Articles Posted in DUI Representation

Within the last year in California, reports reveal that there were 882 fatalities due to drunk driving. As a result of this high number of fatalities, California strongly enforces its regulations regarding drunk driving. These consequences can follow an individual convicted of DUI around for a long time. If an individual is subject to a driving under the influence stop, there are certain pieces of advice that one needs to follow. It is recommended that the following pieces of advice be followed if an individual is subject to a driving under the influence stop:

  • Argue You Were Not Under the Influence. Your attorney might very likely be able to show that evidence demonstrates that you were not intoxicated at the time that you were stopped by law enforcement.
  • Blood Alcohol Content Defense. Because your body continues to metabolize alcohol after you drink, your blood alcohol content is not necessarily at its highest point after you’ve just finished your last drink. As a result, it may be possible to argue to law enforcement that your blood alcohol content was lower while you were driving rather than while you were operating the vehicle.

The month of May is an exciting time for many young people and their family and friends.  Graduation ceremonies and celebrations, whether for high school, college, graduate, or professional school, are filled with fun, festivities, and food. After all the years of hard work to earn a degree, a little celebrating is certainly in order. Sometimes, however, the merrymaking can go too far. When this happens, alcohol is commonly involved, and criminal charges may follow.  Drinking and driving, property damage, disorderly conduct, and unlawful physical altercations are among the most common occurrences this time of year.  

First, in the aftermath, is the profound embarrassment – spoiling a nice celebration with a messy scene, police involvement, and criminal charges, all in front of your friends and family. It is truly a nightmare scenario – especially at the very moment you are marking as a transition from hard work and accomplishment to new successes. Ultimately, though, embarrassment will be the least of your problems. Depending on the specific criminal charges, you may face fines, community service, and even jail time – penalties that can impede or even derail your future plans. The charges will cast a shadow of your reputation, and conviction will tarnish it and potentially upend your educational or vocational aspirations. In the wake of such circumstances, and with so much at stake, you need a skilled and experienced California criminal defense attorney to protect your legal rights and mount the strongest possible defense against the state’s efforts to convict you.

Alcohol is a Common Factor in Celebration-Related Criminal Charges

Have you been charged with a crime in the state of California? If so, you should regard the charges with the utmost seriousness regardless of your personal perception of their validity.  The state’s prosecutor will be making every effort to convict you – an outcome that could change your life for the worse in a drastic way. Depending on the crime you have been charged with, the penalties issued by the court upon conviction may include jail time, fines, fees, community service, loss or restriction of driving privileges, loss or suspension of driving privileges, and reputational damage. The purpose of this article is to explain the most common types of criminal charges in the state of California. If you have been charged with a crime in California, contact a skilled and experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney.

Assault and Battery Among the Most Common Criminal Charges in California

Assault and battery are common criminal charges in the state of California. Despite the relatively commonplace nature of these charges, confusion persists regarding the difference between the two. The dividing line between assault and battery is whether an actual use of unlawful force occurred. If so, then the proper umbrella charge is battery. If not, then the proper area of criminality is assault, which concerns an attempt at a use of unlawful force. Depending on whether a weapon – especially a deadly one – was used in either on assault or battery, the charge may be classified as a felony. Another important factor in determining whether to classify a battery as a serious felony is the extent to which serious bodily injury was inflicted on the victim.

Most DUI charges in the state of California are classified as misdemeanors.  This is the case most of the time even if you have previous misdemeanor DUI convictions on your criminal record. The caveat concerns what are known as “aggravating factors.”  The purpose of this article is to explain the types of aggravating factors capable of justifying a felony DUI charge. If you have been charged with felony DUI in California, you need to contact an experienced California DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. The penalties for a felony DUI conviction are severe. With your future, finances, freedom, and reputation at stake, you need a skilled attorney.

Aggravating Factor #1: Causing Injury or Death While Under the Influence

The first aggravating factor serving as grounds for a felony DUI charge in California is causing injuries or fatalities to another person while driving under the influence of alcohol. The number one concern of California’s driving-related laws, including those pertaining to drinking and driving, is the health and safety of the state’s drivers and pedestrians. In the eyes of the state, then, injuries or fatalities that result from a conscious decision to drink and get behind represent the most flagrant violation of California’s driving laws.

According to MADD (Mother’s Against Drunk Driving), in 2014, drivers operating vehicles under the influence of drugs or alcohol killed around 10,500 people; 345,000 were injured. The statistics for the number of accidents occurring in San Diego County due to drunken driving are staggering and most of these accidents occur on or around holidays. The most common holidays where accidents are most likely to occur due to irresponsible post-party practices are the Fourth of July, New Year’s and St. Patrick’s Day.

         Focusing on New Year’s, the San Diego County authorities did what they could to ensure the safety of the roads to prevent New Year’s DUI cases for 2015, but to no avail. Statewide in the State of California, DUI arrests were down from 2014; but this wasn’t the case for San Diego County specifically. Blocking out just a 12-hour window from New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day 2013-2014, there were 324 DUI arrests in the state of California and 14 in San Diego County. The same time frame for 2014-2015 New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day netted 309 DUI arrests in the state of California and 20 in San Diego County. It may not seem like much of an increase, but percentage wise it’s a 42.9% jump for San Diego County. Last New Year’s there were no fatalities while this year there was one; statewide there were 5 fatalities this year.

