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.  Call the program ahead of time and ask if you will need the H6.  You can also tell them that your attorney instructed you to enroll in the particular class therefore an H6 is unnecessary.

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.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

What Is SCRAM?

In recent years Judges and prosecutors in DUI cases have been imposing a SCRAM condition for many second and third time offenders.  The SCRAM System is a passive, non-invasive tool that reliably and continuously monitors and measures alcohol consumption 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for an extended period. It is based on transdermal alcohol detection and measures alcohol excreted through the skin in the form of constant, unnoticeable perspiration.

SCRAM Bracelet or Anklet. This tamper- and water-resistant bracelet or anklet contains an analog and a digital component that are attached to the offender using a durable strap (a custom engineered polypropylene blend). The strap houses electronic circuitry that allows the analog and digital sides to communicate.

Some people have reported problems with the product and therefore there are some instances where the device may give false results. The reliance of transdermal alcohol testing on an electrochemical sensor ensures that false positive readings due to organic hydrocarbon solvents or contaminants do not occur. Moreover, because it measures alcohol through the skin, this technology will not produce false positive readings due to the presence of mouth alcohol.  For example, Some foods (e.g., chocolate donuts, certain types of breads) can produce endogenous (internally produced) alcohol. This alcohol is unlikely to be produced in sufficient quantities to result in a positive reading on a transdermal alcohol measuring device. For example, an article published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology reported that an individual would be required to consume 3 lbs of bread to reach a BAC equivalent to that of a single 12 oz beer with 4% alcohol. As such, “the likelihood of anyone testing positive for alcohol from cooked bread consumption, let alone becoming intoxicated, is therefore remote” (Logan and Distefano 1998, p. 183). Similarly, certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, can also result in the internal production of alcohol. Individuals with diabetes are prone to vascular diseases in the extremities and are potentially at greater risk of discomfort and potential adverse side effects as a result of wearing the SCRAM bracelet. At this time, it is recommended that individuals with diabetes not use SCRAM. 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Why Is It Taking So Long For My Blood Test Results?

As a DUI Lawyer for the past 21 years I am asked many questions by my clients.  Among the most common is why does it take so long for a blood test result to come back?  The answer is the blood vial in a DUI arrest is not tested at the hospital, jail or clinic where the blood was collected.

The blood sample is sent to a forensic laboratory where the testing is done.  In Los Angeles County, including Torrance, the blood or urine sample is sent to the Sherriff's LASD County Crime Lab in Downey where it is tested among other samples submitted.  In Kern County the vials are tested by the District Attorney Crime Lab in Downtown Bakersfield.  The process of getting the vial from the arresting agency to the lab involves transportation and preservation issues unique to the state evidentiary and regulatory rules.  Once at the lab there is a system of identification, sampling, testing and retesting that takes days if not weeks to accomplish due to the backlog of criminal laboratories and lack of sufficient funding.

Obviously, other tests for crimes such as rape, murder, and other serious felonies are given priority.  Although the blood testing for Drunk Driving cases are typically done within 2 weeks, the official reports which include a review by a senior toxicologist, will usually delay the reporting time to about 30-45 days.  In drug cases the reporting time can be longer since the specific drug needs to be tested twice, once for qualitative results, ie.  Is the drug present within the sample?  Then again quantitatively, ie.  What is the actual concentration of the drug?

The delay in the reporting of the results vary but you must remember that in a misdemeanour DUI prosecution the District Attorney has a full year to file charges.  In a felony case the DA has 3 years or sometimes more.  Therefore, if there is no result of the blood or urine then the prosecution and Court will usually ask for another Court Date.

Once the result of the state's test is reported it is possible to have the blood or urine retested by a private independent lab.  This process can again take 30-60 days or longer and can cost upwards of several hundred to thousands of dollars or more depending upon the type of testing requested.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Cop Never Read My Miranda Rights, Will My DUI Case Be Dismissed?

Having practiced DUI for more than 20 years I can honestly say this is the number one asked question by my clients.  The short answer to the question is most likely no.

Let me start by saying Miranda Rights mean the cop must tell an arrested person they have a right to an attorney and the right to speak to that attorney before answering any questions.  But why is this question the number one question asked?  Well, fundamentally it is due to the fact that in most movies and TV shows when a person is arrested the cops read them their Miranda rights so there is a misconception that Miranda is required in any case where a suspect is arrested, that is simply not the law.

Here is what California law states when it comes to the mandatory reading of Miranda rights in a DUI or any other criminal case:  First, the suspect must be told he or she has a right to a lawyer before they are questioned and prior to making any statements only if they are "in custody" which means there liberty is restrained in a significant way and they are not free to leave.  Second, Miranda is only required when the police intend to interrogate a suspect, meaning they intend to ask them questions that are intended to illicit an incriminating response. So, there is a two prong test before Miranda must be read.

Let's, apply that 2 prong rule in a DUI or drunk driving arrest:  First, a person is definitely in custody because they are handcuffed and placed in the back of a patrol car so this part of the two prong test is satisfied.  However,  the second prong is generally the issue,  this is where the test often fails.  The suspect must be in custody at the time the officer intends to question them about the crime.  In most cases, after arrest the officer no longer questions them about the facts of the crime, for example how much have you had to drink, etc.  Although the officer did ask many incriminating questions it was likely before the suspect was placed under arrest so therefore Miranda was not required.  In short, if the cop places you under arrest for DUI but does not further question you about the facts of the case, other than routine booking information, then Miranda is inapplicable.

There may be instances where Miranda could be implicated in a DWI case.  For example, if the cop arrests you and subsequently questions you about the crime to get you to make incriminating statements then your rights could be violated.  Here's an example, the officer arrests you, places you in handcuffs then sits you in the back of the police car and asks you how much you had to drink, where you drank and the times you drank the alcoholic beverages.  Here, Miranda is required because he asks the questions after you were arrested.  Cops know that the law would require the reading of rights in this instance so they most always ask the incriminating questions before placing you in handcuffs.

