Assault with A Deadly Weapon Charges in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Windsor, Rohnert Park, or anywhere in Sonoma County…

Santa Rosa Assault Attorney 

If you are accused of assault with a deadly weapon in Santa Rosa or anywhere else in Sonoma County, you face severe consequences.  In order to fight for your freedom, you will need the help of an experienced and skilled criminal defense attorney.

A skilled and knowledgeable ‘assault with a deadly weapon’s’ attorney will know how to defend you against these charges.  The attorneys at Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC have successfully defended our clients facing assault charges for nearly 25years since opening our practice in 1992.  Here is a partial list of how we defend our clients accused of assault with a deadly weapon.

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Sentences for Assault with a Deadly Weapon

In Santa Rosa, an assault with a deadly weapon sentence can be severe. If convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, also known as aggravated assault, you face up to four years in prison, a fine up to $10,000, or both.

This is why you will need to retain an experienced assault attorney if you are charged with this crime.

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Defenses to Assault with a Deadly Weapons Charge

One defense you may bring to charges of aggravated assault is that you did not act voluntarily. This means that evidence that shows your actions were done by accident or mistake may provide a successful defense to charges of assault with a deadly weapon.

Another defense available to you is called factual impossibility. A knowledgeable defense attorney can argue that it was factually impossible for you to commit the crime because you lacked the actual ability to cause injury to another person.

Self-defense or defense of another person is a defense only it was reasonable for you to believe that you or another person was in imminent danger of bodily injury and that immediate force was necessary to prevent the threat, and last, that you used only necessary force.

Your attorney can also argue that the victim consented to the assault. This defense arises most frequently in cases where consent is needed for medical surgery or when injuries occur during participation in physical sports.

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Call the Assault Attorneys at Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC Today for Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one is accused of assault with a deadly weapon in Santa Rosa, you will need a skilled attorney and very experienced attorney with a track record who understands the valid defenses to these charges. Our skilled lawyers have been successfully defending our clients accused of assault with a deadly weapon since 1992.  We can help you now.

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Call us today at 707-571-8600 OR 415-492-4507 for a free case evaluation.

Visit our dedicated webpage on Assault Charges here http://northbaylegaldefense.com/weapon-crimes

The Long-Term and Costly Effects Of Burn Injuries for Victims in the North Bay

Serious burns, such as third-degree burns, have an immediate aspect to them in terms of tissue damage, shock, fluid loss, and other characteristics that require not only emergency treatment but also longer-term medical care which is often times very expensive.

This follow-up treatment can require highly-specialized treatment facilities and medical personnel who specialize in burn injury treatment, such as reconstructive surgery. There are also rehabilitation considerations, including both physical and occupational. These treatments can take months or even years to undergo, and in some cases will need to be ongoing for the remainder of the fire or burn victim’s life.

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Beyond the physical recovery, there is also more intangible, yet still very real aspects to serious burn injury recovery. These include time lost from work (wage loss) or the need to retrain for a different line of work or occupation if the long-term effects preclude going back to one’s former job, and pain-and-suffering after-affects.  Much of the time long-term burn injury treatment will include vocational and mental health counseling to diminish the psychological impact the burn injury caused the victim.

It is one thing to work on healing the immediate physical effects of serious burns. But what you may not see right away are the long-term effects that these injuries can have, and their potential long-term financial and emotional ramifications.

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Santa Rosa Personal Injury Attorney 

At Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC we compassionately help our clients cope with the long-term after-effects of serious burn injuries by finding the best treatment specialists, and best vocational counselors to get the firm’s clients back on their feet as soon as possible.

We understand how to place a value on the compensation that will be required to get full compensation for the injured plaintiff not only for the long term recovery plan, but also to pay the immediate and mounting medical bills. As a result of the possible life-altering consequences, burn injuries often require considerable settlement amounts or damages awards to fully reimburse their victims.

Our top priority is to ensure that nothing is left out that is compensable.  WE Fight for you every step of the way.

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Call us today at 707-571-8600 OR 415-492-4507 for a free and confidential consultation on your burn injury case.

To learn more about our burn injury practice, we recommend that you see our webpage on the subject here http://www.fiumara.com/santa-rosa/burns-and-explosions

Sonoma County Premises Liability Cases A Rising trend—We serve the Entire North Bay

Premises liability law is based upon both statute and case law. Many issues arise in premises liability cases that require careful analysis because the laws are complex and establishing liability can be difficult. For these reasons, it is always a good idea to contact a premises liability law attorney for a free consultation.

Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC handle the following types of Premises Liability Claims:

Amusement Park and Circus Accidents

Balcony and porch collapses

Burn Injuries

Construction Injuries

Dangerous Stairwells and Unsafe Railings

Dog Bites

Electric Shock Injuries

Farm Accidents

Lead Paint Poisoning

Negligent Security

Playground, School, Playing Field accidents

Slip & Fall

Swimming Pool Accidents

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LEGAL THEORY OF PREMISES LIABILITY

A person entering a property possesses a reasonable expectation that he will be safe, provided that his or her actions do not contribute to a dangerous situation. Premises liability law is founded upon the principle that those who have control over the property, i.e. owners and residents, are liable should an injury accident occur on it. The most common type of injury in premises liability cases is a slip and fall, but there are many types of premises liability claims.

LEGAL STATUS OF A VISITOR

One issue that weighs upon the question of liability is the status of the visitor. Under premises liability law, there are three types of visitors that are recognized: invitee, licensee, and trespasser.

The invitee is a person who is lawfully allowed access, such as a customer in a store. The invitee possesses a reasonable expectation that the premises have been maintained in a safe manner.

The licensee is someone who enters a property at the consent of the owner, such as a social guest.

The trespasser is an individual who enters premises without permission. The trespasser does not enjoy an expectation of safety. There are a few, limited exceptions where a trespasser may be able to recover for his or her injuries.

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CONDITION OF THE PROPERTY

Condition of property pertains to maintaining premises to a standard that requires reasonable care to ensure the safety of invitees, licensees, and in rare instances–trespassers. The owner has a duty of care to inspect the premises on a regular basis, and either repair dangerous conditions or post warnings of any known dangerous conditions–in other words, a duty to inspect and make safe.  However, there are various exceptions so before you throw up your hands and give up, make an appointment with any member of our experienced and very knowledgeable attorneys at either our Marin County or Santa Rosa offices.

CHILDREN AND PREMISES LIABILITY

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that each year more than 200,000 children under age 15 are treated for playground injuries.  Where children are expected to be lawfully on premises, such as a playground, additional safety precautions can be required that go above and beyond the duty of care owed to adults.

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FALL ACCIDENTS AND PREMISES LIABILITY

Many accidents giving rise to a premises liability claim involve slip and falls. The National Safety Council reports that 8.9 million people are treated in emergency rooms each year for fall-related accidents. Older Americans are at particular risk for fall injuries. Each year, a third of adults age 65 and over will fall and require medical care.

SHOULD I HIRE A PREMISES LIABILITY ATTORNEY TO HANDLE MY CLAIM?

Yes. If you have fallen or suffered another injury while legally on another’s premises, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, wage loss and pain and suffering. It is important that you contact an EXPERIENCED AND KNOWLEDGEABLE premises liability law attorney as soon as possible, to determine if you have a claim for your injuries.  Please keep in mind that you only have a two year statute of limitations window of time to bring a legal action or you will be forever barred from filing your legitimate claim.

However, if you were injured on State or Public property owned, operated or controlled by a public entity then the statute of limitations is much shorter, so you should make an appointment to come into the office for your FREE and Confidential consultation to discuss all of your options.

We handle all Sonoma County Premises Liability matters throughout the North Bay.

Since 1992, Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC has been serving the entire North Bay including, but not limited to San Rafael,  Novato, Sausalito, Mill Valley, Tiburon, Sausalito, Corte Madera, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Windsor, Duncan Mills, Graton, Guerneville, Occidental, Bodega Bay, Bolinas, and Windsor.

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Call Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC at 707-571-8600 OR 415-492-4507 for a free case evaluation, because “the right attorney makes all the difference.”

Please see more premises liability information on our dedicated webpage- Click Here 

Juvenile Crimes & Court Proceedings In The North Bay

Under California law when a person under the age of 18 is alleged to have committed a crime, the judicial process under which the child is prosecuted, called a delinquency proceeding, is a civil action rather than a criminal matter.

During these proceedings, the juvenile may be found unfit for juvenile court proceedings, in which case, the juvenile will be transferred to adult criminal court.

This is mandatory where the juvenile has been charged with murder with special circumstances and for certain sex offenses and the juvenile is at least 14 years old. For other crimes it is up to the juvenile court to decide whether the juvenile case is transferred to adult criminal court.

The factors the court will consider include the gravity of the offense charged, the criminal sophistication of the crime, and the juvenile’s previous delinquent history. If the case is transferred to adult court, the juvenile is subject to the law in the same manner as an adult.

