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How To Beat A DUI Case in Los Angeles


This is a tough one because as you might guess, Los Angeles and the police, prosecutors and judges take these cases very seriously and if they feel you’re drinking alcohol, using drugs or smoking marijuana and driving and you’re not safe, they’re going to come at you with both barrels and they don’t really care who you are, about your job, about your family, about your career, that you have no criminal record — that’s most of the DUI cases these guys see.

They figure that everybody in society knows you can’t drink alcohol and drive and if you do it, you’re going to take the punishment just like everybody else.  That’s the mentality that you’re going up against when you go in there.  I’ve been doing this for twenty-five years.

I’ve handled thousands of DUI cases all over Los Angeles county over the years, so I kinda know the mindset of who you’re going to be dealing with and it just keeps getting tougher and tougher.

First-Time DUI

If you have a first offense high blood alcohol level in Los Angeles county, the judges are going to make you do AA meetings while you’re out on your own recognizance for a first-time DUI.  If you have a second-time DUI high blood alcohol level, they’re going to put a scram bracelet on your ankle and they’re not going to allow you to drink alcohol while you’re out.  This is how serious it’s got because people are dying on the roadways.

This topic is how to beat a DUI in Los Angeles, and the answer is really simple in general.  Of course, in specific you have to get into some detail that has to do with your case, but in general you can beat a DUI case if you have an angle and that angle is going to have to be something that creates a problem for the prosecutors related to the DUI case.

In other words, one example of an angle would be that there’s a problem with the blood alcohol.  They’re having a problem proving it.  It’s low.  If you blew like a .07 and the legal limit is .08, they can still charge you but that’s a problem for them because we’ve set a standard and everybody knows it’s a .08, so if somebody’s a .07, why should they be able to get them for a DUI.

Field Sobriety Tests

The problem from the defense standpoint is, there’s a Vehicle Code Section 23.152(a) that doesn’t really talk anything about the blood alcohol level.  It talks about whether you can safely operate a motor vehicle and whether you have alcohol in your system.

So, what the jury is going to be looking at in that scenario is what the police say about how well you did on the field sobriety test, how you were driving, how you were walking, how you were talking and did you pass their test or did you not pass their test, and of course, that’s a very subjective thing on the part of the police.

If they arrested you, you know for sure they’re going to say you didn’t pass the test, but of course, you can bring evidence to argue against that.  But, that’s the first way you could win or beat a DUI case is if your blood alcohol level is low.

Illegal Police Stop

Another way is if the police illegally stop you, then everything they find — your breath, your blood if you gave blood, the tests that they jade you do — everything gets thrown out the window if your defense attorney can prove that it’s an illegal stop.

Now of course, the police can pull you over for a lot of things.  That’s part of the problem.  So, they could just say weaving, swerving on the road, speeding, your windows are tinted — they have a whole slew off Vehicle Code violations they could use to pull you over.

One big thing that we are using to counter some of that is video.  If the police vehicle is equipped with video then a lot of times, we can see what you were doing immediately before they stopped you, so that’s one angle to beat a DUI if it’s an illegal stop.

Now, let’s say it looks like you passed all the tests and the way that we can prove that is by way of the body cam.  If the police are wearing body cams, a lot of times we can capture how you interact with them, how you did on the test.  So, that’s another way to beat them.

Not Driving a Vehicle

Another angle that I’ve seen to beat a DUI in Los Angeles is if the police come you weren’t driving.  That’s a problem for them sometimes.  They’re going to have to prove that you were driving pretty close in time to when they got their hands on you number one, and they’re going to have to prove that you were actually the one driving the car.

So, you’re going to notice they’re going to be asking questions.  If they come on see, if it’s an accident, everybody is outside their cars, they’re going to have to figure out whose car is who.  They’re going to have to ask people if they were the one driving that car?  When did you drive it?  When did you get in the accident?  So, that’s another area where I’ve seen cases won where they just simply can’t pinpoint when the person was driving.

Challenging Blood Alcohol Level

Another angle to win a DUI is if it’s a situation where the person drives away after an accident, even though they may be  DUI, a bunch of time passes, then there can be a problem proving when you were drinking and therefore, when they get your blood alcohol, their expert is going to have a problem saying what your blood alcohol level was at the time because they don’t know when the time is.  All they know what it is, is when the blood or the breath was tested.

So, there’s all sorts of different angles to be able to win a DUI, but they’re all fact driven.  In other words, don’t let people fool you over the phone and start spouting off a bunch of stuff when it really doesn’t have anything to do with your case.

I’ve had a lot of people come in and say, this attorney told me this, and that, and I say wait a minute, that has nothing to do with your case.  What about your case?  What about the facts surrounding your case?  So not every single defense applies in every single DUI.  It’s all fact-driven.  So, what happened in your case, how high was your blood alcohol level, how was your driving, how did you do on the field sobriety tests? So, pick up the phone now and call a Los Angeles DUI lawyer at our office.  We’ll sit down and talk and I’ll give you an honest assessment of where you stand with your DUI case.

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Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ.

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