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Articles Posted in DUI & Drunk Driving

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Your first misdemeanor DUI conviction in California could cost you $16,000, according to an article in the LA Times. A recent report calculated the total cost of a first-time DUI conviction, including fines, legal fees and increased insurance rates. Not drinking and driving or setting up other modes of transportation is the best way to avoid the high costs of a DUI conviction, but if you are charged with DUI, it is important to retain an experienced Southern California DUI defense attorney who can help you avoid large fines and high fees.

The True Cost of a DUI

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The LA Times article cited a report by the Automobile Club of Southern California, which calculated that a first-time misdemeanor offense for DUI can cost up to $15,649. Teenagers are hit even harder by a first-time DUI offense. If you are under the age of 21, a misdemeanor first-time DUI conviction costs up to $22,492.

The total cost calculated by the Automobile Club of Southern California includes state and local fines, penalties, restitution and legal fees. It also accounts for increased insurance rates. However, the sum does not include thousands of dollars in potential additional expenses such as bail fees, costs of damage to your vehicle, bodily injury or any salary lost from missing time from work.

In addition to monetary punishment, a first-time conviction for DUI is punishable by up six months in county jail and the suspension of your driving privilege for one year. If you caused injury to another person while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you can be charged with a felony and sentenced to up to three years in county jail.

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According to the OC Register, more than 100,000 visitors packed into Newport Beach, California to celebrate the Fourth of July in 2012. Newport Beach has approximately 85,000 permanent residents.

If you plan to celebrate this year’s festivities in Newport Beach, remember to party responsibly. The Newport Beach Police Department’s crime statistics indicate that the following five crimes typically experience a significant rise during the month of July:

1. Public Intoxication (California Penal Code section 647(f))

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In July 2012, there were a reported 145 public intoxication arrests in Newport Beach. It is interesting to note that this was the only month to see a triple-figure amount for this offense. In fact, no other month saw more than 81 reported public intoxication offenses.

To convict you of public intoxication in Newport Beach, the prosecutor will need to prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • You were willfully under the influence of alcohol, any drug, or a controlled substance;
  • You were in a public place while under the influence of alcohol, any drug, or a controlled substance; AND
  • You were unable to exercise care for your safety or the safety of others; OR
  • You interfered with, obstructed, or prevented the free use of a street, sidewalk, or other public way because you were under the influence.

One of our skilled attorneys recently got a public intoxication charge against our client completely dismissed. Our client was facing up to 90 days in county jail and 1-year suspension of his driver’s license if convicted. Due to the attorney’s tremendous efforts, the district attorney agreed to drop the charge after agreeing that the charge could not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. Click here to continue reading.

2. Petty Theft (California Penal Code section 488)

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In July 2012, there were a reported 116 petty thefts in Newport Beach. This accounted for 16% of the city’s petty thefts in 2012.

To convict you of petty theft under PC 488, the prosecutor will need to prove the following elements:

  • You took possession of property owned by someone else;
  • You took possession of the property without the owner’s permission;
  • When you took the property, you intended to deprive the owner of it permanently or remove it from the owner’s possession for an extended period of time such that the owner would be deprived of a major portion of the value or enjoyment of the property.

The prosecutor also carries the significant evidentiary burden of proving three additional facts in order to convict you of petty theft:

  • The stolen property had a market value of $950 or less;
  • The property was not taken directly from the owner (e.g. pickpocketing); AND
  • The property is not of a special type, such as an automobile, firearm, or farm animal.

Recently, an experienced Wallin & Klarich defense attorney helped one of our clients avoid time in a juvenile detention facility after she was accused of petty theft under PC 488. If convicted, our client faced up to 6 months in juvenile detention. The attorney used his extensive legal knowledge to raise a successful objection to the arresting officer’s testimony against our client. Read the full story here.

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Ventura DUI attorney

You recently attended a friend’s birthday party and had a few drinks. You made certain to control your alcohol intake in order to remain under the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for drivers. Just before arriving home, you were stopped by a police officer and asked to perform a breathalyzer test. You were charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) under Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) after blowing a .05%.