Sometimes charges against a juvenile are prosecuted directly in adult court. This is called a “direct filing” and the juvenile courts tend to rubber stamp these filings. It is an unfortunate fact that the justice system is treating more and more juveniles as adults and punishing these children as adults despite the overwhelming evidence that a teenager’s brain is not yet fully developed.

Because teenagers do not have adult developed brains and maturity they take stupid risks, are often very impulsive, and are unable to anticipate the consequences of their actions. As younger and younger children are prosecuted in adult court, it is important to remember that anyone who is charged with a crime must have a criminal mental state.

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There are many laws and cases that question whether a child has the ability to form criminal intent at all. A qualified juvenile justice attorney can make a determination about the minor’s abilities to understand the process and ability to form criminal intent in anticipation of the defense of a juvenile in adult court.

If the juvenile remains subject to the juvenile court’s jurisdiction, the juvenile is not considered a criminal in the traditional sense because rehabilitation and not punishment is the main objective of the Juvenile justice system.

Therefore the juvenile does not have some of the same due process rights afforded to an adult charged with a crime. For example, the juvenile does not have the right to a jury trial or to bail. However, the juvenile does have the right to be represented by an attorney, the right to cross-examine witnesses, and the right to assert the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.

In a delinquency proceeding, the court determines whether the facts as charged against the juvenile are true. This is called a jurisdiction hearing. The standard of proof is, as it is in a criminal trial, “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

However, unlike an adult criminal trial, the juvenile proceedings are not designed to ascertain the guilt or innocence of the juvenile, but rather if the facts are found to be true to preserve and promote the welfare of the child, to provide care, treatment, and guidance to the child and to promote public safety.

The juvenile proceedings are intended to treat the juvenile crime as a sociological problem with a mandate to ensure wrap around resources and services for the juvenile and sometimes to the juvenile’s family too.  That is because the Juvenile justice system is dedicated to the juvenile’s rehabilitation rather than punishment. That does not mean the juvenile won’t be punished if the court finds the allegations against the juvenile are true. Depending upon the severity of the offense and the juvenile’s prior delinquent history, the court may subject the juvenile to probation, detention, incarceration, treatment, community supervision, mandate community service or a combination of many of the above.

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Parents are often surprised to discover that they can be held legally responsible for delinquent acts of their child in cases where the evidence establishes that the parent failed to provide reasonable supervision and control over their child.

If a parent “causes or tends to cause or encourage” his or her child’s delinquency (or any juvenile’s delinquency for that matter), the parent can be charged with a misdemeanor under Penal Code section 272. For example, let’s say a dad decides to have a few beers with his 16 year old son and then gives him the keys to the family car. The son then causes a collision and is also charged with driving under the influence. The father, under these circumstances, would be criminally liable for his son’s acts.

An experienced juvenile justice attorney understands the ins and outs, with all its particular intricacies, of juvenile law. Here at Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC we have successfully defended many juveniles both in front of the juvenile court and in adult court. WE are well acquainted with all of the ancillary services, resources and programs offered to juvenile offenders making a quick and effective resolution possible.  WE also take very seriously the expungement process so that the juvenile’s record gets “sealed,” once he or she successfully completes probation.  WE also have successfully gotten many of our juvenile clients into the Deferred Entry of judgment (DEOJ) program so that after they successfully complete their probationary period their records are expunged and sealed automatically without the assistance or cost of an attorney.

Our first approach is to always argue that the child should remain in the juvenile court’s jurisdiction rather than in the adult criminal court. While that is not always possible, especially when the child is charged with a serious crime, we understand the particular needs of the juvenile client and work diligently to preserve his or her future. Finding alternatives to juvenile incarceration through the community detention program and various other electronic monitoring options give the youthful offender an opportunity to prove to the Court that they are worthy of a second chance.  Just as important, Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC has worked closely with the agencies and resources that help juvenile offenders succeed while on probation such as Social Advocates for Youth, SAY, Restorative Justice, the Esperanza Program, the Tattoo Removal Program,  and various after school and apprentice/ training programs through-out the greater North Bay Area.

Contact us at any time at 707-571-8600 OR 415-492-4507 to set up a confidential consultation without charge.

We will work with you and your family to provide a fee structure that best suits your circumstances.

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“The Right Attorney Makes All the Difference”

Click here to be taken to our Juvenile Crimes page to read more info on how we can help you and your Juvenile law case.

