Articles Posted in Drunk Driving Accidents

Alvin Ray Shaw, Jr. of Hawthorne was convicted of 2nd degree murder, felony DUI, and driving on a suspended license by a jury in Long Beach Court on Wednesday a result of a fatal car accident he caused on August 1, 2015. Prosecutors successfully argued Shaw, while intoxicated, drove his vehicle into oncoming traffic on the Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach causing a car accident resulting in the death of a 30 year old San Pedro man and seriously injuring a 21 year old man. Shaw faces life in prison when he returns to court on March 8th.

Murder charges arising out of a DUI accident

Most people view murder as a crime involving the intent to harm the deceased person. However, Shaw’s case serves as a prime example of how a person can be charged and convicted of murder in the absence of intent to harm. In 1981, the California Supreme Court ruled in the People v. Watson that prosecutors could file murder charges against defendants in certain felony DUI cases involving fatalities. More specifically, what has become known as a “Watson Murder” could be charged in fatal DUI accidents when the defendant has been previously advised of the dangers of driving under the influence. Shaw received this very notice due to his prior DUI conviction, which involved both receiving a “Watson Warning” from the judge during his sentencing and during the course of the mandatory DUI education program he was previously ordered to complete. Under the theory of implied malice, prosecutors convinced jurors to convict Shaw on the count of 2nd degree murder based on the fact Shaw should have reasonably known through his prior DUI conviction and sentence that serious injury or death could result from drunk driving.

A man faces DUI charges in Los Angeles after crashing into a parked police car. According to a news report in The Sacramento Bee, the alleged DUI crash occurred in the San Fernando Valley community of Reseda. Officials say they were arresting one DUI suspect when the driver of another vehicle rear-ended their parked squad car. The driver of the second vehicle was also arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.

First-time DUI offenders in Los Angeles are likely to face a number of serious consequences. Drivers are typically placed on informal probation for three to five years. During this time, he or she shall not drive with any amount of alcohol in their blood. Drivers will also have to pay fines that add up to approximately $1,400. Offenders even have to attend DUI school for three, six, or nine months. A first-time DUI conviction can even result in a jail sentence and a restricted driver’s license.
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A 21-year-old Santa Monica woman faces DUI (driving under the influence) charges after being involved in a fatal Los Angeles car accident. According to a news report in the Los Angeles Times, the alleged DUI accident occurred on the 10 Freeway near Crenshaw Boulevard in Los Angeles. Officials say the Audi the woman was driving was traveling at a high rate of speed when it rear-ended a freight truck. A Scion then struck the Audi and the two women in the Audi were trapped. The 20-year-old passenger in the Audi was killed and the 21-year-old driver was arrested on suspicion of felony driving under the influence.

Under California law, driving under the influence is typically a misdemeanor offense. There are cases, however, in which a DUI incident can result in felony charges. Drivers who are responsible for causing serious injury or death to another will likely face felony charges. Drivers who have previously been arrested for three or more misdemeanor DUIs or who have a prior felony DUI conviction will face felony charges as well.
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Eric Wright, defensive player for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was arrested in Los Angeles for allegedly driving under the influence. According to an ESPN news report, the arrest resulted from a car accident that occurred several blocks away from the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. Officials say the Mercedes SLS that Wright was driving rear-ended a pickup truck. He allegedly told the officers that he had been drinking at a friend’s house. After refusing to take sobriety tests, he was booked on suspicion of California felony DUI.

Under California law, there is an implied consent rule. This means that if you are lawfully arrested for a DUI, you are deemed to have given consent to a chemical testing of the amount of alcohol in your system. You do not, however, have to submit to a breath test until you have been arrested. Once taken to the station, you must consent to the blood, breath, or urine test requested by the authorities under the law. A failure to do so could result in additional charges.

If your BAC is determined to be .08 percent or higher, you will face DUI charges. A first time offender faces penalties including probation, fines totaling up to $2,000, driver’s license suspension, and mandatory alcohol education programs. Under some circumstances, a first-time offender may even face jail time. A skilled criminal defense attorney will know how to fight the charges and how to negotiate for lesser penalties.

A 38-year-old Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department deputy has been charged with driving under the influence after crashing his motorcycle on the freeway. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the DUI incident occurred on the 405 freeway near Brookhurst Street in Fountain Valley. The news report states that the off-duty deputy was riding his motorcycle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 percent – nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent. He suffered hip injuries and his wife was hospitalized with a knee injury, as well as abrasions to her arms and hand. He now faces up to three years in state prison for causing injury while driving under the influence.

California penalties for driving under the influence are increased when the driver causes injury or death. According to California Vehicle Code Section 23153: “It is unlawful for any person, while under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver.”

In addition to facing lengthy license suspensions, fines, and possible jail time, individuals charged with driving under the influence also run the risk of losing their job and jeopardizing their career. The skilled Orange County DUI defense attorneys at Sitkoff & Hanrahan help protect the rights of those accused of driving under the influence. If you or a loved one is facing DUI charges in Orange County, please call our offices at (866) 430-8383 to schedule your free consultation.

If you have been charged with driving under the influence resulting in an injury accident in California, you probably have a number of questions. Will I face additional California DUI penalties? Who will have to pay for the injured party’s medical bills? Will I face civil penalties in addition to the criminal charges? Every case is different and it may be in your best interest to seek legal guidance regarding the specifics of your case.

In general, there are potential additional criminal charges when a drunk driving incident results in injuries. Injured victims of drunk drivers have the legal right to pursue compensation for their losses through civil litigation. This means that individuals arrested for driving drunk in California, in addition to criminal charges, may also be held financially responsible for the medical bills and other losses suffered by the alleged victim.

The good news is that most insurance policies cover the damages caused in a crash. There are some policies, however, that exclude covering damages suffered when the policyholder is under the influence of alcohol. Therefore, it is imperative that all California motorists have an understanding of the specifics of their policy. Even if you do not have to pay for the medical bills related to the accident, you will more than likely see a substantial increase in your insurance premiums. Many convicted DUI offenders must purchase high-risk drivers auto insurance, which can be very expensive.

A 56-year-old man has been charged with driving under the influence after being involved in an Orange County car crash. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the suspected drunk driving accident in Irvine occurred at John Wayne Airport. Police say that the man drove over a curb, through a fence and crashed into a private plane. No one was hurt in the accident but the plane began to leak fuel following the collision. The driver was arrested for DUI.

It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs in California. According to California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a): “It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.”

Drivers convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in southern California face a myriad of potential penalties. Consequences for a first time DUI conviction include a four-month license suspension, jail time of up to six months, heavy fines and the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device. The costs of DUI including attorneys’ fees, court costs and fines can add up very quickly as well.

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