Defending Rights Law Center of Joshua J. Price is a full service law firm that handles DMV Hearings, DMV Appeals, DUI Trials, DUI motion work, Appeals, Early Termination of Probation, Expungement and anything else related to DMV and Court.
In every criminal case, one has an absolute right to a Jury Trial where the Prosecutor must prove the accused person's guilt BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT to a jury of 12 of the accused person's peers. DUI trials typically last 3-6 days and are an effective way to prove innocence!
There are many motions that can be run in your DUI Case prior to trial. Mr. Price has successfully had many DUI cases dismissed prior to trial through pre-trial motions. One of the more common motions of this type is run pursuant to Penal Code Section 1538.5 and based on a violation of one's Fourth Amendment right to be free from unlawful search, seizure and detention. If the police stop you unlawfully or they have not formed probable cause to believe you are driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, then you may have a great opportunity to have your case dismissed!
Other types of motions can be run prior to trial depending on your DUI case. Joshua Price is extremely knowledgeable in pre-trial motions and your case can be DISMISSED! Without an attorney versed in this area of the law, you may never know if your rights have been violated or if the government erred in collecting evidence against you.
When one thinks of a charge for Driving Under the Influence (DUI), they typically do not think of the civil side. Most people, when they hear DUI, they think of the criminal offense. However, DUI charges also come with the possibility of civil penalties through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
After one is arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, one’s privilege to drive is suspended after 30 days of the arrest date, unless one requests a DMV hearing within 10 days of their arrest date. Administrative Per Se (APS) Hearings are held (if requested within 10 days of arrest) for the purpose of either upholding the suspension against one’s driving privilege or to set it aside. At these hearings, a DMV hearing officer is assigned to determine three issues:
1. Whether the person was lawfully arrested;
2. Whether law enforcement had reasonable suspicion to believe that the person was driving under the influence;
3. Whether or not the person had a .08% or more Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) at the time of driving.
We understand that being arrested for any alleged criminal offense is not only a difficult time for you, but also a scary and uncertain time in your life. We are here to help you through this and to make life as easy as possible for you. We are here to defend against your constitutional rights and to ensure that justice is served! There is a huge misconception out there that arrest = guilt, and that is completely and utterly FALSE. Police are trained to play the safety card and err on the side of caution when making an arrest. This does not necessarily mean that they are doing a bad job if a person they arrest is later found NOT GUILTY. It merely could mean that they are playing it safe ... and leaving guilt up to a judge, jury, or the District Attorney's Office to even file charges.
Common charges associated with DUI cases under the California Vehicle Code are:
23152(a)-It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.
23152(b)- It is unlawful for any person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle.
For purposes of this article and Section 34501.16, percent, by weight, of alcohol in a person's blood is based upon grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.
In any prosecution under this subdivision, it is a rebuttable presumption that the person had 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of driving the vehicle if the person had 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of the performance of a chemical test within three hours after the driving.
23153(a)-It is unlawful for any person, while under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver.
23153(b)-It is unlawful for any person, while having 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver.
If there is no accident or injury, a person charged for suspicion of DUI will likely face charges under both Vehicle Code Sections 23152(a) and 23152(b). Unless it is a person's fourth DUI charge within 10 years, the District Attorney will likely file a misdemeanor complaint against the suspect. Penalties can include thousands of dollars in fines, jail time, driver's license suspension, public work service through the Police Department, Mother's Against Drunk Driving (MADD) class, and mandatory alcohol classes (ranging from six weeks to thirty months).
However, if there is any injury to any person other than the driver, a person charged for suspicion of DUI will likely face charges under both Vehicle Code Sections 23153(a) and 23153(b). These are very serious charges that can be filed as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Penalties can be similar to a complaint filed under 23152(a) or (b), however, often include mandatory jail or prison time if convicted.
DUI cases can be extremely complex and difficult to navigate. With our expertise, we will guide you through the process and advise you of every option along the way. It is such a game of speculation until we get the police report(s), calibration records, lab packets and all of the necessary information we need to fully advise you. Often times, this is a long process and it can take awhile to receive all of the relevant material. We ask for your patience as we gather all of the necessary information to properly defend your case. It could take up to a month or two to even get the police report(s).
Unless you choose to retain the services of Joshua J. Price to make sure your constitutional rights have not been violated, you may never know!
The first issue deals with whether or not law enforcement had 1) Reasonable suspicion to believe that a vehicle code violation had occurred; and 2) Probable cause to arrest one for driving under the influence. This also falls under the purview of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution for one to be free from unlawful searches, seizures and detentions. Law enforcement cannot arbitrarily stop a motor vehicle. In order to effectuate a lawful traffic stop of a vehicle, law enforcement must have objective, specific and articulable facts that a vehicle code violation has occurred. If there is no reason to stop then there is no lawful arrest.
Most law enforcement officer’s state that upon contacting the driver of a vehicle, they smell the odor of alcohol, red, watery eyes, and slurred speech. Officers are taught to mark down these signs in order to detain a driver and conduct a DUI investigation. Officers then turn a simple traffic stop into a full blown DUI investigation. They ask drivers questions and have them perform a series of Field Sobriety Tests (FST’s) under the guise of further assisting them to determine whether one is okay to drive. THESE TESTS ARE NOT PASS OR FAIL!
It is solely in the discretion of the officer whether or not he/she believes one is impaired for purposes of driving. Some officers are not performing these tests in conformity with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) standards and thus are not administering valid tests. If they are not administering valid tests, yet are basing their decision to arrest someone for suspicion of DUI, then they lack the Probable Cause necessary to effectuate a lawful arrest.
After one is lawfully arrested for DUI they should be given the choice to take a chemical blood, breath or urine (in drug cases only) test to determine, if any, the amount of alcohol or drugs in their system. Under Implied Consent laws, these tests are mandatory after being arrested for suspicion of DUI. If law enforcement does not give one a choice of tests and an available alternative exists, there could be an issue. Once the test is complete and shows the presence of drugs and/or a BAC of .08% or more, one must show, by way of affirmative evidence, that the test was inaccurate or that they were under a .08% BAC at the time of driving.
Not only do chemical tests have to conform with Title 17 California Codes and Regulations, but they must be:
In proper working order (Calibrated, maintained and checked for accuracy);
Properly administered; AND
Administered by a competent and qualified operator.
There are many procedures in place in order to ensure that the test for one’s BAC is reliable and accurate. If these procedures are not followed it could mean that the test is inaccurate and/or unreliable as a measurement of one’s true BAC or drug content.
Most chemical tests are conducted at some point after the driving occurred, thus ones BAC or drug content is likely going to be different at the time of the test than it was at the time of driving. That is why there are multiple ways to combat these tests and show that, in fact, you were not over the legal limit at the time of driving.
If DMV upholds the suspension against your license, a four month suspension will go into effect on a first time offense. The only way to keep one’s privilege to drive is to win the DMV APS hearing and win your court case; or to obtain a Not Guilty ruling in court on the charge of driving with a .08% or more BAC without being convicted for a DUI.
Call Mr. Price for a free consultation to go over your case and make sure you do everything you can to have your case completely dismissed and retain the ability to drive!