What if the cops did violate your Constitutional rights by violating Miranda?  What is the remedy?  In short, it is suppression of the incriminating statements, not dismissal of the charges.

There is one type of DUI case where Miranda is almost always required, it is one involving drugs rather than alcohol.  Here's why:  In drug cases the officer that arrests you will usually call out a DRE or drug recognition expert to further assess you for drug impairment.  Because the situation involves an arrest prior to the DRE being called out Miranda is required.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Torrance DUI Lawyer Discusses Under 21 Drinking and Driving

The problem of drinking and driving for underage drivers has hit a record this year.  The state of California has considered changing the way it deals with and punishes the offenders.   Here is a brief overview of the problem from the perspective of a recent AAA study:
  1. The drunk driving control system treats drivers under the age of 21 differently from those over 21 in several respects. Under minimum drinking age laws, it is illegal for anyone under 21 to drink, while under zero tolerance laws it is illegal for anyone under 21 to drive after drinking any alcohol. Many drivers under 21, and most under the age of 18, attend high school or college. These settings provide opportunities for education and information and for policies regarding alcohol use.

    In 1999, only 13% of drinking drivers in fatal crashes were under the age of 21. However, young drivers may be the most important target for drunk driving preven- tion and control measures. Today’s youth are tomorrow’s adults. Habits formed today carry over to tomorrow: safe driving, drinking practices, respect or disrespect for the law. Numerous studies show that young people have adopted the ideas of not drinking and driving far more than have their elders. Nevertheless, young people continue to drink, in large numbers in defiance of the minimum drinking age.

    The laws, programs, and educational efforts directed at young people clearly have had an effect, but they must be continued. Each year brings a new cohort of beginning drivers who must decide for themselves whether or not to drink and drive.

    Zero tolerance laws provide a special opportunity. The typical punishment for violating a zero tolerance law is suspension or revocation of the driver’s license. The driver’s license is a precious symbol of independence and mobility for young people, therefore a punishment of license confiscation should play an important role is any consequence.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

What Should I Be Doing Prior To My DMV Hearing?

In any DUI case a DMV hearing will be scheduled to challenge the suspension of your drivers license.  In the days leading up to the hearing these are the things you should know:

1.  Your drivers license will remain valid pending an outcome at the hearing.  You may receive a new temporary license but do not panic if that does not come right away.  If a hearing date is set you will get a stay of the suspension therefore nothing will happen to your license pending a decision. If you are stopped by the police they will see your license is valid in the computer.

2.  You may want to go to the DMV and get a photo ID unless you have a passport or other government identification.

3.  Be sure to contact any potential witnesses, including anyone that was with you the night you were arrested, let them know they may be needed to testify at the hearing and to keep that date and time open just in case.

4.  You will be notified whether you will need to appear in person or by phone.  This decision will be made once the discovery has been recieved from the DMV.  For more information read the the article: what happens at a DMV hearing.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Preparing For The Upcoming DMV Hearing In Your DUI Case

Anyone facing a DMV hearing for DUI needs to understand that there is always a substantial risk the Department will "rubber stamp" the conclusions made by the arresting officer.  Sometimes, even though the attorney may raise legitimate legal defenses and objections to the evidence the DMV may ignore those assertions and uphold the suspension based on the alleged blood alcohol level as reported by the breath machine or blood test. The good news is that we may be able to avoid an actual suspension and allow you to keep your license, at least for work, school, etc. The following is what you must do immediately to prepare for this outcome:

1. Obtain proof of insurance by way of an SR-22 that must be filed with the DMV.
This is done electronically directly from the company to the DMV. For help with
this contact your own insurance agent or call one of the companies that my past clients have used, see the attachments provided. One school of thought is that it is better to avoid getting the SR-22 from your primary insurer.  Here is what one insurance professional has to say about the subject: 

 "An SR22 is a certificate of insurance that the state of California requires all DUI offenders to obtain if convicted of a DUI. One of the biggest mistakes a DUI victim can make is calling their insurance provider to obtain an SR22. When you call your insurance company and ask them for an SR22, they automatically run your driving record. It is at this point that they discover about your DUI causing your rates to automatically sky rocket. An insurance company knows exactly why you need and SR22 filing and they are eager to use it against you."

  For help with obtaining an SR22, call an insurance professional or one of the experts below, let them know I represented you and they can explain the process in greater detail. It is best to do this prior to the hearing

I encourage my clients to compare prices with various providers for the best price.

Edgar Ruelas
Los Angeles Sales Manager Silver Coast Insurance Services 

Cliff Jones
Fresh Start Insurance Services, Inc.
Anaheim, Calif. 92807
Office-(844) 44-FRESH (37374)
Direct- (657) 220-9317
Mobile-(310) 529-1049

2. Start the enrollment process for the AB 541 alcohol education program. Understand that you may be required to complete a longer program depending upon the outcome in Court, however, the AB541 is the minimum required class and discuss the possibility of a longer program with the provider up front, such as a 9 month class in cases where your BAC was above a .15.
A complete list of first offender programs can be found at this site: California DUI Schools.

The program will file the enrollment with the DMV, confirm with them that they have done so. Let them know you want to "self enroll" in the AB541 for DMV purposes, that there is no Court disposition and you do not have any paperwork from the Court.

If you have additional questions feel free to contact Torrance DUI Attorney Matthew Ruff.

Monday, September 14, 2015

California Supreme Court Rules a Detention Occurs When Police Pull Behind Parked Car With Lights Flashing

In many DUI cases a person is parked when the police arrive and arrest the subject.  Here, the Supreme Court defines a detention to occur when the police pull in behind a car an turn on emergency lights.

Here are the facts in People vs. Brown, A deputy sheriff investigating an emergency call reporting a fight in progress pulled his car behind Brown's parked vehicle and activated his emergency lights. The officer found Brown to be intoxicated and he was charged with felony driving under the influence. Brown moved to suppress evidence of his intoxication as the fruit of an unlawful detention. The trial court denied the motion, concluding that Brown had not been detained until the deputy observed that he was intoxicated and, at that point, the deputy had a reasonable suspicion that Brown had been driving under the influence. The Court of Appeal affirmed. The California Supreme Court granted review. 

