It’s important to abide by DUI bail conditions


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It’s important to abide by DUI bail conditions

Why it’s important to abide by DUI bail conditions

With Orange County DUI cases, it’s important to abide by your bail conditions, exactly as imposed by the court at your bail hearing, or arraignment hearing.

An arraignment is the first court date in your case, and if your DUI case was in Orange County, and if the facts involved in your DUI were especially bad, or if you have a prior DUI, then at the arraignment the judge will set bail conditions.  In OC Courts, the judges usually also set bail conditions for a second time DUI, a third time DUI, or a fourth time DUI or higher.

What are the usual DUI bail conditions in Orange County DUI cases?

Judges in Orange County usually impose the following specific conditions:

  • Consume no alcohol while the case is pending;
  • Do not drive without a valid license and insurance;
  • Consume no marijuana while the case is pending;
  • Consume no illegal drugs while the case is pending; and
  • Attend two or more self help meetings per week (this could be AA meetings, NA meetings, individual therapy sessions, or sessions such as Rational Recovery or online services like Lifeline).

Other possible DUI bail conditions could be any or all of the following:

  • Not to drive at all, under any circumstance;
  • Not to be in any place where alcohol is the chief item for sale;
  • Mandatory drug or alcohol testing through probation;
  • Wear a “SCRAM” or GPS device;
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in any vehicle owned or operated by the defendant in the DUI case. 

Those conditions are more rare, and only certain judges impose them.  They are highly fact sensitive to the case.  For example, if there was evidence that an individual was driving on a suspended or revoked license repeatedly, or was continuing to use or consume alcohol or drugs, they may be appropriate.

Why it’s important to abide by DUI bail conditions

The reason why it’s important to abide by the bail conditions set by the court is that bail can be revoked entirely if you fail to comply with any conditions agreed to and set by the court.  That means you go straight to jail, do not pass GO, and you cannot be released on bail for any amount again until the case is over.

Contact us today for help with your Orange County DUI case.  We are experienced and can help you.

Defense of The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Violations

Defense of The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Violations

Defense of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

What is The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act?

The The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is a law that was passed during the Carter Administration in 1977 in 1977 in response to revelations of widespread bribery of foreign officials by U.S. companies in order to win overseas business contracts.

Both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), which share enforcement authority for the FCPA, investigate, and prosecute these crimes.

Compared to decades past, in the last 10 years, the bringing of charges for violations of this Act have dramatically increased.  There are more criminal filings under this act in one month than there used to be in entire years in the 2000s, 1990s, and prior years.

The FCPA contains two main components: the anti-bribery provisions, which prohibit payments to foreign officials to obtain or retain business, and the accounting provisions that require issuers to make and keep accurate books and records and to maintain an adequate system of internal accounting controls. The accounting provisions also prohibit individuals and businesses from knowingly falsifying books and records or knowingly failing to implement internal controls.

Where is The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the law and codes?

The law is contained in the United States Code, at 15 U.S.C. § 78dd.  It is split into subsections 1, 2, and 3.

Why was The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enacted?

Discovery of a problem involving foreign corporate payments problem in the mid-1970s resulted from a combination of work by, of all places, the Office of the Watergate Special Prosecutor.

That, in turn, included related follow-up work and investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Senator Frank Church’s Subcommittee on Multinational Corporations (Church Committee).

The Report of the Securities and Exchange Commission on Questionable and Illegal Corporate Payments and Practices (SEC Report) stated as follows:

The staff discovered falsifications of corporate financial records, designed to disguise or conceal the source and application of corporate funds misused for illegal purposes, as well as the existence of secret “slush funds” disbursed outside the normal financial accountability system. These secret funds were used for a number of purposes, including in some instances, questionable or illegal foreign payments. These practices cast doubt on the integrity and reliability of the corporate books and records which are the very foundation of the disclosure system established by the federal securities laws.

What started out as a problem with tracing political campaign money ended up as an accounting problem, and then an effort to fight corruption and bribery.  The Act was controversial upon passing because it sought to criminalize what were mainly actions in other countries, outside of the United States of America.

Who can be charged withThe Foreign Corrupt Practices Act?

Any corporation, or individual, that is subject to the FCPA, is defined as a  “domestic concern,” which means U.S. persons and businesses. “Issuers,” which are U.S. and foreign public companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges or which are required to file periodic reports with the SEC, also are subject to the FCPA. In addition, certain foreign persons and businesses acting while in the territory of the United States may be subject to the FCPA.

How can a Defense of The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Violations be possible?

As with any crime, a defense exists that the conduct did not meet the elements of the crime.  The law here is wide ranging, however, and could theoretically meet a number of different potential problems that could look to be violations, but actually aren’t.

