DUI

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14 May

How to fight your case when charged with DUI Murder

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If you have taken the risk of driving under the influence of alcohol or other mind-altering substances in Orange County, California you be aware of the harsh penalties and the necessity to select the best DUI Defense Attorney to represent you. However, in the case of DUI murder, the picture becomes even grimmer.

DUI murder, also known as Watson murder, is a serious offense and results in severe consequences. DUI murder in Orange County CA is not considered as an independent criminal violation in California law. Watson murder refers to the accused being penalized for second-degree murder under CA’s Penal Code 187 PC.

How does a prosecutor prove you as a convict?

DUI takes place when individuals drive a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Impaired driving occurs when blood alcohol (BAC) level is measured at 0.08 or more for drivers over the age of 21.

In practice, in the cases of death as a result of DUI, the accused will be charged with murder only if they have received a Watson admonition before or an official warning that drunk driving in the future could result in murder charges, or if the accused has previously taken part in California DUI School after a DUI arrest.

To be sentenced for DUI murder or Watson Murder in California results of a DUI investigation must demonstrate that the accused has acted with implied malice. For implied malice to be present three things must be present:

  • A conscious act on your part, which led to an individual’s death
  • The nature of the act is threatening to human life
  • Knowing the possible consequences and risk of this act the accused still committed it

Applicable penalties

There are severe consequences for those accused of DUI Murder in California they have been charged guilty. There are heavy financial fines that can reach up to $10,000. It could also become the first strike in a California resident’s Three Strikes Law, which puts individuals with three strikes in prison for life. This law is known to be among California’s harshest. DUI murder could also lead to fifteen years or life prison.

It is worth mentioning that if the DUI accident involved a third person who has been injured because of the act of driving under the influence, there are separate additional penalties applied.

How experienced DUI defense attorneys may help

Your California DUI defense lawyer will have the ability to question the charges you have been given and ask for confirmation of your impairment. Mistakes regarding alcohol tests or the actual DUI investigation are possible.

Attorneys in Santa Ana, CA can help you with Watson advisement and fight the California DUI Murder charges and bring down the potential consequences to a minimum. It is crucial for the accused to select an experienced and educated Orange County CA criminal defense lawyer.

Attorney Sue Sahami has years of experience handling DUI murder cases in Orange County CA. The law offices of Sue Sahami have a mission of protecting clients accused of DUI murder. If you want to receive legal advice and work with an experienced DUI Defense Attorney get in touch.

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27 Apr

All you need to know about Underage DUI

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Are you a driver under 21 who has been caught operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol? Or are you the parent or sibling of an accused underage DUI in Orange County CA? If you are or you know someone underage who has been accused of drinking and driving then it is worth the time to familiarize yourself with the California DUI laws before choosing an experienced Orange County DUI attorney to defend the accused. Underage DUI refers to drivers under the age of 21 operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other mind-altering substances that result in impaired driving. Standard DUI charges have serious consequences but the penalties for underage drivers are even more severe.

 

The California zero tolerance law

The California Business and Professions Code (BP) 25662 makes it illegal for individuals under 21 to possess alcoholic beverages in public, regardless of whether they are driving a vehicle or not. Under the zero-tolerance law, drivers under the age of 21 who register a BAC (blood alcohol content) of as little as 0.01% have committed a DUI offense and are subject to a DUI arrest for violating California’s Vehicle Code 23136.

If an underage driver shows a BAC of 0.08% or above they are subject to the same charges and penalties as drivers who are above the age of 21. Underage DUI can be confirmed by using a PAS device for a PAS test (preliminary alcohol-screening).

 

Consequences of Underage DUI in Orange County CA

Adult DUI cases differ from underage DUI ones in penalties. The consequences of underage DUI in Orange County CA may be a one-year driver’s license suspension and additional financial fines worth up to $300.

If individuals under 21 are caught driving with a BAC of 0.08% or above, standard DUI charges apply. These include probation from one to five years, court fees and charges worth $1,500, potential jail time for up to half a year, driver license suspension and obligatory classes in DUI schools, where violators complete an alcohol education course.

 

The long-term impact on future

Committing an underage DUI may haunt you for the rest of your life. Individuals who show the history of underage DUI may lead to expulsion from educational institutions, refusal from colleges for entry or educational scholarships, possible difficulties related to securing a reliable employer and discomfort and limitations due to the restriction to operate a vehicle.

