Category Archives for "Uncategorized"

Dec 03

First Offense non-injury DUI in Sacramento County

By Admin | Uncategorized

The following information is simply meant to give you some insight into how a case might move through the system in Sacramento County.  Hopefully this will give you the tools you need to make the right decisions based on the facts and circumstances of your own case.  If you are only interested in the possible penalties for a first offense non-injury DUI in Sacramento County, scroll to the end of this article.

 

DUI cases begin with law enforcement making contact with an individual suspected of DUI.  Law enforcement may pull you over or make contact with you after you are already stopped, parked or out of the vehicle.  Sometimes people are in parking lots, on the side or middle of the road or have been in an accident.  Driving is a required element in California DUI cases.  If law enforcement pulls you over, they have direct evidence of driving.  When law enforcement doesn’t see you drive they are using circumstantial evidence to show that you did drive while under the influence.

 

You will have been arrested and taken to jail, released to a responsible adult or left at the hospital.  If you were taken to jail and not required to post a bail bond, you will have been given a written promise to appear for court at a specific date and time in Department 2 of the Sacramento Superior Court, located at 720 Ninth Street Sacramento, CA  95814.  In Sacramento, arrested individuals are normally given a court date about three (3) weeks after their arrest.

 

On your written promise to appear, you will notice that law enforcement has placed the proposed charges about three (3) inches from the bottom of the page.  This is what the arresting officer thinks you should be charged with.  The Sacramento County District Attorney is responsible for almost every DUI case that comes through Sacramento County and the actual filing decision is in their hands.  In most instances, the charges will be as you see on the paperwork you received at the jail.

 

Changes in the law have added new code sections related to DUI.  California Vehicle Code §23152(f) is the new charge for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs.  Prior to January 1, 2014, California Vehicle Code §23152(a) covered Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol.  California Vehicle Code §23152(g) is the new charge for Driving under the combined Influence of Drugs and Alcohol.

 

If you were left at a hospital, law enforcement will send the reports to the District Attorney’s Office with a Warrant Request.  Then it is up to the District Attorney to decide whether charges should be filed and, if so, to notify you.  If you get a Warrant Notice in the mail, you will need to be booked (fingerprinted and photographed) and given a court date and time to appear.  The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, Warrant Bureau is located at 711 “G” Street, on the 7th Street side of the building.  If you’re nervous about them taking you into custody, have a reputable bail bond company or attorney contact the warrant bureau make sure you will be cited and released.  The paperwork you will be given looks similar to what a person is given that is booked into the county jail, however, it should include the actual charges and your docket number.

 

Some court days are busier than others and I suggest you get to court early, as parking may be limited around the courthouse.  The new and improved meters take quarters or credit cards and there are two separate parking structures.  The County lot is located between “G” & “H” Streets and 7th & 8th Streets.  There is also a private lot in the alley, between “G” & “H” Streets, across from the courthouse fountain.  After some initial announcements by the bailiff outside the courtroom, you will be allowed to enter Department 2.  If your case hasn’t yet been filed the Bailiff will have you sign a paper and you will be given a new court date.  If the District Attorney has rejected the filing of charges, you will be told that they still have up to one (1) year to do so.  As a practical matter it’s very unlikely that this will happen, as an attorney in the District Attorney’s Intake Department has already reviewed the reports and made the decision to reject the case.  It helps to be one of the first people in the courtroom so you can find an aisle seat as far forward as possible.  If you have hired an attorney you may not be required to appear in court, although some attorneys may want you there.

 

Sacramento is one of the four counties participating in the Ignition Interlock Pilot Program under Assembly Bill 91.  If you are convicted of a first offense DUI in Sacramento County you will be ordered by DMV to put the IID on any vehicles you own or operate for a period of 5 months.  You will receive a letter from DMV shortly after you resolve your case instructing you to install the IID.  If you do not own a vehicle and/or only drive an employer’s vehicle you may qualify for an exemption.  Read the letter carefully, follow the instructions and respond quickly as there are time limits to do so.  As of 1/1/2019, SB 1046 will be replacing the Pilot County Program.   There is some uncertainty about the details but it may be possible to avoid any license suspension at all by complying with certain requirements quickly.

