Articles Posted in Misdemeanor DUI

A felony DUI charge is a very different offense than a misdemeanor DUI charge.sA misdemeanor DUI offense covers a wide variety of factual situations, involving a multitude of facts. For starters, driving under the influence cases involve hundreds of difference violations which give rise to the officer justifying the stop. This requirement of good cause, is required to be a valid stop.

Frequently our firm represents clients who have been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or the combined influence of both. Those drivers who have been involved in accidents are exposed to greater potential charges, if an accident resulted in injury to a passenger or other party.

People arrested, often don’t understand that the term accident can describe a very broadsspectrum of circumstances, not just a simple issue. It is critical to our clients defense, to carefully study the accident report to determine a strategy to minimize, if possible, the severity of the accident, thus mitigating, or lessening, the impact of the accident on the possible consequence to the driver.

Many of our clients have been asking us regarding the Ignition Interlock Device law that went into effect on July 1, 2010. Nothing much has happened since it went into effect, leaving many people wondering how and when it would be enforced.

This law is a part of DUI law and is separate from Court order. The DMV is the one that will enforce and implement this new law. When you go to the DMV after having completed you license suspension, you will be required to install the ignition interlock device before you can receive a restricted license.

According to the law those that are convicted of a first time DUI offense will have to install the device for 5 months. Those with a second time DUI offense will install the device for 12 months, third time for 24 months and fourth time offenders for 36 months. Those with more enhanced or aggravated DUIs convicted under Vehicle Code 23153 will be required to have the device in their vehicle for a longer period of time.

sLos Angeles DUI Attorneys are not created equally. There are vast differences in and attorneys skill, expertise, and years of experience. When you have been arrested for a drunk driving case in Los Angeles, it is essential to have the protection and representation of a highly experience DUI Attorney.

Not only do attorneys have vastly different levels of skill, there is also a wide range of legal fees being charged. In general, the least expensive lawyers, typically have the least experience. When your freedom is on the line, going for representation by an attorney with little experience is never a good idea.s

It is attorneys experience that makes the big differencesbetween and an excellent result and a so so result.sThat being said, paying a very high attorneys fee does not guarantee a dismissal either.sCarefully screening an attorney, and asking important questions, allows a potential client to develop a fuller understanding of the attorneys real level of experience in a courtroom, handling cases similar to yours.

There is a well-known expression that perception is reality… what does that mean?sThis phrase as many different applications and contexts. The scope of this blog is to try and explain that being arrested for a driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs carries with it many negative connotations. For example, the term drunk driving gives the impression that the person arrested was in fact drunk. In fact, the law does not require a driver to be drunk, but merely to be driving a motor vehicle with a .08% of alcohol in their bloodstream.

At a trial of a DUI case, prosecutors and even judges present police officers, and their statements as impartial, and unbiased parties. In fact, police officers have an agenda, and that is to build a case against a driver to support their impression that they have been violating the law by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They are not neutral, and their observations are colored by their own perception, and by their own need to support their opinion that this driver has broke the law.

Clients of our lawfirm of DUI defense attorneys, frequently our surprise when we are reviewing the air police reports of their arrest, of how negatively they are portraying by their arresting officers.

Our clients frequently ask us whether blood-alcohol testing, whether by analysis of one’s blood, or by the use of an approved breathalyzer machine at the police station is accurate. Blood alcohol testing in driving under the influence of alcohol cases is carefully regulated by the federal government under Title 17, setting forth specific guidelines for all blood alcohol testing, which must be scrupulously followed by the police, or hospital to ensure the accuracy of any sample taken and analyzed in a Los Angeles county DUI arrest.

The primary purpose of these procedures is to create a uniform set of guidelines to be followed, thus directing law enforcement throughout the state of California to adhere to these very specific government standards. In a Drunk Driving case where the defendant has submitted a blood sample to be tested for alcohol, or drugs, the government must document all of the specific procedures used from drawing the blood sample to having it analyzed by a state approved laboratory.

It is critical that an experienced Drunk Driving defense lawyer review the documentation and correctness of the procedures followed by the police in their client’s case to ensure an accurate result. Firstly only state licensed clinicians, who have been properly trained in the specific procedures of drawing blood from a driver accused of driving under the influence are allowed to draw blood.

Police officers are always right… wrong! At Hoffman and Associates, our law firm has successfully defended thousands of driving under the influence cases. One of our effective strategies is to attack and challenge the credibility of the officers observations, statements and conclusions being used against our clients.

You may be unlucky enough to have been stopped by the police for allegedly committing a vehicle code violation, but it is not necessarily true. The main thrust of an officer’s education at the Academy is how to build a case against suspected violators. Officers are taught from the beginning that they must always justify and build a case.

One of the major areas of challenging the officers observations is to point out to the prosecutor, judge or jury, that although the officer will testify from the witness stand, or by the statements in police reports, that his credibility must be established like any other witness, despite the fact that he is a police officer.

The credibility or believability of an officer saw summations and statements should never be considered totally accurate or correct. It is essential that all statements declare fully scrutinized and challenge by her attorney in a DUI or other criminal case.

Very often when our attorneys are reviewing police reports with our clients, major and minor factual discrepancies appear with no rational explanation. Although it’s easy to assume that the clients, or person being charged with the offense is lying or fabricating to make themselves look better. There is often another reasonable explanation.

Although police officers are employed to protect and serve the community, and hold themselves out as neutral and unbiased people, that is not always the case. Police officers also have an agenda… that is to build a criminal case against a suspect who he has determined to be guilty.

When a person is charged with a Los Angeles DUI case they are required by state law to be placed on a minimum of 3 to 5 years of Summary Probation along with a fine to be paid and a rehabilitation program to be completed. In some cases jail time will also be required.

There are two types of probation, informal and formal. Informal probation is generally the case for first offense misdemeanor DUI charges. It is unsupervised whereas formal probation requires the supervision of a deputy probation officer and is usually part of a sentence in more extreme felony charges of DUI.

There are two type of probation violations: external and internal. An internal probation violation results when a person fails to complete the required rehabilitation classes or pay the required fine. An external violation results when a similar crime is committed within the probationary period.s

Hoffman and Associates is a Los Angeles and San Diego based law firm specializing in protecting our clients facing drunk driving charges, as well as all criminal charges.

The scope of this blog is not to discuss the pros or cons of pleading guilty or no contest in any particular clients case, since the merits and facts of each case would need to be evaluated to determine the strength or weakness of a criminal prosecution, and whether or not a plea is in the best interest of the client. A careful analysis of any factual evidence, any blood or alcohol test indicating the presence of alcohol and/or drugs, and any witness testimonysfavorable to our clients.

There are three ways a person in a DUI or Criminal Case can be found guilty. At a court trial a judge after hearing all facts of the case presented by the prosecutor and the defense attorney find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or even drugs Is the most commonly committedscriminal offense in the United States. That being said, it is easier to understand why many courtrooms throughout California are filled with drunk driving cases each day. There in lies the problem. In these high-volume courtrooms, especially in major cities like Los Angeles, prosecutors have very little time to read and review the details of each case .This can be a benefit to clients.

The benefit is that in these very busy Courts, prosecutors and judges are forced to spend increasingly less and less time in reading and reviewing as well as evaluating each case on its individual merits. In my over 30 years of courtroom experience as a drunk driving defense lawyer, that actually benefits my clients each day.

Generally in police arrest reports, there is only negativity, rarely are police officers writing about the positive elements of the person they’re arresting. Their focus is to build a case to prosecute, rarely to assist the defendant in minimizing the appearance of their conduct.