Tuesday, October 6, 2009
From the current online edition of the California Bar Journal:
[An attorney] was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on two years of probation with an actual 60-day suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect April 3, 2009.
[He] pleaded guilty to misdemeanor driving under the influence and causing bodily injury to another person with two enhancements — he had children in the car and he refused to submit to a sobriety test. The State Bar Court found that his conduct involved moral turpitude.
In 2007, Redding police were notified about an automobile accident in which a car had overturned. They were unable to find the occupants of the car, but found a purse belonging to [his] wife. When officers went to [his] home, he refused to answer the door, and due to safety concerns about his family, the police broke in.
[His] wife had gone to the hospital with a scalp laceration and his two young children were in the bedroom. Although [he] denied he had been driving, his five-year-old son told police that his father was the driver of the overturned car. Despite [his] claims that he had been home sleeping, police observed that he was under the influence of alcohol. He performed poorly on two sobriety tests and refused to take a third.
[He] was arrested and had a blood alcohol level of .12 percent.
He was charged with four felonies, including child abuse and causing injury while driving under the influence. He pleaded guilty to the lesser charges.
The court noted that in addition to the convictions, [he] repeatedly lied to police officers. “It is of particular concern that at a time when (his) wife was in the hospital and his two young children had yet to be examined for internal injuries, (Arel’s) sole focus was to convince the officers that he was not the driver,” wrote Judge Lucy Armendariz.
In mitigation, [he] has no prior discipline record, performs extensive community service and presented nine witnesses who testified to his good character.