Articles Posted in Defenses

In order for someone to be found guilty of a Los Angeles DUI, the prosecutors must prove two separate elements: 1) Driving and 2) while intoxicated. Both elements must be proven, if there is only one, the person cannot be charged with a DUI.

So, if you were not driving while you were intoxicated, you could not be charged for a DUI. However, driving is often a gray area and could prove to be difficult to prove..or disprove. This is why a Los Angeles DUI lawyer is so essential and beneficial to a DUI case. They know precisely what arguments to make and what evidence to present, to ensure that the gray area leans in the favor of their client. The best way to understand this idea is to illustrate an example from a case.

The client was intoxicated when she got a call from her boyfriend. Her boyfriend was also intoxicated at a local hotel and was arguing with hotel staff in the lobby. She was called to come and get him before he got arrested. She drove to the hotel to pick him. Once she got him and got into her vehicle, officers arrived at the scene. Officers were presumably called by hotel staff regarding her boyfriend and his behavior in the lobby. Before she could drive off in her vehicle, she was asked to step out of the vehicle and submit to an alcohol screening test. She was then arrested for a DUI. The client’s position is that she was not driving, and if she was not driving she could not be arrested and charged with driving under the influence.

Proposition 47 went into effect on November 5, 2014. It drastically reduces felony cases to misdemeanors when requisite conditions are met. Essentially the proposition reduces the class for certain offenses and allows the offenses to be charged as misdemeanors whereas it would otherwise be a felony.

The purpose and goal behind Proposition 47 is to save funds and direct them towards more community enriching activities like education. Proposition 47 is not an automatic application to all cases, it is specific to each case. People who have previous criminal records, may not qualify. Especially those cases in which there are prior rape, gun or sexual offenses. The court will take all facts concerning a person’s previous criminal history as well as facts of the current case before determining if they will qualify for a reduction under Proposition 47.

In addition, Proposition 47 is retroactive. This means that if someone is currently serving a sentence for an offense that qualifies under Proposition 47, then their case can be reevaluated and a new sentence given.

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In the previous blog, there was discussion on possible defenses for DUI. While an arrest is stressful and often traumatic, it does not necessarily have to lead to a conviction if the right defenses are available. The strength of each available defense will depend on the specific facts of your case. A thorough discussion of the each available defense with an experienced Los Angeles DUI Lawyer will help you determine what your options are and if any of the defenses will work in your favor.

In Part 1, two defenses were discussed; No driving, and Inaccuracy of test results. There are additional defenses available, with one of the strongest being a good lawyer who is aggressive and familiar with not only the law and procedure, but also the Judges and Prosecutors themselves.

Fourth Amendment Rights

If you have been arrested for a DUI, this does not mean that you are automatically found guilty and will be sentenced. This means that officers believed there was a reasonable suspicion that you were under the influence while operating a vehicle. Prosecutors must first review your case, and determine if there is enough evidence or argument for you to be charged. If they feel that there is, then they will bring charges against you. This, again, does not mean you are guilty. It simply means that Prosecutors believe that there is reason for you to be guilty.

If prosecutors bring charges, then they must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt, in Court, that you are guilty of being intoxicated, and driving while you were intoxicated. Each case is different, and each case has its own unique set of facts. However, there are certain defenses available to each person that has been charged. The strength and the weakness of each defense will depend upon the specific facts of your case and can be discussed in detail with a knowledgeable Los Angeles DUI Lawyer.

No Driving

Under Family Code §23152 and 23153, a drive can be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both. There are certain elements to a DUI case and those elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt for a person to have been found guilty of a DUI.

It is possible to get a DUI even if you are parked, and intoxicated, if officers believe that you had driven to that location. If you are charged, you will be administered the same tests and field sobriety tests, as if you were pulled over while driving. The only difference is that officers will have to prove that you were in fact driving while you were intoxicated. This is difficult to prove if you weren’t actually pulled over by the cops. Prosecutors will have to use circumstantial evidence to present their argument.

Hypothetical Comparisons: