Sunday, July 28, 2013

New DUI Laws. What's Ahead For California?

Mandatory jail for first offenders?  Lifetime revocation of you license for any second DUI offense?  10 year mandatory IID for all convicted drunk divers?  These are all being considered by the current lawmakers in the great state of California.  While these draconian measures may seem far fetched, they are on the wish list for many groups advocating for stiffer sentences and punishments for all drunk drivers in this part of the country where drinking and driving is still not regarded as a serious crime.

Currently, the state senate has many bills brought and written by MADD that all mandate that any DUI remain on the driver's DMV record for life.  This means that insurance companies will see the conviction and punish the defendant for all his life.  The bills are winding their way through the legislative process with few groups opposing them with the exception of California DUI Attorneys and some civil liberty groups.  In 2014 we will certainly see some change, it remains to be seen how far the state will go.

Facing Mandatory Jail for a DUI? Consider Pay To Stay

It is an unfortunate fact of life in California, if you are convicted of a DUI as a second or third offense you a looking at the real prospect of a stint in the county jail.  With this in mind, it may be wise to consider the various "pay to stay" programs offered in Los Angeles and Orange County.  These programs offer a defendant the opportunity to avoid going to county jail.  Why is this such a big fear?  Maany believe that the county jails are much more dangerous that the alternatives, particularly in metropolitan L.A. where gang violence is rampant and racial tensions are high.

Before starting the process there are many considerations.  First, can you afford the paid city jail options?  The cost of most facilities is at least $100 a day with some charging as much as 200 or more.  Second, you must submit to a TB test and have good general physical health.   Once you have been approved and paid the requisite fees you can start your time.  You will likely be given your own cell away from the general population.  You will be doing light work, such as washing police cars or cleaning the building,  and have much more freedom of movement than the other incarcerated persons.  Most jailers will give you additional privileges such as unlimited use of a phone, computer, internet and television. 

It would be great if everyone could afford private jail but they can't.  In the coming editions we will provide a list of the cities that offer this jail alternative.  In addition to DUI cases, the programs allow the private option where the case is non-violent and you have no extensive criminal record.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Facing A License Suspension Following an APS Hearing? What You Can Do To Drive To Work

For many, the thought of a license supension in California can be terrifying.  The DMV is completely heartless and unsympathetic to your plight as it relates to your job, your family, keeping your home, etc.   There are immediate steps you can take to keep a provisional license after an unfavorable DMV APS hearing. 

The law does allow for a restricted license if you meet the following conditions:  1.  You are a first offender and have no past suspensions for any DUI related administrative sanctions,  2.  You must have taken a test and not refused.  3.  You must be over 21 and not on any form of DUI probation from any Court.   As long as you comply with the restriction conditions you can keep your license after a short 30 day period.

In addition to the foregoing, you must also get an SR-22 proof of insurance, get enrolled in the AB541 first offender alcohol program and pay all applicable re-issue fees, usually $120.