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breathalizerCalifornia has something called an “implied consent” law. This means if you are arrested for driving while intoxicated, it is implied that you have consented to a blood or breath test. Your refusal can trigger a suspension of your driver’s license. You may be able to avoid that license suspension, however, if you can show the DMV that your failure to provide a sample was due to a medical ailment not related to your intoxication. To make this argument, you’ll need to request a DMV hearing within 10 days of your arrest. Given the importance of driving privileges to most any Californian, a potential suspension is a very serious punishment and requires prompt and serious action, including retaining a skilled San Francisco DMV defense attorney.

R.G.’s case was one that involved a license suspension. R.G.’s encounter with a deputy sheriff began with a traffic stop for failing to lower his high-beam headlights. Things got worse for R.G. The deputy detected what he believed to be bloodshot, watery eyes and droopy eyelids. The deputy also perceived what he believed to be the smell of alcohol. R.G. performed some field sobriety tests and performed poorly. R.G. declined to take preliminary alcohol screening.

The deputy then gave R.G. the implied consent advisement and explained blood and breath tests. The driver chose a breath test but was unsuccessful in providing a sufficient breath sample. A phlebotomist arrived after that, but R.G. refused a blood test, according to the department. He also allegedly refused to take another breath test.

dmvOn September 21 of this year, the Sacramento Bee reported that Governor Jerry Brown directed the DMV to undergo an audit. The governor’s directive placed the task of handling the audit, which will focus on extremely long wait times and outdated technology, with the Department of Finance instead of the State Auditor. The audit comes on the heels of an explosion in wait times at the DMV, with some Californians at certain field offices having to wait multiple hours to receive service.

While this issue might not seem like a “big deal” to some, the problem of excessively long wait times at a DMV office is far from a trivial matter. For many working people in California, including the state’s poor and undocumented immigrants, waiting multiple hours at the DMV means taking multiple hours off from work which, in turn, means multiple hours for which they’re not getting paid wages, putting even greater financial strain on these vulnerable families. While many of the people in the recent news reports simply sought to obtain or renew their licenses, others face different problems from the DMV, such as a license suspension. If your DMV issues require the utilization of the legal system, be sure to contact a knowledgeable San Francisco DMV defense attorney about your situation.

Back in early September, the New York Times reported on the frustrating conditions at certain DMV offices. At the Hollywood office, the wait time to renew a driver’s license approached two hours, according to the report. In an NBC Bay Area report, one woman told the source that it took her five hours to get a driver’s license at the South San Jose office. Some Bay Area patrons reported waiting two hours even with an appointment, according to NBC. Patrons in Hollywood told the Times that there was a six-week wait to get an appointment at the DMV, which is why many people showed up without an appointment

speeding carIf you get on the Internet and use any popular search engine, you’ll find many web pages devoted to attempting to answer the question, “How do I get points on my driver’s license removed?” In California, there are some options. If you have been charged with a traffic violation, you should definitely consult a knowledgeable San Francisco traffic ticket defense attorney about your possibilities.

The least proactive way to get points off your license is also one of the slowest methods for achieving results. That option is, simply, waiting. Minor offenses generally are removed from your record after approximately 39 months. More significant offenses, like DUI, can stay on your record for up to 10 years, however.

Another way that you possibly can clear points is by successfully completing traffic school. Successfully completing traffic school does not take a point off your license, exactly; it allows you to avoid ever having that point attached to the license at all. Today, there are various options for completing traffic school. You can do it in person or can complete a program online. It is important to make sure that the program you complete is one that is recognized and approved by California.

bail bondIn August 2018, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 10, which enacted sweeping reforms to part of the state’s pre-trial criminal process, specifically bail. Under the new process, which will take effect in October 2019, cash bail is abolished. In its place will be a new system that does not condition your release upon your ability to pay money. Whether you are arrested before or after these reforms take effect next year, it is important to be sure you have a skilled San Francisco criminal defense attorney on your side from the very start of your interaction with the legal system.

The reform was intended as a measure to alleviate the problem of two systems of justice: one for those with wealth and one for those without. For example, the Washington Post reported earlier this year on the case of a 16-year-old from New York City who spent almost three years in a New York jail awaiting trial on an alleged theft of cash and property worth $700. The teen was arraigned and bail was set at $3,000. With a bail bondsman, the teen’s family would have needed to produce only a fraction of that amount (less than $1,000). They didn’t have the means to pay, however, and the teen remained locked up for more than two and one-half years, during which time he allegedly suffered extensive physical and mental abuse.

The California bill was designed to avoid these types of scenarios, where people not yet convicted of anything spend years in custody simply because they lack the wealth to pay bond. The Sacramento Bee reported that, in signing the bill, the governor said in a statement that, through the new law, “California reforms its bail system so that rich and poor alike are treated fairly.”

car speedingAny speeding offense has the potential to inflict a negative impact on your life. However, an offense where you are accused of traveling at 100 mph or greater can have especially bad consequences, from higher fines to a higher number of points on your license to a loss of driving privileges – even if this was your first moving violation. Because these offenses can be particularly harmful, you should take them seriously. Be sure to defend yourself aggressively, starting with retaining the services of an experienced San Francisco speeding defense attorney.

Back in August, the Richmond Standard reported on two drivers whom CHP officers arrested while traveling across eastbound Interstate 580. The drivers, according to police, were weaving in and out of traffic while traveling at speeds in excess of 100 mph. The two drivers were arrested on suspected reckless driving and speeding, according to an ABC 7 News report.

Getting convicted of driving in excess of 100 mph can lead to profoundly serious outcomes. Unlike other speeding offenses, you will be required to make an appearance before a judge Whereas a judge cannot suspend your license for a first-time speeding offense if you were caught going less than 100, a conviction for going 100 mph or more gives the judge the ability to suspend your license for up to 30 days, and that’s if you have no prior offenses. Additionally, the court can fine you up to $500.

marijuana prescriptionFor many people, decisions by the DMV to suspend their driving privileges are massive and severe penalties. Many people must drive to earn a living, tend to their loved ones and even secure food to eat. Being left without driving as an option could potentially put them in a terrible situation. That’s why, as the state rolls out news law that impact what offenses can cost you “points on your license,” it is important to understand how that points system works, and what you can do if the DMV suspends your license based on those points. One of the first actions you may want to consider taking is to reach out to an experienced San Francisco DMV defense attorney about your situation.

The most recent change with regard to points relates to marijuana. Back on Jan. 1, 2018, the recreational use of marijuana became legal in California. That same day, another new law went into effect, which made smoking or otherwise consuming marijuana (or marijuana products) illegal for any driver or passenger in a vehicle, according to a Los Angeles Times report. The new law functions somewhat similarly to the state’s “open container” laws regarding alcohol. The penalty for violating this new law is that the DMV will assess negligent operator points for a violation.

With that in mind, you may be asking yourself how exactly the “negligent operator” points system works. The state’s negligent operator treatment system, also known as NOTS, is a program designed to curtail certain driving behaviors. A violation can carry anywhere from 0 to 3 negligent operator points. For example, speeding is generally a one-point violation (although it can be two if you were going more than 100 mph). Failing to yield to a pedestrian is a one-point offense. An unsafe vehicle can also be a one-point violation if it affects operational safety. Therefore, unsafe brakes could be a one-point offense. Driving under the influence and a hit and run are two-point offenses. A major conviction while you are behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle could result in a three-point assessment.

speeding ticketNews sources recently reported on a “crackdown” on speeding violations in one Bay Area city. The crackdown included catching drivers using state-of-the-art technology for calculating drivers’ speeds. However, even if you’ve been ticketed by an officer equipped with the latest in cutting-edge technology, do not despair. You may still have a very viable opportunity to contest your speeding ticket and do so successfully. To give yourself the best chance possible to avoid the fines, driver’s license point deductions and insurance rate increase that can go with a speeding ticket, contact an experienced San Francisco traffic ticket attorney today.

The news report, which appeared on sfgate.com, discussed a speed enforcement “crackdown” in South San Francisco. On a single August day, police in that city wrote 72 speeding tickets. Police told sfgate.com that the crackdown focused on “streets where speed and other traffic issues have been a recurring problem.”