The law recognizes at least three major affirmative defenses:

  1. The Facilitating Payments Exception: This exception  attempts to distinguish between payments made to expedite an inevitable process, on the one hand, and payments to influence a decision, on the other hand. But this exception has been interpreted so stringently by prosecutors that it has almost disappeared in practice.  Though not technically facilitating payments, payments made to foreign officials to prevent harm to employees have been acknowledged under this exception.
  2. The Written Local Law Affirmative Defense: If a payment, gift, or promise to pay something of value was “lawful under the written laws and regulations of the foreign official’s” country, then such a payment does not violate the FCPA. For example, the payment of a registration fee, mandated by a municipality’s written regulations, would not violate the FCPA.  No matter how universally routine a payment is, if it is not in the foreign country’s written laws or regulations, this exception will not exculpate a company or individual from FCPA liability. Thus, to avoid FCPA liability under the written local law defense, be sure to request or locate written authority requiring any “mandatory” payment.
  3. The Reasonable and Bona Fide Expenditures Affirmative Defense: Under this exception, “reasonable and bona fide” expenditures do not violate the FCPA anti-bribery provisions if they are directly related to either of the following:
  • The promotion, demonstration, or explanation of products or services or
  • The negotiation, execution, or performance of a contract with a foreign government or agency.

Examples include travel and expenses paid for government officials to visit company facilities, receive training, or attend meetings. However, companies should not attempt to use this exception as a way to provide lavish experiences or gifts to influence government officials’ decisions. Instead, this exception exists so companies can facilitate appropriate business relationships with foreign officials in the course of conducting business.

Why hire a defense lawyer for Defense of The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Violations?

A lawyer can help you navigate this complicated Act and make sure violations do not occur in normal company policy.  A lawyer can also defend any allegations of violations under this Act.

Contact us for Defense of The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Violations

Our law firm, in conjunction with other Orange County Federal Defense lawyers, can help you be informed and craft a defense plan for any alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  Contact us today. 

What can I do to help my DUI?

What can I do to help my DUI?

As Orange County DUI Attorneys, our law firm often is asked what individuals can do before their court date to help their DUI.  So, what can you do to help your DUI?

Short of building a time machine, and going back in time and avoiding being arrested, there are certain things you can do that may help your case, or shorten the time period that you may suffer from some of the unavoidable consequences.

Keep in mind that you are generally not going to do much about facts that have already occurred.  When you have bad facts involved in a DUI case, and you can’t change those facts, then your DUI defense lawyer has three options:

  • To present evidence that minimizes the impact of those bad facts; or
  • To gather additional evidence that shows that those bad facts might be explained differently than originally thought (for example, maintenance and calibration issues involved with the breath test or blood test); or
  • To analyze the facts of the entire case to see if any legal or factual issues exists that may dismiss or reduce the case.

Here are some things that may help your case:

  1. Taking AA classes, enrolling in rehab, or taking your alcohol school right away.  If you feel that you have an addiction problem, then proactively taking action, before the court orders you to take action, shows responsibility.  AA classes are free and may help you maintain sobriety.  Rehabilitation programs (“rehab”), may give you credit for jail time, if jail time is a possibility.  And the same alcohol school is used for both the DMV and the court, so taking it increases your chances of getting one portion of your sentence right away, and makes it likely you can get your license reinstated more rapidly.
  2. Follow all conditions of your bond.  With second or higher DUI cases, the court often requires that you not drive without a valid license and insurance (which is the law anyway), and that you abstain from any legal or illegal substances, and avoid the locations where alcohol is sold. Not following any conditions or instructions associated with your bond would result in you being held without bail.
  3. Gather character reference letters.  Gather any character reference letters, letters of recommendation, proof of school or work, and any notable awards or achievements. They help.
  4. Collect medical records. Any medical records that may show any physical or neurological defects that may help explain your behavior in the DUI case are helpful.
  5. Don’t get arrested while this DUI case is pending.  That’s self explanatory.
  6. Don’t miss any court dates, and stay in contact with your Orange County DUI attorney

Contact our law firm if you have any questions about DUI cases.  Our firm can help you and we are happy to do so.

Can you get your DUI dismissed?

Can you get your DUI dismissed?

The most common way to get an Orange County DUI dismissed is to convince an Orange County Prosecutor (that is, a member of the District Attorney of the County of Orange) that there is proof that would lead to a valid DUI factual defense, or a DUI legal defense, that might otherwise lead to a not guilty at trial.

Rather than dismiss the case outright, however, in most cases, they will offer a reduced charge.  In cases I have handled in the past, I have had cases reduced from a DUI charge to any of the following:

Getting charges reduced in a DUI case is considered a major victory, because the DUI charges end up being dismissed.

Some of the above are infractions.  An infraction, like a traffic ticket, doesn’t  leave a criminal record, like a DUI does.  That is a major reduction. It is also rare, but we have done it in the recent past.

The facts, i.e., the bac, the video, the arrest scenario, must be very good for our case.

Other charges are misdemeanors, but are below a DUI.  That may save you money, or points, or look better on your record, but there are usually conditions that come along with any misdemeanor conviction, like probation, community service, and fines.

Sometimes we catch police cutting corners by using “cut and paste” across several police reports, or exaggerating evidence, or outright lying.  If we discover that the police violated any of your constitutional rights, then a motion to suppress evidence is appropriate, and we will write, file, and argue that motion.  That is rare, however.

The police know that the arrest and interview of you is being recorded, and that a defense attorney will likely scrutinize their actions.  Still, they sometimes make mistakes.

Our job, as Orange County DUI Defense lawyers, is to analyze the weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, and to try to convince them, or a judge, to dismiss your DUI.

Contact us today to discuss dismissing your DUI charge in Orange County.  We can help you.