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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact a Los Angeles DUI lawyer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact a Los Angeles DUI lawyer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact a Los Angeles DUI lawyer

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

The CHP And DUIs In Los Angeles

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact a Los Angeles DUI lawyer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact a Los Angeles DUI lawyer

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

Who Is The Main Law Enforcement Entity That Arrests People For DUIs In Los Angeles County?

Anybody who knows anything about DUIs as far as LA county and the courts go and the highways, knows that the California Highway Patrol or CHP are the ones that make the most arrests for DUI cases across Los Angeles County. In fact, there are awards given to CHP officers who can make the most arrests in one year. They are very connected with entities like Mothers Against Drunk Driving and other entities, and the more DUI arrests they get, the more prestige they get in their unit. They might even get more money. I can’t make that representation one way or the other. The bottom line is the CHP is out on the highways looking to get people for DUIs. They are specially trained in how to operate the machines that are used to test for DUIs. They are specially trained on how to use basically block criminal defense attorneys and DUI defense attorneys from being able to get a case dismissed. So, they’re going to try to get every piece of evidence they can against a DUI defendant so they can make sure that they’re convicted.

They start right from the beginning of a DUI stop. They’re going to say how you were driving. In their police report, they’re going to talk about what your breath smelled like – whether you had a strong smell of alcohol of not. Whether your eyes were bloodshot and watery. When you get out of a car, they always say you had an unsteady gait – meaning you’re not steady on your feet. If they arrest you and send you into court for DUI, you can bet they’re going to say you failed the field sobriety test. They’re going to try every trick in the book to get you for a DUI. They’re going to ask you how many drinks you had. They’re going to ask you where you’re coming from. Where you’re going, and basically, their primary job out on the road is to catch people for DUIs.

Yes, they catch people for other offenses, driving on suspended license, traffic related offices – but again, the CHP sees one of their main jobs is to catch DUI drivers. The reality is, they’ really not supposed to be pulling people over for no reason. They have to have some sort of probable cause that criminal activity is afoot in order to pull somebody over for a DUI or any other offense. But, when it’s late at night – it’s the weekend for example – and you’re out on the road, the CHP is out there and they’re assuming that you’ve been drinking and driving and they’re going to come up with any reason – swerving, speeding, not driving with your lights on – there’s a whole host of things that they put in the police report to justify the pull over.

Then of course in the end, if your blood alcohol level is a .08 or greater, it just strengthens your case that you did something illegal because you were a DUI, so you must have done something illegal. That’s really the angle or the approach that these guys take, whether or fair not, whether it makes sense or not, it doesn’t really matter. I have a lot of clients who get the police report. They read it once they hire me and we come back and sit down and talk about it. They say what’s in this police report is not true. This is not exactly what happened. This is not exactly how I did on these field sobriety tests. This is not what I was doing. They’re not justified in pulling me over.

The bottom line though is it becomes the police of CHP’s word against your word and if they’ve got a blood alcohol level of a .08 or greater, then that strengthens the prosecutions case and it makes the CHP’s work seem more reliable because of the fact that your blood alcohol level is high. You must have done some of the things that they said. So, really what you need to do when you’re thinking about law enforcement officers and what they did is, we as a defense team working together on the case, we’re going to have to figure out what evidence could be available to support some of things that you’re saying? And there are some things that have come out now that are available – dashcams on a lot of the CHP vehicles are available. A lot of police officers, not all of them, are wearing bodycams – that’s another thing that can be available.

Also, there are people out with cell phones. That’s another thing that has caught a lot of CHP officers and other law enforcement officers lying about DUIs and what people are going because they catch them on video.

Are There Other Law Enforcement Officers Besides The CHP That Arrest People For DUIs?

Absolutely. The LAPD arrest people for DUIs all the time. In my experience, and I’ve done hundreds of cases over the last twenty-five years – in my experience, the LAPD is not as sophisticated as far as properly doing the tests and knowing how to handle a DUI stop, a DUI arrest and be able to really put all the pieces of the puzzle together so that when I come in afterwards looking to try to get the case dismissed, it’s much easier to have an angle in my experience when it comes to LAPD police reports than it does with a CHP officer police report.