Held: Affirmed. An officer seizes a person when the officer, by means of physical force or show of authority, has in some way restrained the liberty of a citizen. In situations involving a show of authority, a person is seized if, in view of all of the circumstances surrounding the incident, a reasonable person would have believed that he was not free to leave, or otherwise terminate the encounter, and if the person actually submits to the show of authority. (Brendlin v. California (2007) 551 U.S. 249, 255.) Without adopting a bright-line rule, the court concluded that a reasonable person in Brown's position would not have felt free to leave, and Brown demonstrated submission to police authority by staying in his car. Under the totality of the circumstances, Brown was detained. 

However, the Court declined to dismiss the DUI because the detention was supported by reasonable suspicion and was justified because there was a reliable citizen's report of a violent fight potentially involving a firearm and the officer found Brown near the scene of the fight in an otherwise vacant alley only minutes later. (CCAP).  As a Torrance DUI Lawyer I have seen this scenario in many cases.  Usually the client is sleeping in the car when contacted.  This case can be used in those situations when the police gave no reason to detain, such as when the car is legally parked.

Why Is My Court Date Being Changed?

All DUI cases start out with a police report, blood test or breath test results and if the case involves an accident, a collision investigation report detailing the specifics of the incident.  Once these documents are prepared they are submitted to the local prosecutor for evaluation and determination of possible criminal charges.  The District Attorney will file what is called a formal " complaint" with the local Court that alleges the crimes charged and what they intend to prove.  Sometimes, however, the complaint is not filed before the date given to appear in Court.  When this occurs the person will be sent a new Court date.

Why does this happen?  Usually the arresting agency will not have submitted the necessary paperwork to the DA in order to file the case.  This paperwork may include the results of a blood test or other chemical test given.  In many cases there is a backlog at the local crime lab that does the analysis, sometimes the test is complete but the arresting agency is backlogged and simple hasn't submitted the final reports to the District Attorney. In some situations the DA has all of the reports but needs additional time to evaluate the evidence.  Sometimes, the file is sent back to the arresting agency for more information or the DA may require some additional investigation to finalize their decision on what charges, if any, to file. For example, a witness may need to be re-interviewed or some additional evidence may need to be tested.  In any case, the DA will usually notify the accused by way of a letter once the case is finally submitted and a new Court date will be issued.

It is important to remember that California Law gives the prosecutor one year to file a misdemeanor DUI and three years to file a felony charge.  If the prosecuting agency fails to file charges within this period of time then they will be barred by the statute of limitations.

During the period of time between the investigation and the formal filing of charges the DA is under no obligation to release any information or reports.  All official reports will be turned over to the defense attorney only once the complaint is filed with the Court.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Two Test Requirement In Breath Testing

Many folks stopped for DUI will be asked to submit to so roadside breath test prior to arrest.  These roadside preliminary breath tests are a commonly used tool by law enforcement in a Torrance and many other cities in Los Angeles.

Problems arise however when the officer only obtains one sample of breath.  All scientific studies reveal that duplicate sample are necessary to achieve a reliable result.  For example, The recommended guidelines for the use of breath testing results in law reinforcement: two breaths, taken two to ten minutes apart after observation / alcohol-deprivation period of fifteen minutes [Dubowski, K.M., National Safety Council Committee on Alcohol and Other Drugs, October 1986.  Duplicate Breath- Alcohol Testing, Am J Forensic Med Pathol., 1988, Sep; 9(3): 272.]

 "The human variables on the accuracy of breath testing make duplicate testing mandatory.  It is well known that "with only one subject sample, it is not possible to know, with a reasonable degree of certainty that a random error did not occur in the subject test.  The rationale of requiring replicate analysis for any quantitative procedure is universally accepted." [Jones A.W., Precision, Accuracy and Relevance of Breath Alcohol Measurements, Modern Problems of Pharmacopsychiatry, Vol. 11, S. Krager, Basel, Switzerland 1976 pp  69-78].  The use of a breath test that only uses one sample should therefore be viewed with caution in a legal setting.

 If your DUI case only involves one breath blow contact an attorney to discuss strategies to throw out the test completely.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Judge George Bird, Getting Things Done In Torrance Court

For years Torrance Court has done without an EDP Court for misdemeanors.  What this meant was many cases languished for long periods of time before resolving and the dispositions between the various cities were inconsistent.  That all changed when Judge George Bird was appointed to the Torrance Bench last month.  Now, cases are settling faster than before and the calendar is being cleared on a much more expedited basis.

Many attorneys are applauding the change because it creates an environment where sentences are handed down on a much more even handed consistent level with little variation between the city prosecutors.  For example, a couple months ago if a person got arrested in Manhattan Beach for drunk in public the offer was quite different from a  person arrested in Redondo or Hermosa Beach.  This was unfair and confusing to the general public.  As a local DUI attorney in Torrance I can say there has been a marked improvement of efficiency with the new EDP Court and Judge Bird at the helm in Division 3.

Many attorneys have also commented on the fact that Judge Bird has no problem disagreeing with a prosecutor when the offer they are making is unfair under the specific circumstances of the case.  Overall his appointment has been well received by the local bar.

DUI cases in Torrance are processed differently than in other Courts.  The following is a summary of how cases are assigned:

Initially all cases are heard in Division 3 on the second floor of the Courthouse.  This Courtroom does all misdemeanor arraignments from all cities, including Redondo Beach, Hermosa, Gardena, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Peninsula and of course the city of Torrance.  If a not guilty plea is entered the case is "sent out" to another division for all purposes including trial.  The division breakdown is as follows:

Division 2, Judge Sandra Thompson:  Redondo and Hermosa
Division P, Judge Nicole Bershon:  Gardena, Palos Verdes Peninsula, Manhattan Beach
Division 5, Judge Gary Tanaka:  City of Torrance

All felony DUI cases start in Div 4, Judge Thomas Sokolov.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Torrance Court Sees A Change Of Procedure For DUI Cases

As of August 2015 the Torrance Court on Maple will change the way DUI and other misdemeanours are heard.  It used to be that each city in the jurisdiction would have its own Courtroom for arraignment, Redondo Beach and Hermosa were in Division 2, Manhattan Beach and Palos Verdes were in Division P for example.  This all has changed.