The legal limit for BAC in California is .08%. So, why were you charged with DUI if you had a BAC level of .05%? Can you be charged with a DUI even though your BAC was under the legal driving limit?

Understanding California DUI laws (VC 23152(a), VC 23152(b))

VC 23152(a) states that “It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.”

Under VC 23152(b), “It is unlawful for any person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle.”

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DUI%20Defense%20Attorneys%20888-280-6839.jpg On May 14, 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that all states drop the legal limit for a DUI from 0.08 to 0.05.

If this law were to be passed in California it would drastically increase the number of DUI arrests.

The NTSB claims that by reducing the legal limit from 0.08 down to 0.05 it would cut the deaths in DUI accidents by more than half. It cited in its report that more than 100 countries have adopted the 0.05 standard. The result has been that the share of traffic deaths related to drunk driving was reduced by more than half over a ten year period.

The problem with lowering the limit is the reality of how much alcohol needs to be in a person’s body for them to reach a .05 blood alcohol level.

Experts report than a woman who weights less than 120 pounds will reach .05 after just one drink. A man weighing up to 160 pounds will reach a 0.05 level after two drinks.

If you were to ask a woman who had consumed one drink if she was “under the influence” the answer would be NO in about 100% of cases. The same would be true if you ask a male if he felt he was “under the influence” after consuming only two drinks. What this means is every day thousands of California residents would get into their vehicles believing they were fine to drive, only to be pulled over and prosecuted for a DUI.

The impact of reducing the legal limit for a DUI must be studied very carefully. Nobody wants even one person to be injured or killed by a drunk driver. On the other hand it seems the impact of lowering the current blood alcohol level will make it extremely difficult for persons to consume even a small amount of alcohol and drive their vehicle.

Many would say we should err on the side of “caution” because if we can save lives by lowering the legal limit we should do so.

Others will say that reducing the limit to .05 will result in far too many unwarranted DUI arrests and convictions. The consequences of a DUI conviction in California are severe. The total cost of a DUI can exceed $20,000. Many people convicted of a DUI will lose their driving privilege and their employment.

Being charged for a DUI under the current situation is already daunting enough. However if you are facing a DUI charge, you do not have to handle it alone. The DUI attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been defending clients facing DUI charges for over 30 years. With offices all over Southern California, do not hesitate to call us at (888) 280-6839. We will be there when you call.

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There are a number of severe punishments associated with a second DUI, a violation of California Vehicle Code (VC) Section 23152.

Orange%20County%20DUI%20Attorneys%20888-280-6839.jpg If the second DUI happened within 10 years of a separate DUI or reckless driving charge that resulted in a conviction, you face imprisonment in county jail for up to one year and a fine ranging between $390 and $1000. See VC 23540.

Also, if you are convicted under VC 23152, the DMV will suspend your license for two years. See VC Section 13352(a)(3).

You will be put on probation (CVC 23600) for 3 to 5 years, requiring, among other things, that you do not drive a motor vehicle with ANY measureable amount of alcohol in your blood.

The court will also require you to complete either an 18 month or 30 month driving-under-the-influence program.

If you are on a path to become a lawyer, a second DUI will put your admission at risk, since the conviction would put your moral character into question.

The Prosecutor’s burden in a DUI case

To prove that the you were driving under the influence of a drug or alcohol, the prosecution must prove that

  1. You drove a vehicle; AND
  2. As a result of drinking an alcoholic beverage or taking a drug, your mental or physical abilities were such that you no longer were able to drive a vehicle with the caution of a sober person, using ordinary care.

California DUI Attorney

An aggressive Wallin & Klarich attorney can help to lessen, or entirely avoid, the severe consequences that could result from a second DUI charge. Wallin & Klarich attorneys are well-versed in DUI defense strategies. After a close examination of the case, your Orange County DUI attorney can oftentimes raise viable defenses or persuade the prosecutor to lessen your punishment. For example, if the prosecution cannot prove that you were driving, the charges will likely be dismissed or you will be found not guilty at trial. If you or a loved one is facing a second DUI charge, call an experienced Orange County DUI attorney at (888) 280-6839 for a phone consultation. With offices located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina, Victorville, Torrance, and Sherman Oaks there is a Wallin & Klarich attorney available wherever you happen to live. We will be there when you call.

