Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Analyzing The DUI Case of Georgia State Representative Tom Taylor

According to this news report, Georgia State Representative Tom Taylor was arrested last week and charged with DUI in Rabun County. According to the report, Taylor, 54, had a blood-alcohol content of .225, nearly three times the legal limit, with juveniles in the vehicle, a loaded weapon and an open container.

This blog post Analyzes the DUI Case of Georgia State Representative Tom Taylor's DUI Arrest and the issues relating to each of the charges, including the DUI Enhancements.

Three More Charged: Just Another Reason to Hire a DUI Lawyer - The Loophole in Statute Allows Police to Arrest DUI Drivers Upon Conviction

According to another Orange County Sheriff’s Department Press Release, deputies from the Orange County’s Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) conducted an undercover “Court Sting” operation at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach, California on Monday, March 14, 2016 – this is not the first time that the OCSD has conducted these types of “Court Sting” Operations. As some of you may recall, on Monday, June 1, 2015, (which was discussed in another one of my DUI blogs), the deputies conducted a similar undercover “Court Sting” operation at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach, where, like here, offenders who had been told of their license suspension due to DUI or who had never been issued a driver’s license were staked out.

If you need an experienced DUI Defense Attorney, contact Attorney Peter Iocona, Orange County's "Best" or "Top-Rated" DUI Defense Attorney.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Have a Safe & Happy St. Patrick's Day, Everyone!!

Drinking is very much a large part of St. Patrick Day celebrations and often leads to incidents of drinking and driving, which should be avoided. 

So if you are going to be celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day, or even over this St. Patrick’s Day Weekend, be mindful of the dangers associated with drinking and driving. If you have consumed too much alcohol, call a taxi, Uber or Lyft, or even a good sober friend, to drive you home from wherever you may be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Illinois Driver Charged With DUI After Driving With Tree Still In Vehicle's Grille

As most of you may have already heard, (or seen), Police Officers in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, recently stopped a woman they say was driving with a 15-foot tree wedged into the grille of her car. After stopping the driver, the police officers also noticed the airbags had been deployed, apparently from hitting the tree; thus prompting an Illinois DUI Charge.

If this case occurred in Orange County, California, the driver would want to retain Orange County the "Best" or "Top-Rated" DUI Defense Attorney in Orange County, California.

Attorney Peter F. Iocona Again Recognized as a "Super Lawyer's Rising Star"

Peter F. Iocona is pleased to announce that the 2016 edition of “Super Lawyers”, published by Thomas Reuters, will once again include Orange County DUI Lawyers Peter F. Iocona as a “Super Lawyer’s Rising Star”.

If you are charged with a criminal offense in Orange County, California, specifically DUI, contact Attorney Peter F. Iocona today for a free consultation

DUI Hit And Run Charges - DUI Enhancements

There was a story in the Chicago Tribune about a young man named Matthew Lucchini, who at only 26 years of age was charged with misdemeanor DUI, misdemeanor leaving the scene among other things, and it caused me to post this blog about the charge of Hit & Run in California.

California Vehicle Code Section 20002 makes it a misdemeanor to fail to stop at the scene of an accident with property damage only and requires, like California Vehicle Code Section 16025, that the driver supply his or her name and address and that of the owner of the vehicle if different from that of the driver involved in the accident. 

In addition, CVC § 20002 requires that: “[u]pon locating the driver of any other vehicle involved, if requested,” presentation of:

  1. Driver’s license.
  2. Vehicle registration.
  3. Vehicle owner’s driver’s license or other identification, if present.

A failure to comply with the above-referenced requirement will expose the driver to a Hit and Run Charge or, if done in connection with a DUI Charge, a DUI Hit and Run Enhancement.

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Push for Harsher DUI Penalties - Is This the Answer to Reducing DUI Offenses?

Recently there has been a flurry of activity about the issue of whether lowering the legal limit from 0.08% to 0.05% is the answer to the question of whether this will reduce the number of DUI offenses or whether pushing for harsher DUI Penalties is the answer.

Both positions have merit. This post examines the pros and cons of each perspective.

