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Santa Cruz DUI defense attorney

No matter if you are a first time or repeat offender, getting charged with a DUI will have a huge impact on your life. How much it will affect you depends on the circumstances surrounding your arrest, such as who was in the car, any prior convictions, and whether any others were injured or killed as a result of driving while intoxicated. Even in cases without circumstances that would increase the charges, a DUI can lead to a license suspension, jail time (often, though not always, served in an “alternative to custody” program), and fines. 

When an officer pulls you over, they may have a suspicion that you were driving while intoxicated. However, even if you are pulled over for another traffic offense, such as speeding, you can still be arrested for DUI if the officer has probable cause to make an arrest that you are under the influence. An officer may determine probable cause by talking with you, observing you, conducting field sobriety tests, and/or administering a portable breath test. 


Police say that a man in his 70s crashed into a house Tuesday afternoon-the house reportedly is slated for demolition. Movers reportedly were at the house, removing items from the garage in preparation for the demolition project. Authorities say that the man who lost control of his vehicle struck one of the movers before crashing into the Palo Alto residence.

Police investigating the Tuesday afternoon car accident identified the driver of the sport utility vehicle involved in the wreck as a 73-year-old Palo Alto, California resident. During the accident investigation, police apparently suspected that alcohol may have been a factor in the incident. Ultimately, police arrested the Palo Alto driver on suspicion of felony driving under the influence.

Police say that the driver was not injured in the crash. However, a mover working at the site reported suffered moderate injuries, including a possible broken ankle, according to the Daily News.


The California Highway Patrol believes that a 20-year-old Watsonville, California man was driving under the influence when police say he crashed his car into a Lakeview Road home Sunday. Authorities seek felony DUI charges against the man. The CHP says that a woman inside the Watsonville home suffered major injuries when a Ford Fusion crashed into the residence. The woman reportedly was trapped by a dresser in the home and the car that slammed into the home.

Emergency responders extricated the woman from the wreck and flown to a trauma center in Santa Clara County. Authorities say that the woman suffered major injuries.

Police say that the 20-year-old driver accused of slamming into the home had a blood alcohol reading above the California legal limit. The CHP says that the man measured around twice the legal limit, although details about the chemical test and the actual alleged blood alcohol level were not reported in a recent Santa Cruz Sentinel report.


The California Highway Patrol says that the former actress was riding as a passenger in an Audi that ran into the rear-end of a tractor trailer on the freeway around 1:30 Tuesday morning. The passenger, Sammi Kane Kraft, was pronounced dead at the hospital after the wreck.

The California Highway Patrol believes that the woman driving the Audi was speeding when her Audi crashed into the big rig. Authorities believe that the truck driver, who sustained minor injuries, was traveling at the posted speed limit when the accident occurred.

The young woman accused of being behind the wheel of the Audi was taken to California Hospital Medical Center with moderate injuries. After receiving treatment, law enforcement began the booking process-authorities accuse the woman of felony drunk driving for her alleged role in the car accident.


Authorities claim that several 911 calls came in around 4:30 Monday morning reporting a loud noise that was consistent with some type of crash. Authorities responded to the neighborhood, and law enforcement says that they found the two cars wrecked at the residence.

Santa Clara deputies say that a Toyota and BMW were found crashed into the home, with the Toyota on top of the BMW. The Toyota reportedly had partially breached the living room of the residence.

Officials believe that the two young men had been racing in the street and failed to make a curve near the home. One of the cars is believed to have struck a boulder, sending the cars through the garage door of the home, and at least one of the vehicles partially into the interior of the residence.

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The alleged driver of the car was the only Marine to survive that night. He had suffered head trauma and sustained a broken arm. The man was knocked unconscious in the crash. Authorities claim that alcohol tests taken after the crash indicate that the man tested for a 0.16 percent blood alcohol level.

The Marine has now been formally charged with three counts of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated without gross negligence. Prosecutors are also reportedly seeking sentencing enhancements in the felony DUI criminal case.

Military and civilian witnesses who were at the tavern where the four Marines are believed to have spent more than three hours the night of the crash say that the man accused of drunk driving had not been drinking that night. The witnesses reportedly say that the 25-year-old man accused of drinking and driving was the designated driver.


