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D. Michael Phillips
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D. Michael Phillips’s Answers

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  • I Just got charged with A Drunk in Public while trying to make it home by a taxi cab. What are the penalties?

    I have had a DUI charge and possession of weed charge In Nevada County, both misdemeanors about 5 years prior to this, as The Marijuana charge was Dismissed. The DIP was in Mono County. I spent 12 hours in the mono county jail and had a bad experi...

    D. Michael’s Answer

    I agree with the other comments. The 2 key points to remember that PC 647(f) requires: First, that the person "was found in a public place". Depending on where you were waiting or if you had made it to the cab, you might not be in a public place. Second, that the person is so intoxicated that "they can not exercise care for their own safety". Thats more than just intoxicated. I practice in Truckee and see folks pleading guilty to this all the time just to 'get this over with ' when they were not that intoxicated ( or the DA doesn't even have a breath test) Be careful, the court usually gives CFTS, as the other attorney suggested, but with one year summary probation and SEARCH terms, especially with prior convictions. Which means you could be setting yourself up for more trouble later. Best to consult with an attorney to discuss in detail your options and exposure. Hoe this helps and good luck.
    Michael Phillips

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  • How do i get a copy of blood test results

    my nephew was in an accident other driver ran red light hit him then he was hit from behind by another car was denied medical they arrested him for be under the inflewnce he had smoked pot some 20 hours earlyer pass all there fiald test but dont...

    D. Michael’s Answer

    First, I can not tell from your question if anyone was hurt. This is important because injury DUI can be a felony. But to answer your question, he is entitled to the police reports and blood results but usually can not obtain them until the arraignment date. In drug DUI's it is always a good idea to have the results retested from an independent lab. MJ can show in the system up to 30 days after use, even though the person is not 'under the influence' . In my opinion, drug DUI can be difficult for the prosecution because unlike alcohol there are no 'legal limits'. I would suggest that you discuss this matter in more detail with a good DUI attorney.

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  • A few questions regarding DUI cost recovery, section 53150 (CA)

    A debt collection agency attempted to collect cost recovery funds on behalf of the CHP arising from a DUI in '07. They (the debt collectors) closed the file in their office after the threat of counter suit. The CHP has recently (Oct 09) begun atte...

    D. Michael’s Answer

    Given state financial conditions the CHP has taken the position of trying to collect as much as they can get away with. The answer to your question really depends on what happened in your case. I always send a letter to the CHP that it is illegal for them to attempt to collect before there is a conviction and this has always worked. Now, in your case, if you were convicted of the DUI (or pled guilty) then I think they can proceed, IF you otherwise fall under the statute. The statute and cases that have interpreted it, say there must be an 'emergency' or accident and that a normal DUI DOES NOT qualify. The CHP is now saying that if a 'tipster' called that qualifies as an emergency. I think they are dead wrong on this point, and are doing it just to see who pays. You can also challenge how much they charge. Every bill I have seen overstates the number of hours or time spent. Although there is no real 'statute of limitations' they still must reasonably seek reimbursement which might be another factor in your case. Depending on the size of the bill, it might be worth talking to a DUI attorney about this.
    Good Luck
    Michael Phillips

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  • Private lawyer vs public defender

    I blew a .09/.10 and have been told by friends who have already had dui's that paying thousands of dollars for a lawyer was sort of a waste for a first offense. However, I know that the pubic defender does not represent clients in dmv court. Can...

    D. Michael’s Answer

    That's a great question. Almost every good DUI attorney offers a free initial consultation so you have nothing to loose in talking with a local DUI attorney ( or several ) and asking them the question. A complete answer really requires more information and facts about your situation. I think another good question might be what is it worth to you to fight and try and save your license, avoid high risk insurance and the first offender DUI class? As you know court appointed attorneys do not handle the DMV side, which in my opinion, is half the battle on first time DUI's. With a low blood alcohol case like yours, you might be surprised what can be done for 'damage control' by a good DUI attorney.
    Good luck
    Michael Phillips

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  • Can 2 people each get a dui in the same car?

    we left a restaurant, i entered drivers side. she proceeded to turn on the vehicle from the passenger, we argued, there was a cop setting with lights off watching. I proceeded to turn off vehicle and we switched places because I had no intent t...

