Being arrested for driving under the influence is a serious matter because it can result in the loss of your driver’s license, your job, and your freedom. There are numerous potential consequences of a Pasadena DUI conviction, such as increased insurance premiums, points on your license, interlock installation, civil suits, fines, restitution, community service, substance-abuse treatment, probation, and more.
If you have been arrested for a DUI, you will have to appear at a DMV hearing as well as in court. Since the DMV only gives you ten days from the date of your arrest to explain why you should be able to keep your license, hiring an attorney right away can mean the difference between keeping your license and losing it. This is not 10 business days! It is 10 calendar days, but if the 10th day lands on a weekend, then the last day is pushed forward to the next business day. By not claiming your statutory and due process right to a hearing, you are essentially telling the DMV you do not mind if they suspend your license for a period of four months to three years, depending upon if your arrest amounted to a first offense, multiple offense or driving with a measureable amount of alcohol in your blood while on probation for a DUI.
A good Pasadena DUI defense attorney will be able to defend you in court against the criminal charges filed against you. Attorney Ann Gottesman will prepare and assist you with the DMV hearing and aggressively defend your legal rights in court. You may be able to avoid jail, as there are alternative programs available to many defendants. Fighting a DUI charge is not something one can do without the assistance of an experienced and dedicated DWI defense lawyer!
How to Protect Your Drivers License If Arrested for A DUI in Pasadena:
The police officer who arrests you and releases you from the jail does not want you to know what your legal rights are. Neither does the DMV. The DMV would be quite content rubber stamping every DUI arrest that results in a blood or breath test reading of .08 or higher BAC for a suspension. When you request an in-person hearing (as opposed to a telephonic hearing!), you are creating more work for the DMV and the possibility that they may not be legally permitted to suspend your license!
This is why it is crucial that you know your rights when it comes to the DMV, (and Mandatory Actions Unit “MAU”) and how to properly and successfully exercise them. With a knowledgeable DUI defense lawyer who cares about your case and who is willing to go the extra mile to uncover all the important information, exculpatory evidence and possible defenses, you will have the best possible chance of retaining your driving privileges (and beating the DMV machine!).
Making a list of what (and how much) you drank and ate on the night you were arrested for your DUI, and what time you drank your alcohol, will help your lawyer build your defense. The more details you write down early in the process, the more accurate information your lawyer will have. Any medication you took, the reason the officer claims he pulled you over, the type of field sobriety tests the officer asked you to perform, and exactly where you were at different times during the evening or day of your arrest, are all important facts to take note of.
Pasadena criminal attorney Ann Gottesman will carefully review the unique facts of your case and determine the best possible defenses and strategy.
DUI Defense Strategies If You are Charged with a DUI in Pasadena, California:
Many people think, “If I was stopped for a DUI and my breath or blood test showed I was above the legal limit of .08 %, I should just plead guilty because DUIs are impossible to win.” NOT TRUE!
There are numerous defenses and ways to beat a DUI or reduce the charge and protect your driver’s license. This is why you need a qualified and dedicated DUI defense lawyer to evaluate and fight your case!
For example, there is a “rising blood alcohol” defense which asserts that even though your breath or blood test results showed you were over the legal limit at the time the test was taken, this does NOT necessarily mean that you were over the legal limit at the time you were driving your vehicle, which can often be an hour or more before the test! The law criminalizes driving with a BAC of .08% or higher, NOT having a BAC over the legal limit an hour or two later when the cop or a phlebotomist decides to test your breath or blood. In addition, breath test machines must be tested for accuracy and calibrated after a certain number of days or after a specified number of tests. Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations states there are strict procedures that must be followed in order to ensure a reliable test. If these procedures are not follow exactly, then the blood or breath test may not be admissible evidence or the value of evidence may be diminished!
