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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Legislation Tackles BAC and IID Rules

drunk driving
Driving under the influence is an offense that can result in severe penalties for those convicted. California is no exception. In the Golden State, it is against the law to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more. An individual can also receive a citation for driving under the influence of any amount of drugs.

Each case is different depending on the circumstances of the offense. Some DUI cases are more severe than others. The penalty for a first DUI may result in up to 6 months in jail, $390 to $1,000 fine, six months license suspension, and an ignition interlock device (IID) requirement of up to 6 months or 12-month. Second and third offenses carry even stricter penalties, naturally.

Repeat offenders can face up to a year in jail, a significantly heftier fine, longer suspensions, and lengthier IID requirements. It is simple to see that getting behind the wheel under the influence is not worth it, but people will continue to think they can avoid apprehension.

California IID and BAC Limit Laws

Existing law requires a person to install an IID following a criminal conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol with a prior DUI conviction or if the incident involved an injury. Legislation introduced recently would change the mandate on IIDs. Senate Bill 545 would “require, instead of authorize, the court, upon the first criminal conviction of a person for driving under the influence, to order the person to install and maintain an IID for a specified period of time. The bill would delete those provisions authorizing a restricted license in lieu of an IID for first offenders.”

“A thousand people are killed every year from drunk drivers and 20,000 are injured. We want to reduce those numbers and this will do it,” said California Sen. Jerry Hill.

Hill introduced the Matthew Klozbach Mandatory Ignition Interlock for DUI Offender Act of 2019, according to KPIX. Matthew is the son of Mothers Against Drunk Driving activist Mary Klozbach; he died in 2001 when a drunk driver struck the family vehicle.

Another bill up for consideration is Senate Bill 1713, KPIX reports. SB-1713, if passed, would change the legal drunk driving limit to .05, down from the current .08. The legislation’s passing would mean California would join Utah in having the strictest BAC rule. We will continue to follow the progress of both SB-545 and SB-1713.

California DUI Attorney

Please contact The Law Office of Ronald G. Brower if you or a loved one is charged with a DUI. Attorney Brower has significant experience in this field of law. He can advocate for you and help secure the most favorable outcome for your case.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Mandatory Attorney Re-Fingerprinting Reveals Criminal Records

Re-fingerprinting California Attorneys
Members of the California State Bar, Foreign Legal Consultants, and Registered In-House Counsel had until February 1, 2019, to be re-fingerprinted. Some of our readers may remember a post we wrote on this subject last summer. Those who did not meet the deadline were subject to fines.

Now that the deadline is long since passed, some people may be wondering what the mandate uncovered. Well, it turns out that lawyers are above neither the law nor breaking the law. The fingerprinting rule, among other things, is meant to protect the public from attorney misconduct.

When the database of attorney fingerprints was reviewed, some 2,200 practicing attorneys were found to have criminal records, according to California Globe. The California Bar Association’s mandatory re-fingerprinting revealed 20 unreported felonies.


Why Re-Fingerprint California Attorneys?

A 1989 law required the Cal. Bar Association to ensure the retention of attorney fingerprints, the article reports. That way, if an attorney is arrested and convicted of a crime, the Bar would know. Such discoveries would influence whether a lawyer keeps or loses their license.

When it was discovered that the Cal. Bar Association was doing a poor job policing its members, lawmakers took action. Sen. Hannah Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) authored Senate Bill 36 to add reforms to the State Bar through the separation of the Sections of the State Bar of California.

The number of attorneys with criminal convictions is expected to grow, according to the article. However, the Bar Association only has an interest in more serious criminal convictions.

“The bar recently reported that roughly two-thirds of the state’s 189,641 active lawyers had been fingerprinted as required, while 64,170 attorneys had not yet come into compliance,” Above the Law reports

Southern California Criminal Defense Attorney

Attorney Ronal Brower specializes in several areas of criminal defense, and he can help you or a loved one overcome the most difficult legal problems. With decades of experience, he is well suited to advocate for tour family effectively. Please contact The Law Office of Ronald G. Brower to learn more.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

AB-392 Peace Officers: Deadly Force

deadly force in California
Last year, two police officers in Sacramento fatally shot Stephon Clark, 22. Mr. Clark was unarmed; it is an all too familiar scenario in this day and age. Unarmed people of color losing their lives to use of force is a regular occurrence.

