Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I Didn't Get a Pink Paper About My License, Can The DMV Still Suspend?

It is well known that the court and the dmv are separate when it comes to a dui in california.  The process starts with the officer handing the arrested person a pink paper that outlines the suspension process and serves as a temp license pending the formal suspension.  But what about those individuals that never got a pink temporary license and notice of suspension?  Can the DMV take action against the person without this crucial step? 

The answer to this inquiry involves first understanding the purpose of the document.  It is an actual "notice of intent" to suspend and under california law the suspended driver must be given notice of the action in order for the suspension to have any real teeth vis a vis a later arrest for driving on a suspended license (VC14601).  Therefore, the short answer to the question would be, no, it would be improper to take a license without that step.  However, two things could occur.  One, the officer may lie and tell the DMV that he gave the notice.  Two, the DMV can cure the defect by mailing a subsequent notice to the licensee and the right to requesting a hearing starts from the mailing of that notice.  Either way the bottom line is that the accused must receive some type of notification in order for the suspension to be used against the person down the road.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

How Long Can The California DMV Take My License For a DUI?

All punishments for DUI involving a person's drivers license are handled through the DMV.  There is a range of consequences that apply to drunk drivers within the state, here is an overview:  For a 1st time offender who takes a test and is over 21 the maximum term of suspension is 6 months, but this is how that breaks down.  The APS suspension part is a max of 4 months but only a 30 day "hard" suspension because you can get a restricted license for work after a month.  the Court suspension if you are convicted for the VC23152 (DUI) or VC23152b (Driving with .08 or more) is a max of six months, this is where that number comes in.

For second time offenders the California DUI Laws come down much stiffer.  The max suspension is 2 years, however, if you get an IID in your car and the offense did not involve drugs, than you can get a license back after 90 days of hard time.  the law gets tougher for third or more offenders since the new DWI laws allow for a judge to revoke a license for up to 10 years.  Commercial drivers face a tough time as well with most CDL licenses being confiscated for a minimum of one year.  California is hard on driving under the influence cases, so be careful when drinking and driving within the state.

The good news, if there is any, is that every person who is facing a loss of license in California can and will get a full fledged hearing to contest the suspension or revocation.  Most attorneys who practice in DMV defense can help you do everything possible to save your precious driving privilege.

How Long Can The Police Hold My Car In Impound For A DUI?

California Law permits police agencies to impound a car following an arrest of the driver for a DUI.  The duration of that impound depends on a combination of many factors.  For example, if the driver has prior DUI convictions the impound can be indefinite pending a hearing before a judge.  This type of hold presumes that the vehicle poses a danger to the public since it was being driven by a person who shows a reckless disregard for the safety of the motoring public.

The most common type of impound is that of a first offender.  In these cases the hold will often last only as long as the person is in custody and can pick up the car upon release, assuming he or she has a valid California drivers license.  This scenario contemplates an arrest where the officer uses his discretion to have the vehicle towed if the vehicle was involved in the DUI.  The costs of this type of example can be anywhere from $100 to $500 depending on the distance towed and the number of days the car is held.

Monday, July 23, 2012

How Can I Erase A DUI In California?

Once a DUI is on your record it can stay there for many years, but how can it be removed?  Believe it or not, a DUI can be removed from your record, at least your criminal record.  California DUI law states that a conviction shall be deemed dismissed if the person takes the steps to have the case expunged under Penal Code 1203.4.  That statute authorizes a Court to remove a criminal case from a defendant's record as if it was dismissed in the first place. 

The steps to be taken are:  First, get the proper forms from the court clerk or have a lawyer prepare them for you; Second, serve a copy of the petition on the prosecutor that charged you in the first place (note, this step is important because the judge will not consider a request to expunge without the D.A. or other agency being notified of the request); Third, set the case for a hearing at which time the court will either grant or deny the motion.

The cost for filing an expungement in California is $120.  having an attorney handle it will probably set you back anywhere form $500 to $1000.  When selecting a law firm to take care of a petition for expungement remember you get what you pay for.  Most cheap firms will take a long time and can mess up the process by not taking the time to research the case and see to it that the proper steps are taken.

Once a DUI has been expunged it will no longer appear as a conviction on your records, however, the DMV will continue to show the case for up to 10 years.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

How To get a Free Consultation or Second Opinion on a California DUI

Information is king, and when it comes to a pending legal matter it can be a lifesaver.  But where does one go to get vital info and advice for such matters as criminal cases and DUI arrests?  The best resource for a consultation is the Internet.  There are a number of attorneys that have listings on this site for example and each one of them will grant you a free consultation about you matter if you request it.

What about a second opinion on a drunk driving case?  Well, most lawyers will agree to review your case and offer their advice on possible approaches and potential defenses.  It is well understood that California DUI Laws are complex and it is unreasonable to think that every attorney will understand all the nuances of the various penalties and consequences.  Therefore, it may behoove you to get a second opinion or even a third since the ramifications of a CA driving under the influence conviction are very long lasting.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Does California Give Jail Time On a First DUI?

For anyone facing a driving under the influence charge in California, many questions exist.  Perhaps the most important question is whether a defendant is facing automatic jail time as a first offender.  The answer to the interrogatory depends on the county and city you are arrested in.  For example, in some areas of Kern County a person who is convicted of a first time DUI has to do 48 hours in jail, and no time is given for the time spent in the jail when arrested.  However, on average, most persons sentenced for a DWI or drunk driving who have no record are given no incarceration, at most some community service or jail alternative.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Will My Employer Know I Got A DUI in California?

Many things happen when a person is arrested for a DUI in California.  Among them are the fact that the DMV is notified almost immediately via the APS process, but what about your employer?  Are they told?  The answer is yes if they are part of the "employer pull program" administered by the California DMV.  This program allows companies to be notified immediately if a driver gets a DUI or some other ding on their DMV record.  This program is a voluntary one and usually only those who drive company cars will participate.  The one sure way to know if your boss is part of this program is to get a copy of your MVR record and it will say if your employer should be told about any action pending on your driving record.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Can I get A DUI In California If I Wasn't Driving?

The short answer is no.  The law in CA is that you must have drove when you were impaired. However to better answer the question it is important to understand that California DUI Laws allow for the state to prove driving with the use of what is known as circumstantial evidence.  Here's an example:  The person arrested was found drunk passed out on the side of the road in his car with the engine running.  Can this person be convicted of DUI?  Possibly.  You see, the prosecutor can prove that he was driving at a time he was impaired due to circumstantial evidence such as the fact he was alone in the car, he was drunk, he had to be the driver and he must have driven there when he was drunk.  This type of case is common where the person admits that he drove to the location.  The burden then shifts to the defendant to provide some other scenario that may point to his innocence such as the fact that someone may have drove him there and then left. If no alternative explanation is proffered then the person will likely get convicted.

Therefore, you see that it does not take direct evidence of driving to prove someone was DUI, the CA laws allow for this to be proven in many different ways.  If the circumstances indicate beyond a reasonable doubt that you were driving at some point when you were impaired, you can get a DUI.