October 9, 2013

MARY PREVOST'S BLOG: RIP WWII VET FRANK X. PREVOST: THE MOST BRILLIANT MAN DIED TODAY.

REPRINTED FROM THE SDCDBA:

FEBRUARY 13, 2013

First, thanks to many of you who were aware that man father has been ailing, and sent kind words and prayers.

I learned just an hour ago, as I was attempting to make plans to go see my father, who had been rushed to the hospital in Baltimore, that he passed away this morning. My father was, and will remain, the most brilliant man I've ever known.

Born in 1923 - he just turned 90 a few weeks ago - he was dropped in a Jesuit orphanage alone with his brother, Al (who died just two months ago), when his father took off during the great depression leaving my grandmother with 10 children she couldn't care for. All ended up in orphanages. He moved from Jesuit orphanage, to and from 14 different foster homes, and back to the orphanage repeatedly over those years. He graduated from Loyola H.S., fluent in Greek, Latin and French. He started Loyola college. When the war broke out, he enlisted in the United States Army Air corps where he worked on gliders in Europe.

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He saw combat in Europe. He served in the Army Air Corps with the 9th Air Force Troop Carrier Command, and took part in the airborne invasion of Holland in 1944, Operation Market Garden (Remagen Bridge), the ill fated Allied ground and air invasion of Arnhem in the Netherlands, and two months later re-supplied C-47 planes for the troops at Bastone. He was discharged, but remained in the inactive reserve as a 1st Lieutenant until 1947. As was customary of the men of the day, he never ever spoke of the horrors he witnessed. It was considered inappropriate.

After WWII, the French government gave him a scholarship to attend Le Sorbonne in Paris, and then finished at Loyola. He went to University of Maryland Law School, and then worked for the government for a while handling high security clearances - including one for Jimmy Carter long before he was to become president. He began his law career at The Martin Co., predecessor of Martin Marrieta. Then to ITT, where he became the Director of Avionics. Then elevated to Director of Commercial Claims and Litigation at ITT World Headquarters in NYC.

His work took him to Tokyo, Bangkok, Saigon, Vietnam, Manila, Brussels, London, Rome and France. A four year case took him to Germany where the ITT subsidiary, SEL Corp., won their case against NATO. The case was a disaster, and my father spent years turning it around. He was "the closer."

My father always started his day the same. He got up at O'Dark Thirty, got on the bust to NYC, attended Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral, and went to work until 5:30. He'd come home with a trial bag of contracts, break them out on the table and work after dinner, until I would require him to stop and play a rousing game - or ten - of "Go Fish."

I spent a great deal of time with him in Cocoa Beach, Florida where he would stay while working on NASA contracts ITT had with Cape Canaveral. We spent summers in Europe - where he lived about 1/3 of the year - traveling the week with my mom, and spending the weekends with him.

There was no one who could out argue my father. No one. My father taught me Aristotelian Syllogistic logic when I was a kid, although I didn't know it at the time. The Socratic method was not out of use at our house. He loved to use the Reductio ad absurdum to make his point. I remember sitting at the dinner table being awed and mesmerized by his ability to argue a point of philosophy or theology with friends and clergy who were just as educated as he, including tongue tying the Auxiliary Bishop of Newark and the Father provincial of the Augustinian Recollect order.

Notwithstanding his corporate persona, I was taught never to look down upon those who were different. He grew up in an orphanage, and in foster homes, and he never forgot where he came from or what he endured. To that end, when I escaped from Catholic HS, to the chagrin of my mother, and went to public school, my 3 best friends were Jewish, black and gay. My father adored them. He loved my friends because of who they were - good kids, not trouble makers. He knew I was safe with my crew. I didn't really know what prejudice was until I went to college. It didn't exist in my world because of my father. He never forgot what it was like to be discarded and kicked around. My uncle - my dad's brother-in-law - later became the chief trial lawyer for the Baltimore State's Attorneys office, and the police legal advisor for the Baltimore County police. When I was deciding whether or not to go to law school, and become a public defender, I called Uncle Charlie to gauge his reaction and to seek advice. He was ecstatic, and told me he thought the world needed checks and balances, and good public defenders. He told me something I'd never heard before: "It is the duty of the prosecutor to seek justice, not merely to convict." thought he made that up himself. I later learned from defense attorneys I would run into at seminars from Baltimore that my uncle was quite well respected as one of the good old boys who wasn't embarrassed to admit when he was wrong, and dismiss a case when it became clear it was warranted. He was a WWII fighter pilot. A man from a different world.

My favorite story is this: My father spent a great deal of time in Washington, D.C., where I and my sister attended college. But, alas, my mom was frugal and we lived on a shoe string. But Dad would always take me to the Safeway at the Watergate Hotel where there was a Safeway, and load me up with food. Now, Dad always work his "spook" uniform. Black suit, black shoes, black overcoat, and black fedora. While approaching the entrance of the Safeway, a very tall and very ramshackled looking homeless man asked him for money. He declined, because he didn't want his money going to booze. But he invited this man to come shop with us, at which time he would buy than man any sandwich he wanted, any side dishes and something to drink. The man was awed and followed us in. Almost immediately, the manager appeared, deriding the man for entering the premises. Mr. ITT World Headquarters whipped around and told him, "This is my guest. I intend to spend a great deal of money in your establishment. I intend to purchase food for him. DO YOU have a problem with ME?" The manager bowed and apologized. And the homeless man followed us around while we shopped and then we bought him his lunch. Dad never forgot what it was like to be down and out, to be unwanted.

When my father retired from ITT, he was courted by the likes of Dewey Ballentine, Covington & Burling, and McKenne & Cuneo for the business he could bring in from ITT. He chose to go with a small, boutique firm recently opened by my father's two favorite trial lawyers. Everyone in the firm was Jewish. And Conservative Jewish. Dad had half days on Friday because everyone had to leave early to make it home before sundown to keep Sabbath. These were his dear friends. And, yes, he still went to St. Patrick's Cathedral for Mass every morning in NYC before going to his conservative Jewish law firm.

Unfortunately, after my mother died, he remarried a woman who shattered our family. Without getting too intimate, he became the victim of elder abuse in his later years. We literally told me weren't allowed to see him in Baltimore over Christmas. We were screamed at by his wife and ordered to go home. We showed up on Christmas day, put my sister's triplets and 10 year old in front of us (for protection), and when the door opened, we entered. We are our father's girls. We had all converged together in Baltimore to say goodbye to my father, whom we were told had only days. I brought a suit for his funeral. But when he saw his 3 girls together for the first time in years, along with his grandchildren, something happened. He no longer wanted to die because his best friend - his last living brother - had died weeks before. Miraculously, his vitals went up. The nurse that came by in the mornings didn't know what was happening - why he was coming around rather than declining so rapidly.