Now, all new cases will start in Division 3 for arraignment and what is called EDP or early disposition.  The case can be resolved there and stay there for purposes of resolution.  The Judge in that Courtroom is the well respected Honorable George Bird, a former local criminal defense attorney himself so he knows the ins and outs of working out a fair disposition to cases.

Should the case proceed to trial ,after a not guilty plea, the case will be transferred to one of the previously assigned courtrooms such as Division 2, 5, and P as follows:

Division P of the Torrance Court is presided over by the Honorable Judge Nicole Bershon.  This Court hears all misdemeanor cases originating from Manhattan Beach and the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Division 5 of the Southbay Court is presided over by the Honorable Gary Tanaka, a former public defender and County Counsel.  This Court hears all cases coming the the city of Torrance, misdemeanors and drunk driving.

Division 2 is The Honorable Sandra Thompson who presides over all Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach DWI cases and misdemeanours such as drunk in public.

All felony cases are assigned, depending on the case number, to Div L, G, C and other courts in the building.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

I Drive A Motorcycle, Am I Required To Install An Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

Anyone convicted of a DUI in certain counties, such as Los Angeles, is required to install an ignition interlock device in order to get there license back.  What about those who drive a motorcycle?  Do they make ignition interlocks for motorcycles?  As of August 2015 the answer is no.

The California Vehicle Code states " a  "vehicle" does not include a
motorcycle until the state certifies an ignition interlock device
that can be installed on a motorcycle. A person subject to an
ignition interlock device restriction shall not operate a motorcycle
for the duration of the ignition interlock device restriction period.
   (f) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2010."

Therefore, you cannot drive a motorcycle until they make an IID that is capable of being installed on one.  I suggest checking back in a couple months to see if the law changes.  In order to drive legally you will have to park your bike and get a car, at least for the 5 months that the interlock is required.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Facts About Ignition Interlocks (IID) In California

After the Court resolution of your case you should work on getting the IID, there may be some delay in the paperwork so if the provider tells you that there is nothing in the system, you should wait a few days and have them check again.

What is an IID?
An IID is a device wired to a vehicle’s ignition that requires a breath sample from the driver before the engine will start. If the device detects alcohol on the breath, the engine will not start. As the individual drives, the device will request periodic breath samples to ensure continued absence of alcohol in the driver’s system.  Many people wrongly believe they can avoid ever installing an IID if they transfer ownership of the vehicle to someone else, this may not work because the DMV will require an IID in order to get fully reinstated, also if there are any vehicles that you have access to at your residence.  

What does an IID Cost?
The cost of IID devices vary but many companies offer coupons to check around.  Some companies charge more than others but the range will be 50-75 per month.  Intoxalock will offer free installation and the first month free for most customers if you mention the promotion and that you were referred by an attorney.  Shop around though to find a deal that works for you, call a couple different installers.
Here is a link to one special IID offer, IID Discount

The following is a list of all Ignition Interlock Providers:

Low Cost Interlock
(800) 352-4872
Lifesafer Interlock, Inc.
(800) 210-8087
Draeger Safety Diagnostics
(800) 332-6858
Best Labs, Inc.
(877) 715-2253
(877) 258-5696
Instant Interlock
(800) 957-0036
Smart Start, Inc.
(800) 880-3394
Global Interlock Service
(877) 794-3984
Skyfine USA
(888) 886-5016
Autosense International
(800) 498-9071
(877) 777-5020
Guardian Interlock Systems
(800) 499-0994
Blow and Drive Interlock Inc.
(877) 238-4492
Alcohol Detection Systems, Inc.
(888) 786-7384
Budget IID LLC
(844) 551-4883
Alco Alert Interlock, Inc.
(888) 663-9847
A & A Interlock Services
(800) 749-7791

Do I Need to Install an IID?
Yes, if you are convicted of a DUI in any one of the four pilot counties for a violation that occurred from July 1, 2010, through December 31, 2015. Before a driver license can be reissued, you must serve a specified period of suspension or revocation and provide the DMV with the following:
• A Department of Motor Vehicles Ordered Verification of Ignition Interlock, DL 924, form.
• An alcohol treatment program Proof of  Enrollment Certificate, DL 107, or Notice of Completion Certificate, DL 101 form.
 • A California Insurance Proof Certificate, SR 22.
• Pay all applicable reinstatement fees and a $45 administrative service fee.
Once you comply with all reinstatement requirements, DMV will restrict you to drive only vehicles equipped with a certified IID (in addition to any other applicable restrictions) until your IID restriction ends. 

During your IID restriction period, you cannot drive vehicles that are not equipped with a functioning IID. The term of the IID restriction period is based on the initial DUI offense and the number of DUI related offenses you have within the prior 10 years, as specified below:
Number of Offenses Within 10 Years
IID Restriction Period for Conviction of California Vehicle Code (CVC) §23152
IID Restriction Period for Conviction of CVC §23153 or California Penal Code §191.5(b)
5 months
12 months
12 months
24 months
24 months
36 months
4 or more
36 months
48 months

How do I get an IID Installed? 

Contact a California certified IID installer. To obtain a list of certified IID Installers you may:
• Visit DMV’s website at • Call DMV at 1-800-777-0133.
• Visit a DMV field office.

IID installers in all counties are required to offer eligible pilot program participants reduced fees for IID installations and calibrations. The cost will be determined by your family’s income in comparison to current federal poverty guidelines.