If a motorist’s constitutional rights were violated by the police during the stop or some time later, motions can be filed demanding the Court suppress the test results and other illegally obtained evidence. When a motion to suppress is granted as a result of an officer’s violation of the client’s Fourth Amendment rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, the entire criminal case is often thrown out.
Felony DUI with Injury in Pasadena:
If you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and you are at fault for an accident that results in another person being injured, you will be charged with a more serious DUI charge under California Vehicle Code section California Vehicle Code section 23153(a). Injuring another person will turn a misdemeanor DUI into a felony, often times even if the injuries are not serious. Prosecutors in Los Angeles and the District Attorney's office in Pasadena are quite aggressive in filing the most serious DUI charges they can..
The punishment under VC 23153(b), which involves driving with a .08 or higher and causing an accident which results in another's injury, can result in prison time, victim restitution, court fines, loss of one's driver's license and loss of a person's career.
Although a felony DUI with injury is a serious crime, there are defenses which must be carefully considered by an experienced and caring DUI lawyer.
For example, just because you were driving under the influence of a motor vehicle and someone was injured, does not necessarily mean that you are guilty of a felony DUI with injury under VC 23153. The prosecutor or District Attorney must prove that you were driving under the influence of alcohol with a BAC of .08% or higher AND you caused the injury accident by committing a traffic infraction or acting negligently. This means that if you were driving DUI and were involved in a collision that was another party's fault, even if there were injuries, you would not be guilty of a felony DUI causing injury. You should only be charged with a misdemeanor DUI if you were over the legal limit.
DUI Penalties for Felony DUI with Injury:
How harsh a penalty and sentence will be depends on many factors such as the seriousness of the injuries, the number of victims, and the level of intoxication of the accused. An accused could be sentenced to one additional year for each person that is injured. Additionally, if a person is seriously injured, the prosecution is bound to file an enhancement for "great bodily injury" referred to as "GBI". An accused faces an additional three years imprisonment as an enhancement if a victim suffered GBI. On a first offense DUI with serious bodily injury, an accused could face up to 8 years in prison and the conviction would be considered a "strike" under the Three Strikes Law. If a person is unfortunately killed in a DUI accident, the penalty could be even higher.
DUI felonies are serious charges and it is for this reason that you want to have the right lawyer representing you. You need a lawyer that has handled numerous serious felony DUIs and who can properly evaluate your case and fight for you in court. Hiring a local attorney who practices in your court and is familiar with the judges and prosecutors is essential as well.
DUI Cases are Unique—You Need a Pasadena Criminal Defense Attorney Who Specializes in DUI Law
Pasadena criminal defense lawyer Ann Gottesman has saved many people from the devastating consequences associated with a DUI conviction.
Ann prides herself on providing high quality criminal defense representation to her clients for reasonable fees. The Law Office of Ann Gottesman offers a level of personal service and compassion that most law offices and defense attorneys simply do not provide. “Just because you paid for an attorney doesn’t mean you really have someone in your corner. If a lawyer doesn’t answer your calls, doesn’t update you on the progress of the case and doesn’t give you their time, then your attorney is likely not paying attention to your case! ”
Getting Probation if Convicted of DUI/ DWI in California
Depending on the facts of the case, most DUI offenses can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. If it is your first DUI, you will most likely be charged with a misdemeanor and be able to get probation with work release or community service instead of jail. In most states, probation is limited to 5 years. But this is only if you lose your case! The best scenario is for you and your attorney to strive for a dismissal or reduction of the charges!
Drunk driving cases are very complex and require special expertise and knowledge. DUI defense attorney Ann Gottesman has successfully represented many people charged with DUI offenses and is eager to aggressively represent you in court and with the DMV.
Call Pasadena DUI Attorney Ann Gottesman toll-free today for a FREE consultation:
CALIFORNIA CRIMINAL & DMV PENALTIES FOR DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
CRIMINAL SENTENCES FOR DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL AND/OR DRUGS
(VEHICLE CODE SECTION 23152)