 

 

POSSIBLE PENALTIES

 

 

The basic penalties in Sacramento County for a first (1st) offense non-injury DUI, based on a Blood or Breath test between .08 and .14, are as follows:

 

 

 

PROBATION

 

Three (3) years informal probation-this means: 1. Obey all laws

  1. Don’t drink and drive
  2. Don’t refuse a chemical test (blood/breath)
  3. Don’t drive without a valid license/insurance
  4. Search/Seizure of Blood if lawfully arrested for DUI

 

JAIL TIME

 

48 hours jail-The court will normally have no objection to any of the sheriff’s alternatives to jail.  In fact, it’s unusual for this county to order any actual in custody jail time on a 1st offense DUI. The alternatives include work project and work furlough/home detention.  If you intend to ask for community service hours, you should bring evidence of a disability or evidence that you live in a county without a reciprocal agreement with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office for the normal alternatives to jail or that you live outside of California.

 

There are numerous reasons why the prosecution might ask for more jail time.

 

If an individual has prior DUI(s) or Wet Reckless offense(s) outside the 10 year statutory period, they are often asking for an additional five (5) days of time for each offense.

 

They will ask for two (2) extra days for every point above .15 BAC.  For instance, if the BAC is .25, you should expect the offer to include 20 additional days.

 

A Refusal of the evidentiary chemical test, under California Vehicle Code §23577 and §23538(b)(2) cause difficulty with the criminal case in terms of the length of DUI school ordered and with the term of the DMV license suspension.  In addition to this, the District Attorney’s policy is to ask for 30 days of time for the refusal alone.  This is on top of the regular sentence.

 

An Excessive Speed enhancement, under California Vehicle Code §23582 for driving 30mph over the posted speed limit on the highway or 20mph over the posted speed limit on surface streets, where the driving is reckless as defined in California Vehicle Code §23103, will add 60 days of time to the regular sentence.

 

A minor passenger under the age of 14 gives rise to an enhancement under California Vehicle Code §23572.  The District Attorney is asking for two (2) days of time (in custody) for each minor passenger, in addition to the regular sentence.

 

PC4019 credits-Sacramento County only makes people do half the time ordered by the court.  Additionally, you no longer have to pay for the half of the days that you don’t actually do.

 

Residential treatment – the court will likely allow day for day credit, in lieu of time, but you don’t get half time like you do with jail, work project or home detention.

 

Outpatient treatment – may reduce number of days but don’t expect day for day credit.

 

 

 

FINES

 

The fines are the only consequence of a DUI that have actually been reduced in many years.  They total about $2400.00 and you can pay them in full downstairs in Room 102 after court or you can agree to pay the fines over time through the Department of Revenue Recovery (DRR).    If for any reason you don’t receive a bill within about a month give them a call at (916) 875-7500.  If you decide to make payments, DRR adds about $65.00 to the bill to set up an account.  As of January 1, 2017, the Sacramento Courts are allowing people to convert about $2000.00 of the total fines to 4 additional days of time in jail or in one of the sheriff’s alternatives.

 

RESTITUTION

 

If restitution is ordered to a victim (this can be an individual or government agency) that will appear on your bill as well.  DRR adds 10% of the restitution bill to the account as a handling charge.  The most obvious reason restitution is ordered is if you cause an accident and someone is injured or there is property damage.  Your own insurance will often cover this type of restitution and you shouldn’t have to pay the victim twice.  Another reason restitution is being ordered more and more frequently is because the government will want to recover the costs of time spent for what is known as Emergency Response Costs.  (See Government Code(s) § 53150-53159.)  Often times, restitution is ordered in an amount to be determined.  If you receive a letter from DRR instructing you to call them if you disagree with the restitution amount claimed by a victim, you must follow the directions in the letter and contact them by the date listed.  If you fail to do so, you are effectively agreeing to pay that amount of restitution.  It is also advisable to contact your attorney, if you were represented, because the attorney is not notified.  The case will then be set for a formal restitution hearing where the DA will present evidence or the victim will appear in court to justify the claim.

 

DUI SCHOOL

 

A three (3), six (6) or nine (9) month DUI school will be ordered.  The different lengths of classes are based on the BAC.  A BAC up to .14 will require a three (3) month class, a BAC of .15-.19 will require a six (6) month class and a Refusal or BAC of .20 or higher will require a nine (9) month class. The costs of the programs in Sacramento are $675.00, $860.00 and $1140.00, respectively.  The courses are 30, 45 or 60 hours total.  There is not a way to truly accelerate the programs and finish earlier, although some schools may be more flexible or creative in how they get you through their program and still comply with State requirements.  There are a limited number of allowable absences.  If you live out of State you may want to ask the court to order but stay the DUI school, as you don’t want to be in violation of the terms and conditions of your probation. There are DUI Schools throughout the State.