Challenging a Breath Test & A ‘Driving Under the Influence’ Charge in The North Bay, Santa Rosa, San Rafael, Sonoma, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Windsor, Guerneville, Graton, Corte Madera, Novato

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1) Inadequate or broken observation period:   In order to properly read your BAC by a breath test, the testing officer must observe you continuously for at least 15 minutes before taking a sample. If you belch, vomit, or regurgitate gas in your mouth before the test, your BAC may read inaccurately high. If the officer has not observed you continuously for 15 minutes prior to measuring your BAC, it will be impossible for him to say that you did contaminate your own breath test.

2) Something in your mouth causes an inaccurate reading:  Common items such as cough drops, breath-mints, or chewing tobacco may remain in your mouth when a breath test is administered and can contaminate the results.

3) Your own personal medical history: If diagnosed prior to your arrest for DUI, several medical  conditions, such as gastric reflux disease, intestinal problems, diabetes, and respiratory problems, can be used to show the likelihood of an inaccurate BAC reading from a breath test.

4) Your own personal dental and hygiene history:  Gum disease, gingivitis, and pockets around the roots of your teeth, as well as dentures or bridgework may trap alcohol in your mouth and contaminate a breath sample.

5) Your behavior or actions do not match test results:  If there are eye-witnesses, video tape, body or CAM camera footage,  observations by officers that suggest you were not intoxicated, it may be possible to challenge the readings from a breath test.

6) Rising blood alcohol level. If your first breath sample registers slightly over the legal limit, and a second sample taken later is higher, it is clear your BAC is rising. If this is the case it may be possible to argue that, at the time you were driving, your BAC was not over the legal limit.

7) Inexperience, a lack of training or incompetence of the arresting or testing officer:   If the officer who arrested you or took your breath sample is not trained in the proper procedure or fails to follow protocol it may be possible to have the results of the improperly administered breath test thrown out.

8) Accuracy of the breath test machine:  An artificially high reading can result from interference with the circuitry of a machine due to radio interference, shared power sources, or smoking in or near the machine. Or simply put, the breath machine may not have been properly maintained or calibrated.

9) Irregular samples. Consecutive BAC readings that vary a great deal can be used to challenge the accuracy of breath samples especially when they are greater than two standard deviations apart.

10) Statutory time limit. The prosecution must prove that the breath sample was obtained within three hours of the time you were driving in order to invoke the presumption that you were intoxicated at the time you were driving.

If you or your loved one is currently facing a DUI charge in The North Bay, INCLUDING SANTA ROSA, SAN RAFAEL, SONOMA, PETALUMA, ROHNERT PARK, COTATI, WINDSOR, GUERNEVILLE, GRATON, CORTE MADERA, NOVATO OR ANYWHERE IN THE NORTH BAY, NORTH OF THE GOLDEN GATE– you must call us now to protect your driver’s license and to avoid being convicted of a DUI– at 707-571-8600 OR 415-492-4507.

You ONLY have 10 days from the date of your DUI arrest to contact the DMV to set a DMV hearing or you will lose your driver’s license on the 30th day after your arrest!—But we can avoid that!!!

We have over 40 years of combined experience defending clients and will FIGHT in the courtroom and at the Department of Motor Vehicles Administrative Hearing to get you the results you deserve.

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Don’t risk your license, job or risk going to JAIL!

Call us today for a free case evaluation and find out what over 4 decades of DUI Defense experience can do for YOU!

“The Right DUI Defense Attorney Makes All the Difference”

Getting A DUI for A Second Time in Sonoma County & the Consequences that Follow

A second DUI conviction in Sonoma County with a prior DUI in the past 10 years can carry serious consequences, including up to 5 years’ probation, a one thousand dollar find, and up to one year in Sonoma County jail.

If you face a second time DUI, the most difficult potential consequence for you may be is the loss of your California Driver License.

If you were convicted of either a standard DUI or a wet reckless, and then you get convicted of DUI again within 10 years, the new conviction triggers a two-year suspension of your California Driver License. However, if you get the new DUI charge reduced to reckless driving, exhibition of speed, or some offense other than DUI, you can avoid this court-triggered license suspension. A second DUI does not have to destroy your ability to drive.  There is a pilot program and an alternative that we would be happy to determine if it can apply to your situation.

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If you were still on probation for the first DUI when you are arrested for your second DUI, the DMV will also seek to impose its own one-year driver license suspension after your second-time DUI offense. This administrative suspension is separate from the Sonoma County court-triggered suspension. However, even if you suffer both suspensions, the total suspension period by law cannot exceed two years.

