Articles Tagged with los angeles DUI defense

uber-driver-DUIIt’s bad enough that a DUI conviction can wipe out your bank account or drive up your credit card bill. Between the fines, court costs and other associated expenses—like DUI driver school tuition and added commuting costs—you could pay as much as $7,500 out of pocket. But you could also face a longer-term problem of unemployment. When you lose your job because of a DUI or struggle to get a new one afterwards, it adds insult to injury.

If you’ve been earning some extra cash as an Uber or a Lyft driver, you’ll have to find another way to fill your wallet. Uber is already fairly picky about DUIs on a driving record; in California, Uber won’t even hire you if your record shows that you’ve had a DUI within the last 10 years.

But what if you’ve been working as an Uber driver, and then you get a DUI? Will you be able to keep driving?

It’s the call that no parent wants but too many of us receive. “Mom, Dad, I’m at the police station. I’ve been charged with DUI.”teen-dui-los-angeles

As you drive to pick up your wayward teen, your emotions range from relief that your child is safe to anger that she made such poor choices to anxiety about how this arrest will impact her future.

You’re not alone. Many parents in the U.S. have gone through this experience. The National Organization for Youth Safety says that 25 percent of all car crashes involved an underage drinking driver. The CDC reports that in 2014, 17 percent of drivers aged 16 to 20 who were involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes had a blood alcohol contact of .08 percent or higher.

Most DUI arrests don’t get a lot of attention from the general public or news media unless they involve a celebrity and/or result in a horrendous accident. Over the last two decades, however, there have been several arrests for DUI that have attracted widespread media notice and/or gone viral because they are simply so outrageous or bizarre.crazy-los-angeles-DUIs-of-21st-century-300x144

Here’s a sampling.

The family that drinks together…

While no one who is DUI in Los Angeles is safe from harming themselves or others, some drivers get themselves in more difficult positions than others. Here are a few examples:car-DUI-potomac-river

•    In Montgomery County, Maryland, a 26-year old man drove his car through a gate, onto a ferry and into the Potomac River around 1:30 a.m. on the night of October 7th. Although White’s Ferry wasn’t open at the time, a ferry captain who lived nearby heard the man’s screams and was able to rescue him. Police charged the driver with DUI.

•    A 43-year-old woman from Clearwater, Florida, drove for three miles on the wrong side of U.S. 19 near Tarpon Springs. During her northbound trip in the southbound lanes, Anna Marie Sosa avoided a head-on collision with another vehicle only because the other driver was able to take evasive action. (The other car did suffer minor damage to the bumper.) A police officer finally stopped the woman and charged her with DUI and leaving the scene of an accident.

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A horrific DUI incident in San Diego may serve as a warning to drivers at risk of DUI in Los Angeles.DUI-felony-homicide-losangeles

Esteysi Sanchez Izazaga, who goes by Stacy Sanchez, had apparently been drinking in two establishments before she headed for home on the morning of June 29th. Sanchez was allegedly speeding when her car left the road and hit a 69-year-old homeless man, Jack Ray Tenhulzen, who was walking on the sidewalk.

The impact was so great that it forced Tenhulzen through the windshield and severed his leg, which flew through the back window and landed on the trunk of Sanchez’s car. Tenhulzen’s body ended up in the passenger seat beside Sanchez.

But Sanchez continued to drive for another mile or so before parking the car and walking two blocks to her home. Witnesses called police to report the incident, and the officers went to Sanchez’s home and arrested her after her live-in boyfriend also called them to report she was there.

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Many drivers charged with DUI in Los Angeles end up taking plea agreements – they get charges and penalties reduced by agreeing to admit guilt to lesser offenses. Judges usually accept such deals, but occasionally a new piece of information can change a judge’s mind.los-angeles-DUI-plea_agreement-tossed

A report on Fox2 in Detroit, Michigan, gave Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway a different perspective on an accused DUI driver. Hathaway had seen a story about 34-year-old Mlinzi McMillian, who was DUI in 2014 when he hit a semi-truck. The accident killed McMillian’s 12-year-old son as well as the younger McMillian’s 16-year-old stepbrother.

