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William Conwell’s Answers

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  • DUI jail sentence - can medical condition shorten time served?

    My husband has a jail sentence (13 days) for a first-time DUI offense. He didn't finish his work alternative program in time (he works for himself and found it very hard to fit in time at the facility he volunteered with). Anyway, the reason he ...

    William’s Answer

    Andrew Roberts is absolutely correct. You may also want to get a letter from your husband's doctor explaining the nature of the medical emergency and why the court/jail should delay his turn in date. These papers will help you justify an order to put the matter on quickly before your turn in date. Remember a copy of these papers must also be served on the DA. If you have an attorney you should contact your attorney and your attorney would be able to help you draft, file, and serve these papers for you.
    Good luck

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  • Charged with 23152(a), not b, despite breath test of .1. Officer didn't see me drive - DL surrendered and got DMV pink slip.

    What can i expect to happen at the DMV hearing I scheduled?

    William’s Answer

    Don't rely upon the ticket given to you by the officer as to whether or not you will be charged with a violation of VC 23152b. The DA makes that decision. Based upon the fact that the officer took away your license it would seem that the officer has a test result of .08 or more unless your under 21. Ultimately, it sounds like you need a DUI attorney to help you with the DMV hearing, because these hearings require skill in understanding the rules of evidence and additionally in some cases the attorney may want to hire an expert to show why the evidence does not support a finding that the .08 result was evidence that the driver had a .08 at the time of driving. Good luck,

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  • I am on criminal (misdemeanor) probation. At my last meeting with my PO, he said the next was a home visit

    That happened in April... but he set no MAY meeting ! I have emailed and emailed him and called voice mail to see if we had one I didn't realize ,or see if he wanted to set one for May We see each other by appt every mo I hear n...

    William’s Answer

    I think the other attorneys are correct that you are properly documenting your efforts to timely see your probation officer. It would seem from what you describe, the probation officer may want to do a surprise visit at your home to verify that you are in compliance with the terms of your probation, e.g. obeying all laws. If there are search terms to your probation, I would suspect he might even search as well to ensure you are in compliance with the terms of your probation. I hope that is helpful, Good luck.

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  • Can I appeal an offer given by the DA for a criminal case? I was given an offer of 180 days which is unfair and unjust. a

    I am charged with felony possession and felony sales of marijuana in San Bernardino. At pre-preliminary trial, I was given an offer of 180 days in jail. I feel this is extremely unfair. Prior to this case, I have ZERO arrests, and ZERO jail tim...

    William’s Answer

    First, this is a felony offense so as a practical matter, I believe a lawyer is required. The simple answer is one cannot appeal an offer made by the DA. However, if a lawyer represents you then the lawyer can use his/her skills in weighing the facts of your case versus the charges against you. In essence, if this is a weak case, e.g. there is not much evidence of sales or the search was questionable or you have a medical marijuana recommendation and that may negate or mitigate the evidence of sales against you. These would be reasons your attorney could use to try to negotiate a settlement rather than just agreeing to what the DA offered.

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  • Rising Alcohol Defense in California - When does it work?

    No Preliminary Breath Test, No Field Sobriety Tests. Officer asked about drinking and said a beer. no times of start or stop or any other drinking pattern details. Breath of 0.12. Had large beer import and dble shot 80proof just before leaving ...

    William’s Answer

    I agree with the other attorneys. Additionally, one other factor that affects a rising blood alcohol is the amount of food you have eaten. Other factors may affect absorption as well or even affect the breath test results (so examine all options). Basically food in the stomach will slow down the absorption of alcohol. So the more food that is in your stomach will mean that your body will take longer to absorb alcohol. This absorption phase makes up part of the time period when your blood alcohol is rising.
    The jury will likely focus on the details observed by the officer, e.g. bad/good driving, symptoms of intoxication (balance problems or slurred speech or the absence of these problems). The jury will also focus on whether or not they believe your drinking pattern. Details become very important.
    You will need an attorney and likely an expert to fight this case effectively.

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  • Will my husband get out with parole or be sentenced to 10 years

    My husband got arrested for burgulary and burgulary with possible weapons , he was on probation for petty theft about 4 months and did not sign up for the labor thing , he also has a warrant to failure to appear at court for a drunk in public ! Wh...