You have a right to a DMV hearing to contest the administrative suspension. At the hearing, you can challenge the suspension and can be represented by a Sonoma County DUI defense lawyer, like the skilled and experienced attorneys at Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC.

Mr. Fiumara has been practicing law in Sonoma County for nearly 25 years and knows all of the players from the District Attorneys, Judges and hearing officers at the DMV. If you win at the DMV hearing, no administrative suspension is imposed. If you lose the DMV hearing, the two-year administrative suspension is imposed.

It is important to have a skilled and highly experienced lawyer representing you at both, the criminal hearing and the DMV hearing. If you were arrested for a second time DUI, you must do two things to avoid the one or two-year suspension of your California Driver License.

First, you must avoid being convicted of DUI in court (or you must at least get the DUI charges reduced). Second, you must win your DMV hearing. If you fail either of these, the DUI will cost you your driving privileges in California.

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There are many factors that determine the outcome of a criminal case. Having a highly skilled and very experienced Sonoma County DUI Defense attorney is vital in making sure you get the best possible result in your case.

The attorneys at Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC have been helping those charged with DUIs in Sonoma County win their cases for almost a quarter of a century! Let us help you.

You can call us at 707-571-8600 OR 415-492-4507. We serve clients in Sonoma County, Marin County and the entire North Bay. The consultation is confidential, but more importantly it is free and you will leave with more knowledge than when you arrived. YOU owe this to yourself.

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Don’t delay, “We Fight for you!”

Consequences in A DUI conviction For A Minor?

California generally has a “zero tolerance” policy for juveniles who are found to be guilty of a DUI. If you are a juvenile who has been charged with a DUI, you may be charged not only for a juvenile DUI, but also a traditional DUI if your blood alcohol content is over the legal limit of 0.08%.

If you are a minor and you have been charged with a DUI, it is important that you seek an experienced DUI defense attorney to assist you through the legal process.

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California’s “Zero Tolerance” Law (California Vehicle Code 23136)

Under California Vehicle Code section 23136, it is unlawful for you to drive a vehicle if you are under the age of 21 and have a blood alcohol content of 0.01% or greater. This is commonly called California’s “Zero Tolerance” law because it does not require that you be under the influence of alcohol, just that you have some measurable amount of alcohol in your system.

What constitutes driving under the influence?

California is considered a zero-tolerance state, although unlike other zero-tolerance states, the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) must be above .01%, in order for the driver to be cited for driving under the influence.

What are the penalties?

First DUI  Second DUI
Jail 4 days up to 6 months 10 days up to 1 year
Fine $1400 to $2600 $1800 to $2800
License Suspension 30 days to 10 months 2 years

 

If you refuse the chemical test the juvenile faces a one year minimum suspension. But see the Hardship License possibility below, second to last paragraph:

What other charges?

In addition to driving under the influence, an underage drinker may be charged with any of the following:

  • distributing alcohol to other minors (depends whether there were underage drunk passengers?),
  • minor in possession,
  • soliciting alcohol,
  • child endangerment law violations,
  • possession of false identification (was a fake ID used to purchase alcohol?), and
  • Any moving violations and/ or vehicle maintenance violations (what else did the arresting officer see?)

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California Vehicle Code section 23136 explains that the law considers you to have already consented to an alcohol screening test or blood alcohol content test if you are under the age of 21 and operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol.

If you are convicted of a DUI under California Vehicle Code section 23136, you face a misdemeanor and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will suspend your driver’s license for up to one year.

Under 21 DUI with a BAC of 0.05% – 0.07% (California Vehicle Code 23140)

California Vehicle Code section 23140 states that it is unlawful for you to operate a vehicle if you are under the age of 21 and your blood alcohol content is between 0.05% and 0.07%. If you are found guilty under California Vehicle Code section 23140, you face a sentence of up to six months in county jail and a fine.

If you are found guilty of a second violation under California Vehicle Code section 23140 within one year, you could face a sentence of up to one year in county jail and the fine increase substantially.  The fine increases for a third offense within one year and you could face up to one year in county jail.

If you are found to have violated California Vehicle Code section 23140, you will also be in violation of California Vehicle Code section 23136, or California’s “Zero Tolerance” law. As a result, your driver’s license will be suspended for one year in addition to the penalties you face under California Vehicle section 23140. The court may also require that you attend an alcohol program before your driving privileges are reinstated.

