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Niranjan Fred Thiagarajah
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Niranjan Thiagarajah’s Answers

144 total

  • Can I be charged for a DUI if I was not under the influence of drugs the day of my arrest?

    I was arrested for a DUI. The officer believed I was under the influence of alcohol. My lab results revealed I was under the legal limit. Marijuana could be in my system from days to weeks prior, not the day of.

    Niranjan’s Answer

    Even if you were under the legal limit for alcohol, you can still be charged with being under the influence of alcohol. Remember -- there are two laws regarding "drinking and driving" -- VC 23152(a) and VC 23152(b). The latter prohibits driving with a blood alcohol level of .08% or higher, but the former prohibits "driving under the influence" and can be charged even if your blood alcohol level is less than .08%. In Orange County, the DA's office will pursue prosecutions for people whose blood alcohol level is .07% and sometimes even if their blood alcohol level is as low as .05%, depending on the driving pattern and performance of the field sobriety tests.

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  • What is California pc 12031 (c)(1) and pc 12316(b)

    My co worker was recently arrested in the central valley and these were two of the eight felony charges

    Niranjan’s Answer

    PC 12031 is possession of a loaded firearm. Subdivision (c) is an exception to the prohibition on carrying loaded firearms that applies to certain people. Your co-worker was most likely charged with 12031(a) as opposed to 12031(c). PC 12316(b) prohibits certain types of people who aren't allowed to own/possess firearms from owing/possessing/controlling ammunition.

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  • Can I subpoena by first class mail

    I tried to subpoena ( 5 times) and so far he is dodging the server at his work. Can I subpoena via mail or leave it at the place of his employment? Also can he deny of the subpoena.

    Niranjan’s Answer

    A subpoena by mail is not legal service. There are remedies for someone dodging service, but mail is not one of them. Once the subpoena is served, he cannot deny service. That's why it's important to have the subpoena personally served, so that the server can fill out a declaration that the defendant was personally given the subpoena. That way, the defendant can't later claim he was never given the subpoena. For criminal cases, many counties will make the sheriff's office available for serving subpoenas. You might want to check with your local sheriff's office to see if they can serve a criminal subpoena on your case.

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  • Is there a bail out for misdemeanor?

    I got arrested as felonie sand sent into jail for stealing, and I got bail out for $10000, but now my charges drop from felonie to a misdemeanor, shouldn't my baill out amout gets reduced too?

    Niranjan’s Answer

    Not automatically. Bail is determined at a specific time and can change with circumstances, but if you were bailed out at $10,000 because of a felony charge, then that was what was appropriate at the time. It is possible to reduce bail once you've been released, but the first question you need to ask is whether it will make a difference. If you went through a bail bondsman, then the bondsman is not going to refund any money, so what's the point in attempting a bail reduction? Attempting a bail reduction after you've posted bail will most likely be unsuccessful since the courts will figure what's the harm when you're already out of custody. Now, if you're still in custody when your charges get dropped/reduced, then applying for a bail reduction is both appropriate and more likely to succeed (depending on the circumstances).

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  • I have my SECOND DUI in 2 months & i am under the age of 21. what happens now?

    I am only 20 yrs old and I received my 1st DUI on June 3 2009 and i have now received my 2nd DUI on August 21 2009. My 1st court date for my 1st DUI is on August 26th 2009 which is this Wednesday. i got my DUI's in LOS ANGELES, california W...

    Niranjan’s Answer

    You've got a variety of issues and some of these answers will depend on facts not listed -- whether you accepted or refused a chemical test, and what your blood alcohol level is if you took a chemical test, and whether your license was suspended at the time of your second DUI. Assuming that you submitted to a chemical test or PAS test for each incident, and assuming that the results of that test were .08% or higher for each incident, then you are realistically looking at a one-year license suspension from the DMV plus some jail time for the DUIs, plus the 18-month multiple offender program. Los Angeles County is very liberal with respect to jail time on 2nd DUIs -- the amount of time imposed is far less than in other counties, but a minimum of 4 days is required. More time might be imposed because you were under 21. And more time might be imposed because you got into an accident on your second DUI. I would highly recommend a lawyer for dealing with your issues. A lawyer will be in a better position to resolve both your cases together. Conviction of these offenses will stay on your record forever. However, the courts do not require higher penalties for subsequent DUIs that occur more than 10 years later. And, after probation expires, you can apply to expunge these DUIs.

