Thursday, February 20, 2014

Failing Field Sobriety Tests: Not So Hopeless

What will happen if a driver who was allegedly driving while intoxicated has failed the field sobriety tests? Contrary to popular belief, you will not be immediately charged with DUI, and you even have a chance to get your charges dropped. Before we explain why, it’s important to know about field sobriety tests first.

What are field sobriety tests?

The Field Sobriety Tests were created to assess a person’s ability to drive, by way of numerous tests that measures their response time, dexterity, and reflexes, things that are important in driving. However, these are imperfect and can be challenged in court.
The primary reason for these tests is to determine probable cause. This is a requirement in all states in the US before the driver can be subjected to a blood or breath test, or for any arrest. The simplest explanation for this is to find a legitimate reason to arrest you.
 If you been tested or arrested without probable cause (i.e. forced), then you can seek reparations through a civil lawsuit for false arrest or malicious prosecution.

There’s still a chance even if you fail the tests

·         The police officer did not follow protocol. Every test performed have to follow proper procedures, or else the results should not be admissible in court. The reasoning behind this is, an innocent person could have been convicted because an officer made a mistake.
·         The testee’s performance might be affected by other factors. For example, people with balance might not be able to complete some of the tests, while some may have physical or mental injuries or ailments that may interfere with the results. A cross-eyed person, or someone who is prone to shaking or stuttering can be mistaken for someone who is drunk.
·         The officer cannot force someone to take these tests. If they have coerced you to take these tests, it is most likely to fail in the first place and it’s a violation of your rights as well. This also includes if the officer was heckling, insulting, or accusing you during the test so you are more likely to fail. If this ever happens, take note of this and speak with your criminal defense lawyer.
There is only one surefire way to not fail, which is to not take the test! If the police asked you to perform field sobriety tests on you, you will likely comply, but what most people don’t know, this is a request, not an order. You can refuse these field sobriety tests, and we strongly suggest doing so. There is virtually no disadvantage to doing this, except for the possibility of the officer letting you off without charging anything. However, do not refuse breathalyzer or blood tests. You might have the right to refuse, but you will still be penalized (license suspension for example) and it can be used as evidence in court as an admission of guilt.

If you need help, please contact me at 520 South 4th Street Las Vegas, NV 89101 or Call (702) 383 – 5088. ZYD6URBY4YQG

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

DUI Unlawful Acts - NRS 484C.110

All states have laws that govern if a driver should be arrested for drunk driving. Several are drafted to cover every circumstance imaginable, with some slight variations between states. Most of the time, the laws are similar for all states. In this post, an experienced DUI – NRS 484c lawyer will explain the particulars about one of the DUI laws specific for Nevada, the NRS 484C.110.

What Is The NRS 484C.110 “Unlawful Acts Law”?

Chapter 484C of the NRS (Nevada Revised Statutes) defines what DUI is in Nevada, as well as other information concerning driving under the influence.
The NRS 484C.110 is a provision that explains the conditions or “unlawful acts” when one can be arrested for driving while intoxicated. Included in the law are the legal limits for alcohol and drugs, which is collected from breath, blood, urine, or field sobriety tests.

Unlawful acts

Committing any of the following unlawful acts are reasonable grounds for arrest. Each act is a separate offense; you can receive additional charges when violating more than one unlawful act:
Driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor. It is not enough that a driver is drinking while driving. They have to consume enough alcohol to impair their driving enough that it can be hazardous for them, their passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians.
Having a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08% and above. Nevada has stated that 0.08% is the optimum limit for driving. It’s flexible enough for most cases, but even if someone is well below the legal limit, a person can still be suspected of driving while intoxicated if their driving is observed to be erratic or dangerous.
Meeting or going beyond the legal BAC level within two hours of operating a vehicle. As long as you were in direct control of a vehicle within two hours, you can still be arrested for DUI even if you have left the car.
Driving while influenced by any controlled substances. DUI laws also cover if the driver was affected by controlled substances. This includes legal or illegal drugs.
Driving while intoxicated or influenced by a combination of alcohol or controlled substances. As stated, DWI also includes being influenced by both alcohol and drugs.

What Can You Do?

