This criminal offense involves 2 separate legal proceedings… Court and DMV.
The following is a 10 step synopsis of a DUI STOP/ARREST:
Arrest, Booking and Custody: Your license is taken under the “Stop and Snatch” law and you will be taken to jail for 4-6 hours… normally. After being booked, fingerprinted and photographed you get a pink temporary license. You release is usually on your own promise to return, called an OR release.
FST-Field Sobriety and Chemical Tests: You are offered an OPTIONAL FST and Chemical Test at the scene. The FST requires walking the line; viewing your eyes, a finger to nose test; reciting the alphabet and balancing on one foot. You can courteously opt not to take them and do a Blood Test.
DMV Hearing Request: Must be preferably requested by your lawyer within 10 days of your arrest or you will lose the right to do so as explained on the pink Temporary License.
Retain a Local Attorney: Retain a LOCAL DUI attorney who knows the local court personnel, and not one from LA, OC or SD. On a recent case the officer testified differently at the recorded DMV hearing, and a Motion to Suppress Evidence. The court reporter transcribes the courts testimony along with the DMV transcript. Now whenever we have a case with this officer we have a distinct advantage and the DA knows it. Of course we have not shared the name with other local attorneys. DUI’s can be complex and you need someone to review all the paperwork with a fine tooth comb.
DMV Hearing: The hearing can be “in person” or “telephonic”. We always ask for a STAY, thus freezing the suspension, which would have expired 30 days after the arrest. The license will be valid until the results of the DMV hearing. Your attorney presents your case and subpoenas witnesses, if necessary, including the arresting officer. However today you often have to pay a fee to get the officer to attend the hearing. Your attorney can argue for your license and driving privileges and DMV will then rule on whether or not the arresting officer had enough of a reason, (Probable Cause), to stop you and take your license. Unfortunately the hearing officer is both the prosecutor and judge. They will not rule at the hearing but will instead send you a notice through the mail.
1st Court Appearance: It’s called an Arraignment, and you either plead guilty or NOT guilty. We always continue or plead not guilty and get copies of the DA’s Discovery. This includes the police report, maintenance records of the breath machine and copies of the videos to see if it shows how well you were walking and performing the tests. The judge then gives us another date called a Pre Trial. You are formally charged at the Arraignment with a DUI and a Driving with a .08 or higher Blood Alcohol level. Both charges are filed on all DUI’s. Note that in the Indio Court the DA will file .07’s even though the law is that driving with a .08 or great is the charge.
Pre Trial: Here some DA’s will offer a plea bargain if they did not at the first appearance. However the DA’s in Indio have marching orders to not reduce any charge and to request a maximum jail sentence. If appropriate, your lawyer can make a Motion to Suppress Evidence under Penal Code section 1538.5. S/he can fight to have certain parts or all of the DA’s evidence thrown out… if your rights were violated.
Trial: Can be by a Judge or a Jury; either way your lawyer presents evidence that aids your argument, and cross examines the prosecution’s witnesses.
Sentencing: The jury will decide guilt and the Judge imposes a sentence. The sentencing demanded by the Indio DA’s is a jail sentence starting with 10 days in jail and going up for each .01 on your reading over .10. Thus a .12 is 12 days and a .18 is 18 days.
Jail vs Home Arrest: We trade the jail time imposed for home arrest with an ankle bracelet or community service.
“TOP LAWYER” – Palm Springs Life-(DUI)-2011-19
“TOP LAWYER”- Inland Empire Magazine Nov. ’16
PERFECT 10.0 AVVO Peer Rating
10 BEST ATTORNEYS FOR CALIFORNIA
“PREEMINENT” Rating – Martindale Hubbell Legal Directory
“BEST Attorneys of America”-“Rue” (Limited to Top 100 Attorneys per state)
Legal Eagle “Best and Brightest Legal Minds” – Palm Springs Life- 6/16