone killed by a DUI driver?dui-morgue-los-angeles

In an article that appeared in Slade Magazine’s April 2016 issue, writer Hannah Waters reported on a program in Orange County, California, that allows a judge to order a DUI offender to visit the morgue. The program, which started in the late 1980s, reports that fewer than two percent of the drivers who participate face DUI charges again within 18 months. The National Highway Safety Administration, on the other hand, estimates that the national recidivism rate for DUI offenses is about 30 percent.

Waters spoke to a forensic psychologist about the program, who said that such programs could help offenders understand that they have caused (or could have caused) real harm. Seeing a DUI victim in the morgue could also help an offender empathize with the victim, so they remember the possible consequences the next time he or she considers driving after drinking.

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Police officers are not selective about who they arrest for DUI in Los Angeles and other cities. Celebrity, political figures—even people who have distinguished themselves for their courageous actions—may find themselves facing these charges.Navy SEAL Rob ONeill-DUI

According to media reports, former Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill faces DUI charges in Montana after police officers in Butte-Silver Bow County found him passed out in a car in the parking lot of a convenience store. O’Neill claimed that he was the person who killed Osama bin Laden when the Navy Seals cornered him in a house in Pakistan.

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When a police officer suspects someone of DUI in Los Angeles, the officer will usually ask the driver to take a breathalyzer test. Under California Vehicle Code 23612, a driver who refuses could face fines, mandatory jail time and loss of license for a year if the court convicts him/her of DUI.  4th-amendment-los-angeles-DUI

A case now before the Supreme Court of the United States could force California and 11 other states to change such laws. Judging from the questions posed by the Justices during oral arguments on April 20th, the court appeals skeptical about states’ contentions that public safety issues should outweigh Fourth Amendment concerns.

Both Minnesota and North Dakota have laws similar to California’s “implied consent” statute, making it a crime to refuse chemical testing when officers suspect DUI. The Supreme Court consolidated appeals in three separate cases–one from Minnesota and two from North Dakota–into one case, Birchfield v. North Dakota. The defendants in these cases either served time for refusing a breathalyzer or felt they were pressured into submitting to one, leading to convictions on DUI charges.

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