Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog
     


Car Stop by a Police Officer: Unlawful if License Tag is Valid, which Officer states he did not see

Posted on: January 16, 2008 at 11:09 p.m.

Car stops are a frequent means of police investigation, which lead to arrests for the possession of narcotics, firearms, and other contraband. If the traffic stop is unlawful, the Constitution states that what the police found in the car is not admissible in court, and thus typically the criminal charges of possession are dismissed. A recent California decision further defines the extent of justification officers need for a lawful car stop, and provides an argument for Southern California Criminal Attorneys to suppress improperly obtained evidece.

A recent California Court Of Appeal decision dealt with the issue of a police officer who testified that he stopped a vehicle because it had an expired license tag, and that he didn

Tagged as: counterfeit goods pc 350, dui drunk driving defense vc 23152, probation and sentencing laws




Will a DUI cause my California license to be suspended? Can I represent myself in Court or in front of the DMV in a license suspension hearing?

Posted on: June 16, 2007 at 9:57 p.m.

One of the consequences of a DUI arrest is a possible suspended license. Possible does not mean definite, and there are numerous ways to get your driving privilege back sooner than later. Many people ask, "Can I just represent myself on a DUI and with the DMV?" While the Law Blog has a definite bias since it is administered by Los Angeles Criminal Attorneys, the Law Blog retorts "would you perform surgery on yourself?" The U.S. Constitution has been interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court as giving everyone to right to act "pro-per," in other words to represent yourself without an attorney. The Law Blogger was a District Attorney for 10 years, is a law professor, and has been in criminal defense for years. The Law Blog is convinced that pro-pers cannot do nearly as good a job (even if the litigant is a civil attorney who does not have a criminal defense or prosecution background). As a District Attorney, the Law Blog dealt with many pro-pers and saw numerous errors committed by litigants representing themselves. Getting back to license suspension - on a first time DUI, a license is suspended for 120 days. A win at the DMV hearing would prevent a suspension. However, if you are convicted of a first-time DUI in court, the DMV could still pull your privilege to drive. In court, then, the only way to keep your license is to have the DUI charge dismissed all together. If this is not possible, there is a way to get the suspension reduced. You must file an SR-22 with the DMV (ie proof of insurance) and proof of registration in a first-time alcohol program, known as the AB-541. In turn, the DMV will reduce the suspension to 30 days, and return you the privilege to drive with restrictions for 90 days. All this is quite technical and time consuming, especially when you include the continuous legal updates that are taking place in this area of law.

Tagged as: dui drunk driving defense vc 23152, faq




What happens if I am arrested for DUI? Do I have to defend myself in court? What about the DMV process?

Posted on: May 26, 2007 at 1:58 p.m.

Recent changes instituted by the California legislature have dramatically increased the consequences for first or subsequent DUI arrests. A DUI arrest where someone's blood alcohol is .08% or greater begins two separate legal proceedigns - one in court, and one with the DMV. In court, it is a criminal proceeding, where a suspect on a 1st time DUI faces up to 6 months in jail (not mandatory jail - optional), a fine of up to $1000 plus penalties, and other consequences such as community services, working at the morgue, and/or the hospital. The DMV institutes separate administrative proceedings to take away the suspect's license for up to 4 months. You have 10 days from the time of your arrest to request a hearing to fight this suspension, or you lose your license without even a hearing. If you have prior DUI convictions, the consequences in court and the DMV are substantially worse including mandatory jail, a year or more license suspension, and extensive alcohol schooling. A person who has a professional license (lawyers, doctors, police officers, others), or a class A commercial driver's license, have collateral consequences at their place of employment as for many a criminal conviction may cause them to lose their job or face suspension from working.

Tagged as: dui drunk driving defense vc 23152, faq




Secondary Consequences of a DUI

Posted on: March 19, 2007 at 12:01 a.m.

A DUI carries with it a list of possible court-imposed consequences. A first time offender can face probation, up to six months jail time, a fine of up to $1000 plus penalties, a lifetime conviction on his/her permanent record, alcohol rehabilitation, an ignition interlock may be required (must blow into a breathalyzer to demonstrate sobriety before the car will start) and/or community service. Those are some but not all of the possible criminal court consequences. On top of that one faces the DMV hearing consequences of license suspension, being required to file an SR-22 form for three years in order to maintain one's driving privileges once they have been reinstated, commercial driver's licenses may be suspended or permanently revoked, and if caught driving on an already suspended license then the car will be impounded and mandatory jail time is at stake in the criminal case if convicted. A DUI can be very costly in terms of the immediate penalties imposed. But what about the secondary consequences of a DUI? That is, what about the consequences which take effect after the court has made its ruling and the DMV hearing has concluded? There are many lasting consequences resulting from a DUI conviction that individuals often do not even think about. These may include but are not limited to: financial consequences, insurance consequences, immigration consequences, employment consequences, unrelated legal consequences, and consequences that are merely an inconvenience.

Tagged as: dui drunk driving defense vc 23152









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