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Visalia Criminal Defense Law Blog

Understanding the Controlled Substances Act (CSA)

For many years, the United States has been seeking ways to cut back on the use of addictive drugs. While there's no way to completely do this, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) goes a long way in helping everyone better understand what is legal and illegal in regard to drug use.

This federal drug policy has been in place since 1970 and is designed to regulate the manufacturing and distribution of all types of controlled substances. Furthermore, it categorizes drugs into five classifications.

  • Schedule 1: These are the most harmful substances with examples including LSD, heroin and ecstasy.
  • Schedule 2: Examples include morphine and cocaine.
  • Schedule 3: Examples include Vicodin and all forms of anabolic steroids.
  • Schedule 4: Examples include Valium, Xanax, and Ambien.
  • Schedule 5: Examples include cough suppressants and other drugs that have medical benefits.

Do these things to prevent drunk driving during the holidays

There is no better time of the year than the holiday season. From good times with friends and family to the incredible food and heartfelt gifts, there's always something to put a smile on your face.

Adding to this, many people enjoy having a few drinks during the holidays. While there's nothing wrong with this, it's a big mistake to drink and drive. Not only does this increase the risk of an accident, but it could land you in hot legal water.

A alleged drunk driver is arrested for causing 5 Visalia crashes

A spokesperson for the Visalia Police Department reports that a 72-year-old area resident apparently decided to drive around striking people with his car on Halloween night. He fled the crash scene each and every time. Once he was tracked down, police determined that he was likely drunk at the time he caused the collisions.

The first incident occurred just before 7 p.m. on Oct. 31. A concerned motorist reported having seen the driver of Chevrolet Silverado crash into a mailbox along the 1700 block of South Garden Street. The motorist apparently didn't get out of his truck to survey the damage, but instead, kept driving.

Tulare county deputies seize 150 pounds of marijuana

During the month of October, law enforcement agencies throughout Tulare County have stepped up their efforts to round up those accused of domestic violence. On Oct. 17 alone, officers from multiple agencies set out to canvass neighborhoods across the county. Law enforcement hoped to serve 291 warrants for arrest that day. By the end of the day, they'd arrested 18 individuals.

A Tulare County Sheriff's Department spokesperson noted 12 of those arrested during this 16th National Family Violence Apprehension Detail were wanted on domestic violence charges. Three were wanted on either drug or drunk driving charges. At least two of those arrested on domestic violence charges were women.

2 more are apprehended for a Fresno school administrator's death

So far, three individuals have been taken into police custody for their roles related to the Sept. 16 hit-and-run death of a well-respected elementary school administrator who worked for the Clovis Unified School District. Investigators with the California Highway Patrol say the man was struck and killed while taking a jog near Fraint Road in Fresno that day.

Highway patrol officers took the 18-year-old male believed to have caused the crash into custody soon after the incident occurred. He's since been charged with manslaughter and felony hit-and-run offenses.

Underage driving under the influence in California

Driving under the influence is one of the most dangerous things a person can do in California. It becomes even more dangerous when the driver is underage. Not only are they inexperienced, but they are also under the influence of alcohol when they are legally not allowed to drink. The letter of the law in California is that the state has a zero tolerance policy for underage drivers who have had an alcoholic beverage.

The zero tolerance law in California makes it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drive impaired. If the driver has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .01, he or she will face a license suspension of one year. A violation of this law is not an actual crime. It only leads to a license suspension by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

What is a drug-induced homicide?

Law enforcement authorities are getting desperate in response to the opioid crisis. As a result, many addicts who have done little more than share their drugs with a relative or friend are ending up facing charges from manslaughter to first-degree murder.

These charges are coming up all over the nation under little-known drug-induced homicide laws. Many of these laws were already on the books, but seldom (if ever) enforced. Others charges are being pressed under new interpretations of laws that were designed to target actual drug dealers and kingpins -- not addicts who simply share their drugs or sell to friends.

A Visalia foster mom is arrested, charged with child abuse

A 29-year-old woman was arrested and charged with child abuse on Aug. 17 by the Visalia Police Department. She'd been the foster mother to the 18-month-old victim and several other children at the time of her arrest.

Police had originally been called to the Visalia home that the woman shared with her male companion on Sunday, Aug. 12. The caller had told dispatchers that a child at the home was unresponsive. The child was first rushed to the Kaweah Delta Medical Center before eventually being transported to Valley Children's Hospital for more dedicated care.

You're stopped for suspicion of DUI, now what?

You never want to find yourself pulled over to the side of the road by a police officer. This is even more so the case if you have alcohol in your system.

If you're stopped for suspicion of DUI, you need to follow a few key pointers:

  • Provide the requested documentation. The officer will start by asking for your license, registration and insurance card. It's nice to have this readily available, so you don't have to search long and hard to find it.
  • Be courteous and respectful. There's nothing wrong with this behavior, as long as you stop short of admitting you did something wrong.
  • Don't give the officer reason to dive deeper. For example, if you say you only had one drink with dinner, it gives the officer reason to believe you may be under the influence.
  • You can refuse to partake in field sobriety tests. Unless you are 100 percent confident that you're sober, you can decline.
  • Think before taking a chemical test. If you decline to do so, it can result in an automatic license suspension. However, if there are no test results during your court case, it's more difficult to prove that you were in the wrong.

Important things to know about ignition interlock devices

If you are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, it's possible you could be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle.

This device is installed to prevent you from operating your vehicle if there is any alcohol in your system.

Contact The Law Offices of Derek P. Wisehart

Law Offices of Derek P. Wisehart
2330 W. Main St.
Visalia, CA 93291

Toll Free: 800-742-6392
Phone: 559-429-5630
Fax: 559-636-9476
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