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.

What Does It Take To Get A DUI Dismissed In Los Angeles County?

DUI cases are very scary because you get arrest and lose control of your custody freedom for a period of time. You’re taken into custody and now you’re facing a criminal charge, loss of your license and your reputation is on the line. Your work may be on the line depending on how they view a conviction for a DUI. So, a lot of people are searching for what they can do to get their case dismissed.

One confusing point that comes up is, once you get arrested and the police send you to court with usually a citation and you bail out and are ordered into court, there’s nothing to get dismissed yet. So, the first question is, how do you get your case not filed in the first place? That comes even before you start talking about a dismissal, because if they don’t file it, it’s even better because there’s nothing to dismiss and there’s nothing on your criminal record, other than possibly the arrest record which is a different subject,

So, talking about how you can avoid a case even getting filed in the first place, that’s where you give your attorney all the information. Your attorney can approach the filing prosecutor. It’s usually the City Attorney if it’s a misdemeanor DUI and try to convince them not to even file it. But, once a case is filed, then you can start thinking about what you can do to get it dismissed.

The first angle, obviously, is to show the prosecutors that they have a problem with the case and that the problem is serious enough to warrant a dismissal. Sometimes there can be a problem with a DUI case in Los Angeles with proving that the blood alcohol level was a .08 or greater. That’s one way to get a case dismissed. Another problem that I see frequently in DUI cases in which, of course, I’ve been using for the last twenty-five years, is to argue that the person that’s being charged wasn’t driving the vehicle and they can’t prove when the person was driving the vehicle. If you can’t prove when the driving took place in relation to taking the person’s blood alcohol level, that’s a big problem in any DUI case. That’s one angle that can be used to dismiss a case.

Another angle to dismiss a case is to get a not guilty verdict in a jury trial and then the judge would dismiss the criminal charges and the DUI charges against that particular person. So, there’s a bunch of different angles. Motions can be filed. There can be a blood split done if there’s blood taken. Experts can be hired. So, this is definitely a way to get a dismissal in any DUI case.

There’s another way. Another example is, what if you’ve been convicted and then after the conviction you want to get a dismissal in a DUI case? There’s a motion that can be filed pursuant to Penal Code Section 1204.3 which is basically asking the court to dismiss the case. Sometimes this is called an “expungement,” but the reality is in California, they now call this a “dismissal.” In order to get this dismissal, the probation has to be over. The person will have had to have done everything are supposed to during the probation, not picked up any new criminal cases and not picked up any probation violations. Then they can seek a dismissal pursuant to Penal Code 1203.4 of their entire DUI case.

A lot of people will try to do this before their probation is over. Most of the time this is going to be met with a denial by the judge. First off, your probation is not over so you can’t get it dismissed. Secondly, if you haven’t completed all of the terms and conditions of your probation, there’s no way you’re going to get the case dismissed. There are circumstances that I’ve seen and I have been involved with, a motion to terminate the probation early. If that’s granted, then you can request that the judge dismiss the case pursuant to Penal Code Section 1203.4.

So, if you’re looking for a dismissal, you’re going to need to sit down with a DUI defense attorney who has handled a lot of cases in Los Angeles, who has had success in both felonies and misdemeanors, and who knows all the angles. What I do is sit down with somebody. I listen to what they say. I use my experience and common sense, and if the case is not going to be dismissed, then I’m going to tell the person. There’s no reason to lie to somebody and not be genuine with them. Tell them it is not going to be dismissed and tell them why it’s not going to be dismissed. Maybe it can’t be dismissed now, but it could be dismissed at some future time. You tell the person about it. You tell them what steps and procedures they are going to need to engage in order to get that dismissal.

The reality in California is, there’s no such thing as a true expungement. So, it’s not going to ever be wiped off somebody’s record. It will just show that there’s a dismissal on record after a DUI case. So, this is how criminal cases work. This is how DUI cases work. So, if you need answer, you need to get to somebody like me, set up a consultation and get the case taken care of.

For more information on Getting A DUI Dismissed 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 Are Some Key Characteristics You Should Be Looking For In A DUI Defense Attorney?

This is an important question, because when you choose your DUI defense attorney, you have to have somebody that has all the key skills necessary to get you the result you must have – whether that result is a not guilty verdict or whether that result is the best resolution in the case. The first thing is, the person has to know the judge and tendencies of the judges that are going to be handling your DUI case in Los Angeles, because the judge is an important factor. The judge does have a say in how the case is going to be dealt with. So, knowing the judge and also being local to the court is crucial. Because if you’re local to the court, you also know the prosecutors, and the prosecutors are the ones who are going to file the case. They’re the ones who are going to prosecute the case and they are the ones that the person is going to have to know how to deal with.

So, it’s crucial that you know the prosecutor, you know what their tendencies are and you also know the chain of command in the prosecutor’s office. So, if you’re going to try to resolve the case by way of a negotiated plea, you’re able to do so most effectively. In other words, you’re going to get all the ammunition together – I get character letters, a whole mitigation package related to my client – and then I have to go to the right person. I have to know who to talk to and I have to know what is going to make a difference? What to say, who to talk to and what things will count as far as getting the result that your client wants.

