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CONTRA COSTA COUNTY (MARTINEZ) .14% BAC 1st OFFENSE DUI
Client was arrested by the CHP in Concord for failure to maintain his lane
way back in December of 2012. Contra Costa County is by far the number
one county in the Bay Area in terms of unreasonable prosecutorial delay.
This case was no different as client had already suffered and served his
entire DUI suspension from the DMV and even completed the three month
DUI School ALL BEFORE we ever went to court. I pushed the district attorney
to resolve this case for a reduction since client had really been prejudiced
by their unreasonable delay. Of course, this argument fell upon deaf ears.
Nevertheless, you don't get anything if you don't ask, SO...I
made my grievance known to the judge who I've appeared before many
times and know to be eminently fair and although he could not reduce the
charges, he did reduce the fine from $1,900 to $1,000. I think I was the
only lawyer in the busy courtroom to even request something like this
and hopefully it won't become a trend! Today in Martinez we settled
the case thus closing the book for my client who really wanted resolution
but was denied that by a district attorney's office that is notorious
for not getting their job done in a timely manner. Client received minimum
three year probation, the aforementioned fine reduction, three month DUI
School and two days of SWAP in lieu of actual jail. License was suspended
for 30 days and restricted for 5 months.
Outcome: Probation Granted: FINE REDUCED BY 50%, 3 Month DUI School and 2 SWAP
ALAMEDA COUNTY (OAKLAND) .15% BAC 1st OFFENSE DUI w/ COLLISION (UNDER 21)
Probation Granted: 3 years, 3 Month DUI School -
Fine Description: I always say first offense DUI cases come in all different
shapes and colors, but are in reality, the same mistake. Take the case
of this client, for example. Client was under 21 and went to a dinner
party where she drank a fair amount of wine. Client didn't have much
experience drinking, much less driving, and no one thought to get her
a ride home. Instead, client attempted to drive home but got lost and
then confused ending up in a ditch after a solo vehicle collision.
Thankfully, no one was injured but when the CHP arrived, the DUI investigation
began. Ultimately, client submitted to two PAS breath tests with results
of .14 and .15% and she was arrested. Client then submitted to two "evidential"
breath tests which had identical results. Although this client had made
a terrible mistake, she now faced a criminal prosecution in court and
it's an unwritten fact that the district attorney's like to enhance
the punishment for any DUI related collision case.
Nevertheless, we presented our best to the prosecutor who graciously allowed
us to resolve the DUI case for BELOW the minimum sentence possible. Client
was convicted of DUI and received three years informal court probation,
a 3 month DUI School; reduced fine of $281; 172 hours Community Service
and NO additional jail or SWAP. As client was under 21 at the time of
the DUI arrest, her license was suspended by DMV for one full year with
no restriction. Like most DUI's, this was a stupid mistake, but I'm
confident that this client learned her lesson and will never get a DUI again.
SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY DUI EXPUNGEMENT PETITION
Petition Granted & Reckless Driving Conviction D -
It was a busy day at the Hall of Justice, especially trying to get into
Department 18 for an expungement petition for a former DUI client of mine
in San Francisco. Truly, the real work was done by me when I represented
him two years ago for his original DUI charge. In that case, I was able
to get the DUI charges dismissed in exchange for a plea to the reduced
charge of reckless driving. Although this was still a misdemeanor conviction,
Client's probation was significantly reduced resulting in our eligibility
for an expungment well before the standard three to five years that is
required for a DUI conviction. Since the original reckless driving conviction
only had an 18 month requirement, and the client had paid all his fines
and completed his DUI School, he was now eligible for expungement. We
appeared together today in Department 18 and the Honorable Kathleen Kelly
granted our petition and signed the order which dismissed the client's
only criminal conviction.
ALAMEDA COUNTY (OAKLAND) .11% BAC 1st OFFENSE DUI
DUI Charges Dismissed: Case Settled for Reckless -
This case had a lot more at stake than you'd think with a first offense
DUI. Client was from Nepal and living in the United States illegally while
seeking political asylum. Regrettably, he was pulled over by the CHP for
speeding and determined to be DUI after his Field Sobriety Tests and a
PAS breath test of .12% BAC. A subsequent blood test only confirmed the
fact and returned a .11% BAC.
All DUI convictions in California have a mandatory 48 hour minimum sentence.
Although this sentence is usually served through the Sheriff's Work
Alternative Program or "SWAP", that program requires booking
and being illegal, this client faced a potential ICE hold and even deportation
back to Nepal. With the pressure on, we needed to get this case reduced,
not just to save the client punishment and money, but to avoid the mandatory
minimum sentencing that flows from a DUI conviction.
