Orange County Harbor Justice Center Newport Beach Courthouse

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Orange County Harbor Justice Center Newport Beach Courthouse

Orange County Harbor Justice Center and Newport Beach Courthouse Information – including what you need to know if you have to go to Court in Newport Beach.

https://www.expertlawfirm.com/orange-county-harbor-justice-center-newport-beach-courthouse/

The OC Courthouse in Newport Beach was built in 1967 as part of the Orange County Superior Court system.  It has 14 courtrooms. Its average daily pedestrian traffic is 2,406 persons entering and exiting the currently one entrance to the courthouse.

The Court in Newport Beach handles DUI cases, and other criminal cases, from any arrests within the following cities:

Harbor Justice Center Traffic Cases

This court has exterior traffic windows, which reduce the number of people entering the court, and makes it easy to pay fines, get information, and have the court provide a copy of documents without having to wait in the security check line.

Harbor Justice Center Parking

Parking is free.  There is a lot attached to the courthouse.

Your Court Appearance in the Newport Beach Courthouse.

If you have been arrested for DUI and are appearing at the Harbor Justice Center, you will typically be given a court date on a document, for your arraignment.

Arraignment

Your arraignment will be in Department H-8, upstairs on the second floor of the courthouse.  

Department H-8 is run by Judge Brett London, who only does arraignments.  He will attempt to make an offer to settle your case and resolve it on the first court date.  After your arraignment, your case proceeds to pretrial.  In that department, you will be required to check in and will be given an information sheet with your rights.

For Second Time (or more) DUI cases

For a second time DUI case, or any multiple offender DUIs, the court requires arraignments to be in Department H-4, Judge Matthew Anderson (as of 2017). Judge Anderson runs the Orange County DUI Court for this location.

Pretrial

Misdemeanor pretrials are all heard in Department H-1, upstairs on the second floor of the Newport Beach Courthouse.

Department H-1 runs as the master calendar, or “air traffic control” for all misdemeanor cases.  Most of your appearances through the case process will be here.

Harbor Justice Center Trials

If you have a case that has already been set for a trial at a previous date by a judge, then misdemeanor trials start in H-1, where they can be assigned to any courthouse in the courthouse, or anywhere in Orange County. H-1 does not do trials but instead assigns them elsewhere.

Persons Held in Jail for their Court Date in Newport Beach: If you are in court for a case where someone is in custody, they are usually held in the custody of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department on the first floor and brought up to court when ready, as needed by the court.

Approximately 2,000 or more inmates are transported, by bus, to the Harbor Justice Facility each month from various Orange County Jail facilities. The holding facility at the Harbor Justice Facility has a rated capacity of 253 inmates. However, those in custody are required to be kept separated (by gender, by ethnicity, gang affiliations, health, or protective custody), and as a result, the Newport Beach Court detention facility cannot safely hold more than 150 inmates.

Only the lawyers and attorneys that are a member of the California Bar Association and members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department are allowed to visit persons in custody in the courthouse.

Orange County Harbor Justice Center Newport Beach Courthouse

The address to the courthouse is as follows:

Harbor Justice Center

4601 Jamboree Road
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(657) 622-5400 

Newport Beach Courthouse Parking is available for free, and parking is available in the courthouse lot, or anywhere on the streets as allowed near the courthouse.

The list of telephone numbers for the courthouse is available here: http://www.occourts.org/locations/general-phone.html

The Orange County District Attorney has an office on the first floor of the courthouse building.  The phone number is (714) 896-7261.  Website: Orange County District Attorney Harbor Justice Center

The Orange County Public Defender’s Office is in the same building near the DA’s office. (714) 896-7281.  Website: Orange County Public Defender Harbor Justice Center

There is a Victim’s and Witnesses Office in the Newport Beach Courthouse also, which can help victims or those testifying, with questions and support.  Phone: (714) 896-7188, Witness Coordination: (714) 934-4634.  Website: Orange County Victims Services Harbor Justice Center

Orange County Harbor Justice Center Court Newport Beach Courthouse Children’s Court

Children's Court Harbor Justice Center Newport Beach

The courthouse has a “Children’s Court”, which is a Children’s Waiting Room, that provides free child care at the Harbor Justice Center.  The flyer above from the court states, “Does your child need a safe, fun place to stay while you handle courthouse business?  We offer:

  • Professionally trained staff
  • Engaging educational activities
  • Your kids can play while you conduct court business
  • Safe and secure environment.