So, knowing the judge, knowing the courthouse, knowing the prosecutor – these are all crucial things. Then you have to have a DUI defense attorney who has the ability to try a case and win it, because there’s a lot of paper tigers running around Los Angeles county, and that is DUI defense attorneys all they can do is negotiate cases. They can’t try a case. Do you think that’s going to bother the prosecutors if this person is talking crazy and saying a bunch of different stuff? Absolutely not. Prosecutors aren’t going to care. They know the paper tiger is not going to do anything and is not really going to do what needs to be done in order to try the case, if necessary.

So, if you don’t have that ability, then you’re going to have a real problem when it comes to getting the deal you want in a criminal case, because the prosecutor won’t be worried about you actually trying the case and beating them and embarrassing them. So, your criminal defense attorney has to have the ability to win a case. And the way you figure that out is, you talk to them. You go to them face to face. You look at them. You look at their reviews. You look at their track record. You ask about their prior cases, and then you’re really going to get a feel for what type of criminal defense attorney you have and what type of a DUI defense attorney you have for purposes of winning a case.

I think the last thing you need to evaluate when you’re trying to choose a criminal defense attorney, and the best characteristics, is likeability. What I mean by that is, when you meet with him and you talk to him, do you like him? Do they seem like they know what they’re doing? Do they seem like somebody the judge, the prosecutor and a potential jury might respect? Because that’s key. In any DUI defense case, if your attorney doesn’t have personality, isn’t a likeable individual, then you’re not going to be in a good position to get that not guilty verdict. You’re not going to be in a good position to negotiate a case, because they’re not going to respect and like your attorney.

This is the same thing in anything in life. If you’re likeable, if they respect you, then you’re going to be in a position to get what you want. That’s what you need and that’ what I am all about. Come and sit down with me face to face. We’re going to talk about your case and we’re going to figure out the best strategy and you’re going to see that I know how to handle DUI cases and I know how to get you the result you must have.

For more information on Key Characteristics Of A DUI Defense Attorney, 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.

When Should An Expert Be Used In A DUI Case In Los Angeles?

An expert is not always appropriate in a DUI case. In order to use an expert, some issue is going to have to come up where you need the expert. A perfect example of this would be the prosecutors get the blood of the defendant and the blood alcohol level is really close to a .08. This might be a good time to use an expert to do a blood split and let your own expert check the blood to see if there’s any contaminants in the blood or to see if maybe there’s some sort of problem with the test. I see all the time when we do a blood split and the content comes back lower than what the prosecutors come up with, and this sometimes can be huge in a DUI case, especially where the blood alcohol level is close.

Another area where you’re definitely going to want to use an expert in a DUI case is if the case goes to trial and you have some angle that requires an expert. You can bet, like in a breath case, in a DUI in Los Angeles county, you can bet your bottom dollar that the prosecutors are going to use their own expert to show how the machine works and to be able to prove that the client’s blood alcohol, through breath, is higher than a .08 or at a .08 and explain why that individual can’t safely operator a motor vehicle at the time they were driving it related to the facts of the case.

The defense, on the other hand, can bring their own exert to try to challenge the breath machine, to show that there’s inaccuracies in the machine in general, and in specific, related to this particular case. If there’s areas that your own expert can attack the breath result, the obviously, you’re going to want to qualify the expert, show the jury this expert knows what they’re talking about and then take the next step and show the problems with the prosecutor’s case. Especially in these DUI cases where it’s close and there’s issues, there’s some pretty strong arguments that can be made to argue that this is voodoo science at that they don’t have a completely accurate account of exactly what happened in the DUI case in Los Angeles.

This is very important when it comes to defending your DUI case. So, experts can be used in DUI cases, but they have to be used at the right time. I would say in most DUI cases, you’re not going to have an expert because the evidence is pretty clear, cut and dry, one way or another. So, in making the decision as to whether or not you’re going to want to have an expert in your DUI case in Los Angeles, this is something that you need to consult with your attorney. You need to sit down and give your attorney all the facts and circumstances related to your case in general. Then, in specific, if you think an expert might be beneficial because of some angle that you believe is appropriate in your case, you obviously talk to you attorney about it. Give him all the facts and details and then bring up to them about potentially utilizing an expert.

So, experts can be very beneficial in any criminal case, and in DUI’s in particular, in order to challenge some of the prosecution’s evidence and in order to put on a defense case. So, if you think that an expert makes sense, talk to your attorney about it. Give them all the information and they will assist you in making the right decision about having an expert in your case and using that expert to try to win the case.

I’ve also used experts in DUI cases to mitigate a DUI case. Maybe I can’t get that full not guilty verdict because the prosecutors have certain evidence that you just can’t get around. But, we can sometimes use an expert to show certain things, especially in a case where the blood alcohol level is close. Experts can do a lot to show the prosecutors that if we actually took this case to trial, you might lose the case. Look what my expert is willing to say. Look at my expert’s report in this case. Sometimes expert’s reports can also be used to challenge the DMV to block a suspension. Experts can be used to block a refusal DUI where you lose your license for a year.

So, absolutely, experts in DUI cases are important. They can be utilized. But in order to make that determination, that’s going to take you sitting down with your attorney and really having a frank conversation about your DUI case and making a decision that makes sense for you.

For more information on Key Characteristics Of A DUI Defense Attorney, 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 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.