 What Happens After an IID is Installed?
Once installed in your vehicle, the IID must be calibrated and inspected by a certified installer at least every 60 days. The inspections ensure that the device is working properly with no evidence of tampering. If the installer notifies DMV that you failed to comply with any of the IID requirements, DMV will “pause” the IID restriction. You will be ineligible to operate a vehicle until DMV receives a new DL 924 or a letter from the IID installer indicating that the IID remains installed and is functioning correctly, or that you are back in compliance with the IID maintenance and calibration requirements. The full restriction term must be served before the IID restriction will be removed from your driving record. If you violate your restriction and drive a vehicle without a functioning IID during your IID

 What if I Don’t own a Vehicle?
To qualify for an exemption, you must submit a signed Exemption for Ignition Interlock Device, DL 4055B, form that certifies under penalty of perjury that you:
• Do not own a vehicle.
NOTE: If you own a vehicle that is on a nonoperational status, you do not qualify for an exemption. DMV will access your registration record(s) to verify the certification.
  • No longer have access to a vehicle at your place of residence.
  • No longer have access to the vehicle used when your DUI offense occurred.
    DMV will only approve signed exemption requests that are submitted within 30 days of the suspension or revocation notice mail date.
    Additional information regarding the IID pilot program, IID installation, and related costs are available at iid_pilot_program_q-a.pdf.
    Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Your Options After A DMV Decision Following A DUI Arrest

The DMV will seek to suspend your license if you blew a .08 or more and were arrested for DUI.  Regardless of the Court disposition they will go after you for the excessive BAC.  The purpose of this article is to explain your options after a DMV administrative hearing.  Essentially you have two choices:

1.  You can wait out the full 4 month suspension and get your full driving privilege restored if you get an SR22 and pay the reissue fee.  2.  You can obtain an early reinstatement which gives you a restricted license to drive to and from work, to and from the classes and any essential Court ordered programs.  If you choose this option you need to get enrolled in an AB541 class, get an SR22 and pay the reissue fee.  In order to get this restriction you have to ride out a 30 day hard suspension where you cannot drive at all.  Also, the restriction will run a total of 5 months.

When you go to the program tell them you want to get enrolled for DMV purposes and you were not Court ordered to complete a class.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Follow Up After A Court Resolution Of Your DUI Case

The purpose of this article is to go over important information about the resolution of your case in Court.  It is important to understand that although I am available to answer any questions and offer guidance to you, I will be closing the file on your case.  To put it bluntly, even though I was your lawyer I cannot act as a babysitter and hover over you to be sure you complete the important terms of your probation and any Court orders.  Here is a step by step guide to make sure you do everything you are supposed to in order to avoid any violations of your informal probation.

1.  Read over the paperwork you were given to understand your due dates for any fines or Court fees. You MUST have the full amount paid by that due date or a warrant will issue for your arrest.  In the event you cannot pay the fine due to financial hardship you must contact the Court directly by going into the clerk's office and either asking for community service or an extension.  You cannot wait until the last minute to do this, if you foresee a problem complying with the due date go in early and work out a plan with the Court.

2.  Unless you have already gotten enrolled in the DUI school prior to the Court date, get enrolled in the program immediately.  If you wait and do not enroll within 21 days of the plea you will be turned away and be required to go back to Court by yourself and get a re-referral.  If this happens you risk having a warrant issued for your arrest and possibly violating your probation.

3.  Make sure you immediately contact the community service centre if you were ordered to perform community labor as part of the plea.

4.  If you were ordered to attend MADD classes or HAM ( Hospital and Morgue) program contact the    Program immediately because there is often a long waiting list and you risk not having time to complete these classes by the due date

5.  As far as your drivers license is concerned you will often be required to file proof of enrollment and proof of SR 22 with the DMV.  In addition, get started now on installing an ignition interlock (IID).  You will get a letter from the DMV soon that will say your license is suspended unless you comply with these requirements.

In conclusion, be sure to stay on top of your deadlines and due dates.  As we discussed, I can often get the case dismissed and expunged if you satisfy the terms of your probation.  However, if you fail to comply with the Court orders this may not be possible.

Lastly, I do not keep a copy of your Court paperwork so if you lose it or misplace it you will need to travel to the courthouse and go to the clerks office to get a copy.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Help! My Loved One Was Arrested For DUI, What Can I Do?

You got a phone call in the middle of the night that a loved one was arrested for DUI and is in jail, what can you do?  First, relax in most cases the person arrested is sitting in a holding cell waiting to be processed and he or she is calling you from that cell.  The police department or county jail facility has phones available for the arrestee to make at least 2 phone calls and it will just be a matter of time before they will be ready for release.

There are 2 possible scenarios that can play out:
1.  If the person arrested has no record, no failures to appear and the offense is a first time DUI, it is very likely they will be release on their "own recognisance". Meaning they will be let out with a ticket that they sign with a promise to appear for a future Court date.

2.  If the person has a record, particularly for a felony, has one or more failures to appear in Court or does not have a license then the jail or may require they post a bail bond to ensure their appearance in a Court.  If they cannot bail out they will be held, usually for 48 hours until they can appear before a Judge for an arraignment.

Another possible scenario can exist where the individual is from out of state and has no ties yo the community.  In this case if the offense is a misdemeanor they can still be cited out as long as they were otherwise cooperative with the arresting officer and the jail staff.

Once the person is released is is imperative that they call a lawyer to initiate the process to save their drivers license.  California does not automatically give you a hearing to challenge the suspension you must contact the DMV to request a formal hearing within 10 calendar days of the arrest.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Judge Erred In Admitting MADD Evidence In DUI Trial

Case Name: People of California v. Corarrubias . Murder Prosecution involving a DUI crash.
 Covarrubias was convicted of second degree implied malice murder for causing a traffic accident in which a person died. Covarrubias had a .20 percent blood alcohol level at the time of the crash. During his jury trial, the court admitted testimony of two employees of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), which included their own stories of tragedy related to drunk-driving accidents. On appeal, Covarrubias claimed that allowing the personal-tragedy testimony was prejudicial error
The appeals a Court agreed.  The trial court erred when it deemed the personal-tragedy testimony relevant and when it found the probative value of the testimony was not outweighed by its prejudicial effect . The tragic aftermaths of the DUI crashes experienced by the MADD witnesses and their family members were wholly unrelated to Covarrubias's charged offense, including whether he acted with implied malice. Further, the failure to exclude the evidence under section 352 of the California Evidence Code created a substantial danger of inflaming the jury's passions by engendering feelings of sympathy. However, the error was harmless under any standard because there was overwhelming evidence of implied malice. Covarrubias had already sustained three prior DUI convictions and had attended court-ordered programs and MADD victim panels as a result. There was substantial evidence that he knew the potential catastrophic consequences of drunk driving and he admitted that his cousin had warned him not to drive when they left a party drunk before the crash. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Getting Enrolled In DUI Class Early