The instructions are as follows:  “Obtain a referral from the court department bailiff or the help desk near the front entrance.  Age 2 1/2 to 16 years old.  Children must be fully potty trained (no diapers or pull ups).  Snacks provided.”

The hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., and from 1:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Earthquake Safety: The Newport Beach Courthouse has received a Seismic Rating Level V, mainly because of its skylight roof construction and its plaster ceilings.

Our office is across the street from this courthouse.  If you need to speak with a DUI lawyer in Orange County that has years of experience in the Orange County Newport Beach Courthouse, contact our firm or call us anytime at (877) 942-3090.

Orange County DUI Checkpoints Memorial Day Weekend 2016

Orange County DUI Checkpoints: Superbowl Sunday

This weekend, especially Sunday during and after the Superbowl, local and county law enforcement will be looking for persons driving under the influence of drugs, or alcohol.  The Orange County Sheriff’s Department is doing a county-wide series of patrols, looking for drunk drivers in several specific cities (Laguna Woods, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills and Aliso Viejo), as is the Fullerton Police Department, for the City of Fullerton.  The City of Orange is also doing a DUI checkpoint this weekend.

DUI Patrols on Super Bowl Sunday

Fullerton Police sent a press release to law firms and other interested parties stating that the Fullerton Police Department will deploy additional officers on special DUI saturation patrols on Super Bowl Sunday specifically to stop and arrest drivers showing signs of alcohol or drug impairment, as part of their NHTSA’s Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk” campaign.

MADD-Super-Bowl-List-2015

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department also sent the following press release regarding DUI Checkpoints this Weekend:

DUI Enforcement Operations Planned this Weekend

SANTA ANA, CA  (February 5, 2016) – Deputies from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s DUI Task Force will be deploying this weekend to stop and arrest alcohol and drug-impaired drivers in the department’s ongoing traffic safety campaign.  DUI Saturation Patrols will deploy on Friday, February 5th at 7:00 p.m. and continue until Saturday, February 6th at 3:00 a.m. in the cities of Laguna Woods, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills and Aliso Viejo.   

“This is a ‘Zero Tolerance’ crackdown so Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over!” said Deputy Manuel Cruz from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Traffic Bureau.

Superbowl DUI Checkpoints

In fact, NHTSA has a marketing page for the campaign, at Superbowl Traffic Safety Media Page, with tips, graphics, and other helpful information, just for this Super Bowl.

Superbowl Sunday DUI Checkpoints

They recommend designating who will drive before the game, taking a ride share like Uber or Lyft, taxi, or public transportation to the game ahead of time, or enjoying the game without alcohol.

SuperBowl-DUI Checkpoints Orange County

To find out why DUI checkpoints don’t work, read our article on Why DUI Checkpoints Are A Bad Idea.

If you have questions about Superbowl Orange County DUI Checkpoints, or need an Orange County DUI Lawyer, contact our firm anytime at (877) 942-3090.

Orange County North Justice Center Fullerton Courthouse

Orange County North Justice Center Fullerton Courthouse Information

Including what you need to know if you have to go to Court at the Orange County North Justice Center Fullerton Courthouse.

Fullerton Courthouse North Justice Center

The OC Courthouse in Fullerton was built in 1968.  It has 18 courtrooms. Its average daily pedestrian traffic is 2,406 persons entering and exiting the currently two entrances to the courthouse.

The Orange County North Justice Center Fullerton Courthouse handles DUI cases, and other criminal cases, from any arrests within the following cities:

This court has interior traffic windows, which makes it easy to pay fines, get information, and have the court provide a copy of documents for traffic matters without having to wait in the longer criminal clerk line.  Those are on the first floor.  The second floor is staff only.

Your Court Appearance in the Orange County North Justice Center Fullerton Courthouse.

If you have been arrested for DUI and are appearing at the Orange County North Justice Center Fullerton Courthouse, you will typically be given a court date on a document, for your arraignment.

Your arraignment will be in Department N-8, on the third floor of the Fullerton Courthouse.  

After your arraignment, your case proceeds to pretrial.