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Traditional DUI (California Vehicle Code 23152)

If you are a minor, you may still be charged under California’s traditional DUI law, California Vehicle Code section 23152, if your blood alcohol content was 0.08% or higher while you were operating the vehicle. A conviction for violating California Vehicle Code section 23152 carries significant consequences.

Punishment for a first-time DUI offense in California may require that you serve up to six months in county jail and pay a fine up to $1,000. However, after all of the court fees, and other add-ons are calculated the fine for a first time offender usually exceeds  $2,400. We are able to get our first time offender an easy $75/month payment plan with the court.   Each County’s fine schedules and amounts  are different.

For example Sonoma County assesses a higher fine than Marin County. In addition, to the court fine, court costs, fees, penalties, attorney fees and an increase in your insurance premium can bring your total cost for a DUI conviction to nearly $16,000. In addition to the fines and fees discussed above the court will impose court probation upon the first time underage drinker for usually up to three years.

That means the underage drinker or offender has to be of good conduct and lead a law abiding life during that length of time or risk a violation of probation.  Fortunately, court probation is not as strict as supervised probation, where the offender would then have to report to a probation’s officer.

In some cases where the driving was egregious or there was an injury the Court will impose a five year probationary period upon your case, but our attorneys fight that attempt tooth and nail and are usually successful.

If you have violated California Vehicle Code section 23152, you can still be found to be in violation of California Vehicle Code section 23136 and 23140, and will be subject to the consequences associated with those offenses.

JUVENILES GET SOME LIMITED RELIEF—But ask your experienced DUI Attorney

Can I get a hardship license? In a typical Sonoma County zero-tolerance case, with no allegation of refusal, injury or other aggravating circumstances, most minors become eligible for a critical need restricted Class “C” California license following a 30-day period of suspension by the Santa Rosa DMV if certain hardships can be shown.

The most important hardship which must be demonstrated is that public transportation is inadequate to accomplish safe and practical travel to school, work or medical care of a family member.

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Call Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC Today

If you are a juvenile facing DUI charges, Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC is here to help.

We have over 40 years of combined DUI Defense experience helping clients avoid the devastating consequences of a DUI conviction and are knowledgeable about juvenile cases. Criminal charges as a juvenile can have a negative effect on your future and affect your life for years to come.

Do not hesitate to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney at Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC at 707-571-8600 OR 415-492-4507 to help you with your case.

“The Right Attorney Makes All the Difference”

Please CLICK HERE to view our DUI Defense videos

 

Don’t Ignore a Dog’s Warning Signs: How to Prevent Dog Bites!

For close to twenty-five years, Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC has handled dozens of dog bite cases; many times they are not only tragic, but they can be avoidable.  Nobody wants to believe that their beloved little cutsie dog would harm anybody, but all dogs have the potential to bite.  Hence, raising awareness of that reality is a very important part of successful dog bite prevention.

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It is important to determine what are the most common situations in which dog bites are most likely going to occur with regard to people or other animals:

  • When dogs are off of their leash and off of their own property.
  • When their owners carelessly permit dogs on extendable long leashes to roam.
  • When children and dogs are left unsupervised by their owner.

In addition to the above, there are other common situations that invite dog bites especially when unsupervised children, are permitted to enter a yard with a dog or several dogs in that yard.  Dogs which are tethered can be another problem as well as unneutered male dogs and situations where there are multiple dogs in one place.  Dogs will act as pack animals and become increasingly aggressive with more animals of the same species located in a small space.

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Here are some of the common mistakes people who are bitten by dogs make:

1. Reaching in to break up a dog fight.

2. Getting too close to a dog’s face.

3. Letting dogs approach other dogs or people without first asking permission.

Even the sweetest little dog can bite if he/she feels threatened or is even spooked by something like lightning, thunder, a bang, fireworks, a discharged gun or even a loud passing truck or vehicle, but most bites are preventable with the following ten precautions in mind:

1. Teach your dog to wait for permission before approaching people or other animals.

2. Only use a 4-6” leash instead of those extendable, very long leashes. It is often too common to allow your dog to get out of control with those extended leashes. They can injure people and pedestrians especially in a crowded urban area.

3. Be alert to your surroundings at all times so that you know if other people or animals are approaching. That means get off your Walkman, your cellphone and pay strict attention to your pet and those of others in the vicinity.

4. You need to always be ready to either control your dog or get him/her out of harm’s way if any aggressive dog or animal approaches.

5. Teach your children to ask permission before approaching any dog, especially a dog they have never seen before.

6. If you can afford it, take your dog to puppy kindergarten followed by obedience class. Look for free classes or very low cost classes through your community center. These are opportunities to work on training and socialization of your dog.

