May 2016
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Could You Get A DUI While Driving On Private Property?
Everyone knows that driving under the influence on a public street or highway can result in an arrest. But what about on private property? Could you be arrested for driving a golf cart while intoxicated on a private course, or for driving an ATV on your own land after having a few drinks?

Division 11 of the California Vehicle Code (CVC) lays out the rules and penalties for driving under the influence. According to that statute, police have the authority to enforce the law for offenses that occur "upon the highways and elsewhere throughout the State unless expressly provided otherwise." While this law seems somewhat vague, California courts have interpreted it to give police officers broad powers to make DUI arrests.

Prior to 1982, Section 23152 of the CVC only prohibited driving under the influence on highways or areas open to the general public. In 1982, the California state legislature amended the statute and took out references to particular locations so that the law simply prohibited driving under the influence.

In 1992, a man named Ronald Malvitz challenged the law after he was arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated on the streets of a private storage locker facility. He argued that he could not be charged with DUI because he was not on a highway or on property open to the public. The California Court of Appeals disagreed. Because the legislature had purposely omitted the references to location when it changed the law, the Court of Appeals ruled that police were allowed to arrest a person for DUI anywhere in California in order to protect the public from dangerous drivers.

As a result of this ruling, it became clear that police have the ability to arrest a person for DUI wherever that person is driving. While it may be more difficult for police to find a person who is driving drunk on privately-owned property, police can and do arrest drunk drivers in private locations that are not open to the general public.  

If you have been accused of driving under the influence, you need professional legal assistance. At the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, our Orange County DUI defense attorneys represent people accused of driving under the influence every day, and will work to help you clear your name.  For more information about the DUIs or the DUI process, visit To set up a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys, call 866.902.6880 today.
Can A Man Claim Self-Defense Against a Woman in A Domestic Violence Case?

When most people think of domestic violence, they immediately assume that a man has beaten or battered a woman. However, domestic violence is not as one-sided as many people believe, and female-on-male violence is vastly underreported. 

According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, women may be responsible for the majority of non-reciprocal domestic violence. The study tracked 18,761 heterosexual relationships and found that 24% of relationships included violence by at least one partner, while almost half of those included reciprocal violence, or violence by both partners towards each other. In non-reciprocally violent relationships, women were responsible for 70% of the incidences of abuse.

Additionally, while men are overwhelmingly more likely to commit a violent crime, these acts are largely directed at other men. In the context of intimate relationships, women are far more likely to initiate acts of violence. This violence is not only directed at romantic partners. A study reported in the Journal of Family Violence found that women are also more likely to commit violence not only against their partners, but also toward children, elders, female relatives and other non-violent men.

Why then is there a discrepancy between public assumptions and the actual statistics? First, while women initiate many acts of domestic violence, men are generally bigger and stronger than their female partners and are more likely to cause an injury. Second, many law enforcement officers have outdated attitudes and will either refuse to believe a male victim of domestic violence, or will expect that he will shake it off and "take it like a man." As a result, many male victims fear that they will not be taken seriously or will be looked at as less of a man if they report these assaults.

With the evidence mounting that women can be just as violent as their male counterparts, men are increasingly winning claims of self-defense in domestic violence cases. Domestic violence laws are gender neutral, and anyone can be either an aggressor or a victim of violence.  

In California, a person can claim self-defense as a justification for a domestic violence charge if his or her actions were reasonable under the circumstances. This means that a person must have reasonably believed that he or she was in imminent danger of being killed or injured, and that he or she used reasonable force to prevent that from happening.

The most important part of a self-defense claim is proving that the person used reasonable force. In general, the amount of force used must be reciprocal. For instance, if a woman is battering a man with her hands and fists, the man cannot shoot her in self-defense. The force used in that situation is not nearly close to equal. However, a man who pushes, shoves, or hits a woman who is attacking him would likely be using reasonable force.

In the context of female-on-male violence, reasonable force can be a tricky issue, especially when the two parties are outmatched in size. A 5' 1" woman who weighs a 110 pounds cannot inflict as much force as a 6' 5" man weighing 280 pounds. In this situation, it may be difficult for a jury to believe that the man was simply protecting himself. It takes a skilled criminal defense attorney to present the situation as it is - an act of self-defense against domestic violence.

At the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, we understand that domestic violence takes many forms. If you were acting in self-defense, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney to stay out of jail. To learn more about defending yourself from domestic violence or assault and battery charges, or to schedule a consultation, call 866.902.6880 today or visit us online at
Virginia Landry

Virginia L. Landry received her undergraduate degree from Northern Arizona University in 1982. She then went on to pursue her law degree from Western State University, graduating in 1988. The following year, Ms. Landry opened her own Law Office. As a nationally recognized Board Certified DUI Defense Attorney Specialist, Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney Virginia L. Landry, is able to practice law within all the California state courts and the Central District Court of the United States.


As a criminal defense lawyer with years of litigation and trial experience, Ms. Landry is fully prepared to handle criminal cases involving violent crimes, white collar crimes, theft crimes, sex crimes, juvenile crimes, drug crimes, weapons charges, and domestic violence. Attorney Landry has successfully represented clients facing a variety of complex misdemeanor and felony charges.

In addition to her current position as Regent for the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD), Virginia serves on the Board of Directors for the California DUI Lawyers Association  as its Secretary. Virginia is one of only a handful of attorneys across the nation who is Board Certified in DUI Defense. She has also received her  certificate of instruction , successfully training participants in DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Student and Instructor courses.


Virginia Landry served on two committees and was on the Orange County Bar Association's Board of Directors for three years, is a past President and current member of the West Orange County Bar Association, is currently a Sustaining Member for the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice and is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Other local bar associations include the North Orange County Bar Association, The Newport Harbor Bar Association, the South Harbor Bar Association, the Western State University Alumni Association, the Northern Arizona University Alumni Association and the Warren J. Ferguson Inns of Court.