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Category Archives: The Law

Can I Get My DUI Expunged? Will it be on my record forever?

dui-record

Yes, you can generally can get your DUI expunged and no, it will not be on your record forever.

It is usually possible to get your DUI records expunged in the state of California. Expungement means that your criminal record for that specific conviction will be sealed. A DUI conviction results in both a criminal and a DMV record; while the conviction is erased from your driving record after ten years, the criminal conviction remains on your criminal record unless it is expunged. Working with an Orange County DUI attorney who specializes in DUI and DUI-related convictions will help simplify this process.

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Drug DUI in California

Arrested for DUID?

Driving-DUIBeing charged with driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) can have serious and life-altering consequences. In the state of California it is a crime to drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. California law defines “drugs” as substances other than alcohol that have the ability to affect your nervous system, muscles, or brain. You could be charged for DUI drugs when you drive “under the influence” of a substance that impairs your ability to drive like a sober individual in a similar situation.

Can I get a DUI for driving on prescription medicine?

Yes. Driving under the influence of any drug is a crime and you can be prosecuted, regardless of whether the drugs are illicit (cocaine), prescription (codeine), or over the counter drugs such as Nyquil or Tylenol PM. Continue reading

Will I go to jail for a DUI?

DUI Arrest Jail

A drunk driving offense is not a slap on the wrist, it is a criminal charge in California. Because of this, it is possible that your DUI arrest could lead to jail time.

If you have been arrested for DUI recently, it is important you understand what can lead to your incarceration. Each case differs considerably, and extenuating circumstances as well as different judges can impact your final judgement.

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California Prop 47

Proposition 47 Can Reduce Certain Felony Sentences

Proposition 47 has turned certain felonies into misdemeanors for some non-violent drug and property crimes. This can lead to an early release from incarceration, for inmates who have been sentenced for non-serious and non-violent crimes. 

Who does this affect?

This recently passed proposition will immediately affect people who are being prosecuted, or have been convicted of the felonies covered under the prop. Namely:

  • Inmates who are currently incarcerated because of a felony conviction that is now being considered a misdemeanor
  • People who are currently being tried for a felony that is now being considered a misdemeanor
  • Anyone with a loved one that is still serving time for a felony that is now being considered a misdemeanor

If you think you may fall into one of these categories please call our office for a FREE consultation.

Which felonies are now being considered as misdemeanors?

The following crimes have been reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor by the State of California:

  • Health & Safety Code 11350(a), Possession of a Controlled Substance
  • Health & Safety Code 11357(a), Possession of Concentrated Cannabis
  • Health & Safety Code 11377(a), Possession of a Controlled Substance
  • Penal Code 459, Commercial Burglary (during business hours and less than $950)
  • Penal Code 470, Forgery (less than $950)
  • Penal code 476a(a), NSF Checks (less than $950)
  • Penal Code 487, Grand Theft (less than $950)
  • Penal Code 496(a), Possession of Stolen Property (less than $950)
  • Penal Code 666/484(a), Petty Theft with Prior Convictions (less than $950)

For example: If an inmate was found guilty of Commercial Burglary (Penal Code 459) for less than $950 worth of stolen property, charged with a felony, and given a felony sentencing. His/her felony would now be considered only a misdemeanor, and therefor the felony sentence could be reduced to a misdemeanor sentence.


If you or anyone you know has been arrested for DUI, contacting an Orange County DUI Attorney should be your first priority. Call the Law Offices of Chad Maddox for a free consultation, (714) 695-1500.

New Rules for DUI Checkpoints

Beginning on New Year’s Eve and then onward, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) announced they will be using a new portable device at sobriety checkpoints. This device is a swab testing tool-kit, that will check for drug use with suspected drivers. A California state grant supplied the LAPD with funds to use the swab testing kit at DUI checkpoints and jails.