I sit here thinking of this, and all that has transpired and all that I've seen over the years with my father, and compare it with the abject stupidity - and evil arrogance - of so many on our bench. And the ethics - or lack thereof - of DA's and prosecutors still astounds me. And the stress of the constant, never ending fights, the personal attacks meted out, for even the most miniscule of things, has taken it's toll on my personal health.

I am here today, against all odds, only because my father - the most brilliant man I've ever known. He believed in me no matter what. "Some men see things as they are and say, "why"? I dream of things that never were and say, "Why not?"" But he always said I'd have to work harder and be better. There will always be people ready to hurt you, harm you and destroy you, he told me. I have tried.

Good luck to you all. Keep fighting. Please send positive energy my way, and prayers for my father. The most brilliant man died today. I am devastated beyond words.

October 2, 2013

MARY FRANCES PREVOST, ESQ.: WHY IS THE GOVERNMENT TRYING TO MAKE CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS WORK FOR FREE?

The federal government has not funded federal criminal defender programs or CJA (Criminal Justice Act) programs, leading to devastating cut backs, lay-offs, and furloughs at defenders offices. Additionally, the private appointed attorneys (CJA lawyers) have had their fees cut, payments delayed. Now with the shut down, there are no payments in sight.

Try working for six to eight weeks on a trial, knowing you won't get paid. How does this benefit the system of justice?

Adding to the insult, the Chief Judge of the 8th Circuit has suggested that CJA lawyers need to work “pro bono.” As one can imagine, the clients are the ones who will suffer the most.

Here is how the LA County Bar responded to this crisis:

LACBA is joining with most of the Chief Judges of the nation’s 94 Federal District Courts in writing to Congress to express our grave concerns over the impact that flat funding, along with sequestration, is having on the judiciary’s ability to carry out its constitutional and statutory responsibilities.

While this is a national issue, it has a direct impact locally, where the Central District serves more than 18 million people–more than half the residents of California and more than any federal district court in the nation.

“We share the Chief Judges’ concern over the debilitating impact of underfunding on court operations across the country,” wrote LACBA President Patricia Egan Daehnke. “Underfunding has resulted in delays in processing cases, threats to public safety, reduced courthouse security, and bruising cuts to Federal Public Defenders’ offices.”

LACBA’s letter has been sent to California Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, House members who represent those areas of the state that make up the Central District, and other congressional leaders imploring them to act quickly to protect and restore the Federal Courts’ budget, which only accounts for 2 percent of the national budget.

Shame your local representatives into funding the federal judiciary, including the defenders and CJA programs. This abuse must stop.

July 28, 2013

SAN DIEGO SEXUAL POLITICS: IF FILNER GOES, SEND JAN GOLDSMITH AND THE CITY COUNCIL WITH HIM

It's utterly fascinating - and somewhat frightening - that most members of the City Council are calling for Bob Filner's resignation because of sexual harassment allegations. There's fire and brimstone coming from every corner. Every politician is jumping over the next trying to get a front row seat on the "Get Rid of Filner" train. You'd think they were REALLY upset by sexual harassment. But they're not. Each one of them is just as guilty of sexual harassment as Filner.

If Filner goes, so should the highly misogynistic Jan Goldsmith, AND the city council members who recently voted to hand Goldsmith $500,000 to hire two big law firms to defend lawsuits by victims of sexual predator, Anthony Arevalos. Let's be consistent folks. (Click HERE for an article on the first $250,000 authorization by the City Council.)

That's right. These very City Council members authorized $500,000 in retainers on two high profile law firms to DEFEND the city and the sexual predator cop against lawsuits brought by the sick cop's last 2 victims. Now the city attorneys and their high powered firms can further harass, bury, paper and destroy two women's lives who were already sexually assaulted by a cop the City knew was out there doing it. The cop is in state prison, his supervisors knew what was happening for years, the Chief gave the cop's supervisors promotions, and City Attorneys are taking depositions of victims, prying into their sex lives, trying to find old boyfriends, trying to scare them. Thanks San Diego City Council for protecting innocent women. All of you Filner haters who voted to continue the emotional harassment of two innocent victims of rogue cop Anthony Arevalos by handing misogynist Jan Goldsmith a blank check are simply two-faced.

So, if the defenders of women's virtue - the San Diego City Council - want Filner to go, I say "You go with them." And so should Jan Goldsmith, because he's complicit with ‎San Diego‬ City Council members who are allowing the continued sexual assault of two innocent victims.

Continue reading "SAN DIEGO SEXUAL POLITICS: IF FILNER GOES, SEND JAN GOLDSMITH AND THE CITY COUNCIL WITH HIM" »

July 3, 2013

CALIFORNIA DUI DEFENSE: HOW TO AVOID A DUI THIS 4TH OF JULY

I write and re-write this article every season and every year. But time and time again I see friends and people I know who have read it coming to me because they got arrested in San Diego, Orange County, Imperial County, Riverside, San Bernardino or Los Angeles for a DUI.

Okay, think about it... How smart is it to drive a two-ton killing machine through the streets with, say, a .16 blood alcohol level? Not very. In fact, it is inherently dangerous for you and everyone in your vicinity. How about.... How smart is it to take a cab instead of driving? How about, since it's the 4th of July and we all know we are going to imbibe, just plan to take a cab from the start? Yes, now we are getting smarter.

Yes, think about it. A GOOD DUI attorney will charge you about $5,000 or upwards pre-trial to work up your DUI case. Yes, people, there are defenses to high blood alcohol DUI's. I just got an offer of a wet reckless misdemeanor on a felony DUI with injury case that was originally charged as a felony. I also just got an offer of a straight misdemeanor to another DUI with injury case. Both clients were in the Navy, and could not have the felony without it ruining their careers. I recently sued San Diego's top DUI cop in federal court and won a settlement from the City because the cop falsified the basis for his stop. Yes, there are cheap attorneys out there and they will always claim to do cheaply what the best of us do for the cost of our experience. But you get what you pay for. I personally don't hire doctors that hawk themselves as "cheaper than the other guy." Nor would I ever hire an attorney that hawks himself for cheap.

Some cases California DUI can be won. Some California DUI cases cases can't be won. It depends on how competent your lawyer is, how the cop did the investigation, if the machines used were properly calibrated, and what you said at the time of the investigation, amongst other things.

Remember, anyone with a law license from the State of California can take your money and represent you on a DUI. That doesn't mean that they know what they are doing. Would you request advice from a novice if you had cancer? Of course not.

Now, if you haven't read it before, read it now. And if you have read it before, read it again. This article is chock full of info on what to do if you get stopped for a DUI and arrested.

It's starting now. Police agencies all over California are setting up roadblocks, and putting officers on overtime, to make as many DUI arrests as possible. Hopefully, the tips below will come in handy for you over this holiday weekend.

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1. If you drive in California during the 4th of July, and you plan on having a cocktail or two, make sure you know where your license, registration and proof of insurance are. DUI officers historically write in their California DUI reports (putting only facts that harm you in them) that the suspect "fumbled for his wallet" and couldn't find his registration. They use this to try to show you were impaired. Be prepared.

