CLICK HERE TIPS TO AVOID MISTAKES AFTER A DUI ARREST

Articles Posted in Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

If you have been stopped for suspicion of driving while intoxicated, it is important to remember that you have not yet been convicted. In order to be convicted a plea or a finding of guilty needs to be entered. If you have not had a trial, or have entered a plea of not guilty or no contest, then you cannot be convicted.

Being arrested is a nerve wrecking experience. You do not know what is going on, nor do you know what steps to take next. In addition, you probably do not fully understand the legal ramifications of your arrest, and the reasons you were arrested.

If officers find that you are intoxicated, they will take you into custody. There are several reasons officers may determine that you are intoxicated. One is if you submit to a breathalyzer test and your blood alcohol level indicates intoxication. Another is if officers observe signs of intoxication. These include watery eyes, slurring, smell of strong alcohol and disorientation. You may also make some statements that may indicate you are intoxicated or be construed as confessions of intoxication.

If you have been arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, you have not yet been found guilty by the Court of law. This means that it has not yet gone on your record, and it will not unless Prosecutors can show that all of the elements of a DUI have been met beyond a reasonable doubt. There are two elements in a DUI; 1) the driver must be intoxicated and 2) the driver must be operating a vehicle. If both elements are not met, beyond a reasonable doubt, then the person cannot be found guilty.

There are a few ways a DUI case can play out. You can either enter a plea or be found either guilty or not guilty through trial. Lets consider the following factual hypothetical background, and then discuss the two different options a case can have.

Dina is driving home from a friend’s birthday party. She has had two beers and has smoked marijuana with her friends. On her way home, she runs a red light and is immediately stopped by officers. Officers ask if she has been drinking, to which Dina replies that she has, but has only had two beers. She also submits to a breathalyzer test, and blows a .10 BAC. She is arrested, and taken into custody.

When you have been arrested for suspicion of a Los Angeles DUI, officers will ask you to take a field sobriety test at the scene of the arrest. This test is not mandatory, and is voluntary. This means that you do not have to submit to it, and there are no consequences. However, if you are arrested, you will be required to take one at the station. This test can be a breath test, or a blood test. There used to also be a urine test option but that is no longer the case.

Oftentimes people do not want to take the breath test and opt for the blood test. For example, they may have asthma and are unable to blow hard enough into the breathalyzer machine. If they opt for the blood test, then those results will be provided in two weeks.

However, in certain situations people refuse to take either test. They may have a fear of needles, or they may simply not agree to submit to a test. If you refuse to take either test, it could be categorized as a refusal, and a refusal will be considered an aggravating factor when and if you are sentenced for a DUI. This means that the sentence will be on the higher end of the range, or will have added sentencing because of the refusal or take a test. It is viewed as being uncooperative.

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There are certain legal hurdles a prosecutor must cross in order to successfully prosecute a case. They must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, using evidence, testimony and other exhibits that a person was:

1)      Driving

2)      Intoxicated at the time.

When a person has been charged with Driving under the Influence in Los Angeles, it is highly recommended that they seek the help of a Los Angeles DUI Attorney to prepare their arguments and the possible defenses available to them. These strategies and defenses may be factual or legal.

Legal Strategies and Defenses

In order for a person to be convicted of a DUI, they must have been driving at the time of the arrest, and must have been intoxicated while driving. A legal professional will strategically asses the type of instrument used, the method in which the evidence against the client was obtained, and the accuracy of the date collected. These are legal defenses or strategies that are available to the client. Let’s consider an example that covers a few of these strategies.

There is a reason that the layperson refers to legal language as legalese. Legalese is only understandable to lawyers and attorneys. Unfortunately, most of the law and statutes that concern everyone are written in legalese. This could cause a significant problem when you are arrested on suspicion of a Los Angeles DUI and need to understand the strength and weakness of your case. It is also important to understand the defenses and arguments available to you.

The DUI statute, especially after recent changes, embodies a very specific legal concept written right into its statute. California Vehicle Code §23152 (b) reads as follows:

(b) It is unlawful for a person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle

California Vehicle Code §23152 makes it unlawful for a driver to be operating a vehicle while under the influence of any alcohol or drugs. The code section used to only include subsections (a) and (b) but as of January 1, 2014, the code section has been revised and additional sections have been added.

Due to recent revisions, it is important that a person who has been charged with a DUI understand the language in the law.

The first part of the Code Section , subdivision(a), reads as follows:

When you have been stopped for a Los Angeles DUI, there are certain things you should and should not do. One of the things a Los Angeles DUI lawyer will advise you on is that it is not always beneficial to you to take the first preliminary alcohol screening test administered at the arrest.

This test, the PAS, is optional, and officers should advise you of that. It is not necessary, and failing to take it will not result in additional consequences if you are arrested for a DUI. The test administered at the station after arrest, however, is necessary and required. Of course, officers may not force you to submit to one and if you fail to do so, you may have additional consequences.

Many of our clients wonder how they can be found guilty if there are absolutely not solid numbers indicating their level of intoxication, i.e, a blood alcohol test. The truth is, that you will still be tried in Court. You will have a trial on the evidence against you and the Prosecution will try to build a case against you through evidence and testimony. The Prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that you were drinking and driving.

On August 29, 2013 former Laker player and husband of Khloe Kardashian, Lamar Odom, was pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. Mr. Odom was stopped by officers for going too slow on the San Fernando freeway and driving in a “serpentine manner”.

Officers stated that they smelled alcohol on Mr. Odom’s breath and based on their observations arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. They further state that no alcohol or drugs were found in his vehicle.

For officers to pull a driver over they must first have reasonable cause. Reasonable cause arises from a general traffic violation, or from a welfare stop. A general traffic violation would be failing to stop at a red light, speeding, or in Mr. Odom’s case, driving too slow and weaving. Officer may also get probable cause from a welfare stop. A welfare stop is when the person is pulled over at the side of the road or highway, and officers stop to check is everything is alright or if the driver needs help.

When you are arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in the state of California, chances are you will be arrested and taken into custody. In addition, you will be charged under the California Vehicle Code §§ 23152 and 23153. You will also be given a court date on which you must appear before a Criminal Judge in a courthouse close to your arrest.

This court date is called the Arraignment. At the Arraignment, three things will happen.

1. The Judge will explain the charges against you and the maximum potential sentences that you may receive