Any California trial litigation attorney can tell you, whether he or she practices in Indian Wells, Palm Springs or Palm Desert, San Diego, California, Orange County, CA, La Jolla, Del Mar, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Corona del Mar, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Santa Ana, Irvine, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Temecula, Riverside, San Bernardino, the Coachella Valley, CA, La Quinta, Indio, Yucca Valley, or Joshua Tree, depositions can make or break your case. A good defense attorney can make even the calmest deponent nervous. And then there are some deponents who can drive a litigation lawyer nuts.Many times, clients want to know how to answer deposition questions. First of all, I tell my clients to answer truthfully. Then I advise clients not to watch how politicians answer questions. This is what can happen if a client ignores that advice.”You said to the policeman investigating the scene of the accident that you weren’t wearing a seat belt yet today you state that you were wearing one,” the defense attorney stated to my client.My client smiled sweetly at the news commentator, just like Sarah Palin did to Charles Gibson in her first television interview.”Would you care to explain this discrepancy?” the attorney asked. The attorney had introduced himself as Charles Johnson.”Well, Charlie, I believe everyone should wear seat belts when they are in a car.”Okay, but can you explain why you told the police officer at the scene that you weren’t wearing a seat belt?”My client smiled sweetly again, giving the attorney her best impression of a political candidate.”Charles, I believe in a woman’s choice, however I feel even more strongly about the sanctity of life.””You’re not going to answer the question, is that what you’re saying?” the attorney asked, looking over his own eyeglasses.”Well, I really think that there are much bigger issues to discuss,” the client answered, putting the attorney on the defensive.”Don’t you think it’s important for us to know if what you say now is different from what you said earlier?”My client looked directly at the attorney. “Charlie, I believe what is important here is that your client ran a red light.””Lets move on to the fact that you claim you never had a back injury before this accident.. How do you reconcile that with your treatment for back pain prior to this accident?””Charlie, as you know, you can have a visit to a doctor without it being for an injury. I have to say this type of questioning borders on being sexist.””Did you or didn’t you have treatment for a back condition prior to this accident?” the attorney said, raising his voice.”It’s not what you go to for a doctor, it’s what the doctor does for you, Charles, and when you realize that women are different from men, you’ll learn that women doctors do things differently than male doctors.””You’re refusing to answer my questions.””I’ve answered all of your questions,” my client said.”No,” the attorney said. “All you’ve done is give me stock answers to the questions you want me to give and not answer the questions I’m asking.” The opposing attorney turned to me and realized I hadn’t made a single objection.”Please, ask me your question, and I’ll be as honest as I can.””Is it true that this has been your third accident this year and that each time you’ve been rear ended.”My client smiled and the attorney asking the questions knew he would not be getting an answer to this one that he could use.”I believe that God has a plan for each of us and sometimes he tests our resolve.””That’s your answer?” the attorney asked. “You might as well be speaking in tongues right now.””God has a plan for all of us, Charles, even for you,” my client said.”If it’s to drive us nuts, it’s working,” the attorney said. “I’ll give you one last chance to answer a question. Did you cause this accident?””Charles, what may be interpreted as a cause could sometimes be otherwise viewed as simply trying to avoid the, you know, impossibly difficult or, trying to prevent that kind of thing, then again, even when you are driving carefully, these accidents…and this could be viewed as one of those situations. Does that answer your question?”Two hours later when the deposition had ended, the attorney was looking frazzled.”How did I do?” my client asked me after the deposition was over.I smiled sweetly like any good politician. “It’s not how well you did,” I said. “It’s how many psychiatric treatments that attorney is going to need before he is able to attempt another deposition.”Note – In California, refusing to answer questions can lead to having a motion filed against the party who refuses to answer deposition questions, and an imposition of a fine against the deponent or attorney who abuses the discovery process. Sadly, many deponents and attorneys in California abuse the deposition process when they think the other party’s attorney won’t take the time to file a motion to compel. An attempt to evade questions as a politician often does, or answering with stock answers instead of providing answers responsive to the questions is clearly improper. And politicians who answer questions in this manner are not setting a good example. On the other hand, some of Sarah Palin’s answers to questions put to her by Katie Couric, similar to this deponent’s last answer, were so incomprehensible it is hard to know how a judge might view answers such as hers.
