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Law Offices of J. Patrick Carey

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“Act Fast” with the DMV after a DUI?

Pat Carey discusses the scam sold by defense attorneys who claim you need to hire them immediately avoid losing your license.

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Pat Carey Describes Domestic Violence Cases

Click Below to See Pat Carey Discuss Domestic Violence Defense

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“Battle of the Bay” – SURFER MAGAZINE

As our motion for summary judgment to have Spencer et. al v. Lunada Bay Boys dismissed once and for all is pending in federal court, the case has been reviewed by Surfer Magazine.

Battle for the Bay – Surfer Magazine, August 2017

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Veterans Diversion for DUI Arrest – California Senate Bill 725

Governor Brown has signed a new bill into law effective immediately that allows veterans and service members arrested for DUI to be granted diversion. This means that, similar to first time drug offenders, veterans can earn the right to have their DUI case dismissed.

Contact Veterans Diversion Lawyer Pat Carey today for expert DUI representation and to earn your chance at getting your DUI case dismissed.

Senate Bill 725 Lawyer – Military Diversion Lawyer – Can Veterans get DUI case dismissed? – Veterans DUI Lawyer 

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What Is The Standard Sentence on a First Time DUI?

The maximum sentence on a first-time DUI is 6 months and jail and a $1,000 fine (plus penalties and assessments totaling approximately $5,000). This sentence is never imposed, but everyone who accepts a deal is advised of this maximum sentence.

Every DUI conviction is “priorable” for a period of 10 years.  Meaning, if you receive another DUI within 10 years of your first DUI, it will be treated as a “second-time” DUI and the penalties will increase.  If your second DUI is outside of that 10-year period, it will be treated again as a “first-time” offense.

All DUI plea deals come with 36 months of “summary” probation.  This probation is called “summary” because it is informal and does not require anything affirmative on your part other than complying with all of your obligations.  Further, if you pick up a new case during this 36-month period, your penalties on that new case can be increased.

For DUI offenses, the statutory minimum sentence is a fine of $390 + penalties and assessments (approximately $1,800) and a three-month alcohol program (called the “AB 541”).  The higher your blood alcohol level is or more egregious the facts of your case are, the greater the penalties are increased.

Additional penalties that could be added:

  • Jail time (highly unlikely if BAC is under 0.20% and there is no traffic accident)
  • Lengthier alcohol program to 6 or 9 months (18-month program is required on second-time DUIs)
    • 6-month program is required by the court if BAC .15% or greater
    • 9-month program is required by the court if BAC .20% or greater
  • SCRAM Alcohol monitoring – anklet that monitors your blood alcohol level to insure you do not drink
  • Additional AA meetings beyond those required for your alcohol program
  • MADD Program – panel of speakers who have been affected by DUI crashes
  • HAM Program – visit to the hospital and morgue for a tour; 500-word essay required
  • Community Service (feeding the homeless and non-labor intensive volunteer work)
  • Community Labor / Cal Trans (high labor intensive work such as freeway trash pick-up)

If you are convicted of DUI, the DMV will require you to install an ignition interlock device in your car for 5 months.  This is a mandatory requirement for all DUI convictions in LA County.

Contact our office today for a free consultation regarding your DUI case.


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Judicial Diversion in California – Penal Code Section 1001.94

What is judicial diversion?

Penal Code Section 1001.94 was enacted to create a system in which first time offenders could earn a dismissal of their case such that it would not affect their future like a criminal conviction does.  This section creates a process by which a case can be settled outside the norm of normal case settlement procedures: without the prosecutor.  While the prosecutor (District Attorney or City Attorney) is responsible for all criminal charging, settlement lies within the discretion of the courts.  This section, also known as “Judicial Diversion” is a deal that your attorney reaches directly with the judge.

The maximum diversionary period for cases that qualify under this section is 12 months, however the term can be shorter.  What does this mean?  If your attorney reaches an agreement with the court for terms on your case, you will be required to do a number of things during your diversionary period.  These things typically include community service, certain relevant counseling meetings, and any other creative terms the court can come up with to make you stay on track (i.e. “stay in school”).  If you complete all of the terms required during your diversionary period, your case is dismissed.  If you do not, however, the judge can sentence you up the the maximum sentence allowed by your charges.

While this code section creates an avenue for dismissal, skilled motion-work and in-court representation is required to secure these deals.  If you approach your request for diversion in the wrong manner or with an inexperienced advocate, you could derail your opportunity to have your slate wiped clean after a criminal charge.

Contact our office today for a free, no hassle, consultation.


2016 was a remarkable year for our office.  This year, Pat received his Criminal Law Specialist Certification from the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization.  Not only does that put him in an exclusive category with less than 1% of lawyers California, Pat is also now the youngest Certified Specialist in the state.

