DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
If you are charged with a DUI in California, do not immediately assume that the evidence against you is unbeatable and thereby winning your case is hopeless. Police officers bungle roadside investigations. Breathalyzers and blood testing are prone to error for many reasons. Medical conditions render falsely high blood alcohol content (BAC) readings. Moreover, various substances and chemicals in the air and, or in and on your body can cause DUI breathalyzers to generate falsely high readings as can simple equipment malfunctions.
You need a good attorney that can recognize and take advantage these errors and conditions, thereby protecting your rights, driving privileges and ultimately, your freedom. The Lee Law Group's attorneys provide you with this type of quality, top flight DUI defense and we are with you every step of the way.
Our thorough, professional investigation of
your case, when possible, causes us to:
- Visit the location of your arrest under similar conditions you experienced when stopped.
- Study the arresting officers' training, background and record for problems, mistakes, discipline.
- Reanalyze blood samples to make sure they are correct readings.
- Examine the maintenance history of the breathalyzer the police used in your case to be sure it was working properly.
- Determine if you had a medical condition, or a substance or chemical was present it the atmosphere or on your body that could have generated falsely high BAC readings.
We perform these and other specific tasks, governed by the facts and circumstances of your situation, to ensure that we develop an excellent DUI defense for your specific case.
After we complete the initial investigation, we take this information and use it in your DMV hearing and courtroom defenses. For example, we subpoena and cross-examine the arresting officers at live DMV and courtroom hearings to be sure their statement agree with their background, record and the reanalysis of the evidence, thereby protecting your driving privileges at the DMV and defending you from high fines and unwanted intrusion throughout the court process.
If you are charged with a DUI, the system is stacked against you. Therefore, you need a knowledgeable, energetic attorney to provide your DUI defense. As we show herein, we at the Lee Law Group know how to provide you with an excellent DUI defense to ensure you have a good, fighting chance.
If you are facing California DUI charges, contact us at the Lee Law Group. You will be glad you did.
Police officers must follow strict constitutional guidelines and a standardized set of procedures in roadside
DUI investigations, and very few of them do. If police make mistakes affecting your constitutional rights while
conducting field sobriety tests or administering breath tests; or if they improperly perform the various procedures,
the evidence obtained from these activities may be excluded and thereby rendered inadmissible against you.
The Lee Law Group will fight to ensure that the law enforcement officers' conduct in your DUI and other
criminal cases follows the letter of the law. If you are the victim of police misconduct or if police connected
with your case make mistakes that violate your constitutional rights, we are here to see that your case is
dismissed and you seek civil damages when possible. At the Lee Law Group, we know being charged with a
criminal offense or DUI can quickly turn into a terrifying, confusing and dehumanizing experience in the best of
circumstances. It can be much worse if you are also fighting police misconduct. Our ability to win criminal cases,
including those involving police misconduct, is why we have recently dedicated a good portion of our firm’s resources
to criminal defense. At the Lee Law Group we have the skill and experience required to stand up to police misconduct
where it exists, giving you an excellent chance at winning your case even under those unfortunate circumstances.
You don't want to lose your license. Losing your license could be the worst thing to come out of a DUI arrest.
The Lee Law Group's DUI lawyers excel in winning cases. While there are lots of attorneys out there who can
fight your DUI in court, very few are successful in the DUI hearings process. We stand out from the rest because
we are proven winners both in court and in the DUI hearings process.
You Have Only 10 Days to Schedule a DMV Hearing.
When you are arrested for a DUI you will have your license confiscated and you will be given a temporary license.
You have ONLY 10 days from the date of your arrest or from your receipt of the mailed 'notice of rights and process'
from the DMV to schedule a DMV hearing. At this hearing the Lee Law Group attorney will challenge the potential
suspension of your license. If you do not schedule a DMV hearing in time, your license will be automatically
suspended 30 days from the date of your arrest.
The Overall DUI Process
The DUI arrest is a two-track process. One track involves the California’s department of motor vehicle's hearings process. The other track involves the state courts, that is, the state’s criminal justice system. Your driver’s license can be taken and fines can be levied on each track. In addition, possible jail time can be sentenced on the court-criminal justice system track. Therefore, it is important that you defend yourself on both tracks simultaneously. The Lee Law Group is experienced in defending you in each of these processes.
The DUI Arrest
The DUI process begins with the arrest. Often times you are driving home from a party, a business outing or you may be simply going to the store and you are stopped by law enforcement. You may not be aware that you have had too much to drink and under the law, you are "driving under the influence". Normally, the police must have a reason to stop you, i.e., "a reasonable articulable suspicion" that you are engaged in some criminal activity or are committing a traffic infraction. If the police officer who stops you does not have this level of suspicion the 'stop', and thus the arrest, are illegal. Random stops at prearranged checkpoints do not require this sort of articulable suspicion. There the police can legally request that you pull over and be tested for driving under the influence" of alcohol or drugs as long as the checkpoint truly allows for random stops. We at the Lee Law Group tenaciously examine our client's stops to be sure they were legally done and if we determine they were not, we ask the judge to dismiss the case.
