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Case Results

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY (MARTINEZ) .14% BAC 1st OFFENSE DUI

10/16/2014

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 - 7/11/2014

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 - 7/9/2014

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 - 6/20/2014

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 - 6/19/2014

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 ("BRN").

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 - 6/19/2014

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 settlements.

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 - 6/16/2014

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 - 6/16/2014

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 - 6/12/2014

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 - 6/12/2014

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!

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