Los Angeles DUI Lawyers – Los angeles DUI Attorneys
Why You Should Not Take Field Sobriety Tests
People naturally have a fear of the police when stopped or going through a safety checkpoint. They will usually do everything an officer tells them to do so they can get back into their vehicles and drive away.
Unfortunately, having a few drinks somewhere and driving to another location can get you into serious trouble. Even one drink can get you arrested as it is now called buzzed driving.
Never submit to a sobriety test of any kind if you are stopped or drive through a checkpoint. Never take a breath test at the location of the stop. All you are required to do is give the officer your license and insurance registration if he requests it. You don’t have to answer any questions concerning impairment or the ability to drive.
If an officer has suspicion to believe you are impaired, you will be arrested and taken to jail. Once at the jail, they might try to persuade you to take a breathalyzer test. Refuse the test and ask to call an attorney. A blood test is only mandatory if you were involved in an automobile accident.
Whether you drink or not isn’t the problem. The facts are that many people are mistakenly considered impaired because they have to take prescription medication. Sometimes a medical condition can affect driving capability. If you do drink and drive, the possibility exists that you will lose your driving privileges for a few months whether you take the tests or refuse them.
Sometimes the officer might request you say the alphabet backwards. Other testing is for balance and eye movement. All these tests can be difficult to perform. Many people have poor balance to begin with and will fail any balance test quickly. Tests are designed to help the officer get a conviction. Refuse any of these tests so your Los Angeles DUI lawyer has a better chance at helping you in court and possibly saving your license.
What To Do If You Are Stopped
Signs that you are intoxicated can be obvious. Bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and smelling like a distillery can give you away in a hurry. You deserve to go to jail, lose your license and be charged with driving under the influence if you are intoxicated to this kind of level.
The legal limit to be arrested for drunk driving is at .08 percent blood alcohol level. It only takes several drinks to get to that level. The odds are in your favor if you have only consumed a couple of alcoholic drinks before driving.
· Only give the officer your identification and registration.
· Obey his order to step from the vehicle.
· Refuse to submit to sobriety test and breath test.
· Grant permission for him to look inside the vehicle for evidence
· If arrested, ask to call an attorney after being jailed.
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Things to Never Do
· Avoid having empty alcoholic containers in your vehicle. (You can be charged with an open container violation for each one in your vehicle)
· Never carry prescription medication in any container but the one it was purchased in.
· Don’t haul opened alcoholic containers such as a pint of whiskey around in the vehicle.
· If you do drink, avoid driving until you are completely sober.
What is an Interlock Device?
An interlock device is a mechanism that can be installed on a vehicle which contains a breathalyzer that measures the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC). If the BAC is higher than a set amount, which varies from one state to the other, the ignition interlock device will prevent the vehicle from being started. Most interlock devices will also require drivers to provide breath samples at random times after the engine has started. This is done in an effort to prevent the user from “cheating” the system by having someone else provide a clean breath sample. If the driver fails to provide a subsequent breath sample, or if the breath sample exceeds the preset limit, the device will sound an alarm until the engine is shut off or until a breath sample that passes is provided.
The interlock device will also have a built-in memory that keeps track of all activity on the device, such as the number of times that a driver failed a breath test. It is also able to monitor activity on the vehicle’s electrical system, which could detect attempts to bypass the interlock. The device will need to be periodically calibrated and inspected at an authorized service center at intervals that can range from 1 to 3 months.
An interlock device is mainly used on vehicles that are owned or operated by drivers who have been charged with driving under the influence. Each state has laws that permit authorities to impose an interlock device on drivers that have been charged with or convicted of certain offences related to driving under the influence. In all cases, the fees associated with the installation and maintenance of the interlock device will have to be paid for by the driver that has been charged with the offence.
Even though all states have laws allowing them to impose an interlock device restriction on drivers, as motor vehicle laws are the responsibility of state legislatures, the specifics of when and for how long an ignition interlock device can be imposed on a driver will therefore vary.