DUI – Is It Increasing or Decreasing?

Some would argue the declining numbers are as a result of more educated drivers avoiding DUI by not consuming alcohol before driving; however, there is contrary argument, which is that there is little to no DUI enforcement these days and this explains the reduction in the number of DUI arrests not the educational components.

What are your thoughts?

To learn more, visit: “DUI – Is ItIncreasing or Decreasing?

The 2015 DUI Statistics – What They Reveal

We have been receiving a lot of conflicting statistical data recently regarding the question of whether DUI offenses are up or down as we enter the second month of 2016. Here's what we learned from the 2015 statistical data and what can be expected in 2016 to reduce the number of driving under the influence cases.

The Debate Surrounding Lowering the Legal Limit from 0.08% to 0.05% - Seeing Both Sides of the Debate

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been encouraging states to lower their current legal blood alcohol content limits for drivers from .08% to .05%, or even lower, claiming that the change would save lives.

What is most intriguing about the NTSB recommendation is that the “Mothers Against Drunk Driving founder, Candace Lightner, who led the successful national campaign in the 1980s to crack down on drunk driving after her daughter was killed in an alcohol-induced accident, doesn't support the proposal,” stating: "I don't believe it is a practical long-term solution," she told U.S. News. "You could go to 0.0 and that would save lives. You could go to a 40 mph speed limit and that would save lives, but you have to look at what's realistic."

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Wrongful Convictions - The Reason I Defend Those Charged With Crimes

Two stories have prompted me to write this blog about those wrongfully convicted and to answer the question I am frequently asked, which is: “How can you defend drunk drivers?” or "How can you defend criminals?"

The reality is that there are several legal concepts that often go unnoticed by the public at large and even juries, one of which is the “Presumption of Innocence.” Another is “Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt”. And I believe another significant one is the "Circumstantial Evidence" instruction. 

All of these rules of law that apply to jury deliberations are oftentimes glossed over by judges and prosecutors alike, thus leaving the jury to their own devices and oftentimes leading them to apply the wrong standard of law to their deliberations. Public opinion does not help in the cause to reduce the number of wrongful convictions.

The Infancy Stages of DUI Marijuana Breath Testing Devices & What It Means Today

As we progress through the debate as to whether DUI is increasing or decreasing and analyzing all of the statistical data from 2015 as we deal with the issue of DUI in 2016, I wanted to post a blog about the Infancy Stages of DUI Marijuana Breath Testing Devices and what you can expect to find as we as a society begin to move toward legalizing marijuana.

In this blog , the different types of devices being test are reviewed and the states leading the charge are listed, namely Colorado and Washington; however, many states, including California, are looking toward these two states to determine which breath testing devices they choose as they too make their decision as to which device or devices to use in California.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

How Police Officers Conduct DUI Investigations & What Evidence Is Collected - Police Evidence

I am often surprised that many prospective clients are surprised to learn that their DUI Investigation was caught on camera, thus including audio and/or video recordings of the DUI Investigation.

As a result of this "phenomenon", I decided to generate a webpage that was dedicated to what I often refer to as "Police Evidence", which includes a discussion on not only what evidence is collected; but also the three "phases" of a DUI Investigation.

This blog post will be followed by a series of future blog posts relating to the different types of DUI discovery or evidence that you should expect to find from each of the individualized agencies in the County of Orange, California.

Click the link to learn more about Police Evidence in the State of California, specifically in Orange County, California. And remember, if you need an experienced DUI Trial Lawyer, contact Attorney Peter F. Iocona today for a free DUI Consultation.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Gallatin County DUI Study

As stated in this blog post, I found the Preliminary Report from the Gallatin County DUI Study story that was published on January 21, 2016 in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle interesting.

The report analyzed the trends in DUI numbers, among other things and came to the following conclusions - some surprising and others expected. To learn more click the link: The Gallatin County DUI Study.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Difference Between DUI, Wet Reckless & Dry Reckless - A Frequently Asked Question

As stated in the accompanying webpage entitled: "Understanding the Differences Between DUI and a Wet Reckless Plea": I’m often asked: what is a “wet reckless”? A wet reckless is an “alcohol-related” reckless driving. Well, that does not really answer the question, does it?

