What Are My Options: Ask a DUI Lawyer in California

driving-under-influenceIf you or someone you know has been involved in a driving under the influence incident, you may be worried about the outcome. The good news is that with the help of a lawyer, the legal process will be less intimidating, and the chances of lower or alternative sentencing will be much higher.

Here are a few examples of alternative sentencing options, besides jail time:

House Arrest

The lawyer can push for a house arrest, where confinement is restricted to the perimeters of the defendant’s own home – rather than in a small jail cell. A few celebrities who have received the alternative sentencing of DUI house arrest include Lindsey Lohan or Bobby Brown. Non-celebrities also have the option for house arrest too.

Installing Ignition Interlocks

As the name suggests, an advanced interlocking system is attached to the driver’s car, where he or she will need to submit a Breathalyzer test before the ignition is able to start. No one else is able to submit this test on the driver’s behalf, given that personal recognition feature implemented. In the event that a friend or family member aims to dupe the test, law enforcement is alerted immediately.

Ignition interlock devices are credited as helping DUI offenders or alcoholics keep on the straight and narrow, while making the roadways a little safer. Even though this is an alternative sentencing however, a monthly rental fee is one of the added responsibilities drivers may face.

Fines

First-time DUI offenders may be sentenced to pay up to one thousand in fines in the state of California. The minimum fine however is $390 for first time defendants.

DUI School

The school is responsible for educating drivers about the dangers of intoxicated driving, and how to exercise responsible drinking – by calling a cab or arranging a designated driver for instance. The driver will need to submit a certificate of completion to the court.

A DUI sentence may include one or more penalties. It’s imperative to get in touch with an expert DUI attorney to learn about the best ways to defend the case.

There’s a lot of heat surrounding the topic of marijuana use. Is it illegal or legal in California, or what charges do individuals face if they’re caught in possession of this substance? In 2010, it was reported that California joined in on the states that decriminalized non-medical marijuana.

Just a few years prior to this, a bill was approved granting certain ill patients the right to use marijuana and hold it in their possession in specific allocations, and with a few other stipulations. These rules include that a valid prescription must be in effect, and also written by a medical doctor. As a result of these new rules, medical marijuana use is not considered a crime. Nevertheless, it’s still illegal to drive while under the influence of this substance.

That’s decriminalization in one sense.

gavel law booksThe other angle to look at this is that the simple possession of marijuana for less than one ounce is considered to be an infraction in the state of California. There’s still a fine of up to $100. Users however cannot be detained when caught with less than an ounce, if it isn’t concentrated. If you’ve been arrested, contact a marijuana possession lawyer right away.

How can it be decriminalized if the possessor still faces a fine? The answer lies in the fact that anything over one ounce of possession will yield misdemeanor or felony charges –depending on the circumstances of the case. This however may change in the near future as marijuana activisms aim to ban current laws regarding marijuana criminalization.

If you are facing criminal charges for Marijuana Possession in California, the criminal defense attorneys at MacGregor & Collins can help you.  Call us today at (949) 250-6097.

murderFelony Murder may oftentimes be used interchangeably with the term first degree murder because they carry the same sentencing: 25 years to life in prison. There are however major differences between the two.

So what exactly is felony murder?

It’s when someone commits certain felonies and somehow another person was killed – even if this was not intentional or by accident. First degree murder on the other hand is murder that was premeditated.

The exception to premeditated killing for first degree murder charges occurs when crimes such as arson, robbery, rape, kidnapping and other crimes resulted in the death of the victim.

A lower sentencing to this crime is felony second-degree murder, wherein a victim was killed during the course of a dangerous crime. The penalties include 15 years to life in prison.

How can you prove your innocence?

A murder case may be challenging to prove innocence, but with strategies that involve DNA evidence retesting, scene reconstruction, retracing the day’s leading up to the murder and more, a criminal defense lawyer is able to fight the challenging case and win.

MacGregor and Collins has over 30 years of criminal defense experience for murder cases in California. Call us today at 949-250-6097.

Petty theft is the act of stealing goods worth less than nine hundred and fifty dollars – in the state of California. There are different limits in other states. In addition, the value of the item isn’t exclusively covered under petty theft. As an example, if someone steals livestock, crop or firearms that don’t go over the $950 limit, it would be still as grand theft which carries much higher penalties.

The consequences for petty theft include up to six months in jail, a maximum of one thousand dollars in fines and an informal probation. Once again, these penalties only relate to the state of California.

More about petty theft:

Though petty theft under California Penal Code 484 is regarded as a misdemeanor, it can also be enhanced to a felony, if the defendant committed more than three acts of the following crimes:

  • Petty Theft – which is determined as stealing goods under $950
  • Grand Theft – is stealing goods worth more than $950 with a few exceptions
  • Burglary – the breaking and entering of a property with the intent to steal or commit a crime
  • Robbery – physically stealing someone’s belongings through force or feat
  • Receiving Stolen Property – knowingly buying, storing or selling goods that have been stolen
  • Auto Burglary – self explained

Committing one of the above crimes and also having a prior sex crime conviction also puts offenders at stake of felony charges.

