Tuesday, April 27, 2010

DUI Charges for Los Angeles Official

News today that Los Angeles City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana was charged today with two criminal misdemeanor DUI counts originating from his arrest while driving home from a charity dinner last month. Santana, 40, is scheduled to be arraigned May 25 in West Covina Superior Court on one misdemeanor count each of driving under the influence and driving while having a blood-alcohol level of higher than the legal limit of .08 percent, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office.

Santana took a leave of absence following his DUI arrest last month, but has since returned to work. "I apologize to my family, friends, the mayor, City Council, CAO staff and the entire city family for my irresponsible behavior," Santana said in a statement released last month after his arrest about 12:15 a.m. March 26. He was taken into custody by the California Highway Patrol in the Covina area after he attended a charity roast for Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley, then freed on $5,000 bond.

The defendant was initially stopped for speeding, but was arrested after failing a sobriety test, according to the CHP. Before Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed him to serve as CAO last June, Santana served as deputy chief executive officer of Los Angeles County and as an aide to county Supervisor Gloria Molina. He was the first hispanic to oversee the city's fiscal affairs and $6.7 billion budget

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Distinction Between Probable Cause and Reasonable Suspicion in DUI Cases

Within the context of driving under the influence cases, there exists many legal concepts unique to the area, among those are the somewhat mysterious legal terminology of "probable cause" and how that differs from reasonable suspicion. Thanks to Kern County DUI Attorneys in Shafter and Taft CA we have a great primer on the distinction between the two terms.

The facts and observations divulged during an investigatory detention may lead to probable cause to arrest the person detained for a DUI case. However, the officer must possess facts sufficient to support crossing the threshold between mere reasonable suspicion to detain and question, and full probable cause to arrest, before the latter action may be taken. If the investigating officer does not yet possess facts sufficient to create probable cause to believe the detainee has committed a crime, yet restrains the liberty of the detainee in a manner consistent with a formal arrest, the detention, even if initially lawful, becomes illegal. For example, transporting a DUI suspect involuntarily to a stationhouse for further questioning, without probable cause to link him with a crime such as driving under the influence, violates the detainees Fourth Amendment rights. This more intrusive step in the investigatory process requires probable cause and cannot be justified on reasonable suspicion alone. Courts look to the extent of the restriction on an individuals freedom and movement to determine if the restraint is more consistent with a detention, or a full-blown arrest. For example, although the use of handcuffs on a suspect is a hallmark of a formal arrest and is generally considered a watershed, where a temporary detention becomes an arrest, a suspect nonetheless may be handcuffed or similarly restrained during a temporary detention, if the circumstances justify it.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Does the Law treat DUI cases differently for Nurses?

Many folks find themselves in a difficult situation when arrested for drunk driving, but for a nurse the DUI can lead to termination and loss off their license, is this fair? It seems that for other similarly situated persons the consequences are different. Doctors for example often get a free first or even second strike but many attorneys say that is not true if you are a nurse. Your comments please.