Can an employer fire you for a DUI arrest?


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Can an employer fire you for a DUI arrest?

Can an employer fire you for a DUI arrest?

Can an employer fire you for a DUI arrest?

Many people assume that if you work for an employer, and are arrested, that you can be terminated for being arrested.  So can an employer fire you for a DUI arrest?

You probably already know that under the Constitution, you are innocent until proven guilty.  A separate law, California Labor Code section 432.7 says the following:  An employer cannot ask someone applying for a job for information about an arrest or detention that did not end in a conviction.

An employer cannot ask about a referral to or participation in any diversion program. An employer is also not even supposed to look for any record of arrest (from any source) that did not end in a conviction. If this information comes to the employer’s attention anyway, the employer cannot use that record as a factor in hiring, promoting, or terminating that person.

This same code section says that the employer may ask an employee or someone applying for a job about an arrest. That applies when he or she is out on bail or released on his or her own recognizance pending trial.  A conviction, for purposes of this code section, includes pleas, verdicts, or findings of guilt.

In general people are protected from having to disclose to an employer an arrest if it did not result in a conviction under this Labor Code section.

Can an employer fire you for a DUI arrest if you need to drive for work?

For employers that require driving, like commercial drivers, there may be a duty to disclose any action against your license.  If you need to drive for a job and a valid license is required.  That may be a valid reason for termination of employment.

For pilots with a DUI arrest, you must report any action against your driver’s license or pilot’s license to the FAA in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  See our guide for Pilots and DUI. 

Can an employer fire you for a DUI arrest if you have a professional license and are arrested?

No, subject to the code section above.  However, note that many professional State and Federal licenses have a duty to disclose any arrests.  Many people are suspended based upon the failure to disclose voluntarily, not the arrest.  Nurses in particular are required to disclose arrests.  Licensing boards typically want to see the police reports to see if there are any issues.

If you have questions for our DUI attorneys about arrests, or convictions and employment issues, contact our firm for a free consultation.  We are here to help you.

Orange County DUI Checkpoints 8/19/2016

Orange County DUI Checkpoints 8/19/2016

DUI checkpoints in Orange County are coming up this Friday, August 19th, 2016, and on Saturday, August 20th, 2016. Look for sobriety checkpoints in the cities of:

  • Newport Beach;
  • Laguna Beach;
  • Seal Beach;
  • Buena Park;
  • The City of Brea;
  • Garden Grove; 
  • La Habra; and
  • South Orange County in Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo and Laguna Woods will see Orange County Sheriff’s Saturation Patrols.

All the Orange County DUI Checkpoints  are on 8/19/2016, except for the Laguna Beach DUI Checkpoints and the Seal Beach DUI checkpoints, which are on 8/20/2016.

Newport Beach DUI Checkpoint:

The Newport Beach Police Department announced a Newport Beach DUI checkpoint on Friday, August 19, 2016 at an undisclosed location within the city limits between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m.

Laguna Beach DUI Checkpoint:

A Laguna Beach DUI checkpoint was announced for Saturday, August 20, 2016.  It will take place at an undisclosed location in Laguna Beach between the hours of 8:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.

Seal Beach DUI Checkpoint:

A Seal Beach DUI checkpoint was announced for Saturday, August 20, 2016.  It will take place at the intersection of Adolfo Lopez and Seal Beach Boulevard in Seal Beach between the hours of 6:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.

Buena Park DUI Checkpoint:

The City of Brea announced a DUI checkpoint for August 19th at the intersection of  Beach Blvd & Stanton Ave in the City of Brea.  It will take place from 7pm on 8/19/16, to 3am on 8/20/2016.  Buena Park DUI press release here. 

Brea DUI Checkpoint:

The City of Brea announced a DUI checkpoint for August 19th at the intersection of  Beach Blvd & Stanton Ave in the City of Brea.  It will take place from 7pm on 8/19/16, to 3am on 8/20/2016.  Brea DUI press release here. 