So, those are really the two main entities – the CHP and the Los Angeles Police Department that arrest people for DUIs in Los Angeles county. It is possible to get arrested by another law enforcement agency, but it just seems very unlikely. So, those are who you are going to deal with when it comes to a DUI arrest in LA. That’s the LAPD and the CHP.

You’re going to want to get an attorney who is familiar with dealing with them and knows how to defend DUI cases and knows the policies and practices of the CHP and the LAPD and what can be done to do damage control related to your DUI 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.

What Does It Take To Win A DUI Case In Los Angeles?

I’ve been practicing and doing DUI cases now for twenty-five years. I’ve spoken to all the lawyers who actually do these cases and know what they’re doing. In order to win a DUI case, you’re going to need an angle. Most DUI cases in Los Angeles County are either dismissed because the prosecutors do not have the evidence and they know it or it’s a situation where they do have the evidence and the defense attorney works out a plea bargain for them. It’s a very rare limited amount of cases that actually go to trial. I don’t see a lot of attorneys trying DUI cases. Despite what they try and say when they try to get people to pay them a real big retainer fee in order to get them to do a trial on the case, that the attorney doesn’t even have any information in the beginning.

I never quote DUI trials from the beginning. I want to see whether the client in fact, actually has a chance to win the case before I would ever quote a trial fee. What it takes to win a case is, you have to have an angle that if a jury believes it would give you a victory. For example, there are all kids o different angles that can come up. They don’t come up in every case. They’re fact dependent. There are some cases where the angle is that the person wasn’t driving the vehicle. In order to have a DUI, you actually have to be driving a car, and at the time you’re driving you can’t safely operate motor vehicle either because you have alcohol in your system or did some sort of drugs or a combination of both.

So, if the police can’t figure out when you were driving the car in relation to when they got their hands on you, when you were drinking or when you were using some sort of drugs, then they’re not going to be able to prove their case. That’s one angle that works in cases. I had a case in Ventura county one time where my client allegedly crashed into a pole and he got out of the car because his car was not drivable anymore and he left the scene. He went to get help. He called AAA. He went to get something to eat. He didn’t come back to the scene until quite some time later and when he got back, of course there was a Ventura County sheriff waiting there for him. But they never were able to pinpoint when he crashed into the pole, so that’s one thing they try to do. The police realize this is a problem, so they’ll ask the person, when did you crash here? They didn’t do that in his case, so that case ended up getting dismissed because they could not pinpoint when the driving was.

Another way to attack a DUI case is if there’s a problem with the blood or breath result. For example, sometimes it happens, and it’s happened to me many times because I’ve been doing this a lot and I’ve done thousands of DUI cases across LA county, but sometimes it happens – you have a situation where the machine that is used to test the blood – the Intoxilyzer 3000 – the DUI breath machine ends up being broken and there’s some sort of issue – it’s not calibrated properly, there’s some sort of problem, it’s taken out of service for a period of time – close in time for when they used it for a particular defendant. Now you’ve got an argument. You can say, wait a minute, the machine you have doesn’t even work right. You’re not going to be able to get somebody for a DUI in those circumstances, if that’s all the evidence that you have and that’s what you’re relying on.

Another area that I see attacked is contamination-related to blood. If you have a situation where they take somebody’s blood and then the defense is able to do a blood split on it and the expert for the defense either comes back with a much lower result that’s not under a .08, that would be one way to have an angle to win a DUI case in LA, or the expert says there’s been contamination here. There’s no way these blood results are not accurate. Some expert saying that is huge in a DUI case. So, that’s another way to win a DUI case.