The crackdown was part a “saturation patrol” that was possible thanks to funding by the state Office of Traffic Safety through the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to the report. In the well-funded crackdown, officers used something called a “lidar” device. Lidar devices use lasers to determine an object’s speed and are touted as being highly accurate. If you are issued a speeding citation, and if the officer who issued the ticket used a lidar device to assess your speed, do you have any chance of success, especially given how accurate lidar is? The answer is “Yes!” Even if you were ticketed by an officer using lidar, there may still be ways to contest your ticket successfully.

Legal News GavelThe law provides criminal defendants with various tools and options for carrying their defenses. Some of these defense techniques may be based upon the specific facts involved in the case, while other tools are based upon case law, statutory law or rules of procedure (and may have nothing to do with your unique facts). Either way, success may rise and fall based upon utilizing these rights and legal tools to the best possible extent. To make sure your defense is as strong as it can be, ensure you have a knowledgeable California criminal defense attorney in your corner.

Back in the spring, The Mercury News reported on one of the more closely followed recent criminal cases involving a sports figure — the domestic violence charges pursued against Reuben Foster, a linebacker for the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers. The player’s girlfriend at the time, with whom he shared a home in Santa Clara County, alleged that Foster beat her.

Based on the woman’s allegations, the state brought charges against the man for felony domestic violence. In California, you can face either misdemeanor or felony charges for an alleged crime of domestic violence. There are several factors that can make an alleged incident of domestic violence a felony instead of a misdemeanor. If the incident caused serious physical injury to the victim, that might make it a felony. Another way that an incident can become felony domestic violence is if you have a previous conviction for a violent crime within the last seven years, including a conviction for domestic battery.

A DUI conviction can have a serious impact on your life. It may cost hundreds in fines, may negatively affect your insurance rates, and may even affect the jobs at which you can work. (As an example, a DUI on your record will probably prevent you from driving for Uber or Lyft.) That’s why it is important to contest these matters vigorously. Ideally, you should take immediate action and retain a knowledgeable San Francisco DUI attorney to handle your case. Even if you didn’t, though, and you got convicted, you may still be able to benefit from the process of expungement.Legal News Gavel

Expungements may be available both for people convicted of DUI and for those convicted of “wet reckless.” The process for obtaining an expungement for DUI or wet reckless is laid out in Section 1203.4 of the California Penal Code.

In order to pursue a DUI conviction expungement, you’re going to have to meet certain eligibility requirements. You have to have completed probation successfully. In addition, you must have received a sentence that did not involve serving time in a state prison (as opposed to a county jail). Assuming you meet those requirements, you have to file a document asking the court to expunge the conviction. The court will hold a hearing. If your judge grants the expungement request, the case is dismissed, and the conviction is removed from your record.

Everyone responds to agitation in different ways, and almost anyone experiences some sort of agitation when they’re pulled over by the police for a speeding violation. Some people cry. Some become hostile. Others panic. Still others try to debate their way out of the ticket while sitting on the shoulder of the road. The reality is that the best way to handle your ticket often is simply to sign the citation and then retain knowledgeable San Francisco traffic ticket attorneys to handle your case and get you a favorable outcome.Legal News Gavel

Judges and journalists both love a good story, sometimes. In a recent criminal case decision, a federal appeals judge in Atlanta, while putting the “kibosh” on a novel defense argument, opined that America’s “history contains many…stories of triumph over long odds. This, however, is not one of those.” What the judge was saying was that, while the defense’s argument was creative, the judge wasn’t buying it. Closer to home, the Sacramento Bee reported on another encounter with the legal system that involved a “long shot” argument and an audience that wasn’t buying it.

According to the Bee report, a driver traveling on I-980 in Oakland was pulled over by the CHP for excessive speed. Advised of the speed the officer recorded, the driver contested that he was not going that fast. The officer showed the driver the display of his device, which read “99.” The driver theorized that the device was erroneously providing the officer with the current air temperature. There were two major problems with the driver’s effort to avoid the ticket in this manner. Besides the obvious (officers’ speed detecting devices do not sense, record, or display the temperature), the high that day in Oakland was only 81.