How Does The Injury Of The Victim In A Felony DUI Impact The Sentence?

This is a good question when it comes to a felony DUI. If you or a loved one is charged with a felony DUI, this is exactly some of the evaluations that you and your attorney need to be making. In order to even be charged with a felony DUI instead of a misdemeanor DUI – which has a lot less ramifications – there needs to be some sort of a serious injury. Then you start asking, what is a serious injury? A broken bone would be a serious injury, a laceration – some sort of a bad injury. So, there really is no perfect definition.

What it will boil down to in the end is, either you negotiate it as a non-serious injury and get the misdemeanor, or you admit it is a serious injury and end up with a felony, or a jury trial is had and the jury decides if it is a serious injury, and hence, a felony DUI versus a misdemeanor DUI. So, that’s how these cases are being decided.

Where it starts to get a little tricky in Los Angeles, as far as DUI’s and injuries, is what about the great bodily injury allegation? That’s different than a serious injury. Great bodily injury is a more sustained, lasting injury — a horrible broken bone, disfigurement. This great bodily injury concept is important because not only does it give you a strike — any case, including a felony DUI in Los Angeles where a person admits a great bodily injury allegation — that person is going to have a strike on their record the rest of their life. They’re going to serve a higher percentage of time in jail or in prison, if they get jail or prison for their felony DUI. So, this makes it a lot more of a serious circumstance.

You really need to get down to the nitty-gritty here — whether the injury is just a regular run-of-the-mill injury that shouldn’t be charged as a felony DUI — whether it’s just a serious injury — so, you get the felony DUI, but you don’t get that extra GBI allegation, which also carries a three-year prison sentence, most of the time at 85%. That’s just the minimum, then whatever you get for the DUI. If you get the low-term two for the DUI plus another three for the great bodily injury allegation, that’s five years prison at 85%. Now, you start to get a feel for how serious that is. And you get a strike on your record for the rest of your life in California.

These questions have to be dealt with very seriously when it comes to a DUI. You need an attorney who knows what they’re doing. I’ve been doing these felony DUI’s for twenty-five years. I’ve battled these great bodily injury allegations. I’ve even battled serious injury allegations and been able to get them struck and the client just gets a misdemeanor — no jail time, a fine. Huge.

Another thing that is an interesting twist when it comes to these felony DUI’s and injury, is who caused the injury? Because guess what? That can be a complete defense to a felony DUI. If you didn’t cause the injury — if somebody else caused it or somebody else was negligent or bad driving, whatever you want to call it — caused the person’s injury, and you just happened to be involved in the accident somehow, you’re not going to be responsible for that, and therefore, it can’t be a felony DUI against you. So, this is another area of argument.

As far as making a decision on that, if you’re DUI and you get involved in some sort of an accident, it’s going to be presumed that you caused the accident. So, in order to get rid of that presumption, you’re going to have to bring forth evidence through your attorney, obviously, that you didn’t cause the accident. I have a case going right now where my client is charged with a felony DUI – vehicular manslaughter – because there was a death on the road while he was allegedly racing with somebody else. But the defense is, and it’s a good one and we’ll either get the not guilty verdict or we’ll work some sort of a deal out — the defense is that he didn’t cause the accident because there was a design defect on the road, and therefore, the roadway, the way it was set-up, is what caused the accident. If that design defect wasn’t there, he wouldn’t have hit it and there wouldn’t be a death in this case. There’s an example of how causation is key in these felony DUI cases in Los Angeles.

So, if you have a felony DUI case, get in here immediately. Let’s talk about it. I do a lot of these cases – hundreds of them over the course of the last twenty-five years. I know how to set them up. I know how to investigate them. I know how to try them. I know how to negotiate them and I know how to get you the result that’s fair in your case and protects your freedom, your reputation and your rights.

For more information on Injury Of Victim In A Felony DUI Case, a free case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0963 today.

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 Are Different Results That Can Occur In A DUI Case?

As far as DUI cases goes, after the arrest there could be a dismissal because after reviewing all of the evidence, the prosecutors feel that there’s not enough evidence to prosecute you for a DUI, or feel there may be some sort of a rights violation that took place by the police or somebody else and they don’t want to prosecute the case because they know the defense attorney will assert that rights violation and the person will end up getting off, so why waste the taxpayer money.

Other results are that your attorney can convince the prosecutors to dismiss the case for one reason or another. Maybe the blood alcohol level was very low, you have no record, there’s no accident, and the attorney has an argument that one of your rights was violated — combination of those factors ends up causing the prosecutor to dismiss the case.

