Here’s a weird glitch that has been coming up lately that people should be aware of. It comes up in the context of a DUI conviction following an Ad Min Per Se suspension of the client’s California Driver’s License.

Assume a routine, garden variety DUI and a timely request for an APS hearing. Following the hearing DMV suspends the CDL for 30 days and follows that suspension with a 5 month restriction. Generally speaking this would call for an SR22, proof of DUI school enrollment, $125 reissue fee, and an Ignition Interlock Device (IID – Blow & Go). Assume further that the criminal matter is resolved in Court on the same day as the APS suspension goes into effect.

In theory, the Court should abstract the DUI conviction to DMV on the day of the plea, and the APS suspension and the DMV suspension as a result of the conviction would run concurrent. However, in Alameda County, and I’m told, in other counties using a similarly branded computer system, the abstract is sometimes not sent to DMV until months later. The Court therefore fails to timely update the DMV.

In the meantime, the Client, trying to do the right thing, gets her restricted license and an IID. Some months later, when the Court finally abstracts to DMV, DMV notifies Client that she must put another IID on her vehicle at her own expense. Although the DMV record shows that an IID was in fact installed for the requisite 5 month period, the DMV will not credit that IID time.

Unfair? Clearly. But both DMV and the Court point fingers at each other saying that the other’s computer, procedures, or view is wrong. The Client is caught in the middle without remedy.

I have suggested to clients that they not put the IID on their vehicle until ordered to do so by DMV and following the abstracting of the record by the Court to DMV.

I’d be very interested to know if others have run into this problem and if there is some clever fix.

I apologize for the rather wonky discussion, but it will be pretty straightforward for anyone who has dealt with it.

Despite all the handwringing about driving under the influence of marijuana in the brave new world of legalized recreational pot, little will change in terms of motorist behaviors, arrests, or prosecutions.

As a longtime criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor who has handled thousands of DUI cases, I note that there is a substantial difference in DUI alcohol and DUI marijuana. Marijuana simply does not affect driving as negatively as alcohol. While most DUI alcohol arrests are made because of police stops based on obviously bad driving, most DUI MJ arrests take place after the police have made a stop for some other minor infraction (taillight, registration violation, routine traffic matter), and then smell marijuana in the car.

Despite legalization, incidents of DUI MJ will not significantly increase. Let’s not kid ourselves, people who choose to smoke marijuana have not been much deterred by the fact that it was illegal. Moreover, due to legalized medical marijuana being readily available, there has been a reliable supply of high quality, THC laden, pot available to virtually anyone who wanted it. Legalization is unlikely to significantly increase the number of people who smoke pot, nor for that matter, likely to increase the number who drive while under its influence.

For a prosecutor to win a DUI case, she must prove to a jury that the defendant’s ability to drive was significantly impaired by use of a substance or some combination of substances, beyond a reasonable doubt. Modern legislation deems that anyone with a .08 blood alcohol is driving illegally, whether or not their driving is actually impaired. The .08 level was determined after much scientific research and testing. For a variety of reasons, no such testing has been done on marijuana levels and driving performance, therefore, prosecutors have no reliable blood/marijuana tool at their disposal. Therefore, a DUI MJ case would have to be made on circumstantial evidence: bad driving, accident, smell of pot in the car, poor Field Sobriety Tests, admissions of the defendant, etc. This is not an impossible prosecutorial standard, but it is far more difficult than simply proving .08 or higher. Add that to generally friendly to marijuana use Bay Area juries and it is not hard to see the uphill battle a DUI MJ prosecutor faces.

The reality is that legalization will cause only a marginal increase in marijuana use, a minor increase in DUI MJ, little change in DUI MJ detection and enforcement by police, and not much change in prosecutorial attitudes toward DUI MJ cases.

I recently had a discussion with some friends who expressed frustration about not being able to vote in elections that they cared about because they did not live within the voting jurisdiction. There are lots of ways to influence an election. You can knock on doors, leaflet, make phone calls and you can donate money. Campaigns are expensive and have to be financed by somebody. TV costs money, phone banks cost money, flyers, yard signs, pizza for volunteers, all cost money. In the recent 2016 Republican Presidential Primaries candidates averaged about $40.00 per vote cast. An Alaskan Senate campaign cost the candidates over $100.00 per vote. Local elections are less costly, often coming in at around $12.00 a vote. The point being that running for office is expensive and candidates need financial support. Let’s be clear, money, in and of itself will not win an election (Hillary Clinton vastly outspent Donald Trump.) but no campaign can run without money.

