Kosnett Law Firm

Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Why you should think twice before designating a driver

If you are like many other Americans, you may enjoy going out for a few drinks with friends or a night out on the town. As a way to prevent people from drinking and driving after an evening of fun, some designate a driver to avoid drinking during the night. This sober driver can then ensure everyone gets home safely without having to get behind the wheel after drinking. The problem lies in the fact that your designated driver may not be as sober as you think.

According to an article in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, as much as 40% of designated drivers consumed alcohol before driving their friends home. Approximately 18% of those drivers had a blood alcohol content level of 0.05% or higher. Although the legal limit is 0.08%, people who have a BAC level reading of as little 0.02% show impairment that could affect their ability to drive.

Understanding California’s ignition interlock device laws

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your California drunk driving charge, you may need to install a device known as an ignition interlock on your vehicle for a set period after getting your driver’s license back. At Kosnett Law Firm, we are well-versed in the types of situations that warrant the installation of ignition interlock devices, and we have helped many clients navigate this and other hurdles relating to driving under the influence of alcohol.

According to Occupational Health & Safety, you can anticipate having to install an ignition interlock device, which tests your level of intoxication before allowing you to drive, if your situation meets one of two specific circumstances. If you are a repeat-DUI offender, you can plan on having to finance and install this device, and you can also plan on doing so if you are a first-time offender, but you injured someone while driving under the influence.

What’s the best legal defense for an assault charge?

If you're charged with assault, it doesn't necessarily mean it will result in a conviction. With the right defense strategy, you're able to protect your legal rights in California, and avoid a conviction and the consequences associated with it.

There are several common assault defenses, with these often considered above the rest:

  • Self-defense: This is the most commonly employed defense strategy in an assault and battery case. To successfully use this defense, it's critical to prove that there was a threat of force or harm against you, such as the other individual threatening you with a weapon.
  • Defense of someone else: This is similar to self-defense in many ways, with the primary difference being that you're defending another person instead of yourself. For example, if a person attacks your spouse or children, you have reasonable grounds for defending them.
  • Consent: It's not as common as other defense strategies, but consent is something to consider. This is used if an individual has voluntarily agreed to a specific act of violence. However, in the event that the behavior exceeds the permission given by the individual, this defense may not be best.
  • Defense of property: This comes into play if you were defending property that was illegally invaded or withheld. For example, if a person or group of people attacks you in an attempt to steal your car or jewelry, you have the legal right to defend yourself.

Be aware of sobriety checkpoints over Memorial Day weekend

At the Kosnett Law Firm, we are about celebrating good times with your family and friends. We also know that mishaps can occur on certain holidays and times of the year, especially when alcohol is involved. As such, we want you and other California residents to enjoy the upcoming summer holidays without worrying about DUI charges and the related complications.

You may already have your Memorial Day plans in place. Perhaps you are looking forward to a picnic with your best friends to remember those who served our country, as well as to celebrate a few months away from school. You may also have plans to visit a bar or two. There is nothing wrong with including alcohol in your festivities, but you should realize that law enforcement is also aware that Memorial Day is a prime time for drinking and driving.

How to get a job after jail

People who are arrested for and eventually convicted of criminal offenses know that their futures will likely be impacted by the experience. However, they also deserve to believe that they can successfully move beyond their criminal past and rebuild their lives. Integral to doing this is getting a job so they can support themselves and their families. People who have spent time in jail or even in prison should not automatically assume they have no hope of doing this as it is very possible to find employment even with a criminal background.

According to PrisonFellowship.org, the United States Department of Labor indicates that more than nine out of every 10 employers will consider hiring a candidate who has previously been convicted of a crime.

Costs and long-term consequences of a DUI

If you get a DUI in California, you have more to worry about than just potential jail time and high fees. There are numerous other costs associated with driving after drinking, and the consequences can affect many areas of your life for years following a conviction.

Money Crashers discusses all of the financial consequences that a DUI brings. After an arrest, you may hire an attorney which is usually a good idea because of the significance a conviction has. While this costs money, it can be worth it in the long run.

Understand your entire case before negotiating with police

Generally, you should not speak to California or federal employees without a thorough understanding of the law. Talking to police officers, in particular, is often one of the best things you can do for the prosecution in your criminal defense case.

There is a reason that the Miranda Rights specify that anything you say or do could be used as evidence against you. At Kosnett Law Firm, we have seen many cases damaged considerably by seemingly innocent statements by the defendant.

College students with DUI charges could face twice the penalties

For better or worse, alcohol has become an intrinsic part of most colleges cultures. Alcohol is common at college parties and seems to be omnipresent in certain aspects of college life, such as sorority and fraternity gatherings. Unfortunately, the prevalence of alcohol and the pressure to imbibe can result in serious consequences for some students.

College students under the age of 21 who get caught drinking or get arrested while impaired could face charges related to being a minor in possession of alcohol. Those charges can haunt someone for many years. It can affect your professional life, including your ability to get a job in your field of study.

Am I eligible for a California hardship license?

A conviction resulting from a DUI can heavily burden your life. Without your driving privileges, getting to work can be a challenge, not to mention the problems you face with transporting your kids to school if you are a parent. The good news is that California law does provide for a hardship license for people who qualify. To receive the limited driving privileges offered by a hardship license, California law supplies a number of criteria that one must meet. 

Per FindLaw, California may grant you a hardship license if the DUI you were convicted of was your only offense in the last ten years. This applies to any offense related to a DUI. You also must have been at least 21 years old at the time you were arrested. Younger applicants will not be considered eligible. Breathalyzer results are also a factor. If you were driving a noncommercial vehicle, your BAC level must be 0.08 percent or higher. However, the BAC level must be 0.04 percent or higher if you happened to be driving a commercial vehicle.

Helping your teen deal with DUI charges

Parents have to help their children through many challenges, and this is especially true during their teenage years. Teens face a lot of pressure, whether they are dealing with hurdles in school, peer pressure or problems with friends and family members. All of these factors can contribute to underage drinking, and some decide to get behind the wheel with alcohol in their system. To make things more complicated, teens may face drunk driving charges with a very small amount of alcohol in their system as a result of zero tolerance laws, which we recently looked into on this blog.

As a parent, you may be angry or feel let down when you find out that your teen was charged with DUI. However, you should try to be understanding and help them protect their future since these charges can affect them down the road as well. It is important to uncover any details that could impact their drunk driving case and be fully aware of the legal options they may have. Every DUI case is different and there may be a number of avenues to explore when it comes to helping your teen defend themselves.

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