A wet reckless is a plea to another Vehicle Code Section, Vehicle Code Section 23013 per Vehicle Code Section 23103.5. The latter statutory provision permits the government to use a "wet reckless" conviction as a prior driving under the influence conviction for purposes of punishment in the second or subsequent case.

But there are other differences as well. To learn more about "Understanding the Differences Between DUI and a Wet Reckless Plea".

Motion to Suppress - Vehicle Code Section 26708 - View Obstructions

This is Part X of the web series dedicated to Motions to Suppress in the State of California that was previously published only to my Google+ Following; which is now available through my blog on Google Blogger.

Part X of this series focuses on View Obstructions and which types of view obstructions are in fact a violation of law and which are not. 

An object hanging from the rearview mirror of a motor vehicle does not provide sufficient grounds for a detention unless the police officer has an objectively reasonable basis to believe that the object is obstructing or reducing the driver’s clear view through the windshield or side windows. See CVC § 26708(a)(2). 

Friday, January 8, 2016

DUI Reckless Speed Enhancements - Mandatory 60 Days In Jail

This morning there was a story about a Paxton, Illinois teenager who was stopped by the police for driving in excess of 100 mph in a 55-mph speed zone while also driving under the influence of alcohol among other charges according to Paxton Police Chief Bob Bane. Mr. Bane said that Talon C. Yaden, 18, of 210 W. Patton St., was driving a 1994 Ford Mustang west on Illinois 9 around 2 a.m. Wednesday when a Paxton police officer attempted to pull over his car for speeding near the intersection with the Ford County Road 1800 East, on the city's west edge. Yaden then turned south onto County Road 1775 East before finally stopping for the officer about 2 miles south of Paxton, at the intersection with County Road 200 North. 
Yaden is being charged with the speed enhancement in addition to the DUI charge and illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor.
This story demonstrates the issues associated with not only under-aged drinking, but also driving in excess of the speed limit. Where it is pled and proven, or admitted, that a defendant drover 30 m.p.h. over the maximum, prima facie, or posted speed limit on a freeway, or 20 m.p.h. or more over the maximum, prima facie, or posted speed limit on any other street or highway, and that he/she did so in violation of Vehicle Code Section 23013 - the reckless driving statute - while concurrently violation Vehicle Code Sections 23152 or 23153, he/she will be required to serve a mandatory jail sentence of 60-days pursuant to Vehicle Code Section 23582.
Click the link to learn more about Reckless Speed Enhancements.
Click the link to learn more about Speed Violations.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Some Noteworthy New Laws for California In 2016

Despite some of Governor Brown's efforts to curtail some of these legislative changes, the Legislature managed to pass several laws relating to crime and punishment.

Assembly Bill 1343 created two brand new Penal Code Sections: 1016.2 and 1016.3. These sections direct both defense lawyers and prosecutors to address immigration consequences of a plea to a criminal charge. It also requires that prosecutors consider the avoidance of adverse immigration consequences in plea negotiations in order to reach a just and proper resolution to a criminal charge. Penal Code Section 1016.3 reads as follows:

  • (a) Defense counsel shall provide accurate and affirmative advice about the immigration consequences of a proposed disposition, and when consistent with the goals of and with the informed consent of the defendant, and consistent with professional standards, defend against those consequences.
  • (b) The prosecution, in the interests of justice, and in furtherance of the findings and declarations of Section 1016.2, shall consider the avoidance of adverse immigration consequences in the plea negotiation process as one factor in an effort to reach a just resolution.
  • (c) This code section shall not be interpreted to change the requirements of Section 1016.5, including the requirement that no defendant shall be required to disclose his or her immigration status to the court.

