Articles Posted in Legal Definitions

There is a very crucial difference between a DUI arrest and a conviction, one that leads to very different consequences.

A DUI arrest is an allegation made by officers that they have facts supporting a guilty finding for driving under the influence. An arrest doesn’t mean that you have been found guilty, it simply means that officers feel that you were driving under the influence and it still remains to be proven. The law will presume you are innocent until you are proven guilty. If you are found guilty in a court of law by either an entered plea, a judge or jury trial, then you will be convicted of a DUI. Until that point, there is no conviction but merely an arrest.

The consequences also have stark differences. With a DUI arrest there is nothing on your record and you are not required to disclose this information to any institution or employer that asks about your criminal record. Remember, a DUI arrest is not on your record because you have not been found guilty of the alleged DUI.

Hoffman and Associates is a Los Angeles and San Diego based law firm specializing in protecting our clients facing drunk driving charges, as well as all criminal charges.

The scope of this blog is not to discuss the pros or cons of pleading guilty or no contest in any particular clients case, since the merits and facts of each case would need to be evaluated to determine the strength or weakness of a criminal prosecution, and whether or not a plea is in the best interest of the client. A careful analysis of any factual evidence, any blood or alcohol test indicating the presence of alcohol and/or drugs, and any witness testimonysfavorable to our clients.

There are three ways a person in a DUI or Criminal Case can be found guilty. At a court trial a judge after hearing all facts of the case presented by the prosecutor and the defense attorney find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Marijuana possession is charged under California Health and Safety Code 11357 and is divided into a misdemeanor or felony charge depending on the concentration of the substance and the amount in possession. Many factors affect the charge, including the type of powerful argument made in court by a knowledgeable Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney.s

Under the applicable section, a person found in possession of concentrated cannabis will be charged with a violation of California Health and Safety Code 11357 (a), unless they are authorized by law to do so.sUnder section (b) of 11357, anyone found with 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis, will be charged as a misdemeanor if not authorized by law. A person found in possession of more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis and not authorized by law will be charged with a felony.

California law authorizes marijuana to be legally in the possession of a person who is eligible under the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (California Health and Safety Code 11362.5). Under this act, the California legislature allows for certain persons to legally possess concentrated cannabis, or medical marijuana. Such persons must have an illness that can be cured naturally by marijuana and must have been diagnosed by a licensed physician who recommends medical marijuana as a remedy.s

It is important to understand the scope of issues involving being prosecuted on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. A DUI arrest begins a systematic process by the Department of Motor Vehicles to suspend your driving privileges, even if this is your first offense.

Although both the court and the DMV procedures seek to sanction a driver for the unlawful use of a motor vehicle after the consumption of an illegal level of alcohol or drugs, they go about it in very different ways. Each entity follows different guidelines, and separate issues and procedures, and totally different consequences. The main thrust of the DMV is to determine whether or not the alleged DUI driver was stopped by the police with proper cause, and whether or not the driver had a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08 or over. More severe and longer suspensions are doled out to drivers who refuse to submit to a chemical test, after being stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence.

The courts approach the issues above, but use different sanctions. A range of potential penalties including probation, fines, jail time, alcohol programs, community service, hospital/morgue programs, and mothers against drunk drivers meetings, as well as Alcoholics Anonymous attendance are some of the legislated penalties facing those convicted of DUI’s.