Misdemeanor pretrials are all heard in Department N-9, upstairs on the third floor of the Orange County North Justice Center Fullerton Courthouse.

If you have a case that has already been set for a trial at a previous date by a judge, then misdemeanor trials start in N-7, where they can be assigned to any courthouse in the courthouse, or anywhere in Orange County.

Persons Held in Jail for their Court Date in Fullerton: If you are in court for a case where someone is in custody, they are usually held in the basement on the North side of the building, under the custody of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and brought up to court when ready, as needed by the court.

Approximately 2,000 or more inmates are transported, by bus, to the North Justice Facility each month from various Orange County Jail facilities. The holding facility at the North Justice Facility has a rated capacity of 253 inmates. However, those in custody are required to be kept separated (by gender, by ethnicity, gang affiliations, health, or protective custody), and as a result, the North Court detention facility cannot safely hold more than 150 inmates.

Only the lawyers and attorneys that are a member of the California Bar Association and members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department are allowed to visit persons in custody in the courthouse.

Orange County North Justice Center Fullerton Courthouse

The address to the courthouse is as follows:

North Justice Center

1275 N. Berkeley Ave.

Fullerton, CA 92838

 

Fullerton Courthouse Parking is available for free, and parking is available in the two lots on the West side of the courthouse, or anywhere on the streets as allowed near the courthouse.

The list of telephone numbers for the courthouse is available here:  http://www.occourts.org/locations/general-phone.html

The Orange County District Attorney has an office on the second floor of the courthouse building.  The phone number is (714) 896-7261.  Website: Orange County District Attorney North Justice Center

The Orange County Public Defender’s Office is in a separate building nearby. (714) 896-7281  Website: Orange County Public Defender North Justice Center

There is a Victim’s and Witnesses Office in the Fullerton Courthouse also, which can help victims or those testifying, with questions and support.  Phone: (714) 896-7188, Witness Coordination:(714) 934-4634.  Website:  Orange County Victims Services North Justice Center

The Fullerton Courthouse has received a Seismic Rating Level V, mainly because of its plaster ceilings.

If you need to speak with an Orange County DUI Lawyer that has years of experience in the Orange County Fullerton Courthouse, contact our firm or call us at (877) 942-3090.

Are DUI Field Sobriety Tests Voluntary?

Are DUI Field Sobriety Tests Voluntary?

The short answer is yes.  The longer answer is yes, with some clarifications.

According to the law, you do not need to submit to a field sobriety test.  The standardized field sobriety tests usually are:

  • The Walk and Turn
  • The One Leg Stand
  • The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus
  • The Rhomberg Balance Test
  • The Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) Breath Device Test

Some others that are given are:

  • The finger to nose test
  • The count to 100 test (forwards or backwards)
  • The recite the alphabet backwards test
  • The touch your toes test
  • The fingertips test

None of these last few are actually standardized tests, and are completely subjective.

Field sobriety tests are developed to see how many cues of intoxication are present, to see if a person might be above a .08%.  They are not conclusive proof that a person is above a .08% blood alcohol level, but are used to justify a breath or blood evidentiary test.

Any of the above tests you can politely refuse.  However, as a condition of your license, if you are given an evidentiary test, usually at the police station or a jail or a hospital, which means blood, urine, or breath, then you DO have to submit to that, or lose your license through the DMV for one year.

So, you don’t have to do any sobriety tests.  But evidentiary tests you can also refuse, but the stakes are higher for doing so.  Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Field Sobriety Test

Always be polite and respectful.  Keep in mind that a police officer can put you in jail, and you want things to go as smoothly as possible.  For blood tests, under the more recent McNeely decision, you can also insist on a warrant, and a search warrant would have to be obtained before you give blood or blood is obtained.

Refusing tests is the smart thing to do from a defense perspective.  The tests are only used to prosecute you, and since they are completely voluntary, there is no need to give the prosecution more evidence to prosecute your DUI case.

If you have any questions for an Orange County DUI Attorney, call us or contact the firm, anytime.  We are here to help.

DUI Probable Cause: What Are The Police Looking For?

DUI Probable Cause:  What Are The Police Looking For?

DUI Probable Cause - What are the police looking for?

It’s a basic constitutional requirement in any criminal case that police support any arrest with probable cause. With DUI Probable Cause – What are the police looking for?

