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Long Term Consequences of a DUI Conviction

In 2007, there were over 200,000 cases of driving under the influence in the state of California. That same year, nearly 1,500 people died in alcohol-related car accidents. Due to this unreasonably high number, the Department of Motor Vehicles took action in 2011 to immediately suspend the driver’s license of anyone suspected of driving under the influence. The license is then sent to the DMV where it waits until the suspension is lifted or the charges are dropped. If you have had a driver’s license suspended because of a DUI conviction, speak with a Sacramento DUI defense lawyer immediately.

When an individual is found to be driving under the influence, there are many other consequences that go beyond the immediate suspension of a license. Some of these consequences are not only inconvenient and costly, but can follow that individual for years and possibly the rest of their life.

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What You Should Do if Pulled Over for DUI

We’ve all done it before – got into the car without being 100% sure our BAC was under .08. The difference this time is that you’ve been pulled over!

You are confident in your driving abilities and that you are under the legal limit, but there is still that question in the back of your mind asking if you are going to be OK.

A lot of people don’t know, but you can be charged with DUI even if your BAC is under .08!

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Terrorist & Criminal Threats

California Penal Code section 422 prohibits the threatening of another person with immediate bodily harm. The threat must be so immediate and so unequivocal that the person receiving the threat is in sustained fear for their safety. The offense is punishable for up to 3 years. Most importantly, this charge is classified as a strike offense and may have severe consequences attached.

In order for someone to be convicted of terrorist threats the prosecution has to prove several elements beyond a reasonable doubt. These elements are laid out in the in the California criminal jury instructions.

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Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence is a general term for an assault and battery that occurs against a current or former spouse, a present spouse of a former spouse, persons in a dating relationship, roommates, parents, a foster parent, a child, or a person otherwise related by blood or marriage.

PENAL CODE SECTION 13700(a) states, “Abuse” means intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury, or placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to himself or herself, or another. (b) “Domestic violence” means abuse committed against an adult or a minor who is a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or person with whom the suspect has had a child or is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship.

Domestic Violence allegations can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. Usually this is determined by the severity of the crime.

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As a parent, you’re entitled to discipline your child as you deem necessary at least to a certain extent. According to California Penal Code 273, child abuse is considered a domestic violence crime and is subject to severe penalties. Such a conviction can not only destroy your reputation, family and career, but can ultimately destroy your life and freedom. It’s not too uncommon for individuals to be falsely accused of child abuse, especially when there are many factors and parties involved. That’s why it’s crucial if you, or someone you know has been falsely accused of child abuse, contacts a criminal defense lawyer in Sacramento to fight for your freedom.

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White Collar Crimes Defense

“While collar” is generally used to describe any nonviolent crime involving dishonesty or fraud for monetary gain. Common examples of white collar crime are:

Bribery (extortion)
Antitrust violations
Credit card fraud
Internet fraud
Insider trading
Environmental law violations
Credit card fraud
Bankruptcy fraud
Mail fraud
Money laundering
Computer hacking
Economic espionage
Insurance fraud

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Three Strikes Cases, Post Conviction & Appeals

California’s Three Strike law is designed to punish those that have prior convictions for violent or serious offense and continue to commit felonies. Under the Three Strikes law, a person who commits a new serious or violent felony offense and has suffered two prior strike (violent or serious offenses) convictions faces a sentence of 25 years to life. That means, a person would have to be convicted (either by plea or jury verdict) before committing a new felony.

Prior to the passage of Proposition 36 changing the three strikes law in November 2012, the last felony did not have to be a violent or serious offense to trigger the life sentence. Currently, in order to receive a 25 years to life sentence, a person with two or more prior strike convictions would have to be convicted of a new strike offense. The new law allowed for a reduction in sentence for many serving a life term of imprisonment. It should be noted that a prior juvenile adjudication may qualify as a strike under the law in certain cases.

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Commercial DUI Charges

The laws regarding driving under the influence of alcohol are particularly strict for commercial drivers in the state of California. Such actions are not taken lightly and it’s important you consult a Sacramento California criminal attorney for any legal advice if you’re facing commercial DUI charges.

For the average driver, the legal limit of blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08. For commercial drivers, this limit is lowered to .04 when driving their commercial vehicle. If an individual holds a commercial driver’s license, a conviction of any form of DUI (including when driving a noncommercial vehicle) can result in the suspension of their commercial driver’s license for over a year.

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DUI & Vehicular Manslaughter

What possible consequences does a person who drives drunk and kills someone face in California? It really depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. While the best bet is to speak with an experienced Sacramento DUI attorney, here are some possible consequences.

This is covered in vehicle code sections 23153(a) and 23153(b). These are the basic DUI with injury sections. Even a minor injury may qualify someone for punishment under this section. If the injury is more than a minor or moderate, the additional enhancement of “Great Bodily Injury” may be charged. This enhancement may also be charged in fatality cases. The “Great Bodily Injury” enhancement adds three additional years on top of the maximum punishment prescribed for Felony DUI.

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If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, contact Sacramento criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Wing & Parisi for free consultation.