Articles Posted in Ignition Interlock Device

The California Criminal Jury Instruction N. 875 provides that to prove a defendant is guilty of assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm, the prosecutor needs to prove; (1) the defendant acted with a deadly weapon besides a firearm that due to its nature would directly, probably apply force to someone, (2) the defendant’s actions were willful, (3) when the defendant acted, she was aware of facts that would cause a reasonable person to realize the nature of her act was such it would directly, probably cause force to be applied to someone, and (4) when the defendant acted, she had the ability to apply force with a deadly weapon other than a firearm to someone. A defendant’s awareness of facts that would trigger her realization that her act would probably and directly result in application of force can be affected by prior California DUI convictions, warnings from the court, and a prior court order that she install an ignition interlock device on her car.

In a California appellate decision, a jury convicted the defendant of two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. The defendant was drunk on Memorial Day weekend when she drove a car through the fence and into her neighbor’s backyard during a get-together. The car jumped onto the porch, which was around 15-17 feet from the fence, before it temporarily stopped with wheels spinning in the gravel and then crashed into the master bedroom wall. The neighbor’s friend was almost hit and so was the neighbor’s eight-year-old son.

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In a recent California appellate decision, the defendant pled guilty in two cases to driving under the influence (DUI) with a blood alcohol content that was greater than .08. In both of those California DUI cases, he admitted he had three prior convictions for driving under the influence and the court granted him probation.

The first case arose when the defendant was pulled over for driving under the influence. He didn’t have proof of insurance, or a driver’s license, and his BAC was .19 or .20. He was charged with five crimes, including driving with a BAC higher than .08 with three prior convictions. He didn’t come to his arraignment and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He pled guilty to the DUI with a BAC of .19 or .20, and admitted his three priors. In exchange for his plea, the other counts were dismissed. He was put on probation for five years, and one condition was that he install an ignition interlock device on his car for five years.

The second case arose when he was again stopped for a DUI. He gave the police a driver’s license with someone else’s name on it, and would later claim he used the name Gabriel Sanchez. His BAC was .12 or .10. Three days after the defendant’s plea was taken, the prosecutor filed a new complaint and it charged the defendant with three new crimes that came out of the traffic stop, and among these was DUI with three prior convictions for DUI.

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Under section 23575 of the Vehicle Code, a judge can require somebody convicted of a first California DUI to install a working, certified ignition interlock device on any vehicle that person operates, and stop that person from driving except where a functioning certified ignition interlock device has been installed.

A recent California appellate decision arose when the defendant ran a stop sign while extremely intoxicated and traveling at high speeds, and crashed into another vehicle causing the other car to roll over several times. The collision caused the other driver injuries. Two hours after this collision, her BAC was .259.

She pled no contest to several DUI crimes, including a DUI causing injury and driving with a BAC .08 or higher causing injury. She also admitted two prior convictions for DUIs within 10 years, and admitted allegations related to enhancement. The lower court declined to impose the probation department’s recommendation she get probation. She was sentenced to three years in state prison on the first count, and the court stayed a two year sentence on count 2 under Penal Code section 654. Penal Code section 654 prohibits two or more punishments for the same crime.

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