Skip to main content
Katherine Laurie Schwinghammer

Katherine Schwinghammer’s Answers

47 total

  • Can prior police incident reports or police records with no arrest or charges be used in a current criminal case against someone

    Current case is a manslaughter charge with no prior criminal record

    Katherine’s Answer

    If you don't already have an attorney, you need to get one ASAP. If you can't afford to hire the attorney of your choice, the Court will appoint a Public Defender Attorney to represent you.
    You should talk this over with your attorney -- the attorney who represents you is the only attorney who knows ALL the facts of your case. (If you haven't told your attorney about the past police reports already, do so.) There are a lot of different scenarios/legal theories of how your past conduct might come in as testimony against you in your current case.
    I would advise against posting any more details of your situation online. Talk to the attorney who represents you.

    See question 
  • First DUI charge, no transportation to and from school/work.

    I got my first DUI about a month ago and my license is set to expire for 30 days. There is no public transportation from where I live since I live on a farm far away from any public transportation routes. Is there anything I can do?

    Katherine’s Answer

    Assuming you didn't make a timely request for a hearing on DMV's Admin Per Se (APS) suspension, your license will become suspended 30 days after your DUI arrest. A suspended license is different from a license that is merely expired. (The punishment for driving on a suspended license in your circumstance is incredibly harsh - a fine of @$1500, probation for a year or more, and a MINIMUM of 10 days jail. Driving on a license that is merely expired isn't as big of a deal as driving on a suspended license.)
    After the first 30 full days of the APS suspension have gone by, you could be eligible for a Restricted License, if you meet all of the criteria for one.
    Assuming you were 21 or older when you were arrested there is simply no driving for you during the first 30 days of your suspension. You cannot drive anywhere for any reason.
    There are an unlimited number of things you can do, but only you can decide which is the best for you. Ride a bicycle? Ask everyone you know for rides? Hire a driver? Call a taxi/Uber? Walk? Take a month off from work and school? Find a place to stay closer to the things you want to do?
    The legislature knew it would be inconvenient for you to go without driving for a month or more - and that's why they did it. All the more reason to hire a lawyer, and sooner rather than later. Sometimes a lawyer can fight the APS suspension and avoid it.

    See question 
  • I need to recant a police report, complicated.

    I was prescribed medication (oxycodone) and with extreme anxiety and paranoia during a time when me and my fiance were fighting a lot I made a police report of abuse, extreme abuse, even at the time I saw them as extreme abuse, now that I'm no lon...

    Katherine’s Answer

    Sounds like both you and your boyfriend are in a very treacherous and terrible situation. There are many reasons why people will be reluctant to believe your recantation. And don't think that just because you recant that there will necessarily be any lessening of the prosecution of your boyfriend. It's a surprisingly common thing for the abused person to want to recant after things have cooled down. You might want to keep in mind that if the prosecutor does not believe your recantation, you might be putting yourself at risk being prosecuted for filing a false report while your boyfriend continues to be prosecuted for abusing you. The most important thing for any witness to remember is to tell the truth -- no matter how much you may want to help the defendant, telling anything other than the truth is likely to backfire and may hurt you as well.
    I think you each need a lawyer. (Separate lawyers.)

    See question 
  • 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.

    See question 
  • 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 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.

    See question 
  • 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.

    See question 
  • 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.

    See question 
  • 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!

    See question