What Is The Definition Of Driving As It Relates To A DUI In Los Angeles County?

This driving issue in DUI’s in LA comes up all the time, because a lot of time the police don’t get that standard pull over, but they’re still arresting and charging somebody with a DUI case. The reality is that when it comes to the driving aspect of a DUI case, the person doesn’t necessarily have to be behind the wheel when the police end up pulling them over. The issue becomes, can the police prove that at some time close to the point of them coming in contact with the person, were they driving?

The perfect scenario is, somebody’s car breaks down the side of the freeway. They get out of the car and start walking to the call box of AAA. The police see them and come upon them. They take them back to their car. Then they figure out that they’re drunk. So, now the police are going to need to be able to prove, number one, the person was driving the car; and number two, when they were driving the car. That way, when they take them back to the station, get their breath result/blood result, their expert fast-forwarding ahead to a trial, can say okay, I’m going to extrapolate backwards. They were a .15 at 2:00 a.m., so when the police had them at 1:00 a.m., this is what I think they were and here’s why I think it. But, they need that time of driving. Without that time of driving, there’s no way that they can do that.

So, how do they get that? Well, they get it through common sense. A lot of times the police will get somebody on the freeway and say, you drove that car there, right? They answer, yes. You’re the only one out here on the freeway. You don’t have a passenger somewhere that we don’t see. And, when did you stop that car there? So, if they get the answer to those two questions – and the police know they have to do this – then they can pinpoint the time of driving. So, that’s one way to get you.

Another thing I see, a big accident occurred. There’s a big melee, a big problem. The police come and someone else is claiming they’re driving other than the person the police think was driving, and the police think somebody was driving because witnesses say, that was a guy driving. These guys switched seats or no, they’re lying about that. That other person wasn’t driving. That person’s just not intoxicated, so of course, they’re going to say that they were driving versus the person who was intoxicated. So again, it’s common sense. They’re going to look to the facts. They’re going to look to the evidence that’s available to them to determine whether somebody was driving.

Yes, it’s a big problem if the police cannot prove when you were driving. Let’s say somebody crashes a car and gets out, runs away, goes to their house and an hour goes by. The police come and track him down. Maybe they got blood and they followed a trail of blood or maybe they followed a witness’s directions on where the person went. So, how are they going to catch that person for a DUI. They’re going to try to get a witness to say, that’s the person I saw driving. That’s the person I saw the crash. But then they also have to get around the hurdle – what if you drank alcohol while you were in your house for that hour. So, they’re going to be asking questions about that. They’re going to ask the witnesses. If come staggering drunk out of the car after an accident and then you try to claim, I ran home and drank a bunch of alcohol. Is a jury really going to believe that? So, again, they’re going to look at the facts and surrounding circumstances.

But, bet your bottom dollar, one of the big defenses is, in DUI cases, not every DUI case, but in a lot of them, is whether or not the person was driving because many times, the police don’t actually see the person driving. So, in order to prove that somebody was driving for purposes of a DUI case, the police are going to have to have witnesses, evidence and facts to be able to prove the driving.

Another area that I see, is let’s say that somebody feels like their intoxicated so they just get in their car. They have it pulled over to the side of the road and they’re asleep in the car with the keys in it because it’s cold outside so they need the heat on. Is that a DUI? Not necessarily. They’re not really driving. The vehicle is not moving. Again, they’re going to have to prove, when they pulled that car there. Another way they can get them is let’s say you’re so drunk, you stop in the middle of the road. I’ve had cases like that too. If you’re stopped in the middle of the road, even if our car is off, you’re driving. If you’re parked like a nut with your whole back-end blocking the road near the curb, you’re driving for purposes of a DUI.

So, that’s the kind of barrier there on whether or not you’re driving. But, if you’re safely parked in a parking spot and you’re just sitting in the car. You can be intoxicated and you’re not moving, that’s not driving for purposes of a DUI. But, a lot of times people will pull into a parking lot really quick, stop and then say, yeah, I was just stopped in a parking lot. I don’t understand how these guys got me, but meanwhile, the police saw them pull into the spot, nearly hit three pedestrians.

So, again, it depends on the facts and circumstances. That’s why we get you in. We sit down and go over everything. We talk about the case. We then get the police report and we make a real good, common sense determination based on experience and facts whether or not you were driving for purposes of a DUI in Los Angeles.

Contact a Los Angeles DUI lawyer

So, if you have a DUI in California, and specifically, Los Angeles, you’re going to want to get an attorney who has been down this road before and had success. Contact our Los Angeles DUI lawyers to review your case.

What Is The Hospital And Morgue Program Related To A DUI in Los Angeles?