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If you face allegations for driving under the influence of alcohol or a drug for the second time within 10 years, you face all of the challenges of a first DUI, but with heightened punishment. But all is not lost. There are several ways to reduce your punishment or get a dismissal of your DUI case. First, you have to understand what you are facing. Let’s start by understanding DUIs generally.

DUI Prosecution in California

DUI%20Defense%20Attorneys%20888-280-6839.jpg California Vehicle Code section 23152 and related sections criminalize driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A DUI charge prosecuted under section 23152 is a misdemeanor in California. However, if you injure someone as a result of your DUI, the DUI becomes a felony under Vehicle Code section 23153.

Sub-section A and B are the most commonly prosecuted types of misdemeanor DUI. Section 23152(a) makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle while “under the influence” of alcohol or a drug. 23152(b) makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content level of 0.08% or higher.

For 23152(a) the prosecutor must prove:

1. You drove a vehicle; AND

2. You drove while under the influence of a drug or alcohol.

The second element in 23152(a) will require the prosecutor to show that you were under the influence of alcohol or a drug. So, the prosecutor needs to present evidence that you were intoxicated. This evidence usually comes from testimony from a person who saw you drinking, the arresting officer, and even other drivers who witnessed your driving.

For 23152(b), the prosecutor must prove that:

1. You drove a vehicle;AND

2. You did so while having a Blood Alcohol Content level of 0.08% or higher.

The second element of 23152(b) is actually much easier for the prosecutor to prove than the second element of 23152(a). In California, the chemical test determining Blood Alcohol Content creates a rebuttable presumption that you were under the influence. This means that you are presumed to be under the influence of alcohol if your Blood Alcohol Content is over 0.08% unless you can prove that you in fact were not under the influence.

Second DUI Violation within 10 years– VC 23540

If this is your second DUI conviction within 10 years, the only addition to the prosecutor’s burden of proof is that they must show the prior conviction. This is as easy as pulling up your record. The real effect of a second DUI is in the punishment.

Under California Vehicle Code section 23540, a second conviction is punished by:

Imprisonment in county jail for up to one year;

A fine of up to $1,000; and

Your driver’s license will be suspended by the DMV for 2 years (Vehicle Code section 13352(a)(3)). Completion of a driving re-education course is required to get your driver’s license back (Vehicle code section 13352(a)(3) and section 23542).

The court will also likely impose other fines and penalties for your second DUI conviction within 10 years.

Moreover, if you cause injury to another person while driving under the influence, you may be convicted of violating California Vehicle Code section 23153, which is punishable by:

Imprisonment in county jail for up to one year;

A fine of up to $5000; and

Your driver’s license will be suspended by the DMV for DMV for 3 years. (Vehicle Code section 13352(a)(4)). Completion of a driving re-education course is required to get your driver’s license back.

What can Wallin & Klarich do to help me?

Many people facing second DUI charges often think the evidence against them is overwhelmingly in the prosecutor’s favor. That is not always the case. There are many ways to attack a DUI charge. The experienced DUI defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are dedicated to getting you the best possible result for your case. Over the past 30 years, we have found several successful strategies.

Our first step in your DUI defense is always learning all of the circumstances of your case. There are many ways to attack the accuracy of the Blood Alcohol Content test-whether you took a breathalyzer or a blood test. For example, if the breathalyzer that the police officer used was not properly calibrated, then we may be able to dispute the accuracy of the breathalyzer test.

Along with trying to disprove the case against you, we will always try to find ways to mitigate your punishment. Under Vehicle Code sections 23542 and 23600, the court may place you on probation instead of a jail or prison sentence. We know that staying out of jail is important to you and we will fight for your freedom.

In addition, following your DUI arrest, the DMV may suspend your driver’s license. You only have 10 days after your arrest to request a DMV hearing to protest the suspension. If you miss this window to request a hearing, you waive your right to the DMV hearing and your driver’s license will be suspended. If you contact a Wallin & Klarich attorney today, we may be able to take the steps to prevent the DMV from suspending your driver’s license.

