Penalties for DUI with Injury

If you cause an accident while driving under the influence of alcohol or forbidden substances, and you injure one or more persons, prosecutors will charge you with a “DUI with injury” under California Vehicle Code section 23153 VC.  The prosecutors have the power to charge a first DUI causing injury as either a misdemeanor or felony offense.  Often referred to as a “wobbler,” this law grants significant prosecutorial discretion and permits the district attorney to choose between less severe (misdemeanor) and severe (felony) prosecutions.  Choose one of our experienced criminal attorneys in Santa Clarita to counsel and represent you.  We will immediately discuss your case and diminish any associated penalties for a DUI with injury.

bigstock-Drinking-And-Driving-2785571Punishment for first DUI causing injury conviction per VC 23554

As we mentioned, the prosecutor will charge you with either a misdemeanor or a felony offense.  A misdemeanor charge may result in imprisonment for a period of 90 days to 1 year and a fine from $390 to $2,000.  In addition, your driving privileges will be suspended for a 1 year period.  A felony charge may result in imprisonment in county for a term of up to 3 years.

If the court grants probation, the terms may include:

  • A probation term of 3-5 years;
  • A requirement that you shall not drive a vehicle with any measurable amount of alcohol in your blood;
  • A requirement that you, if arrested for a violation of VC 23152 or 23153, shall not refuse to submit to a chemical test of your blood, breath or urine for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of your blood;
  • A requirement that you shall not commit any criminal offense;
  • Carry valid government issued identification at all times;
  • Do not own, use or possess any type of dangerous weapon or deadly weapon;
  • Use your true name and date of birth at all times.


Punishment for second DUI causing injury conviction per VC 23153

If the offense occurred within 10 years of a separate DUI conviction, the penalties will be drastically increased.  A misdemeanor charge may result in imprisonment in county jail for a period of 120 days to 1 year and a fine valued between $390 and $5,000 and your driving privileges will be suspended for a 3 year period.  A felony charge may result in imprisonment in county jail for up to 3 years.

If the court grants probation, the terms may include:

  1. Confinement in county jail for at least 120 days and a fine ranging from $390 to $5,000. Your driving privileges shall be revoked by the DMV for a period of 3 years; or
  2. All the following:
  • Imprisonment for 30 days to 1 year;
  • A fine valued between $390 and $2,000;
  • Your driving privileges revoked by the DMV pursuant to VC 13552(a)(4)


Punishment for second DUI causing injury conviction per VC 23153

You will face imprisonment in county jail for up to 4 years and pay a fine ranging from $1,015 to $5,000.  In addition, your driving privileges shall be revoked for a period of 5 years.  You will be designated as a habitual traffic offender for a period of 3 years, subsequent to the conviction.  The habitual traffic offender designation will increase the penalties for certain driving offenses that are committed after the designation.

Enhanced Penalty For Causing Injury Upon Multiple Victims

You shall receive an increased sentence of 1 year in county jail for each additional injured victim but you will face one DUI charge if multiple victims were involved in a single accident.  If you caused the death of another person while driving under the influence, you may be charged for vehicular manslaughter or Watson murder.

Contact us now and hire one of our competent and experienced DUI attorneys to represent you. For more information, click on our website:

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The Art of Plea Bargaining

When you are charged with a crime, an offense, or a violation of the criminal code, the prosecution will usually make you an offer, to lower the possible sentence, the grade of the charge, or both, if you plead guilty. The trick to doing this right is knowing when to accept the deal and how to negotiate the terms.  Our experienced criminal attorneys in Long Beach will help you get the best terms and obtain the minimum possible conviction. After all, experienced lawyers are familiar with the art of plea bargaining.

plea-bargainsThe vast majority of criminal cases are resolved through a “plea bargain”, usually well before the case reaches trial. The defendant agrees to plead guilty, usually to a lesser charge than one for which the defendant could stand trial, in exchange for a more lenient sentence, and/or so that certain related charges are dismissed. For both the government and the defendant, the decision to enter into (or not enter into) a plea bargain may be based on the seriousness of the alleged crime, the strength of the evidence in the case, and the prospects of a guilty verdict at trial. Plea bargains are generally encouraged by the court system due to overworked criminal court calendars and overloaded jails. The court system is saved the burden of conducting a trial on every crime charged.

The prosecution will offer you a deal that is categorized as the best offer you are going to get. While there are some (few) circumstances where the plea should be accepted as soon as it is offered, there are some cases when a skilled lawyer can use to delay acceptance, while working on details to support a counter-offer. The counter-offer will have the purpose:

  • Reduce the length of the sentence recommended by the State.
  • Reduce the length of any parole disqualifier or probation period.
  • Reduce the gradation of the plea charge.
  • Or, reduce the type of charge you will plead to.

