Palos Verdes Estates, DUI & Resisting Arrest, Dismissal

One night in 2001, our client decided to drive his car off the cliffs in Palos Verdes.  He ingested a large amount of cocaine and alcohol and grabbed his car keys.  As he entered Palos Verdes Estates, he was speeding.  He wanted to get the cliffs fast.
Summary:  Palos Verdes Estates, DUI and Resisting Arrest (Penal Code § 148(a)(1) Case Dismissed on Our Motion to Dismiss in Torrance Courthouse.
Police officers miraculously noticed him and gave chase.  With sirens blaring and lights flashing, three police officers tailed our client, who refused to pull over.  As our client reached the vacant lot that he intended to drive across to reach the cliff’s edge, a police car cut him off, causing him to skid to a stop.  
Police then surrounded the car with guns drawn and wrestled our client to the ground.  Our client allegedly punched two of the officers in the mouth during the arrest.

After being taken to the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department, he was arraigned in the Torrance Superior Court two days later and released on his own recognizance.  He was charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest and DUI, his second DUI.  The client had an extensive record for various drug related charges, as well as vandalism, trespassing, forgery and petty theft.

Once our client was released, he immediately moved to San Diego, where he lived for the next ten years.  He failed to appear at his next court appearance in Torrance and a bench warrant was issued. 

He was arrested several times in San Diego and told of the bench warrant for him in Torrance, but never transported to Torrance. 

Then in 2012, the client moved to Utah, where he received a steady job as a cook for the Mormon Church.  Yet in a routine background check, the church notified him of the warrant from the Torrance Superior Court.  
The client thought the Torrance Court would just drop the case when he failed to show up after a while.
 
The client then called our office and asked what he should do.  Greg Hill immediately spotted a speedy trial issue, or, in legal terms, the deprivation of one’s due process right to a speedy trial under the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  This is a right that California courts have upheld in several well-known decision such as Serna v. Superior Court (1985) 40 Cal.3d 239, 707 P.2d 793, 219 Cal. Rptr. 420 and People v. Johnson (1980) 26 Cal.3d 557, 571, quoting In re Bergerow (1901) 133 Cal. 49, 355.

Greg then explained that the plan of attack would be to first recall the bench warrant and then file the “Serna” motion, named after the above Serna v. Superior Court case.

This is exactly what Greg then did and the Torrance judge hearing the motion granted our client’s motion.  The client was relieved and ecstatic because he feared the huge fines and fees which he might have to pay for the DUI, as well as attending the DUI class, and the suspension of his driver’s license.  This was all avoided with the case being dismissed.

For more information about what to do if stopped for DUI, having one’s arrest record sealed and destroyed and the common plea bargain terms for a first-time DUI, click on the following articles:
  1. 10 Things to Do if Stopped for DUI
  2. How Do I Have My Arrest Record Sealed and Destroyed?
  3. What Punishment Do I Face for a First Time DUI?
Watch our video about DUI by clicking here.
 
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