The law offices at MacGregor and Collins have a proven track record of success in criminal defense should someone become accused of petty theft, shoplifting, grand theft or other related crime. Call us today at 949-250-6097.

 

Some of the most important Highway Safety Laws in California include:

Cell Phone Bans While Driving – This is an infraction and includes using handheld devices, texting and driving. School bus drivers are additionally prohibited from using cell phones while on duty.

Child Seats – or booster seats are required for children under eight. The highway safety laws also require that children less than eight years old sit in the back seat. Adult seat belts are however permitted for ages eight to fifteen, and anyone who fails to comply with this law faces fines of up to $490 as well as one point deducted from their driver’s license.

Drugged Driving – or DUI is strictly prohibited. Being under the influence of drugs carries the same fines as being intoxicated by alcohol.

DUI Checkpoints – are legal in California. The Governor’s Highway Association reveals that at least 2,500 are performed each year.

Motorcyclists Safety – all motorcyclists are required to wear a helmet when driving.  Segways are also permitted in this state.

Speed Limits – the speed limit for cars on rural roads are 70 MPH, while trucks are required to drive at no more than 55 miles per hour. In city roadways cars and trucks are required to drive at no more than 65 miles per hour.

Work Zone Fines – If a driver violates important highway safety laws in a work zone, he or she will face double fines.

Adult Driver’s Licenses – these are renewable every five years. The Graduate Driver Licensing for California or GDL is permitted at fifteen years of age for the learner stage. Intermediate stages are available for 16 year olds where no passengers are permitted in the vehicle, with the exception of family members.

If you or someone you know has been issued a traffic offense or a DUI, the DUI defense attorneys at MacGregor & Collins can help you. We will bring superior legal experience to aid you in this challenging time. Call us today at (949) 250-6097.

Source: Govenors Highway and Safety Association

Some of the top names making the DUI list for the first quarter of 2013 include:

Lindsey Lohan – where her past convictions for DUI have come back to haunt her as well as relentless new run-ins with the law. It has been reported that Lohan has violated her probation. The outcome of her case is keenly monitored in the news, where it has been deemed that she will not be serving jail time.

Hayley Hasselhoff is another name that is making the news at the start of the year. Though less recognized than her father David Hasselhoff, several news reports have established that the young twenty year old actress was indeed arrested for DUI. She claims otherwise. Is it in her blood or lineage? The records of her mother being charged with DUI on two occasions may support this.

Bobby Brown is much older than these young arrestees, however he’s still in the spotlight for having run-ins with DUI. He was first arrested in 1996, which was almost two decades ago. Fast forward to 2013, and Brown has been making headlines for driving under the influence as well as on a restricted license. He was scheduled to serve at least 55 days in jail, but ended up only spending just a few hours thanks to the crowded prison in the state. He will however still have to serve eighteen months in classes ordered by the court, as well as wear an ankle monitor for a period of time.

DUI is very popular in the state of California. There are dedicated DUI lawyers who focus solely on this offense, as well as an entire industry that fell into place for DUI court, DUI School, ankle monitoring, ignition interlock device and more. In a sense, DUI is a whole economy in its own – which drivers become a part of it they ever are found driving under the influence.

DUI can affect everyday folks in far reaching ways, including a price increase in insurance policies, having a criminal record in some cases. This further raises red flags for employment and credit scores. There’s hope however, with the help of a lawyer who can help to obtain the lowest possible sentencing for clients as well as expungement for past DUI convictions. Need help with a DUI case? If so, contact the expert lawyers at MacGregor and Collins at 949-250-6097.

Drunk drivingProbation is a common alternative to jail for DUI cases in California.

Failure to abide by the stipulations outlined in a probation may result in a sentence to jail or prison.

Examples of the Terms of a DUI Probation Include:

  • Complying with the laws of California, and not committing any other offenses during the time of a probation
  • Another prerequisite is that drivers must operate vehicles with 0% alcohol levels – at all times
  • A chemical test is mandatory at the time of any DUI arrest
  • Attending post-conviction hearings

Violation of a probation is also abbreviated as P.V.. If this is the case and you’re reading this article, contact an attorney now.

Other stipulations that may go alongside these probation terms include:

  • Paying fines due, which can be a maximum of one thousand dollars
  • Enrolling and completing the court-ordered DUI School term length
  • Abide by no-driving rules, due to license suspension for a specified period of time
  • Participating in community service and/or road work
  • Installing an ignition interlock device if driving is permitted
  • Compensating victim or victims for any injuries sustained as a result of the DUI

* These are sometimes dependent on the driver’s DUI record.

