Why Should I Hire A Criminal Defense Attorney?
In the event that you are charged with a criminal offense, you must act immediately. Don’t wait to consult a seasoned criminal defense attorney with the know-how to acquire a reduction of criminal charges. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to examine the facts surrounding the charged crime, determine the strength of the evidence, know whether the actions of the law enforcement were valid and understand how the prosecution thinks. Start your defense on the right foot with the aid and experience of Douglas L. Gardner Attorney at Law. The first consultation is free.
What Defenses Do I Have Against My DUI Charge?
There are several defenses to a DUI charge. The few most common are associated with rising blood alcohol, breath temperature, breath test variability and various medical reasons.
The Rising Blood Alcohol Defense
When you drink, your blood alcohol content (BAC) starts at zero, gradually rises, reaches a peak and then begins to decline. With the right DUI attorney, it can be determined that you were in fact below a 0.08 percent alcohol level at the time of driving. Thus, you would not be found guilty of DUI.
The Breath Temperature And Breath Test Variability Defense
A breathalyzer test is just an estimate of your blood alcohol level and, therefore, subject to some variability. A breath testing device can over-report your true blood alcohol level by as much as 40-100 percent.
Gastro Reflux Disease (GERD) causes you to bring up alcohol from your stomach and thus has a tendency to show up on the breathalyzer test. Periodontal disease, often called “mouth alcohol” is based on problems with your gums, which can impact your breath test results. If you are a diabetic and have low blood sugar while driving, you may exhibit symptoms mimicking that of a person under the influence, which may cause a breathalyzer test to over-report your BAC. Inner ear infections associated with vertigo can throw off your balance and mimic that of a person driving under the influence. If you are suffering from back, leg and/or hip injuries you may appear impaired to an officer, leading to a false arrest. A knowledgeable DUI attorney can speak to your physician about whether your medical issues could have impacted the field sobriety and/or breath test results.
Why Should I Request A DMV Hearing?
The Department of Motor Vehicles acts completely independent of the court in prosecution and is entirely separate from the court process. Its not unheard of to have a licenses suspended even if the DUI charges are dismissed.
What Should I Do If I Am Pulled Over For DUI In California?
Even though you can practice your right to silence if you’re pulled over for a DUI, you should present your license, insurance, and registration.
Due to California’s “implied consent” law, a refusal to complete a breath or blood test will result in an automatic license suspension for a year. Officers are required to inform you of the law with regard to the testing and whether the test they’re offering at the time is the evidentiary test or a “PAS” (preliminary alcohol screening) test which they intend to use to establish probable cause for arrest. You are not required to take a “PAS” test but you are required to take an evidentiary blood test.
What Are The Punishments For A Felony In California?
The major difference between a misdemeanor and a felony in California, is exposure to state prison. There are numerous different penalties provided depending on the offense charged. Anywhere from probation, the death penalty, or life without parole. Every offense, other than charges with indeterminate sentences, has a triad of potential prison terms designated. These include Mitigated, Midterm, and Aggravated terms which the judge will select at the time of sentencing. The terms are dependent on the severity of the offense relative to other crimes of the same nature, the defendant’s criminal history, input from victims, and probation.
What Are Misdemeanor Punishments In California?
Though misdemeanor charges are less severe than felonies, they may still result in heavy fines and/or imprisonment at the local level. As a general rule misdemeanors split into two categories, those carrying a maximum 180 day jail sentence and/or fine, and those carrying a maximum 1 year county jail sentence and or fine.
What Should I Do If My Child Has Been Charged With A Criminal Offense?
Juvenile cases in California are treated very different than adult offenses but can still result in incarceration at the juvenile hall, fines, work programs, probation, and placement outside of the family home. Upon finding the petition is true, the state can declare the juvenile a ward of the court placing them in a somewhat “super parent” role. This allows the court to determine the proper place for a juvenile to live. If your child has been charged with a criminal offense, the consequences could be dire to the entire family and would justify retaining counsel for the minor.
What Constitutes Murder In California?
Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being or a fetus with malice aforethought. It can be of different degrees based on intent, provocation, or negligence.
What Constitutes Manslaughter In California?
Manslaughter Is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice. There are 3 kinds of manslaughter in the State of California:
- Voluntary: upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion
- Involuntary: during the commissioning of an unlawful act not amounting to a felony or in the commissioning of a lawful act which might produce death in an unlawful manner.
- Vehicular: Pursuant to recent California case law, any person charged with “gross vehicular manslaughter” while intoxicated, having been convicted of a prior DUI and that is committed after someone has been advised that driving under the influence and or drugs is extremely dangerous to human life, can be implied as having malice and therefore charged with second degree murder.
Vehicular manslaughter is typically charged when:
- A defendant drives under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol (DUI)
- While under the influence, the defendant commits a California misdemeanor, infraction or otherwise illegal act that could cause death
- He or she commits that act with either ordinary or “gross” negligence
- Someone is killed as a result of that misconduct