DUI Defense Strategies in Los Angeles
Los Angeles is almost the DUI capital of the world because there's so many people driving on the road here. It's such a condensed metropolis and law enforcement is specially trained to catch people who drive under the influence of alcohol, prescription medication, marijuana or other illegal drugs.
California Penal Code 23152(a) covers driving under the influence and Penal Code 23152(b) covers driving with a BAC .08 or higher.
They're looking for it out on the road, especially at certain times — on the weekend, late at night. You can bet if you're out past midnight on a Friday or Saturday night and law enforcement sees you, they're going to think you've probably had some drinks and they're going to be looking to pull you over if they can.
Don't Give Police Information to Start DUI Investigation
Strategy #1: I think strategy number one is, if you do get pulled over by law enforcement, don't take the approach that most people do, when they ask if you've had anything to drink tonight and say yeah, I've had a couple, because that's just the first trigger for them to pull you out of the car and start their DUI investigation.
So, not giving them information, not making it easy for them is certainly a strategy that can be utilized. You can do it politely. Have you had anything to drink tonight? No.
That's it. They're looking to smell your breath. These people who go into some big rambling long story, all they're doing is giving them an opportunity to smell their breath and if they smell alcohol, you're getting pulled out of the car.
If they pull you over and they smell Marijuana, you're getting pulled out of the car. So, don't make it easy for them.
Another thing I see is I've got clients, maybe because they're intoxicated, driving around like idiots. If you're driving around like an idiot during a time frame when police are looking for people who are driving under the influence, you're going to get pulled over and you're going to get arrested and cited for a DUI (CALCRIM 2100).
So, that's strategy number one. Don't give the police information. Don't make it easy for them to pull you over.
Be Realistic About Your DUI Case
Strategy #2: I think strategy number two when it comes to DUI's is to be realistic. Once you sit down with me and we look at some of the key factors in your DUI case, then you'll have a pretty good idea of what the lay of the land is in Los Angeles as it relates to DUI arrests.
Being realistic is crucial, because if you have some false sense of what's going on in the DUI community because you spoke to some knucklehead over the phone who's talking about what they did for this person, what they did for that person, or you believe some advertisement that's just trying to lure you in, then you're going to have a real tough time as it relates to your DUI.
One of the biggest factors to look at in your DUI case is what your blood alcohol level was. If your blood alcohol level was double or triple the legal limit, you're not getting your case dismissed unless you've got some loophole which rarely exist, because the people know about loopholes and they try to close them up.
Where you might be able to get less than a DUI is if your blood alcohol level is close to the legal limit. If you blew a .08 in Los Angeles county you've got a fighting chance as far as being able to not be convicted of a DUI.
If you blow a .08 in Ventura county, Santa Barbara county or Orange county, forget it. They don't care. They'll say, take us to trial. The legal limit is .08. You don't like it? Then go to trial. So, you have to have a realistic view of what's going on.
Also, a lot of people will try to come up with all of these tricky medical issues. Listen, you know whether or not you've had any alcohol in your system and then you're going to get what your blood alcohol level was.
Medical issue or not, if you've had like five drinks, then you're probably under the influence of alcohol. Remember, you don't have to be drunk. You just have to be under the influence and not safely operate a motor vehicle.
That's why they're doing all those field sobriety tests on you — to make that determination, plus they're obviously looking at you and deciding. So, step number two is to be realistic.
Sit down with an attorney like me who understands the courthouse where your case is and who's handled thousands of DUI's, gotten great results for clients, but also understands the value of your case and what it's all about.
Retain DUI Lawyer with Experience in Local Court
Strategy #3: I think step number three as far as a realistic strategy in a DUI case is to get an attorney who you can relate to and who has experience in the courthouse where your case is pending and obviously has success in the subject matter; namely, getting good results in DUI cases in the courthouse where your case is pending.
That's why when you come in and sit down to talk to me and tell me which court your case is, I can kind of give you an idea of what the tendencies are in that particular courtroom with that judge, with those prosecutors in that court.
How they handle your type of cases, and what we can do to try to mitigate and do damage control, and I can also tell you whether or not we have any angles to file any motions related to your case, do a blood split, check the calibration records related to the machine that was used to test you.
If it's a Marijuana case, see how high the THC was if you smoke the day before and you hadn't smoked any Marijuana that day. If it's a prescription medication case, we can also look into what defenses might be available there.
Do they use a Drug Recognition Expert versus trying to do the alcohol-related tests which have nothing to do with drugs being in your system?
So, I think those are your three strategies. Number. 1, don't help the police. Number 2, have a realistic view of what's going on; and lastly, get an attorney who can really help you who you feel comfortable with, because if you feel comfortable with the attorney then so will the judge and the prosecutor.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. We are also located at 633 West Fifth Street Los Angeles, CA 90071. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0963.