Gratefully, I was able to settle this case today in Oakland for a dismissal
of the DUI charges in exchange for a plea to the reduced charge of reckless
driving ("wet" reckless). Client received a substantially reduced
sentence of two years of informal court probation, a fine of $1,033 (about
half the normal DUI fine), a 12 hour DUI School (again about half the
length and cost of the regular DUI School) and most importantly NO jail
or SWAP. Since we avoided the DUI conviction in Alameda County we also
avoided the mandatory Ignition Interlock Device ("IID") requirement
that comes with all DUI convictions in Oakland. At the end of the day,
we saved the client thousands of dollars, a hefty punishment and avoided
the risk that he would be deported back to Nepal. All in a days work!
ALAMEDA COUNTY (FREMONT) .16% BAC 1st OFFENSE DUI w/ HIGH BAC ENHANCEMENT
DUI Charges Dismissed: Case Settled for Reckless -
This case involved a registered nurse who went out with friends and unusual
for him, drank a lot of alcohol and attempted to drive home to Fremont.
While driving home, client was stopped by the CHP for driving erratically.
Client performed poorly on field sobriety tests and was ultimately arrested
for DUI. After his arrest, client submitted to a breath test which showed
a BAC of .16%. I initially appeared for client's arraignment, but
the DA had yet to file charges, which is pretty common in Fremont these days.
After several months, the client lost his license by way of the DMV hearing
which occurred well before the criminal case. Client enrolled in the DUI
School to get his restricted license and nearly completed it along with
over sixty AA meetings before the District Attorney finally got around
to charging his case. As a registered nurse and the sole breadwinner for
his family, it was critical that we minimize the impact of this DUI case
which he was going to have to report to the Board of Registered Nursing
Although things looked bleak initially, I took the extra time at the Pre-Trial
Conference to ask the District Attorney every which way I could to reduce
the offense. Finally, the District Attorney relented and agreed to dismiss
the DUI charges for a plea to reckless driving ("wet reckless").
The DUI charges and enhancement were dismissed and the client enthusiastically
accepted the offer which included the following sentence of three years
informal court probation, a fine of approximately $2,000, a three month
DUI School, and one day of SWAP (community service) in lieu of actual
jail time. Since the case was reduced, client was NOT required to install
an ignition interlock device ("IID") as is required for all
DUI convictions in Alameda County.
Honestly, I was even surprised by the result in this case, but in the end
it proved the point that I've always made which is that you can't
get anything unless you ask for it! Client's license was suspended
for thirty days and subsequently restricted for work purposes for five
months. Client was truly sorry for his DUI arrest and I'm confident
that I won't hear back from him until the time comes to expunge his
reckless driving conviction.
ALAMEDA COUNTY (FREMONT) .12% BAC 1st OFFENSE DUI w/ SPEED ENHANCEMENT
DUI Charges Dismissed: Case Settled for Reckless -
This was a tough morning in Fremont as the DA almost immediately jumped
on me making the prospect of settling my two DUI cases very thin. Nevertheless,
I stayed calm and continued smiling which resulted in two very positive
This client was charged with his first DUI, however, it was complicated
by the fact that he was stopped by the CHP for traveling in excess of
100 MPH. Considering that his blood test came in at .12% (which is just
over the Alameda guideline for a reduction), we weren't expecting
the case to resolve here at the first Pre-Trial Conference. In spite of
the DA's initial outrage, she ultimately came around and we settled
this case for a reduction to reckless driving for three years of informal
court probation, a 12 hour DUI school and a reduced fine of around $1,000.
Client didn't have to complete any jail, SWAP or community service
and most importantly, wasn't required to have an Ignition Interlock
Device "IID" installed as it required for all persons convicted
of DUI in Alameda County.
Client accepted four month suspension of his California driver's license,
but was nonetheless quite grateful to have the DUI charge dismissed and
his sentence greatly reduced.
SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY .17% BAC 1st OFFENSE DUI w/ FORCED BLOOD DRAW "REFUSAL"
ENHANCEMENT DISMISSED & 3 MONTH DUI SCHOOL & NO -
This was an interesting DUI case which again demonstrated the value of
an experienced and dedicated DUI attorney in San Francisco. Client was
stopped by SFPD for a tail light violation on a moped. It was early in
the morning and client had been drinking, so the client's temper overtook
the situation and the arresting officer ultimately wrote the case up as
a "refusal" since the client wouldn't submit to a breath
or blood test. Not to be denied, the arresting officer obtained a search
warrant to force the client to give a blood sample which was subsequently
tested at .17% BAC.
Thankfully, client did not need to drive, because the refusal was a difficult
case for the DMV and client's license was suspended for one full year
without a restricted license available. Conceding the DMV, we put the
full weight of our defense into the criminal case which we were able to
settle today for a dismissal of all enhancements and a highly reduced
sentence, considering the District Attorney's original offer at arraignment.