One of the punishments that’s available to the prosecutors and judge when somebody is prosecuted and convicted for a DUI, is they can force them to do what’s called the HAM program or the Hospital and Morgue Program where they make the person go to the hospital and morgue to see what happens to people who drink and drive. Obviously, this is a form of scared-straight by the court system and prosecutors and Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and a lot of times they’ll have you write an essay to really lock in the visualization of what the hospital and morgue looks like and what can happen when people drink and drive and go out on roads.

So, really, the Hospital and Morgue Program is a deterrent. They’re trying to show you that you can’t drink and drive, but if you do that you can kill somebody. You can kill yourself. You can kill a loved one. So, that what the Hospital and Morgue Program – at least from my view, having done this for twenty-five years – is designed to impact the defendant in a DUI case in Los Angeles.

Another problem with the Hospital and Morgue Program, it’s difficult to get into them. They’re booked up. So, you really have to get that done. A lot of people don’t like to do the Hospital and Morgue Program for obvious reasons – that they’re squeamish and don’t want to see people that have passed away and don’t really want to think about that sort of thing. But, this again, is the court system. Society, political pressure saying listen, these people who are getting in ton vehicles and driving around too fast with alcohol in their system endangering the population. They need to get a wake-up call. They need to know that drinking and driving are dangerous. So, what can we do to put in their mind how dangerous it is? They can make you do this Hospital and Morgue Program. They can make you do an alcohol program where they educate you. They can put you in jail; they can make you go work out on the highway in an orange jumpsuit in the heat of the San Fernando Valley. There are all sorts of things they can do to indelibly imprint on your mind what happens when you drink and drive related to a DUI in Los Angeles.

So, if you have to the Hospital and Morgue Program, get it done. It’s not difficult. More than anything, it’s just a matter of being diligent, signing up for it, completing it and who knows – maybe it will prevent you from getting a second or third DUI, where you’re looking at losing your driver’s license for a year, looking at going to jail, mandatory jail time for a second-time DUI., insurance impact – there are all sorts of bad things that can happen if you get a second-time DUI or even a third or fourth time DUI.

So, the crucial thing is, if you’ve got the Hospital and Morgue Program to do. You have to write the essay. Get it done quickly. Don’t wait until the last second, otherwise you might not be able to do it and if you don’t do it, then you violate your DUI probation and you’re potentially looking at getting some jail time for that violation, and then they’ll still make you do it. So, doing the Hospital and Morgue Program – although not pleasant – is something that has to be done if you’re ordered to do it, and usually where I’m seeing the prosecutors and judge wanting the Hospital and Morgue Program is when they have a young driver – somebody who is 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 years old. They want that driver to know right from the beginning, do not drink and drive. If you got caught for a DUI and nobody died, thank goodness, but we’re now telling you, you’re going to now go and see what happens when people drink and drive.

So, again, it’s a form of scaring a person into saying, oh my gosh look at this. I don’t want to have to do this again, so I’m never going to drink and drive. Different people are motivated by different things when it comes to DUI’s in LA and they’re trying to figure out what’s going to motivate people not to become involved with drinking alcohol and driving on our streets, endangering themselves, endangering their family and endangering those members of the public who are innocent and don’t have anything to do with an individual’s choice to go out and drink alcohol and drive.

Contact a Los Angeles DUI lawyer

So, if you have a DUI in California, and specifically, Los Angeles, you’re going to want to get an attorney who has been down this road before and had success. Contact our Los Angeles DUI lawyers to review your case.

What Role Do Field Sobriety Tests Play In A DUI In Los Angeles?

When it comes to the field sobriety tests or FST’s as they call them related to DUI’s, the role that they’re playing is trying to determine whether someone can safely operate a motor vehicle related to a DUI arrest. In other words, the police are going to claim that you are DUI. They’re going to arrest. The question becomes, how are they going to prove that? One of the weapons, so to speak, that the police have in this effort to try to show that you’re a DUI or driving under the influence and you can’t safely operate a motor vehicle in LA, is they’ve got these tests. They have all kinds of crazy tests. They have people counting backward with the alphabet. I mean who can even do that not having any drinks. That’s not an easy thing to do.

The tests were designed to confuse you – to mess you up. And it’s not just walking the line and turning around and following the officer’s pen to see if your pupils are bouncing up and down – they’ve got all sorts of tests. They’re asking where you are coming from to try to trip you up – where you’re going – what time is it – do you know where you are – do you know what freeway you’re on? These are all part of their field sobriety tests. Again, they’re trying to see, basically, how stupid they can make you look because if the case goes to a jury trial, that’s what they’re going to be using with the jurors. They’re going to say, yeah, we pulled the person over and they didn’t even know where the heck they were. If you’re a juror, you’re going to think, wait a minute, how do you not know where you are? How many drinks did you have?