DUI for Drugs Lawyer in Orange CountyLos Angeles officials reported, that the drug-swab kit is to be used along side the breathalyzer tools used to measure blood alcohol content (BAC) in a person’s body. The LAPD stated this was a necessary step to their aggressive campaign to stop impaired driving, during the holidays, and beyond. L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer made reference to the increased amount of medical marijuana dispensaries in the Los Angeles area, and the amount of drivers driving under the influence of marijuana as a main reason for this new procedure at DUI checkpoints.

The drug swab testing kit has the ability to test for amphetamines, methamphetamine, cocaine, benzodiazepine (Xanax), methadone, and especially THC. There have been 0 reports of test results from the kit being used in any cases thus far. If given the opportunity, Californian prosecutors will use this chemical test evidence to achieve guilty verdicts. If you have given a check swab drug test at a DUI checkpoint you should seek the help of a DUI attorney immediately.

This past June the Supreme Court ruled in favor of law enforcement, stating that police officer’s legally have the right to take DNA samples from those arrested, despite the fact that they have not been convicted of a crime, or even gone to trial.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-new-years-dui-checkpoints-20131227,0,3004417.story

 


If you or anyone you know has been arrested for DUI it is imperative you contact an Orange County DUI Lawyer as soon as possible. Contact the Law Offices of Chad Maddox for a free consultation, (714) 695-1500.

 

Teenager Kills 4 & Walks Free

Texas Teenager Ethan Couch (16), was sentenced to 10 years of probation with no immediate jail time, after his June 15th, 2013 DUI accident that killed four and injured two others. The night of the crash, Ethan Couch and friends were caught on camera stealing alcohol from a local Walmart. Hours later, Couch crashed his father’s Ford F-350 truck into, and tragically killed, Breanna Mitchell (24), Hollie (21) and Shelby Boyles (52), and local youth pastor Brian Jennings (43).

Ethan Couch and Four Victims Ethan Couch and the Four People Who Perished from his DUI Accident

As the story was reported, Breanna Mitchell’s SUV had broken down and friend Hollie Boyles offered to come help with the vehicle; Hollie’s mother Shelby had accompanied her. Pastor Brian Jennings happened to be driving past when he saw the women outside the SUV, and decided to stop and attempt to help. Ethan Couch, driving around 70mph, then drove the truck through the group killing all four of them. When police arrived on scene it was reported Couch had a .BAC of .24% which is three times the limit for drivers who are of the legal drinking age.

The two teens who were in the bed of the truck when it crashed are still hospitalized, with one of them being in a vegetative state.

Teen kills 4--DUI Attorney Orange CountyCouch was sentenced to 10 years probation, under the defense of Affluenza, a claim that because of his upbringing and family’s wealth he did not know right from wrong. The lone psychologist who testified, Dick Miller, claimed that Couch grew up in a world where money cured all problems.

“The teen never learned to say that you’re sorry if you hurt someone. If you hurt someone, you sent him money.”

Miller went on to testify that Ethan’s family, “felt that wealth bought privilege and there was no rational link between behavior and consequences.”

District Judge Jean Boyd was unconvinced the Texas juvenile justice system could handle Ethan Couch’s rehabilitative sentence, so she suggested he be taken to a rehabilitation facility in Newport Beach, California.

Any deviations from the sentence given may lead to much harsher penalties, including jail, over the course of the 10 year probationary period.

If you or someone you know needs to defend a DUI in California please contact an experienced DUI lawyer in Newport Beach. It doesn’t cost anything to find out your options.

Chemical & Field Sobriety Tests

If a police officer stops you for a legal reason(speeding, broken tail light, etc), and suspects a possible DUI after making contact, the officer will start a DUI investigation. There are two purposes of this investigation: the first is to determine whether you are in fact driving illegally, the second is to build evidence proving your inebriation. The DUI arrest is so clouded in rumors and misinformation, that it takes an experienced DUI lawyer to fully understand the nuances of the investigation.

