Wrong Way Freeway Crash, Leaves 6 Dead on Scene

February 10, 2014 – Over the weekend, a car accident on the 60 freeway near Diamond Bar resulted in the loss of six lives.  Olivia Culbreath, a 21 year old from Fontana, was arrested Sunday on suspicion of driving under the influence and manslaughter for causing this devastating accident.

According to authorities, at approximately 4:40 AM on February 9, 2014, Culbreath was traveling in a Camaro at speeds over 100 MPH north in the southbound lanes of the 57 freeway before transitioning east in the westbound lanes of the 60.  Culbreath’s Camaro then collided head on with a Ford Explorer that subsequently collided with a Ford Freestyle.  Three people were ejected from the cars during the accident.

Five females and one male were pronounced dead on scene.  Two of the females who tragically lost their lives were passengers in Culbreath’s vehicle.  Both were 24 year old females, one whom was the driver’s own sister.  The 47 year old male victim who lost his life is believed to have been a passenger in the Ford Explorer.  Culbreath is currently in stable but critical condition after suffering a broken femur and ruptured bladder.

The investigation is still ongoing at this time but evidence of alcohol consumption was reportedly found on scene.

Orange County DUI Attorney to Aid NHTSA Holiday DUI Campaign Arrestees

January 15, 2014 – With arrival of the holiday season, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) focused on increasing DUI awareness and have made a significant number of DUI arrests during that time. Trusted Orange County DUI attorney Kellee Parker of Parker Law Center is seeking to aid arrestees by offering dedicated legal services in their defense.
Read more »

Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

Peace officers utilize field sobriety tests to help establish probable cause for making a DUI arrest. Often times the peace officer will have already determined if an arrest is to be made prior to asking the suspect to perform the field sobriety test. Since field sobriety tests are voluntary, an experienced DUI defense attorney would advise that the tests be politely declined. Results of poor performance on the tests are often used as additional evidence to support an arrest for driving under the influence.

The following is a list of field sobriety tests that are often administered to gauge a suspect’s level of impairment: horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk and turn, one leg stand, rhomberg, hand pat, finger to nose, and fingers to thumb. It should be noted that the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has only regulated three standardized field sobriety test (SFSTs): the horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk and turn, and one leg stand. The results of standardized field sobriety tests can be challenged both in Court and at the APS hearing by a skilled DUI defense attorney for a number of reasons including but not limited to: improper administration, uneven surface, poor lighting, weight, age, shoes, and medical conditions.

Improper administration of the standardized field sobriety tests is a key factor to rendering the results unreliable. A DUI attorney who has been qualified by NHTSA to administer standardized field sobriety tests will be able to effectively challenge the results by raising the question of reliability. Attorney Kellee Parker, the DUI Professor, has been qualified by NHTSA to administer the standardized field sobriety tests; thus, can call into question the matter in which the tests were administered. For a full case evaluation call the DUI Professor today!

Sentence Enhancements

A standard DUI conviction could result in the following penalties: jail time, work release, community service, electronic monitoring, alcohol monitoring, monetary fines, alcohol programs, license suspension, installation of an ignition interlock device, and probation. The State has the authority to charge a driver with specific allegations that could result in harsher penalties. A skilled Los Angeles DUI lawyer will not only fight the DUI, but also the special allegations. Some of the most common sentence enhancements include:

Prior Convictions: Increased penalties can result from a previous DUI conviction that occurred within the last 10 years. Consequences increase with the number of prior convictions incurred during that same 10 year period. It is important to understand that having three prior convictions in 10 years will result in a fourth offense being filed as a felony. Enhancements that may accompany a prior offense could include: custody time, extended length of an alcohol program, and a longer license suspension period.

High BAC: Having an excessive blood alcohol content of 0.15% or higher is subject to sentence enhancement terms pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 23578. Being charged with this allegation can result in enhanced sentencing terms. On a first offense, a blood alcohol content of 0.15% could result in a 6 month or 9 month alcohol program, while a blood alcohol content of 0.20% would require the 9 month alcohol program.

