24 DUI Detection Cues Police Use

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has identified twenty-four visual cues to aid officers in detecting nighttime impaired drivers.  Be advised that any one of these cues may cause an officer to believe that you are driving under the influence and therefore pull you over.

  1. Weaving
  2. Weaving Across Lane Lines
  3. Straddling A Lane Line
  4. Swerving
  5. Turning With Wide Radius
  6. Drifting
  7. Almost Striking Object or Vehicle
  8. Stopping Problems (too far, too short, too jerky)
  9. Accelerating or Decelerating Rapidly
  10. Varying Speed
  11. Slow Speed (10 mph + Under Limit)
  12. Driving In Opposing Lanes or Wrong Way on One-Way Street
  13. Slow Response to Traffic Signals
  14. Slow or Failure to Respond to Officer’s Signal’s
  15. Stopping in Lane for No Apparent Reason
  16. Driving Without Headlights at Night
  17. Failure to Signal or Signal Inconsistent with Action
  18. Following Too Closely
  19. Improper or Unsafe Lane Change
  20. Illegal or Improper Turn (too fast, jerky, sharp, etc.)
  21. Driving on Other Than Designated Roadway
  22. Stopping Inappropriately In Response to Officer
  23. Inappropriate Or Unusual Behavior (throwing objects, arguing, etc.)
  24. Appearing to be Impaired

Robbery Penal Codes

Robbery offenses are quite serious, not only because of the potential for lengthy prison commitments, but also because they amount to “Strikes” on your record and require that you serve 85% of any prison sentence imposed upon conviction.  In California, simple petty theft offenses can easily turn into robbery charges if there is any allegation that force or violence was used or threatened in order for the suspect to retain possession of the stolen merchandise.  The key to successfully defending against robbery charges is often an immediate and thorough investigation by a private investigator, at the direction of an experienced criminal defense attorney.


Robbery Penal Codes

211.  Robbery is the felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear.

212.  The fear mentioned in Section 211 may be either:

1. The fear of an unlawful injury to the person or property of the person robbed, or of any relative of his or member of his family; or,

2. The fear of an immediate and unlawful injury to the person or property of anyone in the company of the person robbed at the time of the robbery.

212.5.         (a) Every robbery of any person who is performing his or her duties as an operator of any bus, taxicab, cable car, streetcar, trackless trolley, or other vehicle, including a vehicle operated on stationary rails or on a track or rail suspended in the air, and used for the transportation of persons for hire, every robbery of any passenger which is perpetrated on any of these vehicles, and every robbery which is perpetrated in an inhabited dwelling house, a vessel as defined in Section 21 of the Harbors and Navigation Code which is inhabited and designed for habitation, an inhabited floating home as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 18075.55 of the Health and

Safety Code, a trailer coach as defined in the Vehicle Code which is inhabited, or the inhabited portion of any other building is robbery of the first degree.

(b) Every robbery of any person while using an automated teller machine or immediately after the person has used an automated teller machine and is in the vicinity of the automated teller machine is robbery of the first degree.

(c) All kinds of robbery other than those listed in subdivisions (a) and (b) are of the second degree.

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Possession of Methamphetamine (Health & Safety Code 11377)

Possession of methamphetamine for personal use is governed by Health & Safety Code section 11377(a). Although the code allows a violation of this section to be charged as a misdemeanor, in Kern County, the reality is that it is ALWAYS charged as a felony, even on a first offense. While being charged with section 11377 by itself will normally make the accused eligible for either PC 1000 (Drug Diversion) or Prop. 36 probation, any additional charges in the same case that are not solely drug related can render the accused ineligible for either of those programs. Additionally, the District Attorney’s Office may charge you with either Possession for Sale (H&S 11378) or Transportation (H&S 11379) in an effort to keep you out of these programs, depending on the particular circumstances of your case.

Drug cases, in particular, require the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Oftentimes, there are issues with the legality of the police conduct in detaining or searching the suspect that can result in the dismissal of the entire case.


Health & Safety Code Section 11377

(a) Except as authorized by law and as otherwise provided in subdivision (b) or Section 11375, or in Article 7 (commencing with Section 4211) of Chapter 9 of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code, every person who possesses any controlled substance which is (1) classified in Schedule III, IV, or V, and which is not a narcotic drug, (2) specified in subdivision (d) of Section 11054, except paragraphs (13), (14), (15), and (20) of subdivision (d), (3) specified in paragraph (11) of subdivision (c) of Section 11056, (4) specified in paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, or (5) specified in subdivision (d), (e), or (f) of Section 11055, unless upon the prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian, licensed to practice in this state, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not more than one year or pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code.

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Vehicle Code Section 23152

In California, DUI charges are normally limited to application of Vehicle Code sections 23152(a) and (b). What can be quite confusing to people charged with DUI is that often they will be charged with both subsection (a) and (b). Too many people, this creates the mistaken belief that they have been charged with two separate DUI offenses.
What most people don’t realize is that it is possible to be charged with, and even convicted of, DUI even if one’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is below 0.08 percent.

If you’ve been arrested for DUI and have not given a blood, breath, or urine sample (for whatever reason), you will most likely be charged with only section 23152(a).