If you have been charged with DUI and are awaiting a future Court date getting enrolled in a a DUI class in advance of any disposition may be in your best interests.  Here is why:

  1. Attendance in the class will usually allow you to stay out on your "O.R." release and not have to post bail.  The Judge will almost always order AA classes as a condition of you release pending future Court appearances and getting enrolled in the classes will substitute for the AA meetings.  Getting enrolled in an alcohol education program tells the Judge that you are being responsible and showing an act of taking the case seriously. 
  2. The DMV may ultimately require you complete the program in order to get you license reinstated.  
  3. The course will often be required even if the charges of DUI are reduced or dismissed.
Therefore, getting enrolled in a DUI program is a good idea, here's how to do it:

 The attorney will provide you with a list of providers, find one convenient to your residence or work.  When you show up for the appointment advise them you wish to "self enroll" in the AB541 program at a minimum.  You may be required to complete a longer term program depending on the Court orders but the AB541 is a good start, ensure the school will allow you to switch to a 6 or 9 month class should it become necessary.  Let the school know in advance that you do not have a Court referral or any paperwork because you have not been convicted but you want to self enroll for DMV purposes.

Once you get enrolled in the DUI school ask them for an enrollment certificate or a copy of the DL107 that they send to the DMV.  This is an official document that the attorney needs to present to the Court to show you are in fact attending and participating in the program.

For a list of DUI schools click here: List of California DUI Schools

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What Happens At A DMV Hearing

If you were arrested for DUI and hired an attorney chances are he requested a DMV hearing to challenge the suspension that you are facing.  The date will be set out usually a month or two to allow. The attorney to prepare.  If you took a breath or blood test the issues will be 1.  Whether you were lawfully arrested. 2.  Whether you were driving, and 3.  Whether at the time of driving your blood alcohol level was .08 or more.

The hearing is very informal, there is no Judge, there is no bailiff or a Court Reporter.  The hearing is conducted in an office and is presided over by a DMV employee with the title "hearing officer".  The procedure is as follows:  first, the DMV will seek to identify all documents received by the police agency such as the arrest report, breath or blood results and any other documents prepared by the arresting officer.  The attorney will make any objections to the evidence such as any evidentiary defects that may affect their admissibility.  The hearing officer will usually overrule the objections and admit the documents over objection.  If a witness has been subpoenaed then they will testify and cross examined.  The attorney will be allowed to argue that the evidence is insufficient to sustain the burden of proof and can present case law or legal reasons why the Department should dismiss or set aside the suspension.

In many cases the client will be advised to be available by phone but not personally appear.  The reason for this is that there is no right against self incrimination at a DMV hearing and therefore the hearing officer can question them about anything relevant to the case.  If there is a defect or some evidence lacking in their case the DMV can "fill in the gaps" by questioning the licensee.  For example, if the officer failed to include information in the documents that is crucial to the case the DMV can get that evidence from the client.  Further, they can put the client in a tough position by questioning them about the number of drinks they had consumed.  In some cases it is vital to the defense that the client testify, but most of the time, the attorney will focus on making the DMV meet their burden of proof and not shift the focus to whether the client is credible or not.  For instance, if there was some error in the procedure, a regulation was not followed or the officer made some mistake, this will be dwelled upon.

At the conclusion of the hearing the DMV will render a decision.  In some cases, the hearing officer may take the matter under submission and send out a written decision of their findings.  This can sometimes take weeks but the client will be able to continue to drive pending a decision.

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Death Of Two People In DUI Accident Results In 2 Strikes

Even though in many cases the death of an innocent person in a DUI accident was not intentional, California law deems the crime to be a strike for future enhancement purposes.  In this case the Court holds that two deaths and two manslaughter convictions equals two strikes under the 3strikes law.  Here are the facts:  In 1986, Rusconi pled guilty to two counts of vehicular manslaughter. The convictions grew out of a single drunk driving offense in which Rusconi hit and killed two bicyclists with her car. A subsequent conviction for driving while intoxicated resulted in Rusconi receiving a 25-years-to-life Three Strikes sentence. After she was found ineligible for Proposition 36 resentencing, she appealed, claiming her single act which resulted in two vehicular manslaughter convictions could not be counted as two strikes.

The Court Upheld the lower courts ruling.  In People v. Vargas(2014) 59 Cal.4th 635, the Supreme Court held that where a defendant's single act committed against a single victim results in multiple serious felony convictions, only one of those convictions may be used as a strike in a later prosecution. Vargas does not assist Rusconi, however, because her single criminal act resulted not only in multiple offenses, but also involved violent injury to multiple victims, circumstances to which the holding in Vargas does not extend. An offender who injures more than one victim is more culpable than an offender who injures only one victim. Thanks CCAP.

What Is A Restitution Hearing?

If you have resolved a DUI case that involved a traffic accident the Court has a duty to ensure that any damages are taken care of and any victims are compensated for any loss that may have incurred. If there was insurance involved they will usually pay the other side and make the parties whole.  Nonetheless, the Court will often set a restitution hearing to ensure that there is no outstanding loss.

A couple of things may happen at the hearing:

  1. The Court can order a specific amount to be paid if the victim shows up and presents a legitimate bill for loss.  The defendant has a right to challenge the amount of the loss if it is unreasonable.  
  2. If the victim does not show up then the District Attorney will usually request that the matter be taken off calendar.  What this means is that no restitution will be ordered.  The Court will maintain jurisdiction which means they can recall the case and order restitution at a later date.
The Court can also Determine that no restitution is required because there was no third party loss.
In any event, an appearance will be required either by the defendant or the attorney.