What To Do If You’re Arrested for DUI

The first step to take is consult a DUI attorney, who can fight for probation alternative sentences versus jail time. In addition, plea bargains can be pursued with the prosecution, wherein there’s a good chance of reducing a DUI charge to a crime that carries lower sentences. These include wet reckless driving, dry reckless driving, being drunk in public, traffic infractions and more.

If you or someone you know has been accused of DUI, call the criminal defense attorneys at MacGregor & Collins can help you. We will bring superior legal experience to aid you in this challenging time. Call us today at (949) 250-6097.

 

What happens when you don’t attend DUI School ordered by the court, or if you have no resources for paying the tuition? Find the answers to common questions relating to California DUI School below:

What Are The Consequences Of Non-Attendance?

The school’s director will usually alert the judge, where an arrest will be made for violating the terms of a DUI probation. In many of these cases, a jail or prison sentence is ordered instead of a subsequent run in DUI School.

Can I Obtain a Restricted License?

In some situations, an offender may be able to apply for a limited license that allows driving to and from DUI School alone.

Relocation and DUI School

If the accused plans on moving to another state, it’s best to notify the court and your lawyer – in order to arrange the best alternative for meeting the terms of a DUI probation. Failure to do so may result in prolonged license suspension and other fines.

How to Adhere to DUI School Orders

To avoid running into further trouble with the law, it’s imperative to furnish proof that you’ve completed your DUI education program. This can be sealed with a certificate of completion by the school enrolled. Check with your lawyer where this submission needs to go.

What If You’re Unable to Pay?

If the offender can prove that they’re unable to pay, the fee may be relinquished, but this depends on the circumstances of the case.

If you or someone you know has been accused of DUI, has violated a DUI probation, or has some other legal DUI issue, call the DUI defense attorneys at MacGregor & Collins can help you. We will bring superior legal experience to aid you in this challenging time. Call us today at (949) 250-6097.

 

Gavel Keys and Alcohol

One of the first things that come to mind when you’re arrested for DUI is the cost. Not only the monetary cost, but also the time that will be lost from work, school, going to court and more. Here’s a breakdown of the top costs of DUI in California:

Court Fees

The basic fee that will be paid for DUI is $390, but the maximum can be up to $1,000. Many offenders will be charged a fine or jail time – or both these penalties. In addition to this penalty, court fees are also added for processing the case.

DUI School

One of the most common penalties of DUI is the judge’s order to enroll in DUI School. This can cost offenders roughly six months to one year of weekly participation that’s reported to the court. This means spending time away from work, family, or higher education – plus the cost of tuition. DUI School can cost offenders up to $1,000.

Insurance

One can expect that an insurance premium will increase following a DUI. This is because these offenses are reported on the driver’s motor vehicle history. In addition to higher insurance costs, a DUI can also affect one’s credit score, which means paying higher interest rates on loans or lines of credit.

Alternative Sentencing

If a DUI offender is given alternate penalties such as the installation of an ignition interlock device, the driver will incur a fee of eighty dollars per month until the sentence is completed.

Reinstating Driver’s License

After a driver’s license has been suspended for a period of time, the fees will typically be $145 in the state of California for reinstating with the DMV.

Lawyer Fees

A lawyer’s fee should also be held in consideration, and this will vary based on what firm is being used. A DUI attorney can however fight to lower the costs and penalties of a drunk driving case. Call MacGregor and Collins at 949- 250-6927 to learn more.

 

Assualt and Battery LawsCalifornia’s penal code outlines the definitions, penalties and elements for assault and battery crimes – all of which are outlined in CPC 240 to 248.

Here are the main standards for prosecuting these cases:

 

  • The accused had the physical ability to commit a violent bodily injury

And

  • An attempt was made to do so by the offender

Not all assaults are batteries however, and the distinguishing factor is whether injury occurred. In this circumstance the fines are much greater. Penalty comparisons will be discussed below.

To paint a clearer picture, assault is basically making an attempt to injure someone, but no contact was made.  A battery on the other hand is when a victim sustains a physical injury. This could be a bruise, cut, abrasion, or a physical injury that is far more serious.

Penalties for Battery vs. Assault

A battery offense subjects those arrested to a maximum fine of $2,000, up to six months in prison, or both these sentences.

An assault subjects those arrested to a maximum fine of 1,000, up to six months in prison, or both these sentences.

Many cases of battery and assault occur between two parties alone. These are often domestic abuse cases, which are handled separately. If you or someone you know has been accused of an assault or battery, contact a criminal defense attorney immediately at (949) 250-6097. MacGregor and Collins will help to get the best outcome for your case.

Find more details about assault and battery laws in California here.

 

Criminal Defense Guides

Contact us now