Refusal: Under California Vehicle Code Section 23578, if a driver refuses or fails to complete a chemical test, the refusal enhancement may be charged. Refusal could be grounds for increased penalties that include extended length of a license suspension or revocation. In addition, a 9 month alcohol program may be required on a first offense.

Injury: A DUI incident that results in injury to another person could be charged as a felony that is punishable by up to 3 years in California State prison. In addition, that sentence could be extended by one year for each person injured or an additional three years if the person sustains great bodily injury. Furthermore, a longer alcohol program could be required in addition to a higher fine and an extended license suspension period.

Child Endangerment: A child endangerment enhancement could be charged if a minor child, under the age of 14, is in the car at the time of the DUI arrest. This penalty carries the following required consequences:

  • First offense: 48 continuous hours in custody
  • Second offense: 10 days in custody
  • Third offense: 30 days in custody

Speed Enhancement: Under California Vehicle Code Section 23582, a speed enhancement can be charged if a person is driving 20 mph over the speed limit on a street or highway or 30 mph over the speed limit on a freeway, in a reckless manner in addition to driving under the influence. Serving a mandatory sentence of 60 consecutive days in jail will result if the special allegation is not stricken.

A skilled DUI attorney should be contacted immediately upon being arrested for driving under the influence. If one or more of the above sentence enhancements were present during your arrest, it is far more critical to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney to start preparing your defense. Contact the DUI Professor today to provide you with legal sources and help protect your rights to reduce the consequences associated with your arrest!

We serve areas in Newport Beach, Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Diego County and other counties in Southern California. To find out more, get in touch by visiting our Contact Us page and filling out the form.

License Suspensions

A license suspension is one of the most common consequences of a DUI arrest. At best, it is inconvenient and at worst it could seriously interfere with a person’s ability to earn a living. Most people are unaware that the California Department of Motor Vehicles is the sole authority regarding license suspensions and that there are two license suspensions associated with a DUI. Contact Attorney Kellee Parker, the DUI Professor, today to help protect your driving privileges.

Suspension Due to DUI Arrest

The first license suspension is triggered by an arrest for driving under the influence. The DMV has the authority to suspend a driver’s license via an administrative action, even if a licensee is never convicted in Court. The suspension is triggered solely by an arrest for driving under the influence with a 0.08% or more, by weight, of alcohol in the blood, or refusal to submit to, or failure to complete, a chemical test.

An administrative suspension occurs due to failure to request an Administrative Per Se (APS) hearing within 10 days of arrest or an unfavorable decision of an APS hearing. On a first offense, the suspension period is 4 months. After one month of a hard suspension, the licensee is eligible to receive a restricted license to commute to and from work, during the course of work, and to and from an alcohol program. To receive the restricted license, the licensee must provide proof of enrollment in a first offender AB-541 alcohol program, file an SR-22 (proof of financial responsibility form), and pay the reissue fee to the DMV. If there is a second DMV action within a 10 year period, the licensee will be facing a 1 year suspension without the possibility of a restricted license. In the event of a third action within that same 10 year time frame, a 2 year license suspension will be issued by the DMV. The best way to avoid these penalties is to contact a qualified DUI defense attorney to advocate on behalf of the licensee.

It is important to remember that as a prerequisite to obtaining a California driver’s license, a driver agrees to submit to a chemical test (breath or blood test) when requested to do so by a peace officer. Refusing to submit to a chemical test results in an automatic suspension of the driver’s license by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. A first offense will result in a 1 year suspension for refusal to submit to, or failure to complete, a chemical test. In the event of a second offense within 10 years, the license will be revoked for 2 years. Contact Attorney Parker, the DUI Professor, to protect your driving privileges!

