DUI defense may have gotten a bit easier―at least that’s what some California DUI defense attorneys are saying. According to KPIX 5, criminal defense attorneys have begun challenging the science behind blood alcohol results, and have actually made some headway with juries by creating reasonable doubt. Basically, DUI defense attorneys want county labs that test blood alcohol levels to be certified under international standard, which most are not at this time, leaving the door open for reasonable doubt when a DUI case is based on a BAC reading. To battle this relatively new challenge, many California forensic labs plan to gain international certification by the end of 2013. (more…)
Fewer drug offenders may face long prison terms and be sentenced to drug treatment and community service in order to stem the explosive growth of federal prison populations. Consequently, mandatory minimum sentences for low-level, nonviolent drug offenders could become a thing of the past, according to a recent news story. Currently, California prisons are under a court order to diminish the number of inmates by some 10,000 prisoners this year to deal with the state’s highly overcrowded prisons.
A hotly debated topic by both criminal justice experts and criminal defense attorneys , reduction of mandatory minimum sentences could eliminate the need for the financial support of some 219,000 inmates who are currently serving time for drug-related crimes. The new policy, backed by Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr, would eliminate mandatory sentencing of convictions involving “low-level, nonviolent drug offenders who have no ties to large-scale organizations, gangs or cartels.” Instead, such low-level criminal offenders will be charged with offenses more suited to their individual conduct.
When we hear about some of the outrageous things people do just before being charged with driving under the influence (DUI), we often wonder “What were you thinking?” Take, for example, Sunday”s arrest of a 21-year-old San Clemente man who sealed his fate of being arrested for DUI (among a slew of other offenses) when he, reportedly, intentionally crashed into two police cars after leading patrolmen on a chase along southbound, Interstate 5 in Carlsbad. First approached by officers for driving recklessly, the man refused to pull over, forcing police to pursue him until he purposely slammed his car into two police cruisers in the 600 block of La Costa Avenue. Arrested and booked on two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, felony vehicle evasion, possession of drugs and driving under the influence, the driver managed to turn a simple DUI into multiple criminal charges. Fortunately, no one, including the DUI suspect, was injured during the event.
Protecting our 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure, the US Supreme Court correctly ruled that police cannot bring drug-sniffing police dogs onto a suspect”s property to look for evidence without first getting a warrant for a search. The high court put a leash on how investigators use dogs” sensitive noses to search out drugs, explosives and other items hidden from human sight, sound and smell.
On the morning of Dec. 5, 2006, Miami-Dade police detectives and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents set up surveillance outside a house south of the city after getting an anonymous tip that it might contain a marijuana growing operation.