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Christopher John McCann

Christopher McCann’s Answers

68 total

  • I received a DUI in Humboldt County with a BAC of . 21. Is there really any point to hiring an attorney?

    I have read on numerous legal advice sites that there is almost a 100% conviction rate at this level of BAC and, objectively, I was definitely in the wrong. I should NOT have been driving and was definitely a risk. What would be the TRUE advantage...

    Christopher’s Answer

    Hiring an experienced local DUI attorney helps ensure you get the best resolution possible. You don't have to go to court and they can guide you through the court and DMV process, even if the case cannot be won. Having said that, there are plenty of cases where seemingly "unwinnable" DUI cases with high BACs have been won. You never know until you get a good attorney to see if you can. I had a client who got a second DUI and was kicking himself for not fighting the first, which was a winnable case. That piece of mind knowing you got the best outcome is worth the cost. A lifetime of regret is worse.

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  • How do I discreetly find out if the DA has my correct address?

    I was arrested for a DUI and was scheduled for arraignment at the Van Nuys courthouse on 7/1/14/15. I showed up but my case had not yet been filed and as such I received a proof appearance. I have not yet received any letters from the DA but I wan...

    Christopher’s Answer

    If you don't want to contact the DA's office, then check with the police department and make sure they have your correct address in the report. They can also tell you if the report has been forwarded already to the DA's office. If it has been forwarded with the correct address, then you are ok. If not, and it's been forwarded, you'll have to contact the DA's office to give them the correct address. I don't see any reason why you need to be discreet about this. If they have the report, they are either going to file a case, or they won't. I don't think you are going to alert them to a case they had forgotten about. The other option is just asking them if they filed the case. If so, ask them for the court date.

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  • First offense dui probation violation

    I had my first dui four years ago. I paid all my fines and attended and completed my classes. However I did not attend freeway cleanup. This was four years ago. I would like to get rid of this bench warrant and hopefully do freeway clean up and ...

    Christopher’s Answer

    Without a legal justification, this would constitute a probation violation. Without knowing all of the facts of your situation and why you didn't complete the cleanup work, it is impossible to know if you have a legal justification excusing your noncompliance. Assuming you don't, since you are on probation, a violation on a first DUI conviction carries a maximum sentence of 180 days in jail. You may have credits, but if you don't, that means up to 90 actual days of jail, with the rest credited as "good time/work time" credits. That is the maximum.

    You may likely get less being that this not the most serious violation. You might not get any additional punishment, but instead just ordered to do what you were supposed to do. It is hard to say. It depends on the judge and how well an attorney can explain and justify your noncompliance and talk him or her out of additional punishment.

    I would suggest getting an experienced local attorney who knows the judge (or judges) before whom your case will likely get sent. That attorney will know better what the judge is likely to do and how to get you through this violation as painlessly as possible.

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  • Will a 1650 waiver packet to get license in another state work with an active bench warrant.

    When I was younger I made some bad choices. I have a misd. bench warrant in CA for not completing 2nd DUI probation. I now live in rural Idaho. After a rough start in life and battling alcoholism, my life is in order and Im a married proud parent...

    Christopher’s Answer

    The 1650 waiver packet is only for lifting DMV holds related to the failure to complete a DMV-approved alcohol program, (since such programs can only be done in California.)

    The "failure to pay" ("FTP"), you refer to is something different. This usually occurs where the failure to pay fines for an infraction ("ticket") will lead to a DMV hold on your driving privilege, which CAN be remedied by just paying it. A 1650 waiver packet doesn't have anything to do with having an FTP.

    If DMV tells you that you have a FTP, then that is for an infraction. If you failed to pay fines for your misdemeanor DUI case, the court will issue a warrant, but DMV doesn't take an action for that.

    If you failed to complete a court-ordered DUI program, the court will issue a warrant for that, AND DMV will put a hold on your license. You need to get court permission to do an out-of-state program (which they will), by having an attorney appear and request it. You can't do that by mail.