So, that’s what these field sobriety tests are designed to do. They’re also designed, obviously, to test coordination. But, what people don’t realize is when the California Highway Patrol, for example, pull you over and think you’re DUI, they’re on you right from the beginning. They’re going to be noting how you’re driving, whether you’re weaving around, whether you’re driving dangerously. In other words, are you driving like an intoxicated person. Then, once you get out of the car, they tell you, you need to get out of the car. They use a funny word. It’s called gait. Basically, they’re going to say you had an unsteady gait. In other words, you were walking wobbly. They’re going to say you were swaying. When they have you touch your nose and put your head back, people are swaying back-and-forth.

So, these field sobriety tests start from the very beginning of them seeing you and thinking, there’s something wrong with the way that you’re driving, and then they’re going to look at your breath. Do you smell like alcohol? How are you talking? Are you slurring your speech? Are your eyes bloodshot and watery? These are all things you’re going to see in DUI reports and this is just the

way that they do it – the way they’ve been trained because they’re looking at it – and this is where they have an advantage – they’re looking at it from a jury perspective – right when they pull you over. In other words, if this case goes to the jury trial I want to be able to testify that I arrested this person for a DUI. Don’t forget, they’re writing the report after the fact. After they’ve already decided to arrest you and send the case to the prosecutors for you to be charged for the DUI. So, they’re going to now put in all the information that supports their conclusion that you were a DUI in Los Angeles County.

So, all of these field sobriety tests are very important. Sometimes I’ve even seen them say, this person was so intoxicated I didn’t even have him do the field sobriety test because I thought they might fall down and hurt themselves. That hurts in the sense that if they’re not telling the truth, now we don’t even have any field sobriety tests and the defense can use that against them sometimes, especially if there’s a video of you being okay on their MVARS or their dash cam on their police vehicle.

So, field sobriety tests play a huge role in determining whether you can safely operate a motor vehicle for purposes of DUI’s in Los Angeles County and your DUI defense attorney is going to need to be familiar with the field sobriety tests and how to challenge them and what types of things they should see and not see, and realize that these field sobriety tests as they relate to DUI’s are very subjective on the part of the police. It’s the police watching. It’s the police evaluating and a lot of times once they make the decision they’re going to arrest you, it doesn’t really matter how you do on the field sobriety tests, they’re going to say you didn’t pass them.

So, as a defense attorney, if you’re going to take a DUI to trial in LA, you have to be ready to go as far as challenging the police on these field sobriety tests – getting your client to testify about how they feel they did on the field sobriety tests and why they felt they passed them, and getting whatever other evidence you can find to challenge the field sobriety tests, because as you challenge the field sobriety tests related to a DUI in LA county, so you challenge the entire theory of the prosecutors that your client was too intoxicated to drive a motor vehicle in LA.

Contact a Los Angeles DUI lawyer

So, if you have a DUI in California, and specifically, Los Angeles, you’re going to want to get an attorney who has been down this road before and had success. Contact our Los Angeles DUI lawyers to review your case.

Can You Challenge The Breath Test On A DUI In Los Angeles?

Most of the DUI’s that I’ve seen over the last twenty-five years that I’ve defended, the person is giving their breath. There are occasions where someone gives their blood. Way back in the day, they used to take urine. Now it’s either blood or breath, and most of the time it’s easier for the police to get the person’s breath, so they’re trying to cajole the person even though they’re not supposed to do that into taking the breath test versus the blood test which can be a bit more of a pain for the police to deal with.

So, we’re usually dealing with breath tests on DUI’s in Los Angeles, and absolutely, they can be challenged. But of course, not everyone can be challenged unless you’ve got some good facts and circumstances. The machines that are used they’ve got to calibrate them and make sure they’re making right. That’s one area of attack. You can check the machine to see if it was taken out of service for example, either before, during or after the time that the client gave their breath test. So, that’s one area of attack related to DUI breath tests.

Also, the police have to observe somebody for fifteen minutes before they administer the breath test, because if somebody burps, vomits or gets something in their mouth that can affect the breath test and the police don’t account for that, then that’s another area you can attack them – if they don’t observe the person for fifteen minutes. And ways to get that sort of evidence is the police to put that they did that, or sometimes there’s video inside the police stations that you can get to be able to show that the person was not observed for fifteen minutes before they actually took the test, and that would violate the police’s own policy and rules related to DUI’s and you’d have a good argument that the person’s breath test was impacted somehow because the police didn’t do what they were supposed to do.

