Sunday, December 27, 2015

I Want To Hire An Attorney For My DUI But Do Not Have The Retainer, What Can I Do?

Fighting a DUI takes skill and expertise, that is why most folks decide to hire a lawyer to help them.  The problem is many people do not have the full amount of the retainer to hire a Law Firm, what can be done?

Many people do not know that they have a Constitutional right to hire the attorney of their own choosing if it can be done with reasonable probability.  In other words, you do not have to be stuck with a public defender if you have the means to hire private counsel.  Here is a step by step process on what you should do:

First, consult with the attorney you wish to hire.  Get the facts about what the cost will be and how payment can be made.

Second, figure out how you can make the payments and what must be done to get the necessary funds to hire the lawyer for your DUI case.

Third, on your Court date ask the Judge for time to hire private counsel.  This is your right and the Judge must allow a reasonable period of time for a person to hire their attorney of choice.  Be sure to have the details ready if the Judge asks how you intend to accomplish the engagement.  Give the Judge a specific name of a lawyer if he asks and be ready to tell the Court how much time you need and why.  Most Judges will allow a 30-45 day continuance if you appear to be sincere about your efforts to hire private counsel.

Once you obtain the continuance contact the prospective Law Firm and advise them of the new Court date and set an appointment to come in and retain the attorney when you have secured the necessary funds.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

How To Get Your License Back After A DUI Arrest In California

Anyone arrested in California gets there license confiscated and cannot get it returned until they go through a DMV hearing or wait until the suspension is over.  In CA if you are a first offender and took a chemical test the suspension is 4 months.  If you hired an attorney and you had a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher he or she will tell you a way to get your license back without having to wait the full 4 months.  Here is how you can get reinstated early, after you wait 30 days after the suspension.

First, get enrolled in a first offender DUI school called an AB541 class, they are all over the state and you can click here to find a class in your area.  DUI schools in California.
Tell the program provider that you wish to "self enroll" in the first offender DUI program for DMV purposes and that you have not been ordered to enroll from a Court, nor have you been convicted in the criminal Court.  They may want to see a current DMV printout called an H6 that you can get from any DMV office.

Next, get an SR22 which is a formal proof of insurance, for more information on this process visit our article on preparing for a DMV hearing.

Lastly, pay the required reissue fees with the DMV.

Once you have done all of these things you can get your license back to drive for work and school, it will remain restricted for up to 5 months.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Can I do an Online DUI School in California?

The answer depends upon the type of Court and DMV resolution in your case.  If your attorney was able to work out a reduction than in most cases, yes.  However, in certain cases you must attend an in person DUI class approved by the state, inside the boundaries of California.  For example, if you were convicted of VC23152 a or b and have a California license and live within the state you must attend an in person class in CA.  However, if you live outside Ca and do not have a Ca license you can usually get away with an online as long as the Court approved it in advance.

Here is an example of a recent case:  The defendant was arrested in Los Angeles for VC23152 and went to Court.  The Judge ordered completion of an AB762 class because his blood alcohol level was .17.  Through negotiations with the prosecutor, they agreed an online class was OK because he lived out of state and did I not have a California drivers license.  The 1650 waiver process was explained.  He provided a certificate of completion of an on line AB762 class which was filed with the Court and that satisfied the Court requirements of completion of a DUI/DWI program.

Make sure that whatever class you do, that it will provide you a certificate of completion that meets the requirements of the specific class you were ordered to complete, for example:

12 hour, SB 1176 class
3 month AB 541 class
6 month AB762 class
9 month AB 1353 class
18 month SB38 class

Here are a couple online DUI class providers that offer CA classes:

Tom Wilson DUI schools

Ari Novick DUI schools online


Be sure to get advance approval from the Court before starting an online DUI/DWI class.  Remember, these web based schools are not approved by CA DMV but may satisfy your Court requirements.  Check with you attorney before beginning.