Suspension Due to Criminal DUI Conviction

Once a defendant is convicted of a DUI, the Court will send an abstract to the DMV. Upon receipt of the abstract, the DMV will suspend the defendant’s driver’s license for a period of 6 months on a first offense, and for a period of 2 years on a second offense. The licensee can apply for a restricted license which would allow the licensee to drive to and from work, during the course of work, and to and from an alcohol program. In order to obtain a restricted license, the licensee must enroll in an alcohol program, provide an SR-22 (proof of financial responsibility form), and pay a reissue fee to the DMV. On a first offense, following conviction, the licensee is automatically eligible to apply for a restricted license as long as there are no Administrative Per Se restrictions. On a second offense, a restricted license is available after a one year hard suspension.

You can rely on us if you need DUI lawyers. We serve areas in Newport Beach, Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Diego County and other counties in Southern California. To find out more, get in touch by visiting our Contact Us page and filling out the form.

Contact the DUI Professor today for a free consultation and to get the personalized, compassionate legal resources that you deserve!

DUI Expungement

The lingering effects of a DUI conviction can result in devastating consequences which can wreak havoc on a person’s life, even years after fulfilling the terms of probation. Most detrimental is the impact that a DUI conviction can have on a person’s ability to secure employment. A skilled DUI defense lawyer can apply for an expungement of the defendant’s conviction following the completion of the sentence.

In order to seek expungement, a motion must be made in Court for relief under Penal Code Section 1203.4 if the defendant was sentenced to probation. If the defendant was not sentenced to probation then relief is sought under Penal Code Section 1203.4 (a). At the time the motion is made, the defendant must have completed probation, or more than one year from the date of pronounced judgment must have past should probation not have been granted, the defendant cannot currently be serving a sentence for any other case, the defendant cannot be on probation for any other offense, and the defendant cannot be charged with the commission of any nother offense. If the Court grants relief under 1203.4 or 1203.4 (a) then the defendant will be permitted to withdraw his/her guilty plea, or if the defendant was convicted at trial, the verdict of guilt will be set aside. The case will be dismissed against the defendant pursuant to Penal Code Section 1203.4 or 1203.4 (a), and the defendant will be “released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense” with some exceptions. The exceptions include the fact that the defendant is not relieved of the obligation to disclose the conviction when applying for state office, for licensure by any state or local agency, or for contracting with the California State Lottery. Additionally, expungement does not affect any DMV actions, the offense can still be used as a prior for many purposes, and it will not affect the prohibition of possessing a firearm.

There is a two step process for expungement if the defendant was convicted of a felony offense. A DUI defense lawyer will first file a 17(b) motion to reduce the felony to a misdemeanor. This can be done in all cases where the felony is a “wobbler.” A wobbler is a case that could have been filed as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If the Court grants the reduction, then the 1203.4 motion is filed to have the case expunged.

If you are interested in having your case expunged please contact DUI defense lawyer Kellee C. Parker, the DUI Professor, for a free case evaluation. If you have not yet completed probation, certain circumstances may exist which would allow your qualified DUI defense lawyer to apply for early termination of probation. Should the Court grant the application for early terminatio of probation then your DUI defense lawyer can immediately apply for expungement. Contact the DUI Professor, a skilled Orange County DUI defense lawyer today to determine if expungement is an option for you!

We serve those arrested for DUI in the following areas Newport Beach, Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Diego County and all Southern California cities. To find out more regarding legal resources that are available to you, get in touch by visiting our Contact Us page and fill out our form.

DMV Process

Typically, upon arrest for DUI, the peace officer will confiscate the suspect’s California driver’s license and issue the arrestee a pink notice. The pink sheet is the Administrative Per Se Suspension/Revocation Order & Temporary Driver License. Its purpose is to inform the suspect of the order of driver’s license suspension and the right to an Administrative Per Se (APS) hearing. This notice also serves as the arrestee’s temporary driver’s license for 30 days. If an APS hearing is not requested within 10 days following arrest, the arrestee’s driver’s license will be automatically suspended and the temporary license will become invalid 30 days following arrest.

