Long Beach DUI Attorney Talks About Illegal Stops for not Signaling

The laws in California can often be complex and difficult to understand, even for law enforcement and Courts.  One ripe area of misunderstanding has been when a police officer can pull someone over for failing to signal.  One recent Court has helped to clarify the law which is often used to stop people for suspected DUI.  According to Long Beach DUI Attorney Matthew Ruff, the applicable vehicle code section pertaining to turn signals (V.C. 22107) provides, “No person shall turn a vehicle . . . until such movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after the giving of an appropriate signal in the manner provided in this chapter in the event any other vehicle may be affected by the movement a motorist must continuously signal during the last 100 feet traveled before turning, but only in the event other motorists may be affected.
Indeed, the Fourth Amendment‟s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures dictates that traffic stops must be supported by articulable facts giving rise to a reasonable suspicion that the driver or a passenger has violated the Vehicle Code or some other law.”  The police must not stop citizens without observations of criminal activity and reasonable suspicion requires only that “the detaining officer can point to specific articulable facts that considered in light of the totality of the circumstances, provide some objective manifestation that the person detained may be involved in criminal activity.  In many DUI cases, cops will say the officer did not use a signal but this may not constitute a violation, if the stop is illegal than the subsequent DUI arrest can be thrown out, it is strongly recommended that a lawyer be consulted to discuss whether your rights may have been violated.

Long Beach Domestic Violence Lawyer Obtains Not Guilty Verdict

On September 12, 2011 Long Beach Criminal Defense Attorney Matthew Ruff obtained a Not Guilty verdict for a client charged with Penal Code section 273.5 and PC 243(e)(1).  The client had consistently maintained his innocence and asserted the alleged victim lied about the incident which included allegations of punching, kicking, choking and hair pulling.  Fortunately, the jury was not swayed by the emotional 911 tape and statements to the Long Beach Police about how she was beaten in the past and was threatened by the defendant to not call the police.  The case is a classic example of the blind faith that prosecutors put into DV cases in the city.  Numerous attempts were made by defense counsel to “settle” the case and not expend substantial judicial resources on the trial.  But, as is often the case the City Prosecutor simply ignores inherent weaknesses in its cases and tries to bully the defendant to plead guilty to charges in spite of serious exculpatory evidence that should cause them to exercise their prosecutorial discretion and dismiss.

This recent case is a testament to how the system will vindicate if only the defense has the courage to go to trial and let a jury decide.  It is estimated that the trial cost the state at least $10,000.

New California Law Allows Felons to Avoid State Prison

Recent changes in the California Criminal Codes now allow a defendant in felony case to serve out his or her sentence in the county jail as opposed to state prison. The 2011 Realignment Legislation made significant changes to the sentencing and supervision of persons convicted of felony offenses. AB 109 and AB 117 amended a broad array of statutes concerning where sentences are to be served and how defendants are to be supervised on parole.  The realignment legislation creates a new level of punishment for a certain class of felony offenses. The legislation has not changed the basic rules regarding probation eligibility. Judges retain the discretion to place people on probation, unless otherwise specifically prohibited, under the law that existed prior to the realignment legislation. Realignment comes into play when the court determines that the defendant should not be granted probation, either at the initial sentencing or as a result of a probation violation. In most circumstances it appears that there is no intent to change the basic rules regarding the structure of a felony sentence contained in penal code sections 1170 and 1170.1. Furthermore, there appears to be no change to the length of term or sentencing triad for any crime. The realignment legislation appears only to change where the sentence is to be served.