May 2017 Newsletter
Stay Connected
Preferred Client Parking 


We have a Preferred Client personal parking space in front of our building for clients and potential clients who come to visit.

Potential Challenges to Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests are used by police officers to make the very important decision of whether to arrest someone for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The problem with these tests, however, is that they are highly susceptible to error on the part of the administering officer.

There are three tests for which standards have been established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): 1) Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, 2) Walk and Turn, and 3) One Leg Stand. Each requires the police officer to observe physical activity or movements of the subject and, from that, to draw a conclusion as to whether the person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Field Sobriety Tests Are Not Foolproof

Because the veracity of the tests relies on the police officer's proper administration of each test, as well as drawing appropriate conclusions, the test results are subject to challenge. For example, the Horizontal Gaze test requires the officer to hold an object in front of the subject's eyes and move the object in a particular way while observing the subject's eyes as they follow the object. If the officer does not do his or her part correctly, the validity of the test is compromised.

The Walk and Turn test is also subject to erroneous conclusions depending on the officer's actions. There are specific instructions to be issued as to the number of steps and the way they are to be taken. There is also an observable line to be followed. A police officer can easily misstate the instructions and fail to provide the line to follow. In addition, weather or other conditions can interfere with the test. Rain and wind can be a problem, as well as lighting, uneven surfaces, and other distractions.

The One Leg Stand is subject to some of the same issues as the Walk and Turn. Weather conditions can be important, particularly wind, cold, rain, and lighting.

What About Medical Conditions?

All three of the tests can also be unreliable based on drivers' physical and medical conditions. Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test performance, for example, can be affected by ailments such as seizure disorders, inner ear problems, other neurological medical conditions, and the medications taken for those disorders.

The Walk and Turn and the One Leg Stand tests can be hard to perform by people who are overweight or who have back, knee, hip, ankle, or foot problems. Medications can also cause people to be unable to maintain balance in certain circumstances. Some people cannot even stand on one leg or walk with one foot directly in front of the other very successfully under normal stress-free circumstances. A roadside agility test actually has little to do with safe driving skills but is relied upon as accurate by our government.

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, the experts at the Law Offices of Virginia Landry can help you clear your name. We are experienced in representing persons charged with DUI in and around Orange County, California.  Call our office at 877.384-7833 (877.DUI.Queen) or visit our website at to get started.
Help Us Reach Our Goal

Our goal is to reach 1,000 likes on our Facebook page by the end of the year! By liking our page you will receive daily information on what's happening in the criminal court system, join discussions and learn about current legal issues that can affect you today. Give it a try!

Like us on Facebook
What Are the Miranda Warnings and Why Are They Important?
Did you know that you have a constitutional right against self-incrimination? It's an important right that provides you with many benefits, such as the right to not take the stand when you're the defendant in a criminal trial. Another important protection that this constitutional right provides is that it requires the police to advise you of certain rights before they question you while in police custody. Read on to learn more.

The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution provides the right against "self-incrimination." Here's the actual language: " No person shall be . . . compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself. "

As a former judge explained in a New York Times article, this constitutional provision was important to protect the citizens of our country from abusive police tactics:

"The framers [of the constitution] knew how easy it was to obtain a confession through torture or other forms of overt coercion, and how tempting it was for a government to use such tactics. To prohibit this kind of abuse, the founders said, in effect, that a person could not be forced to confess."

One of the most important ways the Fifth Amendment self-incrimination provision helps us is by ensuring that the police cannot extract involuntary confessions. That's where your " Miranda warnings " come into play.

The Miranda warnings were named after an Arizona man named Ernesto Miranda. In the early 1960s, Miranda was arrested for the alleged rape of a young woman. Miranda was likewise young, only 23 years old, at the time.

Although Miranda denied he raped the woman, he eventually gave a written confession to the police who interrogated him. He was convicted of rape based, in part, on his confession.

Miranda's case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which found that the officers had not taken the proper steps to obtain a truly voluntary confession.

In its decision, the Court set forth four warnings that the police must give before any custodial interrogation. The words do not need to be identical, but all of these concepts must be covered to comply with the Court's ruling:

1. You have the right to remain silent.

2. Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law.

3. You have the right to the aid of an attorney.

4. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.

These warnings have been repeated so frequently on television and in movies that people sometimes forget to listen and abide by them. If you have been arrested or detained by the police and are provided with the Miranda warnings, listen. You do not need to provide information other than basic identifying information such as: your name, address and birthdate.

Remember that the Miranda warnings are not required in any of the following three situations: (1) you are not "in custody," meaning under arrest or detained (not free to go), (2) you are not questioned, or (2) you choose to volunteer information.

If Miranda warnings are not given in a required circumstance, the criminal charges are not generally "thrown out." Rather, the illegally obtained confession is excluded from evidence, along with any evidence that arose out of that confession. For example, if you told the police where you hid money you stole and they located the money because of this information, the money would also be excluded from the evidence against you.

From a defense view, these mandatory warnings are there to help remind you to take advantage of your important constitutional right to remain silent. Use them in all circumstances.

Hiring the right attorney may help you avoid a criminal conviction. At the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, our Orange County defense attorneys work every day to defend those charged with crimes, and they will protect your constitutional rights. For more information about California criminal proceedings, visit To set up a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys, call 866.902.6880 today.
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.
  • To all reading this newsletter, please be sure to like us on Facebook. Click here.
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.