I was convicted of a DUI three years ago in California and recently filed to have my probation terminated early. While visiting family and friends in another part of California this past weekend, I was involved in a car accident. I was hit by another car and when the police arrived they performed a field sobriety and breathalyzer test on me. I was over the legal limit, but I was not arrested. The officers confiscated my license and drove me to my family's house just a few blocks away. I have several questions about all of this.
Will the court that is handling my early probation termination find out about this before my appearance in several weeks?
Will I be charged for a second DUI?
Will I need to come back to the county that the accident took place to handle everything?
While you we're undoubtedly the victim of a negligent driver in this case, that does not eliminate the possibility hat you could still be charged with driving under nth influence.
The fact that the police released you without a formal arrest is a "good" sign, however, since they took your license, there still remains a possibility that the DA or the police department themselves could file charges against you.
Another positive factor going in your favor is that there was no blood draw, urine test or breath test with which they could present at trial to convict you. If they were desperate to convict you, the police officer himself could testify as to any objective signs of intoxication, as well as use the preliminary alcohol screening results against you, provided that the proper foundation is laid.
As to whether the home county of your previous DUI will file aromatics violation, this seems unlikely. Without an underlying charge in this new matter, the evidence to establish a probation violation is weak at best. While not impossible, I would be very surprised if the DAs office in the original county for your previous conviction would pursue this.
Contact a local Fresno DUI attorney to start preparing for the possibility of being charged. You most likely will not be, but better to be prepared. Good luck.
Normally, I try to offer specific suggestions to each questioner, but your situation is complicated. The best advice I can offer is to contact an experienced lawyer and don't post any further information about your case. Your matters need to stay under the radar until your lawyer can sort out your issues and give you proper guidance.
The answer to numbers 1 and 2 are "it depends." The easiest to answer is the third question. Yes, if they file, you will be required to go to the county in which the case is filed.
Hopefully, you can get the early termination completed before this case pops up. Generally, the courts have the probation department run a statewide criminal history report for cases where our clients are seeking early termination of probation/expungement pursuant to Penal Code 1203.4, and if you were not arrested, the new case may not show up yet.
In terms of whether you are charged, if you are charged at all, I would anticipate it would be as a second offense. I would need to know what papers you were given by the officer when you said your license was confiscated. It may well have been a notice of temporary driver's license with notice of the procedure for requesting a DMV hearing. You may have also been given a Notice to Appear. Each of those would indicate charges are coming...at some point in time. The DA has up to a year to file charges. If you request a DMV hearing within the time limit, you can request a copy of the police report as well. That will give you and your counsel time to review the allegations against you before you need to go to court.
Get free answers from experienced attorneys.
27,468 answers this week
3,008 attorneys answering
Don't speak legalese? We define thousands of terms in plain English.Browse our legal dictionary