A skilled lawyer will also inform you about the potential direct and collateral consequences and the ramifications if the plea is not accepted and the case goes to trial. The lawyer must also advise you of future consequences if you get another conviction.

Ask the lawyer to assume the worst combination of new charge with the charge you are considering entering a plea to now. If this were to happen, can you cope with that outcome? If the answer is no, then the current plea offer must be modified to mitigate the possible future consequences. But what if you were to violate your probation or parole? What would the possible sentence be if that happens? If the consequences and penalties are too high, then, again, the plea offer should be modified.

Get represented by the best criminal defense attorneys and contact us now!

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What Is a Pro Bono Case?

The term “Pro bono” comes from the Latin phrase “pro bono publico” which means for the public good. In the legal context it generally means the provision of legal services on a free or significantly reduced fee basis. “Pro bono” gained popularity in the legal profession, as lawyers are bound by ethical rules and principles to charge fair rates for their services and to serve public interest by providing free legal services to those in need.  If you are in need of a good criminal attorney in Calabasas, but you cannot afford spending too much money, you should check if there are law firms providing pro bono support.

Rule 6.1 of the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct, presents probonothe obligation of attorneys to engage in pro bono.

Every lawyer has a professional responsibility to provide legal services to those unable to pay. A lawyer should aspire to render at least (50) hours of pro bono publico legal services per year. In fulfilling this responsibility, the lawyer should:

(a) Provide a substantial majority of the (50) hours of legal services without fee or expectation of fee to:

(1) Persons of limited means or

(2) Charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters that are designed primarily to address the needs of persons of limited means; and

(b) Provide any additional services through:

(1) Delivery of legal services at no fee or a substantially reduced fee to individuals, groups or organizations seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties or public rights, or charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters in furtherance of their organizational purposes, where the payment of standard legal fees would significantly deplete the organization’s economic resources or would be otherwise inappropriate;

(2) Delivery of legal services at a substantially reduced fee to persons of limited means; or

(3) Participation in activities for improving the law, the legal system or the legal profession.

In addition, a lawyer should voluntarily contribute financial support to organizations that provide legal services to persons of limited means.

Hire one of our professional defense lawyers to help you with your case.  Contact us now!

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How to Choose a Good Criminal Lawyer!

If you have been charged with a crime, you are potentially facing jail time, substantial fines and even forfeit of property, including automobiles and other valuable belongings. Hiring a lawyer becomes a top priority. Selecting an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles who has court experience, litigation success and considerable knowledge of the law is vital to ensuring you get the best defense and trial outcome. Selecting the right attorney is one of the hardest parts of the trial and you should dedicate some time in inquiring best defense options and partners.  Read our guide on how to choose a good criminal lawyer.

justice5The first thing is to determine if you need a criminal defense lawyer to represent you or just to consult you. For serious charges, choose to be represented, rather than just consulted. Also, you must find out what type of lawyer you will need: a state or federal attorney. When you break a federal law, you are prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s office. A prosecutor from this office has more time and resources for your case, so it is likely that the prosecution will be much stronger than in a state case.   In this case, you will need a seasoned defense lawyer who concentrates his/her practice in the area of defense that you need.

Now, we should discuss where to find the layer that you need. There are quite a few possibilities of finding a lawyer:

  • Analyze biographical information on websites of lawyers and law firms. Select a number of attorneys that appear to have expertise in the area of criminal law that you need. Pay attention to lawyers that belong to reputable associations in the area of expertise that you need.
  • Find more info for each lawyer and his or her law firm. Try to find any articles, FAQ’s or other informational pieces about the lawyer/firm’s professional activity.
  • Contact your state bar association or visit their website to find out if the lawyers are in good standing.
  • Consider any special needs you have. For example, you may need a lawyer that is able to communicate in Spanish or Italian.


And here is a list of questions you should ask any potential lawyer. Hire him/her only if you find their answers satisfactory.

  • How many years have you been representing persons accused of a crime?
  • How many years have you specialized in criminal defense of serious charges?
  • What is your track record in having criminal charges dropped or reduced?
  • What percentage of your cases has gone to trial?
  • How many criminal cases resulted in guilty and not guilty verdicts? How many were settled?
  • How many criminal cases have you handled that are like mine?
  • What are the key concerns you have with my situation?
  • What do you think the outcome of my case will be?
  • Who in your office will be handling my case and how will you communicate with me?
  • What is the potential cost of my defense?


If you want to be represented by a reputable, experienced criminal defense lawyer, you should visit our webpage and contact our law firm –

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Can You Go to Prison for Unpaid Debt?