Underage individuals accused of underage DUI will go through a mandatory DMV hearing in their California DMV where decisions regarding charges and consequences will be made. Selecting appropriate attorney representation will assist the accused to receive a hardship license if there is a suspension of the original driver’s license.

Attorney Sue Sahami is experienced in handling DUI cases. The law offices of Sue Sahami are actively helping protect the rights of clients charged with DUI or underage DUI in Orange County CA. If you have suffered from underage DUI you can contact our DUI lawyer who will have the capability to defend you and help you regain a clean reputation.

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12 Feb

Drunk Driving in Orange County CA with minor

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California DUI law provides for enhanced penalties for defendants who drive under the influence with a child under the age of fourteen in the car.

 

Child Endangerment – Increased penalties are imposed where there is a minor passenger in the vehicle at the time of the drunk driving in Orange County CA. In California, this is defined as an individual under the age of 14. This DUI with child endangerment sentence enhancement consists of additional mandatory jail time (on top of standard California DUI penalties).

 

 drunk driving in orange county ca

This chart shows your potential jail time for each offense charged with a DUI, with a minor present.

 

Type of DUI – “DUI with Child in Car” Sentence Enhancement

1st offense    –   48 hours in jail

2nd offense   –   10 days in jail

3rd offense   –   30 days in jail

4th offense    –   90 days in jail (Charged with misdemeanor DUI)

 

DON’T MAKE THESE 4 DUI MISTAKES!

  1. Refusing to stop.
  2. Being rude to the officer – Police officers put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities for the minimal pay. Sometimes, they’ve had so many interactions with hardened criminals that they’re not the friendliest. Regardless of an officer’s attitude during a DUI stop, it’s important that you remain calm and polite, and that you keep your attitude in check. One of the quickest ways to a DUI arrest is to be rude and belligerent.
  3. Being 100% truthful.
  4. Lying to the officer – While being 100% about your recent alcohol intake is a no-no when you’ve been drinking, it’s equally wrong to lie to the officer. If you say something to the effect of, “I had one drink at the bar” and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) results come back at 0.10%, the prosecutor and the jury will know that you were lying. At that point, you’d lose all credibility in court.

Drunk Driving penalties in California are set forth by statute and can be incredibly complex. The range of possible sentences is determined by the basic statute, with sentence DUI enhancements for such things as:

  • Having a prior conviction within ten years
  • Speeding 20 mph over the limit
  • Having a child under 14 in the car
  • Having a blood-alcohol reading over .15%
  • Refusing to submit to chemical testing

If you or someone you love has been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in Orange County CA, speak with our DUI lawyer about your DUI case immediately. When your future is on the line, you need a qualified DUI attorney to represent you. At the Law Offices of Sue Sahami, located at Santa Ana CA, we are passionate about defending our clients. We understand that you may be facing many fears, challenges, and unknowns. Our goal is to help you achieve peace of mind while providing the tough legal defense you need to eliminate your concerns in the long term. Call (714) 619-9349 today to schedule your free consultation. With over 20 years of experience and Board Certified Expert in DUI charges, Sohalia Sahami knows her way around the toughest cases and is always there for you as her client. The Law Offices of Sue Sahami helps in protecting the rights of her clients charged with DUI.

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29 Jan

What Happens at a DUI Checkpoint?

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Sobriety Checkpoints or DUI Checkpoints in Orange County CA are the brief detention developed by police for the purpose of investigating and evaluating passing motorists for drunk driving. These roadblocks on public roadways do not only give the police the chance to check tags and licenses or peer into the vehicle for a moment, they also give them an opportunity to whiff the driver’s breath. It is determined by a policy-making official with logical reasons. The roadblocks may use drug-sniffing dogs on certain occasions. It is essential to understand that a driver’s legal rights are limited when he or she is arrested as a result of a sniffing dog – no need to waive your rights.

 

Once you are stopped at the DUI Checkpoints in Orange County CA, the officers will ask you to roll down your window to speak with you. They will ask you for your driver’s license, registration, and proof of car insurance. They will also ask where you are coming from or where are you heading now.