Garden Grove DUI Checkpoint:

The City of Garden Grove announced a DUI checkpoint for August 19th at the intersection of  Beach Blvd & Stanton Ave in the City of Brea.  It will take place from 9:00 pm on 8/19/16, to 3am on 8/20/2016.

La Habra DUI Checkpoint:

The City of La Habra announced a DUI checkpoint for August 19th at the intersection of  Beach Blvd & Stanton Ave in the City of Brea.  It will take place from 9:45pm on 8/19/16, to 3am on 8/20/2016.  La Habora DUI press release here.

Orange County DUI Saturation Patrols

Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo and Laguna Woods are the site of saturation patrols, courtesy of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.  

Saturation patrols involve trained officers, who  drive targeted roadways,  Patrols are during select time periods and look for typical DUI behavior. Saturation patrol units are equipped with testing units to provide field breath tests for prosecution of DUI.

Saturation patrols are many times over more effective in apprehending DUI suspects when compared to DUI checkpoints in Orange County.

I have discussed why DUI Checkpoints Don’t Work, and Are A Bad Idea, but they continue.  Because of the heavy Federal, and State, grant funding, along with contributions for officer overtime, and contributions by MADD.  That diverts officers into a less effective activity.

Be careful on Friday and Saturday in Orange County – let people know to expect traffic tie ups near the checkpoints, and save someone from making a bad decision this weekend.


What is a Helmandollar Plea and how can it help me?

What is a Helmandollar Plea and how can it help me?

What is a Helmandollar Plea and how can it help? A Helmandollar plea, sometimes mistakenly called a Helmondollar plea, is used by a skilled Orange County DUI Attorney in DUI cases.  It is a plea bargain, where the driver agrees to plead guilty or no contest to one or more counts, with the agreement that the Court will make a judicial decision, based upon the evidence presented, or based on stipulated facts, that the defendant is not guilty of the excessive blood alcohol charge (BAC) (most commonly Vehicle Code section 23152(b)).

It is named Helmandollar after the case of Helmandollar v. DMV (1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 52.  The “one or more counts” referenced in the above paragraph are usually a Vehicle Code section 23152(a) charge, or a Vehicle Code section 23103 (wet reckless) charge.

So long as there is a decision, by a judge, that the defendant is not guilty of violating the excessive BAC charge, there is an “acquittal” (a not guilty verdict) within the meaning of California Vehicle Code section 13353.2(e). The cases of Claxton v. Zolin (1992) and also Gikas v. Zolin (1993) are also part of California DUI case law that has been used by our Orange County DUI Lawyer in also setting this precedent.

Unfortunately, the previous advantage of Helmandollar has been diminished for DUI offenses committed on or after September 20th, 2005, because now a conviction on the impairment charge — the Vehicle Code section 23152(a) charge of DUI, now triggers a DMV license suspension by law.

However, a Helmandollar plea does still avoid or can “set aside”, a DMV admin per se (APS) suspension based upon an above .08% or higher blood alcohol concentration.

For first offense DUI cases, the use of a Helmandollar disposition by can still avoid 30 days of a hard suspension on the APS action (it makes the driver or license holder immediately eligible for a restricted license on the conviction triggering suspension pursuant to California Vehicle Code section 13352.4).  However, the licensee must otherwise wait 30 days for restriction eligibility on the 4 month APS suspension pursuant to CVC 13353.7(a).

For commercial drivers, a Helmandollar disposition on the Vehicle Code section 23152(b) count, coupled with a wet reckless reduction on the 23152(a) count, can save a commercial driver from a one-year suspension of their commercial driving privilege, provided that they were not driving a commercial vehicle at the time.

This is because a one year suspension of the commercial privilege under Vehicle Code section 13369(b)(2), which is a separate code section that applies for any license suspension, is avoided by the APS set aside, and a wet reckless conviction does not trigger a suspension under CVC 13352(a)(1) or VC 15300.  Our DUI attorneys have had success in the past with this strategy.

