DUI Defense – How to win a DUI
DUI Defense – How to win a DUI
There are definitely ways to win a DUI case, despite the enormous pressure from the prosecutors and courts to show that they are tough on DUI cases. This article discusses DUI Defense – How to win a DUI and how a DUI can be dismissed.
With Orange County DUI cases, as a matter of politics, great resources are devoted to the punishment of DUI cases. Orange County, California, is the location of one of the largest, and most politically active Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) chapters. Police often are awarded simply based upon the number of DUI arrests at the annual MADD awards banquet luncheon.
In other jurisdictions, it has been revealed that DUI quotas for police officers exist, and police officers have testified to that fact. In Orange County, police agencies are awarded overtime through Federal Grants (via NHTSA) and DUI Checkpoint Grants (through the CA Office of Traffic Safety). MADD contributions of money and volunteers, nd paid overtime for officers for DUI enforcement create incentives to arrest those even suspected of DUI.
It is the policy of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, which prosecutes Orange County DUI cases in all cities in Orange County, that they be tough on DUI cases. Even reducing cases from a DUI to a traffic infraction, like a speeding ticket, which is common with the Los Angeles City Attorney, as an offer for Los Angeles DUI cases, or reduction to a Wet Reckless, very common on all other counties in California, either do not exist as options with the OC District Attorney’s Office, or requires the written supervisor approval of the head of court from the DA’s branch office for each courthouse. For that reason, reductions are more rare with DUI cases in Orange County, but they still happen.
However, a DUI case can be dismissed completely, based upon the law, or the facts, even in Orange County.
A DUI case in Orange County will NOT be dismissed only based upon the following:
- A failure of the police officer to read you your Miranda rights;
- A failure of the officer to sign any of the documents;
- Having your name wrong on any of the paperwork;
- Having anything about your car wrong on any of the paperwork;
- A failure of the police officer to put the correct date on any of the paperwork.
While many of those defenses WOULD be a defense at the DMV, which relies only on the paperwork, as sworn through the DMV document under penalty of perjury, in court the paperwork and reports are not generally allowed, and the officer is brought in to testify live under oath, making the police reports less relevant.
In analyzing a DUI case for defenses, most defense attorneys go over the entire case, including the reports, and then look closely at the following areas:
- Probable cause. The police have to have probable cause, which is legalese for “a good reason” to pull you over. That good reason has to be a violation of the law of some kind. Because technically a breath test or a blood test is a search of your body, the police officers also have to have a warrant, or separate probable cause to justify the test. The DMV also has a definition of probable cause under the law that can help you win your DMV hearing.
- A valid blood test, or a valid breath test. We have argued all the reasons that make a blood test valid in court, and all the reasons that make a breath test valid in court, but the test is only as good as the measuring device used, and the procedures followed that affect accuracy. If there is anything wrong with the test, or anything that contaminated the test, that makes the test invalid, and subject to being thrown out.
- The elements of the crime. The requirements to prove each part of what makes up the “crime”, as written in the law, and the proof or lack of proof that exists, makes for a legal defense to DUI, in that it shows where the law might not match the evidence in the case, and also leads to issues that might constitute reasonable doubt. In general, a DUI case needs to show, with admissible evidence, beyond a reasonable doubt, that:
- There was driving;
- There was voluntary intoxication;
- There was impairment by use of alcohol or a drug;
- There was proof that the person was above a .08% alcohol level at the time of driving, not just at the time of testing (for alcohol cases);
- That the impairment through an alcohol or a drug existed at the time of driving; and that
- No valid excuse under the law or defense exists.
- Mitigating factors. Having a military career, being actively involved in charitable volunteer work, having character reference letters, school transcripts, or a longstanding career in your field are not legal defenses. However, when deciding on a borderline case whether to give you a break, both judges and prosecutors look at these factors. The key issue is whether or not you are dealing with any issues, or requiring the court to force you to deal with issues, and whether or not you are likely to reoffend. If the court sees you on a good track, it is unlikely that you will be someone that will get another DUI and be dealing with the court system again and again.
If you have any questions about defenses for a DUI, contact our firm or call (877) 942-3090, anytime.