If you face a second DUI charge in Orange County, you need to contact the experienced DUI defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich right away. We have over 30 years of experience successfully defending clients against DUI charges. Our offices are conveniently located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, Ventura, West Covina, Torrance, and Sherman Oaks.

Call us today at (888) 280-6839. We will be there when you call.

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California generally has a “zero tolerance” policy for juveniles who are found to be guilty of a DUI. If you are juvenile who has been charged with a DUI, you may be charged not only for a juvenile DUI, but also a traditional DUI if your blood alcohol content is over the legal limit of 0.08%. If you are a minor and you have been charged with a DUI, it is important that you seek an experienced DUI defense attorney to assist you through the legal process.

California’s “Zero Tolerance” Law (California Vehicle Code 23136)

California%20DUI%20Attorneys%20888-280-6839.jpg Under California Vehicle Code section 23136, it is unlawful for you to drive a vehicle if you are under the age of 21 and have a blood alcohol content of 0.01% or greater. This is commonly called California’s “Zero Tolerance” law because it does not require that you be under the influence of alcohol, just that you have some measurable amount of alcohol in your system.

California Vehicle Code section 23136 explains that the law considers you to have already consented to an alcohol screening test or blood alcohol content test if you are under the age of 21 and operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol.

If you are convicted of a DUI under California Vehicle Code section 23136, you face an infraction and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will suspend your driver’s license for up to one year.

Under 21 DUI with a BAC of 0.05% – 0.07% (California Vehicle Code 23140)

California Vehicle Code section 23140 states that it is unlawful for you to operate a vehicle if you are under the age of 21 and your blood alcohol content is between 0.05% and 0.07%.If you are found guilty under California Vehicle Code section 23140, you face a sentence of up to six months in county jail and a fine of $100. If you are found guilty of a second violation under California Vehicle Code section 23140 within one year, you could face a sentence of up to one year in county jail and the fine increases to $200. The fine increases to $300 for a third offense within one year and you could face up to one year in county jail.

If you are found to have violated California Vehicle Code section 23140, you will also be in violation of California Vehicle Code section 23136, or California’s “Zero Tolerance” law. As a result, your driver’s license will be suspended for one year in addition to the penalties you face under California Vehicle section 23140. The court may also require that you attend an alcohol program before your driving privileges are reinstated.

Traditional DUI (California Vehicle Code 23152)

If you are a minor, you may still be charged under California’s traditional DUI law, California Vehicle Code section 23152, if your blood alcohol content was 0.08% or higher while you were operating the vehicle. A conviction for violating California Vehicle Code section 23152 carries significant consequences. Punishment for a first-time DUI offense in California can require that you serve up to six months in county jail and pay a fine up to $1,000. In addition, court costs and other fees can bring your total cost for a DUI conviction to nearly $16,000. In the alternative, the court may decide to give you probation instead of a jail sentence, which could last for three to five years.

If you have violated California Vehicle Code section 23152, you can still be found to be in violation of California Vehicle Code section 23136 and 23140, and will be subject to the consequences associated with those offenses.

Call Wallin & Klarich

If you are juvenile facing DUI charges, Wallin & Klarich is here to help. The DUI attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience helping clients avoid the devastating consequences of a DUI conviction and are knowledgeable about juvenile cases. Criminal charges as a juvenile can have a negative effect on your future and affect your life for years to come. Do not hesitate to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich to help you with your case.

Call Wallin & Klarich today at (888) 280-6839. We have offices located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina, Victorville, Torrance, and Sherman Oaks. We will get through this together.

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A DUI conviction in San Bernardino always results in severe consequences as it usually results in jail time, fines and a license suspension. As you can probably guess, a second time DUI conviction has greater impact as the fines and possible jail time are increased dramatically. In understanding the punishments you face, it is important to determine whether your second DUI conviction was within 10 years of your first DUI offense. If so, the prosecuting agency can use your first DUI conviction as a “prior offense” and subject you to greater punishment. However, if it has been more than 10 years since your first offense, the District Attorney will not allege a prior offense and you can likely be subject to penalties reserved for first time offenders.
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If you are convicted of a second time DUI in San Bernardino and your first DUI offense was within 10 years, then you will be facing a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence. You can be punished with imprisonment in a county jail for up a minimum of 30 days or a maximum of one year. You will be required to complete an 18 month multiple offender alcohol program as well as have your driving privileges suspended for two years. Also, you will be required to pay fines that can add up to $2,000 or more.