Friday, May 22, 2015

What Can I Expect At My First Court Appearance?

The first Court appearance on a DUI case is called an arraignment.  The purpose of this Court date is to allow the person accused, in legal terms a "defendant", to enter a plea to the charges filed by the local prosecutor.  The charges are contained in a document that is called a "complaint" and it is filed with the court that is closest to where the arrest took place.

The possible pleas that could be entered are guilty, not guilty and no contest.  If you have hired a lawyer to fight the case he or she will probably recommend pleading not guilty.  Why is this the best option?  We'll, in most cases the attorney will want to review all of the evidence such as the official police report, the breath or blood test records and any other evidence the state has.  In many cases, when the evidence is investigated there may be errors that occurred such as violations of the state regulations pertaining to testing or there may be a violation of your constitutional rights such as some illegality surrounding the arrest or the reason the officer pulled you over in the first place.

Once I plead not guilty does this mean I have to go to trial?  No, a defendant can change their plea at any time and most cases are resolved prior to a jury trial.  The attorney can often develop arguments and defenses that will allow them to negotiate a favorable deal such as a reduction of the charge or a reduction in the possible sentence imposed.  For example, in many drunk driving cases a key issue is the lawfulness of the initial stop, the attorney will want to carefully review the reports to determine if a motion to dismiss is appropriate based on a violation of the 4th Amendment.

Why can't my attorney get to see all of the evidence before the arraignment and be able to resolve the case at that stage?  Although in many cases counsel will receive some reports before the first a Court date, under California law a defendant is not entitled to full disclosure of the evidence until he or she is "arraigned" therefore although some reports may be acquired prior to the initial appearance, the DA does not have to provide everything until the arraignment.  Even at that stage some evidence may not be available.  For example, a blood result may not be reported by the laboratory for sometimes 60-90 days.  It is obviously prudent to wait for the results of that test before deciding whether to plead guilty or no contest.

What will be the next step after the arraignment ?  A subsequent Court date will be scheduled, usually called a pretrial, or it's possible that the arraignment will be continued to allow the attorney to review the discovery provided by the DA.  You will be contacted at a future date to discuss the case and go over your options.

Do I need to be there at the first appearance?  Generally no.  Unless the case is a felony, the law allows for attorneys to appear on behalf of their clients unless the judge orders it.  What are the circumstances where a judge can order a personal appearance?  When public safety requires the judge to set bail or impose conditions of the defendant's release.  For instance, if the accused has prior DUI convictions or is on probation then a judge can set bail an remand a defendant.  The judge can also require the defendant to attend AA meetings or enroll in an alcohol education program as a condition of his or her release.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Getting A Restricted License After A Second DUI In California

The mandatory suspension for a second dui in California is 1-2 years, however there is a way to obtain an early reinstatement of your driving privilege via an IID restriction.  What is this?  Well, it is a method to get a license after 90 days if your DUI involved alcohol, no drugs, and you were not on probation, took a chemical test and meet certain conditions.  Here is what you will need to do:

  1. Get enrolled in the SB 38 18 month DUI program.  The classes must be started after the arrest date of the current case.  Sometimes the offender will start the school early, that is ok as long as you file the enrollment certificate with the DMV after the court conviction. Click here for a full list of DUI Schools in California
  2. Make sure you have an SR-22 filed with the DMV.  An SR22 is nothing more than an official proof that you have the minimum required proof of insurance mandated by the DMV.  You cannot simply send in the little card you got from the insurance company, that will not be sufficient.  The proof must be sent in by the insurance company in order to comply with CA law.  Many insurance brokers can provide an SR22 even if you do not currently own a car or if you do and want additional coverage.
  3. Install an ignition interlock in the car you will be driving.  This IID is mandatory and must be installed even if you do not own a car.  This allows you to drive anywhere you want as long as it is installed.  There is no restrictions for employment only or any other limitations.  For more information about this, go to our IID Facts Page.
  4. You must pay a re-issue fee to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.  This fee  ranges from $140 to $240 dollars and must be submitted in order to receive your original license.
  5. Ensure you have no outstanding tickets or "holds" on your license such as tickets you never paid or any FTA or failure to appear, back due child support, etc.
  6. Make sure you understand that you will receive two letters from the DMV regarding the court and administrative disposition.  The first letter will often be from the local driver safety office which states the suspension is fir one year, how ever this will be superseded by the mandatory action flowing from the court conviction which will state the suspension is for two years.  The court action trumps the APS sentence and the time for the 90 days starts when the court conviction takes place, not sooner.  If you have any questions regarding the process contact Matthew

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Long Beach DUI Arrests Up During Grand Prix Week

The number of arrests for DUI is always increased during special events such as the Toyota Grand Prix but this year the police were out in even greater force due largely to increased budgets for drunk driving enforcement.

The authorities report that arrests for other criminal offenses were also up this year.  Crimes such as public intoxication, urinating in public and assault increased greatly compared to recent years.  According to one local Long Beach a Criminal Defense Attorney , the statistics are in line with other communities such as Torrance and the beach cities in the South Bay.

The good news is that no deaths were reported during the event and the participants spent a record amount of money in the community which will go far to help the city fund other events and increase public safety.

The city prosecutor will be busy filing those cases in the coming weeks.

Friday, April 10, 2015

My Temporary License Will Be Expiring, Can I Continue To Drive?

When you were released after your DUI arrest you were given a pink temporary license.  That paper has allowed you to continue to drive  pending a DMV hearing.  But here is the problem, the paper reads it is only good for 30 days.  What do you do?

As long as you hired an attorney within the first 10 days or set a hearing then the DMV will stay the suspension which means that the temporary will remain valid until a decision has been rendered.  Often the state is slow to issue a secondary temporary or send a renewed license so in the mean time you can continue to drive on the pink license without worry.  Eventually the department will mail you a white piece of paper that will supersede the pink document. Many times the reason for the delay is that paperwork may be slow in arriving or the lawyer may be seeking a change of venue.