Going to prison for not paying his debts might seem a severe punishment. Realistically speaking, most of us consider this punishment a bit barbaric, more fit for the Middle Ages than our modern times. Still, there are situations and states in the U.S. where you can go to prison for unpaid debt.  Due to the complex legislation, you will need to work with a specialist if you are called to appear before the court because you did not pay your debts. You can always hire a professional Los Angeles lawyer specializing in criminal law and he will represent you.

od-criminal-justiceTypically, getting a person imprisoned for not paying a financial debt is the last resort. A lawyer will argue that there is no need for that. Selling valuable goods and periodically paying the debts is a common tactic with which lawyers win cases and manage to keep their clients free.

But if the client cannot pay the debt, going to jail is the only applicable penalty. This also applies to those who fail to pay the fees imposed in criminal judgments. Here are the situations when you can end up in debtors’ prison:

  • State laws that attempt to make criminal justice debt a condition of probation, parole, or other correctional supervision with failure to pay resulting in arrest and re-imprisonment.
  • State laws that consider imprisonment as a penalty for failure to pay criminal justice debt. These actions are considered a civil contempt of court charge, thus technically not in violation of state constitutions that prohibit debtors’ prisons, but for the same reason those incarcerated must be released immediately if they either pay or prove themselves unable to do so.
  • Citizens choosing jail time under state programs where imprisonment is a way of paying down court imposed debt.
  • States that regularly arrest citizens for criminal justice debt prior to appearing at debt-related hearings, leading in many cases to multi-day jail terms pending an ability to pay hearing.
  • The routine jailing of persons who owe civil debt when such debts are related to child support. Imprisonment for such debt is legally justified by the legal fiction that the incarceration is not for the debt, but rather for not obeying a court order to pay the debt.


Besides that, the debt imprisonment laws have returned in more than one third of the U.S. You can go to jail for unpaid debt in states like: Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah and Washington State.

If you need a good lawyer to represent your case, hire us!

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How long are you arrested for DUI in the state of California?

Being charged with DUI has the potential of turning upside down the whole life of a person.  The accused driver will face certain penalties, depending on the severity of his actions and other factors.  A criminal defense attorney will help protecting your right while being under investigations by the authorities.  It is likely for the accused to be placed under arrest while all evidences are gathered and analyzed.  California’s federal laws clearly state how long will be placed under arrest for DUI.

driving under the influence 1You will be accused of DUI if the officer who pulled you over notices an alcoholic odor emitting from your breath or signs of intoxication (red bloodshot eyes, flushed face or slurred speech).  The officer will ask you to perform road field sobriety tests and even preliminary analyze your breath with dedicated devices.  Based on the provided results, you can be arrested for DUI.  After being arrested, you will be taken to hospital, jail or police station for further blood/breath investigations.  Blood is sent to labs, so you may spend several days in prison before the results arrive.

For a first DUI conviction, the minimum penalties, if no one is injured or killed, are: approximately $1800 fine, 2 days in jailor a 90 days license restriction plus a period of time in which your license is suspended.  The maximum penalties include a 6 month imprisonment plus payments of more than $3600.

For a second DUI conviction, the minimum penalties, if no one is injured or killed, are: $1800 fine and ten days in jail, installation of “interlock” devices and license suspension plus restrictions. The maximum penalties, again, when there are not persons injured or killed, are: one year in jail, $3000, required installation of “interlock” devices and various license suspension periods and restrictions.

For third and subsequent DUI convictions, the penalties become pretty dire.  You will spend 120 days in jail for 3rd offense and 180 days in jail for 4th offense.  The maximum penalties include 1 year in jail for 3rd conviction and 16 month in state prison for the fourth conviction.

If you want to work with a professional lawyer that will represent your case, contact us.

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5 Reasons You Need a Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer to Handle Your Case

Being charged with a crime is an extremely serious matter. An individual that has been charged with a crime risks being imprisoned and a criminal record. Both consequences will alter the prospects of finding a job and the way in which the individual is viewed by society. If you are charged by authorities, you should seek immediate assistance from a criminal defense lawyer. Read our list of top 5 reasons you need a Los Angeles criminal lawyer to handle your case:

  1. crime2A criminal lawyer will help you understand the nature of the filed charges.

The lawyer will explain all you have to know about the legal procedure following the charges and the possible penalties. In this way, you would know what to expect and what to do in order to get the minimum penalty or to get rid of the charges. Of course, you need to provide all of the details asked to the lawyer.

  1. A criminal lawyer will know what defensive strategies to use.

Given the nature of your case, the lawyer will adopt the best defensive strategy available. An experienced layer will be more adept at analyzing your case.

  1. A criminal lawyer will explain what plea bargains are likely to be offered.

The lawyer will explain all of the concessions that the prosecutor can offer, if you plead guilty. This means pleading guilty to less serious charges or to one of several charges, in order to dismiss the others.  Pleading guilty may be a good compromise for obtaining a more lenient sentence.

  1. A criminal lawyer will lessen the severity of the penalty.

Good lawyers always seek to obtain the minimum penalty for their clients. He will also try to commute sentences, like obtaining hours of community service in exchange for a few days in prison.

