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Attorney at Law

Dedication, Knowledge and Proven Results

2990 Inland Empire Blvd.

Suite 114

Ontario, CA 91764

Phone: (909) 476-1455

Fax: (909) 476-2344

Pomona, Montclair, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana,

Jurupa Valley, Eastvale, Chino, Chino Hills, Corona, La Verne, Rialto, San Bernardino, Colton, Redlands, Diamond Bar

Stephan J. Johnson

Criminal Defense

DUI Defense

License Suspension

Traffic Violations

DUI & Driving Offenses TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS Home Suspended License

I firmly believe that every individual I represent deserves to have a voice in the criminal justice system.

After you are arrested on suspicion of DUI, you face a battle on two fronts: one in criminal court and one against the DMV.

Southern California has a car-based economy, and without a drivers license, it is practically impossible to earn a living.

Traffic Violations can have major implications on your finances and capability to sustain employment and income.

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Blog | Attorney Stephan Johnson


Driving Under the Influence

DUI charges are one of the most common convictions in California. Anyone who exceeds the legal limit of intoxication can get a DUI. Regardless of economic status, race, gender, age, education level, or professional status, if your blood alcohol content is 0.08% or higher, you may be arrested for Driving Under the Influence.

California’s drunk driving laws include driving under the influence of prescription medications and illegal drugs. Some people may not realize how prescription medications interact within the body. Drugs that carry the warning “may cause drowsiness” have the ability to impair a driver and make it dangerous for them to be driving. It can be especially dangerous when these drugs are mixed with alcohol.

Even minors can be convicted of DUI. It is illegal for minors to have 0.01% of a blood alcohol concentration in their system. Penalties for persons under the age of 21 are different from those given to older persons. Their vehicle may be impounded, they may be fined up to $1,000, and their driving privileges may be revoked for a year. They may also be required to attend a DUI education program.

How Does a DUI Impact Your Life

A DUI arrest or conviction can have far-reaching implications, including short-term and long-term consequences. An experienced DUI attorney may be able to fight for your rights and minimize the consequences of a DUI or get the charges dropped entirely. Just being arrested for suspicion of DUI has the ability to result in your license being suspended. If you are convicted of a DUI, your license may be suspended or revoked. This means you will need to arrange alternate transportation to accomplish daily tasks.

In addition to not driving, you may have to pay hefty fines and penalties. Other financial ramifications include paying more for car insurance. You may be sentenced to serve time in jail, complete community service hours, or participate in a DUI education program. Each of these activities has the potential for taking you away from your job and reducing the amount of time you spend with your family.

How to Survive a DUI

Getting a DUI does not mean your life is ruined; it can give you the chance to take stock of things and organize your life in a meaningful way. Many people from all walks of life have to endure the consequences of drunk driving charges. If this is your first DUI and you have a clean criminal record, this all may have happened at a whirlwind pace. It may seem like every area of your life is upended and will never be the same. However, it is important to understand that you are not alone in this process. You may benefit by reaching out to others in your community who can help you adjust during this time. Perhaps friends, family or neighbors can help you find a ride to work or the grocery store. Or, you may need to depend on rideshare services until your driving privileges are reinstated.

By learning about the process of the criminal charges and the DMV hearing, you can be better prepared for what is about to happen. Attorney Stephan J. Johnson has extensive experience fighting DUI cases and helping clients achieve better outcomes. Call (909) 476-1455 and arrange for a consultation to discuss your situation.

Prosecution of Driving on a Suspended License Case

If you are pulled over and found to be driving on a suspended license, you may face criminal charges. The severity of the charges often depends on the circumstances of why your license was suspended in the first place. You may be looking at jail time, fines, and added points on your driving record. If your offense included DUI, the penalties would include the installation of an ignition locking device for the vehicle. Whether this is your first offense or a repeated offense, you will need the guidance of a skilled Driving Offense Attorney. In these cases, the prosecution will try to prove that you knew your license was suspended, your license suspension was valid at the time of the stop, and that the police officer had reasonable suspicion to conduct a stop of your vehicle.