If the case is not dismissed, then some of the alternate resolutions that are available in DUI cases in Los Angeles are as follows:

  • One thing is, if you’re close to the legal limit, like a .08 or .09, your attorney can convince the prosecutors to give you what’s called a “speed contest.” It’s basically a violation of the Vehicle Code and has to do with racing another person. It has nothing to do with a DUI, so this would be a good result after a DUI arrest, because the person doesn’t end up with a DUI conviction on their record. You may still have to do some of the punishments associated with a DUI – like an alcohol program, probation and a fine – but just getting rid of that DUI conviction would be huge in any DUI prosecution.
  • Another resolution that I’ve seen in the right case where the prosecution’s evidence is weak related to a DUI is what’s called a “dry reckless.” That basically means that there was no alcohol involved with your case and you were just driving recklessly on the road, which will give you two points on your record, but certainly wouldn’t be the same as a DUI. The punishment wouldn’t be the same and the conviction wouldn’t be the same. So, this would obviously be a good result in a DUI case.
  • There’s also what’s called a “wet reckless” where somebody is convicted of driving recklessly with alcohol in their system, but it’s not a full-fledged DUI. This is certainly a better resolution than a DUI, but not much better because it’s still prior-able, meaning if you were to get another one of those or a DUI, you’d be looking at a second-time DUI, and a lot of times the same punishment comes along with a wet reckless. But obviously, if you had your choice between a wet reckless and a DUI, you would choose a wet reckless.
  • Other resolutions that I’ve seen obtained and that I’ve certainly obtained for my clients is what’s called a “moving violation.” I had one case where my client was an attorney and had a DUI charged against him and we were able to convince the prosecutor to give him two moving violations. This put a couple of points on his record, but it avoided getting the DUI which would have been very costly to his driving record and also costly because he holds a professional attorney license, so getting a DUI conviction would put his license in jeopardy. So, getting that moving violation was certainly a good result. But you can’t always get that. Sometimes the moving violation is not available because the prosecutors want something closer to a DUI.
  • Finally, another result would be a DUI. A bare minimum DUI in Los Angeles county would be a plea to either a Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) which is driving with alcohol in your system and not being able to safely operate a motor vehicle, or a 23152(b) which would be driving with a blood alcohol percentage of .08 or greater. Both are misdemeanors; both are DUI’s; both would require a minimum of three years of probation, a $390 fine plus penalty assessment, a minimum of a three-month alcohol program and a host of other factors depending on the circumstances related to your DUI arrest

So, these are a number of different resolutions that can occur. Obviously, if you want to find out what you are up against and what you’re likely to get in your DUI case in Los Angeles, you’re going to want to sit down with an attorney like me and go over the facts and details of your case and then you can get a good feel for what you’re up against and what you can do to get the best possible resolution.

For more information on Potential Results Of A DUI Case In LA, a free case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0963 today.

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 Happens If I Have To Complete A DUI Related Alcohol Program in LA?

If you’re ordered to complete an alcohol program related to a DUI in Los Angeles, you’re typically going to be ordered to complete a certain amount of months related to your DUI case. There is a 3-month, 6-month, 9-month, 18-month and a 30-month alcohol program. There’s even a 12-hour alcohol program. So, these things are all negotiable and it really depends on if your attorney suggests that you work out a plea agreement with the prosecutors. One of the things your attorney is going to need to discuss is whether or not you’re going to have to complete an alcohol program associated with your DUI.

Typically, if you end up with a first-time DUI and there’s no aggravating factors, you’re going to be looking at the AB541 3-month alcohol program, which is basically once a week for three months. You have to pay for the course. It’s usually $20 a session and they’re going to give you a list of court-approved alcohol programs that are close to where you work or live. You pick one. You provide the court with a completion slip at the end and then you’re done with that requirement related to your DUI case in Los Angeles.

A lot of times, if somebody is involved in an accident, even on a first offense, the prosecutors will want a longer alcohol program than just a 3-month. They’ll move to the 6-month or 9-month alcohol program in order to provide more education for that particular person. And that’s really what the alcohol programs are about when it comes to DUI’s in Los Angeles — that’s educating people. Educating people on what happens when you drink and drive, accidents occur and people die and then you change the whole complexion of your life because you go to prison and you lose your ability to drive. There’s a whole bunch of different ramifications that can occur in these DUI cases.

