Articles Tagged with Illegal

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Although the message of not drinking and driving is a simple one, DUIs account for about 3,200 arrests each day throughout the United States. Additionally, about one third of those arrests are by repeat offenders. The OC Sheriff and local police departments will be out in force on July 4 to nab those who are driving drunk, or even just buzzed. They may set up routine checkpoints to check whether drivers have been drinking, or they may target individuals who are driving erratically. Cell phones allow concerned citizens to act as an enforcement unit of their own, reporting drunk drivers on highways or in their neighborhoods. Those who have been reported may arrive home to find the police waiting for them in their driveway.

Police on patrols may be extra vigilant on holidays, paying close attention to drivers and the way they are driving. If you make an illegal U-turn, fail to completely stop at a stop sign, drive above the speed limit, or weave or drive erratically, they may be more inclined to stop you to check for a possible DUI. Once you are pulled over, there are certain things you should do, and not do, to get the best outcome for your situation:

  1. First, it’s important to realize that you don’t have to be drinking to be found guilty of DUI. If you are tired, drowsy, have taken sleeping pills, allergy medicine, prescribed or unprescribed painkillers, anti-anxiety, anti-depressant medication, have been smoking or vaping pot etc., a police officer may arrest you for generally “Driving while intoxicated.” If you have been drinking alcohol, you may also be arrested for the secondary “Driving while BAC > 0.08%” charge.
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Until recently, the Federal Government and the State of California defined criminal “misdemeanors” differently. While the federal government defined a misdemeanor as a crime punishable by up to 364 days, California defined it as one punishable by up to 365 days. This one-day difference often proved disastrous for immigrants with convictions, however, because the Federal government considers a crime punished by 365 days a felony and felony convictions often subject immigrants to deportation or exclusion.

In 1996 Congress enacted the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, which expanded the crimes for which legal residents can be deported to include crimes which were punished by 365 days. States which continued to defined misdemeanors as including sentences of 365 days unwittingly caused their immigrant-residents to face not only up to a year in jail, but deportation or exclusion from entry as well. This applied to all immigrants, regardless of whether a sentence was suspended or whether a person spent only a few days in jail.

Effective January 1, 2015, California Senate Bill 1310 changed the maximum misdemeanor sentence to mirror the Federal Government’s 364 days. Senate Bill 1242 then applied this change retroactively, allowing those who were sentenced before 2015 to receive the statute’s intended protection.