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30 Years of Daily Courtroom Experience
Los Angeles DUI Lawyer Blog
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One set of facts, or incident, can give rise to an innumerable amount of charges. Many people believe that it will be one charge, with additional consequences. That is not the case. If you have been stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence, you could potentially also be charged with a probation violation, if you were on probation at the time.

The best way to understand this concept is through a detailed example.

Some time last year, Don was driving home from a friend’s birthday party. He had have a few drinks and was stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. Don was very stressed out about his case, and did not have a lot of money to spend on a lawyer. On his arraignment date, the prosecutor offered to conclude Don’s case that day if he pled guilty. They offered him no jail time, just a fine, and three years of probation. Don immediately took the deal. He wanted his case to be over with so he could move on and stop worrying about it.

Last week Don was again driving home from a friend’s wedding, and he had had a few drinks. He was stopped for swerving in and out of lanes. When the officer stopped Don, he asked him if he had been drinking. Don said yes, but only one drink. What Don didn’t know is that if he is on probation for a prior DUI, he is not allowed to have any alcohol in his system if he is driving. Even one drink, which could lead to a dismissal for a first offense DUI, will not work favorably in a second offense DUI.

Don is taken into custody and he has been charged with a DUI and a Probation Violation. The consequences for Don’s DUI will be much harsher than the sentence for his first offense. This is not taking into account his probation violation, but the fact that the DUI is a second offense DUI, and when Don pled guilty to his first offense, he likely agreed to not drive with any amount of alcohol in his blood. The probation violation will stem from Don’s violation of the requirements of the terms of his probation. It is likely that one of the terms was that he would not be charged with another offense while he is on probation. Being charged with a DUI, will violate that.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have been charged with two separate charges rising from one incident, it is highly recommended that you retain an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer. There is a high probability that with the proper defenses and arguments, one of the charges may be dismissed or charged with a lesser sentence. Be sure to give yourself the best possible chance for dismissal, speak to a legal professional right away!

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Getting arrested for a DUI is a traumatic and difficult time. Many people are very eager to get the case completed and will take a plea bargain or offer to get the case completed as soon as possible. This leads to quick, uninformed decisions. Many times it is advisable to wait and seek the counsel of a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer before entering any type of plea in your DUI case. Entering a plea right away may quickly conclude the case, but the consequences you suffer may linger for quite some time.


If you have been convicted for a DUI, it will likely be nothing less than a misdemeanor. This means it will be on your record as a felony or misdemeanor. When you apply to educational institutions, or to take certification or board exams, you will have to list your conviction and explain the situation on your application. It is the same process for when you apply to jobs. The employer will ask you if you have been convicted of any criminal offenses and you will have to state your conviction.


Generally with a first time DUI offense, you are looking at three years of summary probation. You will be on probation for three years. Any criminal offense during the time period you are on probation will be an additional offense, that of probation violation.

Moral Stigma

Many people feel embarrassed as to having a criminal offense, despite the fact that DUIS are very common. It can be troublesome for some and a difficult time that they must emotionally and psychologically work through.

Jail Time

You could possibly be facing a jail sentence. The factors that lead to a jail sentence will vary in each case. The court will consider the specific facts of each case and the person’s criminal background. For example, a case in which the DUI is a second or third offense will warrant a stronger consideration of jail time in comparison to a first time offense. In addition, when a DUI is on a felony level, jail time is almost always part of the sentence.

Whether you have a previous criminal record, or the facts of your case warrants a felony classification, it is important to consult with a Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer. Before you can enter any kind of plea in your criminal case it is very important to understand what the long term consequences may be. Oftentimes it is better to let the case play itself out and smart decisions be made along each step, rather than move to conclude the case as quickly as possible. You must understand the defenses that are available, the options and recommendations prior to entering any kind of plea. To give yourself the best possible outcome on your case, and in regards to future consequences, be sure to speak to a legal professional as soon as possible so that you give yourself the best probability for either dismissing or reducing your case!