2. When you get signaled by the DUI officer to pull over for a DUI assessment, do so immediately and safely. Roll down your window and put your hands on the steering wheel.

3. If a DUI officer asks you if you know why you are being pulled over, remember you don't have to answer. What a dumb question! He knows why he is pulling you over. He is pulling you over to assess you for drunk driving, and he's using the fact that you might have committed some minor vehicle code violations as an excuse. Don't make any admissions to him. So, you can just ask him, "why?"

4. The next question the DUI officer is likely to ask is, "Have you had anything to drink tonight." Remember your rights? You are not required to speak to officers. I know, I know, you think, "But if I don't talk to the officer, he will be mad." Let him be. You are not at a social gathering; he is not invited to your next birthday party. So don't worry about how he feels. He is collecting evidence against you. Don't give him any. It is best to say, "Officer, I appreciate what you do for a living, but I don't wish to answer any of your questions." You do NOT have to answer. The less from you he gets, the better for you in the long run. He is gathering evidence. But, you say, maybe he will let me go if he knows I'm being honest with him. NO. Most people who are pulled over and have alcohol on their breath get arrested. It's just a fact of life. Don't give him anything to put in that report that he can use against you later.

5. He may then say, "I'd like you to complete a series of tests for me." Again, let him know that you do not wish to participate in any tests. You are not required to comply. DUI officers try to give a series of field tests to determine if you are impaired. I have NEVER known any officer to do these as per the standardized protocol. I hold a certification authorized by the United Stated Department of Transportation to administer these tests, and was required to pass a practical and written test to get that certification given by a nationally re-known sergeant with the Idaho State Police. Cops learn how to do these, and then promptly forget them, making up their own "tests." Do not do them. Do NOT let the officer collect more false "evidence" against you. Just reiterate that you do not wish to perform and tests. It's your right.

6. The DUI investigation officer may then tell you he wants you to take an in field breath, hand held, breath test. Do not take this "test." It is unreliable, and regularly exhibits blood alcohol numbers higher than what you really are. The cop really, really wants you to do this now, because you have made no statements, and you have refused his field "tests." He wants this badly. He NEEDS some evidence. Do not do it. You are NOT required to blow into the little hand held machine.

7. The officer will most likely arrest you, cuff and take you downtown. You will be required to take a breath or blood test. You must choose to take one of these tests, or he will take what is called a "forced blood test" and your driver's license will be suspended for a full year.

A few pointers: If you are still absorbing alcohol, the breath test will read high. It is also an INDIRECT measurement of blood alcohol level. If you take blood, you won't get a result for at least a week. Also, law enforcement labs don't use the proper amount of sodium fluoride and potassium oxalate in the blood tubes, so you can attack those results later. Personally, I wouldn't let anyone hired by the city or county to draw my blood, after learning all I know about the incompetence of the people drawing the blood, and the lack of sanitation protocol in place. Why risk infection? (See, article on frightening practices in the San Diego crime lab).

If you are arrested, you will be released within 12 hours on your promise to appear. You will received a pink piece of paper called a "DS-367." This document tells you that you, or your lawyer, must call the Department of Motor Vehicle within ten days of the arrest to secure a hearing to determine whether or not the DMV will take your license. Do not miss this deadline or you will be suspended automatically.

So, be careful. Don't drink and drive if you can help it. Drive safely. Don't talk to cops. Be polite, but do not let them gather damaging evidence against you. And when you get home call this Southern California DUI Defense lawyer. Dui Defense is hard. But it's not impossible.

Continue reading "CALIFORNIA DUI DEFENSE: HOW TO AVOID A DUI THIS 4TH OF JULY " »

March 24, 2013

CRIMINAL DEFENSE NEWS: Innocent Man Released After 23 years has Heart Attack

By GILLIAN MOHNEY
March 23, 2013

Click HERE for ABC news story, and video.

David Ranta has suffered a massive heart attack just two days after being exonerated of murder and leaving prison for the first time in 23 years, his attorney told ABCNews.com.

Lawyer Pierre Sussman said that Ranta, 58, was being treated in an New York hospital after suffering a severe heart attack Friday night. He did not provide further details.

Ranta was freed from prison Thursday after serving 23 years of a 37.5 year sentence for the murder of Brooklyn rabbi Chaskel Werzberger in 1990.

Ranta left a Brooklyn courtroom Thursday after a judge said he was free to go and his family cheered. On the way out he told reporters that the sensation of walking freely out of the courthouse was "overwhelming."

March 24, 2013

INLAND EMPIRE NEWS: Family Angered that Suspected Riverside DUI Driver Still Not Charged in 3 Deaths

COLTON, Calif. (KABC) -- A grieving father is demanding answers after his daughter, her best friend and the woman driving the two girls were killed by a suspected drunken driver who has not been charged nearly two months after the crash.

Click HERE for link to story.

Kylan Allen, 12, and her best friend, 13-year-old Haven Penman, were being driven by Allen's grandmother, L.E. Mason, to a church gathering on the evening of Jan. 18 when they were struck by another vehicle in Colton.

Penman and Mason died at the scene. Allen was critically injured and died a few days later.

"She was just an innocent lady trying to take her little girls to a church function," said Allen's father, Keith Allen.

The driver of the other vehicle, 29-year-old Michael Hughes, was arrested by Colton police for driving under the influence, but no charges have been filed.

Allen says there are questions about whether or not his mother-in-law failed to yield before the crash, but he wants to know why a suspected drunken driver is free.

"He hasn't been prosecuted for anything yet, no charges have been brought up," the father said. "I can't understand this and I just want some justice for my daughter Kylan, and Haven."

The district attorney's office tells Eyewitness News the case is still under investigation.

Continue reading "INLAND EMPIRE NEWS: Family Angered that Suspected Riverside DUI Driver Still Not Charged in 3 Deaths" »

February 2, 2013

San Diego DUI Defense: Find Out Where Checkpoints Are NOW

Super Bowl Sunday is a picnic for cops. Whether your team is winning (and you're cheering), or whether you team is losing (and you're crying) chances are there's alcohol involved. Your best bet is to host a party at home. If not, make sure you are the designated driver, or have one. Catching drunk drivers for cops on Super Bowl Sunday is like shooting fish in a barrel.

GO RAVENS!!!!

Now that we've gotten that out of the way......

If you want up to date information on DUI checkpoints in Southern California, make sure you check with MrCheckPoint at https://twitter.com/MrCheckpoint

Stay safe. GO RAVENS!