Orange County is in the state of California. It has a population of about 3 million. Driving Under Influence (DUI), as is known in California, is a crime under California DUI laws. The influence can be under alcohol and/or drug such that the mental and physical faculties are impaired and driving in that condition could result in damages to property, injuries to others and also deaths. The aim of DUI laws is to reduce auto accidents due to drinking and also the number of victims.As DUI is a crime, the cases related to DUI are dealt by lawyers specialized in DUI laws. When some one is arrested for DUI, the defendant will be brought to trial. The trial is itself such a complex process to establish drunk driving. The prosecutor’s examination, the officer’s proof are bound to cause confusion and fear in the defendant. Even though the defendant need not employ a lawyer, it makes things less complicated so that the defendant knows what to do during and before the trial.It is not expected that a common citizen knows about the consequences of certain of his or her actions. For instance, in California, one can’t contact a lawyer before taking breath or blood analysis. A lawyer would help in analyzing the case, form strategies to defend against the charges of prosecutor, help reduce the charges.A good lawyer can be obtained by contacting the officials in the court, by referral and through websites. An important credential is the membership of the National College for DUI Defense. However care should be exercised in referrals because the referring lawyer may split the fee between them.The cost of hiring will vary from place to place and the complexity of the case. A lawyer in a small community may charge $500-$1500 and the top ones may earn $15,000 per case.
Penalties for any offense are designed to prevent offenders from committing it again. The effect for any wrongdoing is the punishment for it. The punishment for DUI offenses are harsher because of the potential consequences of injuries and deaths that may result from it.The punishments are decided according to the associated factors involved when DUI was committed and the number of times the DUI offense is committed. The type of punishments involve a combination of penalties such as court probation, fines, license to drive the vehicle, attendance in DUI school and jail term.A first time convicted offender gets a court probation for a period of 3 to 5 years in which he or she has to avoid drinking and driving. But the offender need not report to a formal court officer. The fines are paid either in full or in installments. The diver license is nullified for a period of 6 months. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has the authority to issue restricted license to travel to work or school. Further the offender may have to attend a DUI school to attend alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs for a period of 12 to 45 hours depending on the level of alcohol concentration in the blood. California laws require mandatory jail of 48 hours. This may be converted to community service.If the offense is repeated within a period of 10 years, the consecutive punishments get harsher. The second offense carries court probation without any reporting but the third offense requires reporting to an officer. The fines and fees remain the same for second and third offense. The license will be suspended for 18 months and 3 years respectively. The license may be renewed after one year. An ignition interlocking device may have to be installed that tests breath for alcohol. The offenders will have to attend 18 months of DUI school training. The jail sentence is for 96 hours for second offense and 210 days for third offense.If the offender is convicted of causing injuries, there will be permanent loss of license and severe jail sentence. If manslaughter is involved, it may even be tried as murder charge. Also the fourth offense carries loss of license and jail term.The above mentioned punishments may vary depending upon the case. There is a psychological side to the punishments. The suspension of license may also result in loss of job, if the job requires continuous travel.
A society keeps record of most of the events. The events are recorded in the form of numbers. Births, deaths and marriages are few of the events recorded and kept as statistics for further references to aid decisions for many course of actions. Similarly data and events are recorded in different spheres such as crime and economy.The purpose of criminal statistics is two fold. The first one controls and restricts the individual’s actions to prevent from being committed again. The second purpose is to aid the decision makers, usually the legislatures, legal courts to enact reactive as well as proactive laws to reduce the occurrence of such crimes.DUI is a crime and therefore the state maintains records of such occurrences through various agencies such as police departments, department of motor vehicle (DMV). It is estimated that there are seven agencies involved in a DUI case. The record contains details like penalty, jail sentence, license confiscation and any attendance of alcohol program.The record is opened in case of repeat offense and the record remains there always. Based on the record, the punishment for the next offense gets harsher. The record is open to the public and is accessed by individuals, organizations for various purposes. Employers who want to hire may check the criminal record of the individual and therefore the chances of a DUI convict getting employed gets slimmer. Insurance companies also access the record before insuring some one. Some organizations have the policy of not hiring someone with a DUI record.It is possible to have the DUI records cleared in all states except Illinois. The process is called expungement. Lawyers help clearing the records from different agencies. Other than loss of financial opportunities, the psychological trauma of going through a DUI process and the labeling with a DUI record is often great and this has great impact when the individual is a teen.