Yet another winnable point is some sort of an illegal stop, and now with all of this video technology, more and more we’re winning cases on this angle where the police are claiming, the person blew a stop sign. They didn’t completely stop, meanwhile there’s dashcam that we get and we can say no, the person did stop, they’re just not telling the truth. They just pulled him over for no reason and made that reason up or they try to claim some other traffic violation and then you get the dashcam or you get a bodycam and then you can make a good argument.

Speaking of bodycams, as well as angles go and DUI in Los Angeles county, a lot of LAPD officers now have bodycams. If they’re claiming a person didn’t pass a field sobriety test and you have a bodycam video showing that they did and that they were fine. They could walk the line. They cooperated with the police officer. They didn’t look drunk. They were walking and talking fine. That’s another angle to get them on. So, there are angles to win DUI cases, but those angles are not apparent and they’re not relevant in every case. Sometimes the police have the goods on you. They’re out there. They’re supposed to be protecting the public from people who are drinking and driving. If they pull you over for a lawful reason, your blood alcohol level is well over the .08, then you’ve got a problem.

So, attorney trying to claim different in every single case without even evaluating the facts, I would never trust those attorneys because all they’re trying to do is get a fee without even looking at the case first. So, first, when I get on a DUI case, I’m going to quote a fee to handle the case short of trial. I get on it. I get all the discovery. I review it. I talk to the client about it. I speak to the prosecutor about it. I’ve obviously got inside knowledge of the court where the case is pending and now we get down to the nitty-gritty. Alright, can you win the case or not? If you can’t win the case then we’re not going to take the case to trial. If you can win the case, then we’re going to set things up and we’re going to take the trial and we’re going to win it. But just saying you’re going to win the case before you know anything is just reckless and doesn’t make any sense.

A lot of people see that nowadays because I talk to them and they’re coming in talking about all kinds of crazy stuff. Wait a minute, that doesn’t even apply to your case. You don’t even have the paperwork on your case. How do you know that that particular issue applies to your case? Just because some sales person on the phone brought that up to you doesn’t mean that it’s relevant in your particular case.

So, that’s the first thing you have to do is, figure out what makes sense. Use your common sense to make some good solid decisions as it relates to winning a DUI case in Los Angeles County.

Contact a Los Angeles DUI lawyer

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

Probation Violation Hearings In DUI Cases In Los Angeles

Any time there’s a claim that you violated your probation in a DUI case, you’re entitled to have a probation violation hearing. In other words, the judge can’t just automatically find that you violated your probation and then sentence you to the maximum for whatever it is that you pled guilty to. Obviously, in felony cases, probation violations are much more serious because for a felony DUI, you’re typically looking at up to three years in prison. Whereas, in a misdemeanor DUI, first offense, you’re typically looking at up to six months in jail or if it’s a second or third offense, you could be looking at up to year in jail.

So, these DUI probation violations in Los Angeles can be very serious. Really what the court and the prosecutor are looking at is keeping the public safe. So, to that end, if you violate your probation in any way, you’re probably looking at some jail time and you’re going to want to get an attorney immediately. Because the attorney is going to be able to argue to try to keep you out of jail and explain to the judge and prosecutor why you’re not a danger to the community.

Then you get into kind of splitting hairs as to what the violation is. Is it an internal violation where you violated one of the terms and conditions of probation? In other words, maybe the judge told you from abstain from using alcohol during your probationary period. That was one of the terms of your probation, and they found you drunk, walking around the street and they tested your blood alcohol level and you had alcohol in your system, and now you violated that term and condition of probation. Or is it as simple as you not doing your DUI class in a timely fashion. So, that would be an internal violation – either not doing something you were supposed to or doing something that you were not supposed to.

What I would consider an external probation violation in a DUI case would be picking up a new case. Everybody is ordered to obey all laws and if you don’t obey all laws, then you’re going to violate your probation and be looking at whatever the maximum is for the DUI that you pled to. Another area where I see people getting nailed on is driving. Even if you’re not drinking and driving, if you were told by the DMV that your license is suspended and you’re still on a suspended period and the police pull you over and catch you, that’s a serious offense. You’re looking at mandatory jail time there for that type of a probation violation.