All probable case legal issues are analyzed through the law of search and seizure, which starts with the federal Constitution.  The U.S. Constitution’s 4th Amendment states as follows:  “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.’”

The police may interfere with an individual’s Fourth Amendment interests without a warrant if the intrusion is only minimal and is justified by law enforcement purposes. (Michigan State Police Dept v. Sitz, 496 U.S. 444, 450 (’90); Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 20 (’68)).   The case of Maryland v. Brady, 527 U.S. 465 (1999) , also holds along with a long line of other cases, that a warrant is not needed for vehicle searches, since a lessened expectation of privacy exists as to vehicles.

Article 1, section 13 of the California Constitution and applicable case law, requires that police establish probable cause, to conduct an arrest for a crime.  In most cases, the officer will identify and describe some particular violation of the California Penal of Vehicle code, such as speeding, accelerating rapidly, weaving, or driving without headlights on. There are other situations where officers respond to an accident, or find someone stranded by the side of the road, which doesn’t involve police observing driving. But the typical situation is where a person is stopped for alleged erratic driving as officially recognized by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

NHTSA (The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), in their manual for detecting DUI written for training all officers in the USA), says:

 “Driving is a complex task involving a number of subtasks, many of which occur simultaneously, These include: steering, controlling the accelerator, signaling, controlling the brake pedal, operating the clutch, operating the gearshift, observing other traffic, observing signal lights, stop signs & other traffic control devices, and making decisions (weather to stop, turn speed up, slow down). Safe driving demands the ability to divide attention among these various tasks. Divided attention simply means the ability to concentrate on two or more things at the same time.

Under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs a driver’s ability to divided attention is impaired. As a result, the impaired driver tends to concentrate on only the most important or critical parts of driving and to disregard the less important parts, often creating unexpected or dangerous situations for other drivers (P.V-9, NHTSA SFST Student Manual, 2002).

Additionally, Officers typically indicate the presence of several factors, all of which they state give cause to investigate further for DUI. These included:

  • Red, bloodshot, watery eyes;
  • Odor of alcoholic beverage;
  • Unsteady Gait; and
  • Slurred Speech.

Odor of Alcohol

Regarding an odor of alcohol on someone’s breath it would be reasonable to believe, based on previous studies, that it would be extremely difficult to correlate the odor of breath alcohol to a particular level of intoxication. 

In testing breath in the field, in 1998, the Southern California Research Institute (SCRI) in cooperation with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted a study entitled “Police officer’s detection of breath odors from alcohol ingestion” authored by Herbert Moskowitz, Marceline Burns, and Susan Ferguson.

The end results of this research indicated that “it was demonstrated that officer’s were able to derive only limited information from alcohol odor“. These findings are consistent with the Widmark (1932) police station study and the Compton (1985) open air roadside studies. Both previous studies found small likelihood of detecting breath alcohol odors for BAC’s below 0.08 and 0.10% and detection failures even below 0.10%”. As with the Widmark and the Compton studies on breath alcohol odor, the SCRI study also indicated that the officer’s were unable to consistently classify odor of alcohol to intoxication levels. This was especially evident at 0.08% BAC’s and lower.

Bloodshot and Watery Eyes

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Field Sobriety Test

Police Officers also often report that they observe eyes to be bloodshot and watery.

There are several reasons and irritants that could cause one’s eyes to be bloodshot and watery.  One reason for this could be that many people have allergies to dusts and different pollen in the air. Another reason that the eyes could be this way is if a person wears contact lenses and they have dried out. As a result of the eye having no moisture to relieve the discomfort of the dryness the eye becomes irritated and red.

In addition, redness of the eyes can be caused simply based on the environment the person has been in. If a person is in a location where public smoking is allowed, redness can be caused due to a wide variety of different contaminates in the air. Smoke, dust and other airborne contaminates can get into the eyes of a person and cause irritation and redness.  Lack of sleep also may cause the eyes to redden. It is quite possible that many drivers are also tired and due to ocular fatigue displayed some irritation.