Under Penal Code Sections 148 and 69, every person who deters or prevents an executive officer from performing any of his or her duties, or knowingly resists the officer, is punishable by a fine or imprisonment, or both, as specified. Senate Bill 411 amended those statutes to provide that the fact that a person takes a photograph or makes an audio and/or video recording of an executive officer, while the officer is in a public place or the person taking the photograph or making the recording is in a place he or she has the right to be, is not, in and of itself, a violation of the above-mentioned provision. This is a major change that makes more sense when you consider some of the other legislative changes for 2016 regarding police officers.

Assembly Bill 953 mandates a system for law enforcement to collect information on each traffic stop they make and this data is to be reported to the attorney general each year.

Senate Bill 227 bars the use of grand juries in police shooting investigations.

Senate Bill 178 now requires law enforcement officers to secure a court-ordered search warrant before being able to inspect electronic information stored on electronic devices, such as cell phones, tablets and/or computers.

Senate Bill 491 may provide law enforcement officers with reasonable suspicion to stop and detain motorists who are wearing or using earbuds that cover, rest on or are inserted in both ears. Emergency Responders and those who wear hearing aids are excepted. The law was enacted to ensure that motorists can hear sirens and other safety alerts; but much like the cell phone law that was passed a few years ago, this new law may provide law enforcement officers with a reason to stop and detain you in search of a bigger crime, such as DUI.

Senate Bill 405, which has already taken effect, allows people contesting traffic citations to do so without first paying the fine. After all, you are innocent until proven guilty.

Assembly Bill 1461, known as the “Motor Voter” law registers people to vote when they receive or renew their driver’s licenses unless the person chooses to “opt-out”.

Assembly Bill 1375 increases the amount credited in Penal Code 1205 from $30 to $125 per day, which is a good thing for those who choose to serve time instead of paying any court fines that may be imposed in conjunction with a criminal offense, whether it be a felony or a misdemeanor. At least your time is worth more today than it was last year and years before.

Assembly Bill 8 permits law enforcement agencies to issue what are being called “Yellow Alerts” if a person has been killed or seriously injured in a hit-and-run traffic incident for which law enforcement has information about the suspect and/or the suspect’s vehicle, including a partial license plate number. The law authorizes the California Highway Patrol to use digital message signs when requested by local law enforcement. It also encourages radio, television, and cable and satellite systems to disseminate the identifying information.

Senate Bill 61 granted a one-year extension to the pilot program in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare counties that requires all individuals convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in their vehicles. 

Sources: - New 2016 Legislation

Thank you to the above-named sources for providing the information contained in this blog post. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Fullerton DUI Arrest - Fullerton DUI Attorney

Defending a DUI charge is not easy. It takes time. It also takes knowledge of police procedures and how to use that knowledge to determine whether any legal and/or factual defenses exist and how to use those defenses to obtain a more favorable outcome.

Each agency in Orange County accumulates different types of discovery or evidence that they intend to use against you to convict you of the crime of driving under the influence. Some of those agencies record the entire contact on video, which includes audio. Some agencies use body worn cameras that record the entire contact on video, which also includes audio. 

But there are other types of evidence that need to evaluated, such as the crime lab records relating to the breath and/or blood test that you submitted to after being arrested for DUI - all of this evidence is important to your defense.

None of this evidence is easy to interpret - again, it takes time and it takes knowledge.

The first series of blogs for 2016 deals with the types of DUI Discovery you should expect to obtain or receive in connection with your Orange County DUI Arrest, starting with the City of Fullerton as many of our readers will likely be returning to college and/or graduate schools in that area within a week or two of the date of this post.

The City of Fullerton is patrolled by the Fullerton Police Department. The City of Fullerton did not historically make audio and video recordings of their DUI Investigations; but after some incidents involving allegations against Fullerton Police Department Officers arose, the City decided to begin using Body Worn Camera that capture audio and video of the Fullerton DUI Investigation.

In addition to the Fullerton Police Department there are several campus police organizations, such as the California State University, Fullerton Police Department. These agencies typically do not make any audio and/or video recordings of the DUI Investigation.

Contact Fullerton DUI Attorney Peter F. Iocona to learn more about a Fullerton DUI Arrest and to obtain a Free DUI Consultation and Case Evaluation.