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May 2016 Archives

Is there a DUI license Suspension on a First Offense?

A DUI can cause a DUI license suspension if convicted of a DUI and/or the blood alcohol (B.A.) level is .08 or more if you are age 21 or more and it is a first offense.  It is possible, however, to convert that 4 or 6 month suspesnion to a restricted license to and from and the course of employment and Court ordered programs.  If you are under 21 years old or on probation for a DUI there is a zero tolerance and a license suspension for 1 year will be imposed.  A critical need restricted license for work or school may be available for a first offense if you are under 21.  There is no restriction for one year if you are on DUI probation at the time of a second arrest.

Plea Bargaining in DUI Cases in Vista Courts

Plea bargaining in DUI cases in Vista Courts involves discussions with the District Attorney and can also include the Judge.  This is a process where the Defense Attorney negotiates the clients case in order to resolve it in the best possible way based on the evidence and other factors.  Settling a case avoids the risk and expense of a trial where the client could suffer a possible more serious conviction or greater penalties if convicted.  If the Defendant is not getting a sufficient benefit from the settlement and  has a good defense, then the case may proceed to a Jury trial where the risks vary with the facts of the case and the Defendants background or record.

Expungements Can Help Clean Up Your Record for Employment

Expungements in California refer to California Penal Code 1203.4 et seq. and can help clean up your record in many ways, including employment.  An expungement in California is the withdrawal of a guilty plea and dismissal of the case for most purposes per California Penal Code 1203.4 et al.  It is available on infractions, most misdemeanors and many felony convictions where there was no prison commit.  The motion to expunge is filed, served on the D.A. and a Court hearing date can usually be set in 4-6 weeks in Vista Courts.

What is a DUI Pretrial or Settlement Hearing?

A DUI Pretrial or DUI Settlement hearing can also be called a Readiness and is after the first appearance or arraignmment.  The purpose of this appearance is for the defense attorney to sit down with the prosecutor and discuss the case and possible settlement.  It is where the plea bargaining occurrs. The facts of a Driving Under the Influence case are very important in negotiating any resolution, but there are other factors considered and include the possible defenses, defendants background and impact the conviction as well as other mitigating factors.
 
The DUI case factors include the dangerousness of the driving, prior record, attitude with the officer, field sobriety test and one of the most important factors is the breath test and/or blood alcohol or drug level.  There are other considerations which which are very important like possible defenses, witness issues, technical problems with testing, detention issues, mitigating factors as well as individual backgrounds and conviction impact.  A DUI defense attorney knows what to look for and what is important in the negotiating process.  Sometimes alcohol or drug treatment, AA/NA meetings, military or combat service can also affect how a case is resolved.  
 
If there are valid defenses, DUI cases may be dismissed, if there are good defense issues then they may be used to get a lesser charge or penalty rather than litigate.  Every jurisdiction is different as are the prosecutors.  Penalties can go up based on whether there is an accident or high blood alcohol as well as other aggravating factors.  These pretrial or readiness conferences can be continued until ultimately the case is settled or goes to trial.  Most cases are settled based on these factors through negotiation and resolved without risking more serious consequences or charges. 

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