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DUI and Traffic Defense
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Since 1985
San Francisco Traffic Law Clinic
  • SF’s largest and longest running traffic law firm
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Since 1985 San Francisco Traffic Law Clinic

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the proclamation of a state of emergency by Governor Gavin Newsom, our office will be closed for walk-in-clients until at least April 3, 2020.

However, we will be available by phone from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm, Monday through Thursday, We will be closed on Fridays. We will return to a normal office schedule as soon as permitted.

Thank you for your understanding and please stay safe.

Law offices of David. K. Uthman.

People v. Shumake (Cal. App. Dep’t Super. Ct., Dec. 16, 2019, No. 6093) 2019 WL 8128736

Stop by Specialized Dui Patrol Officer: Admission that driver had marijuana in the car

While on specialized DUI patrol Berkeley Police Officer Megan Jones stopped a Hyundai with no front license plate, a violation of Vehicle Code Section 5200. Officer Jones testified that she stops cars for traffic violations, to see if the driver might be impaired. She testified that Shumake’s driving was normal, and that he immediately and safely pulled to the curb when she activated her lights and siren, and that he was cooperative. Officer Jones testified that she has conducted about 800 DUI investigations, with about 500 involving marijuana.

People v. Medellin (Cal. Ct. App., Feb. 20, 2020, No. F076022) 2020 WL 830758

The Court of Appeal reversed Samuel Medellin’s convictions for assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury, and their accompanying enhancements for inflicting great bodily injury. The Court found that the prosecutor prejudicially misstated the law during closing arguments. The Court found fault in the CALCRIM instructions defining great bodily injury and reversed the convictions

The incident and the injuries to the vcitims

People v. Wear (Cal. Ct. App., Feb. 4, 2020, No. A152732) 2020 WL 549310

FACTS: Defendant James Wear and his friend, Brandon Lowell, arranged to meet an acquaintance, Ryan Rossknecht. Wear intended to buy or steal a gun from Rossknecht and possibly to supply him with heroin. During the meeting, an argument erupted and Rossknecht, who had two guns with him, shot Lowell once with one of them. Wear, who was unarmed, then seized that gun, shot Rossknecht twice with it, and fled with the other gun. Lowell and Rossknecht died of their injuries.

Wear was charged with the murders of both Lowell and Rossknecht. The jury was unable to return a verdict on Lowell’s murder.  But the jury found Wear guilty of first degree murder and found true an allegation that Wear personally and intentionally discharged a firearm causing the death of Rossknecht.  The jury was unable to return a verdict on a special-circumstance allegation that Wear murdered Rossknecht during a robbery. After Wear admitted two prior convictions, one of which was a strike, the trial court sentenced him to 80 years to life in prison.

People v. Mendoza, 2020 WL 562981 (Cal.App. 4 Dist., 2020)

Conviction for transporting cocaine reversed because of no reasonable suspicion to detain

Facts:  Blanca Luna Mendoza was convicted of transporting for sale more than four kilograms of cocaine based on evidence a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent acquired after a traffic stop on Interstate 15. Mendoza argued that  the agent did not have reasonable suspicion she was engaged in criminal activity when he stopped her and the evidence should be excluded.

Thomas Keel will have his 1987 conviction for Second Degree Murder vacated after San Francisco Assistant Deputy District Attorney Allison Macbeth stipulated that Mr. Keel was eligible for re-sentencing under SB 1437, at a hearing in San Francisco Superior Court held on February 7, 2009.   Superior Court Judge Brendan Conroy will re-sentence Mr. Keel on February 21, 2020 to a residential robbery or burglary. At that time, Mr. Keel’s conviction for a second-degree murder, to which he pled guilty in a joint-deal with his co-defendant Ronnie Wingfield, will be vacated.

Re-sentencing under Penal Code section 1170.95

 Penal Code section 1170.95, subdivision (a) provides that , a person convicted of first degree or second degree murder under a theory of  “felony murder or under the natural and probable consequences theory  may file a petition with the court that sentenced the petitioner to have petitioner’s murder conviction vacated and to be re-sentenced on any remaining counts.”

The People, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Daniel Cervantes, Defendant and Appellant.(Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 6); No. B298077; Filed 1/30/2020; 2020 WL 486867

Re-sentencing under Penal Code section 1170.95

Penal Code section 1170.95, subdivision (a) provides that , a person convicted of first degree or second degree murder  under the “felony murder or murder under a natural and probable consequences theory may file a petition with the court that sentenced the petitioner to have petitioner’s murder conviction vacated and to be resentenced on any remaining counts.”

Except in cases involving a commercial license, attending traffic school should mask the conviction pursuant to Vehicle Code section 1808.7

Vehicle Code section 1808.7 and traffic school

Vehicle Code section 1808.7 provides for masking of infractions for which a driver attended traffic school. It states that:

People v. Taylor (Cal. Ct. App., Jan. 6, 2020, No. B293881) 2020 WL 5698

 Summary:  A jury convicted  Isaac Taylor of kidnapping to commit robbery as well as of the robbery itself.  Taylor used a gun to back David Ho four steps towards a dark alley, where Taylor took Ho’s wallet. Based on Ho’s four steps backwards, the jury convicted Taylor of kidnapping. The Court of Appeal reversed the kidnapping conviction.

Penal code section 209- kidnapping to commit robbery-aggravated kidnapping

People v. Lewis, 2020 WL 57841 (Cal.App. 2 Dist.) (Cal.App. 2 Dist., 2020)

 Appeal of trial court denial of petition for re-sentencing without appointment of counsel

 Defendant Vincent E. Lewis was convicted of first degree premeditated murder in 2012, his conviction was  affirmed on appeal in 2014. In January 2019, defendant filed a petition for resentencing under Penal Code 2 section 1170.95 and requested the appointment of counsel. The trial court, relying on the court of Appeal  decision in determined that defendant was ineligible for relief and denied the petition without appointing counsel or holding a hearing. Defendant appealed.

People v. Arredondo, 2019 WL 6834808 Supreme Court of California, S244166, December 16, 2019

John Arredondo was convicted of lewd acts on child under age 14, lewd act on child under age 16, oral copulation with a child under age 14, and sexual penetration with child under age 14 and was sentenced to 33 years plus 275 years to life in state prison.

Supreme Court grants review