Pasadena, CA DUI Lawyer
California DUI Law
Many people like to enjoy their evenings by dining at a restaurant or a friend's house where they enjoy a couple beers or a mixed drink. This is a common practice for people in Pasadena and throughout Southern California, and law enforcement is always on the prowl to find those who choose to drive after having too many drinks. Police officers use methods such as field sobriety tests and blood and breath tests to determine a driver's intoxication level, but these tests are not always accurate.
If you have been arrested for a DUI, you may think that the evidence brought against you is undefeatable. However, a complete investigation of your arrest and your situation may uncover evidence that will free you from your charges and from the penalties of conviction. At our criminal defense firm, our attorneys have extensive training in challenging the evidence in DUI cases, and we know how to protect your legal rights. Most cases are considered a misdemeanor, though there are circumstances which will be viewed as a felony, such as an accident causing an injury or
Avoiding Automatic Driver's License Suspension
The most important thing for you to keep in mind is that you have legal rights and that your chances of success will be much better if you take action now. In order to keep your driver's license, you must contact the
California DMV to set up a hearing within 10 days of your arrest, regardless if it is your
first DUI, second DUI, or if you have had multiple DUI convictions. Otherwise, you will be subject to an automatic suspension that can last for anywhere from 4 months to 3 years. Next, we recommend that you write down everything that happened to you from 24 hours before your arrest to the time you were released from custody. This record should include such details as:
- What you had to eat and drink and when you ate and drank
- Any medications you took
- The reason the police officer told you for making the traffic stop
- The exact sequence of events during the DUI investigation
- What happened after the arrest
- Medical, dental and psychological issues you have
- Any aggravating factors, such as drug possession, underage passengers, injuries or weapons
You should do this as early as possible, to ensure the accuracy of your memory. A Pasadena criminal attorney from our firm will study your case from every angle to find the best way to defend you in court.
Your Options for DUI Defense
There are several criminal defense strategies for a DUI case. Even if you took a blood or breath test and were found with a blood alcohol content (BAC) above .08%, your attorney may be able to argue that the equipment wasn't properly maintained or calibrated. Another major factor in this type of case is determining whether the suspect's rights were violated in the arrest. If upon close questioning, the police officer who made the arrest cannot prove that he had probable cause to pull you over, the entire case could be dropped on the grounds of inadmissible evidence.
A conviction cannot be made just because you weren't driving your best and many people can speed or make an unsafe lane change without being intoxicated. If the prosecution has little more than your bad driving to go off of then this may be insufficient to effectively argue you were drunk. Officers will often look at outward appearance or other signs that could be evidence of intoxication, but may also be signs of something else. Instead of having blood shot eyes because of alcohol it could be that you were suffering from allergies at the time.
You may be been having trouble speaking because you were nervous and who wouldn't be during an interrogation by an officer? You could have been nervous and this made it challenging for you to walk a straight line during the Walk and Turn test. You may also have had alcohol on your breath but having one drink and being intoxicated to the point that you cannot driver are two very different things. It is not illegal to drive after having a glass of wine or a beer. It only becomes illegal if you are over the limit or it is influencing your ability to drive.
In California an officer needs to assess a suspect for a certain period of time in order to better evaluate if they are under the influence. If an officer only was with you for a short period of time before they made the arrest then they may not have the best evidence to go off of. The state law requires at least a period of 15 minutes be used. There are even more ways that defense can be provided, but the best thing to do is get in touch with our office immediately so that we can begin developing the defense that is right for your case.