"If I was ever in trouble with the law, you would be one of the very few defense attorneys who I would hire to represent me." (Quote from a Van Nuys City Prosecutor with extensive experience opposing DUI attorneys).
If you were arrested for a DUI, you need answers-now. You don't want to go back to jail, lose your license or have a DUI on your record. As much as we would like, we can't turn the clock back and change things. However, there may be a legal way to prevent a DUI arrest from becoming a DUI conviction.
A few examples-
Justin A--first offense .14 BAC where deft. found by police in the driver's seat of a car stopped in a traffic lane; Justin had the keys, was the RO and a passenger told police Justin had driven (cirumstantial evidence of driving); won DMV case; in court, we answered ready for trial and one prosecutor stated he was ready and then another stated his office was not ready (?); this went back and forth and the court got involved; we resolved the case with a no contest plea to aiding and abetting a speed contest, a one point misdemeanor; the dui charges were dismissed; defendant's reaction: "Can I give you a huge hug?"
Greg F.-his second offense high BAC case was reduced to a wet reckless based on my legal research and subsequent motion;
Kathy K.-her .13 DUI was dismissed and the DMV suspension was set aside;
Jose E.-we avoided a one year suspension at DMV and won a traffic school dismissal of the DUI in court and his government job was saved;
Ara D -- his .13 breath case was reduced to speeding and we won the DMV hearing--saving his career as a car dealer;
Scott H. -- his .19 blood test case was dismissed based on an illegal detention and we won a "set aside" at the license suspension hearing.
Ben H. --his .17 breath case was dismissed when I convinced a judge that CHP officers arrested my client without probable cause;
Amir F. --his .11 breath case was reduced to "speed exhibition" after two days of jury trial.
Alex M.-his refusal with a prior DUI resulted in a hung jury. The charge was later reduced to reckless driving, thereby avoiding serious second offender consequences.
Jeff K. --in another "refusal," a Santa Monica jury found my client not guilty;
Kai G.-her .24 BAC case was reduced to "attempted DUI," a charge that will not affect DMV or insurance.
Jose Z. -- a third offense was reduced to reckless driving.
Kathleen K.-her .14 DUI was dismissed on speedy trial grounds.
Daniel A.-his one year license suspension for .04 "zero tolerance" (under 21) was "set aside;"
Eliz L.-her .19 DUI was reduced to public intoxication.
Megan P.-her .10 accident case was reduced to a non alcohol reckless driving based on my filing a motion to suppress and negotiating with several prosecutors.
These examples show that your case also has a chance to be a "winner." Call me and let's find out.
DUI law prohibits driving under the influence and driving with .08% or more BAC. The BAC doesn't always control the outcome because the alcohol consumed may not have been fully absorbed into the blood stream at the time of driving. If the BAC was below the legal limit at the time of driving--that's when it counts--you could have arrived home (or other destination) while still under the legal limit.
Depending on the facts, other defenses may also apply (mouth alcohol affecting breath test, illegal detention and arrest, Due Process violations, bad priors and more).
My goals for you: avoid jail, fines, high insurance, in-car breath machine, loss of job, license suspension, forced alcohol classes and AA meetings (even for non-alcoholics), DMV harassment and increased sentence if arrested in the future. I want to know the details of the arrest and some positive things about you. It's important that the prosecutor and judge (and possibly a jury) know you as a person and not just as another case number.
Choose a lawyer with the following in mind:
1) DUI/Criminal practice-an inexperienced attorney could be disastrous;
2) Stay away from guarantees;
3) What's included for the fee? Arraignment, pretrial, or jury trial? Get it in writing; and
5) Check online with the State Bar for complaint, education and experience information about any licensed California attorney (www.calbar.org).
IMPORTANT DMV INFO: To continue driving beyond the 30-day grace period, request a DMV hearing and stay within 10 days of arrest. I can do that for you at any hour by fax.
Don't let the 10 days pass you by!
Partial D.U.I. Glossary
AB 541 Program - The first offense D.U.I. alcohol school; a mandatory condition of probation for first offense, three months, 30 hours, one three hour session per week; differs greatly from the longer "SB 38" multiple offender program; nine month program for higher BACs
Arraignment - The first hearing set about 30 days from the arrest date; no witnesses will appear; may generally be "continued" (postponed) once for about two weeks;
Arrest Report - A multi page report available at the arraignment; tells the police version of the incident; differs from the citation that shows the court date and probable charges;
BAC - Blood alcohol content; the chemical test result; .08 is the limit in California;
Jury Trial - Where 12 randomly chosen people listen to the evidence and attempt to reach unanimous verdicts; California permits jury trials in D.U.I. cases;
PAS Test - The roadside, portable breath test that may be taken or refused by a motorist; where certain formalities are met, this test may be admitted in court;
Prior Conviction - A previous D.U.I. or reckless driving charge that was reduced from D.U.I. ("wet reckless") committed within ten years of the present offense date;
Vehicle Code section 23152(a)-The law that prohibits driving while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs;
Vehicle Code section 23152(b)-The law that makes it a crime to drive with .08 BAC or more; no showing of impairment required;
Note: Some indirect consequences of conviction are:
Under 21-one year suspension with .01 BAC (zero tolerance);
Insurance-rate increase likely; SR 22 required;
.15+ or if refused test = increased penalties (but removable by prosecutor);
Vehicle Impound-court has power to order;
Interlock Device-court has power to order (mandatory for even first offenders July 1, 2010;
Immigration-A conviction may (not "shall") result in deportation or exclusion from admission to this country, or denial of naturalization.