So, if you’re looking at doing an alcohol program, it’s not the end of the world. It’s more of a time issue than anything, but as long as you can fit it within your schedule and you get that completion slip, you’re going to be okay. I have a lot of people who say, what if I miss one of those classes? What’s going to happen? Are they going to issue a warrant? Am I going to go to jail? The bottom line is this – each alcohol program has its own requirements. You probably would be able to miss a class or two as long as you’re able to make it up. So, really what you’re doing is going within their rules and doing what they say, and if you miss a class and make it up and you talk to them about it — as long as these guys get paid and you’re cooperative with them — they’re typically not going to give you any problem. They’re not going to report you to the court for violating your probation, and they’re going to let you complete your DUI class and move on with your life. Really, what you’re looking to get is that DUI completion certificate because then you’ve done what you’re supposed to do and you don’t have to mess around with the alcohol program any more.

I’ll tell you, I’ve had some clients that just don’t want to do the alcohol program. You can’t say you blame them, but there’s so many bad ramifications from it. A lot of times what courts will do is say, okay, you want to play around with the alcohol program? You know what, I’m going to strike the alcohol program. You don’t have to do it anymore. Instead, I’m ordering you to do 180 days in the county jail. Now you go to jail. You potentially lose your job. You lose your freedom. And you know what? When you get out, you will never be able to drive again until you complete that alcohol program because the DMV will not let you have your license back unless you complete the program.

I even have people coming in from other states with DUI’s that don’t require an alcohol program, but California says you have to complete a three-month alcohol program for example. If you don’t, you can’t drive here in California. So, though California is certainly liberal in some areas, they are certainly not liberal when it comes to DUI’s, alcohol programs and punishment-related offenses.

For more information on DUI Related Alcohol Programs In LA, a free case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0963 today.

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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 Does A DUI Probation Consist Of In Los Angeles?

When you’re placed on a DUI probation, you’re usually ordered to do certain things and you’re also ordered from refraining from doing certain things. Some of the things that you’re usually going to be ordered to do is to do an alcohol program. You’re going to be ordered to pay a fine. You’re going to ordered not to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in your system.

This gets a little tricky for some people. Some people thing, as long as I’m not a .08 or greater, I’m good. No, not when you have a DUI case. When you have a DUI case and get convicted, now you’re not allowed to drink and drive anymore, even if you’re under a .08. So, that’s part of the terms and conditions of your probation. Other terms and conditions are that you have to obey all laws. So, if you were to pick up a new case, even if it wasn’t a DUI case, but if it was a crime, then you’re going to be looking at violating your probation. You’re going to be looking up to six months in jail if you’re on probation for a first-time DUI. It would be up to a year in jail if you’re on probation for a second-time DUI.

Also, the court puts the restriction on you that you cannot drive without a valid driver’s license. So, you have to coordinate with the DMV as far as making sure that your driver’s license is valid, because if you drive with an invalid driver’s license, you’re going to violate your DUI probation. You’re going to be charged with driving on a suspended license, and that’s a Vehicle Code Section 14601.2. That will be causing you to be looking at mandatory jail time. They’re real serious when it comes to making sure you have a valid license if you got a DUI and your license was suspended for that particular reason.

Typically, if you have a misdemeanor DUI in Los Angeles County and you’re put on probation, you can travel and go anywhere you want. You don’t have any restrictions in that regard. You don’t have to report to a probation officer and you’re basically free to do what you want, as long as you don’t violate the law or you make sure that you do everything that you’re ordered to do. They typically have you come back and forth into the LA county courts for progress reports while you were on probation just to make sure that you’re doing everything you’re supposed to — you haven’t picked up any new cases, you’re doing your alcohol program, you paid your fine and you’re doing whatever the court has ordered you to do related to your case.

Once you complete everything you’re supposed to do, you’ll still be on probation, but the court’s probably not going to make you come back to court anymore. They don’t need people to keep coming back and forth to court once they’ve done everything they are supposed to, and once they have fulfilled their obligations to the court. The reason — when somebody is on DUI probation in Los Angeles — that they make them keep coming back and forth to court is because they need to have some checks and balances to make sure that that particular individual has done everything that they’re supposed to related to their DUI matter in Los Angeles County.

So, being placed on probation for a DUI in LA — especially if it’s a misdemeanor probation — is not the end of the world. If you’re placed on felony DUI probation, that’s going to be a bit more of a stringent process. You won’t be able to travel anywhere you want. You’ll have to get permission from the probation officer or the court to travel anywhere. You’ll have to report to the probation officer related to your DUI case at least once every month. Sometimes they make you refrain from drinking alcohol altogether while you’re on probation if your DUI is serious enough, and there’s other terms and conditions — you won’t be able to own, use or possess a weapon if you’re convicted of a felony DUI in Los Angeles.