Regarding watery eyes, everyone always has watery looking eyes. This is due to the moisture level in the eye itself and the fact that the eyes continually blink covering the eyeball with a clear sheen of moisture to keep the eye from drying out. The only time the eye would not have a watery look is when an individual has a serious eye disorder such as blindness, glaucoma, cataracts etc. This watery look can also be exaggerated as a result of a light shining in ones eyes because the moisture on the eyes surface acts as a mirror of sorts and the light will have a tendency to glare off of the surface of the eye.

Additionally, there would be no way for police officers to know for sure whether or not a driver has slurred speech due to alcohol, since they presumably had never spoken to the driver before the stop.

Miranda Rights/Warnings

The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prevents you from being a witness in a case against you, and provides your right to remain silent.  Often, a person arrested for DUI was not read Miranda rights before questioning.  Should a case like that go to trial, the driver would have the right to bring a motion to suppress your statements and admissions as to drinking.  Unless the court believes that the entire questioning was consensual, your admissions should be suppressed.  However, in a DUI case, it’s not the confessions that are the strongest evidence – it’s the breath or blood test, which are not suppressed.

DUI Probable Cause – What are the police looking for?

So DUI Probable Cause – What are the police looking for? All of the above.  Traffic violations, an indication that the person had consumed alcohol (through an admission of alcohol consumption, or unsteady balance, red, watery eyes, and an odor of alcohol.

Contact us

Contact us

Contact our DUI defense firm today.  We can help you if you need a quality lawyer to assist with your DUI case.

SR-22 Proof of Insurance for DUI cases

Sr-22 Proof of Insurance for DUI cases

SR-22 Proof of Insurance for DUI cases

This page contains information and a strategy for getting your license back as quickly as possible by taking certain actions in the beginning from a DUI case, as a matter of SR-22 Proof of Insurance for DUI cases.

In California, for a first time DUI offender (note that this article assumes no priors, and would be completely different if you have any DUI priors, or are declared a negligent operator based upon accidents, or if your license is suspended based upon a medical suspension), the DMV computers will need to see that the following three items have been filed before you are issued a license, after a suspension:

1.  Proof of enrollment, and proof of completion, from a State Approved Alcohol Program.  This is usually filed electronically by the school.
2.  Proof of Insurance, in the form of an SR-22.  This is usually filed electronically from your insurance company. 
3.  Payment of a $125 fee.  
You can pay the fee via phone if you can get through, or mail in a check with your driver’s license number, so it can be entered, but most people do the payment in person.
Once all three items are received, AND you are eligible based upon the date, the DMV in California will mail your license to you via US Mail.  Any branch office can give you a printout showing you are allowed to drive to keep with you.
.

SR-22 Proof of Insurance Strategy for DUI cases

A successful strategy with DUI cases in the insurance field is to review your existing insurance policy for any discounts, including discounts for being a long-term customer, and then leave that existing policy alone.

Our clients can then get any as inexpensive as possible second policy as a rider on the first, for minimum coverage. This makes the second policy cheap, as they only cover the minimum, and only have to pay out once the first insurance policy is exhausted.

Then the client can have the SR-22 or other proof of insurance instructed to be issued from the second policy. That will cause the minimal increase for a cheap policy anyway, and the first policy may not increase at all since they didn’t issue the SR22 or notify the DMV of the conviction.

That may work for the entire policy term, or may work until policy number one checks your driving record (which in turn depends on their internal policies), but that is one way to keep costs for your vehicle from insurance, and the SR-22, as low as possible and not lose any Proposition 103 good driver discounts.

That strategy should meet most client’s stated goals by minimizing the impact of the extra cost for a vehicle. You’ll find that selling your car, and ridding yourself of a registered vehicle for a while, or getting a much cheaper car to insure (see the Intellichoice list for each type and each year of car makes and models) will make a huge impact on your vehicle costs.

Our Orange County DUI Attorney recommends this insurance strategy is designed to get you back on the road, while protecting your current insurance premium, and minimizing insurance increases, which are the biggest increase from a DUI conviction.  The AAA estimates that insurance increases for a first-time offense are an average of $7,500, spread over three years.  This is over three times the court fine.

Whether you have an impending DUI conviction or DMV suspension, our Orange County DUI lawyer usually works with an outside insurance company, or a new insurance company selected by you, and have the insurance program issue a new policy, which will save you money.