    That out-of-state equivalent will NOT satisfy DMV, though, so you WILL have to request that DMV send you a 1650 waiver packet, complete it and send it back. You won't have to do a DMV-approved program, and the hold will be lifted.

    Note that you CANNOT drive in the State of California for 3 years though. You will also have to file an SR22 (proof of insurance and maintain the insurance for 3 years) and pay the reissuance fees.

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  • Is there a chance I can not plead guilty?

    I got arrested for DUI earlier this month. I was initially pulled over for one of my tail lights not responding to my signal (it is on though). The officer asked if I know why I got pulled over. I said no. He told me about my tail lights. He asked...

    Christopher’s Answer

    CHP cars are equipped with dashboard cameras referred to as "MVARS" (Mobile Video Audio Recording System). They capture video from 1 minute prior to their forward red lights being turned on, and audio from the moment the lights go on. If their was an issue with your tail lights or your driving, and you were driving in front of the CHP vehicle's camera, it should be evident from the video.

    If there were no other reasons to stop you, you can challenge the legality of the traffic stop in court and get all the subsequently-obtained evidence thrown out.

    As soon as you said you had anything to drink, you were going to be arrested no matter what happened.

    If you are over 21 and not on DUI probation, you should refuse the pre-arrest Preliminary Alcohol Screening Device test.

    The officer does not have to read you your Miranda Rights unless you are subjected to a custodial interrogation. Questions asked prior to your arrest are considered "investigatory" only and not a custodial interrogation requiring a reading of your rights. After you were arrested, officers typically don't ask any other incriminating questions, so Miranda isn't typically an issue in a DUI case.

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  • My boyfriend has two prior DUIs and he was caught driving with a suspended license. he got 207 days in county jail.

    will he do the whole 207 days?

    Christopher’s Answer

    Likely no. By law, when sentenced to country jail, absent special circumstances that you don't mention here, he will serve no more than 50% of that time. Depending on the county, he could do much less due to overcrowding, such as in LA County jail, where men are doing 10% or less sometimes.

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  • I was in a car accident and my friend was driving drunk

    a few nights ago a few friends and I were out on the town drinking. we were all in the car together heading home. The next thing I remember is the car flipping over and then I remember waking up in a hospital. I received some minor burns from the...

    Christopher’s Answer

    The friend who was driving could be in very serious trouble if it is proven that he or she drover under the influence and that as a direct result all of these people sustained such serious injuries. That person eneds a lawyer. As for your injuries, you should absolutely get a personal injury lawyer and have that attorney pursue a claim against the driver's insurance company.

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  • If I do the maximum on my DUI case, can I also get a fine?

    I did a one year sentence on a DUI. ("second" DUI...but seven over twenty five years on my record) I did the maximum sentence because I knew I wouldn't get through the classes and all that BS of being on probation, ect. Now, a year after I fini...

    Christopher’s Answer

    It is possible that you still owe the fines. A maximum jail sentence only satisfies the jail time issue, and likely means you wouldn't be placed on probation. (Hard to say without knowing more information.) You have to specifically ask that the fines be converted to jail time. That converts to a day in jail for every $30 of the base fine. For a typical minimum fine of "$390 plus penalty assessments", that is 13 days in jail. You still will have to pay a couple hundred dollars for "other" fees and fines that can't be converted however.

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  • Hello, i just got a DUI in california. Do lawyers normally handle just the court part or do the DMV hearing as well?

    Someone told me they do not deal with the DMV and another told me they confused...

    Christopher’s Answer

    Most do. It is unusual to find one that does not in my experience.

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  • I was issues a DUI in 2007. I paid for everything except the actual fine. How do i find out how much it is.

    I'm sure by now its a warrant and i would like to be able to stand before the judge with the money in hand in an effort to not be arrested.

    Christopher’s Answer

    It will be difficult to get a clerk on the phone in most courts. Your best bet is to go into the clerk's office and ask them. If your are late and a warrant was issued, you will have to see the judge and you could get your probation violated. Be aware of that and you may need a lawyer in such a situation. I would plan on bringing enough money to pay it all off on the spot if you can. The courts are very forgiving of such violations if you give them their money!

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