Probably the best way to challenge a breath test is to have your own expert – somebody who knows the machine that’s being used, somebody that has all the facts and circumstances surrounding your case and your arrest, you blowing in the machine obviously has your breath result. The best chance you’re going to have to challenge a breath test is if your breath result is close to the legal limit, and if you’ve got other surrounding facts like your driving wasn’t bad, you passed some of the field sobriety tests according to the police. There’s a whole host of things that go into what your likelihood of success is in challenging a breath test in Los Angeles County related to a DUI arrest and prosecution.

Obviously, your best bet is to meet with a DUI defense attorney. Give them all the facts and circumstances of your case. Be honest with them about what happened. That will give them important information that they can use to determine whether or not the breath test will be able to be used against you – whether it can be challenged and whether you could be prosecuted successfully for a DUI. But, that’s really only one piece of the puzzle. The defense attorney is also going to need the police report where the police are saying what they observed and what information they have if they were to testify during a DUI trial in LA. They are also going to need to get the- little strip that comes out of the machine that’s used to take your breath. They are also going to need to see what’s going on with that machine – if there’s any issues with it, and they may need to consult with an expert depending on what they find to see what the expert has to say about it.

Once they get your version, the police report – I like to talk to the prosecutor and see what they have to say about it as well – then if I do think there’s an issue with the breath test I will get an expert involved. We’ll see what the expert has to say after they review everything, and now you’re in a position to evaluate whether you might be successful in challenging the breath test or not. Of course, you can challenge it. You just need to have the evidence to challenge it. If you don’t have the evidence – if your client is falling down drunk and they’ve got it on video – you challenging the breath test is not going to do any good. You need to have the facts and circumstances – the person did well on the field sobriety – you can prove it. Their BAC is not that high. They’re saying they only had a drink or two. Now you’re starting to get into an area to say, how this machine is coming up with such a high result over the legal limit. There must be a problem with it, and now you put the mechanisms into operation to be able to challenge that breath test as it relates to your client’s DUI case pending in Los Angeles County.

Contact a Los Angeles DUI lawyer

So, if you have a DUI in California, and specifically, Los Angeles, you’re going to want to get an attorney who has been down this road before and had success. Contact our Los Angeles DUI lawyers to review your case.

Can The Police In Los Angeles Hide In Order To Catch People For DUIs?

I see a lot of cases where the police are just hiding out at certain locations ready to snatch people up for DUI’s. The clients who come in actually say to me, I saw the police hiding. These guys came out of nowhere. They were waiting right near that bar. They were waiting right near that club, and once the bar or club emptied out, they pulled me over. I didn’t even do anything wrong. I barely had just gotten into my car.

So, the question becomes, can the police do that? Is that lawful? Is that legal in a DUI case in LA. The answer is, of course, they can hide. Of course, they can do that. Where the police can have problems and be subject to attack by a DUI defense attorney in LA is if they’re just pulling the people over for no reason. It’s not a good enough reason to pull someone over just because they’re coming out of a bar. If you see the person staggering out of the bar and getting in a car and drive away, now we’re talking. Now you have some proof. They’re near a bar. They’re staggering as though they’re intoxicated and they’re getting in a car and driving. You can’t do that.

So, it really depends on the facts and circumstances surrounding the issue of the police hiding and what they saw. It becomes an argument, and more and more, at least there are some weapons that DUI defense attorneys have to try to challenge some of these stops because there are people with video out there. The police actually have a lot of their cars equipped with video. Some of the LAPD officers have body cams on. If they have them turned on, you’re able to get the body cam as a DUI defense attorney and then use that evidence to try to prove that they’re not telling the truth. But yes, absolutely. They can hide all they want.

The latest thing that I’m seeing a lot of is that they’re hiding near liquor stores and pulling people over. They figure a guy’s going to get more liquor. Maybe he’s already intoxicated. So, they have places where they hide. Another area that I see nabbing people – not necessarily for DUI’s – but for DUI-related offenses is they’ll wait at the courthouse. They have what’s called the H2O squad, where basically, they’re enforcing people who are driving on alcohol-suspended licenses. They have a list of people going to court – Metro Count, Downtown LA, Van Nuys Court in the Valley, and the bottom line is they’re going to hide and wait outside the court. They’re going to have a list of people – they’ll have a description and probably have a picture because the person was arrested for a DUI – and that person is not supposed to be driving, they’re going to see him get in a car and pull him over. People think they’re slick – they park like five blocks from the court, but these guys are all over the place.

