Wednesday, January 16, 2008

california dui cases up in north

california dui lawyer news

California dui lawyer / drunk driving cases are rising in Shasta County, California while methamphetamine cases are dropping.

California dui lawyer DUI cases increased about 45 percent over the past two years, with 1,862 cases filed in 2007, Shasta County District Attorney Jerry Benito said. In 2006, the district attorney filed 1,460 california dui lawyer DUI cases, and in 2005 the office filed 1,033 california dui lawyer DUI cases, Benito said.

Overall in 2007, the district attorney's office filed a total of 12,211 adult and juvenile cases with Shasta County Superior Court, which was about 200 more cases than the office filed in 2006, Benito said.

Benito cited state grants for the rise in california dui prosecution. The grants have funded increased law enforcement and two full-time Redding california dui police officers. The grants have also paid for a Drunk driving / california dui lawyer prosecutor and related staff members needed to try california dui lawyer cases.

Redding california dui police arrested 1,010 people on suspicion of california dui drunken driving in 2007. In 2006, RPD officers made 616 california DUI arrests, and in 2005, they arrested 395 people on suspicion of california dui drunken driving, said Mike Thomas, a traffic officer for the RPD.

"DUIs were occurring, but they just weren't being caught," Benito said.

The district attorney's office had an 82 percent conviction rate for california dui lawyer cases it tried in 2007. Benito said he's targeting a 90 percent california dui lawyer conviction rate over the next two years.

A first-time california dui conviction can cost $10,000 in fines, attorney fees and classes, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety.

Jail time for a first-time california dui lawyer offense, without a wreck, ranges from two days to six months, Benito said.

While california dui lawyer cases have climbed, the number of methamphetamine possession, sales and transportation cases has dropped 39 percent over the past two years. In 2007, the district attorney filed 498 cases compared with 599 in 2006 and 822 in 2005, Benito said. He said procedural changes in prosecution and a 2006 state law that requires certain cold medications to be kept behind pharmacy counters have contributed to the decrease.

Prosecutors now try meth cases as felonies rather than misdemeanors, which has increased prison time for drug possession. Previously, those convicted of a misdemeanor were often bounced out of overcrowded jails or didn't complete drug-treatment programs, Benito said.

Also, new cold medication laws have made it more difficult for home chemists to get the ingredients necessary to make meth, and that has driven up the drug's street price, he said.

"This does not mean that methamphetamine is not a problem," Benito said. "This simply means that we are beginning to see progress in the war on methamphetamine. On the downside, anecdotally, there appears to be an increase in the use of prescription medication and cocaine."

California dui lawyers are available at www.sandiegodrunkdrivingattorney.net .