Hermosa Beach, Second Time DUI, Plea to First Time Terms

Our client was arrested after Hermosa Beach police officers stopped her vehicle as she left the parking lot of a Hermosa Beach bar.  She did not drive too far, but police claimed they stopped her because she was weaving within her lane.  She only drove about 200 feet on Pier Avenue before being stopped.
Without All the Details, What Happened?:  Hermosa Beach, second time DUI and probation violation resolved for first time DUI and no probation violation.
If the reader of this summary believes that is outrageous, the United States Supreme Court would agree with you.  In United States v. Colin (2002) 164 Cal. App.4th 741, the CHP stopped a driver on the I-15 Freeway for allegedly weaving within his lane for over a mile.  The weaving even included times when the defendant’s right car tires touched the fog line that separates the slowest traffic lane from the shoulder area.  The driver alleged that the officer made an improper traffic stop because he did not violate any Vehicle Code section.  The case made its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which agreed with the driver.  Here, the “weaving” was not only within a lane like in Colin, but is was only for 200 feet, far less than the mile plus in Colin.

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In this Hermosa Beach case, a test of her breath at the scene showed a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .22%, or nearly three times the legal limit.  She literally fell down on the pavement when asked to do to the “walk the line” test.  She allegedly also counted to 13 in the thirty seconds marked by the police officer during the Rhomberg field sobriety test.

The client was charged with one count of driving under the influence of alcohol (Vehicle Code § 23152(a)), a misdemeanor, as well as one count of driving while having a 0.08% or higher blood alcohol level (Vehicle Code § 23152(b)). 

Our client had been previously convicted for DUI within the last two years in Los Angeles County, which meant she faced at least three years (and probably five years) of informal, or summary, probation, significant fines, a minimum of 96 hours in county jail, loss of her driving privileges for two years and an 18 month driving under the influence program called the SB38 program.  She also faced a probation violation, as she was on probation for the first DUI when the second DUI took place.

The case was filed in Torrance.  At the arraignment, it became clear that the prosecutor was unaware of the prior conviction because the initial plea bargain offered was for a “first time offender.”  This type of situation is pure luck and has zero to do with anything our office did or did not do.

Greg Hill immediately telephoned the client from court and advised her of this fortuitous situation.  He asked her to come to the courthouse before the prosecution could leave and possibly look into the case further. 

The client did come to the courthouse and entered into a plea bargain with terms for a first time offender, which included a $390 fine, plus penalties and assessments, no jail time and a three month driving under the influence program. 

To this day, the client repeatedly thanks us for being “on our toes” when it counted.

For more information about what the punishment is on a second-time DUI, the probation violation, the first-time DUI punishment, click on the following articles:
  1. What Punishment Do I Face for a Second-Time DUI?
  2. What Is House Arrest As an Alternative to Jail?
  3. What Punishment Do I Face for a First-Time DUI?
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