  1. The lawyer will explain what is expected after trial or conviction.

You will be notified what you have to do and what documents to offer, after you have been convicted.

Hire one of our lawyers and you will benefit of an ally with vast experience and reputation in criminal cases. Visit our website!

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Were You Charged with Tax Evasion? Call A Criminal Attorney in Los Angeles!

Financial fraud, like tax evasion, can have tremendous negative consequences, especially if those suspected by the IRS are the representatives of a company. Not declaring your entire income is punishable by law, but there are cases when the taxpayer was honest and the IRS is wrong.

tax evasion 1 If you were charged with tax evasion, you should call a criminal attorney in Los Angeles. The first thing you should do is to run a quick scan for competent lawyers that have a solid reputation of successfully defending clients in tax evasion cases.

The consequences of being charged with tax evasion vary greatly. If you are charged of deliberately filling false documents, filling false tax returns or declaring a false income, you may end up paying as much as $500.000, plus the cost of prosecution for this crime. Or you can end up in jail for the next five years. The IRS Criminal Investigation Unit relies on its own tax fraud lawyers to analyze the case.

Fighting against the system might seem hopeless, but if you feel that you are right, never give up. Hire a specialized attorney and carefully present him with all of the details. After that, the lawyer will adopt a specific defense strategy. No matter who you hire, make sure not to talk publicly about the case.

The IRS will use everything you say against you. Those to whom you confessed will be also dragged into court to testify. So, you will need to work with a lawyer specialized in tax evasion, that has a fair rate of success in cases involving IRS. Each case is unique, but some general methods can be applied and to successfully obtain an acquittal.

Our lawyers have vast experience in resolving tax evasion cases.  Visit our website!


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How to Handle a Slip and Fall Case

Winning a slip and fall case is not simple. You will need to provide credible proof and evidence and prove that the defendant was responsible for your injury. In many cases, the help of a criminal attorney in Studio City is essential.

Here are some simple steps that will improve your chances of winning a slip and fall case:

  1. Document the accident and the injury

criminal attorney in los angelesYou have to know the exact date and the exact circumstances of your accident and injury. Write this information down as soon as you are able. These details will be essential for your case.

  1. Hire a good criminal attorney

In order to win a slip and fall case, you will need a professional and competent lawyer. You should hire someone who has past experience with similar cases. An attorney is essential for standing a chance to win. In most situations, the verdict depends on the attorney you hire.

  1. Prove that the defendant is legally responsible for your injury

In order to be entitled to financial compensation, you have to prove that your injury was caused by the defendant’s negligence. In other words, you must prove that the defendant is legally responsible for your injury. This can be difficult as there are many situations in which the defendant was not responsible for your fall.  For example, if you injured yourself by tripping over your coat, belt, dress or other clothes, you will be held responsible for the fall and not the defendant.

  1. Expert witnesses can help you win a slip and fall case

An expert witness is someone who has great knowledge in a domain and can prove that your fall was caused by the premises of which the defendant was responsible. In a slip and fall case, an expert witness can be an architect or a physicist that can describe your fall and its causes.

If you hire a good attorney, your chances of winning a slip and fall case are higher. Make sure you visit our website at for the best legal help in Los Angeles.

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What to Do If Your Bank Account Has Been Hacked?

Today we face modern ways of stealing money. There is no longer the need of pointing a gun at a cashier in order to rob a bank. Some talented, but not so well-intentioned, individuals are particularly adept at hacking security systems and illegally transferring money. And when the prize consists of millions of dollars, the attraction becomes almost impossible to resist.

zolonz10Unfortunately, millions of Americans were scammed or hacked in recent years by various cyber-criminals. But what should you do if your bank account has been hacked?  It is not your fault that you lost money. You should try finding an attorney in California that specializes in criminal law and present your case.

Cyber-crimes and cyber-terrorism are real threats to our society. In an instant, a group of hackers can shut down systems and cause damage to the economy.  This past year a major operation codenamed “Project Blitzkrieg” was halted before it even started.

The aim of that operation was to steal money from customers of several banks. Chase, Fidelity, Citibank and many other well-known banks were on the target list. If the plan succeeded, there would have been huge financial losses.

So, hacking systems and stealing money from a bank is no longer considered impossible. There is always someone trying to exploit a security breach or to create one. The real question is what you should do if you notice that your bank account was robbed. Banks should be held responsible and the customers should be reimbursed with the exact sum of money that was stolen.

After all, the bank, not the customer, had the security breach. You should file a claim and if possible, present recent withdrawals from your account. If the bank is not cooperating, then you should hire a lawyer and take legal action against the bank that lost your money.

Zolonz & Associates will stand ready to defend your rights and help you be properly reimbursed. Visit our homepage!


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