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November 2013 Archives

Drug DUI in North County

A drug DUI in North San Diego County is treated similarly to an alcohol DUI.  Once someone is pulled over and the officer notices some impairment, if there is no alcohol in a breath test or there are other indications or statements concerning recent drug use, then the officer will want to take a blood test for drug analysis by the crime lab.  If you do not consent to a blood test, the officer should get a warrant for the blood draw absent any exigent circumstance.  The problem with refusing is the loss of license for a year for the refusal regardless whether there is alcohol or drugs in your system.

It is the DUI Season in San Diego

The DUI season in San Diego is the Christmas and New Year Holiday season every year.  It is a perfect storm of holiday parties, football season, and Christmas vacations.  Holiday "cheer" is often synonomous with imbibing alcoholic spirits, whether it is that Christmas Egg Nog of grannys, or the New Year's Eve Kamikaze....and the attitude "I'm not that drunk, I can make it home,"  which results in a DUI or accident with injuries or death and the end of life as you know it.  Your dreams, your career, your family can all be destroyed in the blink of an eye.  There is no excuse for it, there are alternatives to drinking and driving.

What are shoplifting penalties in Vista Courts?

Shoplifting penalties depend on the facts and circumstances of the individual case and defendant.  Shoplifting is generally charged as a petty theft, or theft of $950 or less from a commercial outlet like a department store or other retail outlet.  California Penal Code section 484/490 and 490.1 are generally the codes involved.  A petty theft is a misdemeanor carries up to $1000 fine and up to 6 months in jail.  If the theft is under $50 the District Attorney may reduce the charge to an infraction which carries a fine only.  Nearly always the D.A. files the misdemeanor, however, the infraction shoplifting charge may be able to be negotiated during plea bargaining.  It is also possible to negotiate other misdemeanors or infractions in some cases, thereby avoiding a theft or crime of moral turpitude which can effect occupational licensing, employment and many other things in your future.

What Happens Driving on a DUI Suspended License in Vista?

Driving on a DUI suspended license in Vista, Carlsbad, Oceanside or anywhere in California, results in significant penalties if you are stopped.  You may be stopped for an equipment violation, moving offense or even at a check point.  Once the officer contacts you, and runs your driver's license, it will show suspended for a DUI case.  At that point, you are then asked to get out of your vehicle and if this is your first offense for driving on an alcohol or DUI supension, the vehicle gets impounded at the scene and held for 30 days.  It costs in excess of $1500 for the tow and impiound to get your car back.  Even if you are not the owner, the car will be impounded.  The owner can contact the law enforcement agency that impounded it and see if try to get it released, however, that is not successful very often. A second offense has much greater penalties and the possibility your car could be sold. 

Do DUI Out of State Prior Convictions Count in Vista?

A DUI out of state prior conviction may count as a prior in Vista or anywhere in California if you get a new offense.  The DUI out of state prior must have the same elements as a California DUI conviction and have occurred within 10 years of the latest offense.  If it fits the criteria, then the California DUI now is punishable the same as if the prior happened here and makes the DUI here a second or third or whatever it number is.  The penalties and driver license suspensions increase significantly for each qualifying prior.

Prostitution Cases in Carlsbad and Oceanside

Prostitution cases in North County are prosecuted in Vista Courts.  These cases  are usually the result of an undercover police sting.  This means an officer is either an undercover  "john" or an undercover prostitute.  Prostitution offenses are defined by California Penal Code section 647(b).  It requires a solicitaion or agreement for an act of prostitution and an act in furtherance of that agreement.  That act could be a payment, or meeting at an agreed location.  The circumstances of the contact and agreement determine what if any act is done in furtherance of the agreement of sex for money

What Carlsbad DUI Evidence is Available in Court?

DUI evidence available in Court from the District Attorney (D.A.) from any arrest, Carlsbad, Oceanside, Vista, Escondido, San Marcos or anywhere includes all the evidence the D.A. has in their possession.  Police reports are officers statements about the driving, the probable cause for the initial contact, observations, field sobriety tests, field breath tests, blood draw info, interrogation answers and official breath or blood tetst and results.  Attached to the reports are the criminal and DMV record for the arrestee.  Depending on the arresting agency, there may also be MVARS or video and audio of the stop.  

What is a Vista DUI Traffic Stop?