 

If the police officers suspect that you have been drinking, they may ask you whether you have been drinking tonight. The officers will also begin to look for signs of intoxication. These signs include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Smell of alcohol
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Flushed face
  • Lack of coordination

If you display any of these symptoms, the police officers may give you a quick breathalyzer test. If the police do not have a breathalyzer with them, they will ask you to move your vehicle to the side and step out of the vehicle to give a roadside DUI test.

 

During the DUI tests at the DUI Checkpoints in Orange County CA, you can run afoul of several laws:

  • If you don’t have a valid driver’s license, or if it was suspended, you will be charged with a crime. However, since 2012, it is illegal to impound your car if driving without a license is your only charge. The valid, registered owner can come get it as long as they arrive before the checkpoint is over.
  • After checking your license, officers will ask you several questions. They’re looking for signs that you’re impaired, such as slurred speech, the smell of alcohol, or a glimpse of bottles or drugs in the car. If they have any reason to believe you’re inebriated they may arrest you for DUI.
  • You can be issued tickets for other violations, such as a broken headlight. You can also be charged with other crimes if the police see the evidence.

If none of these apply, you will be allowed to go. Normally, this only takes a minute or two—often just seconds.

 

Do you have to submit to Alcohol Tests at a DUI checkpoint?

Under California’s implied consent rule, as a driver, you must submit to a chemical test after you have been arrested on suspicion of a DUI. The key word is “after.” Therefore, when you happen upon a checkpoint and the officer requests that you to take a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test you can legally refuse.

 

Sometimes police will use tests to evaluate whether you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the DUI Checkpoints in Orange County CA. If you have not yet been arrested, you do not have to submit to these tests (but refusing may seem suspicious). If you have been arrested for DUI, you are required to submit to the test. Refusing to do so is a crime in its own right.

 

There are three kinds of tests:

  • Field sobriety tests. Police are trained to carry out “field sobriety tests” (FSTs) to evaluate whether you’re sober. These include things like walking a line or reciting the alphabet backwards. This is done before the arrest, and it’s up to you whether you choose to comply. If you refuse, however, you may still be arrested for DUI.
  • A “preliminary alcohol screening” (PAS) is a small portable breath test, such as the Breathalyzer. Police will ask you to blow into this device before arresting you, and you can refuse if you want. Again, this may not stop them from arresting you, and the prosecution may use your refusal against you.
  • Blood / breathe test. After you’re arrested for DUI, police will ask you to take either a blood or breathe test. This can be done at a hospital or the police station. At this point, you are legally required to comply. If you don’t, you will face additional charges.

 

Which Constitutional Rights Are at Issue?

Under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, it is “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, paper, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures”. Further, the Fourth Amendment states that this right “shall not be violated and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation. . . . ”

 

In the eleven states which have determined that drunk driving checkpoints intrude upon a person’s Fourth Amendment rights, it has been found that the checkpoints are a warrantless and suspiciousness search without probable cause.

 

Can You Turn Away at a DUI Checkpoint?

While the act of simply turning away at a DUI checkpoint will not in and of itself gives a police officer the reasonable suspicion required to make a DUI stop, the officer may be able to stop you if he observes any driving behavior that would be sufficient for reasonable suspicion.

Getting stopped at the DUI Checkpoints in Orange County CA is Not the End.

Want to find out if your DWI/DUI arrest was legal? Call Sohalia Sahami, a qualified Orange County DWI/DUI Defense Attorney for over 30 years experience to review your case for your DUI, —and get a FREE consultation today. The Law Offices of Sohalia Sahami helps in protecting the rights of its clients charged with DUI cases.

 

 

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21 Dec

A Quick Guide for Hiring a DUI Defense Attorney

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Have you been arrested for DUI (driving under the influence) in Orange County, California? If so, you need a competent Orange County DUI defense attorney at your side to defend your Constitutional rights and assist you in avoiding a criminal conviction and the suspension of your driver’s license. Sohalia Sahami is a premier DUI defense attorney in Santa Ana CA, dedicated to providing aggressive and personalized legal counsel to clients throughout all of Orange County CA who have been arrested for drunk driving offenses of all kinds, ranging from first time DUI offenses all the way to felony DUI or vehicular manslaughter.

