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.


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BeenThereDoneThat

Mr. Genis, you are correct about accidents but sadly a lot of accidents don’t just happen. There are all kinds. Someone is texting or looks down to get something. Takes eyes off road to look at something, driving while upset and thinking about something else.


To the point of punishment, yes that depends on what the cause is but irregardless their is still something in play here that you don’t bother quoting or maybe it is something lawyers aren’t taught or don’t want to discuss because most all boils down to this……………..personnel responsibility. When we all get in our vehicles we are all responsible for something that has the possibility to maim and injure others if we aren’t at our best.


Kevin Rice

Irregardless isn’t a word.


BeenThereDoneThat

Wow really?? Thanks for putting some serious thought into contributing Kevin. I thought you were a little above that. Guess I gave you to much credit.


BeenThereDoneThat

One thought, do you or anyone else here realize there are a lot of words that are in our lexicon (dictionary for those that want it spelled out) that weren’t there before?


Every year they add words.

http://mentalfloss.com/article/31363/35-modern-words-recently-added-dictionary


So don’t get to high on your self righteous horse, as who knows it may yet make it seeing as it does get used from time to time in that matter by people, right or wrong.


BeenThereDoneThat

So back to the article at hand Kevin. For someone who has (or at least seems) political aspirations, don’t you think people should take personnel responsibility?


MajorityFan

Only if they are involved in matters concerning personnel.


Pelican1

Popeye Doyle in drag.


brettmx

“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.”


If I was Jackson’s father I’d kick your ass to no end. What a pile of feces you are to suggest that the victim might somehow be responsible.


Just because you are representing the accused doesn’t give you the right to set aside ethics and morals standards.


Dexter

Brettmx you make no sense other than the rage in your heart which has clouded your logic.


In rash judgement you are as guilty as the one you point your finger at.


As for me I will await the rest of the story and then render judgement.


Perspicacious

How is that? The attorney is implying that the deceased IS guilty of something and that post-mortem toxicology might clear him.


That statement implicating the deceased in possible misconduct HAS to be a misprint/misstatement. I think what the attorney is ACTUALLY saying there is that hopefully tests will clear HIS client of any wrongdoing. I really think he misspoke there by using the word “post-mortem toxicology” rather than just “toxicology”. He just got the two mixed up in his statement.


If I am wrong, and he really DID mean to imply that the deceased needs to be cleared of wrongdoing, then he is indeed a pile of steaming feces.


brettmx

How dense are you Dexter?. There was no reason for client’s attorney to even raise the possibility that the victim could have been impaired as well. The implications is then– that maybe the victim has some culpability in the accident. Plant a seed of doubt. If it’s not unethical is damn immoral. His client drove head on into victim killing him.


Yes I’m outraged that this attorney would imply that victim could have been impaired without any knowledge. To suggest it knowing the grief the family and the Jackson’s friends are going through right now is beyond the pale of human compassion.


Mr. Genis shouldn’t be able to invoke some notion that “it’s my job” so even the victim is fair game, family and friends be damned. Mr. Genis knows that the worse thing that could happen given his cruel statement is the California BAR penalizes in some way. Maybe the family sues him personally for emotional damages.


MaryMalone

I don’t get it…where does the attorney’s statement indicate that the victim was somehow responsible? Or that moral or ethical standards should be set aside?


Indeed, I think he was quite careful NOT to say that.


brettmx

Read this paragraph from Mr. Genis’s “opinion” article.


“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.”


Now read it again.


The second sentence which starts with “For the sake..” and ends with “I also hope the post mortem toxicology clears him of any wrongdoing.” Mr. Genis is speaking about Jackson Garland, the victim here and planting the seed that maybe he was impaired and therefore has culpability (” any wrongdoing”) in the accident.


I don’t know if the California BAR Association would find this type of behavior by a lawyer unethical but I certainly think that most humans would find Mr. Genis lacking in moral regards.


Jackson Garland was killed by his client. His client crossed over the center line and hit Jackson Garland head on killing him. For Mr. Genis to even suggest or speculate that Jackson Garland could have been under the influence is heartless giving the grieving his family and friends are going through without any indication to point to Jackson Garland being under the influence. Would you consider that a moral thing to do?.


Rawhide

Attorney Darryl Genis looks to be a very self-assured man…


Perspicacious

“I also hope the post mortem toxicology clears him of any wrongdoing. Sometimes tragedies like this one really are just accidents, not crimes.”


Wrong. He did SOMETHING wrong(driving across the center line) that caused the death of another person. Whether he was on drugs or not remains to be seen, but he definitely committed a crime.


Kevin Rice

So what are you saying? Gonzales shouldn’t be entitled to a defense? Mr. Genis is incorrect on some point? Or, you just don’t like his appearance?


Perspicacious

Pay attention. The post only criticized his appearance.


MaryMalone

Wrong. He criticized his appearance by saying he “looks” like a very self-assured man. This is an inferred critical character assessment.


Mr. Holly

I wonder if this attorney has read the arrest report regarding what the results of the field sobriety test was. Has he read the accident report as to what the cause of the accident was and if there were any statements made by any witnesses. I’m sure that he has already calculated what his potential fee could be and probably hopes that the government, as usual, will settle out of court to keep the final costs to a minimum.


pasoparent5

Not sure which is worse: this ambulance-chasing lawyer’s obnoxious hat or his snarky grin.


Paso_Guy

Judge the book by it’s content rather than it’s cover. Sorry we share a name in common.


indigo1955

Perhaps we should refrain from any judgment until one of your children is involved in something horrible (believe me, I have known more than one parent who was mortified when their child-who rarely drank at all-had a couple of beers-an accident-and then served years [and was raped in prison due to their young age]).


In the meantime, after it happens to you–lets have a pic of your worn, exhausted and stricken face…as shallow people make fun of the only attorney you could afford. You might, during that time, read these posts just seeing if anyone at all was on your son’s side; and you will quickly see what bleeders you are dealing with.


Trust me-the world has changed. No one cares about diddily anymore. People are shallow and hateful. They could care less what happens to someone who makes a grave and costly error. There is no room for forgiveness.


My son just graduated from law school. He has stars in his eyes and is going to see that everyone gets justice. Maybe I could send you a picture…you could have a good time making fun of him too.


Kevin Rice

You know more than one person in this situation? That’s unordinary.


slojustice

I do not know about Mr. Gonzales guilt or innocence, but I am sick and tired of the carnage brought about by drunk or irresponsible people. I also do not care if it was the first time he consumed alcohol. If he was under the influence, he murdered that young man. And too the parents that let their kids drink before the legal age and think it is cool, you are a coconspirator when this happens.


OnTheOtherHand

I agree with your views on the need to be tough about deaths(and all accidents) caused by drunk driving — although I might go down to simple manslaughter for a first-time DUI.


However, there are those that think that part of the reason that young people tend to drink to excess and behave irresponsibly when drinking in this country is because of our belief that no one under 21 should drink at all. Maybe if kids were taught to drink responsibly at an earlier age and got through the initial stages with some mature guidance, they wouldn’t go overboard (with only peer guidance) the moment they start drinking later. Many European countries take this approach and, while their is still some wild partying done by young adults, it is not nearly as frequent as in the US and they are less inclined to think that they can drive drunk as well.


Perspicacious

Your post is kind of incoherent. If you do know more than one person who has a kid who drank too much and crashed and got raped in prison as a result, you are probably hanging out with the wrong crowd.


MaryMalone

Logical fallacy: Attacking the messenger.


Pelican1

Willard Scott’s baby brother?


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