A DUI traffic stop is the pulling over a vehicle by law enforcement which leads to a DUI arrest.  There must be a reason or probable cause for an officer to pull someone over.  There are driving patterns which violate traffic laws and tend to be more prevalent with drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  These violations include things like weaving, driving on the shoulder, crossing lane lines, driving in bike lanes and driving well under the speed limit.  Most of these violations late at night and early morning are more likely with a "drunk driver".

Vista Criminal Defense Attorneys

Vista Criminal Defense Attorneys at Christoph Law Offices have over 40 years of combined experience. This father and son criminal defense law office has experience handling all types of misdemeanors and felonies all over southern California but especially in Vista Courts.  Their offices are located directly across from the Vista Courthouse and Jail.  They have been located there since the building first opened in 1982.  Both Nicholas and William Christoph appear in Vista Courts and deal with the local Court personnel, District Attorneys and Judges on a daily basis.  Being in the Vista and San diego Courts on a regularly keeps them up to date and familiar with what is happening, how the different Judges and D.A.s deal with various cases.

What DUI Objective Symptoms do Oceanside CHP Look For?

DUI objectrive symptoms are those things the officer notices about the driver once he or she is pulled over.  All law enforcement officers, Oceanside CHP, local police and sheriffs, are trained to look for specific things including appearance, responses and actions of any driver who is stopped which would suggest any impairment by alcohol and/or drugs.  It is these DUI objective symptoms which trigger further investigation which includes getting out of the vehicle, taking field sobriety and chemical tests (blood or breath) and also support the "drunk driving" arrest and charges .

What are Oceanside Petty Theft Aggravating Factors?

Aggravgating factors in petty theft cases in Oceaside are the same as in Vista, Carlsbad, Escondido or anywhere in California.  The greater the value of the theft, the more serious it is.  The way the theft was carried out is an important consideration.  Was it just a spur of the moment petty theft and stuffed in a pocket or was an empty  "booster bag"  brought into the store, were changing rooms used?  If it can be showed that it was planned before entering the store, a burglary could be filed as a felony or misdemeanor, increasing the exposure.  Involving minors in the theft will increase penalties.  Certainly prior record, especially prior theft related offenses, are a big aggravator in negotiating these cases.

Does a Vista Drug DUI Arrest Result in a License Suspension?

A Vista Drug DUI does result in a suspended license by DMV which is triggered by the conviction.  If there is less than a .08 blood alcohol (B.A.) level and the arrestee is 21 or older, there should NOT be a DMV suspension from the initial stop like for a .08 B.A. or more.  The problem is that reasonable suspicion of drug use allows the officer to demand a blood test for analysis and it takes 3 weeks for the crime lab to get results.  So the officer serves the pink sheet Notice of Suspension and Temporary license on the arrestee because he does not know and suspects a .08 B.A. level or more and or drugs.  To challenge the suspension, it requires setting a hearing by calling DMV within 10 days.

What is Child Endangerment?

Child endangerment is endangering a child and can be a felony or misdemeanor depending in how severe the danger was to the child. This crime is serious and can have far reaching effects on someones record, career, child custody and visitation.  It does not matter if their are injuries or not for purposes of filing the charges, injuries do matter as far as plea bargaining and sentencing.  It is the putting a child in a situation where they are likely to suffer great bodily injury or death which is a felony, and a misdemeanor for circumstances are not likely to result in great bodily injury or death.  For the actual law and elements of this offense, see California Penal Code 273a(a) and (b)

Minor in Possession of Alcohol Affects Your Driver's License

Minor in possession (MIP)of alcohol affects your license.  California Vehicle Code 13202.5 states that the Judge SHALL suspend the license for one year of anyone under 21 years of age convicted of certain drug and alcohol offenses like MIP, regardless whether they were driving at the time.  The Court can grant a resricted license for work and school etc. for a minor in possession case, however it needs to be addressed in negotiations or at sentencing.  

Vista DUI Probation Violations

Vista Court DUI probation violations can be any violation of the terms of probation.  The period of probation runs from three to usually five years of informal probation, those terms include: Do not drive with a measurable amount of alcohol in your system, do not drive without valid license and insurance, take a chemical test if requested to do so by law enforcement, violate no laws other than minor traffic. DUI probation violations of these informal terms are usually only discovered if a new case is filed in the same Court, or another jurisdiction reports a new case filing other than minor traffic infractions like speeding etc.  If you are cited for any misdemeanor or felony, even driving on a suspended license with no insurance, or new DUI, then the Court Clerk's Office does a computer sweep and picks up any open probation cases which will then accompany the new case into Court for a revocation and action on the Probation Violation. 

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