Certain states will impose an interlock condition on anyone that has been convicted of driving under the influence, even on a first offence. Others have different rules. For example, in Massachusetts, a driver who is convicted of a second or subsequent DUI offence and is eligible to have their license reinstated or a hardship license issued will be required to have an interlock device installed on any vehicle that they operate. In North Carolina, a first conviction for driving while impaired with a BAC that exceeds 0.15 will require the driver to use one in their vehicle. As laws and regulations vary from one jurisdiction to the next and can change from time to time, anyone that is being charged with a DUI related offence should consult an attorney to receive up-to-date information on the topic.
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What is an Administrative Suspension Hearing in a DUI Case?
When a person is arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), he or she will face two different types of potential penalties: criminal and administrative. The criminal charge of DUI will be heard in a court of law and may result in a monetary fine and / or incarceration. An administrative charge of DUI may result in the suspension of his or her driving privileges. It is important for a person charged with DUI to understand the administrative suspension process in order to properly protect his or her rights.
Most states have an administrative suspension process. This means that the state will suspend the driver’s license of anyone charged with criminal DUI or anyone who refuses to submit to sobriety tests at the time he or she is pulled over by police. Administrative suspension notices can be given immediately when a person is stopped or will arrive through the mail in the days following the traffic stop, depending on the laws in the area where the stop occurred. When a person receives notice of an administrative suspension, he or she can request that the licensing authority schedule an administrative suspension hearing about the license suspension in front of an administrative official.
The request for an administrative suspension hearing will result in the licensing agency scheduling a hearing where an administrative official will determine whether or not the suspension is proper. In most cases, the arresting officer will be required to attend the hearing to give testimony regarding the traffic stop and what the officer observed that made him or her determine that the driver was intoxicated. Even if a driver believes that he or she is guilty of the DUI charge, it can still be a wise decision to request a hearing. In most jurisdictions, a person’s license is reinstated when he or she requests an administrative hearing. The license will then be in effect, allowing the accused to drive, until the hearing is held.
It is important to note that the result of an administrative suspension hearing has no bearing on what will be decided regarding the criminal charges. For example, a person could have his or her license suspended but be found not guilty of the criminal charges. As DUI charges can have serious consequences, a person charged with DUI should consider hiring an experienced attorney to help defend him or her from both the administrative and criminal penalties of the charge.
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Even though a first time DUI is considered a misdemeanor crime, you are still entitled to have a jury trial if you feel the charges were unfounded. Being able to make the claim you were innocent is difficult on your own, this is an area the Los Angeles DUI lawyers specialize, and can work to get the charged lessened or the case dismissed.
Here are a few of the ways your attorney will fight to get the first time DUI dismissed in court;
Operating Vehicle in Intoxicated Manner
One reason you were arrested for your first DUI was because the officer pulled your car over because they said you were operating the vehicle in an intoxicated manner. Maybe the officer observed your car weaving out of the lane or drifting on the the shoulder. A good Los Angeles DUI lawyer will be able to show the court that the driver was in fact coming off a week of working extra shifts and simply was tired while driving home. Although it was not a good idea to get behind the wheel, driving while tired is not a criminal offense.
Your attorney may also be able to show the officer did not have any grounds to pull the vehicle over because the driver was simply reaching for something that fell while they were driving or mixed prescription medications and was having a reaction while behind the wheel.
Performing Poorly on Field Sobriety Tests
Once the officer suspects the driver is intoxicated and has the vehicle safely pulled to the side of the road, they will ask the driver to perform one or more field sobriety tests. Since there are numerous tests that could be administered, the officer has the discretion to choose which test the driver will perform. In many cases, the tests are extremely challenging even for someone completely sober to perform. Your attorney could show that a sober person who is terrified of the officer may not be able to recite the alphabet backwards in ideal conditions.
Your Los Angeles DUI lawyer will put the officer on the stand and question why they choose certain tests and neglected others. The pressure to perform challenging tasks in the middle of the night could affect the results.
The Objective Symptoms of Intoxication
The arresting officer will be questioned as to why they felt that the driver was intoxicated and deserved to be arrested under suspicion of DUI. The officer may have noted in their report that the driver had slurred speech, could not walk a straight line, had bloodshot eyes, or was unable to stay upright during testing. Although these are typically symptoms of DUI, they can also be symptoms of a number of medical issues that the officer did not want to consider that evening.
