WELCOME TO THE BLOG OF THE LAW OFFICEs OF WILLIAM CHESTNUT, SAN JOSE CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
WE BLOG ABOUT CURRENT ISSUES IN CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAW, REPORT ON LATEST NEWS IN CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAW, AND PROVIDE READERS WITH HELPFUL CRIMINAL DEFENSE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES.
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
In 2011, a federal court panel instructed the state to reduce its prison population after lawsuits deemed overcrowding as the key element in harmful and hazardous conditions. During that time, Justice Anthony Kennedy stated that "needless suffering and death have been the well-documented result. Over the whole course of years during which this litigation has been pending, no other remedies have been found sufficient."
The federal panel found that the medical and mental health care that was provided to California inmates was below a constitutional level, and the singular way to remedy the issue was to reduce overcrowding.
Starting in 2009, the California prison system was ordered to decrease its inmate population from 202% over capacity to a maximum of 137.5%, within two years. To prevent state officials from dragging their feet any further, this past May federal judges threatened to cite the state with contempt if it did not comply with release orders.
The state of California cites public safety as their reason for resisting the release, for fear inmates will commit additional crimes once they are release.
If you have been charged with a crime, contact San Jose Criminal Defense Attorney William Chestnut at 408-298-6990.
Should an adult driver refuse the field sobriety tests at the scene? Yes.
First, most of the tests are of little value in determining sobriety. Studies commissioned by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have shown, of the many tests used, only three-the one-leg-stand, nystagmus (eye tracking), and walk-and-turn are effective in determining sobriety. Yet, California law enforcement officers often continue to use other tests, now known to be of little use.
Second, even a sober person can have trouble "passing" field sobriety tests. This is particularly the case when the person is nervous or suffers from physical problems or disabilities.
Third, the tests are administered roadside under less than controlled conditions by a police officer whose subjective opinion alone determines whether the motorist has "passed" or "failed."
Refusing the sobriety tests offered at the scene is to be distinguished from refusing to take a chemical test at the station, if the officer decides (after you refuse the FST's) he wants to take you down to the station to get a sample. If subsequently convicted of driving under the influence, after refusing a chemical test at the station (blood, breath, or urine), the court will consider additional jail time and your license will be suspended for one additional year. It is know as the "implied consent" law. If you are licensed to drive in California, you are duty-bound and impliedly consent to a chemical test to determine if you are under the influence.
If you are arrested on suspicion of DUI and are over 21 you should politely and courteously refuse to take the roadside sobriety tests then contact San Jose Criminal Defense Attorney William Chestnut at 408-298-6990.