Hi, thanks for taking the time to watch this video. My name is Givelle Lamano, and I’m the principal attorney at Lamano Law Office. The goal of this video is to teach you what you need to do to avoid a DUI charge.
Any time somebody is arrested for a DUI, they have to deal with two different parties. The one is the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the second one is the superior court. Let’s talk about the DMV, because that’s the easiest one to knock out. At the end of the day, all the DMV cares about is whether or not your license is going to get suspended, and whether or not you are going to get points on your record. Now, if you get four points in one year, that means you have what’s called a negligent operator status. So if you’ve gotten a bunch of traffic tickets, you really should contact an attorney to try to avoid getting your license suspended for one year.
Now, the number one rule with the DMV is that you must contact them within 10 days from the date of your arrest. Give us a call, tell us where you were arrested, and we’ll give you the proper phone number to contact the DMV so that your license is not suspended. If you don’t contact them within 10 days, your license will be suspended for six solid months. That is what’s known as a hard suspension.
So, remember with the DMV, all they care about is whether or not your license is going to get suspended. In order to avoid a one year suspension you want to make sure you don’t have too many points on your record. In order to avoid a six month suspension, you want to make sure you contact the DMV within 10 days from the date of your arrest. And then once you actually have a DMV hearing scheduled, your attorney can use that hearing to gather evidence that we can use in the second part, which we talked about earlier. In court.
Now, let’s say you do lose your DMV hearing. You could still be eligible for what’s called a restricted license. A restricted license lets you drive to and from work, or anything work-related. It also allows you to drive to your DUI program. We’ll give you the details of what you need to do to make sure that the DMV hearing is handled properly, and to ensure that your license is- isn’t suspended as much as it needs to be. You definitely don’t want a six or twelve month suspension. Especially if you have a special license like a commercial driver’s license.
Now, moving along to the harder part, which is the superior court. Any time somebody gets charged with a DUI, they are charged with two vehicle code misdemeanor violations. The first one is vehicle code 23152(a), and the second one is vehicle code 23152(b). Let’s just call it the A count and the B count to make it easy.
The A count says that you were driving while impaired. The B count says that you were driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. And if your blood alcohol level was really high, they’ll add what’s called an excessive blood alcohol charge, which is notice to the court and notice to the district attorney’s office that this is somebody who had an extremely high blood alcohol level. Now, DUIs are some of the most common arrests that happen every single day. You don’t want to be like other people who get a DUI and just take whatever they give you. You want to see if you can fight your case and get it dismissed. The best case scenario is that charges are dismissed completely, you have no penalties, and you win your DMV hearing.
The second best case scenario is that you get what’s called a wet reckless. A wet reckless is pretty much a lighter DUI offense. It’s a different vehicle code violation, and the penalties are different. Let’s compare a wet reckless and a DUI.
Generally with a wet reckless, you get a fine of about $1000. For a DUI, your fine is about $2000. Now in both those situations, you don’t have to pay that fine in full. You can make payment plans. With a wet reckless, your DUI classes are generally 12 hours. With a DUI, your DUI classes could be up to nine months. With a wet reckless, you’ll have two years of probation. Court probation, which means you have to stay out of trouble for two years. That’s the deal, so you don’t do jail time. You stay out of trouble for two years. With a DUI, that probation is actually three years, which means you’re on thin ice for an extra year longer. With a wet reckless, you generally don’t have to do any jail time or any community service. With a DUI, you could do up to 30 or even 60 days of community service, and maybe even up to six months depending on how high your blood alcohol level was, whether or not there was any injury, or whether there was any accident.
In both situations, during your probationary period, you are not allowed to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in your system. These are the general fines and payments and penalties associated with a wet reckless or with a DUI, which is what the court imposes on you. Remember the DMV is separate.
At the end of the day, you want to fight your case. You want to get the charges dismissed, or you want to get a wet reckless. Or, you want to get the lowest amount of community service and the lowest amount of jail time, the lowest amount of DUI school, the lowest amount of fines.
There are so many ways that you can attack your DUI. One way is to attack the investigation itself and whether or not the police officer was properly trained to conduct that investigation. Very often, you’ll have rookie police officers who are being trained in DUI situations, and you’ll know it. You’ll hear a senior police officer give instructions to a junior police officer on how to conduct the field sobriety test. Did they give you instructions on those field sobriety tests? Do you speak another language? Did you understand what they were telling you? Did they, did they show you how to do the tests physically? That’s one thing to take into consideration.
The second thing is whether or not the machine that they used to measure your blood alcohol level was actually accurate. Just like any machine, if you put money in a vending machine, sometimes the candy doesn’t come out. Even a fancy MacBook, sometimes it won’t work. Machines are faulty, and numbers actually do lie.
There are a couple of theories that you can use and one is, the calibration theory. And the calibration theory basically says that every machine that is used to measure your blood alcohol level needs to be calibrated at least every 10 days or every 150 uses. Otherwise, the ac- the result isn’t necessarily accurate. It’s not necessarily a theory, it’s more of an understanding, and you want to make sure that the breath tests that they used in your investigation were actually working properly.
The second thing is called the margin of error. The margin of error basically says that your blood alcohol level could be off by .02. So if you’re on the borderline, let’s say a .09, arguably your blood alcohol level could be a .07. Now, it could also be argued that it was a .11, but it’s still an argument to be made.
Another thing to take into consideration: were you actually driving? Did they see you driving? Did the police stop you after an accident, and they didn’t actually see who was driving? Were your keys in the ignition?
There are a lot of ways to fight a DUI, but the main ones is whether or not you were driving, and whether or not your blood alcohol level was actually accurate. If you took a blood test, it might be wise to actually retest the blood in a separate lab. Whether or not your blood was done in a medically approved manner.
There are so many ways to attack a DUI, and you don’t want to do what most people do when they’re charged with a DUI, and that’s this. They go to court, they take what ever’s given to them, they get a couple of misdemeanors on their record, it messes up their opportunity later to apply for a job or anything where you have to fill out an application for a loan or a home. They just take what they take from the court, and you don’t want to do that. You want to make sure that you understand what you can do to fight your DUI so that you can get the charges dismissed or get a wet reckless. You want to be proactive and make sure that your license isn’t suspended unless absolutely necessary. In order to do that, you just have to educate yourself.
Give us a call. Tell us the facts about your case. We’ll tell you what the likelihood is in your situation, what the worst case scenario is, what the best case scenario is, and based on your information that you provide us, what the likely scenario is. Either way, be proactive. Call us and speak to an experienced DUI attorney. we’ll give you the number to the DMV depending on where you were arrested and what county it was in, and we’ll make sure that we get the job done. Thanks for listening.