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The Look Back Period For Criminal Offenses in the State of California

Interviewer: Is there ever a look back period where a second offense is considered to be a first offense again?
Scott Stotz: Yes, some charges do have that. For example, driving with a suspended license, I believe its 5 years.  If you know got a suspended license charged six years ago, and then you get one today, this would be considered the first offense. DUI’s are like that, DUI look back period is 10 years, from arrest date to arrest date. Say for example yesterday you got 2 DUI’s and then 10 years from today, you pick up a 3rd, even though historically that’s a 3rd offense, because its 1 day over those 10 years, that new one will be considered a first offense again.
The Steps People Take To Get Back on Their Feet After Being Involved in a Criminal Case
Interviewer: What are the things that people do when their case is over to get back on their feet and they turn their whole life around as quickly as possible?
Scott Stotz: Usually, people just want to try to get through probation as quickly as possible; they tend to want to forget about the offense, forget about the entire ordeal, and just move on. Most of the time, if you can get through probation without any issues, that’s going to be a lot easier to request to have a case dismissed sometimes, but most people tend to just kind of buckle down and complete their terms of probation.  Whether it is an alcohol program, or AA meetings, or anger management, house arrest, work release, anything like that, they just do it, get it done and move on and try to forget about it.
The Difficult Aspects of Handling a Criminal Case in California
Interviewer: What would you say are the most difficult aspects of working with a criminal case.
Scott Stotz: It’s probably the investigation, because the investigation is what everything hinges on.  One of my favorite quotes that I’ve heard before is, “there are 3 sides to every story, there’s your side, there’s their side, and then there’s the truth.” A lot of people come in and they want me to tell them exactly what’s going to happen, exactly what I am going to do, sometimes they even ask for a guarantee, which I can’t provide. I can’t tell people exactly what I can do, because all I have at that point, is their side of the story, and that’s not to say that they are not being truthful, but obviously, the officers going to have something else to say.That’s why I would say the most difficult thing is getting to what the truth is, what the evidence can show, what it can’t show, and then building a defense from that.