 

DUI Penalties in Orange County CA

All 50 states have now set 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) as the legal limit for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI). For commercial drivers, a BAC of 0.04% can result in a DWI or DUI conviction nationwide. For those under 21 years of age, there is a zero tolerance limit. Even the smallest amount of alcohol is grounds for a DWI or DUI arrest.

Should you ever find yourself faced with a DWI or DUI arrest? Your first step should be to hire the services of an experienced DWI or DUI defense attorney. Being convicted of DUI can also impact your life in many ways you may not be aware of, including loss of employment, prevention of employment in certain jobs, higher insurance rates, serious financial setbacks, personal and family embarrassment, and having that conviction on your driving records for years, if not forever.

The DUI penalties in Orange County, California may vary depending upon a number of particular circumstances. However, sentencing and penalties for DUI (DUI Punishment) in California are listed below as found in the California Vehicle Code Division 11.5:

 

First DUI Offense

  • Driver’s license suspension for up to 4 months
  • Probation for 1 to 5 years
  • 3 to 6 months of alcohol classes
  • Fines and court fees between $390 to $1,500
  • 0 to 6 months in county jail

 

Second DUI Offense (within 10 years)

  • Driver’s license suspension for 1 to 2 years
  • 1 to 5 years of probation
  • 18 months of mandatory alcohol classes
  • AA meetings
  • Fines and court fees between $390 to $1,500
  • 96 hours to 1 year in county jail

 

Third DUI Offense (within 10 years)

  • Driver’s license suspension for up to 3 years
  • Up to 5 years’ probation
  • 18 months of alcohol classes
  • AA meetings
  • Fines of up to $1,500
  • Ignition Interlock Device installed on defendant’s vehicle
  • 4 months to 1 year in jail

 

DUI Arrest Rights – Were your Rights violated during the arrest? 

Understanding your DUI rights during a DUI arrest will provide a number of possible tactics your DUI Defense Attorney may use in the court to help vanquish all charges. The prosecution must prove you were driving the vehicle and operating the vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The entire sobriety testing done during the arrest is used as evidence against you as well as what the arresting officer observed and put forth in the DUI police report. Here are some possible questions that may be used to help your defense:

Did the officer have probable cause to pull you over and detain you?

  1. Were you read your Miranda Rights?
  2. Was your car not being driven at the time or did the officer not witness you driving?
  3. Was the breathalyzer test administered during a certain time frame after your last drink?
  4. Were the arresting officer’s observations inconsistent with multiple witnesses who saw you?
  5. Were you given a proper field sobriety test?
  6. Did weather conditions affect your testing results?

 

What to do next after a DUI ticket?

Here is a quick step-by-step guide on what you should do after a DUI charge.

1.      Hire a DUI Lawyer

Sohalia Sahami attorney at law, with over 20 years of experience in handling DUI cases, is a premier DUI defense attorney in Santa Ana CA, dedicated to providing aggressive and personalized legal counsel to clients throughout all of Orange County CA who have been arrested for drunk driving offenses of all kinds, ranging from first time DUI offenses all the way to felony DUI or vehicular manslaughter.

 

2.      Make your Court Dates

Missing a court date will only create more trouble for you in the very near future. Dress and act appropriately to avoid giving the judge the wrong impression.

 

3.      Adhering to Court’s Decision

If you are found guilty, you will face numerous fines and penalties. In addition, you may be sentenced to some type of counseling program. If you want to get your license back, you will need to pay all fines and complete all suspensions and/or counseling required.

 

4.      Getting Your License Back

In all likelihood, your insurance company will have terminated your coverage, or will at least require you to obtain a different policy. After a DUI, you will need an SR-22, which is proof that you are carrying the proper insurance after a DUI. You will also need to apply to have your license reactivated or if it was revoked, redo the initial testing.

 

5.      Ignition Interlock Installation

In some states, a restricted license and/or first-time violators are required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed before being able to operate the vehicle again. The costs of this are your responsibility, as well as any maintenance costs associated with the device.

 

DUI Defense Attorney in Santa Ana CA

Your initial consultation with Santa Ana DUI Lawyer Sohalia Sahami is free. We welcome you to call us at 714-619-9349. Don’t accept a plea bargain or submit to questioning without at least first consulting with a lawyer.

 

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