7. It is recommended to stay out of dog parks! They can become breeding grounds for canine bad behavior but there are other experts that think that dog parks are a good way to help your dog become used to other dogs and people.

8. Pay attention to your own actions. Don’t ever put your face to a dog’s face.  That’s just asking for a bite.

9. If you need to separate fighting dogs, avoid grabbing them by their head where their teeth are located. It is recommended that each owner  grab his/her own dog’s hind legs and pull the dogs away from each other.

10. It is recommended that you don’t let go since the dogs will reengage. Although it takes a bit of stamina it will be worth not having a dog mauled that can be very costly.

11. If you or your pet are ever bitten, it is recommended that you thoroughly clean the wound and seek medical or veterinarian attention at once. Please report the bite to animal control or to any other animal humane organization/ society in your area for follow up and for reporting.

12. Do not ignore or downplay aggressive behavior exhibited by your dog or someone else’s dog. Some of the signs can be as simple as lunging, pulling on the leash or growling when the dog sees other people or animals.  Nipping is a red flag also.  It is recommended that you get help or training from a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist or veterinarian behaviorist so that your pet is less likel to bite anybody.  You don’t need your insurance rates to go sky high and worse, you don’t need to be sued or to hire an attorney like our firm.  It is best to put prevention first and you will reap tons of benefits from it in the future.

A tip from Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC.  It is not all about making money but about quality of life and keeping pets and people happy. 

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Truck Accidents In California: Causes & Compensation

Common causes of interstate big-rig truck accidents are:

  1. Speeding or traveling too fast for conditions
  2. Overloading
  3. Poor vehicle maintenance
  4. Driving while tired or under the influence of amphetamines
  5. Driving trance
  6. Vehicle blind spots
  7. Reckless driving

santa rosa truck accident lawyer

Why Do Big-Rig Tractor Trailers Cause Such Serious Accidents?

Interstate trucking accidents commonly cause major injuries such as broken legs and bones, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, head injuries, brain damage, and death because of the very large mass and weight of the semi-truck. The weight of an eighteen wheel truck towing a full trailer is equal to at least four or five regular vehicles. Couple that with the typical high rate of speed of a careless truck driver and this is a recipe for disaster.

Jackknife Big-Rig Truck Accidents

Jackknife tractor trailer wrecks typically happen when the driver suddenly applies his brakes causing the coupling between the big-rig cab and trailer to buckle and “jackknife.” This type of accident can also be caused by entering a curve at a high rate of speed, suddenly accelerating on a low-friction surface such as ice or on a rain-slicked surface, or downshifting while coming down a hill or grade.

In addition to a negligent truck driver, other third parties and entities may be responsible for causing your injuries.

For example, the manufacturer of your car or big-rig might be responsible due to a defect in design or even a defective part that prevented you or your loved one from avoiding the collision due to faulty brakes, steering system or any other moving part.  There may also be liability for the government entity in charge of maintaining or designing the road. Typically this means investigating the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and their possible role in the accident.

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Call Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC Today

Interstate trucking companies are governed by a complex set of federal and state laws and regulations.

Due to this complex regulatory structure, it is very important to hire an experienced California truck accident lawyer who can help you navigate these laws and apply them to your case to hold the trucking company and  ALL others responsible for the harm they have caused you and your loved ones.

That is where Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC comes in to help

Our trained vehicle accident attorneys Michael A. Fiumara, Justin O. Milligan along with our Team of personal injury attorneys together with our skilled legal staff will review your case during our free and confidential consultation and help you win by getting the justice that you deserve.  WE DON’T get paid until you do since your case will be handled on a CONTINGENCY ARRANGEMENT.  Let us explain.

Do not trust the trucking company or their insurance carrier to be fair or straight with you!

In every accident, the insurance company tries their best to delay, deny, and defend claims against their insureds.  In interstate trucking accident cases, the trucking companies are extremely difficult to work with and unreasonable. They want to scare you and your loved ones into taking a settlement that is inadequate which will not cover your medical bills, lost earnings or future medical treatment if any.

Contact us today at 707-571-8600 OR 415-492-4507 to receive the help you deserve.

We are here with you, fighting for you!  “The Right Attorney Makes All the Difference.”

santa rosa truck accident attorney

Misuse of Deadly Police Force On The Rise Across The United States and COUNTING

Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri;  Tamir Rice and Tanisha Anderson of Cleveland, Ohio; Eric Garner of Staten Island, New York;   and Walter Scott of North Charleston, South Carolina.

