San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith
can confirm the fact that DUI charges have lasting impacts on a person’s life.
Aldon Smith Was Arrested for Vandalism, Hit and Run, and DUI
After San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith was arrested recently for allegedly driving under the influence (“DUI”), as well as hit and run and vandalism, Santa Clarita Police Department Lt. Kurt Clarke indicated the 25 year old had been drinking and opened the door of his SUV into a smaller vehicle, causing approximately $500 worth of damage. Afterward, he left the scene of the accident, resulting in the vandalism and hit and run charges. The owner of the other vehicle also left the scene and did not identify himself to the police. According to Clarke, “I don’t know if he knew that person.”
When Smith returned to the accident scene, the officers at the scene noticed signs which indicated Smith was under the influence. As Clarke indicated, “The officers believed he was under the influence of alcohol.” After undergoing and failing sobriety tests Smith was arrested, but was later released on $26,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in court October 6th.
Smith’s Response to DUI Claims
After exiting the Santa Clara jail, Smith apologized for these incidents but denied being under the influence when the accident occurred.
“I want everybody to understand this wasn’t a DUI,” he said. “The situation that happened could have been handled differently. I apologize to everybody I did let down and I apologize for how it all played out.”
San Francisco 49ers Release Aldon Smith From Contract
After the alleged DUI incident, the 49ers released him from his contract, stating:
“This organization has tried very hard to help Aldon fight his issues. Although he is no longer a member of this team, our support and concern for him will continue.”
According to Jim Tomsula, coach of the 49ers, this incident was one of Smith’s many run-ins involving law enforcement with the law. Tomsula further stated that Smith had been working hard to try and improve his behavior.
“The guy is working really hard and he had a pitfall,” Tomsula said. “He has been turning his life around.
“Although he won’t be playing football for the San Francisco 49ers, he will be supported and helped, and he will not have to walk this path alone. That comes from the ownership down.”
Aldon Smith’s Previous DUI Charges
Smith was arrested in 2012 in Miami Beach on suspicion for a DUI, and took a deal on a lesser charge. He was arrested again in 2013 in San Joseon for suspicion of DUI as well as marijuana possession after his car crashed into a tree. Authorities indicated he was drunk and his blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit of 0.8. At the time of this incident he was suspended for five games, and decided to voluntarily check himself into a rehab facility.
Smith pleaded no content in 2014 to two misdemeanor counts for DUI and three felony weapons charges from a party held in 2012 at his home. When officers arrived at the party they discovered Smith had been stabbed and two other people had been shot. According to authorities, Smith told them he fired a handgun while on his balcony in an effort to try and disperse the crowd. Upon searching his house, deputies discovered assault rifles.
Last season he was suspended for nine games due to violations of the league’s policy about personal conduct as well as substance abuse.
He was also arrested in April 2014 at the Los Angeles International Airport after comments to a TAS agent suggested he had a bomb. City prosecutors in Los Angeles decided not to file charges against him in this incident.
Allegations of a DUI should not be taken lightly. If charged with a DUI, there are certain things you need to address as soon as possible.
Steps to Investigating DUI Charges
The first step in a DUI investigation is being pulled over by a police officer, which can be scary. The first thought you might have is when is the officer going to ask, “Have you had anything to drink today?”
Since the officer can’t force you to answer any questions that could be considered incriminating, the best answer might be to tell them you prefer to speak with a DUI attorney before answering their questions. Having a blood alcohol (“BAC”) content under 0.08 is not considered driving under the influence. Admitting that you may have had one beer just explains why your breath smells of alcohol.
The second step in a DUI investigation are field sobriety tests. California does not give you the right to consult an attorney prior to these tests, but you can still politely decline to take them since you are not legally required to submit to these tests. The risk of these tests is that if an officer takes a subjective view they could decide you failed even though the test results were borderline. These results could then be used to convict you for a DUI. However, if a police officer genuinely suspects you are intoxicated, chances are good you won’t get away with a warning.
The next step in a DUI investigation is the Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test. This test is normally a breathalyzer test, which is a chemical test prior to being arrested. A breathalyzer test is the most common one used by police officers to identify drivers driving under the influence. Breathalyzer tests are also used after an arrest as well. Before actually being arrest, you have the right to refuse to take the breathalyzer test. If you are afraid your blood alcohol level is high, you can take it knowing the possibility exists of later impeaching the test results.
If you have been lawfully arrested for DUI, the law requires you to undergo the administration of a chemical test by a police officer to determine your blood alcohol level (“BAC”).
According to California’s “Implied Consent Law,” you are required to submit to chemical testing to determine your BAC if a police officer arrests you for DUI and the officer has probable cause to believe you were driving under the influence.
After being arrested, often you can chose either the breathalyzer or chemical tests. The breathalyzer is fairly reliable, but the results aren’t for a number of reasons. Breathalyzer tests don’t test for blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”), which requires a blood sample be taken to be analyzed. Because of this, the police will indirectly make an estimate of your BAC.
Blood Test to Confirm DUI
The most accurate tests to determine BAC are blood tests. Because of this, if given the choice you should choose a blood test if you feel your BAC is under the legal limit of 0.8. Also, your blood sample must be preserved under a specific set of rules that will then be available for your attorney’s use in order for their later independent testing and analysis.
Although you can’t be forced to take a chemical blood test, if you refuse the Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend your California Driver’s License for one year, no matter what the outcome of the DUI case against you. You can request a hearing to contest the suspension, but it must be requested within 10 days from your DUI arrest date.
Working with Sevens Legal, APC
The Law Offices of Sevens Legal, APC, understands DUI cases inside and out, and they are committed to uncovering contradictory evidence, procedural errors, or violations of your rights. We determine the correct defense strategy based on the facts pertaining to your case. Sevens Legal, APC, handles all DUI cases such as:
First DUI Offense DUI:
Almost 80% of our clients who are first offenders have their cases resolved without a DUI conviction.
Underage juvenile DUI offenders have unique challenges relating to these charges, and respond according to these challenges.
Felony charges involving DUI require immediate attention. These DUI charges include injury or a 4th offense in a 10-year period.
DUI and Drugs:
If the drugs are prescription drugs or banned (“street drugs”) substances, they carry the same penalty as a DUI involving alcohol.
Multiple DUI Charges:
These types of charges involve higher penalties depending on the number of times you have been convicted previously for DUI. Many times we can successfully reduce the statutory jail time by seeking treatment options.
DUI Resulting in an Accident:
This also includes injury and/or death, or property damage. These require an experienced criminal defense attorney. These charges may involve possible time in a state prison, so it’s imperative to hire a skilled and diligent criminal defense attorney.
Boating and DUI:
Operating a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol carry the same negative consequences as driving a vehicle and being intoxicated.
DMV DUI Hearing:
It is imperative to act promptly in order to protect driving privileges. The hearing must be requested within 10 days of your arrest, otherwise the DMV will automatically suspend your driver’s license.
Beating a DUI charge is never easy, even if you have a strong defense, which is why it’s important to hire an experienced DUI Defense Attorney.
In DUI cases there can be numerous possible police errors, all of which can add up to helping reduce your charges. After reviewing the facts of your DUI case, our attorneys will concentrate on helping seek a dismissal or reduction by preparing a secure case that will cast doubt on any evidence the police may have obtained against you.
The criminal defense lawyers at Sevens Legal, APC, believe every defendant deserves a zealous defense. Contact Sevens Legal, APC
, today for a free consultation.
Criminal Defense Attorneys
3555 4th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103
Phone: (619) 297-2800