Fisher Law Office

Posts tagged "Drunk driving charges"

A DUI may mean a DOA for your J-O-B

You probably know this now, but the lapse in judgment that led to your recent DUI arrest is likely to cause you headaches that linger beyond the day after the party. Even before your trial or conviction, you may begin to experience the negative consequences. For example, your current employer may decide to discipline or even terminate you because of the incident.

How Do California DUI Laws Apply To Marijuana Use?

In short, you can be arrested for DUI if you have smoked marijuana and drove a motor vehicle. This is true even if you have a valid medical marijuana identification card (MMIC). Under California law, it is illegal for anyone to drive while under the influence of any drugs, or a combination of drugs and alcohol. In practice, however, the government may have serious difficulties proving beyond a reasonable doubt that a driver who smoked marijuana was intoxicated.

DUI: Balancing the DMV and Criminal Court

When a driver is charged with a DUI in California, they quickly realize that they must contend with two different governmental entities.  The criminal court will seek to impose jail time, fines, DUI program, and probation while the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will seek to suspend the driver's license as well as requiring that the driver complete a DUI program.  What's more, in order for the driver to maintain his/her full driving privilege, he/she must succeed both at the DMV and the criminal court. 

When someone is arrested for a DUI in California, the arresting officer will typically take their actual, physical license away from them and give them a pink sheet.  That pink sheet is a temporary license.  The fine print on the temporary license explains (albeit very cryptically) that the driver will be allowed to drive for 30 days from the date of arrest/citation, but that, on the 31st day, the driver's license will be suspended.  However, if the driver contacts the DMV within 10 days of the date of arrest/citation and requests a hearing, the driver will be given an additional temporary license and the driver will be allowed to drive indefinitely, pending the outcome of the DMV hearing.

At the DMV hearing, the driver (hopefully, with the assistance of his/her attorney) will challenge the DUI allegations.  The hearing officer (a DMV employee) acts as the judge and prosecutor.  The DMV hearing officer's job is both to prove that the driver committed a DUI and to determine whether the driver actually committed a DUI.  As you can see, this is hardly a fair process.  This makes it all the more important that the driver retains a skilled attorney knowledgeable in DUI law.

If the driver prevails at the DMV hearing, he/she is only halfway to maintaining his/her driver's license.  The driver must also beat the DUI allegations in the criminal court in order to avoid a driver's license suspension.  In other words, a driver may "win" the DMV hearing, but, if he/she is convicted of a DUI in the criminal court, the DMV will receive notice of the conviction and promptly suspend the driver's license.  Conversely, a driver could beat the DUI in the criminal court, but lose the DMV hearing.  The DMV would then suspend the driver's license solely on that basis.

It is easy to see why it is critical to retain an attorney who is very familiar with this juggling routine.  The rules are very technical and require knowledgeable legal representation.  If you or someone you care about has been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or prescription medications, please contact Fisher and Fisher for aggressive, knowledgeable representation.

California mayor charged with suspicion of DUI

A California mayor was accused of drunk driving on Oct. 16. Police claim that the 44-year-old mayor of Murrieta was under the influence of alcohol when his truck struck the rear of a vehicle containing four cheerleaders from an area high school. He was taken into custody on suspicion of DUI following the collision, which took place at the intersection of Lily Avenue and Jefferson Avenue.


More often than not, when someone is arrested and charged with a DUI, they are charged with violating two different sections of the Vehicle Code.  Usually, the code sections they are charged with violating are Vehicle Code sections 23152(a) and 23152(b).  Many of my clients initially wonder why this is.  Often times, it is a strategic move for a more flexible prosecution theory.

Drunk driving charges filed for California state senator

San Luis Obispo drivers may be interested in the story of one state senator who is facing drunk driving charges after allegedly driving while under the influence. The man is set to attend an upcoming hearing on the charges.

Man receives 34 years to life for fatal drunk driving accident

A California man received the maximum sentence for killing two Caltrans workers in a drunk driving accident. The 25-year-old man was sentenced to spend 34 years to life in state prison as a result of an accident that happened on July 22, 2012. According to reports, the accused man had one prior DUI conviction on his record.

A different point of view on celebrities and DUI arrests

California is the land of celebrities and beautiful people. As such, it sometimes feels as though there is a disconnect between the lives of the rich and famous living in Los Angeles and those of us who live here in San Luis Obispo. It has been pointed out more than once that celebrities seem to enjoy a much friendlier criminal justice system when it comes to offenses like driving under the influence.

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