One friend, who is highly educated, well employed, and who I admire very much, said that he believed that a campaign should just be a reasoned debate between candidates and then voters vote on the best person. Money should not come into it. Much as I might like this utopian myth, I recognize that reality dictates otherwise.

Here’s my point: If you like a cause or a candidate, send the campaign some money. It’s easy to do, just go to their website, find the prominently displayed “Donate” button and take it from there. Send what you can, even ten or twenty dollars really helps. More importantly, you and I can say that we participated in the democratic process, even though we did not ourselves get to vote directly, and regardless of the outcome, we made an effort to positively affect government by the people.


Police Drones

The New Year will undoubtedly see an increase in the use of surveillance drones by law enforcement. Already in use by an increasingly militarized police community, these tools have the potential for enormous positive and negative impact. As with much new technology what is positive and what is negative is a matter of perspective. And as with much of new technology, numerous companies and designs compete for the attention of the law enforcement dollar. (more…)


At this Thanksgiving season, I have been giving some thought to all for which I have to be thankful.

I am grateful for my health.
I am grateful for my strength.
I am grateful for my family and friends.

At the Thanksgiving table I will be grateful for:
The feast before us.
My hosts. The guests. The conversation. The tolerance.

We recognize our good fortune and hope that next year those less fortunate will be more fortunate.

I am grateful for my work, the people I work with, and the clients who have entrusted me with their issues and cases.

I am grateful for my liberty and the courage of my convictions.

Here is a prayer that is not original, but that I like:

Let me always seek the truth,
But deliver me from those who have found it.

Happy Thanksgiving – Be safe and happy.

The phone rings. Someone claiming to be from the IRS says that a criminal complaint for non-payment of taxes is about to be filed against you and that you can avoid this by paying some sum immediately using a cashier’s check.

I don’t know anyone who has not received such a phone call at one time or another. If you get such a call, don’t fall for it. This “IRS” payment demand is a scam. The IRS does not make such calls or make demands in that manner.

Here’s my question: Where is Law Enforcement on this? I’m in court every day, and I have yet to see anyone prosecuted for running this scam. The scam is being run in the name of the government, people are falling for it and losing money, yet enforcement seems quite lax. Here’s what I would like to see:

• An advertised email and phone number to report these solicitations to Law Enforcement.
• Investigation and Prosecution of those responsible.
• Restitution paid to those who have been victims of this crime.

Feel free to copy and paste some or all of this blog post into an email to your State Representative, Congressperson, U.S. Senator, or Local Official.


After the arrest for an assault outside an East Lansing, Michigan bar on a late Saturday night, professional and Olympic basketball player, Draymond “Money” Green, has provided some valuable lessons in addition to his later apology and commentary on the matter. It was later discovered that once Green was booked into custody that night, he submitted to a preliminary breathalyzer test which resulted in a .10 blood alcohol content level. The victim of this assault, Jermaine Edmondson, a football player of Michigan State, claimed he was punched in the jaw by Green after bumping into each other in a crowded bar and exchanging bitter words.

It is a sad reality that in our criminal justice system today, offenses are largely driven by alcohol use and other substance abuse. There’s also a tremendous opportunity, however, to avoid finding yourself caught in this system by simply abstaining from alcohol or moderating your consumption. Blowing a .10 places you squarely in the range of a DUI should you put yourself behind a wheel. But having that same BAC level may just as easily put you in a situation leading to other criminal offenses, such as assault or public intoxication.

Just as a side note: It’s summertime and beach time and pool time. Not to put too fine a point on it, but most drownings in the United States happen to people who have a blood alcohol level of above .10.

So don’t get arrested, don’t end up in the Emergency Room, and please don’t end up in the morgue. Keep your BA down and your chances of surviving the summer will be greatly enhanced.

And, whether you’re Draymond or anyone else in some trouble with the law as a result of alcohol and anger, our office can refer you to some excellent court approved counseling.

Submitted by: Taylor Moudy, Attorney at Law; Louis J. Goodman, Attorney at Law

In an age of unlimited talk and text, free long distance and video calling, and pennies-per-minute international rates, the thought of charging upwards of $100-per-hour for speaking with inmates over the phone sounds quite bizarre. Such charges may even sound criminal.