Continue reading "San Diego DUI Defense: Find Out Where Checkpoints Are NOW" »

February 2, 2013

San Diego DUI Defense: Beware of DUI Checkpoints During Super Bowl

SAN DIEGO DUI DEFENSE: BEWARE OF DUI CHECKPOINT THIS SUPERBOWL

Okay, think about it... it's Super Bowl weekend. And chances are you're not in New Orleans with my cousin Chris. He can afford to walk around the Latin Corner three sheets to the wind. But if you are planning to go to a Super Bowl party - and cheer my BALTIMORE RAVENS ON TO VICTORY - you'd better plan to be the designated driver, or have the party at your own home.

Cops will be setting up DUI Checkpoints and roving patrols all over San Diego, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles.

How smart is it to drive a two-ton killing machine through the streets with, say, a .16 blood alcohol level? Not very. In fact, it is inherently dangerous for you and everyone in your vicinity. How about.... How smart is it to take a cab instead of driving? How about, since it'sSuper Bowl Sunday (or in this casepre-SUper Bowl Sunday!) and we all know we are going to imbibe, just plan to take a cab from the start? Yes, now we are getting smarter.

Yes, think about it. A GOOD DUI attorney will charge you about $5,000 or upwards pre-trial to work up your DUI case. Yes, people, there are defenses to high blood alcohol DUI's. I just got an offer of a wet reckless misdemeanor on a felony DUI with injury case that was originally charged as a felony. I also just got an offer of a straight misdemeanor to another DUI with injury case. Both clients were in the Navy, and could not have the felony without it ruining their careers. I recently sued San Diego's top DUI cop in federal court and won a settlement from the City because the cop falsified the basis for his stop. Yes, there are cheap attorneys out there and they will always claim to do cheaply what the best of us do for the cost of our experience. But you get what you pay for. I personally don't hire doctors that hawk themselves as "cheaper than the other guy." Nor would I ever hire an attorney that hawks himself for cheap.

Some cases California DUI can be won. Some California DUI cases cases can't be won. It depends on how competent your lawyer is, how the cop did the investigation, if the machines used were properly calibrated, and what you said at the time of the investigation, amongst other things.

Remember, anyone with a law license from the State of California can take your money and represent you on a DUI. That doesn't mean that they know what they are doing. Would you request advice from a novice if you had cancer? Of course not.

Now, if you haven't read it before, read it now. And if you have read it before, read it again. This article is chock full of info on what to do if you get stopped for a DUI and arrested.

It's starting now. Police agencies all over California are setting up roadblocks, and putting officers on overtime, to make as many DUI arrests as possible. It will be like shooting fish in a barrel. Hopefully, the tips below will come in handy for you over this Super Bowl weekend.

1. Make make sure you know where your license, registration and proof of insurance are. DUI officers historically write in their California DUI reports (putting only facts that harm you in them) that the suspect "fumbled for his wallet" and couldn't find his registration. They use this to try to show you were impaired. Be prepared.

2. When you get signaled by the DUI officer to pull over for a DUI assessment, do so immediately and safely. Roll down your window and put your hands on the steering wheel.

3. If a DUI officer asks you if you know why you are being pulled over, remember you don't have to answer. What a dumb question! He knows why he is pulling you over. He is pulling you over to assess you for drunk driving, and he's using the fact that you might have committed some minor vehicle code violations as an excuse. Don't make any admissions to him. So, you can just ask him, "why?"

4. The next question the DUI officer is likely to ask is, "Have you had anything to drink tonight." Remember your rights? You are not required to speak to officers. I know, I know, you think, "But if I don't talk to the officer, he will be mad." Let him be. You are not at a social gathering; he is not invited to your next birthday party. So don't worry about how he feels. He is collecting evidence against you. Don't give him any. It is best to say, "Officer, I appreciate what you do for a living, but I don't wish to answer any of your questions." You do NOT have to answer. The less from you he gets, the better for you in the long run. He is gathering evidence. But, you say, maybe he will let me go if he knows I'm being honest with him. NO. Most people who are pulled over and have alcohol on their breath get arrested. It's just a fact of life. Don't give him anything to put in that report that he can use against you later.

5. He may then say, "I'd like you to complete a series of tests for me." Again, let him know that you do not wish to participate in any tests. You are not required to comply. DUI officers try to give a series of field tests to determine if you are impaired. I have NEVER known any officer to do these as per the standardized protocol. I hold a certification authorized by the United Stated Department of Transportation to administer these tests, and was required to pass a practical and written test to get that certification given by a nationally re-known sergeant with the Idaho State Police. Cops learn how to do these, and then promptly forget them, making up their own "tests." Do not do them. Do NOT let the officer collect more false "evidence" against you. Just reiterate that you do not wish to perform and tests. It's your right.

6. The DUI investigation officer may then tell you he wants you to take an in field breath, hand held, breath test. Do not take this "test." It is unreliable, and regularly exhibits blood alcohol numbers higher than what you really are. The cop really, really wants you to do this now, because you have made no statements, and you have refused his field "tests." He wants this badly. He NEEDS some evidence. Do not do it. You are NOT required to blow into the little hand held machine.

7. The officer will most likely arrest you, cuff and take you downtown. You will be required to take a breath or blood test. You must choose to take one of these tests, or he will take what is called a "forced blood test" and your driver's license will be suspended for a full year.

A few pointers: If you are still absorbing alcohol, the breath test will read high. It is also an INDIRECT measurement of blood alcohol level. If you take blood, you won't get a result for at least a week. Also, law enforcement labs don't use the proper amount of sodium fluoride and potassium oxalate in the blood tubes, so you can attack those results later. Personally, I wouldn't let anyone hired by the city or county to draw my blood, after learning all I know about the incompetence of the people drawing the blood, and the lack of sanitation protocol in place. Why risk infection? (See, article on frightening practices in the San Diego crime lab).

If you are arrested, you will be released within 12 hours on your promise to appear. You will received a pink piece of paper called a "DS-367." This document tells you that you, or your lawyer, must call the Department of Motor Vehicle within ten days of the arrest to secure a hearing to determine whether or not the DMV will take your license. Do not miss this deadline or you will be suspended automatically.

So, be careful. Don't drink and drive if you can help it. Drive safely. Don't talk to cops. Be polite, but do not let them gather damaging evidence against you. And when you get home call this Southern California DUI Defense lawyer. DUI Defense is hard. But it's not impossible.

Continue reading "San Diego DUI Defense: Beware of DUI Checkpoints During Super Bowl" »

March 30, 2012

BOBBY BROWN'S LAWYER NEEDS TO SHUT UP

Whenever a star is arrested, it's big news for Hollywood. TMZ, the Huffington Post, Entertainment Tonight and a host of other shows torture us with reruns from every angle.

The news of the day is the arrest of Whitney Houston's ex-husband Bobby Brown for DUI.

Bobby Brown was allegedly pulled over for talking on a cell phone while driving. That's the allegation. Of course, the burden is on the prosecutor to prove up that there was a valid basis for the stop. That is, unless, your lawyer admits the police report is correct and waives the attorney-client privilege.