So, again, the terms related to a felony DUI probation in Los Angeles are much stricter than they are for a misdemeanor DUI. That’s why you want to complete all of your terms as fast as possible, comply with the probation department and then coordinate with your attorney to see if you can get your felony DUI reduced down to a misdemeanor. Then you’ll only be on summary probation. You won’t have to report to the probation department anymore. You won’ have to pay any fines related to your case and it’s a much easier thing to do when you’re not on felony probation related to your DUI matter.

For more information on DUI Probation In Los Angeles, California, a free case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0963 today.

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 Anatomy Of A DUI In Los Angeles

There are so many moving parts to a DUI. Sometimes it’s nice to understand how things work from the beginning to the end of a DUI case. Then you see where you fit in and what you can do to get the best result.

First, you’re arrested by the police. Typically, they’re going to pull you over or there will be an accident, or somehow the police come in contact with you out on the road. The next thing they have to determine is whether you were actually driving car. If they can’t prove you were driving, obviously they can’t get you for a DUI. Once they prove that you were driving, now they have to determine what your blood alcohol level was at the time of the driving. But typically, before they do that, they’re going to test you. They’re going to do field sobriety tests which are designed to try to determine whether you can safely operate a motor vehicle in Los Angeles. If they can prove there’s alcohol in your system and you fail those field sobriety tests, they can get you for a Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) which says you have alcohol in your system and you can’t safely operate a motor vehicle. That really doesn’t have anything to do with what your blood alcohol level ultimately ends up being.

Another thing they like to do in conjunction with the field sobriety test, is when they pull you over they ask you if you’ve been drinking. If somebody is foolish enough to admit they’ve been drinking, they have step one. They have alcohol in their system. Now, all they have to do is prove you can’t safely operate a motor vehicle, and they’re in business as far as a DUI goes. Then they’re going to start asking you other questions to test your ability to follow instructions and get a feel for whether or not you’re under the influence of alcohol or some other drug or prescription drug.

Once they make that determination and they do the field sobriety tests, they get their box checked as far as asking you questions, then they have to make a decision whether or not they’re going to arrest you. Once they arrest you, they’ll put you in the back of the police car and then they’re going to ask you whether you want to take a blood test where they draw blood from you at a hospital, or one of the local jails, or whether you want to take the breath test. Most times, the police are going to try to push you towards the breath test because it’s easier for them to administer. The blood test is a little bit more of a pain in the neck. So, unless you demand the blood test, they’re going to try to steer you towards a breath test.

Don’t get the breath test that you choose and complete at the station confused with the one out in the field. In Los Angeles County, unlike Ventura County where they have everything out in the field, they’ve got a PAS device which is a Preliminary Alcohol Screening device. That’s just used to test to see what your alcohol level is so they can make a determination whether they want to arrest you or not.

But the real test is the machine back at the station – the Intoxilyzer 3000. They’re going to have you blow into that. Sometimes people don’t blow enough a d they’re going to have you keep blowing, blowing, blowing until they can get two good results. A little strip prints out of the breath machine and if you’re a .08 or greater, obviously you’re going to be cited for a DUI. They’ll hold you in there for as long as they deem appropriate, so when they do let you go, you’re going to be safe out on the road. Once they let you go, they’ll give you a citation to appear in court approximately thirty to forty-five days away, depending on how busy the court system is.

You’ll then be able to retain an attorney. He’ll show up for the arraignment. They’ll give you attorney all of the paperwork in the case. He or she will review it and make some decisions on where the case goes from there. The case will probably be continued, and then after the arraignment you’ll get a chance to meet with your attorney to get your strategy together — whether you’re going to fight the case or whether it’s in your best interest to let your attorney try to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutors in the case. Your attorney should also give you a copy of the paperwork so you can review it and help the attorney make the decision on where the case goes from there.

So, this pretty much gives you a fairly good feel for how a DUI is dealt with in Los Angeles. If you do decide to take a deal, you’re going to go into court. Your attorney will go over the Waiver form with you. It has all of your constitutional rights. You’ll enter a plea of either guilty or no contest and then you will resolve your matter and be able to start the process of getting this horrible situation behind you.

If on the other, you and your attorney review everything and decide the best thing to do is to fight the case, then you can go through a jury trial and a jury trial and a jury will determine if you’re innocent or guilty.

For more information on Anatomy Of A DUI Case In Los Angeles, a free case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0963 today.

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 Happens During A DUI If A Death Results?

These DUI cases where death occurs because an individual drinks and drives and gets in an accident and kills either their passenger or some other driver or the passenger of another driver, the prosecutors now in Los Angeles — and I’ve been doing these cases for twenty-five years — it used to be they would wait and see if they could prove that the person knew that it was dangerous to drink and drive and a death could result, and that usually had to do with them having a prior DUI, doing the DUI classes or them finding some other evidence that they knew that this could happen, that it was foreseeable. Now, they just skip that. If someone is drinking and driving and a death results, that person is typically going to be charged with second degree murder.

