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Los Angeles DUI Lawyer Blog
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What is alcohol monitoring?

Alcohol monitoring looks like a small bracelet that you wear on your ankle. It monitors your alcohol use and transmits reports to either the court, or to you directly. It is referred to as transdermal monitoring because it gathers information transdermally, through your skin.

What is the purpose of transdermal monitoring?

The monitor does not necessary provide an accurate reading of the exact level of alcohol in your system, it just indicates whether there has been alcohol in your system or not. This is not a good option for first time offenders, or those that have been charged with their first DUI. This is because first time offenders are not restricted from consuming alcohol, it is the repeat offenders that need help with rehabilitation, and the monitoring bracelet can help with that.

When can I get transdermal monitoring?

As stated previously, it is not for first time offenders, it is for those who have a high rate of recidivism. The overall goal of the monitoring is to help curb alcohol addiction, and to help those with issues with alcohol help make some changes for good.

You can get transdermal monitoring voluntarily, or mandated by the court. If it is voluntary any reports the monitoring produces goes directly to you, or your attorney. It does not get forwarded to the court. The purpose of voluntarily submitting to being monitored is to proactively show the court that you are serious about your offense and are voluntarily making amends to resolve the issue. You can provide reports to the court as evidence of your cooperation, however, it is not mandatory that the court see these reports.

If the court orders the monitoring, it will likely be ordered after a second or third DUI offense. If the monitoring is court ordered, the reports will automatically get sent to the court for an update. This allows courts to enforce orders, without having to continuously monitor.

Whether alcohol monitoring is a good idea in your case, or whether it is not necessary is a question for an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer. The lawyer can review all the facts of your case, and your criminal history. Knowledge of the Judge and prosecutors will also prove to be useful when assessing the situation. Oftentimes, proactive measures can keep your charges low and help avoid jail time, especially when it is not a first time offense.

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California Vehicle Code §20003 and 20004 dictate a driver’s duty upon injury or death to another driver or pedestrian.

California Vehicle Code §20003 states in pertinent part:

“The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person shall also give his or her name, current residence address, the names and current residence addresses of any occupant of the driver’s vehicle injured in the accident, the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving, and the name and current residence address of the owner to the person struck or the driver or occupants of any vehicle collided with, and shall give the information to any traffic or police officer at the scene of the accident. The driver also shall render to any person injured in the accident reasonable assistance, including transporting, or making arrangements for transporting, any injured person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary or if that transportation is requested by any injured person.”

It is a driver’s duty to provide information as specified in the statute to another driver, or pedestrian that has been injured. If the driver fails to do so, they may be facing charges for a hit and run. A Los Angeles hit and run is a serious charge. It will be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the extent of the injuries.

For example, Donna is driving at night. It is foggy and she does not see the pedestrian appear in front of her due to the lack of light. She hits the pedestrian. She was driving slower than the speed limit at a speed of about 10 miles per hour due to the fog and therefore hit the pedestrian at a very low speed causing a broken leg, and thankfully no further injuries. Afraid of getting arrested, Donna does not stop to administer help and give the pedestrian her contact information.

This situation is at the lower end of the injury spectrum, and it is likely that Donna, if convicted, will have a lesser sentence.

California Vehicle Code §20004 states in pertinent part:

“In the event of death of any person resulting from an accident, the driver of any vehicle involved after fulfilling the requirements of this division, and if there be no traffic or police officer at the scene of the accident to whom to give the information required by Section 20003, shall, without delay, report the accident to the nearest office of the Department of the California Highway Patrol or office of a duly authorized police authority and submit with the report the information required by Section 20003.”

Let’s consider that Donna, instead of a broken leg, ends up causing the death of the pedestrian and drives away. This will most certainly be a felony resulting in jail time.

If you are facing hit and run charges, it is important to be aware that there are many different stages for charges. In addition, the sentence will vary based upon the facts and what is presented to the Judge. It is important to have an experience Hit And Run lawyer represent you in court so that you get the best possible change of having your case reduced or dismissed.

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There are two statute that govern sentencing deadlines for a Los Angeles Hit and Run. They are divided up by damage to property and injury to person.

California Vehicle Code §20002 addresses damage to property. The relevant portion regarding sentencing guidelines reads as follows:

“Any person failing to comply with all the requirements of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine”

Many people are confused as to why there is a range. This is actually good thing for anyone being charged, it means there is room for negotiation and room for leeway. When there is a hit and run, and damage is to property, the charge will be a misdemeanor. The person may be sentenced with anywhere up to $1000 in fines, and up to six months in county jail, or both.

The reason there is a range is because not all cases are the same, and not all defendants appearing before the Judge have the same background. The facts of each case will differ, as will the criminal history of each person being charged.