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Proposition 47 went into effect on November 5, 2014. It drastically reduces felony cases to misdemeanors when requisite conditions are met. Essentially the proposition reduces the class for certain offenses and allows the offenses to be charged as misdemeanors whereas it would otherwise be a felony.
The purpose and goal behind Proposition 47 is to save funds and direct them towards more community enriching activities like education. Proposition 47 is not an automatic application to all cases, it is specific to each case. People who have previous criminal records, may not qualify. Especially those cases in which there are prior rape, gun or sexual offenses. The court will take all facts concerning a person’s previous criminal history as well as facts of the current case before determining if they will qualify for a reduction under Proposition 47.
In addition, Proposition 47 is retroactive. This means that if someone is currently serving a sentence for an offense that qualifies under Proposition 47, then their case can be reevaluated and a new sentence given.
Unfortunately, Los Angeles DUIs do not qualify as a qualifying offense under Proposition 47. The offenses that do qualify are as follows:
• Shoplifting, where the value of property stolen does not exceed $950
• Grand theft, where the value of the stolen property does not exceed $950
• Receiving stolen property, where the value of the property does not exceed $950
• Forgery, where the value of forged check, bond or bill does not exceed $950
• Fraud, where the value of the fraudulent check, draft or order does not exceed $950
• Writing a bad check, where the value of the check does not exceed $950
• Personal use of most illegal drugs
Just because a DUI does not qualify or reduction under Proposition 47, does not mean a DUI charge cannot be reduced. There are many different options available. For example, there are several defenses available.
One such defense is the 4th amendment. If there is evidence that has been gathered in violation of your 4th amendment rights, it may potentially not be considered. If such crucial evidence is not considered it may weaken Prosecution’s case leading to a dismissal.
You may also have a defense such as the rising alcohol defense. This defense basically follows the presumption that your BAC was not high at the time you were driving, but rose thereafter, when you were not operating a vehicle.
You should always consult a Los Angeles DUI lawyer. A legal professional will have years of experience and knowledge not only in DUI law, but also in the courts, Judges and legal process. This will ensure that they put together the best possible defense with the strongest arguments and options prior to the case going to court. This will give you the best possible chances of fighting the charges, and will give you the strongest chance of being able to reduce or even dismiss the DUI. Do not hesitate, contact someone today!

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If you have been arrested for suspicion for driving under the influence, chances are you were also issued a notice to schedule a DMV hearing within ten days. This is a very important deadline and should not be missed. If you miss the deadline, you give up your right to a hearing regarding your driving privileges. Your license will automatically be suspended.

The DMV hearing is a separate case and hearing from the criminal case that will be heard in the criminal courts. It is an administrative hearing. The findings made in a criminal case will not have a bearing on the case before the DMV and vice versa.

This is very important because it implies that you must present strong arguments and cases for both the criminal court and DMV. It will not be shifted over from one case to another, and the ruling from one case will not impact the other.

For example, David was charged with Driving under the influence with a BAC of .01. David appeared as he was ordered to in the criminal court. Upon review of the facts and with the help of his Los Angeles DUI lawyer, David’s criminal case was dismissed and it was concluded that the prosecutor did not have enough evidence to build a case against David. At the same time David’s criminal case was initiated, a DMV hearing was also scheduled. However, just because David’s criminal case was dismissed, his DMV hearing was not. David attended his DMV hearing and it was determined that his license would be suspended for thirty days.

As the example illustrated, the DMV hearing is just as important as the criminal case. You have the right to have an attorney present at the hearing and in fact, it is highly recommended that you do.

You have the right to question the officer that arrested you, as well as present evidence. You can question the officer in regards to his police report, you can present your own testimony and documents that may create a hole in the officer’s statements, as well as the procedure the officer followed when he arrested you.

If you are facing DUI charges, and have a DMV hearing scheduled, do not make the mistake in believing that it is a simple appearance because it is not before a Judge. It is still just as crucial to your driving privileges as the criminal case, if not more. It is highly recommended that you have a knowledgeable and experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney to help prepare your argument, defense and case. You want the strongest possible chance at avoiding any suspension of your license.

Additionally, chances are you have never take testimony, and you do not know the proper procedures and legalities that an officer must follow to make an arrest lawful. If the arrest is unlawful, or within procedure, then the case may potentially be reduced or dismissed. Consult with a legal professional as soon as possible so that you may get an in depth analysis of the facts of your case.

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It is very common for a person to be charged with both a Los Angeles DUI and Hit and Run from the same incident.

