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Sonoma DUI Arrest LawyerIndividuals in the United States have important rights protected by the Constitution and other legislation. One of these rights is the right to be free from “unreasonable search and seizure.” The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution ensures that police and other government officials may not search a person’s property or take property without a legitimate reason. In many cases, police must get a search warrant signed by a judge before they can search a person’s property. However, there are many exceptions to search and seizure laws and our right to privacy varies depending on the type of property in question.

Arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) can escalate into much greater issues when police search the car and find evidence of another crime. Whether you have been charged with a criminal offense after a police search or you simply want to know your rights, understanding when police can and cannot search without a search warrant is crucial.

When Can Police Conduct a Warrantless Search of a Residence?

Criminal charges often hinge upon evidence collected on personal property. Many people are confused about when police have the right to enter their home and search for evidence of criminal activity. In most cases, police must obtain a search warrant before they can search a person’s home. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, police may enter a home without a search warrant if there is illegal contraband or evidence of a crime in plain sight or if they are pursuing a fugitive. Police may also conduct a warrantless search if there is a reasonable belief that someone is in immediate danger or that evidence is being destroyed. Lastly, police may search a home without a warrant if a resident gives them permission to do so.

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Sonoma DUI Defense AttorneyBeing charged with driving under the influence (DUI) can lead to a number of difficulties that will affect a person’s life, including restrictions on their ability to drive. One issue that people may not be aware of is the requirement to use a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID). Drivers who are arrested for DUI will want to be sure to understand when these requirements will apply and the restrictions that they may face when using these devices.

IID Requirements in California

An ignition interlock device or IID is a breathalyzer that will be installed in a person’s vehicle. Before starting the vehicle and at certain intervals while driving, a person will be required to give a breath sample. The vehicle will not start if the IID registers alcohol in the driver’s breath. In addition, any readings that show that a driver has attempted to drive with alcohol in their system will be reported to the authorities, and the driver may face additional criminal charges or restrictions to their driver’s license.

Since 2019, California has required all drivers convicted of DUI to have ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles. However, by having an IID installed immediately after a conviction, a driver will be able to avoid any suspension or revocation of their driver’s license. When using an IID, a driver will not have any restrictions on where or when they can drive. In addition to the installation of an IID, a driver may also be required to participate in a DUI education program, and they will need to provide proof that they have completed this program. 

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Richmond County DUI Defense LawyerIn California, marijuana has been legal for both recreational and medical use since 2016. The state’s laws treat this drug similarly to alcohol, and people over the age of 21 are allowed to purchase marijuana from licensed dispensaries for their own personal use. Because marijuana use can affect a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely, people are restricted from “driving while high.” The state’s DUI laws apply to marijuana as well as alcohol, and drivers may face consequences if they are arrested for driving while they are intoxicated by marijuana or a combination of substances.

Legal Issues Affecting Marijuana DUI Cases

Marijuana can affect a driver in many ways, and a person may experience delayed reaction times, a lack of coordination, impairments to judgment, and difficulty perceiving factors such as time and speed. However, it is not always easy to determine a person’s level of intoxication. Unlike alcohol, which enters and leaves a person’s body quickly, the chemicals in marijuana can remain in a person’s system for a great deal of time. Since different people absorb and react to marijuana differently, it can be impossible to determine a specific amount of the drug that will cause a person to be intoxicated.

While there is a legal limit for blood alcohol content when a person is driving, California law does not recognize any limits for marijuana. There is no breathalyzer test that can be used to determine whether a driver is intoxicated due to marijuana in their system. While some law enforcement agencies in the state have been testing the use of saliva swabs in DUI traffic stops, these tests may detect the presence of marijuana in a person’s system without being able to determine whether a driver is impaired, and they are not legally-admissible evidence in a DUI case.

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Posted on in DUI

california defense lawyerA new law that allows judges to grant diversion to those convicted of misdemeanor driving under the influence (DUI) has been causing confusion in the California court system, according to The Press-Enterprise. Critics of the measure say judges are applying it inconsistently, often granting diversion to defendants with means while poorer defendants are punished with criminal penalties. 

Assembly Bill 3234

Assemblyman Phil Ting, a Democrat from San Francisco, introduced Assembly Bill 3234 as part of a criminal justice reform package designed to, among other things, give judges the discretion to place first-time DUI offenders into a diversion program instead of jail. 

Ting said the measure was modeled off of a program that proved successful in Los Angeles County. Since judges could grant diversion, he explained the county court system had 2,000 fewer jury trials, which saved some $12,000 per day. Also, according to Ting, those who completed a diversion program were less likely to re-offend. 

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california dui lawyerAhead of Labor Day weekend, a multinational alcohol company launched a virtual campaign to warn Californians who plan on partying over the weekend about the dangers of drinking and driving. Diageo North American partnered with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research to launch the “Wrong Side of the Road.” 

Wrong Side of the Road

The educational project includes a website that hosts a series of videos in which people who have been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) share their experiences. Many of the individuals describe the social stigma they feel as a result of their DUI conviction.

Diageo, which owns Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Guinness, and dozens of other beverage brands, explained they wanted to show how catastrophic it could be not just for you, but the people in your life if you decide to drink and drive. 

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