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Recent blog posts

Bay Area / San Francisco DUI lawyer Paul Burglin filed the following appellate brief in the First District Court of Appeal today (July 14, 2011), urging the Court of Appeal to affirm a ruling that will give multiple drunk driver offenders the ability to obtain an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) restricted license after just 90 days of suspension for a second offender, and six months for a third offender.

Read Brief Here

Raj Rajaratnam Takes The Fifth, And For Good Reason

Raj Rajaratnam took the Fifth and declined to testify in his own defense against charges of insider trading. Facing decades in prison if found guilty, you might think the guy would take a shot at trying to personally tell his side of the story.

Barry Bonds did the same thing - remaining silent in his trial on perjury and obstruction of justice charges.

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Here in Part 3 in my series of related posts, I will continue my discussion about the Barry Bonds trial and how it relates to DUI or Drunk Driving Defense cases. As a San Francisco DUI attorney, there are a number of similarities I have seen between this case and those that I am involved in.

When a jury convicts a defendant as part of an agreement to simply end their own division over various charges, and that verdict is inconsistent with its verdict or deadlock on other counts, it’s a violation of their duty as jurors and a denial of due process. The defense will contend that the jury’s failure to unanimously conclude that Bonds had committed perjury before the Grand Jury is inconsistent with their finding him guilty on the obstruction of justice count (the jury deadlocked on the three perjury counts, with one perjury count being 11-1 for guilty).

Bonds was found guilty of having violated Title 18, section 1503, of the United States Code, which prohibits one from intentionally giving false, evasive, or misleading testimony to a federal grand jury. The prosecution will contend that there is nothing inconsistent with the jury having found Bonds that he was intentionally evasive in his testimony, even though there may have been a reasonable doubt as to whether he perjured himself.

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Continuing on from my last post , let’s talk about the Barry Bonds trial and how it reflects on general criminal defense strategy. As a San Francisco DUI attorney, I can tell you the same strategies apply if you have been charged with and are being defended for a DUI and I address this directly later in my post.

You may ask, “Why did the defense not put on any evidence in the Barry Bonds trial?"

They did. “Wait," you say, “I just read where the defense rested without calling a single witness!" That’s true, but the defense evidence came in the form of cross-examination of prosecutorial witnesses. Cross-examination has been referred to as the greatest engine ever invented for the discovery of truth. That may or may not be true, but it is undoubtedly one of the most powerful weapons in a trial lawyer’s arsenal.

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March 28, 2011 - I spent the morning observing the perjury trial of United States of America v. Barry Lamar Bonds at the federal courthouse in San Francisco. You might wonder why a San Francisco DUI attorney would do this - what does it have to do with drunk driving defense? - so I will get to that in a minute.

Last week, Bonds’ childhood friend, Steve Hoskins, testified that baseball’s all-time home run leader was complaining about a sore rear end following needle injections at spring training in the early 2000’s. He said his shoe and glove sizes both got bigger, and that Bonds’ use of steroids was “getting out of hand." So much so, said Hoskins, that he secretly recorded trainer Greg Anderson acknowledging Bonds’ use of steroids so he could prove it to Bobby Bonds (Barry’s father who, according to Hoskins, was in denial about Barry’s use of steroids).

This morning, the first witness on the stand was Giants equipment manager Mike Murphy. Murphy testified that Bonds’ hat size increased from 7-¼ to 7-3/8, but also acknowledged that Willie Mays’ hat size also increased about the same amount after his retirement. Nobody has ever said that Willie Mays used steroids.

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CONSEQUENCE OF DRUNK DRIVING ARRESTS AND CONVICTIONS ON PROFESSIONAL LICENSES

Business & Professions Code (B&P) §490, with specified exceptions, enables any licensing board to discipline a licensee who has been convicted of a crime that is “substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the business or profession for which the license was issued."

Business & Professions Code §480 authorizes licensing boards to deny a license to an applicant based upon a conviction of a crime. A “no contest" plea or expungement order does not relieve a licensee from discipline or prevent denial of a license due to a conviction.