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  • Do juvenile records for petty theft in california show up on employment criminal background checks?

    Even though California juvenile records are not sealed at 18 years of age. Are the records public information and show up on background checks?

    Niranjan’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    In theory, your juvenile records are confidential and can only be disseminated in limited circumstances. Normally employers don't have access to those records, but if you are applying for law enforcement positions, a juvenile adjudication of theft may be discovered. Although record sealing is not automatic, it is certainly something that can be done after your juvenile probation has expired.

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  • What are the arguments to use when contesting a speeding ticket?

    I was cited for 85 in 65 zone. While I don't think I was going anywhere near that speed (especially given that my wife, 4-yr old daughter, and Mother-in-law were also in the car!), what can I say, other than "I'm NOT GUILTY". I imagine a little m...

    Niranjan’s Answer

    Having done hundreds of traffic court cases (on the prosecution and defense side), I know that it's very difficult to beat a traffic ticket. If you're charged with speeding, you'll want to know whether the officer measured your speed via radar (or lidar) or via pace. If the officer paced your vehicle, then you may want to determine how long he paced for vehicle (time / distance) and when his speedometer was last calibrated, and then argue that he didn't have the time to pace you properly and/or his own speed cannot be accurately verified. Fighting the case by declaration has certain advantages -- most officers hate paperwork and don't get paid overtime to file written responses, so there's a chance that a trial by declaration may be your best chance. However, the advantages of an in-person trial are that (1) if the officer doesn't show it's a dismissal and (2) if the officer does show, you can usually change your mind about pleading guilty and hopefully get a lower fine OR you can make a case for a lower speed that might qualify you for traffic school, assuming traffic school is an option. If traffic school is an option, I would recommend that alternative to contesting the ticket. Even with reasonable judges, you'll likely have a less than 10% of winning.

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  • I was suspended for employee theft. I quit before i was fired. They still have me down as involuntary termination.

    I have been looking for work for over a month and have not received any responses. I finally quit putting my last job on my applications. Do prospective employers have access to this information? Am I on some kind of list? I have never done anythi...

    Niranjan’s Answer

    If you have been convicted of a crime, then employers have the ability to do background checks to determine whether you have a criminal history. However, there is no "employer database" where all employers share information about their employees. A prospective employer might be contacting your old employer to inquire about you, but employment laws are very strict about what kind of information can be passed on without your consent. If you haven't been charged or convicted of a crime, there is no "record" to clean up. If you've been charged, but not convicted, you can file a motion to seal and destroy your arrest record. If you've been convicted of a crime, you can file a motion to expunge your conviction. I would recommend contacting an attorney for either.

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  • Traffic Ticket

    Los Angeles, California Hello, so about a month ago I was cited for a 4000a (Expired Registration), 16028a (No Insurance), and a 4462.5 (Registration Fraud). I'm a first time offender and have never gone to court before. My court date is tomorro...

    Niranjan’s Answer

    In terms of presentation, you should always be respectful to the judge. You don't have to dress in a suit, but you shouldn't be wearing shorts and sandals either. It is difficult to determine the fines ahead of time, but you can always ask the court to lower your fines because of your financial situation. Also, some courts will let you make payments on the fines. And some courts will even allow you to do community service instead of fines.

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  • 10851 (A) + 496 (A)

    I am being charge for vehicle theft, and possesion of stolen property. What is the penalty? These will be my fist felony, and i work full time and o to college is there a way i can do time insted of jail time.

    Niranjan’s Answer

    If both of these crimes are charged as felonies, the maximum penalty (assuming conviction on both) is 3 years, 8 months state prison. However, people rarely receive the maximum penalty. Your lawyer (and you will definitely need a lawyer) should be able to negotiate with the DA and/or the court for a lesser sentence. Even though you never actually stole the bike, you can be held liable for the vehicle theft under a theory of "aiding and abetting". Under this theory of liability, you are as responsible as the person who did the actual stealing. And from your statement, it appears that you were knowingly in possession of stolen property -- so that takes care of count 2. Both of these charges are wobblers, which means the DA has the discretion to charge them as misdemeanors or felonies; and if these crimes are charged as felonies, the judge has the discretion to reduce them to misdemeanor charges, even over the DA's objection. Your actual penalties will depend on the circumstances of your specific case, your specific criminal history and to some extent, your cohort's criminal history in relation to yours.

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