 In the interim it may be a good idea to obtain a CA ID card which will have a picture on it that can be used as an official ID card.

If you are pulled over and the officer runs your license it will come up valid.  However, the last thing you need is another ticket or violation so be be careful and do not get pulled over while the APS hearing is pending.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Is California's Implied Consent Law Unconstitutional?

In California, anyone stopped for a DUI is told that they are obligated to give a blood or breath sample because they consented when they were issued a license.  This is the backdrop for a new attack on the coerced taking of blood and breath by the police says one well known DUI attorney.

Indeed,  iMissouri v. McNeely  133 S.Ct. 1552 (U.S. 2013) the Supreme Court of the United States held that nonconsensual, warrantless blood alcohol testing was presumptively unconstitutional.  California has enacted a set of statutes that compels a driver to waive his right to demand the production of a warrant issued by an independent judicial officer, by mandating that the driver consent to a search under the threat of incarceration. The California statute misinforms the driver of his constitutional rights by telling him that he “shall consent” to a search, when presumably, according to the Constitution,  the driver has the right to refuse.

It is well settled that statutes that threaten jail unless someone consents to a warrantless search of their house are unconstitutional on their face. Even more indisputable is the fact that a person’s body is entitled to equal or greater protections than would a person’s house under the Fourth Amendment.  As stated in Katz vUnited States, 389 U.S. 347, 351 (1967), “the Fourth Amendment protects people, not places.” There, the Supreme Court found a violation of the Fourth Amendment simply by the attachment of an eavesdropping device to a public telephone booth. Later cases applied the analysis of Justice Harlan's concurrence in that case, which said that a violation occurs when government officers violate a person's “reasonable expectation of privacy,”.   These precepts have been recognized in many published cases.

In summary, an implied consent statute or legislative scheme that criminalizes a citizen’s refusal and thereby coerces consent is not a suitable replacement for the Constitutional dictates of a search warrant application and review by a detached and neutral magistrate.  Reeder v. State, (2014) 428 S.W.3rd 924.  Indeed, many DUI attorneys are now challenging blood tests on these grounds and some Courts have been receptive to the challenges.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Are You On The DUI "Hot List" In California?

Unbeknownst to many, there is a list floating around out there that many people do not know about.   The California DMV has partnered with 35 law enforcement agencies across the state in an effort to keep suspended drivers with prior DUI convictions off the road.
The 'Hot List' program aims to keep the worst drivers off the road when it comes to driving under the influence. The DMV will provide agencies with lists of the driver license numbers of suspended or revoked multipled DUI offenders in their jurisdictions who will then create a list for their officers of the individuals most likely to re-offend.
The list will help law enforcement agencies to enforce DMV's licensing actions to reduce incidents involving suspended or revoked multiple DUI offenders. DMV Director Jean Shiomoto says that research shows 75% of drivers who are convicted of DUI continue to drive despite being suspended or revoked.
'Hot List' was launched in 2011 as a pilot program with 15 participating agencies. The California Department of Motor Vehicles and Office of Traffic Safety are now working to expand the program to include up to 50 law enforcement agencies across the state.
The "list" has many DUI attorneys alarmed.  The fear is that cops will target, stop and detain occupants of vehicles registered to these "hot list" subjects even if there is no proof they are driving.  The CHP and other law enforcement agencies involved have not commented.  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Why Is It Taking So Long For My DUI Case To Be Filed?

Many people are arrested and given a citation or notice to appear for a future Court date only to discover that the District Attorney has not filed charges and there is no case on calendar.  Interestingly, many people do not realize that when the police make an arrest they do not have the power to charge a person with a crime, only the DA has that ability.  Unlike a typical traffic ticket, a DUI is a misdemeanor that must first be reviewed and filed by the county prosecutor before the Court will calendar the matter.  So what are some of the reasons why a case may be delayed?

Perhaps the single biggest reason for prosecutorial delay is that they do not have all of the paperwork in the case.  Most DUI investigations include numerous reports by many different people and each person involved in the process will write a report.  For example, if a cop stops you and another officer shows up to assist in the field sobriety tests or to administer a breath test each officer will be required to write a report of their observations.

Moreover, if the case involves an accident, a different officer will sometimes prepare a report of measurements, witness statements or opinions about the cause of the accident.  When a blood test is given, their are even more people involved such as the person who drew the sample, the officer who transports the sample and delivers it to the lab,  the technician who does the testing and so on...
In some instances there may be two or more breath tests that need to be considered and the records of the machine may need to be obtained.

Many counties are backlogged and do not have the staff to expedite the compilation of all of the reports, evidence and other documents therefore delays occur.  Most attorneys will use this time to submit requests to dismiss or ask that evidence be re-considered or that a supervisor review the case for the possibility of a rejection of the case and dismissal.

You must be patient.  California law allows the DA a full year to file any misdemeanor DUI case and they can take all of that time if need be.  Even in cases where the blood test comes back lower than the legal limit of .08, the DA can file charges of impaired driving if the officer renders an opinion that you were impaired by the alcohol or drugs, prescription or otherwise in your system.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

DMV Re-issue fees relating to DUI in California

California loves to charge fees.  There are a litany of fees pertaining to a DUI in Torrance and anywhere else in the state.  Here are a breakdown of the most common types of fees related to a DMV issue in drunk driving cases

Fees for a Suspended License in CA

There are many fees, fines, and costs associated with a driver’s license suspension in California:
  • APS reissue fee (under 21 years old): $100.
  • APS reissue fee (21 years old and older): $125, required if the DMV upheld the administrative per se suspension after a hearing.
  • DUI reissue fee: $55 (this fee is required if you are convicted of VC23152 in criminal Court)
  • DUI 2nd offense:
    • Add court restriction fee: $15.
    • Remove court restriction fee: $20.
  • Financial responsibility if you violate the rules by failing to maintain an SR-22:
    • Penalty fee: $250.
    • Reissue fee: $55.