    William’s Answer

    First: Any time someone is charged with a felony, that person needs a criminal defense attorney's representation. In California burglary can be either first degree burglary (residential) or second degree burglary (commercial). First degree burglary is a strike and he faces up to 6 years in prison on that charge alone - the punishment is increased if another person was present in the residence during the crime. Your husband faces a serious threat of prison time on this charge. Second degree burglary can be charged as either a misdemeanor (up to one year in jail) or up to 3 years in prison.
    The weapons charge will depend on the type of weapon possessed and what was being done with the weapon.
    On the probation violation, he faces up to six months for the petty theft, so it is worth his while to have an attorney or himself be added to calendar to take care of the violation of probation ASAP because a violation of probation could be a reason to deny him probation in his new case.
    On the failure to appear, he faces up to six months jail and should add himself to calendar ASAP because the failure appear could give the judge a reason to raise his bail amounts in other cases, e.g. the burglary.
    Good luck,
    William Conwell

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  • What is it that you can do if you are in prop36 and are on your second violation?

    my boyfriend is on prop36 and he was doing good then he got a dirty test and admitted the violation in which they reinstated him and he was doing good for a couple months then got another dirty, they are offering residential but I kind of thought ...

    William’s Answer

    Your boyfriend definitely needs a lawyer. I would suggest he find a local non-residential program that would allow him to do a more intensive program, e.g. daily meetings and random drug testing. They might make an exception if he offers community service for the program or if his program adviser is sympathetic. Furthermore, he needs to document the efforts that he performs for his father by getting a recommendation from his father's doctor and health care workers. What the court will want is evidence that your boyfriend is willing to do the program and that this failed drug test was an aberation.
    Be careful, because the next failed test can get him kicked out of Prop 36. This is why the court is leaning towards residential because it would force him to stay away from bad influences, e.g. friends who use illegal drugs.
    Good Luck

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  • Understanding ;

    SERVE 25 DAYS IN A SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY JAIL FACILITY, WITH CREDIT FOR TIME SERVED, A MATTER OF 25 DAYS, Is he serving that after being convicted or is the days that's he's been in custody counted already?

    William’s Answer

    No, he should have completed serving his time. The phrase "credit for time served" is a statement that indicates the person should be released that day so long as there are no other holds on the person. If the person served 25 actual days in custody, then the person is entitled to more days credit. Under Penal Code section 4019, he would be entitled to an additional 12 days credit as he has legally served 37 days. One should be aware of this in the event that there is a future probation violation as these credits might help later on, if the person advises his attorney.
    Good Luck

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  • If convicted of 2800.2-vc in California and later vacated under 1203.4 pc. Why wasnt it reduced to a misd. before being vacated?

    2800.2-vc in California recieved 6 months in jail 3 years suspended sentence to prison and 3 years probation. 11 years later 1203.4pc was granted and vacated. I would like to own a hunting firearm and because the case wasnt redused per 17pc I cant...

    William’s Answer

    First, Yes, it is possible that a felony conviction that was expunged earlier may still be reduced to a misdemeanor even after 15 years. (Look at Meyer v. Superior Court (1966) 247 Cal.App.2d 133). However, relief under Penal Code section 17(b)(3) is not available if the court sentenced you to prison and then suspended execution of the sentence. Your case will revolve around whether or not that happened. As this is a complex question of law and fact, I think you would want an attorney to file the request for you after looking at the record to see whether or not you are eligible for 17(b) reduction. I would recommend trying to have your conviction reduced as there is a big benefit to having a conviction reduced to a misdemeanor. Under Federal law, there is a question as to whether or not the 17b reduction will allow you to own/possess a gun. (Look at U.S. v. Tallmadge (9th Cir. 1987) 829 F.2d 767, 770.
    Good Luck

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  • Im facing a probation violation hearing. how much time relisticly would i spend in jail?

    so i was charged with domestic violence misdermeanor while on felony probaion. i bailed out and have to go to court soon. i am facing a probation violation. how much time would i spend in jail? would i only do a violation? or how does that work? b...

    William’s Answer

    First, you need to contact a lawyer and listen to his or her advice. Second, you should consider doing things to satisfy the court now before your next court date, such as going to anger management, alcohol or drug classes if these are issues. This allows you to take advantage of your time out of jail. Third, remember the danger with felony probation is that the court can terminate probation and sentence you to prison so be careful. Good luck

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