Despite the driver explaining about a medical condition or a reaction to new medication, the officer proceeded with the field tests and made the determination the driver was intoxicated. The Los Angeles DUI lawyers will be able to show evidence to the court the driver does have medical conditions that have those symptoms, or the medication they take could result in those symptoms that mimicked the driver being intoxicated.
Failing Breath and Blood Testings
Although failing the blood and breath test are grounds for serious penalties in a DUI case, your lawyer can disprove the evidence a number of ways. After doing their research, the attorney could discover the equipment used has a history of providing false readings. The officer performing the test may have a history of making mistakes, or they are new to the job and didn’t calibrate the equipment properly.
In most cases, a skilled Los Angeles DUI lawyer can negotiate to a lesser charge like reckless driving or get the case dismissed.
Your Los Angeles DUI lawyers have been in the business of disputing this type evidence for decades. Don’t risk your financial future by trying to dispute the charges on your own, you have one chance to give the court reason to believe the officer was wrong, and it is an uphill climb. The Los Angeles DUI lawyers will work tirelessly on your defense to get you the outcome you’re hoping for.
Hiring a Los Angeles DUI lawyer is the best decision you can make when you have been arrested for driving under the influence. Most people who are arrested for this crime are likely to serve jail time, pay big fines, or have his licensed suspended. Although you are not actually charged with drunk driving during the time of the arrest, it’s still extremely important to have an experienced lawyer represent your case. Since the officers may believe that there is enough evidence to charge you with drunk driving, you need a knowledgeable criminal attorney that has the skills necessary to drop the charges before they are even made.
The primary goal of a DUI lawyer is to prove to the prosecutors that there is not enough evidence to officially bring a case before you. Because the police department usually has a good relationship with your attorney, he/she will be able to obtain important information quickly and smoothly.
Once the evidence is received, the lawyer can determine the details of the accident and the officer’s current position on the matter. Some questions that the lawyer will ask himself are “Does the police officer think my client is quilty? If so, what evidence helps him reach that conclusion?” Through logical thinking and reasoning, the lawyer will eventually find the gaps in the legal process and arguments to ensure that the prosecutor will not formally charge you with a DUI.
Before the prosecutors have a chance to officially press charges, the attorney will present strong defenses and demonstrate weaknesses informing them that charging you with a DUI will be a waste of the prosecutor’s time and the county’s resources. The attorneys’ working relationship with the police department will enable him to contact the prosecutor quickly, thus possibly having a conversation outside the courtroom.
Knowing these advantages to hiring a DUI lawyer, you also need to know the factors to consider when choosing representation. Here are the benefits of hiring a lawyer of H & M Law Firm in Los Angeles, California.
- Opportunity to schedule an initial consultant with a DUI attorney to determine the role he will play in working to drop the charges.
- Since 97 percent of the firm’s clients never go to jail or pay any penalties after the case is resolved, you can be assured that you are in good hands.
- The lawyer is knowledgeable in the latest requirements for breath tests, blood draws, and field sobriety tests.
- Our Los Angeles DUI attorneys know the players involved in the prosecution including the judge, prosecutor, and local officer.
- Our firm offers flexible payment plans so that you can afford our services.
- We make sure our lawyers for your case specialize and have extensive experience in DUI matters.
- At H & M Law Firm, our clients work with a team of the best Los Angeles DUI lawyers who confront district attorneys on a regular basis to ensure that cases are dismissed.
The decision to hire a Los Angeles DUI attorney immediately after you have been arrested has many benefits. An experienced lawyer will be able to contact the right persons to resolve this matter even before a case is filed. Additionally, the lawyer that will be assigned to your case regularly practices DUI law; as a result, he will thoroughly understand the applicable law and the local prosecutors. The attorney also understands the options related to a drunk driver case in your jurisdiction, but know that his ultimate goal is to convinced the prosecutors not to press charges. Requesting the help from an expert lawyer should not be a possibility but a necessity. If you have been accused of driving under the influence, you should not refuse to hire a DUI lawyer just to save money. After being arrested for a DUI, you want to immediately enlist the service of a professional who can drop the charges instead of battling with the criminal justice system. In order to ensure that the issues are resolved in a timely matter, contact a Los Angeles DUI lawyer at H & M Law Firm immediately after you are released from custody.