San Fernando Valley Criminal & DUI Defense Lawyers

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Arrested for DUI Near LAX

The fact that David Cassidy was arrested for (his third) DUI does not really interest me. What does interest me and should interest many of my clients and potential clients’ are the circumstances around his arrest. The California Highway Patrol indicate Mr. Cassidy was pulled over near the Los Angeles International Airport about 9:40 p.m. Officers indicated Cassidy made a right turn against a sign posted “No right on red”. This is where it gets interesting to me. I often tell my clients the same thing: Don’t give the cops a reason to pull you over. By this I mean try to avoid any reason that gives the police probable cause or a lawful reason to pull you over. Examples of this are tinted windows, cracked windshields, defective lights on the car or countless other reasons. In Mr. Cassidy’s case, he was pulled over for allegedly disobeying a traffic sign. This, if true, gives the officers the right to pull his car over ask him for identification, speak with him and give him a citation.

Once the police pull you over they can make certain observations while they are talking to you and inspecting your license, registration and proof of insurance. These observations are commonly referred to as objective symptoms of intoxication: red or watery eyes, odor of an alcoholic beverage, slurred speech. Upon observing such symptoms, this gives the officers the right to conduct what we call a prolonged detention for the investigation of suspected DUI violation. The cops can pull you out of your car for field sobriety tests or ask you to take a portable breathalyzer test. At this point it was likely all over for Mr. Cassidy who submitted to a breath test and blew a .19 which is well over double the legal limit in California.

This leads to my next point of interest: The breath test. Don’t take one. That’s right. Don’t take a breath test. Please take this advice: refuse the preliminary alcohol screening device in the field and always opt for a blood test. This will accomplish to things: First, it often buys you a significant amount of time between the driving and the test. This could mean a lower alcohol result. More importantly, it deprives the police of much needed evidence. If you blow in a machine you give the cops actual breath result numbers to work with. If you opt for a blood test, you in effect cause the cops to fly blind. It makes their job of report writing much more difficult if they are not told what your blood alcohol is at the time of the arrest. Please remember, you are required to submit to a chemical test for alcohol in California, but you are not required to make it easy for the cops.

Mr. Cassidy posted bail of $15,000 and is scheduled to go to court on February 5, 2014. Likely to be charged with a second DUI (no conviction in NY) he faces a mandatory minimum of 96 hours up to a year in jail and a fine, 18 month alcohol education school, license revocation an ignition interlock device and maybe more. This leads to my final point of interest, how the case will be resolved. There are many talented lawyers in the Los Angeles area. Some of us even consider ourselves experts at keeping people out of jail. Do we try to get our client into a rehabilitation facility? Get him screened for house arrest? Find a city jail facility to avoid the horrors of county jail? There are many options for our clients. Let’s see how this case plays out. Good luck Mr. Cassidy.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI or any other crime, call me, Attorney Jeffrey Vallens (818) 783-6473 or (888) 764-4340 or email at

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