To My Coachella Valley Weekly readers:
This is the handout I give to my new DUI Clients. The information is helpful for all cases.
THE ABC’S OF A DUI IN THE INDIO COURT
IF YOU ARE ARRESTED:
DO NOT TALK TO ANYONE OTHER THAN YOUR LAWYER!
LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND PROSECUTORS ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS!
NO MATTER HOW MUCH THEY TELL YOU THEY ARE JUST TRYING TO MAKE A CASE!
From a procedural standpoint, AS A COURTESY, please do not drop into the Law Office of Dale S. Gribow without an appointment for either your first visit or a follow up. When Dale is with you, he tries not to take calls or respond to other clients who drop in without an appointment. The same is true when he meets with other clients if you drop in without an appointment.
Drunk Driving vs. DUI:
There is technically no such thing as a Drunk Driving. The correct charge is a Driving Under The Influence (DUI). In other words, you do not have to be drunk. When I try to teach young lawyers, I always explain to them that they should constantly use the term Drunk Driving in trial when referencing the stop, the tests, etc. etc. That way the jury gets use to hearing the word drunk. However, that is truly a misnomer. You only have to be Under the Influence. In California you are under the influence if your ability to drive is impaired. Your ability to drive is impaired when your blood alcohol reading is .08 or higher. Thus if you are driving on a California road with .08 or higher the burden of proof almost reverts back to you to show that you weren’t under the influence and/or your blood alcohol was not .08.
WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR ME?
The first question on every new client’s mind is what can you do for me? and what will it cost? If I was a doctor and you had a pain in your stomach, you would not ask me “what is wrong with me and what will it cost” when you first met me and before an exam. You would understand a doctor would have to take a history, perform a physical exam, order blood tests, X-Rays, and MRI’s etc. Maybe the doctor would even perform exploratory surgery before telling you what was wrong. If it was Cancer the surgeon would sew you up and explain there is nothing more he or she can do. A DUI is usually not cancer, but with a (1) High Blood Alcohol Reading of .15+; (2) Drugs or (3) a Traffic Accident, your case becomes more challenging.
DA Sentencing Policy:
The DA’s and the Indio Court recently changed their policy on DUI sentencing. In 2013, they are demanding a minimum of 10 days in jail on all standard first offense DUI’s with a reading up to a .10. There is an additional day in custody for every .01 over .10. Thus, a .15 is 15 days and a .24 is 24 days in custody. If the reading is .20 or higher or if there is an accident the courts may want 30 days or more in jail. The courts now consider a .15 to be a High BA Reading, rather than the previous .20 criteria. This reading requires the longer traffic school of 9 months rather than the standard 4 months. In other words, they file an “Enhancement” pursuant to AB-762.
The .15 is not an automatic enhancement by the Court. However, some DA’s and Judges will give a higher sentence with .15 and always with a .20. DMV will require the 9 month DMV class if the reading is over a .20. DMV does not care what the Court does, as the DMV penalty is Statutory. I have enclosed a copy of the Penalties for Driving Under the Influence and for Driving on a Suspended License. You can see just how serious this is to both DMV and the court system. All DUI’s stay in Department 2K until they are set for trial when they go to Department 3M.
As of June 19, 2012, we learned that several of the DA’s in the Misdemeanor Arraignment Court are not paid DA employees. One DA has had eight (8) trials already. They are all trying to prove themselves to the DA’s office so they can be considered for a permanent job when there is an opening. One DA has worked there for a year without pay. Obviously they all want to prove themselves and have no authority or incentive to reduce a charge.
As of 2013, the Courts are no longer giving good time credit so the jail sentence is not reduced.
In mid-2012 Judge Sterling in 2K at the Arraignment of a 1st time DUI (with a prior wet reckless from ’09 which was alleged as a prior conviction), upon the urging of the DA, started ordering DUI defendants to attend 3 AA meetings a week until the next court date as a CONDITIONAL release. The Judge also ordered the defendants and their attorneys to be prepared to show the DA proof of the AA meetings attendance at the next hearing!!! We believe this is not proper!
The DA wants the “conditional O.R. Release” term if the defendant was already on summary probation. This is true even when the defendants breath test result is only .13. Thus you do not need an aggravated situation with a high reading or a traffic accident to kick in this arguably illegal extra punishment BEFORE sentencing..
Though it is too early to know what we were going to be able to do on your case, in the majority of cases, clients charged with a driving under the influence wind up pleading to some charge. If the plea is to a driving under the influence; a driving with a .08 blood alcohol or higher or a Wet Reckless driving, the Court will order you to contact the RIVERSIDE COUNTY DRINKING DRIVING PROGRAM within 5 days of your final court date for an orientation appointment. You must bring your Sentencing Memorandum/Plea form with you so they know which DUI class you have to enter. They are located at 45596 Fargo Street, Suite 6, Indio, California 92201 at the corner of Fargo and Requa. Their phone number is (760) 863-8471, and their fax is 342-4469. The orientation is usually on a Monday or Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. (by appointment only). It usually takes 2 to 3 weeks to get an opening for an orientation appointment. If you live out of town, the Riverside County Drinking Driving Program may be able to coordinate your attending the required program in another county, but usually not in another state or country. You would give them a money order for $93.00 payable to Riverside County. You would need: (1) H6 DMV Print-out of your record that you get from DMV; (2) Pink Temporary License; and (3) Copy of the Minute Order from the Court.
Stay Tuned for Part 2 in next weeks issue.