The most common mistake a driver makes is requesting the SR-22 Proof of Insurance for DUI cases from their existing insurance carrier, which usually triggers an immediate rate increase.  Insurance is a highly competitive industry, and shopping around is usually a strategy that works to your advantage also.

Please contact DUI attorney Orange County Robert Miller anytime before the court proceedings or the DMV hearing to get recommendations on an inexpensive insurance company if you don’t have one that you have a long-term relationship with.  Comparision shopping definitely works in your favor: You can save at least 20% on your insurance by just comparison shopping among all the options out there.

If you contact our firm after your DMV suspension from a DUI has taken place, we can still help you. We simply instruct insurance companies to file the SR-22 Proof of Insurance for DUI cases away from your existing insurance carrier with a supplemental policy, as mentioned above, reducing the risk of a notification or insurance event, that will affect your premium.

Then, the insurance company electronically files your SR22, and the process is completed over the phone in as little as fifteen minutes.

SR-22 Proof of Insurance for DUI Factors

  • SR22 policy pricing is based on age, zip code, and driving record.
  • The average insurance premium increase after a first-time alcohol related offense is $2,500.00 per year.
  • A client needs an SR22 on file with the DMV for a three year probation period, which means an average increase of $7500 over three years.
  • Insurance companies have the ability to insure drivers that even have a suspended license status.
  • An SR22 filing for out-of-state drivers works the same. An insurance company can file an SR-22 Proof of Insurance for DUI cases and satisfy the requirements of both the California DMV and the State that issued their Driver’s License, by using the California DMV’s foreign ( X-number).

SR-22 Proof of Insurance FAQ (for DUIs)

Q.  Can I sell my car and surrender my license, to not have to pay the DMV or insurance for three years, and save money?

  1. The California DMV cannot revoke your license without a legal grounds to do so, and you can’t just “surrender” a license that has any action taken against it. You can’t have it revoked just because you want to or as a matter of strategy.
  2. You can sell your vehicle, or work with insurance or other agencies to get a low insurance policy for a cheaper to insure vehicle, or no vehicle at all.
  3. The California DMV has a re-issuance fee of $55 (as of this writing) post court conviction on a DUI. If you don’t pay it, your license is revoked for not paying it. But you’ll have to pay it later if you ever want to drive again in California. Or you can move to a non-interstate driver’s compact state and get a new license.

Contact our law firm today

If you have questions about SR-22 Proof of Insurance for DUI cases for our DUI Lawyer Orange County, please contact our firm at (877) 292-2977 or use the contact the firm form.

DUI Defenses for Driving Under the Influence of Ambien

DUI Defenses for Driving Under the Influence of Ambien

DUI Ambien

Defenses DUI Ambien

A lawyer I know of had a client who was prescribed Ambien by his doctor.  The client had not slept for 5 nights and took only 1 pill, for the first time as prescribed, at home, in bed. When he awoke he was in jail charged with a DUI, not knowing how he got there or what happened. 

There is no argument that this person drove a motor vehicle.  But are they liable if they didn’t know they drove?  
Insanity does not negate the element of intent in a DUI, which is strict liability, what it does is prevents there being a voluntary knowing act. But Ambien can cause somnabulism ,(a parasomnia) better known as sleep-driving in cases like this.  There is no manner to determine if the driver was asleep or awake in the absence of EEG during the driving.
 
With the use of a number of articles/research that could help this DUI Defense attorney, it can be shown that driving in this case was automatism, and that it is common when it occurs with Ambien.  
If there was only Ambien (zolpidem tartrate) in the blood, (and no alcohol or ethanol), then this fact should be able to present a strong defense.  Alcohol consumed consensually damages the defense,  as the State prosecutor will argue the negligence of the defendant due to ethanol consumption, disregarding the medication instructions.
In cases like this, the patrol car video can be a crucial piece of evidence.  Persons that are driving under the influence of Ambien and are somnabulism driving act different than those that are voluntarily driving.
My recommendations to this lawyer were to consult with an expert regarding all the details about the medical and scientific literature, and also get all evidence, including the patrol car video, to show the effects  of intoxication and that it (driving) may have been involuntary in this case.
California’s Vehicle Code section 23152(e) prohibits persons from driving under the influence of any illegal or legal medication, even if prescribed for a medical condition, if it appears on California’s controlled substance list. 

