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Arrested for a DUI Celebrity Chef Strikes Plea Deal

cat cora mug

A celebrity chef, arrested for a DUI, struck a plea bargain with Santa Barbara County prosecutors to resolve her recent DUI arrest, which arose following an accident in which the chef crashed her SUV.

In June of this year, TV chef Cat Cora, one of the stars of Food Network’s “Iron Chef America,” was arrested following a vehicle accident in Santa Barbara. According to reports, police breathalyzer tests assessed the chef’s blood alcohol level at .19, nearly two and a half times the legal limit in California. The Food Network star told police that she had consumed three beers while drinking at a bar with her partner, when the couple got into an argument, and Cora left in her SUV. Cora apologized in a statement: “I learned a very important lesson from this experience and take full accountability for my actions. This will never happen again.”

Cora ultimately pled “no contest” to the DUI charge. The chef and the Santa Barbara County District Attorney reached a plea deal where Cora agreed to pay nearly $2,400 in fines, and attend nine months of driving school. In addition, Cora’s sentence include a 120-day suspended jail term and three years probation. The agreement keeps the chef out of jail as long as she meets her driving school and probation obligations.

While sentences of probation may seem to some like “get out of jail free” cards, our Santa Rosa DUI attorneys know the reality is more complex. Probation carries with it many obligations, and any short comings may result in your facing extended jail time. Even seemingly innocuous things, like failing to obtain permission before changing addresses, failing to obtain permission before traveling outside a prescribed geographic area, or being late to a meeting with a probation office can constitute what’s known as a “technical violation” of probation. If you are charged with new crimes while on probation, even if the charge is dismissed or you are acquitted, you may still be brought up on a “substantive violation” of probation. In a probation violation hearing, you have no right to demand a jury trial, hearsay evidence is admissible against you and the state does not have prove its case beyond a “reasonable doubt,” but only by a “preponderance of the evidence.” This is one of many reasons what it remains critical to have professional legal guidance throughout this entire process.

Sometimes, one finds oneself facing a DUI charge when one was not actually drunk. In those cases, it is vitally important to obtain the help of a qualified DUI attorney. Other times, people make foolish choices, like in the case of Cat Cora. In these cases, it is still exceedingly important to obtain the aid of a capable lawyer. Our Santa Rosa DUI lawyers are here, regardless of the facts of your case, to help you determine what plan serves your needs the best, whether it’s going to trial or accepting a plea bargain. The law calls for a range of sentences for people facing DUI charges. This range exists because the law acknowledges that the facts of each case are unique and a single stupid mistake, however dangerous, should not necessarily ruin a person’s life. Contact our Santa Rosa DUI attorneys so that we may help you keep a DUI case from derailing your life.

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