 

 

1650 WAIVER

 

Additionally, if you live outside of California, there is a once in a lifetime ability to get the California DMV to lift the hold on your privilege to drive without completing a DUI school or installing an Ignition Interlock Device.  This may not work if you Refused the chemical test or your BAC was .20 or higher.  First you will need to wait until all the mandatory suspension time is over.  Then you will need to apply for a 1650 Waiver with the Mandatory Actions Unit at DMV by calling (916) 657-6525. They will mail the necessary forms to you at your Out of State address.  You will need to provide DMV with evidence that you live outside of California, file an SR22 with the California DMV for three (3) years and agree that if you move to California within three (3) years you will take and complete the appropriate DUI school.

 

 

 

 

If you call the Law Office of Denis White for a free consultation, we will be asking you for information contained on the white agreement to appear as well as the pink temporary license if one was given to you.  The sooner you call, the more time you’ll have to make an informed decision on how you want to proceed.

Dec 01

UC San Diego in the News

By ali | Uncategorized

PSA: Drugged Driving is Dangerous

UCSD School of Medicine Professor Linda Hill has been working with the school’s Training, Research and Education for Driving Safety (TREDS) for 15 years.  They have four public service videos (see above) to teach drivers about the consequences of driving while drugged.  TREDS web address is:  http://treds.ucsd.edu/

Hill says people that use Marijuana products should wait before driving, the same as is recommended for alcohol.  Her advice is that people smoking Marijuana should wait four hours before driving.  She also indicated that edibles can delay the effects and last for eight hours.

A grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is funding TREDS “Higher Education: Driving High is DUI” campaign.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 2016 report on drivers killed in collisions showed Marijuana is the most commonly detected drug, followed by Opiods.  NHTSA also launched a new safety campaign over the Labor Day holiday weekend in 2018; “If You Feel Different, You Drive Different.” Heidi King, NHTSA Deputy Administrator said that “A driver’s judgment and ability to react are both impaired when driving high, but many drivers don’t realize that it’s dangerous and illegal.”  Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is illegal throughout the United States.


NHTSA Short Videos on Driving Under the Influence

The fact that driving under the influence is dangerous is nothing new but many people take prescription medications without being a danger to other motorists. In other words, having drugs in your system doesn’t automatically mean you are under the influence for purposes of a DUI.  Consider the following definition from CALCRIM 2110, which is one of the jury instructions given at the end of a trial in CA before the jury is sent out to deliberate:

A person is under the influence if, as a result of (drinking [or

consuming] an alcoholic beverage/ [and/or] taking a drug), his or her

mental or physical abilities are so impaired that he or she is no longer

able to drive a vehicle with the caution of a sober person, using

ordinary care, under similar circumstances.

TIP: Don't drive under the influence and you'll avoid needing to Google "SACRAMENTO DUI ATTORNEYS"

Our local CSU is doing their part to keep students safe as well. California State University Sacramento
has a program called Safe Rides. Associated Students Inc. offers to reimburse students up to $20 per
semester for using a ride share app of their choice during the Fall and Spring semesters, while funds last.
The students have to travel between 10pm -2am, Wednesday through Saturday. Complete instructions
can be found at:
http://www.asi.csus.edu/programs/safe-rides/

The last night this can be used for the Fall semester is tomorrow, 12/8/18, so get your free rides in quick
before the winter break.

Nov 12

Safety Center Sacramento: DUI School Review and Tour

By Admin | Uncategorized

Safety Center DDP

On Friday, 6/8/2018, I spent the morning at the Safety Center DDP’s (Safety Center) main office at 3909
Bradshaw Road Sacramento, CA 95827. The facility is quite large, encompassing several buildings and
has ample free parking. The Safety Center offers more than just DUI classes. They offer classes for
Senior Drivers that may help to lower the cost of insurance, Motorcycle Training classes and more. For

today, we’ll just be talking about the DUI classes available.


The Safety Center has schools at three locations in the Sacramento area and two in Yolo County. The
Sacramento area schools are located at the address listed above, one in Citrus Heights (6 & 9 month
First Offender class only) and one in North Highlands. In Yolo County, there is a school in West
Sacramento and another in Woodland. Cost varies by length of class and payment options are available.
Saturday classes and classes in Spanish and Russian may be offered at some locations.

DUI classes vary in length.

For First Offenders, the court can order a person take:
Wet Reckless Program (12 hours over 6 weeks) [only if case resolved as Wet Reckless]
First Offender Program (30 hours over 3 months) [.08 up to .19][Sacramento .08-.14]
First Offender Program (45 hours over 6 months) [Sacramento-BAC of .15-.19]
First Offender Program (60 hours over 9 months) [Chemical Test Refusal & BAC of .20 or more]

For Multiple Offenders, the court will order:
SB38-Multiple Offender Program (18 months)
*If the Offense is resolved as a Wet 2nd , the 60 hour, 9 month program may be ordered.


