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Are You Being Charged with a DUI?
Driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the most common criminal matters in any courthouse on any given day. As a result, we naturally have decades of cumulative experience handling these types of cases.
When you are cited for DUI, this implicates two independent ways the government can punish you. The first is, of course, in the criminal courts. What many people do not realize, however, is that the DMV can punish you separately, even if the criminal case resolves in your favor!
After an arrest for DUI, you will likely be forced by police to surrender your driver’s license (and if you don’t have one, the charges you face will likely include a charge of violating Vehicle Code § 12500, triggering additional exposure to punishment). You will then be given a temporary driver’s license (a pink form). On this form, you are told that if you do not contact the DMV within ten days of arrest and request an administrative hearing, you will face an automatic license suspension in 30 days.
The issues that the DMV administrative hearing address are:
Did the peace officer have reasonable cause to believe you were driving a motor vehicle in violation of Vehicle Code §§ 23140 , 23152 , or 23153 ?
Were you placed under lawful arrest?
Were you driving a motor vehicle when you had 0.08% or more by weight of alcohol in
Unfortunately, the DMV hearing officer serves as both the prosecutor AND JUDGE for the case. This person is not an attorney and the laws are tilted strongly in the DMV’s favor. As a result, it is very important that an experienced attorney be on your side to argue any defenses you may have. In any event, an attorney can help you delay any DMV license suspensions, if not altogether avoid them.
On the criminal side, a DUI can be proved in court either by showing you drove with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or more, refused a chemical test, or merely drove while under the effects of alcohol, regardless of your BAC.
Attorneys are trained to spot issues with poor police work such that, if the officer deviated from proper law enforcement practices, the entire case can be dismissed. Alternatively, an attorney may be able to negotiated a preferred result, either what is known as a “wet reckless” or, perhaps, even a “dry reckless.” Other counts, such as the aforementioned Vehicle Code violation for driving without a license (VC §12500) are subject to negotiation between the prosecutor and your defense attorney and might be dismissed should accepting a plea be your best option.
The rules are somewhat different for those accused of DUI who are under 21 years of age. In these cases, the license suspension may be longer though it is often the case that the criminal penalties are not as severe. Furthermore, a DUI with a prior DUI in the previous ten years spikes
the potential consequences dramatically; and the penalties get worse and worse the more DUIs one has during that ten-year window.
In sum, DUI defense is wrought with intricacies. Knowing the ins and outs of the criminal system—as well as the DMV administrative system—is key to giving you the best shot at minimizing the consequences or winning your case outright. If you have been cited for driving under the influence, or any vehicle code violation, contact us immediately.
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Criminal Lawyers & Defense FAQs
When Should I Hire A Criminal Defense Lawyer?
The answer is simple: right away if you know you’re being investigated for a crime. Don’t make a mistake, hire a criminal defense lawyer. If
If You Already Have A Criminal Defense Attorney and You’re Not Happy With Your Attorney, Can You Switch It?
The answer is yes. Absolutely not only do you have a right to counsel in this country, but you have a right to the attorney
When Should I Represent Myself In A Criminal Matter?
It is not recommended that you represent yourself in a criminal defense matter. There are attorneys that are trained, that go to school, that go
Government Lawyer Vs Private Lawyer
What’s The Difference Between Public Defender And Lawyer? Public defenders work for the government and get paid by the government in order to provide representation
Are There Any Drawbacks to Hiring a Public Defender?
Public defenders work for the government and have a tremendous amount of cases. They’re extremely busy because the government gives them these cases to handle
How Do You Bill or Charge For a Criminal Defense Case?
The way the Matian Firm works is we provide a flat fee retainer for your case. For example, if you come into our firm and
How Much Do Criminal Defense Lawyers Cost?
It depends on your case. If you have a murder case that is going to cost you a tremendous amount of money, especially as compared
Private Defense Attorney Cost
How Criminal Defense Attorneys Charge It depends upon your case. Defense attorneys charge a one-time flat fee per case and the reason is they look
I Was Caught Red-Handed, the Police Have All the Evidence to Prove that I’m Guilty. Why Should I Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
You should absolutely hire a criminal defense lawyer. Because even if you think the government has all the evidence they need against you, a competent
This Is the First Time I’ve Ever Been Charged With a Crime. Will the Court Take This Into Consideration?
Yes, a court or district attorney or prosecutor or city attorney will always take into consideration the totality of circumstances which includes your past, criminal
Under What Circumstances Will A Case Be Completely Dropped and Dismissed Against Me?
There are essentially three ways: 1.) The district attorney could make a decision to drop the case because they feel that there isn’t enough evidence
What is the Difference Between a Felony Case and a Misdemeanor Case?
If the crime that you’re charged with can land you in prison for over a year then that is classified as a felony. If the
Does the Police Need a Warrant to Arrest you? In What Circumstances Can a Police Officer Arrest You Without a Warrant?
No, the police do not need a warrant to arrest you. If a crime happens in their presence and they witness it, then they can
How Do I Know When to Plead Guilty?
If your attorney really recommends. So make sure your attorney has fought tooth and nail to get you the best possible offer, the best possible
Is There A Better Chance I’ll Get a Plea Deal If I Wait Closer to Trial to Plead Guilty?
The answer is this it’s unknown. Every courthouse is different, every jurisdiction is different, every judge is different, every prosecutor is different, and every single
What Are Miranda Rights?
Miranda rights are a set of rights that you are afforded that the police must read to you when you are in custody. You’ve heard
Why Is It Important That Miranda Rights Have To Be Read For Me?
