Articles Posted in Criminal Defense

On May 18, 2016, Marin County CHP officers attempted to stop a vehicle for speeding when the driver refused to yield and took them on a chase into Sonoma County.  CHP officers eventually stopped the driver by placing spike strips on the highway in Petaluma.  The car ran over the spikes but the driver kept driving on flat tires until sparks caught the back of the car on fire.

The driver pulled off the highway in Cotati and when CHP officers approached her car they noticed two small children were in the back seat.  After detaining the driver and investigating whether she was under the influence the officers placed her under arrest.  The driver was subsequently charged by the Marin County District Attorney with recklessly evading police, child endangerment, driving under the influence of drugs and resisting a police officer.

If you are arrested for DUI, p or child endangerment in San Anselmo, San Rafael, or Novato, call an experienced aggressive DUI attorney for help.

On Wednesday, May 25, 2016, a 76 year old driver was booked for felony hit-and-run and felony driving under the influence,  after he allegedly hit a CHP officer as she stood in the road directing traffic.  The driver then fled the scene.  The CHP officer suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken by helicopter to the hospital.

Responding CHP officers observed the driver, based on license plate information they had received from a tow truck driver, and pulled him over.  It was later determined that he was suspected of driving under the influence and he was arrested for DUI and hit and run.  The driver was apprehended several miles north of the hit-and-run collision location.

California law enforcement officers encourage people to not to drive after drinking and say that if you chose to drink then arrange for a designated driver or a safe ride home.  If a driver is arrested for a DUI a long and expensive process starts that can result in the automatic administrative suspension of the person’s driving privilege, probation, fines, possible jail time and mandatory attendance at a DUI school.

The City of San Rafael police have arrested a 32-year-old man after a shooting  was reported in the Safeway parking lot on B Street.

According to the police an officer in the area of the B Street Safeway heard gun shots on Wednesday, December 16, 2015, around 11:20 p.m.  Officers arrived on the scene and questioned a man but reported that there were no outstanding suspects and no danger to the community.  No one was injured in the shooting.

This morning, after searching the area of evidence, police arrested a San Rafael man on multiple violations including assault with a firearm, criminal threats and obstructing an officer.

A 55 year old man was arrested for DUI and booked in to the Sonoma County jail on Friday, March 27, 2015. That man was arrested with a child in his car and booked for drunk diving and suspicion of cruelty to a child. He posted bail on Saturday, Mach 28, 2015, and was released. However, the same man was booked into the jail again on Saturday night following a second arrest for driving under the influence.

Drunk driving with a child in the car often results in California District Attorney Offices, including the Sonoma County DA, charging the driver with child endangerment. If a person is convicted of child endangerment and of DUI, their probation is normally extended from 3 to 4 years and they must attend a 52 week parenting class. An experienced DUI attorney can usually get the child endangerment charge dismissed but a driver may still have to admit an enhancement for having a minor under 14 years of age in the car while driving under the influence. An admission to that enhancement can result in increased jail or alternative work time and attendance at some parenting classes less than 52 weeks in length.
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On Monday, August 18, 2014,the Marin County Sheriff’s Department received a call for a domestic violence incident in Marin City.

On Tuesday, August 19, 2014, a Marin sheriff’s deputy saw the suspect driving in Marin City and a pursuit was initiated. Soon after, a California Highway Patrol officer joined the chase which continued for about a mile.

During the chase the suspect, who had a woman and 4-year-old boy inside his car, crashed into another car, lost control of his car, and crashed near Fred’s Place on Bridgeway in Sausalito. The suspect then got out of his car and fled on foot. Officers chased him onto the roof of Saylor’s where he was arrested.

Three customers at Fred’s Place attempted to jump out of the way of the suspect’s car as he crashed but one was pinned by debris until good samaritan’s were able to free him. He suffered minor injuries.

Police arrested the suspect for grand theft and domestic violence for assaulting the mother of his child on Monday night. He was also arrested for driving without a license, evading a peace officer, cruelty to a child, reckless driving, resisting arrest and committing a felony while out on bail for another felony.
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The City of El Cerrito Police Department made four arrests for driving under the influence between April 12 and April 15, 2013.

A 32 year old Vallejo man was arrested on April 12 for driving under the influence of alcohol after a traffic stop at Huntington and San Pablo avenues. On Saturday April 13, El Cerrito Police Officers arrested a man from Emeryville for DUI near the intersection of Central and San Pablo avenues. A third DUI arrest was made on Sunday, April 14, 2013 when the police stopped a 26 year old Richmond woman and on April 15, 2013, a driver was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance at Central and Yosemite avenues. That driver was on probation for a prior DUI and has suffered three prior drunk driving convictions in the past ten years.