Note that in our experience as Orange County DUI Lawyers, the DMV can be resistant to setting aside APS suspensions based on Helmandollar dispositions absent proof that the licensee was actually acquitted on the CVC 23152(b) count.  We recommend that the DUI lawyer Orange County submit to the judge hearing the case a “Judgment of Acquittal” pleading for the judge to sign, with enough information to show a legitimate court trial on the facts limited to the 23152(b) above .08 issue, and the reason for the “not guilty” verdict, along with details like the date of arrest, and the driver’s license number, and then mail a certified copy of that pleading entered by the court to the DMV’s legal department.

Contact our law firm today

If you have questions about a DUI suspension based upon a DMV action, and what is a Helmandollar plea and how can it help, please contact our firm today – our best DUI lawyers in Orange County are available to help you anytime.

Why fight a DUI case?

Why should you decide to fight a DUI case?

Why fight a DUI case?  In the event that you go to court and concede to a DUI, there is a 100% chance that a judge will make sure you are liable of a DUI. There is additionally a 100% chance that you will have a DUI conviction on your criminal record, and on your driving record.

orange county dui lawyers

Notwithstanding, fighting a DUI case means that an attorney will do everything conceivable to decidedly influence the result. Battling your case implies that the prosecutor will most likely be unable to get every one of the witnesses or confirmation he needs to convict you. Battling your case implies you have a shot.

Why fight a DUI case?

There are reasons to battle your case that focus on different areas, like the probable cause for your stop, or the breath, or blood, testing in your case.  That can be different in every case, but can get you big results. Maybe the officer didn’t have a legitimate lawful reason behind pulling you over you in your case, and the evidence collected can be suppressed. Maybe the breath machine is out of alignment, and your .09 is truly a .07. Maybe the blood test is thickened or aged, and creates a dishonestly high reading. These things may not even be known if you do not fight your case.

What’s more, even in those situations where the BAC is precise, and shows a reading of .08 or higher after you were tested, what does that mean about the timing of when you were driving. It is not unlawful to be .08 at the later Breath Test time; the law makes it clear that what alcohol level you were at the time of driving is the only relevant timing. It is very conceivable (even plausible) that somebody with a BAC over the limit at the time of testing was underneath that limit while driving. This is because of the inescapable time delays from the biology of intoxication – the absorption, circulation, peak timing, and elimination of alcohol within the human body. These things will never be investigated, unless you fight your case.

Why fight a DUI case? There are other reasons as well. As any boxer will let you know, it is preferable to go down swinging than to hide from battle. Running from problems, whether in the court or somewhere else in life, can bring emotional injuries that are much more harmful than anything the judge can do to you. Once in a while it is vital to stand up to those that intend you harm, to make sure you know you have given it your best shot to help your circumstance. To not do as such is to give yourself doubt and emotional worry about “what could have been done”, as you deal with a DUI for a lifetime.

If you want to discuss a DUI and why fighting it might be the best option, contact our firm anytime.  We are here to help you with your Orange County DUI case.

What should I do at my Arraignment?

What should I do at my Arraignment?

what will happen at my arraignment

Asking what will happen at your arraignment is an extremely normal question. The vast majority of people that find themselves in court confronting a criminal case don’t know whether to plead guilty, or not guilty, or whether or not they require a criminal law attorney.  Most people you see at your arraignment have never even been in court.

Your Court Date

You should realize that it is critical that you, or a qualified Orange County criminal lawyer, show up at your court date. The court considers your court date important enough to prioritize over every single other alternative, including work and your other responsibilities, like child care or school. The court can and certainly will issue a warrant for your arrest immediately if you or your legal representative do not appear.

Check the Calendar

Now and again, your case may not be filed with the courthouse in time for your court date. So be sure to check the court calendar (on the courtroom walls), to ensure that your case appears. On the off chance that it is NOT recorded, then you ought to check first with the criminal clerk’s office, to check whether the case was moved to a future date.

