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DUI Defense FAQs


A criminal conviction on your record will result in problems that will follow you into your future. It is very important that you take steps now to protect your Constitutional rights. You can do that by speaking with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate your way through the criminal process. DUIs carry very serious consequences and the worst thing for you to do is to do nothing at all.

For example, once you are arrested for DUI, the arresting officer will confiscate your driver’s license and give you a “notice of suspension,” which will serve as a temporary license. If you then fail or refuse a breathalyzer or blood test, the DMV will automatically begin proceedings to suspend your license. You must contact the Drivers Safety Office of the DMV within 10 calendar days of your arrest in order to challenge the suspension of your driver’s license – or it will be suspended regardless of the outcome of your criminal case.

In other words, the DMV hearing and your criminal case are two entirely separate parts to your DUI charge. Even if you are found NOT guilty of DUI, you could still lose your license depending on how the DMV hearing goes. Many people living in Orange County and Los Angeles County will need a license in order to keep their job and earn the money needed to care for themselves and their families. This is just one of the many important reasons that you should speak with an experienced DUI lawyer immediately following an arrest.

If you do not know what will happen following your DUI arrest, it will be unlikely that you can safeguard against the dangers that exist.


It does not matter if this is your first DUI-related charge or if you have prior convictions on your record, you deserve to have a powerful and aggressive defense lawyer on your side to help defend your constitutional rights. The fact of the matter is that you have a right to legal counsel, so you should exercise that right to give you the best chances of reaching a positive outcome in your case.

It has been said that a fool has himself as an attorney. When you represent yourself things get cloudy. You don’t always see things objectively. Your emotions may get in the way of better judgment. It’s unlikely that you have the education and experience in handling the legal matter on your own against prosecutors who do and have resources at their disposal. You put yourself at a great disadvantage when you represent yourself and that is why many judges think that you would be ill-advised to represent yourself.


Public defenders have a very heavy caseload. It’s likely that they are trying to juggle 50 or more cases, while running from between hearings and meetings. Each minute spent on your case is a minute that they won’t be able to work on another. Each minute spent on another’s case is one that they can’t spend on yours. They only have a limited amount of time in order to work. So, they simply don’t have the time in order to spend a lot of it on your DUI case.


Many things could happen if you fail a sobriety test. For example, you may be placed under arrest following failed roadside sobriety tests. In addition, the fact that you failed sobriety tests will be used as evidence against you. Also, if you are found guilty of driving under the influence you may be facing jail time.


Whether you should blow or not will depend on an assessment of the relative risks. Under California’s Implied Consent law, you must submit to a breath or blood test when arrested for driving under the influence. If you refuse to take the test it results in suspension of your license. However, failing the test greatly increases your chances of losing the DUI case, which can result in imprisonment and other penalties. So, you need to take into consideration the risk of losing your DUI case with the prospect of having your license suspended.


Respectfully decline the request. A driver has the responsibility of responding to a lawful order. If it’s a lawful order, you should obey and follow the directions of the police officer who is making the traffic stop. However, reciting the alphabet backwards is going to be an uncommon type of test, which has often been criticized.

The criticism stems from the fact that it is not a standard test used by the police to determine a person’s sobriety and is not endorsed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It has also been criticized for being unreliable and designed to fail. Even people who are not drunk and are wide awake might still have difficulty saying the alphabet backward under those conditions.


The statement to the officer would work against you, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. How we will fight your DUI will depend on the other considerations. For instance, do we have a way to challenge the stop? Did you submit to a field sobriety test or breathalyzer? Were there any mistakes in how the tests were performed? And, might the results of the tests be favorable to our case? Depending on the situation we may fight the charges and go to trial, or enter into a plea agreement on a lesser charge.


First, you want to do what you can to help the case. Help your case by writing down every bit of information that you can recall about the traffic stop. For example, what were you doing before the traffic stop, or what statements did you and the officer give when you were stopped? You can also help your case further by requesting an attorney at the first opportunity and having an attorney represent you. Be truthful when working with your attorney, because what you say is privileged and the attorney can better help you if they fully understand the evidence against you.

Next, you want to avoid doing things to sabotage your case. You don’t want to talk to police officers, the prosecutor, a prison inmate, or anyone other than your attorney about the case. They are not there to help you nor are they there to look out for your interests. Talking to them will only serve to provide them further ammunition to convict you. Also, if you know that you’re plowed, you should seriously consider declining the breathalyzer despite the fact that your license will be suspended.

For you to get the best result in your DUI case you need to concentrate on doing the things that will work in your favor and improve your chances of a favorable outcome. At the same time you need to remain vigilant so that you won’t make mistakes that bring you closer to a conviction.


If you have been arrested and given your Miranda Rights it is time to request an attorney. Making any further statements would be a mistake, because the statements can and will be used against you. Another mistake is if you signed a confession without counsel, or submitted to police interrogation without the benefit of an attorney. Attempting to handle the case on your own is often a big mistake as well.


The difference is what is at stake. On the one hand, traffic cases handle infractions and deal mainly with parking violations and violating rules of the road, so that the payment of a fine is required. So, if you failed to feed the parking meter, were speeding, or ran a stop sign or red light, an officer may pull you over and issue you a ticket. On the other hand, the consequence of a DUI is more severe, because it includes the possibility of jail time in addition to fines that you must pay.


One of the things that people don’t know is that they don’t have to submit to a Breathalyzer test. There is a consequence, however, to refusing the Breathalyzer test, which is that their license is going to be suspended. However, when weighing the disadvantage of that happening, the benefits of submitting to the Breathalyzer test is usually going to be outweighed by the prospect of conviction and jail time in those cases.

Another thing is that the person might think that if they are in their jail cell and they’re just talking to another inmate, that they have nothing to worry about, but they are often wrong. There may be informants in the cell or there may be other people nearby that overhear the conversation, so it’s always unwise for you to talk about the case with anyone other than your attorney.


One common myth is if the police officer hasn’t given the Miranda rights, then any statements made by the driver cannot be used against them. However, that’s simply untrue. It’s true that police officers must make the reading when you are arrested and in custody. However, it doesn’t prevent your statements given during the stop and investigation by the officer, but prior to the arrest, from being used against you.


While some people fail field sobriety tests because they are drunk, it’s not the only reason why people fail the tests. The three most common field tests are the one leg stand, walk and turn, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test (also known as the pen test). Some will fail these tests even if they are sober. For example, there are people who have medical conditions, physical limitations, or simply have a horrible sense of balance that find it difficult to perform these tests. Also, the weather, conditions, and the location where the test was performed may be another factor in causing people to fail the tests.


If you have a prior DUI it makes it even more important that you have legal representation. The penalties become more severe when it is a repeat DUI offense. You will increase the likelihood of being convicted and subject to the stiffer penalties. So, do yourself a favor and don’t try to handle it on your own.


Fighting blood cases where there is a question as to your blood alcohol content is possible. However, it is fairly technical and requires expertise that you won’t have in order to mount a successful defense. To improve your chances of overcoming the prosecution you will need the assistance of experts in the field who have experience fighting blood alcohol evidence. You’re putting yourself at a disadvantage if you try to handle this on your own, so you should strongly consider hiring an attorney.


After the DUI, the officer is going to punch a hole in or confiscate your driver’s license confiscated. You will be given a citation, which also acts as a temporary license that will allows you to continue and drive for 30 days. You may request an administrative hearing with the DMV to prevent the suspension of your license, but you only have 10 days to request the hearing. If you ignore the DMV and fail to do so, your license will be suspended.


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Office Locations

930 W. 17th Street
Suite B
Santa Ana, CA 92706
Tel: (714) 697-8600