All First Offender programs consist of Education and Group components designed to cover a wide
variety of subjects.
Education consists of six classes:
1. Intro and Effects of Alcohol & Drugs on Driving
2. Impairment of Driving Abilities, Skills & Judgement
3. Substance Use Disorders
4. Effects on Body and Health
5. Effects on Individual, Family and Society
6. Create a Change Plan to Prevent Impaired Driving

Group consists of nine to twenty six classes:
1. Thoughts and Feelings Affect Actions
2. Effects of Alcohol & Drugs on Driving Behavior
3. Changing Decisions Leading Up to Your DUI
4. Coping With Stress
5. Values and Decision Making
6. Effective Communication
7. Developing Resilient Relationships
8. Setting Goals for the Future
9. Sustaining Change
10. Overcoming Obstacles to Changing Behavior
11. Strengthening Your Social Support Network
12. Using Family Strengths for Problem Solving
13. Reconnecting with Your Family
14. Listening with Empathy
15. Cultivating a Positive View of the Future
16. Focusing on Your Vision for the Future
17. Making Decisions to Prevent Driving Under the Influence
18. Coping with Triggers and Cravings
19. Gaining Support of Family and Friends
20. Problem Solving in Relationships
21. Creating a Recovery Plan
22. Building Personal Resilience
23. Becoming Your Ideal Self
24. Developing Resources for Sustaining Changes
25. Making Safe Driving Decisions
26. Learning from Relapses


*Multiple Offender Programs include much of the same except that the last six months consists of just a
monthly face to face with a counselor.

Jun 22

Sacramento DUI Lawyer – June Update

By Admin | Uncategorized

Sacramento DUI Lawyer - June Update

Denis Does the Davis Trinity 

Although he is based in Sacramento, Denis is also very active in Yolo County. He noticed that a large percentage of his cases from that county are college students from UC Davis and immediately made it a goal to decrease the number of DUI arrests from UCD students. 

In addition to creating a scholarship for UC Davis Picnic Week 2018, Denis focused on creating DUI awareness events in the Davis area to help students prevent future DUI arrests. 

For his third awareness event in the college town, Denis completed the Davis Trinity - a bar crawl that UCD undergrads complete as a rite of passage. Students are known to get absurdly drunk after completion and Denis wanted to illustrate how BAC levels rise after each of the three mixed drinks. 

To give a more accurate illustration to the local students, he picked two volunteers (one undergrad and one grad) to complete the challenge along with him. 

May 29

Breweries in Sacramento County

By Admin | Uncategorized

Breweries in Sacramento County

Burgers and Brew

If you're looking for a taproom that serves grub out of their own kitchen instead of booking various food trucks, make sure to add this downtown brewery to your list. Located in an old firehouse, patrons can expect to find various gourmet burgers and rotating taps. If you're on the fence about giving them a visit, here's some peace of mind - the consensus on Yelp is that B&B is a quality restaurant (4 stars rating with 290 reviews as of 6/26/2018).

Bike Dog Broadway Taproom

The Broadway Taproom is a satellite location of Bike Dog's headquarters in West Sac located downtown for the residents who don't want to make the drive/bike ride but still want the same great beers.  Costco actually carries some of their beers, so you can rest assured that the quality is on point. The Broadway Taproom garnered a solid 4-star rating and if you're looking for a place that serves food in addition to brew, rejoice! Sellands (a popular local market) is located next door and they have a Bike Dog has a special menu you can order from. If you're not feeling what Sellands has to offer, you're also allowed to bring in outside food from other locations. 

Urban Roots Brewery and Smokehouse 

This is the only brewery in Sacramento County that has a dedicated BBQ menu, so put this on the list if you're a fan of the grill. Another 4 star rated restaurant on Yelp, reviews say that you can smell this place from a mile away. The atmosphere is also perfect for enjoying a nice weather day since they have plenty of patio seating. 

Capital Hop Shop

Perhaps the most striking feature of this brewery are the garage doors. This brewery is a converted car garage that now boasts an extensive list of beers and hard ciders. Although this spot is just approaching its one year anniversary, Yelpers take notice of the great service and quality food. 

Big Stump Brewing Company

If you’re looking for sour beers, Big Stump Brew Company is the choice for you! They do not serve food, but outside food is perfectly acceptable. Equipped with old school arcade games, this place is both baby friendly and dog friendly. 

Device Brewing Company

Tucked away near the the courthouse on Power Inn, Device is a modest brewery that offers plenty for its patrons. In addition to having a dog friendly space, Device partners with local food trucks, making it a one stop shop for a relaxing day.