When stopped for a DUI, do I have to answer the officer’s questions

The simple answer is no. You must cooperate with the officer. However, you are not required to answer any questions about how much you have had to drink, eat, or sleep, or any other questions other than providing the information contained on your driver’s license.

Am I required to take any F.S.T.s, like the “one-leg stand” or “walk & turn” test?

You are NOT required to perform any field sobriety tests. While it is possible that you may perform well enough that the officer will not arrest you, it is highly unlikely. The officer is having you perform these tests so that he can gather evidence to be used in court to demonstrate that you are impaired.Suspended License DUI

What is the difference between a P.A.S. and a chemical test:

The officer may also request you take a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test before you are arrested. This test is also voluntary; however, this is very easily confused with the chemical test that is mandatory if you are arrested.

  • The voluntary PAS test is administered BEFORE an arrest, and is tested with a breathalyzer.
  • The mandatory chemical BAC test is administered AFTER an arrest, and is tested with either a breath or blood sample (or in some instances with a urine sample).

It is this mandatory chemical test that carries a one year license suspension for refusing to cooperate with law enforcement. Furthermore, submitting to a PAS breath test before you’re arrested, does not fulfill the requirement for the mandatory chemical test after arrest. With intricacies such as these, the confusion surrounding a DUI arrest quickly becomes apparent.

Whether or not a chemical BAC test will help or hurt your case is very fact specific. If you stopped drinking minutes before the police stopped you it could help with a “rising blood alcohol” level defense. But if it has been some time since your last drink, this test could prove harmful to your case. It takes a knowledgeable DUI lawyer to know whether your chemical test readings can be a help or a hindrance to your Californian DUI case.

What if I refuse to take a Breath test or blood test?

If you are arrested for DUI the law requires you to submit to, and complete, either a breath or blood test to measure the alcohol content of your blood. A urine test is no longer an option unless the officer suspects that you may also be under the influence of drugs.

Breathalyzer Test Administered During a DUI StopIf you refuse to complete a breath or blood test you may still be prosecuted for DUI and your license will be suspended. In addition to the punishments for a DUI, if you “refuse” to submit to a breath or blood test after you are arrested, your punishments will be more severe.

There are specific procedures officers must follow in order for your license to be suspended for a chemical test refusal. For example; the police must clearly explain to you, the consequences of refusing a chemical test. If the police are alleging that you refused a chemical test it is crucial that you immediately consult with an experienced DUI attorney. I offer free consultations in person or over the phone, call me today 714-695-1500.


If you or anyone you know has been arrested for DUI, you should contact a DUI Lawyer in Orange County as soon as possible. Call the Law Offices of Chad Maddox for a free consultation, (714) 695-1500.

DUI Suspension Periods

There are several formalities and procedures police officers must follow when investigating and arresting you for Driving Under the Influence. Police officers are bound by the law just as you are. When they do not properly follow the law during your arrest, it may result in an “unlawful arrest”. This is why it is important for all CA drivers to know their rights when stopped on suspicion of a DUI, and to contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible, in the case of an arrest.
Police are Bound by Laws that Protect You

How long will my license be suspended for a DUI in CA?:

The effects of a DUI suspension can be one of the most damaging and confusing aspects of the entire DUI process. For any given DUI; the courts & the DMV impose SEPARATE license suspensions. For most the majority of cases, the court & DMV suspension periods may be served at the same time (for example: someone with a basic 2nd DUI conviction, could potentially receive a court-triggered suspension of 2 years, and a DMV APS suspension of 1 year. Since credit for both of these suspensions can be earned at the same time, a 2nd DUI offense has a practical suspension period of 2 years, not 3).
It is highly recommended that you seek the help of a criminal defense lawyer who exclusively handles DUI & license suspensions to represent you through this ordeal.