So, the police hide all the time. They’re in the competitive business of ferreting out crime, and part of being able to ferret out crime, the police are allowed to do certain things in order to catch people. Now, the issue becomes when they go too far. You can’t just hide and start pulling anybody over that you want. If the person’s attorney can prove that you’re doing that, then you’ll be in a position as the police, where that person is going to be able to challenge the stop, challenge the field sobriety test, challenge any statements that you make, challenge any observations that the police make from their illegal vantage point, and then they can get rid of the DUI case against the person.

So, if you have a case where the police are hiding somewhere, popping out and grabbing you, obviously you want to tell your DUI defense attorney about that, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the case is going to be dismissed. We’re going to need to look at the circumstances of the case. That’s what I have you do. You come in, we talk about it. We then get the police report. Now we have that piece of the puzzle, and now we compare your version to the police’s version and then compare that to experience and common sense, and then you make a determination as to whether you’re going to fight the case or whether this is a case that should be negotiated through a plea bargain.

Contact a Los Angeles DUI lawyer

So, if you have a DUI in California, and specifically, Los Angeles, you’re going to want to get an attorney who has been down this road before and had success. Contact our Los Angeles DUI lawyers to review your case.

Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) As It Relates To DUIs In Los Angeles

More and more, drug recognition experts are becoming an important part of the DUI world in Los Angeles, California. Now, with marijuana being legalized, people are smoking marijuana while they’re driving. They’re smoking marijuana and then getting in the car and driving. The police are pulling them over because of the way they’re driving, and once the police identify that they’re under the influence of some sort of a substance, they’re going to do all of their DUI tests, and the alcohol tests are not really going to work for somebody who is under the influence of drugs or marijuana. So, they’re going to need a DRE or drug recognition expert to come out and perform different tests other than the alcohol tests.

That’s where I’ve seen a lot of mistakes being made as this whole marijuana issue has become more and more prevalent in the DUI world. The police are giving people alcohol tests and then trying to claim they didn’t pass the test. Then, they have the person blow and they don’t blow anything. Then they realize this person is under the influence of marijuana or some other intoxicant other than alcohol. So, why did you have him do the alcohol test? So, the DRE can be called out to the scene. They can perform certain tests to determine whether somebody is under the influence of some sort of a drug. Also, I see the police carding individuals back at the police station, where they know that a drug recognition expert is available and they can be tested there.

Some of the police officers that are driving around are drug recognition experts. So, the DRE is important because a lot of the tests related to DUI’s are not designed to pick up other substances like marijuana, prescription medication, cocaine, other illegal drugs. So, if somebody is driving under the influence of any drug, any intoxicant – even if they legally got it, like a prescription – and they can’t safely operate a motor vehicle, that’s a DUI too. That’s what people don’t get. I took my prescription medication and I crashed into a tree. Did you look at the bottle on the prescription medication to see whether you could drive with it? Did you mix it with anything else? Did you mix prescriptions? Also, they’re nailing people right and left for marijuana DUI’s and the drug recognition experts are one of the key components that they use to solidify the arrest and try to solidify the conviction in a DUI case.

So, a DRE or drug recognition expert is specially trained. They know how to determine whether somebody is under the influence of some sort of an intoxicant and whether or not they can safely operate a motor vehicle. They’re going to perform tests, and in the end, if a person decides they want to go to trial – I was fine. I was not under the influence of any intoxicant – then the DRE is going to be called to testify against him as a witness and go through all the tests they performed and say why they didn’t perform satisfactorily.

Also, the DRE will probably try to get something from the person to be able to establish what’s in their system – their urine, their blood – they look at their tongue, they look at their eyes. So, the DRE is a necessary element when it comes to drug-related DUI cases in Los Angeles County. Without a DRE and readings of zeros for alcohol, the prosecution’s case is not going to be too good when it comes to a DUI.

So, bet your bottom dollar that the police now know, without a DRE, the DUI defense attorneys are going to attack the prosecution’s case. A lot of times, if the prosecutors can’t prove that the person was under the influence of some sort of a drug, then they’re not going to file the case. Even though the police arrest him, give them the case, without the DRE – without having a live witness to be able to testify that the person was intoxicated and gives the reason why – they give the scientific evidence as to why this person was driving under the influence, that it was a DUI in Los Angeles, and then once the prosecutors see that, now they know they can actually prove their case in a Los Angeles courtroom, then they’re going to file it and prosecute the person just as though they had drunk a bunch of alcohol and were driving around in a car.

Contact a Los Angeles DUI lawyer

So, if you have a DUI in California, and specifically, Los Angeles, you’re going to want to get an attorney who has been down this road before and had success. Contact our Los Angeles DUI lawyers to review your case.

What Is The Purpose Of DUI Class In Los Angeles County?