The prosecutors figure that everybody now knows that drinking and driving can cause a death because of social media and all of the attention Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the news media has put on drinking and driving and deaths. Yet still, when somebody is in court and they plead guilty to a DUI, they’re told that if they continue to drink and drive and, in the future, they get in an accident, they can be charged with second degree murder. Really what this is doing with these DUI’s and deaths is normally for murder, we need some sort of malice. You have to harbor some ill will. You have to decide to kill somebody. But when these DUI cases come along, the malice is going to be implied when you act in a wanton and reckless manner. In other words, you drink, you drive. You know that somebody could die, yet you do it anyway, and a horrible accident result.

Now, a lot of these cases the prosecutors will negotiate them down below a murder case and allow the person to get what’s called a “determinative sentence,” when they actually known when they’re going to get out of prison. While other cases, depending on the severity of it, the actions of the defendant, they will not move on the murder case and they tell the person they have to plead to a murder charge. A lot of times these cases go to trial and the jury is going to have to decide whether or not you have a vehicular manslaughter charge or somebody was negligent and an individual died or whether it’s that wanton disregard for human life that is occurring and they end up finding them guilty of murder. Then a judge in these drinking and driving cases in Los Angeles when the person is found guilty of murder by a jury, has no choice but to sentence that person to a minimum of fifteen to life in prison. That’s a situation where they have to serve fifteen years, and once they’ve done that, then they’re eligible for parole. They might never get out depending on how the parole department feels about the crime, the particular individuals and the victims of that particular crime.

So, needless to say, I’m sure you can see from what I’m saying here, and I’ve been doing this for twenty-five years and have handled thousands of DUI cases across Los Angeles — many murder cases where someone is racing or drinking and driving and they get charged with a murder charge, so I know what the standard is. I have a good feel for the political landscape of the District Attorney’s office and I saw that shift a few years ago where they just started filing all of these DUI-related deaths as murder cases. I’ve talked to some of the higher-up prosecutors and they say it is our policy now. Drink and drive, kill somebody — you’re going to get charged with murder and then you’re going to be begging to try to get a vehicular manslaughter or some other charge that doesn’t carry that fifteen to life.

So, if you’ve got one of these cases, you have to get in front of a criminal defense attorney who has handled these drinking and driving death cases, knows how to mitigate them and knows how to defend them.

Sometimes there’s a defense. Other times you really don’t have a good defense, but you have some good mitigating circumstance sand we can convince the prosecutors and even the judge, to not give you that murder charge, not sentence you to fifteen to life and work-out some other resolutions that makes sense for who you are and what actually happened out there. There’s a lot of different factors that go into these DUI-related death cases and the best judge of that is a DUI defense attorney who has been doing it a long time, knows the local court system, knows the prosecutor’s tendency in the court where your case is pending and knows how to handle these cases — knows how to maneuver them through a politically-charged, sometimes bureaucratic criminal justice system.

Make the phone call today. Let’s sit down. We’ll go over your case and we’ll start making the right moves to get you in the best possible position.

For more information on Death Due To A DUI Case In Los Angeles, a free case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0963 today.

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 Truth Behind The DMV In Los Angeles

The truth as far as the DMV goes and your license is concerned is that the DMV process is a bit of a kangaroo court, and I say that because it’s a DMV hearing officer basically deciding whether or not he or she is going to suspend your license. So, they play two roles. One, they play the prosecuting attorney for a DUI DMV case, and they also play the judge and jury. So, that’s a bit of a kangaroo court and it’s very difficult to beat them because they are ruling on objections as the judge and the prosecutor, and if you object to their evidence, they typically deny it.

So, it’s very difficult to win a DMV hearing. It is possible to win, but you have to have an angle. In other words, the three key things the DMV is trying to prove is whether or not there was a legal stop, where the police legally came in contact with you, whether or not it was a legal arrest – in other words, did they have probable cause to arrest you based on the information they have, the field sobriety test, your driving, your look, what you said, and finally, was your blood alcohol level a .08 or greater. Another way to get around that is if you refuse to actually take the tests, then that would be good enough and that would be grounds for them to suspend your license.

So, the bottom line is, if you’re going to have any chance against the DMV, you want to limit the damages to your driver’s license, then you’re going to need an attorney who has dealt with them before, who knows how to beat them, who knows how to minimize the devastating effects that a DMV suspension can have on your driver’s license.