In a statement to the press, Brown's newbie lawyer, Tiffany Feder, explains: "Everyone is innocent until proven guilty and Mr. Brown was not driving erratically. He was speaking on his cell phone. Mr. Brown has not been convicted of anything associated with this incident. Mr.
Brown is taking this matter seriously and an investigation is under way. The legal process shall run its course.""

When a lawyer actually reveals facts that are privileged attorney-client communications, such as an admission that he was driving without a hands free set and talking on his cell phone, that destroys any chance of the defense lawyer prevailing on a suppression motion. What Ms. Feder has done is dash any possibility that Brown can prevail on a suppression motion because she had made an admission based on what should have remained a privileged attorney-client relationship.

Bobby Brown's lawyer just needs to shut up.

Continue reading "BOBBY BROWN'S LAWYER NEEDS TO SHUT UP" »

December 6, 2011

SAN DIEGO CIVIL RIGHTS: JUROR ASSAULTED/ARRESTED BY COURTHOUSE DEPUTY

For John Stephens, the injuries have healed, but the memories have yet to fade.

Click HERE to see the video of the news story.

"I remember thinking, 'What is going on here?'" said Stephens, a retired school bus driver and former Navy sailor.

In July 2010, Stephens was summoned to jury at the downtown courthouse. He walked into the courthouse with his wife, and then placed his watch in the basket as he prepared to go through a security checkpoint.

However, Stephens' implants from knee surgery set off the metal detector, so a deputy took him aside and used a hand-held to inspect him. At that point, Stephens said someone grabbed his belongings.

"I looked over and saw this gentleman with my watch and belt, and I said, 'Hey,'" said Stephens.

Stephens' wife, Elizabeth, said, "He never moved his arms down from that position."

Stephens never finished his sentence because he said a deputy surprised him.

"Next thing I knew I was on the floor and the guy was twisting my arm to the point of breaking it … I felt his knee coming into me … next thing I know I'm on the ground. There were three of them twisting every way they could," Stephens told 10News.

The incident left him upset and in pain.

"One arm was bruised and purple for three to four weeks," said Stephens.

Stephens was also handcuffed and under arrest for obstruction. Charges were never filed, but Stephens filed a civil suit against San Diego County for the abuse inflicted on him by deputies and false arrest.

"He clearly was not a danger to anyone. This is the worst case of abuse by [a] sheriff's deputy at the courthouse," said Stephens' lawyer, Civil Rights Attorney Mary Frances Prevost.

Elizabeth Stephens added, "They could have done irreparable damage. It's not right, it's not right."

Stephens said he thought the right thing was going to jury duty. He's not so sure anymore.

"It was astounding. I came down for this? All I'm trying to do is go to jury duty," Stephens said.

County attorneys declined to comment due to pending litigation.

Stephens' wife tracked down the man who took her husband's watch and other items, and was able to get the items back. The man was not charged with theft.

California Civil Rights Attorney Prevost said she believes there is surveillance tape, but has yet to obtain it.

Continue reading "SAN DIEGO CIVIL RIGHTS: JUROR ASSAULTED/ARRESTED BY COURTHOUSE DEPUTY" »

November 17, 2011

HOW THE US SUPREME COURT GPS TRACKING CASES CAN COMPROMISE YOUR CELL PHONE SECURITY

Read on about how the US Supreme Court's GPS tracking case may compromise your cell phone security. Big brother is watching.

http://www.aclu.org/blog/technology-and-liberty/how-supreme-courts-gps-tracking-case-can-affect-your-cell-phone-privacy

August 18, 2011

LAW OFFICE OF MARY FRANCES PREVOST- FACEBOOK UPDATE PAGE

Please log go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Law-Offices-of-Mary-Frances-Prevost/26825436846 and "Like" the Law Office of Mary Frances Prevost, and follow my by logging onto my RSS feed for daily updates on breaking cases in news and politics.

The Law offices of Mary Frances Prevost is dedicated to the zealous defense of the criminally accused, and prosecution of law enforcement agents who violate civil rights, commit police brutality and fabricate evidence.

The Law offices of Mary Frances Prevost seeks to stem the rising tide of police brutality throughout the State of California.

Continue reading "LAW OFFICE OF MARY FRANCES PREVOST- FACEBOOK UPDATE PAGE" »

July 18, 2011

"LIKE" my Legal Page on Facebook "Law Offices of Mary Prevost

If you like this blog, then please "LIKE" my legal page on facebook. it is "Law Offices of Mary Frances Prevost". http://www.facebook.com/pages/Law-Offices-of-Mary-Frances-Prevost/26825436846?ref=ts

Continue reading ""LIKE" my Legal Page on Facebook "Law Offices of Mary Prevost" »

July 1, 2011

LAW OFFICES OF MARY PREVOST, SAN DIEGO DUI DEFENSE: HOW TO AVOID A DUI THIS FOURTH OF JULY

I write and re-write this article every season and every year. But time and time again I see friends and people I know who have read it coming to me because they got arrested in San Diego, Orange County, Imperial County, Riverside, San Bernardino or Los Angeles for a DUI.

Okay, think about it... How smart is it to drive a two-ton killing machine through the streets with, say, a .16 blood alcohol level? Not very. In fact, it is inherently dangerous for you and everyone in your vicinity. How about.... How smart is it to take a cab instead of driving? How about, since it's Fourth of July weekend and we all know we are going to imbibe, just plan to take a cab from the start? Yes, now we are getting smarter.

Yes, think about it. A GOOD DUI attorney will charge you about $5,000 pre-trial to work up your case. Yes, people, there are defenses to high blood alcohol DUI's. I just got an offer of a wet reckless on a .17 blood alcohol case. I got another "wet" offer on a .17 blood alcohol level case where the client had an accident. I recently sued San Diego's top DUI cop in federal court and won $10,000 in settlement from the City because the cop falsified the basis for his stop. Yes, there are cheap attorneys out there and they will always claim to do cheaply what the best of us do for the cost of our experience. But you get what you pay for. I personally don't hire doctors that hawk themselves as "cheaper than the other guy." Nor would I ever hire an attorney that hawks himself for cheap.

Some cases can be won. Some cases can't be won. It depends on how competent your lawyer is, how the cop did the investigation, if the machines used were properly calibrated, and what you said at the time of the investigation, amongst other things.

Remember, anyone with a law license from the State of California can take your money and represent you on a DUI. That doesn't mean that they know what they are doing. Would you request advice from a novice if you had cancer? Of course not.

Now, if you haven't read it before, read it now. And if you have read it before, read it again. This article is chock full of info on what to do if you get stopped for a DUI and arrested.

