Sunday, November 26, 2017

I Received A Letter From California Board Of Nursing About My DUI, What Do I Do?

If you have been arrested for DUI in California and have a nursing license chances are the License Board will be notified of the arrest.  By law when a person holding a professional license is arrested the licensing agency is automatically notified at which time an investigation will commence.  The Board of Nursing will contact you for information about the law enforcement contact, it is always in your best interest to cooperate.

You may receive a letter requesting information about the incident.  What should you do.  Cooperate.  You are required by law to respond.  You should email, fax or mail a response with 30 days.

Here is a sample letter of the information you should provide:

(Date)
(Your name, address and phone number)

California Board of Nursing

Case No.

To Whom it may concern,

I was arrested on (give the date)  by the (give the law enforcement agency, CHP, Los Angeles Sheriff, etc).  I was given a Court date of ( provide the date).  I have hired an attorney Matthew Ruff to represent me.  His number is 310-527-4100.

At this time I am informed no official charges have been filed against me.  I intend to cooperate fully with your investigation.

Should you require any additional information feel free to contact me.


Sincerely
(Sign your name here)


How Will A DUI Affect Me If I Am A Pilot?

A drunk driving arrest will be treated differently depending on what you do for a living.  If you are a commercial pilot a DUI can be devastating if not handled properly.  The FAA dictates the rules for pilots and what they do outside of work can also be considered.  If you fly for a living your company may also take action against you.  Here is what you need to know right now:

First, an arrest for driving under the influence is just an allegation.  Until there is some adjudication of guilt by a Court or governmental agency it remains an accusation only and you have rights.

What about Mandatory reporting requirements?  Yes, there are specific requirements to report a DUI conviction or administrative license suspension to the FAA.  Specifically, under 14 CFR 61.15 all pilots are obligated to report the incident to the FAA.  However, that only applies if you are convicted or your drivers license is actually suspended.  If you hire an attorney within 10 calendar days of the arrest an actual suspension of your drivers license can be avoided pending a hearing on the issue.

The first thing to do is hire a professional to assist you.  A DUI arrest for a pilot is not the type of thing you can handle DIY.  Find a lawyer local to the area where you were arrested.  The attorney should be well versed in the consequences a conviction will have on the pilots license and his job.  Immediate action must be taken to avoid a mandatory suspension of the drivers license on an administrative level as a suspension from the DMV may trigger a mandatory duty to report the incident to the FAA.

Attorney Matthew Ruff has represented many pilots for DWI and alcohol related offenses in the last 20 years with remarkable success.  Here are two recent examples of cases where Matt achieved phenomenal results.

Case example 1:  Matthew was retained by a pilot living in the South Bay after he was arrested in Redondo Beach for DUI.  He was caught up in a sobriety checkpoint and was arrested after the officers detected an door of alcohol on his breath, poor performance on FST's and slurred speech.  He took a breath test that reported his BAC to be .10 percent, .03 higher than the legal limit in California of .08 or more.  Matt immediately contacted El Segundo DMV Driver Safety for a hearing and demanded a stay of the suspension of his driving privileges.  He obtained the reports and evidence and carefully scrutinised them for evidentiary issues.  He was able to uncover problems with the test and worked with his toxicologist to build a Defense.  He used that strategy to negotiate a dismissal of the DUI charges in Torrance Court and subsequently obtained a set aside of the administrative suspension of his license.

Case example 2:  A commercial pilot was arrested in Long Beach for public intoxication after he was contacted by police leaving a bar on Pine.  He spent the night in jail and was released with a Court date.  He hired Matthew who immediately understood the consequences this would have on the client's job and FAA licensing.  Matt reached out to the local prosecutor and ultimately all charges were dropped prior to any Court date.  This resulted to no arrest record that could hurt the client's employment or pilots license.

If you are a pilot facing a criminal offense in California, Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Torrance, Manhattan Beach or anywhere else, contact Matthew at 310-527-4100 for immediate help and advice on what to do.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Matthew Ruff, Top Rated Attorney



Matthew Ruff is a Top Rated attorney with over 20 years experience.  All of the Internet rating services have given a Matthew the highest award, based largely on his experience and client feedback.  Read all of Attorney Matthew Ruff reviews.  Here is one example of a recent review posted by an actual client (edited to protect identity)

".....thanks again for your assistance.  I have read horror stories about the [first attorney I almost hired] and I am 100 percent certain I would have had a different outcome if I had retained his services.  I am quite pleased with this outcome.    I am going to remember you for quite some time and if any LA based pilots or those passing through have any legal issues and I become aware of it, I am going to insist they contact you and  retain your services.  I am carrying your contact info in my wallet.  It is hard to find a stand up person nowadays in a profession that attracts the likes of  [first attorney I almost hired]. I cringe at the thought of how much I could have spent on that guy or someone like him out of desperation, only to support their lavish lifestyle and horrible work ethic.  Your honest good work has been a breath of fresh air.  All the best. "

Matthew is always appreciative of the kind words sent by his clients.


Monday, June 5, 2017

DRE Use in Marijuana DUI Cases Called Into Question

The use of Drug Recognition Experts in Marijuana DUI investigations is on the rise.  Indeed, the numbers of officers with the enhanced training have proliferated over the last few years, influenced heavily by the changes in the laws related to recreational use of pot.

