Articles Posted in Defense

There are many different defenses to a Driving Under the Influence Case. If the facts of your case allow for a strong defense, there is a good probability that you will get your case reduced or dismissed. One such defense is that of the Raising Alcohol Defense.

The raising alcohol defense, simply put, argues that your blood alcohol content rose after you had been driving, implying that your BAC was under the legal limit when you were actually driving.

Let’s consider an example. Donny is going out to a local bar with his friends. All his friends have come over to his apartment, and his plan is to drive to the bar and take a cab back home later on that night. Just as they are leaving his apartment, Donny takes a few shots with his friends, and they head out to the bar. The alcohol has not yet been absorbed by Donny’s bloodstream. As he is driving there, he is feeling fine, and does not feel as if he is intoxicated. Pulling into the bar, Donny makes a right at a red light without stopping and is pulled over by officers. Officers ask Donny if he has been drinking, to which Donny replies truthfully that he has. He is asked to submit to a field sobriety test at the site, to which he agrees. The BAC at the site is .03. Officers take him into custody, and about an hour and a half later Donny is asked to submit to a breathalyzer at the station. This test is not optional, so Donny does not have a choice to refuse. Refusing could result in additional consequences. Donny submits to the test and his BAC is .1. Even though he has not had any additional drinks, the alcohol is now absorbed and impairing Donny.

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If you have been arrested for a DUI, you have not yet been charged or convicted. Officers will sent their report over to the Prosecutor’s office, and then prosecutors will determine if the State will take action and bring criminal charges against you. IF charges have been brought against you, the criminal courts must make a finding that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt before you can be convicted. Simply being arrested is, in no way, a guarantee that you will be found guilty of driving under the influence.

Due to the fact that an arrest does not necessarily lead to a conviction, you can take steps to ensure the best possible chance of never reaching a conviction. One of the first and best decisions you can make after a DUI arrest, is to hire an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer. I do not mean a lawyer who has just passed the bar exam, or a lawyer who just set up shop in Los Angeles, or the lawyer who is willing to offer you the best deal. Choosing a lawyer is important, and you must make sure all the requisite details are met.

A knowledgeable lawyer can be one that has been practicing for over thirty years IN Los Angeles. If an attorney has been practicing for over thirty years they will not only be well versed in the law and the procedure, but also in the Judges they are appearing before, and the Prosecutors they are appearing against. It will ensure that they know which defenses and arguments will work with which Judge.

Many of our clients call for an update on their Los Angeles Driving Under the Influence case in between hearings. The truth is, the work in between Court appearances is constant. There are several things that need to be done, in addition to preparing for Court and DMV hearings.

One of the biggest things that needs to be done is obtaining discovery. Discovery is any kind of evidence that may be used for or against the client in Court. This could include audio and visual tapes, police reports, potential testimony or otherwise. Audio and visual recordings are of huge importance in a DUI case. Many officers have recorders on their belt that record all conversations they have with the driver. Visual recordings are getting to be a lot more common. The officer records the entire stop from beginning to the end. These recordings are important because they can give the Los Angeles DUI lawyer great insight into your DUI case and the potential strengths and weaknesses of your case.

For example, an officer may state in his report that you were speeding and that was his reason for pulling you over. Yet he does not mention anything about speeding on the visual or audio recording. This may be used in Court to discredit the officer’s testimony as well as his report. If the officer is discredited, there may not be any reason for you to be pulled over in the first place. An officer needs probable cause to pull you over for an initial stop. This can be anything from weaving in and out of lanes, to no license plate. If the officer states one thing on his report but never mentions it as a reason for pulling you over, it will appear to the Court that he may not have had a reason to pull you over, much less arrest you for a DUI.

When a person has been stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence, they must appear before a Judge in criminal court. At this point the person has not been found guilty, and are therefore not convicted of a DUI. In order for a person to be convicted and sentenced for a DUI, the person must be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution must prove that the person was driving and that the person was intoxicated while driving.

If the person is not intoxicated while driving, they may have a valid defense. However, the Los Angeles DUI attorney must demonstrate to the court that the person driving was not intoxicated while they were driving, even in situations where there is evidence of the driver’s blood alcohol level. Providing this defense is very difficult, as it involves much reasoning and assumption, but is definitely possible.

This defense is referred to as the rising alcohol defense. The defense simply means that while the driver was driving the car, their blood alcohol level was low. The blood alcohol level rose as the person drove. Therefore, while the person was driving, he may have reached his destination prior to their blood alcohol level being anywhere near, or over the legal limit of .08%.

Many of our clients proclaim that the officer had no reason to stop them while driving and administer a field sobriety test. The reason may be any number of things, but our clients hold that those are false allegations. If there is no actual probable cause for an officer to pull someone over, then they cannot charge you with a DUI. Some common causes that officers cite for pulling a person over include: weaving in and out of lanes, broken taillight, not indicating before turning, and not staying within the lanes. If a person is stopped for doing any of the aforementioned violations, plus any others, an officer has a right to stop the person and ask the person to complete some field sobriety tests if they feel it may be necessary.

