Alexander Gonzales’ attorney speaks out

June 22, 2014

OPINION By DARRYL GENIS

I have been retained to represent Alexander Gonzales who attended Paso Robles and Liberty High Schools where he was active in FFA, wrestling and welding. He played AYSO soccer for several years. He has been working at Calpoly housing on the janitorial staff while attending Cuesta College. He is working towards a welding certificate. Alex has been hard working and gets along with people.

Alex has no criminal record, including the fact that he has never been arrested, charged or convicted of a DUI before in his life.

It is with great concern that I read that Alex is publicly charged with being intoxicated even before the results of any blood tests are released for either Alex Gonzales or the other young man, Jackson Garland, who was tragically killed in Wednesday’s accident. It is both reckless and insensitive to the reputation and memory of both young men to make such a premature claims in the absence of any proof.

After speaking with my client’s family, I fully expect the toxicology of Alex’s blood to support the claim that he was not under the influence of any alcohol or drugs. For the sake of the preservation of the memory and good reputation of Jackson Garland, who was tragically killed in this accident, for the sake of his surviving family and friends I also hope the post mortem toxicology clears him of any wrongdoing. Sometimes tragedies like this one really are just accidents, not crimes.

Also of concern, the Tribune and other news outlets have already reported that the SLO DA intends to proceed with felony DUI charges because that has long (as in 30 years) been precluded by law, since January 1984, when the California legislature re-wrote both the Vehicle Code and the Penal Code so that DUI could only be charged when injuries not leading to death occur, but when death occurs the case must proceed only upon the more specific charge of vehicular manslaughter.

See Wilkoff v. Superior Court, 38 Cal.3d 345 (1985) footnote 6:

[6] While the moral culpability of a drunk driver who causes death and a drunk driver under the same circumstances who merely causes injury may be the same, the Legislature has chosen to draw a line at this point by defining one crime in terms of an act of violence against the person (“unlawful killing”) and placing it in the Penal Code, while defining the other in terms of an act of driving and placing it in the Vehicle Code. The Legislature has made this line even more clear through recent amendments to the drunk driving and manslaughter statutes. Effective January 1, 1984, an intoxicated driver who kills another person is no longer chargeable with that death under the Vehicle Code, but may only be charged under the manslaughter statutes of the Penal Code. (See Stats. 1983, ch. 937, § 1, p. ___, amending § 23153 and Pen. Code, § 192.)

Therefore, on Monday morning, for all reasons stated herein, I will be filing specific legal objections to any DUI charges, as well as moving for a significant bail reduction. I will be happy to provide the media with the legal brief upon request.

Darryl Genis, Constitutional Defense Attorney.


65 Comments

  1. slowtime says:

    The blood alcohol results should be in by now. All I hear are crickets.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • brettmx says:

      “A Paso Robles man charged with vehicular manslaughter admitted to injecting methamphetamine and heroin just prior to a head-on crash that killed a Los Osos teen, a court document shows.

      Read more here: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2014/07/26/3168922/suspect-in-fatal-los-osos-crash.html?sp=/99/100/&ihp=1#storylink=cpy

      What do you have say now Mr. Genis?. I encourage everyone to write the California Bar Association regarding the intentional infliction of emotional distress Mr. Genis caused to the family of Jackson Garland by his intentionally reckless and outrageous conduct in speculating that Mr. Garland, who was killed by his client, could have also been involved in some “wrongdoing”.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  2. miles archer says:

    Can you say “ambulance chaser”?

    Although not illegal, this attempt to influence potential jurors is nothing more than a promotional piece for some narcissistic lawyer looking to make a name on the coat tails of an AVOIDABLE tragedy.

    But what REALLY takes the cake is this line: “For the sake of the preservation of the memory and good reputation of Jackson Garland, who was tragically killed in this accident, for the sake of his surviving family and friends I also hope the post mortem toxicology clears him of any wrongdoing.”

    ?!?!?!

    The Garland family doesn’t need any of your “hope” that Jackson was sober! Your implication speaks volumes about your lack of character, empathy and moral integrity.

    And with that sir, might I suggest that you go piss up a rope.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  3. Takara says:

    What bothers me about this “attorney” is he states:

    “It is with great concern that I read that Alex is publicly charged with being intoxicated even before the results of any blood tests are released….”