         In an attempt to lower the statistics for those not only driving under the influence (DUI) but also driving without a valid license, authorities publicized their plans to increase DUI checkpoints starting right after Christmas (Dec. 26) through New Year’s. Studies in San Diego County have shown that well published reports stating the intention of having increased police presence can lower irresponsible acts of partygoers by up to 20 percent. San Diego County police ran several DUI checkpoints from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. Christmas Weekend, inspired by the nearly 2,300 injuries that occurred last year around the same time. The checkpoints proved successful in finding and arresting drunken drivers but also increased the statistics from last year. A report released by CHP said 18 people were arrested and two died in San Diego County between 6 p.m. Christmas Eve and 8 a.m. the day after Christmas. That’s six more arrests than last year and the same number of fatalities. The New Year’s statistics also went up from last year as a result of increased DUI checkpoints throughout San Diego County; officers arrested 34 impaired drivers in San Diego County between New Year’s Eve and that Friday morning, compared to 20 DUI arrests in the same holiday period a year ago. During the same weekend, continuing from Friday to Sunday (New Year’s weekend) the statistic increased dramatically, doubling the total number of drunken drivers taken off of the streets. Officers arrested 69 drivers driving under the influence (DUI) in San Diego County between New Year’s Eve and that Sunday on the weekend following New Year’s.

A three car pileup occurred last night around the 1100 block of East Washington Avenue in Escondido. According to police, a black truck driving around 9p.m. crashed into a silver sedan; makes and models of the vehicles aren’t released. When the truck rammed into the silver sedan, the impact propelled the sedan to roll over and smash into another sedan, white in color. The truck driver, the driver at fault, attempted to escape and make it a hit-n-run case, but he was immediately taken into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI). Luckily, none of the individuals involved were harmed by the accident/rolling vehicles, but particles on the street were a hazard to other drivers on the road. The impact caused dangerous debris to slide across the road to the extent that police had to close the road to traffic while the scene was investigated and the shards and scrap metals were removed from the road.

Sources:
“Suspected DUI Driver Causes 3-Car Crash” – NBC San Diego

Alan Long was re-elected into the Murrieta city council last week after choosing to step down from his position as mayor. A type of scandal erupted when Long was caught driving under the influence (DUI) and mishandling his pickup truck, causing him to lose control of the vehicle and ram into the car in front of him. The car he hit contained four teenage girls, all high school cheerleaders ranging from the ages of 14 to 17; they came out of the accident with injuries. Long was already being charged with one count of felony DUI causing injury and now the girls who were injured are suing him as well. Long, who has a job working as a battalion chief for the Anaheim Fire Department, is in over his head and is scheduled for arraignment on December 11. Long’s attorney, apparently, still hasn’t seen the lawsuit being brought against him. In the upcoming weeks more about the story will unfold and the perspective of the injured girls from the accident will be heard.

Sources:
“Councilman Sued For Alleged DUI Crash With Teens” – UT San Diego

Most people know to avoid the authorities if they are doing something illegal, but not this guy! Twenty-three year old Israel Guadalupe Garcia was taken into custody after he impaled his Toyota pick-up truck into the side of a San Diego County Sheriff’s patrol car. Garcia was originally pulled over for running a red light, but as deputies approached the truck to question him, he put the truck in reverse; crashing it into the patrol car behind him. After crashing into the patrol car, Garcia led the police on a short chase, ultimately resulting in him losing control of the truck and hitting a tree next to a home in Alvarado Terrace. Authorities were able to take him into custody and said he showed signs of driving under the influence of alcohol. Once in custody, the police checked Garcia’s criminal history to reveal his license was suspended along with numerous other arrests on his record. Luckily, no one was injured during the incident.

Sources:

“DUI Suspect Rams Sheriff’s Cruiser, Speeds Off, Crashes” – Times of San Diego

A bicyclist was critically injured after they were struck by a drunken driver who swerved into the bicycle lane. The driver, 39-year-old Billy Bilke Jr. from Moreno Valley, was driving his Ford F-150 pickup truck and attempting to multitask while apparently under the influence of alcohol. According to authorities, he was not only completely wasted but was talking on his cell phone and eating at the same time. Eating what, you might ask? Deep fried mushrooms. The triple threat was a recipe for disaster as he outwardly claims he didn’t see the cyclist at all before he practically ran him/her over with his truck. The incident happened around 4p.m. Tuesday afternoon on Jefferson Avenue in Murrieta. Luckily, the cyclist survived the impact but was rushed to a nearby hospital and has been hospitalized with major head trauma. Billy Bilke will be paying for his mistakes in the future as he was arrested and booked into jail on felony DUI resulting in bodily injury.

Sources:
“DUI Suspect Who Hit Cyclist Was Eating, Talking On Phone” – UT San Diego

Lindsey Taylor Osborne, 27, was arrested for having a blood alcohol level more than four times the legal limit while driving – 0.33. Not only was she driving under the influence, she caused an accident with a couple in a sedan and fled the scene. It hasn’t been stated if she has an attorney or not, but she needs one! The couple in the sedan chased down Osborne, going to the extent of honking their horn, flashing their bright lights and following them for several miles. When that strategy didn’t work, they wrote down Osborne’s license plate number and handed it over to the police. Police found Osborne at her house just a half of an hour later.

Sources:
“Woman Arrested On DUI Following Couple’s Chase” – UT San Diego