Articles Tagged with los angeles DUI defense

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/

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/

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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What would happen to a judge convicted of a DUI in Los Angeles? When a court in Broward County, Florida, found a circuit judge guilty of that offense, she ended up losing her job. JudgeCynthiaImperato-DUI

On November 5, 2013, a 911 caller alerted police that a white Mercedes was driving erratically on Federal Highway in Boca Raton. When a police officer pulled the car over, Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Imperato told the officer that she was a judge. Instead of handing over her driver’s license as the officer requested, Imperato handed him her judge’s badge. (She later insisted that she wasn’t looking for special treatment because of her status.)

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The average Joe or Jane charged with a Los Angeles DUI may sometimes wonder if there are two justice systems at work; one for every day folks, and the other for the well-connected. A recent incident across the country in Pennsylvania would probably reinforce their cynical attitudes.private-room-los-angeles-DUI

On April 3, 2015, police noticed attorney Zachary A. Morey running a stop sign in Sinking Spring in Berks County. When the officers pulled him over, Morey failed several sobriety tests and his BAC measured three times the legal limit at 0.291.

According to the Reading Eagle, Morey had to appear in Judge Eleni Geishauser’s court for a hearing on the charges, which would typically result in the lawyer’s placement in the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program.  (The judge can use this special pre-trial program for non-violent offenders who have no prior or a very limited record. If the defendant successfully completes the supervised program, the court dismisses the charges and expunges the case from the record.)

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Want to get police officers to pay more attention to you? Try pulling one of these dumb stunts when you’re at risk for a DUI in Los Angeles.

A woman from Baraboo, Minnesota, apparently couldn’t find her own vehicle when she stumbled out of a BP gas station and convenience store in Juneau County. So she did the next best thing–she got into a waiting deputy’s vehicle and drove away.
The deputy and a state trooper dealt with the unnamed 29-year-old woman and her intoxicated male friend at the gas station around 4 a.m. in the morning. The woman apparently got tired of the discussion and left.  Fortunately, witnesses saw her take off and pointed the trooper and the deputy–who were riding in the state police car–in the right direction. They soon caught up with her and managed to pull her over.Clonazepam and los angeles DUI

Turns out, this wasn’t the woman’s first DWI charge; she already had two on her record.

Bradley James Mitchell, on the other hand, didn’t try to flee the scene when officers stopped him on suspicion of DWI. But the 38-year-old from Weirsdale, Florida, should have tried a different excuse for swerving across two roads late in the evening of January 13th.

Mitchell told officers his low blood sugar caused his erratic driving. But medics called to the scene confirmed that his blood sugar was just fine.  After Mitchell failed sobriety tests, officers searched his car and found methamphetamine and Clonazepam. He was also driving on a license suspended because of a previous DUI. Continue reading

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