Articles Posted in Misdemeanor

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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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 CHP will have up to 80 percent of all available uniformed officers out in force for their maximum DUI enforcement period over the upcoming New Year’s holiday weekend.

In Solano County police officers with the Avoid the Solano 10 campaign will be targeting the “Worst of the Worst” DUI offenders and drivers who disobey court or Department of Motor Vehicles orders not to drive without a valid license. Officers will be going to court to monitor defendants as they leave the Solano County Superior Courthouse to make sure they do not drive without a valid license. Anyone caught driving without a valid license will face additional criminal charges, a possible violation of probation, fines, and possible jail time.

Driving with a license that has been suspended due to a DUI arrest is a misdemeanor carrying a minimum jail sentence of 10 days and a $1,000.00 fine. Punishment increases for multiple offenders and anyone convicted of a violation of California Vehicle Code section 14601.2 will be required by the DMV to install an ignition interlock device on any vehicle they own or operate.
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The Oakland Police Department announced this week that they have received a grant ffrom the California Office of Traffic Safety that will fund their pursuit of drunk drivers for the next year. Oakland police Lt. Sharon Williams said that the yearlong anti-DUI program received a grant of $240,000.

The Oakland Police will be using their new DUI funds to conduct driver’s license and drunk driving checkpoints, DUI warrant sweeps and driving under the influence saturation patrols during periods of high incidence drunken driving. Police Officers will also be conducing court stings, where they will follow DUI drivers with suspended licenses out of the courtroom and stop them if they are seen driving away from the courthouse.

In California a first offense DUI is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail. Further, a first time convicted drunk driver will have to attend a DUI program varying in length from three to nine months and may have their driving privilege suspended for 6 months or restricted for up to ten months depending on their blood alcohol level.

Also, Alameda County is one of four pilot counties in California that require the installation of an ignition interlock device for all DUI convictions including first offenses.
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Eliseo Hernandez, 43, was arrested on Friday evening after crashing his SUV on northbound highway 101 in Novato. Novao Police Officers said that Hernandez crashed after cutting off another vehicle and losing control.

Mr. Hernandez suffered minor injuries in the rollover and was treated at Marin General Hospital for head cuts. After receiving treatment at Marin General he was booked into the Marin County Jail on suspicion of drunk driving and driving with a suspended license.

The Marin County District Attorney will review the case and make a charging determination. Mr. Hernandez could be charged with a misdemeanor suspended license violation and a misdemeanor or felony DUI depending on whether he has any prior convictions for drunk driving. A conviction on a first offense for driving under the influence can result in the punishment including fines, license suspension, probation and mandatory attendance at a first offender DUI program.
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