So, don’t let sales people fool you over phone, talk to you and tell you a bunch of stuff when they don’t even know one thing about your case. The way to do it is, get a good, reputable attorney. Hire them. Give them all the information. Let him get all the paperwork on your case and then sit down and talk to them about it. Then they’ll have all the pieces to the puzzle related to your DUI DMV case and they can properly advise you as to exactly what your chances are and what you need to do in order to have the absolute best chance at success as it relates to your DMV DUI case.

Remember, it’s not really the court that is suspending licenses. The court deals with your criminal record as far as a DUI goes. The DMV is the one who has control of your driver’s license, so you have to play by their rules. They’re the one that does the hearing. If they do a hearing and they take your license away from you, the bottom line is you’re going to need to figure out how to get it back – what to do – and that’s coordinated through your attorney. That’s also coordinated through you going down to the DMV, showing them your paperwork that shows why your license was suspended and then you go with them step by step what it’s going to take to get it back. You’re going to need to do an alcohol program. You’re going to need to get an SR22. You’re going to need to show proof that you have insurance and you’re going to need to jump through a few other hoops in order to get your driver’s license back. You want to make sure you do it before the time your license is to be given back to you so that at the time your license comes back, you’re in the best position to get it and move forward in a powerful manner.

So, if you’ve got a case involving the California DMV and your driver’s license, give us a call. We’ll sit down with you. We’ll tell you the real straightforward truth. We’ll let you know what your chances are and we’ll help you get through this process as swiftly as possible and with the least amount of damage to your license.

For more information on Truth Behind The DMV In Los Angeles, a free case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0963 today.

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 Legal And Illegal Reasons Police Give For DUI Pull Overs

First off, the police are not allowed to just pull somebody over for no reason. We all know that’s what they’re doing out there. They’re waiting outside bars, clubs and various areas that they believe people will be drinking alcohol so they can pull them over and catch them. The key though, is to be able to catch the police in the act of just pulling somebody over for no reason, because that’s a violation of that individual’s Fourth Amendment right to not be pulled over for no reason.

So, it would be illegal for the police to pull somebody over for no reason, or just because they thought that that person’s a DUI, so I’m just going to go ahead and pull them over. That would subject anything that they found to being tossed out — the person’s blood, the person’s breath, any statements they made, any observations the police made — all of that would be thrown out because of the illegal pull over.

Now, what’s a lawful pull over? A lawful pull over is when the police observe somebody, for example, swerving all over the road. They could pull that person over and check to make sure the person is okay and check that person to see whether or not they might be driving under the influence of some alcohol or some other drug, and that would start a DUI investigation.

A lot of people ask, the police pulled me over for no reason. How do I prove it? They’re just saying it. It’s going to be my word against theirs. Fortunately — I’ve been doing this twenty-five years — so, it’s absolutely been difficult to catch the police in lies as it relates to this, but now new technology has come out that’s being used to do exactly that. For example, many of the police vehicles are equipped with dash cams, so if the police vehicle has a dash cam, we can request that and get the judge to order that and then we can look and see if you were really speeding, if you didn’t signal, if you were really swerving, and be able to challenge the police’s reason for pulling you over.

Also, another thing that’s happened is, a lot of times the police officers themselves are wearing body cams. So, if they’re claiming you are staggering around, your speech is slurred and it looks like you’re under the influence of alcohol, we can try to get that body cam to show that the police have embellished what is actually going on regarding you and your situation.

So, there’s a lot of different avenues out there to challenge the police’s reasoning for pulling you over. If the police see that you’re committing some sort of a traffic violation that would be a lawful reason to pull you over. They should just be pulling you over to give you a ticket or a warning for the traffic violation. But anybody who has ever been pulled over, especially at night on the weekend, knows that one of the first questions the police ask you in addition to, do you know why I pulled you over, is have you had anything to drink tonight? If you say that you’ve had something to drink — some sort of alcohol — then that’s it. You just started their DUI investigation for them because that starts to give them probable cause to check you out to make sure you’re okay. If you’re telling them that you’ve had alcohol and now you’re driving a car, they’re going to be able to do a full check on you. So, obviously, that’s not the best way to interact with the police if you want to avoid being investigated for a DUI.

Now, another trick I’m seeing them pull lately is, they’ll wait outside liquor stores to try to get people who are drinking and driving. They figure people who go into liquor stores may already be drinking and are just getting more alcohol for themselves. So, it would be unlawful for them just to pull you over just because you came out of a liquor store. That’s not good enough. They’re going to need to get some more details — like if you came staggering out of the liquor store like you were drunk and then you got in the car — that would be a lawful reason to pull somebody over. If after you got in your car and you started swerving all over the road, obviously they can pull you over. So, they need some sign or some indication that you’re drinking and driving.

