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 From an emotional standpoint, a case where someone is accused driving under the influence and killing another person is one of the toughest.  With the victim, you usually have someone who did not deserve to die.  They are often young, in the prime of their lives.  They are usually also close to the driver.  The victim is often a spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, or sibling of the accused.  Unfortunately, that person is not available to express forgiveness to the driver.
 
As for the driver, you often have a person who has never been in trouble in his life.  He may be college educated, have a great job, and a loving family.  But for this horrible incident he would have continued to be an upstanding citizen.
 
Recently, a San Jose woman pled guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter after hitting and killing a 79 year old grandmother.  She is waiting to be sentenced by a Santa Clara County judge.  Her maximum possible sentence is 12 years in the state prison.  In fact, the judge is precluded from granting this woman probation unless he finds “unusual circumstances” where the interests of justice require it.  According to statements, the family of the victim has forgiven the defendant, and believes that the victim would forgive her as well.  Unfortunately, California DUI sentencing law provides somewhat less opportunity for the Court to forgive her. 

As a former prosecutor, I can tell you that, regardless of the outcome, nobody wins in these cases.  Regardless of what side you are on there is nothing but tragedy in these cases.  An innocent victim loses her life, and a contrite survivor is cast into the hell of the California prison system.  

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6/27/2012
James W Harwood
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San Francisco DUI Checkpoint this Weekend (6/30/2012)

This Saturday, June 30, 2012, the San Francisco Police Department is planning a DUI checkpoint at Lombard and Divisadero.

Category: General

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6/21/2012
James W Harwood
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Vallejo DUI Checkpoint This Weekend

The Vallejo Police Department has announced that they will conduct a DUI sobriety checkpoint this Friday night.

Category: General

6/19/2012
James W Harwood
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Santa Clara County Man's License Revoked for Life

A Santa Clara county judge revoked a man's license for life and sentenced him to three years prison for hit and run.

Category: DUI and DWI Laws For California

6/14/2012
James W Harwood
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California Senate Approves Treatment Instead of Jail for DUI Offenders

The California Senate has approved a bill to allow county jail inmates, including DUI offenders, to serve their sentences in treatment and education.

Category: DUI and DWI Laws For California

6/13/2012
James W Harwood
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Vallejo DUI Checkpoint This Friday

DUI checkpoint planned for this Friday night, June 15 in Vallejo, California.

Category: General

6/12/2012
James W Harwood
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Oakland DUI Checkpoint This Weekend

DUI checkpoint this Friday night in Oakland, California.

Category: General

6/6/2012
James W Harwood
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San Francisco DUIs Down This Memorial Day

San Francisco reported a 55% drop in DUI arrests over Memorial Day Weekend compared to last year.

Category: General

6/5/2012
James W Harwood
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DUI Mother Takes Off With Child on Roof

Arizona baby falls off of roof into roadway after stoned mother forgets he is on top of car.

Category: General

5/29/2012
James W Harwood
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More DUI Arrests in Sonoma County this Memorial Day

DUI arrests up this year in the Santa Rosa area over Memorial Day Weekend compared to last year.

Category: DUI and DWI Laws For California

5/24/2012
James W Harwood
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RIDE HOME IN YOUR CAR AFTER DRINKING

San Francisco company offers an inexpensive service to safely get you and you car home, and avoid getting a DUI.

Category: DUI and DWI Laws For California

5/23/2012
James W Harwood
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MEMORIAL DAY BAY AREA DUI CHECKPOINTS

Driving under the influence (DUI) sobriety checkpoints and extra saturation patrols announced by several San Francisco Bay Area police agencies

Category: DUI and DWI Laws For California

5/18/2012
James W Harwood
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LONG JAIL SENTENCES NOT THE ANSWER

Marin County Reverend Off Base in Asserting Answer to Driving Under the Influence is Longer Jail or Prison Sentences

Category: DUI and DWI Laws For California

5/16/2012
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ANOTHER MARIN DUI COLLISION

One More Marin County Driving Under the Influence (DUI) collision in less than a week.

Category: DUI and DWI Laws For California

5/15/2012
James W Harwood
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MARIN DUI COLLISIONS MAKE NEWS

Marin County Officers Respond to five Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Accidents Over Two Days.

Category: DUI and DWI Laws For California

5/14/2012
James W Harwood
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FIGHTING WITH COPS ONLY MAKES DUI WORSE

Mendocino man arrested in Santa Cruz County for driving under the influence (DUI), battery on a police officer, and resisting arrest.

Category: DUI and DWI Laws For California

5/4/2012
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NO DRINKING FOR BOBBY BROWN AFTER DUI

NO DRINKING FOR BOBBY BROWN AFTER DUI

Category: General

4/27/2012
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SAN FRANCISCO CINCO DE MAYO DUI CHECKPOINT

There will be a driving under the influence (DUI) sobriety checkpoint set up in The City this weekend

Category: General

4/26/2012
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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LEGISLATOR ARRESTED FOR DUI

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LEGISLATOR ARRESTED FOR DUI article

Category: General

4/25/2012
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CINCO DE MAYO BAY AREA CRACKDOWNS

Information regarding Bay Area Cinco de Mayo driving under the influence (DUI) enforcement is starting to trickle in.

Category: General

4/24/2012
Eva Hsu
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MOBILE HANGOVER HELPERS

The only way to be assured of sobriety is to sleep it off long enough for all of the alcohol to exit your body.

Category: General

4/24/2012
Eva Hsu
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MOBILE HANGOVER HELPERS Article

The only way to be assured of sobriety is to sleep it off long enough for all of the alcohol to exit your body.

Category: General