Everyone who gets convicted of a DUI in Los Angeles County is going to have to do a DUI alcohol program and they’ll have to do one of the DUI classes. There’s a three-month class, a six-month class, a nine-month, an eighteen-month class and a thirty-month class Most offenders who get a first-time DUI are going to do a three-month alcohol program, where for three months, they’re going to have to go through a DUI course. It’s like a class. You have to pay for the course, and if you don’t do the course, then the course will report you to the court. You will then violate your DUI probation in Los Angeles and will be looking at potentially going to jail.

The judges and prosecutors take these DUI classes very seriously, and it would be an internal violation of your DUI probation if you fail to complete your DUI course. I have clients sometimes who just don’t want to do the course – are too busy, say they have to work – and they end up not doing the program. The judges say, okay if you don’t want to do the program, then you’re going to get 180 days in jail. How do you like that? So, that’s how serious they take these DUI classes.

As far as what it is, it’s basically an educational course related to DUI’s – the impact they have on society and the impact they can have on you if you continue to drink and drive and kill somebody. You could be looking at going to prison for fifteen for life and being charged with second-degree murder. So, I think they operate as an educational thing related to DUI’s and I think they also operate as a deterrent not to drink and drive anymore. So, for those people who take them seriously, I’ve actually got pretty good feedback from my clients as far as DUI programs go.

For those people who don’t take them seriously and just mess around with them, that usually ends up as a big problem in the DUI world, because that’s one of the indicators for the judge and prosecutor that you’re not taking your DUI seriously, and you’re probably likely to re-offend. So, they’re going to punish you for that, and again, this whole DUI area and topic is one that is politically charged and the prosecutors, police and judges are all very concerned when they see people not taking their DUI classes seriously, not taking the punishment related to a DUI seriously, and basically blowing off their responsibilities.

So, when it comes to the DUI classes, you have to do them. They’re not that difficult to do. It’s more a matter of time and a little bit of money being paid for them. Another issue with these DUI classes is, when you get a DUI, the DMV becomes involved as well as part of their punishment. They’re going to punish you for a first-time DUI. Part of their punishment is, in order to ever get your driver’s license back to be able to drive in California again, you have to finish at least the first-offender alcohol program depending on what your blood alcohol level was and what number DUI you got. If you don’t finish that program, they’re never going to give you your driver’s license back.

People come in from out-of-state with DUI’s to try to get their California driver’s license. If they didn’t complete the first-offender alcohol program that’s compatible with Los Angeles, California’s Department of Motor Vehicles, then the DMV in LA says, well, then you can’t drive here. So, they make you complete the alcohol program. That’s how seriously they take it. So, if you don’t complete the alcohol program, you can’t get your driver’s license back. So, it’s very important. Again, it’s not that difficult. It’s not that complicated. It’s more a matter of time and being responsible enough to complete the alcohol program in Los Angeles.

Contact a Los Angeles DUI lawyer

So, if you have a DUI in California, and specifically, Los Angeles, you’re going to want to get an attorney who has been down this road before and had success. Contact our Los Angeles DUI lawyers to review your case.

What Impact Does Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Have on DUIs?

I’ve been defending DUI’s now for over twenty-five years, and I can tell you without a doubt, that Mothers Against Drunk Driving has a huge impact on DUI’s across the state of California, and Los Angeles in particular. Los Angeles has a huge population. It’s very dense, and a lot of people every month are arrested and prosecuted for DUI’s. Mothers Against Drunk Driving has the policy of trying to protect the public and trying to stop underage drinking and trying to get stricter enforcement laws as relates to DUI’s in Los Angeles County. So, they have a huge political impact.

More and more, judges across LA County – are influenced by MADD and when they set bail in cases, when they punish people, when they warn people about what they’re going to do to them if they’re caught drinking and driving again for a DUI – they’ve got Mothers Against Drunk Driving on the forefront of their minds. So, the police, judges, prosecutors feel, I believe to a large degree, that Mothers Against Drunk Driving is one of the organizations they have to answer to and it’s a non-profit organization really just designed to assist law enforcement, prosecutors and judges in enforcing and dealing with people who chose to drink and drive.

I also that one of their primary aids is to act as a deterrent towards people who are getting DUI’s – to let them know what could happen when you go out and drink and drive and put yourself and others at risk. So, I believe Mothers Against Drunk Driving is a wonderful organization. I totally understand their tenants, and why they’re out there and I think they put on a program – a victim impact program – where there’s a one-day seminar, and again, they’re trying to educate people who have gotten DUI’s about the dangers that they face and the public faces if they continue to drink alcohol, go out on the streets, risk their life and risk the lives of other people.

