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DUI Offenses – Definition of “Driving”

DUIs Require that “Driving” be Proven Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or With a 0.08 Percent or Higher Blood Alcohol Content, are described  by Vehicle Code section 23152, subsections (a) and (b) respectively. Cal. Vehicle Code § 23152(a)-(b). Driving Under the Influence arrests and prosecutions, although exceedingly common, can have some of the most…

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Statutes as the “Black Letter” Law in California

Almost all states, as well as the Federal Government, have codified their criminal laws into statutes that one can refer to in text form. The Courts interpret the statutes and determine the intent of the Legislature, and, when the statutes are challenged as unconstitutional, rule as to their validity. When the Courts interpret a statute,…

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Appearance without client’s presence – Felony v. Misdemeanors

Generally, a criminal defendant must be personally present in felony cases. Cal. Penal Code § 977(b). However, this general rule does not apply in most misdemeanor cases, and the defense attorney may appear on their client’s behalf. See Cal. Penal Code § 977(a) . A defendant who chooses not to personally appear pursuant to Section…

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Forced Blood Draws, DUIs, and Suppression of Blood Evidence under the Fourth Amendment

        DUI  Blood Draws Justified on grounds of Exigent Circumstances under the Schmerber and  McNeely decisions.    In Schmerber v. California (1966) 384 U.S. 757, the US Supreme Court determined that a warrantless compulsory seizure of blood for the purpose of a blood-alcohol test did not offend the Fourth Amendment if the procedure:  (1) is…

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Proposition 64: Reaping the legal benefits of the new age of cannabis in California

California Voter’s approved recreational marijuana for statewide use last November 2016 with Proposition 64. What many may not know is that the passage of the Proposition is that the law was changed not just to allow future use and possession/ cultivation of cannabis, but also corrected past draconian and unproductive punishments and criminal records created…

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Limits on DUI Checkpoints and the Fourth Amendment

Holiday season means DUI checkpoints increase across the State of California. DUI checkpoints are legal and police may use them in an effort to protect public safety, if they follow certain guidelines in setting up and operating the checkpoint. Vehicle Checkpoints and the Ingersoll Test   The primary purpose of a sobriety checkpoint is to…

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New Interlock Requirements to Take Effect January 2019 in DUI Cases – The Good News and Bad News

As of September 28, 2016, Governor Brown approved a new regime governing restricted licenses in DUI cases. Currently, for a first time DUI, there is a mandatory “hard” suspension period of 30 days, after which the driver can apply for a restricted license if they: (1) Show proof of SR-22 insurance; (2) Pay an administrative…

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