As part of your second time DUI conviction, the judge will order you to be placed on informal probation from anywhere between three to five years. Terms of probation will include:

• Do not drive a motor vehicle with any measurable amount of alcohol
• Submit to a chemical test of your blood on demand by any law enforcement officer
• Do not drive without a valid driver’s license in your possession
• Do not drive without proof of valid automobile insurance • Disclose terms and conditions of probation when asked by any law enforcement officer
If you are arrested and charged with a second time DUI, you must immediately contact one of our experienced DUI attorneys at Wallin and Klarich. Wallin & Klarich has been helping individuals charged with a DUI for over 30 years. Wallin & Klarich has the experience to defend our clients and do all we can to prevent their driving privileges from being suspended. Please call us at (888) 280-6839 or visit our website at www.wklaw.com. You can also fill out our contact form and one of our attorneys will email you or call you back immediately. We will fight for you.

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A charge for a second DUI in Newport Beach can carry significant consequences if it occurs within 10 years of a prior DUI conviction. Most significantly, a charge for a second DUI in Newport Beach may result in imprisonment in county jail for up to one year and/or a fine up to $1000. A court may also require you to participate in a driving under the influence program that will last from 18 months to 30 months.

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Another frequent consequence of a second DUI charge is the loss of your California Driver License. If you are charged with a second DUI within 10 years of a previous DUI conviction, the court will subject you to a two-year suspension of your California Driver License. Further, the DMV may also suspend your license for one year if you refuse to submit to a blood alcohol test of if your blood alcohol is measured above the .08 legal limit. A suspension imposed by the DMV and a suspension imposed by the court are separately enforced; however the total suspension period may not exceed two years.

Both the DMV suspension and the court suspension of your California Driver License can be challenged. In order to prevent a suspension of your license you must win at the DMV hearing and then must have the DUI charge reduced. To ensure your California driving privileges are not suspended it is important that you contact a competent Newport Beach DUI defense attorney.

Wallin & Klarich has been successfully helping those charged with a DUI in Newport Beach for over 30 years. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are highly skilled and knowledgeable and can assist you to achieve the best possible result in your DUI case. Call us today at 1-888-280-6839 or visit our website www.wklawdui.com. We will be there when you call.

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If you are charged with a DUI causing injury in San Bernardino the prosecution can choose to charge you with a misdemeanor or a felony. A felony DUI carries harsher consequences than a misdemeanor DUI, and can subject you to 3 years in jail or a $10,000 fine. Whereas, a misdemeanor DUI carries a punishment of a fine up to $1000 and jail time up to 6 months. In addition to the penalties associated with the criminal charges, a DUI causing injury may also result in a suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.

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In order for you to be charged with a DUI causing injury the prosecution must show that you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, that you neglected to perform a legal duty, and that another person was injured as a result. Under California law, all drivers have a duty to maintain proper control of a vehicle and to exercise ordinary care while driving a motorized vehicle. Therefore, if you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol you may have violated your legal duty.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI causing injury in San Bernardino it is important that you contact a DUI defense attorney to represent you. Consulting with a San Bernardino DUI defense attorney upon arrest or early on in the investigation may protect you from the harsh consequences associated with a DUI. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience successfully defending DUI cases and have the knowledge and experience to assist you in your DUI case. Visit our website at www.wklaw.com and feel free to call us at 888-280-6839.We will be there when you call.

About Wallin & Klarich

Wallin & Klarich was established in 1981. Over the past 32 years, our law firm has helped tens of thousands of families in their time of legal need. Regardless of whether our clients faced criminal or DUI charges, the loss of their driving privilege, or wanted to clean up their criminal record, we have been there to help them.