If a person is involved in an accident, or property damage and they flee the scene, then they could be charged with a Hit and Run, as well as a DUI if they were intoxicated and operating a vehicle at the time of the accident

What many people do not understand is that a Hit and Run, and a DUI, whether both offenses occur together or separately are a “no fault” offense when it comes to damage or injury. This means that if there is damage to property, and/or injury to a person, it does not matter if it is your fault or not. You will be charged with consideration of the damage or injury.

The reason damage or injury is a significant concern when it comes to a DUI and/or Hit and Run is because it increases your sentence, the charge, and will likely be tried as a felony depending on the specific facts of your case. This becomes increasingly of concern because it will have a major impact on the consequences of your charge, and your future.

Injury, especially in the circumstances of a Los Angeles Hit and Run, or Hit and Run and DUI, will elevate the charge to a felony. If you leave the scene where there is a person injured, they do not receive the immediate medical attention they need, or without the proper authorities being alerted. This is the biggest reason Courts will take a Hit and Run with injury very seriously.

Lets consider an example to illustrate both concepts. Donny is driving home from an after work celebration. He has had a few drinks and believes he is fine to drive. In reality, Donny has had 3 very strong drinks and his blood alcohol content is upwards of .12, well over the legal limit. Donny is driving along a highway that is surrounded by trees and forest. It is rare for people to be walking along this road, or to be out and about at night. However, a person dressed in dark clothing darts across the highway without warning. They are not dressed appropriately for being out at night, they are not being cautious and noticing Donny’s headlights, and there is no pedestrian crosswalk or light. Donny, surprised by the person runs right into them. Afraid he will get charged with a DUI, Donny takes off and immediately drives home.

Donny is arrested and charged with not only a felony Hit and Run, but also a felony DUI. It is important for Donny to speak to a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney, especially one that has handled thousands of DUIs as well as Hit and Runs. Donny will face some serious consequences, including jail time, therefore it is a good idea to consult with a professional that can help with explaining the best possible arguments and defenses and analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of your case.

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In order to be charged with a Los Angeles Hit and Run, a driver must have caused damage to property or injury to person, and have fled the scene without leaving contact information or rendering first aid if needed .One of the major reasons a person flees the scene of a Hit and Run is because they are afraid of being charged with a DUI.

A DUI and a Hit and Run are two separate charges, it is important to understand that. They are not factors or variables to be considered in one charge. What do I mean by that? Lets consider an example that will help clarify this concept.

David is on his way home from a birthday party with his friends. He has had several beers and is not sober. However, he has work early in the morning the next day and feels it is best for him to get home. It is late night, and is raining hard. He can barely see on his way home. Due to the rain he runs into a fence that is a part of someone’s private property .He causes the fence to fall in and break. David gets out of his car and inspects the fence. He also see the lights coming on in the house where he has damaged the fence. David is afraid that if the cops come, they will see the damage and also administer a blood alcohol test that could result in a DUI. He gets in his car and immediately drives away.

Let’s say that David was unaware of a few witnesses that saw the accident, and informed the police of David’s identity. Officers found David on his way home and pulled him over. David is now potentially facing two charges, a DUI, because he was under the influence of alcohol and driving a vehicle, and he is also facing a Hit and Run because he caused damage to property and fled the scene without leaving contact information.

These are two difference charges. There will be two different cases, two arraignments, and two different sentences if found guilty. This is a serious situation, and depending on the damage can be considered felonies. It is very important that David consult with a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer so that he can learn about all of his available defenses and arguments. He also wants someone with experience and knowledge on his team so that he knows to make educated and informed decisions regarding his case.

It is also highly beneficial if he seeks to retain a Los Angeles lawyer who has experience in both Hit and Runs and DUI. This allows for an overall strategic approach that will help both of his cases and will help get the best possible outcome. The goal of any good lawyer is to get the charges reduced or dismissed altogether. If you are facing this type of situation, do not hesitate. Contact a Lawyer today!

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When you have been arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence, you will be given a citation. The citation will state the courthouse and the date upon which you must appear. This first appearance is called an Arraignment. Several things will happen at the Arraignment. Each of these things are very important, and it is highly recommended that you have a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer present so that you have the right advice and support in any of the decisions you make.