Let’s consider and compare two difference scenarios.

Donald was driving home from work after having had several drinks. He has been convicted of a DUI approximately a year ago, but he believes he is fine to drink. He is not paying attention to the road and runs into a parked car. The parked car is totaled . Knowing he already has a criminal history, Donald takes off and drives straight home.

Dan is driving home from a dinner with a client. It is dark and he is extremely tired from having worked 15 hours that day. He inadvertently turns into a dead end street and proceeds to make a three point turn. In the process he knocks over a tree that is in the front yard of one of the houses. Dan has no prior criminal history.

Donald who has caused extensive damage, and has a significant criminal history is likely to see the higher end of the sentencing scale. Dan, on the other hand, only caused minimal damage to a plan, and has no criminal history. It is likely that Dan will merely pay a fine and be able to get away with no jail time.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have been charged with Hit and Run for property damage, it is important to consult an experienced Los Angeles Hit and Run lawyer. Because the sentencing outlined by the statute is upon the discretion of the court, some negotiation and experience can get your sentence reduced as much as possible. Do not wait, consult with a professional as soon as possible!

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California Vehicle Code §20002 makes it unlawful for a person to cause damage to property without leaving contact information. California Vehicle Code §20003 makes it unlawful to cause injury to a person with your vehicle and drive away with stopping to provide assistance and contact information.

Damage to Property:

Under California VC §20002, there must be damage to property. It is one of the elements to be charged with a Hit and Run. If no property has been damaged, then prosecutors will have a hard time proving that there is enough to charge a driver with Hit and Run.

Let’s consider an example:

David is driving alone at night. It is raining hard, and it is foggy, making it difficult for David to see. While David is driving he feels a huge bump and suddenly there is a fence directly in front of him. David stops the car and gets out to inspect the situation. He looks at the fence, which is a fence surrounding someone’s private property. He notices that he, in fact, stopped his car about two feet prior to the fence. As a result, there is no damage to the fence, not even a scratch. David further finds that the bump was not him hitting the fence, but running over a pothole in the road.

David cannot be charged with a Los Angeles hit and run because he did not cause any damage to someone’s property. If David leaves the scene without leaving his contact information, he will still not be charged because there is no damage.

Let’s say that David did hit the fence and then drove off without providing any contact information. Then officers have cause to arrest David, and Prosecutors have cause to charge him.

Injury to Person

Under California VC §20003, there must be injury to a person for the driver to be charged with a hit and run. If no one has been injured, then there cannot be a hit and run.

Let’s consider an example:

David is driving home during the day. He is in a rush, as he is late to get to work and he cannot be late again. As he is driving he crosses an intersection where the traffic light shows green. He speeds through the intersection and does not notice that despite the light being green, people are stopped and not moving. He looks up to see several people outside of their cars crowding in the middle of the intersection. David tries to slam on his breaks and stops approximately 3 feet away from the crowd, nearly missing hitting a gentleman. The gentleman is not hurt, nor has he actually been touched by the car. David backs up slowly and drives away without stopping to talk.

David will not be charged with a Hit and Run. He has no obligation to provide contact information as there was no injury to the gentleman, nor was there any property damage.

If you find yourself being charged with a Hit and Run and there was no injury to person or damage to property, then it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Los Angeles Hit and Run attorney. There is a good chance your case will be dismissed or in the very least, reduced.

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When a person has been charged with drinking under the influence under California Vehicle code §23152, or §23153, a second case will also be initiated with the California DMV. When a person is arrested, they will be given a court date, in which they must appear before a California Criminal Judge. In the criminal court, their case will be tried and they will either be found guilty, or the case dismissed.

Within ten days of the arrest, the person must also call the California DMV and set up a hearing regarding their driving privileges. If they do not do so within ten days, they give up their right to be heard. As a result, their license will automatically be suspended. This case before the California DMV is completely independent of the one before the Criminal Judge. The outcome of one will not affect the outcome of the other. In fact, even if the case before the Criminal Judge is dismissed, it does not mean that the DMV will also dismiss the case pending before them.

Let’s consider an example. Danny is found driving under the influence of alcohol and he is arrested. He declines the field sobriety tests, but agrees to take the breath test at the station. His results are a .07. Although they are not over the specified .08, a careful analysis of the DUI code section will show that blood test results of .08 or higher are not necessary to be charged with a DUI. Danny is still charged. And as procedure goes, a case is also initiated with the DMV.

Danny hires a Los Angeles DUI attorney who goes to court on his behalf and argues his case. Eventually, Danny’s case with the Criminal Court system is dismissed and it is as if he has no charge against him at all. However, much to Danny’s dismay, the DMV case is not dropped simply due to the Criminal Case’s dismissal. Danny’s Los Angeles Lawyer continues to argue his case before the DMV.

