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Ariel Rief

Ariel Rief’s Answers

5 total

  • What can I do I think we bought a lemon car

    Ariel’s Answer

    To properly answer your question, more info is needed (for example, is this a new or used car?, what's the mileage?, etc.). But, in short, yes you may have a case. For lemon law to apply, your car must be under warranty -- either express or implied. Attorneys first look to see whether your vehicle was still under any express warranty (for example, 3 year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper) while these issues occurred. What gives rise to a lemon law claim is that that the manufacturer failed to repair the defective vehicle within a reasonable number of attempts. That is, the breach of express warranty (a lemon law claim) comes not simply from the fact that the car has a recurring issue; it's the fact that the manufacturer (through its authorized dealership) failed to repair the defect within a reasonable time period making them legally obligated to promptly refund or replace your vehicle.

    It sounds like you may be taking your car to different mechanics. Be aware that a lemon law claim requires giving the manufacturer the opportunity to repair the defect at one of their authorized facilities (typically the dealership). If you're under warranty, you should be taking your car to the dealer and collecting repair orders from the dealer to serve as your evidence.

    Even if you don't have a valid lemon law claim (under breach of express warranty or breach of implied warranty), you may still have a claim under a different area of law. For instance, if this was a used car dealership that misrepresented to you the quality of the vehicle, which induced you to buy the car, then you could sue them for automobile fraud. That's a different legal claim than lemon law.

  • How do I get my vehicle out of impound?

    Ariel’s Answer

    If your car is being held at a police impound lot, for the car to be released, you first need the law enforcement agency that impounded the car to sign off on a release. Call the agency and, politely, ask for instruction to obtain a release. You may need to ask to speak to the watch commander or sergeant, if no one seems to be helping. But, importantly, note that you're likely facing criminal charges here for driving without a license. If any officer attempts to question you about the incident at all, politely state that you are exercising your 5th Amendment right to remain silent. You are NOT obligated to answer incriminating questions. And because you'd be going to the agency voluntarily (in other words, you wouldn't be in custody), any officer that talks to you has no obligation to explain your right to remain silent, have a lawyer, etc. It's not hard for prosecutors to prove that you were driving without a valid license; don't make it easier for them by also making incriminating statements to law enforcement.

    In any event, assuming the police released the car, at that point, if the car is inoperable, a tow company (that contracts with your insurance company) will tow the car to their lot and a claims adjuster will examine the damage. You're accruing impound fees daily that add up quickly, so you don't want to want to sit on your hands here. Whether you're excluded from coverage for driving without a valid license is another issue that depends on your policy contract.

  • Can I sue for false adertisement?

    Ariel’s Answer

    In short, yes you likely can sue but it depends upon on whether you have standing to sue under unfair competition (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200 et seq.) and false advertising laws (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17500 et seq.). That is, you have to be able to show an "injury in fact" and that you lost money or property -- in other words, that you personally suffered a detriment (here, paid money) and would not have purchased the hot dogs but for their advertisement claiming these hot dogs were 1/2 pounders.

    Where you can sue depends on

  • What kind of lawyer can help with my situation?ARCHIVED

    Ariel’s Answer

    As Mr. Deremigio mentioned, there is a legal basis for the officer(s) to conduct a DUI investigation regardless of whether you were observed driving. It happens all the time. For example, a lot of cases stem from drunk drivers who've pulled over to sleep it off on the side of the road. In those cases, it's perfectly legal for an officer to contact the driver to check on his or her welfare. Once the officer witnesses circumstantial evidence that the person may have been driving under the influence (e.g., the engine hood is warm, the car and/or person sleeping smell heavily of booze, keys are in the ignition, there's no one else there, etc.), at that point the officer has a valid reason to conduct a DUI investigation.

    That being said, having the legal authority to conduct a DUI investigation and, for that matter, arrest someone for DUI is much lesser burden for a DA to establish than actually proving his or his case at trial. Here, under the facts you've provided, you have a very good defense--namely, that you were NOT the driver. To prove you were driving under the influence that night, the DA will have to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that you were the driver, which sounds like it will be challenging here since there are no witnesses to you driving. It doesn't matter whether you a .04 or a .40; with no witnesses to driving and assuming you didn't admit to driving, you have a good case. As a brief aside, the fact that you were .04 does not invalidate a DUI arrest. If there's evidence that you may have been above .08 at the time of driving, or potentially had drugs in your system, an officer can arrest you for DUI.

    With respect to whether you need a DUI attorney who also specializes in civil rights cases, I respectfully disagree. Here, even if the officer improperly required you to submit to the breathalyzer or in a manner that violated procedure, I don't believe that rose to a level to establish a cause of action for a civil rights violation in a separate civil case. Of course, if the officer made some mistakes, which it sounds like he may have, that would further aid you in your defense (of your criminal DUI case).

  • What do I do to if the DA put a restraining order on my boyfriend for a DV case . How do I get the restraining order lifted?

    Ariel’s Answer

    As explained, the judge technically issued a Criminal Protective Order (CPO), which is a restraining order in criminal cases. This was likely the result of the Deputy District Attorney in court requesting a CPO be imposed against your boyfriend; however, it's possible the judge did so on his or her own. In domestic violence cases, CPOs are almost always ordered. Also, as mentioned, it does not matter whether you did not want to press charges. In fact, the majority of domestic violence cases filed in court involve victims that did not want charges filed. Ultimately, in most criminal cases, the District Attorney alone decides to file charges.

    It is important to understand that there are two main kinds of CPOs--"no contact" orders and "peaceful contact" orders. A "no contact" CPO, which is likely what the judge ordered here, is what it sounds like--that is, your boyfriend is not permitted to contact you in any form. That means he must move out, he can't text you, he can't have a friend contact you on his behalf, etc.

    A "peaceful contact" CPO, however, does not prohibit your boyfriend from contacting you. In fact, if you two live together, he can continue to live with you. What he cannot do, in sum, is harass you in any way. He must behave peacefully. And, if he doesn't, you can call the police and have him arrested.

    To more directly answer your question, here is what you can do regarding the current CPO in place. You can ask the judge for the "no contact" order to be converted to a "peaceful contact" order. You can ask for the judge to rescind the order altogether, but that's an unrealistic request based on what you've mentioned about the case. Yes, contacting your boyfriend's attorney to help facilitate this is certainly an option. But, it's not necessary. You can also speak to a Victim/Witness Coordinator at the District Attorney's Office about requesting a peaceful contact order. If nothing else, go to court when your boyfriend is scheduled to appear, and tell his attorney and/or the DA in court about your request. The judge may ask you questions in open court, on the record, so be prepared to speak up.

    Lastly, just because you make this request does not mean a judge must grant it. Certainly if your boyfriend's case gets filed as a felony, your request will likely be denied. But, even if it's a misdemeanor, there is no guarantee at all that a judge will be convinced your boyfriend no longer poses a threat to you. The judge will consider, among other things, not just the allegations in the present case, but also your boyfriend's criminal history, if he has any.