Top Ten List of The Biggest Mistakes Made in a DUI Case

March 25, 2012

A DUI arrest comes without warning or notice, the decisions made during and after the arrest often determines the outcome of a particular case.  Anyone arrested in Kern County should be aware of the potential long-term consequences and immediate penalties that may result from a plea of guilty or a court conviction.  Although there is no way to fully prepare for an encounter with law enforcement after a night of drinking, the public should be informed of basic “do’s and don’ts” pertaining to a drunk driving investigation.  The following is a list of the biggest blunders a person makes in this type of situation:

Never tell the police officer the number of drinks you had, this information is requested for one reason only and that is so that you can be locked into a specific drinking pattern that may deny you of important defenses in Court.

Never agree to take any hand-held Preliminary Alcohol Screening Device (PAS) Breath Test, unless you are under age 21 the law does not require it. These breath machines are not accurate and lead to injustice.

Never agree to submit to any FST’s. First of all, they are not “tests” you do not get a score and they are completely subjective. Do not take them.

Never t make admissions about your level of intoxication or sobriety. Remember, you have the right under the Constitution to remain silent-exercise that right!

Never tell the officer where and when you were drinking. When in doubt, invoke your Constitutional right to remain silent, this info. is used to preclude rising blood alcohol defenses by your attorney.

Always ask to speak to a Lawyer before answering any questions about drinking or your level on intoxication following a DUI traffic stop. You have the right to do this (the exception is choosing which test you will submit to, speaking to a lawyer before choosing the breath or blood test is not permitted).

Always take the breath test (not the PAS, see above), when given a choice between breath or blood, upon being lawfully arrested. The breath test is easier to challenge than the blood test.

Always speak to an attorney as soon as possible after you are let out of jail. You must get the important information about preserving evidence, securing essential witnesses and obtaining necessary Court dates and a temporary license from the DMV.

Never go to Court and try to represent yourself. Would you operate on yourself if you needed surgery, would you?

Never delay in requesting a DMV hearing ASAP in order to save your driver’s license after a DUI arrest. The law only gives you 10 days to avoid certain license suspension.

In summary, there are ways to minimize the impact of the DUI, an attorney can help guide you.

Can A CHP Officer Take My Log Book After Giving me a Ticket?

March 17, 2012

Many times a truck driver will be issued a ticket for speeding or other commercial violation and the officer finds that a log book violation exists.  He writes a ticket then commences to take the log book pages away from the driver and keeps them.  Is this legal? The authority given the CHP and other law enforcement personnel to seize evidence comes from California case-law. These cases grant law enforcement personnel the authority to seize and secure evidence necessary for future prosecution of the charges alleged. Pages from a driver log book containing information necessary to prove the elements of a criminal offense would be included as items which may be seized. In the case where the driver has already forwarded the original log book page(s) to his or her employer and only has one copy remaining, the driver will be allowed to duplicate the activity on a fresh log page(s) prior to the seizure of such copy. In Kern County, most officers, are advised that when available, copy machines should be utilized to provide replacement for seized documents.