People who follow deadly use of force cases know that police officers often escape punishment with little to no repercussions. Several lawmakers and civil rights activists would like to seek legislative changes to prevent future incidents. If the penalties are stricter, law enforcement officials are more likely to exercise greater caution when using force.

In February, we wrote about the subject of deadly force in California. We discussed California Assembly Bill 931, a shelved bill that would have changed the law as to when police officers could resort to lethal force. In the months since, lawmakers have been busy contemplating legislation that voters can get behind.

Currently, a homicide by an officer is justifiable if a felon is fleeing or resisting arrest, according to U.S. News & World Report. AB-392 Peace officers: deadly force would change the deadly force rules for law enforcement.

Use of Deadly Force by Police

There are instances when deadly force is justifiable. However, unarmed black and Latino men face deadly force unjustifiably, far too often. AB-392 would alter the circumstances under which a homicide by a peace officer is considered justifiable. Such as:

“when the killing is in self-defense or the defense of another, consistent with the existing legal standard for self-defense, or when the killing is necessary to prevent the escape of a fleeing felon whose immediate apprehension is necessary to prevent death or serious injury. The bill would additionally bar the use of this defense if the peace officer acted in a criminally negligent manner that caused the death, including if the officer’s criminally negligent actions created the necessity for the use of deadly force.” 

AB-392, like AB-931 before it, is receiving significant pushback from law enforcement associations, the article reports. Timothy Davis, president of the Sacramento Police Officers Association, believes the proposed legislation would create an “unobtainable standard” for when deadly force is justifiable.

This is a developing story.


Orange County Criminal Defense

Attorney Ronald G. Brower can advocate for you or a family member who is facing criminal charges. For more than 30 years, The Law Office Ronald G. Brower has help defendants achieve favorable outcomes for unfortunate situations. Please contact our office today to learn more about how we can help.

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Thursday, April 4, 2019

Gavin's Law Would Increase Hit-and-Run Penalties

Vehicular Manslaughter in California
Vehicular homicide is a crime involving the death of a person other than the driver as a result of either criminally negligent or murderous operation of a motor vehicle, according to The Journal of Legal Studies. When the former is the case, i.e., criminal negligence, unintentional vehicular manslaughter is usually the charge.

Last month, the family of Gavin Gladding went to the state capital to promote a law that increases the penalties for hit-and-run drivers, The Fresno Bee reports. AB-592 or "Gavin's Law" was pitched to the Assembly Public Safety Committee.

Many cases of vehicular manslaughter involve someone driving under the influence. Sometimes people who commit this type of crime leave the scene. It could be several days before the authorities catch up with the suspect. Proving that an individual was under the influence at the time of the incident is difficult.

A DUI that leads to death usually carries a stiffer penalty when compared to negligent driving with the same outcome. As such, people will attempt to flee from the accident before the police arrive. Gavin’s Law aims to end that loophole in the law.


AB-592: Gavin’s Law

Last September, Gavin Gladding was on his morning run when he was struck and killed by a vehicle, the article reports. Rather than stop to help the Clovis Unified School District vice principal, the driver Rogelio Alvarez Maravilla drove off with his girlfriend. They were on their way home from a party when the incident occurred.

Current state law carries a punishment of up to four years in prison for a hit-and-run that results in severe injury or death. If passed, Gavin’s Law increases the sentence to six years in prison when this type of crime leads to severe or permanent physical harm. If a hit-and-run causes death, a penalty of up to eight years is possible.

“What we are asking (legislators) to do is to end this perverse incentive that actually makes it a little bit easier, and you serve a little less time if you leave instead of if you stay,” said Assemblyman Jim Patterson. “We want that to stop. We think this bill does it.”


California Vehicular Manslaughter Attorney

Please contact The Law Office of Ronald G. Brower if you are facing charges relating to a DUI accident that resulted in death. Attorney Brower fully understands the complexity of the law and has significant experience in the field.

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