People are pulled over and issued citations by police every day by the thousands. For most of these motorists, paying the ticket isn’t a bad option. However, if you are on probation, have a lengthy history of citations, or are arrested for a vehicle crime, “pay and be on your way” isn’t an option. While many traffic offenses are not criminal violations, some such as hit and run accidents, cases of vehicular manslaughter, and driving under the influence carry a potential jail sentence and must be taken seriously. At the Killedjian Law Corporation, Attorney Melanie Killedjian has over 20 years of experience helping her clients keep their licenses and their freedom. We take a unique and comprehensive approach to defending vehicle crimes, thinking outside the box to come up with the best possible solution for each of our clients.Types of California Vehicle Crimes
If you’re pulled over for speeding, chances are, unless you have several other recent tickets, you aren’t too worried about it. This is because the officer who pulled you over will just write you a ticket and let you go. However, for more serious offenses, the officer will arrest you, book you, and you’ll end up facing criminal charges. Below are some of the most common vehicle crimes in California.Reckless Driving (Vehicle Code Section 23103)
Reckless driving involves operating a vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. Reckless driving is a misdemeanor, punishable by a term of five to 90 days in county jail, plus a fine up as much as $1,000. However, if injury resulted from a reckless driving accident, the punishments can be more severe.Unlawful Use of a Motor Vehicle (Vehicle Code 10851)
Commonly referred to as “joyriding,” unlawful use of a motor vehicle is a crime in which someone takes another’s vehicle without permission but without the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the vehicle. Unlawful use of a motor vehicle is typically a misdemeanor offense, carrying a maximum punishment of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. However, there are specific circumstances in which the offense is a felony. Note that if you intended to keep the car, you’d face charges of grand theft auto, which is much more serious.Driving Under the Influence (Vehicle Code 23152)
Driving under the influence (DUI) is perhaps the most common of all vehicle crimes. Prosecutors can pursue DUI charges against you in any of the following situations:
- You had a blood-alcohol content of .08 or more;
- You had any amount of illegal drugs in your system;
- You had a blood-alcohol content of less than .08 but were still under the influence; or
- You were under the influence of a combination of drugs and alcohol.
The punishments for a Los Angeles DUI vary depending on the surrounding circumstances as well as whether you have any prior DUI convictions. For a first-time DUI, a common sentence includes three to five years of probation, up to $1,000 in fines and a six-month license suspension. A DUI is usually a misdemeanor; however, prosecutors can pursue felony DUI charges in certain circumstances, including:
- A 4th offense DUI,
- A DUI accident resulting in bodily injury or death, or
- Any time someone has a prior felony DUI conviction.
These are just a few of the most common vehicle crimes. At the Killedjian Law Corporation, we handle all these offenses and many others, including:
- Hit and run accidents,
- DUI accidents resulting in injury,
- Underage DUIs,
- Driving on a suspended license,
- Road rage, and
- Evading law enforcement.
If you were recently arrested for DUI, reckless driving or any other vehicle crime, don’t make the mistake of waiting to hire a lawyer. The sooner you bring a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney onto your case, the sooner they can get to work creating a compelling defense. At the Killedjian Law Corporation, we have extensive experience handling these high-stakes cases and know what it takes to obtain the result you are looking for. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Melanie Killedjian at the Killedjian Law Corporation, call (818) 986-0888 today. You can also connect with us through our online contact form.