Do not make the mistake of believing you do not need an attorney for the Los Angeles DMV Hearing. It is important that you protect your rights during this hearing as well. Although it is not as formal as the court case, it is certainly a very important hearing. Your attorney will have the right to present evidence, testimony, just as would be done in Court.

There are also available defenses during a Los Angeles DMV hearing. These defenses are better employed and discussed with a legal professional who has the knowledge and experience to make strong arguments. If you find yourself in this situation, discuss the facts of the case immediately with an attorney. There are certain steps to be taken with your DMV hearing that need to be taken immediately! Time is of the essence!

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In recent times, the legislature has revised the statute pertaining to the use of drugs while operating a vehicle. The statute used to be very simple and simply included that it was unlawful to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, since January 1, 2014, they legislature added specific sections referring to drugs alone. In their revision they made a very significant and important change. The revised law requires an in depth discussion to understand how it can affect you or your case if you have recently been arrested for suspicion of a DUI.

California Vehicle Code Subsection (c ) reads as follows:

(c) It is unlawful for a person who is addicted to the use of any drug to drive a vehicle. This subdivision shall not apply to a person who is participating in a narcotic treatment program approved pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 11875) of Chapter 1 of Part 3 of Division 10.5 of the Health and Safety Code.

This is incredibly important, as nothing pertaining to this section used to exist prior to January 1, 2014. This makes it unlawful for any addict to drive a vehicle. The DMV has full reign to suspend or revoke a license indefinitely, just by merely proving that a person is an addict. As noted, it does not include those that are participating in a program as part of a sentence or rehabilitation.

As discussed earlier, drugs and alcohol used to be combined but now it stands separated. California Vehicle Code §23152 (e) reads as follows:

(e) It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle.

The statute does not specify any guideline measurements that would define as being under the influence of a drug. This is because it is difficult to ascertain exactly when a person is under the influence.

And for good measure, the legislature includes as it did previously the catch all provision as follows:

(f) It is unlawful for a person who is under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug to drive a vehicle.

If you have been arrested for the suspicion of a DUI while you were under the influence of drugs, it can be a difficult case to argue. However, in some instances it can be easier than a case in which a person has been stopped for consuming alcoholic beverages while driving. This is due to the fact that it is harder to prove that a person has been under the influence of drugs, than it is to prove alcohol. Due to this fact, you could have a strong case in which your charge may be reduced or dismissed. Speak to a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer today to learn the difference strengths and weaknesses of your case!

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There is a reason that the layperson refers to legal language as legalese. Legalese is only understandable to lawyers and attorneys. Unfortunately, most of the law and statutes that concern everyone are written in legalese. This could cause a significant problem when you are arrested on suspicion of a Los Angeles DUI and need to understand the strength and weakness of your case. It is also important to understand the defenses and arguments available to you.

The DUI statute, especially after recent changes, embodies a very specific legal concept written right into its statute. California Vehicle Code §23152 (b) reads as follows:

(b) It is unlawful for a person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle

For purposes of this article and Section 34501.16, percent, by weight, of alcohol in a person’s blood is based upon grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

In any prosecution under this subdivision, it is a rebuttable presumption that the person had 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of driving the vehicle if the person had 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of the performance of a chemical test within three hours after the driving.

Upon first read, a driver who has been charged would not be able to understand what the language means. In fact, it is not only recommended that they seek the help of a Los Angeles DUI attorney, it is necessary.

The first part of the section defines how blood alcohol content will be measured. It gives a standard upon which it will be based.

The second part of the section gives us what is called a rebuttable presumption. The law will presume that a person who take a chemical test within three hours of driving, and has a result of .08 or higher, has, in fact, been unlawfully driving.

The reason it is called a rebuttable presumption, is because this presumption can be rebutted. This means that it can be proven otherwise through testimony and evidence, that this was not in fact the case. However, the burden is on the person who is trying to prove that they did not have a BAC of .08 or more to prove that.

If you find yourself facing this rebuttable presumption, it is a heavy burden to prove. It is imperative that you, in the very least, consult with a Los Angeles DUI lawyer for all available defenses.

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California Vehicle Code §23152 makes it unlawful for a driver to be operating a vehicle while under the influence of any alcohol or drugs. The code section used to only include subsections (a) and (b) but as of January 1, 2014, the code section has been revised and additional sections have been added.

Due to recent revisions, it is important that a person who has been charged with a DUI understand the language in the law.

The first part of the Code Section , subdivision(a), reads as follows:

It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle.

The first section addresses operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Note that there is no reference to drugs in this part of the statute. The law originally stated that it was either alcohol or drugs, but that is no longer the case.