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Felony Drunk Driving - How Experienced DUI Lawyers Can Sometimes Get It Reduced To A Misdemeanor

There are several ways that a California drunk driving incident in California can be treated as a felony, but prosecutors and judges retain separate discretionary authority to reduce the offense to a misdemeanor in most circumstances.  Here is a passage from Chapter 1 of California Drunk Driving Law, by Kuwatch, Burglin & Simons (James Publishing) that summarizes this authority:

Offenses that may be prosecuted as either a felony or a misdemeanor are commonly referred to as “wobblers.” Even though a prosecutor may charge a wobbler offense as a felony, the trial court may declare it to be a misdemeanor at either the preliminary examination, the time of sentencing, or anytime following a grant of probation. P.C. §17(b).  Although California Penal Code (P.C.) § 1238(d) may, under some circumstances, permit the People to obtain appellate review of a P.C. § 17(b)(5) reduction order by way of a petition for writ of mandamus (see, e.g., People v. Superior Court (Alvarez) (1997) 14 Cal.4th 968), as a general rule the People have no right to appeal such an order. People v. Williams (2005) 35 Cal.4th 817. Alvarez contains a helpful discussion regarding the appropriate considerations for a P.C. §17(b)(5) reduction order.  The Court’s power to reduce a wobbler to a misdemeanor exists even if the felony involves a GBI enhancement.  People v. Feyrer (2010) 48 Cal.4th 426. California Drunk Driving Law, by Kuwatch, Burglin & Simons (James Publishing) Copyright 2011.

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The Latest Hurdles On IID-Restricted Licenses For Multiple DUI Offenders by San Francisco DUI Lawyer Paul Burglin

Even those second and third-time DUI offenders with both violation and conviction dates subsequent to July 1, 2010, are encountering hurdles with the DMV in terms of getting an early IID-restricted license.

Hurdle # 1: Until the conviction is actually recorded by the DMV's Mandatory Actions Unit, local DMV offices will not issue the IID-restricted license. Delays in the recording of the conviction by Mandatory Actions are reportedly backlogged by 8 to 12 weeks! There is no legal excuse for this delay!

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San Francisco DUI Attorney Paul Burglin has persuaded a second Superior Court judge in Marin County to order the DMV to grant his client an Ignition-Interlock restricted driver's license. Judge Lynn Duryee and Judge Verna Adams of the Marin County Superior Court have now both ruled in favor of Burglin's clients that the new IID-restricted license law effective July 1, 2010, applies to individuals with violation dates prior to July 1, 2010.

If you are a second or third time DUI offender interested in obtaining an IID-restricted license, contact San Francisco DUI attorney Paul Burglin today at (415) 453-0534.

RULING February 1, 2011

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May the Police Lawfully Stop A Motorist Based Solely On Somebody Reporting a Drunk Driver?

The key to beating a DUI charge in San Francisco---or at least getting a reduced offer on it---is to retain a local San Francisco DUI lawyer who specializes in this field. Such a lawyer will know the ramifications of a DUI conviction and how the California DMV will treat a drunk driving conviction. If you have one or more prior convictions for DUI or DWI (some states refer to it as "driving while impaired"), you want an attorney who is knowledgeable about the ways to attack prior convictions and the adequacy of out-of-state convictions.

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 This material is taken from California Drunk Driving Law (James Publishing), by Kuwatch, Burglin & Simons.  This is copyrighted material and may not be reprinted or published without written permission from James Publishing.

If you are a multiple offender interested in the possiblity of obtaining an IID restricted license as soon as possible, please contact San Francisco DUI Attorney Paul Burglin.

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Posted on in DUI

SAN FRANCISCO DUI LEGAL DEFENSES

There are various constitutional and statutory laws that can, in conjunction with the particular facts of criminal charge of drunk driving in California provide a compelling legal defense.

Here are a few of the possible factors that could help find you NOT GUILTY of driving under the influence:

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The unique aspect of California DUI prosecution in the City and County of San Francisco is that the potential for a good plea bargain is higher than in virtually any other Bay Area county. The reason for this is a mix of good liberal politics and a crowded court docket. Prosecutors at the San Francisco Hall of Justice recognize that drunk driving is not the crime of the century and they know that jurors in this great City tend to be more skeptical and questioning of police tactics and evidence.

The key to beating a DUI charge in San Francisco - or at least getting a reduced offer on it - is to retain a local lawyer who specializes in this field. Such a lawyer will know the ramifications of a DUI conviction and how the California DMV will treat a drunk driving conviction. If you have one or more prior convictions for DUI or DWI (some states refer to it as "driving while impaired"), you want an attorney who is knowledgeable about the ways to attack prior convictions and the adequacy of out-of-state convictions.

The area of DUI defense has become increasingly technical over the years, and you want a lawyer who is up on the most recent developments in this field. Feel free to review the contents California's most pre-eminent DUI defense lawyers . You do not have to be an attorney to order this book.