So, bet your bottom dollar that Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is an organization that has a lot of credibility, a lot of authority, and to a degree, a lot of underlying power when it comes to DUI cases in Los Angeles County. So, it’s an organization that the CHP is connected with. I think they give a lot of awards out to the CHP because the CHP is arresting people all the time for DUI’s throughout Los Angeles County, so MADD is recognizing them all the time and they know that they’re kind of the arms and legs of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, as far as stopping people going out on the highways, endangering lives by drinking alcohol and driving unsafely out on our streets.

So, if you get a DUI in Los Angeles County, there’s a good chance that you will come in contact with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or at least some of the concepts and programs that they have set up related to trying to educate people on drinking and driving, what happens when you drink and drive, some of the penalties that you could face, and some of the bad results that can occur. A lot of mothers involved with Mothers Against Drunk Driving have had loved ones who have passed away because someone drank alcohol and drove out on our streets.

So, they’re definitely a huge political influence in the DUI world, and if you have a DUI you’re probably going to be doing some sort of a program connected with them.

Contact a Los Angeles DUI lawyer

So, if you have a DUI in California, and specifically, Los Angeles, you’re going to want to get an attorney who has been down this road before and had success. Contact our Los Angeles DUI lawyers to review your case.

The CHP And DUIs In Los Angeles

The California Highway Patrol has primary responsibility for dealing with traffic-related matters on freeways and roads. They are also known as the CHP and they probably, by far, arrest the most people for DUI’s in Los Angeles County more than any other law enforcement agency. The main reason for this – and I’ve been doing this for twenty-five years so I’ve seen the arrest by the sheriffs, LAPD and the CHP – but the main reason is because that’s their primary task, is to get people for DUI’s. They get them for other traffic-related offenses, but they’re out looking, especially on the weekends, for people who are driving intoxicated on the highway.

These guys are specially trained to deal with DUI cases and they set up checkpoints. What I really think, having done this for a long time and talked to a lot of my clients related to their DUI arrest by the CHP, is that in the wee hours of the night, they’re just pulling people over randomly, especially on the weekends because they figure there’s a high percentage of people who are drinking and driving and they’re going to catch them.

Now, are they allowed to do that? Of course not. You can’t just pull people over for no reason. Do they do it any ways? Of course, they do. The key for them is they just need to come up for a reason for the pullover. Unfortunately, for the average driver, the reasons are easy to come up with. All they have to do is say that you’re swerving and they can pull you over. Now there are a few little ticklers in there that have helped the DUI defense world. One is, a lot of the CHP vehicles are equipped with dash cam videos. So, if they’re going to start lying about the reason for the pullover, if you can catch their lie on their own dash cam video, that’s one way to challenge them.

Another example is during the Field Sobriety Test in a DUI, if their car’s dash cam is pointed there and you’re doing all of the Field Sobriety Tests correctly, that’s another way to catch them that they’re not telling the truth. These guys know that and a lot of times they’re pointing their cars in different directions so they don’t catch the Field Sobriety Test or somehow their dash cam doesn’t go on until after the stop. So, there are ways to get them. When I say get them, I mean to show that they’re not telling the truth that you were driving in an unsafe manner.

So, just realize that they are specially trained to get people for DUI’s. These guys get awards every year for getting the most DUI arrests in the Los Angeles area. When they go through their academy, they put special emphasis and focus on teaching them how to detect people who are driving under the influence of alcohol, how to use the Intoxilyzer 3000, the breath machine they use to check the alcohol level, the PAZ device with is the preliminary alcohol screening device – so they’re trained on all that stuff and their primary goal is to catch people for DUI’s out on our highways.

The bottom line, as far as the CHP goes in DUI’s, they’re the worst enemy of a criminal defense attorney and somebody who’s been caught for a DUI because once they get you and write up a police report, they’re going to try to get that conviction. I’ve seen them with what I call, pencil-whip you to death, where they say a bunch of stuff about you, all with the aim for trying to get you for the DUI. So, I ask a lot of my clients, how you think you did on the Field Sobriety Test. They tell me, oh, I definitely passed them. But, the answer is if you got arrested and cited for a DUI, you failed the test because they can’t say you passed the test – meaning you can safely operate a motor vehicle – because that’s what those tests are designed to check for – and arrest you. They can’t do that, so, if they arrested you that means they’re going to claim you failed the test. So, assume if you got arrested for DUI by the CHP they’re going to say that you failed the test and they’re going to write that police report up in such a way so they can try to get that conviction for the DUI in whatever Los Angeles court you are sent to.

