COACHELLA SHOWCASES THREE AMIGOS
Concert goers of Coachella and Stagecoach may encounter the THREE AMIGOS...but this time it will not be funny. No, I am not talking about the popular movie with Martin Short, Steve Martin and Chevy Chase. I am referring to the 3 related arrests that occur during every Coachella and Stagecoach event.......... False ID (Minor in Possession False ID and Alcohol), Drugs and DUI arrests.
There is a yearly spike of these arrests from the concert season through Memorial Day. I get parent's calls from California to New York whose kids were arrested for being in possession of a phony License.
Some underage kids have purchased an alcoholic beverage. However most used the false ID to get into the VIP areas to purchase a drink. These kids have done nothing wrong...yet, other than possess an ID incorrectly showing they are over 21.
A lawyer's challenge is that this arrest is a crime of MORAL TURPITUDE and can have lingering effects that will affect future jobs and schooling. Last year I represented two junior USC Students that were roommates. One lost his dream aerospace summer job and the other was concerned about the effect of getting accepted to law school.
Last year the DA's took a hardline approach and refused to reduce the charge to a lesser charge as would be the case in most of the other CA counties. A retired Judge from LA sat on assignment in Indio for a month and did what they would do in LA county and that was to offer to the 600 kids charged a chance to plead to a disturbing the peace or drunk in public. After 6 months if they were good he would dismiss the charges.
Three hundred kids accepted his offer but the DA appealed the sentence arguing he did not have the authority to do so.
The DA can offer a plea bargain or the Judge can determine the sentence if the arrestee pleads "to the sheet" i.e. to the charge. However a judge cannot offer a lesser charge without the DA reducing the charge.
The remaining two amigos deal with arrests for being drunk in public or drunk driving and being in possession (or sales) of drugs (a controlled substance). Again there is nothing funny about these "amigos" either.
There will be a lot of DRUNK DRIVING and Drug arrests in the CV because of all the concert weekends and Memorial Day parties. The best advice is DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE! Call a taxi or Uber. It is a lot cheaper than calling me.
However if you do not follow my advice, please remember that the Field Sobriety Tests and Breath Test at the scene are optional. Be courteous and tell the officer you understand they are optional and thus you elect not to take them. Then advise the officer you are happy to cooperate and take a Blood test at the station or hospital.
Most DUI clients have never been arrested and are scared to death. The calls me when released from the drunk tank. Everyone asks "what happens now?" The chronology below will answer that question.
In most DUI cases our office is able to arrive at a good disposition. A disposition means that you will plead either to a lesser charge or you will receive the most minimal sentence that is possible under the unique facts of your case. In the Indio court the DA's always asks for jail time. We will then work to trade the jail time for home arrest with an ankle bracelet. You are usually allowed to go to work for 12 hours and be home 12 hours.
As an experienced DUI lawyer we will ensure that you will not suffer any undue penalties or disabilities as a result of your arrest. The chronology of a DUI is:
- -Blood or breath test
- -Release on bail or OR citation
- -We will call DMV within 10 days to request a DMV hearing.
- -Arraignment. We appear for you and enter a plea of not guilty and obtain the police report and review it with you.
- -Pre Trial. We will appear on your behalf and begin discussions with the DA.
- -2nd Pre Trial (optional). We appear for you and obtain additional discovery such as maintenance records of the breath machine or a copy of the video in the patrol car or other information in the DA’s file.
- -Attorney client meeting again where we review in the office or on the phone the options available to you. We assist you with signing court forms if there is a fair offer and again appear on your behalf. With a little luck you never have to go to court.