Over the same four days police officers also made arrests for theft, robbery and drug related offenses.

In California a person charged with four DUIs in a ten year period can be charged with a felony. A conviction for felony for drunk driving carries between 6 months and 1 year in county jail with probation and up to 3 years state prison time without probation.

Arrests out of the City of El Cerrito are prosecuted in the Contra Costa County Superior Court in Richmond.
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The San Francisco Police Department says that a 40 year old man from Sebastapol, California, in Sonoma County, drove his SUV into the the San Francisco Municipal Railway underground tunnel on Church Street around 6 O’Clock in the morning on Thursday. The man was arrested a short time later for suspicion of driving under the influence, driving on train tracks and he was cited for disobeying a traffic sign.

The San Francisco MUNI subway system was closed for over two hours due to the suspected drunk driver as he made his way eastward almost into the Van Ness Avenue station. No one was injured in the traffic related incident and the DUI driver is expected to by released on a citation and promise to appear in the San Francisco Superior Court, Hall of Justice.

Some MUNI railway tracks were damaged and the driver will have to pay restitution for the repairs if he is convicted of a DUI.
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The California Highway Patrol arrested 24 drivers for suspected driving under the influence over the Martin Luther King Holiday weekend in Sonoma County.

CHP officers made traffic stops resulting in DUI arrests for speeding and making an illegal left turn. One driver was also arrested for drunk driving after crashing his car on Heather Land in West Sonoma County.

Four children were in the car of one suspected drunk driver and he will likely also be charged with child endangerment by the Sonoma County District Attorney. A conviction for a DUI while having passengers under the age of 14 in the car can result in enhanced penalties including additional jail time. Further, a person convicted of child endangerment will be placed on 4 years of probation and must attend mandatory parenting classes.

A 24 year old man arrested over the weekend was found to be driving without a license and was determined to be on probation. That driver fought with police officers and refused to get out of the police car. He was booked on charges of resisting an officer and violating his probation.
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Forty seven year old Michael Helms from San Pablo and forty five year old Larry Hernandez from El Sobrante were arrested Tuesday when Detectives saw them taking a catalytic converter from a truck in Marin County. Helms and Hernandez were arrested last week in Sonoma County on possession of stolen property charges and were being watched by detectives from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Property Crimes Investigation unit.

Mr. Helms and Mr. Hernandez are suspected of stealing at least three vehicles, breaking into a truck and stealing tools, along with stealing catalytic converters. Detectives conducing the surveillance of both men followed them from Rhonert Park to a park and ride lot in Novato where they observed Mr. Hernandez saw the catalytic converter off of a pick up truck in the lot.

Police officers approached both suspects who fled but were apprehended about a mile from the park and ride lot. Mr. Helms was arrested on charges of grand theft, conspiracy, possession of a controlled substance, possession of burglary tools, and driving on a suspended license. Mr. Hernandez was arrested for grand theft, conspiracy and possession of burglary tools. Both men were booked into the Marin County Jail.

Possession of a controlled substance can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the drug, the quantity possessed and the suspects prior criminal record. Grand theft is also a wobbler offense punishable by up to three years in state prison as a felony and by up to one year in the county jail as a misdemeanor.
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The Petaluma Police Department reported that officers with Sonoma County’s Avoid the 13 DUI Task Force arrested 80 people on suspicion of driving under the influence from the time they began their special enforcement efforts on December 17 through the Christmas weekend. Also, the CHP indicated that the, the holiday weekend crackdown on drunk driving netted six arrests.

Among those six drunk drivers arrested was 19 year old
Jaime Hernandez of Cloverdale. Mr. Hernandez was stopped around 4:20 p.m. last Saturday on northbound Highway 101 after he was observed swerving several times into the next lane. Mr. Hernandez was driving with his 4 children and was booked into the Sonoma County Jail on charges of felony child endangerment, drunken driving and driving without a license.

Having a minor under 14 years of age is an enhancement to a DUI charge pursuant to California Vehicle Code section 23572. However, the Sonoma County District Attorney could elect to charge Mr. Hernandez for the Child Endangerment charges on which he was booked. Conviction for felony child endangerment could result in a state prison sentence and mandatory attendance at a parenting class. An enhancement under section 23572 could result in additional jail time as part of any sentence for a DUI conviction.
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