Although police originally charged McMillian with DUI causing death and reckless driving causing death, the results of the accused driver’s blood alcohol test were inconclusive. So prosecutors arranged a plea deal; McMillian would have to serve five years of probation. He never spent a day in jail, and he kept his license.

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Police officers may arrest multiple drivers for a Los Angeles DUI within a short period for time when they’re conducting sobriety check points, but it’s not as usual for them to nab two DUI drivers at a time at a traffic stop.singing-in-car-dui-los-angeels

When a Florida Highway Patrol officer pulled 31-year-old Josue Moncado over for reckless driving on I-75 near Ocala, he smelled alcohol on his breath. The officer had just arrested Josue when his sister, Ercilia Moncado, pulled up and began arguing with the trooper. Another officer called to the scene ended up arresting the woman for DUI as well; she allegedly tried to escape from the patrol car, but officers managed to quickly recapture her.
No word on whether the Moncado siblings got adjoining cells.

Also a nominee in the category of “drivers who appear to be begging for a DUI arrest” is a woman recently arrested by the California Highway Patrol. The unnamed driver had allegedly stopped her car in the middle of the freeway, climbed up on the roof and began dancing. She apparently was a real entertainer; as the CHP troopers approached, she began singing as well.

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Prosecutors sometimes use a “relation-back” calculation to determine blood alcohol content when charging someone with a Los Angeles DUI. The theory is that chemists or other experts can look at the results of a blood test taken a few hours after an arrest and calculate what the BAC content would have been at the time the police officer pulled the driver over. judge-rules-in-DUI-case

Now a judge in Vermont has ruled that the state can’t use such evidence.

According to WCAX and NECN (New England Cable News), Judge Howard Van Benthuysen of the Orleans County Criminal Court ruled that the “relation-back” calculations are unreliable. He cited scientific evidence that shows alcohol leaves people’s bloodstreams at very different rates.

With his decision, Judge Van Benthuysen threw out the BAC in 25 DUI driving cases before the court. There’s no word yet about whether or not the prosecutor will appeal the ruling to a higher court. In Michigan, meanwhile, the state’s appeals court has ruled that operating your car in a driveway while under the influence does not constitute DUI.

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If courts convicted you of a DUI in Los Angeles that caused serious injury and sentenced you to harsh penalties, you’d likely want to explore the possibility of appealing your conviction. But a court in Florida has ruled that one defendant needs to limit his appeal.

March 7, 2012 - West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. -   WEST PALM BEACH - John Goodman looks at potential jurors during the second day of jury selection in his DUI Manslaughter trial Wednesday. (Credit Image: © Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post/ZUMAPRESS.com)

March 7, 2012 – West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. – WEST PALM BEACH – John Goodman looks at potential jurors during the second day of jury selection in his DUI Manslaughter trial Wednesday. (Credit Image: © Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post/ZUMAPRESS.com)

In February, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeals ruled that attorneys for John Goodman, convicted of DUI manslaughter in 2014, had to keep their appeal down to 100 pages—12 more than they originally filed. Goodman’s lawyers are asking that the appeals court overturn his conviction or at least grant him a new (third) trial.

Miami’s Sun Sentinel reported that attorneys representing the State of Florida had argued that Goodman’s appeal was more than twice the length of the filings that appeals courts usually allowed. They contended that 85 pages should be the maximum number.

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In earlier days, people arrested for DUI in Los Angeles could concoct an involved story about what really happened when they crashed their vehicles into a light pole or ended up in a highway median. It was always somebody else’s fault. But in the age of video surveillance, it’s getting harder and harder to make such stories believable.Donnie-Myers-DUI

Just ask Donnie Myers, the 11th Circuit Court Solicitor in South Carolina.  Responding to a report of someone hitting a utility pole, a police officer tracked Myers down to his home. Found in his garage, Myers told police that he had been slightly hurt in the accident, which was caused by another driver who had forced him over. But the officer apparently doubted that story, since he smelled alcohol.

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