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Have you been charged with a DUI San Francisco, DUI Marin, DUI Sonoma or DUI Napa ? My name is Paul Burglin and I am a San Francisco Bay area drunk driving attorney who for over 25 years has specialized in drunk driving defense in San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, Napa and surrounding communities. I am also the co-author of "California Drunk Driving Law".

Before hiring an attorney it is advisable to check their status and any history of license suspension history with the California State Bar (you can go to www.calbar.org and do an Attorney Search by name under the "Public" link). As reported by the California State Bar in the announcement below, a criminal defense attorney was recently disbarred for inappropriate sexual conduct with two clients. Your right to counsel in a criminal case includes the right to have an attorney who will defend you with integrity and professionalism.

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The San Rafael Police Department has scheduled another DUI and driver's license checkpoint in Marin County for this Wednesday, November 24th from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. It will start on Freitas Parkway at Las Gallinas Avenue but will probably move to Irwin Street at Fifth Avenue later in the evening.

This law enforcement activity is funded by a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

My Comments: I am not opposed to enforcement of the vehicle code and reasonable efforts to keep our community safe, but I am troubled by the warrantless detention of people without even probable cause to believe a violation of the law has been committed.

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LATEST UPDATE ON IID-RESTRICTED LICENSES: The DMV has now lost two separate lawsuits in Marin and Orange Counties based on its refusal to grant IID-restricted license (ignition interlock devices) to second-time DUI offenders with violation dates earlier than July 1, 2010, but with conviction dates subsequent to said date. A third lawsuit is reportedly now pending in Monterey County, wherein both the violation and conviction dates are prior to July 1, 2010. Notwithstanding the two losses, the DMV has yet to reverse its policy and will soon face additional lawsuits that include claims for attorney fees based on its arbitrary and capricious conduct. Clearly, the DMV is thumbing its nose at both the Legislature and the Courts, insisting upon a course of action that defies the legislative goal of encouraging DUI offenders to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles. If you are a second or third time DUI offender interested in obtaining an IID-restricted license, contact San Francisco DUI attorney Paul Burglin today at (415) 453-0534.

Mann County Superior Court Judge Verna A. Adams ruled in favor of a California man seeking the reinstatement of his driver’s lice nse following a second offense DUI conviction under law that went into effect on July 1, 2010. (client name redacted to preserve confidentiality)

40-year-old (name removed for confidentiality) was convicted of a second offense DUI on July 15, 2010, following his arrest on February 23, 2010. After having served 90 days of a license suspension, (name removed for confidentiality) sought the reinstatement of his license subject to his installing an ignition-interlock device (IID) in his vehicle. The IID prevents the operation of a vehicle if the driver has been drinking.

The DMV rejected (name removed for confidentiality) application for an IID-restricted license, contending that the new law does not apply to offenders with violation dates earlier than July 1, 2010. Finding that the legislative intent of the new law was to encourage all multiple offenders to install an IID in their car, Judge Adams ordered the DMV to grant (name removed for confidentiality) an IID ­restricted license.

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Posted on in DUI

Have you been charged with a DUI San Francisco, DUI Marin, DUI Sonoma or DUI Napa ? My name is Paul Burglin and I am a San Francisco Bay area DUI defense attorney who for over 25 years has specialized in drunk driving defense in San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, Napa and surrounding communities. I am also the co-author of "California Drunk Driving Law".

In this series of blog postings I am going to discuss search and seizure issues related to drunk driving cases. However, the totality of search and seizure law is perhaps as voluminous and complicated as drunk driving (DUI) law.

Hot Pursuit

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If you were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence over the Fourth of July weekend you are not alone.  The California Highway Patrol reports that it arrested 128 drivers in the Bay Area for this alleged offense over the weekend, and that figure does not include arrests made by deputy sheriffs and city police officers.

If you desire legal representation to navigate and defend you through the DMV and Court systems, please give my office a call or send me an e-mail message.  It is unwise to try and handle these situations yourself.  I have been a San Francisco DUI lawyer for over 25 years and if I cannot get you off, I can at least mitigate things for you as much as possible.

Have you been charged with a DUI San Francisco, DUI Marin, DUI Sonoma or DUI Napa? My name is Paul Burglin and I am a San Francisco Bay area drunk driving attorney who for over 25 years has specialized in drunk driving defense in San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, Napa and surrounding communities. I am also the co-author of "California Drunk Driving Law".

New DUI laws go into effect on July 1, 2010, pertaining to restricted license eligibility for multiple offenders. 

Summary Of New Restricted License Laws For Multiple Offenders- SB 598 and 895 (effective July 1, 2010)

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