Newport Beach is a charming coastal community in Orange County, California. It’s also well known as the wealthiest city in the United States (according to the website portfolio.com), and it is the location of the Newport Beach Courthouse — the Harbor Justice Center branch of the Orange County Superior Court. This single courthouse handles more DUI cases in Orange County than all other courts in Orange County Superior Court, combined. (The next busiest would be the West Justice Center in Westminster, which trails the Harbor Justice Center in DUI cases handled by a far margin).Part of this has to do with the jurisdiction of the courthouse. Covering the jurisdictions of not only Newport Beach, but also the beach communities of Laguna Beach, Newport Coast, San Clemente, Capistrano Beach, Balboa Island, Corona Del Mar, Dana Point, Lido Isle, and also the inland cities of Irvine, Costa Mesa, Aliso Viejo, Coto de Caza, John Wayne Airport, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana Heights, and Trabuco Canyon, this court covers a lot of cities, especially beach cities with plenty of patrons of bars and restaurants, an ideal setup for DUI checkpoints, and areas which aren’t covered by regular public transportation – a “perfect storm” for drunk drivers.At the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach, there are also more DUI trials than any other courthouse in Orange County. Although the overall percentage of the prosecution winning misdemeanor trials in Newport Beach specifically was 62% last year, the conviction rate for DUIs is higher, perhaps because of the more conservative jury pool in Newport Beach. Last year prosecutors in Newport Beach won over 80% of DUI trials. Because of the unique aspects of this courthouse, prosecutors in the Newport Beach Courthouse have special policies of having “zero tolerance” and of going after defendants accused of DUI with harsh punishment, including jail time, without alternative or exceptions.You can avoid being a statistic by knowing your options and how DUIs are handled in the Harbor Justice Center by Newport Beach DUI lawyers that practice in that courthouse daily.Newport Beach DUI CheckpointsDUI Checkpoints in Newport Beach are commonly held near the bars and restaurants of Fashion Island, the shopping center, and Pacific Coast Highway. Current information about Orange County DUI Checkpoint locations for Newport Beach, and other cities, are announced on the Newport Beach Police Website, and also on the Orange County DUI Checkpoints Blog. DUI checkpoints are not statistically a truly effective ways of catching drunk drivers, but they do provide money to the city of Newport Beach, especially through impounded motor vehicles. An individual will still have to pay to have his or her vehicle returned, even if he has been found innocent of DUI in a court of law.Driver’s License IssuesDriver’s license issues from a DUI are handled by the DMV, and are not handled or dealt with in the Harbor Justice Center. However, it is worth mentioning that for all jurisdictions covered by this courthouse, driver’s license hearings are heard at the DMV Office of Driver Safety, located at Von Karman Avenue, Irvine, CA 92606. From the date of arrest, a driver has only 10 days to request a hearing with the Office of Driver Safety to avoid a suspension. If a person arrested for DUI doesn’t do this, it means an automatic suspension of driving privileges for four months or more, with very few exceptions.Defending a Newport Beach DUI ChargeThere are many different factors that contribute to the defense of a DUI charge. Newport Beach DUI Lawyers that know the system and procedures at the Harbor Justice Center will go over the details of the arrest with a fine-tooth comb, and he or she will review the case to see if all proper procedures were followed during the investigation and testing. For instance, if the police did not have a valid legal reason (probable cause) to stop you and investigate further,, there’s a chance that all charges could be dropped. If the breathalyzer machine was not maintained and calibrated correctly, a good attorney will work to have the charges dismissed based on a defective test. Your blood alcohol level and toxicology reports will be reviewed and re-tested for proper certification, levels of bacteria, anti-coagulants, and preservatives, will also be looked at closely by the defense.By quickly contacting a DUI lawyer as soon as you’ve been arrested and charged, you increase your chances of having competent representation and ensuring that your rights are protected, even in a tough courthouse like the Harbor Justice Center of Orange County Superior Court.