If there is no future date, then you should check with the prosecutor’s office to see what the status is. You may find that the prosecutor did not file your case in time for your court date. It might be that the case was rejected for inadequate evidence (all things considered, you are fortunate if this happens to your case), or reports are not yet received by the prosecutor’s office from the police, or your entire case was sent back to the police to collect more proof for indictment of your particular crime.

Now and again, the court will have a calendar number which the court will ask about, and you should refer to when the court requests it.  Make note of that number.  It usually is listed outside the courtroom door.

Your Options: Pleading Guilty or Not Guilty

You have distinctive alternatives, contingent upon whether you wish to enter a request of NOT GUILTY, or GUILTY.

If you wish to enter a request of NOT GUILTY and go to trial, then you have the accompanying extra choices:

  1.  Represent Yourself.

  2. Hire a Private Attorney.

  3. Demand a Public Defender; or

  4. Ask for more time.

Let’s look at each of these options a little more closely, to see the details involved.

Option 1 – Represent Yourself.

If you choose to continue without a lawyer and speak for yourself as your own lawyer throughout the case, including at trial, then you will need to fill out a waiver of your right to a lawyer in your case (a Faretta waiver). The court is required to figure out if or not you are skilled to represent yourself by speaking to you and asking if you understand the basic process and charges against you

Option 2 – Hire a Private Attorney.

The court will allow a brief continuance (to the court, “brief” means 2-4 weeks) for you to contact a lawyer. You must sign and present the court’s “Request for Continuance – Misdemeanor Form”.  (You can get this form from the bailiff).

By proceeding with the arraignment, you will postpone your right to have a quick trial within 45 days of your first court date. As a result, when the court inquires as to whether you wish to forgo your speedy trial rights, you should say “yes”.

After you obtain your continuance, note the court date and use this time to meet with our experienced criminal defense lawyers and get a free consultation for your DUI or other pending charges.

Option 3-Demand a Public Defender.

The Public Defender is the court’s appointed lawyer for you and your case. You will need to fill out and submit a financial declaration for the court to decide your qualification. At the finish of the case, the court usually holds a hearing to figure out if you should repay Orange County for all or part of the expenses of the Public Defender or other court selected lawyer. (The alternate defender, or a bar panel attorney, can be appointed also). If ordered, that reimbursement turns into a civil judgment against you.

Option 4 – Request more time.

You can also put off making any decision and ask the court for more time to consider any offers made by the prosecutor or the court, or to consult with an Orange County DUI Attorney or Orange County Criminal Lawyer to find out what your best options, and best defenses may be.  The court will usually allow you 2-4 weeks to do so.

Pleading Guilty.

In the event that you wish to PLEAD GUILTY on your first court date, and concede to the charged offenses, you have the accompanying two choices:

  • A – Get a court offer.
  • B – Talk with the prosecutor and get an offer from them.

Option A – Get a court offer and Plead Guilty.

The court wants to clear their calendar and provide an incentive to people to plead guilty, rather than go to trial.  The court does that by offering the minimum for the crime, which is usually slightly better than what the prosecutor offers.  (For example, for a DUI in Orange County without accidents or priors, the court will offer three months of informal probation, the minimum fine of $390, the minimum alcohol school.  The DA will offer the same but will add an attendance at the MADD VIP presentation, a DNA sample, search and seizure terms, and may add a longer alcohol school, and community service or physical labor if aggravating factors apply).

The offers for driving under the influence cases, and driving on a suspended license cases are posted in the court, for all to see. If you accept the court offer, you will be given a waiver of rights which you should read and sign.

Once finished, return the form to the bailiff. The judge will then call the case.

Option B – Get an offer from the Prosecutor and Plead Guilty.

This is the Orange County District Attorney prosecutor or City Attorney prosecuting your case. The prosecutor is not your lawyer.  They do not represent you or act in your best interests. They will make an offer to resolve the case, which you are allowed to accept or reject.

