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Katherine Laurie Schwinghammer
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Katherine Schwinghammer’s Answers

44 total


  • Will I need to get an IID? I live in Sacramento County where IIDs are required but got DUI in another county where they aren't.

    I live in Sacramento where Ignition Interlock Devices are required. That's where my car is registered and where my DL shows that I live. But I got a DUI charge in San Luis Obispo County where I don't think they are required for a first DUI. Wil...

    Katherine’s Answer

    Everything I've read indicates that the IID requirement for first-time DUI offenders is based on county of conviction, only -- not where you live.

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  • Dui case while not driving santa barbara

    Hello I was arested for a dui case the 31st of may and they are charging me with a dui while I wasn't driving car. I deliver firewood for a living. Delivered wood to a customer who ordered wood. I had a couple beers when I was there.so of co...

    Katherine’s Answer

    You need a lawyer ASAP. Most DUI lawyers provide free consultations. You should talk to a lawyer or two who practices DUI defense in the geographic area where you where your case is pending.
    Of course there will be more to the story than what you posted here. But you can discuss that with your attorney after you have hired one.

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  • Do I need a lawyer for a drunk in public.

    Had dui in Vegas 3yrs ago. And a disturbing the peace Probaly 7 years ago.

    Katherine’s Answer

    Hiring a lawyer might help a little, and it might help a lot. If you care whether you get a conviction for this offense or not, you'll probably want to talk to a lawyer. If you care what punishment you'd receive if convicted, you'll also probably want to talk to a lawyer. If you don't care about either of those things, and you feel comfortable with whatever might happen, then you would probably don't want to talk to a lawyer. Like some of my colleagues correctly pointed out, "it's not the crime of the century" but you probably still do care about the outcome -- I would. A good criminal defense lawyer will help guide you through this, answer all of your questions, and make sure that you get the best possible outcome from your situation.

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  • How to get around a cite release for DUI that says I need to be in court in 30 days and stay in California? I live in Wisconsin.

    I have been staying in California for a few months but still have my out of state drivers license and plates from Wisconsin. I got a DUI and was released via cite release which states that I must appear in court in 30 days and not leave California...

    Katherine’s Answer

    If you hire a lawyer to represent you, the lawyer will go to court on your behalf and you will not need to go to court in person. (That's true even though your cite release says you have to appear in person.) That is one of the advantages of hiring a "private lawyer" as opposed to asking for a court-appointed lawyer. (Assuming you qualified for a court-appointed lawyer, you would need to appear in court in person alongside your court-appointed lawyer. The judge won't appoint a court-appointed lawyer until you go to court in person and ask for one, then there would be a brief investigation into your financial situation to determine whether you qualify for a court-appointed lawyer. In other words, can you afford to hire a lawyer on your own?) So, if you can afford to hire a lawyer, make sure you hire a lawyer who regularly practices in the court where you are ordered to appear, and knows the court's procedures with respect to defendants leaving the state. If your lawyer gives you the okay to return to Wisconsin, then go.

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  • Citation for driving without license, but i have my international drivers license

    Hello, i need a legal advise. i got citation for driving without license, but i have my international drivers license which is valid. the court is 300 miles away from my home. Officer told me that if i go apply for ca dl, i can just mail it to cou...

    Katherine’s Answer

    I agree with Mr Finnecy's answer.
    You might be thinking you're allowed to drive in California on your International Driver's License, but California law requires a driver to get a California license within 10 days of coming here, under most circumstances. (That does not apply if you're clearly just here temporarily, like as a tourist, but you said "300 miles away from my home" -- if your home is in California, you cannot drive here on an International Driver's License.) Since you do reside here you need a California driver's license to drive legally in California. You definitely should get a California driver's license ASAP -- it will lessen the consequences when you or your lawyer goes to court.
    I do not believe the Officer was advising you correctly when he said "just mail it." If you signed a Citation that says you must appear in court, then either you or your lawyer must appear in court. It would be really nice if what the Officer said was true, and that would probably save you a lot of time and/or money, but that doesn't sound like the way it works in any county where I practice. Call the Court Clerk in the county where you got the ticket to confirm for yourself..
    Based on my experience, I think that someone does need to go to court -- either you or your lawyer if you hire one. Having a valid California DL will help your situation a lot. Depending on the court and your criminal history and driving history, there is a really wide range of what might happen to you.
    Best of luck to you. Now go get that DL!

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  • Received vehicle citation entering restricted zone Tuscany Italy; unaware of violation. Is this enforceable in US?

    Unclear sign-age. Sent to collection. 1 yr after the fact. Do I have rights and can I claim innocent?

    Katherine’s Answer

    You would need to talk to a criminal defense attorney (or traffic ticket defense attorney) in Italy to find out whether you can still contest that ticket and what rights you have in relation to that ticket. You may also want to talk to a collections attorney here in the US to ask about the possible consequences of the collections action against you.

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  • Will my motorcycle permit still be valid after a Wet & Reckless conviction?

    My DUI case got reduced to a Wet & Reckless but the DMV suspended my license anyway because I was over 0.08%. When I get a restricted license will my motorcycle permit still be valid? I don't have the motorcycle license, just a motorcycle permit.

    Katherine’s Answer

    Unfortunately this is not something that comes up often enough for an attorney to know the answer. I think you are asking whether or not you will still have a permit to drive motorcycles (which is like a learner's permit for a motorcycle -- it has restrictions on where and when you can drive your motorcycle) when you get your driver's license reinstated. I don't know the answer, but I am sure you will find out when you reapply for your driver's license. You could also try calling the California Department of Motor Vehicles Mandatory Actions Unit at (916) 657-6525 but they are notoriously difficult to reach by phone. Best of luck to you.

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  • What's is the worst case scenario, maximum sentence someone can get?

    My fiancé is currently incarcerated on charges of, attempted robbery 664/211 PC, misdemeanor battery 242 PC, misdemeanor possession of a pipe, device etc used for smoking a controlled substance 11364.1(A)(1) HS , under the influence of a controlle...

    Katherine’s Answer

    Your fiancé's attorney has no doubt already calculated the maximum possible punishment. It's often included on the last page of the Complaint, which is the document that tells what your fiancé is charged with. So it would be a simple thing for your fiance's attorney to tell you what the worst case scenario is, if your fiance goes to trial and is convicted of everything. Talk to your fiancé's attorney -- assuming he has one. If he doesn't have one, he needs one. If he is in custody without an attorney, and can't afford one, the Court will appoint a Public Defender if he asks for one. If he can afford to hire his own attorney, he needs to do so ASAP.
    (And to really tell you about the worst case scenario, the attorney needs the police reports and witness interviews, also, because sometimes evidence brought out at trial might prove even more charges than the defendant is currently charged with.) So unfortunately I think this question needs to be directed to the attorney who is trying the case.

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