February 2016
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What Happens When A Domestic Violence Allegation Is Recanted?
In today's world, it is not uncommon for people to take advantage of the legal system for their own personal gain. Unfortunately, this means that many innocent people are falsely accused of crimes that they did not commit. This situation is especially common with allegations of domestic violence, which can be used to gain an advantage during child custody or divorce cases.

Accusations of domestic violence can be devastating for people who are falsely accused. Our society takes domestic violence seriously, and people who are accused of this crime can face a variety of legal, personal, and professional consequences. Even when an alleged victim recants his or her accusation, the problems may not end for the person who was falsely accused.

Prosecution May Move Forward Anyway
It is extremely common for the victim of domestic abuse to recant his or her statement to police. People who are involved in an abusive relationship often go through cycles or remorse or regret, where the attacker will profusely apologize and beg forgiveness from his or her victim. For whatever reason, be it love or a desire to keep the family together, the victim will forgive the attacker and attempt to dismiss the domestic violence case.

Because this happens so frequently, police and prosecutors are reluctant to drop a case just because the victim recants. If there is any evidence that the attack actually occurred, such as visible injuries, 911 calls, or hospital visits, then the prosecutors may decide to pursue the case without the cooperation of the victim.

When there is no such evidence, as is the case with false accusations, the prosecution may be unwilling to move forward without the alleged victim's testimony. However, there is no guarantee that the case will be dismissed.  

"Victim" Can Be Held Liable
When the person who is falsely accused can prove that the alleged victim made up his or her allegations of domestic abuse, the alleged victim can be prosecuted for his or her actions.  In California, criminal causes of action exist for things like perjury or filing a false police report, and the person who abuses the legal system for his or her own gain can be held responsible. Perjury is a felony charge, and can be punished with up to four years in prison. A judge may also punish the accuser by ordering him or her to pay the attorneys' fees of the person who was falsely accused. 

In addition, the person who made up the false allegation can also be punished in other court systems. For instance, when a person makes such an allegation in order to prevent a parent from seeing his or her children or to gain an advantage in a divorce case, the judge in the family law matter will often punish the accuser by refusing to award alimony or by granting less parenting time to the parent who lied.

Finally, the person who makes a false accusation could be liable in civil court for any damages caused by the false allegations. If the person who was accused loses his or her job or suffers some other damages, he or she has the right to file a civil lawsuit seeking compensation from the accuser.

Defending False Charges
Defending false allegations can be difficult because the legal system works hard to protect actual victims of abuse. While this does help people who are in danger, it often means that those who are falsely accused face an uphill battle in court.

Whenever a person is accused of domestic violence, it is important to seek help from an experienced defense attorney right away. Even if you are innocent, never attempt to contact the alleged victim and pressure him or her to drop the charges, and always abide by any restraining orders or other commands from the police.

At the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, we understand that you are invested in proving your innocence. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys know how to question and examine witnesses in order to get to the truth, and will help you maintain your credibility with the court. To learn more about defending yourself from false accusations, call 866.902.6880 today or visit us online.
How Blood Tests Affect A DUI Case
Most people understand that if they are pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, they will be asked to submit to various field sobriety tests and to breathe into a breathalyzer. In some situations, the police may get a warrant and require the driver to submit to a blood test.

Unlike a breathalyzer, which measures the amount of alcohol being expelled in the breath through the lungs, a blood test will more accurately measure any intoxicating substances found directly in the blood. For that reason, being required to submit to a blood test can make a DUI arrest much more serious as other substances may be discovered.

When Are Blood Tests Required?

After applying for a driver's license in California, drivers have automatically consented to submit to chemical testing if police have probable cause to believe he or she is intoxicated. This means that if a driver refuses to take a breathalyzer or blood test after been arrested, the driver's license will be suspended for at least one year. The only people who can legally refuse to submit to a blood test are drivers who are diagnosed as hemophiliacs or those who are taking anticoagulant medications for a heart condition.

Unlike a breath test, police cannot order a roadside blood test or require a driver to have blood drawn without a warrant. This means that blood tests are usually ordered only when a driver causes an accident, is under the influence of a substance other than alcohol, or is uncooperative and refuses to take a breathalyzer test.

While police need a warrant to order blood tests, these warrants can be obtained relatively quickly. Drivers do not have a right to have an attorney present at the blood draw, or deciding which test to take. Police with a warrant can force a driver to submit to the test against his or her will. If a driver refuses to allow a nurse or pathologist to take blood, police have the authority to strap a driver to a hospital bed and take the blood without consent. In addition, a blood draw may also be done while a driver is unconscious, which may be the case if the driver is injured after a suspected drunk driving accident.

How Do Blood Tests Affect A Case?

In general, most medical and legal professionals consider blood tests to be more accurate than breath or urine testing. While this means that it is harder to "beat" a blood test, this does not mean that these tests are flawless or cannot be contested later.

DUI cases involving a blood test are more complicated than those involving a breathalyzer. First, police need a sufficient amount of probable cause in order to get a warrant for a blood draw - much more than they need to request a breathalyzer test. Second, DUI prosecutions involving blood tests happen less frequently than those involving breathalyzers, and prosecutors may not be as knowledgeable about the requirements for these tests.

Finally, unlike breath tests, the results of a blood test are not immediately available to the arresting officers. This may mean that the police are less biased in their arrest report, because they do not have confirmation that the driver is actually intoxicated before they finalize their report.

While these things may help drivers fight a DUI case, blood testing is considered to be very reliable, and it can be difficult to contest the results. However, difficult does not mean impossible, and there are many ways for an experienced DUI attorney to challenge the results of the blood draw.

Contesting Blood Draw Results

One of the benefits of blood testing is that samples of the driver's blood are saved and can be used later by the driver's attorney. After a DUI arrest where blood is taken, it is common for the driver's attorney to have the blood re-tested by a separate and independent lab. This secondary testing will ensure that the samples were not misread or contaminated by the hospital or police.

Whenever a driver's blood is tested, there are multiple procedures which must be followed exactly in order to accurately test and preserve the evidence. For example, hospital staff should know not to use an alcohol swab to clean the arm before drawing blood, because the alcohol in the swab may affect the amount of alcohol in the blood sample. In the same way, if a blood sample is not properly preserved, it can break down, coagulate, or decompose, which may affect the results of the tests.

Because hospitals perform numerous blood tests every day, there are stringent procedures in place which must be followed in order to prevent contamination or other errors. If the hospital does not follow proper recordkeeping or storage procedures, an attorney can challenge the results of the tests and may be able to have the evidence thrown out.

Whenever a driver is required to submit to a blood test, he or she needs to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Challenging the results of a blood draw is often more difficult than challenging the results of a breathalyzer test, and the driver needs a lawyer who is experienced in dealing with complicated medical testing and evidence.

At the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, our attorneys fight for people who have been accused of driving under the influence every day, and have the knowledge and experience necessary to contest the results of a blood draw. If you have been accused of a DUI, get the help you need to clear your name by visiting us only at www.duiqueen.com, or by calling 866.902.6880 to schedule your appointment today
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.