If you are stopped, the police will perform one or more "field sobriety test". If they believe you are "driving under the influence" of alcohol or drugs after these tests you will either be asked to take a breath alcohol test, or breathalyzer, on the street; or be arrested, taken to the police station and tested there. Whether or not you are given a breath test in the field you will probably be re-tested at the police station, jail or hospital by way of a second breath alcohol test or a blood test. Usually, the method used in these second tests is the arrested person's choice. Whatever the method, a person stopped for DUI is required by law to take the blood alcohol content test. Refusing the chemical test will result in tougher California DUI penalties, such as an automatic one-year driver’s license suspension.
Most DUI arrests are misdemeanors for which you will be released from jail within a few hours of arrest and booking based on your word that you will attend any court process. If an accident occurred, or if you have had multiple DUIs you may be required to post bail. Upon release, you should be given two documents: a citation to appear in court, and a temporary license to drive. The police will usually take your California driver’s license and mail it to the DMV. If you are from out of state and get a California DUI, the police cannot take your out-of-state driver’s license.
The DMV (Dept. of Motor Vehicles) Hearing Process
After you are charged with a California DUI, the California DMV will notify you by mail of the 'admin per se' process and of your right to an administrative hearing to challenge the legality your DUI charges. This, 'admin' or 'administrative per se' process is the pseudo-administrative process under which the DMV acts to quickly suspend your driving privileges. This process was enacted as a deterrent to DUI. You must contact the DMV within 10 days of receiving the mailed 'notice of rights and process' from the DMV to demand a hearing if you believe the police stopped you without cause or you were charged illegally because of other reason. Otherwise, you forfeit your right to a DMV administrative hearing and your license automatically goes into suspension after 30 days. The law used to be that you had 10 days from your arrest but this period is extended due to the slow nature of state business. The Lee Law Group is experienced in conducting these DMV admin per se hearings. We can request the hearing for you and defend you at the hearing. If the Lee Law Group, or whomever you chose to represent you, can show that the police stop of your vehicle violated your constitutional rights or that the stop or arrest was otherwise invalid, you will most likely prevail at the hearing and your driver's license will not be suspended.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the DMV's hearing officer takes the matter into consideration and later issues written findings. The decision usually gets mailed in one to 30 days. If the DMV finds in your favor, (you prevail) no license suspension is imposed. If the DMV finds against you, your license goes into suspension for the applicable period within a few days of receiving notice.
If represented by an attorney, the person
charged with a DUI does not have to appear at the DMV office
during the hearing process if they prefer not to do so. It
is their choice. However, unlike the court process, the DMV
cannot force them to attend. It is completely their choice.
Therefore, if you are charged with a DUI the Lee Law Group
can appear on your behalf throughout the hearing process,
which usually is only one hearing, with a follow-up session
on rare occasions.
If Your License Gets Suspended
If you do sustain a driver’s license suspension, and if it is your first offense, you can usually get a restricted license within 30 days. This allows you to drive to and from work, related activities and any court or DMV imposed alcohol program. The Law Group can can assist you in obtaining a restricted license. But you must heed the suspension while it is in effect. Driving with a suspended license in California is a crime and can lead to jail time, a probation violation and a longer license suspension.
The DUI Court Process
Most people arrested with a DUI are charged with two misdemeanor offenses: (1) DUI, 'Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs’, under Vehicle Code 23152(a); and (2) DUI, Driving with excess of .08 BAC, i.e., with more than .08 alcohol content in their blood, under Vehicle Code 23152(b). The objective is to avoid conviction for either of these offenses. The Lee Law Group will defend you during this process.
The DUI court process takes from several weeks to up to 4 months. During this time, the Lee Law Group will be fighting to get your charges dismissed or reduced based on the facts and the law. In addition, we will be attempting to reach a plea agreement with the prosecuting attorney to that you can accept. If a satisfactory plea agreement is reached your case is resolved. Your only task will be to fulfill any terms of the agreed to plea agreement.
If represented by an attorney, the person charged with a DUI often does not have to appear during the entire court process if they prefer not to do so. It is their choice unless the court objects, which is rare. Therefore, if you are charged with a DUI the Lee Law Group can appear on your behalf throughout the process, from your arraignment to the entering of your final plea, upon your waiving the necessity for you to appear.
If a plea agreement cannot be reached, the DUI case ultimately will get set for jury trial. However, a plea agreement to the DUI or a lesser offense is still possible. Often, prosecutors and judges give better deals after a case gets set for trial because they know the defendant is willing to fight all the way to prove their innocence and because the prosecutor may have practical problems in proving their case against you beyond a reasonable doubt.
Whether we attempt to craft a advantageous plea agreement or take you case to trial, the Lee Law Group is well experienced is fomenting reasonable doubt. For example, we steadfastly attack the functionality of the police's blood alcohol content testing equipment which, if faulty, could give us a winning issue at trial. Likewise we attack the quality and timeliness of the training and continuing education of the lab technician that tested your blood for alcohol content. If this person's training is incomplete or not current the prosecutor may rethink the very advantageous plea bargain we offered to agree to but they refused.
Contact the Lee Law Group to fight for you.