Long Beach Police Ramp Up Enforcement of Lewd Act Crimes

The local media reports that the LBPD has announced a task force to enforce 647A and 647D crimes in the city. The police department released its intenetion to target offenders that commit lewd acts in public restrooms and loiter for the purpose of engaging in sex acts in public restrooms. Gay and Lebian groups have complained that the police unlawfully target gay men, police refute this allegation. Many local Long Beach Criminal Attorneys relate that most of the cases they see do involve gay men, but the city continues to deny any bias in the way the cops make arrests. In the past suits have been filed alleging selective prosecution.  Some of these Court cases have yet to be decided.

Why Are Some Cars Impounded After a DUI Arrest?

When a suspect is arrested for a DUI offense the police will oftentimes decide to impound the person’s car rather than simply leave it parked. What is the criteria for impound? This question is not easily answered. Some Departments leave the decision making process entirely up to the arresting officer. This practice can sometimes lead to abusive practices. For example, if the officer feels the person has not been “cooperative” than they can punish that person by impounding the car which can cost upwards of $400 in some cases to get the car out. What is needed is a uniform policy, statewide, which governs when a policeman can impound a vehicle following a drunk driving incident. Many times the car poses no threat and is parked legally at the time of the stop so why impound at all, say many experts. Time will tell whethet lawmakers wake up to the disparity and unfairness in the system.

Can A Blood Sample Be Re-tested in a DUI Case?

In most drunk driving prosecutions the DUI defense attorney will want to have the blood sample reanalyzed for alcohol content. Among the reasons for retesting might be the fact that the sample is suspected of having been compromised or that the defendant disagrees with the result that the states lab has reported. The procedure to have the sample retested involves getting a Court order and selecting a private laboratory to have the fluid analyzed. There are many labs that do this type of tesing. Primarily there are two distinctive tests that should be done, the first is a BAC check which tests the sample for alcohol concentration. The second is a preservative test which checks the sample for the level of sodium fluoride in the mix. This substance is there to keep the blood evidence from fermenting which could actually elevate the BAC level within the sample tube. Once these things are checked out the DUI attorney can be sure that the integrity of the evidence is sound.

When Will Long Beach Get a New Courthouse?

For years the state has been promising a new court building to the city of Long Beach and lately there has been a buzz about the groundbreaking of the new long beach courtthouse but for many the new court will not come soon enough. The criminal cases in Long Beach are growing at an exponential pace, although the staff keeps pace, the bottom line is that each courtroom is too packed, many have to wait outside because there are no seats. Lets get moving and get the Long Beach Courthouse built.

Long Beach Drunk Driving Attorney Wins DUI Refusal Case

As far as drivers license suspension cases go, there is no greater punishment than for that of refusing to take a chemical test incident to an arrest for DUI.  The DMV can revoke a license for up to three years and allow no work restriction if they uphold the  action following notice of a refusal by law enforcement.  The way it typically works is that the cop making the arrest will fill out a form known as an officer statement/notice of suspension and send that to the Department of motor vehicles.  Once the DMV gets the paperwork they will start a suspension of anywhere from one to three years depending on if the driver has priors.  If no hearing request is made the suspension becomes final and no appeals will be allowed. 

In one recent Long Beach arrest, local DUI Attorney Matthew Ruff represented a driver stopped for running a stop sign in downtown near Ocean Blvd.  The driver was asked to perform field sobriety tests and ultimately arrested for drunk driving.  When asked to submit to a chemical test the driver refused, later at the police station he was asked again to take a breath or a blood test, he again said no.  The Long Beach police Officer booked him for DUI and sent a notice to DMV of the refusal.  Upon release the accused hired the attorney who demanded a hearing to challenge the suspension.  A date was set in El Segundo and the lawyer presented testimony from the client and argued that the police officer failed to follow mandatory legal requirements regarding how the driver should have been admonished about the consequences.  Specifically, attorney Ruff presented evidence that the vehicle code was not followed with regard to VC 23612 inasmuch as the officer failed to advise his client in the way the law proscribes.  The hearing officer agreed and set aside or dismissed the suspension action.  The client avoided the mandatory one year loss of all driving privileges and got his license back immediately.  Later in Court in Long Beach on the DUI criminal case, the attorney was able to have the DUI charge dropped.

The bottom line is that refusal cases in California can be beat if the police fail to follow the law themselves.  Most attorneys that practice regularly in the area of DUI refusal relate that this type of scenario is commonplace.  Contact a lawyer if you are facing a similar situation, the consequences for refusing are harsh and the Court can do nothing to change the suspension once it becomes final with the DMV.

An Attorney Explains Vicinage in Jury Selection

The vicinage right is a geographic rather than a demographic requirement, which distinguishes it from the cross-section requirement. It is the right of a criminal defendant to be tried by a jury drawn from the population of the area in which the crime occurred. The vicinage right, although assertable by a criminal defendant, also protects the right of a community to pass judgment on the offending party.  In one recent appellate decision the court criticized a previous decision with respect to the assumption that Sixth Amendment vicinage applied to states.  Indeed, the right to a jury of the vicinage is also distinct from venue: vicinage refers to the geographical area from which the jury is summoned whereas venue is the place of  the criminal trial.  Vicinage, which has its basis in common law and the desire to have a jury be composed of neighbors who knew the parties, was included in the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution. If the Legislature authorizes a division of the county into judicial districts, the vicinage is the population in the judicial district served by the court and not the population of the entire county in which the judicial district is located. For example one recent court surmised the issue involving judicial districts within Los Angeles County and relevant community for purposes of representative cross-section requirement is community of qualified jurors in judicial district in which case is to be tried.  But if the Legislature does not authorize a division of the county into judicial districts, a jury drawn from the entire county satisfies the vicinage right.  In the latter case, the designation of a location other than the county seat for court sessions does not create a separate judicial district for purposes of vicinage.  Intracounty transfer of cases is permitted, because the boundaries of vicinage are coextensive with the boundaries of the county.

How Do I Find A Good Long Beach DUI Attorney?

Attorneys, like any other profession are prevalent in the area of drunk driving defense but how do you find a good one?  This question is best answered by telling the consumer some things not to do when looking for a driving under the influence defense lawyer in Long Beach California.  First, one should not be lured into believing that an attorney is good just because he or she spends a lot of money on advertising.  A flashy website is not representative of a quality lawyer.  Although there is nothing inherently evil about a law firm spending money on marketing, be careful and do not place too much emphasis on theses trappings.  Instead, look at the attorneys experience, his or her knowledge level and his familiarity with the local Court your case will be heard in.  Do not overlook the DMV, many lawyers do not understand the fine points of license suspension hearings but they mean a lot to the person facing the loss of a precious driving privilege.    A good Long Beach DUI Attorney should know the ins and outs of the prosecutorial agencies in the region.  For example, that a drunk driving arrest in Signal Hill will not be prosecuted by the same entity as one in Belmont Shore or, for that matter in San Pedro.  Knowing the adversary is crucial to obtaining a good outcome in the case.  Lastly, hire a lawyer that actually has gone to trial in a DUI case in that Court.  Although your case will likely not go to trial, having a track record of success will be powerful leverage when negotiating with the prosecutor.