Another scenario is that when you’re on DUI probation, one of the standard terms and conditions is to have no blood alcohol level while you’re driving. In other words, you can’t drink at all, even if you’re under the .08. So, if they test you and you’re a .03 for example and you’re driving, then you violate your DUI probation and you will be looking at jail time.

What’s The Standard For Probation Violation In A DUI Case?

All the judge has to do is find by 51% that you violated your probation. If the judge finds that, then you’ve violated your probation and you’re going to be subject to jail time, community service, Caltrans or whatever punishment the judge deems appropriate in your particular case, your particular scenario and when someone is alleged to have violated their DUI probation and the decide they want to have a probation violation hearing, then the prosecutor is going to call witnesses to try to prove to the judge – not a jury, you’re not entitled to a jury in a probation violation situation – but to the judge, they’re going to have to prove by 51% – which is basically a -preponderance of the evidence – that you violated a term and condition of your probation, and therefore, should be punished for that.

A lot of times I’m seeing people get caught in scenarios and instead of them trying to file a new case against them, the prosecutors do what’s called an “in lieu of” filing which basically means in lieu of filing a new case, they’re just going to go right for the probation violation because they know that’s easier to prove. They know the only have to prove that only by 51% or a preponderance of the evidence versus in a DUI trial, they’ll have to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a much higher standard.

So, if you have a probation violation related to a DUI case, there’s all sorts of different angles that can be utilized to help you, to keep you out of jail, but obviously, you’re going to need a seasoned DUI attorney to help make the final decisions on exactly how you’re going to handle your case. What I do is, I have you come in and we sit down and strategize on what we’re going to do, what I’m going to have you do and what I’m going to do moving forward so we try to keep you out of jail and minimize the damage related to your DUI probation violation.

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 Difference Between Vehicle Code §23152(A) And §22153(B) In A DUI Case In Los Angeles

Restitution is a big issue. Basically, what restitution means is it relates to DUIs is, if you have a DUI matter and you end up getting in some sort of an accident and somebody either gets hurt or there is property damage, you are going to be responsible for that if the accident is your fault. So, the prosecutors feel that it’s part of their job to make sure that they get the victims of any accident of any property damage or injury – whatever it is they lost – whether it be their car replaced or whether they lose work – whatever makes sense and whatever they are out of pocket is going to be the restitution that the prosecutors will seek for them.

Unfortunately, I’ve done a lot of these DUI restitution cases over the last twenty-five years. The bottom line is, almost always the law and the rules related to restitution in DUIs is going to be for the benefit of the individual who has been wronged or hurt. The only way you’re going to get out of paying restitution is if you can make the argument number one, that they really didn’t have any out of pocket expenses. Personal injury where people are claiming pain and suffering, you can’t get that as restitution in a criminal case. But if you lost time off work, for example, you could certainly get that.

So, one way would be to say to no, the restitution is not appropriate because it’s a situation where the accident was not caused by the defendant. That’s another powerful argument to avoid paying restitution in a DUI case. In other words, sometimes someone gets in an accident, but whatever injury occurs to the person or whatever property damage is caused by either that person’s own actions or by the actions of a third-party having nothing to do with the defendant. So, the key issue is going to be, is a defendant in a DUI case a substantial factor in damage, property damage, or a substantial factor in an injury-type situation. Once you have that question, then you can start to answer whether or not the restitution is going to be appropriate in a particular DUI case.

How do they Handle Restitution Hearings in a DUI Case?

Basically, the defendant – even though they may be at fault for the accident, property damage or injury – is still entitled to a hearing as it relates to restitution. So, the judge will sit there and listen to all the evidence. See exactly what the alleged victim is claiming they are out of pocket and then the judge will make a ruling at the end as to what, if any, restitution is going to be awarded to the particular individual. So, evidence will be presented. You can certainly present counter evidence. The defendant can testify. The person who is injured can testify. Any witnesses can testify, and then like I said, in the end, the judge will make the decision on exactly how much restitution is owing in a DUI case.