It's starting now. Police agencies all over San Diego are setting up roadblocks, and putting officers on overtime, to make as many DUI arrests as possible. Hopefully, the tips below will come in handy for you over this Fourth of July Weekend.

florida-traffic-school-3v.jpg

1. If you drive in San Diego during the Fourth of July weekend, and you plan on having a cocktail or two, make sure you know where your license, registration and proof of insurance are. San Diego DUI officers historically write in their San Diego DUI reports (putting only facts that harm you in them) that the suspect "fumbled for his wallet" and couldn't find his registration. They use this to try to show you were impaired. Be prepared.

2. When you get signaled by the San Diego DUI officer to pull over for a DUI assessment, do so immediately and safely. Roll down your window and put your hands on the steering wheel.

3. If a San Diego DUI officer asks you if you know why you are being pulled over, remember you don't have to answer. What a dumb question! He knows why he is pulling you over. He is pulling you over to assess you for drunk driving, and he's using the fact that you might have committed some minor vehicle code violations as an excuse. Don't make any admissions to him. So, you can just ask him, "why?"

4. The next question the San Diego DUI officer is likely to ask is, "Have you had anything to drink tonight." Remember your rights? You are not required to speak to officers. I know, I know, you think, "But if I don't talk to the officer, he will be mad." Let him be. You are not at a social gathering; he is not invited to your next birthday party. So don't worry about how he feels. He is collecting evidence against you. Don't give him any. It is best to say, "Officer, I appreciate what you do for a living, but I don't wish to answer any of your questions." You do NOT have to answer. The less from you he gets, the better for you in the long run. He is gathering evidence. But, you say, maybe he will let me go if he knows I'm being honest with him. NO. Most people who are pulled over and have alcohol on their breath get arrested. It's just a fact of life. Don't give him anything to put in that report that he can use against you later.

5. He may then say, "I'd like you to complete a series of tests for me." Again, let him know that you do not wish to participate in any tests. You are not required to comply. San Diego DUI officers try to give a series of field tests to determine if you are impaired. I have NEVER known any officer to do these as per the standardized protocol. I hold a certification authorized by the United Stated Department of Transportation to administer these tests, and was required to pass a practical and written test to get that certification given by a nationally re-known sergeant with the Idaho State Police. Cops learn how to do these, and then promptly forget them, making up their own "tests." Do not do them. Do NOT let the officer collect more false "evidence" against you. Just reiterate that you do not wish to perform and tests. It's your right.

6. The San Diego DUI investigation officer may then tell you he wants you to take an in field breath, hand held, breath test. Do not take this "test." It is unreliable, and regularly exhibits blood alcohol numbers higher than what you really are. The cop really, really wants you to do this now, because you have made no statements, and you have refused his field "tests." He wants this badly. He NEEDS some evidence. Do not do it. You are NOT required to blow into the little hand held machine.

7. The officer will most likely arrest you, cuff and take you downtown. You will be required to take a breath or blood test. You must choose to take one of these tests, or he will take what is called a "forced blood test" and your driver's license will be suspended for a full year.

A few pointers: If you are still absorbing alcohol, the breath test will read high. It is also an INDIRECT measurement of blood alcohol level. If you take blood, you won't get a result for at least a week. Also, SDPD and Sheriff's don't use the proper amount of sodium fluoride and potassium oxalate in the blood tubes, so you can attack those results later. Personally, I wouldn't let anyone hired by the city or county to draw my blood, after learning all I know about the incompetence of the people drawing the blood, and the lack of sanitation protocol in place. Why risk infection? (See, article on frightening practices in the San Diego crime lab).

If you are arrested, you will be released within 12 hours on your promise to appear. You will received a pink piece of paper called a "DS-367." This document tells you that you, or your lawyer, must call the Department of Motor Vehicle within ten days of the arrest to secure a hearing to determine whether or not the DMV will take your license. Do not miss this deadline or you will be suspended automatically.

So, be careful. Don't drink and drive if you can help it. Drive safely. Don't talk to cops. Be polite, but do not let them gather inculpatory evidence against you. And when you get home call this San Diego DUI Defense lawyer.

Continue reading "LAW OFFICES OF MARY PREVOST, SAN DIEGO DUI DEFENSE: HOW TO AVOID A DUI THIS FOURTH OF JULY" »

March 12, 2011

CALIFORNIA CRIMINAL DEFENSE: FEDS TAKE OVER SAN FRANCISO POLICE SCANDAL

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón said Friday that his office has pulled out of the investigation into whether San Francisco police officers conducted illegal raids and is handing over the case to the U.S. Justice Department.

Click HERE for original story.

The former police chief, who was named district attorney in January, said he had received unspecified new information Friday that meant his office was "not equipped" to investigate whether plainclothes officers at Southern Station had conducted improper searches and lied about them in police reports.

Four videotapes taken in residential hotels have recently surfaced that contradicted officers' descriptions in their reports on drug raids. The FBI is already investigating the matter, and until Friday, prosecutors had an independent probe under way.

"We do not have the resources that are necessary to do this right," Gascón said. "We believe the case will be better served if given to the U.S. Justice Department."

Gascón said he will let Justice Department officials decide whether federal charges should be filed against officers. He would not dismiss the possibility that the district attorney's office would file state charges if federal prosecutors do not pursue a case.

Earlier this week, Gascón announced that his office had scuttled a total of 57 prosecutions connected to the involved officers.
The Police Department says it has ordered refresher training for about 100 undercover officers posted at the city's district stations.

At a hastily arranged news conference Friday, Gascón repeatedly denied that his office was pulling out of the probe because of any concerns about conflict of interest.

"This has nothing to do with a conflict in any way or shape," said Gascón, who was police chief when some of the raids took place. "This has to do with the complexity of the case."

Interim Police Chief Jeff Godown said the Police Department was continuing criminal and internal probes into the case.

Continue reading "CALIFORNIA CRIMINAL DEFENSE: FEDS TAKE OVER SAN FRANCISO POLICE SCANDAL" »

February 15, 2011

SAN DIEGO'S STREET CZAR, MARIO SERRA, ARRESTED FOR LEWD ACTS

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/feb/14/sd-city-official-arrested-lewd-act-charge/

August 6, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO DA LOSES SLEAZY BID TO RECUSE JUDGE (CALIFORNIA CRIMINAL DEFENSE)

Jaxon Van Derbeken, Chronicle Staff Writer
San Francisco Chronicle August 6, 2010 04:00 AM Copyright San Francisco Chronicle.
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Friday, August 6, 2010

Mike Kepka / The Chronicle
District Attorney Kamala Harris' office accused the judge of a conflict of interest.

An independent judge Thursday found no basis to back prosecutors' claims that a San Francisco judge was biased against prosecutors she had rebuked in a key ruling in the police drug lab scandal.

Monterey County Judge Thomas Wills said there was "absolutely no evidence" to support accusations by District Attorney Kamala Harris' office that Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo had a financial interest to rule against the district attorney's office.
The case involves former lab technician Deborah Madden, who is suspected of stealing cocaine and other drugs from the police crime lab and using them. As a result, hundreds of drug cases had to be dismissed and at least 60 others were left open to immediate challenge.

