Articles Posted in DMV Administrative Hearings

LAW OFFICE OF JOHN STANKO, Inc.
________________________________________ JOHN W. STANKO Attorney at Law
TRAFFIC COURT RESULTS July 2014
COURT CHARGE RESULT
San Francisco Red Light Camera Reduced to a no pointer Sonoma Speeding with accident (no traffic school) Negotiated traffic school Marin Driving over double yellow lines Dismissed
Many traffic tickets in California are classified as moving violations and carry points on a person’s driving record. Accruing too many points, 4 in 12 months, 6 in 24 months, or 8 in 36 months will result in the DMV designating a person a negligent operator which carries a driver’s license suspension.

Moving violations also effect insurance rates for up to 3 years.

An experienced traffic ticket defense attorney can work to get tickets dismissed or reduced to charges that do not carry DMV points.
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The Marin County multi police agency DUI task force, Avoid the Marin 13, is going to be on the look out for impaired drivers this holiday weekend. The involved police departments will be holding a checkpoint in San Rafael on Friday, May 2, 2014, form 6:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 3, 2014.

The state funded drunk driving task force will also be running extra patrols over the weekend and on next Monday’s Cinco de Mayo holiday. Police departments believe that the annual celebration is tied to an increase in alcohol-related accidents.

Please don’t drink and drive. If you chose to drink then arrange for a designated driver or a safe ride home. An arrest for a DUI starts a long and expensive process that can result in the automatic administrative suspension of a person’s driving privilege, probation, fines, possible jail time and mandatory attendance at a DUI school. The length of the DUI school depends on a person’s blood alcohol level and whether they have any prior convictions. There is only one DUI school in Marin County, in San Rafael.
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Local traffic Attorney John Stanko beats tickets in Solano County and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

California Traffic Ticket Victories – November 2012

Solano County.
Speeding ticket, violation of Vehicle Code section 22349 on I80 in Fairfield. Violation amended to a not point non moving violation. Client’s driving record is not assessed negligent operator points.

Marin County.
San Rafael red light camera violation is dismissed. Client convicted of no point violation.

Solano County.
Out of state commercial truck diver charged with speeding in violation of Vehicle Code section 22406. Case reduced to a no point mechanical violation.
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For the third time in the last month Marin County based DUI attorney John Stanko beat a DUI administrative license suspension today. The Oakland driver safety hearing officer had not choice but to set aside the driver’s suspension when it was shown that the facts of her arrest were almost identical to those in the recent California Court of Appeals case, Brenner v. DMV, (2010) 189 Cal.App.4th 365. Breath test accuracy check logs indicate high readings on the breath machine and the DMV was unable to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the driver’s blood alcohol level was greater than .08%.

In a hearing held at the Santa Rosa DMV an administrative license suspension on a 1st offense DUI was set aside when it was shown that the arresting officer did not properly observe the driver prior to administering the breath test. Video introduced by the driver clearly showed that the officer was not with the driver during the required 15 minute observation period. The California Code of Regulations requires that a subject be observed for 15 continuous minutes prior to submitting to a breath test to ensure that the subject does not eat, drink, burp, smoke, regurgitate or do anything else that might compromise the breath sample. In this case, the officer was unable to see, hear or otherwise observe the driver as he had left her in his vehicle and stepped away to conduct other business during the observation period. The DMV had no option but to set aside the suspension due to the violation of Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations.

The third set aside of a DMV APS suspension came out of the San Francisco DMV driver safety office. In that matter the DMV called a witness in an attempt to prove that the licensee had actually been driving the vehicle. Due to the witnesses inability to identify the subject as the driver the DMV hearing officer agreed that a set aside of the suspension was appropriate.
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41 year old John R. Forbes of Cloverdale was arrested Monday on suspicion of DUI and hit and run. The CHP reported that Mr. Forbes rear ended another car at about 4:30 p.m. near Spencer Avenue on northbound Highway 101 near Sausalito. He was arrested around 5:00 p.m. while driving near Rohnert Park in Sonoma County.

Officers said that Mr. Forbes drove off before medics arrived to treat the other driver and take her to the hospital. The rear end collision caused the diver of the other vehicle to crash into the center divider.

The District Attorney will be making a charging determination after the CHP officers booked Mr. Forbes for felony drunk driving and hit and run. He was set to be arraigned Tuesday in the Marin County Superior Court. If he is convicted of a felony driving under the influence charge he could be sentenced to state prison for up to 3 years on a first offense and he faces the possibility of having his driver license revoked for at least 1 year and for two or more years if he has any prior convictions or DMV administrative suspensions for driving under the influence.
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On November 24, 2010, Santa Rosa Police Officers using grant funds provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, conducted a courthouse sting aimed at DUI drivers and drivers with suspended licenses or no driver license. The sting resulted in officers arresting four people for driver’s license related offenses.

