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San Diego Criminal Defense Law Blog

War on Drugs: Will We Attack the Opioids or the People?

"[W]hy are some drugs legal and other drugs illegal today? It's not based on any scientific assessment of the relative risks of these drugs - but it has everything to do with who is associated with these drugs."

- Drug Policy Alliance

Did America's "War on Drugs" work?

Strictly looking at the current epidemic of deaths from opioid abuse, the answer is a solid no. But that's no surprise. The War on Drugs as we know it today began during the Nixon administration in 1971. "America's Public Enemy No. 1 in the United States is drug abuse," President Nixon said. Nixon responded to the threat by expanding government power to act against this supposed enemy, much like President Trump has promised in his rhetoric on declaring a national emergency to combat the opioid crisis.

Make no mistake: One single death from opioid overdose is a problem.

DUI and DMV Suspensions

DUI and DMV Suspensions depend on the facts of the case and the disposition of the criminal case.  Initially when arrested for DUI by law enforcement, an individual is assigned a Court date to face the criminal charge of Driving Under the Influence of alcohol and/or drugs and given a notice on a pink sheet of an alcohol administrative DMV suspension case separate from the criminal case.

Marijuana DUI Cases in Vista Courts

Marijuana DUI cases in Vista Courts are on the rise as they are statewide.  With the passage of California laws legalizing recreational and medical marijuana, it will become an increasing issue on our highways.  Just because it is now legal, doesn't mean that it is legal to drive with it in your system if it impairs your ability to drive with the same care and caution as a sober person under similar circumstances.   The same goes for any drug, prescription or not, with or without alcohol involved.

Are Drug DUI Cases treated different than Alcohol?

Drug DUI cases are treated a little different than alcohol cases.  If you are arrested for a "Drug DUI" and there is no alcohol, the law enforcement officer should not take your California licenase at the time of arrest nor should they issue a pink sheet suspension notice and 30 day temporary license pending a suspension.  That proceedure is limited to alcohol violations, however, if there is a conviction for a Drug DUI, then there is a suspension the same as there would be for an alcohol DUI.

Are Hit and Run cases serious?

Hit and run cases are serious.  They are misdemeanors if there is property damage only and a felony if there is any injury to another person.  Police officers often suspect hit and run drivers were DUI drivers that fled the scene to avoid being arrested for DUI and they try to locate them as soon as possible while alcohol or drugs may still be in their system.

Do DUI sentences in Vista Courts have Jail time?

DUI sentences in Vista Courts may have jail time depending on the facts of the case and the individuals prior record.  Most individuals arrested for drunk driving are initially taken to jail, make bail and have a first appearance or arraignment at a later date.  Misdemeanor DUI cases are usually set a month or so out an felony DUI cases are ususally set in about a week out if you make bail and are out of custody.  

How does an infraction differ from a misdemeanor?

An infraction is a minor offenses which is punishable by a fine only, like most minor traffic violations.  A misdemeanor is any crimes that can result in county jail time, even if jail time is not imposed.  The mere fact that it is punishable by possible local custody makes it misdemeanor.  A felony is any crimes where you could get a state prison commit, even if you get no custody on the case.

Is Petty Theft and Shoplifting the same?

Petty theft is the theft of goods, services, merchandise or personal property valued at $950 or less and shoplifting generally refers to merchandise taken from a merchant's premises.  Shoplifting can also be grand theft if the value exceeds $950 in merchandise.

What is Resisting Arrest?

Resisting arrest, as a misdemeanor, is the resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer in the performance of his duties.  It can also pertain to other emergency personnel.  As a misdemeanor, it carries up to a year in county jail and $1000 fine.  California Penal Code (PC) 148(a) is the code section.  

Is DUI with an Accident a Felony DUI in Vista Courts?

It is only a felony DUI with an accident in Vista Courts and throughout California if the accident was caused by the DUI driver and another person is injured or killed.  If it is an accident with no one else injured other than the DUI driver, then it is still a misdemeanor.  An accident, however can cause increased penalties even as a misdemeanor that are greater than a DUI without an accident.