The reality is that we know what they’re doing is, they’re just taking a scenario saying, it’s Saturday night. It’s midnight. This person’s out of the road. They probably had some drinks. But that’s not good enough for purposes of the law to pull somebody over. So, the key is, they have to try to add some extra thing in there to get you for a DUI in Los Angeles, so they’re adding in swerving or some other thing that nobody could verify one way or another. Unless, of course, you have the dash cam or some other video evidence.

One of my clients actually had a video equipped to the top of his car so when the police claim that he was going twenty miles over the speed limit, we beat them on that because he wasn’t and he had proof of it, but obviously, not all of us have that. Sometimes it’s difficult to counter the police’s evidence. The best way to do it though is to get your attorney. Tell him everything you know. I have clients come in and we go over the whole thing in the privacy of my office. Let the attorney get all the paperwork and then you talk about that as well. Now, you have all the pieces of the puzzle related to the illegal or legal pull over. You can decide or the attorney can decide whether or not a motion is going to be filed indicating that your Fourth Amendment rights were violated and they pulled you over illegally, and therefore, anything that they gathered from that pull over is fruit of the poisonous tree and should all be thrown out because of the unlawful pull over.

For more information on Legal & Illegal Reasons For DUI Pull Overs, a free case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0963 today.

Can The Police Search My Vehicle Related To A DUI Pull Over In LA?

The answer to this question is interesting. Yes, if the police pull you over for a DUI and they decide that they’re going to arrest you because they believe they have probable cause that you are driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both, they can impound your vehicle, and part of that impound is they are permitted to search it, obviously for safety reasons. They don’t want to bring a dangerous vehicle into their impound lot.

So, that answers the question after the arrest. They cannot search your vehicle as part of a DUI investigation unless they’re going to arrest you or unless they see something in plain view that gives them an idea that something illegal is going on. But what they can do is, when they pull you over for a DUI, they’re able to shine their flashlight or look if it’s daylight into your vehicle and if they see a half-drank bottle of alcohol, obviously they could use that observation in their police report to support the argument that you’ve been drinking and driving. Any other illegal activity they see can certainly be reported and if they see something blatantly illegal in there like a gun, some sort of drugs, then they’re going to be able to search the whole car, impound it and arrest you.

So, they are limited into what they can do, but one way they get around the limitation of not just being able to search every car they pull over is, they ask people. They say, you don’t have anything illegal in here? You don’t mind if we search your car. Most of the time, people — because of the pressure of the situation and they’re nervous and scared — give the police consent to search. Consent is the best for the police because then they are allowed to search all they want because the person is allowing them to do it.

If you say you don’t want them to search and they don’t have probable cause, then technically they can’t search. Unfortunately, a lot of times they try to get around this by just searching anyway, or they bring dogs in to try and sniff out some sort of drugs. That would give them probable cause to be able to search. But, in your standard DUI pullover, they should just be asking you for your license. They can ask the normal questions and if they smell alcohol on your breath and see that you’re driving erratically and they feel like you might be under the influence, then they can ask you to take their field sobriety test, ask you to blow into the Preliminary Alcohol Screening device. You can refuse both if you want, but the police are certainly entitled to ask you. Then they’re going to ask you a bunch of questions trying to figure out whether you’re drinking and driving. Trying to figure out whether you have your head on straight, but if they smell alcohol on your breath, you look like you’ve been drinking and driving and they point-blank ask you how many drinks you’ve had and you tell them that you’ve had any alcohol, that’s it. They’re going to get you out of the car and they’re going to test you for driving under the influence. If they determine that you’re under the influence of alcohol, then obviously they’re going to arrest you, take you back to the station, do a blood test, do a breath test, depending on which one you choose, and then depending on what your result is, they will arrest you for a DUI.

The thing where they can really get into your car is if they can get that ability to arrest you, because part of that arrest is if you have a car, they’re allowed to impound the car and then they’re able to search it. They don’t have to search it. I’ve seen a lot of police officers just asking the person permission to just park their car on the side of the road, which is great because it saves the impound charges and there’s no reason for the police to search it at that point. It’s kind of a catch-22. On the one hand, if you’re cooperative with the police, answer all of their questions and do everything they say, and you’re under the influence of alcohol, you’re probably going to be arrest for a DDUI.

On the other hand, if you’re nasty to them and don’t cooperate with them, you’re probably going to be arrested for a DUI and they’re going to do everything they can lawfully to cause issues for you, problems for you, keep you longer in jail. So, if you have a situation and you feel like the police illegally searched your car, then give us a call. We’ll sit down and go over the whole scenario and we’ll let you know whether there was an illegal search.