A Tiburon man appeared in court last week and accepted a plea agreement in a felony driving under the influence case. He also has a pending misdemeanor DUI charge in front of him that arose at a later date from the felony charge, and he says that he plans to take the later DUI case to trial. Authorities initially accused the man of felony drunk driving after pulling him over for what law enforcement claimed was to check on his welfare.

Police say the man drove past a police station on Tiburon Boulevard. Law enforcement says officers grew concerned because they heard him yelling and screaming as the car passed by the station. Police reportedly conducted a traffic stop, which eventually led to felony DUI charges.

The accused reportedly has three prior DUI convictions on his record-the oldest of which dates back to 2002. Those three priors were used to upgrade the DUI charges to a felony level under California law. The man pled guilty to felony DUI under a negotiated plea agreement with prosecutors.

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California law allows prosecutors to elevate charges for driving under the influence based upon prior convictions in the past ten years. That is, prior convictions within that 10-year period can elevate new DUI charges to a higher level offense and increase potential exposure to jail or prison time. A recent case involving a Soquel man looked directly at the issue.

The 21-year-old Soquel man was accused drunk driving after a solo-vehicle car accident in November 2010. The accused suffered injuries in the crash. Police claim he had been speeding before losing control of his car. Authorities say the driver had a blood alcohol level of 0.15 percent after the crash. The man was originally charged with misdemeanor DUI after the crash. However, prosecutors sought to elevate the charge to a felony DUI based upon the Soquel man's juvenile record.

Roughly four years ago, police accused the Soquel man of crashing his car on Laurel Glen Road while traveling more than 80 miles per hour. Law enforcement claims the man lost control, and the vehicle rolled over, leaving the young man's two cousins dead.

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Prosecutors are now seeking murder charges against a Northern California woman whose son died last November due to "methamphetamine toxicity," according to a report in the Times-Standard. In July, the woman appeared in court for a preliminary hearing to defend against an involuntary manslaughter charge.

The judge reportedly ruled that the state had sufficient evidence to support the manslaughter charge. However, prosecutors recently refiled the case charging the woman with murder, claiming that the evidence presented during the preliminary hearing showed the mother acted with "implied malice" when she breast-fed her child after allegedly smoking methamphetamine.

The woman is now vigorously defending against the murder charge arguing that there is no evidence that she acted with a conscious disregard of a danger to human life. Implied malice murder charges are complicated animals under California law.


Three Gavilan College basketball players were injured in a tragic accident Sunday. Reports indicate that the driver of the car filled with the ball players and two female passengers swerved to avoid a tire in the road just prior to the crash. The car spun out and came to a stop facing the wrong direction on Highway 101. A Nissan then slammed head-on into the student's car.

Reports indicate that the group of students was at a San Francisco nightclub before the 1:30 a.m. traffic accident. Police reportedly arrested the 22-year-old student who was driving the car that initially spun out on suspicion of driving under the influence before he was released to San Francisco General Hospital, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP suggests that the young man could face felony DUI charges related to the traffic accident, apparently based upon the injuries involved. California law allows prosecutors to pursue felony DUI charges, even on a first-time offense, based upon allegations that a drunk driver was involved in an accident causing injuries. The driver and two of his teammates suffered serious injuries when the car they were in was struck by the Nissan. Two women, who were passengers in the Nissan, reportedly sustained minor injuries.


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The California Highway Patrol announced Wednesday that an 18-year-old was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter stemming from allegations surrounding a Saturday evening car accident. Law enforcement says they believe the 18-year-old lost control of a Jeep while traveling on Tassajara Road just after 8:30 p.m. Saturday. The Jeep reportedly rolled several times after leaving the pavement.

The California Highway Patrol says they are requesting felony DUI charges to be filed in relation to the accident. Authorities say a 19-year-old Carmel Valley resident was killed in the roll-over accident and a second passenger was severely injured. Neither passenger was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, according to the CHP. A third passenger, who was wearing a seat belt reportedly, suffered minor injuries in the incident, according to the CHP.

Law enforcement says the man accused of driving at the time of the accident crawled up the embankment after the crash to get a signal on his cellphone. The accused man reportedly called in a report of the accident after the crash.


The California Highway Patrol says a 28-year-old woman was speeding on Interstate 5 near Disneyland around 12:45 a.m. Sunday. Law enforcement claims the woman was involved in a fatal accident and has taken the woman into custody on suspicion of felony DUI.