In the absence of any valid reason to stop a person, the officer has no right to do so. The police report will list the reason the person was initially stopped. When a person claims that there was never a reason to stop them, it is the officer’s word against our client’s, which brings up the issue of credibility. Generally the officer is taken to be accurate in his report, and his or her word is to be taken as truth. The person charged however, does not have as much credibility for many reasons, including the assumption that they were intoxicated at the time of the report.

When a person claims that there is no probable cause, it can often be difficult to prove. For example, say a person is stopped by an officer because they were weaving in and out of lanes. The officer stops the person, and notices symptoms of intoxication and administers a field sobriety test. The person is found to have a relatively high BAC and is taken into the station and charged with a DUI. Later on the person hires a Los Angeles DUI attorney and claims they were not weaving in and out of lanes, and therefore the officer had no right to stop them.

We have all heard the phrase “plead the fifth” being employed in numerous scenarios. The meaning is derived from the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Fifth amendment protects your right to remain silent, consequently, not say anything that may later incriminate you during trial or otherwise.

When stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence, you always have the right to not say anything self incriminating. Self incriminating can be anything, admissions, confessions, as well as statements, that may be used later in court against you.

It is the officers’ job to search for evidence and build a case against you. They may do this by searching your vehicle and asking you direct questions that may lead to a confession. You are not required to answer any questions besides those identifying you and those related to your vehicle registration and insurance. In the scenario that you are asked questions, it is perfectly legal to politely decline.

The new Ignition Interlock law enacted in Los Angeles County seems to be vague and lacks a precise plan for enforcement by the DMV.sDue to it’s novice nature, many loopholes have been unaccounted for and many questions remain unanswered.

According to the specifics in the law, you are required to install the device into a vehicle that is owned by you. However, people are exempt from installing the device into their vehicle if they provide the DMV with a written notice of the fact that they have no ownership of a vehicle, that they have no access to a vehicle at his or her residence, that they understand that they must inform the DMV of any changes in their situation, and acknowledgement of licensing and IID requirements.

So if you do not own a car or have access to one, you would not be required to install the device. The DMV is also not requiring those people who drive a motorcycle to install one either. Additionally, many of our clients ask us about the law if they do not reside in one of the counties participating in the pilot program, but were arrested in one that does, or vice versa.

As most terms in the legal field, the word Possession is loosely defined, and as a result many different scenarios may fall under the appropriate meaning for Possession when it comes to a possession charge.

Typically possession will include any drug that is found on your person. This is referred to as physical possession. If it is in your pocket, in your shoe, etc, it will be considered on your possession. This, however, constitutes the simplest definition of possession.

Any type of drugs will also be in your possession if they in an area within your immediate control. This is referred to as constructive possession. If it is in your vehicle, in your trunk or in your purse, it will still qualify under the requirements. It will also be considered constructive possession if someone else is carrying it on your behalf.

Many of our clients are curious to know if a marijuana conviction would affect their car insurance.sGenerally, a marijuana conviction will only affect your car insurance if you were arrested while driving under the influence. If you are arrested for possession, then it is not likely that your car insurance rates will go up.

Any arrest that involves driving or a violation of the law while driving will result in your auto insurance rates being increased. Driving while under the possession of marijuana is a more difficult case to prove, because there is no set standard or test to determine whether someone is under the influence or not. Additionally, if you are arrested for a DUI, you are not the one responsible for notifying the DMV, the arresting officer will do it.

If you are arrested for being in possession of any type of drugs including marijuana, this may affect other aspects of your life, such as obtaining a loan, applying for jobs or higher education, but the DMV will not be concerned with it. Additionally, if you are arrested for being in possession, there may be several defenses available to you.

With the increased number of Ghosts, Goblins and creatures of the night wandering the streets of Southern California, it is necessary that there also be an increase in the number of officers patrolling the streets. This Halloween time, enjoy yourself but make smart decisions.

Due to the number of parties going on, there is sure to be an increased number of people driving while intoxicated. The number of DUI checkpoints will increase and officers will be on the lookout for any reasonable cause to pull someone over. If pulled over for a DUI remember your rights. If you come across a DUI Checkpoint, be sure to protect your Fourth Amendment rights and ensure that officers follow their legislative guidelines and procedures. An experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney can advise you on whether or not your rights were violated and if the case may potentially be dismissed.

Officers also hand out an increased number of drinking in public tickets and public nuisance citations. Officers want to make a statement and let party goers know that they are not going to put up with slack due to the nature of the holiday. If you are cited for a drinking in public ticket, or something similar, understand that it can have serious consequences. It will be a misdemeanor but with the right Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney it can be reduced to an infraction or possibly dismissed.