  • If you are 21 or older at the time of your arrest:
    • 1st DUI has a potential license suspension of: 30 days + 10 months restricted
      • 4 months (suspended by the DMV) if your alcohol level is 0.08% or more
      • 6 months (suspended by the courts)
      • You may be eligible for a restricted license after 30 days
    • 2nd DUI has a potential license suspension of 3 months + 21 months w/IID:
      • 1 year (suspended by the DMV) if your alcohol level is 0.08% or more
      • 2 years (suspended by the courts) May be served at the same time as DMV suspension
      • You may be eligible for a restricted license after 90 days
    • 3rd DUI has a minimum license suspension of 6 months + 18 months restricted:
      • 1 year (suspended by the DMV) if your alcohol level is 0.08% or more
      • 2 years, up to 10 years (suspended by the courts)
      • You are ineligible for a restricted license if you received your 3rd DUI while on probation for a prior DUI offense
    • A “refusal” to take a chemical test during your arrest can result in:
      • 1 year suspension for 1st DUI
      • 2 year revocation for 2nd DUI (a revocation is a more severe form of suspension)
      • 3 year revocation for 3rd DUI (a revocation is a more severe form of suspension)
      • There is no provision to obtain a restricted license for refusal DUIs
  • If you were under the age of 21 at the time of your arrest:
    • If your blood alcohol level is 0 .01% or more you will be subject to a one year license suspension
    •  You will not be eligible for a restricted license

Getting a DUI Causes Lots of Problems with Your Ability to DriveWhen you are arrested, the officer will likely take your license and give you a pink colored temporary license and order of suspension.  You only have 10 days after your arrest, counting weekends and holidays, to request a DMV hearing to challenge the order of suspension. It is of the utmost importance to seek the help of a license suspension lawyer to represent you at your DMV hearing. If you do not request a hearing, the license suspensions discussed above will automatically go into effect 30 days after your arrest.  Requesting a hearing within 10 days of your arrest is crucial because after that time period you have given up your right to challenge the license suspension.

DUI Checkpoints in OC

DUI checkpoints, or sobriety checkpoints, are set up at certain locations and stationed by specific law enforcement officials to stop drivers and investigate for signs of impairment or intoxication. Law Enforcement officers continually defend the use of sobriety checkpoints as necessary for public safety and often cite the number of DUI arrests, on site, as defense for checkpoint use. As the public it is our job to question the use of any processes issued by government officials or federally funded programs that may or may not infringe on our liberty and freedoms.

First and foremost, the facts: Sobriety checkpoints are surrounded in legal ambiguity. The uncertainty of the legality for sobriety checkpoints leads many states to not conduct them at all. In twelve states total, these checkpoints are not allowed to be run at all. Many of the states that do not conduct sobriety checkpoints have ruled that they are unconstitutional. Each U.S. State is forced to interpret sobriety checkpoints individually, and thus individual laws and regulations are created that vary from state to state, and sometimes from county to county within the state.

oc dui lawyer for checkpointsFocusing on California, you need to know the Law when it comes to DUI checkpoints. Here are some legal statutes.

  • An announcement of when the sobriety checkpoint will be implemented needs to be made by law enforcement to the general public at some time before it is created. (The announcement may be made on the law enforcement’s website, in the newspaper, or on the radio)
  • Drivers are legally allowed to choose alternative routes when seeing a DUI checkpoint. They may not be forced to enter the checkpoint, and may not be pursued if they change directions legally.
  • A trained officer or superintendent must be on site to oversee the checkpoint.
  • The sobriety checkpoints must emphasize safety. They may not be placed in an area without proper safety procedures. Visibility must not be obscured.
  • These sobriety checkpoints have certain procedures, and the details of those procedures must be known, like how they plan on stopping vehicles that enter the checkpoint.

Knowing your rights is very important when entering a sobriety checkpoint. Many California citizens are concerned with the legality of our checkpoints because of the increased number of arrests, citations, and vehicle impounds made at these sobriety checkpoints while having nothing to do with driver impairment or intoxication. Be smart, be safe, and be aware of your constitutional rights. You are the best person to look out for YOU.

http://www.chp.ca.gov/html/dui-en.html
http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/impaired_laws.html