These are just five names and five cities that you may have heard in the news over the past year.  These people have one thing in common—They were killed at the hands of Law Enforcement.  Another commonality is that they were all African-American, but are we expected to believe that this is a coincidence?

YOU don’t have to go very far to feel the effects of an entire community torn apart by a police killing.  Here in our own backyard, Andy Lopez, a 13 year old Latino boy was shot to death in his Santa Rosa neighborhood by a Sonoma County Sheriff while walking on the sidewalk with a toy replica of a gun.

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The point of mentioning these names is not to reexamine the cases to determine whether any of those killings were justified (in fact, the officer who killed Walter Scott is now charged with murder).

Instead, it is to point out the sobering fact that these are just five people out of the estimated THOUSANDS killed by police officers each year in the United States alone!  Staggeringly, the figure lies between 930 and 1,240 annual deaths per year, with the exact number remaining unknown because there is no national consensus on how the figures are reported.

The lack of a consensus approach to reporting the number of killings by police is just one symptom of a larger problem in the United States that has drawn the ire of Amnesty International USA, Black Lives Matters and other Civil liberty related organizations around the country.  For example, Amnesty International USA, a non-governmental organization, dedicated to ending human rights violations around the world, released a scathing report in which it declared that law enforcement agencies in all 50 states in the U.S. are failing to comply with international standards regarding the use of deadly force.

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Falling Below International Standards

Article 3 of the United Nations Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials states in part,  “Law enforcement officials may use force only when strictly necessary and to the extent required for the performance of their duty.” The comments on the article explain that the use of a firearm by a law enforcement officer is “an extreme measure. Every effort should be made to exclude the use of firearms, especially against children. De-escalation is evidently not part of the American approach to law enforcement or these numbers would not be so high.

In general, firearms should not be used except when a suspected offender offers armed resistance or otherwise jeopardizes the lives of others and less extreme measures are not sufficient to restrain or apprehend the suspect. In every instance in which a firearm is discharged, a report should be made promptly to the proper authorities.

According to Amnesty International, not a single state in this country has a law that mirrors the language in the U.N.’s code. Furthermore, 13 states do not even have use of force laws that reflect U.S. constitutional standards, and no state has accountability standards for officer-involved killings, such as filing reports when an officer uses his or her firearm, or independent investigations into a killing by an officer.

These findings are hard to swallow when considering it was the UNITED STATES of AMERICA that spear-headed the League of Nations and eventually the UNITED NATIONS and its universal Charter on Human Rights!  The question is—WHAT HAPPENED?

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Resisting Arrest Could Cost YOU Your Life

Though the report calls upon the legislative bodies of each state to enact new standards to deal with the problem of officer-involved killings, those laws are likely many years away from becoming reality.

In the meantime, it is important for anyone who is facing arrest in California to remember that if an officer decides to arrest you, you must remain calm and patient, and make no sudden moves. While many police officers have received professional training and are able to remain calm during a confrontation any sudden movement by YOU could trigger even a veteran officer’s adverse reactive deadly force when he or she perceives you as a threat. In many cases of officer-involved killings, that instinctive reaction contributed to the death of the arrestee.

Going peacefully is difficult, especially when you feel you have done nothing wrong.  It is even more difficult to remain calm and quiet when you know the police officer involved makes overt or veiled discriminatory comments about your race, sex, sexual orientation of any other part of your being.  However, keeping your cool could save you not only from facing additional charges for resisting arrest, but also from a far worse fate.

Remember, you have a right to avail yourself of the criminal justice system, and you have the right to have an attorney fight this battle for you. Your vindication may be delayed, but allowing the process to play itself out is a far better fate than losing your life in the heat of the arrest.

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REMEMBER you have a strong ally at Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC so Contact us for help!

If you or someone you love has been arrested, you should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney and his TEAM as soon as possible.

At Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC our skilled attorneys have been successfully defending wronged clients against all types of criminal charges for over 23 years.

We know that facing criminal charges can produce a great deal of stress and aggravation for  you and your family. WE also realize that a conviction could affect you for the rest of your life, and we are dedicated to working tirelessly on your behalf to provide you with the best defense possible.

With have two conveniently located offices in Sonoma County and Marin County, we are here to serve the entire North Bay area.

Call us today at 707-571-8600 OR 415-492-4507 for a free, confidential case evaluation and we will FIGHT this together.

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“THE RIGHT ATTORNEY MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE!”