Contact a Los Angeles DUI lawyer

So, if you have a DUI in California, and specifically, Los Angeles, you’re going to want to get an attorney who has been down this road before and had success. Contact our Los Angeles DUI lawyers to review your case.

How Can You Avoid Going To Los Angeles County Jail If You Pick Up A Second-Time DUI?

The bottom line is anybody who knows anything about DUIs, knows that the legislature has indicated there is a mandatory minimum of ninety-six hours in jail if you pick up a second-time DUI in Los Angeles County. There are ways around this county jail sentence, because a lot of people are afraid to go into the county jail because of all of the violence and different things that are going on in there. There is the option of getting private jail, and basically what that is, is a lot of the jails throughout Los Angeles County will basically let you pay to stay in their jail, and then they’ll sign off for you and then the judge will accept that assuming that’s part of your deal as serving your ninety-six hours.

A lot of times what I do if I can convince the prosecutors and judge to give private jail on my clients DUI case in LA, then what we have them do is, if they only get the bare minimum ninety-six hours, we’ll have them typically do it in two forty-eight hour blocks, so they’ll surrender on a Friday and then the police will release them on a Sunday, and then they do that two weekends and they’ve go their ninety-six hours covered and if they work during the week, they’re still able to do their job and don’t have any issues.

Another thing this is nice for is that you don’t go into the county jail. You’re able to just pay money to the jail to watch you and so, at least you know exactly when you’re going to get out and you can plan for it so it doesn’t impact your life too much. Not everybody is eligible for it. It really just depends on the circumstances of your case – how your attorney handles it, what your criminal record looks like, what the extent is of what you did related to your DUI case and a number of other different factors that again are fact-dependent on your particular DUI.

Sometimes I advise clients against trying to get this private jail if there’s too much jail time to do. For example, a sixty-day sentence in a private jail is pretty difficult because one, you know you’re going to have to do the full sixty days; two, you have to pay for it. It’s about $80.00 a day in a lot of these jails; and three, you could take the same sixty days, do it in county jail and probably be out within a day or two, especially if you’re a female. They’re so overcrowded right now in los Angeles county. People are just serving a fraction of their time and then they get out. In that scenario, instead of paying hundreds of dollars and actually doing the full sixty days, you could get out within a couple of days and pay nothing.

So, again, it depends on the facts and circumstances of your case and what’s going in in the county jail at the time – so , you really need to talk to your attorney about it and you two need to put your heads together and figure out what the best course of action is if you’ve got a second or third DUI. On a second, there’s a mandatory minimum of ninety-six hours up to a year. On a third, it’s a minimum one hundred twenty days up to a year and if you violate a probation in there, you could add another year on there.

So, these DUI cases start to get serious and the reason they do is because lives are at stake as far as the legislature, the police, the prosecutors and the judges are concerned. If people drink and drive they kill people all the time out on the road. They injure people, cause great bodily injury to them. So, the bottom line is jail is the best deterrent that they have because nobody wants to go to jail. It’s scary. You could lose your job and lose all sorts of things when you’re in jail and you can’t do anything in there.

So, if you’ve got a DUI in Los Angeles County and are concerned about going to county jail and want to try to avoid that and do private jail, or come up with some other angle depending on the circumstances of your case, another case to avoid that county jail sentence on a second-time DUI in Los Angeles is if the attorney can convince the prosecutor not to make you plead to a second-time DUI. If you plead to a wet reckless, a dry reckless, a speed contest, then that does not trigger the ninety-six-hour mandatory jail sentence. So, that’s another huge thing that could help you out.

But the bottom line is this, if you have a DUI it’s very scary and you need to get in front of a great criminal defense attorney – someone who does a lot of DUIs. I’ve been doing this for twenty-five years. I have you come in, we sit down and go over all of the facts and details of the case and I try to give you a straight forward answer as to kind of what you’re facing, some of the tactics that we can take to do damage control and help you, and then we put our plan together. We try to put our strategy together from the beginning so that once you and I agree on what we need and what we have to have, then it’s my job to go in there, execute the plan and try to keep you out of county jail. The worst-case scenario, if you do have to do some sort of jail time and you absolutely do not want to do it in LA county jail – which I don’t blame you – we try to get you a private jail or some other resolution – maybe a long-term alcohol program, maybe live-in alcohol program. There’re all sorts of different angles that can be worked out if you’re an attorney who knows what they’re doing, has been down this road before and had success when it comes to these DUI cases and keeping people out of county jail.

Contact a Los Angeles DUI lawyer

So, if you have a DUI in California, and specifically, Los Angeles, you’re going to want to get an attorney who has been down this road before and had success. Contact our Los Angeles DUI lawyers to review your case.