But as it relates to DUI’s, searches of vehicles a lot of times really don’t matter. In other words, just because they illegally searched your vehicle, doesn’t mean they can’t get you for a DUI. Now, if they find something in the vehicle that is a lynch-pin for them to be able to arrest you and convict you for a DUI and they illegally searched your vehicle, then the argument could be made because the search was illegal, anything they found can’t be used against you because it would be fruit of the poisonous tree — in other words, fruit of their illegal search — and then we could keep that evidence out.

But a lot of times in DUI cases, it’s not what they’re finding in the vehicle that’s the problem. It’s what they’re finding in your system — you blood alcohol level is a .08 or greater — that’s the issue. That’s the problem. Now, if they illegally pull you over, that’s a different story. That you can get everything knocked out for. So, first you have to decide whether or not they illegally searched the car and then you have to decide what that means to you and your case and the only way to really do that — unless you’ve got Los Angeles DUI defense training background — is to sit down with an attorney who has done this before, who has been in and out of the local courthouses and knows how to deal with these types of motions, knows that’s lawful, knows what’s not lawful, knows the case law in Los Angeles and California and knows how to fight these illegal pull overs, illegal arrests and illegal searches.

For more information on Vehicle Search After A DUI Pull Over In LA, a free case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0963 today.

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.

Should I Refuse To Take A Blood Or Alcohol Test If I’m Stopped For A DUI?

This question is asked all the time and unfortunately, sometimes people have the wrong information related to this. If you’re pulled over by the police and they suspect that you’re DUI, driving under the influence of alcohol in Los Angeles, you have to take whatever test they want you to take if you want to maintain your license. Yes, it’s true you don’t have to do the field sobriety test. Yes, it’s true you don’t have to do the preliminary alcohol screening test. Yes, it’s true you don’t have to answer all of their questions, but if you don’t do those things then they’re going to do everything they can to get you for a DUI because you’re not cooperating with them and they probably figure you’ve been drinking and driving or just trying to hide it. So, just know that when you make your decision on what to do.

You definitely cannot refuse to take a blood or breath test, because if you do, it’s going to be marked down as a refusal and there’s two things going on with refusals. Number one, you’re going to be presumed driving under the influence, which sucks, because how do you rebut that presumption? It’s not easy to do unless you go quickly and take your own blood or breath test and come up zeros on the machine, or nothing on the blood. Who’s going to have the opportunity to do that? Especially after you’ve been arrested for a DUI and they put you in custody for a day.

So, the key is that if they think that you’ve been drinking and driving you might as well take those tests, because even if you fail the tests, and even if you know you’re going to fail the test because you’ve been drinking plenty, at least you’re not going to lose your driver’s license for a year on a first offense. On a first offense, you only lose your ability for real driving for one month versus that year for the refusal. People say, that’s not fair. Why should they be able to make me take a blood or breath test? The answer to that is, why they should let you drive on the road in California. Driving on the road is a privilege; not a right. Because when people are in these cars and they’re driving fast they can kill other people. That means the government has to get involved and has to make sure people are not drinking alcohol and driving. So, that gives them some leeway. That gives them some things to do when it comes to DUI cases.

So, long story short, you can refuse to do anything, but if you refuse to take that test, you’re going to lose your driver’s license for a year with no restrictions. Period. So, my advice – having done this for twenty-five years is, if asked by the police to take a blood or breath test because they believe you’ve been drinking and driving, just do it. You don’t have to answer all of their questions, you can just be very polite and say, I’m not going to answer your questions. I will cooperate with you, but I don’t have to answer all of your questions, and that’s it.

A lot of this stuff is easier said than done because the police put pressure on you. They yell at you. They’ve got guns. They’ve got badges. So, it makes it very difficult, especially when they’re shining their light in your eyes — it is very intimidating. But the bottom line is, don’t listen to those dummies who say, don’t take the blood or breath test when the police ask you to do so, because they’re setting you up for the disaster of losing your driver’s license for a year.

Obviously, the best practice is not to drink and drive, but if you do, you need to cooperate with the police because if you don’t you stand a lot to lose as it relates to your driver’s license and you’re going to put yourself in a bad position in regard to getting a DUI conviction, as well.

If you have more question or have a DUI case or you have a refusal case and need in Los Angeles, give me a call. We’ll sit down. I’ll use my twenty-five years of experience to help you make the right moves moving forward so you don’t get any further problems and you can get out of this DUI situation as quick as possible and as unscathed as possible.

For more information on Refusing A Chemical Test In A DUI Case, a free case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0963 today.

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.