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May 2014 Archives

What value do DUI Field Sobriety Tests have?

DUI field sobriety tests (FST's) are tests that are given to a suspected drunk driver to evaluate impairment.  These tests can be very important evidence of impairment and can work for you as well as against you.  They are designed to evaluate your physical ability and your mental ability.  Your physical performance is important but also so is your ability to follow the instructions

Is a DUI a misdemeanor or a felony in Vista?

A DUI can be either a misdemeanor or a felony not only in Vista, but anywhere in California.  A misdemeanor is any crime where the maximum available custody is 1 year or less in county jail.  A felony is any crime where the maximum available sentence includes state prison or prison commit in excess of 1 year, regardless whether the defendant gets any custody.  A felony "Drunk Driving" is any case which includes an injury to another person negligently caused by an impaired driver or driver with a blood alcohol level of .08 or more.  Also any fourth DUI within 10 years is a felony as is any DUI within 10 years of a felony DUI.

Can convictions on drug charges be avoided in Vista Courts?

There is a way to avoid convictions on drug charges in Vista Courts depending on a number of factors.  If the person charged with drug charges in Vista Courts is charged only with possession of a small amount of illegal drugs for personal use or under the influence of drugs, they may be eligible for "diversion".  This alternative to conviction requires generally no prior diversions or drug record.  The rules are a little more complicated and are outlined in California Penal Code 1000. 

What Happens with a DUI Alcohol Test Refusal in Carlsbad?

A DUI alcohol test refusal in Carlsbad and throughout California, on a first offense can result in the loss of driving privilege for one year and additional custody if there is a Court conviction.  If the driver is under 21 years of age, they must submit to the field breath or P.A.S. test in addition to the official breath or blood test at the station.  If the driver is 21 years of age or older, they must submit to an official breath or blood test only.  There are usually two different proceedings with any DUI arrest.  One is the DMV refusal suspension action which is independent of the Court proceeding, and the other is the actual Court action.

Is it a theft to find and not return lost property in Carlsbad?

It is a theft to find lost property and not return it whether its found in Carlsbad or anywhere in California.  California penal Code 485 basically staes it is a theft to approrriate found property as your own under circumstances which give you knowledge of the true owner or a means of inquiry as to the true owner.  It is misdemeanor petty theft if the value of the property is $950 or less and felony grand theft if $950 or more.

Can Child Endangerment be charged with an Oceanside DUI?

Yes, criminal child endangerment, California Penal Code 273a(a) or PC 273a(b) can be charged with a an Oceanside DUI or any DUI.  Just by having the care or custody of a child and placing the child in a situation where the child could be injured is sufficient for the misdemeanor criminal charge.  Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or a drug with a child in the car usually results in child endangerment charges even if the child is in a car seat or properly seat belted in the vehicle.  This charge can be a felony if the child is willfully placed in a situation "under crircumstances likely to produce great bodily injury or death"  even if they do not suffer actual injury.

Is DUI and "Drunk Driving" the same in Vista Courts?

DUI is driving under the influence means impaired for purposes of driving in Vista Courts, North San Diego County and throughout California.  It is commonly referred to as "Drunk Driving" just like the other DUI code section making it illegal to drive while .08 blood alcohol level (BA) or more.  Technically you do not have to be"drunk", simple impairment is enough.  People often think of "drunk" as a stumbling, slurring intoxicated person, impairment for purposes of driving is far less than that. 

Does a DUI result in a drivers license suspension?

A DUI can result in a drivers license suspension in one of two ways.  First, if the person arrested for DUI is .01 blood alcohol level (BA) or more and is under 21 years of age or on probation for a DUI and served with a pink sheet,  or is over 21 and .08 or more BA at the time of driving. Secondly, if there is a conviction for VC 23152(a) DUI or VC 23152(b) driving with .08 or more, a DMV suspension is triggered.

Can a Petty Theft become a Robbery?

Yes, a petty theft can become a robbery.  California Penal Code (PC) 484 Petty theft is stealing proerty $950 or less in value, PC 211 robbery is the taking of property against someones will using force or fear.  The Courts have ruled that someone who steals property and then uses physical force, like pushing or fighting with a security guard while trying to get away is sufficient to escalate the misdemeanor petty theft which carries up to 6 months jail to a felony robbery which carries up to 5 years state prison and is a strike under the three strikes law.

Escondido drug crimes are heard in Vista Courts

Drug crimes in Escondido are handled usually by Escondido Police Officers and persons arrested are booked into the Vista Jail where bail is set.  A person in jail must see a Judge within 3 Court days, weekends and holidays do not count.  If you are arrested during business hours on Monday, you will see a Judge by Wednesday or be released. However, if arrested on thursday, you may not see a Judge until Monday.  If you post bail or bond, you will be given a Court date about a week later on a felony and about a month later on a misdemeanor.

What is Informal Probation on a Vista Misdemeanor?

Informal probation means there is no active supervision concerning the terms of probation.  Almost every misdemeanor has informal probation.  There are terms of probation which vary depending on the type of crime and specific factors involved in the crime.  There is still monitoring but it usually is the verification of completion Court ordered items, like enroll and attend a DUI program or public work.  There will be dates for proof of enrollment and completion, the case file will be checked on those dates to ensure compliance.  If proof is not filed, then the case will go to warrant on a probation violation.  You do not have a probation officer and there is no checking in, you are free to travel and do whatever you like so long as you do not violate the terms.

Is there a Prostitution sting active in Escondido?

Yes, a prostitution sting operation has been underway by Escondido Police.  In the last couple months, there have been a number of prostitution citations or arrests by undercover female officers posing as hookers.  These undercover police offficers appear to be prostitutes and are engaged in conversation by men and arrangements made for various sex acts for money at a nearby motel.  The unsuspecting "john" is then arrested for "solicitation of prostitution" (sex for money).  Embarassing at the least and career or marriage ending at the worst besides the actual criminal penalties.

What is "elder abuse" in California?

Elder abuse can be the physical, mental or financial abuse of anyone 65 years of age or older.  California Penal Code 368 and its subsections define the types of elder abuse and the possible penalties.  It can be a misdemeanor or a felony. If an elder is placed in a situation where they could suffer serious bodily injury, or there health is endangered, it can carry up to 4 years in prison plus an additional term depending on the age of the elder and whether there was great bodily injury.