In the event that you conclude that you would prefer not to accept the offer of the prosecuting lawyer, then you should choose one of the above other choices.

Veteran’s Court

Note: If you are present or former United States military, then you might have extra rights, including the choice to participate in Veteran’s Court. The court has extra documents that clarify those rights if you wish to take an interest in that alternative sentencing program.

What should I do at my Arraignment? That depends on what you want to have happen in your case.  Either way, we can advise you and consult with you to make sure your goals are met, and that you make the right decision given the facts of your case.

Contact us – we can help

Contact our law firm today

On the off chance that you require the help of our Orange County DUI attorneys, we are constantly accessible to help you, 24 hours a day. Contact the firm or call us at (877) 568-2977.

Does public transportation reduce the amount of DUI cases?

DUI is the number one crime in California, meaning that more people commit the offense of DUI than any other crime.  (Number two crime committed in California is driving on a suspended license, most often suspended because of a DUI). Does public transportation reduce the amount of DUI cases?

In most large cities on the East Coast of the United States, and certainly in most states, and in most countries in Western Europe, DUI is not even in the top five.  Theft crimes, like petty theft or shoplifting, or domestic violence or burglary are well above DUI cases.

Earlier we discussed a scholarly paper that showed that Uber was creating a significant drop in DUI cases in each city that they entered, and I had speculated that future automated driving vehicles will create a radically different economy, and society, and may even eventually end impaired driving of almost all types.

Does Public Transportation Reduce DUIs?

Another research paper that was forwarded to me, titled “One for the Road”, was published in the Journal of Public Economics, Volume 95, Issues 1-2, February 2011, and appears on Pages 106-121.

In the paper, two Cornell University researchers examine the correlation between readily available alternatives to driving, and whether or not that has an impact on drunk driving or DUI rates.

The writers focused on one city with a good transportation system:  Washington, D.C, and their Metro system, which I utilized daily during my time in DC.  They examined train schedule changes, which sometimes are for personnel scheduling reasons, or maintenance, and tried to closely examine what the relationship between public transportation options and the criminal decision to engage in drunk driving or DUI.

What they found was that overall there was a small effect on DUI arrests, alcohol related fatal traffic and alcohol related arrests. However, there was an effect.  Specifically, they concluded that areas close to bars that are within walking distance to DC Metro stations experienced an increases in alcohol related arrests and decreases in DUI arrests.  That means that drinking increased, but the amount of people arrested for DUI dropped when other options were available.

If you have questions for an Orange County Criminal Defense attorney, please contact our firm, any time.



Drug DUI: How long does a drug stay in your system?

Drug DUI: How long is a drug in your system?

For testing purposes, clients often ask how long a specific drug might be in their system, and if it may show up once the test of the client’s blood or urine takes place.

Drug DUI: How long is a drug in your system – The Half Life

The half-life of a drug is the amount of time it takes the body to eliminate half of the total amount of the drug present in the bloodstream from the body. The term half-life is not synonymous with “duration of effect” which means the length of time that the drug is having its therapeutic effect in the body.

The half life of a medication is the time required for concentrations of the medication to decrease by half; typically serum concentrations. A drug like diazepam has a relatively long half life. Even using the most simplistic pharmacokinetic explanation  ( one compartment zero order elimination ) serum concentration would decrease for example from 20 ng / ml to 10 ng/ml in approximately 40 hours ( using a standard half life value).

I have seen references in the literature to diazepam as having a half-life that ranges from 40 to 100 hours, and references to its “Duration of effect” or “Duration of action” as being approximately 3 hours.

Intoxication / DUI and How Long Drugs Are In Your System

That leads to a few questions about how that might relate into intoxication, for DUI or drunk driving purposes:

1. What is the correlation between half-life and duration of effect for a drug like valium? Why is duration of effect so much shorter than the half-life? For example, if it takes the body 40 hours to eliminate half the amount of diazepam present in the body. why doesn’t valium stay active for at least 40 hours?