The local Driver Safety Office must be contacted to request the APS hearing within 10 days of the DUI arrest. It is critical at this time to hire a skilled defense attorney. The DUI defense attorney will request the APS hearing, a stay on the driver’s license, and discovery. Discovery is the key to building a strong defense case. Once the APS hearing has been requested, the DMV will issue a new temporary license that grants full driving privileges until a final decision is rendered on the APS hearing.

Representing the DMV, a Hearing Officer will preside over the APS hearing. The Hearing Officer acts as both prosecutor and judge and is responsible for the burden of proving the following issues:

If the driver submitted to a chemical test, the issues are:

  • Did the officer have reasonable cause to believe that the licensee was driving a motor vehicle in violation of California Vehicle Code Sections 23152 or 23153?
  • Was the licensee lawfully arrested?
  • Was the licensee driving a motor vehicle with 0.08% or more, by weight, of alcohol in the blood?

If the driver refused to submit to, or failed to complete, a chemical test the issues are:

  • Did the officer have reasonable cause to believe that the licensee was driving a motor vehicle in violation of California Vehicle Code Sections 23152 or 23153?
  • Was the licensee lawfully arrested?
  • Was the licensee advised that refusal to submit to, or failure to complete, a breath or blood test would result in a one year license suspension or two or three year revocation?
  • Did the licensee refuse to submit to, or fail to complete, a chemical test after being requested to by a peace officer?

The Hearing Officer enters into evidence the arresting officer’s investigation reports which include, but is not limited to, the DS-367 sworn report, the arrest and investigation reports, and chemical testing results. A defense attorney who is experienced with these proceedings will object to the documents, present evidence to rebut the charges, and call witnesses who can override the documentation. Having an attorney who is skilled at representing licensees at the APS hearing can greatly improve the odds of a successful outcome. After both sides have completed the presentation of evidence, the Hearing Officer must review all evidence, testimony and facts, then render a written decision. This decision will either uphold the suspension or revocation of the driver’s license or set it aside.

The length of suspension depends upon the number of actions the DMV has taken against the offender’s license in the last 10 years. On a first offense suspension, the suspension period is 4 months; however, a restricted license is available after a 30 day hard suspension. Should the licensee choose to get a restricted license, the restricted license will remain in place for a period of 5 months. A restricted license allows the licensee to drive to and from work, during the course of work, and to and from an alcohol program. On second and subsequent offenses, a restricted license is not available after an APS suspension. Call the DUI Professor today to protect your driving privileges!

Court Process

In most circumstances, a DUI case begins when a peace officer initiates an enforcement stop due to a traffic violation. Upon initial contact with the suspect, the officer asks the driver to exit the vehicle in order to conduct a DUI investigation based upon initial findings of “objective symptoms” of intoxication. These “objective symptoms” may include the following: bloodshot/ watery eyes, slurred speech, unsteady gait, and odor of alcohol. Many times the DUI investigation proceeds by the officer asking the detainee a number of pre field sobriety test questions which may include the following: if the suspect consumed alcohol, how much alcohol, type of alcohol, time of consumption, time of last meal, type of food consumed, time the suspect last slept, medical conditions, etc. These questions are usually followed by the administration of standardized field sobriety tests. Following the administration of the standardized field sobriety tests, the officer many times offers the detainee a preliminary alcohol screening (pas) test. This pas test is used to gauge the suspect’s blood alcohol level and will be used as probable cause to support an arrest. Observing signs of intoxication that can range from mild to severe, the officer makes an arrest on suspicion of DUI. Usually the suspect is transported to the police station and given the choice between submitting to a breathalyzer or a blood test. Once the chemical test is completed, the suspect is booked into custody, fingerprinted and then placed in a holding cell. Oftentimes the suspect is released on his/her own recognizance (OR) and issued a date to appear in Court for the initial arraignment. In some cases, bail is set based on a predetermined fee schedule. Bail requires the suspect either post the bail in full or pay a fee to a bail bond company (approximately 10% of the bail) in which the bail bond company will post the bail before the suspect is eligible for release. If the amount required to post bail cannot be paid then the suspect is held in custody until he/ she is taken to see the judge. This should take place within 48 hours.