    I’m assuming he is referring to the Tribunes 6/20 article.

    Did he actually confirm with the prosecutors or the court that t he is being charged with a DUI? If he did confirm this information he would have stated that “my client is being publicly charged”, not that “I read” (wiggle words) that my client was publicly charged. I don’t think he even made this cursory inquiry. It does not bode well for Mr. Gonzales.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  4. Vagabond says:

    Hellooo! Do you know that possibly 90% of traffic accidents are caused by, drum roll please, Incompetence? Yep, poor driving skills are the major cause of driving accidents and deaths. Not booze or drugs. Yet here everybody is shaking their indignant fingers at demon rum.
    If anybody was serious about stemming the carnage on the roadways we would have parents taking up pitchforks and torches down to the school board meeting and DEMANDING driver education and driving skills classes. But no, ignorance and incompetence is looked over.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  5. Cindy says:

    Currently there is no proof that Gonzales was DUI and that’s all that the attorney is saying. His client is being held on a higher bail based on a charge that is unproven, he is also being trashed in the media based on charges that have been filed prematurely. The attorney has every right to defend his client against charges that are unproven especially when they can be proven within a couple of weeks. The media creates nothing but a circus these day’s and it’s despicable.

    Apart from that, if Gonzales crossed that double yellow line and hit the innocent head on, then it doesn’t seem to me that this accident is short of a reckless vehicular man slaughter no matter which way I look at it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7

    • SLOEducator says:

      There may not be admissible proof, yet, but there was enough proof based on the experience and expertise of the first responders to hit Gonzales with a DUI and have his blood tested. You’re correct that Genis has every right to defend his client, but the hypocrisy of this statement is outrageous. He doesn’t want his client tried in the court of public opinion yet he makes statements about the victim that have no basis in merit at this time. Genis claims that he is certain that his client will be found innocent of the DUI, yet he was not on the scene and according to his statement his evidence is hearsay from his client’s family (who were not in vehicle).

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

    • obispan says:

      His bail is based on a charge that is yet unproven, as is his arrest at all. What’s your point? No one can ever be arrested or bail set prior to the charge being proven? Please lay out your new judicial model for us, or maybe you can get Sky Masterson to do it for you.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

      • Cindy says:

        WRONG. Before a person is arrested, charged and a high bail is set, there has to be “some sort of proof”. In this case they have not produced any proof of him being DUI.

        Also I doubt that his attorney got the information from the family but rather from his client who would know better than anyone if he had been drinking or not.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

    • SLOBIRD says:

      Cindy:

      Many times in this County there have been car accidents and people have died and the report will state that the accident is under investigation as it appeared no drugs or alcohol was involved and therefore the person was not arrested.

      I have to trust that something at that scene lead the experienced law enforcement personnel to conclude that this was not one of those incidents but that something indicated drug or alcohol and therefore Mr. Gonzales was arrested.

      Just saying that I believe people are not arrested and charged just because someone is deceased at the scene.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  6. Perspicacious says:

    I just saw Gonzales’ photo in the Tribulation. Holy cow! If those arms aren’t evidence of heroin use I don’t know what is! $100 says the tox report comes back positive for heroin and probably meth too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8

    • perseus says:

      I would like those $100. By the way, please post a photo of of your hands, so that the rest of us can determine whether or not that you still beat your spouse or partner.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

    • Mariposa says:

      The toxicology report may not yet have been released; but according to The Tribune, a report prepared by SLO County Probation Department indicates Alexander Gonzales not onlyadmitted to using heroin and meth, but made the decision to drive anyway. Perspicacious appears to have been right on with his initial assessment. As brettmx pointed out on 07.26.2014, read more here: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2014/07/26/3168922/suspect-in-fatal-los-osos-crash.html?sp=/99/100/&ihp=1

      This is sad, not because Perspicacious noticed signs of drug abuse after observing Gonzales’ arms in the photo published on 06.23.2014 by The Tribune, but because some individuals continue to drink and drive and/or do drugs and drive and, in doing so, wipe innocent people off the map forever. The family and friends of Jackson Garland will never be the same.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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