Driving Crimes

At Hamasaki Law, we will guide you through the process from the moment we are contacted until your matter is resolved. We will spend the time with you explaining various options and strategies and we will work together to determine the best approach to fighting your case. Contact us now to discuss your case and let our defense lawyers help you through the process.

  • DUI of Drugs
  • Vehicular Manslaughter
  • Driving on a Suspended License
  • Driving without a License
  • Hit and Run
  • Evading an Officer

California law defines driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs as a crime. (Veh. Code, §23152(a).). Driving under the influence of drugs may include illicit drugs (e.g. cocaine), prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, or even lawfully prescribed drugs. Driving under the influence of any substance that could affect your nervous system, brain, or muscles, or impair to the point that one can no longer drive like a sober person may result in a DUI of drugs. Unlike an alcohol related DUI where you cannot drive with a BAC of 0.08% or greater, there is no defined number that specifies excessive blood toxicity in the case of drugs.

A DUI of drugs is often charged as a misdemeanor, unless it is the case the charge is the fourth or subsequent DUI offense, or there has been even one prior DUI conviction, or the driving causes an accident that injures a third party. The penalties may include DUI probation for three to five years, fines of about $1800, completion of California DUI school, driver's license suspension, and possible jail sentence depending on the county, prior record and other circumstances.

California law defines vehicular manslaughter as driving while committing an unlawful act that is not a California felony, or a lawful act that may cause death with either negligence or "gross negligence"; and as a result of that negligent act, someone is killed.

Penalties for vehicular manslaughter depend on whether the individual acted with gross negligence or ordinary negligence and can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter can result in one year in county jail. Felony vehicular manslaughter can result in up to six years in state prison.

California law defines driving on a suspended license as driving when an individual knows that their driver's license has been suspended or revoked. The suspension or revocation of the driver's license may include (but are not limited to): being declared a negligent operator for too many points on your license, a mental or physical disability, or a conviction of a DUI.

Driving on a suspended license is a misdemeanor offense and is subject to possible jail time and substantial fines. Penalties vary based on the initial reason the license was suspended.

Driving without a license is a misdemeanor offense that occurs when an individual is c aught driving and never obtained a driver's license, failed to renew their driver's license after it expired, established residency in California but failed to obtain a California driver's license, or was ineligible for a driver's license in California (e.g. illegal immigrants). (Veh. Code, §12500.).

California law defines a misdemeanor hit and run as leaving the scene of an accident without first identifying yourself to the other party or parties involved, and another person's property was damaged in the accident. California law defines a felony hit and run as leaving the scene of an accident without first identifying yourself to the other party or parties involved, another person's property was damaged, and/or another person was injured or killed. A felony hit and run depends on whether another individual was injured in the accident. California hit and run laws apply to every accident, regardless of who was at fault, the amount of damage inflicted, and the seriousness of the injury/injuries.

Misdemeanor hit and runs may result in possible jail sentence up to six months, and a fine up to $1000.

California law defines evading an officer as driving a motor vehicle while willfully attempting to flee from a police officer who is pursuing you in a car or on a bicycle. (Veh. Code, §2800.).

Conviction for evading an officer is a misdemeanor that can result in up to one year in county jail, a fine up to $1000, and the alleged vehicle may be impounded for up to 30 days.

  • In the case of DUI of drugs, if the defendant had drugs in their system it does not necessarily mean that they were under their influence. Exhaustion, fatigue, and anxiety are often mistaken as symptoms of drug impairment.
  • The defendant did not act with negligence or gross negligence.
  • The defendant's negligence was not the cause the victim's death.
  • The defendant was facing an immediate emergency and acted reasonably in the situation.
  • The defendant did not know their license was suspended or revoked.
  • The defendant had the right to drive under a restricted license.
  • In the case of a hit and run, only the defendant's car was damaged, the defendant didn't realize that they had been involved in an accident, or that someone else's property was damaged, and/or if it was actually someone else and not you who was involved in the accident.
  • In the case of evading and officer, if you did not intend to evade the officer, if there is insufficient evidence that your behavior met the legal definition of evading an officer, or voluntary intoxication.