Judge Elden Fox to Mahdavi: Don’t Drive Without A License, 90 days community service for maiming

By Alex Thompson

“She shouldn’t drive unless she has a valid driver’s license.”  That was Judge Elden Fox’s message today to Celine Mahdavi, the women who clobbered Louis Deliz into 49 days of hospitalization.

Lindsay Lohan will likely serve 14 days of the 90 day sentence in County jail she began today.  She violated the terms of her probation on DUI charges.

The same day that Lohan turned herself in to the Beverly Hills Courthouse, the case against Celine Mahdavi was scheduled for a pretrial hearing on the 3rd floor.  I know because I walked through the gauntlet of photographers so I could surrender my tools and my camera to security to go upstairs and observe.

Celine Mahdavi hit Louis Deliz so hard that his teeth were embedded in her car, then drove away, Deliz’ body dislodging from her car and landing face down.  He lost most of the lower half of his jaw, all his lower teeth, broke both legs, broke nearly all his fingers, broke his hip, and punctured a lung (if memory serves.)  Just a few days ago, Louis had a massive seizure, and he is still seeing double from it.  To this day he can’t walk right, he can’t talk right, he can’t see right, and he has nightmares and flashbacks.  Mahdavi, 18 at the time, was pulled over a half mile from the accident where she tested positive for alcohol.

A few hours after Lohan began her 90 days in jail, Judge Elden S. Fox sentenced Mahdavi to 90 days of community service – 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, to be done in a 180 day period.  Most likely Mahdavi will be picking up trash with CalTrans or taking part in graffiti removal.

Fox also ordered that Mahdavi should pay full restitution to Deliz, serve 36 months probation, take part in alcohol counseling, participate in the Hospitals and Morgue program.

"She shouldn't drive unless she has a valid driver's license" - Judge Eldon S. Fox

"She shouldn't drive unless she has a valid driver's license" - Judge Eldon S. Fox to hit and run perpetrator Celine Mahdavi, who permanently disabled Louis Deliz

The prosecution offered Mahdavi a plea of 1 year in jail and 5 years probation.  Instead, Mahdavi’s defense submitted a memorandum of disposition, effectively falling on the mercy of the court, and allowing the judge to sentence Mahdavi without trial.  Fox offered the far lesser sentence, with a variety of self contradictory justification.  Sometimes calling the collision an “accident” – implying that there was no intent without explanation – Fox explained how he considered a 1 year, 6 month, then a 4 month, and finally a 90 day sentence in County jail.  Finally, he explained, he settled on no jail time at all (or 1 day for each count, but 1 day also credited for each count.)

Fox talked tough to Mahdavi saying “I do not believe for one minute that you did not realize you were in a collision for a cyclist” and went on to specify that she should have known that he injured someone.  He explained to Deliz’ family that he found it hard to look at the photographs and evidence.  “My heart goes out to you”, Fox said.

Fox told Mahdavi that she cannot carry any deadly weapons during the 3 years of her probation, listing guns and knives as examples of deadly weapons.  Fox did not list cars as deadly weapons, only ordering that Mahdavi should not drive “unless she has a valid driver’s license.”

Know this cyclists – no one will defend you.  If you are hit it is unlikely the police will care.  If they do care, it is unlikely it will go to court.  If it does go to court, it is unlikely the judge will care.  You are on your own.  If you don’t have a big family like Louis does – one that will step in and step up to take care of you – then you can’t get hit.  You can’t get hit because you won’t get treated fairly.  I know getting hit isn’t under your control, just understand that no one that matters cares about you, and the “justice” system will not take care of you.

There is basically no reason not to hit cyclists and pedestrians – it’s open season.

(edited for correct spelling of “Celine” – thanks commenter Rach Stevo)

(Edit: Celine Mahdavi’s license is currently suspended it is my understanding, as a result of her not responding to inquiries from the DMV re this incident.  Lawyers at the hearing seemed to agree that she will be able to apply for removal of the suspension early next year.  What’s absurd to me is that she would be allowed to obtain a license at all, that her license is suspended and not revoked, and that the judge would leave this decision to the DMV, rather than ordering it suspended.

So, no Mahdavi on the streets (at least legally speaking) now, but possibly early next year.)

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    [...] Miscarriage of "Justice," Driver Maims Cyclist, Does Everything Wrong, Serves No Jail Time (Bikeside) [...]

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  3. Streetsblog Los Angeles » The Rest of the Week in Livable Streets Events - July 26th, 2010

    [...] herself on the mercy of the court, instead of accepting the plea deal offered by the DA.  Judge Fox gave her 90 days of community service, and 3 years of probation.  Mahdavi will spend less time in community service – 720 hours – than Deliz spent in the [...]

  4. Blood In Protest Rides on Tuesday and Friday /  illuminateLA - July 26th, 2010

    [...] threw herself on the mercy of the court, instead of accepting the plea deal offered by the DA.  Judge Fox gave her 90 days of community service, and 3 years of probation.  Mahdavi will spend less time in community service – 720 hours – than Deliz spent in the [...]

  5. Streetsblog Los Angeles » Recent Headlines - July 28th, 2010

    [...] Damien Newton on July 28, 2010 Mad As Hell: Protesting Judge Fox's slap on the wrist hit and run sentencing in Beverly Hills at last night's Blood In. Photo: Barleye/Midnight [...]

  6. Bikerumor » L.A. Cyclists Fed Up With Sentencing Disparities In Hit And Run Cases Form “Life Before License” Campaign - July 28th, 2010

    [...] for alcohol. The cyclist she hit, Jose Deliz Louis Deliz will be permanently disabled. Read the gory details here. Another protest is planned for this Friday. Details after the [...]

  7. It’s here: Life Before License! | Bikeside LA - October 12th, 2010

    [...] son are struck and left for dead, it’s time to do something about hit and run.  When a judge sentences a hit and run convict to 90 days community service for nearly destroying someone’s life, it’s time to do something about hit and run.  [...]

  8. Life Before License | Blogging.la - October 12th, 2010

    [...] are hit and run, and the penalties for getting caught really don’t discourage this. Recently Celine Mahdavi, the women who clobbered Louis Deliz into 49 days of hospitalization and likely a lifetime a pain and suffering, then fled the scene, was given no jail time, no [...]

  9. Hit-and-run driver gets 90 days community service « Talking Treads - November 20th, 2010

    [...] apparently light sentence was met with protest from bicycle advocacy groups, one of which – Bikeside LA – swore to seek legislation in Sacramento to protect cyclists’ rights. One particularly [...]

  10. SaMo road rage hearing postponed, Mahdavi goes to Europe and Shannon Richards pleads no contest « BikingInLA - November 3rd, 2011

    [...] also notes that Celine Mahdavi, the driver given a slap on the wrist sentenced to 90 days in the hit-and-run maiming of cyclist Louis Deliz, was scheduled for a restitution hearing on October 12th, which was rescheduled for December [...]

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