As soon as you are arrested, it is important to contact an attorney right away. These cases can become complicated; by contacting a lawyer, they can give you a better chance to reduce or even eliminate the charges if possible. If you have any questions about your case, please ask your attorney. If you need a lawyer, take a look at my profile in LinkedIn.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Some reminders for Christmas

Happy Holidays every one, I’m here to remind all of you that even if Christmas Day is looming next week to please stay safe. The holidays are always hectic, and you can still get in trouble even if you’re just shopping. Just take a look at some of the extreme cases of Black Friday shenanigans - definitely not a nice way to start the holidays indeed.

Always keep your guard up, certain crimes like assault, burglary, theft, and general disorderly behavior have been observed to rise during the holidays. For a fun and safe holiday for the whole family, keep these reminders in mind.

Be responsible when drinking
Festivities and alcohol might be a combination that makes sense, but it’s not if it lands you in jail. Again, do not drink and drive because it can be fatal, unless you have someone to take you home safely. The police also do not appreciate disturbances brought by alcohol, and they do not care if it’s the holidays because they’ll arrest you just the same.

Secure the house at all times
Before going to sleep every night and before leaving the house alone, make sure that all doors and windows are locked tight.

When leaving the house for a long time, get someone to watch over it for you
You don’t want your holidays to end up in a sad note when you see that your house has been broken into. Find neighbors or friends willing to watch them for you while you are away, and tell them how long you are planning to be away.

Put presents under the Christmas tree only on Christmas Day
Presents are very tempting targets to burglars, particularly gifts under the tree. That’s why it’s best to leave them empty until Christmas arrives. It’s also wise to avoid leaving presents in the car, not only will you lose those presents, but you might lose the car too.

Let there be light at Christmas time
If you’re not doing it already, lighting up your whole home can discourage robbers from entering it. Using timed switches also ensures that your light will periodically turn on even when you’re away.

Know who your visitors and callers are
The holidays are also rife with scammers. Always have some suspicion for anyone you are not expecting to visit. The same goes for callers, though it helps if you have caller ID.

 Be careful when shopping online

Again, scammers take a lot of people advantage whenever the holidays arrive. Make sure that you know that your payment method (credit cards rather than debit cards) is secure and your contact is legitimate. Be very careful when giving out personal information.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Of Men's Rights and Law

For the longest time, men have been getting the short end of the stick when the law should be fair to everyone.

For starters, men in general will be imprisoned longer, and receive harsher penalties for the same crime when compared to women. Lighter sentences are handed out to women, often through probation or suspended sentence, sometimes not even receiving a sentence at all. And yes, when imprisoned, they have better chances and have a shorter duration when getting a parole.

Domestic violence cases are especially tricky. When someone calls the police because of an alleged domestic violence crime, someone has to spend a night in jail, even if the caller was a male victim. This should be against the presumption of innocence, yet it still happens.

While domestic violence cases are already bad enough, rape cases are even worse for men. People are more inclined to believe the woman rather than the man when in rape cases, even if the man is innocent. Even if they are victim, it is still equally bad. If the victim is male, most people will treat him with ridicule or claim that he was lucky for “getting some”. The judge or the jury may also have this same mindset, as evidenced by many cases when the woman rapist got off scot-free or a slap on the wrist.

False rape claims are rising because they only receive nominal punishments, while he spends his days in jail, or have to pay ridiculous fees.

And of course, there's paying child support and/or alimony. It may not be related to criminal defense, but it still is a huge problem in the US, with women still taking advantage of getting payment even if they she has the higher income, or just to ruin or give the man a bad reputation. And yet, when he can’t pay, again, he gets sent to jail.

All of this are happening even in the state of Nevada. As a criminal defense lawyer, I sincerely hope that Las Vegas domestic violence laws will continue to improve in the future, and treat men and women the same just as anyone else.

Additional reading:

Friday, November 1, 2013

Thanksgiving & DUIs

Thanksgiving DUIs

Drunk Driving and DUIs are seen to be more frequent during holidays. Amazingly, Thankgiving Eve DUIs have been neck to neck with New Year`s Eve DUIs in the last few years.  Bars owners, Liquor stores and establishments have struck some light into this, According To the Wall Street Journal ( source : ) , liquor selling establishments confirm that there is a lot of alcohol being sold on Thanksgiving especially with the younger crowd where this holiday has now started to be about being popular and to be seen in certain known areas in the cities and towns.

