Mitigating the DUI Case
I have been defending DUI cases in the San Fernando courthouse for the past 26 years. I remember in 1994, the Northridge earthquake seriously damaged the courthouse, and they had to do a lot of these DUI cases in the outer buildings near the courthouse that were not damaged.
So, I have a good feel for how DUIs are handled, what the best approach is, who to speak to, and what tendencies the judges and prosecutors in San Fernando have when dealing with DUI cases.
Also, when you talk about defense, you don't just talk about going to jury trial and fighting the case and winning, although that certainly is the main thought that people have when they talk about the defense of a DUI.
But you also talk about mitigating the case. You also talk about keeping the person out of jail, realizing that person has a future and a career.
In many of the DUIs prosecuted in San Fernando, the person is guilty of the crime, and their blood alcohol level is over a .08, and they were lawfully pulled over. Therefore, they're going to have to do some negotiated plea. That's part of the defense of a DUI.
Sometimes we're going to be able to take someone charged with a DUI and get that reduced down to a wet reckless or a dry reckless or a speed contest.
Other times, we're going to have people with very high blood alcohol levels who are facing jail time, who are facing extra allegations related to their DUI, and we're going to be able to get those additional allegations struck and get that person the bare minimum punishment as it relates to a DUI.
So, I think the bottom line is that you've got to realize that to defend a DUI in the San Fernando courthouse properly, you first have to have a good defense strategy and an attorney that can execute it.
Elements of a DUI in San Fernando
I believe that's where I come in, having handled thousands of DUI cases over the years in the San Fernando court. I know how to handle the various elements of a DUI.
You'll first start in Department M on the first floor in the San Fernando courthouse. That's where you'll be prosecuted. Your attorney will be given all the evidence related to the case. Indeed, we're able to investigate anything we need to. We're able to use any experts that might be appropriate in your case.
We don't do the same thing in every DUI case. Sometimes we'll do one thing because it's relevant to a point; other times, we won't do that because it doesn't have anything to do with your particular case.
So, I think the most important thing is to call, ask to speak to Ron Hedding, and set up a meeting with me. Let's sit down and talk about it. Let's break everything down in the privacy of my office, and then we can figure out what the best move is going forward.
What Makes Us the Best DUI Defense Firm?
If I had to answer that question in one word, it would be experience. We've been handling cases at the DUI level in the San Fernando Valley for 30+ years. We've been in every court in the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles County defending our clients for DUI matters.
We've handled thousands of cases and have a wealth of experience in DUI defense. One thing I would make sure of if I were to get a DUI in the San Fernando Valley is that not only would my attorney have experience doing DUI cases, but I also have experience doing trials.
A lot of DUI defense firms never go to trial. They may tout many claims, but if you look into it, they do not go to trial; they only work out deals in these cases.
That's fine, except you have to have the ability to go to trial in the proper case, and trial attorneys know what the issues are when it comes to DUI cases and can point them out to the prosecutors.
Often, that will lead to a better resolution in the case. Whereas, when somebody only has an eye towards resolving the case and is not looking at all the angles, we usually have a situation where you're not getting the best resolution. Never hire a middle firm where there's one attorney at the top – that's a figurehead and never goes to court -- and then uses younger lawyers to do all the work.
That doesn't even make sense. Why would you hire the firm? If you have the young lawyer's credentials, working one to two years, and have only done a few cases, you would never hire that lawyer, especially for the fees some law firms charge.
Well-Known in Local Courts
My father and associates have been doing this for many years. We are very successful. We are very well known in the San Fernando Valley and get great results. If you've got a DUI, we'll break it down;
- We're going to dissect it;
- We're going to see the reason for the pullover;
- We're going to see what your blood alcohol level;
- Whether your BAC was accurately taken;
- We're going to look at all angles related to the case;
- Whether or not the police saw you driving;
- The time between the pullover and the taking of the breath or blood, because that matters.
We'll look at all other angles – the reason for the stop and how the procedures were done. You can bet we'll know the prosecutor when we go into that courtroom. We have dealt with him before. We're going to know the judge, and we're going to know how to get you the best result.
I started working for the district attorney's office, so I know how they operate. Then I worked for a superior court judge, and in the early 1990s, I started defending DUI cases, and I've done thousands of them over the years.
Negotiating Your DUI Case for the Best Outcome
After you get out of the initial arraignment, if you enter a not guilty plea, you'll then be moved into one of the other departments in San Fernando that handle the trials and negotiations regarding your DUI case.
What I typically will do is appear for you at the first court appearance, pick up all of the paperwork, speak to the prosecutor, and then continue the case for two to three weeks so that we can meet. I can tell you what the prosecutor said.
I can get you a copy of the paperwork to review what evidence the prosecution has against you. Then you and I, in the privacy of my office again, can sit down and talk about precisely what the best strategy is moving forward.
Whether to take the case to trial or negotiate the case, we're going to talk about keeping you out of jail and doing everything we can to minimize the damage to your license and do everything we can to reduce damage to your life.
That's what it's all about. It's difficult when you get arrested, and your driver's license is on the line because of the DMV; your freedom is on the line because you're facing a criminal charge.
As your defense attorney, it's my job to assert all of your defenses and do everything possible to make sure you are treated fairly and get the best result.
If you need the best, and you do, you do it once, you do it right, and you never do it again. Pick up the phone now. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. We offer a free case evaluation. The Hedding Law Firm is located in Encino, CA.