DUI Lawyer Henry Noto appeared Friday in the Kern County Superior Court's Lamont division where an arraignment was set to continue next week in his DUI case.
Noto, 62, has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury in connection with an Aug. 18 collision. Noto is facing a felony with years of prison time.
A continued arraignment and bail review have been set for Sept. 5 at the court.
Noto has secured colleague David A. Torres to defend him in his third DUI case. Torres was with Noto during the arraignment.
“There are many folks out there on social media who believe that attorneys charged with crimes receive preferential treatment from the law. That cannot be further from the truth,” Torres said in a statement. “Instead, the law treats every accused person equally, no matter his (or) her station in life. Despite Mr. Noto's status as an attorney, we expect fairness form the legal system and patience from the court of public opinion.”
Torres also said those who have been injured and their families are in everyone’s thoughts and prayers.
Noto injured himself and three people when he was driving northbound on Interstate 5 on Aug. 18 and was exiting at Highway 43 at around 10:35 p.m. when he failed to stop at a stop sign and struck a vehicle heading northbound on Highway 43. Noto had a blood alcohol content of .16 percent at the time of the crash, according to CHP reports.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the collision pushed the vehicle, which belonged to a correctional officer, into the southbound lanes and caused it to be hit by another vehicle heading south on Highway 43.
Noto and two people were sent to Kern Medical Center for treatment of major injuries. A third injured person with moderate injuries declined treatment.
This was Noto's third DUI-related incident. He has two misdemeanors, one in 2014 and the other in 2016.