    D. Michael’s Answer

    I agree with Amy, CA unlike many other states does not have the crime of 'physical control' ie drunk and behind the wheel with no movement. CA law requires some movement of the vehicle. Hence, you friend has a valid charge but not you. I have seen creative DA's charge 'attempted DUI" with some success, so I would advise you to talk to a good DUI attorney.
    Good luck
    Michael Phillips

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  • What are the advantages of hiring an attorney over deal with the case myself other than not have to show up in cour? Please help

    I'm from Nevada and I was driving in the Huntington Beach area, I got into a car accident for running the red light, it was my falult, I got a court citation for this and since this is my first time I don't know if it is better to hire and attorne...

    D. Michael’s Answer

    If there is a possibility you can be sued for the accident, or if anyone was hurt, you should consult with an attorney immediately. However, assuming it was only a fender bender and your question deals with the traffic ticket, it is probably cost prohibitive to hire an lawyer just to fight a ticket. Nolo press has a good book on how to fight traffic tickets. Since you said 'It was your fault' you might just want to pay the ticket. If you call the court clerk they can tell you how much the fine is.
    good luck
    Michael Phillips
    Nevada City, CA

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  • How can I get my car back from impound sooner than 30 days?

    I left my car registered into my name to my daughter in Carson, CA. It got impounded by the sheriff when boyfriend of my daughter drove it without a drivers license. I called the sheriffs office and I was told that they will hold my car for 30 d...

    D. Michael’s Answer

    The statute gives the police discretion whether or not to release the car early. Every time I have gone to the police department with proof the car was registered to someone else ( i.e. not the person driving on a suspended) the car has been released early. Given the high cost of impound fees and airfare, it might worth hiring a local attorney on a hourly basis to make the pitch.
    Good Luck
    Michael Phillips
    Nevada City, CA

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  • When can I get a DUI expunged from my driving record? How long before a DUI can be expunged?

    My first DUI was in 2003 and this November (2009) I recently got another one for a .09 BAC. Do I have to wait until I have met all requirements for completing my current DUI to get the first one taken off my record?

    D. Michael’s Answer

    Unfortunately, under California's new law dealing with DUI expungements you will have to wait. A person is ineligible for expungement under a number of conditions- some that seem to apply to your situation are: on probation or convicted for a new offense; owes any fine or fees to DMV.
    When you complete probation on the new offense it might be worth discussing in more detail with a DUI attorney.
    Best regards,
    Michael Phillips
    Nevada City

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  • If my license is suspended in ca because of a dui can i drive in ca with a out of state license

    i can get a license in massachussets because i had one there before and if i get mass plates for my car can i drive in california

    D. Michael’s Answer

    That's a great question with a not so simple answer. First, since a drivers license is a 'privilege' and not a 'right', California can deny individuals the privilege to drive within the borders of CA even if they have a license from another state. So the safe answer to your question is...no... you can't drive in California. However, there is a good argument (should you get a ticket for driving in CA) that because of 'full faith and credit" that a state must honor a lawfully issued drivers licensed from a sister state. However, I don't think you would want to be the guinea pig to test that argument. Lastly, there is a practical consideration. Almost all states belong to the interstate compact ( including Mass) and under the agreement will not issue a license ( even if you had one before) if there is a 'hold' out of CA. The good news, if there is any, is that the CA DMV will give you a waiver and lift the hold if you live out of state. Conact the CA DMV for the waiver form. This is a complicated problem and it isprobably best to discuss with an attorney in detail
    Best regards
    Michael Phillips
    Nevada City

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  • Has anyone heard of somebody getting the license back in regards to newly passed senate bill SB598?

    Has anyone heard of a person with a 2nd dui already getting there license back due to the passing of California BILL SB598 even though it does not become operative until July of 2010? Shouldn't the bill apply to those who can take advantage of t...

    D. Michael’s Answer

    Unfortunately, no. The law doesn't take effect until next year. However, depending on the county you are in you might consider continuing the case as much as possible. With the holidays around the corner courts are starting to schedule matters in early January.
    best of luck
    Michael Phillips
    Nevada City

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