2. Are there any authoritative sources for diazepam’s “Duration of effect”?
The duration of effect is the time interval while drug concentrations are at or above the concentration at the site of action needed to produce the effect. So in the example of diazepam, depending on the dose, concentrations in the brain needed to produce a specific magnitude of effect will be dependent on the concentrations of diazepam achieved in the brain and the rate of elimination from the brain. For diazepam, because it is very lipophillic ( fat loving) it redistributes from brain to adipose tissue more quickly than the half life of elimination from plasma, hence the shorter duration of effect.
There are also instances where the duration of effect can be longer than the elimination half life from plasma, for example if a parent drug has a short half life but is metabolized to an active metabolite. The duration of effect can be prolonged by the contribution to the effect by the active metabolite.
So there is not usually a simple relationship between simple pharmacokinetic elimination rate and duration of effect.
These are two great questions at the heart of pharmacology.  The answers are not simple.  As we say to juries, “We are not machine tools.”   In essence, the answers depend on the drug and the subject.  This results in a large number of variations on a theme, even given the same standard dose to a number of very different people.
If you have questions about how long a specific drug stays in the body for DUI purposes, contact our Orange County DUI Attorneys at (877) 568-2977, anytime.

Officer lets drunk driver talk himself into a DUI arrest


Officer Lets Drunk Driver Go Twice, Man Talks Until He Gets a DUI (video)

Sometimes not knowing when to stop can get you in trouble.  When it comes to drinking, not knowing when to stop can definitely get you in trouble if you plan to drive. In the video above, an officer lets drunk driver talk himself into a DUI arrest

When you are already drunk driving, and the officer lets you go once with a warning, instead of a traffic ticket, and then lets you go again by allowing you to walk home and avoid a DUI, and you still keep arguing…. well, not knowing when to stop talking definitely got one man in trouble.

As the video shows, a young man speeding through town was stopped by police for reckless driving (VC 23105).  Portland Police stopped him and the driver admitted to spinning his tires.

The police asked for his license, and the police said there were no signs of impairment, according to the officer.  The officer decided to let him off with a warning.

When the officer returned to return his license to him, things started to turn for the young man.  The driver admitted to three drinks two hours ago.

At that point, assuming that the person may be intoxicated or DUI, the officer instructed him to park his vehicle and walk home.

The driver accused the officer of taking his wallet and escalated the incident.  At that point, the officer started to have the driver perform the driver do the walk and turn test, and during the walk and turn, on the video, the driver said “I’m a little drunk”.  The video shows the driver counting to 10 (instead of taking nine steps), and basically talking himself into a DUI, and piling on the probable cause.

He then admitted to driving drunk many times before, and is charged with a DUI and reckless driving.

Officer lets drunk driver talk himself into a DUI arrest because he didn’t invoke his fifth amendment privilege in a DUI case.  The right to remain silent is available for everyone, and in many cases, it’s better that the person remain silent.  The officer had  been very generous, in both allowing him to slide on a reckless driving or speeding ticket, and also in allowing him to park and walk home, but the driver kept escalating the situation.

Officer lets drunk driver talk himself into a DUI arrest despite statistics showing DUI is dangerous.

The presence of video cameras may have been a factor, but kudos to a patient, reasonable law enforcement officer during this entire stop.

MADD in Oregon has some statistics on Drunk Driving in Oregon for last year (2015):

114 fatal accidents in Oregon where at least one driver had a BAC of 0.08% or above [2]

136 people were killed in Oregon in accidents where at least one driver had a BAC of 0.08% or above [2] 

23 people were killed in Oregon in accidents where at least one driver had a BAC between 0.01% and 0.07% [2] 

159 total deaths caused in Oregon where at least one driver had a BAC of 0.01% or above [2]

If you have questions for our DUI lawyers, contact our firm or call us anytime at (877) 568-2977.