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Matthew Ian Terry
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Matthew Terry’s Answers

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  • Should i get an attorney for my case for a DUI conviction?

    So i was pulled over for drunk driving because someone called saying that i have had to much to drink and i was not ok to drive. When he did i left my car and went to my cousins house down the street from the bar. I returend to my car a bit later ...

    Matthew’s Answer

    Call the DMV and schedule a hearing anyway! Although you were not given a pink temporary license, you are relying on the integrity and/or know-how of the officer to admit he has not served you notice (in which case, you would receive a letter in the mail from the DMV giving you 14 additional days to request a hearing).

    If there is no sworn statement written by the officer (Form DS-367), the DMV will notify you at a later date -- but only if you request a hearing. You have nothing to lose but you protect yourself by requesting it within the first 10 calendar days of arrest.

    IF THEY DECIDE TO forward the information to the prosecution, you will find out early through the use of the DMV request. You can then hire a lawyer to defend you -- on what I would also say is a very defensible case.

    Chances are, there will be no charges, but you must take every precaution. You can find your local Driver Safety Office on this site: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/fo/dsolistings.htm. Do not let the DMV representative talk you out of scheduling the hearing. Make sure you note their name and time you called. If you really want to be careful, ask for their fax number and send them a fax confirming your conversation and scheduled hearing.

    If you are still unsure about dealing with the DMV or why it is important to schedule the DMV hearing, contact a DUI-focused attorney who will explain why to do it now, not later. If you need a referral for your area, I'm happy to suggest one or two via email or telephone.

    Good luck, and cover your butt from here on out. :-)

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  • What to do during a DUI checkpoint?

    This is a hypothetical story: These past weekend, many drivers were arrested in the San Fernando Valley for DUI. I am not a drinker, but sometimes I need to take medication which may contain a bit of alcohol. So far I have never ran into a DUI che...

    Matthew’s Answer

    With all due respect, if you're taking enough of your medication that you're concerned that you are anywhere near the legal limit, don't drive. As Mr. Fremont said essentially, you shouldn't have an amount of alcohol [ethanol] in any medication that would put you anywhere near the 0.08% limit. However, if you are taking a medication with various ingredients that can cause sedative effects, it's not a DUI checkpoint that is your primary concern. If you are involved in an accident -- even if it's not your fault -- it can be a potential felony case if someone is injured. If the police arrest you for being under the influence, the argument can be made under Vehicle Code § 23153(a) that you are under the COMBINED influence of alcohol and drugs. Whether the prosecutor wins that argument is another story, but you end up having to pay large sums of money to defend the case properly (and possibly lose that case, if not handled properly); let alone putting yourself through months of a stressful DUI defense (or even vehicular manslaughter defense ~ it does happen and they will prosecute you for the slightest impairment argument). The best possible advice any lawyer can give you is to simply avoid the possibility altogether. Not the sexiest answer, but the most pragmatic.

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  • Boyfriend got arrested and charged with driving in a suspended license because of a dui what should i expect in court

    my boyfriend was driving me to the hospital emergency room when we got pulled over he didnt have his license back yet because of some traffic ticket fines that needed to be paid his wages were garnished for this well he got arested taken to jail i...

    Matthew’s Answer

    I agree that it is advisable to consult an attorney at this point. If his license was suspended because of a DUI conviction -- possibly noncompliance with a probation requirement that he didn't know of -- he could be facing charges under Vehicle Code section 14601.2. As stated by Mr. Hicks, it is quite possibly a 14601.1 -- and hopefully. However, if he has already been convicted, the difference between the two statutes becomes important.

    If the suspension is a result of a DUI administrative action, the appropriate charge would be §14601.1 and there would be no mandatory jail time if convicted.

    If the suspension is a result of a DUI conviction, the appropriate charge would be §14601.2, which calls for a minimum of 10 days jail-time if convicted. This can certainly be avoided, and hopefully is not the case, but contacting a qualified attorney is highly advised.

    Best of luck to both of you.

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  • Can my driving privileges be reinstated in FULL if I install an IID?

    1st DUI, I am required by DMV to install it for 5 months, when I do will I be able to drive anywhere?

    Matthew’s Answer

    Not according to §13352 of the Vehicle Code. More information is needed (1st / 2nd / 3rd offense? Misdemeanor or felony?)

    On 2nd offense convictions (not to be confused with an administrative finding from a DMV hearing), we have seen letters from the DMV seemingly presenting the driver with a choice:

    After 90 days of hard suspension, they may either
    (i) obtain an IID for the remainder of 2 years and drive without restriction, OR
    (ii) obtain a restricted license for the remainder of 2 years but without an IID.

    There are other minor requirements, such as an SR-22, but this appears to be a policy decision rather than a mandate from the Vehicle Code.

    Best advice: contact Mandatory Actions in Sacramento (DMV) and they can answer your question as to your personal options, according to the relicensing requirements on your driving record. The # is 916-657-6525.

    Good luck.

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  • When does the mandatory 30 day license suspension go into affect?

    Does this include the 30 day temporary license that was issused after the arrest or do you have to wait an additional 30 days?

    Matthew’s Answer

    Reading into your question, it appears that someone (either in person or through a website) advised you of the ability to obtain a restricted license. This is true; however, it is highly recommended to contact an attorney in your area. You have ten calendar days from the date of the arrest to contact the DMV Driver Safety Office in your county to request a hearing. Your driver's license is considered a "protectible property interest" by the Supreme Court, entitling you to a due process hearing before a neutral decision-maker before they may deprive you of that interest. Even if you think you don't stand a chance of winning, there is virtually no down side or additional punishment for you to exercise that right.

    If you are suspended because of the 10-day period passing, the suspension will go into effect 30 days from the date of the arrest. If you request a hearing, your license suspension will be put on hold pending the outcome of the hearing.

    If there is a hearing, the DMV will provide you with a Notification of Findings & Decision as to when the suspension will begin. (Of course, if you win the hearing, you will receive a "Set Aside" notice and your license can be obtained at your nearest DMV.)

    If it is a 1st offense in 10 years, the Vehicle Code mandates a 4 month suspension of all driving in California. However, you may obtain a restricted license if you enroll in a DUI program, obtain an SR-22 (proof of insurance) and pay the DMV a $125 reissue fee. Once all three of these are performed, you may obtain a restricted license to drive to, from and during the course of your employment. It will add 2 months to the end of your administrative suspension, meaning 30 days of a full suspension and 5 months of a restricted license.

    Driving to school is not included within the statute, though you may receive advice that this is acceptable. While the argument can be made that school is simply an extension of the term "employment," as the two are invariably related, it must be emphasized that this is not specifically authorized under the restricted license statute and could theoretically become a problem if you are pulled over on your way home from school.

    Keep two things in mind: (1) the ability to drive on a restricted license after 30 days only applies if you are 21+ and arrested for a 1st offense; and (2) if you are convicted down the road, you will face an additional 6 month suspension. This can automatically be converted to a restricted license though, upon payment of approximately $55 to the DMV.

    The area of DMV suspensions is a convoluted subject that confuses the best of attorneys. It is highly recommended that you obtain assistance in your area from a qualified DUI attorney. Check both the National College of DUI Defense website as well as the California DUI Lawyers Association website for a list of competent, knowledgeable professionals in this area of criminal defense.

    Good luck!

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