While training of any kind is certainly a good thing, it is important to not place too much reliance on the DRE.  Certainly cops who go through the block of extra training and are certified as a DRE are better suited to evaluate a suspected drugged driver, however we must be careful to not place too much emphasis on their conclusions.

Recently, the Press Enterprise published an article discussing these issues.  The article can be viewed here Attorney Matthew Ruff Quoted in DUI Marijuana Article.



Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Defense Of Officer Induced Confusion in a DUI Case

In a DUI case it is not uncommon to see a driver arrested and refuse to submit to a chemical test.  When this happens the attorney will look for a defense to the refusal in order to get around the suspension and revocation the DMV seeks to impose.  One possible defense is known as officer induced confusion.  

It is well recognized in law that when an officer simultaneously reads a driver his implied consent warnings (no right to refuse a test and no right to consult with or to have an attorney present during its administration) in conjunction with the Miranda admonition (right to refuse interrogation and to have an attorney present at all stages of a police interrogation, etc.), it will likely induce confusion. 

Therefore, in cases where a driver has been given Miranda insists on the presence of an attorney before choosing a test the courts have recognized that he [or she] may have been confused by the two warnings and the officers failure to clarify and explain the difference. In such a case the refusal to take a test has been held not to be a refusal within the meaning of California Vehicle Code section 13353. (Rust v. Department of Motor Vehicles (1968) 267 Cal.App.2d 545, 547.) 


The question of officer-induced confusion is one of fact, often dependent on statements in the report indicative of the defendants desire to speak to a lawyer coupled with signs of confusion about the officers demand for an answer to which test to take.  When a driver who has been given Miranda manifests confusion by asserting his [or her] alleged right to an attorney, it is incumbent upon the officer to explain that the right does not apply to these tests. (McDonnell v. Department of Motor Vehicles (1975) 45 Cal.App.3d 653, 658.  The failure of an officer to clear up the confusion renders any alleged refusal to submit to a test insufficient to suspend a drivers license as a result.

Matthew Ruff is a DUI Attorney in Torrance with over 20 years experience fighting both criminal charges and DMV suspensions in California.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Entering Canada With A DUI, What You Need To Know

Canada has some of the toughest restrictions on travelers entering the Country in the World.  If you have a conviction for any criminal offense in California or anywhere else in the United States, here is what you need to know:Canada is a major destination for travel and commerce. In some cases, travellers are being rejected at points of entry due to a previous criminal offence. Canada does not distinguish between a misdemeanour and a felony; therefore if you have a pending criminal charge or are on probation for a crime you may no longer be able to travel to Canada, even for a short trip. What makes a person Inadmissable?  Any conviction for a felony and most misdemeanors.  Interestingly, Canada does not distinguish between felonies and misdemeanors so a charge of DUI, drunk driving, reckless driving, manslaughter, theft, writing a bad check, etc.  can result in your denial of entry. If you are deemed inadmissible There are two ways in which one can overcome their inadmissibility to Canada: Criminal Rehabilitation and Temporary Resident Permits.  We will discuss both of them independently:

Criminal Rehabilitation will permanently resolve an individual’s inadmissibility on a permanent basis as long as 5 years have passed since the completion of their sentence for a non- serious crime. If successful, the conviction(s) will no longer be a limitation to enter Canada.

The first step is to determine if the offence that the individual was convicted of is equivalent to a criminal offence in Canada. However, this is a difficult task that often requires legal expertise.
At least 5 years must have elapsed since the completion of a sentence in order to be eligible for criminal rehabilitation.
If 10 years or more have elapsed, and the individual has only one non-serious conviction, s/he would be deemed rehabilitated and admissible to Canada. However, we recommend a Legal Opinion Letter in order to explain any history of criminality. 

Temporary Resident Permits will allow individuals who are criminally inadmissible to Canada to enter the country for a limited period of time.
Immigration officers will evaluate TRP applications and approve them if the individual has a signi cant reason for entering Canada. Travelling to Canada for business purposes and/ or for reasons that benefit Canada will improve their chance of success. 
A temporary resident permit is necessary for entry to Canada if:
Less than 5 years has passed since completing a sentence for a crime equivalent to a Canadian federal offence.

More than 5 years has passed and criminal rehabilitation has NOT been approved. 



Monday, May 1, 2017

How Does The California DMV Define a Refusal

A refusal to take a test following a DUI arrest carries the harshest penalty under law.  The state can revoke your driving privileges for up to 3 years.  How does California define a refusal in legal terms?

Before the DMV may suspend a driver's license for failure to submit to a chemical test, the DMV must make four findings: (1) the officer had reasonable cause to believe the person was driving a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol; (2) the person was arrested; (3) the person was told that if he or she refused to submit to, or did not complete, a chemical test his or her license would be suspended; and (4) the person refused to submit to, or did not complete, such a test. 

The question whether a driver "refused" a test within the meaning of the statute is a question of fact. To comply with the law, a `driver should clearly and unambiguously manifest the consent required by the law. Consent which is not clear and unambiguous may be deemed a refusal.' In determining whether an arrested driver's conduct amounts to a refusal to submit to a test, the court looks not to the state of mind of the arrested driver, but to "the fair meaning to be given [the driver's] response to the demand he submit to a chemical test.  As such, whether a driver intended to refuse or not is not the determining factor.