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Torrance, Felony DUI Resolved for Third-Time DUI Terms

Our client, age 25, was driving westbound on 190th Street and attempted to turn north on Hawthorne Boulevard. The intersection is extremely wide and the streets do not intersect in a normal, perpendicular manner, made more confusing perhaps by an overhead train trestle on the north side of the intersection. For someone unfamiliar with the intersection, it can be confusing even in daylight hours. There are many single-vehicle car accidents at this location, caused by drivers turning too early or too late in trying to navigate the intersection.

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Our client became another statistic for single-vehicle crashes at the location. His blood alcohol level of 0.23% and 0.24%, measured about two hours after the collision, and darkness probably contributed to his confusion because he was not familiar with the intersection.

The Gist of This Article:  Client picks up fourth DUI while having another pending DUI in another courthouse (Metro), as well as only 17 days after resolving his second DUI, plus while on a six-year joint suspended for residential burglary. Case resolved as a third-time (misdemeanor) DUI when prosecutor luckily does not understand the client’s criminal history.

After crashing and coming to a stop, he attempted to run from the scene, as he was on DUI probation for a second-time DUI conviction suffered only 17 days earlier and he faced a third-time DUI in the Metropolitan Courthouse for yet another alleged DUI. Making matters worse, he was on probation with a six-year joint suspended sentence hanging over him from a residential burglary case out of the Clara Shortridge Foltz building, too.

Running from the scene seemed like a way to avoid the police, he thought. He knew a fourth DUI would be considered a felony and that scared him.

Unfortunately, he did not get too far, only about 50 yards, but all his fears about a felony DUI and imposition of a six-year prison sentence did not manifest to such a charge or prison at all.

Greg Hill & Associates had represented the client on his second DUI, plea bargaining a deal of just fifteen days in county jail despite a probation violation for felony joyriding in the Torrance Courthouse and a probation violation for his first DUI. It was a very good deal that we were fortunate to make with the Redondo Beach City Prosecutor’s office, as while the case was pending he picked up a third DUI in the Metro court, but the Redondo Beach City Prosecutor’s office did not know about this.

dui_108_-_torrance_courthouse.jpgTorrance Courthouse

When the client was arrested by the Torrance Police Department for his crash on Hawthorne at 190th Street, we were retained again. Our office expected the Torrance District Attorney’s office to file felony DUI charges, but luckily, they did not know about his Metro case, although it was identified in the client’s criminal history.

The client was then brought to the Torrance Courthouse and, seeing that the matter was filed as a misdemeanor, Greg conferred with the client and the two decided to try to resolve the case before the Torrance City Prosecutor, the Redondo Beach City Prosecutor or the Torrance District Attorney figured out the scope of the client’s legal problems. None of these attorneys were aware of his joint suspended or his pending DUI out of the Metro courthouse.

Greg then negotiated plea bargains with each office, for probation violations and for the open case, with a total of nearly two years in county jail, which would still be far less than if the prosecutors knew what was going on (it was right in the documents they had in their files).

When it came time to enter the plea, the Torrance judge handling the cases expressed his concern that there might be another case pending in some other courthouse, so he ordered a probation officer’s report to clarify our client’s status. This would mean our client would be in custody for another two weeks.

Greg and the client bemoaned the fact that the probation department would probably get to the bottom of things and the great deals that Greg had negotiated would unravel once the probation officer’s report explained what was in each of the prosecutor’s files already.

Two weeks later, however, Greg returned to court, expecting disappointment in the missed opportunity to take advantage of the prosecutor’s mutual oversights.

However, as luck would have it, the probation department also failed to read the client’s criminal history correctly and reported to the judge no new cases.

The judge then looked over the proposed plea bargains and invited Greg to plead in the open for the client, indicating his tentative would be to order one year in county jail for the probation violation on the second DUI, with 120 days on the third DUI to run concurrent with the one year, 90 days for the probation violation on the first, to also run concurrent with the one-year term and 180 days for the probation violation on the felony joyriding case.

The client accepted this offer, knowing that not only the three prosecutors overlooked his full criminal history, but that the judge and the probation department had, too. He was very happy for Greg’s maintenance of a good poker face throughout, as he avoided a maximum sentence of over fifteen years in custody with the six-year joint suspended also considered.

For more information about felony DUI issues, please click on the following articles:

  1. I Was Convicted of DUI or I Am Facing a Pending DUI- Can I Go to Canada?
  2. I Got a Bill from the CHP After My DUI – What Should I Do?
  3. U.S. Supreme Court Lowers Standards for Allowing a DUI Traffic Stop Based on an Anonymous Call to 911
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"Thank you so much for putting so much effort in this case. We really appreciate it and we are happy that all turned out well." S.A., Torrance
"Greg Hill did an outstanding job on every level. He was efficient, thorough, knowledgeable, courteous, responsive & brilliant. He welcomed my input and my concerns. . . from the first conversation to the last - I always felt 'it mattered' to him." S.C., Rolling Hills Estates
"Thanks again for your hard work. We want you to know that we are very appreciative of all that you have done [on our son's] behalf. With warmest regards." L.H., Torrance
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