Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges vary, but the most common are: Driving Under the Influence of Drugs and/or Alcohol, Driving Under the Influence with greater than a .08 blood alcohol level (BAC), DUI causing injuries, or the “Zero Tolerance” laws applicable to persons under 21 years of age and arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. The complex, detailed laws against these charges constantly change, and there are tools that the prosecutors use to enhance the penalties against defendants charged with DUI, such as having a BAC over .15, driving recklessly, refusing to provide a blood or breath sample, causing injuries to multiple victims, having prior driving under the influence convictions, etc. Whatever the case may be, your driver’s license can be restricted, suspended, or even revoked, notwithstanding the fact that you could be looking at jail or prison time as well as large fines. That is why we are fighting TWO cases – the Department of Motor Vehicles action against your license, and the criminal court charges.
Time is of the essence. After being arrested on these charges, it is important to contact the DMV immediately to preserve your right to a hearing on your driver’s license. We will take care of that for you. We will coordinate your DMV hearing with an awareness of our strategy in your criminal case to try to minimize the consequences as best as possible.
DUI is a very highly legislated area of the law, meaning that the statutes in place dictate most of the penalties you could receive, with not much negotiating room. Very often, this includes some time in custody. This is why it is important to contact an attorney who knows this area of law and continues to stay educated about the changes in the law, in order to fight for you as aggressively as possible. Staying highly educated about this area of law is a must for attorneys who want to handle DUIs competently and aggressively.
We have continuing knowledge and education regarding the science in this area of law, such as, knowing how the breath machines work, knowing how the breath machines are supposed to be maintained and calibrated within the parameters of Title XVII and other applicable laws, knowledge about absorption of alcohol in the blood, the physical effects and chemical breakdown alcohol has in the blood stream, knowing what can cause false readings in breath tests, knowledge about defenses such as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and acid reflux which can cause mouth alcohol issues and false readings on breath machines, knowledge about blood test samples and the proper amount of preservative which is supposed to be included in the sample to avoid fermentation of sugar from the defendant’s blood, etc.
We also have specialized training as to the proper administration of field sobriety tests, what tests have been determined to be “Standard” and therefore acceptable according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA – national standards) based on years of studies and testing of these procedures, tests which have been adopted by the California Highway Patrol and other local agencies.
Additionally, it is important to know what types of alternatives there are for court proceedings, such as negotiating for different charges, different types of custody options, alternatives to expensive fines, and different types of sentencing alternatives. We know how to handle these cases keeping in mind how best to meet your needs and interests.
You have rights. You should exercise those rights. And the only way to do so is to hire a criminal defense attorney who handles these cases properly.
If you are stopped by police and suspected of driving under the influence, you do not have to talk to police and answer questions. You do not have to perform field sobriety tests, such as “Walk and Turn”, “One Leg Stand” or any other physical test. The “Implied Consent Law” in California requires that adults 21 and over must give a blood or breath test, as is required by the vehicle code (Vehicle Code §23612), after the person has been lawfully arrested. If the driver is under 21, the “Implied Consent” law under Vehicle Code §23136 requires the driver to provide a breath sample in the field (where arrested) or another chemical test so long as the person was lawfully detained. If you fail to give one of these tests, you could lose your driving privilege for at least one year, based on a suspension from the DMV. Keep in mind that the court will take your refusal into consideration also, and a jury could be instructed that your refusal could be viewed as evidence of your guilt to the charge. So call an attorney that knows this highly complex area immediately.
Do not talk to police. Do not provide statements, even if you think they are statements which declare your innocence – they will only be twisted and used against you. First, consult with a lawyer.
Do not consent to a search of your person/residence/vehicle. Demand a search warrant.
Ask for your lawyer. These are your constitutional rights – exercise them!