Cell Phone While Driving Wins Bobby Brown Criminal DUI Charges in LA

On Monday, March 26, famous R&B Singer, and former husband of Whitney Houston, Bobby Brown was reportedly arrested in Los Angeles County after being stopped for driving while talking on a cell phone. The arresting officer allegedly noticed that Brown showed “Objective Signs of Intoxication” including slurred speech, and an odor of an alcoholic beverage.


At the time he was stopped, Bobby Brown allegedly could not produce a valid drivers license, and a law enforcement check revealed that his drivers license was suspended.

Today, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office charged Bobby Brown with 3 misdemeanor crimes by filing a Criminal Complaint naming him as a Defendant in the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Two of the charges relate to driving while intoxicated. They are CA Vehicle Code section 23152(a) which is driving while intoxicated generally, and the second is vehicle code 23152(b), which alleges he had a blood alcohol content while driving in excess of the 0.08%.

The third misdemeanor charge Brown faces is a violation of vehicle code section 14601.1, driving with a suspended drivers license.

If sentenced consecutively on all 3 charges, Brown faces a maximum jail exposure of 1.5 years and loss of his drivers license for a year is possible. If convicted of everything, he would also pick up 5 negligent driver points on his driver history report, and could suffer a separate drivers license suspension for having too many negligent driver points.

Bobby Brown’s criminal complaint is typical of a first offense DUI case in Los Angeles. Some of the charges overlap, and may be dismissed at a later time. For example, the VC 23152(a) and (b) charges overlap, and plea agreements for a first offense conviction usually include a dismissal of the (a) count in exchange for a guilty plea on the (b) count.

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And even if convicted of all charges it is likely that the court will sentence brown to CONCURRENT sentences for the violations because they all arise from a single act. That means there could be multiple sentences for the charges, but they could be served at the same time.

Most first offense DUI convicts in California receive a sentence that includes probation for 3 or 5 years, a few days of jail time, time with sheriff’s work program, substance abuse classes, and fines.

There are also Drivers License consequences that are handled by the California Department of Motor Vehicles separate from the court process. Brown may be required to install an alcohol detecting Ignition Interlock Device on any car he owns.

It was not immediately clear at the time of this article what happened to the car Brown was driving at the time of his arrest.

In total, Bobby Brown probably faces a total of $3500 in fines if convicted of everything.

Brown has hired California Criminal Defense Attorney Tiffany Feder, who is expected to review all of the available evidence before presenting a defense, plea agreement or demand for trial. She is a UCLA graduate with only 2.4 years as a licensed CA Attorney. State Bar records show she is a solo practitioner, but that is not unusual for criminal defense attorneys. It was not immediately known whether or not she has any jury trial experience.

The Defense Attorney is expected to review the police reports, test results, video of the arrest, testing machine maintenance and performance records, and other evidence to determine if there are weaknesses in the government’s case. Once that process is done, the Defense Attorney can work on negotiating a resolution of the case without a trial, or if the prosecutor is being unreasonable in the Defense Attorney’s opinion, proceed to trial.

Bobby brown has the right to a jury trial on the charges. He is innocent until proven guilty. He is expected to be arraigned within a few weeks, and will probably “waive” or give up his right to a speedy trial in order to allow his attorney to full investigate the allegations.

At least one Defense Attorney notices that if the stop of Brown’s vehicle was based on cell phone use, there may not be any evidence of bad driving. “Without evidence of bad driving, the prosecution will have a hard time proving the 23152(a) count, because it requires evidence of bad driving in most cases.” A trial defense or plea agreement negotiations may be based on that issue.

And no, we do not know if his car was actually brown.

DUI Problem? Arrest? Warrant? Request a Free Attorney Case Review.

Questions? Leave a Comment.


Retro Rewind: A Conversation with Bobby Brown from Retro Rewind with Dave Harris on Vimeo.

About Attorney Christopher Dort

Public Interest Attorney. CA State Bar #196832. Licensed to practice law in California 1998, and then the US Federal District Court in 2000. Civil Litigation Trial Attorney (Insurance Defense Firms) 2000-2003. Private practice 2003 - present. First Solo Criminal Jury Trial 1998 (Santa Cruz County). First Civil Jury Trial 2002 (Orange County). Santa Cruz County Public Defenders Office 1996-1999 (law clerk). BA in Politics from UC Santa Cruz, 1995. JD, University of California, Hastings, 1998.
This entry was posted in Celebrity Arrests, DUI Information, Going to Court, Ignition Interlock, Los Angeles County and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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