In a revealing online story, Criminal Charges, published last week, The Verge news editor Colin Lecher wrote of the predatory practices of prison phone monopolies and a recent lawsuit won by a family who decided to fight back. The story provides some interesting insight into the obscure regulatory and business practices of monopolistic telecoms across the country who control access to the communication network for millions of inmates.

One company mentioned in the article, Global Tel Link, is the sole provider for most, if not all, inmates in custody here in California county jails. Based on our experience, rates vary heavily on a variety of added fees and surcharges, but may generally equate to an exchange of no less than $25-per-15-minute conversation. Connection Networks, a subsidiary of GTL that handles financial billing, provides the “convenient” option of auto-paying the billing account whenever the amount falls below a certain threshold, ensuring not only that funds are available for use but also that they will always have at least that amount of your money to hold. Other evidence suggests that deposited funds may be forfeited, that is, they are nonrefundable if left unused for a period of time.

What remains is a variation of the old adage: If you commit the crime, not only you will pay for the time.

Criminal Charges by Colin Lecher, The Verge

Blog Post by Taylor S. Moudy, Esq. Law Office of Louis J. Goodman


New York legislators are considering a bill (S6325A) that would allow police officers to conduct field testing of mobile telephones after an accident or collision to determine whether the device was used while driving. The latest estimates by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put nationwide traffic deaths up by nearly 10% in 2015 from the year prior.
Recognizing the accelerating problem of automobile accidents caused by distracted drivers and treating it as impaired driving, NY legislators in their infinite wisdom have proposed a solution: The Textalyzer.
The technology would give police officers the extraordinary ability to tap into a driver’s cellphone immediately after an accident to check for recent activity of a forbidden use, including texting and emailing. The legislation states that it would determine cell phone usage “without an inquiry into the content.” It does not state, however, the accuracy or validity of the technology, much less the ability of how it would not invade one’s privacy.
It is worth noting that a recent decision by the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the police could not search a suspect’s cellphone without a warrant, even after an arrest. Riley v. United States (2014).
To avoid this constitutional issue, the legislation declares that a driver’s license is a privilege, and exercising such privilege has a certain condition attached: implied consent. Just as a licensed driver impliedly consents to submitting to a breathalyzer test by a peace officer, drivers would now also automatically consent to having their cellphone’s searched for incriminating evidence.
But there is also the practical issue: how effective is this technology? Can it discern between an incoming or outgoing text and email? What about automated activity, such as push-technology and auto-replies for text and email that allow the device to send and receive data without the user’s involvement? The question becomes whether it can be as effective without going so far as to invade one’s firmly established expectation of privacy in their digital device.
So it’s worth following, since New York paved the way in Hands-Free Laws many years ago, other states are likely to be following in hot pursuit.

The New York Times

Blog Post by Taylor S. Moudy, Law Office of Louis J. Goodman

Here’s a link to a story about battery charges against Donald Trump’s campaign manager being dropped.

What this story shows is the power of prosecutorial discretion. In other words, a prosecutor has enormous choices about what, if any, charges will be filed.

In my view this was never a particularly strong criminal case. It took place in a very crowded place, in a politically and emotionally charged atmosphere.  Although the victim reporter said she had some bruising, it is hard to see how the brief touching shown in the video could have resulted in the discoloration of her arm that she showed the media. Yes, it looked like there was some unwanted touching in the heat of the moment, but I think the prosecutor correctly thought that this would be a difficult case to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury.

It’s often helpful to have a local attorney in such a situation reach out to the authorities in an effort to have the DA exercise prosecutorial discretion in favor of the defendant. We do that all the time, and sometimes get some excellent results.

This is particularly important in Domestic Violence cases where the victim does not want to testify. There is quite a bit of California Law, specifically California Code of Civil Procedure (CCCP) Section 1219, that protects victims from testifying.  Many Domestic Violence cases are nothing more that a simple battery with a lot of emotional baggage attached.  If the victim makes clear that he or she does not want to prosecute or testify, the DA will often exercise prosecutorial discretion and refuse to charge. Prosecutors want cases they can win, not emotionally driven calls to the police wherein the caller wishes she had never lifted the phone in the first place. It helps to have an attorney involved at an early stage of the proceeding.

If you have a case in Alameda County, CA, give us a call, let’s discuss your situation and come up with a strategy.

Mr. Trump

Mr. Trump – (Campaign Manager Not Charged with Battery)