December 2016 Newsletter
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What Determines If a Child Is in Juvenile or Adult Court? 
In California offenders who are under the age of 18 are usually tried in juvenile courts rather than in adult criminal courts.

The main difference between the two court systems is that adult courts punish people for crimes while the juvenile justice system has a rehabilitative and educational aspect.

The seriousness of the crime is the most important factor that determines which court a minor appears in.

A juvenile aged 14 to 17 can be charged as an adult for certain serious offenses defined under California's Welfare and Institutions Code Section 707(b) including murder, arson, robbery, rape with force or other violent felonies.

When a prosecutor wants to try a juvenile as an adult, a fitness hearing will take place to decide whether or not the minor should remain in the juvenile court.

Five criteria will be looked at to gauge whether the young person would benefit from the programs available in the juvenile court, namely:
  • The degree of criminal sophistication the juvenile showed;
  • Whether the minor can be successfully rehabilitated in the time the juvenile court has jurisdiction;
  • The previous delinquent history of the juvenile;
  • The success or otherwise of previous attempts by the juvenile court to rehabilitate the minor; and
  • The seriousness and circumstances of the offense alleged to have been committed.
If your child has been charged with a crime, it's important to get legal help as soon as possible. Call the Law Offices of Virginia Landry at 949.585.7400 or see our website .
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Can You Be Arrested for DUI If You Weren't Actually Driving the Vehicle?
There is a common belief that law enforcement will not move forward with a DUI arrest if a person is not driving their vehicle at the time of contact.

While not driving is a powerful defense for a DUI charge, there may be circumstances in which an impaired motorist can be arrested by law enforcement without ever seeing the vehicle in motion.

For example, an individual may have been drinking at a bar and felt too impaired to drive afterwards. They may choose to sleep it off in their car. He or she might place their key in the ignition for heat or air conditioning, without ever moving the vehicle.

The person may be under the impression that they are safe from a DUI arrest. After all, no one is under any danger if the car is not moving and law enforcement has no reason to make contact.

This is a false assumption. Although the likelihood of a motorist being contacted by law enforcement is low in this kind of situation, they are not automatically safe from being arrested for DUI. Law enforcement may make the presumption that the person was in control of the vehicle, leading towards further investigation.

How Non-Moving Violations Can Lead to a DUI Stop

It's self-evident that drivers cannot be stopped for moving violations such as speeding or running a red light if their car is not in motion.

However, there are non-moving violations that can lead an officer to approach a vehicle and pick up on signs of the occupant's impairment.

Non-moving violations include:
  • Expired tags
  • Broken lights
  • Being illegally parked
  • Worn tires
  • Illegally tinted windows
These violations can lead towards further inquiries by law enforcement. If a police officer approaches a parked car to check out a non-moving violation, the officer may observe signs of impairment on the occupant including the smell of alcohol, slurred speech or balance issues. The officer might choose to administer a breath test.

The definition of a "driver" under California Vehicle Code Section 305, namely someone who is in physical control of a vehicle, can give police leeway and allows circumstantial evidence to be brought.

A police officer might use the fact that keys were in the ignition of a vehicle, or that the engine was running, to show that the driver was in control of the vehicle while impaired.

The definition of "driving" can be open to interpretation by the California courts. In the 1993 case of In re Queen T, a minor was judged to be driving a car when she steered the vehicle even though somebody else was in the driver seat operating the brake and the accelerator.

DUI cases often raise many questions, and motorists should be aware of potential pitfalls.

It's always preferable for drinkers to get a designated driver who has not been drinking alcohol or to take a taxi or Uber service home from a bar.

Drivers who fear they are too impaired to drive and end up in their vehicles should not put the key in the ignition and should ensure the car is turned off. Avoid falling asleep in the driver's seat. The back seat may be a better option. Drivers who believe they are impaired should not attempt to move their cars, even if it's just a few feet.

If you or a loved one have been arrested for a "non-moving DUI", call the experts at the Law Offices of Virginia Landry. The legal firm has the tools and resources available to challenge DUI cases where there is no driving involved.

For more information, contact the Law Offices of Virginia Landry at 949.585.7400 visit .
A Note To Our Clients
  • To our current clients: Thank you for the opportunity to serve you during this difficult time
  • To our future clients: We look forward to working with you in your time of need.
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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 serving as Co-Chair of the DUI / DWI Committee. 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 and the Northern Arizona University Alumni Association.

The Law Offices of Virginia Landry Attorneys