DUI Probation Violations, Penalties and Policies.
I had an interesting and frustrating day in court on friday representing two clients who had failed to fully comply with the terms of their probation. My first client was placed on probation for a first time DUI with an accident by Judge Godfrey in Airport court. He was ordered to complete a three month alcohol treatment program, pay the minimum fine and restitution to the victim of the accident. He was given six months to do these things. He called me a couple of days before his due date to tell me that he had moved to Boston and had done nothing. He needed an extension to pay the restitution and fine and a second opportunity to enroll in an alcohol program. I advised the client that he faced possible jail time for a probation violation. When I got to court, the prosecutor wanted to impose additional community labor for the violation. Judge Godfrey simply gave him another extension to complete his terms of probation without any additional penalties. She even allowed him to perform an on- line alcohol program.
My other client was placed on probation for a second DUI in Long Beach by Judge Vicencia. He was ordered to perform 89 days of SCRAM in lieu of jail. He had completed 82 of the 89 days and was in good standing with SCRAM. He was also in compliance with his alcohol program. Judge Vicencia found him to be in violation of probation and converted the final 7 days of SCRAM to county jail time. He would not listen to reason and refused to simply continue the case for a week to allow my client to complete the final 7 days of SCRAM. My client and I were both stunned.
This illustrates the inconsistency from court to court and from judge to judge in sentencing policies in DUI cases. My client in Long Beach had been doing everything right, yet he went to jail. My client in Airport court had done nothing right at all and was given a second chance.
Long Beach has become perhaps the worst place in Los Angeles County to be arrested for a DUI, particularly a second DUI. Sentencing policies are very strict, the City Prosecutors Office is very tough and Judge Vicencia is unforgiving and severe. It is more like Orange County than LA County in Long Beach.
If you have any questions concerning probation violation proceedings in a DUI case or penalties for violation of probation in DUI cases, please call Los Angeles and Orange County DUI lawyers Gold & Witham for a free consultation.