In May, Massullo ripped Harris' office, saying that prosecutors at the "highest levels" kept damaging information about the lab and the reliability of Madden from defense lawyers, thus violating the defendants' rights.

In response, Harris lodged a legal challenge against Massullo, claiming she might not be able to rule fairly on issues surrounding the city's drug lab scandal in part because she is married to a defense attorney who handled at least one drug lab related case.
The opinion vindicates Massullo, who prosecutors suggested was unable to be fair because her defense attorney husband stood to profit. The husband would, among other things, get free publicity for a legal seminar he spoke at related to the lab scandal, according to the allegations.

Massullo's lawyer described the case as a "factually incomplete and misleading" end-run around Massullo's legal rebuke of prosecutors.

Wills sided with Massullo and found that she acted properly in first mentioning in court that her husband had been contacted by Madden's defense attorney. Beyond that, he said, prosecutors simply did not have any evidence to back up their claim that Massullo was biased or could not be fair.

"There is absolutely no evidence of financial gain to her husband or her," Wills noted, reviewing in detail a timeline prosecutors claimed raised questions about her impartiality.
Merely because a judge rules against prosecutors, Wills noted, "is not grounds for disqualification."

Wills also said prosecutors waited too long to lodge a challenge, given that Massullo twice chided prosecutors to act and they failed to file a challenge for at least two weeks.
Erica Derryck, spokeswoman for Harris' office, issued a statement Thursday saying that the judge "invited" the challenge "after refusing to respond to direct queries in open court about an appearance of conflict."

"This exercise was the only means of getting the clarification we now have from Judge Massullo as a result of the filing," Derryck said in a statement.

Public Defender Jeff Adachi said the independent judge's ruling showed that the allegation against Massullo "wasn't worth the paper it was written on."

"All of their arguments that the judge was biased were squarely rejected," he said. "From the very beginning, the D.A.'s argument that a judge couldn't be fair because her husband is a defense attorney smacked of sexism."

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/08/06/BAEU1EPID0.DTL#ixzz0vq6C2RFr


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Continue reading "SAN FRANCISCO DA LOSES SLEAZY BID TO RECUSE JUDGE (CALIFORNIA CRIMINAL DEFENSE)" »

July 12, 2010

CALIFORNIA CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY - JUDGE SAYS: ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF DEPUTIES MAY HAVE USED EXCESSIVE FORCE

by Teri Sforza, Register staff writer

Perhaps the question is not if the county will settle this lawsuit, but when, and for how much…?

It’s not going well when a federal judge writes, “a reasonable jury could conclude that the defendant officers used excessive force against Ms. White …. Ms. White was not under suspicion of having committed any crime. Nor were the officers present to investigate Ms. White. Indeed, the officers were standing on Ms. White’s property without having obtained a warrant ….”

OUCH

We told you recently about the case involving an Old English sheep dog, a woman named Toy (who suffered a nasty black eye), and an Orange County Sheriff’s deputy who was arrested for DUI after two crashes within a half-hour.

Mission Viejo paid $24,000 to make this suit go away – but it is still grinding against former Deputy Allan James Waters’ bosses, the County of Orange and the Sheriff’s Department, racking up legal bills.

(Waters, by the way, is no longer a deputy. And shortly after he turned in his uniform, he was arrested for DUI and on suspicion of being a drug dealer who traded fake drugs and cash in exchange for real prescription drugs. The District Attorney’s Office said he tried to pull a fast one by using a white powder instead of cocaine. Oops.)

The county has settled one other case involving Deputy Waters for $32,000.

DOG GONE

On July 7, 2007, Toy Whitewas home in Mission Viejo with her husband Steve and their three Old English sheep dogs. A woman entered the property without permission, the suit says - and one of the dogs bit her.

That evening, there was a knock at the Whites’ door. They opened it, and there stood four OC sheriff’s deputies and a Mission Viejo animal control officer. They entered the house without the Whites’ consent – and without a warrant - demanding that the dog be surrendered for a 10-day quarantine.

Mission Viejo law allows for in-home quarantine when a bite happens during trespassing on private property. The Whites said they wanted to do that instead.

And here, according to the suit filed in federal court, is where things got dicey. The deputies became threatening and said, “Just give up the dog,” the suit says.

Toy White asked the officers to leave her house; they would continue the discussion outside. As she placed her hand on the door handle, “she was violently grabbed and thrown face first onto the tile floor, without warning or provocation, by (deputies) Macias and Waters,” the suit says. She was then cuffed tightly, arrested, and hauled off to jail.

The dog, meanwhile, was taken into custody as well. The dog was returned the following day, when the city realized its error; but White was arrested for battery on an officer and resisting arrest. The District Attorney’s office did not proceed, however, determining that the officers had no authority to enter the house, and no legal right to remove the dog, the suit says.

Deputies named, along with Waters, are J. Macias, S. Crivelli and T. Jansen, along with animal control officer H. Holmes. They maintain that White was threatening, advanced toward the deputies and resisted arrest.

SAYS THE JUDGE

The suit is in federal court, before Judge David O. Carter. He made the comments we’re quoting in an order granting in part, and denying in part, the county’s motion for summary judgment (a determination made by the court without a full trial).

Writes Carter: “…it remains a disputed issue of material fact as to whether Ms. White made any contact with the police officers. Even if Ms. White made such contact, the officers would only be entitled to use the force necessary in the circumstances, which was minimal since the officers concede that Ms. White was in the office of closing the front door to Plaintiffs’ residence and thereby imposing a physical barrier between herself and the officers.

“To the extent the officers now claim it was necessary to physically restrain Ms. White in order to effectively combat the harm alleged to have been caused by the Plaintiffs’ dog, the Court is unconvinced. It is for a jury to determine whether Ms. White’s restraint was a reasonable response to the threat that a dog inside Plaintiffs’ home posed a public safety risk. But the mere fact that Ms. White resisted the officers’ attempts to enter her residence without a warrant is far from a legitimate basis for the officers’ actions on July 7, 2007.”

The Whites’ attorney, Mary Frances Prevost, is understandably encouraged. She doesn’t completely understand why the county doesn’t cut its losses here, but postulates that it’s the way the system is set up. Lawyers make more money when cases go to trial, she says. Lawyers make less money when cases settle.

[california civil rights attorney, san diego civil rights attorney, orange county civil rights attorney, riverside civil rights attorney, imperial county civil rights attorney, san francisco civil rights attorney, ventura vicil rights attorney, santa barbara civil rights attorney]

Continue reading "CALIFORNIA CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY - JUDGE SAYS: ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF DEPUTIES MAY HAVE USED EXCESSIVE FORCE" »

July 12, 2010

WHEN WILL ORANGE COUNTY SETTLE ITS POLICE BRUTALITY CASE AND STOP PAYING ITS LAWYER TO DEFEND THE DIRTY COPS?