Then the next question is going to be, okay, what if the person doesn’t have all of the restitution? For example, let’s say it’s a $10,000.00 restitution order but the defendant doesn’t have $10,000.00 to pay that. Then typically what the court will do is order them to pay it through the probation department if it’s a felony and the probation department will just determine how much money they have and make them make monthly payments based on their income towards the restitution.

If on the other hand, it’s not a felony and it can’t be monitored by the probation department, then the court is going to monitor the restitution award in a DUI case and the court will figure out whether the defendant is making reasonable efforts to pay back the restitution they caused in the DUI case, and if the defendant is just ignoring their responsibilities to pay the restitution, the court can find the defendant in violation of their probation and could punish the person for not paying the restitution to the victim.

This is definitely something you’re going to want to talk to your attorney about and let your attorney handle the restitution issue related to a DUI case so you can end up with the best possible result.

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.

Restitution In DUI Case In Los Angeles

Restitution is a big issue. Basically, what restitution means is it relates to DUIs is, if you have a DUI matter and you end up getting in some sort of an accident and somebody either gets hurt or there is property damage, you are going to be responsible for that if the accident is your fault. So, the prosecutors feel that it’s part of their job to make sure that they get the victims of any accident of any property damage or injury – whatever it is they lost – whether it be their car replaced or whether they lose work – whatever makes sense and whatever they are out of pocket is going to be the restitution that the prosecutors will seek for them.

Unfortunately, I’ve done a lot of these DUI restitution cases over the last twenty-five years. The bottom line is, almost always the law and the rules related to restitution in DUIs is going to be for the benefit of the individual who has been wronged or hurt. The only way you’re going to get out of paying restitution is if you can make the argument number one, that they really didn’t have any out of pocket expenses. Personal injury where people are claiming pain and suffering, you can’t get that as restitution in a criminal case. But if you lost time off work, for example, you could certainly get that.

So, one way would be to say to no, the restitution is not appropriate because it’s a situation where the accident was not caused by the defendant. That’s another powerful argument to avoid paying restitution in a DUI case. In other words, sometimes someone gets in an accident, but whatever injury occurs to the person or whatever property damage is caused by either that person’s own actions or by the actions of a third-party having nothing to do with the defendant. So, the key issue is going to be, is a defendant in a DUI case a substantial factor in damage, property damage, or a substantial factor in an injury-type situation. Once you have that question, then you can start to answer whether or not the restitution is going to be appropriate in a particular DUI case.

How do they Handle Restitution Hearings in a DUI Case?

Basically, the defendant – even though they may be at fault for the accident, property damage or injury – is still entitled to a hearing as it relates to restitution. So, the judge will sit there and listen to all the evidence. See exactly what the alleged victim is claiming they are out of pocket and then the judge will make a ruling at the end as to what, if any, restitution is going to be awarded to the particular individual. So, evidence will be presented. You can certainly present counter evidence. The defendant can testify. The person who is injured can testify. Any witnesses can testify, and then like I said, in the end, the judge will make the decision on exactly how much restitution is owing in a DUI case.

Then the next question is going to be, okay, what if the person doesn’t have all of the restitution? For example, let’s say it’s a $10,000.00 restitution order but the defendant doesn’t have $10,000.00 to pay that. Then typically what the court will do is order them to pay it through the probation department if it’s a felony and the probation department will just determine how much money they have and make them make monthly payments based on their income towards the restitution.

If on the other hand, it’s not a felony and it can’t be monitored by the probation department, then the court is going to monitor the restitution award in a DUI case and the court will figure out whether the defendant is making reasonable efforts to pay back the restitution they caused in the DUI case, and if the defendant is just ignoring their responsibilities to pay the restitution, the court can find the defendant in violation of their probation and could punish the person for not paying the restitution to the victim.

This is definitely something you’re going to want to talk to your attorney about and let your attorney handle the restitution issue related to a DUI case so you can end up with the best possible result.

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.