What is the Cost of a DUI?

What is the Cost of a DUI?

Cost of a DUI
The cost of a DUI?  It’s somewhere between a lot and unbelievable.

What is the Cost of a DUI? An Orange County DUI, here and elsewhere in California, (in fact, across the country), is expensive. You may wonder what the total cost of a DUI is, and it is somewhere between $7,000 and over $15,000 total.

Why is that? Politicians and activists, including groups like MADD, have found that increasing Orange County penalties and punishment for DUI, especially on the financial end, are almost never opposed.  Every year 1.4 million first time offenders are arrested for a DUI, and the State of California, alcohol schools and other providers have used that fact for profit.

For that reason, DUI penalties, punishments, fines, fees, and costs, are much higher, even than other areas that are more of a danger to the public, like distracted driving, drowsy driving, and impairments other than DUI.

Part of the reason for this is– in 2016, the cost of alcohol induced traffic accidents cost the public roughly nationwide 114.3 billion per year, 51.1 billion in monetary costs, and 62.3 billion in the value of life losses.

The following costs are included for a first time DUI:

DUI Court Costs and Procedure:

Offenders must attend a first DUI court hearing approximately 4-5 weeks after their arrest.  A Blood Alcohol Level of over a .08% in California and other states is considered a DUI.  Anything over a .08 can result in a DUI conviction.  First-time offenders are usually charged with misdemeanors unless factors exist that make the case a felony.

DUI Sentencing Factors depend on:

  • BAC Level of Impairment
  • Whether or not there was an accident
  • Whether or not there was bodily harm to someone other than the driver
  • What mitigating factors exist, such as character references, military service, willingness to participate in DUI classes and treatment).

DUI Ignition Interlocks

What is the Cost of a DUI Ignition Interlock Device? An ignition interlock device, or IID, requires the driver to breathe into a breathalyzer system that is connected to the vehicle’s ignition system.  Testing is required to start the vehicle or keep the car running.

If alcohol is detected, the vehicle will not start and if the car is in motion, it will disable the ignition.  Some systems honk the vehicle’s horn and flash headlights to alert local authorities, which could result in a second time DUI.

The cost is up to a $200 installation fee and $80 per month for maintenance.

Currently, California requires an ignition interlock for a shortened suspended license for the second DUI or higher DUI, and four first time DUI convicts in four specific counties, as part of a pilot test project.  As of this writing, the California legislature had indicated that there are plans to make an ignition interlock device mandatory for all first-time offenders.  That hasn’t happened yet, as of June 2016.

DUI Educational Programs:

What is the Cost of a DUI and the alcohol school or classes? Getting the privilege to drive again requires attending and completing an educational program at one of several state-approved alcohol education programs.  We have a list of alcohol schools approved by the DMV on our website.

DUI offenders in California typically have to enroll in an alcohol school to obtain a restricted license, which allows driving to and from work, and during the work day for work purposes, and have to complete their alcohol school to get their full license back.

The alcohol school is the same one that is required for both court convictions from a DUI, and for a DMV suspension after a DMV hearing is either lost or not requested.

DUI Fees and Fines:

What is the Cost of a DUI in terms of fees and fines? First-time offenders must pay court fees, fines, and possibly have their license revoked, or face jail time, plus attend the educational program above, and be on DUI probation for a minimum of three years.

Restricted License: 

You can apply for a restricted license once your license is actually suspended by the DMV. To do so, you will need to:

(a) enroll in an alcohol school.  We have a list of alcohol schools approved by the DMV on our website.

(b) Submit an SR-22 electronically through your insurance company (and you will need to contact your insurance company for this), and

(c) pay a fee of $125 as a re-issuance fee at any DMV branch office.

SR22 Insurance: 

What is the Cost of a DUI for Insurance? An SR-22 is an electronic proof that you have insurance under the state minimums of $15,000 bodily injury liability per person, and $30,000 bodily injury liability per accident if more than one person is involved, and $5000 property damage liability per accident.
Having an SR-22 insurance also places you on special status, in that you cannot drive with a measurable amount of alcohol in your blood, you cannot refuse a chemical test, and you cannot let your insurance lapse for a three year period.
What is the Cost of a DUI?  Too much.  It’s better to know us and not need us, rather than need us and not know us.