Police say the woman made an abrupt lane change between the Number 3 lane and the Number 4 lane when her GMC S-10 pickup struck the left rear corner of a 1995 Mercury Villager. The pickup truck reportedly careened off the roadway and ran head-on into a bridge abutment at Disneyland Drive. The pickup truck rolled over several times, rebounding back across the Santa Ana Freeway coming to a rest in the Number 1 lane, according to the CHP.

A 24-year-old woman in the Mercury Villager sustained injuries and was hospitalized. Police claim both people in the GMC pickup truck sustained injuries and were taken to the hospital. The 28-year-old male passenger in the GMC reportedly died at UC Irvine Medical Center at r 4:15 Sunday morning.

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The California Highway Patrol is seeking to beef up its enforcement in California DUI cases. The law enforcement agency has received a federal grant that it intends to use to reduce a backlog in outstanding California DUI cases. While checkpoints and other enforcement efforts can be expected to continue, the new initiative is focusing on cases that have already been charged. In a given year, California law enforcement agencies and prosecutors charge thousands of people with DUI. The CHP says that in 2009, more than 210,000 people were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in California.

The CHP recently announced the creation of a task force formed for the purpose of serving DUI warrants across the state. Currently the CHP says 330,000 misdemeanor and felony DUI arrest warrants remain outstanding.

The CHP received a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the national Highway Traffic Safety Administration and is using the grant in an effort to reduce the backlog of outstanding DUI arrest warrants in the state. The task force is expected to be serving warrants statewide. The task force will use service teams to conduct sweeps to serve the warrants.

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Harrison allegedly was in an accident in which his brother Calvin, who is also an Olympic medalist, was injured. Another driver involved in the car accident reportedly also suffered injuries. Alvin Harrison is facing allegations of felony DUI after the car accident.

Harrison appeared in court and pled not guilty to felony DUI involving bodily injury, DUI while having .08 or more blood alcohol level and misdemeanor driving with a suspended or revoked license. He is being held on $50,000 bail. Police say the license suspension is not related to any prior DUI allegations. Harrison is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday for a preliminary hearing.

Police claim the star athlete was arrested on April, 7 after he allegedly rear-ended a Ford Expedition on state Highway 73. Police say Harrison was traveling at speeds of 80 to 85 mph before the crash. Law enforcement believes Harrison attempted to make a lane change and clipped the rear-end of a Ford Expedition. The Ford reportedly veered across two lanes before hitting the center divider and rolling over.


A 21-year-old Soquel area man was arrested Friday on a DUI charge that allegedly occurred in November. The 21-year-old had previously appeared in court in February related to the November 18 allegations. The man was undergoing physical therapy for injuries and was previously released with conditions. Law enforcement claims the 21-year-old violated his conditional release and arrested the man Friday.

Authorities claim the 21-year-old was found to have a bag of marijuana and an empty beer can in his room. The judge reportedly had ordered the 21-year-old to abstain from alcohol and drugs as part of his conditions of release at the February court appearance. Prosecutors argued Friday for bail to be set at $100,000 in the felony DUI case. The judge set bail Friday at $75,000. The 21-year-old reportedly posted bond Friday evening and was released from custody.

The current allegations arose related to an incident that allegedly occurred November 18, 2010. Police claim the 21-year-old lost control of his 1991 Toyota pickup truck and crashed into a tree. After the accident, the 21-year-old was charged with DUI. Prosecutors claim the man has a prior accident on his record where two people were killed.


An 18-year-old man from South San Francisco has been arrested and faces felony DUI charges related to an alleged fatal car accident on Saturday morning. The car accident reportedly occurred around 3:20 a.m. on highway 101 in Brisbane.

The 18-year-old reportedly had gone to a bowling alley and a private party with friends on Friday night. The group of teens reportedly had all been drinking before they got into a Toyota registered to the 18-year-old's mother. While traveling toward South San Francisco on Highway 101, the group of teens reportedly was talking about the music playing on the radio.

Traffic was snarled on 101 from an accident that had occurred earlier in the wee morning hours. The 18-year-old driver is believed to have looked up at the last second as the Toyota approached the traffic snarl. The 18-year-old reportedly attempted to avoid the traffic and swerved across two lanes. The Toyota allegedly slammed into the rear of another car on the highway.

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