I have been posting on this issue for a long time. And it's been too long since the County of Orange decided not to settle this horrible case.

Instead, the County of Orange is protecting a dirty cop who crashed in a DUI accident, beat another person and settled the case, sold "bunk" (fake drugs) to get money, and beat a 5'2" cosmetics representative to the ground in her own home.

Well, when the firm of Sullivan & Ballog, who are defending the rogue cops in this case, tried to get the case kicked out of court, the judge said "No!"

Here's the article:

http://taxdollars.ocregister.com/2010/07/12/officers-used-excessive-force-ruling-suggests/60459/

July 2, 2010

SAN DIEGO DUI DEFENSE: HOW TO AVOID A CALIFORNIA DUI THIS FOURTH OF JULY

I write and re-write this article every season and every year. But time and time again I see friends and people I know who have read it coming to me because they got arrested in San Diego, Orange County, Imperial County, Riverside, San Bernardino or Los Angeles for a DUI.

Okay, think about it... How smart is it to drive a two-ton killing machine through the streets with, say, a .16 blood alcohol level? Not very. In fact, it is abundantly stupid and inherently dangerous for you and everyone in your vicinity. How about.... How smart is it to take a cab instead of driving? How about, since it's the 4th of July and we all know we are going to imbibe, just plan to take a cab from the start? Yes, now we are getting smarter.

Yes, think about it. A GOOD DUI attorney will charge you about $5,000 pre-trial to work up your case. Yes, people, there are defenses to high blood alcohol DUI's. I just got an offer of a wet reckless on a .17 blood alcohol case. I got another "wet" offer on a .17 blood alcohol level case where the client had an accident. I recently sued San Diego's top DUI cop in federal court and won $10,000 in settlement from the City because the cop falsified the basis for his stop.

That's not to say that your case can be won. Many can, many can't. It depends on how competent your lawyer is, how the cop did the investigation, if the machines used were properly calibrated, and what you said at the time of the investigation, amongst other things.

Remember, anyone with a law license from the State of California can take your money and represent you on a DUI. That doesn't mean that they know what they are doing. Would you request advice from a podiatrist if you had cancer? Of course not.

I am the first attorney in San Diego to be voted into the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard by a unanimous vote of the Board of Regents. I see attorneys take cases, take money, and plead the cases right out without doing any work. One such attorney ranks high on the search engines and never, never, never goes to court. Instead, he sends some appearance attorney to go to court and plead out 20 cases per day. He keeps all the money, does little to no work, but has a great marketing director. Don't be fooled.

Now, if you haven't read it before, read it now. And if you have read it before, read it again. This article is chock full of info on what to do if you get stopped for a DUI and arrested.

It's starting now. Police agencies all over San Diego are setting up roadblocks, and putting officers on overtime, to make as many DUI arrests as possible. Hopefully, the tips below will come in handy for you over this 4th of July holiday.

florida-traffic-school-3v.jpg

1. If you drive in San Diego during the 4th of July holiday, and you plan on having a cocktail or two, make sure you know where your license, registration and proof of insurance are. San Diego DUI officers historically write in their San Diego DUI reports (putting only facts that harm you in them) that the suspect "fumbled for his wallet" and couldn't find his registration. They use this to try to show you were impaired. Be prepared.

2. When you get signaled by the San Diego DUI officer to pull over for a DUI assessment, do so immediately and safely. Roll down your window and put your hands on the steering wheel.

3. If a San Diego DUI officer asks you if you know why you are being pulled over, remember you don't have to answer. What a dumb question! He knows why he is pulling you over. He is pulling you over to assess you for drunk driving, and he's using the fact that you might have committed some minor vehicle code violations as an excuse. Don't make any admissions to him. So, you can just ask him, "why?"

4. The next question the San Diego DUI officer is likely to ask is, "Have you had anything to drink tonight." Remember your rights? You are not required to speak to officers. I know, I know, you think, "But if I don't talk to the officer, he will be mad." Let him be. You are not at a social gathering; he is not invited to your next birthday party. So don't worry about how he feels. He is collecting evidence against you. Don't give him any. It is best to say, "Officer, I appreciate what you do for a living, but I don't wish to answer any of your questions." You do NOT have to answer. The less from you he gets, the better for you in the long run. He is gathering evidence. But, you say, maybe he will let me go if he knows I'm being honest with him. NO. Most people who are pulled over and have alcohol on their breath get arrested. It's just a fact of life. Don't give him anything to put in that report that he can use against you later.

5. He may then say, "I'd like you to complete a series of tests for me." Again, let him know that you do not wish to participate in any tests. You are not required to comply. San Diego DUI officers try to give a series of field tests to determine if you are impaired. I have NEVER known any officer to do these as per the standardized protocol. I hold a certification authorized by the United Stated Department of Transportation to administer these tests, and was required to pass a practical and written test to get that certification given by a nationally re-known sergeant with the Idaho State Police. Cops learn how to do these, and then promptly forget them, making up their own "tests." Do not do them. Do NOT let the officer collect more false "evidence" against you. Just reiterate that you do not wish to perform and tests. It's your right.

6. The San Diego DUI investigation officer may then tell you he wants you to take an in field breath, hand held, breath test. Do not take this "test." It is unreliable, and regularly exhibits blood alcohol numbers higher than what you really are. The cop really, really wants you to do this now, because you have made no statements, and you have refused his field "tests." He wants this badly. He NEEDS some evidence. Do not do it. You are NOT required to blow into the little hand held machine.

7. The officer will most likely arrest you, cuff and take you downtown. You will be required to take a breath or blood test. You must choose to take one of these tests, or he will take what is called a "forced blood test" and your driver's license will be suspended for a full year.

A few pointers: If you are still absorbing alcohol, the breath test will read high. It is also an INDIRECT measurement of blood alcohol level. If you take blood, you won't get a result for at least a week. Also, SDPD and Sheriff's don't use the proper amount of sodium fluoride and potassium oxalate in the blood tubes, so you can attack those results later. Personally, I wouldn't let anyone hired by the city or county to draw my blood, after learning all I know about the incompetence of the people drawing the blood, and the lack of sanitation protocol in place. Why risk infection? (See, article on frightening practices in the San Diego crime lab).

If you are arrested, you will be released within 12 hours on your promise to appear. You will received a pink piece of paper called a "DS-367." This document tells you that you, or your lawyer, must call the Department of Motor Vehicle within ten days of the arrest to secure a hearing to determine whether or not the DMV will take your license. Do not miss this deadline or you will be suspended automatically.

So, be careful. Don't drink and drive if you can help it. Drive safely. Don't talk to cops. Be polite, but do not let them gather inculpatory evidence against you. And when you get home call this San Diego DUI Defense lawyer.

Continue reading "SAN DIEGO DUI DEFENSE: HOW TO AVOID A CALIFORNIA DUI THIS FOURTH OF JULY" »