Our office has become one of the premier criminal defense firms in the South Bay, and this year we had some very happy clients receive great results.  Here are some highlights:

  • We had 13 cases outright dismissed in court after criminal filings against our clients
  • We had 7 cases which were being considered for filing which were rejected by the District Attorney’s Office
  • We had all 5 motions to suppress evidence we filed granted (100 percent success), leading to dismissals of serious cases
  • Most notably, a client looking at life in prison received a “NOT GUILTY” verdict by a jury after a lengthy jury trial

There are countless other great stories that came out of our cases this year and more are to come starting next week, but those statistics stand out the most.  We are proud, but most importantly we couldn’t be happier for our clients who received the results they deserved.

With every client, we want you to feel like you are our only client even though we run a busy practice.  Every concern, worry, and question you have about your case should be answered immediately and we aim to do that.  If there is an issue, we will find it.  If there is a legal battle to be fought, we will fight it.  And most importantly, if you have been treated unjustly, we will expose that injustice.

We hope that everyone counts their blessings from 2016 despite the many tragedies experienced.  We also hope you all have a safe, happy, and prosperous 2017!

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Uber and Lyft drivers: did you know there is a law change effective this weekend?  Effective at midnight on New Years day, Assembly Bill 2687 goes into effect.  While it is currently unlawful for standard California drivers to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or greater, the law for “passenger for hire” vehicles such as Uber and Lyft will change to allow a limit of 0.04% or greater.  For example, if you are caught with a 0.06% blood alcohol level while working as an Uber or Lyft driver, you can be arrested for DUI, whereas if you were off work and driving for personal reasons you would be released. With that said, there are many ambiguities in the law.  If you do get caught, be sure to call our office so you receive a premier defense to your case.

As with any DUI arrest, you do have many defenses, but Uber and Lyft driver’s should be aware of the new law.


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What does a DUI lawyer cost?

When you are arrested for a DUI, after the shock wears off, everyone considers the difficult question of “what is this gonna cost me?”  People also think, “hey, I’m guilty, should I just go in to court and plead guilty myself and not waste money on a lawyer.”  While a logical thought, it would be reckless for anyone to go to court not represented by a lawyer.  Pat Carey has handled over 3,000 DUI cases in his career.  He has seen cases dismissed where the blood alcohol results were over 0.20%, he has seen refusal allegations stricken, and he has seen penalties be reduced at the hands of a skilled criminal defense lawyer.  With that said, the simple answer is YES!  You need a lawyer.

Your issue then becomes, “how much should I pay my lawyer?”  As with anything, you can go on and find a cheap lawyer.  But also as with anything, you buy cheap, you get cheap.  It is concerning that there are lawyers out there who will charge you pennies when your freedom is on the line.  You must also keep in mind that although you may be paying that cheap lawyer a smaller fee, that decision can cost you thousands of dollars in court fines.  You need a lawyer that has experience at trial and in negotiation, and most importantly you need a lawyer who has connections and a reputation with the people who he is negotiating with.  Pat Carey checks all of these boxes, and his fees reflect just that.

Imagine this:  you get your “craigslist lawyer” who goes to court and pleads you guilty.  You pay upwards of $8,000 in court fines. Pat Carey then reviews your case and sees an issue which could have resulted in your case being outright dismissed!  That simple fact alone will justify the hiring of a skilled criminal defense attorney like Pat Carey.

Consider these numbers:

DUI Cost Chart

As you can see, the value of getting your case dismissed is extremely high.  With that said, having a skilled and connected lawyer who can negotiate a fair and equitable sentence can be just as important.

The bottom line is do not go into court and represent yourself!  You will be taken advantage of and you will quite literally PAY THE PRICE.

Contact attorney Pat Carey today.



Pat Carey worked for the Los Angeles County District Attorney for almost a decade.  He uses that experience to negotiate and fight DUI cases.  He has taken over 60 cases to trial and handled thousands of dispositions.  

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What does getting my case expunged do for me? Penal Code Section 1203.4

Many people are of the incorrect belief that getting their case expunged means it is completely removed from your record.  That is not the case.  With that said, however, getting your conviction expunged per California Penal Code Section 1203.4 can offer you many benefits.

The number one complaint of those who have been convicted of a criminal offense is that it hinders their ability to get a job.  A PC 1203.4 expungement is perfect for you if that is your issue.  The main benefit of an expungement is that you no longer need to disclose your conviction when you are attempting to obtain private employment.  Section 1203.4 states that an individual who has been granted relief need not disclose the conviction unless applying for “public office, for licensure by any state or local agency, or for contracting with the California State Lottery Commission.”

Despite this rule, it is sometimes best practice to advise any potential employer, private or otherwise, of your prior conviction.  Many background check systems can find expunged convictions which could lead to questions from your potential employer.  The positive, however, is that you would have the ability to tell your employer that the your guilty or no contest plea was “withdrawn” and the “dismissed” the charges against you.  The ability to tell anyone that your case has been dismissed is a powerful gift for anyone who suffered a criminal conviction.




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