Furthermore, note that in order for it to be unlawful, there needs to be two elements present: 1) under the influence of any alcoholic beverage, and 2) drive a vehicle. If a person is just driving a vehicle, they cannot be found guilty of a DUI, and if a person is just under the influence and not driving, they cannot be found guilty of a DUI. In order for a person to be convicted, they must meet both elements.

The second part of the statute, subdivision (b) reads as follows:

(b) It is unlawful for a person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle

The law further specifies what will constitute being “under the influence”. If a person’s blood alcohol level is at .08 or more, then it will be unlawful.

It is important to understand that the statute does not state that you have to be over .08 to be charged with a DUI, it only specifies that someone who is found to be over .08 will be unlawfully driving a car. It does not state that a person who is found to be lower than .08 will not be charged.

Subsection (a) states that it is unlawful to drive a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. If a person is under .08, they can still be charged under subsection (a) which does not require any set blood alcohol.

It is important to understand the nuances of the law, as it could make a significant difference in your case. Accordingly, if you have been arrested for suspicion of DUI, take the charges very seriously and speak to a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer immediately!

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After you have been arrested for a Hit and Run, it is a good idea to seek the help of a Hit and Run Attorney. Speaking to officers yourself, and trying to alleviate the damage yourself is never a good idea. An experienced attorney handles situations like this on a daily basis. They have knowledge and a reputation with the courts and the different police departments. Trying to handle the matter yourself may cause more trouble, or lead to a sure fire conviction.

There are several reasons why it is best left in the hands of a experienced Hit and Run lawyer.

  1. Protection Against Admission

We have all heard the statement “anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law”. This statement could not be more true. Anything that you state during an arrest is evidence or admissions that may be used as evidence against you while you stand a criminal trial. Many people do not have any experience with officers and tend to be honest. They end up making statements and answering questions that could hurt them.

Statements that an attorney makes cannot be used against their client. This is a huge benefit in having an attorney speak on your behalf. This protects you from self admission, and an attorney knows the rights things to answer and which questions to object to.

  1. Officers tend to respond more frequently to attorneys

As mentioned before, attorneys have frequent contact with prosecutors and officers. As a result, they are more familiar with them and are more willing to respond to calls and questions. Officers get dozens of calls a day, and are not readily responsive to those that they do not know. Having an attorney will get you answer more quickly and efficiently.

  1. Information is readily provided to attorneys

Attorneys tend to get police reports and other discovery items quickly, versus trying to obtain documents as a lay person. Attorneys have access to these documents whereas not everyone else does.

These are just a few of the reasons it is better to hire an attorney immediately after a Hit and Run arrest. It is important that you seek the advice and counsel of an experienced and knowledgeable legal professional as soon as possible.

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The period of time directly after having been charged with a Hit and Run is extremely crucial to your case. Many people mistakenly take their time in retaining an attorney or seeking legal counsel shortly before their scheduled court date. However, court can oftentimes be completely avoided if you take the proper steps.

A case gets filed only after police officers investigate the incident and then submit a report to prosecutors. Prosecutors review the information and based upon what has been submitted, may a decision on whether it would be a good decision to charge the person who has committed the offense. It naturally follows, that taking care of the problem immediately upon being arrested, could help avoid court all together.

How does an attorney help your case get dismissed? An attorney is familiar with the system and they are familiar with the procedure. An experienced attorney often knows the officers and the prosecutors. Right after an incident, an attorney will contact the injured party and request an estimate of expenses and damages. They will work to mitigate the damages and then prepare what is called a civil compromise. If a civil compromise is presented to officers, and submitted along with the officer’s report to the prosecutor, the prosecutor may be less likely to bring the case, since all damages have been remedied.

A better understanding of this process will come through an example.

Let’s assume that Danielle is driving home from a friend’s bridal shower on an extremely foggy evening. She does not see the parked car, and hits the rear bumper causing damage. Because it is late, and she is tired, she does not leave her information but intends to call the person in the morning. However, the next morning she is arrested by officers for a hit and run. Danielle does the smart thing and hires a Los Angeles Hit and Run Lawyer immediately. The lawyer contacts the person whose car was hit by Danielle and talks to them. The person indicates that it is going to cost about $500 to fix their car. Danielle, wanting to make amends, provides the auto body shop with $500 and they fix the vehicle. The car is back to being brand new.

The lawyer Danielle has hired then prepares a Civil Compromise. This is documentation evidencing that Danielle has made amends, and that the person whose vehicle is hit is happy and has no further damages. The lawyer then presents this to officers and to the prosecutor. Seeing that the damage has been resolved, the prosecutor decides not to press further charges.

It is crucial to consult with and retain a legal professional as soon as possible. Speak to one as soon as possible if you find yourself in this situation!