June 30, 2012
Here is the scenario, you are pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy for speeding or “weaving” or some other infraction. Once contacted the deputy smells alcohol and starts a DUI investigation, field sobriety tests may or may not be given. All of a sudden the CHP shows up and the deputy talks to him then leaves. later you are run through a battery of tests, given a portable breath machine to blow onto and arrested. what just happened?
This situation is what is called a “CHP turnover” and is quite common in Kern County according to DUI Attorney Bruce Blythe. The sheriff’s department does not like doing drunk driving arrests inasmuch as they are not as well-trained in the current DWI investigation techniques and, perhaps most importantly, they do not get paid as well as the CHP officers when it comes to testifying at DMV hearings and Court proceedings. Therefore, there seems to be an unwritten policy to “turn over” all driving under the influence cases to the CHO whenever possible.
What impact does this have on your case? Well, for the most part it does not affect the nuts and bolts of the state’s case. you see, the laws allow for a police officer to transfer a case to another officer to complete or finish an investigation. As fas as DUI”s in Kern County, it is commonplace and very rarely does a DWI case get handled from start to finish by a KCSD. There are two possible issues that can benefit someone who has been arrested during a turnover scenario. One, there is always a chance that if the case gets litigated in Court that the initial deputy may not be available to testify. in criminal cases the accused has a right to confront and cross-examine the accuser and so the cop must be present. If he or she does not show the case could be dismissed. Second, anytime there is more than one witness it is possible that the chances of raising a reasonable doubt to a jury could increase. On the other hand, two witnesses to the same event could hurt the case.
In the end, the difference between a turnover DUI and a non-turnover could be very minimal.
June 16, 2012
The laws within the state of California do not differentiate between a DUI where someone was in an accident versus a driving under the influence where the person did not crash. The only difference would be if the accident resulted in an injury to an occupant of either vehicle. This offense would be a VC 23153 crime which carries mandatory jail if the person is charged with a felony. Jail time can be served in a number of alternatives such as work release or electronic monitoring. In Kern County the Judge could allow for a non-jail sentence if the defendant was willing to comply with reasonable terms such as an ankle bracelet or submit to the sheriffs work program. It must be emphasized however that jail is not always imposed. The District Attorney could agree to a non jail disposition if that is what is worked out with the lawyers. As with any other crime, if the offense involved damage to property then restitution will be ordered as a term of probation.
June 3, 2012
Persons arrested for drunk driving are typically given a court date to answer to the charges, this appearance is called an arraignment and is the time when a plea is entered to the allegations of driving while under the influence. The court is there to act as an arbiter as to whether the state of california can prove you to be guilty of the crime. The court does not file charges, the district attorney in Kern county is responsible for that. The charges are filed in what is known as a complaint. The complaint is filled with the date of the offense, the official charges and the information that the D.A. needs to prosecute you.
For many, a DUI charge in Kern county is difficult to deal with because they live in another county or perhaps even another state. if you have been arrested in Bakersfield the court date will usually be about 3-4 weeks after the arrest. The Court Process for a Bakersfield DUI can be quite complex so most judges will advise you to hire the services of a local attorney. The attorney can go to court for you and attempt to resolve the allegations with the prosecution. The other option is to go to court yourself which is not recommended. The DA is a legal professional and you are not so you will be outgunned unless you have had extensive legal training.