In the end, client was convicted of DUI, but received the minimum sentence
of three years informal court probation, fine of $1,858, THREE MONTH DUI
School (vs. 9 month) and NO jail, SWAP or community service. I think I
helped client accept responsibility for this one, but am most grateful
that I saved the client months of her life in DUI School and SWAP and
thousands of dollars that the client really needed. This case showed again
why an experienced DUI attorney, especially in San Francisco, can make
all the difference in almost any DUI case.
SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY .21% BAC 1st OFFENSE DUI w/ HIGH BAC ENHANCEMENT
ENHANCEMENT DISMISSED & 3 MONTH DUI SCHOOL -
This was a challenging case, but in the end, I was able to keep it together
for the client to resolve an otherwise bad DUI case for minimal punishment.
Client was an international student who was stopped by the CHP for speeding
with three friends in the car. Client blows a .21% on the PAS and is arrested
for DUI. Sometime later, Client was again breath tested with again a .21%
BAC. Although Client was charged with DUI and a high BAC enhancement,
we were able to avoid any pre-trial release conditions which was critical
as the Client ended up moving to the East Coast.
After two Pre-Trial Conferences and much wrangling with the District Attorney,
we finally settled the case today, and in such a way that the Client won't
have to come back to San Francisco. The High BAC Enhancement was dismissed
and client was sentenced to three years of informal court probation, fines
of $1,918, an ONLINE DUI School (3 MONTH NOT THE 9 MONTH PROGRAM), 80
hours of community service and 15 AA meetings. By getting the enhancement
dismissed and the concession for the three month DUI School, I was able
to save the client thousands of dollars. I sincerely hope he learns his
lesson from this DUI experience and I don't hear from him again until
he's ready to expunge his DUI conviction.
MARIN COUNTY (SAN RAFAEL) .12% BAC 1st OFFENSE DUI w/ MARIJUANA POSSESSION
Probation Granted: 3 years, $1,900 fine, 3 Month -
Client was stopped by the CHP for speeding on US Highway 101 just before
midnight. Upon further investigation for DUI, Client submitted to two
PAS breath tests of .11% and .12% BAC and was arrested for DUI. While
performing an inventory search, CHP officers found marijuana in client's
pocket so they charged him with that was well.
Although this was technically a first offense DUI, client had previously
been convicted of two prior DUI's that were more than ten years ago,
so in reality, this was his third offense DUI and client was deeply concerned
about the effect that those prior DUI's might have on the Marin County
District Attorney. After two conferences with the District Attorney Expediter
(an admirable DA who I knew personally from a hard fought DUI jury trial
I did in 2011), I was able to negotiate an acceptable resolution. The
marijuana charge was dismissed, and client plead to Driving with a BAC
in excess of .08% pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b).
Client was sentenced to the minimum three years court probation, paid
fines of approximately $1,900 and ordered to complete a three month level
one first offender DUI School.
Client was NOT ordered to complete ANY jail, SWAP or community service.
Ultimately, client's license was suspended by the DMV for thirty days
with a restricted license for work purposes for five months with the filing
of an SR22.
In the end, having a prior positive relationship with the District Attorney
made a difference for this client and I hope this positive outcome results
in him never drinking and driving again!
MARIN COUNTY (SAN RAFAEL) .15% BAC 1st OFFENSE DUI w/ ENHANCEMENT & COLLISION
ENHANCEMENT DISMISSED & DUI SENTENCE MINIMIZED -
It's true that bad things can happen to good people. Client was a hard
working young man and recent college graduate who made the critical mistake
of drinking bottomless mimosa's during a brunch date with his girlfriend
in San Francisco. After driving all the way from San Francisco to Sausalito,
client was involved in a very minor collision with a parked car. Events
soon spiraled out of client's control and the Sausalito Police were
soon on the scene to conduct a DUI investigation. Client refused the PAS
test but later submitted to two breath tests which came in at .15% BAC.
Ultimately, client was charged with DUI and enhancement for BAC in excess of .15%.
Today, we settled the case for a dismissal of the enhancement and plea
to the DUI. Client received the minimum three years court probation, had
fines of over $2,000, was ordered to attend a three month/level one DUI
School and perform 15 hours of community service. In the end, this was
a favorable outcome for this DUI case. The District Attorney originally
wanted two AA meetings a week for twelve successive weeks as part of the
settlement. For a first offense DUI and considering the age of the defendant,
such AA counseling would be excessive and burdensome. Regrettably, Client's
California Driver's License was suspended for around 30 days with
five months of restriction with a $125 DMV reinstatement fee and filing
of an SR22.
We didn't have a good case for dismissal here, but we did manage the
case and minimize the damage. We'll get the DUI dismissed in three
years when the client successfully completes his probation!