  1. Offered a Plea Bargain

What is a plea bargain? A plea bargain is essentially an offer made by the Prosecution. Sometimes the offer is a reasonable one, and in your best interest. However, on other occasions it is one that you must pass on and move forward to the Pre Trial appearance, which is the next court appearance. Unless you are a legal expert with thirty years of experience, as well as knowledge of the Judges, and courthouse, it is very difficult to determine whether an offer is a good one or not. Let’s consider an example.

Let’s say that Dan hires a DUI Lawyer, and he goes to Court on the Arraignment date. The Prosecutor offers Dan no jail time, 3 years probation, 6 month alcohol education program and 100 hours of community service. Not knowing any better, Dan wants to take it because all he sees is the no jail time. He wants the case done and over with. However, Dan’s experienced lawyer tells him that there are evidentiary flaws in his case, and that he is better off moving towards trial. Dan listen’s to the attorney, and at the next court appearance, the Pre Trial, prosecution offers to reduce the charges of DUI to reckless driving. It is then that Dan’s attorney advises him to plead guilty to reckless driving, successfully removing the DUI charge.

  1. Entering a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest

How would you know if it is a good idea to enter a plea of not guilty, or whether it is good to enter guilty and be done with the case. Similarly to what is discussed above, a Los Angeles Lawyer’s experience and knowledge is crucial to determining what plea to enter. A plea of guilty cannot be changed, or is difficult to change once entered. Having a lawyer in your corner will help you determine the best way to approach. Let’s consider an example.

Donna is facing a second offense DUI charge. The Judge offers Donna 7 days in county jail, probation and a fine. Donna’s attorney knows that the Judge in the Pre Trial courtroom is very tough on second offense DUIs and will likely sentence Donna to a higher sentence. In light of his knowledge, Donna’s attorney advises her to enter a plea of guilty and accept the charges.

If you are attending your arraignment, have someone on your side that will fight for you and will provide you with the right guidance that you need! Consult with a Los Angeles DUI professional today!

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When you have been arrested for suspicion of a Los Angeles DUI, officers will ask you to take a field sobriety test at the scene of the arrest. This test is not mandatory, and is voluntary. This means that you do not have to submit to it, and there are no consequences. However, if you are arrested, you will be required to take one at the station. This test can be a breath test, or a blood test. There used to also be a urine test option but that is no longer the case.

Oftentimes people do not want to take the breath test and opt for the blood test. For example, they may have asthma and are unable to blow hard enough into the breathalyzer machine. If they opt for the blood test, then those results will be provided in two weeks.

However, in certain situations people refuse to take either test. They may have a fear of needles, or they may simply not agree to submit to a test. If you refuse to take either test, it could be categorized as a refusal, and a refusal will be considered an aggravating factor when and if you are sentenced for a DUI. This means that the sentence will be on the higher end of the range, or will have added sentencing because of the refusal or take a test. It is viewed as being uncooperative.

In many cases, despite having refused a blood test, officers may forcefully take one. There has been recent law that has been passed down stating that a forced blood test is in violation of a person’s fourth amendment rights. This means that if your blood was forcefully drawn, there may be an available defense or argument rendering the blood test results in admissible.

The further drawback of a forced blood test is that even though a test was drawn and the blood alcohol reported, because it was not voluntary and forced, officers and Prosecutors treat it like a refusal. Thus, it will have the same additional consequences and aggravated factors, even though a test was gathered.

This is a complicated situation to be in, but one with many variables that may potentially offer a way for the charge to be dismissed or reduced. If you find yourself in this situation, it is highly recommended that you speak to a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer as soon as possible. They will take the time to review your case, and analyze the facts. This will give you a much better understanding of what your realistic consequences are, and what your available defenses and arguments are. If there is a chance to have your case dismissed, or reduced, you do not want to risk it on your own, you want an experienced, and knowledgeable legal professional fighting for you and working hard to get you the best results possible! Don’t take the chance, call today.

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Proposition 47 was voted for on November 14, 2014, and was approved. The Proposition reduces the classification for certain non-serious and nonviolent property and drug crimes from a felony to a misdemeanor. This will apply to most offenses and defendants, unless the person being charged has prior offenses for rape, certain sexual offenses, and some gun offenses.

