Gotcha Co-founder Charged With Felony DUI in Orange County, California

OC DUI ChargeThe police in Laguna Beach arrested a 58-year-old man for felony DUI following a traffic accident on Monday. The accident occurred around 9 a.m. The man who has been identified as Michael Elliot Tomson rear ended a Nissan Rouge driven by a 65 year old woman from Santa Ana.

Tomson is the co-founder of the well-known surf wear brand Gotcha. On April 29, he was driving south in his 2008 Mercedes E550 on Glenneyre Street when he crashed into the 2008 Nissan Rogue. While Tomson did not suffer any injury, the woman suffered from moderate injuries and had to be hospitalized. Glenneyre and Calliope streets had to be temporarily closed as a result of the accident. Officers who responded to the accident found cocaine in Tomson’s car. When a person’s blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent or more, his or her driving skills are significantly diminished.

Repeat DUI Offender

Tomson faces charges of felony DUI, misdemeanor being under the influence of drugs and possession of a controlled substance. He has been released on a $100,000 bail. Last year, he pleaded guilty to a DUI charge in California.

Prior DUI convictions in California will generally result in enhanced sentences for subsequent DUI offences. A DUI offense is usually a misdemeanor offence but the presence of high blood alcohol concentration, or causing a collision as a result of drunk driving, can result in a felony DUI charge. A felony charge is a far more serious charge than a misdemeanor charge. Conviction for a felony offense can result in a jail term of more than one year.  If a crime is punishable by at least one year in jail, it is typically considered a felony. If the punishment is less than a year, the crime can be classified as a misdemeanor.

Criminal Case Vs. Administrative License

There are two aspects to a DUI case – the criminal case and the administrative license suspension. The criminal case is just like any other criminal case but without a jury. The judge may hear the police and defendant and then decide on whether or not the defendant is guilty as charged. Like any other criminal case, the defendant has the right to fight the charges and plead not guilty.

The administrative license suspension is an administrative act. This is not done by the court. Instead, the state DMV will suspend the defendant’s license for a certain number of days. The defendant can request an administrative hearing before the suspension. The administrative hearing should be conducted by an administrative officer.

Orange County, California DUI Assistance

If you or your loved one have been charged with felony DUI in California, speaking with an experienced criminal defense legal professional may be in your best interest. At MacGregor & Collins, LLP, our Orange County defense attorneys will provide you with a free consultation to help you make the best decision moving forward.

Call 949-250-6097 to speak with a MacGregor & Collins attorney or click here to visit our main website.