Miranda rights are only supposed to be read for you. They are only applicable is if you are in custody and the police want to
If I Was In Custody and the Police Asked Me Incriminating Questions and I Answer Them, But They Did Not Read Me My Miranda Rights, What Happens Then?
Well if you have a good attorney, a competent attorney they will file a motion to make inadmissible your answer. So if you provided an
What Is An Arraignment?
Arraignment Definition Every criminal case has multiple stages: You have your arraignment, your pretrial conferences, your settlement conferences possibly preliminary hearings motions. Motions in limine
Does California’s Three Strikes Law Still Exist?
Yes it absolutely does and it’s being used against defendants every single day. So if you are charged with a crime and that crime could
Can My Lawyer Go To My Arraignment For Me?
Can My Lawyer Represent Me In Court Without Me Being There? The answer is simple: it depends if you are charged with a felony case,
Do I Need a Lawyer At Arraignment?
Yes, absolutely. If you are ever charged with a crime, if you are ever being investigated for a crime, it is recommended that you always
What Is Bail?
Bail is a condition of release, typically you put up money to be released from jail that is bail. So if you’re charged with a
What If I Cannot Afford Bail?
If you cannot afford bail and there is a bail on your case, then unfortunately you are going to be held in custody for the
Can I Be Released Without Any Bail Amount?
It depends on what you are being charged with. There is a litany of cases that you will just simply be cited for by police
What Is O.R Release?
OR is a term that stands for own recognizance. What this means is that the judge has made a determination that there is no bail
How Do I Get Offered a Plea Bargain?
In almost every single case the prosecutor’s office is going to give you an offer to settle the case. However, the important thing is not
Is a Plea Bargain In My Best Interest?
In some circumstances, if you’re facing a criminal charge, the police may have enough evidence against you to be able to prove your guilt. At
What Makes A Crime A Crime?
If you could do an act and as the result of that act is being charged by the government with a crime that could put
What Is A Mens Rea Example? Mens rea goes to your intent, your mind, your brain, when you do an action. For example, in criminal
Difference Between Mistake Of Fact And Mistake Of Law
Mistake of Fact Defense: Can be a defense to a crime. For example, let’s say you had an identical purse as someone, and you put
What’s The Difference Between Careless And Reckless Negligent Driving?
Reckless Vs Careless Careless negligence is things that are more minor. For example, if you’re driving on the street and you’re in your own lane,
Intentional Vs Unintentional Conduct
What Is The Difference Between Intentional And Unintentional Conduct? If I intend to do something that is intentional, if I don’t intend to do something
Willful or Malicious Behavior When We’re Talking About a Crime?
If I intend to do something that is intentional, if I don’t intend to do something but something happens that is unintentional, it’s like a
What is Specific Intent?
Specific intent means that you specifically did something with the intent to do that which you specifically did.
Importance Of Motive In Criminal Law
What Is A Motive In A Crime? Motive typically isn’t an element in any crime. We don’t really have the element of motive in a
Crimes Without Mens Rea
No Mens Rea (Intent) For Driving While Drunk DUI is a perfect example of a crime that does not require mens rea. Because when you’re
Strict Liability Crimes
Strict Liability Definition Law Strict liability law is basically if you violate a law that does not require a specific intent or an intent. For
Assault Vs Battery
What Is The Difference Between Assault And Battery? The definition of assault in a criminal setting is putting someone under the reasonable beliefs that they
What Is the Difference Between Simple Assault and Aggravated Assault?
The answer is pretty self-explanatory. Simple assault is when there are either no injuries or very minor injuries. Possibly extremely minor bruising or something along
What Is An Example Of Involuntary Manslaughter?
Vehicular Manslaughter Manslaughter is when you have an unintentional killing of a victim without any specific intent. An example of manslaughter is if you are
Manslaughter Vs Murder
What’s The Difference Between Manslaughter And Murder? Manslaughter is when you to have an unintentional killing of a victim without any specific intent. An example
Difference Between Voluntary And Involuntary Manslaughter
Voluntary Versus Involuntary Manslaughter Voluntary manslaughter is the act to kill someone and you have the means, the intent, the reason behind killing that person.
If You Are Pulled Over By Law Enforcement Does Law Enforcement Have the Right to Search Your Car?
The answer is police officers don’t have a right to search anything. There has to be certain circumstances that will give them the reason to
What Kind of An Attorney Should I Expect to Work On My Case? How Many Attorneys, Paralegal Staff Members, Are Usually Assigned to a Criminal Case?
Well that all depends on your specific crime and also the type of firm you hire. If you hire a firm that only has one
What Happens If the Federal Government Arrests you?
The majority of arrests are made by the state government. However, the federal government also has a prosecutorial arm and the jurisdiction where they could
What is the Difference Between a Felony Case and a Misdemeanor Case?
If the crime that you’re charged with can land you in prison for over a year then that is classified as a felony. If the charge that you’re charged with could put you in jail for a year or less, but not as classified as a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is a lower lower classification of crime than a felony. Felony cases are more severe cases. Cases like arson mayhem, carjacking, rape, murder. Misdemeanor cases are less serious. Trespass, first-time DUI’s, things of that nature so there is your definition of what is the difference between a misdemeanor case and a felony case.
Crimes Without Mens Rea
No Mens Rea (Intent) For Driving While Drunk DUI is a perfect example of a crime that does not require mens rea. Because when you’re intoxicated you typically don’t go into the car, and you think to yourself “I am driving drunk.” We don’t need the specific intent or the mens rea for you to do that if you are operating a motor vehicle, and you are over the legal limit that’s it. You could be charged and convicted of a DUI without any requirement of mens rea or specific intent.