The offenses that will qualify for a reduction include the following:

  • Shoplifting, where the value of property stolen does not exceed $950
  • Grand theft, where the value of the stolen property does not exceed $950
  • Receiving stolen property, where the value of the property does not exceed $950
  • Forgery, where the value of forged check, bond or bill does not exceed $950
  • Fraud, where the value of the fraudulent check, draft or order does not exceed $950
  • Writing a bad check, where the value of the check does not exceed $950
  • Personal use of most illegal drugs

This proposition can be applied to people who are currently serving their sentences, if they qualify and do not have any prior offenses as stated previously. Let’s say for example, a person has been charged and convicted of grand theft and are now serving their jail sentence. Under Proposition 47, the jail sentence may be reevaluated and reconsidered, changing the crime from that of a felony with a felony sentence, to that of a misdemeanor which could mean little or no jail time.

However, as stated, each individual case must be considered carefully and reviewed. Evaluators must make a determination taking into account the specific facts of the case and past criminal history to determine whether it would be safe and appropriate to modify the sentence and to reduce the charge.

The purpose behind Proposition 47 is to save some government funds, and direct them towards education and community funds.

If you have been charged and convicted previously of a felony and have been sentenced, it is well worth your time to consult with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense lawyer to determine whether anything can be done to reduce your charge. A misdemeanor rather than a felony on you record can have significant consequences on your overall criminal record, and can be useful when applying to financial or educational institutions, licensing institutions and vocational boards.

If you have only been arrested, and have not yet been convicted, Proposition 47 can also be useful to you. It is important to assure that the Prosecutor does not charge you with a felony, when it is not necessary or appropriate under the new Proposition. To assure that your case is evaluated favorably, and proper evidence and arguments are made, be sure to consult with a legal expert who is familiar and experienced with Proposition 47 and all of its intricacies. It does not hurt just to speak to a Los Angeles Attorney, especially one that has a hassle free and cost free consultation. So what are you waiting for?

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If you have been charged with suspicion of driving under the influence, there is a whole process that must be completed prior to having been found guilty. Your case may be dismissed right from the very onset, before you even set foot in court.

When you are arrested, the officer who arrests you prepares a report and submits it to the Prosecutor’s office. Prosecutor’s will review the report and make a determination as to whether or not there is sufficient evidence to charge the driver and to take the case to trial. If the evidence is not sufficient, the case will be dismissed before it even gets to criminal court.

Once a case has already gone to trial, there are a number of ways to work towards a dismissal. A Los Angeles DUI Lawyer will take the time to learn the strengths and weaknesses of your case, and will work towards a strategy that leads towards dismissal, or in the very least, a reduction of charges.

If an officer does not have probable cause to stop a driver, then any evidence obtained, including observations and a BAC reading, will be illegally obtained in violation of fourth amendment rights. Without sufficient evidence, a case must be dismissed. Let’s illustrate this with an example.

Dina is driving home from dinner with her friends. She sees officers behind her and she complies and immediately pulls over. When officers approach her window she asks if anything is wrong. The officers reply that she was swerving when in fact Dina knows this was not the case. When the surveillance video is obtained from officer’s dashboard cam, it is apparent that there is no swerving of any kind. There was no reason for officers to stop Dina. Because they did not have probable cause to stop her, any evidence gathered was improper. Without any kind of reason or evidence, Dina’s case must be dismissed.

A case may also be dismissed if there is sufficient reason to demonstrate that the evidence is tainted or corrupted. For example, many times a test used to measure BAC is not calibrated, or is inaccurate. It is necessary to use expert testimony, and run tests to demonstrate the inaccuracy, but it is possible and used in the right cases.

If the facts of your case provide a weak case for Prosecution, it is necessary for you to speak to a Los Angeles DUI lawyer as soon as possible. A legal professional knows the court system, the Judges and the law very well and will take the time to speak to you about the specific facts of your case. Only they can allow a thorough analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of your case before establishing a strategy to get your case dismissed. A conviction on your record, even for a misdemeanor can have consequences for your career, education and even some financial institutions. It is better to take adequate measures immediately to prevent any long term consequences.