Following arrest, the arresting officer will forward the arresting documents to the prosecutor’s office. A charging deputy will review the documents and decide which charges, if any, should be filed. The charges are typically filed via complaint. The arraignment is the first appearance in Court in which the charges are presented against the defendant. Most DUIs are filed as misdemeanor offenses. If the offense is filed as a misdemeanor then the DUI lawyer can appear in Court on behalf of the client without the client being present. At the initial appearance, the DUI lawyer may use the strategy of continuing the arraignment should she believe it is in her client’s best interest. Often times, instead of continuing the arraignment, the DUI lawyer will enter a plea of “not guilty” on behalf of her client and set the matter for a pretrial hearing. At the pretrial hearing an experienced DUI lawyer will review the case and file any and all pretrial motions necessary. Pretrial motions may include but are not limited to: Serna Motion, Motion to Suppress, Motion to Strike a Prior, Pitchess Motion, and Motion to Dismiss. During the pretrial stage, the DUI defense attorney will also have an opportunity to evaluate the case and negotiate with the prosecutor. A skilled DUI lawyer in San Diego will either recommend her client enter into the negotiated plea bargain agreement, or proceed on and take the matter to jury trial. Call Attorney Parker, the DUI Professor, today for a free case evaluation!

Attorney Parker represents those arrested for DUI in the following areas Newport Beach, Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Diego County and all Southern California cities. To find out more regarding legal resources that are available to you, get in touch by visiting our Contact Us page and fill out our form.

Huntington Beach Resident Arrested 13 Times for DUI

December 30, 2011 – Dennis Malavasi of Huntington Beach, convicted of driving under the influence 13 times, found himself behind bars again this week when he skipped out of his Court ordered treatment program.  Malavasi was arrested on warrants issued after he checked himself out of the treatment program.

Malavasi’s, son of post Los Angeles Rams coach Ray Malavasi, drunk driving record begins all the way back in 1976.  His 13th conviction was this past year when authorities found him slumped over in his idling pickup truck with a half-empty bottle of malt liquor by his side.  This offense was just shy of ten years from his last DUI conviction.  California law allows a prior DUI conviction to be alleged if the prior conviction occurred within ten years of the new offense date; thus, this last offense was sentenced as 2nd offense DUI.

A DUI conviction brings serious consequences which can include jail time, fines, mandatory enrollment in an alcohol program, work release, house arrest, and installation of an ignition interlock device.  If you have been arrested for a DUI, it is vital you contact a skilled DUI defense attorney today.  A competent DUI defense attorney will review your case and start building your defense today.  Contact the Parker Law Center for a free consultation!

Former Miss USA Faces More Controversy with Recent DUI Arrest

December 5, 2011 – Former Miss USA, Rima Fakih, may soon be facing driving under the influence charges after being arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence this past weekend in Highland Park, Michigan.  The 26 year old beauty queen reportedly tried to initially deny this allegation by tweeting on Saturday: “Let’s clear things up now…. I’m NOT in Michigan and I’m NOT in jail! Wrong Fakih.”  However Ms. Fakih’s attorney, Doraid Elder, confirmed her arrest on Sunday and stated she is “very saddened and very apologetic for the situation that she is in right now.”

In May 2010, Fakih became the first Arab American to ever win the Miss USA title, as well as, the first Miss Michigan to win since 1993.  Controversy is not something new for Fakih.  The day after winning her Miss USA title, photos surfaced of her participating in a “Stripper 101” contest at a Detroit, Michigan gentlemen’s club just 3 years prior.  She also faced scrutiny for her late-night partying while reining queen.

Police have offered no details into her recent arrest.  Attorney Elder stresses that the arrest was based solely on mere allegations.  Highland Park police will continue further investigation in the coming weeks.

If you or someone you love is arrested for DUI, it is imperative that you retain an experienced DUI attorney immediately.  Contact the Parker Law Center today for a free consultation today!