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Visalia Criminal Defense Law Blog

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.

It's possible to defend yourself if you're accused of a DUI

Breathalyzers aren't 100 percent accurate, so there is a possibility that you can question the results if you've been accused of drunk driving. Breath tests have to be calibrated correctly and given by trained professionals. In addition to this, those giving a breath sample could receive a false positive if they burp or recently had a drink of alcohol that is still present in the mouth's tissues.

Breath tests are a good indicator of whether or not someone has been drinking, but they're not the solid proof they're presented as. Breath tests have the potential to be inaccurate. For instance, a breath test might read .07 percent on the person's first blow but .4 on the second. If the test is off by more than .02 percent when given consecutively, then there is a problem with its calibration and it's likely to be poor evidence that may not be used in court.

Don't make one of these 4 DUI checkpoint mistakes

The more time you spend on the road, the greater chance there is that you will eventually drive directly into a DUI checkpoint. This is particularly true if you drive a lot during the evening and nighttime hours.

This can be a scary situation, especially if you have recently consumed one or more alcoholic beverage.

Man receives alternative penalties when facing drug charges

When people are caught dealing drugs or using them, the best thing for them isn't always to be sent to prison. In reality, those using drugs often need substance abuse counseling and assistance to get their lives back on track.

This is nothing to be ashamed of; people often make mistakes, and this is just one more than can be corrected with the right help.

White collar crimes: The penalty can be severe

In regards to the penalty, a white collar crime can be every bit as serious as one that entails physical violence or drugs.

A white collar crime charge can take a toll on your life, as this typically begins with many months or years of investigation.

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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