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Improper turning movement VC22107
Another one of the most common reasons people are pulled over for DUI is a violation of California Vehicle Code section 22107, improper turning movement. It states:
“No person shall turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a roadway until such movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after the giving of an appropriate signal in the manner provided in this chapter in the event any other vehicle may be affected by the movement.”
The key issue here is the “appropriate signal.” You don’t have to use a turn signal if no other traffic will be affected. (People v. Cartwright (1999) 72 Cal.App.4th 1362) So what does that mean? How this usually plays out is the person is driving down a road with very little traffic, late at night, except for the police officer. Unfortunately the statute reads “may” be affected. So the prosecution wouldn’t have to prove someone was affected, just the potential existed they may be. The California courts have said the point of using a turn signal is to let other drivers know what the initial driver is going to do. (People v. Logsdon (2008) 164 Cal.App.4th 741)
Obviously the decision would be case specific. How far was the other vehicle, where was the other vehicle in relation to the driver, what was the other vehicle doing, etc.? There is some case law out of other jurisdictions which can be persuasive on the court that the law did not contemplate the cop on the side of the road being affected when the legislation was written. People v. Carmona (2011) 195 Cal.App.4th 1385. In the Carmona case, the court ruled that VC 22107 and 22108 go hand in hand and must be read together. CVC 22108 essentially states that a driver must use their turn signal for the last 100 feet before the turning movement. Sometimes the officer lists both VC 22107 and VC 22108 as reasons for the stop, sometimes they list only one of the infractions.
A skilled DUI defense attorney will be able to analyze the facts of your case, maximize the details in your favor and argue a successful motion to suppress. Since this is likely to be the reason the police officer stopped you in the first place, a motion to suppress can be successful in getting all of the charges dismissed. There are many pieces of evidence a San Diego DUI lawyer can use to help with your defense: GPS records of the police vehicles, traffic cameras, business cameras, dash cameras and body worn cameras are some of the most common that will be direct evidence of whether you violated VC 22107 or not. The more evidence there is of the alleged violation, the better your defense can become. It is imperative you hire an attorney who knows these laws and knows how to use them for their clients benefit. Too many lawyers just assume the police have you because it says you made an illegal turn in the police report.
Contact the Law Office of Christopher P. Sohovich today for a free consultation and to discuss any and all possible defense on your DUI case. 619-326-8161