DUI & Traffic Offenses

Is This Class Required? - DUI (CVC 23152/23153)

Is This Class Required? - DUI (CVC 23152/23153)

For the vast majority of criminal charges, if a person pleads guilty or is convicted, they will be granted Probation.  As a term of probation, in cases such as DUI (CVC 23152), Domestic Violence (CPC 273), and many others, Defendants are often ordered to complete Classes or Programs that relate directly to the crime or crimes to which they have been convicted.

Evading - CVC 2800.1(a) - When an Officer Says “Stop!”

It is important to understand that whenever you are driving your car, you may be stopped by Law Enforcement Officials. If you are signaled to stop by an Officer, and you keep driving, you may be in violation of California Vehicle Code (CVC) 2800.1(a), which reads:

California Vehicle Code (CVC) 2800.1. 

(a) Any person who, while operating a motor vehicle and with the intent to evade, willfully flees or otherwise attempts to elude a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year if all of the following conditions exist:

(1) The peace officer’s motor vehicle is exhibiting at least one lighted red lamp visible from the front and the person either sees or reasonably should have seen the lamp.

(2) The peace officer’s motor vehicle is sounding a siren as may be reasonably necessary.

(3) The peace officer’s motor vehicle is distinctively marked.

(4) The peace officer’s motor vehicle is operated by a peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, and that peace officer is wearing a distinctive uniform.

For example: If you are driving on the freeway and notice a CHP Vehicle pulling you over, but you speed up and keep driving because you don’t have a license, you may be in violation under this code, as well as others!

But, if you are driving your pregnant wife to the hospital and see the same CHP vehicle behind you, but do not stop because she is about to give birth, you may have a defense to the charge.  The crime of Evading is a crime of Specific Intent, that is that you must be willfully attempting to evade Law Enforcement.  If you were continuing to drive because you were worried about a baby being born in your car, you weren’t really driving to evade the police.  If you didn’t specifically intend to flee the officer, then you weren’t evading them.

If you or a loved one has been cited or arrested for CVC 2800.1 (Evading a Police Officer) please don’t hesitate, call The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian for a free consultation 855-918-4253.

DUI Doesn’t Always Include Alcohol - “Weed DUI”

Obviously, using marijuana is now legal for California residents over the age of 21 thanks to Proposition 64. However, it is important to understand that it is still against the law to drive under the influence of marijuana, also called a “Weed DUI”. California Vehicle Code section 23152(e) makes it illegal for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle whether or not the drug is legal.

Being “under the influence” of marijuana is established by the following elements:

  • As a result of consuming marijuana
  • Your mental or physical abilities are so impaired
  • You can no longer drive a vehicle with the caution of a sober person, using ordinary care, under similar circumstances

The circumstances of each individual case will dictate whether the prosecutor will actually be able to prove these elements for a “Weed DUI.” Thus, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney prior to appearing in court.

Possible Penalties for a Weed DUI

If you are convicted for a “Weed DUI” the penalties are the same as if you were driving under the influence of alcohol or any other drug; such as cocaine, methamphetamine or others. Just like a conventional DUI, the penalties for a first-time marijuana DUI, i.e. “Weed DUI,” could include:

 

  • Three (3) to five (5) years of informal probation;
  • Up to six (6) months in county jail;
  • A fine of no less than $390 and up to $1,000;
  • DMV driver’s license suspension
  • Attend and complete a DUI class as directed by the court;

 

Each penalty can be increased significantly if you have multiple DUI within a ten (10) year period whether for alcohol, drugs or both and could include significantly more jail time. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help explain the increased penalties and consequences for multiple DUI’s.

Defenses

If you were arrested for DUI of any drug, including a “Weed DUI,” there are potential defenses at your disposal and you should consult an attorney to make sure your rights are protected. Some defenses include the fact that you were:

  • Not driving,
  • Didn’t use a drug,
  • Used marijuana but were no longer high when you drove or,
  • Your mental and physical abilities were not significantly impaired.

Unlike a conventional DUI of alcohol, there are no accepted scientific standards indicating how marijuana impairs a person’s ability to drive safely or how much marijuana in a person’s system it takes to create an impairment.

If you are cited, charged, or arrested for a violation of CVC 23152(e) - Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, also known as a “Weed DUI” it is important to be aware of all your rights and the defenses available in your particular situation. Don’t rest on your rights, contact The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian at www.KazarianAtLaw.com for a free consultation.

Driving Without a License - CVC 12500

If you are arrested or cited for Driving Without a License, the types of charges you can face and the seriousness of them can vary greatly.  You may end up charged with a simple Infraction, the equivalent of a traffic ticket.  However, you could also end up cited for the same section of the Vehicle Code, CVC 12500, but filed as a Misdemeanor for Driving Without a License.

If you are cited for a violation of the Misdemeanor version of CVC 12500 - Driving Without a License, you will be given a date to appear in court.  Unlike a traffic ticket, if you are cited or charged with a Misdemeanor Offense of Driving Without a License, even if it is a charge which can also be charged as an infraction, you will be required to appear in court or a Warrant may be issued for your arrest. However, if you hire an attorney, they may appear for you, pursuant to California Penal Code (CPC) 977. 

If you are able to get a license and show Proof of Correction, it may be possible for the charge of CVC 12500 - Driving Without a License, to be reduced from a Misdemeanor to an Infraction, or even potentially dismissed. This type of correction does not guarantee that the charges will be Reduced or Dismissed, but it is certainly beneficial and will minimize your risk of being cited for the same violation again.

If you are cited, charged, or arrested for a violation of CVC 12500 - Driving Without a License, either as a Misdemeanor or as an Infraction, it is important to be aware of all of your rights and the defenses available to you in your particular situation. Don’t rest on your rights, contact The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian at www.KazarianatLaw.com for a free consultation

10 Days and Counting - DMV Hearing Requests Following a DUI

If you find yourself arrested and/or charged with a DUI, it may be very confusing, especially if it is the first time this has happened.

In the state of California, not only can you face penalties by the court if you are convicted in a DUI matter, but you can also face consequences from the DMV with or without a conviction of that same DUI conduct. Moreover, the DMV will not wait for a DUI conviction to occur in court, but will take action against your driving privileges prior to the conclusion of your DUI proceedings in court.

One tip that will save the automatic suspension of your driving privileges from the alleged DUI conduct is for you or your attorney to request a DMV Hearing within 10 days from the date that you are arrested, cited or otherwise from the alleged DUI conduct. This request will result in an automatic stay of that suspension of your driving privileges until the results and/or outcome of that DUI DMV Hearing. The Hearing does not guarantee that your driving privileges will remain, but it does mean that there is at very least a delay in that suspension until a finding is reached by the DMV Hearing Officer from the alleged DUI conduct.

If you were arrested or cited for a DUI contact The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian at www.KazarianAtLaw.com today for a free consultation, before it’s too late.