The operation of the sting consisted of Police officers waiting and watching defendants, who had been ordered by the court not to drive due to suspended or revoked driving privileges, to see if they would get into cars and drive away from the courthouse. In all, officers followed ten such people out of court. Four of those ten people got into their cars and drove away from the Sonoma County Courthouse and were stopped by waiting police officers.

Driving on a suspended or revoked license can carry serious consequences if convicted. California Vehicle Code section 14601 et sec, details the various charges and punishments for driving on a suspension. Those punishments vary depending on the reason for the suspension. If a driver license is suspended for being a negligent operator or failing to appear in court a person may receive a reduced charge if they can get their driver license reinstated but they could be placed on probation and pay large fines if convicted. Drivers who lose their driver license due to driving under influence conviction face a minimum fine of $1,000.00, ten days in jail, and the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device if convicted of a violation of Vehicle Code section 14601.2 for driving while suspended.
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At around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 21, 2010, a 25 year old Vallejo woman had herself arrested for drunk driving. Nancy Murcia told Vallejo police officers that she felt compelled to call 911 to report that she had been drinking and driving. Officers pulled her over near Florida and Sacramento Streets in Vallejo and found that she was in fact driving under the influence.

Ms. Murcia could be facing possible county jail time ranging from six months to one year depending on whether this is her first or multiple arrest for DUI. Driver’s in California arrested for drunk driving also face the potential loss of their driving privilege from the DMV for between four months to four years. The length of driver’s license suspension or revocation varies based on factors including prior convictions and whether the driver refused to submit to a chemical test to determine their blood alcohol concentration.

Multiple offenders can now obtain a restricted driving privilege after ninety days of suspension on a second offense and six months of suspension on a third offense provided they install an ignition interlock device (IID) on their car and provide proof of DUI program attendance and and SR22.
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24 year old Jakclin Deleon crashed the car he was driving into a vacant home in Vallejo on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 after being unable to navigate a curve in the road. Mr. Deleon was treated for a complaint of neck pain and subsequently arrested for driving without a license and driving under the influence.

DUI arrests in Vallejo are prosecuted in the Solano County Courthouse at 321 Tuolumne Street. Depending on whether Mr. Deleon has any prior drunk driving convictions in the last ten years, he could be facing a sentence including possible county jail time from zero to 365 days.

Moreover, an arrest for DUI starts a DMV administrative suspension of a person’s driving privilege. Pursuant to the California Vehicle Code a first arrest for DUI results in a four month license suspension, assuming the grounds for the suspension are found to be justified by the DMV. After the first month of suspension a driver can apply for a restricted driver’s license for driving to, from and during employment and to and from a DUI program. booked into Solano County Jail.
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Three people were arrested on Monday while driving away from the courthouse after being told by a judge not to drive.

Costa Mesa, Orange County, Police Officers, staked out sixteen offenders and followed them to the parking lot after they were instructed by a judge not to drive. Four of those people got behind the wheel and drove away from the courthouse. Officers stopped all four drivers and issued three citations for driving on a suspended license and one for driving while unlicensed. The sting was funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

California drivers are subject to license suspensions for a variety of reasons including failure to appear in court or failure to pay fines, arrest or conviction for DUI, or being deemed a negligent operator for acquiring to many moving violation points. Depending on the reason for a suspension, a conviction can result in jail time, fines, the installation of an ignition interlock device and vehicle impoundment or forfeiture. Drivers may have the right to a DMV administrative hearing to contest their suspension.
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The California Highway Patrol’s effort to stem drunk driving over the holiday weekend lead to slightly more arrests than in 2008. The CHP DUI crackdown began at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 and had resulted in 87 arrests for driving under the influence by 6:00 a.m. on Friday, November 27, 2009.

The 87 arrests were moderately more than the 83 for the same time period in 2008. Statewide the CHP made 542 DUI arrests compared to 513 in 2008.

A driver arrested during the holiday crackdown must act quickly to protect their rights. You have only ten days from the date of your arrest to request a DMV administrative hearing or your license will automatically be suspended. Further, an arrest in Marin, San Francisco, or elsewhere in the Bay Area will initiate a criminal prosecution by the local district attorney’s office. If convicted for DUI you face possible jail time, fines and additional driver’s license consequences.
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