If you have been arrested for DUI and have provided a blood, breath, or urine sample that shows a BAC of 0.08 percent or more, you will most likely be charged with both subsections (a) and (b) of Vehicle Code section 23152. The fact that you have been charged with both sections does not mean that you are charged with two separate
DUI offenses.

In addition to the criminal penalties that DUI convictions carry, there are administrative penalties as well with the Department of Motor Vehicles. DUI arrests require quick action on the part of the person arrested in order to protect your rights. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney and the DMV immediately.


Vehicle Code section 23152

(a) It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.
(b) It is unlawful for any person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle.
For purposes of this article and Section 34501.16, percent, by weight, of alcohol in a person’s blood is based upon grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath. In any prosecution under this subdivision, it is a rebuttable presumption that the person had 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of driving the vehicle if the person had 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of the performance of a chemical test within three hours after the driving.

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Domenstic Violence Charges

Domestic Violence charges are usually limited to violations of either section 273.5(a) or 243(e)(1) of the Penal Code. There are a few key differences between these two sections. Section 243(e)(1) can only be charged as a misdemeanor and is limited to instances where the alleged injury, if any, is very slight. Section 273.5(a), on the other hand, can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony and is reserved for circumstances in which the alleged injury results in a "traumatic condition." If there is an allegation that the act of domestic violence resulted in Great Bodily Injury, the consequences become even more severe than those listed below, including "Strike" consequences. There are a number of factors that are considered in charging and dealing with domestic violence cases. The first step you should take if you’ve been accused of domestic violence is to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.


California Penal Code Section 273.5(a)

(a) Any person who willfully inflicts upon a person who is his or her spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or the mother or father of his or her child, corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition, is guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four
years, or in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of up to six thousand dollars ($6,000) or by both that fine and imprisonment.

California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1)

(e) (1) When a battery is committed against a spouse, a person with whom the defendant is cohabiting, a person who is the parent of the defendant’s child, former spouse, fiancé, or fiancée, or a person with whom the defendant currently has, or has previously had, a dating or engagement relationship, the battery is punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not more than one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment. If probation is granted, or the execution or imposition of the sentence is suspended, it shall be a condition thereof that the defendant participate in, for no less than one year, and successfully complete, a batterer’s treatment program, as defined in Section 1203.097, or if none is available, another appropriate counseling program designated by the court. However, this provision shall not be construed as requiring a city, a county, or a city and county to provide a new program or higher level of service as contemplated by Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.

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Penal Code Section 245

One of the most common Penal Codes to be charged with is Penal Code section 245. As you can see below, it is extremely complex, depending on the specific subsection that one is charged with based upon the allegations in the police report. In general, section 245 can encompass everything from swinging a fist at someone (without actually striking them) to actually firing at someone (and even striking them) with a firearm. Making section 245 even more complex is the fact that under certain circumstances, convictions for violations of this section amount to "Strikes." Knowing what factors lead to "Strikes" and which ones do not requires the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. All too often, Defendants enter pleas to violations of section 245 under the mistaken belief that they are avoiding a "Strike" when in actuality, because they have relied upon poor legal advice or their own misunderstanding of the law, they have been left with a "Strike" on their record for the rest of their lives.


California Penal Code Section 245

(a) (1) Any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm or by any means of force likely to produce great bodily injury shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.

(2) Any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a firearm shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not less than six months and not exceeding one year, or by both a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000) and imprisonment.

(3) Any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a machine gun, as defined in Section 12200, or an assault weapon, as defined in Section 12276 or 12276.1, or a .50 BMG rifle, as defined in Section 12278, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for 4, 8, or 12 years.

(b) Any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a semiautomatic firearm shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, six, or nine years.

(c) Any person who commits an assault with a deadly weapon or instrument, other than a firearm, or by any means likely to produce great bodily injury upon the person of a peace officer or firefighter, and who knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a peace officer or firefighter engaged in the performance of his or her duties, when the peace officer or firefighter is engaged in the performance of his or her duties, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, four, or five years.

(d) (1) Any person who commits an assault with a firearm upon the person of a peace officer or firefighter, and who knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a peace officer or firefighter engaged in the performance of his or her duties, when the peace officer or firefighter is engaged in the performance of his or her duties, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for four, six, or eight years.

(2) Any person who commits an assault upon the person of a peace officer or firefighter with a semiautomatic firearm and who knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a peace officer or firefighter engaged in the performance of his or her duties, when the peace officer or firefighter is engaged in the performance of his or her duties, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for five, seven, or nine years.

(3) Any person who commits an assault with a machine gun, as defined in Section 12200, or an assault weapon, as defined in Section 12276 or 12276.1, or a .50 BMG rifle, as defined in Section 12278, upon the person of a peace officer or firefighter, and who knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a peace officer or firefighter engaged in the performance of his or her duties, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for 6, 9, or 12 years.

(e) When a person is convicted of a violation of this section in a case involving use of a deadly weapon or instrument or firearm, and the weapon or instrument or firearm is owned by that person, the court shall order that the weapon or instrument or firearm be deemed a nuisance, and it shall be confiscated and disposed of in the manner provided by Section 12028.

(f) As used in this section, “peace officer” refers to any person designated as a peace officer in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2.

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