Here are some astonishing facts:

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism say that there is likelihood of 2 or even 3 times more death related Drunk Driving and DUIs on holidays like Thanksgiving Eve and New Years Eve.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( estimate that between Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years,  over 12,000 people will be killed and about 25,000 injuries will take place directly related to alcohol .  This is a huge number and is it rising?

This DUI BLOG ( ) creates a form of solution to this problem, where past offenders or Alcohol abusers are asked to especially maintain Sober on the holidays. Everyone feels that alcohol goes perfectly with holidays but that should really not be the case. These are the days when you need to watch out even more Drunk Drivers and to go very moderately on any liquor that is passed or served between family and friends.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Why do we have Criminal Defense Laws?

According to the laws made by our founding fathers and after numerous civil revolutions and laws and bill ramifications, we know that every US citizen has a right to defend themselves from accusations of crime. The law looks for justifiable proof that indeed a crime has been committed by looking at physical evidence. The law permits that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

So why do we have these laws? These laws are meant to protect ourselves from being severely penalized for actions that may not have been committed. These laws give everyone a legal base for defending themselves in court. In the past, many innocent people have been tried arbitrarily and they have suffered due to not having a legal process affected by the government.  A person could be lynched or thrown in prison due to “hear-say” and circumstantial evidence.  There was a time when religious or political leaders often disregarded a person’s right to defend themselves and guilt was decided almost randomly.

If there were no criminal laws that allowed a person to defend them, the fabric of society, what it stands for and even its own definition would fall and civilization as we know it would come to a halt.

Criminal defense laws are an integral part of the constitution where everyone has the right to remain free of charge unless physical evidence can be used to prove guilt of the person. Often, these laws are meant not only to provide black and white answers like guilt or innocence only but they are also observed to see that if there was a crime committed  - how much of it was deliberate or planned.  Sometimes crime is committed due to negligence, or simply due to bad circumstance.

This is how a court decides whether the crime, if committed, is a felony or a misdemeanor and how sentencing or judgement should be passed.  Not all charged are guilty and not all crime is deliberate and everyone needs to be able to tell their share of the incident. 

This is how the constitution and the laws protect us, by allowing persons to have their side to the story heard by the courts.  This is the basis of Criminal Defense and it is applicable to everyone who is charged with Homicides, Drunk Driving DUI, Domestic Violence, Juvenile crime, Sex offenses, Burglary and theft and more.. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Domestic Violence Crimes

Domestic Violence Crimes

Unfortunately crimes happen at home, in a family and close relationship setting. 

Here are some chilling facts: 

40-70% of women related homicides are directly caused by someone they are intimate with. 
While countries like Bangladesh, Peru, Tanzania and Ethiopia showed signs that the violence was almost close to 50% of female members, The UK and US were close to about 30% and 22% respectively.
In the US, women in a household of larger income brackets are subject to domestic violence much less than those who are not doing very well. The age of women subject to this in the US are usually 16-24yr olds. 

All domestic violence acts are manifestations of the accused trying to dominate and have more power over the other person and it could be sexual, physical and verbal. 

Throughout the years, parents, husbands, cargeivers, caretakes and who have you been involved in violence at home. Many customs in some countries were acceptable. 

Here are a few types of violence that goes beyond just battery or physical assault. 

Acid throwing - done by a jealous partner, especially seen and heard of in Asia and in the Middle east.
Dowry deaths and Bride burning - prevalent social problem in parts of Asia especially India where the family compels the bride to suicide through persistent humiliation in order to extort dowry money. 
Honor killing - Justification of killing someone who brings dishonor to the family name. 
Marital rape - forced and coerced sex with unwilling spouse.
Foot Binding - painful binding of feet of young girls by parents to make them grow smaller. 

In Nevada, there have been much debate about the actual figures of domestic violence but Nevada has been a hot zone for this kind of crime. Read more here.

The truth is that this crime is out there and most often goes unnoticed.  You can find out more about the statutes, penalties and legal definition about domestic violence in the state of Nevada.  If you are in Las Vegas, Henderson and surrounding areas in Clark County, you need to know what the law says about the victim and to the aggressor.

If you need legal help :
Contact Goodmanlawgroup
Criminal Defense Attorney Ross Goodman
520 South 4th Street, Las Vegas, NV 89101-6593
Phone: (702) 383-5088 / Fax: (702) 385-5088