Mitigating or Aggravating Factors in Driving Offenses

A circumstance that can lead to an increased sentence is called an ‘aggravating factor.’ In a license suspension case, an aggravating factor may involve a person leaving the scene of an accident, whether the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or other issues. An aggravating factor can result in increased penalties. On the other hand, a mitigating factor may work in the defendant’s favor by reducing the sentence. For example, if the defendant proves they were not aware of the license suspension, the judge may impose a lighter sentence. For many criminal charges, there is a range in which the judge must sentence a defendant to the minimum sentence allowed. If aggravating charges are involved, the judge may choose to sentence the defendant to the maximum sentence allowed for that offense.

Consequences of a Driving Offense Conviction

Often, there are consequences of a driving offense conviction that far outlast the immediate sentence. After paying the fines, serving time, and dealing with the added cost of an increased car insurance premium, you will be facing the possibility that the DMV and court convictions will stay on your driving record. A conviction will show up during background checks by landlords, employers, and others. This could possibly affect your career or living accommodations. A conviction may also impact your ability to remain in the United States if you are not a citizen. If you are concerned about these types of charges, work with an experienced Suspended License Attorney who can work aggressively to help you avoid the harsh penalties.


Beginning the Criminal Case

The criminal case starts at the moment the defendant is arrested or cited for the misdemeanor or felony. The police report contains vital information, and it will only be released to the defendant’s attorney. After viewing the police report and relevant information, the prosecutor will decide the level of and the number of charges. The criminal defense process is designed for the defendant to have an attorney. The criminal defense attorney can obtain the evidence, or discovery, from the prosecution. This is what the District Attorney’s office will use to pursue criminal charges against the defendant.

The criminal defense attorney is trained to examine the evidence and conduct additional investigations into the situation. A defense lawyer may pick out certain evidence that is helpful to the client. A deeper dive into subtle clues may reveal ways in which the police stepped outside the boundary of law while executing the arrest or investigation. Each of these elements can be used to build a strong defense from the beginning of the criminal case. Arguments and pertinent factors introduced by the criminal defense lawyer may result in the defendant receiving reduced fines, a lighter sentence, or the case may be dismissed altogether.

You Have the Right to Remain Silent

Usually upon an individual’s arrest and always before interrogation, officers are required to recite the Miranda Rights. It is a constitutional requirement that detained individuals are informed of these rights which provide notification to the individual on ways to protect themselves while in police custody. The first warning is, “You have the right to remain silent.” Law enforcement must ensure the individual understands this right. If language is a barrier to understanding, the officer must find a way to translate the Miranda Rights. This protects the individual against making self-incriminating remarks that can be used for prosecution at the trial. In the event a detainee is not informed of the Miranda Rights, any evidence gathered may be inadmissible in court.

The Miranda Rights take effect once the individual is placed under arrest. Law enforcement is not restricted in asking before the arrest. This type of questioning is voluntary and the answers are admissible in the courtroom. After the arrest and Miranda Rights are read, statements made voluntarily by a suspect can also be used against him or her. However, if the detainee is silent after being given the Miranda Rights, that silence is prohibited from being used in court. It may be a wise option for a suspect to inform law enforcement that there is a need to speak to an attorney before answering questions. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney provides skilled advice and counsel to help clients successfully navigate a wide range of situations in the criminal justice system.

Pretrial Diversion Programs for Non-Violent Charges

Certain defendants in criminal cases may be eligible to participate in pretrial diversion programs administered by the Probation Department. This alternative prosecution takes offenders out of the traditional path for processing in the criminal justice system. These types of programs may be available for certain individuals facing non-violent and misdemeanor charges, such as drug and alcohol-related offenses and traffic matters. An experienced criminal defense lawyer may be able to connect defendants with the appropriate program. There are numerous programs targeted at a wide range of individuals.

These alternatives offer a range of benefits for defendants who complete the prescribed diversion program. Upon completion of the program, participants may have the charges dismissed. For example, a first time offender may be able to complete a treatment program in exchange for not being charged for the initial crime. In this situation, a defendant may be required to complete treatment sessions and specific classes in drug or alcohol education. The length of these programs can run between six months and eighteen months long. In the event an offender is unsuccessful in completing a diversion program, the offender is returned to the criminal justice system and the prosecution will continue.