On Tuesday May 10, 2016, Los Angeles Ram safety and former Southern California T.J. McDonald was arrested for DUI after driving into a parked car at the 22900 block of Gershwin Drive in Woodland Hills, California. There appeared to be no injuries to any bystanders and no passengers in the car that was damaged by McDonald’s vehicle in the accident. McDonald was arrested at 830 a.m. and booked on misdemeanor charges for driving under the influence. The citation indicated that Mr. McDonald was under the influence of something “other” than alcohol.
McDonald was released by authorities on $300.00 bail at 6:20 p.m. the same day. Because McDonald damaged property while allegedly driving under the influence he could be exposed to a more severe punishment if convicted for DUI at the Van Nuys, California Superior Court where he is scheduled to appear for his arraignment on June 3, 2016 at 8:30 a.m.
California Vehicle Code section 23152(a) makes it unlawful for a person to drive a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If law enforcement suspects Mr. McDonald to be driving under the influence of a drug they can request that Mr. McDonald submit to a chemical test including blood or at times a urine test. Under California’s implied consent law a driver consents to giving a chemical test under certain circumstances when they drive a vehicle. As such, if a driver refuses to take a chemical test when lawfully detained or arrested for DUI, the California Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend a person’s driver’s license for 1 year on a first offense, 2 years on a second offense and 3 years on a third offense. However, a driver must be properly advised of the consequences of refusing to take a test prior to being given and/or cited for refusing a chemical test. (See California Vehicle Code sections 13353 and 14905.)
Moreover, if a person is found guilty of DUI in California and causes an accident they can suffer the following consequences including 96 hours to up to 1 year in County jail, $390 to $1000.00 not including penalty assessments which can more than double a fine, a DUI class, a HAMM program (visiting morgue) , a MADD class and installation of an ignition interlock device. As indicated, if the DUI caused an accident, the penalties can include longer DUI classes (standard class under California AB 541 is 12 weeks), mandatory jail time or if the property damage or injury is significant the prosecutor can charge even a first time offender with a felony.
The best course to take when arrested or charged with a DUI is to speak with an experienced California criminal defense attorney with experience fighting and defending against DUI charges. A criminal lawyer will be able to assess the possibility of getting charges reduced or dismissed and will be able to work with a toxicologist to determine the validity of an chemical test that is being used in either a DMV hearing or a DUI criminal case to prosecute an accused driver.
If you are in need of a lawyer to help fight or assess DUI or other criminal charges against you in California, please contact our at 844-210-1701. We have offices throughout Southern California including Los Angeles, Ontario, Palmdale and Pasadena and are ready to assist you with a free consultation 24 hours a day.